Crestmont and the SBC

Dear Crestmont Family,

 If you haven’t heard by now, you soon will. This afternoon a 400-page report was publicly released detailing sexual abuses and coverups within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This report is the result of an investigation demanded by the convention’s delegates at the most recent SBC national convention who demanded the convention’s Executive Committee to be forthright on possible coverups. The report includes allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against several key SBC figures including a recent convention president. Even more disturbing is the great effort of top leaders to conceal these abuses and to use coercion and manipulation to keep victims silenced. How can this happen in the world’s largest denomination whose focus has been missions and standing on the truth of the Bible? It is simply mindboggling! I am sickened and saddened for these woman and children who have been manipulated by top SBC leaders into keeping silent about their abuses and sufferings for the sake of men in religious power. It is disgraceful and demonic! 

 As news of this travesty goes public, the backlash is likely to be severe (and rightly so). SBC churches and their members are going to be put under the umbrella of this scandal. This means that you may find yourself in discussions related to this scandal and asked how you and your church can possibly associate with a denomination that conceals sexual abuse. You may ask that same question yourself! The short answer is simply this: Crestmont does not condone in any way the actions of misconduct associated with the SBC. We find them deplorable and sickening. Such actions do not represent Jesus and his Kingdom which is where our primary loyalties are held. We are not Baptists first; we are followers of Jesus first. Jesus stands with the victims of these crimes and so do we. We pray for justice and healing for them all!

 Second, it will be imperative as a church to consider the best course of action in how we choose to align ourselves with the SBC. I was saved in a Southern Baptist church, surrendered to the ministry in a Southern Baptist church, and attended both a Southern Baptist University and Seminary. Thus, I am greatly saddened by what impact this will have on the SBC going forward. I am not an alarmist, but I can’t help but believe, especially given this current cultural climate, that this scandal could have a devastating impact on our denomination’s witness to the world and our nation. Christ’s Name could be dishonored among the nations by the actions of SBC leadership. However, I also know that God will protect the honor of His Name and thus will remove the lampstand of our denomination if there is no immediate repentance. The SBC must repent if it hopes to have any future. Let us pray that God will prune the SBC and send forth a revival that will heal the wounds of the abused, the reputation of Southern Baptist Christians, and the Name of our Great Lord among the unreached peoples of the world. 

In Christ,

Dr. Ron Brown