Hundreds of sex abuse allegations found in fundamental Baptist churches across


(Joseph Bayly) #1

Another (4 part) sex abuse exposé. This one concerns Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches. Of course, everybody also knows about the scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Then there is the explosion of incestuous sexual abuse in conservative homeschooling reformed families.

Here’s what these situations have in common:

  1. Unaccountable leadership. This can happen in various ways. One way is through polity (IFB being an example). Another way is through a similarly corrupt authority structure (RCC being an example). A third way is through simple refusal to hold anybody accountable (PCA being an example). A final way is similar to the polity issue, but at the family level (conservative homeschool patriarchalism being an example). In each of these places, sexual abuse (incest in the last case) has been festering.
  2. Emphasis on a legalistic sort of sexual purity. Note first, that even if it isn’t legalistic, we should expect that when the law comes in, sin will increase. But especially if the emphasis on purity is legalistic, (No marriage, in the RCC. Skirts only type of stuff, in the IFB communities. No holding hands or dating in the homeschool scene.) we should expect to see it yielding perverse fruit. Because legalism says it doesn’t matter what the desires of your heart are as long as you don’t act on them. That’s a recipe for disaster. (As a side note, that’s also what is being taught to those being tempted by homosexuality today. It will end just as badly as this chapter has.)
  3. A focus on the sin “out there” rather than “in here.” Let judgment begin and let it begin in the household of faith.
  4. Taking place amidst a pornographic, free-love American culture. Lot was afflicted by the evil of Sodom, but his family did not escape unscathed from the sin of that place. Culture is powerful.

20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist
(Kipp Soncek) #2

Thankful for your follow-up points. That article is mortifying. And I say that as a man called to a church that has an IFB founding (and still some residual DNA), asking God to guide us fully out of that movement. Though, at this point, the manifestation of legalism has mostly been a wrong view of regeneration and sanctification (equating the cessation of smoking with the New Birth), I prayerfully keep a wary on the flock (and the past), knowing that the sexual/sodomitic expression is often present as well.


(Cody Carnett) #3

Reading that article makes me queasy. Horrifying. Thanks for the followup breakdown. #2-3 can’t be overstated, but is clearly the fruit of either a neutered pulpit or no pulpit at all. #4 is a needed reminder. “We are Christians… that stuff is the culture… we be the church… no worries…” Rightttt…

God warned Moses in Exodus 33:12, “Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice and you take of their daughter for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.”

Seems like that culture thing is more powerful than we want to think. “If you don’t follow everyone else you will be alone.” The fear of loneliness is a powerful weapon.


(Eric B Rasmusen) #4

Very good. “1. Unaccountable leadership” is closely connected with something a bit different: “avoidance of scandal”. People are too lazy to raise a fuss, too fearful, and don’t want their organization to look bad to outsiders. That’s a big reason why members don’t hold leadership accountable, even when they have the power to do so (by complaining publicly if your daughter is raped by a pastor, for example!).


(Eric B Rasmusen) #5

I think we also have a heresy at work.

The Donatist heresy is to believe that if a pastor is a reprobate, he can’t be an effective pastor.

The Reverse Donatist heresy is to believe that if someone is an effective pastor, he can’t be a reprobate.

Both are subheresies of the idea of works salvation: that if we see someone do good works, they must be saved, and if we see them do something bad, they must not be saved.


(Kipp Soncek) #6

Don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it quite like that. One thing for sure, worldly thinking has entered into the “criteria” for judging a work/person. We, in essence, read-back the apparent fruitfulness (often only the visible fruitfulness) of the ministry into the minister himself. Coca-Cola must be better than Pepsi, as it sold twice the units this past year, therefore I’ll only invite Coke to speak at my next conference.


(Jeremy Vander Galien) #7

The worst part of this, other than the rape, is that the father’s of these daughters did nothing. Not a thing. One chanced an accusation but when he was rebuffed he did nothing. It seems these ministries were built by one tyrant ruling over a congregation of weak men who “gave” their daughters over to be abused. May God cause us a fathers in our homes, churches, and world to take up the rod of protection with all seriousness.


(Tim Bayly) #8

Fascinating. The Reverse Heresy. Actually, brilliant!