Statement about the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force Report
The recent report of the Southern Baptist Sexual Abuse Task Force has documented a pattern of institutional failure in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to appropriately address the issue of sexual abuse and care for the survivors of sexual abuse. Like so many others, I grieve over the contents of this report and over the knowledge, more documented than ever before, that so many people have been harmed by sexual abuse in SBC churches and ministries.
The report offers some positive steps forward that I pray we will take, but all Southern Baptists would do well to take the time to fully absorb the details of the report and the extent to which our collective failures have perpetuated harm and pain.
Many in our Calvary family do not have an extensive background in Southern Baptist life. I know you will find the details of this report embarrassing and profoundly troubling. You should. So do I. I want you to know that the vast majority of Southern Baptist churches and people are committed to getting this right and making this better. It was Southern Baptist people who rose up and demanded this investigation, and the overwhelming number are committed to overcoming whatever institutional inertia remains to create the changes in our environments that we would support. I have supported those movements and will continue to do so.
We are part of the Southern Baptist network because of our shared commitment to missions, specifically church planting in North America and the sending and supporting of international missionaries. I believe our mission sending agencies are strong and healthy and that today they are completely committed to doing the right things in regards to sexual abuse issues. I am grateful that we continue to support the work of missions in partnerships with those mission boards.
At Calvary, we continue to be committed to providing a safe environment for our people, especially the most vulnerable in our church family, and to providing an environment where people who have been harmed by sexual abuse can feel supported, understood, and helped. We will not tolerate any form of sexual abuse or malfeasance.