Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Paige Patterson and the Rape Victim He Shamed

I have permission to tell you this story.

Last Sunday night, May 20, 2018, I was resting in my chair after a long day. I typically read or write to relax, so I was multi-tasking when a "ding" sounded on my computer, informing me of a new email.

I ignored it.

After a few minutes, several additional "dings" indicated it was time to check my email.

As is my custom, I began to scan the first email quickly since it would take too long to read each email carefully.

I raced through the following email.

May 20, 2018, at 6:48 PM
Hello Mr. Burleson,
A student ( along with others, I am afraid- I don’t have confirmation yet) was raped while Paige Patterson was president at SEBTS. I was a student at the time, working on my MDiv from 2002-2005.

I confirmed this week the attacker admitted to the awful act back in 2004-it’s documented. He was expelled and told he could never attend any of the 6 SBC seminaries in the future.
The worst part. The student (victim) was counseled by Dr. Patterson and told she shouldn’t go to the police....

There was more to the email, but I stopped reading. I shouldn't have, but I did. When "I have a friend" or "I don't have confirmation..."  is written, I know after thirteen years of writing about the unbiblical, authoritarian, anti-women, approach by SBC leaders, there's not much I can do. Confirmation is needed.

However, the treatment this person's friend allegedly received from Dr. Paige Patterson is consistent with his belief system regarding women and the church (as I'll show you below). I stopped reading and fired off a short "Reply" which contained the following bullet points.

Dear _______,
I would suggest that your friend move QUICKLY. I would not be surprised if documents are being destroyed.
I would suggest that the young lady go to the police and file a report. Second, I would suggest she get an attorney and follow his or her counsel.
Third (if counsel allows), I would go public with the accusation.
If the young lady wishes to remain anonymous and NOT go through an attorney, I would go public ASAP.
You are her confirmation. She will be protected, and she could remain anonymous.

I typed quickly and sent the email.

My wife asked, "To whom are you writing?"  I pulled up the email I had received. "Listen to this." I began reading to Rachelle the contents of the email. I read it out loud. This time, when I came to the place where I'd initially stopped reading, I continued and found myself reading out loud these words:

I know. Because the student was me.

My wife and I looked at each other simultaneously. Rachelle said, ""

I immediately sent another email and apologized for not reading to the end and for missing that the writer was the rape victim. I gave my cell number and asked her to call.

Within a few minutes, the woman called. Over the course of the next few hours, in both conversations and several emails, my wife and I had our hearts broken by this courageous Christian mother and wife as she shared her story.

The recent controversy surrounding Paige Patterson's counsel to an abused woman to go back to her abusive husband and submit to him,  trusting God rather reporting the abuse to authorities, had opened a deep wound in this woman's heart.

In 2003, she was an M.Div student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She told us that one night, she was sexually and brutally attacked. Screaming and fighting the attacker means its nonconsensual.

I was determined not to ask specifics of the attack, so it was only hours later after several follow-up emails that the full scope of the sexual assault was clear. When my wife finally understood what had actually happened, she struggled to comprehend President Paige Patterson's response to the assault.

The rape victim reported the assault to Dr. Alan Mosely (see Washington Post article). Dr. Mosely worked in an administration that required all matters like this to be directed to the President's Office. Why? Listen to Paige Patterson's own words from a message he preached in 2013:

  • Patterson suggested women who have had “a problem in your home” should not bring their case to a judge because it could get in the way of that judge becoming a Christian.
  • Settle it within the church of God,” he said. “And if you suffer for it, and if you were misused, and if you were abused, and if you’re not represented properly, it’s okay. You can trust it to the God who judges justly.”
  • He then prayed, “Lord, may we make up our minds that we won’t take our troubles to the press, we won’t take our troubles to the government, we won’t take our troubles anywhere except to the people of God and beyond that to the Lord Jesus.”

Within an hour of reporting the assault, Paige Patterson contacted the woman and asked her to "come to my office." If you've ever been in Paige Patterson's office, you know that there are a lot of trophy game, dead animals that are displayed. As the rape victim recounted to us her story, I had a visual in my mind of this 23-year-old walking into the den of death.

I asked her, "Did anybody go with you?

"No," she told my wife and me over the speakerphone, "I went by myself."

When the rape victim arrived, Paige Patterson introduced the traumatized woman to three men in the office, men Patterson introduced as "my proteges."

I am reserving details about that interrogation until I am able to speak with the other men in the room.  What I can say is that this woman, after being traumatized to reveal every sordid detail of the assault to four men, was told by Dr. Paige Patterson not to go to legal authorities.

I believed her story immediately.

Dr. Patterson practices what he preaches. He keeps everything in the church.

The most succinct and graphic depiction of what the rape victim felt from that meeting is found in the Washington Post article by Sarah Pulliam:
"They shamed the crap out of me, asking me question after question. He (Dr. Patterson) didn’t necessarily say it was my fault, but [the sense from him was] I let him into my home.”
This rape victim was placed on probation by the seminary for having a man in her apartment.

That's consistent with the bizarre theology of women held by Paige Patterson.

A woman divorcing a man is far worse than a woman enduring physical abuse. A single woman inviting a man into her apartment is a far worse sin than a single woman being raped by the man she invited over.

It is being reported to me that Dr. Patterson is telling others that he has no memory of this woman or any meeting with her. However, the official statement of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary issued this morning states:
"Evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse."
"What does that mean?" That's the question the rape victim asked me about three hours ago.

Punishment for the Perpetrator

According to the rape victim, campus security parked in front of her apartment until the perpetrator was apprehended. School administrators told the rape victim that the man who committed the assault was being expelled from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. They told the victim that the perpetrator would never be allowed to enter any of the other five Southern Baptist seminaries.

He was escorted off the campus by school security.

For the next few years, the rape victim suffered through much shame, depression, and difficult personal times. She eventually left the seminary in 2005.

Documentation exists at Southeastern Seminary that details the confession of the perpetrator and the punishment mandated by the school. There are a few people who would like to see the documentation that proves Dr. Patterson complied with reporting laws. According to the Washington Post, law enforcement has no record of a reported rape on the campus of Southeastern Seminary during this time.

There are reasons to believe that two others were raped at Southeastern during this same time period (see the rape victims first email at the top). The victim had been trying for over a week to get in touch with the two others girls that she suspects had also been sexually assaulted.

I've read on social media unconfirmed reports of more recent sexual assaults on seminary campuses. I've been told that the victims were also counseled not to involve law enforcement. "Let Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary handle it."

That's right. Southwestern. Of course, these are unconfirmed reports, and nobody should assume they are true unless a victim finds the strength to come forward. It's not easy when churchmen are telling you to be quiet and let God deal with it.

Time will tell if similar counsel has been given to other sexual assault victims. Truth and time are invariably bound:
"For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open" (Luke 8:17).
Stained glass windows in the images of a living people should never be placed in houses of worship because clay feet stumble too frequently and easily.

Private Attempts to Have Paige Patterson Removed

The goal of this rape victim coming forward was not to sue anyone. She didn't even want law enforcement involved. Ironically, the perpetrator had sought her out over a decade after the assault and sought her forgiveness, which she granted. I explained to her that there is a difference between forgiveness of the perpetrator and accountability for the perpetrator. I told her if the perpetrator's name comes out in the media, don't feel bad. I truly admired her ability to forgive.

Here's what's interesting (ladies, don't be offended). This rape victim is not a fan of the MeToo movement. She is as biblically conservative as they come. She loves Jesus. She understands grace. She's married to a strong, loving man. Before she began making private contact with SBC officials, she sat down with her husband and revealed to him she'd been raped when in seminary. As you might imagine, that was difficult. But her husband's response of comfort, encouragement, and acceptance only confirmed to her how deep true love can be.

She'd been trying for several days to get documentation that the rape occurred. She'd been told by Kevin Ueckert, the Chairman of the Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, that documentation was needed. Before she ever contacted me on Sunday, she'd spoken with Kevin and also with Danny Akin, the current President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The rape victim was particularly concerned that I know that Danny Akin had been "kind, compassionate, and helpful to me." She expressed her gratefulness for his leadership.

She told me that school officials at SEBTS could not give her documentation that the rape had occurred. Having trouble reconciling Akin's kindness and good leadership with the institution's refusal to give the necessary documentation, I explained. "There is a fine balance that Dr. Akin is walking right now. He has only been contacted by you in the recent days. I know he is doing all he can, but because of legal implications for the institution, there are certain lines that he will be unable to cross. You will be able to get the documents, but it will involve a lawsuit."

I want every Southern Baptist to listen carefully to what this woman said next.
"Again, Wade, I don't want to sue. I don't want law enforcement involved. I should have gone to the authorities back when it happened, and it's my fault that I didn't."
Your fault? I thought to myself. "Dr. Patterson told you not to go."
"I know. But I should have been stronger. I guess at 23, sitting in the office with those four men, which included the President of the school, a man I looked up to as my authority, I trusted their counsel. Looking back, I guess I didn't know any better."
She regrets she didn't go to the police. They would have obtained physical evidence that the assault had occurred.  For the first few years after the rape, she struggled with guilt, depression, and shame. She would eventually drop out of seminary.

I said to her, "Some people are going to say, 'Why Paige Patterson?' Why is your focus on him? Why not the man who raped you."

She responded:
"Dr. Patterson doesn't believe he did anything wrong." 
This rape victim is brighter than many of our Southern Baptist pastors. In spite of her heartache and pain over the past fifteen years, she understands that you can't excise a tumor unless you know you have one; you can't get treatment unless you know you're sick.

Southern Baptists have got to come to the understanding that there is a systemic disease within our Convention. We have a warped, unbiblical, unChristian view of women. Many leaders wrongly teach that men are made in the image of God; women are made in the image of men.

Women submit; men rule - that's what would lead someone like Paige Patterson to keep "everything in the church" - including the rape of a woman - because men know best how to lead a woman.

The Washington Post

The rape victim really didn't want to reach out to me. She said she'd followed my blog for a while, but she didn't know me, and she did not want this issue to be made public.

"If they'd only given me the documentation that the rape had occurred and that I was told not to go the police, I wouldn't have contacted you."

She'd read a post I placed online Sunday night, May 20, 2018, entitled All Eyes on the Trustees of Southwestern Seminary. I suggested that many trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary received their positions due to friendship for, loyalty with, or employment under Paige Patterson.

The rape victim felt the trustees would not remove Dr. Patterson over his well-established inappropriate comments about women and abuse, and because SEBTS couldn't or wouldn't provide her any documentation over her rape, she felt the trustees might "overlook" what Dr. Patterson had said and done and not hold him accountable.
"I want you to write my story. You are a better writer than I am." 
I told her that I would, but on only one condition. Both she and her husband would have final approval, and if at any time they back out, all they had to do is let me know and I would not post it.

I also made a promise to keep her name confidential.

Over the course of the next several hours, well until after midnight, I worked on a story that I planned, with her and her husband's permission, to post on Monday. The victim sent me several emails with details of the events and people involved.

But around midnight, after reading what I'd written, and talking via phone a couple of times with a friend, I decided that this story was too big for my little blog. There were sources that needed to be checked, legal issues that needed to be resolved. I became convinced that the best people to write the story, check sources, and cross every legal hurdle were those who do this kind of thing all the time.

Back in 2005/2006 when loyal Patterson/Pressler trustees on the International Mission Board sought to remove me as a trustee and ruin my life and career for opposing Paige Patterson's attempts to fire Jerry Rankin and all the women in leadership at the IMB, I became acquainted with a reporter named Sarah Pulliam.

At the time, Sarah worked for Christianity Today and ran several articles on the imbroglio involving me at the International Mission Board.

Sarah now works on religious issues at the Washington Post. She's an evangelical. She understands Southern Baptists. She's an excellent reporter. It was well after midnight when I spoke to Sarah, and with the victim's permission, I put the two in contact with one another.

Sarah's story entitled Southern Baptist Leader Encouraged a Woman Not to Report Alleged Rape to Police came out at 3:00 pm Central Time, Tuesday afternoon, May 22, 2018.

The SWBTS Trustee Meeting, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Fort Worth, Texas

The Washington Post knows how to do reporting. I had nothing to do with the article. I wasn't interviewed. My name wasn't in the article.

I did nothing except connect a reporter with a victim.

One of the advantages of writing a blog for 13 years and consistently pointing out problems in the Southern Baptist Convention is that people want to tell you their stories. I don't write gossip. I don't write lies. I don't write slander.

I tell the truth. And so does the Washington Post.

I've been told that when Paige Patterson spoke to the trustees last night in a full-court press to save his job, his home, his salary, etc... he presented a power point presentation to prove he's "under attack." The problems are never Paige's beliefs or Paige's actions or Paige's leadership. The problem is that evil Wade Burleson, the devil incarnate, and others.

I understand why Paige believes that to be so. He doesn't see that disagreement among Christians shouldn't mean we don't cooperate. You're either for him, or you're against him. You're for God, or with the devil.

Respectfully, SWBTS trustees, I've been telling you for over a decade there are huge problems at your institution and throughout the SBC. Your enrollment numbers stare you in the face every trustee meeting. In dysfunctional systems, the person who asks the questions about the problem becomes the problem to the ones being questioned.

Just ask Nathan Montgomery.

He was fired by Paige Patterson for recommending an article written by Ed Stetzer. Here it is (below).

After last night's board meeting, the trustees issued an official declaration that "The board has not found evidence of misconduct in Nathan Montgomery's employment file."

Why was that statement even necessary?

Because in Paige Patterson's world, the person against him has rotten character. The person who opposes his ideology is a bad person and must be taught a lesson. Teaching that lesson might even include making things up about the person he doesn't like. Things like, "That Nathan Montgomery has a long history of being problematic and indiscreet" - refusing to provide specifics to the reporter to whom President Patterson spoke. But it is on the record. And, Nathan Montgomery saw it.


Let's suppose that Nathan Montgomery's employee file is actually super-clean, maybe even "spotless." What do you do?

You issue an official statement attempting to cover the mistake of your President. He publicly said something that actually wasn't true.

In Paige Patterson's world, if you don't like the message, attack the messenger. Truth is unnecessary; an attack, though, is essential.

In the world I live, the truth is essential. Attacks are unnecessary.

An Obscene Graphic Mocking the Rape - 

Within a few short hours after the Post story of the unreported rape went public, a Southern Baptist pastor who is an adherent to Paige Patterson's philosophies went on social media and did something alarming. He's been taught well by his mentor, Paige Patterson. This pastor posted an obscene and graphic picture/comment about a donkey and Wade Burleson (and a few other men I'll not name), stating that he had witnessed these men gang-raping a donkey. His point was that "anybody can say anything" without proof.

I'm not naming the pastor or displaying his obscene post. He called me this morning and apologized.  But I told this pastor that I'm not the one he should be thinking of regarding an apology.

I told this Southern Baptist pastor that the husband of the rape victim saw his post on Twitter. To say the husband of the rape victim was upset is putting it mildly. You might ask the wall that met his hand. Remember, he just found out a few days ago his wife had been raped and no Southern Baptist ministers did anything to help her.

This Southern Baptist pastor said, "You mean the rape really happened?"

I was stunned. Kindly, but firmly, I said to him.
"Listen, you and others who have placed Paige Patterson on a pedestal for his involvement in the Conservative Resurgence and have been so blinded by your hero worship that you can't even consider Paige Patterson might have done something wrong."
The Southern Baptist pastor confirmed that the purpose of his post was to impugn my character (and others), for planting the rape story - released just when trustees were determining the future of Paige Patterson - as a "way to get at Paige Patterson."

He wanted to speak to the couple. I explained why this was impossible. So, this afternoon, the Southern Baptist pastor (whom I shall not name), wrote out this apology:

I found his apology refreshing.

I promised I would help him if his church leaders came after his job.

Trustees, ask yourselves a question. In the closed-door meeting with Dr. Paige Patterson, watching his presentation and listening to him speak, was he taking responsibility for his failures, or was he pointing his finger at someone else?

Why do I ask? Because as long as you have a bunker mentality and think your leader is under assault, you are ignoring the fact that your city is burning to the ground and you're the ones with the keys to the fire trucks.

Every Single SWBTS Trustee Should Apologize Like The Pastor Above

This morning I woke up and read that in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, May 23, 2018, the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary released the following:
The board passed a motion through a majority vote to appoint Dr. Patterson as President Emeritus with compensation, effective immediately, which he accepted. In addition, the board passed a motion to affirm the trustees’ September 2017 offer for Dr. and Mrs. Patterson to live on campus as the first theologians-in-residence at the Baptist Heritage Center, scheduled to be completed in July 2018.
I was stunned.

I truly thought Dr. Paige Patterson would be terminated. Paige Patterson should be terminated. He should never be allowed to live on school property. He should never be given the title President Emeritus. He should never be given a salary.

He should be fired.

For heaven's sake, when Dr. Russell Dilday was terminated as President of SWBTS in 1994, security changed the locks and escorted him off of the property.

Explain to me why we honor Paige Patterson with titles, a house, maids and chefs, stained glass windows, and a perpetual salary - and we changed the locks on Russel Dilday.

SWBTS trustees, we have a problem.

You seem to be star-gazing rather than number-crunching. Shame on you.

It was fourth and one in a game to save your seminary and you were sacked for a twenty-yard loss.

Is it over?


The Southern Baptist Convention has the final say.

A lot of people will be asking you questions in Dallas.

And in the name of a rape victim who is wondering about Southern Baptist pastors and their integrity, I plead with you not to allow Paige Patterson to step foot on that podium in Dallas.

In 2006, I was told by Paige Patterson's disciples at the IMB that I would never again preach in a Southern Baptist Church, never again speak on a Southern Baptist stage, and never again have an ounce of influence in Southern Baptist circles unless I resigned as a trustee.

What they didn't understand is that those things mean nothing to me. I do what I do for the Kingdom. God made me, Patterson missed me, and Christ motivates me.

I'll see you in Dallas.


To my new friends, a wonderful couple who shall remain unnamed, but who deserve an anonymous star on the wall of every seminary in the Southern Baptist Convention.

I hope you feel that you've been heard.

I admire your courage. I admire your grace. I admire you both. I hope to meet you soon.

What you've done is ensure that every daughter of Southern Baptists who steps foot on seminary property to earn a post-graduate degree will be protected as they should be by those entrusted to lead our Convention.


Unknown said...

For heaven's sake, when Dr. Russell Dilday was terminated as President of SWBTS in 1994, security changed the locks and escorted him off of the property.

'Explain to me why we honor Paige Patterson with titles, a house, maids and chefs, stained glass windows, and a perpetual salary - and we changed the locks on Russel Dilday.

SWBTS trustees, we have a problem.'

BINGO. And what did Dr. Dilday do to deserve such maltreatment?

The seminaries have a habit of escorting folks off campus and threatening them with trespass should they show up again.

Adam Cruse said...

I was fighting back tears the whole time I read this and the recent Klouda series. Don't know what to say other than, thank you for being a faithful friend to all these who carry the scars of being hurt by our denomination. God's gifted you with wisdom and courage for this "task" and you have done well. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Well done.

Unknown said...

I hope some "brave" SWBTS trustees will really take the time to talk to this lady who was a victim, get the documents ( If they haven't been destroyed.) and take away the golden parachute they offered to Patterson.

Doug said...

Thanks Wade. People need the truth.

James 4:17

Bob Cleveland said...

Some think Romans 12:19 merely tells us not to seek vengeance ... but it also says " I will repay...". I think Dr. Patterson should be afraid. Very afraid.

Ron said...

I would have trouble believing that Danny Akin is going to do anything to help this woman without a law suit to force him. Danny Akin is the man who fired CB Scott and another man because they made public Paige Patterson's gift of a seminary owned car to a protégé who was moving to SWBTs in order to cover it up and fix it before the auditors discovered it.

The recent information on Patterson has been public knowledge for years. The sermon on wife beating, car give away, the Darrell Gilyard scandal, the calling for the firing of 750 IBM missionaries, the attempts to undermine Rankin and the meddling with the IMB trustees, and on and on. The SWBTS trustees all knew this. The other seminary presidents knew this. The former SBC presidents all knew this. They made a mistake when they allowed him to preach the convention sermon. This was a opportunity for his past actions to be covered in the secular media and made known to a larger audience. They couldn't handle the public relations backlash and were forced to act. Given their preferences they would have preferred to do nothing.

Paige Patterson has run SWBTS into the ground and is being rewarded with a retirement home and financial golden parachute. None of this is surprising to those of us at the IMB who witnessed his attacks on our missionaries, staff and trustees such as yourself. No better example than Paige Patterson exists than to prove my point that the central purpose of the conservative resurgence from its beginning has been power and control, not theology.

Rnn West said...

The Ron in the above comment is Ron West. I don't know why it only gave my first name. I don't want any other Ron out there to get blamed for my comments.

Wade Burleson said...

Thank you Ron - one of the commitments in writing this story is to honor the rape victim's request in what I said about Danny Akin.

I do know she really appreciated him - and because this is a tough time, I wanted to make that known - regardless of any past experiences with Danny Akin.

It's out of respect for two courageous people.

aspire2 said...

Thank you so much for this. Very revealing. The only thing I don’t understand is why you’d feel the need to downplay any connection to #MeToo. It felt a bit shaming. Is there an assumption among SBC people that the people involved are all lying?

Christiane said...

This hurts to read. That poor woman.
It's too sad.
God have mercy.

no 'theology' that hurts an innocent person this badly could possibly be 'of Christ'

ishy said...

I have been heartbroken ever since someone sent me Sarah's article yesterday. For I was a student at SEBTS in 2003. This woman was one of my classmates. And I believe her wholeheartedly.

Being a woman at a SBC seminary is not easy. I remember some of the horrible comments I got from male students. I remember hearing horrible things from male students about other women. I saw women get stalked. Some of those got reported, and nothing happened.

There were rules, but seemed to be no expectation of good character for the future pastors of the SBC. Several other of our classmates have since been arrested for rape of women and children. I know Wade has written about them before. There were good people at SEBTS, but I didn't see any effort to weed out those who were clearly unfit for ministry. And some of those who seemed charismatic and having great potential turned out to be the most predatory.

My sister in Christ, my former classmate, I will be praying for you. I can't imagine what you are going through.

Unknown said...

What I saw this morning was not repentance, but stubbornness in the face of being confronted by egregious sin.

Christiane said...

well, that Southern Baptist pastor whose name Wade would not mention has not only apologized but resigned from the administration of his blog . . . . he seems deeply repentant

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to give my name. I was one of the few women to survive the Dilday mess and received a MATH degree in 1996 from SWBYS. Thank heavens, this mess with men was not happening in Ft Worth. We had enough stress keeping ourselves safe at the "Ft Worth Knife and Gun Club" without worrying about safety from our fellow classmates. It was a crazy time, and unfortunately, I was in the area for many years as the Patterson's took over their trophy (deal brokered for Conservatives) and started churning out puppets and shaming women with Mrs. Patterson's women's programs. I worked hard for my degree. Stuck around through the mass Exodus of beloved professors to watch my seminary and degree become a farce. I agree that the Pattersons should be run off and certainly not given a palace. I've followed you on/off for a long time and thank you for your continued efforts to highlight the cancer in the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Sandra Glahn,

I have great respect for the MeToo movement. I only shared what I was told by the rape victim. She's not trying to impress anyone, just relay the truth of her feelings and experience.

As an aside, I was able to share with her on a later occasion - after several discussions via email about all avenues of communication being shut off by men - that the MeToo movement was created by men like those who were now stonewalling.

She understood and was grateful for my perspective.

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

True repentance is beautiful. May more accept this good and gracious gift from our Father.

Anonymous said...

I heard they retired him and then finding out that he was given the title of President Emeritus? From what I understand of that title, isn’t that sort of like what happened in Russia with President Meveded and Putin still being in the background.

Nancy2 said...

Wade, I've been reading your blog for 4 or 5 years now. I was raised as a baptist..... Born in '64, saved in '76, joined the church in '78. I have watched and experienced the changes wrought by the CR. Thank you for fighting for all of us that the SBC has/is tried/trying to muzzle.

To the rape victim: To the victor go the spoils. May the "victim" become the victor, (if you aren't already). Peace, comfort, and blessings to you. I commend you for your courage to come forward with what happened to you.

To Anonymous: I've got my own guns and knives, and I know how to use them. I use them for defense, and for food - not for exotic trophies to hang on a wall. I don't need a guide to babysit me, either. I'm not exactly a girly-girl (neither is my daughter - when her ex-boyfriend attacked her, she cold cocked him with a ratchet!).

To all: I'm thinking about resigning my position as a homemaker. I don't have a degree in homemaking, no diploma, no references ...... So, you see, I'm not really qualified..........
I have to joke. I'm too angry to say very much in a serious manner and still be civil.

Blanca said...

I am at a loss. I'm broken-hearted for this sister (and others) who've suffered abuse, and then were made to suffer an added layer of abuse by the twisted thinking of those in leadership. As well, I'm disturbed by what seems to be an ever-narrowing view of women, and their role in Christian life, among certain leadership. I worked among people groups overseas whose tradition and faith say that women are inferior, and that it's okay to mistreat them. This always opened a door for sharing about the God who values women. And now, I see parallels of mistreatment within leadership in my faith tradition? I pray it is a very small number of men. Based upon today's announcement by Southwestern, the SBC meeting in June has suddenly become more important than I anticipated. Action must be taken, thought moving to word and deed. The status quo is unacceptable. I can't--I won't--be a part of misrepresenting Christ to the world. After all the times I've told hurting women that Christ loves and values them ... if nothing changes ... could I in good conscious remain a Southern Baptist?

Donald Johnson said...

LEB Jer 23:1-2  "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock of my pasture," declares Yahweh. Therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people, "You yourselves have scattered my flock, and you have driven them away, and you do not attend to them. Look, I will punish you for the evil of your deeds," declares Yahweh. 

Alan Rudnick said...

Wade, thank you for being a voice of truth.

Drusba said...

Wade, Thank you for all you do to help people. I pray that our convention will rely on the Lord and his word and not on men's ideas and their words. WE need to get back to reaching people for the Lord and training them.

Barbara Roberts said...

The pastor who made the awful "Donkey Joke" and later apologized... he wrote another apology on the FB page of A Cry For Justice yesterday.

