The SBC & #MeToo

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On Wednesday Night, May 9th, we will discuss the current controversy concerning the Southern Baptist Convention and the #MeToo movement. According to CBN, “religion writer Jonathan Merritt [son of former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr James Merritt] discovered a 2000 audio clip in which [Dr Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary] recommends that women facing abusive husbands pray for them and submit… Patterson also said that divorce is ‘always wrong counsel’ and that he had never counseled anyone to get one. He said there are different levels of abuse and that if serious enough, he might suggest a temporary separation… Patterson issued a statement saying he has never condoned any kind of abuse. Referencing the clip he said ‘my suggestion was never that women should stay in the midst of abuse, hoping their husbands would eventually come to Christ. Rather, I was making the application that God often used difficult things that happen to us to produce ultimate good.’ Patterson did affirm that he has never recommended divorce.”

Immediately, Southern Baptist Leaders like Albert Mohler (president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Thom Rainer (president of Lifeway), Russell Moore (president of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission), Kevin Ezell (president of the North American Mission Board), and Southern Baptist pastors J.D. Greear & Ken Hemphill (who will be nominated to serve as SBC president at the June meeting) began distancing themselves from Dr Patterson. Popular SBC Bible Teacher Beth Moore has voiced her opposition to Patterson’s comments.

Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College & former Executive Director of Lifeway Research, has urged Patterson to remove himself as the keynote preacher from the annual SBC which will be meeting in Dallas in June and for the Trustees to consider removing Patterson as President of the Seminary.

To add fuel to the fire, many news organizations are also reminding people that the SBC opposes the ordination of women and the SBC statement of faith [The Baptist Faith & Message] which was revised in 2000 (when Paige Patterson was President of the SBC) to read  “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”

Several news services also added that Patterson endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States from the chapel stage at SWBTS.

SO, back to our original question from Jonathan Merritt:

Are Southern Baptists ready for their #MeToo Moment?

  • No (69%, 9 Votes)
  • Not Sure (31%, 4 Votes)
  • Yes (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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