Tuesday, April 11, 2006

News of the Weird

The Southern Baptist Convention meets in June this year. In fact, it will be meeting about 25 minutes from my home.

Southern Baptists will be discussing missions, baptismal policies on the mission field, probably a resolution or two, and word has reached my ears that there are some who are going to try to go to war in the House over Calvinism, the Abstract of Principles and the BFM 2000 (Note to Tom Ascol, but sure Tom Nettles is also there along with Al Mohler for that one). Then there's the Pastor's Conference.

Recently Baptist Women, specifically the WMU (Women's Missionary Union)have been looked upon with suspicion. On the other hand, there are parts of the Convention that look at you as a liberal if you disagree with them over the most minor point of doctrine. I'm in a 1646 London Confession church and have been called a liberal by some folks in the Convention. Yeah, that's bad.

Aaannnywhooo....One would think that if there are questions about Baptist Women that maybe, just maybe, the Baptist Women would do something you know--biblically and instructionally oriented, especially Baptists being "people of the book" and all that.

Not so, it seems. In fact, Marie Antoinette, oops, wrong century, I mean Dorothy Patterson, Dr. Paige Patterson's own wife has organized a little event for the Pastor's Wives.

Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon slates acclaimed interior designer
Mar 22, 2006
By Brent Thompson
Baptist Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)--Registration is underway for the 2006 Ministers’ Wives’ Conference and Luncheon, Dorothy Patterson, president of this year’s gathering, has announced.

The conference luncheon will take place during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, Tuesday, June 13, in the Guilford Ballroom of the Greensboro Sheraton at the Four Seasons Hotel at noon.

The guest speaker will be Georg Andersen, an internationally recognized interior designer and author.

“Plans for the luncheon are coming along,” said Patterson, wife of Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“We are so excited that Mr. Georg Andersen has agreed to come and share his principles for turning a home into a silent witness for Jesus Christ.”

One of Andersen’s earliest projects was to work with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy on the Diplomatic Oval Reception Room in the White House. Over a career spanning more than 40 years, Andersen has done projects on the Governor’s Mansion and the Arkansas State Capitol for Gov. Mike Huckabee; The Carlyle Hotel and The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City; the J.B. Hunt Transport headquarters in Lowell, Ark.; and dozens of private residences throughout the United States.

On an international scale, Andersen’s interior designs can be found in London, Monte Carlo, Helsinki and Jakarta, Indonesia. He has appeared on television and radio programs on all major networks, including CBS, NBC and ABC, as well as the “700 Club” and Fox Family, according to his website, www.georgandersen.com.

Andersen is the author of two books on interior designing. In his latest book, “Silent Witness: The Language of Your Home,” Andersen and his wife Annabelle use their own home to demonstrate how interior design can bear “silent witness” to “the multifaceted work of God in our lives.”“Georg and Annabelle have not merely built and decorated a dwelling,” Huckabee wrote in the book’s forward. “They have created a Christ-centered retreat that exudes elegance without opulence, and dignity that is complemented by wonderful human warmth and character.”

Dorothy Patterson said Anderson will bring fun, information and inspiration to this year’s luncheon.

“We are working very hard to erect room-size vignettes in the luncheon ballroom, and fill them with Mr. Andersen’s design ideas,” Patterson said. “This will enable ministers’ wives not only to hear and meet him, but to view rooms that he has designed.”

Tickets for the 2006 Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon are $10 per person.

To register on the Internet, go to www.swbts.edu/conferences and click on the “2006 Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon” link. To register by telephone, call toll-free 1-877-GO SWBTS (467-9287). Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

For further information, contact Becky Campbell, coordinator of the women’s auxiliary at Southwestern Seminary, at (817) 923-1921, ext. 7236, or e-mail her at RLCampbell@swbts.edu.


And we wonder why the American church is in disarray....Well, at least the preacher's house will look good. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for them getting some decorating insights. I've seen my share of badly decorated pastors' homes. On the other hand, one would think they would have an event for these ladies that would offer them some spiritual meat. Pastors' wives have difficult jobs. We need to do more than make sure they can decorate.


