Our subject matter in this first month of Proclaim & Defend is certainly not one that we relish addressing. What minister of the gospel relishes talking about Protecting Our Children? We sympathize with Jude who felt compelled to write about contending for the faith when he would rather write about the common salvation.
Our times drive our concern for the matter of Protecting Our Children. A search on Google news this evening for articles on “child abuse” in the last week produced 39,200 results in .11 seconds. The stories range from tragic stories in families, sports organizations, churches, schools – literally every venue where adults interact with children. A prominent evangelical college was rocked this week by charges being laid against an expert on childhood spirituality. The scale of the problem in our society is immense. The stories are so plentiful that the individuals become anonymous people “in the newspaper.” We find ourselves beyond being shocked anymore.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
While we don’t relish talking about the subject, we find that we must talk about it. We especially must talk about it so we can implement polices for prevention in our churches. The Jan/Feb issue of FrontLine is intended only to open a discussion that should continue in churches and schools. Our republishing here on Proclaim & Defend is intended to further that discussion.
This week we plan to publish some guidelines and resources for formulating an abuse prevention policy. We will also publish an interview soon with Rachel Mitchell, Sex Crimes Bureau Chief of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona. Her remarks will serve to further enlighten about the problem.
In addition to this ongoing publication schedule, we will introduce some material that we plan to be regular features here at P&D. One of the major areas of FBFI ministry is serving as the endorsing agency for fundamentalist Baptist chaplains in military and law enforcement services. We will publish chaplains reports and biographies regularly. We also will publish a “week in review” column where we highlight news articles of interest to Christians from around the web.
Welcome to Proclaim & Defend, week two.
– by Don Johnson, for the Communications Committee