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I, for one would rather not dwell on the morbid. I am not denying that things like this happen, but do not see the need to drag them out and examine them as a simple point of interest on a message board. 

 Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

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My thoughts:

1. Sexual abuse is ALWAYS wrong and as a criminal act should ALWAYS have the proper authorities involved.

2. Whatever it is that you are referencing has nothing to do with the church that I am a member of.

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54 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I, for one would rather not dwell on the morbid. I am not denying that things like this happen, but do not see the need to drag them out and examine them as a simple point of interest on a message board. 

 Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

 

Good point Brother Foley.  These things have/do happen, but to rehash them over and over again, especially up here, is pointless, save for strife.

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4 hours ago, JustaSearcher said:

Opinions or thoughts on the Star-Telegram series from earlier this month on sexual abuse in IFB churches. Thanks!

The "report" is old news rehashing the last 30 years of "IFB" allegations ranging from real criminal concerns and abuse to mere hurt feelings of "he insulted me and made me feel worthless", in order to come up with around 200 "incidents". While this report uses what amounts to about ten or so problem churches enabling , passing around, and covering up these sex perverts. They use it to accuse over 6,000 Independent Baptist  churches, who have done nothing wrong, of being a cult where these things flourish. They are basically bringing it up again because they want to ride the media wave, and distract from the real scandal happening in the catholic church.

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19 hours ago, John Young said:

The "report" is old news rehashing the last 30 years of "IFB" allegations ranging from real criminal concerns and abuse to mere hurt feelings of "he insulted me and made me feel worthless", in order to come up with around 200 "incidents". While this report uses what amounts to about ten or so problem churches enabling , passing around, and covering up these sex perverts. They use it to accuse over 6,000 Independent Baptist  churches, who have done nothing wrong, of being a cult where these things flourish. They are basically bringing it up again because they want to ride the media wave, and distract from the real scandal happening in the catholic church.

Thank you for your answer. Sorry I haven’t been able to get back promptly given the holiday.

You sound like a very wise and knowledgeable young pastor, and I would ask if you could elaborate for me.

You say it’s ‘old news’, but I suspect much of which is revealed is not ‘old’ to the people involved. I read nothing of “mere hurt feelings’, I’m not sure what that is referring to. The number is under 200, however the number is growing with time. I saw nothing of ‘accusing 6000 IFB churches’ (first time I heard that number). I did see analysis of the underlying culture of said churches that makes it vulnerable to predators.

You write: “They are basically bringing it up again because they want to ride the media wave, and distract from the real scandal happening in the catholic church.”

That’s quite a serious charge. Do you have any evidence to substantiate this charge? Or is it merely conjecture?

Finally, you do not give any solutions as to how to avoid these types of crimes from taking place. Does your particular church have any safeguards in place to prevent this type of abuse?

Thanks so much, I appreciate your thoughtful answer.

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1 hour ago, JustaSearcher said:

You sound like a very wise and knowledgeable young pastor, and I would ask if you could elaborate for me.

Just curious, are you a reporter looking to get a quote for a story you might be running? It looks like you are on a fishing expedition.

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1 hour ago, Baptist_Bible_Believer said:

Just curious, are you a reporter looking to get a quote for a story you might be running? It looks like you are on a fishing expedition.

Ignores the other answers and pokes around at just this one....... wonder what kind of fishing rod, what grade line, what rig he is using?

Problem for the reporter is that when someone says "anything like this should be dealt with by the proper authorities" it doesn't make for a good story.

And yet, pretty much every Independent Baptist preacher I know would agree with that statement.

The very few that wouldn't need to be investigated by the proper authorities.

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10 hours ago, Baptist_Bible_Believer said:

Just curious, are you a reporter looking to get a quote for a story you might be running? It looks like you are on a fishing expedition.

No, I am not a reporter. 

I'm not sure why asking legitimate questions is a 'fishing expedition'. Questions are healthy, it's how we learn and share opinions.

8 hours ago, DaveW said:

Ignores the other answers and pokes around at just this one....... wonder what kind of fishing rod, what grade line, what rig he is using?

