ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence and Churches, Paige Patterson

Paige Patterson on Domestic Violence: Audiofile Transcript and Resource Links

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On This Page:

  • Series Resource Links
  • Updates
  • Introductory Notes and Key Links
  • Chronological Documents, Analysis, and Commentary
  • Select Resources and Historical Sources
  • Transcript for Audiofile of “Paige Patterson (SBC) Advice to Victims of Domestic Violence”

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Series Resource Links

Resource Links, Part 1 – April 28 through May 22. Historical background resources, audiofile transcript, news articles and social media responses from April 28-May 22.

Resource Links, Part 2 – May 23-28. News articles and social media responses.

Resource Links, Part 3 – May 29 through June 3. News articles and social media responses.

Resource Links, Part 4 – June. Focus on statements and news articles related to topical and institutional issues in advance of the SBC annual meeting of June 11-12.

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May 12, 2018. This bibliography grew far larger than expected, with delays in finding and posting links to earlier articles. Starting today, new items will appear at the bottom of the section for items from that date of publication, and will be marked with the date the link is added to this bibliography. For readers who just want the latest listings, search for [Link added DATE, 2018.] and fill in the date.

May 11, 2018. An important article posted on Baptist Press today: Gaines addresses Patterson, racial diversity, SBC, by Staff. In it, current SBC President Steve Gaines discusses multiple issues and issues an apology to women on behalf of the Convention. He also provides information on how the Southern Baptist Convention system functions, in terms of authority and accountability, regarding who gives the sermon at the annual convention. Since that is Paige Patterson, as selected by delegates last year, there are only several specific ways that could be changed. See the post for details.

May 7, 2018. The format of the bibliography section has been changed to merge 2018 items from the following two sections into one chronological flow (Chronological Documents, Analysis, and Commentary), and leave historical items in a separate section (now termed Select Historical Sources). This will likely prove a more useful format because this situation has expanded far beyond the originating particulars; it has opened up discussions on misogyny, sexual abuse, and domestic violence in the Church, along with differences in theologies of gender and roles.

  • Documents, Analysis, and Commentary
  • Select Sources: Twitter Threads, Facebook Notes, Other Media

May 6, 2018 — Update #2. ALetter to SWBTS Board of Trusteeshas been posted, which encourages women of the Southern Baptist Convention to sign.

Over the past week Southern Baptist women have been grappling with the video of Dr. Paige Patterson preaching at the Awaken Conference in 2014, the audio of his counsel to domestic abuse victims in 2000, and his response this week to the Southern Baptist concerns over these matters and all that has subsequently come to light. These one on one conversations between women who are grieved by the comments and concerned for the poor gospel witness they reflect has resulted in the following plea for SWBTS trustees to take decisive action.

All Southern Baptist women who share the views represented in the letter are invited to demonstrate that conviction by signing the letter to SWBTS trustees […]

May 6, 2018 — Update #1. This GoFundMe page has been set up for Nathan Montgomery, a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary PhD student who was fired from his job “for simply tweeting about the Patterson debate.” Here is the GoFundMe host’s statement:

My friend and former co-worker Nathan Montgomery recently and unexpectedly lost his job of several years at Southwestern Seminary. The circumstances are controversial and public. Nathan is a man of character and integrity. When he lost his job, he also lost a tuition benefit that paid his tuition in the Southwestern PhD program. This modest campaign seeks to raise enough money for six weeks of expenses (in which time he can hopefully find a job) and one semester of tuition. Please give what you can and keep Nathan in your prayers. I know he will appreciate it.

Nathan shares his response to being fired in this Twitter thread: “I’m not a victim. I’m just a guy who followed his conscience and agreed with the gracious, nuanced perspective of my brother in Christ . Pray for me as I appeal this decision directly to and the Board of Trustees.”

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Introductory Notes and Key Links

The following introduction has been copied from the recent Spiritual Sounding Board post, Domestic Violence, Ministry, and Controversy in Conservative Christianity: A Guest Post on Historical Context and Perspective by Brad Sargent.

Contention over abuse and violence in Christian communities has heightened in the era of #metoo and #churchtoo. However, controversies over theology, advocacy, and actions have been with us for a very long time. Recently, comments on abuse made by Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, resurfaced and ignited a social media firestorm.

Here is a link to the audiofile of what Paige Patterson said, at a conference marked as held in year 2000. (No other details available at this time other than what is on the archive.org site.) I transcribed it in full, then listened to the entire file again to double check. It’s always possible in transcribing to miss a word, or to mistake what has been said because of audio quality or hearing problems. So, to the best of my ability, the following transcript is word for word, other than “umms” and “uhhs” removed, and quote marks added when it seems clear enough from context that a statement was direct speech.

A “Press release from Paige Patterson” was posted on the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this morning (April 29, 2018) in response to the social media focus on his comments and narrative shared about abuse.

(Julie Anne Smith of Spiritual Sounding Board posted a separate article with the transcript of this audiofile, with her analysis of it and the press release by Mr. Patterson: Analysis: Paige Patterson’s Teachings on Domestic Violence Keep Victims in Harm’s Way.)

The last paragraph of Mr Patterson’s press release refers to “Statement on Abuse” from The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (founded 1987). Here’s the link. Statement notes at bottom it was “Adopted by the CBMW Board of Directors March 12, 2018.”

I believe it is important to consider the time frame on CBMW’s Statement on Abuse: It was adopted 30+ years after CBMW’s founding. Perhaps the Council (or individual members) had published/posted statements on abuse prior to this one. However, consider the historical flow and context.

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Chronological Documents, Analysis, and Commentary

This section includes news reports, blog articles, Facebook posts, and Twitter posts/threads, organized in chronological order. It is not comprehensive, but is extensive. It also includes links to both cross-posts when the comment threads on each post are of value in gauging reactions to the situation with Paige Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Southern Baptist Convention. Twitter and Facebook posts marked in orange.

NOTE: Most of these sources represent a range of views that are, in general, critical of Mr. Patterson’s stated position and advice on domestic violence. A number of the posts on Twitter and Facebook come from recognized leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention. Especially with Twitter links and blog articles, the author’s content and readers’ comments often address potential gaps in reasoning and reality that have been showing up in various responses to this situation.

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April 28-29, 2018

Audiofile reportedly from the year 2000: audiofile of Q/A with Paige Patterson, at a conference.

April 28, 2018. Bruce Ashford, Provost and Professor, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Tweet.). “Lots of social media convo this afternoon about spousal abuse. As the Provost of a SBC seminary and pastor at a SBC church, let me be clear: a physically abused woman should separate from her husband and have him put in jail.”

April 29, 2018. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Press release from Paige Patterson.

April 29, 2018. The Washington Post. Southern Baptist leader pushes back after comments leak urging abused women to pray and avoid divorce, by Michelle Boorstein.

April 29, 2018. Tim Fall #1 (Twitter thread). Analysis of Paige Patterson’s Twitter post asking for prayer, and his press release.

April 29, 2018. maeglynx (Twitter comment). “Paige Patterson sounds tremendously hurt that people read his statements and believe he means them. And then make logical inferences about his perspective on women/domestic violence from them. And draw logical conclusions about his prioritization of women’s safety.”

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April 30, 2018

April 30, 2018. Southern Baptist leader Thom Rainer’s Twitter statement of April 30 on Paige Patterson and issues of abuse of women. Mr. Rainer is President and CEO of LifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

April 30, 2018. Rachael Denhollander (Facebook Note: “When it’s in our own community- Evangelicals”).

April 30, 2018. Spiritual Sounding Board. Analysis: Paige Patterson’s Teachings on Domestic Violence Keep Victims in Harm’s Way, by Julie Anne Smith.

April 30, 2018. Christianity Today. Divorce After Abuse: How Paige Patterson’s Counsel Compares to Other Pastors, by Kate Shellnutt.

April 30, 2018. Raw Story. Southern Baptist leader tells abused women not to leave husbands who beat them — then doubles down when criticized, by Sarah K. Burris. “Patterson has not denied that the tape is real and that he said it. Instead, he claimed ‘misrepresentation’.”

April 30, 2018. Friendly Atheist. Leaked Audio Shows Southern Baptist Leader Telling Abused Wives to Stay and Pray, by Hemant Mehta.

April 30, 2018. Warren Throckmorton. After Eighteen Years, Paige Patterson Contradicts Himself About Domestic Violence.

April 30, 2018. The Christian Post. Southern Baptist Leader Responds to Charge That He Wants Abused Wives to Stay With Husbands, by Michael Gryboski. Includes quotes from leaders inside and outside of the Southern Baptist Convention.

April 30, 2018. Baptist Press. Patterson clarifies domestic violence stance, by David Roach. (Updated, apparently with an interview with Paige Patterson.)

April 30, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. Not Only Did Paige Patterson Rejoice When a Woman Was Physically Abused By Her Husband, He Refused to Believe 25 Reports of Sexual Abuse by Darrell Gilyard, by Dee Parsons.

April 30, 2018. The Washington Post. In a #Metoo moment, will Southern Baptists hold powerful men accountable?, by Jonathan Merritt.

April 30, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. It Is Now Time for Dr. Paige Patterson to Step Down, by Wade Burleson. “[T]he top ten reasons Paige Patterson should resign immediately – or be removed by others – from his positions of leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

April 30, 2018. Baptist News Global. SBC leader under fire for comments about divorce, abuse, by Bob Allen.

April 30, 2018. SBC Today. Biblical Inerrantist Believes Bible Patterson Sides with God and Bible Over Backslidden Bloggers, by Rick Patrick; Pastor, FBC Sylacauga, Alabama; Executive Director, Connect 316; Publisher, SBC Today.

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May 1, 2018

May 1, 2018. Spiritual Sounding Board. Paige Patterson Relays Story about a Teenager, Describing in His Sermon How “Built” She Was, Julie Anne Smith.

May 1, 2018. The Way of Improvement Leads Home. Paige Patterson’s World, by John Fea. “Paige Patterson‘s world is collapsing all around him.  This audio tape is the latest example.  The authoritarian, gun loving, Christian nationalist leader of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has suggested that women undergoing physical abuse from their husbands should submit to it.”

May 1, 2018. Christianity Today: The Exchange, Southern Baptist Convention. Paige Patterson and Doing the Right Thing for the SBC, Again: My heartfelt plea for the future reputation, and mission, of the SBC, by Ed Stetzer.

May 1, 2018. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Statement on Abuse, by Paige Patterson and Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees on May 1, 2018 (advance copy sent to the full Board of Trustees).

May 1, 2018. Get Religion. Southern Baptists and domestic violence: It’s a tough issue to cover after Twitter explosion, by Terry Mattingly.

May 1, 2018. Russell Moore posted a series of three tweets about abuse and marriage. Mr. Moore is President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Bible teaches, in my view, that divorce is ethical in cases of sexual immorality (Matt. 5:32) or abandonment (1 Cor. 7:25). Abuse makes a home unsafe and constitutes abandonment.

A woman being abused should leave the house and call the police. The state should prosecute the abuser and the church should discipline him.

Marriage as a picture of the Christ/church mystery (Eph. 5:32) means that spousal abuse is not only cruel and unlawful, but is all that and also blasphemous against a Christ who loves and sacrificed himself for his Bride.

May 1, 2018. Danny Akin, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Tweet). “Any physical abuse on any level is completely unacceptable in a marriage. The church should immediately step in & provide a safe place for the abused. This has been my consistent counsel my entire ministry. Any counsel to the contrary is unwise & even dangerous.”

May 1, 2018. Tim Fall #2 (Twitter thread). Response to expand upon Southern Baptist leader Thom Rainer’s Twitter statement of April 30 on Paige Patterson and issues of abuse of women. Russell Moore also posted and responded to Mr. Rainer’s statement (Tweet. May 1, 2018.) and said, “Thom is right. The church should, and must, be clear on this.” There is a thread of comments on his post representing a range of pro/con reactions.

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May 2, 2018

May 2, 2018. The Washington Post. Southern Baptist leader’s advice to abused women sends leaders scrambling to respond, by Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

May 2, 2018. Baptist News Global. Paige Patterson controversy tests SBC’s ‘no criticism’ code, says former denominational worker, by Bob Allen.

May 2, 2018. Christian Today. Pressure mounts on Paige Patterson after more Southern Baptists call for him to go, by Mark Woods.

May 2, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. Will Dr. Paige Patterson Retire or Will He Be Fired?, by Wade Burleson.

May 2, 2018. Baptist Standard. Voices: Why Paige Patterson’s comments on abuse are dangerous, by Meredith Stone.

May 2, 2018. World Religion News. Beth Moore Slams Paige Patterson’s Comments on Spousal Abuse, by Alison Lesley.

May 2, 2018. Star-Telegram. Supporters of embattled Baptist leader plan meeting to combat ‘public attacks’, by Sarah Smith.

May 2, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. Paige Patterson – Will He Stay or Will He Go?, by Deb Martin.

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May 3, 2018

May 3, 2018. The LPM [Living Proof Ministries] Blog. A Letter to My Brothers, by Beth Moore. Comments are closed on this post, but the letter itself generated significant discussion in social media about misogyny in Christianity. See also the related Twitter thread from when her link was first posted there. EXCERPT:

I’m asking for your increased awareness of some of the skewed attitudes many of your sisters encounter. Many churches quick to teach submission are often slow to point out that women were also among the followers of Christ (Luke 8), that the first recorded word out of His resurrected mouth was “woman” (John 20:15) and that same woman was the first evangelist. Many churches wholly devoted to teaching the household codes are slow to also point out the numerous women with whom the Apostle Paul served and for whom he possessed obvious esteem. We are fully capable of grappling with the tension the two spectrums create and we must if we’re truly devoted to the whole counsel of God’s Word.

Finally, I’m asking that you would simply have no tolerance for misogyny and dismissiveness toward women in your spheres of influence. I’m asking for your deliberate and clearly conveyed influence toward the imitation of Christ in His attitude and actions toward women. I’m also asking for forgiveness both from my sisters and my brothers. My acquiescence and silence made me complicit in perpetuating an atmosphere in which a damaging relational dynamic has flourished. I want to be a good sister to both genders. Every paragraph in this letter is toward that goal.

May 3, 2018. The Gospel Coalition. An Apology to Beth Moore and My Sisters, by Thabiti Anyabwile. See also the related Twitter thread from when his link was first posted there. EXCERPT:

Today Beth Moore penned a poignant letter to her brothers in Christ in which she points out the sinful root at the bottom of a lot of male attitudes toward women in general and women in ministry specifically. It deserves a wide and genuinely prayerful reading.

I read it with a broken heart. Not merely because I was moved by what she described of her treatment and because I recognize some of what she described among some Christian brothers and leaders. I am broken-hearted because I recognize something of the attitude in me, and I recognize that I have had that attitude in years past toward Beth, though I didn’t know her and hadn’t spent any time reading her materials.

Dear Beth, if you read this, I need to confess and ask your forgiveness.

May 3, 2018. The Atlantic. The Scandal Tearing Apart America’s Largest Protestant Denomination, by Jonathan Merritt. “A denominational leader’s claim that abused women should remain in their broken marriages is forcing Southern Baptists to pick sides.”

May 3, 2018. Star-Telegram. Southern Baptist leader: Don’t go to court with marital problems, even abuse, by Sarah Smith.

May 3, 2018. A Cry For Justice. CBMW’s new Statement on Abuse still falls short, by Barbara Roberts.

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May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018. The Christian Post. Beth Moore Pens Open Letter to Christian Brothers on Sexism; Gospel Coalition Leader Offers Apology, by Michael Gryboski.

May 4, 2018. CBE International. A Response to Thabiti Anyabwile’s Apology to Beth Moore, by Kelly Ladd Bishop.

May 4, 2018. Here’s the Joy. Paige Patterson and a culture that breeds a generation of abusers, by Rebecca Davis. “When a man can demean abuse victims the way the revered leader Paige Patterson has done, and instead of correcting him his friends have a prayer meeting for him against his ‘attackers,’ then this is an indication of far more going on behind the scenes.”

