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.

Time Magazine Ranks SBC Pedophile Issue #6 Under-reported Story in 2008

Time Magazine featured the Southern Baptist Church’s refusal to consider a database of convicted clergy pedophiles as the 6th most under-reported news story of 2008. It is hardly any wonder that this issue garnered a bit of attention in a major news magazine. Any thinking person has to wonder when the largest U.S. Protestant religious organization deliberately refuses to do something they could do to help protect their members from an obvious problem existing within their churches.

If there is no evil intention, the denomination should be acting in a manner above reproach. Since they are not acting in a manner above reproach, all the world is able to look on in judgment – with just cause. There is no explanation for the SBC executive committee’s decision that does not have holes in it you can drive a loaded semi-truck through. And the world is not that dumb. Many christians are unfortunately naive enough to believe what their leaders tell them without question. Those outside the church are not blinded by blind faith. More and more people inside the church are not either.

You can bet this is just the beginning of a very big problem for the SBC. This is not going away. And by being cowardly and failing to act in a godly manner and standing for righteousness as God commands in His Word, they will reap much more painful consequences down the road. That is the way God’s economy and His justice work. The SBC must address this issue thoroughly or the government and the legal system will end up addressing it as it has been addressed in the Catholic church. And that will be the end of the Southern Baptist Convention because the SBC doesn’t have that much money.

Frankly, that would be a sad state of affairs – and a battle won for Satan. All because of the pride of some who want to cling to… what? Save a little face now? Fear of lawsuits? They’re going to happen sooner or later. It is always better to deal with sin now and not later. The crop of consequences only grows bigger the longer it waits for harvest. The law of sowing and reaping never fails.