You can find what he said if you read the comments thread on this post —

facebook DOT com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1248673231929473&id=196307250499415

Tina said...

My heart is breaking for this woman. Thank you for helping her tell her story. Thank you for being willing to speak truth and shed light into darkness, regardless of the cost.

Monte Garrett said...

Thank you, Wade, for continuing to speak truth for so many! Perhaps if enough SBC churches excluded SWBTS from their Cooperative Program gifts it might get someone’s attention ... maybe. The SBC needs to remove all current SWBTS trustees and start over.

Scott Smith said...

Do the by-laws of the SBC allow for the messengers to over-rule the decision made by the trustees regarding the title, housing and compensation provided for the Patterson’s?
If not, can individual churches designate their money away from SWBTS?

Wade Burleson said...


Much research is being done. Answers to your questions will be forthcoming by the first week of June or so.

Scott Smith said...

Thank you for all your work.

oscarspaz said...

I am disgust at Trustees decision. If PP did nothing wrong, did the victims lied? This is abusing the victims all over again - dismissing their cries.

Also, how can a new president function under the shadow of PPs on site. Even corporate world have the good sense of not letting ex-CEO hanging around the company. Clearly the decision is not made for the interest of SWBTS's future but for the benefit of PPs. SWBTS will be ripped apart at the administrative level with this arrangement. This is insanity.

Unknown said...

All I can say is THANK YOU for being a voice of support for this courageous woman.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Was the Alvin Reid abrupt resignation at all related to this situation?

Anonymous said...

As a Southern Baptist woman who has been attending a non-SBC church for the last few years after encountering these views on women and abuse, I would like to see a large group in Dallas protesting this insanity. How could we organize this?

Wade Burleson said...


It was not. Alvin Reid’s resignation was due to other issues.


I can promise you there will be a plan, and that plan will be covered widely via social media a few days prior to the Convention.

Spiritual Battles said...

A tall tale sign of an abusive person is their unwillingness to admit fault. They justify, explain away, minimize, spiritualize, and deny any charge brought against them; then they blame shift. Paige Patterson is fitting this profile.

Anonymous said...

Even though Adrian Rogers led in the destruction of WMU Paige was very instrumental
In that “brilliant “ anti women leadership even if all the ladies did was raise over a hundred million dollars for missions.

Rex Ray said...

Shawn Madden,

Sounds like you’ve been on the ‘front’ where the action/war has taken place. At one time Patterson told Dilday, “You’re conservative all right, but you’re not one of us.”

Ron West,

I’ve printed a 70 page article, “How Deep will Baptists Sink in Legalism with the BFM 2000?” Page one has:

Truth of Conservative Resurgence (CR) by Ron West, missionary 2008.
I’ve lived in a country where the centralized authority was similar to that of Russia. There was a centralized authority that controlled everything, especially information…one of the priorities for Paul Pressler and his followers was to take control of the Baptist Press…The district leader reported to the state leaders.

These men in the association would report names of those who could be counted on to be loyal to the CR organization and those who were not on board. From this report it was decided who was worthy to serve on SBC trustee boards and other convention appointed positions. It also allowed them to know who to keep off boards and to call them liberals if necessary. You did not even have to be a dissenter to be considered dangerous if you were not actively supporting the CR.

For the CR organization the issue has always been power and control.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Wade, thank you for all you've done and continue to do by exposing and speaking the truth! Here's what I find really, really creepy about this young woman's visit to PP's office to discuss her rape. Yes, she should have taken someone with her as a witness to the office visit. So she goes to his office and tells her story to FOUR MEN. Is this intimidating or what??!! Secondly, do you know what else I am thinking about these four men who are listening to a young woman recount her rape story? Sure you do. I hope I am wrong, but I don't think so. I was a GARB Baptist for about 20 years, but haven't been back to any Baptist church for about 25 years, not since I saw the coverups for myself. I saw men, including pastors and deacons, shield men, so I get how it works. Again, thank you.

Christiane said...

"Even though Adrian Rogers led in the destruction of WMU Paige was very instrumental
In that “brilliant “ anti women leadership even if all the ladies did was raise over a hundred million dollars for missions."


maybe, some day, when all the remnants of Pressler-Pattersonian misogyny have been rooted out of the SBC and women are again respected as made in the image of God . . . maybe then, the dear ladies of the WMU could gather again and do their work for the missions

I can understand from his history how it was that Patterson would harm the WMU; but why did Adrian Rogers get in on this? I don't know much about him. Was he also that destructive towards women working in the Church?

russedav said...

He said, she said. This pile of vile godless gossip assembled deceitfully to attack SBC's & Patterson's complementarian anthropology with rape accusation doesn't pass the smell test and certainly evidences someone NOT motivated by Christ, rather antichrist, merely the same old godless, unBiblical egalitarian attack machine serving satan. Yet another chapter in the devil's book that took down Alabama's Judge Moore with false accusations. Incredibly how gullible people are. When God the Judge renders the final verdict it won't be the same story pretended here for the truth will out for a change.

Wade Burleson said...


Appreciate your comment. Would you have the courage to identify yourself, your place of work, and other important information about you? It's always helpful in dialogue for people to be known, and because you believe false allegations "took down" Roy Moore, and false allegations are taking down Paige Patterson, I think people should have the right to know who are.

And, when it comes to the end times, there will be one question asked:

"Did you love people like I loved you?"

"By this will everyone know that you are mine, when you love others as I have loved you" (John 13:35).

Wade Burleson said...

You and others might ask, "But how is this loving Paige Patterson?"

Answer: Our belief system should be to love everyone, wherever they are on their journey - good or bad. But.... when one's actions rise to the level of harming another person, part of that love is to be strong enough to confront the one whose actions are harmful to prevent further damage to people. That's loving someone on the journey to destruction, without enabling them to destroy. Likewise, loving the weak, wounded, and abused often means you must intervene to empower them to voice what the abuser did - that's loving them in their journey. We love everyone regardless. But since love is always selfless, we must be willing to do those things which are good for all involved, regardless of the pain, discomfort, and trials that come our way because of our love.

Anonymous said...

As an employee of SEBTS from 2000-2002, I could probably name the four men who were included in the meeting in PP office. I was once personal secretary for 3 of the ones I'm thinking of at some point during my tenure as a student's wife-secretary. I am appalled at these reports. I have in some way defended PP and his cohorts. They are good, compassionate, kind men. I didn't believe what I've read. Until now. I stand corrected.

I would probably remember this young lady if I heard her name. If she ever comes here I would like her to know I am sorry for not believing her story at first. She deserves all the dignity and trust I can offer. I will stand with you at the first opportunity I have. Now I wish I had made plans to attend the SBC as I often do. I will be there in spirit standing with all of the sisters who will hopefully protest in some way.

I can only hope & pray that someone is drafting a motion to remove PP as convention sermon speaker. He has lost the credibility to step on the platform.

Florence in KY said...

Why was not Dr. Dilday given a place of retirement on campus?! Of course it was not proper. I'm not surprised at the trustees' actions. Interesting that of the 40 trustees only 3 of them are women. Nuff said!

Wade Burleson said...

Why not indeed, Florence.

Ken said...

Thanks, Wade.

Anonymous said...


I fully expect the next president will be a PP insider. If the board intended anything else, they never would have allowed PP to stay on campus with a title.

Doug said...

"I fully expect the next president will be a PP insider. If the board intended anything else, they never would have allowed PP to stay on campus with a title."

I believe that may have been their intention, but I truly don't believe thats how it will play out for them. I pray that this is a "reset" and that change will come.

Anonymous said...

Doug, I hope you are right. If you are, however, the deck is really stacked against anyone who comes in.

Anonymous said...


AR was the one that routinely referred to WMU as a “sickness.”

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous (Who Speculated on Who Else Was in the Room)

I rarely delete comments, even anonymous ones. But when someone places a name in an open forum, speculating on who "may" have been in the room with Dr. Patterson, particularly when the rape victim has not named them, you'll have to post your name and not hide behind anonymity. And of course, I would encourage you to go to that person yourself and ask if he was in the room before you post anything.

The only other thing I would say is this - these three young "proteges" earning their Ph.D's were only following their mentor. It may not excuse them, particularly if they've done the same thing in their positions of leadership - but the rape victim places the blame squarely on the one who claimed to be mentoring the students.

This post was a difficult one to write, but I made sure everything was done privately through the rape victim (which it was because she is a person of integrity - real integrity) before anything went public. Had their been help to deal with it privately, there never would have been a public post.

I would encourage you to follow the rape victim's example.

Anonymous said...

re: the upcoming convention:


Make a ruckus. if ever there was a time for dispensing with typical accommodation of polite smiles and sitting quietly as a passive audience member, it is now.

Women and men who support them, make yourselves heard. The level of corrupt scuzz is beyond belief. it deserves nothing polite.

pam said...

I'm not a part of the SBC, but i promise you the influence of the powerbrokers in the SBC extends far beyond the the SBC denomination.

It is felt in the Assemblies of God, even. It is devastating to experience being a lesser human being because you are a woman. Being relegated to a child who must be supervised. Being viewed with a wary eye of being incompetent and not to be taken seriously because you are a woman.

To be a woman is to be invisible.

i have a vested interest here.

Anonymous said...

I am a lowly'pew person from a small SBC church'. Not involved with the reigning class of important people being talked about here. At our church in the last 2 decades, we have been subject to all the experiments of takeovers by the YRR's. We were only 20 miles from Southern Baptist Seminary and mostly had men working on their MDiv and Phd's as pastors. We thought that was a blessing we could give to young men called to preach God's precious Word. We paid them well, gave them a house to live in, and allowed them to spend as much time as needed on studies. I'll leave out our gradual take over by YRR's and at the end of this time, the final take over try was waged against my husband who was an elder. The personal destruction he was subjected to was appaling coming from men who were studying at SBS. It is exactly like the attitude shown here by PP and his bud's. God graciously kept our church together with the members, not the "invaders", continuing the Gospel work. That was a final 2 years of praying, and standing strong in the Word. Our whole experience has mirrored the battles being waged by PP now. Having lived through real experiences, I find it amazing Dr. Mohler can write that he saw none of this coming. The YRR's have been trained at his seminary for years on how to carry out the tactics in this way. I am so saddened at what has happened to the SBC and churches recieving terrible advice to keep criminal sin hidden, I can no longer trust many of the men leading this convention. This problem is so wide spread, and under the radar for so long, the explosion may bring unbelievable destruction. May God's guidance be sought by all.

Christiane said...

Thanks, Anonymous

re: "AR was the one that routinely referred to WMU as a “sickness.”

oh dear . . . .

how on Earth did misogyny get so entrenched in the SBC so quickly . . . I believe that great amounts of money have been and are still donated to the missions on the backs of the courage of two women: Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong

Did men like Rogers and Patterson and Pressler ever speak against Lottie and Annie? I wonder how they could turn on the WMU women with such venom unless they harbored the great sin of a virulent and relentless misogyny.

Anonymous said...

Yes Total

Yes many many many will be invited to leave over time

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

It always amazes me when people gain high positions they seem to change into something evil and become dictators. Dr. Patterson is living in a Old Testament mentality as far as I can see and has taken on the roll of the High Priest of the Sanhedrin. Does Dr. Patterson complete ignore Romans 13 that the government exists and has been established by God. The government is God's servant working for good. Beware Dr. Patterson for verse 2 tells us that "whoever rests the government opposes what God has established and those who resist will bring punishment on themselves". I would like to know why Dr. Patterson has set himself up to be higher than the government when it comes to criminal matters ? I have been in Law Enforcement for well over half my life and have investigated rape case where a pastor attempted to conceal the crime from law enforcement and he found himself in court for his actions. I can not speak for the laws in North Carolina but I do not believe they are that far removed from my State's that deal severely with a persons action like Dr. Patterson. I Do Not fault the young woman in the least, she was doubly traumatized, once by the rape and then by an interrogation by Dr. Patterson and the other men in his office. Anyone with a ounce of common sense and compassion would not have done this. This is a reason why so many women do not report rape to anyone for the fear of being judge, which Dr. Patterson did and then having the guts to say it was the woman's fault because she allowed the perpetrator into her apartment. Dr. Patterson needs to be remove from any position within the SBC and as far as the board of trustees for SWBTS to reward Patterson by appointing him president emeritus turns by stomach and mirrors what we see in politics.
Wade you show us continually a good balance of grace and truth, thank you.

Anonymous said...

These abhorrent teachings have influenced other Baptist churches as well. In the 1990s I belonged to a Bible Baptist Fellowship church and was married to a horrifically abusive spouse. The pastor's advice to me was an almost word for word repetition of Paige Patterson's--have more sex with him, submit to and obey him better, the abuse is your fault, do not go to the police, put up with the abuse like Christ bore his wounds, and on and on. Additionally, a young woman fell pregnant (I don't know if it was rape or not) and was not only slut-shamed from the pulpit, she was excommunicated. Moreover, at least four other women in abusive marriages were treated the same way I was. My ex eventually left me--something I believe God orchestrated to rescue me from a situation that nearly cost me my life, twice--and I was told that, if I filed for divorce instead of him, I would be "churched" and that God would never allow me to remarry. In hindsight, this church was a cult--not a real church--a lot of other stuff was very, very wrong there.

The elders and other church members worshiped this pastor just like the SBC seems to worship Patterson. The pastor, some years later, was in a car accident that ultimately forced him to step down from the pulpit due to injuries he suffered. I believe that that accident was permitted by God to remove him from the pulpit, since no one would stand up to him and subject him to the same church discipline he so freely meted out to his congregation. The similarities are eerie.

Anonymous said...


After 21 years of faithful service as SBC employees, our family followed God's call to work with a non-denominational organization. The perspective change has been remarkable!

Our family has often talked about the implied misogyny in the SBC, but had enough freedom in our little denominational corner of ministry to function differently. However, it wasn't until we moved into our present organization that we really see the contrast.

As more news becomes public, it confirms suspicions we have had about some of the SBC stalwarts in the news lately who won the Conservative Resurgence 35 years ago. We had direct and repeated interaction with these men, and saw and heard things behind closed doors that caused concern -- not enough evidence to report anything, mind you -- but concern. It appears now that the hidden sin has finally 'found you out.' Numbers 32:23

We are saddened by these latest reports and are praying for our denomination. We are actually better servants in our local SB church now that we do not work for the SBC. We are also torn because we are strong biblical inerrantists, and were grateful that these same men led the SBC back to the Bible many years ago.

Come Lord Jesus,

A Lifelong Southern Baptist, A Vagrant Southern Baptist Minister

mkelley said...

The above, under "Anonymous, was supposed to have contained a username. It's mkelley.

mkelley said...

Clarifying further (sorry, Wade): the "anonymous" comment that references a Bible Baptist Fellowship church was by me, mkelley.

everette said...

I'm hoping that PP's resignation is just the first of a series of dominoes, like what happened at Baylor. The big issue was getting Starr, Briles, and McCaw out of their positions of power. To be sure, Starr was initially given a demotion instead of termination; he was offered a well-paid sinecure (the chancellorship) to go with a cushy full professorship in the law school, but very quickly the sinecure and the professorship also disappeared. Here's hoping that the same thing will happen with PP.

(I realized that Starr probably came away with a huge confidential settlement--he's an excellent lawyer, after all--but it was worth it to have the taint of his administration forever removed from Baylor's campus).

Although I hope that there are no more victims of PP's arrogance and misogyny, but if there are, they will now feel far more free to come forward. If enough of them do, then it will soon become untenable for SWBTS to keep him, just as Baylor was eventually forced to rid itself of Starr.

Unknown said...


I was confused by a few things in the account. Maybe you can clear them up:

1) The author of the e-mail says, "I confirmed this week the attacker admitted to the awful act back in 2004-it’s documented." Is "2004" a typo? The WaPo says the alleged assault happened in early 2003. And apparently his confession must have happened much earlier than 2004 because your account says that campus security was waiting outside the victim's apartment to apprehend him, and that they then escorted him off-campus. That's a little confusing, because if he confessed to the rape prior to that point, why did they need to stake out her apartment to catch him? Also, if he was a student, why couldn't they have gone to his residence or taken him out of class? And why doesn't the WaPo story mention any of this? If SEBTS had enough information to have him removed by campus security from outside her apartment (because apparently he was still stalking her or trying to initiate contact), that certainly seems relevant to the point that they never reported any of this to police.

2) What is the documentation she refers to? Is it the conversation with Danny Akin in which he says he answered questions about his own observation of the file? She says that SEBTS will not turn over the assaulter's file to her. Dr. Akin says he did not read any portion of it to her. So what is the documentation that she confirmed last week?

3) Part of my curiosity lies in the fact that SEBTS's legal counsel says that dean of students Alan Moseley's response to the woman's situation (in which he warned her that further misconduct would result in suspension or expulsion) was appropriate. If the file in fact contains a confession that the man raped her, how could Dr. Moseley's response have been valid?

Thanks for any light you can shed on this.

Ron West said...

Wade the reason for the soft landing for Patterson is the trustees were vetted to make sure they were supporters of Patterson before they were appointed, just as the trustees were vetted to make sure they would support the firing of Russell Dilday when that took place. He basically is only being asked to retire a few months before he would have anyway and given a financial parachute to land with. I wonder how much he and Dorothy have been paid annually and how much they have in their retirement account that they need to have a home provided.

Anonymous said...

Snarky question: Does PP get to be part of SWBTS panel for the post-Convention "Conversation with Living Legends"?

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade, you mentioned the question dealing with how this all showed love for Dr. Patterson. Well ... without repentance, there is no forgiveness. And repentance does not mean changing your ways .. it means changing your thinking. Which necessarily leads to changing your actions.

I know one of Dr. Patterson's victims quite well. There is no question in my mind concerning the sinfulness of what Dr. P. did.

So it follows .....

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thanks for being available to listen and support these brave souls. Their anguish is our anguish.

I wrote to the chairman of the trustees several weeks ago and assured him that as an alumni of SWBTS I would support their removal of the president. My concern has primarily been his love for authoritarianism, but I tried to make the case that his leadership has also failed to produce a healthy vibrant seminary, but instead has become a monument to self-righteousness. (My email probably sounded self-righteous to Steve, but I tried to follow the system that we have in place and I don't live in the states.) I was not surprised, but I was disappointed, in the trustee's acquiescence to the legacy argument. I believe that it will take a complete new generation of leaders to bleed out the poison that has permeated the campus. I plan to ask the current trustees to step aside, resign en masse, as the first step towards healing, but it seems unlikely.

This new revelation of an online discussion gone mad has left me rather perplexed. How is it that a pastor, who idolizes the president emeritus, has access to a cartoon or illustration, or whatever, of a donkey being gang raped? I am glad that he has expressed sorrow for his decision to express himself that way, but anyone that has that as a resource is unfit for the ministry. I would like to ask you to reconsider supporting him to his church. In my opinion, placing reconciliation above accountability only puts off pain for another day and raises the odds that other people will be affected.

Thanks again for loving the hurting.

Anonymous said...

Mark Sims said...

To "Anonymous" above: just for clarity's sake, the unnamed pastor did NOT post a "cartoon or illustration, or whatever, of a donkey being gang raped". There was a picture of a donkey along with his (missed) attempt at satire, but nothing more. This is NOT a defense (there can be none), merely a clarification so as to avoid misinformation.

Anonymous said...

I don’t want to see it or know who has it but would like to know if a screenshot exists. Ninty seconds?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @3:33: Yes, it was the screenshot heard 'round the convention.

Tango Whiskey said...

"As for the men in power, they are so anxious to establish the myth of their infallibility that they do their utmost to ignore truth."
-Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) Russian writer, Nobel Prize for literature, 1959

Thanks for writing this article, Pastor Burleson. I have the utmost respect for you.

-Todd Wilhelm

Unknown said...

Head. In. The. Sand.
What a shameful comment. If this would have been your wife, I wonder if you would have believed her..or would you dismiss her too in favor of your fanclub?

Anonymous said...

Drove by the SWBTS campus this afternoon. The residential side of the building has "Hacienda Del Pastor" inscribed in stucco over one window. If Patterson see's himself in this role, he is definitely not finished with trying to oversee how the institution is ran.

One scary thought: to side step criticism of keeping PP on campus, the trustees deed the land to a third party.

Tom Parker said...

If any one want to know how the SBC handles scandals of one of their own, just look to how PP was handled and btw what happened to the Frank Page situation?

Wade Burleson said...

Ron West,

You, sir, are a prophet with my highest respect. I hope to see you in Dallas.

Kate Johnson said...

Wade, it's been a while since I've commented. But as always, you are a shining example of what SHOULD happen to the victimized. Thank you again, for speaking truth with compassion.

Tom Parker said...

Ok, Wade I will try my comment this way. Hero worship of SBC leaders like PP have gone on for decades and it is wrong.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff Johnson,

You ask some excellent questions:

1. I spoke with the rape victim this afternoon. She is embarrassed that in her initial email which she gave me, there was a "typo." The rape occurred in 2003, not 2004. Trust me, Jeff, if you spoke with this woman or her husband, you would be amazed at their integrity, willingness to forgive, and desire to avoid the limelight. She apologized to me for the typo.

2. The documentation to which she refers is the "confession" of the perp which was given shortly after the crime took place. Dr. Mosely would be able to tell you of the documentation that exists of that confession. It was when the rape victim was told that the assault perpetrator confessed, that security was called and the rapist was expelled. There is no record of law enforcement in North Carolina being contacted.

When the lawyer for Paige Patterson spoke to the trustees in a closed-door session, "the documentation" to which he referred was related to a 2015 assault on the campus of SOUTHWESTERN, not the 2003 rape at Southeastern.

I will embolden your last question.

3) Part of my curiosity lies in the fact that SEBTS's legal counsel says that dean of students Alan Moseley's response to the woman's situation (in which he warned her that further misconduct would result in suspension or expulsion) was appropriate. If the file in fact contains a confession that the man raped her, how could Dr. Moseley's response have been valid?

Jeff, this response is from me (Wade Burleson) and not the rape victim.


I am incredulous at the "probation" of the 23-year-old rape victim - as is the rape victim herself. But as I mentioned in my post - in the theology of Paige Patterson it seems to be a bigger sin for a single woman to invite a man to her apartment than it is for a single man to rape a woman.

Hope this helps.

Joe Carr said...


While you and I may never meet personally, and might not necessarily agree on some issues, your articles have been very enlightening and informative on this issue. In regard to the "donkey" statement and apology, I will state that the individual has been known to personally attack and attempt to discredit those who were in opposition to his views on this issue. As an example, this article he wrote tried to discredit Jonathan Merritt by character assassination ( When I initially read his article, I was highly offended that he would attempt to discredit Jonathan Merritt in this way. And let me state clearly that I have not always liked or agreed with Jonathan Merritt's beliefs or opinions. However, there is no reason to smear his reporting in such a manner. All of that to say this: I hope his apology was sincere and genuine. However, the post that led to his resigning from Connect316 was only, it seems, following a trajectory that had been established with earlier articles he had written. I have been saddened and sickened by all of the harsh language from both sides of the aisle. At times, I have also been guilty, though I am unknown in the larger SBC world, yet I have needed to repent of things I have said in churches I have pastored. May the Lord Jesus give us grace in these days. Thanks for shining a light, even when some do not wish to see or believe what the light exposes.

Anonymous said...

thank you. It's been way too many years for me, but reading all of this news the last few days has brought back so many awful memories of having to suffer in silence while pastors ignored my abuser, and then later in a Christian college, dealing with the powerful men who put me and others in "the box".. as in the room with the men she describes-- that feeling of not knowing who to trust, who to turn to.. and more than anything-- that it must been something I have done.

If only there had been social media 50 years ago...
BUT GOD. He is faithful, and I can trust Him. But oh, how my heart hurts all over again for the young girl I was that could never find resolution, and now, afresh for this woman and who knows how many more. May God give you grace, courage, and wisdom in the days ahead.

Anonymous said...

Praying tonight for you, brave soul, who has come forward with your story. Praying for peace and healing for you and your family. "God bless" sounds trivial but it is a sincere prayer that the Creator of the Universe will make Himself known to you as as Comforter and Friend.

Anonymous said...

I am a SWBTS graduate 2004, I saw Dr. Patterson's attack mode up close as he arrived on campus. You either conformed or moved on. I pushed back on Dr. Patterson changes in the dress code for the women in the seminary, which my wife was. I was pulled into a deans office and told to stop or there could be some issues. Patterson has always been about keeping control. All of these actions seem to be consistent with Patterson's actions in the past. He has always played the system well. It is time we acknowledge women as our equal and their value to God. My hope is the trustees will be willing to finish what they started so my seminary can move forward doing Kingdom work. Each of us should be on a journey of being transformed to be a reflection of Christ. Praying for this courageous couple.

John Elmore

truthseeker said...

In the eyes of these blind men, a woman is always responsible for sexual sin. Simply being female, being attractive and desirable, is evidence enough to them that women are nothing but 'trouble', needing careful corralling and control. Never, never would it occur to such men that it is their own minds that need corralling and control, that the mere presence of an attractive woman does not grant them license to follow their fleshly minds and appetites into sinful directions.

Thus, if a husband abuses his wife, she obviously isn't 'keeping him happy'. If a co-ed is date raped, she obviously was 'asking for it'; if not by being immodest or too friendly, merely by being a female in the presence of a male with ungoverned appetites. The problem will never go away until men stop viewing women as something God gave them to 'meet their needs'. Of course, God gave us one another to be friends, lovers and companions in this life, but it is intended to be a mutually rewarding, mutually respectful relationship.

When the CR took the church full tilt back into the oppression of Patriarchy, it distorted and damaged relationships, marriages, families and churches. All of the clever word games and semantic tricks do not hide the misogyny and arrogance that underlies complementarianism/patriarchy. And it is just as damaging to the men who have lost the genuine friends and lovers their wives were meant to be - and sometimes once were - under the misguided corruption of 'submission'.

Men and women need one another, and men are no less needy than women. But God did not give us 'categories' - he gave us soulmates. We are intended to seek to know, understand, love and walk alongside this person who is almost always very different from ourselves. We are designed to develop and enjoy an intimate, meaningful relationship with this other, just as God designed us to have intimate, meaningful relationships with him.

Complementarianism, along with all 'isms', substitute roles, categories and duties for genuine 'knowing' and loving. In the same manner this distortion destroys the meaning and pleasure of marriage, it replaces the meaning and pleasure of knowing God with some kind of system of theology or beliefs about God. Far too many people know a lot about God, while not knowing him at all.

I believe this is what we are witnessing the unraveling of.

truthseeker said...

Forgot to check follow-up comments. :)

Jon L. Estes said...


You state... "We are designed to develop and enjoy an intimate, meaningful relationship with this other, just as God designed us to have intimate, meaningful relationships with him."

In this relationship with God, which I think you describe well... Does one of those in this relationship have authority over the other or are they equal in the relationship?

I am asking not to debate but to figure out how your comment works in making the comparison. In our relationship with God, I am also not sure I would say God needs us (again, referring to the comparison you use).

Nancy2 said...

1.) Complementarianism (patriarchy) distances women from God.

2.). Paige Patterson sacrificed women to protect, aid, and abet criminals.

Christiane said...

"Men and women need one another, and men are no less needy than women. But God did not give us 'categories' - he gave us soulmates. We are intended to seek to know, understand, love and walk alongside this person who is almost always very different from ourselves."


your words are so meaningful to me as in an hour, I leave to take my husband to his third 'cyber-knife' cancer radiation treatment this week. For fifty years, I have been sacramentally married to my husband; and we have been spoken of as both complete opposites and yet we can finish each other's sentences, we are so close. Several months ago, when I was recovering from double-pneumonia after a long hospital stay, my husband patiently drove me to my initial appointments until I was recovered and strong enough to drive myself.

Either to other . . . in sickness and in health . . . to love and to cherish

I hear about the 'patriarchy' scheme of a woman cow-towing 'graciously' to her husband's wishes and I think:
'but what about when HER time comes to be cared for and nourished and placed 'first' on a day when she is made fragile for a time by illness or even by grief?' And believe me, her time of need for loving care WILL COME if the marriage is one that lasts for a long time, yes.

What kind of Christian Southern Baptist marriage could possibly ignore the lessons from one the earliest of Christian reports about 'marriage', this:

From a letter by Tertullian, an Early Church Father, to his wife, ca. 202 A.D.
” How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice.
They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in Spirit. They are in very truth, two in one flesh; and where there is but one flesh there is also but one spirit.
They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.
Side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another, they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts… Psalms and hymns they sing to one another.
Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present, and where He is, there evil is not.”

I think the Pressler-Patterson image of Christian marriage lacks something important: that in a Christian marriage, it is Our Lord Who is the One served by two people who love each other mutually and care for each other mutually in accordance with the teachings of Christ Himself. He is 'the Lord', not the husband. Patterson got it wrong. Very wrong. Women ARE made in the image of God, to be respected as human persons in their own right.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Nancy 2: From the scriptures, complementarianism and patriarchy are two separate things. Complementarianism is just that. I believe that men and women are different, having complimentary yet different roles and responsibilities in marriage. I do believe those roles are according to gifts in many cases. But men and women are the same yet also different. One is not ruling over the other, men are not ruling over the wife or vice versa, but both work together in making decisions, if one is more gifted in finances than the other, the more gifted does finances, but there are certain things a woman is not equipped to do physically for example. If at a crossroads in a tough decision, the husband has the final decision, and if both approve, the decision comes to fruit. The woman is the primary care giver for their children, with the husband also providing physical care. Complementarianism has been tainted by John Piper and many other sources, it is not what most people make it out to be. It is based on love for each other, which is how decisions are made, and respect for each other. The same in the church. Outside the church, home, a woman is free to serve, work, be a CEO etc. Get the most education she desires as does the man.

Patriarachy is different than the above and more what Paige Patterson believes. In patriarchy men hold the power and women are excluded from this. This includes seminaries, areas of education including theology.

The two are not the same nor even close to the same which is the mistake the secular world and most even in Christianity are making in my opinion.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Patriarchy and the quiverful theology, things not in scripture thereby thinking of a woman as subhuman, as a sexual being, a temptress, when that is simply not true.

I think tearing down Complementarian women who wrote and signed the open letter to SWBTS was derailing the purpose of the document, the purpose being to stand with women and those who were abused, speaking out against it. The document was well worded and a good necessary step yet questioning motives and the wording of this document was just as wrong in my opinion.

Jacque said...

Debbie, what Complementarism meansto you is NOT what it means to those that are teachiing it in our seminaries! They use the word complementarism to cover a very rigid patriachy. I did not realize that myself until recently.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jacque: I agree, but it wasn't always thought of in this way in Southern Baptist history, and it is not what it means to me, that is what complementarianism even as written in the BFM 2000 is. Read it and it is nothing like has been practiced by Southern Baptist men and leaders which is why the sexual abuse and the firings etc. happened. What they practiced was Patriarchy, based on their own biases.

From the BFM 2000

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

Anonymous said...

Debbie Kaufman said...
"Jacque: I agree, but it wasn't always thought of in this way in Southern Baptist history, and it is not what it means to me, that is what complementarianism even as written in the BFM 2000 is. "

This is the death spiral of fundamentalism that Wade has been trying to warn us about.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Beth Moore is complementarian and agrees with the BFM 2000. It doesn't mean we can't speak out without a man's authority, in fact the men wrote their own and signed it, standing with us who signed the open letter. That is a good example of complementarianism in line with the BFM 2000. The recent leaders speaking out, Wade and others including women having written on this and other subjects is in line with the BFM 2000.

truthseeker said...

Debbie Kaufman, I appreciate your thoughts, but it appears to me that you have fallen for the old 'What we say' vs 'What we mean' ploy. It is as old as the hills, and particularly successful in the arena of religion, where the 'sheep' are expected to unquestioningly follow their 'shepherds'. Even if those shepherd's are using 'falsettos' to lead the sheep astray. Complementarianism is simply patriarchy in drag, just as New Calvinism attempts to hide the ugly underbelly of meticulous divine determinism.

truthseeker said...

Disclosure: Our family bought this lie as well, leaving a once reasonably healthy marriage in tatters, possibly past saving. Compatibilism turns what should be a unique, individual relationship into rigid, destructive role play.

tamu78uh86 said...

As you define complementarianism, is unfortunately not what is translated to the church application. I am more in support of egalitarianism because it provides the opportunity for women to be treateed and respected more as equals in both the home and the church. Perhaps I have a poor understanding, but I believe women who have been called by God into ministry should not be relegated to roles that are “Children’s Minister, Minister to Women, Preschool Director, etc.”. If we as Southern Baptists never have any intention of allowing these called women to hold positions in church such as Pastor, Associate Pastor, etc. then why continue to allow them to pursue MDiv degrees? Sadly, many called and qualified women in the last several decades who received their MDiv or other Masters degrees, have left the SBC because there was no place for them to follow their calling. I too am about to rethink my association with the SBC based on SWBTS Trustees recent decision. Paige Patterson, Paul Pressler, and the late W.A. Criswell have damaged this denomination’s efforts to spread the Gospel, for far too long. It is time we return to our roots, but recognize there is an equal place for women in the church, not just at home.

Anonymous said...

Update from Wade's Twitter Feed:

"1. The 2003 rape victim has been certified as a messenger by her SBC church. 2. She and her husband are prayerfully considering if she should make the first motion at the SBC involving SBC business. It would mean no more anonymity. #SBCAM18 #Courage #ChurchToo #SWBTS #StayTuned"

Mbill0327 said...

Ugh oh

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pam said...

""1. The 2003 rape victim has been certified as a messenger by her SBC church. 2. She and her husband are prayerfully considering if she should make the first motion at the SBC involving SBC business. It would mean no more anonymity."

at this point, i would think any SBC 'numbskull' (& i'm being polite) who could have the delusion to feel entitled to give her & her husband grief, harassment, or dole out other repercussions like shunning, ostracizing, or 'eviction' would be putting themselves in the cross hairs of wide-spread public opinion.

it would be at their own certain peril.

(but then, again, SBC 'numbskulls' regularly shock me with their totally confused priorities)

Christiane said...

"I love my church, being a Southern Baptist and the Convention. I want change so I speak out for change and I keep speaking out and I keep speaking out. Even if it takes another 13 years, change does come."

Debbie, God BLESS you

sometimes I think we are where we are needed most . . . maybe not the most RATIONAL thought, but I've lived a long time and there are moments when I look back and it seems to make a kind of sense :)

to work for change is good, but Debbie, sometimes it has a price . . . look what happened to Wade at the hands of Patterson's henchmen.
BUT LOOK AT WHERE WADE IS NOW: He is the one people will trust enough to come to when they are in difficulty and they need to find someone to help them. That young woman who was raped KNEW this when she had the courage to contact Wade. And he did not disappoint.
Debbie, like Wade, you are a 'Kingdom' person. The 'Church' includes all kinds of people, but the ones who will stay and work for good to come are trusted by those who look to them.

Beth Duncan said...

Re: the twitter post. Leaving anonymity is a big step. When I started speaking out, I had mostly positive feedback. And since the pastor who took advantage of me was small time, anonymity was no big deal. So I will be praying that she makes the right decision FOR HER. #churchtoo

Jennie said...

For those who want to stay in the SBC, great! But I hope you are willing to speak up, stand up and support these women who have been mistreated for far too long. There is a lot of damage to repair. For those who want to be part of a group that already values women, including as Pastors, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a wonderful group to align with. Though not perfect, there is room for the Priesthood of the Believer, which has long been gone from many SBC churches. The SBC was my home for 22 years, but the CBF has been my home for 24 and it's much more life affirming.

Doug said...

My wife and I married at 18, each set of parents disliked their new in-law (they had reason to dislike me.) We both came from homes where marriages had failed. We left our hometown and with no backup and about $500 set out to complete college and make our way in life. Its been forty years this year.

When people ask how we did it, this is my standard short answer. A) God has be a force in your marriage B) if each spouses ultimate goal is to try and make the other spouses life the most complete and fulfilling it can be you'll spend less time focusing on your own needs.

That's not to say we didn't/haven't had our share of disagreements, bad choices and made begrudging concessions on the others behalf. But we have always considered the needs and goals of the other spouse. Dying to self.

And thats what we see as complementarianism.

Your views may differ.

pam said...

Doug -- i appreciate your story and its honesty. complementarianism is a ridiculously loaded word. don't you think we can dispense with it? why is it needed? (well, it is needed to create and sustain jobs and revenue streams for CBMW & co.)

what you describe is simply treating people the way you want to be treated. does it need to get any more complicated than that?

Doug said...

"what you describe is simply treating people the way you want to be treated. does it need to get any more complicated than that?"

I thought that was my point . . .

It works at church, work and most caring relationships. ; )

Paul Burleson said...


My wife and I married at age 18 and 17 respectively. It was 59 years ago next Monday.[ Memorial Day] We say the same thing! I would simply change one letter. I would make it an S instead of an F in the A) part. God is the Source for all we need for life to be worth living. Then the B) was as you said, a commitment to making the other person's life better. So, we saw ourselves as a 'resource" for each other instead of the "source."

This, "That's not to say we didn't/haven't had our share of disagreements, bad choices and made begrudging concessions on the others behalf. But we have always considered the needs and goals of the other spouse. Dying to self," is the same for us as well. We call it being "redemptive" which is what a real marriage does. It redeems you from self-centeredness.

My last line would read, "That's what we see as "A Covenant Partnership!" [I guess what you call it isn't as important as experiencing it, right!)

Great comment Doug!

Doug said...

Perfect Paul!

And Happy Anniversary!

Jacque said...

Debbie, I know exactly what you mean. I did not know that the word had morphed into rigid patriarchy! And that is what has happened. We have all been deceived and used. No more!

Debbie Kaufman said...

Thank you for your kind words Christiane.

Rex Ray said...


Signs for the convention?

Fire him like he did Dr. Dillday

Fire him like he did Dr. Klouda

Fire him like he did Dr. Bullock

Fire him like he did 15 Professors at SWBTS

Fire him for ignoring rape charges of a man that went to prison for rape

Fire him for not reporting rape

Fire him for not uplifting women

Fire him for twisting the teachings of Jesus

Rex Ray said...


Signs for the convention?

Fire him like he did Dr. Dillday

Fire him like he did Dr. Klouda for being a woman

Fire him like he did Dr. Bullock for being a woman

Fire him like he did 15 Professors at SWBTS

Fire him for ignoring rape charges of a man that went to prison for rape

Fire him for not reporting rape

Fire him for not uplifting women

Fire him for twisting the teachings of Jesus

Wade Burleson said...

Rex, could not have said it better.

Except, and I wish him and his family blessings and prosperity post-termination. Never personal, only professional. He is a consistent person. Consistently wrong and harmful to others, but consistent

Anonymous said...

While the issues being addressed right now are far more crucial and demand immediate attention and resolution, the fact that women staff members get paid sometimes as much as half a male counterpart should (at some point) be acknowledged and addressed. The excuse generally flows from this belief that men should be paid more because they are the head of the household and the church wants the wife to be able to stay at home. If all churches laid out their compensation figures we would find that while some may argue for equality the pay has never been even close to equal. I pray someday this changes.

Christiane said...

I wish for Dr.Patterson to be unblinded to the pain he has caused to innocent people.

I wish for Dr.Patterson to be able to go to as many of those people as possible and personally ask for their forgiveness.

I wish for Dr. Patterson to be able to be humble before the Lord and to seek His forgiveness and His healing for the sickness of his soul that could injure so many who did nothing to deserve his brutality to them.

I wish for Dr. Patterson to come fully into the light of Christ during his life time and find peace with those he has harmed and be filled with the Peace of Christ . . . there is no better way to live on this Earth than to dwell in the peace of Christ.

So may God pour out the spirit of conviction on this man's wounded soul, now while he has an opportunity to change and seek healing

I wish for Dr. Patterson, this:
Repentance and Renewal and Life Eternal now and forevermore

In the words of the poet John Donne, from his 'Litany':

" ... come
And re-create me. . . . .
that new-fashioned,
I may rise up from death
before I'm dead. "

Christiane said...

REX RAY, I loved your comment. You spoke for JUSTICE.

I wrote a comment above that speaks for the other side of the coin of JUSTICE: MERCY

Somehow, only Our Lord can administer both to a sick person in ways far above anything we can imagine.

But what of the OTHER people who cow-towed to Patterson . . . . the ones who kissed up and kicked down, are they also not as responsible for not confronting him when he was doing wrong to people???
If those people had stood up and confronted him, would he have gone so far wrong???

Alexandru Nadaban said...

sad story. I was working in a Christian University abroad which received a lot of funds from Southern Baptist. My local boss seems a spitting image of Paige. Talking about his trophies, he was boasting to local students with hunting a lion in Africa. To me it was poaching because the party used a tape and loudspeakers of a challenging lion, it was during the night and they were using the lights of their cars. This was an execution, not hunting.

S. Scott said...

I wondered the same. The implication seemed to be that not supporting #metoo was somehow a mark of credibility? I would greatly appreciate your reply.

Rock My Soul said...

Thank you, Pastor Burleson, for your blog post on P. Patterson and SWBTS. What I've learned about Patterson the past week or so from your blog and other reports reminds me of Pope Francis's definition of corruption:

"Corruption is the sin which, rather than being recognized as such and making us humble, is elevated to a system, it becomes a mental habit, a way of living. We no longer feel the need for forgiveness and mercy, but we justify ourselves and our behaviors...

"The corrupt man tires of asking for forgiveness and ends up believing that he doesn’t need to ask for it anymore. We don’t become corrupt people overnight, it is a long, slippery slope that cannot be identified simply as a series of sins...

"Corruption is not an act but a condition, a personal and social state in which we become accustomed to living. The corrupt man is so closed off and contented in the complacency of his self-sufficiency that he does not allow himself to be called into question by anything or anyone. The self-confidence he has built up is based on a fraudulent behavior: he spends his life taking opportunistic shortcuts at the cost of his own and others’ dignity"
(The Name of God Is Mercy).

Donald Johnson said...

Donald Johnson said...

The new statement fires PP and revokes his benefits. WoW!

Anonymous said...

Relating to SWBTS Board's statement that "[e]vidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse."

1) Title IX. Since SWBTS does not accept federal financial aid, the institution is not subject to Title IX -- as almost all private universities are because they do accept financial aid. From this SWBTS weblink: "Note: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary does not participate in any Federal or State, Loan or Grant programs."

2) Texas law. Mandatory reporting applies only to abuse or neglect of a minor, someone under 18 years of age in Texas, and to the elderly, age 65 or older. Since this young lady was 23, there is no mandatory reporting under Texas law.

Since SWBTS is not subject to Title IX, and this did not fall within the mandatory reporting requirements of Texas, the statement made by the SWBTS Board of Trustees is likely accurate on legal grounds. Whether it is morally, ethically, and/or theologically right is pretty darn clear to me -- but I'll let others address the issue from those perspectives.

Beth74 said...


Please consider reading this post I wrote about both the Justice and the Mercy of God:

Thank you, and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Patterson's supporters are in full defense mode:

Corrine Jeter said...

Did someone say Wade Burleson wouldn't speak in a pulpit again in the Baptist church? "Oh, I think I'll have my son as one of the scheduled speakers at a rally that pleases My Heart connected with the SBC." -Father God.

At least one of the scheduled speakers at the rally is a man. Wade Burleson, an author and lead pastor of Emmanuel Enid church in Enid, Oklahoma, is critical of the way many of his fellow ministers restrict women's roles in the church.


Unknown said...

Now that all the facts are out, it seems Mrs. Megan Lively lied about this whole situation. The link below has her own words proving this fact. Looks like the Board of Trustees at Southwestern owes Dr. Patterson a public apology.