WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?
For far too long, women have suffered silently and ashamed in many church environments.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has a poor track record in its treatment of women.
Women have been fired from SBC seminaries simply because they are women.
Women have been told to stay in marriages in which they are being abused.
Women have been told that they must suffer rather than divorce.
Women have been told that they are at fault for being raped.
Women have been disciplined in Southern Baptist seminaries as a result of being raped.
Men who have spoken out against this treatment of women have been castigated.
Leadership has persistently failed to follow the example of Christ in the respectful treatment of women.
Paige Patterson is slated to give the keynote sermon at the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting. Patterson is a man with a demonstrated record of being a part of the charges above. His removal as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is neutralized by the fact that he will be living on campus as President Emeritus and Theologian-In-Residence, positions which will continue to allow him significant influence over a future President of the seminary and all seminarians. (Sources: See articles on our home page.)
Brothers and Sisters, this should not be so. At the For Such A Time As This Rally, women and men will be raising their voice to say, "NO MORE." We must follow the example of Christ who valued and respected women in a way that was uncommon in his time.
JOIN US in Dallas at the SBC Annual Meeting for the For Such A Time As This Rally.
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance . . .will arise from another place, but...who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"
-Esther 4:14 NIV
LIST OF CONCERNS
Christian women often go to their pastors for help when experiencing domestic abuse. Churches are often uninformed and unable to adequately guide the victim to help or they are so concerned about avoiding divorce that dangerous advice is given. Paige Patterson reportedly said he would never counsel a woman to get a divorce, and is recorded saying that he was happy a woman received two black eyes at the hands of her husband because the husband came to church for the first time in the aftermath. (Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/04/29/southern-baptist-leader-pushes-back-after-comments-leak-urging-abused-women-to-pray-and-avoid-divorce/?utm_term=.331ca89c864b)
Women Want Respect Too
We've all heard that women want to be loved, and men want to be respected. As it turns out, women like to be respected as well. As Southern Baptist women listened to hear the outcome of May 22 meeting of the SWBTS Trustees, many of us were really listening for an answer to the question, "Does SBC leadership respect us enough to take these concerns seriously?" The answer has been disappointing.
When a woman is raped, only to be brought before an all-male tribunal and told not to contact police, is shamed and is ultimately put on probation by an SBC seminary, it we have a BIG problem. This is WRONG. Wrong. Wrong.
Training Future Pastors
Pastors attending SBC seminaries should be among the best trained as it relates to counseling women who are experiencing domestic abuse, who have experienced rape or who are contemplating divorce. Sadly, most of them have almost no training, and the ideas they have about domestic abuse and divorce are misguided. SBC seminarians and pastors should know when to refer a woman to a domestic violence specialist. SBC pastors must stop believing that divorce is the unpardonable sin. Safety of women and children must be paramount. SBC churches need ongoing training and support from the convention on these important and pervasive topics.
Addressing Faulty Leadership
This is not entirely a Paige Patterson issue. This is about all of the male professors, faculty members, staff members, pastors, deacons and church members who have failed to speak up for women in their midst. Faulty leadership must be shown the door for new, healthy life to thrive in our SBC churches.