It is no longer about “those Catholics” or “crazy fundamentalists”. While the Roman Catholic Church still can't seem to figure out a way to admit that allowing child molesters around children was really a bad idea, and the informal alliance of Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches continue with their cultures of silence, the spotlight on sexual abuse turns to a place much closer to home.
This Sunday, less than three days from the writing of this post, the Houston Chronicle is going to be publishing articles stating that they have found over 700 sexual abuse victims from inside the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Baptist denomination in the US). I am a member of a SBC church. We are under the harsh spotlight and it is exposing our evil.
While we don't know all of what the article will say, the 30 second video highlighting the reporting states that their investigation found 220 abusers who had been convicted or taken plea deals.
The numbers are very high, though I doubt we'll hear all the stories. Anecdotally, I know of a half dozen women in Christian circles who have been sexually abused. None of their abusers were convicted, or even faced charges for their abuse. So when I see 220 abusers actually got to the court system, I wonder about all those that did not.
I would rather the truth be exposed over the alternative of us continuing in cultures that tend to hide these sins. Sexual abuse, along with many other kinds of abuse, is common is Bible teaching, Gospel proclaiming churches.
It is vital that those who have been abused be cared for. These revelations will open up deep hurt in many of them. Memory carries power. If you know a person who has been abused by a Pastor or in a church, remember it could be hard for them to come to the church for help.
I've been hearing about Christian men with porn problems for years. (Women too, struggle with porn. That is the topic for another post.) It seems as though that sin hasn't stopped with pictures and videos. We really need to humble ourselves and deal with this. Do we really think God won't avenge Himself on those who commit such evil in His name?