A Word from Our Pastor – SBC Report
This past Sunday, 5/22/22, a report was released that dealt with sexual abuse within SBC churches and seminaries and how it has been handled by the Southern Baptist Executive Committee. At 288 pages, it is heartbreaking reading that begins with its title: The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee’s Response to Sexual Abuse Allegations and an Audit of the Procedures and Actions of the Credentials Committee. Contained within the document are examples of sexual abuse complaints being brushed aside. Individuals were ignored in the name of the greater good. .
Over the course of the next month, leading up to and following this year’s meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, we will address the report as we address other difficult matters: biblically and as a family.
We are a Southern Baptist church. Therefore, we must not ignore what is happening within our denomination. At the same time, we must not pretend that Kiokee is immune to the struggles that “others” experience. This is a time for awareness, action, and humility. To this point I would make a few observations.
- There is a reason we have and adhere to safety and security protocols. People matter to the Lord and that means we will do what is necessary to protect the most vulnerable. I am grateful for our children and student leaders who follow guidelines even when inconvenient. In discussion of the report the day after its release our Deacon Executive Team met and reaffirmed our commitment to diligence in caring for the flock.
- It is one thing to voice our desire to Declare God’s greatness, Demonstrate His love, and make Disciples, it is another thing altogether to do so with integrity. Our Savior has called us to care for those who have been hurt, abused, violated, and taken for granted. Let’s not ignore their pain. It can be awkward and uncomfortable to embrace wounded people. Let us follow Christ’s example. He embraced us.
- Amid the frustration and anger of what has transpired Scripture calls for humility. We have learned what we know because Southern Baptists at the annual convention in Nashville a year ago insisted on transparency. Wounds have been revealed. The patient is not dead. Jesus is alive and continues to transform His people. May we humbly hold accountable without arrogance. May we begin accountability with ourselves. May we pray to the One who is faithful.
In His Love,
Eddie Brown, Chairman Deacons