There's no room in the church for whistleblowers – Paige Patterson
Paige Patterson started his sermon with 1 Corinthians 6. His main message was that you and I do not bring sin of the church out into the open so the media – or law enforcement – might judge it.
His message is called, So You Believe in the inerrancy of God’s word…well Bully for YOU!
Inerrancy, simplistically is basically the bible is accurate and completely free from error. I linked to a urban dictionary so you can see what is meant by Bully for YOU. I think in this case it’s basically saying GOOD for you with sarcasm.
Paige then goes into a lesson about why you should bring matters to the church, and not the media and as he also stated….law enforcement.
Funny thing is if humans in history had followed this belief system that even if the church is wrong? You need to ROLL with it? No one would have broke off from the main church back in history, and we wouldn’t have different denominations today.
All the theologians we like to read about, or love to death? For example, Luther, Calvin, Wesley and many others? They would be non existent, and we would still be under the rule of a cruel religious system.
Remember the history that when individuals tried to take things to the church the church ran right over them. They tortured people, and killed them. This was ‘church business’, and they shut you down with the threat of their power.
Sadly, it seems the church trying a different tactic. They can’t use the torture method of the past, but they will use lies and propaganda instead.
History is repeating itself, and the means maybe different….yet the message is the same.
No matter what ….. keep it in the church!
Morality of Knowing the difference between Sin and Crime
To me it seems these church leaders with all their education, study, and knowledge still don’t seem to grasp the difference between CRIME and SIN. I’m speaking more on a morality principal here. Crime is sin of course, but not every sin is crime as in police involvement, etc.
People LOVE to use the sexual abuse cover-up of the Catholic church against them for a host of reasons, and that circumstance does show they also didn’t view crime and sin properly at that time.
The Catholic hierarchy had the notion that child rape was a sin rather than a crime. Hence the emphasis on forgiveness, therapy, repentance - rather than removal, prosecution and investigation. Obviously, there's one reason for this: they were defending the reputation of the church by hiding its darkest secrets, and they were using the authority of religion to do so.
Faith organizations outside the Catholic Church do this as well, and they see it as somewhat different FOR THEM. I guess they feel they can do it ‘better’ or something. Yet, in most cases they do this for the same reasons: hiding its darkest secrets, and they are using the authority of religion to do so.
Now, I think we all realize there are certain circumstances that can be dealt with in the church. It’s the same with the personnel issues with the staff. Not every single item needs to be out in the open. Its better to handle gossip about members, or personnel issues like tardiness within the church. When aspects grow beyond the garden variety sins? They can be crimes, and no where in the bible will you find that we are NOT to take that to police.
Paige Patterson missed one KEY word in scripture he presented. That word ‘trivial’. How he could have missed it?
Trivial Matter or Not so Trivial…that is the question!
What would take for YOU to sue this institution if you worked for it? Paige Patterson asked an attorney that was applying for a job there – around 3:20 mark. The attorney stated it would have to be a circumstance in which his rights were seriously abused, and he was asked to give some examples.
Patterson asked him if those circumstances were in the bible, and the attorney stated he did not believe so. To which Paige Patterson giggled that he was NOT in the employment of this organization. To Paige this is common, because we live in a world of accusations.
Now my first thought was an attorney working with Paige Patterson isn’t going to bring a lawsuit against the organization over ‘accusations’. I mean lawyers realize you need more than that to do anything about it.
We also need to remember that in the past the church had the power to take the law into their own hands, and hand down punishment, judgment, etc. The church today can’t send someone to the RACK, or cut out their tongue and all those torture techniques anymore. WELL at least in most countries today.
You do find in most cases when an individual or groups of individuals bring the court or the media to the attention of the church? Its habitual criminal or unethical behavior.
We aren’t speaking of just plain sin here, but crime!
2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels?
Now you notice in the above the scripture mentions ‘trivial’ cases. Rape is not trivial, and child rape is certainly not either. The habitual covering up abuse cases isn’t trivial. Its not only sin, but a crime.
Folks if you are going to judge angels, and if you are going to judge the world don’t you think you can handle the same problems that happen in the Church of God? - Paige Patterson5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
Next, Paige goes into hinting at circumstances are well beyond what you would consider ‘trivial’ cases. This is where they attempt to melt the trivial with the not trivial issues.
Its where the church gets themselves into trouble, because they do have a moral obligation to report crime! See below:
1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, (14) or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
Yet, they feel their reputation would be stained. How little faith is my first thought. Sure, you may struggle because of the crime for a period. God will bless you for doing what is right, and his will – NOT OURS – be done!
I offer a different scripture that speaks to the spirit of the discussion:
1 Timothy 1:8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.
(9) We also know that the law is not made for the righteous but for the law breakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
(10) for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers - and for whatever is contrary to the sound doctrine
(11) that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
Accept Injustices because God told you TOO!
Paige Patterson states that people just want to go to the law, because they feel that the church FAILED them in the judgment process. They don’t feel justice has been served.
Why don’t you learn to just accept WRONG! Learn to accept INjustice! You say its no in my basic makeup to do that! You know I’m an Irish Texan so lets FIGHT! (giggles from audience) But is what God’s word demands. Why is that? Why would God say, “Why don’t you just accept wrong?” Why would he ask you to do that? WELL that all depends on your viewpoint of God! If in your mind and heart God is a JUST GOD that settles the issue Folks!
