SBC President J. D. Greear Says Southern Baptists Need to ‘Own’ Reports of Sexual Abuse and Not ‘Defend Themselves and Push It Aside’

The leader of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. says Southern Baptists need to own up to – not try to explain away or blame the media for – the reports of child sexual abuse in their churches.

The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News scoured police blotters and local news stories trying to gauge the scope of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention. What they found is that over the last 20 years, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct – leaving behind more than 700 victims. Church leaders have reacted with genuine sorrow and remorse for the ruined lives.

The newspapers further accuse SBC churches of allowing known abusers to transfer to other churches, even after being caught.

Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, is heartbroken. “I’m appalled at what appears to be the number of churches that disregarded this in terms of not telling other churches or churches that knew about it and didn’t do anything about it,” he tells OneNewsNow.

According to Baptist Press, SBC president J.D. Greear says the denomination needs to own this – not shove it aside.

“There’s a problem. And we want to respond to this with humility … [and] by owning a wrong,” Greear stated during a meeting on Tuesday. “If there is a time and a place to defend ourselves, maybe that will come later, but it is not now. We’ll trust God to defend us; we’ll trust God to bring truth to light.”

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SOURCE: One News Now, Jody Brown