Friday, September 9, 2011
“I was not asked to resign by the pastor or the elders.”
That’s what Southern Baptist music minister John Langworthy says in this August 2011 video, which shows him confessing to his Mississippi congregation that he had “sexual indiscretions with younger males.”
According to prosecutors, those “younger males” were between 8 and 12 years old.
Church officials claim that they previously conducted a confidential internal investigation of the accusations against Langworthy. Yet, despite Langworthy’s admission, despite multiple accusations in Mississippi, and despite accusations at Langworthy’s prior Dallas church, Langworthy “was not asked to resign by the pastor or the elders.”
Things get worse. Click the link at the top of the screen for the "full video" and keep watching . . . .
After Langworthy’s statement, the church’s senior pastor, Greg Belser, steps to the pulpit and explains. “We love God’s grace,” he says. Belser informs congregants that church officials made “a biblical response.”
Pastor Belser’s self-serving “biblical” justification serves to illustrate why Baptist churches are often a perfect paradise for preacher-predators. When recklessness is religiously rationalized, it becomes even more dangerous and even more inured to the suffering it inflicts.
Update: "Ex-minister faces multiple sex charges in small Mississippi town," Christian Post, 9/15/11 (Langworthy's "confession was reportedly kept secret within the walls of the church until just recently. . . . The ex-minister's confession video has gone viral after being posted on the blog site named Stop Baptist Predators."
Related post: Mississippi rep seeks secrecy for church
For more examples of how Southern Baptists can twist "God's grace" into a rationalization for unaccountability, see "On the Side of Grace" and "Greasy Grace."
Thanks to New BBC for the video.
Posted by Christa Brown at 3:57 PM
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Now . . . finally . . . over 20 years later . . . and with no-telling how many more kids this minister may have molested . . . Langworthy has been arrested. No thanks to Prestonwood.
I hope parents in Southern Baptist churches will ponder this. Prestonwood is one of the largest churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, and it has a former Southern Baptist president at the helm. This is how little some of the top-dogs in this denomination cared about your kids.
|Morrison Heights Baptist Church|
But with the help of its attorney, the church is saying “no dice.” It is refusing to divulge the information.
Rather than doing everything possible to cooperate with prosecutors and work for the protection of kids, Morrison Heights church officials are apparently trying to protect themselves.
Even if an argument for secrecy exists within the realm of legal possibility, that wouldn’t necessarily make it the morally right possibility. You might think a church would know the difference, wouldn’t you? The law and morality are different domains. Just because you can get away with something under the law doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is right.
Posted by Christa Brown at 8:32 PM