Skip to comments.Southern Baptists urge reporting of abuse claims
Posted on 06/13/2013 6:49:23 AM PDT by MorganaEdited on 06/13/2013 7:35:53 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
HOUSTON (AP) — The Southern Baptist Convention has passed a resolution calling on all Southern Baptists to report allegations of child abuse to authorities.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
The SBC also spoke against gaydom in the Boy Scouts but said it would continue to support the Scouts.
No, it most emphatically did NOT say the SBC would continue to support the BSA. Please do not spread falsehoods.
I read that the SBC did not urge its members to leave the Scouts. Is that correct?
“On Wednesday, the SBC approved a resolution criticizing the Boy Scouts new policy, but not go so far as to recommend churches cut ties altogether with scouting groups.”
The above is what I was trying to say.
“... That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention
meeting in Houston, Texas, June 11â12, 2013, express our continued
opposition to and disappointment in the decision of the Boy Scouts of
America to change its membership policy; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we express our gratitude for the thousands of individuals
within the Scouting family and the culture at large who expressed
their opposition to the BSA executive leadership’s intent to change its
membership and leadership policies in regard to homosexuality, leading
to the compromise recommendation it presented to the BSA National
Council; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we express our gratitude to each voting member of
the National Council who voted in opposition to the policy change for
membership; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we express our well-founded concern that the current
executive leadership of the BSA, along with certain board members, may
utilize this membership policy change as merely the first step toward
future approval of homosexual leaders in the Scouts; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call on the Boy Scouts to remove from executive
and board leadership those individuals who, earlier this year, sought
to change both the membership and leadership policy of the Scouts
without seeking input from the full range of the Scouting family; and be
RESOLVED, That we affirm the right of all families and churches
prayerfully to assess their continued relationship with the BSA, expressing
our support for those churches and families that as a matter of conscience
can no longer be part of the Scouting family; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we encourage churches and families that remain in the Boy Scouts to seek to impact as many boys as possible with the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ, to work toward the reversal of this new membership policy, and to advocate against any future change in leadership and membership policy that normalizes sexual conduct opposed to the biblical standard;
RESOLVED, That we encourage churches that choose to sever ties
with the Boy Scouts not to abandon their ministry to boys but consider
expanding their Royal Ambassadors ministry, a distinctively Southern
Baptist missions organization to develop godly young men; and be
RESOLVED, That we declare our love in Christ for all young
people regardless of their perceived sexual orientation, praying that
God will bring all youth into a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It did not urge all member churches to drop scouting. However, it did take a much firmer stance than any other denomination I’ve heard of, and strongly condemned what the BSA did.
“As originally worded, the resolution encouraged “churches and families that choose to remain in relationship with the Boy Scouts” to work toward the policy’s reversal. An amendment from the floor, however, effectively struck the reference to churches and families remaining in relationship to the organization.”
It wouldn’t matter if they did “recommend” it or not. Local churches are autonomous. The “official” SBC position on things means very little — unless the local church is completely off the deep end theologically and morally, and then their messengers can be refused seating at the national convention and the church effectively have no voice in the proceedings, effectively booting them out. This isn’t a “top-down” power set-up like most every other denomination.
It did not urge all member churches to drop scouting. However, it did take a much firmer stance than any other denomination Ive heard of, and strongly condemned what the BSA did.
As originally worded, the resolution encouraged churches and families that choose to remain in relationship with the Boy Scouts to work toward the policys reversal. An amendment from the floor, however, effectively struck the reference to churches and families remaining in relationship to the organization.
This. Thank you!
Well at least they are incorporating some elements of youth protection already in place in the Boy Scouts. Do they require training of all youth leaders to detect and prevent abuse? Do they require two deep leadership? Do they require reporting by responsible individuals directly to the police upon allegation?
The worst thing good people can do is abandon the Boy Scouts.
Please see post #7. Local churches are autonomous within the scope of the affirmation of their faith statement. There is no “micromanagement” of the local church.
“The nations largest Protestant denomination has resisted implementing some type of database of ministers accused of abuse, saying that all churches are independent and the denomination does not have the authority to order local churches to submit that information.”
Ok, I understand if you can’t dictate to them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t “strenuously encourage” them to submit the information. Works for the federal government when they want something from the states.
“The worst thing good people can do is abandon the Boy Scouts.”
Worse for who? The good people or the Scouts?
“Ok, I understand if you cant dictate to them, but that doesnt mean you cant strenuously encourage them to submit the information.”
To put this in perspective:
“Also in his address to messengers, Page noted that recent data from the convention’s Annual Church Profile survey showed continued declines in nearly every category, including baptisms, average attendance and total giving.
“We desperately need the hand of God,” Page said. “One of our big challenges in these days is that one out of every five Southern Baptist churches will not send in an ACP. We can only tell what we know. Our baptism numbers are down. Or are they? We don’t know because you won’t tell us. Please participate.”
The SBC does not and cannot require member churches even submit a yearly summary of baptisms and attendance!
Both, the way I see it.
The SBC resolution condemned the scouts decision, supported churches that chose to take either approach, but definitely called on churches that remained with the scouts to try to turn back the decision.
Whether the local churches are autonomous or not doesn't change the fact that the national convention lacks a backbone. They should have the courage to say something like this, regardless of whether the local parishes follow it:
"RESOLVED, that the Southern Baptist Convention affirms that celebrating openly homosexual relationships is contrary to the faith and values of SBC, and strongly urges SBC-affliated parishes to sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America and no longer sponsor BSA related scouting events until the Boy Scouts of America abolishes their new policy on this matter"
Even if 99% of SBC affiliated parishes decided to ignore the "recommendation", the SBC could have at least they say "we tried", and they'd be able to tell their maker that on judgment day.
well, you two have successfully hijacked the thread.
Not entirely...I suspect the thread was posted to attack Baptists. The substance of the attack is optional. What matters is the attack!
Assumes facts not in evidence. One thing is certain though, it wouldn't have been posted by Dr. Thorne or any of the other usual suspects, or you for that matter.
Well, I’m sure there is something they could use for leverage, if they put their minds to it. If they have something the locals churches want, they can withhold it unless the local churches comply. Or not, maybe they don’t care.
Nonsense. The point was made originally that the Southern Baptist Convention had taken the position that it was “supporting the Scouts” still. Then the question came out why they weren’t mandating or requiring this or that. A fundamental understanding of how the SBC works is required to understand why this is not so. There was no “hijacking” of anything. Sorry you weren’t paying attention. Go back and read before you attack others!
They have taken an official position, but some here are under the mistaken impression that it has some bearing on what the local church does. It does not. (And there are no “parishes” in the SBC, by the way.) I don’t think their maker is confused about where the SBC stands as an official body on this position.
Not sure if it was meant as an attack, but there is a LOT of confusion evident about the relationship between the SBC and the local churches affiliated with it.
Which basically says: "We're really not happy with the Boy Scouts new position, and they should really change it back, but...ummmm... if Southern Baptist parents want to keep their kids in the BSA, that's cool, we understand"
Like I said, they need to grow a backbone, whether their churches choose to follow the "recommendation" or not. All Christian denominations that teach an openly homosexual lifestyle is wrong should be making statements encouraging their members and churches to leave the BSA.
Umm...guess you missed post #6. They have taken a stand, and that stand has been made in press release after press release and posted here on this forum more than once. They are not going to strong-arm the local church memberships to do x, y, z. It is not the relationship they have with the local churches. It has nothing to do with a “backbone” or not having one. What would you have them do? Go to a local church and tell them they will be booted from the convention if parents choose to let their kids stay in the Boy Scouts? Seriously?? I find it very curious that the suggestion to force others to act as one would like would even be present on a conservative site like Free Republic.
What other denominations have even given a press release about the issue, by the way? I think the SBC was the first or nearly? They have made a statement about their position — over and over and over. Many, in fact. And yet you don’t think that’s enough?
“If they have something the locals churches want, they can withhold it unless the local churches comply.”
Nope. The SBC cannot do anything other than coordinate efforts between independent churches on missions and training (seminaries). Any congregation can withhold funds from the SBC, but the SBC had no funds to give back.
Even if the SBC DID have some means of coercion, trying to use it would result in a mass exodus from the SBC.
Together, that's over 90 million people. If all three (not to mention numerous other smaller religious denominations that believe the homosexual lifestyle is morally wrong) issued clear, unambiguous statements "recommending" that they DON'T want their churches to be involved in the BSA anymore, it would have a HUGE impact in America. The Catholic and Mormons could actually enforce such a directive if they wished (although I don't think that it's necessary to force their churches to comply), and if SBC may have absolutely no power on paper to do so, but we all know they could “strongly pressure” affiliated churches to do so if they wished (to the point where they'd be “uncomfortable” going to an SBC meeting if their parish had a Boy Scout pack it was sponsoring).
Unfortunately, NONE of these church organizations is willing to take that step. The Mormons have flat out said they will continue to support the BSA, and the Catholics and Southern Baptists have issued national statements saying they dislike the BSA’s new policy, but its OK for their churches and families to continue sponsoring BSA troops if they wish. (In both cases, you do have examples of individual Catholic and Southern Baptist pastors — assuming the SBA uses the title “pastor” — choosing to sever ties with their local BSA troop because of the new policy).
Bottom line, liberals know they can continue to get away with the continual moral decline in this country, and destroying the traditional American family, because most major church organizations will allow it.
No they couldn't and Baptists don't have parishes. Most churches don't even send a representative to the national convention and I doubt half the regular attending members could name the head of the SBC, or even the director of their local association. SBC churches just don't work that way.
Oh, and Cub Scouts have packs, Boy Scouts have troops.
THAT is the type of "official statement" I'd like to see from them. It has nothing to do with changing the way the SBC operates or trying to "strong arm" local churches to "comply". It is simply a clear, bold statement saying the national organization personally feels that its members SHOULD NOT be supporting the Boy Scouts in any manner.
Again, if 99% of SBC churches choose to ignore such a "recommendation", I don't believe they should do a single thing to "enforce" it. I understand it's not in their nature to do so.
But I do believe they should at least go on record stating their opinion that southern baptists as whole REJECT the BSA because it celebrates open homosexuality. The "official statement" they did issue doesn't cut it.
So what do they do if you get this?
"Hi, I'm Pastor Joe from the First Southern Baptist Church of Louville. I'm here for the National Convention. Over at my church, we preach that Jesus was just a very nice guy and not divine, that the Bible was written by ordinary people and there's nothing special about it, and we actively marry gay couples and celebrate abortion! Last Sunday we had a Muslim preach to my flock that you can accept Muhammad is your savior and still be a good Christian! So where do I take my seat so I can lobby for the entire SBC to take these positions?"
I don’t know, I think it might not be the worst move for people with children in the Scouts to decide to keep them away from homosexuals.
See post #7. I can guarantee that no messenger from such a church would even get through the first two sentences, let alone be able to take his seat. I know of at least one church which was booted from the convention for similar garbage. It happens. Occasionally a few wolves get into the mix and have to be removed.
There have always been homosexuals in Scouts.
Sure, but previously they had to be clandestine, so their influence and behavior would be necessarily circumspect. Not so anymore.
And THAT could be an issue, because sexuality has NOTHING to do with Scouting.
I’m sure it will be an issue, because it always is. Homosexuals are never happy just being given basic accommodation, they just take that as an opportunity to redouble their campaigns to tear apart traditional culture.
Funny, you were just saying the SBC "doesn't work that way" has absolutely NO ability to pressure local autonomous churches and pastors from doing whatever they please.
Yet somehow they can stop a "Southern Baptist" minister that denies Christ's divinity from speaking or being seated at a SBC convention, but NOT stop a Southern Bapist minister who sponsors a Boy Scout with openly gay members from speaking or being seated?
If that were true, people would be singling out Baptists for not breaking ties to the BSA, but giving other churches that do so a pass. In reality, all the church denominations that continue to support the BSA are getting just as much criticism on FR. There is no effort to solely "target" Baptists
On the other hand, you do see threads where Catholics are continually blasted for not withholding communion from pro-abortion politicians, while nobody says a word about all the other Christian denominations who do nothing about their pro-abortion politicians...
