In 2 Timothy 3:5-7, the Apostle Paul warned Timothy to watch out for those “holding to a form of godliness, but having denied its power.” Keep away from them, Paul said. “For among them are those who enter into households and take captive weak women weighed down with sins, being led on by various passions and desires, always learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth.”
As I come back again to examining the liberal drift of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), this second article will consider the sex abuse politics that were played at the annual meeting, held June 14-15 in Anaheim, CA.
I meant to publish Part 2 of this series last week. However, as some of you know, I was unjustly banned from Twitter. All the links to quotes and videos I had saved there are gone. It has taken me a little while to recover some of that information. But other things have happened since then, causing this article to grow.
I have been responding to seven questions asked by Dr. Nate Brooks, professor of Christian Counseling at Reformed Theological Seminary. In Part 1, I responded to his first three questions, having to do with liberalism, the presidential race, and the acceptance of women “pastors.” In this second part, I’m going to focus only on question 4, having to do with political games in the SBC.
Questions 5 and 6 have to do with homosexuality and abortion. A friend of mine is working on a video that will expose some of the ways homosexuality is being accepted in Southern Baptist Churches. I’m going to wait for him to finish that video and come back to that subject next week.
To understand liberalism and the signs of drift, I refer you back to Part 1 of my article, published June 22 (you can read by clicking here). Let’s consider how the widely covered “sex abuse crisis” has contributed to the drift. Picking up where I left off:
QUESTION 4: Did the SBC Play Abuse Politics?
It’s interesting to note here that this is the only one of Dr. Brooks’ 7 questions where he did not give a yes or no answer. My answer is yes, the SBC has been playing abuse politics. Consider that Dr. Russell Moore, former president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), sat on sex abuse allegations for over a year and then “leaked” them in May ’21 to prevent Mike Stone from becoming president of the SBC. In Moore’s own words, “These are mafia tactics,” and he played them.
Now, I don’t doubt that there are people on the other side of the aisle from Moore and the liberal drifters who have also played abuse politics. The Guidepost investigation accused the Executive Committee of stonewalling and covering up sex abuse, and it would not surprise me if that is indeed true. But that would still prove my point. While there are people who genuinely care for sex abuse victims, there are others playing the sex abuse issue (and using victims) to their advantage, and falsely accusing their opponents in the process.
There is a particular matter that Dr. Brooks had in mind when he asked and responded to this question. That matter has to do with my church’s senior pastor, Dr. Tom Buck, and his wife, Jennifer. “The twists and turns and allegations in this situation are many,” Dr. Brooks said. But as I have been personally involved in this story, let me give you a brief summary of events.
In March, I and another elder from our church were with Tom when he privately approached Willy Rice with a matter of urgent concern. Rice, pastor of Calvary Church in Florida, was running for president of the SBC at the time. If he won, he would be expected to lead the reform initiatives recommended to the SBC in the wake of the sex abuse scandal that made national headlines.
Tom discovered Rice had a deacon at his church who had sex with a student while that deacon was a teacher in a public school years before. Rice knew of that deacon’s former sins, and made him a deacon anyway. Tom first consulted with Rachael Denhollander, who verified that Tom acted immediately and did not sit on this for a political advantage, unlike what Russell Moore did.
Long story short, Rice withdrew his name from consideration as SBC president. But not before a plan was hatched to blackmail Tom in retaliation. Someone connected with Rice had obtained a rough draft of an article by Tom’s wife Jen, who had written about the struggles they had early in their marriage, specifically a trial they went through while Tom was in seminary (this was before he became a pastor). In the draft, Jen recalled a moment when Tom smacked her arm, and that was when Tom realized he needed help with his anger issues.
The two were reconciled to one another in a beautiful story of Christ redeeming a marriage. Jen did eventually publish her story through G3—you can read it here. However, that first draft mentioned more than Jen intended to have published, including details to sex abuse before she ever met Tom. She never wanted that to be made public—she was just jotting down thoughts to have someone help her write her article.
The person she and Tom had asked for help was Karen Swallow Prior, professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). Prior was the only one who was given Jen’s rough draft. Somehow that draft made it from Prior to someone else who circulated it among many others in an attempt to use it against Tom to keep him silent. The private story of a sex abuse victim was distributed to use for political blackmail. (Hear the whole story in an interview Tom and Jen did with Justin Peters here.)
Tom and Jen attempted to track down the person who distributed her draft, but who would help? Prior said things that made it sound like it was Tom and Jen’s fault. Todd Benkert, pastor of Oak Creek Community Church, lied to Tom about Benkert’s acquisition of the draft. Rob Collingsworth of Criswell College has refused to tell Tom who gave him the draft. Southeastern refused to do an independent investigation stating the matter was closed, after receiving an anonymous e-mail from a couple claiming they were the ones who circulated Jen’s draft.
Despite all of this, Dr. Brooks said, “Our convention decided to trust the testimony of those who have faithfully backed survivors for years rather than the calls for an independent investigation from a group who has consistently bullied survivors online, harassed our seminary leadership, identified with neo-confederates, insinuated that the SBC has gone apostate, and argued that women should not be allowed to receive M.Div degrees from our seminaries.”
Who consistently bullied survivors online? Who identifies with neo-confederates? What in the world is he talking about? A sex abuse survivor’s story was used as blackmail. Dr. Brooks’ responded, “Who cares?”
That statement right there is Dr. Brooks playing abuse politics. I care a great deal about victims of sex abuse. But the liberal drifters seem to care only about certain kinds of survivors. Jennifer Buck was just not the right kind of survivor. I’ll come back to the abuse politics in just a moment.
To Play or Not to Play
While I have your attention on political games, consider a Baptist 21 panel hosted Tuesday morning before the annual meeting officially began in Anaheim. On the panel were the two most prominent presidential candidates—Tom Ascol and Bart Barber—as well as Danny Akin (president of Southeastern Seminary), Juan Sanchez (who would be delivering the convention sermon), Dana McCain (Vice Chair for the Committee on Resolutions), and Albert Mohler (president of Southern Seminary).
Near the end of the one-hour panel, Dr. Ascol had to leave to speak at a breakfast. Immediately after his departure, Dana McCain spoke up to oppose Dr. Ascol. McCain is a political columnist for the Birmingham News. I remember her speaking passionately at last year’s annual meeting in Nashville when she tearfully opposed the notion that women who get abortions are guilty of murder. McCain waited until Dr. Ascol was out of the room before she said the following:
“I’ll tell you this, I’m a lot like Bart in what I see in my local church and what I know of our seminaries, I am so proud to be a Southern Baptist. But at the same time, I’m a little bit interesting in that I’m an outlier in this discussion, in many ways in this room because I’m a layperson, and I work in the secular media and politics. And so I’m out there every day crossing swords with the secular left. And to hear people within this convention point fingers at their brothers in Christ, who are theological conservatives, and accuse them of being the secular left, makes my eyes roll all the way back in my head.” (Audience applauds.)
This is a strawman argument. McCain is giving the impression of refuting an argument, but the actual argument is being replaced with a false version of the argument that’s easier for her to knock over. I don’t know of anyone pointing fingers at brothers in Christ and accusing them of being the secular left. If McCain has actual examples, she needs to give them. Otherwise, she’s making false accusations, which she’s accusing “the other side” of doing.
The concern is not that these “theological conservatives” are actually “the secular left.” Rather, there are leaders who claim to be theological conservatives, but they have embraced liberal ideologies. I gave an example in Part 1. I don’t doubt that Danny Akin is a theological conservative by confession. But he has embraced and teaches at his school standpoint epistemology, which is opposed to believing in the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, which Dr. Akin claims to value. He has professors who think and teach the same way. This is evidence of liberal drift.
So again, McCain is not framing the argument fairly when she says that conservative Baptists are slandering brothers in the Lord by calling them “the secular left.” The audience applauded her strawman take-down. But they may not have been aware that she was calling out Tom Ascol and his supporters. Listen next:
“I do business with those people every day. They are not in this building. They are not here. And I have seen so many lies of that nature hash-tagged ‘Change the Direction,’ in the last few months as to really sour me on that whole idea.”
“Change the Direction” was Tom Ascol’s campaign hashtag. That’s who she’s calling out.
Now, if McCain means to say that there is no one in the building who is on the left side of the political aisle, that would not be true. There are Democrats in the SBC. According to the common nomenclature, the Democrats are the political left (this is not the same thing as calling them “the secular left”). According to Pew Research, at least a quarter of Southern Baptists admit they are Democrats. More than half of those SBC Democrats believe homosexuality should be accepted by the convention.
While the vast majority of the SBC confess to being political conservatives, there are Southern Baptist Democrats who have held influential positions. Steven Harris worked for the ERLC before resigning and volunteering for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Representative Al Green, the first to call for articles of impeachment against President Trump, is a Democrat and Southern Baptist. I have had exchanges on social media with Southern Baptist pastors who told me they voted for Joe Biden.
The reason I point this out is because McCain was not being truthful when she A) misrepresented the arguments of conservatives, and B) claimed that there are not people in the building who are ideologically on the left. She was either out of touch or deliberately dishonest. Either way, it was unkind of her to say this behind Tom Ascol’s back. This next part gets especially schemey:
“The way we are doing business among brothers and sisters in Christ within this convention is so rawly worldly and so political that it hurts me. It hurts me. I feel such a darkness when I am here, y’all, it hurts me to say that.”
(This sounds exactly like Beth Moore.)
“It hurts me to say that. And I don’t know how to fix it. When we have groups across the hall hatching plans to change the order of business and tilt the power in raw political gamesmanship kinds of ways, that’s what’s broken right now in the Southern Baptist Convention. And we’ve got to get on our knees before the Lord and fix it, with humility and with honesty. Real honesty. And we’ve got to start treating our brothers and sisters in Christ with the respect and the honor that they deserve.”
This was not true, and McCain was being disrespectful toward her brother in Christ. When Dr. Ascol left, he went across the hall to a breakfast with the Conservative Baptist Network. McCain accused them of hatching a political ploy to change the order of business in order to get Dr. Ascol elected president. That was not happening across the hall. I talked to almost a dozen people who were in that room, and they all told me no such plan was in the works. I’ll come back to that here in just a moment. Let me finish out McCain’s comments:
“We can debate these issues on the merits, I’m fine with that. Debate is what I do. I’m a political columnist. I’m not afraid of a good debate. But we’ve gotta debate in spirit and in truth within the body of Christ. But we’ve gotta debate in spirit and in truth within the body of Christ. And we’re losing our grip on that, guys. We’re turning into a wing of a political movement that is of this world rather than the people of God who are on a Great Commission movement. We’ve gotta get it back.”
If McCain is not afraid of a good debate, then why did she wait until Dr. Ascol had left the platform to make these accusations of him? If she believes we must debate the truth, then why accuse Dr. Ascol of something that wasn’t true? Just minutes before Dr. Ascol left, he said something that Bart Barber disagreed with. Barber looked at Dr. Ascol and said he disagreed and explained why. That was a fine, brotherly disagreement. Why couldn’t McCain do that? Did she not just say we need to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with respect and honor?
Instead, McCain perpetuated a rumor that the Conservative Baptists were “hatching plans” to “tilt the power in raw political gamesmanship kinds of ways.” Where this rumor began is hard to say. Earlier that morning, Griffin Gulledge, pastor of Madison Baptist Church in Madison, GA, said on Twitter: “There’s a plan to change the agenda and move the presidential election to the very beginning so that Tom [Ascol] can win right from the start without the room being full. Be in the room. This is pure manipulation of our system.”
Danny Akin, who had been sitting on the platform right next to Ascol, shared Gulledge’s rumor on Twitter after Dr. Ascol left. Dr. Akin said, “I pray this is not true. But, we all need to be in the hall at 8:00 anyway to do the SBC’s and God’s business.” Bart Barber also spread the rumor, and he “liked” a comment by Erin Harding who accused Ascol of deceit.
SBC Voices also participated in the gossip. They said, “CBN breakfast is happening now. The report is that they are going to go over, en masse, at the beginning of the morning session. They are going to seek to move the PRESIDENT ELECTION!”
Joel Ascol, Tom’s son, said his phone started buzzing while they were at the breakfast. One friend said, “Hey man, [Griffin Gulledge] just said your dad and CBN are gonna try to change the schedule.” Then pastors at the CBN breakfast started coming up to Joel and asking him about it. The breakfast was packed. How were they going to get Tom Ascol elected president when everyone who could have voted for him was at the breakfast—where they were supposedly hatching a plot to move the order of business?
I did not see one apology when that whole spectacle was proven false. And the games were completely unnecessary. The liberal drifters had the votes. Conservatives didn’t win anything they came to Anaheim to achieve. Barber defeated Ascol 60/40. The drifters would have won straight-up. But they chose to be conniving and unkind.
This was not the first time Gulledge has been in the middle of something like this. Last year in Nashville, he used an alleged sex abuse survivor to gossip about presidential candidate Mike Stone in tweets that Gulledge has since deleted (he also deleted the tweets accusing conservatives of manipulation in Anaheim). Stone was narrowly defeated by the plagiarist, Ed Litton. Who knows how much the Gulledge gossip affected the results.
Crisis or No Crisis
A sad aspect of these political games is that many Southern Baptists cannot be bothered to actually investigate how credible the accusations are. Just the fact that there’s an accusation is enough for most people to determine guilt. Who tested Gulledge, McCain, Brooks, or Moore’s accusations? Were they telling the truth, or was this “a morbid interest in… evil suspicions and constant friction”?
Bring this back to the sex abuse scandal in Southern Baptist churches. Ask yourself honestly—How much of a crisis was this, really? Do you know what the numbers are?
Or because it was reported in the mainstream media, acknowledged by Southern Baptist leadership, became a focal point of the last few annual meetings, whistleblowers blew whistles, Russell Moore leaked letters, abuse victims cried tears, Beth Moore spouted off on social media, an investigation was voted on by the messengers, and a sex-abuse task force was assembled, you’re convinced the Southern Baptists are at least as bad as the Catholics?
The investigation that was done by Guidepost Solutions resulted in a 288 page report of their findings. Wow, 288 pages. Surely they mentioned all kinds of instances of sex abuse cover-up, right?
On pages 4 and 5, Guidepost discovered that August Boto, former vice president and general counsel for the Executive Committee, had a staff member who “was maintaining a list of accused ministers in Baptist churches, including the minister’s name, year reported, relevant news articles, state, and denomination.” The list “contained the names of 703 abusers, with 409 believed to be SBC-affiliated at some point in time.”
Guidepost went on to say, “Our investigative team reviewed the list and conducted significant research to assess whether any of the alleged abusers were still associated with an SBC church. Based on these efforts, it appears that nine (9) people remain in active ministry or connected to ministry. Two (2) of those people appear to be associated with an SBC church. The remaining seven (7) appear to be associated with churches that are not SBC-affiliated. We will provide this information to the Credentials Committee for further review, including whether the seven additional churches mentioned above are in fact non-SBC affiliated. We will also continue to review the latter material to determine whether any referrals or other action needs to be taken.”
So again, out of 409 abusers going back decades, only 9 are connected with an active ministry in any way. Only 2 are in a SBC church. From 409 accused down to 2 active. Do you know what that looks like to me? It looks like most autonomous Southern Baptist churches did their jobs, and this is not really the “crisis” everyone has been saying that it is.
You have a 1 in a 100 chance of walking into a Southern Baptist church where sex abuse by a volunteer or staff member happened in that church sometime in the last few decades. And that’s a loose estimate, granting that there’s surely abuse that goes unreported. By the numbers we know, it’s more like 1 in 125. By comparison, one in ten public school students claims to have been sexually abused at school. One in ten!
There is no way to completely eradicate any and all forms of abuse from happening in Southern Baptist churches. We live in a fallen world full of sinful people—sin will happen. We must continue preaching law and gospel, and follow what the Bible says about how to deal with sin.
If someone is guilty of abuse that amounts to a crime, he or she must be turned over to the local authorities (Romans 13:1-5). If abuse occurs that’s certainly sinful but not criminal, the church must exercise church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17). If an elder has committed abuse, he must be reproved in the presence of all, but do not accept a charge against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19-20).
The Bible gives us everything we need to deal with these issues, even to convict abusers and heal the abused. So why did the SBC call for an outside third-party to investigate a crisis that’s not that big of a crisis? “I say this to your shame,” says 1 Corinthians 6:5. “Is it really this way, that there is not one wise man among you who will be able to pass judgment between his brothers?”
As for what’s in the other 286 pages of the report, there was nothing groundbreaking, other than an accusation against Johnny Hunt that was not previously known (why had he not been investigated given his financial connections with Ravi Zacharias’ massage parlors?). A dozen or so pages were given to how the SBC is structured; the widely-covered story of how Paige Patterson handled a sex-abuse accusation was over 10 pages; the Jennifer Lyell story was over 30 pages—in short, it was not page after page of sex abuse cover-up.
The report contained a lot of editorializing, not honest investigation. For example, the report said something like, “We considered so-and-so’s account to be credible,” or “We do not consider so-and-so’s statements to be credible.” Whether or not you consider someone’s statements to be credible is not proof of wrongdoing.
About the Guidepost report, Megan Basham of The Daily Wire said the following:
“Lyman Stone, demographer at the Institute for Family Studies, told me the actual data contained in the abuse report, the result of an eight-month investigation by Guidepost Solutions, does not come close to meriting the hyperbolic terms that are peppering coverage in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN
“‘Statistically speaking,’ he said, ‘there were not that many cases. This is not actually that common of a problem in this church body.’
“Stone went on to estimate that there are about 100,000 to 150,000 staffers in SBC churches, but many thousands more volunteer in their ministries. Of all the allegations that Guidepost investigators reviewed, they found only two that appear to involve current SBC workers.”
“‘If you wanted to argue that based on this report, executives of the SBC mismanaged the cases that were brought to them, then fine,’ Stone said. ‘But if you want to say this shows that [the SBC] is corrupt, hypocritical, and rife with sexual abuse—the report doesn’t demonstrate that.’
“Stone added that he was shocked that Guidepost investigators only found two current cases, given how many exist in the general population. ‘I mean, if I had been betting beforehand, I would have bet for a couple of hundred,’ he said. ‘Because if you’re talking about 100,000 to 150,000 people who are disproportionately men, just your baseline rate of sex offenders tells you, you should have gotten a couple thousand sex offenders in there just by random chance.’
“He concluded that while the report may show the need for reforms in responding to allegations, it does not show an endemic problem of sexual abuse, adding, ‘It is important to distinguish these.'”
Basham went on to question something almost no one wants to touch—among the alleged abuse victims mentioned in Guidepost’s report, are their stories true? However you feel about that question, it is a godly question. If someone claims to have been sexually abused, then they’re accusing someone of sexual abuse. The accused has as much right to a fair hearing as the accuser. Due process is right and biblical—innocent until proven guilty.
Deuteronomy 19:15-19 says, “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; at the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter shall be established… If the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.”
Basham looked into “the most prominent allegation of abuse” in the SBC report, the story of Jennifer Lyell. She said that story alone “should set off alarm bells for anyone interested in maintaining a biblical standard of justice.” (I won’t go into further details, but I recommend that you read the whole story here. Edit: Since writing this article of mine, Lyell’s dishonesty and manipulative tactics have become more exposed. Read Ron Henzel’s article here.)
Jacob Denhollander, Rachael’s husband, had a fit on social media yesterday over Basham’s article, swearing and calling her a “hack journalist.” Childishly, he posted a comic that compared Basham to a nagging sea lion with the caption, “Go away, Megan.”
Basham replied, “I have no problem hashing out critiques of my Guidepost story. I’m open to hearing if you think something in it is unfactual. But what’s not fair is throwing out insults, then sneering ‘go away’ when I defend my work. I know it gets cheers from your crowd. But it’s cheap.”
Dr. Akin got involved and said, “I am extremely disappointed in the attacks and misrepresentations of what happened to Jennifer Lyell. I know how well this was investigated by Albert Mohler and SBTS. Victims of sexual abuse should not be abused repeatedly on Social Media, especially by followers of Jesus.” (Where was that concern for Jennifer Buck? Where’s the investigation on her behalf? Again, Jen Buck was just not the right kind of survivor.)
Questioning the validity of the story of alleged sex abuse is not “attacking” the victim. It’s actually doing justice for the alleged abuser and the one claiming to be abused. But Jacob lashed out at anyone who would believe Basham’s article, saying, “You get to live your lives abstracted from it all, but this sort of trauma doesn’t get put away in the cupboard for them at the end of the day.”
As if the only people who would ever ask questions about the legitimacy of the Guidepost report are people who have never experienced sex abuse. That’s absurd. One in every six men and one in every six women have experienced sexual abuse or assault, whether as children or adults—even people who disagree with the way the SBC sex abuse matter is being handled, as hard as that is to believe.
What’s happening here is the rotten fruit of intersectionality—taking social and moral credibility away from the “privileged” (in this case, men) and entitling the “oppressed” based on intersecting points in their identity. People, particularly women, become experts and authorities simply because they claim that they are victims.
Consider the ways that some of the alleged SBC abuse survivors have attempted to assert authority over me, regarding matters completely unrelated to whatever happened to them. Jules Woodson accused me of being an abuse enabler because I pastor with Tom Buck, whom she claims is permanently unqualified as pastor because he slapped her arm while in seminary (meanwhile, Woodson has been on social media offering to drive women to get an abortion). Another, Christa Brown, called for the SBC to remove me as pastor because I listed sins that the Bible says are worthy of death (Leviticus 20:9-16, Romans 1:18-32), even though I said, “Turn from your sin to Jesus Christ, and live.”
These are the people who are in control of the Southern Baptist Convention. Though they are few and hold no authority, everyone is scared of them, and no one will dare challenge them. Just for asking questions, you will be ostracized as being heartless and uncaring. You will not hold any positions of authority or serve on any committees, unless you’re willing to go along with the new narrative. They gained this power playing abuse politics.
The outcome of at least the last two annual meetings was steered by abuse lawyer Rachael Denhollander. After last year’s meeting in Nashville, Jacob said, “In the space of 3 years, Rachael Denhollander basically single-handedly introduced the phrase ‘third-party investigation’ into the wider vocabulary of Christians, showed how it could be done, and now has helped the largest denomination in the country do the right thing… in a denomination we don’t even belong to.”
Do the right thing how? Exactly how have sex abuse victims been helped by anything that has been done in the SBC (other than Jennifer Lyell—she got a million dollars)? The greatest thing Rachael accomplished was she brought a third-party, non-Christian organization in to investigate the SBC, and they wrote a report that did not practice any biblical standards of justice. This is not based on what the Bible says; it is based on feelings and emotionalism: “I feel like Jennifer Lyell is the right kind of survivor, but Jennifer Buck is not.”
All of this is evidence of liberal drift. Go back to the characteristics of liberalism that I listed in my previous article. Two of those characteristics were, “True religion is not based on external authority,” and “Christianity is a movement of social reconstruction.” That is evidenced in these sex abuse politics. If the people in charge of reforms in the SBC actually cared about sex abuse victims, they would be following what the Bible says, not appealing to subjective feelings and speculation, and certainly not appealing to non-Christian third-parties. They would have the fear of God, and not the fear of man—or perhaps, the fear of woman.
It is astonishing how much influence Rachael Denhollander has over the SBC. Whenever you read a story in mainstream news regarding sex abuse connected to a church or an evangelical group, which names are you most likely to see referenced as experts? Just about every story I read will quote either Boz Tchividjian or Rachael Denhollander (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3). Boz recommends Rachael and Rachael recommends Boz and they both recommend Guidepost Solutions… who fund LGBTQ+ pride causes!
But I’ll get to that next time, God willing.
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Bear with me in a little foolishness… For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy” (2 Corinthians 11:1-2). I know a Southern Baptist pastor who has cared for many people who have been sexually abused. He has helped get the abused to safety. He sat face to face with rapists and pedophiles, even right next to them in their jail cells, telling them to repent of their sin and turn to Christ before they fall under the judgment of God.
He has counseled the embittered, hardened by the abuse they endured. He told them to humble themselves, helping them to understand they were not saved just because they were victims. If they did not come to Jesus, they would go to the same place their abusers would go at the final judgment. But in Christ they would be forgiven, and they would find the healing and strength to forgive those who had sinned against them.
This pastor has wept with the broken and hurting, counseling with the holy Scriptures, for there are no words of hope greater than what God has spoken in the Bible. The pastor was abused and his wife was abused, before they met. But the Lord Almighty has been their redeemer (Isaiah 54:4-5).
“On behalf of such a man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:5). I have been guilty of sexual sin. But by the grace of God, I have been forgiven. Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin, He rose from the grave for my justification. All who believe in Him will be forgiven and have everlasting life.
Beware those who have a form of godliness but deny the power of the gospel to transform hearts and lives, to heal the hurting and mend the broken. They capture weak women burdened by various sins, using them for their own political advantage. “But they will not get very far,” Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:9, “for their folly will be obvious to all.”
This article has been added to since first published. Nothing that was previously published has been removed. My thanks to Megan Basham, Tom and Jennifer Buck, and Justin Peters who contributed to this article.