Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Motion for Summary Judgment Is Granted

United States Federal Judge McBride has granted Southwestern's Motion for Summary Judgment, and as such, Sheri Klouda's case will be dismissed and will not be going to trial. Sheri Klouda may appeal the motion, but that may, or may not happen. Sheri will receive no financial settlement from Southwestern for being removed as a Hebrew Professor from the School of Theology for gender reasons. The courts have determined this is a religious matter that should be dealt with within the Southern Baptist Convention.

I would encourage those of you who desire to support the Sheri Klouda family during their financial hardships to continue doing so. We have the Sheri Klouda Benevolence Fund established here at Emmanuel Baptist Church, and now, more than ever, I believe we should assist Sheri, Pinky, and their daughter. I remind Southern Baptists what the ruling means: The church has the right to discriminate against a woman teaching Hebrew to men on the basis of religious beliefs.

That does not mean that we Southern Baptists who disagree with the blatant discrimination of a woman trained by Southern Baptists to teach Hebrew have any less responsibility to care for her or her family due to the hardship of her removal from faculty. I would encourage you to give to the support of Dr. Klouda and her family. Make your tax deductible contribution to:

Emmanuel Baptist Church
c/o The Sheri Klouda Family Benevolence Fund
2505 W. Garriott
Enid, Oklahoma, 73703

Every cent goes to the Klouda family.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...

"The church has the right to discriminate against a woman teaching Hebrew to men on the basis of religious beliefs."

or it means

"The church has the right to follow Scripture without fear of government intervention."

Wade, why don't you take this issue to the convention in June and see whether they think women ought to teach men in a seminary setting? I don't think there will be as much support for your position as you think there will, but we will never know unless you bring it up will we?

volfan007 said...

we still have religious freedom in america.

david said...


Your comment was deleted for two reasons: It was untrue and unsigned.

Tom Parker said...


You are wrong. A great injustice has occurred.

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Wade,

I don’t think this is a surprise. The courts have historically never touched this type of stuff. These types of cases are simply a humiliation to the ones that are engaged in the fight. The judge was not able to bring “unity” to this no matter the decision. The court was simply protecting the precedent set forth in this country, which is a good one by the way when defended with the right motive.

I am still hopeful that Matthew 18 can begin with these two individuals who claim to be Christians. God will be glorified, and I am hopeful to see if Patterson and Klouda ever respond to that obedience.

What we have experienced so far is Religious Liberty at the expense of Gospel Unity.


Anonymous said...

The money quote is from page 43 of document 78-2

The court is satisfied from the summary judgment record that the decision of Patterson and the others members of Seminary’s Board of Trustees to terminate the plaintiff was religiously motivated. No rational finder of fact could make a finding to the contrary. The employment decision was the product of a sincerely held religious belief on the part of Patterson and members of the Board of Trustees; and, the summary judgment record so strongly suppors such a finding that no reasonable find of fact could find otherwise. There is no counterbalance that would outweigh the interest evidenced by the First Amendment in protecting the sanctity of the decision-making of defendants that resulted in the termination of plaintiff’s employment.

I think that is the right decision from many standpoints. But, I do not rejoice at this situation. Anyone who gloats over this needs to realize that is sin.

What makes me upset is those that may have influenced Dr. Klouda into this decision. The judge's comments are clear that there is no way this was going to be won by the plaintiffs. To put it nicely, it was unwise.
I hope that those who may have had a role in giving her this unwise advice see how deeply they have wronged her.

Scotte Hodel said...

I must confess that my own thoughts on this matter are in conflict. On one hand, right or wrong, this case bears the appearance of government intrusion into religious education, which is not something I'd like to see. On the other hand, I am very disappointed that the first two comments on this post have to do with principles of constitutional religious freedom to the exclusion of a compassionate response to troubles inflicted on Dr. Klouda's family.

Let me illustrate with a contrast from my own situation: almost exactly one month ago a mass was found in my chest. Two biopsies and three pathology reports later, I was diagonosed with a lymphoma and started chemotherapy last week. I am fortunate that my colleagues at my University are kindly covering my workload and that I have sick leave accumulated to cover my absence. At the same time, due to my extreme fatigue, my family members, especially my wife, have taken time from their own obligations to help care for me. My wife is a full time RN at a local hospital; her colleagues are very supportive and are giving her every flexibility possible.

In short: my wife and I work at "secular" jobs, but we appear to be receiving greater compassion in these environments than Dr. Klouda received at a flagship institution of Christian thought and education. In my mind, that is the most disturbing part of her story. said...

Scott R,

In her sworn deposition, Dr. Klouda says the decision was solely her own. I'm not sure she would agree with your assessment she was unwise.

Lin said...

In short: my wife and I work at "secular" jobs, but we appear to be receiving greater compassion in these environments than Dr. Klouda received at a flagship institution of Christian thought and education. In my mind, that is the most disturbing part of her story.

20 March, 2008

Scott, I pray that God will be Glorified through your suffering and healing.

but your point is well taken. I have witnessed the EXACT same response in my travels. The secular world is much more compassionate in many areas. And unfortuantly, we have witnessed this lack on many blogs and from many SBC pastors which scares me to death.

The decision is a warning to all WOMEN who must work and their families depend on them for that income: Take a job in a church, seminary or para church organization at YOUR OWN RISK. You have more protection working with pagans.

Anonymous said...


Honestly, you had no influence or input in her decision? And do you know that no one else, outside of her family, that encouraged her in this course of action?

The judge said, "there is no reasonable finding of fact..."
That sounds like he thought this was an unwise case. said...

I don't know why you so concerned over anyone 'influencing' Dr. Klouda. My answers are always honest and I've already answered your question. Call her if you have doubts.

Now, I am openly and honestly seeking to influence you. Put some substance by your words and send a contribution to her benevolent fund. That will show me that you 'honestly' mean what you say when you write: I do not rejoice at this situation.

Help correct it.

Anonymous said...


The situation was a lawsuit that was unwise. It was corrected. I do sympathize with her personal family situation, but that has nothing to do with justice being served in this case.

And, you did not answer my question. I wasn't asking her, I was asking you.

Anonymous said...

My how quickly people change their minds. Just this morning Wade said... "The courts are called 'the ministers of God'."

I do not rejoice in this decision... as I feel the body of Christ has been harmed. I am thankful that the government will not be meddling in private church related matters. This discrimination case could have opened the flood gates for lawsuits from Homosexuals or others who practice "alternative lifestyles" to sue. Once again the Lord has saved us from ourselves.

Joe W.

Tom Parker said...

Joe W.:

You are so right!! The body of Christ has been harmed in the form of Dr. Sheri Klouda!! Be sure to always throw in the homosexuals to try and make a point. I think you worry way too much.

Anonymous said...

It's high time for Paul and Mary Burleson to censure Wade. He's a megalomaniac and has a messiah complex -- he cant be a man and admit when he's wrong. The IMB rebuked him, now this Judge in Fort Worth has indirectly admonished him. I think he should be a man, repent, and take down this incindiary blog.
Carlos in the Texas Republic

greg.w.h said...


There is no Republic in Texas. The ability of any state to secede from the union was permanently decided with the victory of the North over the South in the War Between the States.

All practical impact of the IMB censure was overturned by threat of a lawsuit from the SBC EC. So claiming that Dr. Klouda was wrong in bringing suit against Patterson and SWBTS is to suggest that the SBC EC was also wrong.

That the court found in favor of the Constitution only reflects the fact that the government's interest in protecting our liberty is of greater importance than directly interfering in the operation of a religious institution.

The thought that the judge is condemning Dr. Klouda or that justice has been met/served seems a little indecorous to me...if not flatly wrong. That he hopes to dissuade others from hopelessly pursuing a suit of the same type in the face of the Constitutional restraints that he must consider is a more likely read.

Just some thoughts to contemplate. Though from your tone, I doubt you do that very often.

Greg Harvey
Native Texan born in Brownwood in 1960 said...


I want to thank you for the good laugh. Seriously, I haven't laughed as hard in a long time as I did when I read your comment. Sometimes the comment section is good comic relief. said...

Scott R.

Answer: No.

Please send your contribution to

The Sheri Klouda Benevolence Fund
2505 W. Garriott
Enid, Oklahoma 73703

Anything less are hollow words of 'sympathy.'

Wayne Smith said...

This is a SAD Day to see So Called Christians GLOAT about the outcome of this Injustice that had taken place. Now is the time to help a Christian Sister, instead of GLOATING as is in “Welcome to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” comments.

CB Scott and Chris Johnson have it Right On, as always.

In His Name

Anonymous said...

I am struggling mightily with what I'm reading. May Psalm 139:23-24 be our prayer.

Alan Paul said...

I wouldn't hold my breath Chris - arrogance never cedes ground unless humbled... even then, they usually fight tooth and nail. Money talks - don't give in any way to Southern Baptists or their institutions that support this kind of injustice.

Anonymous said...

Oh well . . . I've always thought that, for the most part, professors at Taylor University were more respected and financially better off than professors at SWBTS anyway.

Anonymous said...

This is my first post on this blog, but have been reading it for many months now. I am actually a former student of Dr. Klouda. I live in Maryland now, but I attended Criswell College and took 12 hours of seminary courses - 2 semesters of which were Hebrew from Dr. Klouda - and it was a joy and she is a great teacher. As a matter of fact, I went to church with Sheri's sister for 7 years in Mesquite, Texas.

I left the seminary when the fundies took over; I had left SBC way before that and attended an AG chuch for a decade. I now attend a United Meth. chuch - which I know to some of you that fact alone will instantly discredit anything further I have to say. I became a UM precisely because of the issue of women's ordination. AG's are no better than the SBC. I finally came to the conclusion that I'd rather deal with the liberals than I had the bigots. And from the posts I've been reading the past few days, it seems I chose right.

But hear this: Never again will one penny of my money ever go to buy a piece of SBC literature again. Ever.

Wade - your 2nd post is powerful. Powerful! My father was kicked out of the SBC and had his ordination papers taken because he admitted he believed and had experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And the rumors that were spread were vicious and perverted. You talk about financial hardship - no house, no job, no money with 2 kids in high school. It's amazing I still even have a desire to attend church much less actually serve.

This is an incredibly sad day and my heart aches for Dr. Klouda - it aches. Sharon N.

Paul Burleson said...


I'm reminded of the statement made of One I know well who was criticized for eating with publicans and sinners and had His character brought into question for doing so.

The end result of such criticism was the chapter of lost things. [Luke 15 The parables of the son, coin, and lamb.] The criticizers thought they knew His heart also. THEY WERE WRONG. But good things come from all circumstances, good or bad, as that chapter shows.

Granting the obvious differences in the situation of then and the point of your words...YOU ARE WRONG TOO.

But, Carlos, if you really believe what you've written, then I know Wade is being prayed for by some besides those of us who know and love his heart for the abused of the Body. You are praying for him, I'm sure, since we are to pray for our enemies and your words leave no doubt he is yours. [At least the only way I've ever heard such language is from one speaking of his/her enemy.]

Wade seldom takes it seriously when someone questions his integrity and character with anger or judgment. I guess this is one of those "the mud doesn't stick when there is nothing for it to cling to" things. I think in that he is wise also.

I don't know your dad and mom but, since you mentioned his, I would only say I trust you bring them as much joy as he does to his mom and dad. I'm sure you do.

I'll decline the call for censure, since I see no cause for anything other than a father's pride, but assure you of my love and concern for your life, family, and ministry. May the continuing Grace of our Father rest upon you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Did I read the Summary Judgement right? (page 20-21)Patterson told her in August 2004 she would not be given tenure and yet,he would allow her to stay on until Spring 2007, if necessary, with the same pay and benefits. Um, I've never taken a stand on this whole issue but I do have to say, right or wrong, that is a pretty generous time frame. The impression given all along has been that she was ousted pretty quick.


Ron said...

If this is a religious issue based on theology, what does that say about Criswell College where Sherri taught and Paige Patterson was president in the past. Are they theologically wrong or liberal because they allowed her to teach Hebrew. What does that say about the trustees and former SWBTS President Ken Hemphill who hired her? Are they liberal and incorrect theologically? If this is a religious matter to be handled by the SBC how does that happen? There is no religious court that can hand down decisions telling the trustees at SWBTS what to do. They only way is to change the trustees who can then change the practices at SWBTS and that will take years.
We need to remember that this is not a CR versus moderates issue. This happened many years after the CR had firm control of the convention. The trustees and president who hired Sheri were put in their places of authority by the Conservative Resurgence leaders. Sheri was trained and taught at the Mecca of the Conservative Resurgence, Criswell College at 1st Baptist Church Dallas. What does that say about whether or not the CR was based on theology as opposed to personalities?

