Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, urged the denomination to adopt a constitutional amendment that would create a committee that will help fight sex abuse.
Speaking at the SBC Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama on Tuesday, Floyd told the messengers gathered that they should adopt a measure to create a “Standing Credentials Committee” that would, among other things, help to process sex abuse claims.
“The Southern Baptist Convention does stand against all forms and actions of sexual abuse, viewing it as a horrific evil. As Southern Baptists, we must address this comprehensively and correctly,” said Floyd.
“Unquestionably and undoubtedly, we must make a clear, compassionate, convictional, and compelling statement about this issue in every way we can.”
Floyd touted the proposal, noting that the new committee “will help in cases where one of our churches takes any position that departs from our most deeply held doctrines and beliefs, including in matters involving human dignity, which, of course, includes sexual abuse.”
“Its creation will be perfectly in keeping with our Baptist polity, which includes both our belief in the absolute autonomy of the local church and the right of our Convention to define the terms of its fellowship with the churches it serves,” continued Floyd.
“The proposal recognizes that, given the challenges presented to us in a rapidly secularizing culture, the SBC needs to be ready to deal with any challenge to our integrity and our witness.”
Floyd said that the people of the SBC “lament any abuse that has ever existed in our churches or ministries” and “pledge to devote ourselves aggressively to promote, encourage, and provide the safest of environments for all children and the vulnerable who attend our churches and are part of our ministries.”
“Besides holding our standards of relationship high, we also believe the existence of this Standing Credentials Committee would reduce the possibility that any of our cooperating churches would be slandered or falsely accused on the floor of our Southern Baptist Convention in session,” he said.
Held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, the theme of the annual meeting was “Gospel Above All,” based off of 1st Corinthians 15:3-4.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski