Beth Moore to Southern Baptists: ‘Our family is sick. We need help’

Beth Moore, a popular Bible teacher and sexual abuse survivor, addressed her fellow Southern Baptists during the annual gathering in Birmingham, Ala. which concluded Wednesday night.

Moore made headlines leading up to the conference for a debate on women preaching in the SBC after she spoke during a Mother's Day service and addressed a topic at the forefront of the largest protestant denomination: preventing sexual abuse and aiding survivors.

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The Houston, Texas-based Living Proof Ministries founder told thousands of SBC pastors and staff gathered that it was an issue for everyone in the convention.

"I was raised in a large family. Not everybody in the family was an abuser and not everybody in the family was abused, but because there was abuse in the family and an abuser in the family, the whole family was sick,” Moore said.

Jennifer Weed, left, and Nisha Virani, both of Birmingham, Ala., demonstrate outside Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting Tuesday, June 11, 2019, during a rally in Birmingham, Ala. The For Such A Time As This protest calls for a change in the way the SBC views and treats women and demands action to combat sexual abuse within the establishment. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

Jennifer Weed, left, and Nisha Virani, both of Birmingham, Ala., demonstrate outside Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting Tuesday, June 11, 2019, during a rally in Birmingham, Ala. The For Such A Time As This protest calls for a change in the way the SBC views and treats women and demands action to combat sexual abuse within the establishment. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

She implored her family of Southern Baptists: "Our family is sick. We need help. … You might not be the abuser or the abused, but you’re in a family where it’s happening rampantly.”

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Moore spoke on a panel alongside fellow survivors Rachel Denhollander, the first to publicly call out convicted USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar for his abuse, and Susan Codone, who was abused by her youth pastor and then her pastor.

"It’s going to take the entire church to deal with this problem," Codone said. "As a survivor of sexual abuse in a Southern Baptist Church, I think I have earned the right to call the church to action."

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On Tuesday, the convention's messengers voted to expel a church that is "not in friendly cooperation" with the denomination when it comes to sexual abuse and racism.

Moore celebrated the convention's actions.

"Indescribably grateful to God for Christlike men & women who’ve worked so hard to mobilize & move significantly forward on the battlefield against sexual abuse in churches & for unanimous passing of this resolution," she tweeted Wednesday. "Solid actions are already underway to back up these words."

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Much of the steps came after J.D. Greear, who was again elected SBC president, initiated the Sexual Abuse Advisory Study last year that released a report Saturday.

Greear offered eight updated action steps for churches after messengers approved an SBC bylaw amendment and a constitutional amendment addressing sexual abuse, although the constitutional amendment can only become effective if two-thirds of messengers in 2020 also approve.