The other 'answers' did not address the OP. One 'answer' simply linked the Way of Life article. I am interested in what you  think. Not letting someone else think for you.

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On 1/1/2019 at 5:50 PM, JustaSearcher said:

Opinions or thoughts on the Star-Telegram series from earlier this month on sexual abuse in IFB churches.

Thanks!

I have been in many of these churches over the years. I never asked the pastors if their church had policies in place to respond properly if abuse does take place in their congregations. These kind of reports make me wish I had. I would love if this question could be answered now seeing how my family and I have many strong connections to Independent Baptist churches. There's a real family-oriented atmosphere there, will my family be safe if they continue to attend their church? 

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2 hours ago, JustaSearcher said:

No, I am not a reporter. 

I'm not sure why asking legitimate questions is a 'fishing expedition'. Questions are healthy, it's how we learn and share opinions.

The other 'answers' did not address the OP. One 'answer' simply linked the Way of Life article. I am interested in what you  think. Not letting someone else think for you.

So my answer didn't address the OP?

Absolutely wrong. It just didn't address it in a way that allowed you to respond in the way you want.

The point Independent Baptists are not an organized group. What happens in one church has no bearing on what another church is doing.

Kinda like saying you must have an opinion on murders in red brick homes because you live in a red brick home.

It has nothing to do with you except that live in a house built of the same stuff.

And the manner of your question certainly does appear to be a fishing expedition. You may not have intended that, but that is the way it looks.

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20 minutes ago, DaveW said:

So my answer didn't address the OP?

Absolutely wrong. It just didn't address it in a way that allowed you to respond in the way you want.

The point Independent Baptists are not an organized group. What happens in one church has no bearing on what another church is doing.

Kinda like saying you must have an opinion on murders in red brick homes because you live in a red brick home.

It has nothing to do with you except that live in a house built of the same stuff.

And the manner of your question certainly does appear to be a fishing expedition. You may not have intended that, but that is the way it looks.

Independent Baptists are not an organized group? I don't know about that. Every Independent Fundamental Baptist church I have been in are very proud of the fact, but all got along real well. You just know when you walked into a Independent Baptist church you were a part of a big, extended "family" or a community of sorts. Seldom do I recall ever getting up and leaving a church that had 'Independent, Fundamental, Baptist' on their sign because they're not part of the same group. When's the last time you had to walk out of an IFB church because they weren't apart of your group, you know, if you were visiting or something? Never happened here. If it was on the sign, my family was right at home. Just my thoughts. 

Edited by A Virtuous Woman
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Each IFB church is an "independent fundamental Baptist" church. They are autonomous, as there is no ruling body where all the churches report to. These churches may, and often do, belong to a "fellowship" where churches of like-minded faith and practice have a loose affiliation. What goes on in church A has no bearing on what is happening in church B, and there is no overseeing 'bishop' as you might find in a synod or presbytery.

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2 hours ago, Baptist_Bible_Believer said:

Each IFB church is an "independent fundamental Baptist" church. They are autonomous, as there is no ruling body where all the churches report to. These churches may, and often do, belong to a "fellowship" where churches of like-minded faith and practice have a loose affiliation. What goes on in church A has no bearing on what is happening in church B, and there is no overseeing 'bishop' as you might find in a synod or presbytery.

I hear that. But there is a shared set of standards, practices, and way of going about things that are unique to Independent Baptist churches that connects them more than a fellowship or name ever could. The Star-Telegram series pointed out where that was sadly translated to abuse of many, many victims. So, back to my original question...would my family be safe in their IFB church? The responses I'm seeing don't answer that question. If this report doesn't reflect the vast majority of Independent Baptists, then why aren't they boldly proclaiming that by putting protocols in place to prevent them from being a statistic? If I ask a pastor about that will they be able to reassure me they will? The standard operating procedure for IFB churches doesn't seem to suggest that. IFB claims to be independent, but this problem is within this community. Sexual abuse isn't a unique crisis, however, IFB's response is. It's not about the Catholic abuse scandal, it's about a sexual abuse crisis in Independent Fundamental Baptist churches. It's time pastors answer these tough questions. Too many families depend on their church being a safe place. 

