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Paige Patterson removed as head of Southern Baptist seminary in #MeToo shake-up

Paige Patterson gives a report during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting on June 14, 2017, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Baptist Press/Adam Covington

(RNS) — Paige Patterson, the embattled president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s largest seminary, was asked to step down after an outpouring of criticism for his comments on women, including advice he gave to a woman to stay with her abusive husband and new reports he asked another woman not to report a rape.

The departure represents the most dramatic example of the #MeToo movement pervading the top reaches of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The board of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, met for 13 hours Tuesday (May 22) before issuing a statement thanking Patterson for his contributions and service to the school, after voting to make him president emeritus with compensation.

Last month a tape from the year 2000 surfaced in which Patterson said he never counsels divorce for abused women and then recounted an incident in which he told an abused woman to pray beside her bed at night and be “submissive in every way that you can.”

A more recent sermon also came to light that included a comment about the body of a teenage girl, and another criticized female seminarians who don’t work hard enough to look good.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that in 2003 Patterson told a woman who said she had been raped that she should not report her allegations to the police and encouraged her to forgive her alleged assailant.

The woman, a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., where Patterson was president at the time, was instead put on academic probation.

Paige Patterson speaks on Feb. 15, 2018, at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by Sarah Chelf/SWBTS

Response to the initial comments about abused women was swift. More than 3,200 Southern Baptist women signed an online letter asking the trustees to take action against Patterson.

“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 online letter dated May 6 said.

On Wednesday, one of the women who signed the petition said she felt relieved.

“If you had told me a month ago that Paige Patterson would be removed from his office, I would never have believed it,” said Karen Swallow Prior, a professor of English at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and a Southern Baptist.

“While there isn’t a statement yet from the board or from Patterson repenting of the particular patterns of behavior that prompted our petition, I think this is a dramatic first step toward that kind of recognition and repentance,” she added.

The board, which did not address any of the offending comments or actions that led to Patterson’s removal, also appointed D. Jeffrey Bingham, dean of the School of Theology, to the position of interim president.

Patterson’s removal is in some ways a sign that he had “overstayed his welcome,” said Bill Leonard, a professor of church history at Wake Forest University’s Divinity School in Winston-Salem, N.C. The 75-year-old Patterson’s authoritarian style and methods were no longer tolerated, even within the conservative SBC.

“He’s placed an emphasis on women’s role in the church that is fast being questioned, even in the confines of the present-day convention, as that letter signed by women asking for something to be done attests,” Leonard said. “These were not moderate, liberal women. These were women who came of age in the SBC and who challenged his particular theology of marriage and spouse abuse.”

Along with Judge Paul Pressler, a layman, and popular pastor Adrian Rogers, Patterson helped engineer the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention in the early 1980s.

For many years afterward, he was an undisputed gatekeeper who helped oust hundreds of moderates and liberals from their posts as administrators, department heads and professors.

His efforts were rewarded with coveted posts, first as president of Southeastern and then as president of Southwestern in Fort Worth, the denomination’s largest seminary.

But it was in his insistence on pushing back against feminism and the women’s movement and reinstating a biblical literalism when it comes to marriage, family, sex and the role of women that he made his mark.

Shortly after wresting control of the denomination, he helped push for a resolution opposing the ordination of women. In 1998, the year Patterson was elected president of the denomination, the convention amended its statement of faith to say “a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.”

That male-headship approach is reflected in Southwestern’s website, where a subsection about “mission, vision and values” titled “Man’s Need for Salvation” makes no mention of women.

Women do make an appearance on the website in the alumni section. A description of Southwestern “women’s auxiliary” begins with a quote from Titus 2:3-5: “Older women are … to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, pure, good homemakers, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.”

But social and cultural changes, which once allowed pastors to advise women to stay in abusive marriages because their husbands could be converted to faith by their wives’ steadfast witness, finally caught up with him.

Paige Patterson speaks on April 10, 2018, at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by Neil Williams/SWBTS

The #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault, as well as women’s growing demands for equality in pay and in the corridors of power, has swayed legions of Southern Baptist women and led to the #ChurchToo hashtag.

Even men joined in. In an article in Christianity Today, three Southern Baptist ministers, including J.D. Greear, a candidate for the presidency of the SBC, which meets next month in Dallas, wrote that church leaders are not undermining the institution of marriage by counseling abused women to separate from their husbands.

“There are certain situations of which physical abuse would be one, that done under the right counsel, we would say is a biblically permissible divorce,” said Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C.

Greear was a student of Patterson’s at Southeastern, where he received a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. in theological studies.

But on Wednesday, the pastor of The Summit, the region’s largest Baptist church, was unequivocal.

“There can be no ambiguity about the church’s responsibility to protect the abused and to be a safe place for the vulnerable,” Greear wrote in an email. “Abuse can never be tolerated, minimized, hidden, or ‘handled internally.’ Those in leadership who turn a blind eye toward abuse are complicit with it and must be held accountable. I hope that in the days to come, Southern Baptists will make that clear and act accordingly.”

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

93 Comments

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  • So basically, the SBC still believes that an abused wife should be submissive to her husband. The SBC leadership is proof-positive of the words of Jesus – “Wherever two or more control freaks gather in my name, there will hypocrisy be also.”

  • Shorter version: old straight white man is given several “Mulligans” until the threat of too much bad PR and the loss of cash meant he finally had to go.

  • This post doesn’t make sense in light of Patterson’s removal. This article makes extremely clear to everybody that the SBC does NOT believe that abused wives should remain with their abuser husbands, nor should rape victims let rapist bums slide.

  • When I read this kind of stuff, it reminds me of something I learned about penguins when I was a kid. When a group of penguins come to the edge of the water, they all crowd around each other until one falls in. Then the rest wait and look to see if a predator is waiting in the water to eat their friend. If not, they all jump in.

    It’s kind of the penguin version of the logic of Caiaphas — “better for one man to die for the people…” Sounds like the SBC endorses the same reasoning. I hope they learn from this, but I’m not optimistic.

  • The SBC control freaks made sure his resignation came with a whole lot of perks. We know them by what they do, not by what they say.

  • Patterson did not voluntarily resign. He was effectively forced out.

    Complain all you want about “perks” — but the forced resignation is the important part of the story.

    That’s the proof — the “what they do”, as you put it — that the SBC has truly rejected Patterson’s un-biblical views on marriage, abuse, rape, etc..

  • Talking about moral relativism from the people who insist that they are the only ones with morals, and that all morals come from the Bible…

    Certain cirscumstances where divorce is biblically permissible. Jesus said no except for adultery. There is the Pauline exception.

    And then there are the hyper Christians who want a divorce.

    Holy St. Mulligan!

  • Got a biblically sound reason for that, or do you just need to ask a few elders to grant a mulligan?

  • Twenty passages concerning divorce from biblestudytools.com, and not one of them permits divorce for any reason except adultery.

    God hates divorce, or so we are told, unless you got some baptists or COGIC elders who give you permission.

    Whenever the Bible says something inconvenient, it certainly can’t mean THAT. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  • Good news. Hopefully this will help a lot of Southern Baptist women realize that they’re in an abusive relationship with their church.

  • Trust is not immediately given to those who have broken it which at this point is all SBC has done to women. What they do NOW remains to be seen. Patterson’s removal is a start only.

  • I have a very biblically sound reason. I mentioned it in my own words (and Bible citation) not too long ago, and also offered Denny Burk’s link — or I think I offered it.

    But just in case I didn’t share Burk’s article with everybody, here it is again, no problem.

    Women, you do NOT have to stay with an abuser. You are not at biblical fault if you leave him and divorce him. The Bible’s rap is on HIM. You grab the kids and get out of there while you can.

    http://www.dennyburk.com/what-about-divorce-and-abuse/

  • Given the SBCs dismal history, this is a welcome development. I hope that it will give the woman in this denomination the courage to continue fighting.

  • You see Ben, when somebody points out straight from the Bible that you’re wrong about something, (in this case, your false claim that adultery is the ONLY divorce-exemption situation in the Bible), you try to escape what’s being said.

    Always looking for an escape-hatch, no? But times are tough, and escape-hatches are in very short supply these days.

    I see that your link has 1 Cor. 7:11-13 in there. Surprise surprise, Denny Burk’s article also has 1 Cor. 7:10-15 — the same passage with two extra verses to provide more context. So you done offered a link that refutes your own position.

  • Take it up with bible studies.com, not with me. But since you want to play, I DID mention the Pauline exception.
    Still, aside from Paul who contradicted Jesus, the 20 or so passages in biblestudies.com STILL say no divorce except for adultery.
    Un less, of course, you have some church elders inclined to give you a mulligan.

  • Do you actually read your citations?

    From Burkes article: ” Jesus therefore instructs us that divorce is prohibited except in cases in which one spouse has committed sexual immorality against another.”

    That’s pretty unequivocal, coming from the mouth of god and all that. Except, of course, the burke then decides that he is the master of Jesus and not the other way around.

    “In my 2013 book on sexual ethics, I argue that “abused spouses should separate from abusive situations in order to protect themselves and their children” (What Is the Meaning of Sex, p. 135). That separation is a necessity for the safety and welfare of the family. An abusive spouse has made choices that force a separation, and the abuse therefore can become tantamount to desertion. That is why I conclude that when the abuser “leaves” the marriage in this way, the “exception for desertion comes into play (1 Cor. 7:15). In any case, the victim must be protected and the abuser sanctioned”
    He just created his very own exception, just by using the throwaway, barely noticed words “abuse therefore can become tantamount to desertion.” Well, sure, that sounds reasonable, to any thinking, compassionate concerned person.
    BUT ITS NOT WHAT JESUS SAID, IT’S NOT WHAT PAUL SAID.
    It’s what Holy St. Mulligan said.

  • Jim, if you want to deal with technicalities, please know it is an extremely rare abusive situation where the husband is not also involved in some kind of pornography. But let’s dig deeper into Jesus’ words re: adultery. What is it about adultery that ruins the marital relationship? Four things: 1) it breaks God’s picture of Himself in marriage: faithfulness, merciful, gracious, forgiving, available, putting self aside. 2) it makes the spouse unsafe physically and emotionally – there are transmittable diseases, and a real inability to trust the adulterer. 3) The adulterous spouse profanes the marriage by making it a hell on earth, the opposite of what it is supposed to be. 4) most importantly, adultery breaks God’s marital portrayal of Himself as our faithful, covenant-keeping Husband. Abuse does all the above (leaving off the sexually transmitted diseases), plus it puts the abused spouse’s very life in danger.

  • Okay. So we NOW have a Jesus exception, and a Pauline exception. Finally.

    (We’re making progress here Ben, are we not?)

    By the way, neither Jesus nor Paul contradict each other here.
    (Unless, of course, you believe that Jesus is happy with wives being slapped around, shot dead, beaten in front of the kids, burned alive, etc. Is that what you believe?)

  • Actually, spousal abandonment is also a permitted reason for divorce. And in in most abusive marriages, the abuser has left in every way: emotionally, physically (oh, he may be in the house, but only as controller of the wife and kids, ensuring compliance to his whims), spiritually and psychologically.

  • Okay, Ben. Go ahead and accuse Diann of moral relativism. She’s obviously giving out mulligans today.

  • So for you, the Bible doesn’t exist except for the words of Jesus?

    Ain’t gonna work, Jim. Jesus himself said in John 10:35 that the Scriptures were “unbreakable” and the “word of God.”

    But only the Old Testament existed at that time, so it’s clear that Jesus did NOT claim that ONLY his direct statments counted as Scripture.

    So yeah, now you gotta do like Ben and concede “the Pauline exception.” Because that is Scripture too.

  • Ben, Paul did not contradict Jesus. Paul was sent by Jesus to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. In the Jewish world of Jesus’ day, if one spouse abandoned the other, they were cut off from the community and lived among the pagans. If they stayed in the community, their abandonment was grievous and they were (probably) to be stoned. Divorce was rarer still. It just wasn’t done. It was a betrayal of God, family, and community. But in the Greco-Roman world, divorce was not so rare. And other cultural issues – slavery, homosexuality/lesbianism, eating at a friend’s house where the food had been offered to other gods- had to be dealt with. And one very real scenario was that of new Christian, say, a former Caesar-worshipper, (or any of the Greco-Roman pantheon) whose spouse was unconverted. Does this Christian stay in the marriage? What happens if that spouse leaves? Do I have hope of winning them to Christ? These are the questions that arose, and were answered by Paul.

  • I have a theory about why Jesus condemned divorce that seldom gets mentioned: in first-century Palestine women were the property of their husbands. When their husbands cast them off for a younger model these women were mostly left destitute to fend for themselves as best they could, which usually meant begging or prostitution. Jesus pitied these women and had their best interests in mind when he made that exhortation against divorce so that the men would honor the vows they made.

  • Do you actually have a citation for that?

    the abuser has left in every way: Has left in every way except for actually LEAVING. More biblical and moral relativism, finding a biblical excuse for what you want to do.

    According to this link, here are 100 verses about spousal abandonment. As far as I can tell, not one of them says anything about it.

    https://www.openbible.info/topics/spouse_abandonment

  • I agree to the jesus exception and the bible exception. I said so. But paul makes an exception that Jesus did not. But then you wrote this:
    (Unless, of course, you believe that Jesus is happy with wives being slapped around, shot dead, beaten in front of the kids, burned alive, etc. Is that what you believe?)
    Can you show me where jesus added the floydLee exception? Because I can’t seem to find it anywhere, and I have googled this a number of times.
    And this is my entire point. YOUR bible says whatever YOU need it to say. Maybe “the spirit” is moving you, just as “the spirit” moves all of the people who reject viciously antigay “theology”. It’s all a matter of whose Christi is being crucified, isn’t it?

  • Paul said “abandonment” or “desertion”, right? Burk is pointing out that an Abuser is FORCING an abandonment / desertion situation. So the rap’s on him, NOT the woman.

    Ben, I don’t know if you’ve ever been involved in an abuse situation (either a relative’s, or as a pastoral counselor, or even being called on to help move a pregnant lady’s belongings out of an abuser’s dorm room before the abuser returned — be it one hour or one minute. Hell’s bells, what a night that was).

    Well, I’ve been on all three assignments, and I already KNOW, straight-up, exactly how and why Burk got it right. He’s following the Pauline Scripture spot-on, he ain’t making anything up.

  • Well, Jesus said no divorce except for adultery. Paul added his own exception. Jesus didn’t say “You can listen to Paul and not to me.” You’re adding that in.

  • You’re still trying to prove that divorce when you want it is acceptable. The Pauline exception, as far as I can tell, does not deal with either.

  • I do. The pre-eminent one is Ephesians 5:25-29, which teaches what a husband’s responsibilities are to his wife spiritually; 1 Timothy 5:8 and 1 Corinthians 7:3, which teach what his responsibilities are physically (please note the reciprocity and “with permission” aspects of how he is to “use” her body physically; Proverbs 5:18, where the husband is to rejoice in his wife (and many other Proverbs, where he is to be ravished by her, faithful to her, etc); 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, which teaches what a husband’s responsibilities to all people (presumably ESPECIALLY his wife) are; and I could go on, but you get the picture. Just as real worship of the Lord Jesus means the opposite of being pharisaically present, yawning while one checks “did what God told me to do” off of a “things to do today” list, so being physically present in a marriage only to control – and worse, to physically or verbally harm – the people living under one’s roof is actually the same as if one were a million miles away.

  • One thing I try to do Ben, isto give credit due. You ARE now acknowledging that there’s more than one exception, (one Jesus + one Paul), so sincere thanks.

    But having said that, it’s clear that using the Bible’s divorce teachings to stick the rap of “moral relativism” on Christians just ain’t gonna work.

    The (very real) situations I mentioned, are evil violations of multiple things Jesus said, starting with the Golden Rule. Jesus ain’t telling wives (or even girlfriends) to stay in that mess. Git outta there.

    But I’m not making up exceptions here. You got Jesus and you got Paul. Abusive Bums fall under Paul’s category.

  • Where does Jesus or Paul say that “divorce when you want it is acceptable”? Nobody’s even saying that. Please stop flailing and just try to listen.

    Abusive Bums force a Pauline situation there (abandonment, desertion). In fact, if you’ll recall, it’s a violation and repudiation of your own traditional public marriage vows when you slap around or punch out the person you PROMISED you’d love & cherish. You done abandoned your own wife when you punch her out.

    Shoot, even if you’re GAY, you (as an abuser) got NO right for your victim to stay with you any longer. Get HIM outta there too, and I’ll even help him move his belongings out, just as fast as I helped move a woman’s belongings out. I ain’t picky!!

  • Revise vthe biblical passage pease. Otherwise, you are just blowing smoke.

    Jesus certainly didn’t say it. He said NO DIVORCE EXCEPT FOR ADULTERY.

    As far as I can tell, Paul didn’t say it either.

  • The accounts of the divorce argument in the Gospels don’t make clear whether the Pharisees questioning Jesus were of the school of Hillel, which allowed divorce liberally, or that of Shammai, which allowed divorce only for sexual immorality. So maybe Jesus was just agreeing with Shammai.

  • The bottom line is that Burk and the other anti-Pattersonites? have commendably recognized a modern problem, looked at the Bible, and found a way to solve the problem that is not obvious from the text and is unlikely to have been countenanced in the first century. It is their INTERPRETATION of the Bible that has led them to this solution. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Let’s just say I’m going to stick it in my pocket for the next time Christians accuse the you-know-whos of “adding to God’s law,” “following the traditions of men,” and “inventing new laws for new situations.”

  • Well, one rodeo at a time, they say. Today I’m just settling for cattle-roping this “Moral Relativism” argument.

  • “Just as real worship of the Lord Jesus means the opposite of being pharisaically present, yawning while one checks ‘did what God told me to do” off of a “things to do today’ list,”
    Floydlee, call your office.

  • So you are actually saying that though it isn’t in the Bible, and expressly not what the Bible says about the subject of divorce-x we’re not talking about the golden rule, but where Jesus or Paul says divorce is permissible—you can find it in the Bible because YOU want it to be there.

    I’m still waiting for biblical passages to justify divorce other than in what Jesus said or what Paul said. I have yet to see those passages. are you going to show them to me?

  • And not one of those passages provides a reason for divorce, except that you and Floyd wish to interpret them that way, adding to god’s word, as arbustin puts it.

    Are you divorced for some reason besides adultery?

  • Burk is reading into itvehat he wants to read into it. Abandonment has a very specific meaning. Calling something else abandonment when the husband clearly wNts to stay in the marriage with the wife he is abusing isn’t abandonment. Quite the opposite.

  • But nowhere does the Bible say you can have a divorce if your husband is abusive and beats the crap out of you.

    You,re seeing what you want to see, unless you can provide the precise biblical passage that says what you say it says.

    I’ll wait.

  • “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,”

    I haven’t laughed this hard in a while. Maybe since Jan 20th, 2017.

    His words and actions are actually exceedingly in line with Southern Baptist views and teachings, in my experience. It’s just that bad press = less money and they needed a scapegoat. A warning, really, for the upper echelon to do things the time honored way of stating vague platitudes with a wink and a nod.

  • Oh don’t worry Arbustin, I got you right around the top of the Speed Dial Apologetics list. I know I ain’t been doing the proper Fundie Customer Service for you, and I hereby apologize.

    I’m even going to surf a Dr. Michael Brown book later this evening in your honor. Gonna see if I can quickly find one or two Messianic talking-points or fight-starters in there, to insert into these threads soon.

    But I ain’t no spring chicken; I gotta take a few Pandora breaks every now and then!!

  • But it’s such an easy point to dissect & dissolve, Ben. There’s just “what Jesus said” and “what Paul said.” Nobody’s adding other stuff.

    What you’re seeing, is how we Christians APPLY the two Scripture exceptions to certain marital situations. Not adding more, merely applying what’s there.

    So honestly? Diann has done a helluva job fielding your inquiries. You can always tell when somebody know what they talking about both in the Scripture and on the Street.

  • But you ARE adding something to what Jesus said and what Paul said. They didn’t say a thing about your spouse beating the crap out of you. That is what YIU are adding to it, by pretending that abandon,ent means something it doesn’t. Abandoning vows to love, honor and cherish, absolutely. But not abandoning the marriage.

    Keep trying.

  • At least you’re NOW making sure to say “what Jesus said or what Paul said.” Took so very very long, just to get to that stage.

    Abusive Bum situations are covered under Paul’s, so that pretty much does it. We got what Jesus said and what Paul said, and sometimes people ask about how those apply or don’t apply to their personal circumstances.

    We don’t add anything; we carefully and prayerfully listen and look at the circumstances, we just obey and **apply** those two texts, and then give a straight “yes one of the biblical exceptions applies to this situation, here’s how” or “no these circumstances, though real, do not meet what Jesus said and Paul said.”

  • Oh yeah, Jesus and Paul really approve of spouses getting the crap beaten out of them. (In front of the kids too, just for fun.)

    Good to know your true position, Ben. Good Bible skills there.

  • Ben, there is no schism between Paul and Jesus. To hear and obey the Word of God, whichever author God used for transmission, is to hear and obey Jesus.

  • He has abandoned his responsibility to his wife when he abuses her. She is free. Suppose a man promises God one sunny morning that he will cherish God as long as he is alive. But he realizes at some point that he actually thinks everything pertaining to God and the Bible is foolishness, and really, deep down, he disgusted by it, annoyed by it. Only one problem: by the time he has decided this, he has certain connections in the church. Business, family, buddies he watches basketball games with. So he goes for those things; he’s not a Hyacinth Bucket or anything – God forbid! – but he doesn’t mind keeping up appearances. And after all, the church building is on the historic registry and he DOES enjoy history. But one Sunday, he goes and he gets angry at the pastor. He yells at the pastor the next Sunday. Kisses the offering – oh how he loathed giving them one cent of his hard earned money, but he did – kisses that claptrap goodbye. One morning, he slyly stuck out his foot and caused Deacon Darius to trip as Darius was passing the communion tray. The next week he punched out Brother Brett in the vestibule while using the foulest language imaginable. And every Sunday after that, he continued his harmful
    ways. Until one day, he was told: enough is enough. You must leave and never return until you have demonstrated over time that you have truly repented. Our main character decides no one has the right to treat him with such disdain and threatens to kill them all.
    Judge, Ben: is this man “there”, or had he utterly abandoned the worship of God?

  • I would argue that spousal abuse is a form of adultery. It is a breach in the marriage covenant, where the abuser uses their spouse as a punching bag, which is anything but loving, honoring, or cherishing them.

  • Though I agree with the biblical view that men are the head of the home and that the wife is to respect, submit, and Obey him, and I do believe that he has The Authority in the home as leader, and has God’s permission given to him going back to the Garden of Eden, to back that Authority up, he is to do it, not by punching his wife in the face or raping her or kicking her around like she’s a punching bag. But he’s to love her as Christ loved the church and even gave his life for the church. The man is to act in the same manner is Christ. She is to be loved, adored, and cherished by her husband. So to tell a woman that she should not make a police report stating that she was raped by even her husband, was wrong. Yes, she should pray for her husband, but no, she should not just let it slide by. She has the responsibility to her own safety, and the safety of our children, if they have any, to report him. I also believe that she has grounds for divorce. He is breaking his vows in one of the worst ways, and she has grounds for divorce in my opinion. And I do not believe God would want her to stay in a marriage where she is being treated like she’s subhuman and a piece of trash and being punched in the face, getting her arms busted or anything like that. She does have grounds for divorce.

    Now let me make one thing perfectly clear. Everybody wants to make it out like it’s always the woman who was abused. It would be the same thing if a woman was physically abusing her husband, or abusing him and ANY such way. Same rules apply for her as it does for him. He should make a police report on her if she’s beating him up. It should not be just one-sided. Because 40% of men are abused in one way or the other by their wives, even physically and sexually. So I don’t want to hear it’s just one-sided. Because it’s not!

  • Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:27, Mark 3:1-6.
    God desires mercy. Marriage is made to meet the needs of people, not the other way around. If you saw a crying, trapped animal, you would set that free, right? How much more a battered spouse/children!

  • I absolutely agree with you about that. I’m not opposed to divorce at all. I’m also not the person who is declaring divorce is against god’s will, except when it isn’t.

    This is what I am talking about. God’s word applies to other people, but not to a theoretical “me”, because it doesn’t for that “me.”

    In short, I’m talking about different sets of standards applied to different people.

    Anita Bryant made a career out of attacking gay people and our participation in society, going on and on about god, when she wasn’t lying through her yellow teeth. …Anita “I need to” Bryant got divorced from her first husband, Bob green, for unspecified offenses against her finances. Before she got divorced from Green, she stated that divorce was against everything she stood for, and everything she believed, except for the part about inconveniencing her.

  • If I punch you repeatedly, is that sexual immorality? If so, then the term no longer has any meaning.

  • I probably should have written “Divorce was rare, abandonment rarer.” Thank you for the correction.

  • By any standard of decency, he should have been gone seconds after his actions became known.

    Too bad he can’t be criminally charged as an accessory to rape and battery.

  • One could argue that Patterson should have been fired, not allowed to resign, even under pressure.

    The message that his conduct was entirely unacceptable would be stronger, I think, if he was summarily fired.

  • So this is how Southern Baptists apply the appropriate disciplinarian Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 5:5, to brother Paige Patterson’s fall from grace?

    Apparently, for them “to have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” – that meant “the board [has] passed a motion through a majority vote”:

    (1) “to appoint Dr. Patterson as President Emeritus with compensation, effective immediately”!

    (2) “to affirm the … offer for [him] to live on campus … at the Baptist Heritage Center, scheduled to be completed in July 2018”!

    Source: SWBTS Board of Trustees, “Statement Regarding Dr. Paige Patterson”, The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), May 23, 2018.

  • His firing is just “window dressing”. SBC theology is still that women are subservient to men. Women still have to get permission from the men in her church for a separation or divorce. If they decide she isn’t being beaten all that bad, they can still make her stay with her husband. If she goes ahead anyway and gets a separation or divorce, she’ll be cast out. What I can’t figure out is why in 2018 any woman would accept subservient status from any religion.

  • I have read and re-read this particular response of yours. It is a stunningly written example of ad hominem, red herring and changing the subject all rolled into one bitter post. And it is your bitterness that is most troubling, for it will kill you.

    If you are a Christian, your response is to forgive Anita Bryant for her perceived wrongs against you and other gays, turn your hurt and the situation over to God, and pray for her. Of course you may also boycott her media and hold her accountable politically.

    If you are not a Christian (I am guessing this is the case, because of your prior legalistic interpretations of the Bible and your seeming lack of love for Christians), then I commend you to John 3, and Romans 3. The Son of God loves you, and gave Himself for you. He desires a life for you where you love others and give yourself for them. Perceived enemies included.

  • If I’m not mistaken, the word f***, is originally derived from a word which meant “to strike.” The takeaway would be that to objectify a person and use them for vulgar pleasure is corrupt, vile, immoral.

  • So, there are no exceptions for gay people, even though one may have known that unshakeable urge from the outset of sexual desire? If the so-called proscriptions against homosexuality are taken literally only, how does divorce get a “mulligan” as Ben says.

  • Of course this is not the topic at hand. However, mankind is created in God’s image and is the crown of His creation because he is not merely instinctual, following powerful biological urges, but created specifically to follow in God’s footsteps. This much I know: heterosexuals have no less urges than homosexuals. And no matter what sex you are attracted to, the proscription is the same: flee sexual immorality. Keep yourself pure until marriage. Keep yourself pure after marriage. Your body is God’s, not your own, once you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    As for marriage and what it is, that is delineated in the Holy Bible. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, could have turned over Temple tables by noting that God permitted homosexual and lesbian marriages. This he did not do, and instead he everywhere refers to marriage as a male-female paradigm.

    In our current civil society, same-sex marriage is permissible. Thus the question for modern mankind truly is the same as it always has been: taking up one’s cross and following Christ in deep love, winning others to Him, or judging and despising those who disagree with you sexually, culturally or politically.

  • Jesus is God. He knew the New Testament before one word of it was penned: He chose the text, time and author of each Gospel and Epistle. He is the Word (Genesis to Revelation) made flesh, and nothing in the Holy Bible was left to chance.

  • Understood. The point is, however, that Jesus himself (in John 10:35) refuted any notion that Scripture texts could be blown off or ignored merely from not being the direct quoted statements of Jesus himself.

  • I’m going to come to Ben’s defense here.

    I was around in 1977 when Anita Bryant launched her hateful crusade against gay people. I had just come out of the closet to myself as a high school student and was buoyed by a cover story in Newsweek Magazine the year before (the bicentennial year) which talked about what free and open lives gay people were living in San Francisco. That article gave me hope for the future. Only a year later Anita Bryant’s crusade dumped cold water all over my early excitement about coming to terms with myself. She was a hateful witch who used her position to gain further fame and money to increase her coffers at gay people’s expense. If you weren’t there you have no idea how awful a person she was and to what degree she set back the cause of gay rights in this country. She paved the way for Jerry Falwell who came after her.

    So I give Ben a “Mulligan” and so should you. The scars she personally inflicted on innumerable peoples’ psyches still remain after all these years.

  • Thus the question for modern mankind truly is the same as it always has been: taking up one’s cross

    If you’re saying that gay people just have to accept traditional church teaching about marriage as between one man and one woman (even though biblical marriage often meant one man and many women) as a way of “taking up our cross” in order to follow Jesus, who said nothing about homosexuality, then I have this to say to you:

    When, and only when, you yourself are willing to abandon all sexual contact with your husband in the name of “taking up your cross” will you have license to lecture gay people to do the same. Not until. Get it? Until then you can keep your lecturing to yourself, thank you very much!

  • Good riddance for this troglodyte! It’s several years since he should have been shown the front door, for his attitudes and comments about women.

    The Southern Baptist denomination just advanced by about 50 years.

  • It is not your place to hand out mulligans for anyone’s behavior, and you are unwise to attempt such a thing because another human being acted like he could. (2 Corinthians 10:12).
    While I thank you for responding to my reply, I will no more discuss homosexuality in this thread. If you have anything more to say about women and the unwise counsel they have been subjected to by religious authorities, I may have something to add to that conversation.

  • Might I suggest that you scroll down a little further because I did have something further to say to you about your attitudes towards gay people, whether you like it or not.

  • So heterosexuals get love, romance, sex, marriage and family, and gay people get whatever the interpreters of their holy bible decide they get.

  • Jesus said to receive those who He sends in His Name – the authors He chose to write Scripture – is to receive Him, and to reject their teaching is to reject Him. Thus when Paul writes about marriage, it is authoritative. Whatever
    else Jesus failed to specifically mention, He most certainly pointed out that which constitutes marriage in His (i e, God’s) eyes (Matthew 19:4-6). Also, please note: in no part of the Bible do you have multiple marriages being lauded, and in fact almost every instance of it brought great grief upon the family. In only one instance is an additional marriage required: if a brother dies without children, the bereaved wife was to be taken in and provided for. In the era when the Jewish people were expecting the birth of the Messiah, this “raise up seed for them” injunction was no small thing, for it kept a woman’s hopes of being in the Messianic promise alive. It was a protection and provision for the widowed, whom God ever keeps His eye upon, not a marital mulligan for men.

    Of course, you are free to reject His Way, His Word, and His will, which you unceremoniously thump as “traditional church teaching.” God is gracious and lets us make our own decisions.

  • Paul also told women to sit down and shut up in church. Since this a religious forum I’d say that counts as “church” (koinonia, community, etc.) So if you want to be completely consistent in your traditional biblical views, maybe it’s time for you to sit down, shut up, and let the men around here do all the talking. Just sayin’.

  • A discussion forum – even a religiously themed one – is VASTLY different from a church service.

  • WRONG! Any community which shares Jesus as its center (which many around here do) can loosely be described as being “church.” And since you continue to “persist,” as Mitch McConnell intoned about Elizabeth Warren, I’d say you are, using your own logic (everything St. Paul says is tantamount to Jesus saying it) being a very sinful, very naughty girl who is persisting. Time to repent, go to church, sit down, and above all, shut up when you get there!

  • In this present age, we do have to “deal with” poisonous, ridiculous proclamations of other people.
    Perhaps the saddest aspect of dealing with it is watching men follow the darkness of each other rather than the glorious light of Christ’s way.

  • Actually, no. Church members gather as cleansed, redeemed, washed in the blood worshipers of the Lord Jesus Christ to celebrate our risen Lord and Savior. Jesus is the center of worship in church; that is not the focus of this discussion board.

  • Of course, there IS that 3rd option still out there.

    The one where Jesus breaks the chains, set you free, heal you up, give you new power, and a new, Non-Gay self-identity.

    Quite a few folks these days, are saying He’s into that sort of thing. 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 John 1:9.

  • Thank you Jesus for an answer to my prayers!!! Now hopefully we can see a turn around in the SBC chauvinistic attitude toward women.
    I was a domestic violence victim and was beat for years, left twice to die and hospitalized numerous times……..and I too was told that divorce wasn’t an option, to just submit more and I wouldn’t “give him a reason to beat me”! That kept me in bondage for years and it is all BULL! You Don’t submit to your abuser, unless you want to be abused more! And how does abuse fulfill Colossians 3:19 ?
    Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
    I was released by the Lord to leave and take my two small children to safety. There is nowhere in God’s economy that says a woman and her children have to stay in a marriage and be abused. It was the best decision I ever made.
    As to the definition of adultery, it also means unfaithfulness, disloyal and hardness of heart. In order to commit adultery, one has already hardened their heart toward God, or they would not be able to commit such a sinful act, therefore that person has already broken the marriage vows, leaving the spouse to be freed if they so desire. The same can be said for abuse, in order to commit such an atrocity their heart has been hardened toward God(adultery) and a spouse is no longer obligated to the marriage vows and free to leave. My licensed Christian counselor put it this way to me…
    “Which is the greater sin, to get a divorce or to live in continual strife?”
    One can be forgiven and one cannot! We have been called to live in peace……..which I now am surrounded by. Thank you Lord! And now I am a woman of Peace that the Lord called to be ordained into the ministry! So YES women you can be a Senior Pastor, read the book
    Why Not Women by Loren Cunningham and all of the questions and gray areas will be answered and cleared up….As women we comprise 2/3 of the body of SBC don’t tell me God has benched us! because in Him we are all one in Christ neither male nor female! We are equall in the Kingdom to do His good will and pleasure as He calls us to do! Just like Phoebe, and Junia and Deborah and Priscilla and the army of women in Psalms 68:11 where The Lord gives instructions to….
    The women who announce the good news are a large army!. OH Yeah!…….God Bless and heed the call!!!

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