A Recent Statement to the Baptist Press
On February 28 we submitted the following statement to the Baptist Press. In a story they posted last night, the BP quoted from our statement but we believe it is important to provide the statement in full.
We appreciate the opportunity to respond to the February 18 report by SBC President J.D. Greear. In that report, he and the Executive Committee of the SBC named 10 churches which, according to Baptist Press, may be “evidenc[ing] indifference to the crime of sexual abuse.”
With respect to Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville (SGCL), nothing could be further from the truth. We first want to stress that we support the amendment adopted by the SBC Executive Committee on sexual abuse, including the four criteria that would evidence indifference in addressing sexual abuse and in caring for survivors of abuse. Sexual abuse is a grievous sin that does unspeakable harm to its survivors and their families, and we are grateful for the attention being brought to this issue by the SBC.
We believe just as strongly that SGCL and its leaders are in full compliance with this proposed amendment. We were surprised to find our church’s name on the list produced by the SBC president. We had not been contacted by anyone in SBC leadership concerning this issue, nor are we are aware of any credible evidence that supports our inclusion on this list. Indeed, SGCL has worked diligently since its inception in 2012 to protect against sexual abuse and ensure the safety of all of its members. For example, (a) all of our pastors, staff, and children’s workers have undergone background checks and sexual abuse awareness training provided by a recognized authority in the area of sexual abuse; (b) our pastors are committed to, and have fully complied with, Kentucky laws which require the reporting of suspicions of sexual abuse.
Finally, we would stress that, within Sovereign Grace Churches, we are not aware of a single pastor guilty of—much less charged with or convicted of—sexual abuse or conspiring to cover up abuse. By God's grace this has been true for the 35+ year history of this group of churches. We have repeatedly and publicly denied--in the strongest possible terms--the false accusations that have been leveled against SGC and CJ Mahaney.
Despite our disagreement with being included on the list of churches mentioned above, we have reached out to the Bylaws Workgroup and look forward to answering any questions the workgroup has for us. We also trust that going forward this process will be undertaken in good faith and in a willing embrace of the truth, which the Lord requires of those who interact and cooperate based upon belief in His Son and under the authority of His Word. We are eager to have this issue resolved in order to remove the suspicion surrounding our church and the godly people the Lord has gathered here. Ultimately, our deepest desire is to fully give ourselves to the ministry of the gospel and continue serving our congregation, which includes many wonderful Southern Seminary and Boyce College students.