Southern Baptists, in #MeToo age, affirm women, ask for ‘purity’ of leaders

Religion News Service | 6/13/2018 | Staff
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DALLAS (RNS) — Southern Baptists, grappling with some #MeToo-aided falls from grace among their leaders, have called for affirming women, showing compassion for the abused and expecting “moral and sexual purity” of their leaders.

A resolutions committee recommended a total of 16 nonbinding statements to express the sentiments of Southern Baptist delegates, known as messengers, and all were adopted Tuesday (June 12) by more than 7,000 Baptists gathered at their annual meeting.

Raft - Resolutions - May - Termination - Southwestern

The raft of resolutions came after the May termination of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson, who had counseled against divorce even in cases of domestic abuse and was accused of mishandling seminary students’ allegations of rape. Two months earlier, Frank Page, the president of the denomination’s Executive Committee, resigned suddenly after what was described as a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.”

On Wednesday, after a lengthy debate, messengers voted against a request to remove the members of the seminary executive committee that decided to fire Patterson.

Convention - Themes - Resolutions - Committee - Chairman

“It was clear to us that the convention wanted to speak to those themes,” resolutions committee Chairman Jason Duesing told reporters after the adoption of the statements. “We felt that three separate resolutions allowed us to do that best.”

“Biblical headship blesses, honors, and protects wives and children and does not require them to submit to sin or to abuse,” the resolution on abuse reads. “(W)e acknowledge that spousal abuse dishonors the marriage covenant and fundamentally blasphemes the relationship between Christ and the church.”

Affirmation - Dignity - Worth - Women - Nation

The affirmation of “the dignity and worth of women” came as the nation’s largest Protestant denomination marked the 100th anniversary of women serving as messengers, even as it held fast to the view that women are equal before God but hold different roles in the church and the home. “(W)e affirm the gifts of women in their distinctive God-assigned roles,...
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