Abuse of Faith
The research they did was exhaustive and the scope of the wickedness documented staggering.
There are two more parts to go…one wonders how much more they could have have possibly found.
The question before the house this morning, though, is what difference will this make?
Will there be changes made to the ecclesiology of the SBC to create accountability and protect innocent people that the church is supposed to serve?
If my experience with Calvary Chapel is any indicator, the answer is no.
The answer will be no for two reasons.
The first will be that the doctrine of the autonomy of the local church is considered as important as the doctrine of the Trinity in these circles.
You can stack newspaper articles and the bodies they uncover as high as the heavens and there will be no change in the structure of the organization.
Think of these pastors as entrepreneurs…business men who have planted and invested themselves in something they believe they have ownership of and will allow no outside control over.
They are the heart of the American free market that applies to religion as well as to commerce.
The second reason is legal liability.
If the leaders of the organization act in a manner that indicates authority over these churches that authority also translates into legal liability.
In other words, with authority comes responsibility.
They will refuse that responsibility to avoid liability.
I’ve covered the issues within Calvary Chapel for 17 years.
What has all this reporting accomplished in terms of actual change?
Not much will change in the light of this latest story unless the people with the real power choose to wield it.
The people in the pews.
Until parishioners take action by refusing to support churches without accountability and transparency this blight on the name of Christ will continue.
The only difference is that there will be fewer new parishioners coming in the front door and more going out the back door… and the moral authority of the church will be a joke repeated by an unbelieving world.
We will wonder why no one listens to us anymore…while the world wonders why we don’t listen to our own victims.
This new scandal too shall pass…and along with it, another layer of whatever influence we had left…