Southwestern Seminary asserts policy of male headship

Southwestern Seminary asserts policy of male headship

paige-patterson on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The Associated Baptist Press reports that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary adopted a policy statement October 21, 2009, that asserts that men and women are equal before God but created for specific roles of either headship (authority) or submission in both the home and in the church.

Paige Patterson, the president of Southwestern, was among those who drafted the Danvers Statement in 1987.  He will use the new policy to serve as a guide in both the hiring and evaluation processes according to the ABP report.  His wife Dorothy is a professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern which offers a bachelor’s degree with focus on homemaking.  Southwestern has made a complete dive into the female submission program by showing the difference between male and female Biblical studies.  The B.A. in humanities revolves around 20% of the instruction hours in homemaking with a fully equipped teaching kitchen, clothing and textiles lab, formal dining room and parlor along with Bible teaching in the classrooms.  Will there be a male version of the B.A. in humanities?  There has not been any announcement yet of hunting classes for the men but since Patterson is an avid hunter, we expect that announcement will come sooner than later to help teach young males true “male headship”.

Paige Patterson hunter outfit

 

The Associated Baptist Press also reports that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has offices on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  Perhaps CBMW can help Southwestern draft a brand new Christian Talmud that can help answer all the black, white and grey areas about what Christian women can and cannot do in the presence of men.  It is not certain whether Southwestern has forbidden men from attending Dorothy Patterson’s cooking classes, but if they did attend would Mrs. Patterson be in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12-14 or would it be the men who would be charged with sin?  After all the passage doesn’t specifically mention “Bible teaching” but merely “teaching”.

The Danvers statement affirms “distinctions in masculine and feminine roles” as ordained by God as part of the created order and not as a result of sin.  No one yet has been able to answer the question about whether Eve’s “role” was in ruling over the female animals, while Adam got all the manly ones.  Or perhaps there was a male section of the garden and a female section.  Rumor is that although Adam and Eve didn’t wear any clothes, that Eve at least wore a hat mandated by God to show her in-the-beginning-creation-ordained “role” of submission.

Dorothy Patterson on Women in Ministry blog

Mrs. Patterson is very happy to show her “role” by her stylish hats.  If only Sheri Klouda would have worn her creation-ordained hat, perhaps she could have kept her job as an  Old Testament professor at Southwestern.  Sheri had been hired by Paige Patterson’s predecessor in 2002 and then relieved of her duties when Paige found out that Sheri was a woman.  Apparently teaching Hebrew to men is not allowed by 1 Timothy 2:12-14.  Rumor has it that Patterson was not willing to offer Sheri a job in the cooking department because it would have made the seminary look bad to have a Hebrew speaking cook on staff.

35 thoughts on “Southwestern Seminary asserts policy of male headship

  1. Cheryl:

    PP and his wife have done incalculcuable damage to the SBC particuarly as it relates to women. Sadly notice that no one in the SBC upper ranks dares to criticize him or his wife. I keep wondering when women left in the SBC are going to rise up and say enough is enough. I often wonder what is stopping them. Let me be clear that is not a criticism, the first ones to step forward would have to pay a high price.

    Lastly, let’s see if the other seminaries in the SBC follow PP’s lead.

  2. Tom,
    I understand what you mean especially by the term “dares”. Those who blow the whistle or who expose that which is false are often tarred and feathered and then removed. Sometimes things are not fixed until those who still have a conscience finally say “enough is enough” and there is a massive backlash. It is lonely being a lone fighter who blazes the way. I know because I have been there and done that. But even through the pain knowing that one has done what is right and pleased the Lord through faithfulness can give one peace through the battle.

    I was very dismayed to hear that this seminary has taken such a strong stand on the women’s issue and it is mostly due to Paige Patterson. I hope for the churches sake that other seminaries do not follow his lead.

  3. “The B.A. in humanities revolves around 20% of the instruction hours in homemaking with a fully equipped teaching kitchen, clothing and textiles lab, formal dining room and parlor along with Bible teaching in the classrooms. Will there be a male version of the B.A. in humanities?”

    Cheryl,
    I wonder if the Pattersons would let Jesus borrow the women’s kitchen. He cooked for His disciples.

    “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught…Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.” John 21:8-13

    Of course, since Jesus was cooking outside they probably call it ‘bar-b-queing’ – which then apparently makes it ‘manly.’ What if a man grills on a covered patio deck? Is that semi-manly? Let me check my Talmud.

    My theory is that this will eventually split the SBC.

  4. Kay:

    The truly sad part is that PP has been splitting the SBC since 1979 and no one will stand up and tell him he has, he is doing this horrific damage.

    I used to believe his crazy stuff would stop, but sadly I do not any more.

    The damage one man can do without anyone standing up to him can not be calculated.

  5. Cheryl, I am still laughing at your humor, but it’s only to mask the sobbing going on in my spirit. I grieve for all the women (and men!) who are deceived and think they are enlightened.

  6. Kay,
    Not only did Jesus cook for the men, but he encouraged Mary to stay away from the kitchen and sit at his feet as a disciple. How many women who are gifted and called by the Holy Spirit have been relegated to the kitchen making coffee and muffins for the men as they debate theological issues and set more and more restrictions on women?

    Tom,
    I believe that the defeat of this injustice in the church will be accomplished by the Holy Spirit. It has been promised that God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh and both men and women will prophesy. Those who shut out the Holy Spirit from their churches and their seminaries will die in legalism. I also believe that those within these churches and seminaries who still have life will be awakened. I pray that God will call a Paul who will speak out boldly without fear. While I weep for those who have allowed this kind of nonsense to gain a foothold in some churches and some seminaries, I still hold onto the power of the Holy Spirit to raise up people who can make a change. Women will prophesy and who will stop them when they have been empowered by the Holy Spirit? The choice is clear – quench the Holy Spirit and have God’s blessing removed or embrace the work of the Holy Spirit and be filled with God’s blessing.

    I believe that God has been merciful for a long time to those who have not feared Him but acted on their own initiative. But I believe that a time of accounting is coming and God will distinguish between those who fear Him and those who don’t.

    That is my two cents worth.

  7. Will there be a male version of the B.A. in humanities? There has not been any announcement yet of hunting classes for the men but since Patterson is an avid hunter, we expect that announcement will come sooner than later to help teach young males true “male headship”.

    LOL – it has long been understood in our deer camp that the most successful hunters are actually women. Oh, and I’m quite sure that there are a few accomplished male chefs out there.

  8. gengwall,
    Oh my goodness you have just blown the lid off of the different “roles” claim.

    I think that godly men should all apply to take one of Mrs. Patterson’s classes and then ask her if she is in sin teaching them. Maybe it is time that godly men take a respectful but powerful stand. Where there is a will there is a way.

  9. I seriously have to wonder when I read these things how people like PP react to things that small children do when they haven’t grasped the role deal in their families yet.

    I have this picture of my young toddler son that followed his big sister everywhere. She was playing with her little friend in her room one day, and he was ‘allowed’ to play with them (I know SHOCK!). The girls came down to show us a fashion show of all these old ladies clothes we got in a garage sale. Next thing we know our son walks in after they dressed him up with her stockings and tutu…lol! ALL PINK! He loved it (was 2 yrs old at the time), and was jumping around like a ballerina!

    Can you imagine the Patterson’s having a heart attack on the spot?

    I mean I love to remind my son of that story, and he will be 13 next month. He grins at me, sighs…and does the traditional, “MOMMMMMM! REALLY!” With people that the PP’s? All I can picture is a great THUMP on the floor!

  10. “The truly sad part is that PP has been splitting the SBC since 1979 and no one will stand up and tell him he has, he is doing this horrific damage.”

    That is because he knows where all the bodies are buried. :o)

    What about his brother in law he put on the IMB Trustee Board who was investigated WHILE ON the IMB Board and eventually convicted and sent to prison for fraud?

    When folks stop sending their money to the SBC this will go away. No money, no big celebrities who can get by with all this stuff and fewer young men wanting to follow in his footsteps and be ministry celebrities, too.

  11. Hi Lydia,
    Welcome to my blog!

    When folks stop sending their money to the SBC this will go away.

    But what will PP do when the money is not there? He may cut the wages of everyone else or lay people off. Surely he wouldn’t consider that his wages or the wages of his wife should be touched, right? After all he is the most important person there and without him where would the leadership be? 😉

    The question of how to get ineffective or unethical leaders off of their place of influence is a huge one. I think that inevitably someone of importance or someone with a backbone of steel needs to stand up to these people. And then another one needs to come after him/her. And then another one and another one and eventually something will be done. How many “dead” bodies it will take before anyone listens, I am not sure. I sure do wish that I had God’s ability to know the answers.

  12. “But what will PP do when the money is not there? He may cut the wages of everyone else or lay people off. Surely he wouldn’t consider that his wages or the wages of his wife should be touched, right? After all he is the most important person there and without him where would the leadership be? ”

    That has already happened in quite a few places he has been. It is always about him living the high life. Did you know he has a pastry chef at Pecan Manor, the presidents home at SWBTS? My point is they are not safe anyway. Especially educated women unless they are married to someone in the inner circle.

    “The question of how to get ineffective or unethical leaders off of their place of influence is a huge one. I think that inevitably someone of importance or someone with a backbone of steel needs to stand up to these people. And then another one needs to come after him/her. And then another one and another one and eventually something will be done. How many “dead” bodies it will take before anyone listens, I am not sure. I sure do wish that I had God’s ability to know the answers.”

    That is not going to happen. The trustees are all hand picked and most of the other leaders like their celebrity status, too. No one wants anyone looking too closely. Which is why they hate blogs.

    When I was a kid 20,000 people used to go as messengers to the convention and were actively involved. Now they are lucky to get 7000 and most of those are ministers and staff people. Now the whole thing is run by a few good old boys who have thrown the Priesthood of the Believer out the window. Their amassing of power has made them influential and wealthy and authoritarian. And tons of young men in seminary are dying to emulate them.

    BTW: No one knows exactly how many people are still in the SBC. They throw around the 16 mill number but most know it is most likely about half that if that much.

    And there are much more efficient ways to support missionaries than sending it to the SBC to help pay for the high life of our leaders instead of boots on the ground.

  13. I am very sad to hear about the latest development in the SBC under Paige Patterson’s leadership. But I guess it is not too surprising, considering Patterson’s long-standing campaign against Calvinists, charismatics and egalitarians, as I believe Wade Burleson has documented on his website. And there are so many good Christian men and women being harmed through these policies.

    For example, I have a good friend who, at one time, was a theology professor at a SBC seminary in Brazil. He was both a Calvinist and an egalitarian, and he clearly saw how changes in SBC policy would eventualy result in his dismissal. This caused stress for both him and his wife, who was a psychological nurse, engaged in a ministry supported by their Brazilian church. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, they both resigned and returned to the US. He is now an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell of NC, and she is once again involved in ministry. But as far as I know, they are not attending a SBC church.

    Cheryl, I think what you said about resisting the Spirit and his work often results in churches falling into a dead legalism is well documented in the history of the Church. Pam Morrison, in her Priscilla Papers article, “The Holy Spirit, Neglected Person of the Trinity, and Women’s Leadership,” examines how in times of renewal and empowerment by the Spirit, not is the Church marked by effective ministry to the needy world, but men and women equally share in ministry and leadership. But in times of decline and spiritual impotence, the Church often reverts to hierarchical and legalistic forms of ministry and leadership. She says, “The Apostle Paul cautioned that God ‘has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life'”(2 Cor. 3:6) Our Scriptures, ‘the letter,’ are God-inspired for our good of course, and are provided for ‘teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training'” (2 Tim. 3:16) but, by themselves, without Spirit-quickening interpretation, the power to comprehend and to live them out, we can fall into legalism and dryness, into intepretations based upon wrong motives that do not give life” (Priscilla Papers, Vol. 23, No. 4, Autumn 2008) And surely this is what we see going on in the SBC and CBMW. May God have mercy upon us, and grant us all a true renewal and transformation of mind, heart and will by his Holy Spirit. Amen!

  14. Frank, I had a similar situation in my family with cousins who were long time missionaries in a very uncivilized part of Africa. When missionaries were forced to sign a statement, they could not in good conscience sign it. Why? The husband was many times out in the bush and the wife would lead the Bible studies/worship. (She has 2 masters degrees from seminary and speaks 4 languages) And this would mean they were violating the document they were forced to sign. They offered to sign their bibles but were refused. So, they left the SBC as missionaries after almost 20 years.

    There are many stories like this. But if you think about it logically, you can see that our dollars for missions are not being used efficiently in this scenerio.

    And what would be the use for single women missionaries (like Lottie Moon) as they might find themselves in a position to teach a man but would be violating man made rules to do so.

  15. “And what would be the use for single women missionaries (like Lottie Moon) as they might find themselves in a position to teach a man but would be violating man made rules to do so.”

    Having been a member of SBC churches in the past, I wondered at The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering every year – Helloooo, does anyone else see the irony of what we’re doing here? Because she’s been dead a long time, that makes it o.k. somehow? Or maybe you don’t really know who she was. Maybe you think she was just some nice lady that started the special Christmas offfering…

  16. Off Topic:

    Not dreaming and No longer Quivering:

    ———————————–
    Adventures In Mercy [Molleth] > No Longer Quivering: Carnival Nov. 1-4th.
    A blog (and forum) I’ve taken great interest in, since it’s inception, is No Longer Quivering. Here is what can happen when complementarianism goes “hard,” what can happen when you peek behind the pretty pictures of the “Biblical Patriarchy” movement.

    Consider this your invitation to go enjoy the Carnival at No Longer Quivering. The blog will be full of little (true) stories from wives and daughters who lived through the patriarchy movement, and the forums (where discussion takes place) promise to be hopping, if you are a forum sort of person
    .
    ———————————–
    Quivering Duaghters > A Different Perpective: She is No Longer Quivering.
    Over a few short months, a mother of seven from Nebraska has made headlines as she abandoned her Quiverfull life, launched a website and message board, inspired a play, and started writing a book based upon her experience. Scheduled to appear on an upcoming episode of the Joy Behar Show, Vyckie Garrison of No Longer Quivering is hosting a fun event November 1-4 designed to foster community and garner awareness of some of the painful aspects of fundamentalism. Featuring around-the-clock, live NLQ chat, this would be an excellent opportunity for any of you with questions or thoughts regarding Vyckie’s experience as a Quiverfull mom, or to share your own! Stay for fun activities, games, and lots of cool prizes.

  17. I thought that I too was a homemaker until I read Dorothy’s description of her “role” as homemaker:

    Dr. Patterson has traveled to more than 75 countries; she met with Pope John Paul in his private apartment in the Vatican; she served as Chair for President Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Bible Committee and was received in the Oval Office; she has had coffee with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in his Knesset office; she’s been the guest of Yaser Arafat at a midnight banquet in Saddam Hussein’s palace guest house in Baghdad.

    I half expected to see titles placed after her grandkids first and second names. Very high class indeed.

  18. “I thought that I too was a homemaker until I read Dorothy’s description of her “role” as homemaker”

    Matt. 23:4-7
    “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi.”

  19. Yes, she is a simple housewife with a PhD who travels the world and has a pastry chef on staff at Pecan Manor.

  20. “To refuse that procreative role and to throw upon society that nurturing responsibility is to abdicate her highest calling and greatest usefulness to the Creator and to His created order. Women are called upon to make sacrifices; they are challenged to live selflessly. These sacrifices and a selfless life are essential for the continuation of the generations. Women cannot shun this greatest responsibility of maternity without endangering all of civilization.

    Unfortunately, individualism, springing out of a postmodern culture, has driven parents inward to seek only personal goals and to be manipulated by selfish whims. Materialism has captured their hearts so that things are more important than children. This self-centered ideology allows many socially approved and legitimate right ways of doing things, and the right way is to be determined merely by personal choice or community consensus.

    In Scripture, godly women were not concerned with whether or not they would receive discrimination in the marketplace but rather with whether or not their wombs were barren. Childlessness was looked upon as an affliction, an indication of worthlessness and insignificance (Gen. 29:32; 30:1). Women were not pining away, pleading with the Almighty that they might be priests or prophets. They were praying for the privilege of bearing a child.”
    “God grant that we in this enlightened age do not “drop the ball” but rather hold to the ageless pattern of leaving life and death in the worthy hands of the Creator God.” – Dorothy Patterson

    Lydia,
    It saddened me to think of several childless couples I know perhaps reading these statements. If becoming pregnant was a life or death situation for her, I bet she’d choose to use contraception.

  21. Cool! 😉 Wade Burleson is one of my very favorite people! Good points that he brought out. Thanks for pointing me to the piece, Thy Peace. (I seem to be poetic at this time of night). I don’t always read Wade’s writing as I get busy in my own ministry. Thanks!

  22. “Lydia,
    It saddened me to think of several childless couples I know perhaps reading these statements. If becoming pregnant was a life or death situation for her, I bet she’d choose to use contraception.”

    There is a very strange movement afoot that I am seeing all over the blogosphere where ‘Christians’ are making statements about people hating children because they do not have any or only have 1 or 2.

    If you look at this position logically it falls apart. First of all, many who are making such statements are making 6 figures and only have a few kids!

    Folks like Al Mohler, Pattersons, Russell Moore, etc. Moore adopted his 2 and was given 10,000 cash gift by a seminary donor to do so. Even though he makes 6 figures.

    Mohler wrote an article about this a while back saying that those who remain childless are selfish. He never said whether these were specifically Christian couples but he quoted a few people who said they did not want children. Mohler only has 2 children.

    But I see something very different out there. I see woman struggling horribly to GET pregnant. And all this focus on childbearing and contraception, etc only puts heavy burdens on these women.

    Lots of do as I say and not as I do teaching going on out there. But that is what happens when we get away from the basic Gospel and focus on the secondary stuff making it primary. It becomes a works salvation.

    My view is that the OC was: Be fruitful and multiply
    The NC is: Go and make disciples

    After all, the basest of our society can have children all the time and do. So when the Christian woman is bombarded with these messages about childbearing it makes them wonder why on earth God is punishing them. Cheryl, I would love to hear you speak to this. It took me many years to conceive. The emotional pain is unbearable. We had started saving to adopt internationally (no fat cat donors giving us funds!) because it is actually cheaper and safer than adopting in the US! (You have NO guarantees in the US anymore of keeping the child)

    anti spam word: pain.

  23. I wrote a fairly long and detailed post rebutting the anti-contraception position back in my Christian Forums days. I may have to copy it over to my blog as this seems an increasingly contentious point in the church, especially with the emergence of “mainstream” quiver-full movements.

  24. Lydia,

    I would love to hear you speak to this. It took me many years to conceive. The emotional pain is unbearable. We had started saving to adopt internationally (no fat cat donors giving us funds!) because it is actually cheaper and safer than adopting in the US! (You have NO guarantees in the US anymore of keeping the child)

    Thank you for sharing your pain! Yes, I think that this would be an appropriate topic for this blog and I have written it down for a future post. Thanks for bringing this up.

  25. This is too, too weird! Is this post, and the comments, for real or a tongue-in-cheek insiders joke for SBC people?

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