May 4, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. “It Indicates a Wicked Society When Women Rule,” Paige Patterson and His Inhumane View of Women, by Wade Burleson. Also a guest post at The Wartburg Watch. See comment threads on both editions.

May 4, 2018. Religion News Service. The ‘Splainer: Paige Patterson and the SBC’s stance on wifely submission, by Yonat Shimron.

May 4, 2018. Washington Post. Southern Baptist leader who advised abused women not to divorce doubles down, says he has nothing to apologize for, by Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

May 4, 2018. The Way of Improvement. Paige Patterson Fires a Student and Takes Away His Financial Aid After a Disloyal Tweet, by John Fea.

May 4, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. Wade Burleson: “It Indicates a Wicked Society When Women Rule,” Paige Patterson and His Inhumane View of Women, by Dee Parsons.

May 4, 2018. Flying Free Now. Message to a Baptist Church: You Preached Death to the Hearts of One Hundred Women Today. Especially note the comment thread on this post, for numerous narratives of women victimized by abuse and violence.

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May 5, 2018

May 5, 2018. Friendly Atheist. Seminary Head Revokes Ph.D. Student’s Job and Tuition Money After Critical Tweet, by Hemant Mehta.

May 5, 2018. Get Religion. Southern Baptists, domestic violence and divorce: Will SBC ’18 be a must-cover press event?, by Terry Mattingly.

May 5, 2018. Roll to Disbelieve. Paige Patterson: When Halfway There Isn’t Good Enough, by Captain Cassidy. A systems analysis perspective from a “None,” on the broken system that keeps Paige Patterson and others in power.

Poor Paige Patterson. The fallout continues for this domestic-violence-advocating Southern Baptist leader. Why, the SBC denomination itself has begun tearing at its own flanks as a result. Two sides square off for a Battle Royale. And possibly the most tragic figures of all in the squabble are the right-wing Christians who don’t understand how the conservative movement they love so much has led their end of Christianity directly to this pass. Today, I’ll show you what I mean.

May 5, 2018. Ed Stetzer (Tweet).

SBC family: I’ve worked with dozens of denominations. In case you’re wondering, this level of drama, conflict & difficulty is not normal.

It’s gone on too long in the SBC & it’s time for a change.

Even if many have grown accustomed to the dysfunction, it’s NOT normal.

May 5, 2018. SBC Today. The Right Thing for the SBC and Paige Patterson, by Samuel L. Schmidt; Pastor, Edgewood Baptist Church; Nicholasville, Kentucky. “An Open Letter of Support for Paige Patterson to the Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; forwarded to the Vice Presidents and Deans of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Convention President, Steve Gaines.”

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May 6, 2018

May 6, 2018. This GoFundMe page has been set up for Nathan Montgomery, a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary PhD student who was fired from his job “for simply tweeting about the Patterson debate.” Here is the GoFundMe host’s statement:

My friend and former co-worker Nathan Montgomery recently and unexpectedly lost his job of several years at Southwestern Seminary. The circumstances are controversial and public. Nathan is a man of character and integrity. When he lost his job, he also lost a tuition benefit that paid his tuition in the Southwestern PhD program. This modest campaign seeks to raise enough money for six weeks of expenses (in which time he can hopefully find a job) and one semester of tuition. Please give what you can and keep Nathan in your prayers. I know he will appreciate it.

Nathan shares his response to being fired in this Twitter thread: “I’m not a victim. I’m just a guy who followed his conscience and agreed with the gracious, nuanced perspective of my brother in Christ . Pray for me as I appeal this decision directly to and the Board of Trustees.”

May 6, 2018. ALetter to SWBTS Board of Trusteeshas been posted, which encourages women of the Southern Baptist Convention to sign. NOTE: Within a day and a half, there were over 1,500 signators.

Over the past week Southern Baptist women have been grappling with the video of Dr. Paige Patterson preaching at the Awaken Conference in 2014, the audio of his counsel to domestic abuse victims in 2000, and his response this week to the Southern Baptist concerns over these matters and all that has subsequently come to light. These one on one conversations between women who are grieved by the comments and concerned for the poor gospel witness they reflect has resulted in the following plea for SWBTS trustees to take decisive action.

All Southern Baptist women who share the views represented in the letter are invited to demonstrate that conviction by signing the letter to SWBTS trustees […]

May 6, 2018. Christianity Today. Southern Baptist Women Launch Petition Against Paige Patterson. Controversy over past remarks leads Southwestern Seminary to announce special board meeting, by Kate Shellnutt.

The statement coincides with a quiet campaign among some Southern Baptist leaders to pressure Patterson, who has led SWBTS for 15 years and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for 11 years, to apologize and step down. Tonight, the chairman of SWBTS’s board of trustees announced that “in light of recent events,” the full board will hold a special official meeting—at Patterson’s request—on May 22.

The news of the women’s petition is being picked up by other bloggers and regional news sources:

May 6, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. The Real Problem in the SBC Is Not Paige Patterson, by Wade Burleson.

May 6, 2018. Wendy Alsup (Twitter Thread).

My suspicion is that, in the end, folks in power won’t fire Patterson because they, in fact, agree with what he has said. Such teaching wasn’t hidden in some back vault for years like no one around him knew about it.

It’s been part and parcel of what’s been taught in a certain segment of the SBC (and other groups) around the topic of “Biblical Womanhood” for decades. It’s throughout their body of work.

I welcome the refinement this controversy brings to the concepts of Biblical womanhood and submission in the home. Though I don’t think those immediately around Patterson will allow change there, the larger church is becoming more Biblical in a good way that protects women.

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May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018. Tim’s Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another. Harem Building – the revealing patriarchy at Paige Patterson’s seminary, by Tim Fall.

May 7, 2018. Washington Post. ‘We are shocked’: Hundreds of Southern Baptist women denounce leader’s ‘objectifying’ comments, advice to abused women, by Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

May 7, 2018. The Friendly Atheist. Southern Baptist Women Demand Resignation of Seminary Leader Paige Patterson, by Hemant Mehta.

May 7, 2018. Ray Chang (Twitter Thread). An important thread analyzing power structures of Christendom in white evangelicalism, and lamenting their impact on women especially. He concludes his series with these two tweets:

Evangelicals need to decide whether they will be driven by the fear of God or the fear of man. We need to decide what type of institutions we are leaving behind for the next generation. The name of God is being compromised because we have compromised His glory for our own.

White Evangelicalism has become so toxic that those within the movement who love the movement feel the need to expose the sinful patterns of behavior that have gone unchecked for decades (if not longer). If there is no repentance, mark my words: this is just the beginning.

May 7, 2018. CBE International. A Response to Paige Patterson’s Comments on Abuse, by Sarah Lindsay.

The unfolding reckoning within the SBC is, on the surface, about a man who was moved by the suffering of a woman—in that Patterson likely does want to see abuse end. But sadly, his advice and his theology only perpetuate the devaluation of women and further endanger them. His response falls far short because it focuses only on the man and sidelines the needs, health, and safety of the woman.

May 7, 2018. Tim Fall (Twitter thread), in response to Karen Swallow Prior, who tweeted: “This is the most heartbreaking letter I’ve ever signed. I’ve been Baptist most of my life, Southern Baptist for almost two decades. I made this appeal privately but was not heard. The church cannot be led by men who speak lasciviously of teen girls. .” Tim Fall’s thread:

1. These women are putting their careers and reputations on the line. Make no mistake; there are men who will now attack them.

2. In addition to direct attacks, there are some (perhaps unintended) efforts at undermining these women speaking out about Paige Patterson as well.

3. Women are undermined whenever someone writes “If men had spoken up sooner then women would not have to take a stand.” That may be true but it belies the real issue.

4. If men had not suppressed and oppressed women in the first place, if women had not been marginalized and barred from being part of leadership, misogyny such as seen presently at SWBTS would never have been allowed in the first place.

5. The sentiment “If only men had spoken up women wouldn’t have had to” is further marginalization. It suggests that once this problem is solved men can get back to running the show. Women are never seen as having a rightful place among the men in leadership.

