Paige Patterson Speaks Out -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 03:2 (Summer 1998)
Article: Paige Patterson Speaks Out
Author: Anonymous

Paige Patterson Speaks Out

Sbc President Patterson Gives Clear Reasons For Producing This Statement

We also asked Paige Patterson, who was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention at this summer’s meeting, to comment on the statement for JBMW.

Why was it important that this statement be made now?

When the Baptist Faith and Message was originally adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1925, the biblical pattern for the home was still the warp and woof of evangelical church life. Consequently, neither the authors of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, upon which the Baptist Faith and Mission statement is modeled, nor the revisers of that in the Baptist Faith and Message felt it particularly necessary to speak on the issue of the family. Most considered biblical teachings in this area to be self-evident and nearly universally recognized among evangelical Christians. Times have changed, and it appears that no concept of society today is under such profound and unceasing attack as the biblical model of the family. The result of this continual attack is rampant feminism, abortion as a method of birth control, children blowing away children and adults in schoolyards, masses of children sporting only one parent, incredible increases in venereal disease, and the litany goes on.

Southern Baptists simply came to the place where we felt that even a social order unsympathetic to biblical concerns had to admit that something had gone badly wrong and that whatever the prevailing wisdom of the day, it was clearly a failure. Therefore, Southern Baptists believed it was time to speak on this issue and hence the amendment to our Baptist Faith and Message statement.

Why was the statement given confessional status?

The statement was given confessional status first because it is the conviction of most Southern Baptists that the home was the first and the most essential institution of all society. To say this is not to lessen the strategic importance of the church. But it is clear that the analogy of the home crops up in just about every aspect of the redemptive plan of God and of the church itself. Hence, in the Old Testament, Israel is the wife of Jehovah, the husband. In the New Testament, Christ is the bridegroom who will come to receive the church unto Himself and who has indeed already loved her and died for her that she might live. This creates a situation in which we are “brothers and sisters” in Christ, a part of the “family of God,” and “children of God by way of the new birth.” All of these “home metaphors” establish the strategic and foundational nature of the home.

Furthermore, it occurred to a number of us that confessions change not because doctrine or truth c...

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