Resolutions

by Dave Miller on June 12, 2013 · 174 comments

There has been NO drama so far. More of a big group hug. The resolutions committee report could change that.

The committee worked over 40 hours the last few days to prepare 12 resolutions.

1) on appreciation.

1 Jeff T June 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

Is it accidental that Lumpkins and Tim Rogers are speaking on amendment #3?

2 Debbie Kaufman June 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

I have no objection to that. I think they did a great job and praising God that the resolution passed without much discussion.

3 Jeff T June 12, 2013 at 11:24 am

I have no problem with the amendment, but I doubt….I guess I better stop there.

4 Andrew June 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

Lumpkins stated from the floor that this was not personal. We’ll see if he keeps his word on this or if it becomes about specific persons sooner or later.

5 Debbie Kaufman June 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

It’s personal with me. I have several hundred cases in mind. One particular person involved up to his eyeballs. It doesn’t matter if it is personal or not. This resolution needed to be passed. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great start.

6 Jeff T June 12, 2013 at 11:47 am

Andrew, It was funny that the next person up was Tim Rogers. Just wondering?

7 Jeff T June 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

I just wondering what the legal issues are regarding SGM. Has anyone been convicted?

8 Doug Hibbard June 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm

There were convictions a few years (maybe more) ago—one of the major issues is the number of things that were known to some people but not made known to congregations. Or, I suppose the term “allegedly” should go in there. That’s the big question: what role did the overall leadership play in the situation: did they know and say nothing, did they participate, or were they clueless and ignorant?

There’s credible views on most sides and the final reckoning is far from done. The big question within the SBC is this: with that cloud hanging over SGM, should we see CJ Mahaney invited to speak at our seminaries and held up as an example?

One view is that since there is no conviction/definite-proven-guilt, then it’s fine.

The other is that there is the appearance of evil at the least here, and potential for much more, and we should not affiliate until there has been a clearing of the charges. After all, it would be pretty embarrassing to have someone speak at one of our seminaries who turned out to be an abuser or a cover-up man for abusers.

The difficulty is this: charges, even credible charges, do not certainty make. Except we won’t ever have certainty one way or the other, so how should we handle it?

We have been ignoring it, but that’s going to have to change.

One can be guilty of something and not end up convicted of any specific crime, so it’s hard to say we should rely solely on Caesar to tell us what to do.

9 Jeff T June 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Doug, Thanks for your words. You have certainly given me somethings to think about regarding this situation. I like the amendment, but there are some difficult personalities involved. I can overlook that for the greater good.

10 Frank L. June 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I have followed the business a little online and here on Voices.

I realize I have drifted further from the SBC than I thought. Looking at the registration numbers I suspect I am not the only one that feels this way.

I don’t even recognize some of the battles and scandals alluded to. I don’t know many of the “celebrities.” And my church is on the list of the top 100 (near the top of the list) churches in giving!

I may be becoming an oxymoron. Many already consider me a moron.

The Convention business and blog responses added to the low attendance seems to point to a serious disconnect of some sort.

11 dr. james willingham June 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Frank L. there is nothing like moving up a step in life. Moron to oxymoron. We all have such moments. I think mine moved the other way, down, you know. :)

12 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Never, Dr. J. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

13 Daniel June 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I thought it was brilliant on Peter’s part. The Resolution, along with his amendment were passed with seemingly small opposition.

In not making the amendment about Mohler, et. al, he was able to receive support, or at the least bypass opposition, that may have derailed the entire resolution. Any that felt he was aiming for Mohler would have been forced to state that was so and probably would have looked foolish to the audience at large.

Secondarily, he now has the messengers of the convention on record stating their view as to the behavior of entity heads. A pretty powerful tool in my humble opinion. Now, without compunction, I believe he will (rightly) go after anyone who entertains these folks and will be able to bring the vote of the Convention to any discussion.

14 Jeff T June 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Daniel, There you have it. Is he interested in child abuse? or Does he have an ax to grind? I ask this because of this blog the resolution was need, but it should have deferred this to someone else.

15 Doug Hibbard June 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Jeff, only because of prior clashes between Peter and Mohler does it seem personal…had it come from someone else, there would have been no question of that.

But there does not appear to have been anyone for him to defer it to as an author for the resolution. Either folks do not know that anyone can submit a resolution or folks didn’t think it was worth trying to do.

16 Frank L. June 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Peter had a personal clash with someone . . . I hadn’t heard :)

17 Pastor Bill June 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I wouldn’t ever question his sincerity in regards to the issue, but his clear personal agenda taints the resolution.

Not only that, but had one man not been in the crosshairs the resolution could have been stronger. I feel some important elements were omitted.

I have been thinking a lot about this. It is disingenuous to present yourself to be doing one thing when you are really doing another. Almost as bad, the political positioning and posturing shows a lack of trust in our trustees and in a man who has faithfully served for two decades, assuming corruption even with limited facts.

I trust that when facts are made clear, our leaders will all act in an appropriate manner.

18 Tom Parker June 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Why are you and others trying to make this about Peter? Are you trying to change the subject?

19 cb scott June 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Jeff T.,

I know that Peter Lumpkins is interested in curbing child abuse in our culture at large and within the body of Christ specifically.

Peter is probably not going to come over here and take up for himself. So, I guess I will stand in for him here.

Peter’s heart is right on this issue and his motivation for the resolution is clean of any “ax to grind.”

I spent a good deal of time talking to Peter and other fellows about this resolution. We all should thank God for Peter’s willingness to bring this resolution to the convention. He was right to do so and you should simply commend him for it without statements that make his motivations suspect.

20 Tom Parker June 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Amen!

21 Pastor Bill June 13, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I don’t want to be misunderstood. As I said earlier, “I wouldn’t ever question his sincerity on the issue…”

I have no doubt that he does want to be curb,, or even eliminate, sexual abuse, in the SBC and beyond. But unfortunately, by bringing in personal animosity for one of our entity heads, he has unfortunately clouded what would have otherwise been a strong resolution. Surely this issue (as has been said) is long overdue in being addressed. So what was the impetus this time? Why not sooner?

Wht were entities not included in the paragraphs involving diligaence and prevention? They were only mentioned in regards to associations. And why must only entity heads be careful of associations? Why not all of us?

I would have liked to see an encouragement to also be outspoken on the issue. I would have liked to see a paragraph not only to pray for victims but to educate ourselves and identify resources for the care of victims.

Again… I am GLAD to see a resolution passed. We must be prayerful and diligent on the issue. I only wish the resolution left us talking about only that.

22 cb scott June 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

“I only wish the resolution left us talking about only that.”

Well then, let’s just talk about the resolution and shut up about Peter, Al, and CJ.

Frankly, if they all three got run over by a Mack truck and were spread all over I-65, making them dinner for buzzards, and gone forever, the issue of abuse toward children by adults they know and trust would still be an issue and the resolution would still be a good one.

23 Pastor Bill June 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm

So very true.

But ere is also another issue in the SBC, one that is also serious though not comparable. Continual slander, distrust, strife… these issues come up here.

I trust that the trustees and Dr. Mohler will all do the right thing at the right time. The paragraph concerning associations could have stated in such a way to communicate that trust even as we enoucouraged them toward discernment. These are serious issues and I trust this involved not only have more info than we do, but will act accordingly. We should all operate in such manner without clear reason to the contrary.

24 cb scott June 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Pastor Bill,

You are right. There are other issues before us. However, I would like to propose that we speak positively to something that is good about us as Southern Baptists tonight and maybe, just maybe, for the next few days.

The resolution is a good one and it passed. Praise God!

Pastor Bill, over 800,000 children were first time entrants into foster care last year. That is almost double since 2008. A great number of those children have been severely abused already. Those children are a “mission filed” of their own. We, as Southern Baptists, a people who have the biblical gospel right as revealed in Scripture, need to (we must) help those children.

The Lumpkins’ resolution is a strong step in that direction. As Peter himself stated, it is only a beginning. We can, by God’s grace, do far more. One thing we can do is for Southern Baptists to begin to think about taking older children into our homes. I know that young couples want to adopt babies. I certainly understand that.

Nonetheless, I think that it would be a good thing for some of us older, more mature and seasoned Southern Baptists should take some of these older children into our homes and teach them about Jesus and how to live according to a biblical worldview.

25 Pastor Bill June 13, 2013 at 11:23 pm

That is an excellent addition to the conversation. Whereas some of the children are abused are abused in foster homes, we should encourage families to seek to engage in foster and foster-to-adopt ministries.

I heard a preacher one time speak of the number of those in the foster care system… we have enough families in the SBC to take care of that problem! My family has a heart for adoption but are limited by the season of our life. With 6 children ranging in age from 11 yrs to 4 mos, we are not eligible in many agencies to foster/adopt. We are hoping to find a way in the next yew years.

Thanks for your heart cb… and you’re right: talking about the issue and engaging one another is far more profitable. I long for the day when drummed up controversies don’t distract us from the real world issues and gospel-driven solutions.

26 cb scott June 13, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Amen, Pastor Bill.

I am glad to read of six children who will be told the Good Story of Jesus and have the truth of a biblical worldview modeled before them.

I think you are right. Something I have noticed in the last several years is that SBC Disaster Relief is becoming the “Flagship” among faith based disaster relief organizations. We do that right and many people have become believers through that ministry.

I think it would be great if the SBC became the Flagship in foster/adoption care for children who have encountered personal “disasters” in their lives. I think that if such would happen, a lot of the abuse we see now would be reduced. And you are also right, a lot of kids get abused in the foster system itself. It is a broken system and I believe Southern Baptists and other gospel purposed groups similar to us could do much to remedy the problem.

27 Pastor Bill June 13, 2013 at 11:51 pm

On the heels of that, I believe that this is one of the issues that Dr. Moore’s ERLC will be especially strong on. Just listening to his passion on a related issue during a panel this week, I know that the protection of women and children is a serious issue for him.

28 cb scott June 14, 2013 at 11:57 am

Pastor Bill,

The Lumpkins Resolution is of an even greater importance to Christ followers in the SBC in light of the recent barbarian act of the POTUS in clearing the way for the Plan B One-Step “morning after pill” to become available to teens and children over the counter.

It was reported by Linda Feldmann of the Christian Science Monitor that after fourteen years “the legal battle over access to Plan B – emergency contraception – has ended. The Obama administration announced late Monday that it is dropping its efforts to limit sales of the most common morning after pill, in the face of judicial opposition.”

That is just sickening. How could anyone in their right mind believe, must less state, that the POTUS lives according to a biblical worldview? Such nonsense is beyond comprehension for me.

Feldmann went on to state, “Soon women and girls of all ages – not just those age 15 and older – will be able to buy the drug over the counter without restrictions.”

29 Pastor Bill June 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm

There is do much irony, sick and reprehensible irony, in those ho claim to be protecting women and families.

Sexual “liberation” has enslaved people to every passing whim and imaginable desire, ultimately enslaving them to sin. Connected directly to that is our culture of death and promiscuity.

The legalization of homosexual “marriage” will lead to the marginalization of marriage itself,

Both of these issues have been and will continue to empower predatory males who victimize and abandon women/families.

Sick indeed.

30 cb scott June 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Pastor Bill,

You are right as the rain. I was sitting in a guesthouse apartment at NOBTS yesterday morning watching FOX News when I first heard the news of the POTUS and his new assault on human dignity by this incredible action. Now, that I am back from Houston, I have been reading about this barbarian act all morning and it makes me sick in my gut.

When we, as preachers, have need to use a political figure to illustrate the depravity of men in power, we no longer have to use a story from the life of Nero or a Vandal and Visigoth pagan tyrant. We can use the recent actions of our own current administration to describe complete depravity and the Neo-pagan mindset.

31 Tarheel June 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm

The messengers got to vote on a statement that’s says we despise sexual misconduct – especially toward children, we encourage our churches to take procautions, contact authorities when accusations are made and help the victims in a gospel centered way….everyone liked those parts…no controversy there.

Peter Lumpkins personal agenda was stricken, the resolution was all but completely (and better) rewritten to say somet important things.

I think wisdom won out over personal agenda….that’s a great thing.

32 Allan Hubbard June 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Messengers overwhelmingly defeated an amendment that said Scripture is the “final authority” on all mental health issues and also rejected an amendment affirming Scripture as sufficient for counseling all phases of the human condition.

If scripture is not sufficient, if it is not the final authority on healing spiritual and mental health, then what is? Man and his ways, his devices? That’s dangerous as an official position for us to promote and runs counter to President Luter’s comments that Baptists have always loved scripture.

33 Tarheel June 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm

The BSA resolution ended up a good one….I was prepared to vote no until the gospel focus was inserted by amendment.

Saying how much we disagree with decisions by a group outside the SBC without a gospel focus renders any resolution useless, IMO.

34 Frank L. June 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I was just reading the comments on a MSN blog about the resolution.

We did not go far enough in my opinion, took the easier road, and we are getting slammed as if we voted to kill all homosexuals.

It was a lose-lose resolution that muddied the water and leaves the impression we are not against the trend in scouting.

And, on top of that, we get more negative press.

35 Doug Hibbard June 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I think we would have done better to just not have the resolution on BSA. I watched some of the debate, and it just circled and circled.

If I preached a sermon that rambled on like that, then finished with the conclusion of “Well, y’all go do whatever you want,” which is the endgame on that resolution, that would be silly, wouldn’t it?

Better to have allowed the prior statements to stand as they were, and not add into this. Additionally, we needed to be publicizing the resolution related to sexual abuse better, to make it clear to churches and church leaders that we have to do more–and now, we’re splitting our energy between the two.

I think that, sadly, we’ll expend more time and energy in the coming months looking for a BSA alternate than we will helping communicate proper response to child abuse issues. I would love, deeply, to be wrong.

36 Frank L. June 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Doug,

Perhaps we had to say something at our convention because Page and others said so much before the Convention. I could understand that point of view.

But, the world was expecting us to say something. Perhaps we could have spoken louder by saying nothing.

I don’t know. The resolution doesn’t change my mind about Boy Scouts anyway, I suppose. I’m done with this form of civil religion.

37 Matt Brady June 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Doug,

The news crews were lined up outside waiting to see what we would do. If the SBC had done nothing at all, the evening news would have said that the SBC didn’t care enough to address the BSA issue, therefore it’s not a big deal.

In other words, not saying anything at all, would have been saying a lot.

We had to speak to this very public issue that affects so many of our churches and youth.

38 Doug Hibbard June 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Matt, I just don’t see that we had to say any more than was already said. The idea that the news media wanted a statement? How many times have we ignored the media?

And how much of that was fed–we had individuals stating that a resolution would be forthcoming about it. In other words, someone told the media to expect a statement from the SBC about the BSA. So, we had to issue a statement because we told them we would.

I’d like to see how the text of the resolution actually ended up after the amending. I lost track of the scratch this/add that.

And had the spokesperson for the SBC walked out and said “we felt it more important to focus on fighting sexual abuse within the SBC than to tell the BSA what to do” that would have been a story, too. A story that we want to clear the plank out of our eyes before we go after the specks in the eyes of a non-Christian independent agency.

39 Frank L. June 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Matt,

I think you may be right: saying nothing would have said alot.

That is why I believe the motion did not go far enough. We will pay for ground we did not go on to possess. It fell short in my opinion.

Though, I can understand the spirit behind the motion.

40 Tarheel June 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I truly couldn’t care less about bad press…that’s gonna happen because the world hates the truth, the light, Jesus be ause they’re deeds are evil and they resent exposure.

That’s a paraphrase of a quote from a source higher than I.

I’m ok with the resolution.

41 Frank L. June 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm

“”"I truly couldn’t care less about bad press”"”

Over the years of watching Southern Baptist attempt “evangelism through resolution,” I convinced many agree with you about not caring about bad press.

My problem is not the “bad press” we can’t avoid by devotedly following Jesus Christ but the “bad press” we can avoid by doing evangelism instead of making resolutions about it.

I also was not against making a resolution in regard to BSA if you read my post.

42 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

And had the spokesperson for the SBC walked out and said “we felt it more important to focus on fighting sexual abuse within the SBC than to tell the BSA what to do” that would have been a story, too. A story that we want to clear the plank out of our eyes before we go after the specks in the eyes of a non-Christian independent agency.

I agree.

43 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Debbie, you will always take a moderate, left-leaning, feminist position on every issue. You have an ax to grind with the SBC. I get that.

You have a right to your opinion.

I don’t share that opinion and I’m sure that is no surprise.

You conflate issues to set up straw men because you don’t like the SBC. One does not have to be “for sexual abuse” because one is against a group moving toward the open embrace of homosexuality.

You are on a witch hunt for pastoral sexual abusers that you feel is epidemic in Southern Baptist life–from your past posts. I don’t see that epidemic, though I do know sexual abuse is a real threat to any organization our church takes proactive steps to prevent it.

On the other hand, there is no secrecy or mystery about the way the BSA is heading. For your information, I had already determined to sever ties with the BSA as a civil, non-Christian religion before the recent decision.

I hope that clarifies my position for you.

44 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Frank: That’s ridiculous. I hope that clarifies my position for you.

45 Doug Hibbard June 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Personally, having ties to the BSA and going through the program with a Scoutmaster whose opinion was, and likely remains, that a man’s religion is his own business, I have never expected the BSA to be a good source for Christian instruction.

No organization should be expected to be as clear on Christian instruction as the church of the Living God, guided by the Word of God.

BSA and related–like Cub Scouts–exist to train young boys in ways to be men. To do basic tasks like first aid and building fires upward into bigger ideas like leadership and project management.

I am greatly concerned that the long-term outcome of the BSA’s decision will be allowing openly homosexual adult leaders, which I maintain will be a problem. However, I do not see how an organization shifting to a policy where an 8-year-old boy who, for whatever reason, thinks he’s homosexual no longer has to leave but now can stay is horrid. One of our major views in Baptist life is that human sexuality in general is flawed by sin and it takes the grace of God providing the Spirit to tame that problem. Would we expect the BSA to boot a kid found with pornography or would we want to see help? How about finding out that a 14-year-old is already sexually active but heterosexually? Would he get kicked to the curb?

Again, I think that the long-term result from this will eventually see openly active homosexual leaders which will be a problem for me, and a problem for the churches that sponsor troops because they will be expected to allow those who oppose Biblical teaching on sex to lead programs sponsored by the church.

But in being in Scouting from age 6 to age 16, I can tell you that the only conversations on sex I had in Scouts were around a campfire with other teenage boys, and the content, though half of us are now in ministry in some capacity, was far from redemptive. We have grown up since then, and sought forgiveness for a great many things, including that.

The only mandatory conversations on sex for merit badges were to be had with my parents. Not the Scoutmasters. They did not want to talk about sex with us. That was a good rule.

In all, again, why would we expect a generic semi-religious group like the BSA to always hold Biblical values? They will, eventually, drift all the way to a point that we cannot cooperate. I do not think that point has hit yet.

46 Tarheel June 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

*because thier deeds are evil*

47 Tim G June 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Jeff T,
The resolution brought by Peter and approved as amended has been needed for some time. You may infer your perception of motives as you desire. In doing so please remember, your perceptions are not fact. Fact is that the cozy relationship between some of our entity leaders with CJ is a BIG issue. An issue about children and their safety. An issue about the perception of SBC entitees and the SBC as a whole in this area.

I think you might back up and realize, not everything is driven by like or dislike. Association with with CJ is WRONG. Association with anyone else un similiar circumstances is wrong!

48 Christiane June 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I agree with you on this, TIM G.

49 Daniel June 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Interestingly enough, those that are so quick to assign a motive to Peter are negligent in assigning any motive to those that may be affected by this resolution.

It is a good resolution. It deserved to be passed, and the strong language for our entity heads is a good thing.

50 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 2:01 am

Fact is that the cozy relationship between some of our entity leaders with CJ is a BIG issue.

Yes it is. Or at least it should be and I believe this resolution to be a step in the right direction.

51 Jeff T June 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Tim G, You mentioned perception. The perception is that a certain blogger seems to criticize only 5 point Calvinists. I no longer follow his blog that closely so perhaps he is critical of others. I am not sure what C.J. did or did not do. I know there are some issues that he needs to address.

52 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Jeff: I think you should find out what “allegedly” with credible evidence, what CJ did or did not do. It’s horrific and has affected negatively in fact ruined hundreds of lives.

53 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I also would not use the word “issue” but exactly what they are horrific charges. CJ and company needs to answer for horrific charges legally leveled against them.

54 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Debbie,

Your post seems flawed: if they are “legal” charges there is not way “not” to answer them. If they are “charges” there is no justification to villify a person based upon them.

A charge is not an ajudicated matter.

That being said, those that rose to his defense are justification enough for me to steer clear of the man–aside from any abuse allegations.

We have a significant problem with “following celebrities” and that includes our own SBC celebrities mentioned in some of the articles as supporting the man.

I do not see being a seminary president in and of itself as qualifying for celebrity status. However, having been around four of them, I think we often give them more status than they deserve, and in some areas we give them status they absolutely do not deserve.

Way too much emphasis is put on SBC life outside of the local church and it is killing us, and leading to all kinds of evils.

55 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Debbie,

You are also implying, are you not, that this issue is a SBC matter?

How are you making that connection, if in fact that is what you intend to imply?

56 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Frank: Of course this is a SBC issue. CJ Mahaney speaks at our SBC institutions and churches and has ties with many leaders in the SBC. Do a search on CJ Mahaney. He has been in league with SBC for a long time.

57 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Frank: There is plenty to answer for and just one of many reasons why Peter’s resolution was important to post. CJ Mahaney has a lot to answer publicly for.

58 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

How are you making that connection, if in fact that is what you intend to imply?

I’m not implying, I am strongly saying.

59 Jeff June 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm

What was C.J. charge with by a court of law?

60 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Wow! Debbie, I must say you make leaps that would make an Olympic pole vaulter jealous.

You appear to know more than I have been able to obtain about the guilt of this man. I’ve not found such information so I’m not sure what you mean by “he has a lot to answer for.” It seems he is doing, or has done, just that.

How many SBC churches did he speak in? I’ve not been able to locate even one in my convention, but I might have missed it. I am a Southern Baptist pastor and he certainly does not speak for me.

You have condemned this man and along with it accuse the SBC of a massive cover-up in regard to sexual abuse. You have made that argument several times on blogs that I am aware of.

Seriously, have you considered the Olympics? Do you not see that unsubstantiated allegations are as evil and harmful as covering up evil? From your posts, I would conclude you do not have a problem with slinging allegations as far and wide as possible.

I will also admit that I am not up on everything CJ. If you have some facts that you know but I’ve been unable to dig up, I’d be glad to consider them and consider it a great service for you to provide them.

Otherwise, I tend to think you “shoot first and ask questions later.” Perhaps if I knew what facts you apparently know, we might find something we agree on.

61 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Frank: Because until the passing of the resolution yesterday, that’s exactly what was happening. No doubt about it. That hopefully will now change. Time will tell. And for the record I don’t come to conclusions or make accusations or ask hard questions until I have proof. I had proof. Lots of it.

You may “tend” to think whatever you want. Putting one’s head in the sand seems to be a good SBC trait.

62 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Where’s the proof? You have no proof and your accusations of wholesale child abuse in SBC churches is baseless–a resolution does not create a scandal where none exists.

63 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Frank: You keep repeating that to yourself. I can’t have a conversation with those who do not wish to see.

64 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Frank: I swear, most times you argue just to argue. There are plenty of resources for you to find out. Peter has written extensively on it. The ABP is a good source. I think you know this, so saying there is no proof etc. just doesn’t make it so. And…. a big and here, I believe the victims. No doubt in my mind.

65 Jeff June 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Daniel, So are you assigning motives too. I have stated I support the resolution, but I will never be convinced of the motives of at least one blogger. He has constantly shown his style of writing is to stir the pot. He appears to just want the spotlight. If he truly cared about the resolution he should have allow another to amend it. I have no respect for him.

66 Chris Roberts June 13, 2013 at 12:59 am

Peter’s amendment was great. It allowed us to entrust entity heads with the discernment necessary to determine their relationships, discernment we have recently seen well exercised by Mohler et al.

67 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 2:02 am

Chris: Are you kidding me??? You are hiding in the sand my friend.

68 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 2:04 am

With this resolution now passed Chris, eyes will be the T4G team to see if they thumb their noses at protecting our children or not. That is the issue. Too many children not being protected who are now into adults whose lives are still shattered.

69 Joe Blackmon June 13, 2013 at 6:19 am

discernment we have recently seen well exercised by Mohler et al. –

Chris

Mohler et al have backtracked and removed their public support of CJ Mahaney?? Wow, I hadn’t heard that. That is awesome news because their support of him was a very poor example of discernment. I’m glad they have recanted that. Surely that’s what you mean, right?

70 John Wylie June 13, 2013 at 8:19 am

I hate to say this but as encouraging as this resolution is it’s a shadow of Peter Lumpkins original resolution. I understand all the autonomy stuff but all entities ought to be subject to the messenger body of the SBC.

71 Doug Hibbard June 13, 2013 at 8:51 am

They are subject to the messengers through the trustee system.

If the messengers are going to run entities directly, then the SBC meeting becomes a really, really long business meeting while everyone votes on lawn contracts, every personnel move….you get the idea. There’s not really a way to split the decision-making process and tell the trustees “you handle everything unless it’s a really big deal and then we’ll vote on it in June.” What about really big deals that happen in August? Do they wait?

What constitutes a really big deal?

There is a procedure whereby a messenger could move that the SBC replace an entire trustee board. If we as the SBC feel that a board is allowing an entity head to do things that he ought not do, and they will not act or respond, then that is about the only option. Then, we would have to see if the new trustees did anything about whatever the problem was. (at lest, I understand that this exists)

It’s an extreme action, and not one I would ever expect to see happen.

But when entity heads deliver their reports and no one even asks a question, why would the trustees or the entity head think there is a problem? It’s an open microphone situation and anyone who was a registered messenger could have done so.

72 Bob Cleveland June 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I was sitting by Peter Lumpkins at the time of the vote on Resolution #3, and I asked him if he was OK with it as amended and presented. He said he was.

73 John Wylie June 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I thought your amendment was outstanding Bob.

74 Tarheel June 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Someone please define “a high degree of discernment” for me please?

Mohler obviously feels that he has done just that, and apparently the Southern trustees agree.

This resolution is long overdue granted….but as I said I was very, very glad to see lumpkins’ personal agenda struck down.

I’m pleased with the resolution as it passed.

Peter said it was not personal or about personalities but solely for the protection of children…..yet some see, to be attaching lomg hated personalities (CJ and Al) to thier glee. Peter is also doing likewise on his blog.

75 Chris Roberts June 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Indeed, we entrusted the entity heads with the discernment needed to make those evaluations. A good call for the SBC.

76 John Wylie June 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm

It’s not if they keep having these speakers in.

77 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Tarheel, to oppose CJ is for the long needed protection of our children. Going against Al Mohler and his recent support of CJ is for the protection of the children. You call that personal, I think the two go hand in hand. It’s also to stop anyone else from heading down this path of not protecting our children. I swear, I can’t understand why that isn’t obvious.

