"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Momentary Lapse of Naming Rights: The Truth in Crisis at Southwestern Theological Seminary


Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary approved the establishment of a cultural engagement center during their October 2007 meeting at the seminary's Fort Worth, Texas, campus. According to Baptist Press, the center will be named for Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission since 1988, and will be a partnership between the seminary and the ERLC.

It is obvious that Southern Baptist Richard Land is deemed a brilliant cultural and philosophical thinker by trustees and administration at Southwestern Seminary. One does wonder, however, if the naming of the cultural center after Richard Land places Southwestern's official argument for terminating Dr. Sheri Klouda on dangerous footing. Dr. Klouda was released by Paige Patterson with the explanation that she was a woman in a position reserved for men. A nationwide uproar ensued over Klouda's dismissal. SWBTS trustee Chairman Van McClain found himself in an awkward position. Seeking to explain away the unanimous trustee vote to hire Dr. Klouda in 2002, a scant one year prior to Dr. Patterson becoming SWBTS President, Dr. McClain told the Associated Press that Klouda's hiring was a 'momentary lax of parameters.' Van McClain further said that Southwestern's removal of Klouda (without a trustee vote) was an effort by administration 'to be more consistent with most Southern Baptists' understanding of Scripture on the matter.'

Ironically, Southwestern's 'offical' rationale on the Klouda matter is completely opposite of the views of the very man for whom their new cultural center is being named. In James Hefley's book "Truth in Crisis: The Controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention" (vol. 4 of a 5 vol series), page 176, Dr. Richard Land is quoted, verbatim, during his 1988 job interview with the Christian Life Commission (now ERLC) Board of Trustees, as saying.

“I understand that [women’s ordination] is a problem with many [Southern Baptists] . . . and it is one that we need to be sensitive in addressing. It has been my experience and I hope I’m not being judgmental here, that many people, I suspect, use the women’s ordination issue as an excuse for having attitudes about women that aren’t Christian. I think we have to . . . make it very clear that we affirm the equality of women . . ., and be extremely cautious about extrapolating from two spheres, the home and the church. For instance, I don’t’ think that anything in the New Testament would prohibit a woman from being a professor or an administrator in any of our seminaries or colleges.”

I can hear almost now hear the argument being prepared by SWBTS attorneys that there was a momentary lapse of parameters in the naming rights of the new cultural center at SWBTS. I don't anticipate, however, that a judge or jury will accept that argument. When one man (President Patterson) believes a woman should not teach Hebrew to men, and then that one man seeks to enforce that peculiar belief on an SBC institution - regardless of previous trustee decisions and the Southern Baptist Convention's collective will about the matter - then the agency in question opens herself up to both public embarrassment and tremendous liability. Sadly, the danger of an oligarchy of philosphically like-minded men handpicking agency trustees over the course of several years is that an agency finds herself being governed by trustees who find it difficult to hold accountable the very person to whom they owe their position. One only has to look at the strategic SWBTS trustees who were hired to serve on faculty at SWBTS after Patterson was hired by them to serve as SWBTS President to understand the machiavellian tendencies of some within the SBC.

Maybe the trustees should consider naming the new cultural center the Sheri Klouda Center for Cultural Engagement. In all practical purposes she may very well end up owning it.

In His Grace,


Wade

66 comments:

volfan007 said...

wade,

when you quoted richard land as saying,"For instance, I don’t’ think that anything in the New Testament would prohibit a woman from being a professor or an administrator in any of our seminaries or colleges.”

what's the point? why are you trying to make this an issue, when it is not? you seem to be trying to say that this is somehow contradictory to dr. patterson and swbts position about women teaching in places reserved for men only. richard land's comment doesnt contradict dr. patterson's view in any way that i can see. a woman could be a prof. in leading singing, or in english classes offered by the seminary. she could teach children's and women's ministries in a seminary. she could be the head librarian. she could be an assistant whatever in administrative areas. and, she could do all of these things at a seminary that dr. patterson leads, and that would fit richard land's statement.

so, i really dont see your point. unless, you're trying to make something out of nothing. or, you're trying to use something that doesnt actually fit just to make your view look good.

sorry, but this one doesnt float.

david

Wade Burleson said...

Volfann007 writes "richard land's comment doesnt contradict dr. patterson's view in any way that I can see . . . " and "I really don't see your point."

Wade responds . . .

“There is a budding morrow in midnight, / There is a triple sight in blindness keen.”
John Keats (English Romantic Poet. 1795-1821)

Tony Kummer said...

The quote suggests that prohibiting women from teaching fails to affirm the equality of women.

The quote would make Wade's point very well, except that it is 20 years old.

Dr. Mohler and Dr. Paige have both changed their minds on "women in ministry" since then.

Opinions can change like the wind.

Tim W. said...

Wade,

I see your point clearly and completely agree with it. There is immense irony here that does indeed lend credibility to the Klouda case. It is not her fault that Paige or anybody else changed the rules of the game in midstream. If the courts take the case based on the employer/employee relationship -as it should be - then it will be a slam dunk for Klouda. Denominational position on doctrinal issues will no doubt be reviewed, but they will be looked upon the same as any company policy. Of course Southwestern is hoping for a ruling that will favor them as a church and not an employer. This will not fly because of one simple fact - the school hired the woman and gave her a paycheck. She was an employee wrongfully fired. Paige better be carefully because he may very well be asked to explain Richard Land's comment while under oath.

Tim W.

Seminary Student said...

Tony,

Simply because Mohler (had not finished his PhD) and Page (had finished his PhD) changed their minds on the subject doesn't mean (or even insinuate) that Land has changed his mind. In fact, I would argue that you are totally off base in linking Mohler/Page with the possibility that Land has changed his position. They argued women could pastor and be ordained; Land specifically denies this. I don't see much room here for Land to shift further to the right.

Second, if Land had changed his mind, being a member of the 2000 BFM revision committee would have given him ample opportunity to project his thoughts on this matter. . . "We believe women should submit to their husbands and they can't teach in seminary."

Oops, that's not what the document says by any stretch of the imagination. in fact, Land says the exact opposite. While roles in the church and family are explicitly described by the Bible, we should NOT carry those roles over into the rest of life. Your suggestion just grasps for air.

Seminary Student said...

Volfan,

Nice try, but like Tony, your attempt to restrict or reinterpret Land's statement just doesn't do justice to his own words. While Land (it seems) would certainly affirm a woman's right to teach "singing . . . English classes, . . . children’s and women’s ministry. . . head librarian. . . assistant in administrative," you are cutting him off at the knees. If he meant that women should only serve in those capacities, then he is smart enough to have said so. When he answered this question by the CLC BoT, there was a majority of conservatives on the BoT. He wasn't sidestepping the issue just to get the job. They asked him the question and he answered it fully.

Why do you suppose it is fair to restrict his words? If he felt women should not teach Hebrew or Theology or New Testament, he would have said so. To imply otherwise is quite a hermeneutical jump. Why can't you accept that there are some who are staunchly conservative who would disagree with the revered "Red Bishop" (his self-designated term, not mine).

Wade's 'point' is clear. Land and Patterson appear to be at loggerheads on this issue. What I don't see is your point. It looks like you are "trying to make nothing out of something". Moreover, you are plain wrong in your assertion that this statement "doesn't actually fit".

I'm sorry that your loyalty to the establishment and your bias against Wade causes you to make such a silly closing statement, because this argument ‘does float’, my friend.

CB Scott said...

Vol,

Lead singing?

OK, I'll take that one up.

In any seminary or Bible college worth getting a degree from will expect any professor, male or female, who is employed to teach students to "Lead Singing" to teach the leading of songs from a biblical worldview.

Therefore, by design, intent and educational purpose if that "song leading" professor, be they male or female, fails to use the Bible and theological training in their lesson planning they should be dismissed as a professor in the seminary or Bible college.

Vol, teaching the various disciplines of sacred music requires, by design, one to teach the Bible and Christian theology. In many ways those disciplines require more biblical and theological content and discussion than does the teaching of biblical languages.

Theologically, you and I can easily walk together. I agree with most all of your positions as a Christ-Follower and as a Southern Baptist.

On this matter concerning what happened to Dr. Klouda we do not agree. Dr. Patterson was wrong, plain and simple and if good men such as yourself would have simply stood up and told him so in the very beginning of this mess we may have been able to have avoided this shameful thing we are now involved in and we may have been able to have been accountable as Christian brothers to a woman who needed our help in a bad time.

Dr. Klouda has been a victim of extreme, and unrighteously rude behavior and I cannot bring myself to say any other thing about it, nor can I even imagine in my wildest moments that God is pleased with what happened to that lady and her family.

I also believe this injustice lays firmly at the feet of gutless and silly trustees who were more interested in feathering their own nests than in justice and proper Christian behavior.

cb

Rex Ray said...

Volfan007,
If Patterson and you would take off your blindfolds of discriminating male egos, maybe you both could see.

I believe the law may knock a hole in Patterson’s, but I don’t know about yours.

Sorry, Wade, but he started it. ha (I may be like Dave Miller this morning…a little cranky.)

Lin said...

As we can all see by the comments, starting down the road of legalism can be tricky with all kinds of twists and turns ending up in cul de sacs going round and round.

The problem people want to ignore with the Klouda case is that Patterson had to SIN against a sister in dire need and hurt her family in order to follow HIS interpretation of scripture.

Now, how can that be?

Anonymous said...

"While roles in the church and family are explicitly described by the Bible, we should NOT carry those roles over into the rest of life."

Where are they explicit?

Jon L. Estes said...

Are there any professors at SWBTS who teach theology who are divorced?

I don't know but to make such a role a pastoral office, then if there is, it is time for more letting go. Only to keep with the present perceived thinking, that is.

Dr. Klouda should still be in Ft. Worth.

Anonymous said...

The above comment is not from me. But I would add to the question.

On what grounds do you base the fact that we should not carry these roles into other parts of life?

Just a question. No other meaning behind it.

dwmiii

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the comment above Jon's. He beat me to the submit button.

dwmiii

Jon L. Estes said...

I think there are two offices found in scripture: Pastor and Deacon.

Not professor, Seminary president, or administrator. My post was to seek info if there were any divorced men teaching theology and if so, how come?

There may not be, I don't know but the two most frequent debates in the land of the pastors, to who can and who can not are divorce and gender.

The removal of Dr. Klouda was sin.

Jon L. Estes said...

Now I answered for nothing...

;-)

Only By His Grace said...

Wow! Wade.

You have stuck your neck out for the sword again. I am glad you did. It is brilliant. They still cannot touch you. I wonder if our brother Hiram is going to add this article to his motion at the Convention.

Truth is a very peculiar person; when she is wronged she has a nasty way of finding her way back to the light while pulling down all the charades that wronged her. I think that Dr. Patterson will find this out much to his dismay.

The end product of pulling down the charades is called justice. It may take some time for truth to surface, but she always does.

By the way we are hoping to prepare valentines with Dr. Klouda's picture to take a February Love offering for her. Our MoM filched her pictures off the web. I hope some others will do the same.

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...

Wade and others,

My question... so what if Richard Land believes women can serve as professors, whether it is singing, languages, or preaching. The answer is simple. Drs. Patterson and Land disagree on this issues. To nobodies surprise, this is probably not the only issue they disagree on. The fact remains, the decision to dismiss Klouda was Patterson's to make and he made it. That authority has been invested in him by the trustees who have gained their authority from the convention.

Naming the center after Land is no more of a complete endorsement of everything he has ever said any more than naming Carrol Park after BH is a complete endorsement of everything he ever said or wrote, i.e., Postmillenialism.

It seems the only Machivellian manipulation occuring is by the author of this post.

John B.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

one more thought. Does your supporting of your churches calling Ben mean you approve everything he has ever said, done, or wrote?

It seems the most glaring contradiction is your assertion of the narrowing of the parameters in the SBC, and the only fix is for you to narrow the parameters for the SBC.

John B.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Let me apologize for mentioning Ben. Please remove that comment. What I would rather say is,

"does a pastor supporting the calling of another staff member automatically ensure that they will totally agree on anything?"

I don't think any of us would want that strict of parameters for our hiring [calling] practices.

Does the very name "Criswell College" allege that the president of the institution MUST agree with everything Criswell ever said or wrote? It doesn't seem so.

John B.

Debbie Kaufman said...

John B: Speaking for myself, a Christian woman who is Southern Baptist, your and david's comments continue to disturb me. Greatly.

Louis said...

It is a great honor to Dr. Land to have the new center at Southwestern named after him.

To come from a hard working blue collar area of Houston, to go to Princeton then to Oxford for a PhD is a record of great accomplishment.

He has also done a good job at ERLC. I read his latest book on Church-State issues, and thought that he did a very good job on a tough subject.

It is good that Southwestern is starting a center like this. I hope that future Southwestern grads will benefit from some of the teaching a programming that will go on.

I have refrained from commenting about the lawsuit, and will continue to do so. I also don't want to handicap this lawsuit in terms of liability or damages. After practicing law for 21 years, I find it hard enough to predict what will happen in the lawsuits that I am handling. I am not invested in any particular outcome. I wish all the parties well, and whatever the result will look forward to the issue being put behind us as soon as possible.

I really don't find that most people in churches that I attend even know about the lawsuit or that the convention, as a whole, is in an uproar about it, though there are certain quarters where it really is a hot topic of conversation.

I think that the BF&M 2000 addresses the gender question. The SBC is primarily on the side of complimentarians vs. egalitarians.

At our fellowship, women play a vital role. They are involved in all aspects of the our minstry. They have served and do serve as deacons (we call them ministry teams), staff people, including worship director and missions director. The only role they do not serve in is elder.

Peace to all!

Louis

Dave Miller said...

Ouch, Rex Ray - that one stung a little. But I am off my medicine now and chipper.

However, it was 18 below in Sioux city this morning, so my hands are frozen. Wait till I thaw!

Anonymous said...

Debbie,

Disagreement noted.

John B.

Anonymous said...

Simplistic thought. Churches give to the CP, entities recieve from the CP. Which does SWBTS do?

Dave Miller said...

I don't really agree with Volfan (how can anyone give credibility to a Tennesse Vols fan - come on, really now). Nor do I agree with John B's perspectives.

But they have presented opposing points on a site they knew would be hostile. They have not engaged in name-calling. They have stated opinions in a rational manner.

I don't agree with what they said, but I can't imagine why anyone would be "disturbed" by their comments, or would treat them like they said something scandalous.

Near as I can tell, they have engaged in principled dissent from the prevailing opinion here.
They have done it in a decent manner.

Their arguments should be answered but they do not deserve either wrath or ridicule.

Anonymous said...

Wade and others,

Like it or not, John B.'s original comment is the most lucid statement on here as of yet.

Wade, I find this comment a great deal hyperbolic: "A nationwide uproar ensued over Klouda's dismissal." Maybe a more accurate statement would be, "An SBC blogosphere-wide conversation began, debating the rightness/wrongness of Klouda's dismissal."

Honestly, I can't find a SWBTS trustee that has given this ordeal a second thought. As a matter of fact, I would be surprised if the Klouda issue was given much consideration at the last trustee meeting at SWBTS. Your experience and conversations may be different.

Just a thought.

JS Houston

Tom Parker said...

JS Houston,

You might not can find a SWBTS Trustee that is giving the Klouda issue a second thought, but they better start giving it some thought. They are going to lose this case and it is going to cost somebody a lot of money.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Tom: I was thinking the same thing. :)

JS: The fact that they are not giving it a second thought shows why we need reform. When one can allow this to happen to another human being and not give it a second thought, that is a moral and spiritual problem. For it to be rampant among the trustees makes it a possible epidemic of moral and spiritual problems.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe a more accurate statement would be, "An SBC blogosphere-wide conversation began, debating the rightness/wrongness of Klouda's dismissal."

That is interesting. My 87 year old uncle asked me if I knew anything about the 'woman professor' who Patterson fired. I can promise you he is not a blogger. I asked him how he knew. He said an old friend called him about it. His old friend goes to a country church in another state and is 86. He is also not a blogger. But both are life long SBC'ers and former elders. His SS class has several former Association Presidents attending. This is only anecdotal but it shows it is NOT confined to the blogosphere.

Both 'seniors' are outraged about it. My uncle asked me to print off information to show his SS class.

All it takes is ONE person in each SBC church to know about the firing, her husband's condition, etc. I wouldn't get too smug yet.

Mills

Lin said...

"As a matter of fact, I would be surprised if the Klouda issue was given much consideration at the last trustee meeting at SWBTS."

Thank you for reminding us how far some have fallen from the biblical standards of carrying each others burdens. One does not expect such cruelty to come from fellow Brothers and Sisters. But then, it's really not about that anymore, is it.

Patrick said...

The part that I find funny is that Patterson believes that his view on women in ministry is based on literal interpretation of the text. Yet, women are still allowed to speak in our congregations, which if you take the text literally, is completely forbidden. So, if the text is to be taken literally, is my children's minister bringing shame on herself everytime she gets up and speaks in front of the congregation? Shouldn't she simply sit in submissive silence and rely on her husband to respond to her concerns? What about women singing on the praise team? Aren't they supposed to be quiet in church? This is my whole problem with our view on women in ministry. We seem to cherrypick the Bible to support our human-created rules, and fail to read the entire context of what a passage is trying to say.
This isn't to say I support women ministers, but that I think we need to look at the whole picture.

happy gram said...

my, my. you baptists make me weary.

Matt said...

Wade,

I hope you prove to be right with your predictions about the Klouda lawsuit, but I don't share your optimism. There's substantial case law that will likely lead the judge to throw the suit out on summary judgment. (There's enough ambiguity in the law that I won't be shocked if Judge McBryde doesn't toss the suit. I just think the possibility is less likely.) If it somehow doesn't get kicked out on summary judgment, I expect the parties to settle. I can't imagine a competent lawyer advising Paige to take this case to trial before a jury. Then again, there's always the possibility he will arrogantly refuse to follow the advice of counsel...

Michael said...

the Klouda/SWBTS relationship is not just a regular employer/employee relationship with a at-will clause.
I guessing she sued under the whole "breach of contract" and contractual obligations under tort law.
we'll see,
Say Wade, how is Mrs Klouda doing?

Wade Burleson said...

The Klouda family is doing better. Pinky's heart is still in a critical and dangerous state, but we were able to send the family $5,000 a couple of weeks ago. That should help on medical bills.

Matt said...

Michael,

If you want to know exactly what claims Klouda is making, you can get all the filings (motions, briefs, etc.) for the case from PACER for a fee:
http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/
Many of the documents have also been posted at SBCOutpost. She has multiple claims including breach of contract, employment discrimination, promissory estoppel, etc.

Jay said...

Wade,

Go find the recent (like last week recent) JETS issue, and read Harold Hoehner's article.

It is abstract, which is to say the practical implications still need to be fleshed out, but I think you'll find it intresting as it pertains to this situation.

Dave Miller said...

Hoehner's position is pretty strange. (By the way, he was my favorite seminary prof!)

He asserts that pastor/teacher is not a church office, but only a spiritual gift. Since it is a gift, not an office, the gift of pastor/teacher is open to both men and women.

Two observations: The elders of Ephesus were commanded (Acts 20;28) to "shepherd" the flock of God. It seems that the office and the gift were the same.

Second, the Hoehner premise leads to all kinds of problems in defining roles available to women. It is sort of an egalitarian/complementarian compromise, and will likely satisfy neither side.

Bill said...

Without speaking to egalitarian / complementarian issues, I think Hoehner is dead on. Elder is a position. Pastor is a gift. A church should be led by elders, one of whom (at least) should have the gift of pastoring.

Anonymous said...

Vol,

Have you even taken any seminary classes? I would agree with another post...If a lady teaches children's ministry to men isnt that the same thing? You cannot get a theological education without theology. I think we should move at the convention to take all hymns written by women out of our hymnal. They are rather theological dont you think........give me a break

Chris Johnson said...

Jay,

Interesting subject,….I too had read the JETS article and found it very sporadic in thought. The article appears to manufacture dots for connecting,….. but it is an interesting read that worth the viewing.

As cb stated above, …. Patterson is just plain wrong with what he has done, not necessarily his convictions. He may believe that women should remain silent and never teach men. That’s for him to wrestle with….

All this is really “not” about his convictions, but about how he did what he did. In the business world, which the seminary is a part (it is not a church), the behavior that was exhibited is prohibited by law. I work in this day in and day out; and I would be, and may turn out to be astonished if the courts find in favor of the seminary.

If cooler heads prevail, there will be a settlement, of which the professor should receive a good deal of remuneration for what has occurred. This is no different than a basketball coach having his contract cut short by a greedy basketball franchise. The franchise will pay and move on. I don’t see SWBTS as a greedy basketball franchise, but they should and will pay none the less.

Blessings,
Chris

Anonymous said...

The connection seems a bit tangential, but the point is clear: that a small minority are pushing their views about the appropriate role of women on the SBC as a whole. It's been this way for a long, long time, which prompted so many of us to leave, and which continues to prompt intelligent and capable young women to seek theological education at non-SBC institutions at which their calls will be affirmed.

It's easy to explain Dr. Land's view of women as he published it at the time. All you need to do is spend five minutes with his wife, who is absolutely brilliant and who has done anything but follow Al Mohler's model of a stay-at-home mother and homemaker in her career.

Go Hiram Go.... said...

The reality is that it isn't a national uproar, most don't have a clue who this lady is.

GO Hiram Go.

J

Rex Ray said...

The above sounds like Hiram Smith.

SBCers For Hiram :) said...

Hiram he's our man, if you can't kick Wade out who can. :)

Voice_of_Reason said...

Wade - Paige Patterson seems to have the same problem as his "good old boys" Darrell Gilyard and Mac Brunson have. (See www.tiffanycroft.blogspot.com and www.fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com for details of the scandals these two pastors are facing.) No accountability or openness to their congregations is the root of both problems. You are a perfect example of how people who try to discuss things out in the open are treated. Now, if their own congregations try to question them, they send out goon squads, or more officially, "discipline committees."

FBC Jacksonville and Pastor Mac Brunson recently amended the by-laws without any discussion and without freely distributing the proposed changes before a vote, to allow the church to form a discipline committee and to allow the pastor greater authority in hand-picking the committees to which he is accountable. The presumed purpose regarding the timing of these sudden amendments? Anonymous emails and bloggers who question the pastor accepting a $307,000 piece of land gift only two weeks after he arrived. The deed, which can be viewed from a link on www.fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com, shows the deed was given "for love and affection." The pastor also put his wife and son on full salary and benefits, yet they filled no job opening, have no job description, and are not listed on the website as part of the staff. He also took away from its intended use, and then converted the conference room of the new children's building to build luxury offices for him and his wife, away from the rest of the staff. While living in a million dollar condo on the Atlantic Ocean rent free, and after he accepted the gift of the land, he complained to Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson about his congregation be "recalcitrants", causing both of them to come to his defense, one at the Pastor's conference, and the other at chapel at SWBTS. Poor old Mac. Not to mention the 6 bedroom, 4.5. bath 5500 square feet home he built on the golf course in a gated community. A real man of the people who inspires us to give even more money to Jesus. HE LEFT FBC DALLAS, previously one of the wealthiest congregations in the SBC, OVER $9 MILLION in debt when he left, and is now saying FBC Jax is "behind budget" too. He also is asking for more sacrificial giving to build a school only a handful of members want, and none actually need. And no one is even bothering to question his presumed exorbitant salary and benefits, we all assume he "earns" that so it is not even in the discussion. Mac's stated "number one problem in our church?" You guessed it... a lack of church discipline! It seems Patterson, and Mac Brunson, and their buddy sexual predator pastor Darrel Gilyard, can only be challenged by the press, police, or bloggers. Keep up your good work at the IMB and watching these so-called leaders of our convention.