Anonymous said...

The court ruled correctly. We do not want the government deciding our theology..... right or wrong.

Anonymous said...


My Hebrew professor at GGBTS (a Southern Baptist seminary) in the late 1990's was a woman. When did Southern Baptists decide that our theology stated that women could not teach men Hebrew? My Hebrew professor (Darlene Gautsch) taught there with no controversy. She is still an adjunct professor. A primary professor in the School of Intercultural Studies is a woman (Dr. Faith Kim). She teaches men all the time in the area of missions and cross cultural ministry. I had her for a class as well. Again, Southern Baptists have said nothing against this practice. There was all kind of precedent that showed that Southern Baptists have not believed that women could not teach men anything. Was that brought before this judge? Where do our beliefs state this?

I actually do not believe that women should be in authority over men. I do not believe in women pastors. But, Southern Baptists have apparently believed that women were allowed to teach men in their seminaries for some time now. When did that change? Did the Convention have a say in this? Trustees? If the judge is saying that this is a religious view, then when has it ever been stated? He could make a case against non-Christians or homosexuals, but women teaching in a seminary? No matter what you think on the issue, you have to wonder how this became accepted Baptist theology.

Anonymous said...

From the Baptist Press article:

Patterson has stated that the seminary's policy prohibiting women from teaching theology to men is drawn from its desire to "model the local church." The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, adopted by a majority of messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention that year, states that the role of senior pastor in local churches is limited to men. Patterson, according to the suit, believes the same standard applies to the seminary.

The equivalent of a Senior Pastor to a seminary would be the President, no? If you put this view back on the churches, does this mean that the proper Southern Baptist view is that women can no longer serve on staff in Southern Baptist churches? Could you not have a female music minister or minister of education in a Southern Baptist church now? How about on staff as a counselor or children's or youth minister? I'm just wondering what churches are supposed to do now. I'm glad this is all being cleared up.

ChangeMe said...

I am curious why this blog seems to be marked more by SBC politics than making famous the name of our Lord.

Even when I agree with your position, I find myself wondering why the seemingly unending dissent.

I'm not sure that engaging in constant public disagreement is the most efficient way to seek unity.

I have no idea what your ministry looks like, but if the content of your blog is any indication, my suggestion would be...more of the gospel and less of Wade's principled dissent.

g."bear"allen said...

Somthing I am reminded in all this:

But if you keep biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5: 15

Let Wisdom prevail in all our endeavors!!

Anonymous said...

To all:

I have not yet read the decision. Have been out of town on vacation.

The decision is not surprising. I am a lawyer, but do not practice in this area. Still, the more info that was posted about the case, including the pleadings, motions and submissions before the court, the more I thought that what the plaintiff was inviting the court to do was do decide who was correct on Baptist doctrine regarding women in the church (including church-run seminaries). Courts don't like to do that.

I have the following thoughts:

1. It is dangerous to be a cheerleader in matters like this. It is fine to have opinions about how Baptists should run their seminaries and to express those opinions often. However, when the matter moved to the courts it just seemed to me that too many predictions were being made, and that the predictions had too much emotion behind them and very little experience.

2. Encouraging the filing of a lawsuit in which ones own interests are not truly at stake is not a healthy thing. I take it at face value that Dr. K decided on her own to file this action. Still, I can't help but get the feeling that there may have been people who egged her on because they either dislike Dr. P, or because they saw her lawsuit as a vehicle for their frustrations. Dr. K stood by her guns and put her name on the line because the case has her name on it. Those who encouraged her and possibly met to discuss the case with her, her lawyer, did not put their names on the case. If there are such persons, they will probably never admit the true and full nature of their roles because the suit was a failure. If Dr. K had won, these types (assuming they exist) would be talking about their roles. Hence the expression, "Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan."

3. I do not know what the rule in federal courts is about losers paying discretionary costs, but for those of you who are inclined to help Dr. K you may want to consider that she could owe Dr. P and SWBTS for the discretionary costs (court reporter fees etc.). That may be an additional burden for her. It would not surprise me if Dr. P and SWBTS did not file a motion to seek these, but they probably could. (Again, I say this without looking at the rules).

4. I, too, was surprised at the time that elapsed between Dr. P telling Dr. K that she would not be given tenure and how long she was allowed to work at SWBTS. I also read an affidavit where one of the admin people said that she had been offered a job to stay on at SWBTS in a research position in the library at the same pay and benefits while she looked for a job, but she declined because she got the job at Taylor. This does seem generous, and is consistent with the concept that Dr. P and the trustees thought that she should not be on the faculty for religious reasons, but that they truly did not want to throw Dr. K into the street.

5. We all have a lot to do when it comes to sharing the gospel. I look forward to doing that, even with those who may not agree with the court's decision and those who do. This was Dr. K's lawsuit, not ours. We should not spend too much emotional energy on this, though we should pray for the parties involved and for God's kingdom to expand, even in the face of unpleasant things.

Good luck and God's best to all.


Anonymous said...

Lex de Luther and Curt, Principled dissent is needed because countless careers and reputations have been ruined by SBC "leaders" and no one protested. Thank God those days are over. I will join Wade in dissent every time someone is treated in an un Christlike manner in the name of Baptists. Disagreement and dissent are not the worst things that can happen to an organization. What if Paul had decided to remain silent in the face of the Judaizers? He chose to be divisive. Sometimes there is no other choice that is right.

Lin said...

"This was Dr. K's lawsuit, not ours."

No Louis. This affects every woman who works in the SBC.

Lin said...

What happens when our hearts become hard? Or when we look at issues within the Body from a worldly view?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pruett,

That verse has an interesting context to it in the fullness Paul's letter to the Gaelic community in Asia Minor. It is only to check the heart and stir wisdom. It neither encourages or discourages any action. It is point to consider and reflect on before proceding to an action. Also Paul did not chose to be devisive, rather he dealing with the heavy burden that the Judaizers tended to put on the Galatians.

Anonymous said...


I see from your comment the level of emotional investment that you had in the success of this legal action. I can only imagine what you must be feeling now, but truly hope that this loss will not set you back, and that you will feel God's blessings on your life as you minister to others for Him.

God bless.


g."bear"allen said...

The previous entry to Mr. Pruett was by Lex de Luther....I was still trying to figure out some blog features and hit anonymous.

ChangeMe said...

Stephen Pruett,

My argument boiled down to "More Jesus and less of Wade's principled dissagreement". I stand by that. I never said that principled dissent was wrong. I am just suggesting a healthier and more edifying balance.

Pamela said...

Any woman that would consider being a part of the SBC is out of their minds. I truly feel for those that are there. They are second class citizens. They are treated nothing like how Jesus and the Apostles treated women. I have to give it to the professor for being there. My patience for unnecessary mess is next to none.

Pastor Wade, I just submitted an online payment for my second contribution to your fund. This is just dispicable to me. I know what it is like to be in financial hardship. To have this stress on her family because she was sinned against is beyond words to me. God must be weeping at the fact that church leaders can do this with no sympathy for her family. Having a period of time to 'find something else' is a lame excuse for this. And the SBC and other Christian groups wonder why attendance is declining. That is laughable to me. In way too many instances people are treated better by heathens than church folk.

Bill said...

It is interesting to see the sudden rush of Klouda-sympathy from the anti-lawsuit crowd now that she has lost. I don't recall much sympathy from those same folks before the judgement. As I recall, she was characterized by many of these same folks as a gold-digger, not to mention a woman who didn't know her place.

Ron said...

I agree C.B. that Paul Pressler had no influence on this decision. How about the statement by SWBTS trustees when they fired him that Dr. Russell Dilday is "dedicated to berate, misrepresent and assail those who hold the Bible to be God's inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word." Would you agree with me that this is another example where "reason, logic and Christian principle are forced to take a backseat to chaos and anarchy." I beleive we are seeing the fruit of that chaos and anarchy at SWBTS today.
Would you agree with my statement above that this is further proof that the Conservative Resurgence has been personality driven and not theologicly driven?
Ron W

Bob Cleveland said...


What the verdict says to me, more than anything else, is that God is not interested in cleaning up the messes that have been made in the SBC. And if some claim there aren't any, there are plenty of objective standards which confirm it, if viewed honestly.

When God allows men to get away with doing whatever is right in their own sight, and THAT starting at the top, I hold no hope for the organization.

Anonymous said...

I think the thing that disturbs me the most (other than the Klouda family situation) is that Paige has managed to convince the world and a judge that he actually cares about the theological view of a woman. This whole issue is about power, politics, and money.

I can say this because I have personally sat in multitudes of meetings with Paige Patterson, Judge Pressler, and all the power brokers in the SBC. I have watched them in action and its sickening beyond words. I can't count the times I've heard the question asked about someone, "Will they do what they are told?" That should sum it up quite well.

SWBTS is totally and completely under the control of the fundamentalists and Paige Patterson. I have friends that are students there now and there are things happening that you can't imagine or even want to know. The noose just gets tighter and tighter.

It will be a sad day indeed when those who seek such power and dominion stand before the Lord Jesus.

Jon L. Estes said...

The question on the table now is...

Will the SBC, while in session in Indianapolis, remain silent concerning this?

I'll be there.

Wade, if there is anything I can do beyond sending money for Dr.Klouda, which I will as before months end, call on me.

Pamela said...

Just because the secular courts dismissed the case, God is not allowing those leaders to get away with it. He gives all of us plenty of time to repent of our sin, even those we may find repugnant. Believe me when I tell you they are being given much time to change their ways. All the consternation being shown towards them is making them face what they have done. They have the time NOT to decide what to do. That time will not last forever. If they fully reap the sin they have committed it could very well be way worse than what the courts would have done as punishment.

There is not one time in the Bible that hardened hearts were not dealt with. It will be a sad day for these men that face the Lord with what they have done. Most of these kinds of works will be burned up as wood, hay and stubble. Jesus got mad and rebuked the Pharisees for devouring widow's houses and stealing. Even though the Pharisees did not immediately reap their sin I guarantee you they did. I hate to see when Christians refuse to repent. The one really sure thing about it is that our media is good and ready to expose Christian leaders. Those that are not repenting right now in any religious group may be on TV in the most unflattering of ways. I pray to God that these men change their ways and repent. It will get ugly otherwise. Since church leaders are not judging themselves AND/OR others in leadership are not doing the Biblical correction GOD WILL ALLOW the media to do that for us. What a shame. I guess it is true that the heathen have more horse sense than the church.

It will get straightened out one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Wade says it will not be appealed most likely. However from the BP article...his good friend says...

Meanwhile, Klouda's attorney, Gary Richardson of Tulsa, Okla., said, "No one questions the fact that it's a tough call. History is, of course, against us. We knew that and we believe this case has merit. And most likely we will make the decision to appeal it. We haven't made that decision, but most likely that is what we'll do."

Pamela said...

Gary Richardson is the same lawyer handling the wrongful termination lawsuits filed by three professors from ORU. If he is involved I guarantee you he will appeal the decision. The only way he will not is that he dies or is too ill to continue practicing law. I have watched this man in action for many years. He tried I think 25 times to sue ORU before he was finally able to get a lawsuit to stick. One professor settled during a court ordered mediation session and is back at work. The other two are continuing their lawsuit. He will appeal this decision if he is convinced he has a case. With all due respect this man is a legal bulldog. He will not give up on this one.

Wayne Smith said...

You are Right On in your Comment as usual. Whay Should or Would God want to intervene when the SBC/CR are destroying Themselfes.

In His Name

Anonymous said...

This is a great victory for religious freedom.

She never should have been released from SWBTS.

She never should have filed a lawsuit. Wade was wrong to encourage that filing. Although he is probably fortunate it did not go to trial because likely would have been given opportunity to testify.

WE should take care of her. Everyone should help that posts on this blog. Period.

Anonymous said...


You are, as I thought, a Christian gentleman.

Your prompt reconsideration and clear request that your initial comment be removed says a great deal about you as a person.

God bless.


Lin said...

"I see from your comment the level of emotional investment that you had in the success of this legal action. I can only imagine what you must be feeling now, but truly hope that this loss will not set you back, and that you will feel God's blessings on your life as you minister to others for Him."

Louis, I have not understood your comments for quite sometime. Many (on other blogs)
of them are arrogant and what I would describe as 'lukewarm fence sitting' instead legal commentaries and also arrogant rather than measured. JMO

Not once have you showed concern for Klouda like you have for others who have titles. Nor, have you seemed concerned for a fellow sister in Christ being treated this way by another Christian with power that was abused.

In this comment, you try to paint me as 'emotional' while seeming to be 'concerned' for 'me'. I find this both sad and funny but quite telling.

But reading all your comments together (other blogs) make this concern for me seems somewhat phony. Sorry, but I take the long view and never base an opinion on one or two comments.

I do wonder how a cold hard fact-only lawyer like yourself deals with inconvenient passages like the Beatitudes which are filled with the 'emotional' language of mourning, humility and being poor in spirit. Not cool things for a lawyer to be but our goal if we are to follow Christ.

I am concerned for the hardness of hearts I see over this issue. People are fooling themselves if they do not think a hard heart is dangerous.

If all this makes me just a silly 'emotional' woman to you then I am in good company with our Lord who taught 'Blessed are you that mourn (for all sin).' A circumsized heart can do no less.

Since you are a rich lawyer, I hope you will be helping out Dr. Klouda. :o)

Lin said...

When God allows men to get away with doing whatever is right in their own sight, and THAT starting at the top, I hold no hope for the organization.

21 March, 2008

Bob, I tend to agree but I have another view, too. There could be instances when this is an exmaple of 'factions' for a reason.

Anonymous said...

I, too, was a bit confused by Wade's statement that the case would probably not be appealed, with the lawyer's statement that it would be appealed.

That is Dr. K's decision alone.

Of course, if the lawyer has taken this as a contingency case, it doesn't cost Dr. K anything to appeal it, except for the court costs and the costs of flying her lawyer to argue in the 5th Circuit (is that still sitting in New Orleans? Can't remember).

And there are often ideological groups or other non-litigants that often fund lawsuits under the table even though they are not the parties named. If that were the case (and there is no indication here that it is), even the lawyer's fees would be paid along the way. So, the lawyer would not be out any money.

Maybe there is a John Baugh trust fund sitting somewhere that funds anti-CR lawsuits into the 22nd century! (just kidding).

I suspect that the case will be appealed. It will string this out further and add more grist to the mill, and it is another bite at the apple for Dr. K. If she was willing to bring this suit in the first place, why not appeal?

As for the lawyer, I do not know him. But his bulldog mentality is not unusual in the practice of law. It is a necessity.

Louis said...


I agree. The appeal is Dr. Klouda's decision alone.

I will support her in whatever decision she makes. said...

Alan Cross,

Your comment slipped by the notice of people in this comment stream. Once again, you have nailed the issue. If people in the SBC do not wake up and realize what is happening, no woman shall be allowed to serve on staff of any church and that church have a reasonable expectation of participating in leadership in the SBC. I already know that there are attempts to remove women from staff positions in our agencies. I found myself right in the middle of one of those attempts. What started out as "Senior Pasotor" is now moving to "ministry staff."

It's a little like Pressler's statement in his book where he says that some accused the Conservative Resurgence leaders of wanting to rid the convention of charismatics and he denied that was their attempt.

Fastforward to 2005.

Hang on ladies and gentlemen, it is going to be a bumpy ride. Unlike others, I will not leave. said...

Jon and Pam,

Thanks for assisting the Klouda family. Your generosity and compassion are to be commended.

Gary said...

I made a statement in the previous thread about ‘speaking truth to power’. I’ve been biting my lip for almost 24 hours now. Sleeping on my anger. I normally use hyperbole and speak incoherently when I’m angry. I didn’t even pick up the phone to talk with Phil about it. I expect (hope) that he is preparing his wonderful message for this Sunday and just hasn’t had time to be distracted by these events. I was able to have a mostly calm discussion regarding this with my wife last night over dinner. But, there are several things about these events, and those that followed, which grieve me:

1) That all it took was a change of administration for a 'unanimous" vote of the Trustees to become a “mistake”.

2) That the solution to solve the mistake was termination. (for those of you who opine that she was “offered a job at the same pay”, it would only take a few budget cycles for her to be removed from the payroll, and oh by the way, Pastor, would your “calling” be fulfilled working in the church library? I didn’t think so. And what if she was given ‘3 years’ (I believe a careful reading of the court docs will yield a much shorter period) to find other employment, that appears to be a clever way of indicating that the PP had compassion on Klouda).

3) That it ever came to the point where Sheri Klouda felt she had no recourse but the Civil courts. If there is a neutral arbitration board which was called in to help with this, there was no evidence of it. All that I saw were people beholden to Layton Paige Patterson. Looks to me like this was “gender cleansing” to put an indelicate twist to a phrase in current day use.

4) The level of “nanny, nanny, poo, poo” Victory Chanting which has manifest itself throughout this entire thread and on other websites, blogs, etc., grieves me terribly. Is God smiling on this? What Would Jesus Do?

Our church already has a vehicle in place to help support Sheri, Pinky, and their daughter. Our children’s ministry raises money, it is sent to Emmanuel, Enid, and they forward it on to the Kloudas.

“We” are not able to bear the burdens for another’s trespass, but we can certainly help ease some of the burden which the trespass has caused. If you are concerned that the Klouda’s are getting rich off the generosity of others, call Wade on the phone and ask him just how much money they have forwarded to the Kloudas.

Don’t send your tithe. Pray about it and ask God what you should do. When you’ve got your answer, then do it.

I would encourage those of you who think that this is a victory, or that justice has prevailed, to consider that once Sheri Klouda was given a job and then it was taken away, “glorifying God “ was removed from the table. God was never going to be glorified in it. That horse left the barn when PP said “you’re fired”.

Gary Skaggs
Norman, OK said...


Well stated. And, thanks for your church doing all they have done. You and yours are a prime example of Christian love in action. said...


You asked about how I 'run' my ministry at Emmanuel and then opine that if my blog is any indication that the church is full of dissenters.

You are partially correct. My church has complete freedom to question any action of their pastor. Each and every member is considered as important as their pastor. The custodian is due, and given, as much respect as their pastor. Women are treated with as much respect and admiration as men. There is complete freedom for people to express themselves and serve as God has gifted them.

And we do a couple of other things quite well. We share the gospel. From the pulpit we don't talk about politics or culture. We teach the Bible and share the gospel. We also help the poor. Our church has handed out nearly a half million dollars this past year in mission money and almost a quarter of a million dollars in benevolence money.

So, if we ever see one of our SBC agencies lose sight of the gospel, trample over the gifts of one of our own, or ignore the financial plight of a fellow Southern Baptist, it grates all of us.

Hope that answers your question.


Anonymous said...


My comments almost always seem to slip by the notice of those in the comment stream. I am quite used to it by now. In honesty, I never could quite get a handle on the legal issues regarding Dr. Klouda's situation. But, the theological shell game that is being played with Baptist theology should be astounding to anyone paying attention. Right now, we have ppl, baptism, and the role of women being redefined by those who claim to be the guardians of "Baptist Identity" apart from any consensus of Baptists. Calvinism is another issue that is building, but I think that people realize that they do not have the strength to eliminate that perpsective by the decision of the few.

If Baptists really don't think that women can serve as a professor in a seminary teaching men, and if they are really going to apply the BFM statement to all staff in a church as Dr. Patterson seems to be doing through his statement relating male senior pastors to the seminary context (and as the Mobile, AL association did last year when they disfellowshipped a church for having a female ASSOCIATE pastor on the basis of their interpretation of the BFM), then we should probably let everyone know. Because, as I stated, GGBTS currently has several women professors teaching men. There are scores of female ministers of music, education, youth, children, counseling, social work etc. in our churches and associations. Will they be disfellowshipped or told that they need to remove women from leadership? Will women eventually be told to keep quiet completely in business meetings and services? Will we continue to allow women to vote on church matters? Logically, how far will we take this?

Again, I believe strongly in male leadership in the church. I am just pointing out that to hold a principle on the basis of conscience means that you flesh out the implications of it. To say that Dr. Patterson's view is a religious belief held by Southern Baptists is clearly false on the basis of the implications of that belief. We, in no way shape or form, practice what he claims to believe as a Convention. Are we headed that direction? Do the people know it? Who is deciding this? How will it be implemented? Is Dr. Klouda just the first in a long line of women in some form of ministry that are going to be told to hit the road in Southern Baptist life? Again, I am not even making a judgment on whether this is right or not. I am just asking if we are prepared to really carry out what we are being told that we believe.

Or, are we just a bunch of hypocrites who claim to believe one thing when it does not affect us (like the Klouda case), but then change what we say we believe when it hits too close to home?

Anonymous said...

One other thing: My actual position on women in ministry is that I truly believe that God intended for authority to be held by men. But, women can certainly be involved in ministry and leadership under the covering of male authority. For example, I would think that women are free to operate in their giftings and to minister within the church as long as there is male leadership over them. If a woman teaches, she should be under the authority of a man. If she leads, she should be under the authority of a man, on some level. Actually, we are all under the authority of Christ, so that male authority in the church is very humble and of a serving nature. It is not authoritarian.

To say that a woman cannot teach a man is not practical. Women teach men constantly and most Baptist pastors that I know say, "Yes ma'am." Show me the Baptist pastor who says to the elderly lady in their church when she directs him in some way, that women should not teach men. It does not happen. If it does, I would imagine that that pastor would have a short tenure. Now, if that woman was trying to take authority over that pastor and run the church, then I imagine that the pastor would say something. It is about authority, not about sharing, teaching, or instruction. You can teach someone something and not be an authority over their life. If we cannot follow through with the logical implications of our beliefs because we see them as ludicrous, then they are likely the inventions of men and do nothing to promote holiness or godliness. They should actually be rejected as being detrimental to our faith (Colossians 2).

Can someone show me how we, as Southern Baptists are prepared to carry out the implications of the Klouda decision on the local church level if the seminary is to model for the churches how the churches should function? She was under male leadership. She was not autonomous. She was teaching Hebrew. If a local church was to model SWBTS in this regard, then we would not have female staff, female Sunday School teachers, or female ministry leaders. It has nothing to do with Senior Pastors because the equivalence of a Senior Pastor to SWBTS would be the president, who is a man. Where is the problem?

No, we are not prepared to carry out the implications of the decision of Dr. Patterson and SWBTS in our local churches because we see it as ludicrous. We know that it cannot, nor should it, be done. There is no way that the SBC would EVER issue a resolution that frowned upon female ministry leaders or Sunday School teachers. If we would not do that, then how in the world can the position of SWBTS be the Southern Baptist position?

And, by the way, the church that I pastor has only men on the pastoral staff, only men as elders, only men as deacons, and only men as Sunday School teachers and small group leaders (unless a couple leads together) until we get to elementary aged children. Our classes and small groups function with great freedom, so our church, including the women, feel that this arrangement is most Biblical. The only areas that women lead are in women's ministry and children's ministry. So, I am not defending a position for the sake of my church. But, many Baptist churches do it differently than our church does. They have different convictions and the BFM2000 allows for this. Are we now going to say that they cannot cooperate with Southern Baptists in missions, ministry, and theological education? We would actually be in line with SWBTS on this issue, but we would be eliminated because we hold to continualist theology and we accept alien immersion. The ways that Baptist churches can be eliminated from participation keeps growing and growing, even if you are very conservative!

This is going to get very interesting, because if the Baptist Identity crowd DOES NOT try to enact this view on women throughout the SBC, then they have sacrificed Dr. Klouda for nothing and they are acting hypocritically.

Anonymous said...

Yet, another thought:

My interest in any of these issues has never been Paige Patterson. He is not the problem. If he were gone, another would take his place. We've had this kind of leadership for years. No, we are the problem. Southern Baptists are lazy thinkers and are easily swayed. See the Convention in San Antonio last year. Both, Dr. Patterson and Dr. Mohler knew their audience perfectly. They knew how to sway the crowd by using Huck Finn analogies and extreme examples. Unless we begin to be guided by Scripture and the Lordship of Christ instead of personality, culture, and the loudest voice, then we will always be in this position.

No, Dr. Patterson is not the enemy. The enemy is us.

foxofbama said...

Google up or go directly to

She is stirring the pot in Jesus name on this matter and making quite a stir in Northwest, Georgia

Or just click over to my blog to see what she is saying and to make your travel easier to her.

Gary said...

Allen said: "Actually, we are all under the authority of Christ, so that male authority in the church is very humble and of a serving nature. It is not authoritarian."

In my home church, I was blessed with some great Pastors: David Hause, Bill Hogue, Dickson Rial, and O.S. Hawkins while I was a member. There were some great Pastors both before and after my membership two being C.C. Morris and Larry Thompson.

Some were humble, some not so much.

One who was a non-authoritarian, humble servant-type was C.B. "Bill" Hogue. He went on to be the head of the Evangelism Department of the Home Mission Board (as it was called then) and then to the California Southern Baptist Convention. While there are things which must be done that are hard, Bill always did them with true compassion and from the perspective of a servant-leader.

Some of those Pastors were anything but servant-leaders. You know the type.

I fear that we've raised a generation of Pastors who have as role models those who would eschew the servant-leader moniker, thus an entire generation which such a leadership style would be anathema.

Unfortunately, we are just beginning to experience the yield of this "crop".


Robert Hutchinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Hutchinson said...

brother cross,

the problem is that the moderates left and/or gave up and we (the next generation) inherited a one-sided convention.

if they had stuck it out a significant and quick course correction might be possible.

now, for wade and those who share his vision of the sbc (that includes me) to make a course correction is like a little boy trying to push a beached whale back into the ocean.

Anonymous said...

The point of the post on Judge Pressler was centered on his reputation as a great lawyer with many law scholars around him and a law scholar himself, even if it happen to a federal cases. That is why I posted some of his credentials. With the church/state thing, I recognized Mrs. Klouda would have an uphill battle.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Robert, the position that I am advocating is not moderate. It is conservative. The problem is not that moderates have left the Convention, but rather that something other than conservatism has taken hold. The conservatives are quiet and something else altogether is running the ship because the majority does not understand what is at stake. I've come to believe that they do not care, nor do they believe it when they are told.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Allen Cross: Thank you so much for your comments on this. I admit to having read them several times for it to sink in. :)

I will be honest and felt the problem was Paige Patterson, but after reading your comments see what you are saying clearly and agree with you. It has changed my perspective on this situation.

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother cross,

perhaps cooperative conservatives should be used in place of moderates.

either way, it seems as though the great majority of those who rose up against the cr have left or given up on the sbc.

and left us to deal with it.

if they hadn't left or if they would just start to care again quick and significant corrections could now be made.

perhaps things are changing. the election of frank page and the adoption of the garner motion were major actions of the sbc.

but even then some of those in leadership treat the garner action with contempt.

maybe there are enough hands pushing that a real shift is being made. i don't know.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I might add from as a member of the Emmanuel congregation, and I can only speak for myself, but I'm sure others would say the same for themselves, because our church is run the way Wade described it, I have found gifts I never knew I had, my relationship with Christ has blossomed as I have been taught to study scripture, and I have soared as a woman and a Christian. It may not be heaven, but coming from where I came from in church background, it's as close as it can humanly get. :)

Lin said...

"The conservatives are quiet and something else altogether is running the ship because the majority does not understand what is at stake."

I believe it comes from 30 years of teaching that whoever has the title is specially anointed of God and should not be questioned and the people in the pews (who are saved) are ignorant except for a handpicked few. We have become very Catholic in our thinking about 'authority'.

We have witnessed that thinking in comments on this blog for a year now.

I believe what Debbie just posted about her experience at church is a very rare thing in churches these days. My heart just sang reading it. She is describing the SBC churches I grew up in...and they were conservative all the way.

Pamela said...

Christians that believe that only the preachers can hear from God and should not be questioned are being set up to follow cults, or even more horrible, the antiChrist.

believer333 said...

Alan Cross wrote, "This is going to get very interesting, because if the Baptist Identity crowd DOES NOT try to enact this view on women throughout the SBC, then they have sacrificed Dr. Klouda for nothing and they are acting hypocritically."

And if they do attempt to enact this it won't go down easy. Fact is it likely will not go down on most. I project that it will get ugly. And its about time. Women need to stand up for themselves and for God's right to use whomsoever He wills.

We've enough bullies in our cultures. We don't need them in our churches.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for getting off the subject, but Alan Cross, I have a question.

You say that in your church women do not teach men. Then you say that they do teach younger males. I'm always curious how those who say women should not teach men decide it's ok for women to teach little boys, or if there's a certain age when things change. Is it a doctrinal thing, or just a practical thing: most men (I know men who do work with very young children) do not want to be bothered with small children so women are allowed to teach them.

Again, sorry for getting off subject.


believer333 said...

this is long but sfox asked I share it from JBTaylors blog.

Jokes like Patterson’s (that everyone should own at least one woman) are not jokes but revelations of inner perspectives used as humor. Jeannie Taylor is correct that gender hierarchy teaching in Christian churches pave the road for abuse. When church leaders such as Patterson continually take destructive privilege upon women it sets an example that says its OK to abuse women.

In addition, traditional gender hierarchalists like to claim many worldly patriarchal beliefs as Biblical, which are not Biblical at all. For instance:

1. “Men are head of the household.” — In ancient times, in all cultures men were providers and protectors and thus took a primary position in representing the household to the world. Over time the goodness of that changed into special privileges for men and eventually into subjugation of wives and women. Today the negative aspect is read into Scriptures that do not address that in order to support a privileged position for men. IOW The Bible does not actually teach that men are to be “heads” of the household, although it was an accepted aspect of a patriarchal society. Rather men are to provide for, protect, nurture and cherish their wives, and support, instruct, and raise up their children to be decent human beings.
2. “Wives are to obey husbands.” — Scripture never says this. Scripture speaks of a freewill self instigated submission that is to be humbly shared amongst all believers, including husbands and wives in marriage. A precise reading … Eph. 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God, 22 Wives to your own husbands, as to the Lord. This is not a required response to demands. The Greek word obedience is never in connection with a requirement for wives. Rather this submission is the responsibility of Christians who want to display the servant heart spoken of in Matt. 20:25-28, to so behave as to actively promote the greatest welfare of the other.
3. “Husbands are to be chief decision maker and have final say.” — Actually there is no Scripture that even hints at this. It is read into Scriptures where “head of” is used in spite of the fact that the Scriptures are speaking of metaphors of interdependency. When one person has final say in decisions, that basically means that any other parties only have as much say as the decision maker allows. This works practically into many men literally pretending to consider their wives input while in reality their mind is already made up. Why? — because he can!
4. “Husbands ruling over wives does not negate their equality”. Those who believe in gender hierarchy base male domination as an inherent right of the male over the female. IOW a woman is subordinate because she was born female. When a position of inequality is based on one’s inherent being, that is the same thing as saying they are inherently inequal. In reality gender hierachalist do not believe women are equal to men. The end of this matter should be the fact that Scripture does not say that husbands are to rule over their wives, rather they are to sacrificially love, nurture and cherish them as their own bodies, and treat them with honor for being physically weaker or else their prayers will be hindered. (Ephe. 5:21-33/1 Pe. 3:7)

Not every man uses these four errors in Biblical teaching to benefit themselves to the abuse of their wives, but enough do to make it problematic. If these things were correctly taught it still would not prevent men from abusing who were really so inclined, but it would prevent men from being pulled into a destructive pattern who were NOT so inclined otherwise. And it would make it more difficult for the abusive person to claim that it was OK with God.

When men and women who know these truths will stand up to live them and proclaim them with great patience, eventually we will have fewer Christians like Patterson embarrassing Christ before the world.

Anonymous said...

I think we will know that we are closer to what God intended when people don't feel compelled to point out that they are complementarian before talking abot the nature and character of God and his giftings and grace. Until then we remain intoxicated by the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil rather than the tree of life, Jesus Christ.

MediaDude said...

Seems to me that as much as we think the American Civil Liberties Union is off base much of the time that this is a case they would love to persue from a woman's rights perspective!

Bill said...

Forgive the naive question, but is there any way for a church to designate its CP contribution to go solely to support missionaries? I have been following various SBC scandals like this one for long enough. I think I would like my church's contributions to NOT go to support the political and academic wing of the SBC.

Anonymous said...

Note to Bill

The powers to be don't like it when you do it, but it is quite possible to designate contributions to whatever you wish. I think it is also possible to negatively designate (though it is more complicated), that is, give to all of CP except one or more particular entities.

Just check with the person who deals with this.


Anonymous said...


We also have men teaching young children. There are no hard and fast rules that keep women from teaching any men other than children. It has just ended up working that way and seems most natural and biblical to people.

Anonymous said...

I've had mixed feelings over this ever since I first read about it. Do we want a court to enforce fair and equitable employment policy on our institutions and agencies, or should we be able to see what is or isn't fair, and Christlike, and treat our employees accordingly?

There is a wide difference of opinion over whether this is "the church following scripture," or whether it is a very narrow and unintended interpretation of scripture in an institutional setting outside of the context of scripture.

The SBC's bylaws and policies have undergone changes in the last thirty years which make any kind of recourse to such actions virtually impossible, even if the issue were brought up at the SBC in June, which I am almost certain that it will be. While I believe the majority of Southern Baptists would not agree with Dr. Patterson's interpretation of scripture or with his actions regarding Dr. Klouda, trustees and institutional executives are protected from instruction by the convention. About the only thing that could be done immediately would be an amendment to the budget to take money directly from Southwestern seminary, and place it in a fund where it could be given to Dr. Klouda.

It seems a bit hypocritical for Dr. Patterson to fire a professor of Hebrew for teaching men, when the church he belonged to for a number of years while president of Criswell College allowed a woman to teach a Sunday School class with several hundred men in attendance each week, as well as a large radio audience. If Betty Criswell were alive, I wonder what she would think of all of this? If Southern Baptists are opposed to women teaching men in a seminary setting, as some have suggested, then perhaps a vote to kick FBC Dallas out of the convention would be in order for what they allowed her to do for years.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bryan Riley said I think we will know that we are closer to what God intended when people don't feel compelled to point out that they are complementarian before talking abot the nature and character of God and his giftings and grace. Until then we remain intoxicated by the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil rather than the tree of life, Jesus Christ.

I don't want this statement to get brushed by.

Believer 333: Thank you.

believer333 said...

Debbie, I also appreciated Bryan's statement. We need to be filled with Christ and moved by Him instead of our own reasoning.

And you are welcome. :)

Bryan Riley said...

Believer333- are you at the U of N?

believer333 said...

Bryan, no I'm not. Been there, done that. But have friends who are. :)

Why do you ask? I live 4 miles away though!

Bryan Riley said...

We were at the U of N in the fall of 2006. I saw on your profile that you were in Kona, so I thought you might be there in relation to the U of N.

We were volunteers in Kona and ended up doing a CDTS at a base in England. In spite of what we thought we'd be doing, God led us back here to England and we are staffing at The King's Lodge in England now.

Kona is a nice place to live.

believer333 said...

Shucks! I thought I was going to get to meet and make new friends. :)

Well, if you're ever back in the area, you'll have to look me up.

Sounds pretty wonderful to be serving in England.

Bryan Riley said...

so, like we're just taking up blogspace here... i'm at bwriley4[at]yahoo[dot]com... when we were there we went to Living Stones Church. Bill Barley was pastor. It was a wonderful church.

Serving where God leads you to serve is wonderful.

Rachel Robinson said...

I think the Judge's decision is absolutely right

at the same time I think what was done to Dr. Klouda was and is absolutely wrong. It is discrimination and horrid and ugly and has no place in the church.

but if the courts establish a precedence we will loose the right to run churches and seminaries as we believe the bible says. the issue should never have gone to a civil court it is way too dangerous. The case should have gone to the SBC or the BGCT.

Philip Miller said...

In reading through all this I can't help relate this to a recent event in my local church. My church recently called a new senior pastor. At that point the whole church staff was put on notice that their positions were being evaluated and changes were possible. Consequently one pastor was told he would be let go because of incompatibility in theology/ministry philosophy with the new senior pastor? Is this unusual? Is it wrong? Haven't any of you pastor ever asked any staff to resign because of incompatability with your own views/beliefs. Doesn't the senior pastor have to guide the church in a direction that he believes is right? How is that different from what the trustees at SWBTS who hired Patterson allowed him to do?

Tom Parker said...


I wonder how the Pastor that was told he had to go feels about this situation?