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

The Official End of Paige Patterson's Control and Domination of the Southern Baptist Convention

Photo: Matt Miller of Baptist Press
United States President Donald Trump has sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to ask direct questions about the disappearance and presumed murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

In the Saudi world, opposition to the absolute power and authority of the royals means imprisonment or death.

In the Southern Baptist world, at least for the past forty years (1978 - 2018), opposition to Paige Patterson meant occupational, personal, and vocational banishment.

The forty years of wandering in a spiritual desert are officially over for the Southern Baptist Convention. The trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will open the doors to their first plenary session since the historic 2018 Southern Baptist Convention.

They will have to answer some questions of their alleged "oversight" of former President Paige Patterson while he served as President of their institution, all the while seeking to control every other institution in the SBC world.

I started this blog in 2005 when I saw for myself how Patterson lackeys fawned over him and did his bidding in banishing opposition from positions of leadership. For nearly 15 years I've been writing of the travesty of what our Convention has become.

Finally, people have listened.

I have heard that there is now freedom among entity heads to speak freely. No more intimidation. No more power plays. No more control.

He's gone.

But now, SWBTS trustees, you must be prepared to answer some tough questions. Rather than comment on the questions that must be answered, I'd encourage readers to peruse the documentation attached to the links and formulate your own opinions.

And listen closely to the answers given by SWBTS trustees.

1. How could you allow your former President to have 18 full-time employees in the "President's Office" tasked with hospitality, transportation, and assisting the President and 'First Lady"?

2. How could you approve either directly or indirectly (by your non-action) the astronomical decrease in enrollment and millions of dollars in 'pet-projects' and creature comforts for the President and 'First Lady' which had no direct bearing on the purpose and mission of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary?

3. Where were you when female professors were fired for their gender?

4. Where was your oversight when bylaws were violated and student admissions to SWBTS by Presidential fiat occurred, allowing students to enroll at Southwestern when they couldn't even give a profession of faith in Jesus Christ?

5. How could you ignore the financial crisis that has been building for at least a decade, approving capital investment in new buildings, while not even able to fund the retirement accounts of current employees?

6. Will you do your due diligence and prevent institutional files from being removed by the Pattersons, or will you fall back to bad habits of either ignoring or allowing harmful actions to occur at the very institution you are tasked to oversee?

7. What are you going to do with the stained glass windows you allowed to be installed at a chapel allegedly devoted to the worship of Christ?

8. What are you going to do with the  "amateurish imitations" (Dr. Arstein Justnes' phrase) of Dead Sea Scrolls your institution purchased and placed on display?

9. Will the retirement house you were building for the Pattersons on the campus of SWBTS now be used for educational purposes?

10. Will you now hold accountable the gentleman you allowed Dr. Patterson to place in a faculty position of authority and oversight, ensuring all things were done according to his wishes?

These are serious questions.

And thankfully, we live in a country where those who ask them aren't murdered.

But the era of blackballing opposition to Fundamentalist SBC Leaders is officially over.


76 comments:

Shawn said...

I repeat the question I posted to Baptist Blogger concerning 'the files' - Are you curious as to why the president of Southeastern let the files remain at Southwestern this whole time even though he was informed via cc that they had been removed? Have you turned up in all of your archival research any correspondence showing the president of SEBTS asking the president (his ‘spiritual father’) of SWBTS about the ‘stolen’ (his word) SEBTS property during the almost 10+ years of their removal?

Patterson may be gone but some of his own still head major entities and employ his same tactics of vengeance on any opposition.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

What happens to the stained-glass windows of the Pattersons in the SWBTS chapel?

Anonymous said...

Concerning use of the Reitrement House for educational purposes: "Because this building is largely a collection of libraries with a residence directly apposed and the fact that no classroom instruction will take place within, the building did not require permitting as a commercial building, thus mitigating some construction expenses."

https://swbts.edu/news/releases/southwestern-serve-open-house-baptist-history/

BTW: In a recent drive by the building, I noted that the "Pastor Del Hacienda" inscription had been covered up.

Peyton Wells said...

I was a senior at NOBTS and was kicked out because I divorced a man who was physically abusing me regularly. While I was in the process of being told I could not return anytime soon, they gave me instructions on how to be more submissive. If you want to chat further and potentially talk about this publicly, I would be up for that. Jesuslovahh@gmail.com

Chris Riley said...

Great questions that quite frankly I doubt we will get answers of. If they do answer them transparently, Baptists will hear of how their tithes and offerings have been wasted. By remaining silent, the defenders and apologists can argue conspiracy and innuendo are to blame for the demise. Its about the money. It has always been about the money. And the only thing that will probably change it all is the removal of the money.

Rex Ray said...

Headless Unicorn Guy,

You asked, “What happens to the stained-glass windows of Pattersons in the SWBTS chapel?”

Answer: The Pattersons are still there just as the picture of Paul Pressler a convicted pedophile.

Anonymous said...

"...the era of blackballing opposition to Fundamentalist SBC Leaders is officially over." Really?

"The revolution eats its children." Jacques Mallet du Pan

"Power brooks no rivals." Me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHhrZgojY1Q The Who

BradinKy said...

Has Pressler been convicted?

Wade Burleson said...

Peyton,

I would urge you to contact my friends Debbie and Dee over at www.thewartburgwatch.com

They are better at getting to the heart of stories like yours.

My heart breaks over your treatment.

Wade Burleson said...

BradinKy,

Not yet.

Wade Burleson said...

Shawn,

My understanding is SEBTS is not happy with SWBTS' former President, and their attorney is working with SWBTS' attorney to ensure proper treatment of the archives at Pecan Manor.

Wade Burleson said...

Unicorn,

I am suggesting Megan Lively be allowed to smash them.

Shawn said...

I hope you are right. But, it should have been done in 2004 when the president of SEBTS was informed. But, he is one of Patterson's most inner circle of friends so if he is doing anything it is from external pressure. My suspicion if it is true.

Anonymous said...

Also, were they aware the Pattersons charged SWBTS employees an extra day of vacation if they took off before or after a holiday.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

If Pressler has not been convicted why is he paying money?

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/More-men-accuse-former-Texas-judge-Baptist-12831892.php

“Documents recently made public show that in 2004, Pressler agreed to pay $450,000 to another former youth group member for physical assault. That man, Duane Rollins, filed a new suit last year in which he demands more than $1 million for decades of alleged rapes.
Affidavits for Twining and Schott were submitted this month as part of the suit filed by Rollins against Pressler and eight other defendants, including Woodfill, the Southern Baptist Convention, and Houston’s First and Second Baptist churches. In 2016, a psychiatrist concluded that Rollins had suppressed memories of years of rapes and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as “a direct result of the childhood sexual trauma he suffered,” court records show.
Rollins and his attorney, Dan Shea, say they initially were not allowed to keep a copy of the 2004 settlement. Shea said the new suit was filed in part because of concerns that Pressler, now 87, might stop making the monthly $1,500 payments he agreed to send Rollins until 2029.”

“…He knocked over the tables…the chairs…My temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matthew 21:12-13)
Since Patterson stole records from SEBTS, and Pressler raped boys, would Jesus say? ‘You have turned my Chapel into honoring thieves and pedophiles’.

Instead of talking, why don’t some or all the commenters ‘clean’ the Chapel for Jesus. I’ll make an adjustable pole with a hammer on the end, and we can take turns.
No, I’m not kidding. I don’t mind getting arrested if that’s what it takes.

Christiane said...

In repudiating Patterson's abuses, the SBC has taken a step forward to more fully regard women affirmatively as persons created in the image of God and worthy of dignity and the kind of respect that Patterson's version of patriarchy could never permit.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Patterson is finally gone.

All hail Pope Albert I of Louisville and the new SBC motto:

"Where else are they going to go?"

Ken P.

Scott Shaver said...

Good point. Somebody explain to me again how the patriarchy of Patterson was worse than the patriarchy of Mohler. Or, why Mohler/Mahaney should be any less in the crosshairs of "MeToo" than Paige.

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

In my opinion, Mohler "came on board" under the influence of Patterson, and wasn't strong enough, vocal enough, and independent enough in the beginning of his career.

Look up his doctoral dissertation some day.

To get a position in the SBC, one had to 'kiss the ring.'

Mohler's quite a bit quieter right now. I think he's aware that some of his stances on tertiary issues are not mainstream and conservative Biblical scholars disagree.

I think you'll see an environment of more inclusiveness in the future.

Jon L. Estes said...

//Principle #3 - A Loyal Spirit

"I will neither give nor receive a negative word about you unless you are aware of that which is being said or heard by me."

When someone talks about others rather to others, it breeds disloyalty to, dysfunction in, and destruction of common goals. This little principle, if NOT followed, reveals more about the person who gossips than the one gossiped about. //

I know the topic of the previous post was about staff members in a church but it was also clear that these are basic Christian principles. Do they not apply in this discussion? Or is there no desire for unity so therefore - say what you will...

I have always ssrived to be a talk top - not about kinda guy.

Scott Shaver said...

Jon Estes: Please define "common goals". In my 20 years of vocational ministry I never shared the "goals" of Patterson or Mohler. Beyond that, guess I'm not nor ever have been "your kinda guy".

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I heard that years ago in some country that someone’s anger was ‘dissolved’ by letting the nearest relative of a murdered victim execute the murderer by sawing their head off. It was therapeutic.

I know it works by experience. Long ago in Alaska, the police instead of putting my cousin (grown man) in jail, placed him in my custody and he stayed in our house. Because he stole $10 from my wife and lied about it, I told him, “If you’re going to act like a kid, I’m going to treat you like one. You get one lick for ever dollar.” He held his ankles and I had a thin board.

In the process he said, “I’m not crying because it hurts; it’s the dignity…would you hit in a different spot?”

My anger had already subsided and when he said that it was hard not to laugh.

I said all that to say, maybe Duane Rollins’ post-traumatic stress disorder would be helped if he was the one to smash the stain-glass of Pressler.

Scott Shaver said...

As for "unity" Jon, those you now prefer we "talk to" rather than "about" chose not only to avoid discussion and dialogue with whom they disagreed, they claimed the SBC was better off without them for failure to adhere to their narrow dogmas and shibboleths. If "unity" wasn't a primary goal within the SBC then, why has it become one now. There is no doubt a spiritual "unity" among true believers in Christ, but the recent history of denominational antics within the SBC was certainly not a healthy model of the virtue to which you now appeal.

Scott Shaver said...

I do sincerely hope and pray that you are correct about this Wade.

Anonymous said...

Scott Shaver wrote:

If "unity" wasn't a primary goal within the SBC then, why has it become one now.

In my opinion, "unity" is being pushed now because the Mohler-Moore wing of the SBC has won. Paige Patterson has not had any real power outside SWBTS for quite a while. The real power in the SBC has resided in Louisville for a number of years. Just look at the SBC entities. No one gets to lead an entity without "kissing the ring" of Mohler. There are 5 entity presidencies open in the SBC now. Time will tell if the ring kissing continues.

As far as future "unity" is concerned, as long as CP dollars keep coming in, there will be no problems with unity.

As Randy Newman said in the theme of the TV series "Monk", I could be wrong now, but I don't think so.

Ken P.

Anonymous said...


If they are truly repentant for what they did, they should resign effective immediately. Furthermore, any trustee who let these oversights occur on their watch should be blacklisted from any trustee or SBC leadership position for 10 years.

Problem solved.

I cringe at anyone who describes these people as "godly" while they did what they did, collected perks and pay, and then offer only lip service to the situation.


(Same applies to IMB trustees who let their mess get out of hand too)


Scott Shaver said...

Akin was perfectly fine with Patterson for years until Me2.

Scott Shaver said...

Any "abstract of principles" signed by presidents or faculty of SBC seminaries should include a principle of abstention from partisan denominational politics. Russell Moore doesn't appear to have much use for the typical Southern Baptist in the pew. He has questioned everything from their Christianity to their upbringing. Defund the ERLC and let Russell Moore do his own thing with the stripe of Christian he prefers and let them do it on their own dimes.

Scott Shaver said...

Anonymous: Can you kindly point me to A SINGLE SBC seminary president or denominational entity head (both present or immediate past) who has in any way expressed any measure of "sorrow" or "repentance" for the spiritual blood-letting of the CR? I can't seem to find any record. In fact, and in light of Patterson's fall from SBC grace, most seem to have doubled-down or remained stedfast with their claim that the "CR" was needed and necessary.

Somebody, in light of current circumstances, should at least enlighten us Southern Baptists in flyover country as to WHY it was needed and point out current benefits the SBC enjoys as a result of its occurrence.

Christiane said...

Hello Scott Shaver,

what is the problem with the Me2 movement as you see it?

my own understanding is that women now feel more empowered to speak out about abuses and injustices, not just because they have been victimized but also because many consider it to now be their civic duty to do so

the old 'fear' which was ingrained by injustices in the system where victims were again permitted to be victimized in court by predators' lawyers . . . that 'fear' is still there for older women, but even they are beginning to understand that they had a duty to come forward with the truth about what they endured, because it might have saved someone else from suffering

it's complicated, I know, but I am interested in learning about your point of view, if you care to share it with me as I know that there are concerns about excesses and misuse of this new 'courage' to speak out and society's new willingness to 'listen' respectfully

Scott Shaver said...

Christiane: I have no problem with those manifestations of Me2 which have been beneficial to the right people for the right reasons. I do have problems with the lunatic and destructive aspects of the movement.

My reference above to Me2 was neutral in the sense that I mentioned it only as a watershed moment in the parting of ways between two birds previously flocking and cloaked together by the same color feathers in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Christiane said...

I read in Jane Austen every summer (an old habit) and came across these words in her novel "Pride and Prejudice". The premise is the nearly ruinous victimization of a very young sister of the heroine 'Lizzie'(Miss Elizabeth Bennet) by a rogue who had once TRIED to victimize the young sister of the hero of the novel, Mr. Darcy.

and so the dialogue:

"``I have just had a letter from Jane, with such dreadful news. It cannot be concealed from any one. My youngest sister has left all her friends -- has eloped; -- has thrown herself into the power of -- of Mr. Wickham. They are gone off together from Brighton. You know him too well to doubt the rest. She has no money, no connections, nothing that can tempt him to -- she is lost for ever.''

Darcy was fixed in astonishment. ``When I consider,'' she added, in a yet more agitated voice, ``that I might have prevented it! -- I who knew what he was. Had I but explained some part of it only -- some part of what I learnt -- to my own family! Had his character been known, this could not have happened. But it is all, all too late now.''"


so . . . . all the secrets kept led to the villain Wickham being bribed heavily to marry 'poor Lydia' and the Bennet family is saved from social 'ruin' by Mr. Darcy, who ALSO knew of Wickham's character and 'said nothing', giving more cover to the villain to proceed against further victims.

'Me2' movement might have been a long-time coming, and I bet we could research Shakespeare for more examples of human nature in action, but I'd say that SOMETHING triggered a revolt and from November of 2016 forward, there has been a change in womens' responses to bullying and if that upsets the status quo, well, it might be worth it if it saves even one possible future victim . . . even one. It was time for a RESPONSIBLE change.

Scott Shaver said...

Kinda like the CR of SBC history, Christianne. Have believed The Bible to be both divinely inspired, preserved and infallible for faith and practice my entire life as a Christian, but never viewed "The Bible" as a legitimate basis for Christendom to descend into mean-spirited and warring factions among cooperating Southern Baptists.

Christiane said...

Thanks, Scott Shaver, for responding. I think we cross-commented there, and I appreciated what you had written which I can clearly understand.

I do know about Patterson's misogyny. I don't know the backgrounds of Mohler or of Russell Moore very much by comparison, no.

I do think Patterson abused his authority and victimized women, yes.

Scott Shaver said...

Don't know who Jane Austen is and have never read Pride and Prejudice, Christianne, so the point of your response totally escapes me. More of a Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Catcher In The Rye kind of guy😁

Scott Shaver said...

On your last statement we can certainly agree Christianne. 👍

JDV said...

2. How could you approve either directly or indirectly (by your non-action) the astronomical decrease in enrollment and millions of dollars in ‘pet-projects’ and creature comforts for the President and ‘First Lady’ which had no direct bearing on the purpose and mission of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary?

To flesh this out further, this is from last year:

http://www.bpnews.net/49862/swbts-cuts-staff-due-to-health-care-utility-costs

"After making "low-hanging fruit adjustments" that included reductions in dining services, copy center hours and the fleet of vehicles at the 200-acre campus, Patrick said the administration decided not to fill positions from natural attrition, including student employees who are graduating and staff and faculty set to retire. In order to continue providing health care benefits to employees and their dependents, a third round of cuts involved laying off 30 fulltime staff "in selected areas where functions can be covered in other ways or by organizational change," Patrick said."

(But some areas were well taken care of:)

"Patrick indicated the seminary had fielded questions about "the perceived dichotomy of making budget adjustments that affect staff positions while concomitantly embarking on campus building projects" such as the recently opened Mathena Hall and renovations to Reynolds Auditorium and Barnard Hall. Donor funds designated specifically for those projects cannot be used for operating the seminary, Patrick said. Furthermore, "all newly constructed buildings possess a maintenance and operating endowment to defray the impact on Southwestern's operating budget," he clarified."

Priorities on display, perhaps? Quite possibly, given that issues and shortfalls were discussed by Patterson back in 2008, we see Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary "making difficult decisions in an effort to protect the institution from future financial crisis" (which we know from the 2017 article didn't forestall more cuts, pain, and risk):

http://www.bpnews.net/29530/southwestern-announces-budget-cutbacks

"The seminary is working to cut its budget by approximately 10 percent, or $3.5 million to $4 million. Among reductions being made to the budget are "temporary suspension of many overseas travel programs and adjustments to campus facilities.""

Some cuts -- and perhaps subsequent fundraising by some for dedicated projects to shield them from future cuts -- may have been more equal than others.

Debbie Kaufman said...

JDV: Exactly. And the lavishness has been going on for many, many years. That adds up to several million dollars I would suspect. All given to the school through contributions. This has to be and until the internet, it happened behind closed doors, although many leaders throughout the Convention had to have known about it, thus letting it continue. The treatment of women such as Sheri Kloua, Tiffany Thigpen Croft, Megan lively, to name a few was beyond the pale of human treatment, yet he writes a letter stating that he did not wrong? I am flabbergasted. Not even hitting bottom affects this man. I am relieved he is gone.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon L. Estes,

There's not a paragraph, sentence, or "jot and tittle" in this post that hasn't been directed personally to Paige Patterson since 2005. First via email (multiple times) and then three times in person over successive years (his office, Pecan Manor, and a Convention).