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They are safer in an IFB church than they would be down at the bowling alley. I'd take your chances with the Bible-believers.

I mean, seriously, are there child predators in the public school system? Of course there are, but the media is not emphasizing those stories. We are in the last days, and these things are all part and parcel of the conditions before the Lord returns. Jesus said that it would be as it was in the days of Lot . . . and we see the homosexual agenda almost everywhere . . . don't go into a bathroom at Target stores . . . better off, stay away from Target all together.

Our local churches certainly need to be watchful, and not get themselves into a position where they have to hire people that are novices, and untested. As churches allow the state to dictate anything they do (such as in "Christian schools" the chances of bad eggs increase. But we need to face the reality that the Devil seeks to destroy the work of God anywhere and everywhere he can. Bible-preaching churches are high on his list.

Not all Israel are Israel, and not all Christians are Christians, and the Devil will always have his "angels of light."

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1 hour ago, Baptist_Bible_Believer said:

They are safer in an IFB church than they would be down at the bowling alley. I'd take your chances with the Bible-believers.

I mean, seriously, are there child predators in the public school system? Of course there are, but the media is not emphasizing those stories.

I'm sorry right now I'm not more convinced my family would be safer in their church. Not without the evidence to prove that. And the one thing public school systems have that churches don't...abuse trauma education. A pastor may be trained in "spiritual" aspects of his calling, but I have not seen where Independent Fundamental Baptist institutions dedicated to training them educate them on how to not only spot abuse, but how to properly respond. If these pastors are not getting the proper training than how can I know that they are prepared to handle these situations?

I don't personally feel that the media is directly zoning in on churches per se. Has there been more awareness on the topic of sexual abuse in religious settings, especially churches? Well, yes. I don't believe this is in a way to get in the way of "God's work". If anything, in this particular situation, Independent Baptists may just be getting in their own way by not getting ahead of the situation in the first place. Maybe it's time to consider doing a little soul searching at what the causes may be behind this? 400 allegations of abuse is sadly going to repeat itself again, over and over, if the church as a whole does not 1) validate victims by admitting they play a part in the problem; 2) admit that they may just not have all the answers and ASK for help. 

If this could ensure my family's safety, along with other families just like mine, than you would think now would be the opportunity IFB pastors and their churches would take to prevent even more hurt.

I don't believe with the proper education and holding themselves to a higher standard of accountability, that Independent Baptists would be responding the way they have, including not responding at all.

This tells me two things: their church reputation comes before victims--past and future--and reputation is the ultimate goal at preserving. So much for young girls and boys innocents? 

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1 hour ago, Baptist_Bible_Believer said:

They are safer in an IFB church than they would be down at the bowling alley. I'd take your chances with the Bible-believers.
 

You as well do not give any solutions as to how to avoid these types of crimes from taking place. Does your particular church have any safeguards in place to prevent this type of abuse?

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49 minutes ago, A Virtuous Woman said:

I'm sorry right now I'm not more convinced my family would be safer in their church. Not without the evidence to prove that.

 

28 minutes ago, JustaSearcher said:

You as well do not give any solutions as to how to avoid these types of crimes from taking place. Does your particular church have any safeguards in place to prevent this type of abuse?

You both claim to be Independent Fundamental Baptist on your profiles. Yet you both are demanding answers for solutions to these problems. Why don't you ask your own churches? If you want answers from us in addition to the answers your own churches then fine but first, perhaps you can introduce yourselves to the forum by posting your testimonies in the new members section. Who are you both? When and how were you saved? What churches do you go to? Are you involved at you local church? Perhaps if you both are more open about who you all are then the forum members may be more helpful.

Galatians 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

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1 hour ago, John Young said:

 

You both claim to be Independent Fundamental Baptist on your profiles. Yet you both are demanding answers for solutions to these problems. Why don't you ask your own churches? If you want answers from us in addition to the answers your own churches then fine but first, perhaps you can introduce yourselves to the forum by posting your testimonies in the new members section. Who are you both? When and how were you saved? What churches do you go to? Are you involved at you local church? Perhaps if you both are more open about who you all are then the forum members may be more helpful.

Galatians 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

You write: “They are basically bringing it up again because they want to ride the media wave, and distract from the real scandal happening in the catholic church.”

That’s quite a serious charge. Do you have any evidence to substantiate this charge? Or is it merely conjecture?

Finally, you do not give any solutions as to how to avoid these types of crimes from taking place. Does your particular church have any safeguards in place to prevent this type of abuse?

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1 hour ago, John Young said:

Yet you both are demanding answers for solutions to these problems. Why don't you ask your own churches?

I can only speak for myself, so I'm going to return to my original questions: Is my family, like many others, safe in their IFB church? Also, does your church understand the reality of sexual abuse and how trauma presents itself in victims, especially those that are the most vulnerable such as children? 

So far, I've been told a "Bible-believing" church is safer than a bowling alley. Do you understand how that answer is not really an answer at all? 

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And you both are ignoring the fact that no single person CAN answer your questions BECAUSE independent Baptist churches ARE INDEPENDENT.

I absolutely directly answered the initial post when I said that the proper authorities should be involved - although I didn't state it, that is the policy in the church where I am.

But because an independent Baptist church is independent I can not speak for any church but the one I am a member of.

I can tell you that was the same for each of the three churches that I have been a member of.

I have a question for the two of you.

Why are you both singling out independent Baptist churches?

There are many independent churches around - why exclude them?

There are many church groups around - why exclude them?

This singling out of only independent Baptist churches is what makes this seem fishy.

We KNOW that this kind of thing is not exclusive to independent Baptist churches, so why focus on them?

The Catholic church appears to have a systematic and organized way to hide and ignore the problem and not to even deal with it internally. The Anglican church has likewise had its issues with the problem. The Mormons have also has instances. The JW's have had instances. 

Schools have had many instances. The boy scouts have instances. 

And yet you both are focusing on independent Baptist churches only, even to the extent of attacking the other person who pointed out that others have the issue and to a far greater extent.

My answer was absolutely, 100% applicable to the original question, you just don't want to accept it because it does not allow you to continue with your story.

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My thoughts are that if these allegations are true it goes to show people are still sinners and need God's grace. Do you want strangers talking about your sins online? What if the allegations are not true? How can you be sure they are true? Why should I take the word of the supposed victims over the word of the supposed perpetraitors? 

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1 hour ago, JustaSearcher said:

That’s quite a serious charge. Do you have any evidence to substantiate this charge? 

 

54 minutes ago, A Virtuous Woman said:

Do you understand how that answer is not really an answer at all? 

Both of you are all take an no give in this conversation. Despite the fact that the rest of us were forthcoming you insist on answers from us while giving none of your own. Conversations don't work that way. Tell us about yourself. Introduce yourselves and maybe we'll talk more about it and our individual church policies. As it stands the only reason you both joined was to interrogate those on the forum about this hack job of a "report" and you really have no interest in being productive members here.

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The word “independent” appears to be used to refer to non-denominational.

The term "denomination" historically and generally refers to Protestant churches which came together for the sake of "denominating" themselves from other Protestant churches. “Independent, fundamental, Baptist” churches ARE a denomination because it is a name applied ("denominated") to these churches.

It has nothing to do with the form of church government. Each church is connected by a “Bible college” or a “camp”. That is a fact that cannot be dodged. I have seen it myself in several IFB churches in the various places I have lived.

One must go back in time to see a pattern in any group to judge the roles, norms and values of said group. Group patterns are revealed over time. When patterns of abuse are repeated, one is forced to ask why and what steps can be used to reverse it.

Which is what my question was to begin with.

Sincerity says 'we need to keep our own house and clearly we haven't been; let's work together to root out the predators and heal those who are hurt'.

Do you agree with that?

 

 

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2 hours ago, Propovednik said:

My thoughts are that if these allegations are true it goes to show people are still sinners and need God's grace. Do you want strangers talking about your sins online? What if the allegations are not true? How can you be sure they are true? Why should I take the word of the supposed victims over the word of the supposed perpetraitors? 

Some are allegations, yes. I do think it's important to include the word "credible" here, too, because they have been investigated. But even if we were to set aside those, there are still many, many criminal cases that have also been investigated by law enforcement, charged, gone to trial, convicted and sentenced. Those cases are reported on, printed in the perpetrators' local newspapers and published online for the public to see. So, relying solely on "allegations" isn't what has happened here at all. The Star-Telegram series was clear about how these cases each came about. 

As to all of your questions, I would ask this one in return...what if these allegations are true? Should you side on the possibility of the what ifs when minors are involved? You're not being asked to be judge, jury and sentencer. No, it's be the adult. Please, if you have any doubts on a person's character, do the safe thing, the RIGHT thing, and do not put children at risk. Surely, no one would be put at fault for protecting a child?

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2 hours ago, JustaSearcher said:

The word “independent” appears to be used to refer to non-denominational.

 

The term "denomination" historically and generally refers to Protestant churches which came together for the sake of "denominating" themselves from other Protestant churches.

Obviously using "appears to be" and "Protestant" shows me that you know very little if anything about Independent Fundamentalist Churches. What protestant body did we come out of?

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1 hour ago, A Virtuous Woman said:

Some are allegations, yes. I do think it's important to include the word "credible" here, too, because they have been investigated.

I'm sure Potiphar's wife was considered credible too, but look how that turned out. 

I'm sure your family is safer in an Independent Baptist Church than just about anywhere else. We promote teaching young ladies modesty, so they are less likely to be the target of perverts. We teach that men shouldn't be alone with girls and women, to protect both sexes. You show me another institution that does more to protect potential sexual abuse victims than Independent Baptists, and I'll eat my hat!

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1 hour ago, Baptist_Bible_Believer said:

Obviously using "appears to be" and "Protestant" shows me that you know very little if anything about Independent Fundamentalist Churches. What protestant body did we come out of?

I'm not going down any rabbit trails. The only reason I addressed the 'we're independent' response was to show it simply is illogical. IFB is a denomination according to the how word is interpreted and used in the English language. 

Could you please answer the question I posed:

Sincerity says 'we need to keep our own house and clearly we haven't been; let's work together to root out the predators and heal those who are hurt'.

Do you agree with that or not?

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And once again you have been answered clearly and absolutely by me.

Any allegations should be investigated by the proper authorities as a criminal act.

However, because we are INDEPENDENT CHURCHES - whether you like it or nor - no single person can speak for all Independent Baptist churches.

You show a clear lack of understanding of what an independent Baptist church is, which makes your claim to be an independent Baptist nothing short of a lie. I am sorry to be so blunt, but you cannot claim to be a part of something that you so clearly have no knowledge of.

And if you really were an independent Baptist you would understand that you arguments against the term are wrong.

So once more, every independent Baptist church I personally know of would not hesitate to get the proper authorities involved with any allegation of sexual abuse.

HOWEVER, as independent churches NO SINGLE PERSON OR BODY can speak for the group.

Whatever you say, independent Baptist churches are not a denomination in any organised sense, and there is no spokesperson, ruling body, or organized council to speak in the fashion which you seek.

Your manner, you arguments, and you mistaken understanding of what an independent Baptist church is all combine to indicate that you have nefarious motives.

Speak to us plainly of your background, your affiliations, and your purpose, and we might be more keen on discussion.

Many of us are more than happy to discuss with even those who are of opposing views, just so long as those people are honest and reasonable.

 

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6 minutes ago, DaveW said:

And once again you have been answered clearly and absolutely by me.

Any allegations should be investigated by the proper authorities as a criminal act.

However, because we are INDEPENDENT CHURCHES - whether you like it or nor - no single person can speak for all Independent Baptist churches.

