BREAKING: Paige Patterson Removed from SWBTS Presidency; Reactions in News and Social Media

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UPDATE: May 25th. I have reorganized the material in this post to make the structure more clear and accessible. That wasn’t possible over the last few days when the developments and reactions were emerging so quickly. I have renamed some of the headings, rewritten introductions, and added sections and reordered them. Here is the revised structure.

Previous Resource Links

Overview

Items from May 23, 2018

  • May 23rd News Reports and Blog Articles
  • May 23rd Social Media Reactions
  • Rick Patrick Situation and Apologies

Items from May 24, 2018

  • Review of Developments, as of May 24th
  • May 24th News Reports and Blog Articles
  • May 24th Social Media Reactions

Items from May 25-28, 2018

  • May 25-28 News Reports and Blog Articles
  • May 25-28 Social Media Reactions

Notes about content and times are in boldface red print.

My tentative plans are to continue this post at least through the weekend of May 25-28, then evaluate what direction to take on posting resource links. Also, I may insert additional analysis/commentary sections if I feel they are needed. ~ Brad/futuristguy

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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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OVERVIEW

This post begins primarily with links to news reports and personal reactions in social media about the removal of Paige Patterson from his position as President at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, Texas). This was announced after the SWBTS Trustees completed their meeting at approximately 3 a.m. on May 23rd. It then covers some of the fallout and follow-ups from those events, mostly in Southern Baptist Convention circles.

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Items from May 23, 2018

News articles may include details about the Trustees’ meeting of May 22-23, Mr. Patterson’s retirement plans, and other topics related to the overall situation. I will post a limited number of news articles, giving preference to those with breaking news, analysis/commentary from key figures inside and outside the situation, and authors with prior articles on the subject.

May 23rd News Reports and Blog Articles

May 23, 2018. SWBTS Board of Trustees. Statement Regarding Dr. Paige Patterson. This is the statement in its entirety:

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) board of trustees is grateful for the contributions Dr. and Mrs. Paige Patterson have made since his presidency began in 2003. Further, we honor his longstanding dedication and commitment to serving the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in its mission to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations by leading the way for the conservative resurgence.

A special meeting of the SWBTS Board was held on May 22 to discuss our seminary, its future and our responsibility as trustees to ensure SWBTS is in the best position possible to fulfill our mission to biblically educate God-called men and women.

After much prayer and a more than 13-hour discussion regarding challenges facing the Institution, including those of enrollment, financial, leadership and institutional identity, the Board determined to move in the direction of new leadership for the benefit of the future mission of the Seminary.

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.

The board also voted to appoint Dr. D. Jeffrey Bingham, Dean of the School of Theology, to the position of Interim President, pending his acceptance. Further, a special committee of the trustees was formed to work out all the details of leadership transition for Drs. Patterson and Bingham.

Additionally, the board affirmed a motion stating 1) evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse, 2) the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse and 3) the board has not found evidence of misconduct in Nathan Montgomery’s employment file.

As we begin the process of ushering in a new season of leadership, SWBTS remains steadfast in its calling to assist the churches of the SBC by biblically educating God-called men and women for ministries that fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Charles Patrick, (817) 923-1921, ext. 3025, cpatrick@swbts.edu

May 23, 2018. Baptist Press. Patterson appointed pres. emeritus by SWBTS trustees, by David Roach.

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — In a meeting that began at 1:30 p.m. May 22 and ended just after 3 a.m. May 23, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s trustees appointed Paige Patterson president emeritus effective immediately. They also named as interim president of the seminary Jeffrey Bingham, dean of Southwestern’s School of Theology, pending his acceptance.

In addition, trustees adopted a motion stating “evidence exists” that Patterson has complied with reporting laws on assault and abuse. Trustees also found “no evidence of misconduct” in the employment file of Nathan Montgomery, a Southwestern student who was fired from his employment in campus dining services after he tweeted an article critical of Patterson.

May 23, 2018. Washington Post. Prominent Southern Baptist leader removed as seminary president following controversial remarks about abused women, by Bobby Ross Jr., Sarah Pulliam Bailey, and Michelle Boorstein. Includes background and comments from Karen Swallow Prior (English professor at Liberty University), R. Marie Griffith (director, John Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University), and Barry Hankins (history professor at Baylor University), and women students Sarah Reiter and Sharayah Colter.

May 23, 2018. NPR. Head Of Southern Baptist Seminary Removed Over Remarks On Rape, Abuse Of Women, by Scott Neuman.

May 23, 2018. Religion News Service Opinion. Paige Patterson has resigned. Imagine if he were Tim Cook, by Jonathan Merritt. EXCERPT:

When you think about it, Patterson’s departure was the ultimate irony. The man who spent his career making full-throated arguments for the submission of women was, in the end, taken down by women who decided they would tolerate his leadership no longer.

But after weeks of inaction, the board’s decision feels more like a celebrated send-off than a stiff censure. While they dismissed Patterson to save face under overwhelming pressure, he was also offered a pile of consolation prizes. Patterson will be honored with the title of President Emeritus of Southwestern, for example. Both he and his wife, Dorothy, have been named theologian-in-residence. The couple will receive compensation from the school, and they will be allowed to live in the luxurious and spacious retirement residence they were building for themselves on-campus.

Talk about a soft landing.

To understand the implications of this whole ordeal and what it means for the Southern Baptist Convention, it may be helpful to engage in a little thought experiment.

Imagine for a moment that Paige Patterson was Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple. […]

May 23, 2018. Huffington Post. Southern Baptist Leader Who Said Abused Women Should Just Pray Is Removed From Post, by Willa Frej. Note link in final paragraph:

Although some Southern Baptists have urged Patterson to resign, others have defended him. A petition defending him, which garnered almost 600 signatures, referred to the resurfacing of Patterson’s past comments as “malicious attacks” and “wrong.”

May 23, 2018. Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas). Southern Baptist leader who urged abused women to pray removed as seminary president, by Sarah Smith. Ms. Smith was on-site for the May 22-23 Trustees’ meeting and was live-tweeting details and questions as information became available.

May 23, 2018. Christianity Today. Paige Patterson Out After Southwestern Trustees Vote, by Kate Shellnutt.

May 23, 2018. Christianity Today, The Exchange. On the Removal of Paige Patterson and Next Steps for the SBC: Hard times require honest conversations. By Ed Stetzer. EXCERPT:

Dr. Patterson should not (and must not) preach the SBC annual meeting sermon, and I will speak up again if he does. But as it relates to Southwestern Seminary, I won’t have more comment than what I wrote today.

I did not write what I wrote three weeks ago to be in the media. I wrote it because someone needed say what so many were saying behind the scenes—for years.

For our convention as a whole there is much work to do, and much damage to repair, reaching far beyond this situation. But, given where we are now, that needs to be done without Paige Patterson.

Hard times require honest conversations. It is time for all of us to step up, women and men. No individual is greater than our mission, and that mission needs some honest conversations before everyone is told to just “move on.”

It’s time for a new day, but you don’t get there without dealing with yesterday.

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May 23, 2018. Albert Mohler, Commentary. The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention. Here is Mr. Mohler’s Twitter thread from posting the blog article link. This article was also reposted by Christianity Today at this link.

Some other response threads with some tweets of cautious encouragement and others of criticism about Mr. Mohler’s post.

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May 23, 2018. Istoria Minstries Blog. Paige Patterson and the Rape Victim He Shamed, by Wade Burleson. The story behind the story of the woman whose account appeared in the Washington Post. Related Twitter thread from Wade Burleson.

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May 23, 2018. Relevant. Paige Patterson’s Non-Punishment Shows the Church Is Not Prepared for True Repentance, by Tyler Huckabee. [Link added May 26, 2018.]

 

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May 23rd Social Media Reactions

The following is a selection of reactions on Twitter to the announced actions. These come from public-source tweets in my (Brad/futuristguy) feed. This includes from a multiracial group of men and women, from different generations, Baptists and non-Baptists, church leaders, abuse advocates, racial reconciliation activists, and with a range of theological perspectives.

At this point, most commenters are critical and their responses show deep disappointment, anger, business-as-usual. I selected these to offer a range of responses, especially those with threads that offer historical background and organizational systems information.

NOTE: The threads on the these tweets are as important for perspective as is the initial tweet.

Several of the tweets were posted the night of May 22, before the decisions had been made and announced; dates in the links may read May 23 but the tweet was actually posted May 22. Go to the original tweet to see the time posted.

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The first set of tweets is from Sarah Smith, who was at SWBTS during the time of the Trustees’ meeting and was live-tweeting information and questions as they became available.

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The following tweets represent what was in my Twitter feed from about 5:30 to 7:00 a.m., Pacific Time, on May 23.

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Tweets below are from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. Again, I’ve selected these for the threads of comments on the original tweet, as much as for the content of the originating post.

See this public Facebook post from Megan in response to this invitation.

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Initial tweets and links about Rick Patrick.

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The following posted between 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

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More tweets about Rick Patrick.

See related post here: May 23, 2018. AL dot Com. Sylacauga pastor apologizes for comments seen to mock #MeToo movement, by William Thornton.

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The following tweets and Twitter threads are from 3:00-5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

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Threads from around 8:30 p.m. on May 23rd. (Date may say May 24 due to issues in time zone differences.)

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Rick Patrick Situation and Apologies

Rick Patrick, a pastor and a board member at Connect 316, posted an offensive joke about sexual abuse on a closed Facebook group. Although he deleted his post within minutes, a screenshot was reposted, and the subsequent reactions led to a significant situation in social media and for Mr. Patrick. I have copied posts/reactions from earlier on May 23rd here (so the originals remain in chronological order when they happened) and have collected blog articles and social media responses from other days in this section to make the material on this situation more accessible as a whole.

