Resolution on Child Protection 



Whereas our Lord Jesus demonstrated his righteous anger at his own disciples, rebuking those who would do anything to prevent children from coming unto him, saying “to such belongs the Kingdom of God,” (Mark 10:14) and condemning  those  who  would  harm children, saying “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” (Matthew 18:6); and

Whereas an epidemic of child abuse exists in our culture, with the vast majority of such children being harmed by someone they know and trust, wounding children physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, and spiritually with lifelong ripple effects; and

Whereas the silence of the church – when we fail to appropriately address sin by not reporting disclosures of child abuse, or not caring for those who disclose child abuse, or not proactively taking steps to prevent child abuse – is a fundamental failure of servant leadership, rendering the church complicit and culpable before the Lord, driving people away from the safety, healing and hope of Jesus Christ; and

Whereas Scripture warns leaders against the careless exposure of believers to temptation and danger, and every jurisdiction acknowledges that child abuse is a serious felony and has its own mandated reporting laws;

Therefore, be it resolved that we exhort all member churches to become informed and to take an active stance toward preventing child abuse in the church by screening staff and volunteers, training them in child protection, and actively maintaining child protection policies pertaining to our obligations to love our children and protect their rightful interests as God’s image-bearers from the devastating actions of abusers (Matthew 18:5- 6); and

Be it further resolved that we urge all member church leaders to use their influence for the protection of children, by any and  all  godly  means,  including  preaching  and  teaching against the heinous sin of child abuse, warning anyone  with  knowledge  of  these  sins  to “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness,  but  instead  expose  them”  (Ephesians 5:11), and by  supporting victims who  often suffer in  silence and  shame without the  vocal  and compassionate support of the church; and  by  supporting  the  families  of  the  victims; and

Be it further resolved that we urge all member churches to seek to bring reconciliation between all parties involved (2 Corinthians 5:18-21), and restoration of the perpetrator, based upon their repentance, that they would know that there is forgiveness and freedom from their bondage to such sin as given by God (1 John 1:9); and

Be it further resolved that we recommend that the General Council examine every possibility to protect children at our annual General Conference sessions and implement any measure that seems prudent and appropriate and to do so in consultation with legal and insurance professionals; and

Be it finally resolved that the SDB General Conference  urge  all  Seventh  Day  Baptists  to renew our allegiance to our  Lord Jesus by  loving our  children as  he  loves our  children, ‘for  to such belongs the Kingdom of God’ (Mark 10:14).”