Beth Moore claims that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) family is sick. She declared that this week at an SBC event where three sexually abused women gave courageous testimonies to absurd church practices and how the denomination has dealt with such issues in the past. This is a serious subject that deserves the disinfectant of an open-air discussion and true support for our sisters in Christ. If a church or a denomination is lacking how they handle such crimes, that equally deserves rebuke and correction. The matter is too serious not to. It is unfortunate that Beth Moore used these women and the collective pain of women in similar situations to try and further her unbiblical stance regarding women being allowed to preach. The SBC, lacking any true moral compass anymore, went along with this deceptive atrocity. The above article is a summary so let us reason once more beloved and try to not conflate two issues that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
“Three women who experienced sexual abuse took center stage on Monday (June 10) to address how the nation's largest Protestant denomination should deal with the issue. And they didn't mince words. Susan Codone, a Birmingham native, said she was abused by her youth pastor while growing up in a Southern Baptist church. When she told her senior pastor what had happened, Codone said, the senior pastor abused her, leaving her nowhere else to turn. "The primary problem was that there was nobody else to tell," said Codone, who revealed her story in a new report by a sexual abuse advisory group commissioned by Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear.” – Adelle Banks
As I stated, this is a serious subject and what happened to this woman should never happen, especially in the one place where people claim to follow Christ. The victimization and helplessness follow people the rest of their lives if not properly addressed. Before anyone starts going on about social justice theology, that is not what this subject is about. It is about criminal activity within the walls of the church and until it is treated as such there can be no real accountability. We are quick to cite the verses about adhering to the laws of the land when it come to our favorite political subject – why not sexual assault of our own sisters?
‘She spoke about her experience in a public setting for the first time at a panel on abuse in the church, held on the eve of the annual meeting of the SBC. Codone said victims need a trusted leader or church member they can confide in. But those leaders can be hard to find, said Bible teacher Beth Moore, an abuse survivor and prominent speaker. In some cases, she said, survivors have been asked if they were raped. If the victim said no, then the questioner seemed relieved that the victim could still give a future husband her virginity. That line of questioning is not acceptable, said Moore. "What I want to say to my own family of Southern Baptists: Our family is sick. We need help," she told a crowd of about 1,200 people who gathered in a hall of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex to listen to a panel on abuse in the church. "We have a very, very serious problem because we have this built-in disesteem for women and it's got to change."’ – Adella Banks
Now let me first state that Beth Moore serving in a leadership capacity within a church helping women who have been abused would be perfectly biblical and I am sure she could do some good; although it would beneficial to all involved if she corrected her theology first. The scenario she tells of a pastor asking about rape for the sole purpose of being able to give her future husband her virginity is unbelievably inappropriate and tone deaf. While I agree with Moore up until this point I refuse to jump off the theological cliff that follows. She tries to conflate her personal pet peeve about being chastised correctly for violating the key verses today with women who have suffered incomprehensible abuse and in doing so I offer she is simply abusing them all over again. The notion that the church has a built-in disesteem for women is simply ridiculous. Now, you can certainly make the argument that the individual abuser obviously thinks very little of women but to ascribe that to the entire body of Christ is reprehensible. These abusers also think very little of men. They think very little of Christ. They think very little of the word of God. They think very little of the calling of a pastor and that they will be held to higher form of judgment. Let’s keep our eye on the ball.
“Abuse survivor Rachael Denhollander said church leaders often try to handle abuse allegations on their own — but said they aren't qualified to do so. Instead, she urged pastors to treat the revelation of an abused person in their church the same way they would if they discovered a dead body on their property. "Would you say, 'I am the pastor. God has equipped me to handle all matters in this church, therefore I am going to investigate this'? Probably not," said Denhollander, a lawyer and former gymnast who was the first woman to publicly accuse former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault. Instead, Denhollander said, a pastor would call the police. "Do the same thing for sexual abuse," she said. "Report it to the authorities." Occasionally, mostly female voices said "amen" or "yes" as they agreed with points made from the stage. At one point, a woman sobbed into the shoulder of the man seated next to her as Moore acknowledged the enduring pain experienced by the survivors who might be sitting in the audience or listening via Facebook Live.” – Adelle Banks
Rachael Denhollander is correct. A crime is being alleged and it should be addressed as such. The Bible does not compel us to protect people who may have committed crimes. Certainly, we can pray for the body but that starts with the victim. The truth is that pastors are woefully incapable of dealing with such trauma and why would we expect them to be? Yes, they can pray, intercede and be pastoral but one of the functions of the pastor is to shepherd. It is to lead and guide and there is no better place to lead them at that point than to the authorities who are equipped to handle such matters.
‘The male leaders on the panel took turns supporting the women speakers. Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, addressed the social media debate involving Beth Moore (no relation) in recent weeks. Some critics have said that Beth Moore, known as a Bible teacher rather than a preacher, had crossed a line by speaking at a church on Sunday morning. "A Southern Baptist Convention that doesn't have a place for Beth Moore doesn't have a place for a lot of us," he said, drawing applause. "The Bible gives us a beautiful picture of the way men and women need one another. And in the moment that we're in right now, to suggest that the problem that we have is that women are speaking too much seems crazy to me."’ – Adelle Banks
Thus, we now see the underlying motive behind Moore and the SBC. Remember this is a panel to discuss sexual abuse in the church! What does allowing Beth Moore to violate the key verses have to do with women who were sexually abused? Absolutely nothing! The correlation is unseemly and disgusting. Let us deal with the biblical truth first. The key verses are directive scripture. They provide direct instruction on the matter of women preaching and teaching with authority over men and the answer from God is “I do not permit.” Some try to argue that it is Paul, but we believe in divine inspiration, so everything written in the Bible was written by God. Since God knows all and sees all time, He obviously knew that this would be a point of dissension for some so He provides us with His reasoning as well! Because Eve was deceived! There is nothing ambiguous about these verses and they are confirmed in Corinthians.
No one is suggesting that the SBC should not have any place for Beth Moore, just that her place better not be in the pulpit preaching to men. If it is, you are in direct violation of Scripture. Mind you, Christo-feminist activists such as Moore cannot point to one single Bible verse that contradicts these facts. Instead, they try and point to roles women had in church history, read into the mind of Paul, and ascribe cultural arguments that usually only the unsaved traffic in. Ironically, it is the sin of Eve all over again as God has said no to one thing and that is too much to be obedient to. The Bible does give a beautiful picture of the way men and women need each other but this is not in that snapshot. It is not that the source of our problems is women preaching. That accusation would be as silly but not as offensive as pretending sexual abuse is the result of women not speaking. That’s crazy offensive.
‘Greear said "it's absolutely a fair critique" to say there's been talk but not much action on addressing sex abuse. He thinks that could change at the meeting even as there is acknowledgment "there's been failure here." Phillip Bethancourt, the ERLC executive vice president and panel moderator, noted one proposed change would create a new "Credentials Committee" that would handle inquiries into whether certain churches are not "in friendly cooperation" with the SBC because of how they've handled abuse, racial discrimination or other issues. "We know that we want to move beyond just talk and towards action and that's one tangible way that can happen even here in Birmingham," he said. Codone concluded the panel discussion by citing ways her life has changed as she traveled the uneasy road of a survivor. One of her abusers told her she would never go to college or marry, but she did both. On Monday, she and her husband, who was in the audience, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. She said she admired but didn't participate in the #MeToo movement because she thought she wanted to protect her privacy. But now, Codone said, she'd consider a new hashtag: #AllOfUs. "I have a story but so do many of you in this room," she said, noting that individuals can look for predators, vet new hires and educate people about long-term effects of trauma. "It's going to take the entire church to deal with this problem."’ – Adelle Banks
Yes, but which problem? One of the problems is a pattern of sexual abuse in the church and I am in complete agreement that the SBC or any church organization would be wise to create levels of accountability that are transparent. They would also be wise to pattern these changes to assist the victims, not the perpetrators. There is an old tradition in churches where leadership sticks up for leadership regardless of the charges or sin they have fallen into. How does Mark Driscoll have another church after stealing $250,000 in tithe monies to cheat the NY Time Best Seller List and then run Mars Hill Church into the ground? How does Ted Haggard still run a church after admitting to decades long addictions to male prostitutes while doing crystal meth? What message is sent to the church, beloved?
The Southern Baptist Convention is indeed sick. It is sick because it used the pain of real women to further an unbiblical agenda of allowing women like Beth Moore to violate scripture. I am not surprised because the SBC has been sick for some time now. I only first noticed when they named tithing whore Ronnie Floyd to be their leader years back, but the problems go back before that, I am sure. Their sickness is prophesied in the Bible as a part of the great falling away. If you have a problem with the key verses today, then take it up with God but stop empowering women to be disobedient to the Lord by sacrificing the truth of sexual abuse in the church on the altar of Christo-feminism.
Reverend Anthony Wade – June 12, 2019
Here’s another related article on this topic: God Accused by Eddie Hyatt of Prophesying a Violation of His Own Word
Anthony Wade is the minister for 828 Ministries devoted to the purity of doctrine