[NEW AUDIO] Paige Patterson to Victims: Don’t Take It To Court Or To The Press, Settle It In The Church

Prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson found himself in hot water this week as an audiotape surfaced of a message he gave in 2000, counseling a victim of domestic abuse to “submit”, stay, and pray for her husband’s salvation.

A more recent clip, this one from 2013, spells more trouble for the embattled seminary President.

In this clip, Patterson misapplies a Scripture about lawsuits to victims of domestic abuse. He warns that if you’re having “a problem in your home,” being “misused and abused,” God says not to take it to court because it might destroy the faith of the judge.

There’s a pattern here. In the clip from 2000, Patterson says he counseled a woman with a fresh black eye to be glad about it, because her husband might come to know Christ through her submission.

In this 2013 clip he goes even further, saying domestic abuse victims should avoid turning in their spouse…to help save unbelieving judges.

This damaging idea of evangelism through submission to abuse is precisely the reason many SBC leaders are calling for Patterson’s resignation.

Here’s an excerpt from his message. (Emphasis added, full sermon available here.)

SWBTS President Paige Patterson in 2009 | GFDL, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33320881

You don’t have a church fight that somebody’s heart doesn’t die. Some lost person turns aside and says, “I’ll never go back there.” And they never get the Gospel— the saving Gospel of Christ.

You don’t have a problem in your home that ends up before the judge, and the judge has heard so many of these cases that his heart is now calloused against it, and one more Christian home bites the dust in front of a civil judge, and one more judge walks out into eternity lost without Christ.”

So, hot diggity dawg, apparently by refusing to go to the authorities when they have a “problem in their home,” victims are somehow spreading the Gospel of Christ to hell-bound judges.

He immediately goes on to say that Jesus commands victims to settle these matters within the church. He exhorts them to pray and commit to God that they will not take their troubles to court or to the press, but only “the people of God” in their church.

“Anybody ever told you it was easy to be a Christian lied to you. It’s a 100% commitment— it’s not just what you believe— it is a commitment to follow the ways of God. And it is our Lord who says [beating Bible] don’t take it before the world.

SETTLE IT within the church of God.

And IF you suffer for it,

AND IF you are misused,

AND IF you are abused,

AND IF you’re not represented properly,

it’s okay.

You can trust it to the God who judges justly.”

Full stop. Just to make sure you heard it, Patterson says IT’S OKAY if you are misused, abused, and not represented properly— you should settle your claim in the church anyway.

And you should do it quietly, without any fuss. No press please.

16:50 “[God] may forgive the other person for what he’s done wrong to abuse you, but in any event, the fact of the matter is we don’t take matters before unbelievers. Now, he mentions specifically law courts here but let me expand on it just a moment, this also means you don’t take matters to the press. What goes on in the church of God doesn’t go to the press.”

17:47: “I’m not going to talk to the press about things that are matters internal to the church of the Living God,” Patterson said. “It is none of their business. And they can’t possibly get it right, and they don’t get it right, so why do you take it to the world of unbelief? Whether that be the court, whether that be the press? ‘Well there’s just no other way to handle it.’ Yes there is. Commit it to the Lord God Almighty.”

Patterson concludes:

Lord, may we make up our minds that we won’t take our troubles to the press.

We won’t take our troubles to the government.

We won’t take our troubles anywhere except to the people of God and beyond that to the Lord Jesus.”

In 1987, Patterson refused to believe 25 women who reported sexual harassment and molestation by pastor Daryl Gilyard.

In their case, Patterson was the church equivalent of judge and jury. But he dismissed their testimony out-of-hand, refusing to meet with victims, and demanding they provide physical evidence such as ““photographs, videotapes or laboratory tests.”

So much for the antiquated kangaroo court of “godly” opinion.

As every sane, level-headed church leader will tell you: if you are abused by someone in a church or otherwise, don’t listen to Paige Patterson.

His Bible study skills are seriously lame.

Ignore him. Call the police.


Other excerpts from “So You Believe In Bible Inerrancy: Bully For You” by Paige Patterson

5:01: “And yet the truth of the matter is we live in a world of accusation upon accusation upon accusation, and very little forgiveness of the kind God introduces.”

14:23: “God eventually sets everything right. If you are wronged, somewhere down the line, God sets it right. You say, “Well He’s too slow.” no, He’s right on time. When it needs to happen, he will set it right. You say, “I’m dying and He still hasn’t set it right.” Nobody said He was going to set it right in this life. Maybe you have to wait ‘til the next life for Him to set it right.

15:24:  “He’s going to make it right. And I can trust Him with it. I can be abused, I can be misrepresented, I can be taken advantage of, it’s okay God, because I know you’re going to make it right with wonderful reward.”

16:14: “God will deal with [the miscreant]. You may not know about it because probably you can’t handle it. Probably you’d lose your reward because you’d gloat over it. And so God may not let you know about it— but if you believe God is a just God, you can trust in it.”

23:17: “…and so can we not abide accepting reproach? Can we not handle being misused and abused? Can we not do it?”



5 Responses to “[NEW AUDIO] Paige Patterson to Victims: Don’t Take It To Court Or To The Press, Settle It In The Church”

  1. I have a daughter who really wants nothing to do with the Lord because of this kind of thinking. She and I and my four other children experienced years of emotional and physical abuse because of this kind of thinking…that I fully embraced. That the Christian wife was to submit and pray…after the third separation from my now ex-husband I had to break the news to my daughter that I was letting him come home, that God was going to take care of it, that it was the right, biblical thing to do. Her response…I want nothing to do with a God who would force His child to endure abuse, who can turn a blind eye to those being hurt. How can a marriage ever be more important than the people suffering in it?…I finally separated from him for good six months later after my youngest son thought his daddy was going to kill him…I am celebrating one year of divorce this week, one year of freedom, and I am praying and praying my daughter sees how good the Lord has been in providing for our every need, that she will see His loving care and concern for us.

    So, this pastor’s teaching that sticking in an abusive marriage in order that a judge would come to know Christ is just crazy, just insanity. The world would much rather believe in a God who is actively delivering His children, not one who ruthlessly abandons them to madmen. And so would I. It breaks my heart to know there are women and children out there believing this garbage that it is their “Christian duty” to endure abuse. Abuse calls for tough love…the kind that draws the line in the sand and says enough is enough. The Lord will catch the women and children escaping…making them land safely with both feet on the ground. He won’t abandon them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Monica Dennington Reply May 3, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Ginger, Thanks for sharing your story. Praying for God’s grace to lead your daughter to a living relationship with the God who sees her, the God who delivered you. Blessings in Christ, ~Monica

      Liked by 1 person

      • The first thing I thought was this kind of error will turn people from the gospel, not getting help if you are being abused. The bible does say not to sue for petty reasons but it NEVER says you cannot hand over criminals.As if the bible condones lawlessness.Jesus has 5aken on our sin and punishment, no one has to go throgh any of that to gain salvation. God does hate divorce, but he loves his children more than he hates divorce. I hope you’re free from any guilt about divorcing your husband.

        Liked by 2 people


  1. CBMW’s new Statement on Abuse still falls short. #ChurchDV | A Cry For Justice - May 3, 2018

    […] of male entitlement. (Click on each man’s name to see the evidence. And click here and here to see futher evidence about Paige […]


  2. За богословието и насилието в различните му форми | Rado's blog - June 1, 2018

    […] 2000 и 2003 г. (Записите могат да бъдат прослушани ТУК и ТУК.). В тях Петерсън казва на жените жертви на […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: