Thursday, February 1, 2007

Office of Ministerial Accountability

In response to one of my comments on the bbcopenforum blog, junk99mail suggested an SBC "Office of Ministerial Accountability and Integrity." Bravo! Great name and a much-needed office. The rest of junk99mail's 1/26/07 remarks are also insightful - so here they are again:
"I am so sorry to hear of the abuse you suffered, and the continual compounding of it by those in SBC leadership who would hide behind the doctrine of local church autonomy as an excuse for not helping prevent abusive ministers from continuing in ministry. I believe in the doctrine of local church autonomy, but I also think part of the intent of it is supposed to be to increase (not decrease) accountability, by ensuring that members and leaders are closely and connected to a local body of believers. So that doctrine is being abused each time it is given as an excuse for not doing the right thing. The autonomous SB churches cooperate to support their seminaries, publishing agencies, missions organizations, public policy organizations, etc. -- so there is no reason at all that a means could not be established to keep track of ministers with a record of abuse, or of any other form of misconduct. It's true that any office or agency set up for this purpose would not be able to prohibit any given local church from hiring someone with a bad record, but at least the information would be accessible to members and churches, as part of a routine background check. Just the opportunity to have the information would be an extremely positive step. SB churches give so much to the Cooperative Program -- I'm sure the safety of congregations, families, and children would be considered by SB church members to be well worth the relatively minimal funds it would take to establish a denominational "Office of Ministerial Accountability and Integrity." I got the impression from one of your posts that you have communicated with Richard Land on this need without success ... which disappoints me, as I would have expected that a man so committed to the protection of innocent unborn children to also desire to protect innocent born children as well."

3 comments:

junk99mail said...

Hi, Christa,
I'm glad to see that you saw my post, and I am honored that you chose to share it here. Was wondering what you thought of my suggestion to contact Mike Spradlin at Mid-America Baptist Seminary to see if he might be willing to help in this effort, or if he could point you to someone who could. And then there are 6 other SB Seminaries you could try also ...

Christa Brown said...

Thanks for the Mike Spradlin suggestion and contact info. I'll definitely give it some thought. Someday what I would really like to see is a group of Baptist lay-people who would organize something akin to the Catholic lay group Voice of the Faithful, which would be a means for concerned Baptist lay-people in churches across the country to unite and speak to this issue as a combined force.

Thanks also for getting up a link to my blog on the bbcopenforum site.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck, As a life long baptist myself, let me say that you are lucky to get Baptists to work together on something within their own church, much less with other churches