Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has not endeared itself to women in ministry, or women in seminary, for that matter. (You can read full details about Dr. Sheri Klouda’s dismissal here from someone who is a Southern Baptist.) She was not denied tenure for any reason other than being a women, because the current president of SBTS declared that only men should teach men, particularly future pastors.
OK. So they all went lock-step and booted her out. Strike another seminary off the list for affirming the Calling of God on women. I don’t have to go there, and I don’t have to give them my tuition dollars. (And hey – that’s a statement for “Captain Obvious” because they wouldn’t admit me anywho… but I digress…)
In another fit of I don’t know what, the SBTS has decided that though women can not be ordained, or “teach men”, they can study “homemaking.” As covered in the Washington Post the seminary announced a 23 credit “concentration” in homemaking to apply towards a bachelor of arts degree in humanities. The program apparently came at the request of seminary wives and includes topics such as sewing, cooking, interior design, child development and so on.
According to Rev. Paige Patterson, the seminary’s president, offering these classes was necessary in order “to establish family and gender roles as described in God’s word for the home and the family.”
This leads me to wonder…
– Where were their moms? Didn’t they learn about these things in their homes as they grew up? Or if they are involved in a church, didn’t they observe and learn from other women? (I mean, isn’t that where they are suggesting that a female-type person should be learning these skills?)
– What if you are a wife and you hate to cook? Is that a sin? Are you a failure if you have ovaries and can’t match your throw pillows with your curtains? (And where is all this in the Bible?)
– What if you are a woman and you don’t want to get married? Are you in a state of disobedience?
– Are there no other careers for women besides wife and mother?
– If strengthening the home is the duty of both husbands AND wives, why aren’t husbands taking classes in “fatherhood” or “husbandry”?
– And interior design? You gotta me kidding me!!
Breathe in… breathe out…
OK. Let me be clear. I love my husband. I truly enjoy being married, being involved with him in the work of parenting our kids, and helping make our home a place to show love and compassion to others. But it is not just “my” role or “my” job. To misquote a book, “it takes a family” to do that. A biological family. A church family. A circle of people bigger than he, she and the little wee ones… who together show what happens when the Indwelling Holy Spirit works through regular, human lives. They can show the world what God “looks” like.
One of my goals in raising my daughters is to help them have all of the tools they need to be a welcoming friend and neighbor, and someone who gives back to the world. It does not mean that they have to be a wife or mother to make our parenting a “success,” by the way.
Mother Teresa said, “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” I think a family is one way of composing that love letter. Marriage is a biblical reflection of God in human relationships, ordained by Him in the Garden of Eden. But marriage is one of many “occupations” for women that honor God.
OK. Rant off…