Former Pastor Sandy Martin Cook Convicted of Sex Abuse

Former Pastor Sandy Martin Cook was convicted Friday on all counts of sex abuse against him. He was accused of sexually assaulting three young men in his church in the 1990s.
According to the linked article, “The jury deliberated for just over two hours before returning guilty verdicts on multiple counts of third-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian.”

Cook’s bond was revoked and he was remanded to custody pending sentencing.

Southern Baptist Churches Establish Database

After the Southern Baptist Convention’s appalling decision last year against building a database of Baptist clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse, the Baptist General Convention of Texas has completed a $2.4 million database.

Can it be? Did a state convention override the national convention and build a sex-abuser database anyway? Did the largest SBC state organization realize the church’s complicity in crime and their abandonment of God’s basic requirement that His people – and especially the leaders – stand up for the afflicted and oppressed?

Well, no. Christa Brown with Stop Baptist Predators said it best:

Instead, the largest state-wide Baptist convention in the country implemented a “customer-relations management system.” It tracks church giving records and other church statistics. Eventually, it will also track product sales to churches.

They created this “customer-relations” database at a cost of $2.14 million.

Did you catch that? In tough times, the Baptist General Convention of Texas took $2.14 million of offering plate dollars and used it to create a database that would track the “giving records” of churches.

Christa goes on to put this in further context:

I’m reminded of the conversation I once had with a BGCT official who kept tossing out the phrase “good stewardship” as an explanation for why the BGCT couldn’t do anything more about clergy sex abuse.

I was pleading with him: “Even if you can’t do anything to rout out the clergy-predators, can’t you at least minister to the wounded?”

He answered that they had a responsibility to make the best possible use of God’s money. “Good stewardship,” he said.

It is all about priorities. Money (and tracking our “giving units” – otherwise known as church members) matters more than lives – that is the very clear and unmistakeable message here.

Dialogue with an Abuser

If you are in, or have been in, an abusive relationship you may identify with the feeling that you must be crazy. I thought often that I had gone down the rabbit hole with Alice because either I was the only sane one in a mixed-up world, or I was completely nuts.

One woman dared to record a dialogue with her abuser, in her attempts to figure out what she was doing wrong to provoke him. If you wonder if you are the only one – you’re not, and here’s proof. Check out YouAreNotCrazy.com and click on The Quiz to listen. Don’t skip the intro on the way into the site – it is a wonderful affirmation.