|Paige Patterson (Paul Mosely/Fort Worth Star-Telegram)|
Dr. Paige Patterson has created a firestorm in the media this past weekend over his public comments that an abused wife should stay in a physically abusive marriage. He said that a woman "who is undergoing genuine physical abuse from her husband, and her husband says she should submit" should do so. And he went on to say that the abused woman should:
"Pray at night beside her bed, quietly, for God to intervene."Don't call the police. Don't file for divorce. Don't leave the abusive home. Pray. And if the abuse continues, "be happy" because God will hear her prayers and reach her husband through them and her quiet submission.
Twitter is ablaze with fury over what Dr. Patterson said.
Ironically, ten years ago I called out Dr. Patterson for these very remarks.
Nobody seemed to be paying attention then.
But in the days of #metoo and #churchtoo, people are much more keen to the issue of abuse. I'm not unfamiliar with the Southern Baptist Convention waiting ten years before correcting an error.
I like Dr. Paige Patterson. I have enjoyed dinner at his home. I have been the recipient of floral arrangements sent by Dr. and Mrs. Patterson (twice). I harbor no personal animosity toward Dr. Patterson or his family.
However, it's time for Dr. Patterson to step down from his leadership positions in the Southern Baptist Convention. He is scheduled to give the Convention Sermon at the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Texas. He serves as President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
It's time for Dr. Paige Patterson to step down from every leadership position he holds in the SBC.
Listen carefully Southern Baptists. Please, do not be tone deaf on this issue. If Dr. Paige Patterson is allowed to continue in leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Baptists will lose any remaining credibility we possess as we share the Good News with the world at large.
Dr. Patterson must step down. He must resign. If he does not, he must be removed.
Here are the top ten reasons Paige Patterson should resign immediately - or be removed by others - from his positions of leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention:
2. Paige Patterson fired the finest Hebrew professor in the SBC because she was a woman.
3. Paige Patterson rescinded a seminary job offer to a popular SWBTS vocalist because Patterson discovered the vocalist was married to a divorced woman who had left an abusive marriage.
4. Paige Patterson is currently a party in a sexual abuse lawsuit, along with Judge Paul Pressler, a lawsuit that will soon be going to trial in Texas.
5. Paige Patterson protected a sexual predator by refusing to report him to authorities.
6. During a public sermon in 2016, Paige Patterson made suggestive comments about a 16-year-old girl being "built."
7. It is possible that the Hebrew parchments purchased by the Pattersons for an unknown sum (e.g. in the millions of dollars) during a time of insitutional financial crisis, fragments that are now on display at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, may actually be fakes.
8. Violating the school charter and admission policies, Paige Patterson admitted a practicing Muslim into Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, displaying the belief that he is above accountablity and oversight.
9. Last year's full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was 1249, nearly half of the 2381 FTE's during the final year of Dr. Ken Hemphill tenure at SWBTS. Ironically, one of the stated reasons for Dr. Hemphill being forced out was "declining enrollment."
10. Contrary to Southern Baptist polity and policy, Dr. Patterson is having a retirement home built for him on the grounds of Southwestern Seminary where he will be able to attend weekly chapels where his image is engraved in the stain glassed windows.I'm not an outsider calling for Dr. Patterson's resignation.
For the past quarter of a century, I have been the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church in northwest Oklahoma.
My father was a Southern Baptist pastor of the fastest growing Southern Baptist Church in Texas during the 1970's. My grandfather was a Southern Baptist evangelist. I served two terms as President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (2002-2004). It was also my privilege to serve on the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (2005-2008), and I was fortunate to serve as the last Chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention's Denominational Calendar Committee (1995).
My Southern Baptist roots in Texas go back to Rufus Columbus Burleson, the first President of Baylor University after it moved to Waco, Texas. The name Burleson is engraved at the top of the Texas State Fair Park alongside Lubbock, Austin, Houston, Travis, and others. I only give this background to let the reader know this recommendation Dr. Patterson resign does not come from someone outside the Southern Baptist Convention.
I am a Southern Baptist.
There have been times the Southern Baptist Convention has been an embarrassment to me.
Nevertheless, Southern Baptists are family to me.
I call on Dr. Paige Patterson to step down from leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention before the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Texas for the sake of the family.
Dr. Kevin Ueckert, Chairman of the SWBTS Board of Trustees, I trust - as in trustee - you are listening to the public, and more importantly, Southern Baptists? Steve Gaines, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, are you listening too?
We may not have an Executive Director of the SBC right now, but the people of the Southern Baptist Convention are the true leaders according to the SBC constitution, and Southern Baptists are now -after decades of silence - finally speaking out.
If Paige Patterson does not step down from his leadership positions before the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Texas, this June, then you men will need to remove him.
For the credibility of our message.