>> The substance of the attack is optional. <<
The questions being raised here are legitimate.
Why doesn't the SBC simply issue a more strongly worded statement denouncing the Boy Scouts of America? The replies are giving us straw man arguments, like "Southern Baptists can't be expected to expel churches from the SBC that sponsor the Boy Scouts, they don't operate that way", even though NOBODY has demanded the SBC take such a step, or even claimed the SBC has the ability to do so.
Why doesn't the SBC simply use its influence to pressure Southern Baptist pastors to sever ties with the Scouts? I'm currently getting two contradicting comments here. They claim the SBC "just doesn't operate that way" and can do absolutely nothing to ostracize a local pastor and church from saying and doing whatever they want. Then, on other hand, they claim if a Southern Baptist pastor showed up at a SBC meeting and said he didn't believe in Jesus' divinity, he wouldn't get two sentences out and they'd keep him out the meeting and swiftly move to marginalize his church within the SBC because "sometimes wolves get into the mix and have to be removed". Which is it? You can't have it both ways. Either they CAN ostracize local pastors who go against SBC beliefs, or they CAN'T.
“Why doesn’t the SBC simply issue a more strongly worded statement denouncing the Boy Scouts of America?”
Name any denomination that has reacted stronger.
“Why doesn’t the SBC simply use its influence to pressure Southern Baptist pastors to sever ties with the Scouts?...Then, on other hand, they claim if a Southern Baptist pastor showed up at a SBC meeting and said he didn’t believe in Jesus’ divinity, he wouldn’t get two sentences out and they’d keep him out the meeting and swiftly move to marginalize his church within the SBC “
Probably because it isn’t a theological matter. There is ZERO tolerance for homosexuality in the SBC, but the wisdom of how to respond to a secular organization isn’t so clear cut. Should the SBC condemn anyone who stays in the military? Should the SBC condemn any church that uses Apple computers, or withdraw fellowship from any Baptist congregation in states that have approved homosexual marriage?
The SBC has rejected congregations that say practicing homosexuality is OK. That is a clear, theological choice. But how to live in the world, but not be OF the world - that is a challenge.
This thread was posted, not about the BSA, but about sexual abuse claims. Since the SBC can’t even get member churches to fill out an annual survey on how many members they have, determining who is a sexual predator is going to be tough. Most Baptist congregations will turn any predator over to the cops. Those that don’t...could be disciplined (rejected) at the next annual convention, IF someone reports it. But the SBC, unlike the Catholic Church, doesn’t have a top down organization capable of HIDING predators in the system - because there IS no system.
You have missed the difference completely. Re-read the post, please. It speaks of matters of theology. Whether some churches allow Boy Scout divisions to continue to use their facilities or have members of a congregation who, through freedom of conscience, exercise their liberty to allow their child to be in the organization — has NOTHING to do with the SBC messengers insisting upon adherence by the local body to a uniform Gospel message as presented by the local church. There is all the difference in the world between the two situations!! The SBC will not allow a church to preach a different Gospel message and be seated at the convention - but do allow freedom of conscience on whether or not one chooses to participate in organizations outside the church body! Why would they not?? Why would anyone to be a member of a denomination which treated its members like the Zero is treating us?? You’re saying that the SBC refusing to seat messengers from a church which preaches a different Gospel should be treated the same as those which have members whose children are members of Boy Scouts or those churches which are attempting to minister to them through the use of their facilities? You can’t be seriously saying they are the same thing!! There is no “sponsoring” going on! Where are you getting that? From the Media? SBC churches may or may not allow their facilities to be used, but there is no money changing hands in some type of “sponsorship”! If that’s what you’re thinking — both you and the media are incorrect on that (not surprising given the media’s penchant for completely twisting things.) Neither the SBC nor the local churches “sponsor” (i.e. give money to) the Boy Scouts — so there is no sponsoring to discontinue.
Great post, Mr. Rogers. I think we are both trying to get across the difference between freedom of affiliation of the private individual and a theological matter from the church pulpit. Silly me, I thought I was on Free Republic! Isn’t freedom of affiliation supposedly a conservative stance??