Southwestern Baptist Seminary President Paige Patterson, one of the architects of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, got downright defensive about reports showing the SBC in decline and fellow Southern Baptists’ suggestions that the convention might need to change.
In his Baptist Press commentary, Patterson gave these excuses for declining baptism and membership statistics:
1. Many churches didn’t turn in reports.
2. Small membership loss is no big deal.
3. It would have been worse if moderate Baptists were in charge.
4. I’m not mean-spirited; those who call me mean-spirited are mean-spirited.
5. Many young leaders are still in SBC.
6. Suggestions that churches should be more sensitive to culture are misguided.
Patterson steadfastly excuses himself and his cohorts from any blame for creating an unattractive image of the SBC.
“Thrashing the Conservative Renaissance (his new name for the so-called Conservative Resurgence) as though it were somehow responsible for this decline is irresponsible,” wrote Patterson.
He sounds more agitated at the current SBC insiders who question the convention’s course of exclusion than those he helped exclude from the SBC years ago.
Interestingly, the SBC’s problems have nothing to do with nearly three decades of ever-narrowing doctrine and negative resolutions aimed at all sorts of people. According to Patterson, the real problem is simply a lack of prayer, a failure to witness, shallow preaching and seeking to adapt the church to the culture.
Now we get it.