The PCA Child Abuse Amendment

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61 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    This will be voted on soon…and it is, in my opinion, the fruit of all the blogs that addressed the SGM scandal.
    I pray it passes.

  2. This is monumental! I join you in praying that it passes. How could it not?!

  3. Lutheran says:

    Hooray for the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America)

    They have about 350K members and close to 2K churches.

  4. Michael says:

    CK,

    My guess is that it will pass…minus the shot to the celebrities. 🙂

  5. Ricky Bobby says:

    The PCA is demonstrating “love” and “grace” and “mercy” to the children. I can’t think of any Group that Jesus of the Gospels was more counter-cultural with (women a close second, Lepers third maybe, etc).

    I can very much picture Jesus writing those words (in the PCA amendment). I can see the devil very much defending the Status Quo and non-Emphasis in most of the rest of the “church” with regards to protecting children and using the Church’s influence and power to lead the charge in that important area.

    But, that just seems to be the Jesus of the Gospel’s approach and we all know how easy it is to twist and excuse and spin away anything you want in the bible.

  6. PCA was all the rage in the early 70s … glad they put this forward. We have to protect the children as far as it lies in our power.

  7. Don’t know if you guys saw it at the SBC annual meeting last week, but they passed a similar resolution to this one, with a very thinly veiled shot at Mahaney and Mohler.

    The SBC resolution was directly tied to bloggers, as Peter Lumpkins, a blogger, is the one who wrote it up, and spoke on it on the convention floor.

  8. I saw that one Josh. Glad they did it.

  9. Crowned1 says:

    Jesus said ‘not to fornicate’ and to ‘love children’. Why is a 2-page .PDF needed to help explain this to church goers? Its just words on a paper.

    Jesus already wrote down the proper words regarding protecting children…if they didn’t listen to Jesus, why would they listen to a church amendment? Sorry, doesn’t make sense.

  10. It makes sense because the abuse has already occurred. Would you rather these groups not speak out against children being sexually molested in their churches?

  11. Lutheran says:

    Michael,

    Just curious — does PCA have its own sems? RTS maybe? Just curious where they go.

  12. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    I’m not sure if they sponsor specific seminaries anymore.
    I do know that they pull clergy from Covenant, Greenville, RTS, WTS, and others.

  13. I’m pretty sure Covenant is their official seminary.

  14. Crowned1 says:

    Josh @ 11

    I’d rather the groups follow Jesus Christ and stop worrying about what the ‘group’ is doing.

    Look at us! We wrote down exactly what Jesus already said previously and put our church stamp on it, its official! Really? It wasn’t official when Jesus wrote it the first time?

    Passing an amendment to ‘actually listen to Jesus Christ for reals this time’ is not exactly a novel idea. It’s more ‘works based’ than ‘Jesus based’ imo.

  15. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I think you’re right…

  16. Lutheran says:

    Michael,

    Thanks.

    JTB,

    Do you mean Covenant in St. Louis? That one used to be the RPC’s sem. But I was on their webpage and their alum serve in a variety of churches, including E. Free’s. I’m sure they’ll take folks from different denoms. and synods.

  17. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    We need to re emphasize certain things on a regular basis both personally and corporately…I really don’t understand your point at all.

  18. Lutheran says:

    Crowned1,

    I don’t get why you’re so contrary about this resolution.

    I agree with CK — it’s a no brainer.

    ‘Words on paper’? You can scoff about any words on paper. Or words on the Internet, for that matter. 🙂

    Of course, implementation is another thing. But thing is, you gotta have something to implement!

    I call this heading in the right direction.

  19. Crowned1 says:

    Michael @ 18

    If you have to re emphasize “Jesus was totally serious guys”…your ‘doing it wrong’ imo. We shouldn’t point people to ‘amendments’ or ‘group consensus’…we should continually, and always, point them to Christ.

    No man made amendment will repair the damage, fix the present, or secure the future. So for everyone to ‘boldly stand together as one’ and sign this amendment…literally means nothing. The individual will either follow Christ, or they won’t.

    After reading this amendment…my first thought was “duh!”. I would think even a newly converted babe in Christ would have enough sense to not hurt kids (heck, even an atheist!)…why is an amendment even being proposed? Is it THAT complicated?

    Hopefully that explains my position better.

  20. Crowned1 says:

    Lutheran @ 19 “I call this heading in the right direction.”

    IMO…I call it self-gratulation & PR while Christ takes a back seat to our amendments.

  21. Steve Wright says:

    Crowned1, There is a difference between a “whereas” and a “resolved”. May I suggest reading the “resolved” portions a little more closely.

    I too commend the PCA

  22. Crowned1 says:

    Steve @ 22 “May I suggest reading the “resolved” portions a little more closely.”

    I have reviewed the resolved portions & understand legal terminology quite well.

    This part in particular is especially troubling: RESOLVED that we plead with all pastors and church officers to take an active stance toward rooting out child sexual abuse in the church

    If you have to plead with your spiritual leader for this…its time to find a new church.

    Again, this is not a novel concept, this was previously addressed & recorded in the Holy Scriptures. Churches writing down on paper “that we may get around to listening this time” is no more encouraging.

  23. Steve Wright says:

    This part in particular is especially troubling: RESOLVED that we plead with all pastors and church officers to take an active stance toward rooting out child sexual abuse in the church
    ————————————————————-
    Like I said to someone else in another thread, insist on partial quotes out of context, and you can make any case you want…

  24. Crowned1 says:

    Okay…”RESOLVED that we plead with all pastors and church officers to take an active stance toward rooting out child sexual abuse in the church…by leading their churches to study, implement, and maintain child protection policies pertaining to our moral and legal obligations in loving our covenant children and protecting their rightful interests as God’s image-bearers and heirs of the Covenant of Grace from the devastating actions of abusers in the church;”

    It didn’t get any better in full context…you still have to plead with your spiritual leader to do the right thing. That’s a bad sign imo.

  25. I believe this falls under exhortation, which is entirely right and biblical. Paul told Timothy to do such things.

  26. Lutheran, yes Covenant in Saint Louis. Seems to be a good school.

    As far as the amendment goes, Crowned1, are you proposing that a denomination says nothing about child sex abuse within its churches, even though it is happening and not being handled correctly?

  27. Ricky Bobby says:

    Love the Peter Lumpkins push in SBC as well. Very encouraging.

  28. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve Wright, do you think you could ask the Calvary Chapel Association to do similar? Why couldn’t a group of CC pastors put some effort into a similar public stand within your Organization? Please don’t give me the “independent” thing, as you guys get together on so many other issues that aren’t nearly as important.

  29. Ricky Bobby says:

    We need a George Bryson of championing Children and Child Protection and Godly teaching on proper loving discipline etc in Calvary Chapel.

    Josh McDowell made the best comment of the entire CCSPC 2013, basically that the idea of sacrificing your children and family for “ministry” is an idea straight out of the pit of hell. I can’t amen that strongly enough.

  30. Lutheran says:

    Crowned1,

    Like it or not — and I don’t — if you think a church group’s “default” setting is that they’re aware of child abuse, are going to take an active stand when it occurs, etc., then you’re sadly mistaken. If that’s the case, then you (and I don’t necessarily mean “you” literally) are naive about human nature — even redeemed human nature. It’s still full of sin. Such persons may want to take a slow stroll through Rom. 7 and remember that Paul in I Tim.
    proclaimed that he was still a sinner, present tense.

    Again, I applaud PCA’s stand. Would that the newer groups like CC and SGM would follow suit. Of course in their case, if their track record already overall sucks, then maybe it would just be “words on paper.” Words can deceive if they’re used as a gloss for godly actions.

  31. KatR says:

    I hear what you are saying Crowned1, but I think the main reason that this is a good thing is that it lets SGM, and the groups that try and protect them from accountability (hi TGC!), that not everyone is buying what they are trying to sell.

  32. Jim says:

    Obviously loving this. Last week, the SBC sent Al and CJ a clear message, and tomorrow the PCA may follow with Lig and CJ.

    Since SGM secretly believes that they are superior to “other churches” let them go stand in a corner by themselves and figure things out.

  33. Michael says:

    Jim,

    You deserve a ton of the credit for this…your work wasn’t wasted, my friend.

  34. Ricky Bobby says:

    Lute said, “Of course, implementation is another thing. But thing is, you gotta have something to implement!

    I call this heading in the right direction.”

    Agreed. It starts with the rhetoric and emphasis. It’s an important step and huge statement.