greg.w.h said...

Voice of Reason's comments deserve a little context:

1. Patterson left FBC Dallas and Criswell College in 1992 to become president of SEBTS. Brunson was not brought in as pastor until 1999.

2. The nine million in debt was on a $45 million building. And FBC Dallas owns quite a few buildings in downtown Dallas so the nine million in "capital" debt should be considered with respect to their assets and not be misrepresented as any kind of budgetary deficit or debt. I can check with my cousin (who is in his 70s, whose mother taught a girls class at FBC Dallas in the 50s/60s, and has had a continuous membership with FBC since at least the 70s) if anyone wants me to further substantiate facts about the situation, but I'm pretty sure Brunson was on good terms with FBC itself. There are believable rumors I'm aware of as to WHY he left,--and it had nothing to do with money--but since they're rumors, I won't repeat them. I'm absolutely positive that ANYONE who tried to uncover the rumors and corroborate them with long-term members could do so.

3. Patterson ejected Gilyard from Criswell in 1991 (17 years ago) after Gilyard admitted to adultery according to two reports I found. Patterson did this so that he would not be able to be employed further in churches that knew of the situation. The church in Florida isn't associated with the SBC. One comment attributed to Patterson apparently was a warning to Gilyard against continuing some questionable behavior or it would affect kill his ministry. Given that the comment was apparently hearsay regarding what could only be a private conversation between Patterson and Gilyard, I would consider it unreliable and certainly lacking the additional context of what specifically Paige was discussing even if that quote had been true.

4. The fbcjaxwatchdog blog comes across as an emotional hatchet job. Every fact presented there might be absolutely true, but I'd offer there is a perspective being pushed by the site and that perspective needs to be considered in analyzing it.

The entire voice of reason comment and especially the inclusion of the Gilyard situation is a classic example of the "guilty-by-association" fallacy. So the voice of reason--an anonymous blogspot tag with no profile or blog attached--should probably be called "voice of unreason" instead.

Wade: please consider deleting the post and this one as well if you delete that one.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

"Given that the comment was apparently hearsay regarding what could only be a private conversation between Patterson and Gilyard, I would consider it unreliable and certainly lacking the additional context of what specifically Paige was discussing even if that quote had been true."

do you believe that one of the victims was told by Patterson not to come back unless she had 3 witnesses?

greg.w.h said...

Anouma (presumably 'Voice of Reason??'):

The first thing, before I answer, is this: Wade doesn't need to be painted with the suspicion that he tolerates unsubstantiated, unreasonable attacks against Convention leadership. For that reason alone, I asked him to remove the post.

(Continue deleting to here, Wade, if you pull out your scissors.)
Comments like the one you mention beg for context and while I could state my personal opinion of the possibility of the comment being true, I am unable to evaluate it fairly without that context.

Suffice it to say that I believe that Patterson did eject Gilyard from Criswell College (not Seminary as is claimed in the report where I saw that particular statement made) in 1991 either because of Gilyard's confessed adultery or due to evidence that convinced Patterson. I believe this because Patterson is quoted in one of the online articles as saying as much. I am willing to give him credit for positive statements about himself that he makes to the press because they can easily fact check and substantiate them. And I can't imagine that Paige Patterson has had a phone call or other contact with Gilyard since 1991. So while his initial response to the situation is rumored as inadequate, he eventually took a meaningful action and is unlikely to be a current supporter of Gilyard.

By the way, if the women had a substantiative claim against Gilyard, why did they not immediately take it to civil authorities instead of Patterson, especially if they thought Patterson wasn't sufficiently attentive to their complaint?

Again, the entire post comes across as guilt by association. As Christians, we need to be extraordinarily careful of stoking emotion in order to attack someone's reputation. None of "Voice of Reason's" comments avoid that perception. And trying to rescue the original quote with another, unsubstantiated quote isn't helpful in my opinion.

Greg Harvey

P.S. I have been in three separate situations where missionary or church leaders have committed some form of sexual assault on a minor. In the first case--on the field in Indonesia--the missionary continued to serve for at least 20 years after an initial confession to sin and continued to molest many children--we think at least 20 including many of my fellow MKs, (some who I consider very close friends) as well as likely molesting nationals--during some or all of that continued service. He was fired (not retired) circa 1995 and later public reports (including some by Baptist Press and state papers) corroborated the situation.

In the other two situations, a major church in Texas that I was a member of had two different ministerial staff members (including one that baptized two of my daughters) who were accused, convicted/pled out, and sentenced for either sexual assault of a minor or attempted sexual assault of a minor. (All of this can be corroborated via extant web pages of the events from online newspaper sites) and other sources.

So don't believe for a moment that I subscribe to the culture of silence that exists in many churches when they are embarrassed by leaders who sin egregiously. I don't.

Stephen Pruett said...

David-
In your comment at the beginning of this thread you mention not seeing a contradiction between Land and Patterson. Dr. Land made a general statement that the New Testament would not prohibit a woman from being a professor or administrator in our seminaries. He did not mention exceptions such as prohibiting women from serving as professors when teaching theology to men. Of course, we all know Dr. Patterson's view on this topic.

Why any of this matters is that it illustrates that Dr. Patterson's actions in the Klouda situation were based on an interpretation of scripture that is not accepted by a conservative, smart, old guard SBC leader such as Dr. Land. It is not a Baptist consensus position, nor should it be.

The scriptures on which Dr. Patterson's view is based were clearly addressed to churches. Extrapolating them to a seminary is just the type of fast and loose application of scripture for which we as Baptists criticize those bad old liberals.

This is an outstanding example of where continuing to narrow the parameters of cooperation and participation in the SBC will lead us.

cameron coyle said...

"Sadly, the danger of an oligarchy of philosphically like-minded men handpicking agency trustees over the course of several years is that an agency finds herself being governed by trustees who find it difficult to hold accountable the very person to whom they owe their position."

Isn't it interesting how easily one sentence can blame just about any perceived problem on that darn conservative resurgence?

Anonymous said...

"And trying to rescue the original quote with another, unsubstantiated quote isn't helpful in my opinion."

In other words, what Patterson tells the press is true. What the victim tells the press is unsubstantiated.

Seems Patterson is to be believed no matter what his actions have been in many OTHER areas over the last 15 years.

We have already seen that he lies...to Dr. Klouda and about finances.

Voice_of_Reason said...

greg - thanks for your well stated and reasoned response. It has been hard for me to get any genuine replies to my concerns. Usually, I am just personally attacked, pschyo-analyzed and the questions I raise are ignored. I truly appreciate your views.

My point in posting here is that I see similar overall lack of accountability and lack of openness from the the Gilyards, Brunsons and Pattersons of the SBC.

Brunson recently had our bylaws amended to give him more unilateral authority to hand pick key committee members, more financial control for himself, and the formation of a discipline committee on the heels of several sermons pointing out the need for church discipline due to people that disagree with some actions of his in the church. The bylaws were not freely distributed and no one knew what the changes were prior to the vote UNLESS, you went to library and signed out numbered copies of the proposed changes. You were not allowed to copy them or take a copy to read. There was no discussion before the vote was taken and no opportunity to ask questions. Then, no explanation or discussion from anyone after they passed. And this from a man who was under pressure already from his congregation to be more open and honest with us.

I mentioned the other things as some specific areas where he raised some red flags with us as to his true motives in coming to Jacksonville, particularly in light of his already beginning to try and push through a K-12 christian school downtown which will need millions of more in donations. Will he leave us also in the middle of this project?

The nepotism and greed, in my opinion, have cost him his ability to lead us. Similarly, Patterson's poor judgement and methods of treating people, even if his motives are pure, are also hurting his ability to lead. I think both of these men, and men such as Gilyard, need to be confronted openly so that their membership can decide to follow them or not. I am glad Wade did not take down these comments. What is your interest in having this discussion kept hidden?

Kerygma said...

Mohler changed his mind about a lot of things once he saw which way the wind was blowing. Those of us who knew him when he was a moderate are regularly amazed by his "lifelong" devotion to fundamentalism.

Dave Miller said...

I don't know Al Mohler. I am not a 5-point Calvinist (4 1/2?) and I do not support some of Al Mohler's view about convention politics.

But the letter above mine is a smear on his reputation and character, and beneath the boundaries of Christian discourse.

The clear implication is that Mohler is a fraud who only became conservative to attain power. I have heard Mohler speak, and he certainly seems to be a man of conviction - not the kind of crass opportunist "kerygma" makes him out to be.

I would not vote for Mohler. I disagree with his reaction to the Garner motion of last year.

But I consider the previous character assassination in line with some of the silly attacks on Wade that have come from some of his detractors.

It was below the belt. I call it a foul!

greg.w.h said...

Voice of Reason:

I stated my reasons. I have no other involvement to disclaim.

Anouma:

Your attempt to put words in my mouth is hereby rejected. I offer no further comment given your desire to use me to push your smear campaign along.

Greg Harvey

CB Scott said...

Greg Harvey,

Well said in your response to the Anony Voice.

cb

Belief Matters said...

I disagree with Wade, but I want to say that the attack on Dr. Mohler by whoever that was has shown me that I have been unkind in my thoughts and words to Wade. I have judged his motives. I apologize to Wade and will do my best to refrain from crossing the line.

Blessings
Jeff

Anonymous said...

"Your attempt to put words in my mouth is hereby rejected. I offer no further comment given your desire to use me to push your smear campaign along."

Smear campaign? I am quoting one of the victims!

You are quick to believe Patterson but not to believe one of the victims?

I think we are seeing why so many victims refuse to speak out. Especially the children who know the 'adults' will respond like this. What victim of sexual abuse has witnesses?

Bryan Riley said...

I'm with happy gram above.

Rex Ray said...

‘Voce of Reason’ referenced www.fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com . I read in it: “…how dare they raise questions about ‘the man of God.’ As Mac says: See also ‘Frank Harber in Texas’ and ‘Bob Reccord at NAMB’ those who brought their abuses to light also were viewed as instruments of the devil by defenders.”

The December 30, 2007 Colleyville, Texas, Local News Only.com tells of Frank Harber participating in the Walt Disney PGA Pro-Am golf tournament with an entry fee of $9,250. It also tells of a mass mailing for his new near-by church.

It seemed strange that Harber would not tell his golf partner what he did for a living. Stranger than that was him calling and asking forgiveness from a widow who was kicked out of his Colleyville church before he was fired. He said he was only a puppet on a string…that the board did it. He complained he did not even own a home for his family. (At one time he was building a million dollar home.)

So maybe it’s not so strange that he called her since she is wealthy.

While he was still pastor at Colleyville, I handed him a paper while saying he was the only person that could take care of this situation. The paper read:

1. The Leadership Board dissolved the Colleyville Senior Adult Bible Explorers Class on 11-6-05.
2. The teacher was fired because he would not promise to always support the Senior Pastor.
3. However, about 50 long time members have continued to meet with their fired teacher.
4. Consequently, they have been denied Sunday school literature and a Christmas party.
5. If the Board rules their disobedience is disruption, they may be ejected from the church.
6. Is it sad the new bylaws prevent anyone standing for them? Outsider, Rex Ray 11-27-05

Harber told those standing by, “I know this man; he is evil!”

Not long afterward, the class was locked out, and a Fed-X letter signed by the Board kicked out four of the class members for “reasons not told to avoid embarrassment” and ended with “God bless.”

At present, the four have been invited back to church, and the fired teacher was chosen ‘Citizen of the Year’ at Colleyville.

If Scripture was written today, instead of “…shouted from the house-tops” it might be “…shouted on the internet.”

Belief Matters said...

I'm confused Rex, who are we talking about Max Brunson, Frank, or WHO?

Lin said...

Rex, Is this another example of 'church discipline'?

Rex Ray said...

I’m confused, Belief Matters, that you’re confused.

Who, we are talking about are pastors that abuse their position for earthly gain. Some have salaries that are unknown by the person in the pew because they’re handled by lawyers and are protected by ‘client privilege.’

We are talking about pastors who get ‘revenge’ on church members if they don’t toe the line. In the case of Harber, he convinced the church to vote to sell the church and move it to another town where two on the committee were realtors.
The ‘four’ removed from the church had been told to stop passing out their reasons for not moving the church before the vote was taken. They did not obey, and their advice was not taken by the church. But later on the church reversed their decision, and Harber got his revenge.

Harber’s claim that he was only a puppet on a string is not backed by the new church by-laws he pushed through. They read in part:

“The Senior Pastor [Harber] shall be the leader of the Leadership Board, the Church congregation, the Church staff, all Church organizations, all Church ministries, and all Church Advisory Committees.”

“The Leadership Board shall be the express and final arbiter of ecclesiastical polity, Christian doctrine, membership discipline, question of Church property, and shall make the final decision with respect to any other matter.”

Lin, you asked if this was an example of church discipline. I’d say it’s more of an example as ‘Watchdog’s blog pointed out:

1. “When pride comes, then comes dishonor…” (Proverbs 11:2)
2. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 11:18)
3. “…But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 28:20)

Harber agreed to a health benefit package and $250,000 if he did not start a church close by, but a week later he wanted one million and the church refused. So he has a church close by without any benefits from his former church of about six years.

Frank said...

Thae above is a lie!

Frank said...

Rex Ray has told so many lies it is hard to fathom. Is this really a Christian forum.