"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Are We Southern Baptist Leaders Indirect Accomplices to Matt Baker's Murder of His Wife?

I know the question which forms the title of this post is not a pleasant one, particularly for those of us who have experienced positions of leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention. However, I feel we must ask this tough question because of the nauseating truth uncovered in the murder trial, and ultimate conviction, of Matt Baker. Last week a Waco jury found the former Southern Baptist pastor guilty of murdering his wife. Details of the case are gruesome. Testimony during the trial was sickening. This man deserves death, not 65 years in prison (which is what he received). I will not rehash the case, you may go to Christa Brown's website for a comprehensive synopsis, but I will simply point out some of the sickening known facts about Mr. Baker's past--events that occurred prior to Baker murdering his wife.

(1). Matt Baker attempted to rape an athletic trainer while at a Southern Baptist school. The attempted rape was reported, but school authorities did nothing to inform others of Mr. Baker's perverse actions, including the police. They simply placed the incident in the confidential file of Matt Baker.

(2). Matt Baker sexually accosted several young ladies while working in Southern Baptist churches. One pastor who had been received information about the incidents from a victim herself, kept it all quiet--not wanting to be the person responsible for ruining Mr. Baker's ministerial career.

(3). Even after Matt Baker's wife was murdered and questions were being raised about Mr. Baker's illicit affair with a woman in his congregation who had come to him for "counseling," Mr. Baker was recommended, and hired, to a position working with college students within the Baptist Convention of Texas.

(4). The Southern Baptist Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention voted down my recommendation in 2008 that we keep a data base of ministers "credibly accused or convicted of sexual misconduct." The church that Matt Baker pastored in Waco, Texas at the time he murdered his wife is listed in the Southern Baptist catalogue of churches on the SBC's own database (see Crossroads Baptist Church). May the pastor search committee of Crossroads benefited from a data base kept at SBC headquarters? If our Convention leadership took seriously any allegations of sexual misconduct by ministers been the impetus needed for others to report Baker's misconduct to them?

(5). If we as Southern Baptists don't do something to track sexual predators in our pulpits, how can we not be held responsible when one of those predators winds up killing his wife?

My question is a sincere one.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

88 comments:

Byroniac said...

Just how many more of these horror movies do we have to watch before the SBC decides that having a database could just possibly be a good idea?

word verification: unsly

Wade Burleson said...

I don't know Byroniac.

Something needs to be done.

Byroniac said...

Well, I'm certainly not unsympathetic towards local church autonomy concerns. And I understand it would have to be budgeted somewhere somehow at the expense of something else. But I can't help but think the database concept would be a good idea, even if it might be difficult to make it work. I'm just glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way.

believer333 said...

It is possible that some Baptist leaders have felt that it was the fault of the women for inappropriate dress or behavior and not so much the fault of the man.

Back in the 60's when I was raped and reported it to the police, I was accused of 'wanting it'. Far from the truth, but that didn't seem to matter. Even though this man had strangled me and punched me and was IMO psychotic, the district attorney recommended I drop the charges. All of this came about from discussion with the perpetrator and not me the victim. It was the man that was believed, not the woman.

I suspect that this misogynistic view is still held by many Baptist men. It's time Christian leaders make more effort to become more like Christ and start really caring about the people of God, including the women of God.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Sadly IMO this goes back to the attitudes of too many in leadership in the SBC towards women. If these were crimes against men it would have been addressed very quickly.

Bill said...

The sexual predator and murder aspects of this story are bad enough on their own, but what drives a man to kill his wife because he thinks his impending divorce will harm his future ministry opportunities? What leads a man to murder out of desperation that he can find no other work?

The title of Piper's book said it well, "Brothers, we are not professionals!" All pastors, missionaries and others involved in vocational ministry need to do a heart check today to make sure they are serving Christ and Christ alone.

Bill Pfister
Taylors, SC

William said...
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William said...

never quite understood why the Executive Committee nixed the database idea that would have included convicted abusers. The difficulty would have come with including "credible reports" of abuse, absent a conviction or confession.

In Baker's case, the most grevious of the many with which I am familiar, there almost certainly would have been, by anyone's definition, "credible reports" of abuse prior to his murdering his wife.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

It is not that a list is a bad idea in spirit, but...

...who keeps the list?
...what happens when a "credibly accused" person sues and wins to have their name removed?
...what about the thousands of churches who would never participate for the simple fact that though they fired their pastor for xyz, their hearts have compassion and hope for healing.
...define sexual misconduct, is this a "broad tent" philosophy which will make for an unmanageable list?
...who has access to the list?
...when a person on the list dies, how will we know? (in 20 years the list could be cluttered, like church roles; we Baptists are not good at keeping lists)
...is there a process for getting off the list?


When the right "motion" is put forth, the people will be for it, but the "broad tent" philosophy cannot be applied else good men will be placed on the list for alter hugs and furtive handshakes.

K

Tom Parker said...

KMC:

I do hear you, but right now nothing is being done to address this very important issue.

rebeca cole said...

This story is tragic in so many ways. We have two daughters that went to a Southern Baptist University. We did our due diligence researching crime rates, safety etc at their school and the surrounding area before we sent them to college, to think that the University or other Baptist organizations they were involved with while at school didn't do the same thing or even care to do it is distressing.How many other young men like Matt Baker are attending our Baptist schools and working with young women,growing more confident in their evil and potentially murderous attitudes and actions because they get away with it so often. That attitude about women is also so believable to me. I will never forget the time I got a call from one of my daughters about a boy she didn't even know approaching her on campus and telling her that her eyeliner was too provocative and that SHE was responsible for distracting him with her eyeliner. It seems like a small thing - the eyeliner, but it shows an attitude towards women that's scary..

Steve said...

We have simply got to get something going to prevent these tragedies, and a database sounds really workable. I would hope that someone from the legal or law enforcement communities that is familiar with this be put in charge of setting it up. If it means a few dozen guys end up selling cars or in JAIL instead of representing Jesus with soiled hands and hearts, who can object?

I know that some SBCers like to copy what the Presbyterians say or the Catholics do, but do we have to wait until "sexual predator" is our society's first reaction when a Southern Baptist preacher is mentioned in the news?

As always, a few noticable examples will affect many more that we will not have to worry about. We don't catch all the bank robbers but we catch enough to send the message.

revhardy said...

"It is not that a list is a bad idea in spirit, but..."

I hear you too, but

"Therefore,to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." (NAS)

Steve Young said...

If there was a database of convicted offenders, when would this person have been included on the list? If churches/Universities/ ministries will not report, how can these people be stopped?

Steve

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

Those are great questions. The Roman Catholics have asked them all and have come up with some pretty good guidelines. I'm not sure we would be inventing the wheel here: maybe just copying the blueprint of others who faced a similar problem.

Of course, we are different from the RC in local church autonomy, but the data base would be designed only to give help and resources to local churches in their pursuit of a pastor.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Steve,

While I understand your point and do not presume to mince words, the fact still remains that we ALL are "representing Jesus with soiled hands and hearts."

Such is the nature of remaining sin.

Gene S said...

I had a sexual preditor on my Staff once. It was obvious the situation needed confronting. I did it with him first, next with the Personnel Committee, and finally we asked him to resign.

End of story. Problem handled right, BUT some of the "gently molested" women hated my guts for picking on "poor David."

He went on to apply as a Chaplain with the HMB. I not only gave him a negative recommendation on their form, but called the person in charge to express my concerns after my experience as his Senior Minister.

They still hired him.

Some 2 years later I got a call from a distraut man in Atlanta asking if I knew him. Then he began the most pitiful telling of how this man "stole" his wife and daughter from him as he became her counselor. I encouraged him to sue because his employer had been duely warned against letting a fox into the hen house.

2 quick observations:

(1) It takes a blind and stupid fellow church staff member not to spot a preditor.

(2) Once spotted, it takes an infidel with no knowledge of biblical rules for handling such situations quickly and directly, to do nothing about it.

I think we have far too many people asking, "Will this cause trouble for me?" rather than following a conviction that women, men, and children need protection to the max in a church setting, especially!

I think a failure to do so comes under the heading of "hypocracy," and, best I can tell,, the hottest fires of Hell await the hypocrite!

Would this extend to his accomplices who kept their mouths shut?????

Kevin M. Crowder said...

My solution is registered ordinations at the state level. Only churches in good standing with both the state and national conventions may add (or remove) valid ordinations by vote of the church. Churches who experience issues with pastors may petition the ordaining church to have state credentials removed.

This is not a cure all, but it will stop the most egregious of offenders. The State Conventions would not need to know why credentials are being removed (de-frocking) but if a church were to vet a potential pastor only to find no valid state credentials, or a record of a once valid ordination with referral to the home church, then the state is out of the picture, and the SBC is not even a player. It puts pressure on churches who ordain to "keep up" with the men they "send out." If a church were to dissolve, the state would require a new church to sponsor the ordination within a certain amount of time for the credentials to remain valid.


Home this clears up my position.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Home=Hope

Btw, churches would still be free to hire licensed, non-ordained (unregistered) ministers if they wanted. But with a denomination wide system in place as I suggest, a court may find negligence on the part of that church if such were the case and they were sued.

believer333 said...

The best solution IMO is to teach the equality and respect of women to everyone (especially men). As long as women are viewed primarily as sensual and sexual beings fit firstly for bearing and raising children, these problems will persist.

Gene S said...

We already have a system of Ordaination in place and it is a local matter. EVERY Baptist minister possesses and Ordaination Certificate issued by a church or association. These should be taken seriously.

The Certificate states that the named person has been questioned by the below signed individuals as to his theology and personal qualifications for ordaination. Without such a certification, the person named is not to administer the ordinances nor marry people.

That which was given should certainly be taken back should a man experience moral failure. Such a re-examination I recommended by letter to my Staff member's ordaining church. At that point, I had done my duty and it was now theirs to act and re-examine.

This buck-passing stuff that "we can't control it" is nothing but hogwash of the smelliest kind!!!

Gene S said...

Believer 333--

A person's conversion should be an automatic commitment to shun the using of any other person for selfish purposes--sexual or otherwise. It is caught more than taught.

In the eyes of God, a person molesting someone physically is just as sinful as those who have molested the reputations of their Baptist brothers in the Conservative Resurgence movement!

God help the soul of the wolf dressed in sheep's clothing, for God is never fooled and judgement is so very real--and not always after death either!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

GeneS,

A trip to LifeWay's Broadman Church Supplies Department, a good fountain pen, and seminary president's recommendation could fool even the wisest of churches.

One guy quotes a verse telling me I am sinning for my position, and you call me smelly. :)

*sticks nose in the air and walks away*

Bob Cleveland said...

Hmm .. let's see:

1) The SBC, as a "denomination", recognizes that we're having problems carrying out the Great Commission, and it trying to figure out some structural or procedural changes, to "fix it".
2) The SBC refuses to deal with an issue like this, in which God's children are either being caused to stumble (abused), or murdered.
3) The IMB turns away applicants to whom God has sovereignly given the gift of unknown tongues, when the Bible specifically prohibits the prohibition thereof.
4) We have 16.4 million "members", most of whom are nowhere to be found; which, collectively, the churches won't do anything about ... while still maintaining we're the largest.
5) We say that some plant, some water, but it's God that gives the increase.
6) We're not increasing.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing its tail?

John Moeller said...

Believer33, I totally agree. Women are considered second class by many, this blog has highlighted that over the last few years. The need is to recognize this, educate and enlighten so it does not continue. A woman's clothing or actions are never permission.

A database is needed, start simple and refine the database as you go. Doing nothing until a PERFECT database and management thereof is created will insure nothing is ever done.

Bob Cleveland, I love your words, you are pointed and I totally agree!

The Baptist would be good to take pointers from the Catholics on doing something to fix this hidden mess. Don't wait on the lawsuits to force action. That will make Baptists look like ungodly jerks.

David Simpson said...

I am 100% for a predator database, and feel even in it's imperfect state it could be of great use to SBC churches.

That being stated, I personally feel the question you pose is irresponsible. It is a tremendous stretch to say that the creation of a database for sexual predators with this guy's name included on it would have prevented him from this horrific crime. He is a sociopath who does whatevever he has to do to get what he wants.

The article was physically nauseating, but I do appreciate you bringing it to the table for discussion. I just feel that your question you ask in your blog's headline is sensational and reaching.

Gene S said...

I think this IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE facing any religion right now. If we jump high, but don't walk straight when we hit the ground, we become a laughing stock to any who see us. We need to practice what we preach!!!

Paul found churches full of immorality and wrote of it to chastise them. We have the same today with the Preditor issue.

I can't believe the pretense and arrogance with which we address it (or try to ignore it). Any minister who does not take his calling seriously enough to set some rules around himself, with God's help, is headed for trouble.

Satan loves nothing better than to take one claiming to be righteous and set before him temptation which he does not have the integrity to resist. Temptation is a part of life, but we have a Will to resist it as did Joseph with Potifer's wife.

Our temptations, however, are not just along sexual lines. Many have to do with power and money along with using big words to impress claiming to be "Dr" this and that. The credentials for a Dr. have been so lowered today, that it has lost much of its meaning to me. Even if you have it and demonstrate a lack of theological knowledge, you still prove how it is a title covering for STUPID.

If we know we have a problem, refuse to admit we have that problem as if it will go away, and then declare to the world we are a Righteous People, we make a mokery of religion. The average person is not as stupid as we think. Most people have a conscience and know right from wrong.

With the Economy going sour and those supposed to protect us from such predation failing to do so, the average person today is asking the right questions of integrity. Our leaders put their hand on the Bible and take an oath to do their duty--then lie, cheat, and steal so that the average person is starting to say, "If they can do it, then why can't I?"

We are producing a great recreation of a lawless society our ancestors escaped some 200 years ago. The rich were getting richer and the poor getting poorer. If you had money and influence, the law did not matter. In the same way our Baptist heritage has a 400 year history, and contributed tremendous concepts to the national idea of freedom and righteousness.

Now is the time to do what is right according to the Bible. Those who are claiming an Inerrant Bible are doing so looking up the skirts of women and girls while inviting little boys to go camping and share the tent. Even the lusty Greeks admitted to their lusts and cults!!!

Why can't we????

Christiane said...

Wade wrote this:

" The Roman Catholics have asked them all and have come up with some pretty good guidelines. I'm not sure we would be inventing the wheel here: maybe just copying the blueprint of others who faced a similar problem."

Christa Brown, who IS an attorney, would have knowledge of these guidelines. How sad it is to see that failure to act in a timely fashion has led to so many victims in my own Church and in other denominations. Was it a form of denial or cover-up, or in the case of young women, 'blaming the victim'? So many 'excuses' to avoid facing what must be done.

Perhaps, since the SBC has no formal relationship or communication with my Church, (all dialogue was severed at the wish of the SBC years ago), and Christa Brown has been openly treated with disrespect by SBC leadership;
it might be better is someone who is in an 'authority' position in the SBC to take on the task of identifying 'red light' situations that warrant formal inquiry by the SBC, and then, organizing 'guidelines' to respond to the findings of these inquiries, for the sake of protecting the innocent from predators. The information, once given to 'local Churches', MAY HELP to stop predators, depending on the willingness and ability of the local church authorities to act. Even is some innocent people were saved from pain, it would be a beginning.

'Doing nothing' when people know there is need for action to protect innocent people, is A SIN.

It's called the 'sin of omission' and is probably one of the worst sins, because, by 'doing nothing', predators get the green light to procede, and in some cases, feel 'protected' by higher-ups who shield them. Predators are sick people. Giving a sick person 'another chance' without intervention, is not an option. They cannot handle that; they are not able to handle that.
People who cover for them are hurting everyone: the predator and the victims.
The onus of responsibility lies with those who are in a position to evaluate 'red light' situations and take action. If they turn away, they must accept blame for the harm that follows.

Catholic guidelines may have ideas that can be applied. Christa will know about this.

Responsible Christians in authority must read the warning in Scripture for what will happen to those who harm innocent children.
If they say,
'oh, I knew about it, but I wasn't involved, so I didn't do anything',
then they will have convicted themselves big-time.

Lydia said...

The first incident would have gotten someone fired or put on leave from a public school system. Recently, a principal was fired just for showing a teacher a questionable sexual website.

They take accusations seriously but Christians don't? Makes no sense unless it really is a question of not taking women very seriously. That was the impression I got from Patterson when Gilyard's victims approached him.

I think a neutral third party needs to tend the database. I would not trust our current leaders with it at all concerning
the definition of credible accusation. The fact is that most pedophiles have at least a hundred victims before they are caught and charged. SAme with many sexual perverts. So, accusations would have to be taken seriously and investigated by the civil authorities.

I say work in your states to have the statue of limitations removed for sexual crimes and to change the reporting requirments to include ministers, church leaders and counselors.

When it has the potential to hurt pocketbooks, they will do what is right. But not until then.

Lydia said...

I just feel that your question you ask in your blog's headline is sensational and reaching.

Wed Jan 27, 03:04:00 PM 2010

It really isn't. Anyone who sweeps this stuff under the rug and does not deal with accusations seriously is an accomplice with the next victim.

That does not mean there won't be a next victim even if you call the authorities. But to hide such things and dismiss them means there will be more victims.

In one of Jeff Vanderhoven's books, he tells the story of a pervert that came to their church. There is more detail in the book but basically the guy was unrepentant and would not follow their rules so it was announced from the pulpit the accusations against him and everyone with children were warned about him. Wish I could remember the name of the book!

Perverts and pedophiles think churches are the safest places around. A police detective told me that years ago. The church does not want a bad image so they sweep it under the rug. And the pervert just goes to another church.

Christa's abuser ended up on staff of Charles Stanley's church!

Light said...

I say work in your states to have the statue of limitations removed for sexual crimes and to change the reporting requirments to include ministers, church leaders and counselors.

I thought ministers, church leaders and counselors were required to report such crimes. It's that way in my state, anyway. I belong to a PCA church, and they have a child protection policy in place, which includes contacting the authorities immediately.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Yes, it is amazing that this guy committed all these acts but still moved within the Baptist circles and was never stopped. No deacon's resolutions condemning him. No trespass warnings were issued to keep him away from a church.

Too bad that in addition to being a sexual predator that he ALSO wasn't a blogger critical of IMB policies, or a blogger critical of a mega church and its pastor. If he were, THEN he would have been called out and shunned and black-balled. If he were an anonymous blogger critical of a mega church pastor, by golly the baptists would might have used the sheriff to find him and open an investigation, find out who he is, and issue trespass papers to keep him off the campus...and his wife! He might have even had a deacon's resolution passed condemning his actions.

So sexual predators like this guy and Gilyard move from job to job, city to city and no baptists are worried about tracking them...but let a person criticize the power structure of the baptists, and no effort is spared to find them and get rid of them.

Lydia said...

"I thought ministers, church leaders and counselors were required to report such crimes. It's that way in my state, anyway. I belong to a PCA church, and they have a child protection policy in place, which includes contacting the authorities immediately."

Not in all states. And even then the statue of limitations on sexual crimes is still there in many states. And keep in mind most pedophiles have a hundred victims before they are caught. As they found in the RCC, many victims were adults by the time they could muster the courage to speak against "God's anointed leader".

I think folks have no clue the devestation that is brought down on victims if they dare speak out about a popular leader. Most folks rally around the leader and do not believe the victim.

Every church should have a policy of contacting the authorities with any accusation.

It is safer for everyone to call the civil authorities. That is what Patterson should have done in the first place with Gilyard. When these perverts know they are protected, they get bolder. And they are worse when they have perceived authority and power over others.

chaidrinkingfool said...

Child protection policies can be a good thing.

I'd like to point out that it's not always the children who are in danger from predators. What, then?

Gene S said...

Let me tell you of a "preaching with tears in his eyes" fellow from Mississippi who was invited to pastor the church in Rocky Mount, NC, where I was Interim.

He came with the personal recommendation of W.A. Criswell, no less! As he was being considered, I advised the people that being from so far away it would be wise to call the DOM of his Association and a few other pastors who were not on the resume.
They were so convinced with the phone call to Dr. Criswell that he was the right man, they took his word.

Sure enough, in his second year, at the revival, he came forward with a lady and they confessed they had been having an affair. Shortly 2 other women admitted the same. His first action at his new office had been to put a piece of cardboard over the little door window so "he could have privacy with those he counseled."

When it all hit the fan, his wife admitted he had had problems with women previously and "he was just that way." If he had had such problems that many times, I am confident others knew and were glad to see him go irregardless of those he was going to hurt.

My question is: How can a man of this sordid character get the "great kahuna's" blessing??? Is it something our CR pastors overlook because a man "loves the Lord" so much?

Gene S said...

If you want to read another woman's voice besides Crista Brown, go to Waneta Dawn:

http://submissiontyranny.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-06%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=3

This is a problem streatching across a wide spectrum of the "new conservatism."

Elisabeth said...

Many of you who have been reading this blog for very long know that I have commented before that I was a victim of a pervert-pastor when I was in my early 20's.

A man who had such a reputation for being so Godly. And I went to him for counseling, for help. Yeah, right. And yes, I was to blame, for being "too provocative."

And it caused emotional and spiritual problems that I am still recovering from, 21 years later. That's the kind of damage that kind of abuse of power by a pastor causes.

Alexis said...

For a more balanced perspective on where Gene is coming from, I recommend checking out this link (Christa Brown's blog) titled "One Reasons Abuse Victims Don't Talk"

Your comments on this subject were extremely troubling back then in your exchanges with Christa Brown regarding the indicment of NC Baptist leader Stephen Carter on child sex abuse charges.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Liberal Baptists: We need to do something now, anything is better than nothing. Get it done, fix it later.

Liberal Democrats: We need health care reform now, anything is better than nothing. Get it done, fix it later.

Ignorance is bliss!

(Some of you would get sheer joy out of exposing and shaming sinners. Yet the pride of Christianity is how we deal with the fallen. Get a grip!)

Byroniac said...

Kevin, please consider that if you were a female who had been molested by a Baptist pastor (or any religious minister), the matter ceases to be a Liberal Baptist issue and becomes a very personal one.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Byron,

I am not really speaking to the victims in this context, though many may read this, but rather to those who genuinely desire to help them both now and for future prevention. I am simply comparing liberal ideologies which do not work. I have offered on this blog what I believe to be a conservative approach which with a tad bit of tweaking could be presented as a viable solution. "Wade's List" will never pass the Convention floor for it does not fit with our form of Baptist polity. That is not a bad thing--it simply means we find a system which fits a non-federal Conventional structure where each church is totally independent. My heart does not seek to avoid the issue and quite frankly I am offended by those who think so.

The question is, do you want a solution, or are we just looking to put a bunch of testicles on the chopping block? I know that is probably what they really deserve, but the solution needs to be/accomplish 3 things:

1. It must be legal.
2. It must be at least marginally successful at stopping predators from entering SBC pulpits and serving as staff.
3. 20% of our churches (around 9,000) need to be on board immediately or it will never work.

Jack said...

Wade

as per your question

No

Jack

Byroniac said...
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Byroniac said...

Kevin, I have no idea how a database could, should, or actually would work. There are several here who would know more than I would on the issue, so I will defer to them. I am very pragmatic by nature--if something does not work for me then it is practically useless even if someone else finds it theoretically beautiful--so I think your objections (i.e., potential problems) do have merit.

1. It doesn't have to be legal in the sense that it is confined by the law (as a subset), but it must be legal in agreement with the laws (exceeding what is legal for what is moral would be desirable, in the spirit of Romans 13).

2. This can be a Catch-22 (we won't know if it's successful until it's proven). I think taking time to consider what the RCC has done and is doing might be helpful, but we have vastly different ecclesiology. In truth, I think we already know the foundation of a workable system: tell the truth, do not hide it, and do not excuse or cover wrongdoing (the rest is just details).

3. I don't know where you get the 20% from, but I'm inclined to agree (though I think the SBC would have to have higher cooperation).

This may be the Baptist part of me that remains, but I think moving ordination back to the State level is a regression in the Christ-centered church autonomy of local believers. Christ is supreme, followed by His church (His people), followed by other organizations such as government and parachurch operations. Maintaining church autonomy would be a concern of mine in the SBC. Protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty is also a concern. If enough people are victimized, perhaps Baptists will learn to cooperate with such a database program without sacrificing church autonomy (and perhaps church autonomy should be sacrificed to the extent that stopping this abuse requires). But to me putting ordination at the State level could be a series of steps for returning to a State church, which I think would be very un-Baptist.

There must be a way to solve this problem without marrying the Church to the State, and without sacrificing justice at the expense of personal conviction of church autonomy (and I'm tired, and both working neurons in my brain are protesting the strain).

Rex Ray said...

Jack,
I was waiting for you to comment so I could ‘work’ my voodoo doll. :)

If the evil Baker was collecting garbage instead of preaching, would he have murdered his wife to keep his job?

I’ve heard and seen this: When someone dies there is a ‘reflex’ of taking one large breath even though they’re dead.

Thinking she was still alive, Baker made ‘bruises’ on his wife’s face which help convict him.

I believe winking at his girlfriend would justify a hanging.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

State Convention Byron. Not Government.

Gene S said...

Alexis--

Let me be clear how I see this issue and how I attempted to advise Christa Brown about the danger of jumping on EVERY accused molester way before the case is dealt with by the Justice System.

What I advocate is a middle groud of restrained justice and advocacy of the molested. We need to recognize there are people out there in congregation-land who promote themselves into wanting to seduce the Preacher. That is the difficulty in getting at the truth. Not everyone accused is guilty, and Christa needs to be careful, in my opinion, with jumping at every accusation.

In the specific case in NC the Camp Director was accused, BUT people who know him were commenting far and wide that it was a false accusation. This was last fall and the case has yet to be heard. All is quiet in the media at this point. In our justice system anyone is "presumed innocent until proven guilty."

Should Crista end up being part of "false accusations," then she sets herself up for a potential liabal lawsuit which could shut her needed advocacy down. It is real, but she sees herself as such a needed advocate, she shut me off and invited me to leave--which I have. I had financially supported her ministry early on, in fact.

Now, let me tell you the specific case I encountered which leads me to caution about "false accusations."

At the infamous corrupt church where I was Senior Minister, I had, not 1, but 2 Staff Members who were morally corrupt and were terminated! The problem in both cases was a "2-way problem."

The first younger man was like a bird dog who was pointing every relationship-troubled woman and girl in the congregation. They were looking for love and he was glad to supply it! It was just a matter of time before a scandal broke. I stopped it, but was not likes for "being mean to him."

What made me suspicious of him was a comment from his counseling class at Seminary where he said the Professor was warning about people who wanted to seduce a minister (with ordained women the man can be just as seductive). He said one student in the class said, "I can't wait to meet them!" I think that student was him! Wrong motivation to help is guaranteed to bring a scandal. Look above at the result I cited of the HMB hiring him after I fired him.

The second staff member, a middle aged man, fell victim to our Financial Secretary who was also a Deacon's wife. I believe she was a nemphomaniac because she had met my predecessor (old at the time) at the door in a neglige when she called and told him she needed to talk with him immediately about some "important church matters." He refused to go in, but she started rumors about him and her which were totally untrue!

Now, what should we, as Christians with morals, do about the seductive woman who leads a minister down the road to moral corruption? True, he should have had more self control, but was he totally to blame as Christa views it?

Any woman / girl / child molested by a minister is usually lacking some kind of love in their life. In the extreme situation I cited above there was a serious mental problem where this lady was obsessed with a "man of the cloth." How dare we be so accusatory as to say, "It was all his fault!"

The bottom line is: WALK WITH CAUTION! My lifetime pastor father advised me early on to be careful with any woman calling at odd hours needing my presence. His advise was NEVER go by yourself. Take your wife or a Deacon as a witness/helper, otherwise it is your word against her's, and you will never be able to explain it away. You will sacrifice your career to a lie!

This is a real red-flag issue we must deal with or people will have no more faith in us than does the public with Catholic child molesters.

Corrie said...

"Some of you would get sheer joy out of exposing and shaming sinners."

Kind of like the SBC leadership does with homosexuals and those SBC churches they have deemed to be to lax about the homosexual issue? :-)

Funny. The SBC leadership makes a HUGE deal about homosexuals and hunting down and exposing them in the SBC churches but they want to cover over the child molesters in their midst?

Something doesn't make sense in that equation at all.

I would at least like to see a greater willingness to protect children. I would at least like to see people not more worried about protecting the reputation of pervert wolves who feed on the most vulnerable than they are of accusing the victims of being bitter or unforgiving.

Not saying this is you, Kevin, but this does characterize many in leadership and their response to those who have gone to them for help concerning a child being molested.

Corrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Was Baker called by God?

I grew up thinking God ‘called’ all preachers – ‘They surrender to the call’.

“Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” (1 Cor 7: 24 KJ)

But Paul also said; “This is a true saying that if someone wants to be an elder, he desires an honorable responsibility.” (1 Timothy 3:1 NLT)

“This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” (KJ)

I believe “desire” can be from two directions: to preach the Gospel by reaching for a ‘towel’, or to seek popularity and authority by reaching for a throne.

We see Baker’s ‘desire’ by what he told his girl friend: “They won’t believe you; they’ll believe me because I’m a preacher.”

How do we know which preachers have the proper “desire”?

C. Matthew McMahon’s “The Life of the Preacher” says:

“The minister should have a determination to live in accordance with the Master he professes and the Gospel he proclaims. The entire life of the preacher should be kept watch under close scrutiny lest preachers disqualify themselves from their office.”

Gene S said...

Corrie--

You are so right there are not enough words to commend you!!!

In Psychology it is called Rationalization and Reaction-Formaton Psychosis--both defense mechanisms to keep the self from admitting to reality!

Rationalization in this is tha by getting rid of queers we will have cleaned up a group which threatens us with sexual immorality. The reality is too many ordained clergy and lay leaders are participating in sexual immorality it's not funny. The business owners prey on subordinates and the preachers prey on those who confide in them, trust to the point of emotional involvement, then seduce them as easy prey.

Reaction-Formation is the showy outward expression of the exact opposite of what is in the heart. Those who "protest too much" from the pulpit could likely be outwardly fighting inner demons of lust and corruption.

Transference is the time in any confiding relationship that trust becomes so complete lust and desire threaten to ruin it all. Every counselor is warned of this "falling in love" and instructed that the ethical thing to do is to transfer the client to another therapist. The result of giving in to lustful desires will be a total ruination of any good accompmlished thus far.

Don't claim "stupid" on this one. It is clearly taught, but not practiced as it should be!

believer333 said...

Gene S.,
You take the oddest stances on things.

”My lifetime pastor father advised me early on to be careful with any woman calling at odd hours needing my presence. His advise was NEVER go by yourself.”

True, both ways. A woman minister should not be going out to home visitation at odd hours. That should be a red flag for anyone.


”Any woman / girl / child molested by a minister is usually lacking some kind of love in their life. In the extreme situation I cited above there was a serious mental problem where this lady was obsessed with a "man of the cloth." How dare we be so accusatory as to say, "It was all his fault!"

The first statement is inflammatory. Everyone in the whole world is usually lacking SOME KIND of love in their life. Whether or not this causes them to be particularly vulnerable to vultures depends on the depth BUT DOES NOT EXCUSE THOSE WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE.

The second statement is that yes, we DARE accuse a man or woman of the cloth who sexually abuses one of their flock. If they were seduced then they have some small excuse, but being seduced is not sexually abusing another. Two different situations. A Christian leader should be strong enough to walk away from a silly woman trying to seduce them. Women who seduce men and then cry rape in a legal court ARE RARE. They shouldn’t get away with it. But that has very little to do with the huge problem of Christian leaders who have used their position to abuse others.

Byroniac said...

Kevin, I understand that, but Baptists being the political creatures that they are by and large, I cannot help but wonder if eventually some would consider forming a State church.

Alexis said...

Gene,

Stephen Carter was indicted. It was widely reported in various media outlets. Christa herself is a lawyer. An individual does not need to go to law school to know that they can publicly comment on a person who has become a public figure by the nature of his arrest and indictment.

What I found most amazing was not that a person clearly unfamiliar with the law was giving advice to a lawyer but that you put partial blame on the VICTIM. Your words to the the "molested":


"What part did your actions do in encouraging the situation to happen? He should have been more mature, but he wasn't. Did he do it by himself? I doubt it!"


I think Christa described your quote above as "ignorance personified." I say that kind of mentality is no different than the kind of mentality that chooses to sweep allegations under the rug in order to not "ruin the man's career"

This supposed middle-ground approach which would oddly keep people from commenting on arrests and indictments (when should someone comment, upon conviction??) is just but one example of how so many are more concerned about the accused minister rather than the abused kids.

Gene S said...

Believer333--

I totally understand where you are coming from. Had I been molested like you or Christa, I would be mad as hell--and that's OK--you should be.

I put full responsibility on the more powerful person involved, no matter what the circumstances.

I speak from personal experience, since my own wife, as a teen, was emotionally involved with her Minister of Youth. It did not go all the way, but, in her eyes, it was enough to feel terrible guilt over her thoughts that his wife, hopefully would die, and she could become his bride.

This was so strong and so mixed in emotions that it entered into our 3rd year of marriage as our paths crossed when we attended the SBC. I could not understand the actions of my beautiful bride. She suddenly became reactionary in strange ways to things happening inside the walls of our house.

She finally told me about the incidents and her feelings. They were reignited by his calling her--uninvited--to "catch up on things." Despite her telling him it was over and she was happily married, he kept calling and she kept emoting.

I, too, was mad as hell that, as a teen, she had been molested in her mind and emotions more than body. Only the grace of God kept it from going to total physical involvement. Irregardless, my wife was an emotional wreck and I had to make a decision to stick with her and care, or cast her out as a sinner.

My decision was to assure her that it wasn't as bad as her mind and heart led her to believe. She had, at the least, had enough conscience not to let him take her wrap around skirt off as he wanted to. He was the prime mover in my mind, but my, teenage then, wife did her part as well.

This is why I gave a gift to Christa in honor of my wife. She is past the stupidity of a teenage girl with a crush on her Youth Minister. I am past my desire to punch his lights out for not being a man of integrity.

I had my share of crushes on me throughout my ministry. I saw others go down because they couldn't control their emotions. I controlled mine by admitting when temptation was too great, and to distance myself from the female who attracted me. It was as much by the Grace of God and good advice from my father as from me being so righteous!

As you can see, this is not simple ground with black-and-white distinctions of who is right and who is wrong. We are, simply, human, and walk on feet of clay.

I can tell you this: I sleep every night with a clear conscience. My bride of 19 is now a beautiful and mature woman of 60 who does not look a day over 40.

My reward for loving and forgiving her and helping her to forgive herself, is a lifetime of love, a mother of 2 wonderful children, and grandmother of 6 grandchildren. God has blessed and protected us--despite the human temptations of ministry!

It's not just as simple as some people want to make it!!!!

Gene S said...

Alexis--

You also sound like one personally acquainted with a molester. Like Believer333 you have a right to be mad as Hell!

I stand by my comments on Christa's blog and personal communication with her. I am not a lawyer, but a businessman/clergyman. I can assure you, there is, or will be, a lawyer out there glad to take the case and sue the pants off Christa.

Even though she might win, the cost will be astronomical and she could loose her fkunds trying to advocate for molested women. I speak from personal experience since an Independent Contractor climber with a clear contract has tried to sue me over falling off a tree from his own stupidity. This thing has been going on 5 years in mediation. I had to borrow $5,000 to retain my lawyer for a case which has exhausted all that and is still not over.

Let me be clear: I totally support Christa and StopBaptistPreditors.com. She chose to get angry at me for asking her to back off a little and not assume Rev. Carter is guilty from the get-go. Every lawyer should know our rule of jurisprudence: "Presumed innocent until prove guilty."

I am a trained counselor with a degree in Psychology. I have counseled many women without disrespect or immorality. I have been tempted, but referred them when I knew it was getting a little too personal. Anyone who gets too judgmental is ignoring their own feet of clay---an may be hiding from themselves their part in the crime.

By the way, Christa looks much like my wife who was also a "Queen With a Septor"--and, in that white dress, looked to her Minister of Youth just like a bride who needed loving.

Have we, in some ways, set our own selves up for sin as we dress beautiful teens in a white dress with bodice clinging properly to growing hips and watch them walk down the isle of the church to be properly crowned and septered????

The religion of "sacred prostitution" has always been the best one going---if you want to take it to the extreme of human abilities to lust while finding God!!!

Alexis said...

Gene,

Again, the more you write, the more people who read reach the conclusion that you really have no idea what you're talking about.

Seriously. Of course, anyone can sue anyone for just about anything. But, if you can make comments about W.A. Criswell and Paige Patterson and every other SBCer whom you dislike without getting into trouble, I'm pretty confident that Christa (and anyone else here) can discuss a public criminal case. Christa does not "break" any stories. She merely reports and comments on what has already been reported by professional journalists. No harm there.

I actually do have a legal background and I could get into specifics surrounding defamation law but I won't because I don't think you're listening.

And Gene, I am not personally aquainted with a "molester." Stop with the assumptions. You're no good at it. I saw your comments here on this subject and was reminded of your truly offensive posts over at Christa's blog a few months back. That's all. And it's really hard to believe that you're supportive or Christa in light of your comments suggesting that she remain silent on a situation that had been written about extensively in national and state publications....

