GARBC Drafts Resolution on Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse

The text reads as follows:

The messengers of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, meeting together in regular conference June 27—July 1, 2011, in Denver, Colo.,

Believing that the Bible stresses the sanctity of human life (Gen. 1:27) and the marriage bed, and that it condemns all forms of sexual promiscuity (Heb. 13:4),

Affirming that the Bible also stresses the protection of and care for children, as evidenced by (1) commands to not provoke children to wrath, but to bring children up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:1–4); (2) exhortations to love children (Titus 2:4); (3) the Old and New Testament regard for orphans (Deut. 24:17–21; 26:12, 13; James 1:27); (4) the condemnation of the ancient pagan practice of child sacrifice (Lev. 20:1–7; Ezek. 16:20, 21); (5) the teaching of Scripture that children are considered a heritage from the Lord and a reward (Ps. 127:3); (6) and the model of Jesus, Who welcomed and valued little children (Matt. 18:1–5; 19:14),

Respecting the laws of the land and governmental authorities, for government can act as God’s servant for good and can bring wrath upon the wrongdoer (Rom. 13:1–4),

Distressed by a seeming rise in physical and sexual crimes against children, reaching alarming levels in our nation, and disturbed that this abuse has occurred too often in churches and homes and at the hands of family, educators, ordained ministers, and ministry workers, we

Call upon the churches of the GARBC, pastors, and people to submit to God’s standards and to practice ministry with complete integrity; to encourage religious bodies to rid their ranks of predatory ministers; to encourage civil authorities to punish to the fullest extent of the law sexual abuse among clergy; to discipline those guilty of any sexual abuse and to cooperate with civil authorities in the prosecution of those cases; and to offer support, compassion, and Biblical counseling to victims and their families,

Express a deep level of moral outrage and concern at any instance of child victimization, deploring the cover-up, ignoring, or passive condoning of abuse by any individual, church, or religious body, and urge them to change the course of their actions,

Recommend that churches have in place an effective abuse prevention policy and respond to any suspicions or allegations of child abuse in a timely and forthright manner, never retaliating against the victim,

Appeal to churches and agencies to exercise moral stewardship in their employment practices, exercising due diligence to check the backgrounds of ministers, employees, and volunteers,

Pray for righteousness to prevail in our churches and ministries, for the repentance of the victimizer, for the healing of victims of sexual abuse plagued by possible emotional, physical, or spiritual wounds, and for the church of Jesus Christ, that it would be found “blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

Thanks to chucklestravels for bringing this to our attention

17 thoughts on “GARBC Drafts Resolution on Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse”

  1. On the whole, the resolution has the right idea, but to me, mentioning the need to condemn “all forms of sexual promiscuity” before the need to protect children from exploitation still seems like an instance of misplaced priorities.

    1. It seems to me that promiscuity would require the ability and will to consent.

      1. Maybe they mean the abusers are being promiscuous, not the children.
        … But I don’t feel any better about Fundy nuts who marry 12-year-old girls than I do about people who commit adultery with 12-year-olds.

  2. I think this is a good thing, but I don’t really get the whole promiscuity or marriage bed thing. I sure am not that concerned about the “marriage bed” of a child molester.

    1. I HOPE this is just a case of ‘things we have to say in a resolution’.

  3. I don’t want to nitpick this. I think it is really good to see that some Baptists are finally taking steps in this area. I hope that more do so and soon. Good for them.

  4. ok, I’ll bite…(don’t get me started)
    I was glad to see them condemn the ancient practice of child sacrifice as it seems to be making a comeback after several centuries of lying dormant.
    -my dad worked at the home office almost 20 years
    bitterness-I don’t have no stinkin’ bitterness…
    My dad believed my x when he said he was sorry for the 4 prostitutes, 4 massage parlors, 3 affairs, a one night stand (and a partrige and a pear tree).
    Maybe I’m too cynical, but I think it’s all just pretense.

    1. for me, spiritual discernment concerning sexual matters is gravely disturbing…

    2. Naive twit. A man who has that sort of pattern isn’t sorry, he just doesn’t want to get what’s coming to him. Besides, when God forgave David for stealing Uriah’s wife and killing him, God did not remove the consequences of his sin. The thief on the cross was forgiven, but still died as a result of his sins. And that means that a wife has every right to divorce her adulterous husband, even if he says he’s sorry. Grace cannot be demanded.

  5. Mr. O, you hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    Putting my fathers actions in the context of
    “he means well” (as I think most of those in GARBC leadership do), helps me to not blow a gasket.

    Apathetic or whatever, at first glance it would seem that they are taking the bull by the horns and trying to avoid any harm to innocent children–
    //, but had they specifically named ABWE in the DISTRESSED section, then, and only then, would I have taken their
    “protecting children from sexual abuse” seriously…

    1. Hmmmmm. I freely admit that I do not know the background and I will defer to your insider experience. It probably is a “butt covering” action as much as anything.

  6. In the first place, this is good. I’m glad they’ve done this.

    At the same time, it’s sad that it has to be stated in this way. Christians shouldn’t need a special resolution to tell them that abusing children isn’t right, and abusers shouldn’t be tolerated or protected. Especially when you’re talking about a group of Christians that is very proactive about hunting out and ridding themselves of people who commit other, much less serious sins.

    Finally, I’m concerned about this phrase:
    “Respecting the laws of the land and governmental authorities, for government can act as God’s servant for good and can bring wrath upon the wrongdoer (Rom. 13:1–4)”

    The Bible doesn’t say that government “can act,” but that God does put them in authority–all of them–and that they DO act as His representatives.

  7. I am a Christ follower in spite of my upbringing in the inner circle of the MOGs … my father being one of them. GARB is just the northern IFB. I grew up in it, was abused in it, physical, spiritually, emotionally, sexually. The resolution is just a bunch of BULLogna …. a bunch of MOGs putting in a resolution to distance themselves from the GARBage of powermongering that has infected the northern fundy churches (under the GARB title) from the start as well as to keep themselves out of the cross hairs of being named in the ABWE scandal. Butt covering … u betcha!

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