Sorry Is Not Enough
Paige Peterson, the president of South West Baptist Theological Seminary has done what none could have predicted. Peterson has released a three-paragraph statement apologizing for his comments saying they "lacked clarity “and "wounded" some women.’’ While I don’t doubt the sincerity of his statement, I'm troubled by its substance. After all, the statement was part-apology and part-time excuse. Peterson claimed the matter could be attributed to failure to be as thoughtful and careful in extemporaneous expression as I should have been.
Two weeks ago, Peterson was inflicted when his comments about spousal abuse and a 16 year- old girl in his sermon went viral. In his sermon, he said," everyone should own at least one woman and advising abused women to return home and be submissive in every way."
The second injury came when Peterson responded to the controversy by standing stalwart and claiming he had nothing for which to apologize. For more than 13 days, he folded his arms while Southern Baptism was thrown into chaos. He dismissed reporters' questions and shrugged off his critics. For 13 days he ignored a cavalcade of women including 3,000 from his own denomination -who practically begged him to make amends for his dangerous comments.
In theological terms, Peterson sees his comments as snafu rather than a sin. But the advice he offered to the victims of domestic abuse and the ways in which he has spoken about moment in general is neither a mere mistake nor the result of carelessness. It is wrong and contradicts the bible teachings on violence and marriage.
But the Southern Baptists cannot move on because their denomination has been unexpectedly thrust into a large cultural conversation about the mistreatment of women and the institution’s failure to protect them from powerful men who misbehave. Their commitment to the safely and dignity of women has now been called into question.
In either case, it will take a much heavier dose of humility for Peterson to step aside in service to the institutions and people he claims to love.
Source:Religious News Service