Aloha Hawaii Pacific Baptists,
As Guidepost Solutions released its report to the Sexual Abuse Task Force of the SBC today, we all should be humbled as we grieve for the victims of sexual abuse. We offer our prayers for God’s healing of abuse victims, their loved ones, and others who are affected.
Among the pages of this report, we find that those victims of deplorable and inexcusable acts opened their lives to needless scrutiny and pain to bravely share the sins committed against them by pastors and leaders in the SBC. But unfortunately, these sins remained hidden and disregarded for far too long.
Our hearts break for the lives devastated by this vile form of sin. Although we wish that past events could be changed, a considerable portion of our responsibility now lies in protecting innocent victims in the future. Hawaii Pacific Baptist churches stand with the countless victims of sexual abuse and against the sinful acts of abusers who prey on the church for whom Christ died. We must continually strive to provide the crucial protections and safeguards for Hawaii Pacific Baptist churches so that no more may fall victim to those who seek to abuse the sanctity of Christian fellowship and ministry.
Your Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention Executive Board has begun strengthening policies and resources to assist our churches in making them safe places of refuge. We ask for your prayers and support in the continuation of this work. We will release more information on these efforts in the coming weeks and months.
As we go forward, two biblical mandates come to my mind. The first, found in 3 John 11, states, “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is from God; the one who does evil has not seen God.” The second, from 1 Peter 1:13, notes, “Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Let our steps imitate God’s heart and let our minds be ready for action in praying for and protecting the vulnerable throughout Hawaii Pacific Baptist churches. Our prayers seek God’s wisdom and blessing for us all as we rise in this endeavor together.
Aloha in Christ,
Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention