Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called on the Church to take a stand against sexual abuse, warning there are “horrific and satanic” presences hiding within the Body of Christ eager to prey on vulnerable people.
On Thursday, Moore delivered a message titled “The Church’s Response to Abuse is a Gospel Issue” at the Caring Well conference in Dallas, Texas, an event designed to help the Southern Baptist Convention’s 47,000 churches learn how to prevent abuse and support survivors.
The speaker and author first acknowledged that thousands of vulnerable people have been exploited, abused, and harmed within churches.
“When we see the horror and enormity of those numbers, we ask ourselves: How much do we not know about? How many of those survivors do we not see or recognize?” he asked.
One of the major drivers of church sexual abuse, Moore contended, is a “sense of invulnerability.”
“It’s this sense of, ‘Well, it couldn’t happen in our church, or it couldn’t happen in our kind of church. It happens in churches with that sort of theology,’” he explained.
Others, Moore said, say, “Well, the numbers are so small, we really don’t have a crisis.”
“Your sense of invulnerability is what is killing you,” he said. “Your claim to see is what is blinding you.”
“If you think that responding to church sexual abuse is a distraction from the mission of the church, you do not understand the mission of the church,” he declared.
Churches must do “everything” they possibly can in preventing abuse, from training members to recognize abuse to making sure reporting standards are “are such that if there is even a hint of danger, that the authorities that are responsible are called immediately.”
“We are the people that are caring for and loving and bearing the burdens of those that have survived that sort of trauma,” Moore said.
In John 9:35 through John 10:18, Jesus uses the metaphor of a wolf to describe dangerous individuals within the church, The Storm-Tossed Family author said, adding that some people will use the church to carry out “satanic measures and acts.”
These individuals are almost “impossible to detect,” because they often have “perfectly orthodox theology behind which they hide some horrible, horrible behavior,” Moore said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett