When a church elder said to a friend of mine, regarding her husband’s 25-year-long pornography problem, “It’s just a little porn,” I knew the problem went deeper than the husband’s porn. That church elder had a problem too.
When Sovereign Grace Ministries protects child abusers and accuses the victims, the problem is obviously way beyond child abusers. There is every indication of serious rot at the core of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
When Beth Moore describes the condescension, stereotyping, objectification, and downright misogyny she’s had to deal with in conservative evangelicalism, there is every indication of a much deeper problem at work at the core of the hearts of the men she’s interacting with on a regular basis than simply ignorance and arrogance.
When Paige Patterson promoted Darrell Gilyard, a pastor who raped many women—not just ignored his heinous sin, but actually promoted him—and almost none of Paige Patterson’s peers thought this was a problem, this indicates a problem in their own hearts and perhaps with their very own bodies. If a man does not see rape as a problem, then something is going on.
When Paige Patterson and other evangelical leaders stereotype older women as difficult gossipy biddies and younger women as sex objects, and the young men they’re speaking to just laugh and enjoy it, there is a problem in the hearts of those young men, and very possibly with their eyes and their very bodies.
And these are the young men who are heading out all over the country to start churches in the mold of the “conservative resurgence” that Paige Patterson himself directed, the leaders of which are getting stained-glass windows in their honor.
So here I am, learning about things such things as (for example, and I could give so many examples) a young man in ministry berating his fiancée to read “complementarian” material so she would submit to him to allow him to do sexual things to her and force her to do sexual things to him. The leaders of conservative evangelicalism might cry out that this is never what they intended, but they are breeding these men.
Another woman told me that her extremely abusive husband, one whom she had to flee from for her life, had been a seminary student under Paige Patterson’s teachings and loved how he taught submission.
When Paige Patterson spoke the atrocious words eighteen years ago showing not only a complete ignorance of abuse, but an apparent delight in it (he was “happy” when the woman in his story showed up at church with two black eyes), he demonstrated a problem in his own heart far beyond ignorance.
When recently instead of recanting these words, he defended them, and then his conservative evangelical friends considered him “under attack,” for the public outcry and held a prayer meeting to pray imprecatory psalms against his “attackers,” they show that they have a problem in their own hearts. They demonstrate that they themselves are the very people that Beth Moore describes. They demonstrate that something far deeper and darker is going on here than simply ignorance or even willful ignorance, which is bad enough. They demonstrate that they want to continue to breed a generation of abusers.
There are those of us who are in the trenches dealing with the fallout of horrendous teachings such as that which Patterson recently defended. But with a very few isolated exceptions, Patterson’s fellow SBC and conservative evangelical leaders will not decry his teachings, apparently because there is something going on in their own hearts.
Apparently continuing to breed a generation of abusers is more important to them than showing the love of God to those in need. God help us.
Porn is fuelling the rape culture crisis. It is woven so tightly into into the fabric of our culture that people are blinded. My husband’s porn addiction runs so deep and strong in his veins and refuses to take responsibility. After 21 years of of abuse, I went to my physician, who is also an ordained pastor, (which is his hobby) to seek help. I truly thought that he would want to help my family and address the porn problem as it was affecting the marriage, my sons, family life, our finances. My husband was stuck in gross sin which no one wanted to address. Not the Church nor the Secular. The physician told me that it was my fault my husband has a porn addiction as if to say it was my responsibility to make him change. He also said that I should not go around spreading rumours about my husband. Victim blaming at it’s finest!
This is a horrendous and tragic story, and I agree–pornography is rampant in the churches. Church leaders who wink at domestic and sexual abuse–well, I always wonder what’s on their computers.
“they are breeding these men”
The podcast you provided a link to doesn’t contain an account of a woman getting her eyes blacked, Rebecca. Patterson does offer some lame advice about how a godly wife can end marital abuse by prayer.
Hmm. So, if a man wanders into the bad part of town late at night with a briefcase of money I guess he’s safe. Because if he’s a Christian and is prayed up God will automatically protect him from muggers.
I attended a parochial school where the boys of 12 or 13 would beat my friend black and blue every week. Why did they do this? Largely because of the complementarian teachings about how men are superior and God wants them to lord it over their families.
Note the teachers didn’t say, “Martin, Jesus wants you to beat up Stacey.” But Martin came from a home where his dad beat his mom (the ugly secret that wasn’t a secret) and the comp dogma added fuel to the flames of his contempt/hatred for the weaker vessels.
To quote from the podcast: “She came to church one morning with both eyes black, and she said, ‘I hope you’re happy,’ and I said, ‘Yes ma’am, I am.'” He does clarify that the reason he was happy was that he saw her husband in the back of the church (and follows up with saying the husband later repented), but it was horrifying to me that he could look at a woman with two black eyes and say he was happy.
Yes, it is systematic throughout evangelicalism. I am a Christian, not an evangelical. Jesus treated Mary Magdalene and the woman at the well very differently than most evangelical men treat women today. (Very, very important exceptions exist here.)
Fantastic post Rebecca!
it is okay to reblog it?
Yes, thank you very much.
Excellent article! Spot on!
Followup on Gilyard. On child sex offender list AND out of prison and back “pastoring” a church. I wish I could say, “UNBELIEVABLE.”
Thank you, yes. Those are very important links.
So sorry Trish… bless your heart and stay strong Sister! keeping speaking out and using your voice… you are not to blame… this response by the men is APPALLING and sadly par for the course… porn spawns this abhorrent view of women.. it is so very sick and perverse… literally God is allowing the brains/minds of men viewing porn to be physically affected similar to drugs… it’s Romans 1:28… giving them over to a debased mind… and it perpetuates itself… here is something I recently wrote regarding “lording it over”/abuse of power… and how porn spawns that attitude…
***It is essential that leaders deeply comprehend the serious negative influence of pornography. Research indicates participation in pornography seriously affects the brain. Research indicates there is a strong correlation between porn and narcissistic behavior. Research indicates that porn is a key cause in over 50% of divorce. If this overture did not mention porn and the horrific damage it causes at all levels, it would be negligent in following due diligence. Researchers that have studied porn use for 30 years have found absolutely no benefit to porn, only significant damage, contrary to what the conventional culture would have many believe. Increasing awareness of the epidemic use of porn by people in the Church, including by leaders, is about far more than lust. Participation in porn compromises values and desensitizes people to others… so porn feeds and fuels abuse, deception, selfishness, objectification of people, misogyny, narcissistic behavior, prostitution, violence against women, human and sex trafficking, etc. Leaders that have a porn problem are compromised to various degrees on walking in honesty, integrity, doing what is right, especially when they will look bad and/or might lose their position of influence, power, and prestige, etc. as a pastor and in the pulpit. Abuse of power can be fueled through the progression of viewing porn to acting out the behavior viewed with porn, which is often very demeaning, degrading, dehumanizing, etc. Pornography is a grievous sin against the God given dignity of humanity made in His image. Research indicates porn is a huge problem in the Church… and the (specific denom) is not exempt. The extent of the porn problem requires far more drastic measures to more effectively address the porn epidemic than has been the case for the last several decades as porn fuels abuse of power, exploitation and objectification of the very people leaders are called to serve (18,19).
Maybe we should name the elephant in the room – the reality that mental health professionals like me now assume people are addicted to porn. It’s not the exception, it’s the norm. Yes, men who’ve been formed in the sexualized liturgy of our culture are stuffing the shame and pretending to be ok when it’s not ok… Can I tell you how many people have said to me, “I started experimenting a bit in middle school – looking at images, masturbating – but no one ever talked about this, not my parents, not my school, not my youth group, and never, ever my pastor.” bold emphasis added
Chuck Degroat https://blog.perspectivesjournal.org/2017/12/16/we-need-to-talk-about-sex/
Yes. Thank you for this.
Thank you!! Still speaking out as hard as it is. You won’t believe the fury that has been thrown at me as I address this issue in our culture through my art.
So sorry to hear that, Trish.
Thank you Rebecca! I believe porn is the fuel for much of the misogeny/abuse going on… as well as the cover up since porn spawns deception… so many men are compromised due to porn… and they are not getting free because the Church refuses to be honest and transparent… it’s all hush hush… and seriously minimized when it is brought up…
I forget who said/wrote this but it’s completely true: “Porn is the ideology. Rape is the practice.”
Something like 90 percent or more of men use porn on the regular. It’s concentrated woman-hating. It’s not sexy. It’s vile. It’s rape-ideology. It’s male supremacy. It’s hate speech. And it involves real human beings (women) being harmed in the making of it.
Just like with a raging alcoholic, who reeks of liquor, is slurring words, doing the drunk man’s walk… there’s tell tale signs of porn usage by men. It shows up in their callousness, their sexual aggression/assaultiveness, their belief in rape myths, their increased contempt for women, their desensitized selves, and their increasingly depraved sexual proclivities. It’s a predator’s playbook and they orgasm to this vile filth. They get off on it!
Also, a ‘fun fact’ for those who do think it’s “just a little porn”, every single serial killer and serial rapist in the USA is a hardcore porn user. Every last one of them. And to them, rape is ‘sex’. And some arrange their murder victims in porn setups, creating in real life a replica of what they saw in porn, only with a murdered woman, instead of a prostituted, coerced, abused, traumatized woman supposedly ‘consenting’ to such with payment of money (and money is coercion, so true consent is never there).
To porn using men, sex is violence and violence is sexual. And no, porn is not about sexual empowerment. Not in the least. And boys are growing up on this, using porn as sex education and for perverse interests. Teenage girls are being pressured for porn sex — anal, and all sorts of stuff. Can you imagine? I feel sorry for all these girls, and young women, let alone the next generation.
It is truly a tragedy and a terrible crisis. Because sex-trafficked and formerly sex-trafficked women come to me and talk to me about their trauma, I have the privilege of seeing the crisis in a very personal way.
See today’s world.wng.org article about this. May God do a mighty work in His church, Isaiah 58:6-12.
Thank you. I had missed that PP issued an apology yesterday, which is here https://swbts.edu/news/releases/apology-gods-people/ But this blog post of mine was not so much about Patterson as it was about the culture he and others have created. The culture is still there.
I am completely shocked at how the “evangelical” church has completely lost its way. After separating from my emotionally abusive husband (plus much more) of 3 decades I was told I could HAVE a 30 day sabbatical, then counseling, then restoration. I expected a pat on the head and an offer of a lollipop…
I was treated as if I had woken up with a hangnail, not once did he take my character into consideration that I would never falsely accuse anyone.
This is terrible, but all too common.
This is the spirit of antichrist–the devil who hates, deceives, steals, kills and destroys.
The spirit who hates women and exploits them
The spirit who hates the Jesus Who loves women and empowers them.
This is the spirit who manifests himself as an angel of light while he blasphemes God, oppressed women and children and deceives the religious masses to do the same.
This is the spirit who portrays god as egotistical, exploitive, power-seeking and abusive–turning the hearts of millions away.
This is all deliberate.
This is not Christianity.
This is antichrist.
Yes, well said, Brenda.
Right on Brenda..The antichrist spirit…ain’t that the truth. Any ideas on how to deal with this?
[…] Today it was announced that Paige Patterson, President of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, would be “demoted” from President to President Emeritus (though some would reasonably argue that this is simply an early retirement). This “demotion” came after immense public pressure that has been capably recorded in other places, such as Spiritual Sounding Board. I wrote about the problem behind the problem of Paige Patterson once, here. […]