Read carefully:

"I will neither give nor receive a negative word about you UNLESS you are aware of that which is being said or heard by me."

UNLESS has been fulfilled.

Ron West said...

Wade,
Every IBM missionary owes you a debt of gratitude for your willingness to stand up to “Patterson lackeys” serving as IMB trustees when you went on the board. Your actions diverting their anger to yourself probably saved Jerry Rankin’s job and focused the light on their motives and behavior. SBC Presidents were aware of this but either ignored or supported their actions.

Our missionaries saw this clearly through the 80s and 90s as Patterson approved trustees attacked and slandered our missionaries and staff in a campaign of power and control with no regard to theology or competence. Trustees such as Ron Wilson and Bill Hancock in those days and Tom Hatley and Bill Sutton in later days did great damage to the IMB and its mission.

Patterson, the head, may be removed but I fear there are many Patterson apologists scattered throughout the convention hierarchy who will continue to carry out the type of carnal political activity he has been known for. If you have ever watched a chicken with its head cut off continue to run and thrash around, this might be a good analogy.
The ten questions you asked need to be addressed by the SWBTS trustees. We need to keep the pressure on until they address each question and issue an official apology to the SBC for their failure of accountability.

At the convention this summer SWBTS trustee Bart Barber confessed that Patterson had been arrogant, dishonest and not been accountable to the trustees and for that reason should be fired. This is exactly what you and others such as myself have pointed out for years at the IMB, SEBTS and Criswell College. There was nothing new in his statement. However, Bart has been at the forefront attacking those such as you who have pointed out the facts concerning this in the past. Has he our others at SBC Voices apologized to you for their past attacks on you for speaking the truth?
Ron West

Rex Ray said...

Patterson may be gone but the harm he caused still lingers. I believe the worst is HIS BF&M 2000. There are only two States in America that have two Southern Baptist Conventions. Basically, they are the ‘OLD’ and the ‘New’. The NEW was organized when they could not get their leaders elected in Virginia and Texas. The OLD, in Texas is the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) that refused to accept the BF&M 2000, and stayed with the BF&M 1963.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Baptists_of_Texas_Convention

This link states the NEW: “Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC): It was founded in 1998. They sought closer cooperation with the "Conservative Resurgence" and formed a close partnership with the entities of the SBC. They believed in “Inerrancy of Scripture”.

If you want to know the names of more than 200 people that wrote the Chicago definitions of inerrancy read the link below. Among them are Page and Dorothy Patterson, Paul Pressler (he knew how to take over the SBC), and Criswell. Criswell who believed the pastor was the ruler of the church, said if he’d know what Pressler knew, they could have taken control of the SBC when he was president.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Statement_on_Biblical_Inerrancy

If you want to read about ten pages how Inerrancy is defined read the link below.

http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html

The last page reads:

“Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”

Wade Burleson said...

Ron West,

As always, wonderful to hear from you. Have huge admiration for you, your wife, and your military and missionary careers respectively (I wish everyone understood the level of your national leadership).

Now, as to you question:

"Has he (Bart Barber) or others at SBC Voices apologized to you for their past attacks on you for speaking the truth?"

You probably considered your question 'rhetorical' for I think you know even better than I, that obtaining an apology from Patterson's apologists (whether former or current) is less likely than squeezing a glass of water from a turnip.

No matter.

I did what I did because it was right, not because others appreciated it.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

The more I read what you write, the more I understand you knew then - and now - what it is you were talking about in regards to the SBC.


Ron West said...

Yes Wade, it was only wishful thinking to hope they would accept responsibility for their past transgressions.

Jon L. Estes said...

//Scott Shaver said...
Jon Estes: Please define "common goals". In my 20 years of vocational ministry I never shared the "goals" of Patterson or Mohler. Beyond that, guess I'm not nor ever have been "your kinda guy".//

You will need to ask Wade about the meaning of common goals. That was his term.

// Scott Shaver said...
As for "unity" Jon, those you now prefer we "talk to" rather than "about" chose not only to avoid discussion and dialogue with whom they disagreed, they claimed the SBC was better off without them for failure to adhere to their narrow dogmas and shibboleths. If "unity" wasn't a primary goal within the SBC then, why has it become one now. There is no doubt a spiritual "unity" among true believers in Christ, but the recent history of denominational antics within the SBC was certainly not a healthy model of the virtue to which you now appeal.//

So, you believe it is ok to not seek for unity because they didn't? Interesting. I am only appealing to speak to the person - not about them.

That principle shouldn't be difficult to live by.

Jon L. Estes said...

//Wade shared -- Jon L. Estes,

There's not a paragraph, sentence, or "jot and tittle" in this post that hasn't been directed personally to Paige Patterson since 2005. First via email (multiple times) and then three times in person over successive years (his office, Pecan Manor, and a Convention).

