SBC's Baptist Press responds to Rachel Denhollander's criticisms

"After a thorough review of what was presented to the writers and editors, and discussions with those involved with its publishing, we confirm and acknowledge that our story that ran on March 8, 2019, did not accurately communicate the allegations made by Lyell." - BPNews

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Bert Perry's picture

Notice that the article does say how it happened; the article as produced by the original writer stated the matter clearly, but in the editing process, the key part was omitted.  Hopefully BP is getting a handle on why that happened.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

If you read the Twitter feeds, you're likely to infer that what Lyell, Brown, and Denhollander noticed is that there were a number of people at various levels in the SBC/BP/etc.. who were involved in maintaining a firm "company line" of refusing to acknowledge the very real injuries suffered by these women.  

This is why real progress in this area needs to go beyond "throw the bums out", or an emphasis of getting the right, godly men in leadership.  The problem as it's unfolding seems to be along the joke about asking the Hindu mystic what's under the turtle that's holding up the Earth; "it's turtles all the way down.".  You can't just fire your way to a healthy organization, because if you do, you've got pretty much nobody left.  

What's left is the heavy task of "triage", figuring out who was exceptionally guilty and needs to be shown the door because it's obvious and egregious vs. who was merely decieved,  and then persuading the rest to adopt a healthier view of these matters.  It's to change the corporate culture, which is one of the hardest things to do.  Or, as it's joked in quality circles, "corporate culture eats corporate initiatives for lunch."  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

Have the police investigated the sexual assault of Lyell, over a period of nearly a decade as far as I understand it?

I know. I know. I'm not supposed to ask. 

I believe Lyell. I do. But aren't we supposed to investigate crimes rather than just accept the testimony without investigation? And, aren't we telling churches and institutions to NOT INVESTIGATE on their own?

Jay's picture

there were a number of people at various levels in the SBC/BP/etc.. who were involved in maintaining a firm "company line" of refusing to acknowledge the very real injuries suffered by these women.  

What's really becoming obvious is that the rot started at the top of the SBC - the Executive Committee - and flowed freely all the way down.  That's why the Executive Committee's refusal to take JD Greear's recommendations seriously was such a huge "tell" for anyone who was paying attention at the time.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Have the police investigated the sexual assault of Lyell, over a period of nearly a decade as far as I understand it?

I know. I know. I'm not supposed to ask. 

I believe Lyell. I do. But aren't we supposed to investigate crimes rather than just accept the testimony without investigation? And, aren't we telling churches and institutions to NOT INVESTIGATE on their own?

Mark, as I read things, Lyell's experience is Biblically and morally culpable, but not legally actionable.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Like many movements, the “Me Too” movement has some extremes.  Some are saying an accuser should never be questioned, just believed.  Rather, we should consider all sides, be fair to all sides. 

He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.  -Proverbs 18:13

The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.  -Proverbs 18:17

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.  -John 7:24

David R. Brumbelow

Mark_Smith's picture

My point is all we have is her testimony. That is a rough one to be sure. It would be nice if people asked for corroboration before they condemn at the level it is happening here.

Bert Perry's picture

Actually, the abuser, Sills, resigned when confronted.  Here's some more from her pen.   So the corroboration came from the abuser.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

Resigning is corroboration that he sexually assaulted her and abused her for years? Care to take me thru that Bert?

I am trying to be objective.

Just like the SWBTS case, all we have is the testimony of the accuser. Nothing wrong with her side of the story. The problem is, that's all we have.

NO READING THIS KNOWS what really happened. At least admit it.

Bert Perry's picture

Mark, the articles linked indicate that the individual (a) confessed to a sexual relationship with Ms. Lyell and (b) quickly resigned.  Baptist Press, individuals within the SBC, and others familiar with the situation are speaking on behalf of Ms. Lyell.  While the entire mess is not going to be shared with the world--which was also Ms. Lyell's hope, if you read her notes--those who have seen a part of it are not of the opinion that it is uncorroborated.  Learn to read between the lines, brother.  It's the literary principle called subtext.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

he admits to a sexual relationship. That is far different from confessing to the long list of things Lyell has accused him of, including grooming, sexual assault over a decade, and psychological manipulation. See what I mean?

Bert Perry's picture

Mark, you're telling half the story.  The other half is that others around the situation have looked at the evidence and agree it's abuse.  And again, by not fighting that part, the perpetrator has basically conceded it.  Plus, when a professor gets into a sexual relationship with a student....do I have to spell this out in big bold letters, Mark?  This is not that complicated.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.