  35. Jim says:

    Thanks Michael. Grateful that God let me play a part. Most grateful that I knew when it was a done deal, and I don’t need stand around watching the house burn down. Sad for a few of the pastors there who I love and who seem committed to going down with the ship.

  36. Lutheran says:

    Jim,

    I don’t mean to be intrusive or anything, just curious.

    In SGM, do most pastors go through the seminary route? Such as pastors who are in the PCA and other established Reformed synods and denoms, for example.

  37. Jim says:

    Lutheran,

    Please feel free to ask anything you like. SGM has their own “pastors college”, which is a nine month program. You rarely see a seminary grad as a SGM pastor, although there are a few. CJ has a high school diploma.

  38. mattbredmond says:

    A couple things:

    Covenant is an official PCA Seminary and is a wonderful place. I would not trade my time there for any amount of money.

    Mike Sloan, who put this resolution together, is very involved with training churches in the prevention of sexual abuse through a group called Darkness to Light. We have been in contact over the past week. I am sure he would appreciate any prayers you could offer on his behalf.

  39. Jim says:

    Sorry, it’s a ten month program.

  40. Crowned1 says:

    Josh @ 27 “As far as the amendment goes, Crowned1, are you proposing that a denomination says nothing about child sex abuse within its churches, even though it is happening and not being handled correctly?”

    Sorry for the delay, after 5pm my 1-month old occupies all my time heh.

    It does not matter if a church “says” anything. All that matters is action. The Bible has already said everything that needs to be said…the only thing left is acting upon it.

    Writing on paper means ‘nothing’…it is irrelevant. What needs to change, is the “touch not God’s anointed” garbage.

    As soon as spiritual leaders are held to the same standards as the clergy, church health will increase.

  41. Crowned1 says:

    Correction to #40: As soon as spiritual leaders are held to the same standards as the ‘laity’, church health will increase

  42. Crowned1 says:

    Lutheran @ 31

    If the church is not aware of child abuse, they have blinders on, the catholic church has given all the spotlight in the world to the issue. It doesn’t matter if they know it happens in their church…all they need to know is it ‘does happen’ and when they see it to ‘out it’ immediately. The Bible teaches this, no amendments required.

    If a church will not take action when child abuse occurs in their spiritual leaders then they are both cowards & spiritually sick. Servants of Jesus Christ will ‘out’ their own father to save his soul. Not because they don’t love them…but because sin only dies when exposed to light.

    Every single pastor that reads this blog should specifically instruct their flocks “If you ever catch me in a serious sin you must report me to the authorities immediately. No matter how much I (or others) may try to coerce you, in the moment, to keep it quiet…do not listen to us…that is the spirit of satan attempting to hide the sin so it can grow”.

    THAT is leadership. Self sacrifice to protect the innocent. You may never pastor again, such is the price of sin, but your reward will be great in heaven.

  43. Crowned1 says:

    KatR @ 32 “I hear what you are saying Crowned1, but I think the main reason that this is a good thing is that it lets SGM, and the groups that try and protect them from accountability (hi TGC!), that not everyone is buying what they are trying to sell.”

    Purse strings speak louder than words in a church setting. Abandon the sanctuary, leave it an empty tomb, let the “pastor” instruct himself.

    Words on paper…meaningless. Only actions work.

  44. Nonnie says:

    Hey, Mattbredmon, so good to see you here! I am always so edified by your blog. I truly believe that the Lord has good things in store for you. Be not discouraged in well doing…..

  45. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    Derek was correct when he identified this as an exhortation.
    A specific issue has been recognized and brought to the full attention of the assembly.
    That is a good thing.
    Perhaps you live in a sin free parallel universe where everyone does the right thing when expected and without prompting, but the rest of us live here…where such exhortations are necessary.
    The first step to taking action on a problem is to identify it.

  46. Crowned1 says:

    It seems to me, and this will be the last thing I write on the topic so I don’t hog the post, that God in His wisdom & sovereignty is screaming from heaven to follow & listen to Him.

    I do not see any ‘Thou shalt alter thine assembly governance charters because My Son was not sufficient’ anywhere in scripture.

    The answer, is Jesus Christ. The answer, is His Word. Not “maybe we need to spread ‘awareness’ about child abuse”. There is Jesus, and there is everything else, the bar is already set. Choose you this day Whom you will serve.

  47. Lutheran says:

    ‘Perhaps you live in a sin free parallel universe’

    What Michael said.

    I’d ask that type of believer, “How’s that working out for you?”

  48. Crowned1 says:

    Michael @ 46 “A specific issue has been recognized and brought to the full attention of the assembly. That is a good thing.”

    In and of itself…no…it isn’t. Passing a by-law or an amendment, creating ‘awareness’ are not ‘good things’. Following Christ & actual ‘action’ on moral violations are good things.

    “Perhaps you live in a sin free parallel universe where everyone does the right thing when expected and without prompting”

    Not at all. My suggestion is the ‘prompting’ should be the Word of God. And if we are not receiving said prompting from the Word, the underlying question is ‘why’?

    “The first step to taking action on a problem is to identify it.”

    Agreed, and the Bible has already done so. The second step (and all the remaining steps) are to point people toward Christ. Christ is the solution, not our corporate amendments.

    ‘I solemnly swear to tell the truth, and the whole truth, so help me God’. Just words on a paper…but how often are they actually followed in court?

  49. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    If you read the amendment it is started with Scripture.
    In a fallen world, nothing and no one always does things as they should be done.
    That’s why Christ had to die…we don’t behave well, nor play well with others.
    This exhortation/confrontation is a start back in the right direction.
    We pray that substantive actions will follow…but I am pleased at a recognition that such is necessary.

  50. Crowned1 says:

    Michael @ 50 “If you read the amendment it is started with Scripture.”

    A good start

    “In a fallen world, nothing and no one always does things as they should be done.
    That’s why Christ had to die…we don’t behave well, nor play well with others.”

    Amen

    “This exhortation/confrontation is a start back in the right direction.”

    Disagree. It is a group of people “deciding as one voice” that they should ‘consider’ following God’s word. The start in the right direction is the application of the Word of God, not amendments.

    “…but I am pleased at a recognition that such is necessary.”

    Why? What does awareness ‘do’ in the spiritual sense?

    “Hey everyone…leaders are sinning badly…maybe they should like, stop doing that or something. Pretty please?” That is essentially this amendment in a nutshell…my logical mind asks…what does it do other than occupy space on a sheet of paper?

  51. Ricky Bobby says:

    Crowned, for your consideration: I am a student of Rhetoric and its power.

    Slavery’s end began with a change in Rhetoric which ended up changing beliefs, which led to action.

    Adolph Hitler’s rise to power and his overtaking an nation and almost the world began with powerful Rhetoric.

  52. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    You seem anything but logical to me on this matter.
    It is a call to actions…a recognition of sin and an exhortation to repentance and practical application.
    Everything must start somewhere…in your Edenic version of the faith everyone just packs a Bible and obeys it…in the real world things are more complicated and difficult.

  53. Michael says:

    RB,

    Duncan is a consummate politician…my guess is that this will pass after amending the part about his buddy.

  54. @ 41 – You are missing the larger picture. SBC has 45,000 or so churches. 99% of them I will never step foot in, however, if a Pastor across the country sexually abuses a child, people say “Ahhh, those Southern Baptists!!!”. This is a formal way of saying something into a situation that I can not DO anything about.

  55. Michael says:

    RB,

    That didn’t take long…I hear they already took the scissors out.

  56. Crowned1 says:

    “in your Edenic version of the faith everyone just packs a Bible and obeys it…in the real world things are more complicated and difficult.”

    Exactly. Which is why I question why the amendment would have any effect at all. It is, after all, just more writing on paper that is “optional”.

    I, for one, truly pray that reinventing the wheel is successful for the sake of children. But I fear, “touch not God’s anointed” and “I’ve got your back if you’ve got mine” will continue to rule the day in place of our King.

  57. JV says:

    Yes it should be self explanatory, duh, but its not and a resolution to educate, prevent, report is great, now just do it for God’s sake. Jael had a hammer and tent peg and her bare hands. When a child discloses call 911, it takes guts but it has to be done.

  58. Rebecca Aske says:

    did this resolution pass? And if not why not? And if not, did a similar resolution pass and can you provide a link to that?

  1. June 23, 2013

    […] about allegations of sexual abuse in their congregations (you can read the original draft here and the revised here to see the difference between the two).  The good news that came out of the […]

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