78 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 8:57 pm

BTW: The resolution passed, it can’t be unpassed. It’s a done deal. We should be discussing how to honor this resolution instead of acting as if it can be undone. It can’t.

79 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm

True. But, it can be ignored and most likely will be by most churches who are already doing what the resolution suggests–and more.

Using the resolution to attack SBC churches for a non-existent epidemic will be counter-productive to the spirit of the resolution.

To suggest that this man is anything like “mainstream” Southern Baptists seems to be a stretch.

80 Debbie Kaufman June 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Frank: You do realize that if it’s ignored that is called breaking the law.

81 Frank L. June 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Debbie, that is some more of your over-the-top, ridiculous nonsense.

Unlike you, I actually have dealt with this issue looking it straight in the face for years. Unlike you, I actually have the care and custody of over 100 children and youth on a daily basis.

Unlike you, I actually have read the law and have an attorney I meet with regularly to help me with the parts that are not clear.

So, pontificate all you want. I’m simply saying that creating a situation that does not exist does not help in dealing with the one that does.

I’m not against the resolution. I’m against a witch-hunt by armchair theologues. Let me say again, I’m not against the resolution. I’m certainly not against protecting children. I’m against pontificating and exaggerating.

Also, if perhaps you are concerned about “the law,” it is a well-established principle in “the law,” that a person is “innocent” until proven guilty.

I’ve seen what happens when someone pursues a witch hunt in regard to child abuse. It is not pretty.

82 Debbie Kaufman June 14, 2013 at 12:06 am

Also, if perhaps you are concerned about “the law,” it is a well-established principle in “the law,” that a person is “innocent” until proven guilty.

Frank: Fact: Most if not all child abuse accusations are true. Children do not lie, and especially about things such as sex that they know nothing about. I didn’t hear evangelicals say this about the incident at Penn State. Witch hunts are not occurring here Frank. Boz Tchvidjian, Professor of Law at Liberty University, former Assistant State Attorney for Florida’s 7th Judicial District writes :

What I did find was a lot of statements by Christians claiming that all of these individuals were innocent until “proven guilty by a jury”. Sadly, that is not the only time I have heard such a response from the Christian community when allegations of child sexual victimization are brought forward. What is ironic, or better yet, down right disturbing is that these same individuals don’t approach any other sinful crime in such a distorted manner. For example, so many Christians will cry about against abortion doctors who have been alleged to have killed babies outside of the womb (horrific), but when a person alleges child sexual abuse by someone in the Church, these same Christians cry out that a person is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law? Of course a person or institution can only be held legally responsible under civil law when that has been determined by a court of law. I don’t think anyone has suggested otherwise. However, does this mean that a jury is required in order to determine the existence of evil? Seriously? Think about the ramifications of such a distorted viewpoint. Does that mean that since a jury acquitted OJ Simpson of murder, he is factually innocent? Is that what we heard from the Christian community at that time? How about a person who commits first degree murder but the crime is not discovered until after the expiration of the statute of limitations and thus case is subsequently dismissed by the court. Does this mean they are factually innocent? In fact, most Christians who advocate such a viewpoint don’t apply it in any other areas of sin. Adultery? Gossip? Are you beginning to see the fallacies of this perspective? Such an approach to sin is incredibly damaging to so many precious individuals who were sexually victimized for years and manipulated by perpetrators and church leaders into remaining silent. It tells them that their voice and experience doesn’t matter nearly as much as the voice of a judge or jury. It tells them that the reputation of the institution is more important than the beauty of their soul.

I say Amen and finally someone has said it. Now you can say that I am trying to tear down the SBC, but that is far from truth. I am tired of the corruption that has been rampant for a very long time. I want it to stop so that the SBC can be the pure Bride of Christ, not the corrupt one that it doesn’t take a lot of searching to find. That is happening, thank God and it happened further yesterday with the passing of this important(more important than the Boy Scout stance) resolution of Peter Lumpkins.

83 Frank L. June 14, 2013 at 12:26 am

There is so much wrong with the way you look at things and misuse facts, faulty appeals to authority, etc. etc. that it is fruitless to continue a conversation.

Some of the statements by the lawyer you dug up make me wonder if he should even have a law license.

We agree on protecting children, but not much more.

I’ll let you have the last word if you want to. I don’t want to just abruptly stop conversing with you. I just don’t get where you are coming from.

84 Frank L. June 14, 2013 at 12:28 am

PS–”"”I want it to stop so that the SBC can be the pure Bride of Christ,”"”

You do realize that in order to accomplish this goal, you and I will have to quit the SBC.

85 Tarheel June 14, 2013 at 7:16 am

Debbie,

” How about a person who commits first degree murder but the crime is not discovered until after the expiration of the statute of limitations and thus case is subsequently dismissed by the court. Does this mean they are factually innocent? In fact, most Christians who advocate such a viewpoint don’t apply it in any other areas of sin”.

1. This guy is a lawyer? There’s no statute of limitations on murder. His examples are bad. I understand the point he’s shooting at, but I dont think anyone (much less Maheney) is arguing that an accused child molester should be allowed to continue to work with a be around children under the basis of innocent till proven guilty.

2. As a Pastor, under our decades old church policy, upon an accusation of these things -the authorities are notified and the individual is immediatly suspended from child interaction until we are convinced and are satisfied that our children are safe in thier presence.

3. “children do not lie about these things”. Trying as hard as possible to not misrepresent myself……if you believe that – you’re niave. Also, don’t ignore that mny more than a single divorce over the years has been filled with all kinds of mud being thrown against walls, including accusations such as these.

4. Again, trying hard not to misrepresent myself….accusations such as these in our society carry the presumption is guilt and the stain remains even after the resolution of complete innocence. I’m betting there’s no real way that ever CJ will get away from this cloud in the minds of some…even if in fact he is innocent of the “coverups” for which he’s been accused.

Peter and the crowd on his blog, and you Debbie did not like CJ BEFORE these accusations came to light….and, true or not, it’s convienent fodder for the war. It really juicy for you because you hope with it to put space between he and others with whom you also have animosity. It’s clearly and intently personal and the sad thing to me is that such an important and even solemn issue relating to children is being used as a weapon.

That to me is sad.

86 Tarheel June 14, 2013 at 7:22 am

Well said Frank. Her logical Leaps, stereching, false equivilancies, character assasinations and such make it very hard to carry on a conversation with her.

I too agree with Debbie on the principle protecting our children and little else.

87 Debbie Kaufman June 14, 2013 at 10:06 am

And the above comments are exactly why this resolution being passed is so important. That is what is sad.

88 Les Prouty June 14, 2013 at 10:18 am

I’m reminded of this verse:

“The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.”

No matter what we think regarding CJM, none of us has full access to all the facts. We simply cannot try him in a court of public opinion.

89 Les Prouty June 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

And by the way, I had said that given the nature of the court allegations that CJM should have stepped down until the issues were not before the court.

90 Scott Shaver June 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Can too Les. He’s been tried in a court of public opinion whether one accepts it or not and a good number of his surbordinates have been tried and found wanting in sanctioned courts.

As to his status in the court of public opinion, I’m ready to give weight to that opinion along with what has already been demonstrated in the courts where subordinates have been sentenced.

Yourself and others who would like at this point to await further facts are free to do so. Public opinion will be rendered on that as well.

91 Greg Harvey June 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm

We need to be very precise in terminology. The court of public opinion results in an opinion of the situation, not a legal verdict. A criminal trial results in a verdict and if it is a jury trial it requires a unanimous verdict by all the jury members.

We talk about “innocent until proven guilty” but we leave out the phrase “in the eyes of the court”. That specifically means that the citizens standing before the government should not be in any way diminished based on presumed guilt prior to the conclusion of a trial and the exhaustion of appeals.

But the biblical standard for believers is to avoid the appearance of evil, not merely to not be convicted of a crime. Yes: it is possible to experience persecution and even injustice. But if there has been a coordinated effort to protect an alleged or convicted child molester in order to preserve the reputation of a ministry or of a specific minister, then I have a single word for that effort:

ICHABOD.

92 Frank L. June 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Greg, no problem with that analysis as far as it goes. I think it is right on the money.

Would you not agree that a “witch-hunt” is equally damaging? I personally do not think your view–which I see as “err on the side of caution–necessarily leads to a witch hunt.

I’m not as sure about the views of others.

I do not know anything about the man in this discussion. I think the problem could have been avoided altogether–that is, the association with him in the first place.

Whether he is guilty of child abuse or not, I think he is someone prominent SB’s should have been cautious in linking up with.

Again, Greg, I think your analysis is right on and a godly perspective.

93 Frank L. June 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

PS–I was responding in general terms even avoiding the mention of the man’s names.

Basically I was addressing what CB mentions in a post above (or maybe below) about using the “law” to further personal vendettas.

The context gets a bit fuzzy in a blog post.

94 Greg Harvey June 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I’ve shared some of my personal history including being on the field when an FMB-appointed missionary was actively molesting Southern Baptist MKs. For a host of reasons the FMB and the missionaries on the field dealt with the situation ineptly and he continued to molest from 1971–when he was first discovered but notably NOT FIRED–until 1993 when he was finally terminated by the IMB. During that time nine MKs that have been identified were molested.

Some missionaries new about the situation and others didn’t. He was situated in Bandung where our language school was held in the 70s and 80s and groomed not only potential victims but also their parents to be supportive of him. I knew him VERY well though I was not one of his targets (out of his preferred age range.) I learned about it in the summer of 1975 when I was getting ready for ninth grade from a friend whose sister had been molested and tried to convey to my parents that I was pretty sure this was a nasty problem and almost certainly true, but as first-term missionaries they were reluctant to say anything.

So, no, I’m not worried about witch hunts. Maybe we need to use them to hunt evildoers and expose them. Those who aren’t doing evil should welcome thorough investigations as well. Yes: there will be suspicion and there will be hurt feelings and some will feel persecuted.

“But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me–it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea!”

95 Greg Harvey June 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm

“knew about the situation” not “new”. My eyes aren’t what they used to be and I miss misspellings sometimes. My apologies to those who have to read past those mistakes.

96 Frank L. June 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Greg,

I must part ways with you in regard to not caring about “witch hunts.”

I guess it really comes down to whether you are the one hunted or doing the hunting–the one throwing the rope or swinging from it.

I do not subscribe to the principle of “doing evil that grace may come.”

And, I know from personal experience what it means to be sexually abused by an adult. Two wrongs never equal a right.

I’ll just pray that if I’m ever accused of a crime–like stock piling illegal weapons in the youth room (as I was so accused a few years ago) or of threatening a man with a shot gun (also a few years ago), then I hope you and Debbie are not on the jury.

By the way, the witch hunts of Salem accomplished absolutely nothing but death and destruction for innocent people. This is not necessary in the fight against evil.

Collateral damage is still damage.

97 Tarheel June 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I agree too, Greg.

My point though is that a “coordinated effort” that was directed by or included CJ Maheny has yet to be proven.

Yet some are completely convinced only hearing one side of the story and have already ‘convicted him’ and by association anyone connected with him in the court of their own minds.

I am not saying he is innocent. I am saying its most likely that no blogger on this site knows for sure. We have only heard one side.

The pretention that Maheney is not part of attacks and gamesmanship by Mr. Lumpkins, his fellow vitriolic bloggers, and some bloggers on this site is patently ridiculous on its face. They have been after him (more specifically those SB who associate with him) for years – I just wish people were honest about that.

Perhaps Maheney is completely in the wrong and has given his enemies tools by which to dig his proverbial grave (if so, let his ‘undoing’ begin post haste) – but lets be honest about the fact that this is precisely what many are doing.

98 Tom Parker June 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

I will ask one last time and leave you all alone. Why must some of you here make what has to be a first great step towards doing something about child abuse in the SBC so personal about Peter Lumpkins? Who made the motion at the SBC this year about this serious issue? Couldn’t any other messenger make this motion?–but no one did.

It appears to be to me a ploy to change the subject.

99 Frank L. June 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Tom. For the one thing the resolution does not go as far as the protections our church has had in place for years. So I am not changing the subject or our plan of protection.

Ulterior motives and unexpected consequences have a bearing on how this resolution might be implemented. Therefore discussion seems useful even if it annoys you.

I personally do not know anything about Peter. I’m not up on all the SBC celebrities and statesmen.

100 Les Prouty June 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Scott,

“Can too Les.” Well feel free brother. But I leave you with this from the Westminster Larger Catechism:

“Question 143: Which is the ninth commandment?

Answer: The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Question 144: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things: Whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of: Whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

Question 145: What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth; passing unjust sentence, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calls for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice;speaking untruth, lying, slandering, backbiting, detracting, tale bearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults;hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession;unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any, endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering: What we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.”

101 Scott Shaver June 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm

With all due respect Les:

The Westminster Larger Chatechism is not among the tools that persuades or instructs my religious devotion.

As for the biblical instruction to “not bear false witness”, the testimony in question belongs to those who have petitioned for legal action against Mahaney and SGM.

I am an observer who has weighed the testimonies of both the accused and the accusers on the scales of my own understanding and reached a conclusion about the matter.

Would this not be the same exact thing done by SBC messengers this week as the majority adopted a resolution reflecting their own collective “judgement” on the matter?

I see no prohibition in Scripture against formulating personal judgements as to who we should and should not associate with and for what reasons. IMO, Scripture encourages us to formulate certain personal judgements as part of our ongoing development as disciples.

My judgement is simply this: It’s not good to associate with any one or any organization that enables, hides, glosses over, or covers up the sexual abuse of children.

102 Les Prouty June 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Well Scott, that’s fine. The WCF does have some biblical wisdom contained therein though.

Here’s the thing. It’s not a good thing, and I think not biblical thing, to do harm to another’s name. People declaring CJM’s guilt, and I’m not saying you have…I have not seen all your comments, publicly is to harm his name at least potentially since all the facts are simply not known. Some have made accusations. But have you seen the proof? I haven’t.

And to be clear, I’m no CJM fan. I have never heard him speak in person or on audio. I’ve never read anything he has written.

But I assume he is a brother in Christ and deserves better than to be tried in the court of public opinion by other Christians who have no first hand knowledge of the validity of the accusations against him.

Les

103 Scott Shaver June 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Les:

I hear you and understand your position of “reservation” on Mahaney.

I respect your position. My position is different and no less biblically informed. My position is that some of those young victims (obviously there were bonafide victims as some offenders have already done time for their crimes) were every bit as much my brothers and sisters in Christ as C. J. Mahaney.

As a former pastor who is familiar with the trappings and perks associated with the office, I can tell you the victims, their families and the good name of the many decent folks who trusted and worshipped in those Maryland congregations while not knowing what was happening to kids behind closed doors is of far higher importance to me now than the welfare of C. J. Mahaney and his colleagues.

104 Les Prouty June 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Scott,

I hear you too brother. I hope you didn’t take my comment as saying you were not attempting to be biblically informed as well. I think most of us are.

The things that we know happened are horrific. If I were king, those child molesters would be executed. That’s how horrible it is.

Let’s just leave it where we are. I think we understand each other’s position.

Les

105 Tarheel June 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

Debbie,

Wow. Amazing. So…because Frank and I refuse to buy into your character assassination by accusation and the ensuing implications of complicity on the part of SBC entity heads until both are established as fact, we are part of the problem?

Both Frank and I have commented here that the separate churches where we pastor have had the policies and practices called for (and more) in this resolution for many years. I will also say that every church I know of in our area (SBC, and other denominations) also have these types policies. It could reasonably be argued that Churches by in large have been late to adequately address this issue, agreed…no argument there.

It however, boggles the mind that you seem to think that the local Southern Baptist Church is derelict in these responsibilities and you ignore us when we tell you that things such as this are certainly on our radars as Pastors.

Sure, abuse happens in religious communities within SBC churches, and in churches of other denominations as well as the RCC and the cults…it happens everywhere (sadly).

Your comment digging at Frank and I…that our comments are demonstrative of the need for the resolution…is a little offensive to be honest.

Of course, with your demonstrated propensity for guilt by association, I guess I should not be surprised.

I have already said that the resolution was important and necessary…I simply expressed appreciation that personal agendas, not really related to this issue but were seeking to be addressed by the resolution, were removed from the wording.

By so doing, we came away with a good statement. I rejoice in that.

I am stepping away from this conversation now. Have a good day.

I will follow Frank’s lead and allow you the last word, should you desire to have it.

106 Debbie Kaufman June 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

This isn’t character assassination tarheel. Good grief, read the charges, listen to the victims. If you can read the charges in one sitting, which I could not do, it took me quite a while as I had to stop several times, they are very detailed and difficult to read, this is protecting our children, valuing our children. I do not want this to be some other child’s story.

107 Jeff June 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

A lot of this is about Mahaney’s status as a “celebrity pastor.” Ten years ago I had barely heard of Mahaney. But around 2004, he began speaking at lots of conferences. Bloggers and other celebrity pastors recommended his sermons and books. Upon the recommendations of others, I listened to his conference messages and bought and read his books. Once, I drove 1,000 miles to a conference where Mahaney was one of the 4 primary speakers, and I have considered traveling even further to other conferences where he is one of the plenary speakers. I thought that Mahaney was an exemplary pastor, and I was willing to expend considerable amounts of time, money, and energy to hear him or read him. I thought that SGM was some kind of utopia in contrast to all the problems in the SBC.

But now with all the allegations that have been made against Mahaney and SGM, I no longer think of him as an exemplary pastor, and I no longer think of SGM as some kind of utopia. If even one-half or one-fourth of the allegations is true, then Mahaney is no longer worthy of my respect. The T4G and TGC statements in support of Mahaney were all written by men who have made lots of money through the association with Mahaney and SGM, and therefore these statements mean nothing to me (for example, Mahaney and SGM have both given over $100,000 to Southern).

I have limited amounts of time, money, and energy. I sold all my Mahaney books, and I no longer listen to his conference messages. I do not plan on spending lots of money, time, and energy attending a conference where Mahaney is a plenary speaker. No more T4G or TGC so long as Mahaney speaks there. Why should I?

108 Debbie Kaufman June 14, 2013 at 11:26 am

Good words Jeff, I feel the same way.

109 Debbie Kaufman June 14, 2013 at 11:13 am

Les: Boz Tchividijian wrote in his Blog this concerning the charges which have been filed against SGM and CJ Mahaney.

Earlier this week, I read the second amended complaint filed by eleven plaintiffs against SGM, two churches, and a number of individuals, including a man named CJ Mahaney. I won’t go into the factual details of this complaint here (if interested, you can read it here), but it is one of the most disturbing accounts of child sexual abuse and institutional “cover up” I have read in my almost 20 years of addressing this issue. Besides the horrific accounts of child victimization (some of which allegedly occurred on church property), what struck me most about these allegations is the systematic efforts by these churches to discourage and sometimes prevent the families of children who had been victimized by church officials from speaking out and reporting to law enforcement. Another aspect that struck me as I read (and re-read) through this complaint were the myriad of common threads related to the efforts made by these SGM churches to silence these survivors. As a former prosecutor, much credibility is given to disclosures made by more than one person that have distinct and unique similarities…these did.

I think it is fair to mention at this point that besides being one of the founders of SGM, CJ Mahaney was the senior pastor at one of these two churches during the period of this horrific abuse. CJ Mahaney is a founding member of an organization called “Together for the Gospel” (T4G) and close friends with the other founding members who are evangelical leaders. Let me be very clear, I have never met CJ Mahaney and have not at all followed the internal “issues” that have been written about concerning SGM. I have absolutely no personal animus against Mr. Mahaney or anyone else related to SGM. I am simply expressing grave concerns regarding the manner in which some in the Christian community have handled this very dark matter.

This is why the above verse does not apply here. It doesn’t matter as the resolutions wording is to report all alleged abuse. You don’t have to worry one way or the other, your duty as a minister is to report when a child or parent comes to you with allegations of sexual abuse. It’s not up to you or anyone else in the church guilt or innocence. Just call the police and report. That is it.

110 Debbie Kaufman June 14, 2013 at 11:20 am

The person who has allegations against them should be asked to step down until it goes through the courts. Simple and necessary procedures which negates all further discussion.

111 cb scott June 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

So, Debbie,

I guess we should take it that you are not very interested in discussing the resolution as to its content, but you would rather take this opportunity to advance your personal vendetta against people you do not like. Is that about right or do you have some other motivation we are yet to recognize?

112 Max June 14, 2013 at 11:46 am

Debbie writes “The person who has allegations against them should be asked to step down until it goes through the courts.”

Debbie, that has indeed been my underlying concern throughout this issue. Ministerial integrity demanded that Mr. Mahaney step away from the pulpit until the courts dealt with this matter … he did not. That same standard applied to the SBC leaders who supported him – they should not have given him a platform to continue to speak in SBC seminaries and churches while such serious matters were being processed by the legal system.

113 Les Prouty June 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

Debbie,

I shouldn’t have to say this, but I absoultely would report allegations of sexual or other abuse. No question. In fact, here in Missouri it is mandatory. Laws vary by state.

That said, these are still allegations by one side…as far as I know and no one has adjudicated, as far as I know, these allegations. In other words, both sides have not presented their arguments and evidence.

“It’s not up to you or anyone else in the church guilt or innocence.” Assuming you meant “”It’s not up to you or anyone else in the church to determine guilt or innocence,” I agree.

And it’s not up to you are anyone else to determine CJM’s guilt or innocence from the bleachers.

114 Jeff T June 14, 2013 at 11:44 am

How do we know this is true? Many slanderous things are said in church fights.

115 Greg Harvey June 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Background on Boz Tchividjian:

http://theresurgence.com/authors/boz-tchividjian

A ministry he’s prominently affiliated with:

http://netgrace.org/

The claim that Debbie “dug him up” is hereby labeled as gratuitous and inappropriate.

116 Jeff T June 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Dug him up? What do you mean? I didn’t make that claim. My point is that this is basically a church fight gone wrong. This is not to deny abuse at SGM, but it is to say that we don’t just take everything said as the gospel truth.

117 Greg Harvey June 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

It’s in reference to Frank L.’s comment currently #82.

118 dr. james willingham June 14, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I began my ministry 50 years ago, following a situation of child abuse. Then I ran into the issue again in ’84 which led to my seeking a Master’s in counseling in order to deal with the issue which led to my being in the first graduating class of M.A.s in Counseling of Liberty University’s School of Lifelong Learning, a distance learning degree, one that my wife feared would give me a heart attack as it was so demanding. In any case, I wrote a paper dealing with the issue and then wound up working in a 4A Senior High School with a large staff of counselors. My assigned area of responsibility was incest and pedophiles. First, let me say that the law speaks to the issue. It is crime in this state not to report the sexual abuse of children, and my responsibility as a counselor, in addition to providing counseling services, was to report the cases to the police department and child welfare services. Among the facts I learned it that one must go slow in making accusations. In a court of law, it is the facts that matter. There are cases of false accusation and even of faulty investigations by counselors which later proved to be largely in error. However, there is still the reality of children being sexually abused, and the effect on them, in many cases, is horrendous to say the least. All one has to do is to follow their subsequent careers to see how badly affected they can be, including the inability to maintain a steady empolyment, promiscuity, depression, suicide, acting out, and etc., the etc. being an even more lengthy list.

We really don’t have any choices about this issue except to investigate thoroughly and keep our minds open. We must do what we can to stop the predator before the destroys too many children. Whether one is guilty or not must be legal matter. However, if one finds a molestor actually perpetrating an evil act, it is right to stop him or her as well as report the individual for the same.

While I have not read Lumpkin’s resolution being rather preoccupied with other matters these days, I do heartily approve of such efforts. And leaders need to be very careful about putting a stamp of approval on anyone so accused. A minister at a rather large church gave so much help to one on his church staff that it cost him church members plus it did harm to his reputation as a minister of the Gospel. One can wind up with egg on one’s face, if the individual we are helping is later found guilty. This is not to say such a person should not receive ministry, but it is saying that there is no ministry where the party is guilty and the one ministering is under the delusion that the accusations are false.

119 Doug Hibbard June 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Anybody ever read the 2007 SBC Resolution On Protecting Children from Abuse? Or the 2002 On the Sexual Integrity of Ministers?

At this point, we have now spoken about all of this multiple times in the form of Resolutions.

Can we now take an action or two that shows we’re up for more than just the odd resolution to salve our consciences?

And take a look at the wording in the 2007 resolution. Makes Peter’s read pretty tamely when you get to this line:

RESOLVED, That we renounce individuals, churches, or other religious bodies that cover up, ignore, or otherwise contribute to or condone the abuse of children;

That was six years ago. Have we ever actually renounced anyone? Taken a single action in any manner?

120 Chris Roberts June 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

We renounced them. In that resolution. Doesn’t mean we have to call them out by name.

121 Tarheel June 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Just to be clear. CJM has not been accused of pedophilia, or any other form of child abuse…he’s been accused (along with a laundry list of others) (and its far from being proven) of covering it up. Its not uncommon for lawyers to name everyone possible in a suit. It’s also important to note that none of the charges waged againt CJM are criminal. They’re civil.

The defense is mounting thier case ….. Maybe this will all be settled soon.

Question. If CJM is cleared….will we see apologies on this and Lumpkins site?

122 Chris Roberts June 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

As best I recall, he has not been accused of covering it up but of handling it internally.

123 Bill Mac June 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Chris: Which amounts to the same thing.

124 Tarheel June 15, 2013 at 8:13 am

You’re right Chris. I just wanted to make clear that to my knowledge (I’ll stand to be corrected) nonethese charges are criminal …. CJM not been accused of committing or covering up a crime (as that too would be a crime) …. Instead the church discipline procedure of SGM has been brought into civil question, and lawyers have named the leadership of SGM in that lawsuit.

125 Bill Mac June 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

He and his group are not just accused of “handling it internally” but of discouraging people from contacting the authorities.

Our leaders’ support for this guy is going to bite us hard in the future.

126 cb scott June 15, 2013 at 11:13 am

Chris Roberts,

Here is a question for you.

If a member of your church was accused by a 10 year old boy or girl (also part of your church) would you immediately notify the legal, governmental authorities or would you first seek to “handle it internally” of your own accord?

127 cb scott June 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

Tarheel,

I would like to ask you the same question.

If a member of your church was accused by a 10 year old boy or girl (also part of your church) would you immediately notify the legal, governmental authorities or would you first seek to “handle it internally” of your own accord?

128 Tarheel June 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I’m not in a state that compels ministers to report accusations.  That doesnt mean i would never report, but I’d also use “a high level of discretion”  in doing so.  

I hesitate to answer a hypothetical as i feel its a setup of sorts….but I’ll bite. 

After hearing the complaint accusing actual abuse I would encourage the parents to do legally as they see fit regarding calling the authorities.  I’d explain to them, as someone else posted, that they should choose wisely as accusations like this are serious and can’t really be taken back so they should consider that before moving foward on calling authorities.   I’m not saying don’t call authorities….I’m saying make sure it’s what ya wana do before ya do it.  I’d also communicate to them that we will immediately remove that volunteer/staff from dealing with minors pending the outcome of both legal and church investigation.  

(It’s possible that one might be legally cleared and still not be reinstated by our church to work with children.)   

All church staff and members will be encouraged to cooperate fully with legal authorities upon being officially requested, or should they should have pertinent information they feel the need to share with one side or the other. 

I’m assuming that in your hypothetical  both parties are members are members of our church.   By means of that we have a responsibility to minster to both parties.   I also would task one of our other pastors or trusted leaders with ministering to one party, while I or another appointee ministers to the other.    

If the accused, lying accuser (it does happen), or others are found to deserve church discipline we’d do that as well – independently of legal investigation.  There’d be a single church spokesperson on the issue.

All of this calls for lots of prayer, intentional ministry and Christlike behavior.  The church should be called upon to pray and not pry. 

The church at large cant be kept in the dark – but shouldn’t be told every detail or in fact many details at all.   Both the accuser(s) and the accused as well as thier lawyers should excercise appropiate discretion and not seek to try case in media, on blogs, by wiki leaks or by old fashioned gossip.  (yea right) 

129 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

He didn’t have the right to make the call to handle it internally.

130 cb scott June 15, 2013 at 11:19 am

Any or all readers of SBC Voices,

I have a question for you.

If a member of your church was accused by a 10 year old boy or girl (also part of your church) of any form of sexual misconduct upon their person, would you immediately notify the legal, governmental authorities or would you first seek to “handle it internally” of your own accord?

131 John Wylie June 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

I would immediately call the authorities. It’s the law and it’s the only right thing to do.

132 Les Prouty June 15, 2013 at 11:44 am

CB, I think it is stated policy at our church to report. And I would.

But it also is true that the legal REQUIREMENT to report varies by state and in many cases is murky. Clergy are often in states mandatory “reporters” but it gets murky because in some states where they are mandatory “reporters” they also have exemptions regarding required reporting.

e.g. in Missouri, “Any legally recognized privileged communication, except that between attorney and client or involving communications made to a minister or clergyperson, shall not apply to situations involving known or suspected child abuse or neglect and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required or permitted by sections 210.110 to 210.165, to cooperate with the division in any of its activities pursuant to sections 210.110 to 210.165, or to give or accept evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.”

Many state laws need reform.

133 Les Prouty June 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Two other things:

1. We would also handle it internally as well. Of course if true, there would be church discipline involved. AND, if the accused is a leader of any kind in the church he would be required to step away pending the outcome.

2. When I would NOT report: When the accusation comes to me second hand. i.e. the accusation must come from the alledged victim. We had a case a few years ago where an over zealous youth intern wanted to report a youth group girl’s dad as a physical abuser. We asked how he knew this. He said another girl told him. The alledged victim didn’t tell him. We paid attention to her situation for a while and it turns out that she had made an off handed comment, greatly exaggerated, about her dad to her friend. Had we reported we could have near ruined this man’s life and been subjected to liability.

134 William Thornton June 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Les, to have a policy of only accepting an accusation of abuse from the alleged victim would enable pedophiles and put more of your children at risk. Once victims, children, understand that they will be called before some church staff member or committee they will keep silent. You effectively promote the flawed, dangerous, and probably illegal policy of handling the matter internally.

This is not far from the exact scenario that has generated the SGM lawsuit.

Your example was not of a second hand information but third or fourth hand, a rumor, which we all understand.

I doubt you mean exactly what you said but once the church staff feels it is proper to investigate and that investigation includes confronting the victim the road becomes very dangerous.

135 Les Prouty June 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

William,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Been out all day.

I get what you’re saying. And I was using second hand in a general way. In that case it was actually person to friend to youth intern to me.

I do understand about possible victims freezing up and then remaining quiet if they fear a sort of tribunal. That’s not what we did not what I advocate.

But short of a victim telling me (or one of the other elders) or a family member telling us, we will tread very carefully. i.e. a fellow 10 or 12 year old telling us that her friend said…is not enough to call in the alledged abuser.

There are many, many false accusations by children, spouses, ex-spouses and such. And a false accusation can ruin, absolutely ruin, a person.

136 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Call the cops. No question.

137 Chris Roberts June 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

It certainly would need to be passed on to the authorities. If I was told of abuse, I would inform church leaders and, if we felt the accusation were remotely credible, call the police.

In the case of Mahaney, we know very little beyond allegations of something that happened a number of years in the past. And we do know there is a difference between covering up a problem and handling a problem internally, even if neither approach is the right approach.

138 John Wylie June 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

You would really consult with church leaders as to the credibility of the accusation before calling the authorities?

139 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Took the words right out of my mouth. Shaking my head.

140 Chris Roberts June 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm

You really would immediately go to the police for each and every accusation no matter who the accuser or the accused happened to be and no matter whether or not the accusation had any appearance of credibility?

141 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Yes.

It’s not like people get accused every other week so it’s happening so often that we’re like “Oh, here comes so-and-so. Wonder who they’re gong to accuse this week”.

142 John Wylie June 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Yes Chris,

The law does not give us the prerogative of evaluating the credibility of an accusation. And what if your evaluation turned out to be wrong? You would face criminal charges and your church would be damaged by those actions.

143 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

The law does not give us the prerogative of evaluating the credibility of an accusation

True dat, homeslice.

144 Debbie Kaufman June 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Chris: It is not your job or the job of the church to decide whether it is credible or not. This is why SGM is in the middle of a lawsuit. It is why CJ Mahaney is being held accountable and named in this law suit. That is the job of the police/investigators. Your job is to report(as the resolution says-thank you Bob Cleveland) each and every alleged report of child abuse, although the parents should not even consult the ministers but call the police the minute their child gives them allegations of abuse.

145 Frank L. June 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I don’t know what the law says in each state but the standard in our state is “reasonable suspicion” or some such language. That is hardly, as clear-cut as some of the fine legal minds on this blog have set it forth.

It is very, very hard to prosecute a mandated reporter under most circumstances. So, if the threat of legal action is the standard most go by, I don’t think you are in as much jeopardy as the legal experts on this blog may declare.

However, legality and morality are not the same thing. I personally feel I have a “higher standard” than just what is legal. I’d rather report and find out there is not issue (which happened about three times last year); than to not report and find out I was wrong.

You simply MUST report. If there’s no doubt–report. If there is any doubt–report. You can sleep better that way at night.

By the way, last year I reported and it was one of my members I just baptized. There was no getting around who turned her in. It was not her but a visitor to the house that offended. It was not sexual.

She was very upset with me as you could imagine. Now, she is very appreciative, her life is back on track, and her family is thriving.

It ain’t always bad!

146 John Wylie June 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Frank,

Your sarcasm is very abrasive with your calling everyone “legal experts” and then giving you own legal postulation in the mix. There just isn’t any need in being a jerk while disagreeing with someone. And by the way, I would regard an accusation as meeting the demand for reasonable suspicion. And you don’t have to be a legal expert to know that you have to report any accusation of child abuse.

147 Frank L. June 16, 2013 at 1:43 am

John, lighten up. I was including myself in the “legal experts.”

By the way, who was I, in fact, disagreeing with?

Sorry if I offended you. I was pointing out–in agreement–that we do not have to figure out the legal angles. We just report.

I think you must have missed that subtle part of my previous post when I said those very words.

Sorry that my attempt at self-deprecation were too subtle. My point is: don’t worry about the legalities, just report. The legalities will take care of themselves.

Also, see my other post where I actually lived out the spirit of this thread.

Once again, sorry. I did not mean to offend you. I include myself in those that sometimes practice law without a license.

148 John Wylie June 16, 2013 at 7:16 am

I apologize, I totally misunderstood your comment. I’m sorry.

149 Frank L. June 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

John, I’ll accept part of the responsibility. I don’t take it personally and thanks for the apology.

Blogging has the issue of not being as personal as a conversation.

I was not clear and it was easy to read what you read. So, I apologize to you also.

Big hug!

150 Doug Hibbard June 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

We would call the authorities.

Unfortunately, around here, that means not law enforcement but social services. Depending on the assignments of the day, that could mean someone who will investigate and rapidly bring the case to a conclusion or trial.

It could also mean the person who would do nothing with it for months.

Either way, though, the church would at that point be out of the loop and receive no information at all until a trial happened…and if a trial happened. It could take several years.

So, what would do in the interim? Do we banish the accused or do we attempt to, on the side, determine whether there is merit to the accusation? Keep in mind that we will receive absolutely NO information from social services on the investigation. Nothing at all—even if DHS were to receive information exonerating the individual.

The whole system needs fixed in this area, because victims do not get justice because of the delays and those who are accused but innocent are stuck with the cloud for years. It usually takes going to court to get a judge to force DHS to declare a case closed.

151 William Thornton June 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

If your staff or volunteer has been accused and you report it but DO NOT immediately remove the individual from their work with children you may be placing more children at risk as well as generating tremendous legal exposure both civil and criminal to yourself and the church.

One can see in the many responses on this subject that there is a very strong inclination for the pastor or church to investigate. This has proven to be quite dangerous for all.

152 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Unfortunately, around here, that means not law enforcement but social services. –
The Cops don’t investigate that? For realz??