Read carefully:

"I will neither give nor receive a negative word about you UNLESS you are aware of that which is being said or heard by me."

UNLESS has been fulfilled.//

It is not just your words Brother... it is the platform you offer to let what may is said - be said. Now I will be willing to stand corrected and will apologize if all the things which all people share on the platform you provide fit the parameters of your "UNLESS".

If a man in your church was cheating on his wife and you approached him about his behavior. He realizes he knows people are talking but really isn't interested in changing his ways at the moment... does that then give you license to talk negatively about him since he is now aware of what is being said and you have heard?

I hope that is not the council you would give to your staff in how to deal with people... their problems... in light of God's glory.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade -

I am enjoying your chat with Ron West. I love our missionaries (past and present - most of them anyways).

Hypothetically -- If someone knew of a missionary being fired for doing no wrong and remained silent about such while knowing a missionary was doing wrong was allowed to keep his job and still remained silent... what does that say about the one remaining silent?

Scott Shaver said...

In short Jon Estes, I am not bound by Wade's principle nor by your opinion as to whether nor not "Wade's principle" has been appropriately applied by either himself or others making comments on this thread.

Scott Shaver said...

"Unity" is a buzzword among those in the SBC these days who,IMO, appear to be primarily interested in earthly conformity to dogma and the exercise of religious authority over others.

Scott Shaver said...

Forget Wade, Jon, I am directing my question to you and the words you posted. What are the "common goals" in your understanding?

Scott Shaver said...

Wade:

My sixty year old memory takes a while for the pump to prime, so want to comment further on your assessment above as to the minimal influence of a "young" Mohler during the early days of the CR.

As editor of The Southern Baptist Advocate, Mohler was highly involved in both the rhetoric and organizational machinations of Paige Patterson.

He was writing yellow journal copy in support of the state by state effort to set the whole thing up. In Louisiana, Jim Richards, now Executive Director of "Southern Baptists of Texas" was Paige's front man in the state. He passed out enough copies of "The Advocate" to line every bird cage in the state.

Your assessment of Mohler's influence being fairly benign in those early years does not square with the historical record.

Wade Burleson said...

JDV,

Spot on.

Jon L. Estes said...

No problem Scott...

1 - We believe the Bible to be God's word from creation to the maps
2 - We believe it is the call of all believers to reach the nations with the gospel
3 - We believe the SBC is to be a church down operation, not the reverse
4 - We believe we are to be Disciples who make Disciples.

There are many more but these four will do.

I am directing this question to you Scott Shaver...You tell me what are your common goals?

Since you seem to know so much... while you are at it what are Pattersons and Mohlers that you disagree with?

I am sure you know what they are since you disagree with them. Please show the source of whatever goal of Patterson and Mohler... don't just give your personal principles or opinions... Patterson and Mohler are not bound by them.

Is that clear enough for you?

Scott Shaver said...

First. The idea that biblical maps and editorial footnotes are "God's divinely inspired word is RIDICULOUS and demonstrates one of the many fallacies of "Christian Fundamentalism".

Second: Our "Common Goals" as Christans is to DECLARE rather than DEFEND that which needs no human defense.

Third: We are to sow the seed of Gods Word and encourage/disciple those who represent the "harvest" of that "sowing".

Fourth: The historical record shows that at least one goal of Mohler has been to establish the doctrines and dogma of "Reformation Theology" as preeminent in Southern Baptist Life while the stated goal of Patterson was unquestioning submission to his personal views and dogmas regarding patriarchy and biblical inspiration.

I do not agree (never have) with the goals of Mohler and Patterson for the SBC.

Is that clear enough for you?

Scott Shaver said...

Correction: The publication Mohler edited was entitled "The Christian Index" as opposed to "The Advocate".

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

I believe the young Mohler was kissing the Pope's feet at the CI. That's all.

He made a theological shift in order to do that effectively.

Bob Cleveland said...

All these goings-on seem to reverberate with my theory on the whole Patterson/Conservative Resurgence process, namely:

The SBC, way back when, focused on the ABC's of growth: Attendance, Buildings and Collections. At the expense of truly making disciples. That produced millions of members, 1/3 of whom even attended Sunday services.

Then check with Habakkuk. In his talks with God, complaining about the evil in the land, God told Habakkuk that He ... GOD ... was "raising up the Babylonians" to set thing right in Israel. And we know the result of that. Of course, God said the Babylonians' day was coming. And it did.

That rings a ton of bells, when we view what has happened in the last few months. Dr. Patterson's day came, perhaps?

What this tells me: The real lesson in all this is that we desperately need to get back to making disciples (teaching) and not just converts (evangelism).

Maybe, if we do that, we'll produce a faith family that knows more than John 3:!6, the invitation, the "sinner's prayer", and the Membership Card. And a body to which God will send more souls to disciple.

Who knows?

Scott Shaver said...

