RESOLUTION ON CHURCH COOPERATION IN DEALING

WITH SEXUAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE

 

WHEREAS, the current Southern Baptist churches of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana are autonomous churches but have agreed to work together for the sake of the Gospel, and,

WHEREAS, the presence of sexual and physical abuse within our churches can compromise the Gospel and hinder it from being clearly heard, and,

WHEREAS, being silent about incidents of abuse that have happened within some of our churches provides abusers with even greater opportunities to abuse other people, and has ignored the Scriptural commands to not participate with deeds of darkness but to expose them (Ephesians 5:11), and,

WHEREAS, sexual and physical abuse are both sins to be addressed through church discipline (Matthew 18:15-20), and crimes that need to be reported to civil government (Romans 13:1-6), and,

WHEREAS, there are those who have been victims of abuse who still carry with them lasting scars that cannot always be seen with human eyes but are always seen by God’s eyes (Psalm 56:8; Luke 6:21), and,

WHEREAS, our sorrow over deplorable actions that have occurred within some of our churches in the past must be matched with a daily striving to improve our protection of the innocent, now,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that we (the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana) implore our churches of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, to be proactive in protecting each person who comes into our gatherings, and to be persistent in following through with care for those who have suffered physical or sexual abuse, and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we implore our churches to raise up advocates from among our people who will walk alongside victims of abuse through their journey of healing, and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we implore our churches to raise up advocates capable of guiding our churches that experience instances of abuse to act appropriately in following steps to help the victim, the congregation, and civil government authorities as they participate in the process, and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will not hide incidents of abuse, but instead will bring to light the deeds of darkness as Scripture commands, and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that our churches will support one another in sharing our knowledge and resources for the sake of protecting the vulnerable, healing the wounded, and walking through times of crisis.

 

State Convention of Baptists in Indiana

Dated: October 28, 2019


Resolution on Responding to Sexual Abuse

 

WHEREAS, the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention in Birmingham, Alabama passed a resolution “On the Evil of Sexual Abuse” outlining our biblical mandate to address the issue of sexual abuse and urging churches to take significant steps in responding to the sexual abuse crisis; and

WHEREAS, in June 2019 the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Group submitted a report entitled “Caring Well” that educated Southern Baptists on the problem of sexual abuse, the effects of abuse, and the care of survivors of abuse; and

WHEREAS, that same advisory group issued a Caring Well Challenge that urged SBC churches to take specific steps in responding to sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the SBC held a conference entitled “Caring Well: Equipping Churches to Confront the Abuse Crisis” and has made the session videos available online; and

WHEREAS, the ERLC has published a free resource entitled “Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused” for the purpose of equipping churches; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that sexual abuse is a serious issue that effects our churches and its members; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the messengers of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana 2019 urge all of our churches to make addressing the sexual abuse crisis a priority in the coming year; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we urge all of our pastors, churches, and church leaders to take advantage of the many resources available to educate themselves about sexual abuse, the effects of the trauma of abuse, and best practices for responding to the sexual abuse crisis; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we urge all of our churches to equip themselves to address this issue faithfully and to put in place and/or review its safety and security policies for the prevention of abuse, its response and reporting procedures in the case of allegations of abuse, and the specific ways it will minister to those affected by the trauma of abuse; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we encourage all of our churches to prayerfully consider adopting the Caring Well Challenge and following through on its specific actions to address the sexual abuse crisis; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that we work together to make every Indiana Southern Baptist church a place where all people can find hope and healing in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.


RESOLUTION FOR APPRECIATION FOR HOSTING THE 2019 ANNUAL MEETING

 

WHEREAS, the 61st Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, convened at Highland Lakes Baptist Camp, Martinsville, Indiana, on October 28 & 29, 2019, and,

WHEREAS, Gasburg Baptist Church demonstrated a Christ-like spirit and a servant’s heart in receiving the messengers and guests of the 61st Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, now,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, the we, the messengers to the 61st Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, meeting at Highland Lakes Baptist Camp, Martinsville, Indiana, on October 28 & 29, 2019, express our sincere gratitude and deep appreciation to Gasburg Baptist Church for their gracious hospitality and service to the messengers and guests of this Convention.

 

Dated: October 28, 2019

 

Rev. Randall N. Forsythe, Chairman, Resolutions Committee

Rev. Bob Parnell

Rev. Steve McJunkins

Rev. Chris Hortin

Rev. Mike Jamison


Motion:

I move that the messengers of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana 2019 request our president and Executive Board to continue to seek ways to encourage Indiana Baptist churches (1) to address the issue of sexual abuse, (2) to utilize the training and conference materials on sexual abuse provided by the ERLC, and (3) to accept the Caring Well challenge set forth by the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory group.

 

Todd Benkert, Messenger
Oak Creek Community Church