During the Annual Sothern Baptist Convention of 2022, the Daily Wire’s Megan Basham published a report on the Guidepost Solution’s Sex Abuse Task Force Report containing many errors in both the process and the conclusions. Much of the post article controversy involves Basham’s coverage of Jennifer Lyell and her criticism of feminist church lawyer, Rachael Denhollander’s involvement.
Some legal experts told me Denhollander’s previous representation of Lyell against the executive committee made her later advisory role to the task force ethically questionable.
The apparent conflict of interest of the report is a major red flag uncovered by Basham. The Southern Baptist Convention would pay an undisclosed amount to Jennifer Lyell based on an understanding that a 12 year long ongoing sexual relationship that was at times long distance between two SBC staffers was somehow abusive and the result of grooming.
The term sex abuse is reserved for instances where children are preyed on. Often times abusers condition these children for abuse (grooming) and they have multiple victims. Jennifer Lyell was a 26 year old seminary student when the “grooming” took place. There is a major assumption that this relationship was unilaterally manipulative which appears to be a retroactive narrative. In 2019, the Baptist Press would apologize for its initial reporting on this story because it did not label the incident sex abuse based on Lyell’s own words.
Basham reports that Lyell is the most featured accuser in the Sex Abuse Task Force Report. Guidepost Solution claims corroboration of the abuse narrative but what was their actual process for investigation?
Again and again in the 35-plus pages that feature her case, Guidepost investigators claim Lyell’s version of events is “corroborated.” What that would mean in a police investigation is that witnesses offered other evidence against Sills. What it appears to have meant to Guidepost is that Lyell told her story to Geiger and Mohler, and both men said they believed it, according to the Baptist Press. In fact, Geiger, the first person to whom Lyell revealed the alleged abuse, told me Guidepost never even asked him to provide statements or evidence.
Based on hearsay, the abuse narrative was accepted prior to the Guidepost being involved. On Twitter, Basham would provide screenshot of her emails with various persons of interest involved.
Megan Basham raising these issues has brought forth ample social media backlash from Big Eva.
The Southern Baptist Convention would pass Resolution 6 which acknowledged Jennifer Lyell as an abuse survivor and therefore labeling David Sills as an abuser.
On July 6th, this story would resurface because Bob Smietana, a liberal reporter of the pagan Religious News Service wrote an apologetic for Jennifer Lyell, When abuse victims are adults, they’re often treated as ‘sinners,’ threats to churches. In it, Smietana attacks the orthodox understanding of sin referring to a professor at an apostate university.
David Pooler, a professor of social work at Baylor University, disagrees with that framing. Pooler, who has studied clergy misconduct, said no one wants to redefine sin. Instead, he said, he and other experts want to define clergy misconduct more accurately. Calling clergy misconduct an affair or moral failing misses the power dynamics at play, he said. Most helping professions have codes of conduct in place to protect the public from those who would misuse their trust.
“The guiding principle for any helping profession is the person with more power is always responsible,” he said.
Yet even if we accept this as true, a Lifeway executive has more power than a seminary professor of missions. So to use this Cultural Marxist framework to absolve Jennifer Lyell of sin is not only heretical but falls flat on its own framework. Nonetheless, many in Big Eva would lash out at those who question the narrative.
I am extremely disappointed in the attacks and misrepresentations of what happened to @jenlyell. I know how well this was investigated by @albertmohler & @SBTS. Victims of sexual abuse should not be abused repeatedly on Social Media, especially by followers of Jesus.— Daniel Akin (@DannyAkin) July 8, 2022
Hi Eric. So I'll note what you provided me was your account of hearing Lyell's story & accounts of those who also believed her. "I found Jennifer’s account to be credible based on conversations w/ her, conversations w/ those who confronted abuser." Also here is rest of exchange. pic.twitter.com/vwe1AkXMRH— Megan Basham (@megbasham) July 7, 2022
The SBC has circled the wagons to defend a story an adulteress as a sex abuse survivor in a grand attempt to virtue signal to feminists at the expense of the law of God.