Christa Brown, one of the heroes of the effort to hold clergy accountable for sexual abuse of children, takes up the implications for the Southern Baptist Convention of a recent series of articles about the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists.
An exposé by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on clergy sex abuse in Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches blared yet another wake-up call to America’s religious leaders, including those of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Baptist News Global columnist Bill Leonard rightly observed that the IFB cases “sound strikingly like predatory acts committed against children by Catholic priests.” They also sound a lot like clergy sex abuse and church cover-up cases in the SBC.
I know because between 2006 and 2012 I maintained a website on which I logged hundreds of news articles about sexual abuse in all types of Baptist churches.
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So what are SBC officials waiting for? Sooner or later – and probably sooner – Southern Baptists will get their turn in the spotlight of still another media exposé on clergy sex abuse and cover-ups. Journalists will document the widespread SBC scandal, just as they did for IFB churches.
I don’t fault Ms. Brown (and so many others) for her impatience, but, No, it ain’t going to happen. Underpinned by the doctrine of Original Sin, Christianity is innately degrading — a variety of psychological predation. Reform will have to come from the outside, or it will not come at all, because the damaged, screwed-up people trapped in that sickness cannot see clearly.