SBC Cancels Seven Church Investigations

Gerry Dincher is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As per the SBC Executive Committee, there is no need for any further inquiry into seven of the churches that find mention in the list.

The happenings within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are a matter of concern. Only a few days after J.D. Greear, the president of the SBC, asked for an evaluation of the ten churches which found special mention in a recent sex abuse investigation, seven of those churches were dropped from the list.

According to The Houston Chronicle, the concerned churches either had volunteered or employed pastors accused of being engaged in sexual abuse. Four of the tainted pastors, the newspaper pointed out, continue to be employed in those churches. All ten churches were mentioned in the exhaustive investigation launched by San Antonio Express News and The Houston Chronicle. The report is under the name “Abuses of Faith.”

The bylaws workgroup of the SBC Executive Committee released a report on February 22 which stated in almost all the cases that were reported to the authorities, only a few individuals within the church system were sexually abusive and engaged in actions that covered up their crimes. It claimed the greater church body did not know of such crimes. There were practically no instances where churches connived or endorsed such criminal acts.

As per the SBC Executive Committee, there is no need for any further inquiry into seven of the churches that find mention in the list. One church among the excluded list is under pastor Ed Young, who was the SBC’s former president. The committee also replied to Greear’s request to investigate all churches which were accused of providing employment to accused sex abusers. In its statement, the committee said no individual has the authority to declare any church to be subjected to any convention inquiry. Even in the light of demand for more transparency, the committee told the SBC not to provide any church names sans any documentation of any criminal convictions. If anyone wishes to do so, the concerned church should be given a notice.

Victim’s rights advocates and activists have not taken kindly to such developments. One activist, Christa Brown, told the media that such a judgment massacred any nearer term chance on matters of sexual abuse happening within SBC. Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said he was absent during the meeting of the bylaws work group. He hopes the SBC will answer back with “clarity and action” during the upcoming annual convention.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter