Letters: Southern Baptist churches, women and sexual abuse

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RE: SBC moves to exclude churches that ignore abuse or racism

While I have not always been a fan of Southern Baptist Convention actions, their leadership has it right with the public release of a study conducted by outside advisors with specific recommendations about how to move forward positively in this time of longstanding, enabling behaviors on the part of the culture and Christian leaders.

Shame, embarrassment and efforts to minimize and cover predatory behavior by ministers and missionaries in our midst should not be our first instinct.

Thanks for helping shine a light on positive responses to this crisis.

Would the Baptist General Convention of Texas act with such transparency, intention and action?

Michael R. Chancellor
Round Rock, Texas


RE: SBC moves to exclude churches that ignore abuse or racism

An important stand, but only part of the problem.

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How do we educate and counsel so ministers, deacons and other leaders don’t become abusers or act on lustful impulses?

How do we deal with abusers redemptively?

What do we offer victims of abuse? And their families?

What do we offer the 98 percent of church members in an “accused church” who had no knowledge their leaders were abusers?

The SBC amendment is reactive, not proactive. It is vengeful, not healing. We do not solve social or spiritual problems by throwing people on the trash heap.

Jack and Janet Burton
Tuscon, Ariz.


RE: Commentary: Most women in SBC would welcome a woman pastor

Is the inference of Ryan Burge’s article that the will of the people is more important than the word of God?

The word of God is clear that the role of bishop—overseer—is to be the “husband of one wife.” How else could that be, but that the husband—literally, a man married to a woman—is to be male?

Even the author himself asserts that the more a person attends church, the more likely that person is to hold to the belief that the pastor should be male.

We all know church attendance does not make a person more closely connected to the Lord, but the implication is that more frequent attenders hold to a more literal interpretation of the word of God.

If we do not believe the Bible to be totally inerrant and infallible, then what part of it can we believe, and what part of it cannot be trusted?

The author does not deal with this topic, but I believe the same slippery slope can be approached when we fail to hold to the biblical truth that marriage is to be a husband—literally, a man married to a woman—and a wife—literally, a woman who is married to a man.

When the church allows these standards to be compromised, it gives way to apostasy and ceases to be a church by biblical definition.

Tony Watson
Palestine, Texas

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