I just cannot resist. I have heard of some stupid things before, but this one takes the cake. Here’s a new way to learn what common sense and the ability to read should already do.
The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) will offer this fall an undergraduate program with a concentration in homemaking, aiming to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture, according to the course description.
I can’t believe I agree with the following statement:
Patsy Eastwood, who describes herself as an emerging evangelist, couldn’t disagree more with the wives.
“A seminary degree in homemaking. I cannot imagine a bigger waste of money,” she wrote on her blog. “Wives need to be their husband’s closest ministry partner.”
“We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God’s word for the home and the family,” Patterson said at the meeting, according to Parham. “If we do not do something to salvage the future of the home, both our denomination and our nation will be destroyed.”
I don’t necessarily disagree that it is a good for the family for the wife to stay home and tend the children. For some families, this can be done; for others, like mine, the wife works outside the home and it benefits greatly the family that she does. But that’s not really my issue with this story. My real issue is in this line: “…aiming to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture…”
Now, I think if a woman wants a degree, she should go to college, work hard and earn a degree. My issue here is not with women, women working outside the home, women getting an education or anything of that sort–so please don’t accuse me of those things. (My wife works outside the home and contributes a substantial amount to our family budget–especially as far as insurance is concerned.) My issue here is with this college because this has nothing to do with preparing women to model…Scripture. A woman can learn that by having a godly mother and father, by reading Scripture, by using her mind, and by regularly attending a worship service or bible study. She doesn’t need a college education to learn how to be a woman and frankly, I can’t see anywhere in Scripture where it says that a woman should do all the cooking, sewing and cleaning anyhow. Is a college degree really requied to know how to wash dishes, make a bed, take a child to baseball practice? And, furthermore, I would be offended if I couldn’t participate in those things. I have two thoughts about this. One is, admittedly, cynical, the other is more of a challenge to men, and churches.
I think this is about money. This is the cynical comment. Why would a woman go into that much debt to learn how to cook and sew when she can learn it for free by studying with her mother at home, or by reading, or by watching the Cooking Channel? (Unless the mother isn’t home because she has to work.) The ’emerging pastor’ above is right: It’s a waste of money.
Second, a challenge. It think there are two reasons married women work. One, they have ambition and interests and a genuine desire to improve the world in which they live.; they want to work, they enjoy it. Two, they have to because their husband doesn’t make enough to support the family. So, here’s the challenge. If we are talking about men who work for churches, then the churches need to pay the preacher more so his wife doesn’t have to work if she doesn’t want to. A homemaking degree in hand won’t help put bread on the table if the husband isn’t making enough money. And where else can such a degree be used? If we are talking about a woman with ambition, then let her earn a degree in something useful–that is, let her spend her money more wisely. But the other challenge is this: Churches, Preachers: Start preaching the Gospel! Give up all the purpose garbage, give up relevance, give up your best life now, and preach the unfiltered, unadulterated Gospel, the Cross of Christ, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your congregation’s families.
Don’t you think that the best way for a woman to learn about how to be a godly woman is to go to worship, study the Scripture, practice? I can’t believe this is a serious offer by Southwestern. I can’t believe women will enroll. I can’t believe that this is what a theological seminary is offering to train people. Shouldn’t they be a little more concerned about teaching Scripture? The problem is not that families are falling apart. The problem is that there is no reason for families to stay together because they don’t know what Scripture says. I’ll explain.
This does not start at the seminary level. That is not where the church is losing the battle for godly sex roles or biblically defined families. That battle is being lost at the congregation level. That battle is being lost in every town where the preacher won’t preach the Gospel. The battle for these things is at the smallest level: the Church. And as long as preachers are content with status quo, are content with a ‘culturally relevant’ gospel, as long as preachers are content with their own ideas, there will nothing any seminary can do to stem the tide. David Wells, is so right, “The reason theology is disappearing has little to do with the technical skills of the fine tuners and much to do with the state of the Church. So it is not with the technicians that I begin but with the Church. It is not with the prfessionals in the learned guild that I start but with the whole people of God” (No Place For Truth, 6)
If Southwestern Baptist Seminary wants to save the family, they should train better preachers, better theologians, men and women, who will rightly divide the Word of Truth for the next generation. All the cross-stitching, crotcheting, knitting, and darning will not save the family but I suspect that a good theology, bolstered by sound biblical exposition, might help.
ps-this is a ‘rant’ against the college, not women. Please, ladies, don’t jump down my throat with accusations of misogyny or anything of that sort. I’m on your side!