6. This is not seen as a bug in leadership at places like SWBTS but a feature. It feeds into a patriarchal doctrine where women and girls are objectified as adjuncts to men. Paige Patterson’s words reveal his own embrace and promotion of this mindset.

May 7, 2018. Baptist News Global. Southern Baptists say Paige Patterson’s views on women unbiblical, by Bob Allen. In addition to overviewing the current state of this situation, Mr. Allen’s article notes the following:

Prior to the current controversy, the seminary executive board invited Patterson to live on campus after retirement as first scholar-in-residence at the Baptist Heritage Center, a new library opening this fall that will house collections relevant to study of the “Conservative Resurgence.”

May 7, 2018. Baptist Press. Patterson comments draw range of women’s responses, by David Roach.

May 7, 2018. Spiritual Sounding Board. Paige Patterson called an abuse advocacy group “as reprehensible as sex criminals.” Guest post by author who wishes to stay anonymous.

May 7, 2018. Huffington Post. Evangelical Women Are Condemning A Southern Baptist Leader’s ‘Sinful’ Remarks, by Carol Kuruvilla.

May 7, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. Are There Mixed Motives in the Current Outcries Against Paige Patterson?, by Dee Parsons.

May 7, 2018. The Washington Post. Faith requires us to be outraged at every violation of human dignity, by Michael Gerson.

May 7, 2018. Religion News Service. Thousands of Southern Baptist women sign petition against Paige Patterson, by Yonat Shimron.

Southern Baptists hold in their doctrinal statement, “The Baptist Faith and Message”: “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.”

The signers of the letter take no issue with that view, known as “complementarianism,” the idea that men alone should hold leadership roles in the home and in the church.

But [Karen Swallow] Prior said the national effort to address sexual misconduct is affecting Baptist churches, too.

“Women, both inside and outside the church are waking up to these power structures and saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ It’s new everywhere, and even newer in the church,” Prior said. “Once the dam starts to break, then it becomes a watershed moment. That’s what I hope this is.”

May 7, 2018. David L. Allen. Paige Patterson: . . . the Way Forward? “Having known Paige Patterson for forty-three years as mentor and friend, and serving under his leadership at SWBTS since 2004, first as the Dean of the School of Theology and currently as the founding Dean of the School of Preaching, I am compelled to speak.” [Link added May 12, 2018.]

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May 8, 2018

May 8, 2018. Newsweek. Who is Paige Patterson? Evangelical Women Outraged at Southern Baptist Leader’s ‘Unbiblical’ Remarks, by Sofia Lotto Persio.

May 8, 2018. Star-Telegram. Paige Patterson should change his stance on submitting to physical abuse or step down, by The Star-Telegram Editorial Board. Important since this newspaper it is local to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Fort Worth, Texas.

May 8, 2018. Practical Theology for Women. Wolves in Ewes’ Clothing, by Wendy Alsup.

Most who are regular readers know my burdens for this blog. Because I by conviction hold to an orthodox understanding of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures, I am gravely burdened that it is not the folks who deny that Scripture is authoritative that are most at fault for pushing others out of the church, but those that pervert/distort that truth, claiming that something is biblical that is not actually supported by a close examination of Scripture. My closest personal experience of this was around the fallout from Mars Hill in Seattle. If I know one, I know a hundred women (and/or their families) who no longer trust the authority of Scripture because Scripture was misinterpreted and misused to support an agenda. It’s a serious stewardship, this teaching of Scripture, and it is morally right to expose misuses of Scripture for what they are.

I can say confidently, though soberly with grief, that based on the evidence I have seen from his wife’s commentary, Paige Patterson’s comments encouraging a woman to stay in a situation in which she was further abused and drawing attention to the sexual beauty of an adolescent girl were not thoughtless words given on the fly. Rather, they are consistent with a system of thought he and his wife have taught for years, one they claim is biblical.

I will only offer a brief look into the Old Testament Women’s Evangelical Commentary by Dorothy Patterson and Rhonda Kelley (Dorothy’s sister-in-law). There is an overwhelming amount of bad teaching in that commentary in my opinion, but I will limit what I share here to a few key problems that mirror the things for which Paige Patterson is currently under fire. Patterson has vehemently denied that he counsels wives to endure abuse, but the Patterson’s long track record of teaching show their belief that abusive situations are a thing for wives to endure to reflect God’s created order, which they present as the essence of what it means to be a Biblical man or woman.

May 8, 2018. Ellie Eugenia Benson (Twitter thread).


. Resolute. Even when a “retired baptist pastor friend of Paige Patterson” pulls my name off this petition to call my pastor to tell him he needed to tell me to remove my name. He did not but thank you for initiating this and I was righteously angry before but now….

. Replying to . Let me get this straight. An SBC Leader is looking over the list, sees a name listed from a church he knows, & calls the pastor of that church to tell him one of his female parishioners is getting uppity. I wonder how many other SBC pastors are being contacted. Glad he told you.

. Replying to . This is exactly what happened.

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May 9, 2018

May 9, 2018. Vox. Conservative evangelical women are calling out a leader’s sexism. It’s a huge moment for #MeToo. By Tara Isabella Burton. “More than 2,500 Southern Baptist women have signed a petition denouncing denomination leader Paige Patterson.” Major sections:

  • Paterson [sic] had been making troubling gender-specific comments for years
  • This isn’t the first example of #MeToo making inroads in evangelical communities
  • The reaction to Paige Patterson suggests that conservative as well as progressive Christians are embracing elements of #MeToo

May 9, 2018. New York Magazine. ‘#MeToo’ in the Pews: A Backlash to the Southern Baptist Patriarchy, by Ed Kiligore.

May 9, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. “Deep Down I Was Scared.” Dr. Sheri Klouda about Her Time at SWBTS under Dr. Paige Patterson, by Wade Burleson.

May 9, 2018. The Way of Improvement. A Recent Southwestern Baptist Seminary Graduate Urges Paige Patterson to Resign, by John Fea. “Lee Enochs, a 2014 graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has an op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News calling for the resignation of seminary president Paige Patterson after a series of controversial remarks.”

May 9, 2018. OPEN LETTER TO SWBTS BOARD OF TRUSTEES [Men signators.]

May 9, 2018. Mere Orthodoxy. On Paige Patterson’s Missing Link, guest post by Brian Mesimer. See also Twitter thread from Scott McKnight with a range of responses to the post.

May 9, 2018. Julie Anne Smith/Spiritual Sounding Board. Twitter Moment compilation, Is Angie the real victim in Paige Patterson’s domestic abuse story? This is a compilation of tweets from several posters, analyzing whether Angie Brock is the woman from Paige Patterson’s “two black eyes” example used in his Q and A answer about domestic violence at the CMBW conference in 2000.

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May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018. Christian Post. Paige Patterson Will Go Too Far This Time, by Brad Reynolds. This opinion piece was originally published May 3, 2018, at Christian Index.

May 10, 2018. Washington Post. What early Christians knew that modern Christians don’t: Women make great leaders, by Gracy Olmstead.

May 10, 2018. Baptist News Global. Paige Patterson, Mother’s Day and #MeToo, opinion piece by Jonathan Davis. “There is another pain worth highlighting this year in light of the #MeToo movement — the pain of sexual abuse and harassment. Have you considered that your mother, statistically speaking, may be a victim of sexual harassment and abuse?” Mr. Davis shares statistics on abuse/violence, applies them to congregational life, and then ties in the damage done by supporting public figures like Paige Patterson whose comments promote harm rather than healing.

May 10, 2018. Wade Burleson Twitter post, linking to YouTube video of “Tea Talk with Dorothy P.” Published by benjaminscole on May 10, 2018. DESCRIPTION:

In the inaugural edition of “Tea Talk with Dottie P” we get to eavesdrop on Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson musing about a “whites only” secret society at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the power of Twitter in Southern Baptist Life

May 10, 2018. Christian Today. Paige Patterson controversy: Now Southern Baptist men add to growing pressure on former SBC leader, by staff writer.

