Theologian Questions Findings on Divorce, Immorality Among Believers By Jim Brown January 31, 2003 (AgapePress) - The president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary says there is a growing tolerance for divorce and immorality in Southern Baptist churches. A recent survey by the Barna Research Group found that born-again Christians were just as likely as non-Christians to read magazines and watch videos with sexually explicit content. Not to mention, Barna and other researchers claim evangelical Christians are more likely to go through divorce than are non-believers. None of this comes as a shock to former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president Paige Patterson. "I happen to be a pre-millennialist when it comes to my end-times viewpoint, and as such I do believe that evil will wax worse and worse in the end times," Patterson says. "[A]s we come down to the time of the Lord's return, it will be difficult even for the elect of God to evade this. So that part of it should not surprise us -- even though it disappoints us." However, Patterson says one problem with Barna's surveys is that he often does not define exactly who it is he surveyed. For example, Patterson says he would like to know Barna's definition of an evangelical church. Consequently, the SBC leader urges caution when it comes to Barna's figures. "I think if you were to take churches ... that are evangelical churches with a strong pulpit devoted to the scriptures -- such as First Baptist Dallas or Bellevue in Memphis -- you'll find a little bit of divorce and you'll find some immorality in there," he says. "But my guess is that it won't be anywhere close to what Barna paints." Patterson says when listening to statisticians, it is important to ask them how they chose their churches when doing the survey. © 2003 AgapePress all rights reserved.