You show a clear lack of understanding of what an independent Baptist church is, which makes your claim to be an independent Baptist nothing short of a lie. I am sorry to be so blunt, but you cannot claim to be a part of something that you so clearly have no knowledge of.

And if you really were an independent Baptist you would understand that you arguments against the term are wrong.

So once more, every independent Baptist church I personally know of would not hesitate to get the proper authorities involved with any allegation of sexual abuse.

HOWEVER, as independent churches NO SINGLE PERSON OR BODY can speak for the group.

Whatever you say, independent Baptist churches are not a denomination in any organised sense, and there is no spokesperson, ruling body, or organized council to speak in the fashion which you seek.

Your manner, you arguments, and you mistaken understanding of what an independent Baptist church is all combine to indicate that you have nefarious motives.

Speak to us plainly of your background, your affiliations, and your purpose, and we might be more keen on discussion.

Many of us are more than happy to discuss with even those who are of opposing views, just so long as those people are honest and reasonable.

 

Pardon me for butting in, but I have a question, something I’ve been wondering while reading this thread that your comment addresses. Is there something wrong with questioning things? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do in order not to be fooled, whether that be religious, political, etc? 

I also don’t mean to be rude, but you don’t seem very happy to discuss an opposing viewpoint. I understand the concerns about this person being a...what’s the word I want. A mole? Maybe? Idk. But if there’s nothing to hide then why is that a problem? Obviously if someone is going against forum rules that’s different but even if they are seeking questions for a report, aren’t they required to have permission to publish people’s answers? I just don’t understand what the issue is and I’d like to understand in more detail, if possible. 🙂 

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2 hours ago, Propovednik said:

I'm sure Potiphar's wife was considered credible too, but look how that turned out. 

I'm sure your family is safer in an Independent Baptist Church than just about anywhere else. We promote teaching young ladies modesty, so they are less likely to be the target of perverts. We teach that men shouldn't be alone with girls and women, to protect both sexes. You show me another institution that does more to protect potential sexual abuse victims than Independent Baptists, and I'll eat my hat!

The fact that "modesty" is referenced while talking about sexual assault is disturbing to me. I know and understand "standards", to each his own. But again, some of these victims are children. CHILDREN. If that's the view Independent Fundamental Baptists have embraced...well, frankly no words. I thought it was bad when I was young!

One last thing...how again does Potiphar's wife play a roll in all this? I'm fairly familiar with that story and she was the one that "tempted" Joseph, not the other way around. I'm not trying to read into your first comment, but if I'm correct at what my gut is saying, you're suggesting that victims--at least those mentioned in the Star-Telegram series--were not victims at all. Am I correct on assuming that? 

And again, I want to know protocols to prevent abuse? My family has the right to know if they are in fact worshipping with predators. Is that too much to ask?

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29 minutes ago, deborahofthebible said:

Pardon me for butting in, but I have a question, something I’ve been wondering while reading this thread that your comment addresses. Is there something wrong with questioning things? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do in order not to be fooled, whether that be religious, political, etc? 

I also don’t mean to be rude, but you don’t seem very happy to discuss an opposing viewpoint. I understand the concerns about this person being a...what’s the word I want. A mole? Maybe? Idk. But if there’s nothing to hide then why is that a problem? Obviously if someone is going against forum rules that’s different but even if they are seeking questions for a report, aren’t they required to have permission to publish people’s answers? I just don’t understand what the issue is and I’d like to understand in more detail, if possible. 🙂 

I don't have a problem and have answered the question three times now.

Any instance of sexual abuse in the church that I am currently a member of will have the proper authorities involved to investigate it as a criminal act. If I have to make it this plain - it will be reported to the police for a full legal investigation.

However, as I have repeatedly said, it is not possible for any one person to answer the question in the way that the OP wants, because of the simple fact that we are independent Churches.

The fact that the OP in particular will not accept that as a valid answer is what leads to us being suspicious. To allay those suspicions the OP needs to provide some sort of evidence that he does not have nefarious motives, because it look that way right way to me and to others here.

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