Hands clasped in prayer on open Bible

The Southern Baptist sexual abuse scandal: what went wrong and where do we go from here?

Recently three newspaper articles detailed the results of a long investigation intro sexual abuse at Southern Baptist churches. I attended one of the churches mentioned in the article when I worked at the Houston Public Library in 1981-1983. I did not know about any scandals there at the time.

Abuse of Faith: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms

Abuse of Faith | Part 2- Offend, then repeat: Southern Baptist churches hired dozens of leaders previously accused of sex offenses

Abuse of Faith | Part 3- Preying on teens: More than 100 Southern Baptist youth pastors convicted or charged in sex crimes

There have been numerous responses. The three below are from a Southern Baptist seminary president,  a university professor, and the head of their Ethics Commission.

The Reality of Sexual Abuse Hits Home: What Happened? What Do We Do Now?

Southern Baptists and the Scandal of Church Sexual Abuse

Sex Abuse Among Southern Baptists

These events are shocking and very discouraging.

I taught ethics to seminary students for about 15 years. Every term and multiple times each term we talked about how we can never hide crimes in the church from law enforcement. We also talked often about the power of the pastor and the potential for abuse in pastoral relationships.

Too many people are in church leadership who don’t belong there. Church leaders need to be constantly alert for any sign of distressing behavior.

The is a difficult issue but we need to be aware.