Evangelicals are having their own #MeToo moment

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Jim's picture

https://pjmedia.com/faith/paige-patterson-the-southern-baptist-conventio...

As an elder (a pastor) in an SBC church, I want to add my voice to the growing number of people denouncing Patterson's words and calling for his resignation. The abuse of women is a heinous sin before God, and any leader of a church that takes the abuse of women less seriously than it deserves disqualifies himself for the ministry. Secondarily, Patterson has brought reproach upon the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Southern Baptist Convention.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

In the midst of the feeding frenzy, a couple of more balanced articles about Dr. Paige Patterson: 

Paige Patterson Clarifies Domestic Violence Stance

http://www.bpnews.net/50802/patterson-clarifies-domestic-violence-stance

David L. Allen on the Way Forward

“Some are linking comments made by Dr. Patterson in a counseling situation fifty-four years ago with comments made more recently and are now calling for his resignation or termination. No doubt some of this concern is genuine and some people feel that strong action should be taken. On the other hand, the way the issue is being treated, especially on social media, is dishonest and misleading on the part of others. Disagreement does not warrant being ugly and ungodly. I have observed what appears to be a fair amount of feigned outrage, piling on, double standard, virtue signaling, and some just good old-fashioned reprehensible behavior. Sadly, Christianity has its own version of the drive-by media.”  -Dr. David L. Allen

http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/paige-patterson-the-way-forward/

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

David, just go to the comments Patterson has made in the past 18 years, most of which are available on YouTube.  He royally screwed up a domestic violence situation--the victim is lucky if she didn't get broken bones, a concussion, or worse--described a teen girl in crude sexual terms, asserted false witness by SNAP without evidence provided, and more.  The SNAP attacks are especially interesting because all they were suggesting was that the SBC keep a list of people shown the door for sexual sins so other SBC (or perhaps non-SBC) churches and ministries know not to hire them.  That's all.  

If you're trying to illustrate the problems of circling the wagons by interested parties, and how independent auditors seem to be needed for a huge portion of fundagelicalism, you're doing a great job, but if you're trying to interact intelligently with recent allegations against Mr. Patterson, you're not doing so well. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

....tu quoque, David.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

...if you listen to Piper's words, he's saying that the woman should have the church step in and deal with the husband's sin.  His tone is basically apologetic and sad that he's got to deal with this, and he basically says start church discipline (perhaps more) after the first offense.  That's quite different from Patterson's rather triumphal tone at a woman's shiners and possible/likely concussions/broken bones, and that when it was at least the second offense.  So not only were you engaging a tu quoque fallacy (you too), you're also misrepresenting the impact and meaning of Piper's words.

It's also worth noting that those words were in 2009, and in 2015, Piper's church walked it back.  It's Mr. Patterson's turn now. You do him no favors by trying to defend him this way. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Andrew K's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

John Piper said much worse than Paige Patterson ever said about wives and abusive husbands.  Will the same crowd that condemns Patterson now be consistent and condemn Piper? 

Probably not.

http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2018/05/how-do-ed-stetze...

David R. Brumbelow

You've got to be joking me.

Peter Lumpkins, the guy who tries to see every problem in the church through a frenetic Calvinism/Arminianism paradigm is... trying to see this issue through his Calvinism/Arminianism paradigm.

Ugh. The man needs a better hobby.

GregH's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

John Piper said much worse than Paige Patterson ever said about wives and abusive husbands.  Will the same crowd that condemns Patterson now be consistent and condemn Piper? 

Probably not.

http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2018/05/how-do-ed-stetze...

David R. Brumbelow

I will...

I think some of Piper's apparent views on abuse and marriage are horrific. I would not want my daughter marrying someone like Piper. Frankly, there is a lot of smoke there beyond just his words.

EDIT: I wrote what I did based on what I already knew about Piper without watching the video link. In regards to the video link, what he says is dangerous nonsense. It is pathetic that a guy that is so smart in some ways is so stupid about this topic. 

Bert Perry's picture

As I heard things, what I heard is that Piper's view in 2009, since modified by Bethlehem Baptist in 2015, is that after the first instance of physical abuse, the church ought to get involved.  Now if you note he ought to have added that the police should get involved, too, I'm with you, but otherwise I'm at a loss as to see what is "dangerous nonsense" there.  As I see things, getting church discipline started after the first (known) incident seems to be something of a big step forward for a lot of fundagelicals.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

As I heard things, what I heard is that Piper's view in 2009, since modified by Bethlehem Baptist in 2015, is that after the first instance of physical abuse, the church ought to get involved.  Now if you note he ought to have added that the police should get involved, too, I'm with you, but otherwise I'm at a loss as to see what is "dangerous nonsense" there.  As I see things, getting church discipline started after the first (known) incident seems to be something of a big step forward for a lot of fundagelicals.

There are lots of warning flags about Piper based on teaching ("permanency of marriage" legalism) and his own marriage. However, in regards to this particular video, I really don't know where to start. Come to the church rather than the police? Um, no. Submit to being slapped once in a while? Are you kidding me? Try to reason with an abuser? That is beyond naive.

It is possible that Piper's church is large and experienced enough to have real care for the abused. And while he did not say it, perhaps their first step in abuse situations is to get the victim into a safe place to live separate from the abuser. If so, it is the exception to the rule and he needs to be more careful. Pretending like the church is the first stop for a typical abused person is a disaster. Churches will mishandle these situations all day long, believing the abuser over the victim, sending the victim back into the abuse with the delusion that they can exert control over what will happen, giving bad advice about being more submissive, etc. 

Bert Perry's picture

I interpreted Piper's comments as saying people would come after one instance, not that he would tolerate it if it were known by him to be repeated.  Moreover--and I write this as the son of a domestic violence victim and the friend of others--it's very common for victims to come to friends first and then the police.  So starting church discipline in the matter as Piper describes occurs a lot.

No argument that a lot of churches make a hash of it, and those who speak of marriage being indissoluble really muddy the waters--it is as if the Sermon on the Mount and 1 Cor. 7 never existed for them.  But read without an ingoing animus against Piper, I simply can't come to your conclusion. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

I interpreted Piper's comments as saying people would come after one instance, not that he would tolerate it if it were known by him to be repeated.  Moreover--and I write this as the son of a domestic violence victim and the friend of others--it's very common for victims to come to friends first and then the police.  So starting church discipline in the matter as Piper describes occurs a lot.

Piper's words were to the effect of she should "endure" a season of verbal abuse and "being smacked one night". At some point, the inference is she is fine to stop enduring but for a time, she should endure those things that as he puts it "are not sin but just hurt her."

Piper of course taken a lot of heat for this video and it has been discussed a lot online. He eventually tried to "clarify" but as many noted, he never issued an apology for misleading women that might have stayed around after getting "smacked one night." Yes, Piper is right there with Patterson and eventually this is going to catch up with him too. As it should.

 

 

John E.'s picture

Similar to how Caner brought Brewton-Parker to the precipice of financial ruin, Paige Patterson has nearly bankrupted Southwestern. Sources close to the board tell me that Patterson is on the way out. Alongside it all is the issue of Patterson's "retirement" house on campus that he pitched as a history museum. My sources tell me that he is going to be denied access to his "retirement" home. There is a contingent among the SBC leadership that is fed up with Patterson and is quietly working for his imminent ouster. The problem in regards to his prime preaching spot at the Convention in Dallas this June is that little can be done unless he gives it up. The SBC is hoping that he does.  

Bert Perry's picture

Here's a quick (but biased to be sure) description of the house John mentions.  Somehow a paraphrase of a quote from The Quiet Man comes to mind; a man would have to be a runner to find his wife in a house that big! (in TQM, it was John Wayne's king sized bed)  The article--again biased to be sure--details some more of what John is writing about.  Unless the article is totally distorting the reality on the ground, yes, there are some serious problems at SWTBS.  

(btw, Greg, I understand your perspective, but I'm inclined to be a little nicer to PIper because his church has walked things back, and he was talking about going to church discipline after 1 incident....if you look at the statistics on domestic violence, he's endorsing action much earlier than most victims get help, so while not perfect, he's a lot closer than Patterson)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

i think of verbal abuse is going on and you have your first mild physical abuse and the wife contacts church Elders and Pastor and church discipline is immediately initiated I have no problem with the church dealing with it at the initial phase. If it’s real violent the first time call the Police Johnny oh the spot. 

In mild situation pushing or one slap situation  The offending husband should immediately be put on notice that the Police will be involved in the next situation and the wife will be instructed to dial 911 if the husband lays a hand on her again. If the husband resists and is not repentant then the Police should  be called Johnny on the spot and even to the church.  The Officer can make the arrest even if the wife resists.   

Bert Perry's picture

OK, this is getting off track, but there's some interesting things to be looked into here.  With regards to Piper's comments, I'm going to walk something back a bit.  Specifically, when Piper says a "night" of physical abuse, that would seem to be at least compatible with blaming a woman for walking out after a couple of punches were landed.  Not what I intended.

Regarding the best way to handle cases of domestic abuse, the simplest--though by no means simple--is clear physical abuse, including domestic rape.  In such a case, you do what you can to keep someone safe and encourage them to involve others.  The trouble is that psychologically, a lot of victims value the relationship A LOT, and going to the police, filing divorce papers, or even moving out is not something they're ready to do.  A lot of persuasion even in the "easiest" cases, and a lot of times, the abused person moves back in for various reasons.

A bigger quicksand is non-physical abuse.  It's hard to fake a black eye (very typical injury BTW, it's often a crime of dominance and humiliation), but how do you figure out who's in the right?  It takes some doing to figure out the verbal and nonverbal cues that someone is lying or deluded, and even more to show them what they're doing.  My brother in law and his wife are in such a situation, actually.  Who do you believe?  Who do you censure?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

Some victims will take a lot of beatings and verbal abuse by their spouses before doing anything about it.  They will defend their other half to the bitter end literally.  Hence the most dangerous situation for Police Officers to walk into are domestic abuse calls.  The victim can turn on a dime if their spouse is being man handled during an arrest by the Police.