Sovereign Grace Churches will not launch a third-party investigation into how the church network has handled accusations of sexual abuse despite allegations church leaders covered up and mishandled claims of sexual misconduct.
SGC, a network of over 70 reformed charismatic churches previously known as Sovereign Grace Ministries, released a statement last week explaining why it will not launch an independent investigation into allegations of sex abuse cover-up.
“We are not saying that external investigations are never appropriate,” the SGC statement reads. “Rather, we do not think one is appropriate given the present circumstances, in which scandalous allegations have been made publicly against a limited number of parties, without providing credible evidence or based upon any substantive findings by criminal or civil authorities.”
Sexual abuse advocates had called for an independent investigation to determine if abuse had been covered up and if abusers were protected by SGC leaders.
Those critical of SGC feel the network may be hiding behind a legal technicality that led to the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the network, two churches, and 10 church leaders. They believe an independent third-party investigation would expose all the facts.
While an independent investigation may sound like a “reasonable” request, the Sovereign Grace Leadership Team said, they came to the recent conclusion that such a review would be “inappropriate and impractical.”
In the statement, the church network stressed that the leadership team’s conclusion not to launch a third-party review was reached through the consultation of the SGC Executive Committee and a wide-range of pastors, attorneys, and Christian leaders.
SGC assured that the decision does not mean that the church network isn’t taking the allegations presented seriously or that the network is insensitive to the seriousness of sexual abuse.
“We want the truth to be known about these allegations, we have spent years investigating them, and we have sought to answer as many questions as possible surrounding these events,” the statement reads.
The statement included a link to a lengthy frequently-asked-questions page posted last week.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith