We are disturbed and saddened by reports that former SEA member William Birch was arrested Saturday 3/17/12 and charged with sexual assault against another Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student (on the whole matter, see http://sbcvoices.com/stunned-sad-and-confused-a-blogging-brother-falls-into-sin/, which links to further information). Billy left membership in SEA last month, before this alleged terrible fall into sin. But because of Billy’s prominent, substantial prior involvement with SEA, we think it behooves us to offer comment on the situation and to explain our response.
First, we denounce sexual immorality of any sort. Sexual immorality is sin, detestable in God’s sight and ours (though we hasten to add that God loves all sinners, and desires that they would repent, and so be forgiven ). Second, we pray for comfort, healing, and strength for the victim. Third, while reports have said that Billy has confessed to wrongdoing, we are encouraged by word of Billy having a genuine attitude of repentance over the matter. We pray for complete and lasting repentance and spiritual restoration for Billy. Finally, given these developments, we have decided to delete any posts by Billy from this year (2012) and not to post any more of Billy’s work that has already been submitted to our website but not yet published on the site. We do so in order to express our vehement disapproval of Billy’s actions. However, since falling into sin does not itself invalidate the truth or helpfulness of what Billy has written in the past, we are not deleting all of Billy’s work that has appeared on our site over the years. His posts from prior years will remain on the site. We want to send a strong message of disapproval for Billy’s sin, yet do not want to send the message that falling into sin invalidates all of one’s previous work.
The Executive Committee of the Society of Evangelical Arminians
Update: Upon Billy’s repentance and after over 2 years of exclusion from being posted on SEA’s site, Billy has been allowed to begin posting again on SEA’s website. We are thankful to God for Billy’s repentance and that he could be restored to posting on our website.