Over the past year or so, much has come out in regards to sexual abuse in evangelicalism. Seemingly though, only certain subsets of evangelicalism has discussed it on the interwebs. I know from leading all sorts of churches on trips in the summers, that many churches have protocols in place to help guard and protect their students from predators. Typically, it is known as “safe church.” While this is no doubt the case, the reality is the potential and the actuality of it is still rarely talked about inside or outside the walls of the church.
But, over the past few two weeks, after a church worker was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison, Twitter has blown up in response to the silence of many high level and highly respected evangelicals, whose powerful organizations supported these men, churches, and ministries since the allegations were made against them last year. Twitter has been flooded with tweets which include the hashtag, #IStandwithSGMVictims. They have been calling on these men and organizations to stand up for the victims, and repent from their faulty endorsements of men who fail to repent of sweeping the abuse under the rug under the guise of “church discipline” or a maligned view of patriarchal submission. Yet, these leaders have remained silent. Much to the chagrin of The Gospel Coalition, who openly supported those suggested of covering up their brethren involved, they began blocking tweets directed toward them with this particular hashtag challenging them to rebuke and correct their men for the sake of the victims.
Now, I’m not here to recount the story. Many people smarter and more eloquent and thorough have laid out the details. But, for the sake of the victims, here are two links to fill you in on the details. It is a sad story of cover up and misguided allegiance within Sovereign Grace Ministries, The Gospel Coalition, and (in part) The Southern Baptist Convention. Some have sought repentance from their sin and ignorance, others though, are standing firm with their brethren.
I’m sure the full extent of the stories are unknown, and the particulars about those involved are not utterly complete, but what is true and undeniable, is the fact our churches are not immune to the heinous exploitation of the young which so many only seem to characterize as a problem in the Catholic Church. What is also true, is many are not owning up to their sin in order to save their own reputation.
So, stand with the Sovereign Grace Ministry Victims by praying for them, their families, and those who committed the terrible sins, and pray for those who are fighting to save their reputation at the expense of those who were forced to lose their innocence. For the mercy of the Lord is great, and it is being extended to all who are involved.
(Edit: to clarify, the Vicarious Life does not support all claims made in the following article. Nonetheless, it includes many facts about the case worth examining.)
Update: I am adding some links as we go to give some different points of view or reflections on the situation. If you come across a link that should be added, please post it in the comments below, and I will add it to the body of the page.
Soulation: Free At Last — A thorough look at all the possible angles involved in the SGM scandal.
APB News: A leader’s response to the Twitter masses calling for an explanation on the situation.