Reaction to Southern Baptist Leaders Addressing Sexual Abuse Allegations
This week, Southern Baptist leaders are addressing a tough issue – sexual abuse in the church.
Leaders have approved a constitutional amendment to remove churches from the Southern Baptist Convention that do not appropriately handle abuse.
Following the vote by church leaders, people gathered outside of the convention in Birmingham– pushing for leaders to do more.
Josh Wooton, the pastor at Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Montgomery, says this year was his first time attending the Southern Baptist Convention – an event that discusses church policies, the future of the church and controversial issues. He says he is pleased with the way leaders have address sexual abuse issues. this week.
“If there is something going on in our churches that doesn’t need to be going on, then yes, we need to be called out on it,” said Wooton.
Tuesday, leaders voted to remove any church that does not properly handle sexual abuse that happens in the church.
“There are people that are more worried about their reputation than they are about the truth of Christ and about people who can’t care for themselves or speaking out for the voiceless,” said Wooton.
Wooton says protesters were rightfully upset. He believes that the church will move forward cautiously aware of the dangers that could happen.
“There will be redundancies, put in to place in children’s ministries and background checks and proper check-in procedures – who is allowed to be around children,” said Wooton.
“It’s contrary to our message – not just as Baptists, it’s contrary to our message as Christians and it needs to be dealt with,” said Wooton.
According to the Southern Baptists Convention website, the constitutional amendments require another vote at next year’s Southern Baptist Convention.