An audio recording recently surfaced in which a prominent Southern Baptist leader said abused wives should focus on praying, “be submissive in every way that you can” and not seek divorce.
The recording, which dates back to the year 2000, is of Paige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a leading figure in the Southern Baptist Convention. Many credit him with orchestrating the conservative resurgence of the denomination beginning in 1979.
Not surprisingly, Patterson’s comments touched off a flurry of condemnation and calls for him to step down. Commentators mostly objected to the implication that he condoned domestic violence, which he has denied. But the Southern Baptist Convention has had a long history of conservative stances on women that it maintains are based on Scripture.
So what’s the back story on the SBC’s position on the role of women, and wives in particular?
Photo courtesy: Religion News Service