Saturday, May 21, 2016

Better a Millstone...

As much as I would rather not, I find I need to say a little something about the recent issues/scandal at the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). The Christianity Today story regarding the Donn Ketcham affair can be found here. As well the ABWE statement regarding this long festering sad tragedy can be found here.

A number of years ago I had providential occasion to see the effect of this sordid affair on one of Donn Ketcham's children. The scars this adult son was carrying were obvious and clearly deeply felt even though at the time I did not know the source of that pain in his life. I also have an acquaintance who was an ABWE MK, and whose family was serving in Bangladesh at the time Ketcham was there engaging in his wicked acts. It is clear that very serious errors in judgement were made by a number of ABWE leaders at several high levels that resulted in justice and righteousness being denied. That said I affirm my personal confidence in the spiritual integrity and honesty of the individual ABWE missionaries around the world that our church currently supports. May God give much grace, mercy and healing to the victims of this obviously evil man who now has had to more fully answer to Christ's church for his wicked actions.

I get angry when I see a church or organization use the "tell it not in Gath" excuse to cover up serious, even criminal wrong doing, or attempt to generalize or minimize such a scandal instead of facilitating fuller public disclosure that would shed light on how deep the actual failure of a particular person, usually a pastor or other "respected" leader was. Inevitably in those cases the victim is victimized again and justice and righteousness is not realized. The result is, as it has been in the ABWE-Ketcham case, the gospel and the work of the gospel is harmed by an even worse scandal.

" Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!"

~ Matthew 18:4-7

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