Thursday, June 28, 2018

Executive Committee Should Rescind Paige Patterson's Firing


A Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) trustee has finally revealed (at the SBC, Dallas) why the Executive Committee (EC) rescinded the action of the full body of trustees and voted to fire Dr. Paige Patterson.  It is alleged he failed to attend some meetings, worked against a trustee, and Patterson’s lawyer questioned the previous decision of the trustees.  While grateful for the explanation, serious concerns remain. 

1.  The EC acted in haste.  Many such decisions take weeks or months.  Patience and slow deliberation is often wise. 

2.  They made this decision when Paige Patterson was out of the country preaching, and gave him no chance to defend himself.  We should always be willing to hear the other side (Proverbs 18:17; Matthew 18). 

3.  This decision to fire Patterson appears to be an angry reaction to what they consider his provocation. 

4.  All trustees are not in agreement with this verdict, and likely, more trustees will come to regret this hasty, harsh ruling. 

5.  The 12-member EC rescinded the decision of the full body of 40 trustees.  A decision made only one week before. 

6.  Some feel this gives the appearance that since the full body of trustees would not fire Patterson, the EC met later to do so. 

7.  This decision sets a terrible precedent.  Firing an entity leader should be an absolute last resort.  Also, should a precedent be set that an EC can nullify a decision of the full board? 

8.  The complaints of the EC are pretty well nonexistent if Dr. Patterson is President Emeritus rather than President.  The alleged charge that he missed trustee meetings, no longer matters.  Why not let past disagreements remain in the past? 

9.  Patterson’s attorney questioning the decision of the Trustees may have simply been for the sake of clarification.  Regardless, the Trustees can pretty well do what they want, as long as they follow their guidelines.  They do not have to be concerned with questions from a lawyer; just be transparent, answer the concerns, and move on. 

10.  There is the danger of appearing to bow to more extreme elements of the MeToo movement and social media.  Whatever their intentions, in the final analysis, the EC did exactly what the more extreme elements of the MeToo movement called for.  Despite the social media accusations, evidence now shows Paige Patterson followed proper procedure in dealing with sexual assault. 

11.  This action of the EC seems to have been done with malice and no grace.  Some have said the secular world treats their employees better.  Please allow Paige and Dorothy Patterson to retire with dignity. 

12.  Southwestern should keep the promises made to Paige and Dorothy Patterson in the previous, full trustee meeting. 

Paige Patterson is a preacher, pastor, evangelist, scholar, author, educator.  He and Dorothy have lived exemplary moral lives.  At great sacrifice, he was one of the leaders in the fight for inerrancy of Scripture in the SBC Conservative Resurgence.  He is not perfect, he can rub people the wrong way, but he certainly deserves better than being unceremoniously kicked out of SWBTS where he has faithfully served 15 years. 

Paige Patterson and his family have been devastated.  He has apologized for improper statements.  He has been humbled.  Perhaps it is now time for some trustees to humble themselves, and rescind the rushed decision of the SWBTS Executive Committee. 

PS – In my humble opinion, more people should be publicly speaking up for Paige Patterson. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor; June 28, AD 2018. 



Updates:
SWBTS donors request investigative committee re: Patterson termination; suggest executive committee actions imperil academic accreditation
http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/swbts-donors-request-investigative-committee-re-patterson-termination-suggest-executive-committee-actions-imperil-academic-accreditation/


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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Letter to Southern Baptists from Paige Patterson


Letter to Southern Baptists from Paige Patterson

Dear Southern Baptist Family:

On May 22 the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary met together in a board meeting called at my request.  At that meeting, in which I briefly participated, I was asked to assume the position of President Emeritus of Southwestern, and I accepted this reassignment. One week later, May 30, the executive committee of the board met, though this time I was not asked to participate and was unable to address or answer questions for committee members since I was in Germany for a preaching assignment. While in Germany, I received a phone call informing me I had been relieved of all responsibilities with and compensation from the Seminary effective immediately.

Since much has been reported and written about these matters in recent weeks, I wanted to address briefly a few points. It is not in my spirit or my heart to debate or revisit the decisions of the trustees to whom I was accountable as president of Southwestern, other than the brief comments that follow.

Recently, I have been accused, publicly and privately, of a number of things -- none of which I acknowledge as having done in the way portrayed, and others that I am confident I absolutely did not do. I'll just speak to several examples.

First, a poor choice of words has occurred, in and out of the pulpit, over decades of ministry. I regret each case in which my heart and message were not clearly presented.

On the other hand, I take exception to accusations that I ever knowingly ignored or failed to follow appropriate protocols in cases of reported abuse of women, students, or staff at any institution where I have served. Indeed, the Southwestern trustees confirmed as much in their public statement of May 23, 2018: "The board affirmed a motion stating evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse."

For my words, demeanor, sentiments, or disposition to have been twisted to suggest the very antithesis to who I am and the biblical message I have presented over half a century not only is crushing to me and my family but also inevitably proves hurtful to others in the process. I have never sought to inflict hurt upon a woman or man.

For the last 43 years, through service in three institutions, I have attempted to prepare pastors and missionaries academically, evangelistically, and spiritually for kingdom endeavors. Today, on behalf of my sweetheart Dorothy, who has labored faithfully by my side through both sorrows and triumphs, and on behalf of my children and grandchildren, I want to express my gratitude to God for Southern Baptists. You have often encouraged our hearts. You have prayed for us in a multitude of ways. I would ask of no one of you more than you have given. What I have given back is a pittance compared to your kindness to me.
I wish further to thank the faculties and administrators who have held high my arms during both calm and raging waters. I love you all. To all of my students, including nearly 10,000 graduates whose diplomas I have personally signed, I thank you for your uncommon love for me, and more important, your unwavering devotion to our Lord.

To those who have ever opposed me or have embraced a different vision, I would be remiss if I did not thank you also. Your opposition kept me on my face before God, reminded me of just how very human I am, and outlined in tantalizing colors the mercies of God, which I have received in profusion from our Lord. I pray for heaven's kindness for each of you.

At age 75, while my occupation has changed, my calling and passion have not been disturbed. Soon Southwestern will have a new president. I am riding off into the setting sun -- but with a Bible in my hand and a witness from my heart until He comes for me individually or for us all in the air. I ask Southern Baptists to hold the new president of Southwestern before God in earnest prayer. He will be a great man, but the level of his attainment will be dependent to a large degree on your concert of prayer. I know that you will not fail in this endeavor.

In a few days, for the first time in 66 years I will not attend the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention -- having begun attending when I was nine. As many of you know, I was elected in 2017 to deliver the 2018 annual convention sermon, but I have now respectfully requested to be released from this high privilege because I do not want my role as a preacher to detract in any way from the important business of our convention and because my desire is to work toward biblical harmony at our annual meeting. Many messengers have implored me to carry out this assignment, but this convention is not about me, and I have every confidence that this decision is best and right.

Now, may I just leave you with a challenge? I have with stumbling step, limited ability, and stuttering tongue desired to bequeath to the world an orthodox denomination with a heart and message for a world of lost people. My part is small in the amazing history of the people we call Baptists. But as insignificant as it may be, I will be praying every day that you will cling to the whole Bible as the Word of the living God and at the same moment give that Word to every lost person on this globe, knowing that Christ died for all and that every man, woman, boy, and girl who comes to the Lord Jesus in saving faith will be saved. Would you join me in that endeavor? Please link your hearts with Dorothy and me in expressing thanksgiving to our Lord for His abundant mercies to us all.

-Dr. Paige Patterson, June 8, AD 2018. 

For more information: 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 24, AD 2018. 


Other Articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Trustees Unfair Treatment of Dr. Paige Patterson


Several things deeply concern me about the Trustees firing Dr. Paige Patterson. 

1.  Why was Dr. Patterson not given more time to present his answers and his case on May 22, 2018?
 
2.  Why was he apparently not even consulted, or allowed to defend himself, on May 30 when he was fired? 

3.  Why was this done when Patterson was out of the country? 

4.  Why was he fired by a sub-group, rather than all of the Trustees? 

5.  Why so much disrespect, distain, toward Patterson? 

6.  Why has SWBTS and BP not allowed detailed evidence in Patterson’s favor to be presented and made public? 

7.  Why has negative evidence been presented in detail, but not positive evidence? 

8.  Why have you not allowed the evidence of Sharayah Colter to be revealed to Trustees and the public?

9.  Have you attempted or asked to get relevant documents publicly released? 

The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.  -Proverbs 18:17, NKJV

Dr. Norman Geisler’s Statement on Paige Patterson

“He [Dr. Paige Patterson] did nothing worthy of being fired.  No biblical grounds were given, let alone seriously considered. There are numerous Christian leaders who have committed sins worthy of discipline. Patterson is not one of them; he hasn’t committed any such sins. On the contrary, he has done many things worthy of exaltation.”

“Many who opposed Dr. Patterson were apparently caught up in winds of the #MeToo movement of the day.  But no doctrinal or moral charges were even offered, let alone proven by two or more credible witnesses against him.  Rather, personal opinions about isolated cases were offered.”   
-Norman Geisler, May 28, AD 2018. 

Defense of Paige Patterson, by Sharayah Colter

Update, From Baptist Press
"No reasonable reading of” correspondence from Patterson's personal archives suggested Lively "reported a rape to Dr. Patterson" in 2003 when he was Southeastern's president "and certainly not that he ignored" such a report, "as is alleged."

"Dr. Patterson first learned of the charges that he allegedly did not report a rape at SEBTS during the May 22 board meeting" of Southwestern's trustees. "Dr. Patterson's response was that he had no recollection of a rape being reported to him."

Sharpe told BP Patterson didn't "remember a lady reporting a rape" while he was at Southeastern, so he called Allan Moseley, Southeastern's dean of students in 2003. "Dr. Moseley said, 'I don't recall the lady telling me that.' And then the lady who became [Lively's] accountability partner" said, when she was queried May 22, "I don't ever remember this student telling me that."
http://bpnews.net/51010/patterson-attorney-claims-misrepresentation

Last, pray earnestly for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.  It meets June 12-13, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 5, AD 2018.


Articles:



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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Christian Message on Military Gravestone


Have you noticed the military gravestones in cemeteries?  For veterans, the government will inscribe and mail a bronze or granite gravestone recognizing military service (a granite marker is probably more durable and maybe less likely to be stolen).  This is done free of charge.  A local funeral home or cemetery will probably be able to give you the help you need. You can also find information on the internet. You just need to provide basic information about the individual and their military service. 

If the veteran was a believer in Jesus Christ, it is a great opportunity to include a biblical or spiritual message.  First, the government gives you the opportunity to have a cross inscribed at the top of the marker.  Second, at the bottom, they allow you a five-word personal message. 

I had the opportunity to do this for a personal friend and veteran of World War II.  He was a faithful husband, deacon, Sunday School teacher, Gideon.  But, how do you present a Christian message in just five words?  It seemed impossible at first.  Also, I wanted to include enough of a message so to be as unambiguous as possible.  After prayer, reflection, and the help of my church, we came up with a number of options. 

Perhaps these messages can be of help to you.  They could be placed on a military grave marker, or on any gravestone.  They might also be used on church signs; even a memorial brick in a park, etc.  You can even hire someone to come to the cemetery and add an inscription to a gravestone.  Of course, if you have room for more words, the possibilities are greatly increased. 

Christian Words for a Military Gravestone (maximum of 5 words): 

The Lord is my shepherd
The Lord is my rock
The Lord is my light. 
The Lord is my strength
God is my salvation

The Lord is my salvation
Jesus died for me. 
Our citizenship is in heaven. 
God so loved the world
The Lord will deliver me. 

With the Lord
Safe in arms of Jesus
Saved by God’s grace
I repented, believed, Jesus saved
Eternal life is through Jesus

I am the way -Jesus
Follower of Jesus Christ
Jesus, author of our salvation
Victory in Jesus
Come, Lord Jesus.

Saved by the grace of Jesus
Our God is merciful
The King is coming.
Repent, believe, Jesus will save
Repent, believe, Jesus saves. 

Jesus saves
Jesus forgives
In Christ is salvation
In Jesus is eternal life. 
Jesus, the way to heaven

Jesus is Lord of all. 
Jesus – Savior, Redeemer
Jesus is the Christ
Jesus is the Messiah
God is faithful

God’s mercy endures forever. 

Jesus – light of the world. 
Justified by faith in Jesus. 
The truth is in Jesus. 
Jesus Christ is Lord. 
Amazing Grace

Jesus is coming again. 
Jesus came to save sinners. 
Salvation is in Christ Jesus. 
Jesus - same yesterday, today, forever. 
I am the resurrection. – Jesus

Enjoying eternal life in Jesus. 
Jesus will lead to Heaven. 
In Heaven, because of Jesus
Jesus paid it all. 
Eternally secure in Jesus

In Heaven forevermore
Believe in Jesus, live forever
Follow Jesus, live forever
Great is Thy faithfulness
Jesus, Savior of my soul.

Jesus died for all
My God is real
Satisfied in Jesus
Jesus, the Way, Truth, Life
Looking for the Blessed Hope

The one finally decided upon – Repent, Believe, Jesus Saves.  Hopefully this will be a testimony to any who pass by, for many years to come. 

What is your favorite?  Do you have additional suggestions? 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 29, AD 2018. 

Articles:  


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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Open Letter to SWBTS Trustees Concerning Paige Patterson


Open Letter
Dear Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,

I write in defense of your president and my friend, Dr. Paige Patterson.  I have known him for about 40 years.  I knew him when, at great sacrifice, he and many others stood for the inerrancy of God’s Word, in the SBC Conservative Resurgence.  Of course, he is not perfect, just like us all.  But he has stood for the faith, evangelism, revivals, missions.  He is a first class scholar, and has lived an exemplary moral life. 

Now, because Dr. Patterson has not said some things exactly right in our extra sensitive climate, he is being condemned by his enemies.  They attack him for things they overlook in others.  They negatively magnify anything he says that could be taken the wrong way.  This is now in spite of the fact Brother Paige has apologized for, and clarified, his statements that have been hurtful.  Who of us could withstand withering criticism and publicity of any misstatements we have made over the last several decades?  Who of us could withstand having our statements taken in the absolutely worst light? 

