A Letter To My Daughter About #MeToo By Kara Barnette

July 7, 2018

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Dear Daughter,

You are only 10 years old. You are far too young to understand the #MeToo movement that has crept its way into Hollywood, the government, and even our beloved Southern Baptist Convention.

But since you sometimes hear terms like abuse, assault, scandal, and don’t know what they mean, I want to explain a few important things to you…from one girl to another.

The Lord wants you to be treated well. One of the things that made Jesus revolutionary when He walked the Earth was that He taught and valued women in a time and place when most men did not. Jesus always showed respect and dignity to all women, including special women in His life like Mary Magdalene, Martha and her sister Mary, and His mom.

Never forget that you, too, are one of the special women in Jesus’ life. He wants men to appreciate, protect, and treasure you. Men who try to hurt or damage girls are sinning and need to repent, and there is no excuse for their behavior. However…

Men are not our enemy. Most guys are good and loving and want what’s best for you. Right now those men are your dad, your older brothers (yes, your brothers actually love you!), our family friends, and the pastors at our church. As you grow, virtuous men might also include your professors, bosses, boyfriends and eventual husband. There are always a few folks who do what’s wrong; but don’t let that spoil your idea of the majority. No matter what the celebrities on television or people in the news say, please don’t believe that all men are “out-to-get” you, or that you are at war with them. Because…

Feminism is not your friend. Words like empowerment and women’s liberation might sound happy, but they largely exist to fulfill an agenda (that means plan) which is neither glorifying to God nor profitable for you. Feminism began when Satan asked the first woman, “Did God really say…?” Feminism causes chaos in the home as people stop following the Lord’s design for the family; and it even kills millions of unborn little babies. If you follow them, feminist beliefs will enslave you into a lifestyle you don’t want and turn you into an angry, bitter person.

I would love to tell you that you’re safe from feminism at church; but unfortunately its philosophy is spreading into the SBC. Sadly, feminism is even beginning to accuse innocent, godly men of doing bad things in an effort to remove them from the important positions in which God placed them. Don’t allow feminists to distort your ideas of right and wrong, and don’t let them use you for their causes.

God has a fantastic plan for your life. Daughter, there are things which the Bible allows your dad and brothers to do which It does not allow you and me to do…such as preaching or holding authority over men. Please don’t let that bother you. Men and women were created distinctively, so even though you and I have ministries that are sometimes different from that of boys, what we do is just as significant as what they do. And you and I are just as valuable to the Lord as they are.

It’s absolutely possible for you to use the incredible mind God has given you, receive a wonderful education, speak articulately, and potentially pursue a career… without giving-up God’s design for you as a girl. Not only has God designed us differently from guys, but He has given us special gifts that make us exceptionally good at some things. Someday the Lord might make you a devoted wife and mother, which are the greatest jobs imaginable. He might make you a teacher of ladies and children or a nurturer of people who need care. Spend your life focused on the great things God has given you to do rather than wasting your time trying to do the things God has given men to do!
Following Biblical wisdom will help you. Unfortunately, there is no way to keep people from sinning against you. But the Lord has provided instruction for you in Scripture about how to walk circumspectly (that means being careful how you act) around boys. Protecting your purity, dressing modestly, and being thoughtful about when you are with men and how you behave around them can help you relate rightly to them. You can’t control what guys do or think; however, you can control how you present yourself to others.

Ever since Eve took that bite of forbidden fruit, it has been in our sinful nature to usurp the Lord’s instruction, overturn the leadership of the males who’ve been placed over us, and do things our own way. But don’t ever be ashamed to submit to your husband and make him the head of your household, or dedicate yourself to your home and your family. Don’t ever feel inferior because you pass-over opportunities that are intended for men. Trust me, Sweetheart: the only way for a woman to find true contentment is to obey God’s Word.

If you’ve read this letter all the way to the end, Daughter, I’m very proud of you. As you grow into your teen and adult years, I’ll have lots of conversations with you just like Solomon had with his son. But right now, at ten years old, you don’t need to concern yourself much about the #MeToo movement, women’s lib., issues in the Southern Baptist Convention…or even boys! All you need to worry about is learning long division and having fun.

Through it all, Daughter, just remember how very much Jesus loves you.
This I know. For He loves…me, too.

– Mommy

 

 

*Kara Barnette is married to Rev. Tim Barnette, who is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Faith, North Carolina.

The Courage & Convictions of Dr. Thomas Hatley

July 4, 2018

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SBC Today is grateful to Dr. Tom Hatley for his leadership, courage, and convictions regarding biblical behavior.

With permission are posted his motion at the SBC in Dallas to unseat those who comprise the executive committee of the Southwestern Seminary trustee board, his defense of the motion from the Convention floor, and his open letter to Southern Baptists. We encourage pastors and laypersons to copy the URL link above and share these documents via social media and email.

Additionally, SBC Today is humbled and even more grateful that Dr. Hatley, having served for 25 yearsas pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church Global Outreach Center in Rogers Ark., has led that church to launch and maintain a Christian training ministry in South Asia that includes more than 20,000 pastors.

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Motion Submitted by Dr. Tom Hatley

I move that because the executive committee of the trustee board of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has not followed the teachings of the Bible for such situations, such as Matthew 18:15-20 and I Timothy 5:19, 20 in their handling of this recent decision, and because they have violated the normal protocols, established procedures and honest reporting on many points, including their dismissal of Dr. Patterson while he and his wife were serving the seminary in Germany, thereby preventing him from the normal and respectful opportunity to respond to the charges made in his absence; that we, as the duly convened Southern Baptist Messengers of this convention, by approval of this motion, dismiss them from service as trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary so that new officers might be installed who can return this board to the proper procedures which could honor the Lord, restore our credibility and bring healing to all who are injured.

Submitted by Thomas Hatley, messenger from Immanuel Baptist Church of Rogers Arkansas.

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[Defense of the motion]

I began pastoring at age 20. That means people have trusted me to lead a lot of business meetings. Not long ago I was blessed to serve as a trustee of the International Mission Board and for two of those years I served as chairman. I know what pressures are brought to a chairman. There were several times when issues were so intense that they might have damaged our ministries had we not proceeded with wisdom and deliberation. During such times we lashed ourselves to the Bible and we followed our constitution, rules of order, and protocols, and took whatever time we needed, often months, to be sure we were right on target with our decisions and that we could report them accurately.

My concerns with the executive committee of Southwestern are founded upon their haste, lack of proper investigation, neglect of their founding documents, abandonment of established procedures, failure to properly call their last meeting, disrespect of the binding vote of the full board, failure to allow the accused an opportunity for response, lack of proper reporting, and possible violations of law; all of which could place the future of the school in jeopardy. I fear the loss of our organizational integrity.

My motion is not seeking a reversal of anything, but is declaring that this set of leaders is not a good option for the future of the school. And now with the pressures that are building, this motion would also be in their best interest.

The whole world is watching. They have seen that we know how to devour one another. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” If we act now in love, we will restore our witness. If not, then we further erode it.

At this convention, much has been said about our sagging numbers. Perhaps we have become too much like the world to have the credibility to reach the world. If we affect institutional change by using the world’s methods instead of the truth found in the Word of God, then the lost will not see Jesus in our fellowship and will not listen to our preaching.

Before we can share a witness, we must be a witness.

In all matters, we as believers must stop using the world’s tools to bite and devour. Social media and secular press should never find us critical of one another. We should settle our issues biblically.

I leave you with just a few verses from Ephesians 4 that could enhance our fellowship, improve our witness and bring unity to our convention.

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

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An Open Letter to My Southern Baptist Brothers and Sisters

Dear Southern Baptist Brothers and Sisters,

Having served as a chairman of our largest board I understand how such matters as our current controversy at Southwestern should have been handled. One of the larger concerns during conflict is the need to proceed biblically, with love and grace. My greater concern at this moment is the damage we could be doing to our organizational integrity over time. If this becomes the new norm, then we are going to destroy one another and the Lord’s work through us.

I am asking all of you to join me in praying for healing and for a proper way forward. Let us learn during this moment and determine to never take this path again.

Here are three suggestions as to how we might turn this matter to a pattern of mutual respect and healing. Some of these suggestions are strong, but in my opinion, they are needed.

· I recommend that the SWBTS board chairman and executive committee resign as board members for the following reasons:

  • A lack of understanding of the need for decorum, process and honest reporting has not been evident in their leadership.
  • There has been a failure to enforce the guidelines of Jesus in Matthew 18. Personal conflict should be first handled by one on one resolution where possible. If needed, the parties should proceed to resolution with the assistance of several wise leaders. If not resolved at that level, Dr. Patterson’s local church leaders and church should be involved. If still unresolved, then the board could take a look at the extreme need and vote on a solution.
  • There has been a failure to abide by scripture by confirming all matters with two or three witnesses who have direct knowledge of the problem at hand. (“One witness cannot establish any iniquity or sin against a person, whatever that person has done. A fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” Deut.19:15 CSB, this verse is also referenced in the New Testament.)
  • It appears the chairman may not have abided by the bylaws in giving proper notice of the last board meeting.
  • This chairman would be the one to appoint a search team to seek a new president. His management of the current controversy demonstrates he would not be the right person to lead that search.
  • The second termination of Dr. Patterson was enacted with spurious evidence and with no input from Dr. Patterson or his staff or his lawyer. It is not biblical to condemn someone without hearing from them first. Why could the matter have not waited a few days or weeks to be sure all was done properly?
  • Apparently, hard evidence in this matter was suppressed.
  • There is no way now that this executive committee can be seen as objective going forward. They have tainted their own reputations by revealing their lack of respect for our history, our protocols and our desire to handle all things with love.
  • The chairman has stated that his own “evidence” is “beyond dispute” when it is easily disputed and refuted. Repetition of a false conclusion does not make it less false.
  • The chairman continues to mention the decision was “unanimous”, but that is only by the small number on the executive committee, not the full board. With the emergence of evidence that stands in opposition to the executive committee’s storyline, it is doubtful that a majority of the board would have supported this last decision.

· An honest 3rd party review of accusations and evidence with Dr. Patterson’s and the seminary’s lawyers deep involvement. That 3rd party would then act as the head of a mediation team to bring a fitting conclusion to this matter. The board, of course would have to vote to accept the findings and conclusions of that mediation team. (One approach would be for our current SBC president to recommend or sign off on the choice of mediator.)

· Reinstatement of Dr. Patterson as President but with no direct duties or involvement with any issues involving moral failure at the school. Such should be handled by others until his retirement. This would allay anyone’s fears that he might mishandle such situations. A condition of his reemployment would be that when the final decision was made by the mediation team and the board that he would abide by their decisions even if one of those was that he no longer serve as president.

I know there are many programs and initiatives in place at Southwestern that will be damaged by a sudden change in direction. Dr. Patterson is near retirement and has been readying the ministries of the school for a smooth and powerful transition to whoever is the new president. The Kingdom of our Lord would be best served if he is leading the school while proper investigation is ongoing.

There should be no hostility toward anyone. We should appreciate the difficult situation with which everyone involved has had to deal.

It is time to forgive, restore, heal and move forward in unity. The whole world is watching. We have demonstrated to them that we are not perfect. Now let us demonstrate to them that we still love one another. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 NKJV

With all my love and prayers,

Tom Hatley
Jeremiah 33:3

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Dr. Thomas Hatley has been a Southern Baptist Pastor for over 40 years. Here is some basic information about him.

– Experience as a board chairman (IMB Chairman from summer of 2005 through summer of 2007).

– His Doctoral Thesis at Liberty University was on conflict management in ministry.

– Currently serves as pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church Global Outreach Center, Rogers, AR. (25 years of tenure. The church has a powerful training ministry in South Asia that includes over 20,000 pastors.)

SWBTS donors request investigative committee re: Patterson termination; suggest executive committee actions imperil academic accreditation

June 30, 2018

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The excerpts below of 875 words are extracted from a letter of 3100+ words sent to members of the SWBTS Executive Committee and is signed by 26 supporters of SWBTS and Dr. Paige Patterson.

A link to the entire letter with its signatories follows the excerpts, which stand as a summary of the letter.

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EXCERPTS:

Dear Mr. Ueckert and Executive Committee Members:

Please allow this letter to express our utter disdain for your actions on May 30, 2018, regarding Dr. Paige Patterson.

The illegal manner by which that meeting was called and conducted, your statement on May 30, 2018 which was completely devoid of any specific charge against Dr. Patterson, followed two days later by Kevin Ueckert’s statement defaming Dr. Patterson, all point to an abuse of power which is anathema to the moral and ethical principles embraced by an honorable people.

Your failure to afford even a modicum of due process to Dr. Patterson was a complete miscarriage of justice.

The allegations made by Bart Barber on the floor at the SBC Convention were contrary to [the] facts and thus, in our opinion, were false and slanderous.

Your actions toward Dr. Patterson on May the 30th are as indefensible in their substance as they are legally illegitimate in the manner in which they took place.

In legal terms, you conducted an ex parte hearing. Such “one party only” hearings are allowed in our civil courtrooms only when there exists such imminent harm to the petitioner and time is of such an essence, that immediate action must be taken to avoid perilous and irreputible harm.

You are well aware of the legal problems associated with your failure to give timely Notice for the May 30th meeting, as required by your By-laws. You are also aware that you failed to give proper Notice regarding the drastic action you intended to address and thereafter take. We highlight those failures to acknowledge their on-going legal significance. We anticipate that as a result of your actions that day, the Seminary will face significant consequences both from its accrediting board, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Texas Attorney General’s office.

The May 30, 2018 Statement by the Executive Committee Board refers only to “new information” and “details presented” in a vague attempt to explain your indefensible actions against Dr. Patterson.

On Tuesday, May 29, 2018, individuals at Southwestern, upon looking into Dr. Patterson’s personal keepsakes, located correspondence between Dr. Patterson and Megan Lively (then Nicholas). First, there is a personal letter dated, April 15, 2003 written from Megan Nicholas to Dr. Patterson acknowledging that whatever event that did occur in 2003, all matters associated with it were handled by Dr. Mosely and not by Dr. Patterson. Dr. Patterson’s reply of April 21, 2003, was kind and affirming of his confidence in her and the Lord. A second written exchange occurred three months later, when Megan again wrote to Dr. Patterson on July 23, 2003, sharing her thoughts about “how blessed the Southwestern faculty and students” were going to be to have him as their President. Dr. Patterson replied on July 30, 2003, thanking her for her “precious words of encouragement” and assuring her of his continued prayers.

All told, there is no justification for the Southwestern Executive Committee’s failure to undertake an exhaustive investigation, including but not limited to extensive discussions with Dr. Patterson, in an effort to determine the truth of the events that allegedly occurred more than 15 years ago at another institution, before acting as irresponsibly as it did on May 30, 2018.

In contrast, the facts regarding the 2015 Southwestern event referenced by Mr. Ueckert in his June 1 statement are well known. It is our understanding that you knew full well that the female student’s allegations of rape were false, that she had engaged in consensual sexual activities on more than one occasion and those acts had taken place in public buildings at the Seminary, and that campus security were shown the nude pictures she texted to the male student. It is our further understanding that you knew full well that she begged Dr. Patterson to not call the police, but he insisted that he would and he did so within six minutes of hearing her allegation.

The statement issued by the Board of Trustees on May 23rd is evidence that the Trustee Board accepted Dr. Patterson’s explanation and appropriately exonerated him fully of all matters associated with the 2015 Southwestern event.

The legal definition of a trustee is that of one who acts in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of the individual or institution they serve. This is not an ecclesiastical term with ecclesiastical responsibilities. This is a legal term with legal responsibilities. Your legal fiduciary obligations to speak truthfully and act honorably, in all your actions and in all matters involving your association with the Seminary, we submit, were grievously and irresponsibly ignored from May 23 forward.

Moreover, we submit, there is now evidence that acts of a dishonest and disreputable nature occurred.

Our past financial gifts to the Seminary total in the millions of dollars. Our future possible gifts, and bequests from our estates, we estimate could be well in excess of tens of millions of dollars.

Please know that until the serious wrongs against Dr. and Mrs. Patterson are righted, we will be unable to continue our financial support of the Seminary.

We ask that the full Board of Trustees meet forthwith, and in accordance with its fiduciary responsibilities, appoint an investigative committee to review thoroughly all recent actions involving Dr. Patterson.
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Thanks to SBC ISSUES for the LINK to the ENTIRE LETTER.

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