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Sarah Lindsay

Guest Post on CBE: Response to Paige Patterson

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CBE International

I’m back! I’ll have a short life update on Thursday, but today I have a guest post up at CBE International responding to Paige Patterson’s recent remarks about abuse and marriage:


Last week, an audio tape from 2000 resurfaced in which Paige Patterson, currently the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), described counseling women to remain in abusive marriages.

The unfolding reckoning within the SBC is, on the surface, about a man who was moved by the suffering of a woman—in that Patterson likely does want to see abuse end. But sadly, his advice and his theology only perpetuate the devaluation of women and further endanger them. His response falls far short because it focuses only on the man and sidelines the needs, health, and safety of the woman.

In Patterson’s official statement about this tape, and in his interview with Baptist Press News, he claims that he condemns abuse. But his words in his interview demonstrate a profound lack of concern about the suffering of women; he says, “‘minor non-injurious abuse which happens in so many marriages’—and which does not make the wife fear for her safety—might spur a woman to ‘pray [her husband] through this’ rather than leave.”

To be crystal clear, Patterson is suggesting that women should endure abuse because if they stay and suffer, they may be able to help their husbands become better people… .

Read the rest at CBE’s blog, Arise.