JD Greear Says Abuse Victims Need to Bypass the Church, Go Seek Secular Help First

The Southern Baptist president has certainly made a name for himself in recent days. After preaching a sermon calling on Christians to stand up for LGBT rights — since the Bible apparently just “whispers” about the sin of sexual immorality — a report detailing numerous sexual abuse scandals over a period of 20 years in Southern Baptist churches was published. In the wake of this report, JD Greear, in his own words, was “broken over what was revealed.”

Of course, claiming that the Bible only “whispers” about sexual sin, then being “broken” over sexual sin, seems, for lack of a better way of putting it, sanctimonious.

Greear, a major player in the “woke” social justice movement spearheaded by The Gospel Coalition and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is a favorite among the New Calvinist cheer-leading squad, drawing applause for pretty much any public statement or appearance he makes.

Honestly, it wasn’t until these last few weeks that I actually realized just how incompetent this man was as a religious — Christian — leader.

Yesterday, in a piece he published on his personal blog (I wonder if his personal blog is paid for by Southern Baptist coop money, like Russell Moore’s is) championing the notion that because the church has failed, sex abuse victims should, instead, seek help from secular sources first, then if, and only if, you’re ready, talk to your pastors.

The first two steps in his six-steps for recovery for victims, he (rightfully) asserts that abuse is never the fault of the victim and that it’s understandable that victims may be afraid. But then, step 3 is where it gets interesting. He tells victims to call secular hotlines and psychologists for help and lists several phone numbers for a number of these entities. He then goes on to suggest that people seek Christian counseling — outside of a local church.

It is not until step 6 that he finally says,

When you are ready, involve your current church in your recovery journey. This assumes you are not in the same church where your abuser is in leadership. It is understandable if you do not take this step for a while. Don’t feel rushed. Your first step in this direction might be inviting a Christian friend to be an advocate in your counseling sessions. God is a patient Shepherd who walks at the pace of his sheep (Psalm 23:4).

This is absolutely backward. The Bible prescribes the local church is the first place to go to for spiritual help. Yes, you may be afraid. Yes, you may have been hurt by someone who claims Christ, but if you are a true believer, you understand that God has provided you with a local body of believers to support you. If your own church isn’t helping you, it isn’t a church, and you need to find a church that will.

Greear is proclaiming anti-Church rhetoric and this suggests that his view of the sufficiency of Scripture is lacking. Does Greear really believe that these victims are going to find lasting comfort outside the walls of a Bible-believing body of saints? Does he really believe that secular words on a government hotline are going to speak spiritual wisdom into a hurting soul better than the Words of Christ preached in a God-honoring church? He has essentially told victims it’s okay to stop going to church after you’ve been abused because the Church has “failed” you.

The Church has not failed, as it is Christ alone who upholds her.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18

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