Read time: 2 minutes 43 seconds
"Sometimes the house needs to be cleaned," some Southern Baptist pastors are saying regarding the Department Of Justice's investigation into alleged sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention.
Despite some political commentators who have questioned the intentions of President Biden's administration and whether they are targeting people of faith, a younger generation of Baptist pastors believe that God is using this for a wave of repentance to sweep the church.
Charisma News talked with Spirit-filled Pastor Ronnie Phillips Jr., who says it is time to get rid of any "lingering abusers." Phillips told us that young pastors are crying out to see God move again and "want this mess cleaned up."
It's no doubt that God has been using world events to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to refine the body of Christ before the next Great Awakening. COVID and the war in Ukraine have exposed the heart of the church, and what they will sacrifice to see God's kingdom manifest on earth. The Lord is calling for a full surrender, a heart of self-sacrifice that has been untapped by the Western church.
But many are waking up—a new generation of Baptist pastors are hungry for a pure move of God. At the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention, churches that are affiliated with SBC voted to conduct an internal investigation of sexual abuse within the church—a decision that was met with opposition from those "resistant to change."
The investigation was conducted by Guidepost Solutions, and a group concluded that, during 2000-2021, a few senior leaders within SBC largely controlled all allegations of sexual abuse.
The leaders reportedly did not share any of the allegations with trustees, church congregations or other SBC leadership, and Guidepost Solutions says survivors and others reporting abuse were "ignored, disbelieved or met with constant refrain." Those coming forward were reporting claims of sexual abuse against adults, as well as sexual abuse and the grooming of children in the church.
"I believe what God is trying to do [prophetically] is get us into our prayer closets again. He is a holy God and things, if they aren't aligned with His Word, have to be broken," Phillips says.
Now pastors nationwide feel strongholds are being broken over the church and that God is going to use whatever—and whoever—He wants to bring change.
Phillips' notion that God is cleaning house lines up with the numerous reports of affairs and sexual abuse scandals that have been coming to light within the church in the last few years. The Hillsong controversy, the investigation into the Catholic Church and Ravi Zacharias all point to a Joel 2 "call to repentance."
Joel 2:13 says, "Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish."
In the Old Testament, the act of tearing your garments was an outward expression of repentance, but God is echoing to this day that isn't what He is looking for. There has to be an inward change, a heart that is torn to pieces with a true fear of the Lord and that is what God is looking for from the body of Christ before the next great revival and outpouring can come.
Phillips is praying this won't be a witch hunt from the Biden administration, but isn't going to speculate on that.
"Those who operate in integrity and character will not be part of that [investigation.]," he says.
The SBC committee stated that it is an ongoing investigation and they were not going to comment on their discussions with the DOJ. The statement from the committee confirms that they will cooperate with the administrations investigation as they believe all of the allegations are in the past.
The SBC stated that it will "recognize our reform efforts are not finished," and will implement new task forces to strengthen their efforts to prevent abuse.
Shelby Lindsay is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.