Earlier today, SBC Voices published a piece entitled, “Mike Stone’s Campaign Story – An SBC Case Study Not to be Repeated.” The first half of the title is inaccurate. It’s not my campaign story. It’s simply the truth.
The second half of the title is correct. This is a case study that ought not be repeated. And I hope by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, that my brothers in Christ at SBC Voices would not, in fact, repeat such unkind and unbiblical publications. Based on their history, I am not overly optimistic.
The story I told was on a nationally prominent podcast. There would be no reason for me to misrepresent those facts, knowing it would be heard, hoping it would be heard by thousands of engaged Southern Baptists.
It is sinful and shameful that a fellow pastor would rather take to his computer and slander a brother on the internet instead of picking up the phone to make a call. It is equally ungodly that fellow pastors would quickly retweet the story. In that regard, SBC Voices has failed yet again and it is a case study not to be repeated.
The story I recounted was to emphasize the importance of using local and regional relationships in dealing with abuse, rather than a top-down hierarchical approach. These relational attempts should be embraced as a tool in removing the scourge of abuse from our midst. They should not be used to vilify and mischaracterize someone trying to remove a pedophile from a church. In that regard, SBC Voices has failed yet again and it is a case study not to be repeated.
The story in that church was ongoing and unfolding. It was a tragic case from start to finish. But the rest of the story was far beyond my involvement. The total of my involvement was to encourage a church to fire the pedophile and stay in the SBC instead of leaving the SBC and keeping the pedophile. Holding me accountable for the unfortunate actions taken by a church after my involvement ended is unfair, unwarranted and ungodly. In that regard, SBC Voices has failed yet again and it is a case study not to be repeated.
This is a “campaign story” alright. But I’m not the one telling it. Nor am I surprised at all by it. This tribe within the SBC saw the attacks work as a political weapon two years ago. So, of course they will run the play again. But in God’s name, we must do better. In that regard, SBC Voices has failed yet again and it is a case study not to be repeated.
If the SBC is going to get to a healthy place in this discussion, we must stop attacking one another and aim our collective weapons at predators. And we must stop slandering people who simply advocate a different approach. Such vitriol should be expected from the unregenerate world. It should not be expected from or acceptable to the people of God.
In that regard, SBC Voices has failed yet again and it is a case study not to be repeated.