Will Paige Patterson Still Deliver the Keynote Sermon at the Southern Baptist Annual Meeting?

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I will be shocked if Patterson goes ahead with the sermon.

Over at Religion News Service, Adelle Banks gives us the latest.  Here is a taste of her piece, “Will he or won’t he?

(RNS) — Paige Patterson is still listed on the program as giving the sermon at his denomination’s upcoming annual convention, despite being condemned for expressing views “antithetical to the core values of our faith,” in the words of a member of a seminary board that fired him as president emeritus last week.

As the Southern Baptist Convention’s meeting approaches, the question remains: Will Patterson give the sermon or won’t he?

Denominational leaders say that the decision is up to Patterson. “It will be his call to make as to whether or not he would voluntarily withdraw prior to the annual meeting,” Roger S. Oldham, spokesman for the SBC’s Executive Committee, said Friday (June 1).

Long a lionized figure in the Southern Baptist Convention, considered a patriarch or founding father by many, Patterson was until recently best known for pushing back against feminism and the women’s movement. Last month, in a dramatic #MeToo moment, he was fired for demeaning women.

But according to the bylaws of the SBC’s meeting, to be held June 12-13 in Dallas, since Patterson was elected by the messengers, or delegates, at last year’s meeting to preach the sermon at the upcoming gathering in Dallas, that body must also vote to remove him.

“The only body that would have the authority to change that would be the messengers of this year’s meeting or he himself,” Oldham said.

If nothing else, Southern Baptists are sticklers for parliamentary rules, which can make governing the 15 million-member convention, the nation’s largest Protestant group, a knotty, difficult and sometimes taxing affair.

“The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest open meeting run by parliamentary procedure in the world,” said Wade Burleson, a Southern Baptist blogger and Oklahoma pastor. “It’s mass chaos.”

Read the entire piece here.