The "presumed innocent until proven guilty" is a legal standard. I doubt many Christians apply that legal standard when forming their own opinions and conclusions. OJ was innocent too, right? And Michael Jackson was innocent as well?

Alexis said...

One more thing, Gene, I really can't believe that you are here trying to have us believe that you support Christa, etc. and then you make remarks YET AGAIN which place the blame upon the victim.

It's really disgusting.

This mindset which you personify clearly is part of the problem in what Christa calls "Baptistland." Baptists definitely do not need to look to you for answers on this. Wow.

Thy Peace said...

Just now I have realized that Gene Scarborough, and Gene S, are one and the same.

believer333 said...

”It's not just as simple as some people want to make it!!!!”

Quite true. It never is.

”"What part did your actions do in encouraging the situation to happen? He should have been more mature, but he wasn't. Did he do it by himself? I doubt it!"”

I agree with Alexis that this is pretty much always a wrong approach. It is an especially disgusting approach when we are speaking of the young and innocent.

Gene S said...

Ladies--

I don't really understand the hostility I am generating with you. It is as if men are always guilty and should be sliced and diced to get even.

I am trying my best to be fair on all sides, but you obviously want a piece of my hide for some reason. I clearly told you I protected innocent women and girls by firing the staff member who was abusing his privileges.

Do you understand that I took hits from women who thought I was picking on him. This whole thing is total confusion for me. I would appreciate some rational for your hatred.

Liable is mostly when people tell distorted things to destroy a person's character. When I speak of Criswell, Patterson, et. al. it is telling what is totally truthful about them. I have made up nothing. I am simply trying to speak the truth in love as the Bible commands. I love our Lord and the way us Baptists have served him in the past. What is going on now is not a very valid representation of anything except the Pharisee in each of us, in my opinion. That needs to be controled.

Wade has told as much in his revelations since 1979. Why would you appreciate him while not liking what I have said?

Please enlighten me!

Lydia said...

"Stephen Carter was indicted. It was widely reported in various media outlets. Christa herself is a lawyer. An individual does not need to go to law school to know that they can publicly comment on a person who has become a public figure by the nature of his arrest and indictment."

Thank you, Alexis. Exactly right. What was so insulting was that Carter supporters were flaming the press article comments saying he could not possibly be guilty. They were coming out in droves to say it could not be true.

What a great way to shut up the victim! They would be more wise to quietly support their friend and let the victim have her day in court before they start announcing the verdict before court begins. They might just be wrong. It has happened many times and shocked many people.

Personally, I think these very public shows of support for the accused is a tactic. Lotta people going to have egg on their face if he is found guilty.

Lydia said...

Good points, Corrie. The SBC even found a way to disfellowship a church for having a woman pastor. Yet, pastors who protect pedophile minister of prayer is invited to speak at seminary chapel after the scandal came out. Some who protect perverts and insult the victims who came toi him even get to become seminary presidents.

We could start there...stop promoting and protecting those who do not take this stuff seriously.

Lydia said...

(Some of you would get sheer joy out of exposing and shaming sinners. Yet the pride of Christianity is how we deal with the fallen. Get a grip!)

Kev, what about 1 Tim 3? Are not elders to be above reproach even to the OUTSIDE?

Are you saying that perverts and pedophiles should NOT be exposed?

Gene S said...

The egg on face syndrome could apply just as well to people who jump too quickly to conclusions!

I had a sad conversation with a lady who was indited and my Criminal Defense Lawyer neighbor got her proven innocent. Her sad comment was that her "church friends" were the first ones to desert her and assume she was guilty.

I think this is being done to Steven Carter, but my friend, Norman Jamison, who stands accused with me of being supportive is checking it out now. He was supposed to be brought to trial in December, but it hasn't happened. That indicates to me the case is weak possibly.

Just don't rush to judgement because it hurts women and men alike.

Gene S said...

"All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God," was Paul's word on our humanity.

Sexual perverts need not have any place in church leadership whether ordained or not.

However, one needs to follow Jesus' guidelines for anyone caught in sin: first go to him and confront his activity--give him a chance to repent, if that doesn't work take a second person who witnessed the same thing--give him a chance to repent, finally if repentance does not take place, bring him before the church and give him a chance to repent--not being successful at this stage, it is time to cast him out!

Now that is not jumping to conclusions nor speculating. It is based on actual observation one on one. In the Carter case, you are relying on a newspaper report and you live far from eastern NC. Are newspapers always totally reliable?

In this case, it might be wise to keep quiet unless you have personal knowledge. Even with it, we are supposed to be redemptive before being judgmental, according to Jesus' clear guidance.

Lydia said...

"However, one needs to follow Jesus' guidelines for anyone caught in sin: first go to him and confront his activity--give him a chance to repent, if that doesn't work take a second person who witnessed the same thing--give him a chance to repent, finally if repentance does not take place, bring him before the church and give him a chance to repent--not being successful at this stage, it is time to cast him out!"

No, first you call the authorities because they broke the civil law. (Same with spouse abuse)

You do realize that perverts make sure they never have more than one witness to their perversion. And that is the victim and who is going to believe them when the pervert is an "authority" figure?

Are you saying if they repent when guilty, they should not face prosecution when it is an under age victim? Lots of churches are teaching this, unfortuantly. It is one reason why sexual deviants love the church.

Lydia said...

"Now that is not jumping to conclusions nor speculating. It is based on actual observation one on one. In the Carter case, you are relying on a newspaper report and you live far from eastern NC. Are newspapers always totally reliable?"

Did they get the legal "charge" wrong? Actually, the folks supporting Carter in droves were "speculating and jumping to conclusions" before the victim got her day in court.

Alexis said...

Oh Gene, I'm sorry you just don't understand. Poor you.

You've so far not been able to address the remarks which many here undoubtedly find disgusting and offensive.

So, how do you defend this?

"By the way, Christa looks much like my wife who was also a "Queen With a Septor"--and, in that white dress, looked to her Minister of Youth just like a bride who needed loving."

Gene, not only is the above quote offensive. It's kinda creepy. You're implying that an attractive 15-16 year old simply "needs loving" similar to how a man would "show his love" so to speak to his wife. That's completely twisted.

You've constructed an excuse for ministers who sexually abuse their young parishioners. The way she looks, the way she dresses - oh of course she wanted to be abused, she wanted to be raped, she wanted to be assaulted. That's essentially what you're arguing with the "looks to her Minister of Youth like a bride in need of loving" bit.

Do you not understand your own words? Or do you really believe what you wrote? Because you've expressed the exact same sentiments in numerous occasions over a 6+ month period now. It seems we have a clear glimpse into your thinking, your mindset, your heart even?

You can't say oh I'm a supporter of X,Y,and Z regarding clergy sex abuse and then make statements which clearly shift the blame from the minister to the adult.

Your words here could easily be applied to the Matt Baker situation via his seeking out Vanessa Bulls to be "counseled"

Gene S said...

Ladies, please don't put words into my mouth in your anger.

Personally, I think a good machete applied to the source of molestation is an appropriate action. Forgive him, but make sure he is incapable of molesting again! I bet you can agree with this.

What you are forgetting is God's justice of hell given to hypocrits who pretend to be clean minded while lusting over the girls and women. God knows the heart and is not fooled. These people are sick, but that is no excuse!

I'm just saying we sometimes set ourselves up for sin by pretending no one has ever had a lustful eye as minister or congregant. It has happened, it does happen, it will happen.

My wise father, however, told me a good adage: "You can't keep a bird from flying over you head, but you sure can keep him from nesting there!"

I have neither patience for people who pretend to be righteous while looking for opportunities to sin, no for people who judge too quickly and always with harshness.

Let God into this equation somewhere---PLEASE!

Elisabeth said...

What about the minister that convinces the young woman that he's "helping her" overcome homosexual feelings so she can be "truly Christian" by convincing her to go to bed with him?

Because EVERYBODY knows that anyone who's TRULY Christian wouldn't struggle with THAT!

Gene S said...

He's a lying Sweet Old Baptist!!!!

Where does this excuse begin to fool anyone? If she is young and stupid enough to fall for that one, he is definitely an advantage taker who has no taste for a female with any intelligence.

Were the guy a licensed counselor he should loose his credentails for a no holds bared ethics violation.

Were he a minister, his fate would be a one way trip to Hell!

Alexis said...

For the record, no one has put words in Gene's mouth. Let's let his words speak for themselves:

"By the way, Christa looks much like my wife who was also a "Queen With a Septor"--and, in that white dress, looked to her Minister of Youth just like a bride who needed loving."

I'm not angry, Gene. I just find these words above to be both creepy and offensive.

Gene S said...

Alexis & other ladies--

I have just spent the last 30 minutes re-reading my coments and responses to your criticism. I fail to see how my truthfulness in them draws such anger.

I'm not trying to be creepy at all in my description of the Queen With the Septer. I have been in many such ceremonies and see these young ladies as dedicated girls who had had to pay a price in time and memory to achieve the honor. As far as I am concerned they are God's precious children.

What I am saying is that there are outright perverts and there are regular men who are just---men. It is the way God created us, yet you ladies seem to think we are asexual. Some of our religious stuff takes normal heterosexual attitudes and heaps it with mystery and lust.

Take, for example, the practices of old where the church pews were entered by separate doors--one for men, and the other for women and children. Does anyone think no man looked across the aisle to admire an attractive woman and vice versus?

It is the same to require the Priest to be celebate according to Paul's teaching (he assumed the End of Time would come in his lifetime). Paul talks of lust and witholding oneself from sexual relationships. His later writing allows for marrying over burning in lust. It would seem his own lusts were not under complete control so he gave people permission to satify theirs.

It is rediculous to think when we walk through the doors of a church we suddenly lay down the mantel of humanity. However, admitting we are human is the first step to controlling our human lusts and using them in appropriate ways.

I still have not gotten a valid explaination as to why I am drawing so much anger from you ladies. You are angry, at the least, because I am not saying, "Chop off his head!" as you seem to want.

What do you do with my example of the nymphomaniac Financial Secretary who was the molester in that case? On top of that she lied about her rejection by my predicessor. Is this not Potifer's wife all over again--and it is in the Bible for a reason?

Christa Brown said...

I do not consider Gene S. to be a "supporter." To the contrary, I considered some of his emails to be so grossly offensive that I finally blocked his email address.
Several years ago, he did make a small contribution to SNAP. But no amount of money - ever - could possibly give him the right to say some of the things he says.

And incidentally . . . for the rest of you . . . I was actually a Queen Regent in Service. Once upon a time, I was proud of that.

Gene S said...

Christa--

For some reason I knew you would be here sooner or later. You have decided I am not a supporter on your own. I still am, believe it or not.

Our problem began with my request you back off on the Steve Carter case a little bit since he appeared to have many supporters. It just cast some doubt that he was rightly accused.

THEN the fat hit the fan because people who have been molested usually got attacked more than the molester. This is true, but still doesn't give anyone the right to jump on someone with both feet the second the story hits the news.

My position then, as now, is back away from the edge a little and show some graceful constraint. I fully understand how badly you were hurt, and I deeply care because my wife was hurt too as a beautiful teen innocent girl.

I'm still here advocating for a guy like the older preacher above, falsely accused. Norman is checking on the situation starting yesterday. If Steve is guillty, then he deserves all the law can give him as well as our God who hates hypocracy.

Honestly, I think it is a little hypocritical to advocate so hard for abused and hurt women and children with such compassion, and jump on me with both feet when I just say, "Back off a little bit until things become more clear."

I'm feeling abused by all you ladies right now.

Lydia said...

I still have not gotten a valid explaination as to why I am drawing so much anger from you ladies.

Gene, no one is angry that I can see. Many are just pointing out your hypocrisy and some typical viewpoints when it comes to this issue. When the accused is someone you know and like then back off, right? But the point is, we are simply asking that the victim get her day in court and be treated with as much respect. But the supporters of the accused claim he could not have done it and in comments in other venues are attacking and dismissing the victim. Very typical.

Gene S said...

Lydia--

I feel the anger even though you don't see it.

Hypocracy is a strong word. It literally means "putting on a mask and playing 2 characters in the Greek play, KNOWING one is good and the other is bad."

To the best of my knowledge I am being consistent--i.e., I have gotten rid of staff members who were abusing their privileges with women. I do not condone it in ANY way!

I just told Christa it would be wise to back off until more information was disclosed as to whether the man was guilty or innocent.

None of you has answered my question relative to my nymphomainac Financial Secretary who tried to seduce my predecessor. In this case, it was the woman doing the moves rather than the man! Therefore, I am saying there IS such a thing as truely false accusations.

By the way, Norman Jameson has checked the case's progress and reports there has been none. As far as I am concerned, the results are in limbo and the man needs some more time until we find out the results. Hopefully, they will be in his favor. If they are not, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with women and Christa who have disclosed the problem.

This ARE 2 men (me and Jameson, editor of the NC Baptist State paper) who are NOT covering anything up--only witholding judgments until more facts are in the public forum.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Sir Gene,

These "angry ladies" as you've characterized them are spot-on here.

Perhaps you're just living in La-La land, I don't know. But these words in particular are offensive:

"By the way, Christa looks much like my wife who was also a "Queen With a Septor"--and, in that white dress, looked to her Minister of Youth just like a bride who needed loving."

The above mentality is indefensible.

Now, regarding Stephen Carter, the guy was arrested and charged back in July. You have implied that there has been no movement and the lack of movement indicates that the case is weak (actually that was more of an explicit assertion on your part). You also noted that the trial was supposed to begin in December.

Maybe you have not been paying attention to the news. I don't know. The guy was arrested and charged back in July on two counts of sex offenses against a child.

Over three months later (November 6, 2009), a grand jury handed down four additional felony indictments, punishable up to life in prison for alleged sex offenses with THREE different victims. The article indicates that - as of November 6 - NO TRIAL DATE had been set.

http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4549/53/

So, I have no idea where you got the notion of a December trial. It sure seems as if prosecutors are trying to determine how many victims there were and how many charges to file against Carter before proceeding.

In fact, an article published January 29, 2010 on the Biblical Recorder's website states that "No Trial Date has Been Set"

http://biblicalrecorder.com/post/2010/01/29/Cale-names-interim-director.aspx

I'm sure that Jameson was aware of all of the above information as he posted it on his own website. It seems that you are very much uninformed.

Gene S said...

Big Daddy Weave--

"By the way, Christa looks much like my wife who was also a "Queen With a Septor"--and, in that white dress, looked to her Minister of Youth just like a bride who needed loving."

The above statement is a reflection of how a perverted minister probably perceived an innocent girl. It, IN NO WAY, reflects my personal feelings. A few responses down from that, I thought I clearly reflected this!

I told the story of how this emotionally affected my own wife some 5 years into our marriage. I personally know how awful advances by a minister trouble the very soul of an innocent teenager. This problem is real and needs to be dealt with as I dealt with 2 staff members who worked with me.

My information on Staven Carter was based on recollection rather than your obviously detaliled research. I thank you for the corrections.

Norman Jameson gave me the prjected date for trial in December. I have been away from my computer a few days with our NC snow event and work. I will check the BR web site for the update you give.

Now, if I have offended any of the ladies in any way, I apologize profusely. We are dealing with a highly emotional situation Baptist wide. I regret Christa's emotional reaction to what I said.

Again--let me be clear--Norman and I were simply advising restraint until more information is known. As I said above, if the charges are proven to be true, I will be the first to say, "Give him everything under NC law that he deserves and God help the soul of any person who abuses another!"

Now, am I really the bad boy some have tried to call me?????

Lydia said...

"Now, if I have offended any of the ladies in any way, I apologize profusely. We are dealing with a highly emotional situation Baptist wide. I regret Christa's emotional reaction to what I said."

Gene, How is YOUR reaction not emotional?

Lydia said...

Gene, you are advising restraint on what? Discussing the indictments? Discussing the fact that many have come out and said they could not be true and Carter could not be guilty? Because that is exactly what happened. Without even thinking of the victim(s).


How can I comment on your financial secretary when I have to assume she was an adult and her prey was an adult?

In this case, we are talking about a kid being sexually molested by Carter as the authority figure charged with influencing this kid.

Big difference.

Or are you trying to suggest the kid/teen was coming on to him and he could not resist?

I think you just dig deeper each time you comment. And become more "emotional". :o)

Christa Brown said...

"Norman and I were simply advising restraint until more information is known."

Norman and I??? I'd like to know when and where Norman Jameson, editor of the Biblical Recorder, was "advising restraint" on publishing information about a Southern Baptist camp director and former SBC missionary who was indicted on child sex charges. Though I disagreed with Norman Jameson in his public comments on this case, I nevertheless think that Norman Jameson deserves better than to have someone like Gene play fast and loose with his name like that.

Here was Norman Jameson's comment/clarification on my own blog.

And as for Gene's own comments to me, his description of it as "advising restraint" is an understatement. By email, he (1) told me that he had one of North Carolina’s best criminal defense lawyers living right next door to him, (2) talked about lawsuits for “defamation of character” and said he didn’t want me “to run that risk,” and (3) said “It is possible [Carter’s] legal defense could come after you over false accusations which could quickly bankrupt you.”

Suffice it to say that I NEVER appreciate it when someone tries to convince me to remove something from the website or blog by suggesting that I might be sued if I don’t.

And suffice it to say that I also fail to appreciate Gene's sick joke emails. They aren't funny. Not one bit.

And let's not forget Gene's public question to me, asking "What part did your actions do in encouraging the situation to happen?" and saying "Did he do it by himself? I doubt it!" And then his suggestion that there might be "room to blame an infatuated teen girl" in the Stephen Carter case, and his argument about how "girls and boys in this day are are over-sexed."

Of course, Gene is just one example among many hundreds of the sorts of dysfunctional attitudes that those who try to report clergy sex abuse often encounter when they try to speak up in Baptist churches. It's why denominational review boards with expertise and training are needed, so as not to inflict such ignorance on the wounded and so as to relay more objective information to people in the pews.

Gene S said...

Christa--

"Though I disagreed with Norman Jameson in his public comments on this case, I nevertheless think that Norman Jameson deserves better than to have someone like Gene play fast and loose with his name like that."

I am not playing "fast and loose" with Norman Jameson's name. He, at my request, did the follow up article recently posted to the BR site. Neither of us is ignoring the case--we are just not passing judgement at this point.

"Suffice it to say that I NEVER appreciate it when someone tries to convince me to remove something from the website or blog by suggesting that I might be sued if I don’t."

As I have clearly stated above: "You run a great risk of having to spend money, far better spent promoting you worthy cause, in defending yourself from slander charges." Even if the charges were totally bogus (which they would be) there will be a lawyer to take the case and you will have to defend yourself at a high cost.

"And suffice it to say that I also fail to appreciate Gene's sick joke emails. They aren't funny. Not one bit."

Whenever you lose your sense of humor, things which are already bad get worse.

This is so real to you because you have been abused--and the abuser got the sympathy. You have made a worthy appeal to the SBC to do something about it--and they turned a deaf ear. It is even worse to rob anyone of their smile and chuckle. That is why I have tried to lighten some of these very serious discussions here with a good joke or story.

Jesus had a great sense of humor! How people must have laughed when he held a stick up to his eye and pretended to look for the speck of sawdust in his listerner's eye. I have illustrated it from the pulpit this way--and I bet Jesus did the same, if every detail of the story were told.

Jesus had a great sense of humor!

"And then his suggestion that there might be 'room to blame an infatuated teen girl' in the Stephen Carter case, and his argument about how 'girls and boys in this day are are over-sexed.'"

Christa, don't tell me there has never been a emotional element in any ministers relationship with any congregants of the opposite sex. Just like with the High School teacher who has an infatuated pupil ("Mr. Holland's Opus" is the classic example), that is a natural part of growing up. The sexually maturing teen always has someone of the opposite who is perceived as "safe" as a love object. When the older / wiser part of this relationship handles it wisely, growth and integrity reign. When the more mature person fails to do so, an innocent person's life is affected until their last breath!

It is just a part of life which should be acknowledged and dealt with.

Gene S said...

(cont.)

"Of course, Gene is just one example among many hundreds of the sorts of dysfunctional attitudes that those who try to report clergy sex abuse often encounter when they try to speak up in Baptist churches."

Christa, how dare you liable me in such a fashion!!!

I have stated above how I dealt with 2 abusive staff members by seeing to their dismissal even though it cost me brownie points with the women / girls being honored by the attention!

Had I been at the SBC meeting when you were shunned, I would have gladly taken the microphone in your defense. I would have clearly pointed out the problem as I have dealt with it--AND insisted they do something about it in an official way.

This last statement gets on my emotional nerve in a big way!!! BUT you can draw a circle and cut me out, YET I will draw a bigger circle and include you in mine, despite the insults!

I hope, one day, you will reach a level you can, once again, have a sense of humor, forgive your abuser, and restrain yourself from thinking every man is against you and others.

I hope I am being clear enough. I would welcome an apology should you see one as important to our relationship. I have already apologized above, but you continue to sic the ladies on me. That is sad to me personally.

In me, you have more of a friend and supporter than you and other women realize!

Christa Brown said...

"Jesus had a great sense of humor!"

I do not for one second believe that Jesus would have sent out a joke about a 13-year-old boy being sodomized by his school teacher.

I would not even begin to think about actually repeating the joke. . . or its punchline. . . but I still have Gene's last joke on my email system. It was sick.

And to connect that sort of "humor" with Jesus is appalling.

Gene S said...

I can't even make a statement like Jesus had a sense of humor without being judged and speculated upon.

People who have such a restricted sense of humor that, even something said in jest, becomes a soap box are trying hard not to laugh!

It reminds me of a lady who went to her pastor complaining of a constant headache. The Pastor asked a few questions:

"Do you drink or smoke?" was the first one. "Oh no," said the lady, "I would never do any of that! My church says it's wrong."

"Do you stay out late playing cards with your friends?" was the second question from the Pastor. "I wouldn't even think of it!" the lady said firmly. Gambling is another thing a good church member never does!"

Wrinkling his forehead, the Pastor asked another question: "Do you ever tell naughty jokes or stories to your friends or ladies in the beauty shop?"

"Oh no, I would never do anything like that either," said the lady, "I live a clean life and my tongue is always under complete control at all times!"

"Well, ma'am," said the Pastor with a knowing smile on his face, "I think I have figured it out as to why you have such headaches. It seems to me you just have your halo on a little too tight!"