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Southern Religion

Southern Baptist journalism covers (or doesn’t) a clerical predation story

Working a corner of the ecclesiastical press in which both publication editors and the top staff of an entire news agency have been forced to resign for doing their jobs, the independent Associated Baptist Press reported Monday that a former Okla. pastor was sentenced to 10 years for molestation after he pled guilty on Oct. 13 to 10 counts of lewd molestation.

They were only a day behind Christa Brown at Stop Baptist Predators, who wrote:

In Oklahoma, Southern Baptist pastor Joshua Spires advanced in the ranks from youth pastor to senior pastor while sexually abusing a teen church girl every Sunday and calling it “consensual.”

Two full months ago, this Southern Baptist pastor confessed to repeated acts of child molestation. But no one in Baptistland has even bothered to remove him from the [Southern Baptist Convention] ministerial registry.

Both of them beat the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, which has been singled out for praise by national Southern Baptist leaders and is the official state Southern Baptist publication of Oklahoma. If the Messenger follows its recent pattern of publication, it will never acknowledge that the story broke and was covered on its beat.

Of course clerical sexual predation is a controversial issue for the Southern Baptist Convention.

That’s just one reason serious instances are news, which credible Baptist news publications must report, not kerfuffles which may at the option of an editor be overlooked.

Addendum

The North Carolina Biblical Recorder has the ABP story on its home page.

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October 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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