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Beth Moore Sends Strong Message to SBC, Grieves with Other Sexual Abuse Victims

02-12-2019

Author, evangelist and sexual abuse survivor Beth Moore is speaking out about an investigation by two Texas newspapers revealing that hundreds of sexual predators have lurked in Southern Baptists Churches for years. 

The "Abuse of Faith" article, published by The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News, reports that in the 10 years since 2008, "more than 250 people who worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist Churches have been charged with sex crimes."
 
The article also states that over a 20-year period, more than 700 people were victimized by Southern Baptist Church leaders. 

Moore said on Twitter that repeated abuse is allowed to occur when no one takes action. 

"It's monstrously common for victims to be abused again by one they thought safe to tell. 2nd wave abuse occurs when those told are either scandalized (backs off, "don't tell me more") or tantalized (moves in, "oh tell me more"). Both heap shame upon shame," she tweeted Sunday. 

Moore then posted a picture of herself as a child with a message to church leaders who ignore abuse, "We understand how you feel. We didn't want to know about sexual abuse either."

Then, dozens of sexual abuse victims responded to Moore's tweet by posting pictures of themselves as children, saying they too didn't want to know anything about sexual abuse when they were children. 

"At 5 years old I'd already known for years. But I don't understand how they feel because I don't know what it is not to know," one Twitter user said. 

"I didn't want to know either. Bless you and your ministry," another said. 

"I certainly didn't want to know," another user replied. 

"I'm the girl in the middle. I was 7-10 years old when I was molested by my cousin. I thought it happened to everyone. I thought something was wrong with me. It drove me to Jesus and Scripture. I told no one until my 20s," another user said.

Moore responded to each image with a message of sorrow and grief. 

"In tears scrolling through childhood pictures of sexual abuse survivors thinking how...

*utterly precious each one is, how innocent and worthy of valuing and protecting. 
*most victimizations are never reported.
*many victims who reported got blamed.
*some victims don't survive."

She acknowledged the abuse survivors who have yet to come to the light and asked the Lord to change the Church. 

"Also thinking how many pictures of little boys could've also shown up in that thread. Our darling brothers, we know you were among us. We know this doesn't just happen to girls. You count. We weep for you, too. It was not your fault either," Moore wrote. "Jesus, redeem. Raise up. Reform us."

SBC President J.D. Greear said church leaders should have listened to earlier warnings about abuse and promised to use all the spiritual and financial resources of the denomination to stop predators.

He also called for care for survivors, saying, "The safety of the victims matters more than the reputation of Southern Baptists."

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