Keeping people safe is my day job.
Since 1983 I have been “pushing tin.” All my adult life I have worked in front of radar scopes in windowless rooms. As an air traffic controller every hour I work I make numerous decisions and issue snap instructions to pilots to keep aircraft from scraping paint; to keep the flying public safe. In my world quick thinking and critical analysis are a job prerequisites. I work in a black and white world of absolutes, rights and wrongs. This mindset is part of my DNA, the fact that it remains with me when I hang up my headset and go home after my shift ends is both a positive and negative.
In my spare time I continue to try to keep people safe, but these people aren’t speeding through the skies in long, cylindrical aluminum tubes. Instead, these people are generally children being sexually abused in evangelical churches. I attempt to expose the monsters who have done the abusing and the pastors who help cover-up the abuse. One need not be a graduate from seminary to figure out who the evil people are, in fact seminary graduates frequently seem to have the toughest time discerning who these evil people are!
In my world of black and white I have no problem discerning who is who – the pedophiles are the evil people. The same goes for those who cover-up for the pedophiles.
Where things may get a little trickier for some of us rock-throwing peasants (the working class who faithfully attend church and toss some of our hard-earned cash into the offering plate to support the professional clergy) to discern is when our celebrity-status professional clergy say one thing and do another. A case in point is Southern Seminary President Dr. Albert Mohler. Back in 2011 the Penn State sexual abuse scandal became public knowledge. Dr. Mohler came out with a wonderful statement, published November 11, 2011 in an article he wrote titled “The Tragic Lessons of Penn State — A Call to Action.” Dr. Mohler stated in part:
“The detonation of the Penn State scandal must shake the entire nation into a new moral awareness. Any failure to report and to stop the sexual abuse of children must be made inconceivable. The moral irresponsibility that Penn State officials demonstrated in this tragedy may well be criminal. There can be no doubt that all of these officials bear responsibility for allowing a sexual predator to continue his attacks.”
The statement sounded great, I don’t think anyone would disagree with Dr. Mohler’s fine sounding words. Unfortunately the Penn State scandal apparently wasn’t enough to shake Dr. Mohler and several of his celebrity conference speaker pals into a “new moral awareness.” A few short months after Dr. Mohler published his story about “lessons learned” and a “call to action” the Sovereign Grace sexual abuse scandal became public knowledge. Dr. Mohler’s good friend, C.J. Mahaney was credibly accused of participating in a conspiracy to cover-up the sexual abuse of numerous children in the Sovereign Grace denomination. Now was the time of decision for Dr. Mohler. Would he walk the walk or just talk the talk? Complicating the choice between doing the right thing or choosing to back his buddy was the fact that C.J. Mahaney had donated in excess of $200,000 of his money, his denomination’s money and Covenant Life Church’s money to the seminary Dr. Mohler presides over.
Looking back we now know Dr. Mohler’s loyalties were with the man who donated the cash. In doing so his words: “Any failure to report and to stop the sexual abuse of children must be made inconceivable” ring hollow.
What does all this have to do with the “Nashville Statement?”
It’s simple really. As I said, I inhabit a world of black and white. In my world those that abuse children, cover-up the abuse of children, enable those who cover-up the abuse of children, share the conference stage with those who cover-up the abuse of children or endorse such a man by speaking at his church are themselves evil men. To borrow a phrase from Dr. Mohler: “There can be no doubt that all of these officials bear responsibility for allowing a sexual predator to continue his attacks.”
Now the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood have sponsored a group which has published the Nashville Statement. Among the Initial Signatories are numerous Christian celebrities who fall into one or more of the categories I listed in the previous paragraph. I have highlighted their names in a screen shot below.
This document has zero credibility because of the signatures of these hypocritical pastors.
From Wendy Alsup’s blog “Practical Theology for Women:”
I would also encourage you to read Peter Enns’ “Lansdale Statement,” a great parody of the Nashville Statement. Below is an article I particularly like.
For further reading: