More than 2,000 Southern Baptist women have signed an open letter addressed to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) Board of Trustees denouncing the group's president, Paige Patterson, for his "unbiblical view of authority, womanhood, and sexuality."
The letter was published May 6 in the wake of a video of Patterson making objectifying comments about a teenage girl in a 2014 sermon, and the surfacing of an audio recording of Patterson advising victims of domestic violence not to divorce their spouses.
Patterson defended himself in a press release April 29, telling the Washington Post on May 4 that he could not "apologize for what I didn’t do wrong."
The letter states:
The world is watching us all, brothers. They wonder how we could possibly be part of a denomination that counts Dr. Patterson as a leader. They wonder if all Southern Baptist men believe that the biblical view of a sixteen-year-old girl is that she is “built” and “fine” — an object to be viewed sexually. They wonder if all Southern Baptist pastors believe it is acceptable to counsel an abused woman in the way that Dr. Patterson has done in the past. They wonder if the Jesus of the Bible is like such men. We declare that Jesus is nothing like this and that our first duty as Southern Baptists is to present a true picture of Jesus to the world. ...
This is a somber time. This is an important time. We are praying for you to have wisdom, discernment, and courage.
Read the full letter here.