Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President on Abuse in the SBC

The following except is from an article written by Al Mohler who has been president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twenty-five years. In his article The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention, Al is discussing how the SBC has responded to reports of a high-level official’s attitude towards spouses in an abusive relationship and how God sees such things.

But the same Bible that reveals the complementarian pattern of male leadership in the home and the church also reveals God’s steadfast and unyielding concern for the abused, the threatened, the suffering, and the fearful. There is no excuse whatsoever for abuse of any form, verbal, emotional, physical, spiritual or sexual. The Bible warns so clearly of those who would abuse power and weaponize authority. Every Christian church and every pastor and every church member must be ready to protect any of God’s children threatened by abuse and must hold every abuser fully accountable. The church and any institution or ministry serving the church must be ready to assure safety and support to any woman or child or vulnerable one threatened by abuse.

The church must make every appropriate call to law enforcement and recognize the rightful God-ordained responsibility of civil government to protect, to investigate, and to prosecute.

A church, denomination, or Christian ministry must look outside of itself when confronted with a pattern of mishandling such responsibilities, or merely of being charged with such a pattern. We cannot vindicate ourselves. That is the advice I have given consistently for many years. I now must make this judgment a matter of public commitment. I believe that any public accusation concerning such a pattern requires an independent, third-party investigation. In making this judgment, I make public what I want to be held to do should, God forbid, such a responsibility arise.

The #MeToo moment has come to American evangelicals. This moment has come to some of my friends and brothers in Christ. This moment has come to me, and I am called to deal with it as a Christian, as a minister of the Gospel, as a seminary and college president, and as a public leader. I pray that I will lead rightly.

In Romans 1:18 we are told: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

This is just a foretaste of the wrath of God poured out. This moment requires the very best of us. The Southern Baptist Convention is on trial and our public credibility is at stake. May God have mercy on us all.

I would note that “suppressing the truth” includes refusing to investigate and/or discuss an issue.

2 thoughts on “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President on Abuse in the SBC

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  1. SBTS President: “The church and any institution or ministry serving the church must be ready to assure safety and support to any woman or child or vulnerable one threatened by abuse.”

    Is there any theological or legal significance to not stating “to assure safety and support to any man, woman or child or vulnerable one threatened by abuse.”?

    The term “vulnerable one” would also include a parent, grandparent, grandchild, foster child, etc.

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    1. I agree with your observation. I’d say this is a typical oversight based on the assumption that only women and children can be abused and not men.

      I’d change it to “any person threatened by abuse” because being vulnerable only makes it easier – non-vulnerable people can still be abused as well.

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