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Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) trustee has finally revealed (at the SBC, Dallas) why the Executive Committee (EC) rescinded the action of the full body of trustees and voted to fire Dr.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  The 12-member EC rescinded the decision of the full body of 40 trustees.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. 

SWBTS donors request investigative committee re: Patterson termination; suggest executive committee actions imperil academic accreditation

Conservative Resurgence archives find home in Fort Worth
SWBTS’s Baptist Heritage Library will house historical documents and provide presidential apartment.


Other Articles in lower right margin. 

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."

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.


Other Articles in lower right margin.