May 10, 2018. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. An Apology to God’s People, by Paige Patterson. A three-paragraph statement of apology, primarily regarding the illustration of a young woman being “built.” His statement does not address all specific issues that have been especially raised (or resurfacing) since April 28th about his views, words, and deeds; critiques have already begun to appear online.

May 10, 2018. Whole Earth International. Breakdown of Paige Patterson’s Narcississtic Apology Letter [Part 1], by Watch Woman On The Wall. Part 1 critiques the first paragraph in Paige Patterson’s three-paragraph statement of apology. She plans to analyze the remainder of his statement in additional posts.

May 10, 2018. This series of tweets from Dee Parsons of The Wartburg Watch details her conversations to find out more about who wrote the original Letter to SWBTS Board of Trustees on May 6th.

May 10, 2018. Slate. “I’ve Never in My Ministry Counseled That Anybody Seek a Divorce,” by Ruth Graham. “Why it’s momentous that Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson has drawn fire from his community not for his actions but for his words.”

May 10, 2018. Religion News Service. Why Paige Patterson’s apology may not be enough, by Jonathan Merritt.

In just two weeks, Paige Patterson has done what none could have predicted: He’s given America’s largest denomination two black eyes.

The first injury was inflicted when his comments about spousal abuse and women went viral. […]

The second injury came when Patterson responded to the controversy by standing stalwart and claiming he had nothing for which to apologize. For thirteen days, he folded his arms while Southern Baptists were thrown into chaos. For thirteen days, he dismissed reporters’ questions and shrugged off his critics. For thirteen days, he ignored a cavalcade of women — including 3,000 from his own denomination — who practically begged him to make amends for his dangerous comments.

Today, however, Patterson broke the silence and released a three-paragraph statement apologizing that his comments “lacked clarity” and accidentally “wounded” some women. While I do not doubt the sincerity of his statement, I’m troubled by its substance. After all, the statement was part-apology and part-excuse. Patterson claimed the matter could be attributed to a “failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”

May 10-11, 2018. There have been responses on all sides to “An Apology to God’s People” by Paige Patterson. The initial post and comments in these Twitter threads sample those reactions.

May 10, 2018. Christian Post. Conservatives Don’t Need Spokesmen Like Paige Patterson; We Need a Better Vision of Manhood and Womanhood, Op-Ed by Julie Roys.

May 10, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. Patterson Must Apologize to Those He’s Harmed: Part II of Sheri Klouda’s Story in Her Own Words, introduction by Wade Burleson and then the main post by Sheri Klouda.

May 10, 2018. Religion News Service. Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson apologizes to women ‘wounded’ by remarks, by Adelle M. Banks. Includes an overview of the situation, summarizes the apology, and shares some of the feedback emerging about the apology: Karen Swallow Prior (one of the signers), Steve Gaines (current SBC President), and Ronnie Floyd and Jack Graham (prominent SBC pastors and former SBC President).

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May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. Paige Patterson Apologizes and an Update on the Patterson Petition, by Dee Parsons. Dee has posted a screenshot of Paige Patterson’s statement of apology, and also a number of things she found out in conversation with the author of the [women’s] online open letter petition to the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. (The Letter to SWBTS Board of Trustees for women to sign was posted May 6th. A similar Open Letter to SWBTS Board of Trustees for men to sign was posted was May 9th.) The author of the women’s letter has requested to remain anonymous, and Dee is abiding by her request.

May 11, 2018. Warren Throckmorton. Missing from Paige Patterson’s Apology: I Was Wrong.

In the midst of a two petitions from Southern Baptists calling for his resignation, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson posted a new statement of apology late yesterday. In it, he asks forgiveness for his “failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”

The full statement is below. What I don’t see in the statement is a clear admission that he was wrong to advise women in abusive relationships to go home to an abusive husband.

[…] I have no evidence that Paige Patterson is a danger to any person. At all times, his bad advice has been the focus of his critics. If those who have criticized him are looking for a statement that he now believes his advice on abuse has been wrong, this apology is not it.

May 11, 2018. Christian Post. Why I’m Not Signing the Letter Calling for Paige Patterson’s Resignation, Op-Ed by Carmen Fowler LaBerge.

May 11, 2018. Christian Post. SWBTS Head Paige Patterson Apologizes to Women for ‘Inappropriate’ Language, by Brandon Showalter.

May 11, 2018. Borrowed Light. A Concern With Paige Patterson’s Apology, by Mike Leake.

May 11, 2018. SBC Voices. When Apologies Don’t Mean Much… And When They Do, by SBC Voices Editorial Team. The connections between SBC resolutions regarding racism, and the recent apology of Paige Patterson.

May 11, 2018. Tim Fall Twitter thread, most tweets with links to other sources.

May 11, 2018. An important article posted on Baptist Press today: Gaines addresses Patterson, racial diversity, SBC, by Staff. In it, current SBC President Steve Gaines discusses multiple issues and issues an apology to women on behalf of the Convention. He also provides information on how the Southern Baptist Convention system functions, in terms of authority and accountability, regarding who gives the sermon at the annual convention. Since that is Paige Patterson, as selected by delegates last year, there are only several specific ways that could be changed. See the post for details.

May 11, 2018. FBC Jax Watchdog Tweet.

May 11, 2018. Internet Monk. When the child falls in the well… — On being too biblical, by Chaplain Mike. Addresses some of the hermeneutics that can draw theologians into detailed studies of how to act toward people who are suffering, while doing nothing to stop the suffering of these people. [Link added May 12, 2018.] EXCERPT:

[…] Brian Mesimer at Mere Orthodoxy correctly takes Patterson to task, suggesting that his comments were “at best unwise, and at worst, reckless.” Furthermore, he offers some pretty good counsel a couple of times in the piece, saying that, in such a case, a church should help a person suffering abuse to get to a place of safety in the short term.

However, then comes the biblicist move — Mesimer writes: And yet can he [i.e. Patterson] be proved wrong using Scripture?

What follows is theological analysis using Bible verses. What does the Bible teach about divorce? Is there a difference in the counsel we should give if both spouses are believers? What steps should be taken, according to Biblical teaching, to engage the abuser in a process of church discipline? In fact, Mesimer turns the whole thing into an argument for a more robust, “biblical” program of discipline by the church as a means of helping abusers change.

Herein lies the biblicist priority: not what’s actually happening to people and how we can help them, but what right ideas should we be thinking about, based on scripture.

The more I read, the more I cringed. The entire situation had been turned into a pharisaical debate about biblical teaching and how to most appropriately apply Bible verses to people’s lives.

Sorry, I don’t want any part of this approach any more. I don’t need the Bible to tell me what to do when a woman shows up at church with blackened eyes. I’m suggesting we get our noses out of the Book, forget “biblical principles,” show mercy, and advocate for the person in need. Jesus did not ask himself the question, “Can I prove these Pharisees wrong using Scripture?” Instead, he asked the Pharisees questions about common sense humanitarian concern. And they could not answer.

May 11, 2018. Christianity Today: Speaking Out. God Hates Abuse: There’s more to the scriptural picture behind “I hate divorce.” by Chad Ashby. Establishes the prevalence of domestic violence in America from research, and then uses the book of Malachi to frame God’s response to oppression of people. [Link added May 12, 2018.]


Women and children are being oppressed by their husbands and fathers across our nation. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011 survey of more than 12,000 women, 22 percent of women in the US have experienced severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. That’s one in four women across our nation experiencing “severe” physical oppression. (Fourteen percent of men also experience abuse during their lifetimes.) Which is why pastors have to refuse the simple, proof-texted answer. Patterson insists, “The Bible makes clear the way in which God views divorce.” That is true.


Exhibit A: Malachi 2:16a—“‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel …” (NASB)


However, the Bible also makes clear the way in which God views abuse and oppression.


Exhibit B: Malachi 2:16b—“…and [I hate] him who covers his garment with wrong,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’”


Let us take heed together, lest we be joined with those who deal in treacherous acts.

May 11, 2018. Julie Anne Smith Twitter post.

May 11, 2018. 5 Things to Know About the Paige Patterson Controversy, by Brandon Showalter. (1) The accusations, (2) what critics are saying, (3) what supporters are saying, (4) why this matters, and (5) what comes next. [Linked added May 12, 2018.]

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May 12, 2018

May 12, 2018. New York Times Opinion. The Great #MeToo Awakening, by Peter Wehner, who attends McLean Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia. [Link added May 12, 2018.]

May 12, 2018. Knox News. Terry Mattingly: Rev. Paige Patterson’s domestic violence comments raise old issues, by Terry Mattingly. [Link added May 12, 2018.]

May 10-12, 2018. Jonathan Merritt Twitter thread, in response to a tweet by Bryant Wright. [Link added May 12, 2018.]

May 12, 2018. Chicago Tribune. Commentary: Ending an abusive marriage is hard. Ending one in the evangelical church is harder, by Hannah Ettinger. [Link added May 14, 2018.]

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May 13, 2018

May 13, 2018. NewsOK. Oklahoma Baptists weigh in on beleaguered seminary leader, by Carla Hinton. The first section of the article gives an overview of the situation to date, then focuses on reactions by both a critic (Wade Burleson) and supporters (Samuel Schmidt, Ronnie Rogers) of Paige Patterson all from SBC churches, and concludes with forthcoming issues in the SBC and SWBTS. [Link added May 14, 2018.]

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May 14, 2018

May 14, 2018. Christian Post. So. Baptist Head Steve Gaines Asks for ‘Forgiveness’ Over Paige Patterson Controversy: ‘The Church Is No Place for Misogyny,’ by Samuel Smith. [Link added May 14, 2018.]

May 14, 2018. BRnow.org. Gaines addresses Patterson, racial diversity, SBC. This is the full statement by SBC President Steve Gaines. [Link added May 14, 2018.]

May 14, 2018. NE News Now. Patterson’s defenders decry ‘unfair’ treatment, fake signatories, by Bill Bumpas. [Link added May 14, 2018.]

May 14, 2018. Relevant. Southern Baptist President: I’m Sorry About Paige Patterson, But I Can’t Stop Him From Preaching at Our Convention. [Link added May 15, 2018.]

May 14, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. The Biblical Basis for Believing Men and Woman are ALWAYS EQUAL – Wade Burleson. Guest post of a 2008 article by Mr Burleson, with an introduction by Deb Martin from The Wartburg Watch. The post includes a look at the views of prominent Southern Baptists, including Paige Patterson. “This false belief that males have inherent, God-given authority over women is an unbiblical, harmful, and heretical teaching…” [Link added May 19, 2018.]

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May 15, 2018

May 15, 2018. Religion News Service. What Alcoholics Anonymous could teach Paige Patterson, guest post by Seth Haines. [Link added May 16, 2018.]

May 15, 2018. Christian Today. How can the Southern Baptists solve their Paige Patterson problem?, by Mark Woods. This is a UK website. [Link added May 17, 2018.]

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May 16, 2018

May 16, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. Tracking Sexual Predators in the SBC and the Multiple Allegations against Judge Paul Pressler, by Wade Burleson. This post recounts key milestones in the history of failed attempts to get the SBC to deal with sexual predators; it interweaves reports and allegations regarding Paul Pressler and the recently filed lawsuit against him (which includes other key figures in the SBC, like Paige Patterson, for their roles). In light of these events, Mr Burleson asks:

“Had a database tracking sexual predators been in place in 1979, would that database have prevented Judge Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson from ever having influence in the Southern Baptist Convention?”

May 16, 2018. Dayton Daily News. Area college trustee under fire for telling woman to stay in abusive marriage, by Max Filby. Paige Patterson is a trustee at Cedarville University, which is near Dayton. This news article gives an overview of the overall situation, with some details about Cedarville University and Mr. Patterson’s specific connection there. [Link added May 17, 2018.]

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May 17, 2018

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May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018. Friendly Atheist. Southern Baptist Leader: I Can’t Disinvite Paige Patterson from Our Convention, by Sarahbeth Caplin. [Link added May 19, 2018.]

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May 19, 2018

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May 20, 2018

May 20, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. All Eyes on the Trustees of Southwestern Seminary, by Wade Burleson. (Here is the related Twitter thread which includes some comments from readers there.) The blog article includes a significant amount of background information on the Conservative Resurgence, the functioning of the Southern Baptist Convention, and other topics. Mr Burleson has provided extensive linkage to resource articles. [Link added May 20, 2018.] EXCERPT:

On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will convene behind closed doors to determine the future of President Paige Patterson. Discussions will include his living arrangements after his impending resignation, retirement, or forced termination.

Over 3,200 Southern Baptist women have signed an open letter stating,  “The Southern Baptist Convention cannot allow the biblical view of leadership to be misused in such a way that a leader with an unbiblical view of authority, womanhood and sexuality be allowed to continue in leadership.”

The Christian Post lists 5 Things to Know about the Paige Patterson Controversy.   I have listed on my blog ten reasons why It’s Time for Paige Patterson to Step Down.

All eyes are now on the 40 trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  There are just two women on the trustee board and thirty-eight men.

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May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018. My Statesman. Seminary leader’s comments on women roil Texas Southern Baptists, by Johnathan Silver. This article from a website based in Austin, Texas, includes responses to the Paige Patterson situation from a number of Texas SBC church leaders. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

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May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. Democracies and Denominations Die in Darkness, by Wade Burleson. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

May 22, 2018. Washington Post. Amid a Southern Baptist scandal, some evangelical women say the Bible’s gender roles are being distorted to promote sexism, by Michelle Boorstein. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

May 22, 2018. Washington Post. Southern Baptist leader encouraged a woman not to report alleged rape to police and told her to forgive assailant, she says, by Sarah Pulliam Bailey. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

A prominent Southern Baptist leader at the center of controversy this spring over comments he has made about abused women allegedly encouraged a woman who said she had been raped not to report it to the police and told her to forgive her alleged assailant, the woman has told The Washington Post.

The woman said that she was raped in 2003 when she was pursuing a master of divinity degree in women’s studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., where Paige Patterson was president at the time.

May 22, 2018. Twitter thread from Kyle J. Howard, regarding the Trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, who were scheduled to meet today. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

May 22, 2018. Dallas News. Accusations surface against Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson as trustees meet in Fort Worth, by Charles Scudder. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

May 22, 2018. Enid News & Eagle. New allegations reported surrounding controversial Baptist seminary head, by James Neal. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

May 22, 2018. The American Conservative. Paige Patterson’s Feast, by Rod Dreher.

Twitter posts/threads added May 22, 2018.

May 22, 2018. Regarding the offensive post by Rick Patrick (see the above American Conservative article), Barbara Roberts posted the following, which she sent me in a message. [Link added May 22, 2018.]

On this A Cry For Justice facebook post, I (Barb) wrote in a comment:

“Does Rick Patrick think that people who are saying #metoo are crazy?”

Rick Patrick replied:

Rick Patrick Apology on ACFJ Facebook post
“The issue I was addressing was the notion that a person appears to be, in the court of public opinion, guilty until proven innocent, in many cases. No, I do not think that #metoo people are crazy. I confess the timing of a specific charge today made me question the charge. But please let me say, and say very clearly, that I am deeply sorry for the hurt that victims of abuse have experienced. I myself was the victim of physical and verbal abuse as a child. I am indeed sensitive to their pain. I was intending to speak only to the presumption of guilt issue with my inappropriate use of humor. I am truly, truly sorry. I will learn from this, and it will not happen again. Please forgive me.”

Twitter thread of May 22, 2018, from Jonathan Merritt. [Links added May 22, 2018.]

May 22, 2018. OneNewsNow. Land: Seminary board holds in its hands healing or harm, by Bill Bumpas. Former head of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Richard Land, weighs in on today’s meeting of the SWBTS Trustees. Note the comments on “triumphalism” of the Conservative Resurgence.

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May 23, 2018

For updates starting May 23, 2018, see BREAKING: Paige Patterson Removed from SWBTS Presidency; Reactions in News and Social Media.

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Select Resources and Historical Sources

Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Issues about complementarianism and the roles of men and women in family and church have surfaced as integral to the situation with comments by Paige Patterson, and how this affects the Southern Baptist Convention. This version of the Baptist Faith and Message is the current standard by which the SBC functions. See especially Article XVIII on The Family at the bottom of the page, and be sure to click on the paper clip link to read the commentary on that article.

The Baptist Blogger. Historical posts on related situations involving Paige Patterson.

Stop Baptist Predators. Historical posts on related situations involving Paige Patterson.

January 10, 2008. Ethics Daily.Com. SNAP Calls for Suspension, Investigation of Seminary President’s Link to Accused Predator, by Bob Allen. EXCERPT:

An advocacy group has called on Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to suspend its president and investigate newspaper reports from 1991 that he ignored allegations of sexual misconduct by a preacher friend now accused of sending lewd text messages to minors.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sent a letter Wednesday to seminary trustees charging that President Paige Patterson turned a blind eye 17 years ago to allegations of sexual misconduct against Darrell Gilyard, a one-time Patterson protégé now accused of being a serial predator.

September 26, 2006. Letter of September 26, 2006, from four leaders of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) — including Christa Brown/SNAP Baptists — to three top leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention: Dr. Morris Chapman (President, Executive Committee), Dr. Richard Land (President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission), and Dr. Frank Page (President, Southern Baptist Convention). Related social media link to this letter:

February 14, 2008. Nashville Scene. What Would Jesus Say?, by Elizabeth Ulrich. “Churchgoers are asking for protection against clergy sex abuse, but the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention says there’s little it can do to fend for the flock.”

February 21, 2008. Letter from three leaders of SNAP to Paige Patterson, asking for a public apology for his responses in the aftermath of reports of sexual abuse reports by Pastor Darrell Gilyard.

Dear Dr. Patterson:

It’s clear you are extremely angry that we have sought your suspension. It’s obvious that you feel very defensive about your actions surrounding sexual abuse reports involving Pastor Darrell Gilyard. It’s no secret that you think ill of our organization, despite your having never met or spoken with us.

Still, we are surprised and saddened that you felt compelled to take your anger out on a wounded child sex abuse victim who contacted you seeking help. We are puzzled and disappointed that you would say such harsh words to a clergy abuse survivor who deserves solace and seeks protection for others.

We would like you to publicly apologize for those unduly harsh and highly insulting words about SNAP. And we would like to sit down with you face-to-face in the near future to educate you about our efforts and intentions for preventing Baptist clergy sex abuse, and perhaps work together to reach out to those who were wounded by pastor Gilyard.

April 24, 2008. Nashville Scene. The Bad Shepherd, by Elizabeth Ulrich. “An alleged victim of sex abuse turns to Nashville’s Southern Baptist Convention for help but finds herself facing Goliath instead.”

May 8, 2011. FBC Jax Watchdogs. As a Gift to Our Mothers and Daughters, Consider You May Be Wrong About the Doctrine of Male-Only Authority in the Church.

April 12, 2013. Baptist News Global. When will SBC address clergy sex abuse?, Opinion post by Christa Brown.

May 27, 2013. A Cry For Justice. Paige Patterson has never retracted his words on wife beating, by Barbara Roberts.

October 15, 2013. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. So You Believe in the Inerrancy of God’s Word, Bully for You, by Paige Patterson. [Chapel service. Length, 28:30.]

October 28, 2013. Baptist News Global. Why Paige Patterson’s anti-outsider stance is wrong, Opinion post by Christa Brown.

January 2014. AWAKEN conference in Las Vegas, NV. YouTube video of Paige Patterson on the creation of Eve. [Length, 01:55.] Posted May 6, 2018.

July 21, 2014. A Cry For Justice. Good men: please denounce the Permanence View of Marriage that denies any reason for divorce, by Barbara Roberts.

March 15-16, 2017. Huffington Post. Male Headship Theology Enables Abusers, by Kelly Ladd Bishop.

November 6, 2017. A Cry For Justice. Paige Patterson has never renounced or apologized for his disgusting advice to abused women, by Barbara Roberts.

April 13, 2018. Houston Chronicle. More men accuse former Texas judge, Baptist leader of sexual misconduct, by Robert Downen. This article is about Paul Pressler; Paige Patterson and others are also named in a related civil lawsuit for their reported roles in protection/cover-up.

April 27, 2018. A Cry For Justice. Calvinism And Domestic Violence: there’s a correlation but we can’t say Calvinism causes domestic violence, by Barbara Roberts.

…there is a correlation between Calvinism and domestic violence. .. It is not Calvinism per se but mostly males who use Calvinism’s hierarchical theories and sovereignty theories to perform and justify behaviors.
– Scot McKnight, reporting the findings of recent research into Domestic Violence Myth Acceptance (DVMA) and how that correlates with religiousness and particular types of religious adherence.

Scot McKnight is not a Calvinist but he is a lot more fair to Calvinism that many Christians in the non-Calvinist streams are. In his recent post Calvinism And Domestic Violence, McKnight has relayed the essential points of the academic research article Religious Beliefs and Domestic Violence.

Scott McKnight didn’t do the research; he’s simply conveyed to the broader public what the research found.

May 11, 2018. New York Times Opinion. Churches Can No Longer Hide Domestic Violence, by Julia Baird. Twitter post, with a few comments.

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Transcript for Audiofile of

“Paige Patterson (SBC) Advice to Victims of Domestic Violence”

The audiofile can be found here:


Length: 04:50.

Transcript by Brad Sargent, April 29, 2018. NOTE: This is a word-for-word transcript, minus any “umms” and “uhhs.” I have divided the material into paragraphs in a way that made sense to me, and added quotation marks where there is direct discourse. There is always that possibility that, between imperfect hearing and imperfect recordings, I got some words wrong. If you believe there are mistakes in the transcript please let us know the specifics in the comment section.

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UNNAMED MAN DOING INTRODUCTION: Good words. Paige, I mentioned to you this morning how I’ve respected your adeptness and your frankness and your humor in which you’ve dealt with the national media as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. And I’ve been real proud of you, to see how you’ve represented the truth of Scripture.

But you know, the media, and even within the church, usually jumps on the submission issue and talks about physical abuse and women are going to be beat up and harmed physically. And this question has come up several times as I’ve gone through the stack here. What do you recommend for women who are undergoing genuine physical abuse from their husbands and their husbands say they should be submitting?

PAIGE PATTERSON: That’s an excellent question and let me respond that it depends on the level of abuse to some degree. I have never in my ministry counseled that anybody seek a divorce, and I do think that’s always wrong counsel. There have been, however, an occasion or two when the level of the abuse was serious enough, dangerous enough, immoral enough that I have counseled temporary separation and the seeking of help.

I would urge you that that should happen only in the most serious of cases. I would cite examples of it, but the examples that I’ve had in my ministry are so awful that I will not cite them in public. That’s enough to say, however, that there is a severe physical and/or moral danger involved before you come to that. More often, when you face abuse, it is of a less serious variety, but all abuse is serious. And there are two or three things I say to women who are in those kinds of situations.

First of all, I say to them that you must not forget the power of prayer. Just as one of your little children comes to you with a broken heart and crawls up into your arms, looks into your face, and with tears running down his cheeks, asks you to intervene in a situation. If you have anything in you of a loving parent’s heart at all, that will bring you to your attention and you’re off and running. Now then, if you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven do good to them that ask Him? Do not forget the power of consecrated, concentrated prayer. Get on your face before God and ask Him to intervene. And He is a good and a dear Heavenly Father, and at some point, He will intervene.

I’ll give you just one brief example of it. I had a woman who was in a church that I served and she was being subject to some abuse. And I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening, I want you to get down by your bed, just before he goes to sleep, get down by the bed and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene. Not out loud. Quietly.” But I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready, because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.”

And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black, and she was angry – at me, and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.”

And I said, “Yes, Ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”

And what she didn’t know when we sat down in church that morning was that her husband had come in and was standing at the back. First time he ever came. And when I gave the invitation that morning, he was the first one down to the front. And his heart was broken, and he said, “My wife’s praying for me, and I can’t believe what I did to her.” And he said, “Do you think God could forgive somebody like me?” And he’s a great husband today, and it all came about because she sought God on a regular basis.

And remember, when nobody else can help, God can. And in the meantime, you have to do what you can at home to be as submissive in every way that you can, and elevate him. Obviously, if he’s doing that kind of thing, he’s got some very deep spiritual problems in his life. And you have to pray that God brings into the intersection of his life those people and those events that need to come into his life to arrest him and bring him to his knees.

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30 thoughts on “Paige Patterson on Domestic Violence: Audiofile Transcript and Resource Links”

  1. “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”

    So, the wife was a tool in his hands to get the husband to come to church? No wonder he would never counsel divorce. If his ploy succeeds, he gets more income, if it fails, well, I guess, who cares if it fails.

    When did Jesus ever recommend this approach. In fact, when he sends his disciples out, he says, essentially, give the town a chance. If they’re worthy of their chance, stay there and minister to them. If they’re not worthy of their chance, shake the dust off your feet and GET OUTTA THERE!

    Maybe she should have punched him in the face and said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy!”


  2. A very sad part of this is to the best of my knowledge none of the SBC leaders to this very date have called what Patterson said was very wrong. IMO the SBC leaders almost consider Patterson like a god because he lead the TAKEOVER of the SBC,


  3. What do you recommend for women who are undergoing genuine physical abuse from their husbands and their husbands say they should be submitting?

    This is the preface to Patterson going on about his recommendations and now he’s trying to say she wasn’t being abused.

    Quote from Patterson now: Many years ago in West Texas, a woman approached me about the desire of her husband to prevent her attendance in church. He was neither harsh nor physical with her, but she felt abused. I suggested to her that she kneel by the bed at night and pray for him.

    Patterson is a liar. I mean, this story was probably a lie to began with or at least heavily exaggerated or never followed up on, but he’s lying now about his past comments. No one should take him seriously and he shouldn’t be in charge of anything.

    I will never understand why people are accepting flat out lies from these men!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lea: Sadly none of the current men in the SBC will say even a word against Patterson. He does whatever he wants–to this point he is untouchable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Conference Info:

    Per Wade Burleson 2008 Post:

    “In March of 2000 The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood hosted a Conference for people interested in the subject of Christian submission. During a Conference forum entitled “How Submission Works in Practice” Dr. Paige Patterson was asked a question about how a Christian wife should respond to spousal physical abuse.”



  6. CBMW’s 2018 Statement on Abuse is different from their 1994 Statement on Abuse.
    I will be publishing a post at A Cry For Justice about the differences.

    In 2010 I published my critique of their 1994 Statement on Abuse. I emailed the key leaders of CBMW to tell them about my critique. Randy Stinson (who was then their Executive Officer of some such title) responded to my email, saying that CBMW would be reviewing their Statement on Abuse.

    The next thing that happened was around the time Owen Strachan took over the executive officer role — CBMW revamped their website and their 1994 Statement vanished.

    But in 2012 Mary Kassian quoted the 1994 Statement in full, in her blog post:
    (I have save that link ^ to the web archive, in case it gets scrubbed)

    Soon after Mary Kassian published that post of hers, I republished my critique of CBWM’s 1994 Statement on Abuse:

    It is now 2018.
    CBWM have just published their new Statement on Abuse (12 March, 2018). They have changed a few things they said in 1994.

    I am so angry they have taken this long to review their Statement on Abuse!

    They ignored me for eight years. They ignored the plight of victims for MANY MANY YEARS.

    Now that #MeToo and #ChurchToo have gained traction, they are trying to play catch up.



  7. Yep, Barbara, you’ve been engaging CBMW for a long time. It’s so ridiculous that this gets out to the “right person” at the “right time” and then people listen when we’ve been speaking out for years. Absolutely ridiculous. Well, whatever, let’s keep the momentum going.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yeah… and I’m not the “right” person. No matter how hard I have tried I seem to get ignored. Not sure how much it’s to do with: my being female.
    Or my being in Australia and so on social media when Yankees are sometimes asleep.
    Or my being not a declared egalitarian.
    Or my being a complementarian who denounces CBMW and many of the CBMW big shots.
    Or my not being a Southern Baptist.
    Or my being a ‘reformed Baptist’ when people like R Scott Clarke say that it’s impossible to be Reformed and be a baptist.

    Mostly I think it’s because I say that abuse is grounds for divorce and Malachi 2:16f has been mistranslated so it’s wrong to say “God hates divorce”.

    And because I am a woman who wrote a book about doctrine.

    I fall out of so many boxes. The egals seem to shun me a lot of the time. Most comps shun me and think I’m a raging feminist radical and can’t possible have a decent grasp of theology.

    And many people just don’t want to read the deep stuff I write about …


  9. The egals seem to shun me a lot of the time.

    I don’t think egals shun you, but you seem to cut off discussion on your own site regarding anything egalitarian. I think folks would be forgiven for thinking you don’t want to talk about that.


  10. “I don’t think egals shun you, but you seem to cut off discussion on your own site regarding anything egalitarian.”

    This is the impression I got. I was raised complementarian and my parents had a pretty bad relationship, in my opinion. My mom mentioned that my dad’s theology was “Fathers are meant to be untouchable, so children need someone to challenge, debate, etc., and that is the mother.” That and other tidbits she mentioned seemed to put her almost at the level of the children – maybe like a teenaged babysitter.

    Even in a comp. church I heard the message that the husband had to sacrifice, like Christ sacrificed, and not so much the message about the man being the king of the castle. So, my marriage was comp. in name only. We never, to this day, have had an impasse on a decision – sometimes our decision was to revisit the decision later, though.

    Ultimately, though, I think the veil was lifted and I started realizing that marital relationships were very odd if they were lead/obey – all the other human authority relationships are cast in terms of covenants with penalties carried out by the superior. We obey our government because they bear the power of the sword. We submit to our elders because they can cast us out of the church to protect the flock. We submit to our parents because they are given the responsibility to correct and discipline us. But wives submit to husbands because….? Must be out of the goodness of their hearts because the husbands are NEVER given any sort of suggested discipline towards their wives. To be honest, the discipline of the elders could be recast as recognition of a broken covenant (being cut off from the church), although many recognize various stages of church discipline, such as rebuke and removal from office to be discipline within the bounds of the covenant rather than recognition of a broken covenant.


  11. This group of men is always going on about how men are protectors of women and children.

    How is arranging for a woman to be beaten and being happy a man beat a woman protecting? This group of men does not protect women and children. They protect child rapist and wife beaters. With the comps, women and children can tough out a lifetime of repeated rape and beatings but comp men having everything set up for their sadistic selves cannot go thirty seconds without getting their b*tts kissed.


  12. Thanks for your responses Mark and Lea.

    Yes, as A Cry For Justice I generally cut off discussion regarding anything egalitarian.

    I am not yet convinced by the egalitarian interpretations of Scripture I have read.

    And I know that abuse occurs in both egal and comp circles. Bill Hybels is a case in point. He did not stop women preaching or taking leadership roles in church, but he was a serial abuser of women.

    I have personally experienced misogyinistic attitudes from men who are leaders in the egalitarian movement. And I’ve experienced a lot of misogyny from men who claim to be complementarian.

    And since my primary focus is intimate partner abuse in the church, I steer away from allowing a lot of debate at A Cry For Justice about egal vv comp. I think that if we flatten out the problem of intimate partner abuse (and other types of abuse) and see it as something which can be fixed by having a ‘right’ theology of male/female relationships, we miss the main point. And we end up bogging down in that endless debate about comp vv egal.

    I believe that we will only grasp the nettle of interpersonal abuse and be able to effectively ‘turn the ship” if we talk about EVIL and the mentality and tactics of evildoers.

    I frequently say that assumptions about male privilege,, “biblical womanhood” and suchlike are large contributors to the problem of interepersonal abuse. I know that gender conditioning and teaching about gender roles is a large contributor to the problem. But I am yet to be convince that egalitian interpretations of Scripture really stack up in all respects.

    And I’ve been spiritually abused and disounted by female pastors as well as male pastors. And I’ve been sexually abused by a female.


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