Please be aware of the multiplied thousands who support, and have been blessed by, Dr. Patterson’s ministry.  I and my family are some of them.  I am currently using Dr. Patterson’s NAC commentary on Revelation and finding it of great value.  On this Mother’s Day I’m reminded of how my mother admired him, and how Paige & Dorothy sent flowers and condolences at her funeral. 

When someone, whether Paige Patterson or not, makes an edgy statement - You can interpret it in the worst possible light.  You can interpret it in the best possible light.  Or somewhere in between. 

You can also take an 18 year old statement and interpret it in light of the current climate of political correctness, or not.  You can show kindness, understanding - or strict condemnation. 

One day soon, we will each give account to Almighty God.  My prayer is that God will continue to bless, guide, protect Paige Patterson and SWBTS, and give you, the trustees, wisdom, love, mercy. 

Sincerely,
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 13, AD 2018. 


For More Information on This Issue: 


The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.  -Proverbs 18:17, NKJV

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ken Hemphill, Nominee for SBC President


Many are excited about Dr. Kenneth Hemphill being nominated this year for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Ken Hemphill previously served as President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.  He pastored churches in Kentucky and Virginia, led the Home Mission Board’s (now NAMB) Center for Church Growth, and now serves as an administrator at North Greenville University. 

 In a written statement to Baptist Press, Hemphill said he would "continue the emphasis on prayer and revival which has been a major emphasis of [current SBC President] Steve Gaines." He also cited the need to "aggressively plant new churches while we give equal effort to revitalizing our many existing churches which need our assistance."

Ken Hemphill is the author of a number of books including The Antioch Effect, The Names of God, You Are Gifted, The Prayer of Jesus, and Empowering Kingdom Growth.  His most recent book is Unlimited: God’s Love, Atonement, and Mission. 

The book, Unlimited, is recommended by: Paige Patterson, Jimmy Draper, Matt Queen, Jim Richards, Larry Steven McDonald, Mac Brunson, David Hankins, Gene Fant, John Yeats. 

Ken is supportive of the SBC Cooperative Program and his membership is in a church that gives 10% through the Cooperative Program.  He believes in evangelism, revivals, and the Baptist Faith and Message, 2000.  He has an understanding, appreciation, and lifelong commitment to the SBC, from the local church, local Baptist association, state conventions, to our national Southern Baptist Convention. 

Hemphill endorses the Traditional Statement that outlines traditional, non-Calvinist, or Traditionalist beliefs.  He believes Jesus died for all and anyone can be saved.  He is open and transparent about his beliefs. 

Make plans now to attend the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, TX.  It will be at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center June 12-13, 2018. 

Make sure you are registered to vote as a SBC Messenger and have your ballots.  Arrive early Tuesday afternoon to vote for president, and stay until the election results are announced.  Also, come for a great time of information, inspiration, fellowship.  Please pray for the Southern Baptist Convention. 

“We desire to elect a man who is a Southern Baptist through and through, values our understanding of the Gospel, and, has an established record of affirming the cooperative work of our local churches through the associations, state conventions and national entities.”
“We sought Ken [Hemphill] out because of his record in these areas as well as his impeccable character, remarkable breadth of experience in Southern Baptist life, passion for missions and evangelism, and an active ministry of revitalization to pastors and churches.” 
-David Hankins, Executive Director, Louisiana Baptist Convention, quoted in Baptist Message. 

For more information on Dr. Ken Hemphill: 
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 1, AD 2018. 

More articles in lower right margin. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Defense of the Resurrection


“I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” -Thomas Arnold, Oxford University; 1859. 

Harvard Law School professor, Dr. Simon Greenleaf, mocked Christians in his classroom until some challenged him to put the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus through the filter of the law.  He took up the challenge and found the evidence so convincing he concluded the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well-established facts of history.  -Bible Studies for Life, LifeWay; 2018. 

“In Acts 1, Luke tells us that Jesus showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs (en pollois tekmeriois), an expression indicating the strongest type of legal evidence.”  -Dr. Bernard Ramm

Brief Summary of Evidence for the Resurrection:
Jesus really died.
Roman guard at tomb. 
Many witnesses to His resurrection. 
Credibility of the witnesses. 
Change in the life of the disciples after they saw the risen Lord. 
Historical documents written soon after resurrection. 
Credibility of the historical documents. 
500 witnesses seeing resurrected Jesus at once. 
Multiple witnesses to resurrection willing to die for their belief.  Men will not die for something they know is a lie. 

More on the Resurrection and defense of the Bible and Christianity: 
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell
Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, by Norman L. Geisler
The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel (Many other such books available.)

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  -Matthew 28:6  NKJV

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 12, AD 2018. 



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