Initial tweets and links about Rick Patrick (May 23rd).

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More tweets about Rick Patrick.

See related post here: May 23, 2018. AL dot Com. Sylacauga pastor apologizes for comments seen to mock #MeToo movement, by William Thornton.

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Additional posts from/about Rick Patrick on May 23.

Rick Patrick Apology on Wade Burleson post

 

May 23, 2018. SBC Today. My Heartfelt Apology and Resignation, by Rick Patrick.

May 23, 2018. SBC Today. Statement from [Connect 316] Board of Directors. Here is their statement in full:

Connect 316 does not condone, endorse, or approve of Rick Patrick’s remarks. We find them reprehensible and unbecoming of Christian comportment.

We have accepted the resignation of Rick Patrick from Connect 316 and have called upon him to apologize to each individual he insulted and ask for their forgiveness.

Although Rick Patrick was not speaking on behalf of Connect 316 when he made those deplorable remarks, we understand how terribly hurtful they were and would like to extend our apologies to each individual who was maligned.

Dr. Patrick’s comments do not reflect the character, heart, and purposes of C316.

-Statement unanimously approved by the Connect 316 Board of Directors

And here is a series of interactions at A Cry for Justice on Facebook with Rick Patrick, after his apology. Be sure to open up the “View more replies” sections to find all of the relevant comments on the thread.

May 25, 2018. Christian Post. Alabama Pastor Resigns From Ministry SBC Connect 316 Board After ‘Gang Rape’ Joke, by Brandon Showalter.

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Items from May 24, 2018

Review of Developments, as of May 24th

Reactions continue to the news of the resignation of Paige Patterson, much of it critical as there appears to be no remorse for past views or actions on his part, and for the SWBTS Trustees’ basically imposing no consequences but instead granting him status as President Emeritus and theologian-in-residence, plus on-campus retirement housing.

Two of the most significant blog posts of the past few days have been the following, in terms of laying out core problems:

Wade Burleson. Istoria Minstries Blog. Paige Patterson and the Rape Victim He Shamed, by Wade Burleson. The story behind the story of the woman whose account appeared in the Washington Post. Related Twitter thread from Wade Burleson.

Albert Mohler. Commentary. The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention. Here is Mr. Mohler’s Twitter thread from posting the blog article link.

These articles especially have generated numerous exchanges in social media on what to do in going forward. There are many discussions about details regarding unresolved situations left over from years or even decades in the Southern Baptist Convention — and these all seem to be arising and converging now, just weeks before the SBC’s annual meeting.

But, to put the biggest issue into one word, it seems to be this: trustworthiness. Followers of Christ both inside and outside the SBC either have doubts about whether its most public leaders, guardians, and institutions can be trusted to do what is right and just — and in some situations, like mandatory reporting of known/suspected child abuse — legal. Instead of having earned the right to be trusted automatically, the SBC as a system must prove itself a credible agent not only of a gospel message, but of godly practices.

With the Southern Baptist Convention’s credibility as a whole and its future at issue, key problems are being raised about general issues, and also specific historic and current situations. These include the following.

Congruence in Faith, Policies, and Practices. Views on abuse and domestic violence, how to counsel victims, and related civil/legal responsibilities. Questions about whether complementarian teachings on gender roles foster abuse and domestic violence. “Celebrity leadership.”

Institutional Practices. Need for “new leadership.” Reporting abuse, harassment, and violence to the authorities. Why “internal/in-house investigations” do not restore credibility. Parameters for ensuring a truly independent investigations of reported systemic abuse. Whether the SBC convention as a whole can override what are discerned to be egregious decisions, such as decisions regarding Paige Patterson made by the SWBTS Trustees.

Addressing Systemic Issues. Creation of a database to help thwart sending serial abusers to some other church. Diversity in nominations for positions in SBC committees and institutions.

Specific Situations. Giving C.J. Mahaney praise, a platform, and protection in the face of evidence of failed leadership in Sovereign Grace Ministries and systemic situations of abuse in that network. How Megan Cox was dealt with, as reported in the Washington Post article of May 22, 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.

NOTE: The above list may be expanded as there is more opportunity to view and process social media responses to recent events.

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May 24th News Reports and Blog Articles

I plan to list news reports, blog articles, and social media threads that focus more on what to do in moving forward, than just restating details of what’s recently happened.

May 24, 2018. CBE International. Paige Patterson, SWBTS, and the Problem with “Sorry, Not Sorry,” by Dawn Choate. EXCERPT:

Patterson’s comments and worldview struck a nerve with a wider Christian audience precisely because the Baptist culture has claimed to be the cultural and biblical standard-bearer for the average evangelical protestant. The doctrines and worldview that have shaped the way Baptists perceive, interpret, and respond to issues of submission, domestic violence, divorce, abuse, sexual harassment, and response to authority have influenced the larger evangelical popular culture.

The reality is, whether you’re Baptist or not, Patterson’s lack of perceivable remorse and his colleagues’ refusal to offer any real consequences or change is a signal that we have much work to do in the larger body of Christ. This isn’t just a “Baptist problem.”

It’s time to shine a light on doctrines and sinful attitudes that allow, enable, and shelter those who would abuse through word and deed. If we continue to cloak the most evil acts of abuse and exploitation in the shiny robes of Christian doctrine, we’ll pass by a crucial moment in history. We’ll miss an opportunity to shine a light on the dark places of the human soul that tempt those with power to use it, keep it, and wield it to the detriment of the vulnerable and for the protection of the privileged.

May 24, 2018. Here’s the Joy. A letter to the Washington Post revealing abuse at an SBC seminary, by Rebecca Davis.

Megan Cox of Give Her Wings has given me permission to repost her letter to Sarah Pulliam Bailey, the author of the Washington Post series on Paige Patterson. The abuse and abuse enabling in SBC circles is far worse than what I talked about yesterday. Sometimes there isn’t even a pretence of trying to make it look okay.

May 24, 2018. Restory. An open letter to the SBC, by Mary deMuth. After sharing about how she has processed the emerging information and her grief over recent events, Ms. deMuth offers a series of important and specific recommendations to members of her denomination. She addresses issues of safety, abuse-harassment-violence, integrity, repentance, hearing women’s voices, not enabling sexual predators, dealing truthfully with situations of harm, no longer currying political power but considering those marginalized, and opening opportunities to hear from women in the SBC.

May 24, 2018. Diane Langberg, PhD. How to Create a Church Culture of Accountability in the #MeToo Era, guest post by Ruth Moon. Expands upon four specific recommendations: (1) Look out for people, not institutions. (2) Talk about abuse, even if you don’t think its happening. (3) Protect the vulnerable. (4) Admit what you don’t know and acknowledge that abuse happens.

A series of tweets has questioned aspects of a claim that Paige Patterson reported a specific assault incident to the police. The article appeared in the Star-Telegram, May 24: Southern Baptist leader’s lawyer shared details about assault with trustees, by Sarah Smith. This will be important to track and see what happens.

May 24, 2018. Baptist News Global. Paige Patterson unrepentant after seminary trustee action, by Bob Allen. “Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s new president emeritus offered no new apologies in his first words to the campus community since his removal as the school’s president.”

May 23, 2018. New York Times. Southern Baptist Leader Removed as Seminary President for Remarks on Women, by Amy Harmon.

May 24, 2018. The American Conservative. The Southern Baptist #MeToo Reckoning, by Rod Dreher. After sharing about his own background of leaving the Catholic church and why, Mr. Dreher says this:

I tell you all this not to dredge up bad old memories, but to issue a warning to Southern Baptist pastors, leaders, and laity as you all deal with your own self-made problems: Do not lie, do not sugar-coat, do not shift blame, and do not avoid the truth. Your inability to deal with these things straightforwardly got you into this mess. You will only prolong the agony if you don’t face the truth now, and accept just consequences, no matter who loses power and status.

For Southern Baptists in the pews, now is the time to be honest. A brave and good Catholic priest friend told me back when the abuse scandal broke that you couldn’t understand it unless you grasped that it was only one part of a broader systemic crisis in Catholic life. The idea that the Catholic catastrophe was only a crisis of the clergy, and only had to be with sexual abuse, is dangerously wrong. Dangerously, because unless you confront the roots of the crisis, it will never end.

Given that the Southern Baptist laity have more power than the Catholic laity to change things, they need to be unsparingly honest with themselves. A sad fact of human nature: People don’t want to know because to know is to be responsible. When I heard my Southern Baptist friend say today that the treatment of women in the church is only one facet of a much broader crisis, it sounded very, very familiar.

This could turn out very bad for you Southern Baptists — but it doesn’t have to. You can learn from the mistakes many of the rest of us have made. Along those lines, please do your very best not to let your righteous anger overwhelm you. Seek justice, absolutely, but take care not to allow anger to consume you.

May 24, 2018. Baptist News Global. Paige Patterson, women’s voices and the gaping hole in education, Opinion piece by Kyndall Rae Rothaus. [Link added May 25, 2018.]

May 24, 2018.The Conversation. Women’s higher education was pioneered by evangelical Christian leaders, by Andrea L. Turpin. [Link added May 27, 2018.]

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May 24th Social Media Reactions

NOTE: These links are often to the first tweet in a thread. The initial tweet may not look so important or detailed, but the thread typically is.

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Items from May 25-28, 2018

May 25-28 News Reports and Blog Articles

May 25, 2018. SBC Voices. A Resolution for #SBC18: “On Repudiating Predatory Behavior,” by Scott Gordon. [Link added May 25, 2018.]

May 25, 2018. Sarah Smith on Twitter. This thread includes the separate letters sent from Kevin Ueckert, Chair of the SWBTS Board of Trustees, to students and to faculty.

May 25, 2018. Sarah Smith on Twitter. This thread includes the email about standing with victims, sent by Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler to students, faculty, and administrative staff.

May 25, 2018. SBC Voices. I’m an SBC Woman & I Have a Vote (Jacki C. King), guest post by Jacki King. EXCERPT:

The SBC is my tribe and although we have our flaws and most vulnerable shortcomings exposed in the light right now, I have no doubt that God works in the brokenness and humility of his children, both men and women.

I’m a woman and I’m going to the SBC annual meeting to pray, to listen, to speak, to dream. Are you?

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May 26, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. The Missing Southeastern Presidential Archives, by Wade Burleson. Institutional archives from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) where Paige Patterson was president before going to Southwestern Seminary, were removed without authorization. Where is the documentation related to the rape victim from 2003 whose case has been reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere?

May 26, 2018. #SBCToo: breaking the Southern Baptist seminary silence. Why the “Removal” of Paige Patterson Isn’t Enough, by sbctoo.

May 26, 2018. Here’s the Joy. Commentary on JD Greear’s Facebook Live statement, by Rebecca Davis.

May 26, 2018. Christian Post Voices. On Paige Patterson and the Southern Baptist’s ‘Boy’s Club’ Mentality, by Chelsen Vicari.

May 26, 2018. SBC Voices. 2018 may be the SBC’s annus horribilis, by William Thornton. Be sure to read the comments.

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May 27, 2018. Washington Post. Controversial Southern Baptist leader still set to give prominent sermon in front of thousands, by Sarah Pulliam Bailey. Topics address include these two main issues: whether Paige Patterson will speak at the upcoming SBC annual meeting, and the decision not to attend the annual meeting by the woman from the Washington Post’s May 22 article, whose narrative of rape and subsequent experiences with the Patterson administration while a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. EXCERPT:

[…] Patterson is still set to deliver the high-profile sermon at the convention’s annual meeting, which is expected to draw thousands to Dallas next month, and that prospect has alarmed many Southern Baptists, who fear it could send the wrong message to women.

Patterson was chosen as this year’s sermon preacher during last year’s annual meeting in Phoenix by about 5,000 Southern Baptists who were there. The only way he will not preach the sermon this year is if he personally withdraws or if “messengers” — delegates appointed by Southern Baptist churches — vote for him not to give the sermon. Messengers can make a motion on the first day of the meeting, which is June 12. Patterson is set to preach the next day.

Patterson has sent notices to some groups that were scheduled to have him speak in the future, saying he is willing to step away if it would harm their ministries, according to Ed Stetzer, a highly connected Southern Baptist who is also the executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. Stetzer said he hopes Patterson will also back down from giving the sermon at the convention.

“If he speaks at the convention, the incalculable damage of the last few weeks will be exponentially magnified,” Stetzer wrote in a statement to The Washington Post. Stetzer said that he hopes Patterson will step away but that if he doesn’t, a motion calling for him to step down will probably pass.

May 27, 2018. Get Religion. It’s wrath of God stuff: Thinking past Paige Patterson and into the Southern Baptist future, by Terry Mattingly. Some links to view/read for perspectives from multiple angles on current controversies, historical context, and potential ways forward.

May 27, 2018. AL dot Com. Southern Baptists: Time to do or die, by Dana Hall McCain. EXCERPT:

I care about the Southern Baptist Convention. I was brought up in an SBC church, heard the gospel and was baptized there, and have spent a significant portion of my adult life worshipping and serving in an SBC church. This body is not just an ideological football to me, to be kicked around like a any political party or secular institution.

But the problem is that America’s largest protestant denomination conducts itself like any political party or secular institution much of the time, and that makes it really, really hard. And heartbreaking.

These days, the main fight within the convention is between two factions: generally younger pastors and seminarians (many of whom have Calvinist theological leanings), who value diversity and racial reconciliation within the church, and who espouse a high view of women, even if they stop short of desiring to ordain women for pastoral leadership. On the other side are largely older Southern Baptists, who give major side-eye to Calvinism and see the desire to do better by minorities and women as a symptom of liberalism.

You see, the SBC is controlled by the president and a couple of key committees. In order to dictate the agenda and narrative, the ideological war horses will broker back-room deals to gain control of those positions, trading busloads of presidential votes at the annual meeting for things like trustee seats at key SBC institutions.

The swamp’s got nothing on the SBC.

For Such A Time As This Rally set for Tuesday, June 12th, at Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Dallas. Details, news updates, and ways to get involved for SBC members and non-members.  Here are links to the website and to the Facebook page.

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May 28, 2018. Tim’s Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another. When Women Are Silenced the Men Will Fail – a lesson learned from SWBTS and Paige Patterson, by Tim Fall.

The faculty of SWBTS overwhelmingly consists of men: [photo].

Its Board of Trustees is even more lopsided, as there are “just two women on the trustee board and thirty-eight men.” (Wade Burleson.) When women are affected by leadership but not part of leadership, leadership can’t help but fail.

Under a patriarchal system of church governance, men consider themselves fully equipped to make decisions regarding women because they are men and men are meant to have the final say in all matters. Women might be given a token presence, but not in numbers great enough to carry weight.

The extremely small number of women underscores their lack of importance and makes it that much easier to ignore their voice. This means that men end up making make bad decisions.

Imagine how the meeting might have turned out if the forty member board were half women, who knew by their numbers that they were more likely to be heard and not dismissed.

  • Women might have spoken of their own experiences being denigrated, objectified and discriminated against.
  • Women could tell of conversations with students who have suffered demeaning and derogatory comments from their peers and pastors.
  • Women could assure their colleagues that Paige Patterson’s words and actions were not just inappropriate or misspoken, but hurtful, harmful and even hateful for those who suffer from them.

But women are not included in any meaningful way on the board when their number is a mere five per cent of the membership.

May 28, 2017. Speaking the Truth of Her Heart. Surviving SWBTS- Life As A Female Employee and Student In A Pattersonian Culture, by Diane Montgomery. This blog post quickly generated retweets and comments. See related Twitter thread.

 

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May 25-28 Social Media Reactions

NOTE: Threads I have selected typically offer much more perspective than might appear in just the first link in the thread.

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See the related 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).

See the related SNAP letter of January 8, 2008.

See Megan Lively’s related blog article.

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Anonymous said…

Who would have ever thought that keeping the SBC from becoming too liberal would bring us to this day. I consider myself a Biblical conservative but not like some of our leaders. The level of deceit, back room politics, ungodly treatment of women, and the overall ruthless disregard for the lives fellow Christians is disgusting. I trust that change will begin to transpire in Dallas. Our convention is in dire need.

Mon May 28, 03:37:00 PM 2018

36 comments on “BREAKING: Paige Patterson Removed from SWBTS Presidency; Reactions in News and Social Media

  1. Wow. I have to agree with Merritt:

    But after weeks of inaction, the board’s decision feels more like a celebrated send-off than a stiff censure.

    No censure at all, actually. Here is some money, and a house, and a title. That’s called retirement, albeit forced.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW

    And they, “trustees,” put it in writing…

    I don’t think I can “Trust,” the “Trustees.” 🙂

    “…trustees to ensure SWBTS is in the best position possible
    to fulfill our mission to biblically educate
    God-called men and women.”

    So this… errr… guy, becomes “President Emeritus with compensation…”

    And he can, “live on campus as the first theologians-in-residence…”

    And this puts, “SWBTS is in the best position possible?”

    NOPE…

    Can you believe anything these guys say?

    This just shows how “Corrupt” this “Religious System” is.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. But… aren’t most of “Today’s Religious Systems” Corrupt?

    Corrupt – Dictionary

    1- showing a willingness to act dishonestly
    in return for money or personal gain.

    2- in a state of decay; rotten or putrid.

    3- debased or made unreliable by errors or alterations.

    Seems to me “The Abusive Religious Systems,” for the past 1700 years, with the multiple thousands of denominations, multiple movements, multiple “Titles” and “Positions” NOT found in the Bible, (“President Emeritus with compensation…”), heirarchy, patriarchy, Doctrines of Men, Traditions of Men, that Nullify the Word of God, has been, and is, Corrupt.

    Filled with many who are “Corrupt” and are after
    1- money and personal gain and have
    3- made the system unreliable by errors or alterations to the Bible,
    and how the Bible describes – “the Church of God.”
    And because of these errors and alterations
    2- The Abusive Religious Sytem is in a state of decay; rotten and putrid.

    The Good news… This is another nail in their coffin… folks are leaving…
    Becoming “Nones,” And “Dones,” by the millions…

    Rejoicing because they NO longer have to – Pay, Pray, Stay, and Obey.

    And His Sservants, His Disciples, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Church…

    Are turning to…

    The “ONE” Leader
    The “ONE” Teacher
    The “ONE” Shepherd

    {{{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}}

    Like

  4. Whoaaa, Nelly! What a day.

    Megan Cox’s tweet was a jaw dropper. I’ll have to peruse her site when I have more time.

    “Hearing a lot of reports of women who have been victims of assault at Southern Baptist seminaries and we’re mistreated by their leaders.”

    That’s disturbing. I hope Merritt and company follow up on such reports.

    “TWW plans to look at misogynistic quotes/statements from other important leaders of the SBC.”

    GOOD. Time to fumigate the SBC and determine if it can be salvaged.

    Like

  5. I just signed a change.org petition for the first time. It calls for Patterson to be removed from the board of trustees for Cedarville, my alma mater.

    Then I went to YouTube and listened to God’s Gonna Cut You Down. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Was this decision accompanied by a PP gag order? He is still going to be “around”, and he may need to opine on the subjects of his choosing. I really hope this decision has made him a non-entity.

    Like

  7. I can’t decipher Rick Patrick’s post, but just the content is something completely unbecoming of a pastor.

    Like

  8. Thank you, Brad, for keeping up with this mess. I’m so disgusted by what I’m seeing. President “Emeritus” which means his is only retired, but retains all of the honor with the position of President. His behavior deserves honor and merit?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. In other words, “Let’s rearrange the furniture so that people will shut up and let us get on with the work of making sure everyone else submits to our toxic, religious crap.”

    Like

  10. Since Charles Patrick, spokesperson for the SWBTS trustees statement, and Rick Patrick, pastor and author of that revolting message, have the same last name–does anyone know if they are related?

    Like

  11. Hi Wade. Brad is the one who did this, he just “uses” my name on the article so he doesn’t get comment notifications. He does such good work. I’ll be sure to tell him. 🙂

    Like

  12. As Dave Miller noted at SBC Voices, PP was “transitioned”. He’s a President Emeritus, Theologian in Residence, is enshrined in stain glass and has a nice residence for he and the wife for the remainder of their lives. Is he still going to give the sermon at the SBC Convention? If he gets a standing ovation…..

    Like

  13. Karen Swallow Prior (one of the original petitioners) is in hospital – she was hit by a bus today while walking and suffered multiple fractures and a collapsed lung. She is scheduled for surgery in the a.m.

    Like

  14. So long as Southern Baptists keep defending and implementing Gender Complementarianism (which entails Male Hierarchy, Male Headship, and Female Subordination), they are never going to do much in the way of eradicating situations such as the ones involving Paige Patterson.

    Complementarianism is part of the problem of sexism against girls and women in churches, it is NOT a solution, or THE solution.

    Totally agree with the guy who wrote this, RL:

    Albert Mohler remains steadfast in his belief in patriarchy, which is exactly what led to these problems in the first place. Patriarchy exacerbates power differentials between men and women (and children). It teaches a sacreligious gospel of male power.

    Like

  15. Hi Daisy,

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Mohler makes a statement on Paige Patterson, as I believe Patterson is critical of Calvinism. We might see a lot of Calvist coming out of the woodworks.

    Like

  16. D, a little confused here.

    I was talking about Complementarianism (Christian sexism) in my post above, not Calvinism.

    Complementarianism plays a role in the sort of disregard of women we see in guys like Patterson, but your Southern Baptists will never ditch Complementarianism. They think they only alternative to dumping Comp is to become Liberal Feminists, which is a false dichotomoy. I dumped Comp and remain a conservative.

    Like

  17. Daisy,

    I know it is confusing and it shouldn’t be. But on top of everything else the SBC has preachers and leaders at times colliding in un-Christ-like ways attacking one another’s doctrine.

    I don’t see too many Calvinist quick to judge another Calvinist, but they can be relentless to those that don’t accept their doctrine.

    You did mention that Albert Mohler has been silent, but that doesn’t mean he won’t say anything, after all. Paige Patterson and Alber Mohler don’t see eye to eye when it comes to doctrine.

    Like

  18. Hi Daisy,
    Sorry about writing back to back, but I just scrolled this post of Julie Anne’s and I can see that Albert Mohler made some kind of statement, I think on twitter it wouldn’t surprise me if Collin Huber was a Reformed New Calvinist.

    𝙲𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚗 𝙷𝚞𝚋𝚎𝚛
    @JCollinHuber
    This is a strong statement from @albertmohler. As an SBC member, I appreciate his clear condemnation of abuse and the call for independent investigations. Praying for God’s wisdom on the leadership moving forward. https://www.albertmohler.com/2018/05/23/wrath-god-poured-humiliation-southern-baptist-convention/

    2:46 PM – May 23, 2018 · Plano, TX

    Like

  19. I don’t see too many Calvinist quick to judge another Calvinist, but they can be relentless to those that don’t accept their doctrine.

    Oh they will judge them right quick if they consider them ‘liberal’. You just are looking at the in-denominational politics mostly.

    Like

  20. Lea,

    I think their definition of Liberal is very foggy, but you make a good and interesting point.

    But still, I would be surprised for a hard core Reformed, 5 Pointer, New Calvinist or whatever they want to call themselves, quick to judge one of their own.

    Like

  21. But still, I would be surprised for a hard core Reformed, 5 Pointer, New Calvinist or whatever they want to call themselves, quick to judge one of their own.

    New Calvinists/YRR/WhatEver are not the only Calvinists, is what I’m saying. (I feel like this point needs to be made rather often, as people seem to forget).

    We are much worse at seeing faults in our own ‘tribe’, just as people. Seeing it in friends even. Much of it is simple bias, however when there are systems, power and money to protect it becomes much more costly to see faults.

    Like

  22. Yeah, which can also camouflage abuse.

    The interesting point I’d like to make, is they are very aggressive and I wouldn’t compare it to some of the apostles who suffered true persecution for their faith.

    Went to an interesting Bible study last night. Part of the study involved wife/husband/children obligations to each other.

    One verse not really being emphasized enough, maybe even on this site is Ephesians 25:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

    Christ did in fact serve us, if husbands were to further study the life of Christ they would have a stronger understanding of the meaning of that verse.

    I read a self-help book 26 years ago, written by a woman, who’s emphasis was “intimacy is all about the woman” (and she wasn’t strictly talking about sex) Her emphasis was more how to emotionally connect. When there is connection there is no abuse.

    Like

  23. Daisy,

    With Mohler making a statement toward Patterson, he is diverting more attention on Patterson and away from himself.

    Like

  24. “Mohler and Patterson are both Sexists – they both support Complementarianism.”

    And I do not believe Al Mohler hates child rape anymore then misogynistic pervert Paige Patterson does. Misogyny and child rape always go together. Child rape is rampant in patriarchal Muslim countries.

    http://stopbaptistpredators.org/index.htm

    Like

  25. D said,
    “With Mohler making a statement toward Patterson, he is diverting more attention on Patterson and away from himself.”

    I have no idea what this has to do with anything, or what you are getting at.

    All I know is both are sexists, so they are both terrible people.

    I am not much into Southern Baptist politics, or the Calvinist Vs. Traditionalist debate.

    I don’t care of Mohler is a Calvinist and Patterson is Traditionalist.

    I despise Gender Complementarianism with every fiber of my being, and both men promote and defend Comp, and that’s all I need to know.

    Like

  26. I have not read the recent Mohler editorial everyone has been posting lately. He wrote some paper saying that the “wrath of God” is being poured out on SouthernBaptist churches or whatever.

    So I have not read the Mohler paper myself, but I have read quotes from the Mohler paper by others, who have posted quotes from it to blogs and groups.

    From what I gather in what little of the editorial I have read:
    Mohler sounds as though he’s SHOCKED that any men in the Southern Baptist Church are sexist, or have been abusing women, or mis-handling abuse cases.

    If that is what Mohler is trying to convey with his editorial (saying, “Oh look at me, I swear I did not know that sexism in Baptist churches was so bad, honest, really, not until this Patterson stuff broke a week ago!”) that makes him an even bigger jerk.

    But in my view, as both Mohler and Patterson support Complementarianism (which is sexist teaching), they are both rotten.

    Like

  27. Daisy,

    Your right it shouldn’t matter.

    I simply responded on your original statement the Mohler is silent.

    So I responded to you, suggesting that Mohler would make a statement as Mohler and Patterson’s doctrine collide. (which I notice later after scrolling Julie Anne’s post, that Mohler did make a statement)

    Now maybe if their doctrine was the same, my feeling is Mohler may have been slower to judge or not say anything at all, because it seems as the Reformed 5 Pointers tend to be loyal to each other.

    Like

  28. Mohler sounds as though he’s SHOCKED that any men in the Southern Baptist Church are sexist, or have been abusing women, or mis-handling abuse cases.

    Yes, and he had NO IDEA, he such a wise and all knowing person! How could it be!

    Also, gender roles are still super important and gods good design etc.etc.

    You should read it though, because he touches on the fact that the conservative resurgence apparently resulted in a massive moral failure as predicted but still thinks the liberals are worse. For some reason.

    Basically, the whole article is how he’s been wrong about everything but he’s still 100% right about everything. Frustrating.

    Like

  29. Just for interest’s sake, I took a look at whether Texas requires anyone to report the sexual assault of an adult. Guess what? As far as I can tell, Texas mandatory reporting law only covers crimes against children. So Patterson is in compliance with the law no matter what he did–it’s a meaningless statement by the Board of Trustees. Why make such a statement? It is as if they’re hoping nobody is asking the obvious questions.

    On the flip side, the BOT is arguing that a police report was made, but the WashPo journalist says she looked and found nothing. I am thinking that the truth is going to come out in a few days, and I’m thinking that the fact that Patterson fired the one grad student despite no problems with him–and then made false allegations–is going to be indicative of their general truthfulness.

    Like

  30. Pingback: Paige Patterson, SWBTS, SBC Situation – Resource Links, Part 3 | Spiritual Sounding Board

  31. Pingback: Paige Patterson, SWBTS, SEBTS, SBC Situation – Resource Links, Part 4 | Spiritual Sounding Board

  32. Pingback: Paige Patterson on Domestic Violence: Audiofile Transcript and Resource Links | Spiritual Sounding Board

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