153 Scott Shaver June 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Good question from CB. Tricky one too.

I would examine the merit of the report by making sure I understood the identities and roles of the parties involved as well as the nature of alleged misconduct. I would point blank tell the individual or party making the charge “What you’re describing is a crime. I have both a Christian and civic duty to report such incidents to the police. Before I make the phone call, in your honest assessment, has a crime occurred?”

If named offenders were church members or staff, I would immediately notify them of the accusations and listen to their offerings of rebuttal or admission. I would advise them that due to the nature of the acusations an interview by the police is forthcoming.

If at that point a need to call authorities has not been discounted or retracted by the whistleblower, I would contact both police and parents and arrange for them to meet on the church premises.

Get ready to start ministering to some mad and hurting folks in the aftermath I would assume.

154 William Thornton June 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm

…and you would immediately remove the volunteer or staff member from any duties or involvement with children, right?

155 Scott Shaver June 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Quicker than immediately William. Your question was quicker than my reading attention. Call if you want Frank L. I ain’t playing by your clock.

156 Scott Shaver June 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Excuse me Frank. I have text in my last post regarding chess.

Should read: “Call immediately like Frank, remove the accused member or staff member pending outcome from church-related duties.”

157 Frank L. June 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Call immediately. Then have no comment. Take no sides. No blogging. No resolutions.

Trying cases on blogs seems inappropriate.

This discussion is helpful when it is about child abuse not personalities

158 Christiane June 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Notify the proper authorities and let them handle the inquiry.
Calling the police is a good start . . . they will get the ball rolling to investigate the charge fully.

‘telling a superior’ and hoping they ‘take care of it’ is not the same thing as contacting the authorities

159 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm

As a piggy back on CB’s question:

If a volunteer working in your church was accused of molesting a 10 year old from your church, arrested, and put on trial, would your church pay for that person’s legal defense?

Can we say #conflictofinterest ? I think we can.

160 Scott Shaver June 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Ouch Joe.

That little twist muddies the water significantly.

161 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm

See the face that Mahaney et al tried to handle it internally was wrong. That was the wrong call.

But they paid for the accused defense lawyer. A well known, comic book loving Calvinist blogger mocked me on twitter when I said they shouldn’t have done that saying “Oh yeah because volunteers are guilty until proven innocent. Yer awesome” and then told me to read the ten commandments some day.

The ponit isn’t that you assume they’re innocent or guilty. The fact is you don’t pay for their legal representation because it is a CLEAR conflict of interest when both parties are in the church.

162 Scott Shaver June 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I don’t understand why for some that is not clear.

163 Scott Shaver June 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Doesn’t take the 10 commandments to clarify either.

164 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm

The people that are saying the way they handled it was ok are folks that look up to CJM’s celebrity pastor status and when they grow up they want to be just like him.

“When you’re a celebrity, it’s adios reality…”

Now, that’s not to say there aren’t people who are after Maheny because he’s a Calvinist. But I’m a 5 pointer and I’m on board with cutting ties with him based on these accusations.

165 Joe Blackmon June 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Doesn’t take the 10 commandments to clarify either.

Yeah, I wasn’t sure what that swip was about. I think it was his version of “Cool story, bro”.

166 Tarheel June 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm

If your church has sexual misconduct insurance…they’d cover it.

167 Scott Shaver June 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Joe:

Maybe it’s just the old “my bible is bigger than your bible” game. Although I’m discovering a new twist on the game these days whereby folks throw in confessions and statements as well scriptural references for leverage.

168 Jim G. June 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm

We, as Southern Baptists, need to make it plain to our leaders to stop publicly coddling CJ Mahaney, and it needs to happen yesterday.

If Mohler and Dever are his personal friends, then I would expect them to support him privately, giving him their ears and their hearts. That is what friends do and if he were my friend, I would do likewise. I have no problem with private counsel and support.

But they are publicly standing up for a man who is at the center of the worst sexual molestation case in the history of Protestantism. On his watch as senior pastor of CLC, dozens of children were molested and at least two church workers served jail time for child molestation. One of them, David Adams, served time for molesting his own daughter, and now he heads a children’s ministry at CLC! He was welcomed back after he got out of prison. Can you imagine that? What kind of church in its right mind would allow a convicted child molester in their children’s ministry program? This is the kind of people we are dealing with here. Before they morphed into SGM, Mahaney called himself the Apostle of the “People of Destiny.” They were and are a shepherding cult (cult defined sociologically rather than theologically).

And through it all, there has been no attempt at helping the victims. There is an eerie similarity to the stories of all the victims, in that once they went public with what happened to them, the church no longer wanted anything to do with them. On top of that, Mahaney and SGM are using a defense that says “We’re a church, so we can do what we want. We can handle this in house.” I don’t see how that is defensible by any thinking Southern Baptist, let alone two of our most visible leaders, Mohler and Dever. (Think “Penn State”) They need to cool it in their public adulation of him before the rest of the world thinks all SBs think child molestation and obeying the law regarding reporting it is no big deal.

Then there is the matter of pages of email and other evidence that shows Mahaney treats his subordinates poorly, seeming only to care about himself and stopping at nothing, including threat, intimidation, and blackmail, to further his agenda. SGM has lost half its churches in the past year as people and ministries have grown tired of being bulldozed by the Mahaney machine.

Mohler and Dever are hurting the rest of us by trying to help CJ. As Bill Mac said up the thread, this could bite us hard in the not-too-distant future.

Jim G.

169 Tarheel June 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Jim G.

“Then there is the matter of pages of email and other evidence that shows Mahaney treats his subordinates poorly, seeming only to care about himself and stopping at nothing, including threat, intimidation, and blackmail, to further his agenda. SGM has lost half its churches in the past year as people and ministries have grown tired of being bulldozed by the Mahaney machine.”

He’s repented of those things, restored many relationships and submitted himself to the findings of three different accountability boards…he has been publicly rebuked for the things you mentioned.

Is he not worthy of forgiveness, and grace for these admitted sins?

I will and do agree with you though that Mohler and Dever and others have expended lots of capital on CJM….for the sake of many – I hope they’re right. No one can accuse them of being fair weather friends that’s for sure!

170 Jim G. June 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Hi Tarheel,

Grace and forgiveness? Absolutely. We are Christians and have been forgiven of worse.

Embracing of his style of leadership (Mohler praised it as “strong leadership” recently) when it is built on such acts of intimidation and blackmail over a period of decades? Never again. Such behavior can be fully forgiven, but it disqualifies him from leading again, in my opinion. Let him sit in the pews in relative obscurity like many of the rest of us who haven’t blown an opportunity like he was given.

Mohler and Dever are not right. They are wrong regardless of the depth of Mahaney’s culpability in the scandal. Their actions are callously ignoring those who were abused for the sake of the man who, in one way or another, enabled the abuse. They are sending the wrong message to a public that is not all that pro-SBC in the first place. Not only that, but their own actions (taking down their defense of Mahaney on T4G after a firestorm of protest by T4G-friendly folks, and then replacing it a few weeks later) smack of arrogance and dishonesty. They all need to back away, and hear the gentle but firm rebuke of the convention as a whole.

Finally, I don’t mind them being friends. CJM is human and a believer and needs their private support. No issues there. It’s the public support at the expense of those who have paid such a dear price – and the way they are going about it – that is indefensible.

Jim G.

171 dr. james willingham June 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

In North Carolina the law is clear. You report, and there is a kicker. Fail to report, and it will cost you a fine, which also opens the door to lawsuits. The problem is most ministers are not acquainted with the law on such issues. Seminary would be more practical, if the courses in ministry included one on such subjects. There cases of false accusations, and some counselors have been guilty of reading sexual abuses into other problems only to wind up with egg on their faces. When a child reports sexual abuse, generally, it is the responsibility of the law enforcement and child welfare services in our state. There is the problem as has been mentioned of protecting other children. One of the largest churches in another state had a staff member who was protected by the pastor. When the law found the fellow guilty, it created quite a stir in the membership and among others in the denomination.

172 Dee June 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Dr Willingham
I wish what you said about North Carolina was true, but it is not. I was involved in a situation in a church in which pedophile behavior was not reported by the pastors.

To make a long story short, the law is on the books that everyone is supposed to report but there is no fine. Without a fine, who cares?

The fine is limited to those who are considered “caretakers” of a child and a church is not considered a caretaker. Teachers and health professionals who do not report are more likely to get their licenses removed by their professional organization than have the state/city convict them.

There is a group of us who have been contacting legislators in NC to try to get the law changed but it is an uphill battle.

173 dr. james willingham June 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Dee, I was writing from the perspective of three years, 1988-1991, when I wrote that there was a fine. I could be wrong, and the laws do change, lapse, or are abrogated due to some judicial decision. Since I was told that there was a fine involved, I assumed that it was so. The folks who told me were the authorities in the school system where I worked. I might have seen a legal paper on the issue, but 22-25 years ago is a long time to recall such things in detail. I know that if a minister fails to get a marriage license in within 60 days in North Carolina, he is subject to a fine of $200. That was printed in red on the last license I signed about 3 weeks ago. Surely, in something so serious there is a law on the book about this problem.

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