While promoting the goals and rationales of the CR all the way to this present day. That in addition to his recents statements about evangelical having nowhere else to turn other than reformed theology and his dismissive approach to entanglements with SGM and Mahaney.

Why do you continue to cover for Mohler while barreling full-steam ahead against the tyranny of Patterson?

I don't quite understand your highly selective outrage..respectfully.

Scott Shaver said...

With the exception of Pressler, weren't all these convention "icons" relatively young back in 1982-85?

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

To be candid, if I knew of Mohler DOING what I knew (and saw) Patterson do, Mohler would be given no cover.

Mohler's belief in church covenants, male authority, and other issues of which I am aware have been discussed "full-steam" ahead on this blog just as much as Patterson (Google it).

I never have an issue with people. It's only about principles - unbiblical principles (in my opinion) - that Christians demand others live by that draw my pen out of its drawer.

Scott Shaver said...

I guess that is one approach to separating black from white cowboy hats in all this. Have to respect that.

However, like you, my comments are also based on what I have SEEN and EXPERIENCED. Thanks for the feedback.

Scott Shaver said...

Perhaps "liberalism" in SBC seminaries was NEVER the greatest threat to the SBC. Perhaps our collective DEIFICATION of seminaries and their human administrators and professors was the REAL threat.

In many ways these things seem to have become the modern temples of the gods of popular culture.

Can't get away from the portrait of Christ in the New Testament as He seemed to be set in constant opposition and contrast to the established religious "authorities" of his day.

Christiane said...


"God's most lordly gift to man is decency of mind."
(Aeschylus)


I read Debbie's comment and agreed with her, this: " The treatment of women such as Sheri Klouda, Tiffany Thigpen Croft, Megan Lively, to name a few was beyond the pale of human treatment, yet he writes a letter stating that he did not wrong? I am flabbergasted. Not even hitting bottom affects this man."

Grace will come to humble people, but not to those who are proud in spirit. I suppose people prayed for a long time that the leadership would change and reflect something of the spirit of Christ's words:
" Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew)

But it did not happen.

And, ENCOURAGED by the fandom of those who would not hold him accountable, the negative behaviors continued, and grew more open and finally, when there was no place to hide the negativity, it was seen in all of its ugliness:
a lack of something in a 'leader' that is humane and decent:
a lack of that gift of grace from God that renders a leader's nature unable to injure or
wound those in its care.


Wade confronts those who pandered to and therefore 'encouraged' rather than held accountable this fallen leader. And we must all know that when we willingly foster the leadership of those who lack God's gift of 'decency of mind', we also must partake of the responsibility for the wounding of the innocent by the leader who openly did what we ourselves might not have done.

It's a lesson that is timeless.

'Decency of mind' comes from God's grace. It is not found among the proud of the Earth who, in their lack of humility, think themselves free to wound and punish and injure others because they can.




Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Thanks for the kind words.

You said, “Ron West,…have huge admiration for you…wish everyone understood the level of your national leadership.”

I’ve made a booklet of 57 letters written to the “Baptist Standard newspaper” that complain about the BF&M 2000.

One letter a page long states: “IMB Board Jerry Ranking gives a choice for missionaries: Give up their historic Baptist convictions that “we have no creed but the Bible” or give up their calling…A confession becomes a creed when others determine the beliefs one is forced to sign…Their highest priority is not missions. It is doctrinal conformity.” By Keith Parks.

The first page and a half of this booklet: “Truth of Conservative Resurgence” by Ron West - 2008. “The issue is not theology but for them has always been power and control.”

Christiane said...

Hello there, REX RAY

you all have mentioned Ron West, and I thought I would share one of the excerpts that I kept from a comment he made on SBCvoices some time ago, this:

" . . . On the last day of the 1979 convention the FMB report was given at the Astrodome. Thousands of people filled one side of the stadium. I was with a group of several hundred missionaries who walked out on the floor of the astrodome and were applauded by the crowd. Baker James Cauthen and Billy Graham spoke and gave a great message supporting missions and Bold Mission Thrust. It was an inspirational night. In 1990 on the last day the FMB report was in the Superdome. We missionaries again walked out on the floor of the superdome to polite applause. There were only a few hundred people in attendance. Not even a quorum to conduct the business of the day. The delegates all left as soon as the elections were over. That told me much about the change in direction of the convention under CR leadership."
https://sbcvoices.com/the-conservative-resurgence-reflections-of-a-foot-soldier/

Rex, it is good to be able to 'see' through the eyes of witnesses something of what happened in those days. It had to be terrible for the missionaries and it was important that people stood up for them against the abuse they suffered under the new leadership.
That these missionaries were people of faith, no one can doubt, and no one can put them down for their refusal to violate their own integrity by 'signing' to prove some kind of 'loyalty' to the new regime. I, also have read Ron West's comments from time to time, and learned something important from a direct witness/participant in what happened in those days. I am grateful for that witness. Missionaries of any denomination are to be treasured by the whole Church for their response to God's call, not abused by power-seeking politician-type leadership that requires 'loyalty pledges' in order to continue to serve God in the mission field.

