Jonathan Whitehead is unlikely to win a popularity vote among SBCV people but his words on the current controversy over a brief filed by lawyers for the SBC, SBCEC, Lifeway, and SBTS regarding a Kentucky case should be read. I’ve always found his writing to be incisive and well informed.
Excerpts from his American Reformer article:
Many Baptists have understood the SBC abuse reform effort in terms of brochures, websites, and trainings about how churches can prevent grooming and abuse. But the brief brouhaha highlights the area of “caring well” or “responding to abuse victims,” which can involve modern, social justice ideas and extra-biblical therapeutic assumptions. It has been clear to careful observers that some prominent SBC voices have made reckless promises while seeking emotional rapprochement with hurting victims. As a result, the SBC is being pilloried for failing to deliver.
If “justice” means never pleading legal limitations, the SBC should understand it is a call to fold up. Some have said that’s their goal.
We are several years and many millions of dollars into task forces, legal waivers, and expensive contracted reports. Leadership failures have become the one thing on which all sides might agree.
I appreciate JW’s contribution. He is a lawyer, unlike almost all of the strident critics of recent actions.
We have no database, yet, and it’s efficacy seems in doubt anyway. The ARITF hasn’t even begun to deal with the more difficult measures voted on by the SBC in annual session.