2. Didn’t the denomination also say wives are to submit to their husbands?
Yes, again. In fact, Patterson was elected president of the denomination in 1998, the same year it amended its statement of faith, a 19-page booklet called “The Baptist Faith and Message” to read, “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”
The amendment, which was recommended by a committee including Patterson’s wife, Dorothy, spells out what Baptists say is “God’s order for the home,” an order that goes back to Genesis, in which Eve is created as Adam’s “helper.”
Amendments to the Baptist Faith and Message are not made casually. The document, first adopted in 1925, had until then undergone one revision, in 1963.
The submission amendment was based on a statement by Paul in Ephesians 5:22-23: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”
Some scholars have argued that one of the principal reasons for the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention was its opposition to feminism and the women’s movement, which it saw as dangerous to the nation’s moral and spiritual character and a threat to the family.
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