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Head of SBC Executive Committee Questions Messengers’ Resolution in Abuse Investigation

“What makes that rope of sand work is trust,” he said.

Failing to follow the will of the trustees would be “a tremendous violation of trust” and undermines the claim that churches — not denominational leaders — run the convention, Barber added.

Rolland Slade, senior pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, California, and chair of the Executive Committee said that he believes the committee is obligated to abide by the will of the messengers.

“We don’t have a choice,” he said.

During the Executive Committee’s upcoming meeting, to be held Sept. 20-21, in Nashville, Slade expects committee members to have in-depth conversations about how to comply with the will of the messengers.

“We have to do this the right way,” he said.

After the task force announcement about Guidepost became public, the Executive Committee issued a statement welcoming the news.

The Executive Committee’s statement also addressed the question of privilege, saying leaders were open to the idea of waiving privilege in a limited manner.

“We look forward to meeting again with Guidepost in order to expeditiously coordinate our activities in support of their important work. Also, in response to considerable and unhelpful speculation, we would like to make one additional point clear: the Executive Committee leadership is not opposed in principle to requests for the waiving of attorney-client privilege considerations when it is relevant, it is appropriate, and it is in consultation with the third party commissioned to conduct the inquiry,” the statement from the Executive Committee said.  “Speculation to the contrary is internet rumor and untrue.”

This article originally appeared at Religion News Service.

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Bob Smietana is an award-winning religion reporter and editor who has spent two decades producing breaking news, data journalism, investigative reporting, profiles and features for magazines, newspapers, trade publications and websites. Most notably, he has served as a senior writer for Facts & Trends, senior editor of Christianity Today, religion writer at The Tennessean, correspondent for RNS and contributor to OnFaith, USA Today and The Washington Post.