I have submitted the following resolution, On Repudiating Predatory Behavior, to the SBC Committee on Resolutions for their consideration. I am hopeful that this will be reported out by the committee to the messengers gathered at this year’s annual meeting in Dallas as it is, or in hybrid form combining any other similar resolutions on this subject.
I believe the significance of this resolution lies in the full scope of its application. Predatory behavior includes domestic violence (sexual, physical, and psychological), child abuse (sexual, physical, and psychological), sexual predation, and power abuse (including financial threats, as well as the utilization of position to groom victims for other types of abuse). Such predatory behavior is well defined in this excellent article posted at the Gospel Coalition: Leaders, Talk About Power to Protect the Vulnerable, by my friend Chris Davis.
ON REPUDIATING PREDATORY BEHAVIOR
WHEREAS, we have for too long lived in an environment within our nation which has allowed predatory behavior to fester and grow, impacting the workplace, communities, political arena, churches, and our homes; and
WHEREAS, we agree on the understanding that predatory abusers utilize sex, money, and power to subjugate their victims in any of the previously mentioned contexts; and
WHEREAS, the Bible condemns predatory behavior, clearly describing it as sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5-6); and
WHEREAS, current trends in cultural awareness, including the #MeToo movement and others, have opened the door for victims to courageously voice their plight and seek justice; and
WHEREAS, the people of God are called upon to defend the hurt and oppressed (Psalm 82:4; Proverbs 24:11), and to stand for justice (Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 31:8-9); and
WHEREAS, we, the Southern Baptist Convention, have historically failed through our convention voice in resolutions to stand up for these victims, only passing two resolutions on related issues in our entire history; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12-13, 2018, repudiate with singular voice all predatory behavior as unquestionably sinful and under the just condemnation of a Holy God; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we repent for having been silent, not utilizing our voice as messengers from our churches, to clearly speak against this sin; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we advocate for all legal and spiritual consequences to be brought upon such abusers while also calling those predators to repentance in the hope of Christ-honoring reconciliation; and be it finally
RESOLVED, that the messengers of this convention encourage our leaders in our churches and entities to be faithful examples, through their words and actions, of those who speak prophetically against the sin of predatory abuse also acting to ensure that our churches and entities provide safe, reassuring opportunities to minister to victims of this kind of behavior through mandatory reporting of such abuse and providing pastoral care.