A letter by Baptist women forced the seminary to remove him from the post

Paige Patterson, the noted Southern Baptist leader, was expelled from his post during the early hours of May 23. He had faced increasing criticism over the advice he had earlier given to women on instances of rape and marital abuse. Patterson is no longer the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Seminary board appointed D. Jeffrey Bingham as interim president. Bingham is dean of the theology school at the seminary working out of Fort Worth, Texas.

Patterson has long been on the defensive in this issue. Allegations have surfaced multiple times that he had counseled women, victims of marital abuse, to pray for the good of their husbands. A media house has published an incident where the Baptist leader allegedly told a woman who was raped to forgive the man who raped her. She was asked not to report this horrific incident to the police.

All has not gone bad for the Baptist leader. The board of trustees for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary voted for him to be president emeritus during a special meeting which went on for an inordinately long period. It began on Tuesday afternoon and continued until early morning hours of May 23. Majority of board members supported this decision, and it was made effective from that moment.

Patterson, 75 years old, was removed after about 2,000 Baptist women expressed shock over the statements made by him. They warned leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention not to permit biblical views of any leadership to be misused in a manner which a leader having any unbiblical view of sexuality, authority, and womanhood be allowed to continue in the leadership role. The final letter forced Patterson to issue an apology titled “An Apology to God's People” saying he was extremely sorry to all women who were wounded by anything he said which lacked clarity or can be deemed inappropriate.

Some recorded instances exist where Patterson's behavior can be considered more than objectionable. One particularly obnoxious event occurred in 2000 when he told a victim of marital violence to return to her husband. She went back as per his advice and came back after a few days later gravely injured. When she asked Patterson on whether he was happy, the reply was that he was happy as the Baptist leader saw her husband in church after a long time. He is also said to be supporting the objectification of women.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter