Shall we say nothing about what’s happening and just hope no one notices? And just hope churches and leaders figure out on their own that they need to cultivate a watchful accountable environment for their pastors and when pastors sin inform the next church? My question is, how has that been working for us? Obviously it hasn’t been working at all! If people don’t speak up no one is warned and no one is helped and there is no hope of preventing sin, but only letting it grow in secret, multiplying itself in the darkness.
Recently I shared on my blog about The Houston Chronicle’s Report on Southern Baptist Sexual Abuse, and the Lessons for All Evangelical Churches. I want to respond to a couple of the comments I received about it.
One person wrote, “If I wanted to find dirt in any organization, I could; the press thrives on slandering the church.” Another commenter said, “So you have ask, how come all of a sudden now all these accusations. It seems like part of the Mueller investigation, anything to make Christians/conservatives look bad.”
Yes, there are certainly times when the world slanders the church and Christians by sharing reports that are not true or unjust. But the fact is, the sexual sin of SOME pastors in SOME churches is a reality (and sadly, it’s more than just a few pastors who are involved). This is at epidemic proportions, and epidemics are not solved by our saying, “This is just another attempt to make the church look bad.” (In the case of the Houston Chronicle report, the reporters reviewed thousands of pages of court, prison and police records, and built a database of leaders who have been convicted of sex crimes.)
We shouldn’t be quick to become the victim and not look at reality. Our goal shouldn’t be to convince the world (or ourselves) there’s no sin in the church. The world already knows there is, and so should we. And only if we do know will we do something to deal with and prevent it in Christ-honoring way.