Sexual Abuse in the Church!

Everyone by now is aware of the child abuse that not only went on in the Catholic Church, but was actually covered up by the leaders of the Catholic Church.  That immorality and abuses will happen in the church is inevitable since the church, like any other organization, is filled with people who are sinners.

However, it is tragedy of tragedies that the church would cover-up, ignore or minimize sin and particularly this kind of sin.  Now a 20/20 exposé has focused upon Protestants and Southern Baptists in particular. 

Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, was interviewed by ABC’s Jim Avila for about two hours, but the exposé only used a few seconds from the interview.  Page said the show amounted to “yellow journalism” because they did not want to include what was being done by Southern Baptists because “it would have tainted their piece.”

D. August Boto, the general counsel and vice president for convention policy with the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, said, “Unfortunately, the “20/20” report last Friday had the effect of misleading at least some of its viewers to believe that the Southern Baptist Convention somehow condones, hides, or denies sexual offenses committed by ministers in SBC-affiliated churches.”

This brings me to two observations.  First, the media’s bias has been and continues to be undeniably out of control; therefore, the danger of learning from the mainstream news media is heightened by the intentional slanting of the facts and proportion.  The news should be introduced with a warning, ‘Caution the following intentionally obfuscates the facts in order to produce the desired message.” Second, although not nearly as pervasive as the news would lead one to believe, there are times when abuse has been covered up by a Southern Baptist church, as well as other Protestant churches, in order to save face. 

Of course, this is contrary to the teaching of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5). Based upon our trust in the teaching of Scripture, we know and declare that these things will happen in the best of churches.  We should be equally committed to handling them in a way that reflects that same trust and respect for the Scripture.  It is rather disingenuous for the church to argue for the certitude of sin in the camp from the Scripture and not follow Scripture’s clear teaching on how to deal with sin in the camp.

It is never a shame that sin is found in the church since we are sinners saved by grace, but it is indeed a shameful shame when the church handles sin contrary to the teaching of our Lord Jesus in order to save face before a fallen world or to somehow appear more compassionate than Our Lord.

Therefore, as Christians, we must be careful not to believe everything we hear, see, or read, and we must be even more careful how we lead.