What that means is God eventually sets everything right. If you are wronged? Somewhere down the line God sets it right! Well you say, “Well he is to slow!” NOOO! He is right on time. When it needs to happen he will set it right. Than you say, “ I’m dying and he still hasn’t set it right!” No one said he will could set it right in this life! – Paige Patterson
What Paige needs to think about is if God feels there is sin in the church that needs to come into the light? He also will use his means to do it, and yes today that could very well be the media and the police.
No doubt the church may get it wrong from time to time on trivial matters. Yet, when its not the trivial matters and God is using the media or police? You also need to accept God’s decision.
Sadly, Paige Patterson seems to feel you are sinning against the church instead. The ‘crime’ against him is more important than the crime against society. No human is that important.
Again there is a BIG difference between SIN and CRIME! In the bible we read about punishments that people had to endure because of the crimes they committed, and the church sanctioned those punishments. The bible is full of stories of how people were punished for crimes during that period of history (Exodus has plenty of examples), and how many struggled with their sin (David, for example).
We also have examples later on in church history where the church used its powers to commit injustices….because they had the power to do so. That’s where the breaks from the church started, and the injustices of the church were the reason.
If what he states is true? We would only have ONE church, and not all these different denominations. Chances are Paige would NOT be in his position at the Seminary, because we may still be under rule of the Catholic Church.
Paige also feels people to just accept things as the people in leadership tell you to, and if its not right God will handle them. You may not see justice, but God will handle that in his own time. He may not show you his justice, because chances are you would ‘gloat’ about it anyway. He seems to feel that justice – that you could see - may damage your walk in faith.
Yes, he lays it on THICK doesn’t he?
You don’t take matters to the PRESS!
Paige Patterson next decided he would play God, and mention he will ‘expand’ on this scripture of 1 Corinthians 6. You don’t take matters to the media!
“If I had fifty dollars for every time that I have told somebody from the press: ‘I’m not going to comment on that because, frankly, it’s none of your business; it’s the church of God’ — if I had fifty dollars for every time I’ve done that, this would be a wealthy institution and you wouldn’t have to pay any tuition at all,” he said.
“I’m not going to talk to the press about things that are matters internal to the church of the Living God,” Patterson said. “It is none of their business. And they can’t possibly get it right, and they don’t get it right, so why do you take it to the world of unbelief? Whether that be the court, whether that be the press? ‘Well there’s just no other way to handle it.’ Yes there is. Commit it to the Lord God Almighty.”
Church history shows that the church doesn’t always get things right, and people have gone OUTSIDE the church….or tore off a piece to make a new church due to what Paige feel is ‘matters internal to the church of the living God’.
If we take this stern approach? All other denominations have their foundation firmly planted in SIN! How does he live with that reality? He doesn’t, and no doubt would think that concept is a joke. Yet, that would mean at times it is OKAY to go outside the church with matter beyond ‘trivial’. Yes?
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
…and IF you suffer for it. and IF you were misused! And IF you were abused, and if you are not represented properly! Its Okay. You can trust it (pointing up) to God who judges justly. May God grant that we do that. – Paige Patterson
Then he finishes with a prayer:
…That we won’t take our troubles to the press. That we won’t take out troubles to the government. That we won’t take our troubles anywhere except to the people of God, and beyond that to the Lord Jesus. And may we as a result present to the Lord Jesus upon his return a beautifully adorned Bride – the bride of Christ – Holy and Pure upon him. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
When Pastor’s manipulate scripture in this manner their integrity comes into question. They pretend there is no difference between sin and crime. They do this to protect themselves, and they feel the reputation of the church. God doesn’t need their protection, because he is MORE than capable of taking care of it himself.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here! Paige Patterson is more concerned with HIS reputation, and his post of power. If he isn’t doing anything immoral or illegal? He doesn’t need to tell the press that church business its none of their business when they come to him with questions about his conduct. He should have nothing to hide. If he is doing nothing wrong? He should have enough faith to know that God will protect him, and hand out justice as he sees fit.
Cindy Kunsman today wrote an article about Hana Williams today. The Christian parents that beat her, and starved her to death were sentenced in court this week for their punishment. The father got 27 years, and the mother received 37 years. Their actions were sin of course, but thankfully people knew their was also a crime that needed punishment for the good of society.
Yes, it was okay to take those troubles to the court. There was nothing sinful about it.
When will we – the Body of Christ – demand our teachers of the church use discernment to know the difference between ‘trivial’ sins and crimes against society? Paige Patterson’s lesson shows clearly how they don’t have a clue.
So You Believe in the inerrancy of God’s word …..
Exodus 23:1 Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a false witness.
(2) Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,
(3) and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.
(4) If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him.
(5) If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help him with it.
(6) Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.
(7) Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
(8) Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.
(9) Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you where aliens in Egypt.
Why Paige Patterson's anti-outsider stance is wrong
And what about Patterson’s insistence that his anti-outsider stance is somehow biblical? If Patterson needs a biblical basis for doing what's right, then he should look to the first thing listed by the prophet Micah. “And what does God require of you? To act justly . . . .” (Micah 6:8)
Advocate says SBC leader gives bad advice
He said if law enforcement does not or cannot act to protect children “whistleblowers in churches should call journalists.”
“More wrongdoing in churches needs to be reported more often to more people who are more apt to stop it and prevent future wrongdoing,” Clohessy said.
“We hope every Baptist rejects this self-serving, unhealthy and often dangerous advice, especially when it comes to sexual and financial crimes, whether known or suspected,” he said.
Paige Patterson (SBC) Advice to Victims of Domestic Violence
Audio of Patterson telling the abuse victim to go home and pray for her spouse.
“I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.” And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black. And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.” And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy."
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