DOJ investigates Southern Baptist Convention


DOJ
Entrance signage to the United States Department of Justice building in Washington DC The Department of Justice, the US government agency responsible for law enforcement and the administration of justice. |

The Justice Department has launched an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention, according to leaders of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

In a statement emailed to the Christian Post on Friday, the SBC’s executive committee said the DOJ “has opened an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention, and that the investigation will include several SBC entities.”

SBC management said it was “committed to cooperating fully and completely with the investigation”, implying that the investigation is linked to a May 22 report from Guidepost Solutions and commissioned by the executive committee of the SBC retailer. how some leaders have mishandled allegations of abuse and mistreated victims. of abuse.

“As we continue to mourn and mourn past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current SBC leaders have demonstrated a strong belief in resolving these past issues and are implementing measures to ensure they do not reoccur. ever in the future,” the Great Commission said. Council said in the statement.

“The fact that the SBC Executive Committee recently completed a fully transparent investigation is proof of this commitment.”

SBC leadership went on to note that “our reform efforts are not over” and said their “commitment to cooperating with the Department of Justice grew out of our demonstrated commitment to transparently combating the scourge of abuse. sex”.

“While so much in the world is uncertain, we can be sure that we serve a mighty God. Nothing, including this investigation, takes him by surprise,” the SBC leaders continued.

“We are comforted by this and humbly ask you to pray in the days and weeks ahead. Specifically, we ask God to grant wisdom and discernment to each person involved in the investigation.

In May, Guidepost Solutions released a report on how SBC executives intimidated whistleblowers and exonerated churches with credible allegations of neglect of victims of sexual abuse.

“For nearly two decades, survivors of abuse and other concerned Southern Baptists have contacted the [SBC EC] to report child molesters and other abusers who were in the pulpit or employed as church staff,” the summary reads in part.

“They made phone calls, sent letters, sent e-mails, appeared at SBC and EC meetings, held rallies and contacted the press…only to be met, time and time again, with resistance, blockages and even pure and simple hostility from some within the EC.”

In response, the SBC adopted a series of recommendations on abuse reform at its annual meeting in June, which included the creation of a working group to better combat abuse and the creation of a database of “ministerial check” to track church leaders accused of sexual abuse.

SBC President Bart Barber, who was elected at the June meeting, said “our problem is not with our theology or our politics; indeed, these things are part of our strengths” and that “it is because we are convinced that our theology is right that we are convinced that our actions have been wrong”.

Barber said that while “sexual predators have used our decentralized political system to try to turn our churches into a hunting ground,” he also believed that the same decentralized political system could be used against predators.

“Where there is no diocesan bishop to fire a local pastor, there is also no diocesan bishop to protect him. Where there is no regional presbytery to defrock a pastor, neither is there a presbytery to reassign him while covering up his wickedness,” Barber said.

“The predators realized the vulnerabilities in our system; it is time for Southern Baptists to realize how nimble and resilient our Baptist regime can be in warning sexual predators that Southern Baptist churches are a dangerous place for them.

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