Paige Patterson, an influential Southern Baptist leader, has been under fire for his counsel to women parishioners throughout the years, leading to his recent removal as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In a letter written in early May to the SWBTS Board of Trustees, Southern Baptist women expressed their concern regarding Patterson’s teachings relating to womanhood, sexuality, and domestic violence. The letter now has over 3,000 signatures supporting that, “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.” Paige Patterson advised a battered wife to stay with her husband in hopes that he would convert. He also objectified a teenage girl, and both occurrences caused outrage within the congregation.
The Board of Trustees deliberated and delivered a statement on Wednesday that announced, “the Board determined to move in the direction of new leadership for the benefit of the future mission of the Seminary.” The board said it voted to appoint Patterson as “President Emeritus with compensation, effective immediately, which he accepted.” In his place, it appointed D. Jeffrey Bingham, dean of the school of theology at the Fort Worth-based seminary, as interim president.
Albert Mohler who serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote a letter addressing the matter that he named, “The Wrath of God Poured Out- The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention.” The letter describes his disappointment with the SBC and how he’s humiliated by the horrifying headlines of the SBCs #MeToo movement.
Mohler’s statement was dramatically concise depicting the state of transformation going on in organizations all across America. Of the abusers, Mohler says, “The judgment of God has come. Judgment has now come to the house of the Southern Baptist Convention. The terrible swift sword of public humiliation has come with a vengeance. There can be no doubt that this story is not over.”
Expressing sadness, he says that the SBC has been “morally compromised.” Mohler goes on the clear up the SBCs beliefs on womanhood explaining, “The SBC has affirmed complementarianism — the belief that the Bible reveals that men and women are equally made in God’s image, but that men and women were also created to be complements to each other, men and women bearing distinct and different roles.”
“There is no excuse whatsoever for abuse of any form, verbal, emotional, physical, spiritual or sexual. The Bible warns so clearly of those who would abuse power and weaponize authority. Every Christian church and every pastor and every church member must be ready to protect any of God’s children threatened by abuse and must hold every abuser fully accountable. The church and any institution or ministry serving the church must be ready to assure safety and support to any woman or child or vulnerable one threatened by abuse,” Mohler explains.
He then quotes Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Speaking prophetically, Mohler states, “This is just a foretaste of the wrath of God poured out.” He closes by saying, “This moment requires the very best of us. The Southern Baptist Convention is on trial, and our public credibility is at stake. May God have mercy on us all.”
The public humiliation of men in power who have abused women and children is like a cross-country train going full force ahead, and there is no stopping it. And according to Mohler, God is allowing His wrath to be poured out in these moments. As outlined in his letter, the Bible clearly teaches the complementary nature of men and women who are to cultivate healthy relationships that promote unity and love, not strife and abuse.
Albert Mohler. “The Wrath of God Poured Out- The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention.” AlbertMohler.com. . (2018): . . http://bit.ly/2GMGrVq
Scott Neuman. “Southern Baptist Leader Removed Over Remarks On Rape, Abuse Of Women.” NPR. . (2018): . . https://n.pr/2J4XBTi