Blogs, Baptists, and Dr.Paige Patterson
There is something that has bothered me for a couple of years, and I think it's time I vented about it.
There is much about Dr. Patterson with which I disagree:
- After spending several hours visiting with Dr. Klouda in her home, last summer, hearing her entire story first- hand, seeing in person the toll that her dismissal has taken on her and her family, and searching the scriptures and my own heart, I think what happened to her was beyond an outrage and I have had to fight the effects that has had on my thinking about Dr. Patterson.
- I listened to his dissertation on why he is not a Dortian Calvinist ... that was the first SBC function I ever attended .. the "debate" with Dr. Mohler in Greensboro, 2006. Sure wish I could've debated him; he said some things that really upset me.
- I've talked personally with Dr. Ken Hemphill, and I've heard enough about the events surrounding Dr. Dilday's dismissal at SWBTS, to have formed opinions about the things Wade Burleson outlined in his book as attributable to forces led by Dr. Patterson.
- I see the "Conservative Resurgence" as a military/political (not to say subversive) solution to Spiritual problems, and from the perspective of years, it's not difficult to see the collateral damage that was done.
We're told to love one another. We're told one of the real external evidences of our relationship with Jesus is the love we SHOW for one another. Yet week after week, I see people referring to Dr. Patterson as "Paige", "Patterson", "PP", or perhaps other non-specific but highly pejorative terms.
He is DR. PATTERSON and he should be referred to as such, and certainly, most particularly, by those who are not personal friends of his.
We claim to be Christians and followers of Jesus and yet we show disrespect, which certainly reflects a lack of love, to those with whom we disagree. Are we to love, and show respect for, only those with whom we agree; those of whose actions we approve?
It'd be a pretty poor church if that were the case.
I'm not for giving objectionable behavior a "free pass" .. but holding people accountable for their actions should be done by those in a position to do so; Trustees, Elders, Officers and the like. Me sitting at my keyboard is not one of them, and the difficulties in the system which have generated much of the content of, and the need for, HARDBALL RELIGION may never be changed. But God, in His wisdom, prescribes for us the means we are to use. The ends, those are beyond our control and we get into trouble when we depart from His means to try to cause the "end" we want to see.
Paul speaks of crucifying the flesh. To me, that means rejecting the tendencies of our nature, toward sin and self-centeredness, and treating others they way Jesus would have us to do. And that includes all the references to loving others and showing it, as well as Romans 14:4: "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand." (NIV)
This isn't just about Dr. Patterson. It's about the lost world ... hellooo ... the ones you and I are supposed to be reaching ... and what that lost world sees as being the church. And that, friends, is you and me!
Wondering why all the problems in the SBC? Let's all start by looking in the mirror. It might just take a while to work our way up to "Leadership".