Sexual Assault and the Hope of the Gospel

The Gospel Coalition | 5/25/2018 | Staff
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What just happened?

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) released a report last Saturday on sexual abuse within America’s largest Protestant denomination.

SBC - Ethics - Religious - Liberty - Commission

According to the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the report is intentionally designed to educate churches on the sexual abuse crisis, equip churches on how to care well for survivors, and prepare churches to prevent abuse.

What was the impetus for the report?

Focus - Years - Abuse - Crisis - Society

The focus in the past two years on the sexual abuse crisis in American society and in the church—represented by the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements—prompted SBC president J. D. Greear to commission a Sexual Abuse Advisory Group within the denomination. The group was tasked with “considering how Southern Baptists at every level can take discernible action to respond swiftly and compassionately to incidents of abuse, as well as to foster safe environments within churches and institutions.”

The group was also asked to study both how Southern Baptists are currently engaging these issues and develop recommendations in consultation with relevant SBC entities on strategies and resources for ministering to victims and protecting people and churches from predators.

Preparation - Report - Advisory - Group - Hundreds

In preparation for the report, the Advisory Group heard from hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse as well as from church leaders and national experts in the field of abuse recovery and counseling. The purpose of this report, the SBC says, is to convey the key findings that have emerged from this effort in a way that “reflects on the realities of the past, recognizes the challenges of the present, and resolves to embrace the opportunities of the future.”

How does the report define sexual abuse?

Purposes - Report - Abuse - Term - Crimes

For purposes of the report, sexual abuse was used as an all-encompassing, non-legal term that refers to crimes like sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse. The American Psychology Association defines sexual abuse as “unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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