Patterson was questioned about whether an abused woman should submit to her husband.
Beth Moore has joined the chorus of evangelists criticizing Paige Patterson's recent comments related to spousal abuse and divorce. Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has come into the news due to an audio clip dating from a 2000 interview that is presently gaining traction on the internet. Patterson was questioned about whether an abused woman should submit to her husband.
Patterson answered that the outcome should depend on the abuse level. He said that he in his ministry has never counseled to go for a divorce and believes asking for a divorce is wrong. However, he said, there have been instances where the abuse level was so high that he was forced to counsel for a temporary separation. The evangelist then warned listeners even this temporary separation must only happen in rare cases.
Patterson's answer has attracted disapproval from many. Critics say if his advice is taken, then abusers will have the undesirable advantage of being more violent towards their victims. Evangelist Beth Moore's response was straightforward. She told that there is absolutely no tension when it comes to abuse of women. It is wrong and criminal. This kind of activity can never be excused let even submitted to.
Beth Moore is far more representative of Scripture and of a Southern Baptist position on abuse in marriage than Paige Patterson. https://t.co/yOq2F2PDWK
— Mark Spence (@markspence02) April 29, 2018
Moore wrote her unambiguous response. She said that she is completely pro-marriage. The reason for this is her 40 years of life experience. However, it is wrong of any church culture to demonize divorce and term the latter as the worst possible action to take. It is wrong to label divorce as the ultimate sin as many are not aware of the intense pain many people endure on this earth. She concluded by saying that it is not right to submit to any abuse.
Patterson at first declined to comment on the interview. He said nothing can be gained by entering such discussions. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary later put out a statement on its website that he along with his family are now the subject of “rigorous misrepresentation.” The statement said the Bible is clear in the way God views divorce. He has on multiple occasions counseled and even helped women to leave their abusive spouses. He then claimed that an abusive husband even mortally threatened him as he helped that person's wife to leave home and seek protection. The statement was a conflicted ideology.