The SBC get’s #MeToo’d, sex abuse allegations for pronoun abuse, and military chaplains bring a lawsuit over forced vaccines… and more on today’s CrossPolitic Daily News Brief. My name is Toby Sumpter and today is Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Christianity Today, the failing flagship of lukewarm evangelicalism breathlessly broke a story over the weekend, alleging a massive cover up of abuse in the Southern Baptism Convention: “Armed with a secret list of more than 700 abusive pastors, Southern Baptist leaders chose to protect the denomination from lawsuits rather than protect the people in their churches from further abuse.
Survivors, advocates, and some Southern Baptists themselves spent more than 15 years calling for ways to keep sexual predators from moving quietly from one flock to another. The men who controlled the Executive Committee (EC)—which runs day-to-day operations of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—knew the scope of the problem. But, working closely with their lawyers, they maligned the people who wanted to do something about abuse and repeatedly rejected pleas for help and reform.
“Behind the curtain, the lawyers were advising to say nothing and do nothing, even when the callers were identifying predators still in SBC pulpits,” according to a massive third-party investigative report released Sunday.”
OK, people. Take a deep breath and think like a Christian. This is the same kind of language we’ve seen countless times over the last number of years, and you need to know that it is language that is calculated to get you worked up. I’m not saying anything yet about the legitimacy of any claims or accusations. I’m only talking about the set up. The set up is more #metoo outrage, which is not the way the Bible says to handle accusations of abuse or coverups. Don’t get dragged into the outrage mob. Click on the link to the so-called report, and what do we find? A trigger warning at the top of the report. Again, this doesn’t mean there isn’t anything in the report that needs to be addressed. I don’t know. I didn’t read the whole report. But what I will say is that we are living in a cauldron of hot outrage that far too many Christians are eager to jump into. And you need to know that the point of the outrage is to get you to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do, things you really shouldn’t do.
In the same way that racial animosity has been weaponized to foment social unrest, so too are accusations of sexual abuse. Is racial animosity ever happening? Yes, of course. Is sexual abuse ever happening? Unfortunately, yes. But what we need are biblical standards of justice not outrage mobs and extra biblical committees, more civil government intrusion, and various other humanistic solutions. So here are some key things to be looking for as this story unfolds: are clear distinctions being made between sins and crimes? Sins are bad, but they are the jurisdiction of families and churches. Crimes are also sins, but they must be reported to the police for adjudication. The other thing to watch out for is the necessity of two or three independent witnesses. If you have one witness who accuses and an alleged perpetrator who denies the charges, there is nothing that can be done. You are required by God to presume the innocence of the accused. It is not a cover up to refuse to do anything with an accusation of sin that has no other witnesses. If the accusation is of a crime, you must report it to the police, but believe it or not, they often follow biblical guidelines of justice and if there is no credible evidence of wrongdoing, they will not bring any charges, and it’s not a cover up, if you’ve reported a matter and done everything you can to find evidence and decide to leave the matter there.
Of course if this report has documented instances with multiple witnesses who are willing to testify and those accusations were shushed and swept under the carpet, then the appropriate authorities should be called to investigate and deliberate and rule. But what the SBC should absolutely refuse to do is create new committees of abuse awareness, abuse investigation, and certainly not allow state or federal government agencies into the workings of the church. A major part of this move over the last number of years has been to try to disqualify ordained ministers from doing the job Jesus assigned them to do. In the realm of sins, the minister of the gospel is authorized by Jesus to put things right, following Biblical due process guidelines. And when a minister of the gospel does that, He is not covering anything up. He is doing his job, and sin is being covered by the blood of Jesus, by Christian (which covers multitudes of sins), and no minister should ever apologize for doing that.
This year our national conference is in Knoxville, TN October 6th-8th. The theme of this year’s conference is Lies, Propaganda, Storytelling and the Serrated Edge. For many years, Christians have largely surrendered to secular stories. We have assumed that beauty is merely in the eye of the beholder, and therefore, it’s all relative. But what if beauty is objective – that if the art of persuasion is something far deeper and more profound? What if words have the power of life and death? What if our words mimic God’s words, making and breaking whole worlds? Christians must certainly stand on the solid rock of truth, but we must also recover goodness and beauty, stories and song, with all of God’s Word, even the sharp parts, at the center. Mark your calendars for October 6th-8th, as we fight, laugh and feast with fellowship, beer and Psalms, our amazing lineup of speakers, hanging with our awesome vendors, meeting new friends, and more. Early bird tickets sale now!.
Speaking of the lies and propaganda. This is From a listener: Three Wisconsin boys are facing sexual harassment charges from their middle school over accusations that they used incorrect gender pronouns on a fellow student.
“I received a phone call from the principal over at the elementary school, forewarning me; letting me know that I was going to be receiving an email with sexual harassment allegations against my son,” Rosemary Rabidoux, a parent of one of the accused, told Fox 11 News last week.
“I immediately went into shock. I’m thinking, sexual harassment? That’s rape, that’s inappropriate touching, that’s incest” Rabidoux continued. “What has my son done?”
But none of the concerns Rabidoux had were at issue. Instead, her 13-year-old son, Braden, was accused of using incorrect pronouns to address another student at Kiel Middle School.
“(The investigating principal) said he’s being allegedly charged with sexual harassment for not using proper pronouns,” Rabidoux said. “I thought it wasn’t real. I thought this has got to be a gag, a joke – one has nothing to do with the other.”
Now her son and two other boys are being charged by school officials with Title IV violations, which prohibits gender-based harassment.
The incident in question reportedly took place in March, when a student announced a preference of “they” and “them” to identify them.
But Rabidoux said her son was merely sticking up for one of his friends.
“She had been screaming at one of Braden’s friends to use proper pronouns, calling him profanity, and this friend is very soft-spoken, and kind of just sunk down into his chair,” Rabidoux said. “Braden finally came up, defending him, saying ‘He doesn’t have to use proper pronouns, it’s his constitutional right to not use, you can’t make him say things.’”
The mother told ABC 2 News that the new pronoun preference also caused confusion for her son, with her instructing him to just address the student by their name instead.
“It’s plural. It doesn’t make sense to him. I said so, I told him to call them by their names.” Rabidoux said.
Now the parents are calling on the charges to be dismissed through an attorney with the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.
A few things here: First off: get your kids out of public school. Make the sacrifice. Do whatever it takes. Second: remember that it’s these same crazy people who are accusing the SBC of sexual abuse cover-ups. Again, I’m not saying there’s nothing to it. But I’m just saying we should have all kinds of skeptical when Christianity Today (that bastion of orthodusty) breathlessly shares the latest gossip. Remember, Christian Today probably thinks you should use the pronouns and you’re being rude not to.
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US Chaplains have filed a lawsuit against all branches of the military, claiming their religious rights were denied.
Lakewood-based Yeshiva Perchei Shoshanim, a Torah observant endorser of Chaplains to the United States Military, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard has issued a letter that their Chaplians may apply for a religious exemption. However, the organization alleges that the Department of Defense across the board is virtually denying all religious applications to be exempt from having to vaccinate.
30 Chaplains from all branches of the service, including Air Force Chaplain Yirmeyahu Rodriguez, endorsee of Pirchei Shoshanim, have filed the lawsuit. Also named defendants, were the Secretary of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The action was filed in federal court in Tampa, FL.
Davis Younts representing the Chaplains, released a press statement Saturday on behalf of his client Lt. Bill Moseley, noting that a board of three Navy officers had vindicated Lt. Moseley’s refusal to take the vaccine. However with the information coming down that the Navy and all other services intend to require blanket implementation without any religious exemptions, Lt. Moseley risked his twenty-two year career and military retirement because of his faith and commitment to his oath of office as a military leader.
The lawsuit argues that members of the Chaplaincy should be allowed exemption on the basis of religion, and that it is not a lawful order to be required to take an experimental vaccine, especially since the particular version approved by the FDA is not even available to military members.
The fight for freedom continues apace. Pray for the chaplains in this fight.
Idaho Family Policy Center:
I wanted to let you all know about Idaho Family Policy Center. IFPC is currently the only explicitly Christian policy organization in Idaho politics. Toby Sumpter and Israel Waitman serve on the board, and the president is Blaine Conzatti, a member of our sister CREC church, Kings Congregation down in Meridian. Blaine and IFPC have been leading the efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, end abortion in Idaho, and protect children from the transgender agenda. Basically, Blaine is a really strategic voice in Idaho politics, and he represents many of our biblical and constitutional concerns in Boise. IFPC is a brand new ministry and as such is in significant need of donations to help fund it. I know we all have many commitments to other good ministries, but if you are particularly concerned about Idaho politics, this is one way you can have a very direct impact. Go to www.idahofamily.orgto learn more and make a donation
The Psalm of the Day: Psalm 65 – Tis By Thy Strength the Mountains Stand
This is Toby Sumpter with CrossPolitic News. Remember you can always find the links to our news stories and these psalms at crosspolitic dot com – just click on the daily news brief and follow the links. Or find them on our App: just search “Fight Laugh Feast” in your favorite app store and never miss a show. If this content is helpful to you, would you please consider becoming a Fight Laugh Feast Club Member? We are building a cancel-proof Christian media platform, and we can’t do it without your help. Join today and get a $100 discount at the Fight Laugh Feast conference in Knoxville, TN Oct. 6-8, and have a great day.