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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | Fridays | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  2/19/2019
TUESDAY, FEB 12, 2019  |  21 comments
20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads
It's not just a recent problem: In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.

They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.

About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers. ...


CLICK HERE to Read Entire Article
www.houstonchronicle.com

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· Page 1 ·  Found: 21 user comment(s)
News Item2/13/19 5:46 PM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
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As a former Roman Catholic converted to Christ by the grace of God, I am well-aware of the heretical doctrines / history and unscriptural practices of Roman Catholicism. After my husband and I did due diligence in this matter, we left the RC “church” and never looked back.
I do believe that most who post at SA would agree that Roman Catholicism is NOT Christian, but unarguably anti-Christian.

In more recent times, we've been accustomed to reading reports of the scandalous and widespread clergy abuse crimes committed by RC priests and the systematic cover up of them by the RC hierarchy.
Yet the level of rampant unchecked abuse in the SBC . . a Baptist / Christian denominiation as exposed by the Houston Chronicle is no less scandalous, perhaps even more so, as most regard the SBC as a Christian organization.

I wonder how many posting at SA are aware that the SBC has ecumenical ties to anti-Christian papal Rome.
Most notably are the SBC ties to the late Billy Graham, an Ecumenist, who did much to further the cause of Rome. This is well-documented.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

From such, Christ gives His people an unambiguous command:
Rev. 18:4
". . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins . . "

21

News Item2/13/19 4:44 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
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Frank wrote:
Very interesting Neil on the issue of indulgencies!
To be sure, while Muslim obstruction of pilgrims visiting "holy" sites as part of their penance was a motive, so also was an attempt by the pope to reunify with the Greek church. But no doubt, pope Urban did promise remission of sins to crusaders, as you said; anyone taught sound Biblical doctrine would've laughed at this. Indeed while many doubted the call, a wide spectrum of fools, noble and peasant, fell for the scam. It's an early example of following the herd over a cliff.

Irony was, geographically uninformed crusaders idiotically wound up sacking Constantinople, which hastened its later fall to the Turks! Hungarians were attacked during the People's Crusade, as were Jews. The whole thing was a murderous joke, as if life wasn't dangerous enough already with plagues, famines, dynastic wars, etc.

BTW there were also crusades against Waldensians, early Russia (who whipped the Teutonic Knights), and Cathars.

20

News Item2/13/19 4:09 PM
Frank  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
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Neil wrote:
More to your point, it's not often noticed anywhere that the Crusades were motivated by the very issue Martin Luther objected to: Indulgences. Absent this doctrine, there would've been no reason to travel to medieval Jerusalem.
Somewhat ironically, most American churches today are still obsessed with Jerusalem, though for different reasons.
Very interesting Neil on the issue of indulgencies! I had never pondered that as a reason for the crusades. I guess I thought that the concept came later on. Anyway, I really never pondered why the crusades, so thanks.

I think I have read where the Pope is supposed to have said that anyone who died during the crusades would be spared purgatory; whereas just going would lessen the time somewhat? So much for the once and final sacrifice of our Lord and Savior for the sins of mankind.

I also believe that RC has infiltrated our churches and cultures to such an extent that we aren’t even normally aware of it. When it comes to the church, I refer to it as Roman/Protestantism.

19

News Item2/13/19 1:59 PM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
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Frank . .Your citation regarding tares is valid, yet in the matters which have come to light in the SBC, unarguably a Christian denomination, I think Christ's warning of “wolves in sheep's clothing” (Matt. 7:15) is more applicable, as it relates to abuse committed by SBC spiritual rulers, those charged with protecting the flock but instead preyed upon them. It goes to accountability.

A babe in Christ with little discernment would concede that Leslie Mason is a “wolf in sheep's clothing.” and would also discern that Michael Leathers has done the right thing in exposing him.

Yet that's not how the SBC rulers saw it . .

Quote:
“Leathers resigned after state Baptist convention leaders told him he might be fired and lose his severance pay “

That's right . . Mr. Michael Leathers, who was then editor of the state's Baptist newspaper was forced to resign.

While the abuser/offender, Leslie Mason continues to hold a pastoral position in the SBC?

Again quoting from the Article at the Houston Chronicle:

“Mason received a seven-year prison sentence under a plea deal in which investigators dropped all but two of his charges. After his release, he returned to the pulpit of a different SBC church a few miles away.

"That just appalled me," Leathers said.

18

News Item2/13/19 12:50 PM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
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Frank, the issue revolves around those in spiritual rule in the SBC & lack of church discipline.

"In Illinois, Leslie Mason returned to the pulpit a few years after he was convicted in 2003 on two counts of criminal sexual assault. Mason had been a rising star in local Southern Baptist circles until the charges were publicized by Michael Leathers, who was then editor of the state's Baptist newspaper.

Letters from angry readers poured in. Among those upset by Leathers' decision to publish the story was Glenn Akins, the interim executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association.

"To have singled Les out in such a sensationalistic manner ignores many others who have done the same thing," Akins wrote in a memo, a copy of which Leathers provided. "You could have asked nearly any staff member and gotten the names of several other prominent churches where the same sort of sexual misconduct has occurred recently in our state."

Akins, now the assistant executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, declined an interview request.

Leathers resigned after state Baptist convention leaders told him he might be fired and lose his severance pay, he said.
Mason, meanwhile, admitted to investigators that he had relationships with four different girl

17

News Item2/13/19 12:15 PM
Frank  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
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June, thanks for the information and links. I used to associate myself with the Southern Baptists, but never formally joined that denomination or any church. As most know, I don’t think more of one denomination than another, but understand when others do.

And I agree that Catholicism does not represent Christianity; in fact I consider that to be a cult. If Christ saves someone who is in that cult, they will come out from among them.

Of course I am always concerned whenever tares have increased in our churches, but Christ warned us that would happen:

Matthew 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

16

News Item2/13/19 11:59 AM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
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Frank wrote:
...I couldn't convince them in the slightest that catholicism is not the same as Christianity.
That's the problem with US coastal media elites, including the conservative minority, who having grown up as urban Catholics or at least near it, consider it Christianity, which has long affected Hollywood movies exported to other countries. This secular article sums it up very well:
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChristianityIsCatholic

More to your point, it's not often noticed anywhere that the Crusades were motivated by the very issue Martin Luther objected to: Indulgences. Absent this doctrine, there would've been no reason to travel to medieval Jerusalem.

Somewhat ironically, most American churches today are still obsessed with Jerusalem, though for different reasons.

15

News Item2/13/19 11:17 AM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
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The Houston Chronicle has posted pics / mug shots of SBC abusers here:

https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/

Article: ABUSE OF FAITH: A CHRONICLE INVESTIGATION

“Search our database of Southern Baptist church pastors, leaders, employees and volunteers who pleaded guilty or were convicted of sex crimes.
The Southern Baptist Convention has declined to keep a list of key church officials and volunteers convicted of sex abuse crimes. The Houston Chronicle compiled this list of records and information; it is current as of December 2018.”

******

Excerpt from the SA Article: '20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads' - Feb. 12, 2019

"The SBC governing documents ban gay or female pastors, but they do not outlaw convicted sex offenders from working in churches."

Ezekiel 34:10 
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them."

14

News Item2/12/19 8:02 PM
Wayfarer Pilgrim | Lubbock,tx  Find all comments by Wayfarer Pilgrim
Last year alone, 500 teachers were arrested for evidence regarding having carnal knowledge with minors.
So it is absolutely possible for this crime to take place. Most churches do not provide any sort of church discipline for members or pastors. The SBC adopted a CEO mentally for their pastors in the 1980’s. And when you hire a good boss, money flows, and when you hire a bad boss, money still flows, if membership doesn’t decline. Most pastors hired will bring their own team in , so vetting the team is practically impossible. Each church must be responsible before bad things become a trend and churches are sued due to a bad man or a false accusation.
13

News Item2/12/19 2:16 PM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
The lay Catholics say . . “don't tarnish the good name of all Catholics with the sins of our priests!"

Most here would agree that Catholicism is not Christian.

That being said . .
This article is about abuse by religious rulers in the Baptist church . . a Christian denomination . .
and
those who have the spiritual rule in Christian churchs are held to a higher standard . . or should be anyway . . namely God's Word.

The fault lies with the religious rulers in the church.
The SBC governing documents ban gay or female pastors, but they do not outlaw convicted sex offenders from working in churches.

Ezekiel 34:10
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

12

News Item2/12/19 2:06 PM
Frank  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
Christopher000 wrote:
Frank Wrote:
"...When they hear of another priestly scandal what do they think? For sure the biggest harm they do is attribute these behaviors to Christianity in general instead of to phony Christians."
Hi Frank, excellent point, and one that I always consider, in general. Cases of abuse aside, all born again Christians are lumped together, along with all of the other "Christians" of this world, whenever a crime is committed, or some lunatic spews some racial nonsense, or does some crazy thing, etc. The world responds with: "Yep...shoulda known that it was another one of those mindless/dangerous Christian kooks". The true church is a minority, but Christendom appears so much larger because so many sneak in, and mingle amongst us, calling themselves Christians as well. So, when one of those others is found guilty of something, in word or deed, this world sees us as being one in the same. They hear one word...Christian.
Thanks Chris! I remember once arguing with an online Muslim group and the subject of the crusades came up. I couldn't convince them in the slightest that catholicism is not the same as Christianity.
11

News Item2/12/19 1:28 PM
Christopher000 | Rhode Island  Find all comments by Christopher000
Frank Wrote:

"...When they hear of another priestly scandal what do they think? For sure the biggest harm they do is attribute these behaviors to Christianity in general instead of to phony Christians."

Hi Frank, excellent point, and one that I always consider, in general. Cases of abuse aside, all born again Christians are lumped together, along with all of the other "Christians" of this world, whenever a crime is committed, or some lunatic spews some racial nonsense, or does some crazy thing, etc. The world responds with: "Yep...shoulda known that it was another one of those mindless/dangerous Christian kooks". The true church is a minority, but Christendom appears so much larger because so many sneak in, and mingle amongst us, calling themselves Christians as well. So, when one of those others is found guilty of something, in word or deed, this world sees us as being one in the same. They hear one word...Christian.

10

News Item2/12/19 12:09 PM
Dolores | Tx  Find all comments by Dolores
They have to be exposed in order to be disciplined. A church I once attended had a youth pastor that was married. He went to all the ballgames and supported the kids in everything they did. He moved to another church and my son’s wife wanted to follow him. He changed again and my son refused to go with him. Later he became a pastor. Sometime later, he was on the front page of the Gazette because of affairs with teenage girls and brought to conviction. One was 16 . This is why we are to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.And I follow no man only Jesus. Because he was showing such special attention to her kids, my daughter-in-law followed him.It happens in schools with teachers and coaches.
Not everyone that says,”Lord,Lord will enter in...”
9

News Item2/12/19 12:06 PM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
From the Article:
"About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers. ..."

How does this differ from what goes on in the heretical Roman Catholic church?

SA Article: Pope: Nuns sexually abused, forced abortions / WEDNESDAY, FEB 6, 2019 / Source: WND

From the article:
The abuse of nuns by members of the church clergy came to light this month with the publication of “Women Church World.”
Francis confirmed what long was known by the Vatican but never discussed.
He blamed abuse on the power held by priests and others.

*****

Should we not as professing Christians be all the more appalled when "true believers" commit these acts ?

8

News Item2/12/19 12:00 PM
Frank  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
IMO, the main problem with news like this is all professing Christians are sort of lumped together and are condemned for something that only non-believers have actually done. When the average person reads about the perversion of catholic priests, they simply hear that Christians have done this. When someone reads that so many southern baptists have performed perversion, then they simply say these folks were actually followers of Christ.

When they hear of another priestly scandal what do they think? For sure the biggest harm they do is attribute these behaviors to Christianity in general instead of to phony Christians.Our perfect Savior is being redefined by the world and this will continue. If you don’t believe this try and convince a Muslim that the crusaders didn’t or don’t represent mainstream Christianity. They couldn’t and never will understand and neither will those who will help usher in the age of the antichrist.

7

News Item2/12/19 10:26 AM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
Neil wrote:
Anecdotally, we've heard of this in past churches several times, and in one we don't attend - some yrs. ago, local news reported a youth-group leader at E. Tucson Baptist church ago busted for this. BTW, after this hit the news, they stopped putting cute slogans on their marquee - for awhile.
Never assume church personnel are too nice to be perverts, and be wary of folks who claim to like kids, for perverts are good actors and know that Christians are taught to think the best of everyone.
And Americans are too easily impressed by a Colgate Smile, despite
"A glower says [more] than a smile." - The Wee Book of Calvin
Neil . . Abuse of church members by church rulers is the worst form of abuse, leaving the victim wounded in body and in soul.
This a huge betrayal of trust.
Where is the church discipline?

1 Corinthians 5:11-13
“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person

6

News Item2/12/19 10:11 AM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Anecdotally, we've heard of this in past churches several times, and in one we don't attend - some yrs. ago, local news reported a youth-group leader at E. Tucson Baptist church ago busted for this. BTW, after this hit the news, they stopped putting cute slogans on their marquee - for awhile.

Never assume church personnel are too nice to be perverts, and be wary of folks who claim to like kids, for perverts are good actors and know that Christians are taught to think the best of everyone.

And Americans are too easily impressed by a Colgate Smile.
www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/05/why-americans-smile-so-much/524967/

The Scots, not so much, apparently:
"A glower says [more] than a smile." - The Wee Book of Calvin

5

News Item2/12/19 9:12 AM
June A. Nadolny | Holland, Ohio  Find all comments by June A. Nadolny
From the article:
"They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions."

1 Peter 4:17
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:"

4

News Item2/12/19 2:08 AM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
Robert Downen, Lise Olsen, and John Tedesco wrote:
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have declined for more than a decade to create a list of sexual predators from affiliated churches. But the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News assembled one of our own.....
excerpt from, "Abuse of Faith: Investigation reveals 700 victims of Southern Baptist sexual abuse over 20 years"

[ https://tinyurl.com/y43lnbjg ]

One good thing about the Southern Baptist parents Etc, they did not horse around, then go running to church officials first but actually about to the police so many of the offenders were tossed into jail

3

News Item2/12/19 12:36 AM
The Quiet Christian  Find all comments by The Quiet Christian
Even so, these kinds of sins only give aid and abbettence to the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. They destroy the faith of those abused. And they do the opposite of what we're supposed to be doing in giving glory tomthe Lord by tarnishing His Holy name instead.
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