Mat 23:34-35 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, (35) so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Every single time I post a comment on social media or write a blog post in which I say that the entire Southern Baptist Convention, its churches and members as well as its top level leaders, are guilty of oppressing victims of abuse, I know that I am going to have the following missile launched at me:
Your charge is unfair. You cannot judge all for the sins of a few. The church I am going to is an SBC church and we don’t do those things. We are in fact working to make it harder and harder for sexual predators and abusers to operate among us. You owe us all an apology for your accusation.
And when we address the top level leadership in the SBC and their ongoing sins of tolerating evil in the churches, even covering for it, what is their typical response?
Baptists are not like the Roman Catholic church. Our churches are independently governed. We here at the home office have no authority over them. You owe us an apology for accusing us of participating in these things.
Seems as if the only wrongdoer is ME or anyone who calls the SBC to account.
Well, consider the verses from Matthew above. This is a perfect example of how we are told in Scripture that God holds ALL accountable for the sins of the few! Why? Because the Lord sees us not only as individuals, but as a corporate body – the church. Think of Achan way back in Joshua’s day when he stole the forbidden silver from the enemy and hid it in his tent:
Jos 7:1 But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel.
The people of Israel broke faith…. See it? Achan did it, but God’s anger burned against ALL!
And, again, you see it in the verses from Matthew. Jesus is telling the Jews in Jerusalem that they ALL had the blood of the martyred prophets on their hands from first (Abel) to last (Zechariah). You can find many other examples of this principle of corporate accountability. Go to Revelation chapters 2-3 for instance and read the letters to the seven churches and you will see it.
So, sorry SBC leaders and churches. You don’t get a pass on this one. As a corporate entity you have been hiding and covering for sexual predators and domestic abusers for decades (and really the only reason “action” is being taken now is because the light has been shining on the SBC too brightly recently. So they are forced to do damage control).
Let’s consider a single SBC church for instance. One that claims it is doing all it can now to educate its people about abusers, to change the way they deal with victims who report, etc. etc. And let’s say there are even some people who truly see the thing and are grieved over it. Well, I would suggest that true grief and true repentance would include active confrontation of the wicked leaders who have been in power in the SBC for years and years and who have been covering up evil and oppressing victims. It would include CEASING to send money each month to the SBC home office! In fact, why would it not include a complete withdrawing of membership in the SBC?
I find that when you get right down to these very points of repentance, these people who are supposedly so “grieved” over what has been happening in their churches and head office, pull out the fangs. They balk. They talk about all the “good” that the SBC is doing and how the sins of a few don’t justify not supporting the rest.
But is that how the Lord works? Did He tell the Israelites, “well, Achan has sinned and I’m going to punish him, but most all of you have been doing a really good job so you are off the hook.” No, that is not how God worked then and it isn’t how he works now.
If you are a member of the SBC or of any corporate church or organization that has been covering for abusers and disregarding abuse victims, then you have blood on your hands. And you better get serious about how it can be washed off.