Guidepost Solutions LGBT pride tweet sparks uproar in SBC

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Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting
Nearly 9,000 Southern Baptist Messengers at the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting on June 11, 2019, vote to pass an amendment regarding churches and sexual abuse. |

Guidepost Solutions, the investigative firm that recently produced a report on how Southern Baptist Convention leaders mishandled sexual abuse allegations, is under fire from high-level denomination leaders over a tweet supporting LGBT pride.

“Guidepost is committed to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion and strives to be an organization where our team can bring their authentic identity to work,” the firm said. said in a tweet Monday. “We celebrate our collective progress towards equality for all and are proud to be an ally of our LGBTQ+ community.”

As the secular company’s tweet made the rounds on social media, Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, denounced the company’s statement and urged SBC entities receiving funding from the program cooperative of the denomination to “immediately sever ties with Guidepost Solutions.”

The Cooperative Program is the SBC’s unified giving plan whereby cooperating SBC churches donate a percentage of their undesignated proceeds to support their respective state convention, SBC missions and ministries. The sexual abuse investigation, which cost more than $2 million, was funded by grants from the Cooperative Program.

“Guidepost Solutions’ recently tweeted value statement on human sexuality stands in stark contrast to the biblical values ​​of family and marriage and our denominational statements summarized by Baptist Faith and Message,” Davis said in his statement quoted by the Baptist reflector.

“Amos 3:3 asks, ‘Can two people walk together unless they agree?’ Given the disparity of beliefs on the issue of human sexuality, I don’t believe in this situation where we can or should walk together,” Davis said. “This undermines my confidence in any proposed future relationship between an SBC entity and Guidepost Solutions.”

Tom Buck, the outspoken senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, has publicly questioned whether the SBC should adopt the company’s proposed solutions to combat sexual abuse.

“Hey, SBC! You might want to consider that when considering adopting the solutions they offer at our convention. I’m not sure their voice should be heard by a Christian organization. They don’t have a biblical worldview and their recommendations reflect this”, male tweeted Monday, pointing to Guidepost’s gay pride tweet.

The SBC Executive Committee announced on June 11, 2021 that Guidepost Solutions, chosen by the SBC’s Sexual Abuse Task Force, would review allegations made by former SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Chair Russell Moore that SBC leaders intimidated whistleblowers and exonerated churches with credible testimony. claims to have mishandled the sexual abuse allegations.

Guidepost Solutions was commissioned to “review and improve the training [on sex abuse] provided to the staff of the SBC Executive Committee and its Board of Directors” and “Communications of the Organization to Cooperating Churches and Congregants of Cooperating Churches”.

Inquiry findings were released last month and allege denomination leaders mishandled sexual abuse allegations, mistreated victims and advocates, engaged in an abusive pattern of intimidation and resisted repeatedly to reforms to make their churches safer largely to avoid liability.

The Baptist Convention of Kentucky, which hired Guidepost to prepare a resource on sexual abuse prevention and care, announced on Tuesday that its sexual abuse task force terminated its contract with Guidepost because of the tweet from the LGBT pride.

“In light of the recent message revealing Guidepost’s stance on LGBTQ+ causes, we as KBC’s Sexual Abuse Task Force have unanimously agreed that we must part ways with the business,” said task force chair Linda Cooper, according to Kentucky Today. .

SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force Vice Chair Marshall Blalock, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, defended the decision to work with Guidepost Solutions.

“If anyone was looking for an excuse not to address the sexual abuse and mistreatment of survivors within the SBC, Guidepost Solutions provided the perfect coverage yesterday with their ‘Pride’ month tweet. was both disappointed and amazed,” Blalock began in a series of tweets Tuesday.

He added that no Christian businesses were available to do the work the SBC was seeking to cover and complete before the denomination’s annual meeting scheduled for June 12-15 in Anaheim, California.

“Guidepost is a secular multinational company specializing in business surveys. They are not a Christian company although they work regularly for Christian organizations. SATF chose them for their expertise and ability to carry out the investigation in time,” he said.

“Why not choose a Christian company? We would have preferred to choose a Christian company, but no other company had the capacity to do this work. We published an open tender, but other companies withdrew their proposals when scope and time constraints were presented,” he explained.

Blalock said that “out of respect for the faith and values ​​of the SBC,” the company “assigned Christians to conduct our investigation, most often Baptists.”

“Their contractors were chosen for their skill but they specifically chose Christians,” Blalock pointed out.

“Guidepost did a professional investigation, they operated with integrity, they respected our faith and values, they even ate a significant chunk of the cost because they wanted to help us find out the truth and help us be more like Christ in how we respond to sexual abuse.”

Ahead of the release of the investigation’s findings, Bruce Frank, pastor of Biltmore Church in Arden, North Carolina, who chairs the sex abuse task force, said the cost of the investigation could have exceeded $2 million long before Guidepost Solutions failed to apply a Credit of $458,154 to the denomination’s February bill.

“Guidepost has completed its contract and the SATF has released its report, unedited, as required. We were all saddened by what they found,” Blalock said. “The next steps are in the hands of the couriers in Anaheim. SATF (not Guidepost) will make recommendations.”

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