Paige Patterson Apologizes ‘Especially to Women’

There are 7 Comments

Steve Davis's picture

"To all people I offer my apology." Patterson doesn't owe me an apology (or anyone else who wasn't personally offended). I'm no defender of Patterson. I don't excuse his comments and unlike some people have neither time nor interest to go back and dig something up. I don't know him. Let his own SBC house or church determine his fitness for ministry. Maybe he should retire. Maybe he shouldn't. But if people can dig up a comment from decades ago in order to be offended, then who can be spared? Who hasn't made stupid comments that they wish they could take back? I certainly think that's different than someone who has a pattern of ungodly behavior. I've been in ministry for almost 40 years. Thankfully not all that I've said in public or private has been recorded. I'm sure somebody could find somewhere that I've said something offensive, stupid, off-the-cuff nonsense, offensive remarks and I've unwittingly given bad counsel. It seems to me that many are looking for something to offend them and then a cause for which they could be outraged. So in case anyone's looking to find dirt on me - there is probably some, no probably about it - and I apologize preemptively to the world, to past, present, and future generations if anyone, anywhere might be offended by something I've said.

Bert Perry's picture

....of someone needing an outsider to come in and hold a mirror up to him.  He can talk about "54 years ago" all he wants, but the YouTube videos I saw featured a 70-something year old man talking about how a teenage girl was "built."  

I think a comment John E. made in another thread about this speaks to bigger issues: under his leadership, SWBTS has built a 2.5 million dollar home/museum for him, they're installing stained glass windows of living people (Exodus 20:4), and John claims that the place is hurting financially.  Also, students have dropped by about a third under his tenure there.  So I dare suggest that the complaints about him objectifying women, tolerating domestic abuse, accusing SNAP (survivors' network of those abused by priests) of being as bad as pedophiles, and the like may be the tip of the iceberg of what Patterson needs to deal with.  

Speaking of those windows,two of the men appearing on them so far have been accused of gross sexual misconduct, one of them having stepped down from ministry as a result.  Patterson is in a huge mess, and the quicker he comes clean on various portions of it, the better.  This is anything but a witch hunt. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

While I appreciate that Patterson has now released three statements regarding these topics, it's a little hard to take it seriously when he barely acknowledges what happened and lied about it in his press release from April 29.  He also doesn't seem to understand that what he told this woman to do is both foolish and dangerous to her well being.

It's not about pulling out long knives or trying to bring a man down.  It's about a lot more than that, as Warren Throckmorton at Patheos pointed out:

The full statement is below. What I don’t see in the statement is a clear admission that he was wrong to advise women in abusive relationships to go home to an abusive husband...

Patterson is facing criticism because he advised this woman to go back into an abusive situation. This is clearly bad advice but he has not admitted it was wrong. His apology is vague and focuses on how he expressed himself not on his bad advice. He also deflects his objectification of a young girl in a sermon rather than saying he was wrong for his statements.

Brothers, this is a topic we have to get right.  I am long past tired of hearing stories where a pastor completely dropped the ball when it came to dealing with abuse.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

BTW, I should have said that there were "more" issues" and not "bigger issues" than what Patterson is openly known to have done.  Obviously fiscal mismanagement of SWBTS, if true, is not the same as keeping a sex predator in ministry. My mistake there..

And really, that's the kind of apology Patterson needs to start making, something like this:

A few years ago, I made statements trying to commend the notion that it's OK and Biblical for a man to notice a woman's beauty.  Unfortunately, I chose to commend instead a young man who made a crude statement generally referring to one area of a woman's anatomy, and then rebuked his mother for rebuking his sin.  The Bible does not say this is OK, and I'm sorry for implying that it does.

A few years ago, I relayed a story of a woman I counseled to pray for her abusive husband, resulting (with my expectation) in her further physical assault, risking broken bones, concussions, and worse.  While thankfully the husband did repent and turn to Christ and the couple was reconciled, I acknowledge that my actions needlessly put this woman in danger, and for that I am sorry.  I also deeply regret giving other pastors reasons to repeat my mistake. The proper way to deal with domestic abuse is to ensure physical safety, begin church discipline, and refer the case to the police.  

It's not that hard....and quite frankly, the lack of outrage among most SBC higher-ups is textbook circling the wagons.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture


I preemptively forgive you for all your sins, and restore you to fellowship in the body of Christ. Now, you have to do the same for me! 

To be serious for a moment, I have no time or interest to read salacious crusader bloggers pontificate about how "evil" or "sainted" Paige Patterson is. My own life is complicated enough. I suggest we each apply what we know of this situation to our own personal contexts. Here are my takeaways from this:

  1. Take the time to do a BT on divorce from the OT and NT, and draw some conclusions
  2. Don't tell battered women to go back to their husbands
  3. Don't apply pressure to have a multi-million dollar retirement residence built for me and my wife on a seminary campus
  4. Don't make crude and inappropriate comments about 16 year old Christian girls

Got it. I'll carry on, now. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jay's picture

Don't apply pressure to have a multi-million dollar retirement residence built for me and my wife on a seminary campus.

Oh, is THAT why the people at BJU turned me down?  Well, now I know, I guess.  Haha

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells