In 2019 the SBC leadership pledged strong action on sex abuse after news reports that hundreds of clergy and staff had been accused of misconduct over the previous 20 years. But critics remain dissatisfied.
Susan Codone, a professor who directs the Center for Teaching & Learning at Mercer University, was at the SBC’s national meeting in 2109 and shared her story of being abused as a teenager by the youth minister and pastor at her Southern Baptist church in Alabama. She now says the SBC’s credentials committee has failed in its response to allegations of abuse by pastors and staff.
“The chair of the committee, Mike Lawson, told me he is often worried about angering pastors with potential decisions,” Codone said via email. “His reversal of victimhood is unacceptable since the committee members are not the victims of this bureaucracy — those filing the reports are the real victims.”
Lawson, in comments also relayed by email, said many SBC churches were implementing anti-abuse policies, including staff training and victim-support programs,
“We know that in some cases, despite our best intentions or desires, we are unable to uncover all the answers, heal the hurts of those who’ve suffered unspeakable harm, or restore the dignity taken by those in trusted positions,” he wrote.
Article by David Crary. This article originally appeared on APNews.com.
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