Abuse of Faith II
The Houston Chronicle will conclude it’s series on sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday and there will be hand wringing on Thursday and the matter will disappear sometime Friday.
Not a damn thing will change except the SBC leadership will be relieved that it doesn’t have to comment on the problem for a while…until the next round of articles a newspaper does.
How do I know this?
I knew the first time that I saw one of their ministers doing the math.
“We only have this many cases of convictions and we have this many churches so obviously, it’s not that big of an issue”.
The attitude by many is not shock over the reports, but self congratulatory about the relative number of incidents.
Pastors are good at the new math because they’ve been practicing for decades…
The problem with these calculations is that they only deal with cases that have been reported and processed through the legal system.
I lost count about ten years ago of how many times I was told by someone defending Calvary Chapel that unless it was a legal matter, there was no abuse.
We know however, that the vast majority of abuse cases never get reported and there are strong mechanisms used inside the institutions to keep them from ever being reported.
That… is simply a fact.
The other salient fact is that the abuse of one person affects more than one person.
It affects the entire family, those within the inner social system of the family, and the spiritual health of the entire local church.
It casts a shadow on God Himself in the eyes of all those affected and the world clucks it’s scornful tongue at every new report.
That’s how you really do the math…
The other reason I know that nothing will change is that the old guard of SBC leadership has been and is complicit in covering up cases of abuse and protecting abusers and that has become part of the DNA of the movement.
Real change won’t happen in these independent evangelical denominations (and non denominations) before a number of funerals streamed live so that all their fans can pray them home via the internet.
Finally, I know nothing will change because the victims are mainly women and children.
This piece of tweeting excrement does not represent the whole of the SBC, but neither is he an outlier.
These are intensely patriarchal groups and they take care of their own…the ones they’re sworn to protect…not so much.
Are there wonderful churches and pastors (and schools) in the Southern Baptist Convention?
Yes, there are.
However, until they have the will as a group to address these issues the articles will keep coming and the abuse will keep happening as well.