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Some churches across the country are (finally) realizing an under-reported problem of sexual abuse. And the question those churches now have to ask is: What to do about it?

The Southern Baptist Convention just adjourned its annual meeting, and it seems like the nation's largest protestant denomination is ready to get to work fixing the problem. The problem? That sounds like an AC difficulty. This is more like a travesty.

Last Wednesday, Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear, taking the stage with sex abuse survivors, apologized for the abuse in his church's ranks. Clearly the denomination sees the problem before it. And it's put a plan into action to help combat the crisis.

Delegates approved an amendment to the church's constitution giving leaders the authority to deem churches showing "wanton disregard" for sexual abuse as not in cooperation with the convention. This is a big step because the denomination is usually known for functioning autonomously. But big problems require big solutions, and Southern Baptists seem ready to take that swing.

On top of all of this, the papers say there will be a special three-day conference on the topic of sexual abuse held in October. Perhaps this won't be an issue that's swept under the rug.

But public statements alone aren't enough, the president said. The right training, partnerships, ministry screening processes and governing documents are also necessary, he acknowledged. And he's right on all of that.

The grievous pain caused by sexual abuse in the church, or anywhere, needs to be fought fiercely and continually until it's stamped out. And we're glad to see the Southern Baptist Convention taking the issue seriously and working to resolve it. Grace and peace to the victims and wisdom and godspeed to the leaders working to help them.

Editorial on 06/17/2019

Print Headline: Now the work begins

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