Survivors of sexual abuse shared their stories and called on the Church to come alongside those suffering during the "Caring Well" conference hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in partnership with the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Group.
Several women shared their survivor stories as part of the ERLC's sixth annual national conference held this year on Oct. 3-5 in Grapevine, Texas.
J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, praised the outspokenness and ongoing courage of SBC abuse survivors and encouraged churches to take cases of abuse seriously.
"It is wrong to characterize someone as 'just bitter' because they raised their voice when their warnings were not heeded. Anger is an appropriate response, a biblical response, in that circumstance,” he said.
By ignoring cases of sexual abuse, “we put more people in harm’s way, we create obstacles to faith for those who were affected,” Greear said.
“This is a Gospel issue. The credibility of our witness, and even more importantly, the souls of our people are at stake,” Greear concluded. “Caring for those vulnerable whom God has entrusted to us is a way that we can and we must put the trustworthiness of the Gospel on display.”
“Abuse is unspeakably tragic,” he added, "but this is the moment that the church can put on display the matchless power of the Gospel. Churches are equipped to do something unique, something our society cannot do because we can offer not just reckoning, we can offer resurrection.”