Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This lady could save your ministry
This lady is Christa Brown, whose blog , Stop Baptist Predators, I have been following for years. The reason she may save your ministry is simple – clergy sex abuse is something that is present in SBC churches, among SBC clergy, and how pastors and churches protect against it, confront it when it is present, and handle accusations of such is critical. Church staff and laypeople can learn some things from her they didn’t know and haven’t thought about. Handling an accusation of abuse in the church the wrong way could cost a pastor his job or even land him in jail.
Christa is the most visible, forceful, and relentless critic of these things in Southern Baptist Churches. While she sometimes despairs that Southern Baptists have any interest in stopping clergy sexual abuse (anyone who has ever read her story, knows that she is a survivor of appalling sexual abuse by a church staff member when she was a youth), but I would credit her with raising the profile of the issue in SBC life to a much higher level. One can be assured that because of her forceful advocacy no example of, or untoward statement about, clergy sexual abuse in a Southern Baptist church gets ignored. Good for her.
While I do not share her goal that the Executive Committee establish an independent review board (the local church autonomy question, more on that later) to hear and archive reports of clergy sexual abuse, I believe she should be heard, respectfully and considerately, on the subject. Well, she has been heard all around the SBC, although not always respectfully and considerately.
She has a book about her experience, This Little Light. She kindly sent me a copy which I read, reviewed, and discussed .
I recommend that all of my brethren read every link in her Stop Baptist Predators website. She has Frank Page's picture up there at the moment. Sure, it's irreverent and sometimes maddening, but I do read it.
There are lots of questions and issues to be considered here. Perhaps later. But, I commend her book, blog, and website.