Sad Day for the Church: Paige Patterson to Step Down as President of Southwestern Baptist Seminary Over Unwise Statements He Made Over 2 Decades Ago

Former Southern Baptist Convention President Paige Patterson has agreed to resign from his position as head of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary amid various controversies, including comments he made years ago where he appeared to endorse having abused wives remain with their husbands.

“After much prayer and a more than 13-hour discussion regarding challenges facing the Institution, including those of enrollment, financial, leadership and institutional identity, the Board determined to move in the direction of new leadership for the benefit of the future mission of the Seminary,” stated SWBTS in a statement released Wednesday morning.

Patterson has accepted a “president emeritus” position with the seminary and will be allowed to live on campus as a theologian-in-residence along with his wife.

“The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) board of trustees is grateful for the contributions Dr. and Mrs. Paige Patterson have made since his presidency began in 2003.”

Patterson first garnered controversy when the Baptist Blogger posted in April audio of an interview Patterson did in 2000 in which he commented on the question of whether wives should submit to their husbands, even when they are abusive.

“It depends on the level of abuse to some degree. I have never in my ministry counseled that anybody seek a divorce, and I do think that’s always wrong counsel,” said Patterson in the audio recording.

“There have been, however, an occasion or two when the level of the abuse was serious enough, dangerous enough, immoral enough that I have counseled temporary separation and the seeking of help. I would urge you to understand that that should happen only in the most serious of cases.”

Patterson cited a specific example where decades ago he had discouraged a woman from leaving her abusive husband and instructed her to pray for him.

The recording generated much backlash, with many SBC leaders and women taking issue with his comments and eventually demanding his resignation as president of SWBTS.

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Source: Christian Post