In the stories of those seventy-plus missionaries who were abused but still kept their integrity, we find the seeds for the strength that will help Southern Baptists to endure;
and in the abuses of Patterson's decrees against these missionaries, we see the seeds of his own prideful destruction. In the end, no one should bring harm on God's called servants; it seems to me a sacrilege that these missionaries were treated so poorly.

Jon L. Estes said...

//Blogger Scott Shaver said...
First. The idea that biblical maps and editorial footnotes are "God's divinely inspired word is RIDICULOUS and demonstrates one of the many fallacies of "Christian Fundamentalism".//

So you don't like the way I made my point... is that a goal you have?

//Second: Our "Common Goals" as Christans is to DECLARE rather than DEFEND that which needs no human defense.//

DECLARE what?... DEFEND what?

//Third: We are to sow the seed of Gods Word and encourage/disciple those who represent the "harvest" of that "sowing".//

The only thing that looks like a goal that makes a bit of sense.

//Fourth: The historical record shows that at least one goal of Mohler has been to establish the doctrines and dogma of "Reformation Theology" as preeminent in Southern Baptist Life while the stated goal of Patterson was unquestioning submission to his personal views and dogmas regarding patriarchy and biblical inspiration.//

This is a goal? Sounds like a complaint. Is it your want to have common goals to complain?

//I do not agree (never have) with the goals of Mohler and Patterson for the SBC.//

Remember it was your original question that posed the "common goal" idea to be answered.
Again - is this a common goal you want for everybody?

//Is that clear enough for you?//

Not really

Scott Shaver said...

Declare The Word of God, Jon, rather than Defend The Word (it is eternally established and needs no defense).

My new goal is to avoid fruitless arguments with graduates of The Sluggo School of Christian Missions.

Not clear for you? I could care less.

Scott Shaver said...

Pardon the typo, I couldn't care less.

Christiane said...

Not meaning to stir the pot, but isn't authentic Christian 'witnessing'
BOTH a way to do PROCLAIM Christ
AND also a way "to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope you possess."
(from 1 Peter 3:15)


If we proclaim Christ, it is only by the grace of the Holy Spirit that we can do this.
If we 'give a defense' for our hope, it is meant to be done with gentleness and patience.

Some things are too important to be misunderstood among the friends of God, and I think the nature of authentic Christian witness is something important enough to put light on amongst ourselves,
because to be enabled to witness, we have been focused by the Holy Spirit to point to Christ, the Giver of life.
This is a holy thing, and in authentic Christian witness, 'gentleness' and 'patience' are given to us as a needed part of our 'witness'.

Jon L. Estes said...

Scott,

Defending biblical truth is biblical...

Phil. 1:7
1 Peter 3:15
2 Cor. 10:5
Titus 1:9

Not sure if this helps you in any way since you couldn't care less.



oscarspaz said...

What does it say about SWBTS's board of trustees?

Scott Shaver said...

Jon:

Context is obviously not a major concern at the Sluggo School of Christian Missions.

3 of the 4 passages you cite here, when set in context, have to do with the individual believer maintaining his or her testimony to and belief in the message of Christ's life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection...not arguments about or battles over Scripture. The 4th is instruction to pastors/ministers regarding the need to teach clearly and faithfully this same "gospel" of the finished work of Christ.

It's not the timeless truth of The Gospel or correct interpretation of The Bible that I "couldn't care less about".

In CONTEXT, what I couldn't care less about is you and your USE of The Bible as a bludgeoning tool and source of division among Christians who have differences in their interpretation and application of truth.

Next time, when you lift proof texts, at least follow the intent of your passage from Titus and make sure your prooftexts are contextually relevant to your point or argument.

Are we finished here yet?

Scott Shaver said...

By the way, Jon, at the time all the verses you cite were actually written, there was no "official 66-book cannon" to "defend" or fight over. There was simply the message of Christ' life, death, and resurrection as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

So there's that to chew on as well.

Anonymous said...

So Mohler is a man wanting power not a man of conviction is what your saying?

Jon L. Estes said...

Scott -

Thanks for letting me know that the scripture I listed has only historical relevance.

Is that the interpretation/application you make of all scripture? That it only speaks historically?

That's as ridiculous as wanting to give a person identity of a name.... in scripture........ where scripture doesn't give such information.

Anonymous said...

I think the author has confused Paige Patterson and Al Mohler. Mohler has dominated the SBC for the last 15 years. Patterson was stuck at SWBTS as a small side show. Mohler has been SBC Pope.