I learned of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram series on sexual misconduct among Independent Baptists when one of our men brought it to my attention. The series of articles claims to have uncovered hundreds of cases in nearly 200 different churches. Our church member was concerned because the Star-Telegram included a map with a database of churches charged with sexual misconduct, and our church was included on that map.
A few years ago, a young man in our church was arrested for possession of child pornography. As a matter of policy, our church cooperates with law enforcement in such cases. We did not conceal his crime. When the news media showed up at my door, I answered their questions. We spoke out very clearly against his sin: it has no place among God’s people. We sought to protect our church and to ensure the safety of every child.
So, when I knew that this was the specific reason for our inclusion on the database, I assumed that by providing the facts in the case, we could clear up the matter. I immediately sent an email to the Star-Telegram reporter and gave her three reasons why we should not be included in her database: