The Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee has proposed an amendment to the SBC constitution that would allow for churches to be disfellowshipped when they are determined to have “evidenced indifference in addressing sexual abuse.”
Sounds good, right?
But take a closer look.
The amendment sets forth four examples of conduct the committee can consider as evidence of church indifference:
(a) employing a convicted sex offender,
(b) allowing a convicted sex offender to work as a volunteer in contact with minors,
(c) continuing to employ a person who unlawfully concealed from law enforcement information regarding the sexual abuse of any person by an employee or volunteer of the church, or
(d) willfully disregarding compliance with mandatory child abuse reporting laws.
Read more about how this church denomination might deal with registrants
Satan has done a very fine job of dividing and conquering the church. Bans of LGBTQ and sex offenders has now officially judged and condemned even those that have repent. I always liked the bumper sticker “Jesus is coming and boy is he pissed”
If you look at the 4 restrictions, they are NOT unreasonable. (a) concerns “employment” of a convicted sex offender — does not restrict attendance or membership. (b) concerns working as a volunteer in contact with children — not volunteering in the many forms of adult ministry; (d) concerns the church covering up a “current” act of misconduct that has not been reported to authorities; and (c) concerns the continuing employment of persons who cover up the potential criminal sexual misconduct of others. (c and d) are interrelated.
Regarding (b): In my opinion, any registrant who would put him or herself in a ministry to children is acting unwisely. Such a person is placing themselves in a position where accusation alone implies guilt.
I am not going to defend the SBC, but when one looks at these, they are insurance issues, optics issues, hypocritical people issues, and what could be seen as potential liability issues (where an assessment needs to be take place before IMO).
Yes, Jesus would be pissed given all things considered in doctrine, but in this fallen world, man has made laws that need to be followed as stated in Romans in addition to what the business side of the world says for those who work with churches. Does that make it right? No, not necessarily. These four could be revised a bit to more specific instead of blanket statements.
@Concerned Reg – regarding your (b) qualifier, that is a blanket statement that can actually apply to any human where a complaint or accusation could be a killer, not just for a registrant (who may be seen as a step closer in the eyes of others due to the moniker, but would be unjust if their cause for registration is not with a minor, real or virtual).
TS — I think you and I are in agreement. Of course, these are decisions geared towards protection against liability due to the current hysteria. I also am not defending their decisions, only stating that they are not unreasonable. They are not stating that a convicted sex offender cannot attend church or serve in any capacity in a church.
And my (b) qualifier, as I stated, was my opinion. Sorry if I was vague. I thought it was understood that my statement was meant regarding someone with a sex offense on their record. To me, anyone with a sex offense conviction (of any kind, but especially related to a minor), would be foolish to put themselves in a position where an unfounded accusation would be regarded as truth, whether that person would commit another offense or not.
Someone else here mentioned a church established by sex offenders that forbids anyone attending under the age of 18. Why do you suppose they have that restriction? They are avoiding the “appearance” of evil.
United States v. Hernandez, 209 F. Supp. 3d 542 (E.D.N.Y. 2016) (holding that a condition prohibiting a person convicted of possessing child pornography from attending a church service was unconstitutional as applied under the First Amendment).