  1. Well, this is among the dumbest things I have heard about in a long time. Especially considering this is a conference targetting the wives of pastors I would have hoped for some material to lift up these SBC ladies who have a very tough ministry.

    But am I suprised? Sadly no. Am I dissapointed? Tremendously, Yes. And what does my wife think? *laughter followed by crying*

    Maybe we can pop some corn for the war over Calvinism though, that sounds like fun...boy am I glad they stream the convention online, hope it works!

  2. To be truthful, y'all's responses mirrored my own, but some friends have taken issue with us, pointing out hospitality is incumbent upon all Christians, but especially pastors and their families, and How To Have A Comfortable, Attractive Home is a part of that. Plus it was also brought home that for a whole lot of these pastors' wives, this is their only vacation for the year, so a nice lunch with a "girly" theme such as interior design might easily be a real treat for them.

    Personally I find the homemaking arts a bore on the whole (depressing, isn't it?), so would much prefer to be in with the guys listening to the meaty stuff, but there it is...mustn't use myself as a template for everyone else.

  3. I can understand that our hospitality is something Christians should exhibit and something we need to think about. However the idea that at a time when the church is continually under assault by those within and without I would think that a more edifying topic could have been chosen given the audience. When there is an opportunity to minister to an especially neglected group of people, and I would argue pastor's wives fit that bill we should seek to address the specific areas of need. And while hospitality is important in its own way. I just think, given the audience, something more encouraging than being subjected to the ideas on decorating that many can't likely afford in their present positions isn't terribly helpful.

    But perhaps I am way off base...

  4. Re: WMU suspicion

    This is not new. About 25 years ago, there was a good bit of noise (I believe I read about it in Christianity Today) about (factions within?) the WMU asserting the WMU's independence from (I believe at the time it was) the Sunday School Board (renamed Lifeway a few years ago).

    (Note to self: Don't use so many parentheses. (Like this.))

  5. I must agree about how sad this is. But I also would agree that I am not surprised. Since my family and I left SWBTS 1 year ago (after my husband graduated) it has been interesting to reflect on our time there. I attended a couple (ONLY 2) of Dorthy Patterson's wife classes. I was very sadden by the the topics and decided NOT to returned. Topics from folding/ironing you husband's handkerchief to pouring tea correctly.

    One night when I left a class I sat with a fellow seminary wife who confided in me about her battle with depression and money problems. Her family was on food stamps and she had thought of suicide more than once. As I drove home that night the reality of what was happening (or NOT happening) in those classes hit me like a ton of bricks. There are ministery families that are hurting and battling things beyond most of our understanding. And here a room full of women sat, learning how to pour tea. Pretty sad if you ask me.

    So when I say that I am not surprised by the Luncheon topic, you can see why. My prayer is that there is an uprising of Women in our churches/seminaries/convention that want to go change what is expected of them. Let the world EXPECT us to bring in the homeless and the hungry, let the world EXPECT us to care and take care of the needy. And if those needy people want us to pour them tea then let's do that. But let's do it and worry about caring for their needs NOT serving them with the right cup and saucer.

  6. You owe Mrs. Patterson an apology. You seem to have neglected to notice this is a "luncheon" not a revival service. Your snide comments about a fellow Christian's attempt to do something nice for the wives of SBC pastors is completely uncalled for.

  7. I agree with fellow blogger Kevin Stilley even though I don't know him-you do owe Mrs. Patterson and Georg Andersen an apology. I have heard Mr. Andersen speak and let me assure you it is nothing but an encouragement in feeling free to use your home to share God's love with others-no matter what your economic scale is. This was a luncheon presentation but trust me when I say anyone could have learned alot about Christian hospitality, if it had been presented in a class or a seminar. Let me encourage you to read his book, Silent Witness, before you jump to conclusions. Susie Walker