"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Does Anybody in the SBC Care About Daycare?

In May of this year Dr. Paige Patterson told the closing assembly of the World Congress of Families meeting in Poland that feminism and 'the marginalization of men' are threatening the home. Patterson said,

"Mom and hot apple pie have been replaced by institutional daycare centers and cold apple turnovers at McDonald's."

Patterson explained that if efforts are not made to support women staying at home where they belong, that in a few short years men will be increasingly underrepresented among "the intelligentsia" and will gradually cede leadership to women in areas that should be reserved for men. Patterson lamented that most of the women ascending to these new roles will maintain a major focus on a career, not on the family and on children.

Six years years prior to his speech before the World Congress of Families, Dr. Paige Patterson closed the Ruby Reid Child Development Center at Southeastern Theological Seminary. Patterson told SEBTS students that he had "ideological problems" with the seminary sponsorship of a child-care center. Patterson said,

"Recent discoveries regarding children reared in child-care centers have only escalated our convictions that the child that is most likely to have a happy and useful life is a child reared in the home with the parents, not in a child-care center,"

Patterson's claim that Ruby Reid was not closed for these ideological reasons or it would have been closed when he became President nine years earlier rings hollow. A President must wait a few years until he has a majority of trustees who support his ideological views - or he risks angering the very people who have the ability to terminate him.

Word has it that one of the reasons Phil Roberts is on the hot seat at Midwestern Theological Seminary is because he closed the seminary's child-care center. Midwestern's child-care center had financial problems back in 2000, but with outside management the center has grown a million dollar annual budget. The reasons for closing the child-care center seem to have not been adequately explained to the trustees of Midwestern, if at all. Though Midwestern remains financially viable, it makes no business sense to close a profitable child-care center.

That is, unless the President of Midwestern has an ideological problem with day-care centers - as does his mentor Dr. Patterson.

Southern Seminary announced in April 2000 that the campus child-care program would close. After a strong outcry of opposition, seminary President Al Mohler pledged to keep the center for another year while seminary leaders studied long-term options to meet the seminary's child-care needs. At the time, Dr. Mohler cited financial issues for the closing of the day-care center and denied claims that the decision was based on a belief that mothers should stay home with their children.

There is nothing necessarily morally wrong with a mother who chooses to stay at home to raise her children. There is also nothing necessarily morally wrong with a mother who chooses to work and places her children in day care. It would seem to me that the mother must follow the Lord's leadership in this area, and it may differ from one mother to another.

What IS wrong is when leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, whomever they may be, determine what is wrong for all Southern Baptists - by ideological fiat. However, it seems that some Southern Baptists are beginning to understand the landscape of the SBC and are determined to resist the demands for ideological conformity. I think we will be a healthier convention when more and more Southern Baptists make their voices heard.

In His Grace,

Wade

119 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

Wow I have a shot at first-in.

I'm opposed to churches running Day Care Centers, mainly because that puts them in competition with private businesses. Tax-paying ones, at that.

I don't know about the Seminaries, though. And likewise I cannot criticize women who want or need to work; something about that judging thing. But I do see the logic of closing them as they did, for ideological reasons of thinking all women should stay home. I certainly don't agree with it, but I see it.

It's sort of a twisted way of the world's expediency creeping into the theological arena. I don't like that at all. Hiding behind theology to enforce your will.

I think the Pharisees used to do that.

Tim Guthrie said...

You commented in your post: "What IS wrong is when leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, whomever they may be, determine what is wrong for all Southern Baptists - by ideological fiat."

Where has either of the leaders in the SBC done this? One man stating their perspective does not mean that they are determining for all of the SBC. When you have a personal preference at your church in Oklahoma concerning as issue, are you speaking for all of Emmanuel?

I would think not unless you are making some statement regarding church polity.

Roberts nor Patterson have done this from their perspective positions.

P.S. Just in case any questions, I have led Daycares, Preschools, Full K-12 Christian Schools and even aftercare ministries at churches that I have served. Parents do need to make the choice. I just do not believe the statements you have quoted or referenced should be interpretated as these men speaking for all SBC. That is stretch.

CB Scott said...

Wade,

I do not know all of the reasons for the closing of Ruby Reid. I do know three things related to its closing.

Dr. Patterson did not make the decision to close the center on his own. Others were involved in the decision.

Ruby Reid had, long before Dr. Patteson's tenure, become a financial "black hole." It had become a real problem for the seminary as far as proper stewardship of seminary finances is concerned.

Ruby Reid did suffer from internal problems within "its" management. Dr. Patterson did not have direct management of Ruby Reid.

There is more I could say, but it would involve too many other personalities.

It is my opinion as a staff member at the time of the closing, with some minor involvement, that to close Ruby Reid was the right thing to do at the time for both Ruby Reid and SEBTS.

Ruby Reid did move and continue to operate in Wake Forest in a location not owned by SEBTS.

cb

Debbie Kaufman said...

Let's do a reality check here gentleman. It's hard to find good day care centers. It's also making it difficult for women to get an education. These day care centers were a good answer and they seemed to profit too. In today's economy, it's difficult for both not to have to work. I think a bit of the real world is alluding these men and I would like them to be able to live on today's average wages.

Let's look at this logically. I have seen women with no education be left by their husbands. Sometimes husbands die. These women then raise their children alone and in poverty. Deep poverty. Look at the statistics of women to men in the poverty scale. This is sending a loud message in my opinion. And Tim to deny what these men are saying is just not right.

Richard Land was on Face The Nation a few years back saying that his wife worked and the SBC was not saying that women should not work. Yet, they are making this harder and harder. First the program at Southwestern and now this. Come on. This is a message loud and clear.

ABOUT A18 said...

I would caution that this post has a lot of "if's" in it. I'm not saying the discussion isn't an interesting and even needed one. Just keep in mind that Wade's post doesn't say that these men do oppose daycare but that they might. That is one problem with these kinds of post. People will now be discussing how our seminary heads are opposed to daycares. They haven't clearly said that yet (some have said the opposite according to Wade). Just something to keep in mind.

Steve said...

What I truly hope IS a stretch is seeing the influence on one aging holdout at a declining seminary making his influence felt in every seminary and agency in the SBC. I hope I'm seeing things that are not there, but if Dr. Patterson, after years of devoted service to our Lord, feels he has to bend every leadership office in the Convention to his world view, then may God help us all. Day care centers will be the least of our worries.

It appears to some observers that the good doctor got his position as some sort of reward for all the years of the resurgence/takeover, plus the absence of trustworthy leadership after dozens of experienced hands had had their reputations besmirched and ruined in the political battles of the 1970s and 80s.

For Dr. Patterson to take this office of service at SWBTS and turn it into a jumping-off point to remold the SBC from the top down would be at least the height of presumptuousness.

To repeat, I do hope this is just the overly-imaginative anguish if a lay observer who doesn't get out nearly enough. I must pray that the agency heads who do invite Dr. Patterson's societal views into their hearts do not afford the same patience to his bookkeeping and financial planning skills.

P.S.: What genius turns a million-dollar profit in a child-care center? THAT's the person we could be interviewing!!

CB Scott said...

Debbie,

You are right. It is hard on women alone. Much of their pain and sorrow is due to sorry, low-down men.

It is for that reason it was hard for the people at SEBTS to come to the decision to close Ruby Reid.

It was truly in the red in a terrible way. It would have been irresponsible to allow it to continue as it had been for so very long, even before Dr. Patterson became President of SEBTS.

One more thing, At the time of the closing Dr. Patterson was not making a large salary. The people that made that decision did not make it lightly.

Debbie, as you know I have questioned several things related to Dr. Patterson in the last few years, but closing Ruby Reid had to be done. Frankly, it should have been done much earlier than it was.

GeneMBridges said...

Ever notice that some of those who oppose child daycare centers ideologically are, generally, the same ones that don't practice blended family worship on Sunday morning, because the kids will "disturb" the congregation? One could go on and on about that particular inconsistency. I guess I'm showing my age, but I remember the day when you sat with Mom and Dad in church, no matter what your age, and your Grandma sat behind you to pinch (as in the pinch and twist maneuver) your arm or the back of your neck if you fell asleep or acted up.

Tim Guthrie said...

Debbie,
Please reread what I typed. I did not deny anything. What I did was question how one could say that these men were speaking on behalf of all the SBC. That is a stretch!

They have not and they do not. Wade should not be asserting the thought that they have in the paragraph I copied into the above comment from his post.

That is what I said.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Michael: I do appreciate you making more intelligent comments and I will certainly answer you question. To be honest with you I see where both have been put down. It has almost become working mothers vs. stay at home moms. We should be supporting both even at our seminaries but some of the statements made as have been quoted in this post and just by doing a search shows that working mothers are not being supported either. Women need to be able to get an education. That fact is without some type of college or seminary education, that woman is bound for problems if even being a stay at home mom, she has to work due to something happening to her husband as the main provider. If a woman chooses to stay at home, I have no problem with that anymore than I have a problem with working moms. The church for the better part of history has not supported either education for women or working outside the home. It's time that changed. It has nothing to do with feminism. It does have to do with not letting the woman fall into poverty.

CB: I believe you.

Tim: Read Wade's post. The words from Dr. Patterson's mouth tell a lot even if Wade did not write another word.

Anonymous said...

KMC - I echo Debbie's "thank you". If I were to guess, I think that is the first comment you have made here that wasn't laced with arrogance. It is certainly the first one that I have ever read from you. Thanks again!

Gene - Perfect!...and you stole my thunder.

The Family Integrated Church model is the biblical model. How do I know that? Because there aren't many that practice it. :)

Most people are comfortable handing their teens over to a "youth minister" so he can direct their path in many ways. (Of all the times to lose hold of your children!!!)

This responsibility belongs to the parents. That's why the fathers of our youth are our "youth directors"...and they wouldn't have it any other way.

Anonymous said...

Over our years in vocational ministry, the Lord has kept our family humble and the churches we've served have kept us poor. In another location, the State government--but not the congregation--understood that, at our family's income level, my children required the "ministry" of free and/or reduced lunches at school. In order to make expensive ends meet, our family has needed for my wife to work outside the home (on occasion, the Lord has "dropped" money into our laps--but not usually; our "take" on the matter: He'll create opportunities, and we'll provide manpower to solve our financial challenges). We also have relied on trustworthy daycare services, including those provided by the seminary I graduated from (as a new dad, I found that I could argue child-raising principles with its staff just as I could the employees of other establishments we used).

Just like with the churches led by pastors blogging here: people will participate with what they perceive as the best of several poor daycare choices in their communities until one perceived as better comes along--then, in a flash for the sake of their children, the families will begin to use those daycare services. Who can blame them? If seminaries of any denomination are going to offer childcare service--and why would they not?--those services ought to be the best available anywhere, even if they must be the smallest. What kind of daycare whould the Lord Jesus operate?

Churches pay more, moms stay home (and operate businesses from there if they desire). Problem solved.


David

Anonymous said...

"There is also nothing necessarilyorally wrong with a mother who chooses to work and places her children in day care."

You don't think that one is more ideal for the child than the other?
Should what is best for the child even the primary consideration?
Or perhaps what would please God should be the first consideration?

KBH

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks CB for the information about Ruby Reid. It would make completely sense to close a non-profital, capital draining day-care. One wonders if ideological opposition to day-care precipitated the financial woes. I would agree with Debbie. The words regarding ideological opposition to day-care say enough.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

If Southern Baptists did not feel, nor the world feel, that Seminary Presidents offically speak on behalf of Southern Baptists I believe a great deal of our problems would be solved.

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Good, sound, practical words.

I give a hearty Amen.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

By the way, the too-great disparity between the senior pastor's salary package and that of associate pastors--in multiple-staff churches--doesn't help. An undeniable matter of ethics--or failure in ethics--in my opinion.


David

Monte said...

Having raised two boys on the mission field, I can honestly say that there is much credit in the argument that children grow up happier and content when surrounded by their parents while growing up. We've got two great boys and people often ask us what the secret is to raising such good kids. We really don't feel like we can pat ourselves on the backs. We just say that it had to do with God's grace. Much of it had to do with spending a lot of time with our kids, finding ways to involve them in our ministries, and the fact that raising them on the mission field offered them a much simpler lifestyle that provided them with the sort of upbringing that we had, ourselves: sandlot baseball, climbing trees, building a clubhouse, making snow forts, sledding on a hillside with other neighborhood kids in Latvia, as well as choosing up sides and playing hockey on a frozen creek. Our boys still sit around our dinner table today and laugh and enjoy talking about how much fun it was to grow up as mk's. Our response? "You didn't grow up fast, your time wasn't spent in front of a TV, or playing a lot of video games (there was some of that), you had meals together at home with your family, God was the center of your home, and your parents were involved in your everyday lives." It's really not rocket science. I know not everyone is called to raise their families overseas. But we have the choice of living much simpler lifestyles with God in the middle. Experience, along with God's Word tells us that it's the secret to raising good kids.

Wade Burleson said...

Monte,

A great story of God's grace and mercy in raising your kids. I affirm it 100 percent.

Where we must be careful is in declaring your story should be the norm for everyone else. I don't believe that is what you are doing, but I am attempting to guard against a one size fits all cookie cutter approach to anything we do in the SBC.

Wade

Darby Livingston said...

I think this issue once again points to the inherent problem with seminary - particularly from a complementarian perspective. Here's how: I know of men who have carted their families off to some distant city to attend seminary. I'm sure the conservative seminary presidents would think that a good decision, or their seminaries would eventually close. While at seminary, the man is swamped in studies, and who picks up the bread-winning responsibility for several years? The wife. She raises the kids and earns the pay. It seems to me inconsistent to endorse such a system, knowing full well that families have to eat, and that wives are going to be the ones working, while at the same time having idealogical issues against daycare. Seminary is designed to burden the family! Peter admitted it, though they didn't complain about it. One of the only ways seminary isn't a financial burden is for 20 year old single kids learning a vocation rather than training to be elders. Am I the only one who sees things this way?

greg.w.h said...

I'm not going to comment with respect to the original article. Instead, I'm just going to share a little memory that the article caused to pop up.

I remember the preschool in Fleming Hall in the late 60s. Due to my overeagerness for learning, I was already reading proficiently and Mom decided there wasn't much point in subjecting me to Kindergarten (plus it wasn't required then.) But she needed me (and my two brothers) kept for a few hours per day while she attended class to complete her MRE.

I am here to testify that it was a traumatic, mollifying experience on a DAILY basis. I am certain that I have been harmed for life by the oppressive requirements of those that led that preschool. Every single day I went to war in my spirit with them over their insistence that I...take a nap.

Apparently I warred somewhat quietly because my mom never heard much about it. But I testify that it was life-changing!! Of course...now I quickly move to the couch on Sunday afternoons, turn on one of the football games...and...well...you know what happens next. :)


Greg Harvey

gmay said...

Wade, you have the depths of my memory stirring on this post concerning Midwestern. If my memory serves me correctly, the CDC at Midwestern was closed prior to Dr. Roberts arrival. Those of us who were resident students during Dr. Coppenger's presidency new the CDC was on the way out and I really believe it was at that time it was closed. If this is the fact, the CDC was reopened after Dr. Roberts came on board. That would mean that he is responsbible to both open and close the day care. Where does that leave the inuendo and accusations of this post?

Brother CB makes a very strong case that this post should be removed due to the lack of evidence underlying your conclusions.

Dr. Roberts is ideologically against the day care due to its closing? We could use more facts from those a little closer to the fire.

Roger D. Lee said...

Dear Readers,

I am a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The issue of the day center is an interesting one. While I was a student on the campus, it was well known that the day care was not for those who attended the seminary. The cost for child care was too expensive. Most of the children in the day care were children from homes not connected with the seminary. Another thought about the issue, maybe the seminary sponsoring a day care was not part of their long-range plan. Has anyone inquired if the day care fit into their plans for growth of the seminary education of young men and women? Many churches has discontinued "working programs" because the existing program or ministry did not fit the focus of the overall ministry. Please see the SIMPLE CHURCH by Thom Ranier.

I have not not privy to the discussions of providing day care at MBTS. If someone has please fill us in with the facts.

Roger D. Lee
1983-1988

K. Michael Crowder said...

Debbie,

All of my posts are intelligent. And I am not posting different because I feel I need the answer, just a different approach to conveying truth.

So here is the truth: Couple who bring children into the world must make sacrifices, changes, and deal with all of the potential consequences. It is not a seminary's job to babysit. It is the job of the parents to rely upon God in all things. Where God's will is, there also is His provision. Daycare at a seminary has NOTHING to do with income or loss. If it was a vital and much needed ministry, endowments could be set up to offset the cost for pastoral students whose wives must work full or part time to aid the family income. The issue here is not that children might need care in their parent’s absence, but rather WHO will do the care. Institutional style child care is not conducive to the nurture of a toddler or infant. Home based care is ALWAYS preferable. Do you know how many church members in Louisville, San Antonio, Wake Forrest, Kansas City, etc would relish the idea of having a child care ministry in their home, aided and supported by their church, so that young pastors and pastor’s wives can prepare for ministry?

This conversation is only another attempt to denigrate the fine presidents of our seminaries.

Of course I always welcome comments of all flavor to my declarations of absolute truth.


ihs,

kmichael

blackhaw said...

Seminary is hard. It is hard on the family. Getting a PhD is really hard on the family. The day care at SWBTS is a much needed ministry of the Seminary. Surely it is better to have all wives at home with the children. But in many cases this is just not possible. Many seminary families agree to have the wives earn the living while the husband studies and then he will take over.

While I do not think it is the best thing to do I understand that sometimes things have to be done and until the SBC wants to support its seminary students so their wives will not have to go to work (I am not endorsing this) then I see a need for day care centers on seminary campuses.

Now I have no opinion about certain closings at certain seminaries. I do not know the circumstances of those closings. The day care at SWBTS is doing well. And that is a good thing.

Bennett Willis said...

A million dollars/year "profit" from a child care facility seems way high.

Bennett Willis

CB Scott said...

Wade,

Let me say I am not against women working outside the home as long as the family is first in both the wife and HUSBAND'S heart. If I said women should stay at home I would be a great hypocrite. My wife worked outside the home. My children did not suffer for it.

She cared for our boys and for me wonderfully. None of us have any complaints. Our children know Jesus, work at real jobs, take care of their families and are an honor to their Dad and Mom.

I really do not understand how some say that women should stay at home when their own wife really does not and has worked outside the home for years in all reality. I also think that if one has the position that all women should stay at home it is hypocritical to employ any female within the institution wherein one works as administrator. Such inconsistency really makes a statement of a double standard. At least it does to me.

One more word here about Ruby Reid. It really was a hard thing to deal with for many. I am going to risk a rebuke here, but what's new.

It should be noted that Dr. Russ Bush was a champion for Ruby Reid. He was a champion for Ruby Reid because he was a champion for children. Anyone that took the time to observe Dr. Bush easily saw he had a way with children that only comes from a great love and true compassion.

Looking back, I believe Dr. Bush did his best for Ruby Reid and the children. He loved the children.

Continuing to look back, I do believe Dr. Patterson and others went as long as possible before closing Ruby Reid because they they knew the love Dr. Bush had for the children. Also, Dr. Patterson did show great love for Dr. Buch.

It was a time when things were far different in the lives of many. May they, by God's grace, see such times in their lives again.

cb

Anonymous said...

CB may be right about the finacial and personnel side of the Ruby Reid closing; he is privy to information there that I was not. However, I was a student at SEBTS while it was operating, and I can state that from the perspective of a parent (dad) and student, it was a good experience. My son went there, and it was a great for him, and I daresay, contributed to a wholesome lifestyly for him. I realize there come a point that financial considerations come into play, and perhaps even have to be a deciding factor. But largely absent from this discussion is the ministry issue: because from the perspective of an "outsider," one whose child attended but was uninvolved in administration, Ruby Reid was a MINISTRY to families in Wake Forest, especially the seminary student families. Where is the point at which daycare centers, operated from a Christian worldview, become governed by administrative, ideological, and financial considerations instead of ministry considerations? Perhaps that is the direction this conversation should head.

In my perspective, there definitely is an ideological perspective among many leaders of the CR that women should remain in the home, maintaining it and raising the children. The explanation given is that is the Biblical model. What that overlooks, however, is that in the Biblical era, many (most?) women were involved in cottage industry: pottery making and selling, and weaving especially. Most women did not have the opportunities to go to an office, or run a store, because the technology and the economy of the time did not work that way. There does seem to the a Biblical ideal, however: at least if we take Proverbs 31:10 ff literally.

From a human perspective, my wife is more conservative than am I. She bit into all this wife-stay-at-home-raise-the-kids-because-THAT-is-Biblical stuff, and it almost killed her and destroyed our marriage and family. Without going into long and personal details, she grew very obscessive about it, and that led into clinical depression, for which she was hospitalized twice; and it took a severe toll on our relationship for several years. She began her recovery when she took responsibility for herself, and working OUTSIDE the home was what God used to give her the self-confidence and self-respect she needed to recover.

I don't say that all women should work outside the home; but like wade, I agree that Biblically, it should be a personal decision, not one dictated to young families.

John Fariss

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Point well taken. I wouldn't want to draw that conclusion for everyone.

Monte said...

Sorry, that wasn't meant to be signed anonymously.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade and All.

A Daycare Center run by a Christian Seminary could be one of the Best Ways to Witness to the surrounding Community. The reason Non Christian will seek a Christian Day Care, is because they can Trust Them. I believe these Day Care Centers could allow Seminary Students to use these facilities at no cost or a discount in fees. Wouldn’t this be a better way of using CP funds for the Glory of God? Just asking a Stupid Question!!! Of course this would be instead of building Mansions and Idols named after me.

In His Name

Anonymous said...

hehe - Oh brother!!!

I said:

"KMC - I echo Debbie's "thank you". If I were to guess, I think that is the first comment you have made here that wasn't laced with arrogance. It is certainly the first one that I have ever read from you. Thanks again!"

To which KMC's following comment was:

"Debbie,

All of my posts are intelligent."

Good grief!

...and forget what I said.

CB Scott said...

John F.,

I think your comment is very valid. Ruby Reid did help many families. I think that is one of the reasons it took so long to make the final decision to close it down.

Gmay,

I did not speak to all to which Wade has referenced in his post. I jsut spoke to Ruby Reid and some of the reasons it was closed on SEBTS property.

What I have said is no reason to remove this post. My personal conviction is that a woman can work outside the home and be a godly woman, wife, and mother. I also believe the Bible gives evidence that my conviction is correct. Otherwise, I don't think I would believe it. I also do not think my wife would have worked outside the home had she believed the Bible declared she not.

I think Wade's response to Monte is a very good perspective on this issue.

cb

Wade Burleson said...

gmay,

The point of the post stands, regardless of the financial considerations for opening or closing day-cares at seminaries.

Is there an attitude among some that mothers should not place their kids in daycare?

I say that the public words of some indicate there may be this kind of attitude.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

A couple of things that I would like to point out. First, Ruby Reid Day Care was constantly doing SEBTS what Dr. Patterson's dog would do to Brother CB when he wasn't careful. :>) Thus, Dr. Patterson was left with no alternative, just as Brother CB was left with no alternative concerning Dr. Patterson's dog. I know that this comparison is a bit over the edge, but you know what I mean. I was around when this issue was a constant source of the media attention and no one ate it up more than the moderate media. They relished in the fact that a conservative would close down a day care facility because he felt a woman was to be both barefoot and pregnant. Your industrious research has led you to a wrong conclusion. Ruby Reid was a drain on SEBTS and as some have said; "a black hole" where money would go and never return.

Second, your description of MBTS's Day Care. You wrote; "but with outside management the center had been recently running close to a million dollar annual profit." Please note two items of concern for me as a SB giving to the CP. One, we should not turn over the running of the facilities to "outside management". Two, I was in a church that had a Day Care, so I was able to see something of a profit that could be made. A million dollar annual profit, is a huge Day Care. This type of Day Care would have to have a huge cost per child. If this is the case and the "outside management" team was running this Day Care, then the Day Care was not under the auspices of MBTS.

Blessings,
Tim

Karen Scott said...

John F.

It is my understanding that the daycare at SEBTS originally began to provide childcare to the students and spouses at SEBTS which was indeed a blessing.

I know from working outside the home that if I had small children when we were in SEBTS I would prefer for them to be at Ruby Reid than to leave them with people that I did not really know.

But over the years Ruby Reid began to see the need for child care within the seminary drop as more and more spouses "bought into" the concept that the wife's place was in the home. As this happened we saw the majority of the families who used the daycare change from seminary related to community related and unfortunately we had families who did not always fulfill their financial responsibilities and caused the center to be more of financial drain.

To continue the daycare would have been another example of poor stewardship for our Cooperative Program dollars.

It was sad to see it close, but it was unavoidable.

Karen Scott

Karen Scott said...

Brother Tim,

CB was bit by the dog, but as far as know he never bit A.J. (the dog) back or retaliated in any way. I don't understand your illustration at all on this one.

Karen Scott

Wade Burleson said...

Tim Rogers,

I agree. I am not saying seminaries should be in the business of running daycares for the community. I am saying that ideologicies that portray women who use daycares as either immoral or anti-Christian is harmful to the SBC. What seminaries do with daycare is their business, but decisions regarding daycares should be made for reasons other than ideology.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

As you well know, I pastored Southcliff Baptist Church just three minutes from SWBTS for nearly seven years. I saw many Seminarians helped by Churches and other groups providing Day Care Centers. It was and can be a real ministry it seems to me. Whether a Seminary OR Church does it continually will, of necessity, have to be evaluated in terms of finances, unfortunately, as does most all things we do. But counting the cost was good for a tower in the NT and is probably good for us to always investigate. I'm NOT saying to see if it MAKES money, but to see if the organization running it is wisely using monies it is responsible to use wisely.

The problem comes when some begin to teach that a woman SHOULD remain at home and is violating scripture when she doesn't.

Statements to this effect made by leaders of any group will always bring into question decisions made by that group in this area to me. I don't know their primary motive obviously, and cannot. But I would be foolish not to question.

It is this very same issue we face so often where some are found teaching Christian SHOULDS that they hold to as SHOULDS for all Christians when the text of scripture is NOT as explicit as some would think/wish.

No one is saying the family and marriage should ever hold less than first place in a woman's heart because her job outside the home becomes more important than is that family. But I would have to say that, if I understand the text of scripture correctly, neither should a MAN allow his job/career to become more important than the marriage/family, not even a minister of a Southern Baptist Church or leader of an SBC entity.

The sacredness and primacy of the family is and should remain first in all our earthly relationships. But freedom to best achieve that and provide for a family must be respectfully left with those who have the families.

It is this same old "you're sinning if you don't do/see the scripture the same as I do/see the scripture" that is the core problem we face in SBC life. It isn't inerrancy but the sufficiency of the text that we struggle with. If the text is less than totally clear about HOW something is to be done/accomplished maybe we should be also careful of saying my way of doing/accomplishing it is the right/biblical way. You've been saying this in every way imaginable for the past two/three years. Please keep saying it.

Anonymous said...

Other than our SB seminaries, do you know of any colleges and/or universities that do not offer a child development/early childhood education degree, but still run an on-campus day care center as a service to students? Most do not because of the high cost of running a day care center: maintaining a facility, hiring personnel, providing food service, insurance liability, etc. By the way, where did you get the million dollar profit information? Like another reader, I find that truly hard to believe. Our Southern Baptist seminaries ought to be in the business of preparing future vocational ministers. Let the child development specialists run the day care centers – off campus. That seems to be what Patterson and the other seminary presidents are trying to do.

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

Maybe it is just me, but do you wake up in the mornings looking for another way to use Dr. Paige Patterson in a negative connotation? I'm curious, where did you get your research for this post? Do you have a warchest of Patterson quotes in the archives of your church's library?

I'm sorry but I am beginning to get very skeptical when Dr. Patterson's name is mentioned on your blog. He seems to be your favorite theological whipping boy. You have written some very thought provoking articles. This is not one of them!

Wade Burleson said...

Jim,

My suggestion for you regarding those articles that do not provoke your thought is to ignore them.

For all others, be aware that some desire, as explained so well by Paul Burleson above, to tell EVERYONE what they SHOULD do in areas that are not addressed clearly in Scripture.

It is that attitude which we do not need in the SBC.

Tim Rogers said...

Sister Karen,

I am sorry, I thought AJ had to be put down because he was biting people. That was the only thing that I meant by that illustration. I did not mean to imply that Brother CB bit him back, only that the Day Care was eating SEBTS and something had to be done.

Blessings,
Tim

Debbie Kaufman said...

Paul B: By George, I think you have it. The leaders definitely need your phone number and a red phone.

Wayne Smith said...

Paul Burleson,

AMEN, and I wish I had the Wisdom and the Ability to display/write as you do, to God’s Glory.

In His Name

Alan Cross said...

This would make a good discussion apart from Dr. Patterson and Dr. Roberts. I really do not want to accuse them of wrong behavior here, but the question arises from their alleged positions: What are seminary students who are married with children supposed to do?

This is similar to the argument over public schools vs. private schools vs. homeschooling. Not everyone is a megachurch pastor or seminary president who makes six figures and is able to keep their wives at home and afford Christian private school or is able to home school.

Sometimes, the most loving thing that you can do for your children is work so that you can FEED THEM, pay for MEDICAL CARE and INSURANCE, and pay for other needs. We are not talking about extravagance, but about caring for basic needs. Is the SBC going to take care of students completely? Are we entering an era where you cannot attend seminary with a family for fear of being judged if your wife has to work some outside of the home? Is it okay to work on campus but not work in the community?

CB Scott said...

Paul,

Well said. The point Karen and I were trying to make was not about women in the work place. We were just trying to state the situation of Ruby Reid. I think in dealing with such sensitive issues as what happened with Ruby Reid any light shed upon the subject is useful as long as it is truthful.

I DID NOT KILL AJ.

This is also truthful. I did not kill Dr. Patterson's dog. The dog did bite me. A.J. was my kind of dog. I was walking toward his masters. He did not know me well. He defended his masters. I liked the dog. He had true grit.

Had I been going to kill the dog I would have done so when he bit me. When A.J. came for me in attack mode I did what anyone should.

I fed him my left hand and gripped his lower jaw. My strong side arm was free. Had I intended to kill the dog he would have died then and there.

I could have gotten free with little pain as AJ wore down.

(He was a hound. They usually bite and hold unlike a bulldog which bites and shakes doing great damage with far more bite per psi. Had AJ been a Bulldog that would have been his last day on earth. I would have no choice.)

Dr Patterson is a great man but he did not truly understand the situation. I had the dog as certainly as the dog had me. The dog would have quit first. He was not a trained fighter. He was just protecting his master as best he could.

It is all of that of which Dr. Patterson did not understand. He arose from the patio table he was sitting behind and ran up to AJ. He kicked AJ in the ribs with those pointed-toe cowboy boots with a blow that would have killed many lesser dogs than AJ. AJ jerked in pain and ripped my hand a little. I let him go and he ran off quickly. I am certain he was trying to figure out why his master kicked his guts in when all he was doing was protecting him from what surely was a barbarian.

Dr. Patterson apologized for AJ. He got medicine for my hand. I told him not to worry about it. AJ was just being a good dog.

He later sent me several books. I wrote him saying he did not have to do that. I had been bitten by many things. The worse was by a man. That was the end of it as far as I was concerned.

Later when AJ died some folks around thought I killed the dog. Two of the faculty actually thanked me. I told them I had nothing to do with the dog's death.

The moral of the story: When preception competes with truth preception usually wins..... Even in Southern Baptist seminaries.

cb

volfan007 said...

wade,

is this really as big a deal as your making this out to be? goodness gracious...will yall ever let up? yall make huge mountains out of every little mole hill yall come across.

david

Melanie W said...

I don't believe the author intended the specifics of the individual day care closings to be the point of this post. Instead, as Paul mentioned, it is an example of how the thinking of the leadership in our convention seems to be that everyone should agree with them on ALL matters - not just essential doctrine.

I was raised in a very supportive Christian family. My parents - who were both "stay at home" if you count our family-operated farm as "home" - raised both my brother and I to find what we were good at and do it to the best of our abilities. I agree that the primacy of the family should be of top importance to all members of the family.

That being said, I have a difficult time fitting into "Christian circles" because I don't fit the mold of what a Christian woman "should be". I'm young, well-educated, and good at my job. I'm not opposed to being married, but I'm sure not looking either. I am much more comfortable in the corporate board room than I am in my monthly church nursery duty! The attitudes of our convention leaders filters down to the churches - and when that attitude is that I am less pleasing to God than the mother who sits in the pew next to me - that's a problem.

Is that the attitude of our convention leaders? Check out some more of the speech from Dr. Patterson referenced by Wade (btw this excerpt is from an earlier work authored by Dorothy Patterson):
Though feminism speaks of liberation, self-fulfillment, personal rights, and breaking down barriers, these phrases inevitably mean the opposite. In fact, the opposite is true because a salaried job and titled position can inhibit a woman‟s natural nesting instinct and maternity by inverting her priorities so that failures almost inevitably come in the rearing of her own children and the building of an earthly shelter for those whom she loves most.

Let me assure all of you - I am devoid of a "natural nesting instinct". And, some of my friends are amazing mothers who don't feel that their career will lead to "inevitable failures" in their family. In fact, most of their kids seem quite happy believe it or not.

The point of this too-lengthy post - we must be concerned that the leadership in our convention is not propagandizing individual beliefs.

Melanie Warren

CB Scott said...

K. Micheal Crowder,

Maybe it is the dog in me or maybe the fact that I am a barbarian, but I just have to ask you a question.

What daycare do your parents keep you in while they are at work?

I would like to call them and tell them you are not being attended to very well. The daycare workers are allowing too young a child play with the computer in your case.

cb

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

Sorry. "As DO most all things we do" is correct as you are well aware. I thought I would correct that before your mom, the public school math book Executive Editor and the english major, sees it. This way I can brag that I caught it myself. :)

Bowden McElroy said...

Alan wrote: "This would make a good discussion apart from Dr. Patterson and Dr. Roberts."

Another angle on this discussion would be 'who is seminary for'. Are our seminaries are still geared for the single-fresh-out-of-college 22-year-old? Or have we made adjustments for the nontraditional student? It's been a long time since I was a seminary student... just asking.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I would also like to bring out the fact that for all the talk of submission concerning the women in marriage, there are husbands and yes Christian husbands who do require their wives work. So what's a woman to do?

Karen Scott said...

Volfan,

Putting aside the issue of campus daycares, it is a "big deal" when the administration in our institutions try to make the spouses of seminary students feel guilty for working outside the home.

It is also hypocritical for those administrators to employee females in their institutions when they are stating that it is wrong for women to work.

It is also hypocrisy to infer that ones spouse is a "homemaker" when they are not.


Brother Tim,

A.J. lived on to bite several more people after biting CB, he (A.J.)died after an extended illness.

Karen Scott

Jake Barker said...

Ya know folks....that Vol is some kinda guy. They even had a program on TV about him last night......on the History channel.....called "Hillbilly". Betcha that boy has married relatives closer than 1st cuzins.

Debbie Kaufman said...

david: You did not ask me, but having been a working mother at one time with small children, yes I believe it to be important. Very important. I'm not sure that I'm the only one.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Better yet Michael, come visit us for about a month. That would tell you even better. Our people are a people of Biblical grace and freedom(a beautiful word) to be who we are in Christ, whether male or female, and it begins with Wade and Rachelle. It's what I desire our agencies in the SBC to be allowed to become.

Tom Parker said...

kmichael crowder,

I believe Wade to be a man of character. I believe his heart is for improving the SBC. I have read his BLOG for over a year now and find him to be very kind and gracious to all, even to those that openly attack him on his own BLOG. I however do not find these characteristics in you.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Just to add. I feel more beaten down listening to some of our leaders, conferences online, reading some blogs etc. I want to kiss the walls of our church sometimes after being in this environment with people such as you Michael. I think you will find that you are more like what you hate than you believe. I pray that changes.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

My favorite posts so far on this conversation are by Darby and Alan Cross.

I think there are some serious questions to ask relating to seminary education.

Why is it so expensive that men have to ask their wives to work so they can afford to learn how to do the Lord's work. Surely the SBC with all of its vast resources can come up with a better plan.

Luther Rice Seminary is also expensive but at least they have a fully online program available. Technology is such these days that the SBC should consider moving into the 21st century. I understand the value of the classroom setting over online learning but you could even have live sessions online.

For KMC and all those who oppose daycare for working moms, what about the single moms whose husbands have walked out on them? Do your churches provide a daycare ministry for them? Or do you just prefer to condemn them?

If you have seminary students in your church, does your church help with the students finances so the mom doesnt have to work?

If you are going to criticize those who have to work and use daycares please show us how your church is picking up the slack to help.

Wade Burleson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I have no doubt that most of your members are clueless as to outside/convention matters. The same is true at my church. And that is the way it should be.

That attitude explains everything.

Thanks.

Wayne Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lew A said...

We didn't have much money when I was a child and I was a very sick child (health wise). So my mother and father had to work for insurance purposes. I was saved when I was 23.

Yes that's right - God saves childcare children! It's unbelievable I know, but it's just one more aspect of his grace.

Thanks for the update Wade, much appreciated.

Lew

The Pursuit Online Store

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

KMC,

Impossible?

And I quote...

The issue here is not that children might need care in their parent’s absence, but rather WHO will do the care. Institutional style child care is not conducive to the nurture of a toddler or infant. Home based care is ALWAYS preferable.

So my question is, since it is ALWAYS preferable, does your church help parents who must place their children in daycare? Or do you merely make them feel bad about it?

You actually gave me the idea!

If it was a vital and much needed ministry, endowments could be set up to offset the cost for pastoral students whose wives must work full or part time to aid the family income.

So have you set up an endowment for semenarians or single moms?

As to the other remark, I think you must miss the point of Wade's entire blog recently. Transparency and openness are good things. People will only be knowledgable of the political stuff to the point they want to be. But when they want to know what is going on, it should be an open book. You're response seemed to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that you do not think so.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

And for the record, I quit full-time ministry so I could have a job that paid a decent wage so my wife could be at home with the kids.

We have no debt other than a mortgage that is well within our means. We live below our means.

But it is hurtful to many parents I know who both have to work to here from their pastors that what they are doing is wrong. Many of them would LOVE to be at home with their kids but cannot.

Is it preferable? Sure! But I am not about to put them on a guilt trip for doing what they have to do.

Would you say that they do not have enough faith since God has not sent them provision? Maybe God is trying to get the churches to fill in the gap and the pastors won't listen?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

i type fast when i'm excited...

shb "...hear from the pastors."

Robert Hutchinson said...

it would be a lot easier for our wives to stay home if we all made 250,000+ dollars a year.

Melanie W said...

What if the wife doesn't want to stay home full-time? Not because the family needs (or thinks they need) the money, but just because they enjoy their job. Or feel that their job is important.

All the discussion thus far has seemed to say since it is ALWAYS preferable that the mother be at home we must make concessions for when that isn't possible. But are we really comfortable saying that it is God's will ALWAYS for mothers to stay home whenever possible?

Melanie

Alan Cross said...

Peter,

You posted, quoting my question:

You ask: "What are seminary students who are married with children supposed to do?" My answer is simple: cope.

So, wives should not work outside of the home and they should stay home and take care of the children while their husbands piece together part-time jobs and study? Is that right? How are they expected to live off of that? If you can do it, then please do it. Our daughter was born my last year of seminary and I worked full time, went to school full time, and my wife stayed home. We made it. We "coped." But, for many, this is not possible. Why put more on people than they can bear by telling them this is wrong?

Here's the deal: If it is wrong for the wife to work and put her children in daycare, then it is probably wrong for the husband to be in seminary and not provide for his family. Is anyone willing to say that?

Bill said...

I think Melanie raises a good point. Notice how the word "Godly" is always associated with stay at home moms and never with working moms (working outside the home, that is). Can female doctors, lawyers, clerks, bus drivers, etc be "Godly"? Can some stay at home moms be "unGodly"? I also love Alan's point. If the mother is bound by scripture to stay home, then the husband should be working to provide, not going to seminary (or at least doing both). Is anyone willing to step up and say that?

Robert Hutchinson said...

melanie,

my beautiful wife would agree with you. she would choose to work regardless of my income. and i would support her in her decision.

robert

CB Scott said...

DavidbMclaughlin,

You said you:

1 Have no debt other than a mortgage.

2 It is a mortgage within your means.

3 You live below your means.

I bet you are also at peace with God and your family. I bet you enjoy your life and your family enjoys you.

I nominate you to teach this to seminary students along with most all faculty, staff and administration in ALL of our SBC seminaries. You and your instruction is much needed.

cb

CB Scott said...

DavidbMclaughlin,

I am not saying that to say women should all stay at home. I am saying it because far too many seminary people do not know how to manage money, especially faculty. This is not just a student problem.

cb

peter lumpkins said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Darby Livingston said...

Peter,

"For us, it was life--and a darn good one--despite our reusing coffee grounds and selling my wedding band for a tank of gas."

I was just alluding to the above statement. Not evaluating it.

Melanie,

"But are we really comfortable saying that it is God's will ALWAYS for mothers to stay home whenever possible?"

I'm pretty comfortable with saying that. However, the "whenever possible" is the fly in the ointment, isn't it?

Lindon said...

"There is also nothing necessarily morally wrong with a mother who chooses to work and places her children in day care. It would seem to me that the mother must follow the Lord's leadership in this area, and it may differ from one mother to another."

Most times it is NOT a choice. As someone who worked in hundreds of organizations as a consultant, I can tell you that many lower to mid level female employees work for HEALTH and Fringe benefits such as Cafeteria plans, 401k, etc.

Very few companies offer family paid health plans anymore. So, instead of paying 4-600 extra a month out of the husbands paycheck, which they cannot afford, the wife works and pays for the benefits for her and the children. I saw it all the time. The majority of these women would rather be at home.

Now, finding Christ-centered day care is a challenge. For single mothers this becomes even a bigger challenge and Day Care can be a ministry to them.

You guys need a reality check. Most women with young children work because they have to. And not because they just want a big fancy house.

And Day Care does not have to be a black hole of money loss. I have a good friend who is a Day Care expert that has helped many of them get out of the red and be profitable. She works only with churches and private schools that are Christ centered. One of her best ideas was hiring students from SBTS to work part time. Quite a few of these hires are young men.

CB Scott said...

Peter,

You are a sly one indeed.

Alan, he is right. He has never said his wife is a stay at home wife. Actually, I think he made mention of that fact in months past.

cb

PS Thanks for the coffee, even if you also had to buy the creamer. :-)

cb

Anonymous said...

Crowder,
I am a member of Emmanuel and certainly not a member of an inner circle, in fact do not hold an office in church. That said, I can assure you that our church is as Debbie described. We love Wade and Rachelle and their family and look forward to meeting together to be encouraged and built up in the faith. If I didn't know any better I would guess you were related to Jenni Carlson.

SW

Melanie W said...

Darby - I didn't mean for the "whenver possible" to be tricky. And I understand your position - I know many Christians feel the same way.

I am not a mother yet, though I would like to have children some day. And, I don't know, maybe some transformation takes place with motherhood that will give me the desire to give up my job. I have my doubts though! Personally, I am comfortable with the fact that God would not ask me to give up a job - and a mission field - that I love because I have a child. Cut back on my hours, yes. Maybe so no to some extra projects - but quit? Not sure that's Biblical.

Bill - thanks for your comments/questions. I would like to see us come to the realization that "Godly motherhood" is not dependent on the mother's occupation.

Thanks to all for a good dialogue.

Melanie

Anonymous said...

Wade,


1)One would be hard pressed to prove that a “Leave it to Beaver” ideology is congruent with Biblical texts. 2)Biblical leadership is not dictatorship.3)Power and pride are closely related to demands for ideological conformity.4)Your posts are appreciated!

Darby Livingston said...

Melanie,

I won't be the one to say give up your mission field. I suspect you may be right about a change of heart when children are born. I've personally seen it many times, including in my own wife, who gave up potential ownership in a pizzeria she loved to come home full time and teach our children. I think 1 Corinthians 7 is a text that many, including myself, need to take seriously concerning the whole marriage/missions issue. It may end up surprising many of us what "biblical" manhood and womanhood could mean.

Bob Cleveland said...

I'm still trying to find a way to get Peg to buy & sell fields, etc., so I can sit in the city gates and schmooze with all the other old guys who've figured out how to do that.

Wade Burleson said...

k michael crowder,

To have an uprising, you have to be below the people you are rising against. You can be assured that i have no power against which you should rise.

I'll be unable to comment for twenty four hours due to ministry.

Blessings to all,

wade

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

What's wrong, Wade. Did your conscience get to you? Or perhaps one of your deacons?

To make fun of mentally challenged people as you did, Wade, must be the lowest, hell-birthed image I've ever read.

My suggestion is you make a formal apology, not delete the conversation, Wade.

With that, I am...

Peter

K. Michael Crowder said...

Wade,

I have always said on all of the posting and commenting that I have ever done, that transparency is always the best course of action. My policy on my own tiny blog (though topics of Wade seem to be striking a cord). I will always post other's comments (only deleting bad language) and will never delete my comments (save occasionally altering misspelled words.) :)

But hey.....its your site......just another way to hide the REAL you.


k

Debbie Kaufman said...

Yes, it's his site and his blog and he has been more patient than I would have been. The comments are telling however and just simply shows the anger that pervades, not only that but the rudeness that does not become any Christian. Peter, Michael, get your tempers and your manners in check. I for one am sick of the comments you two are leaving. Both as a Christian woman and a Southern Baptist woman. Enough!

Tom Parker said...

Debbie:

I agree with you 100%. I think Peter and Michael have gone too far!!

Wayne Smith said...

Debbie,

Peter lives in a high Loft and needs to come down to earth on these Blogs.

In His Name

Tim Guthrie said...

Wade,
You commented earlier to one of your guests that you did not like the way this guest attacked.

What about your attacks on people including this post?

You have made a straw issue out of something that has no basis and you even commented to me in a response that the Presidents of institutions do not speak on behalf of the SBC though people may somehow think they do and yet your Post is all about them speaking for the SBC.

Wade it is time for you to come clean!

Rex Ray said...

What is a lie? It is leading someone to believe an untruth. The truth of the daycare closing seems to be because it was losing money. Patterson’s statements leads one to believe the closing was because his doctrine of mothers staying at home was correct. Need I say more?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Michael,

Even if you [mis]interpret or disagree with something Wade has said in his comments and posts, at least there is something to "interpret" in the first place.

But when you state this:

"Your people are afraid to rub against the 'velvet steel.'

I grew up in a church with a dictator. It makes it hard for the members to love the pastor, love the church, even hard to love God."

Then I'm not even left to interpret on my own what you have based this off of because you gave nothing to base it off of in the first place.

Brother, come'on. There are things that Peter has said that I disagree with but for me to come on out and say something about Peter like what you have said about Wade would be terrible.

Peter has a wife. Peter belongs to a church. If I disagree or want to play around with Peter, fine. But I need to watch what I say.

The same goes for Wade when it comes to you.

Grace

BCR

Steve said...

Wow. I really must wonder what color the sky is where some folks in Blogtown come from.

It might benefit some to check out the concept of "obsession" elsewhere on the 'net. If it's a picture dictionary, you might even be right there!

I am as skeptical as any rotter you'll find, but I have to say that the words of this man Burleson hang together as logically and inspirationally and spiritually as anyone I have read, gone 'round with, or heard speak in public.

Those who agonize over & plot against him do not affect anyone's opinions of Wade - but they do assist our diagnosis of themselves.

Alyce said...

wel said Steve.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

cb scott,
Dont be impressed. I didnt mean it to come off that way. I learned the hard way. But I did learn it.

peter,
My wife works (the horror!) with medically and mentally fragile children. I was at a complete loss at how you interpreted Wade's statement to be offensive towards those with mental challenges.

I showed her the comment by Wade with no elaboration (she knows nothing of nor cares about the blogosphere) and she could not see what you saw either.

Is it possible you have committed eisegesis on the text?

stephanietx said...

It would be wonderful if all moms could stay home, as I believe it's the best atmosphere for children to be reared in. However, it's just not practical for many families. There is absolutely no reason to demean women (and men because if their wife has to work, he's somehow not a good provider), belittle women, or make them feel less than human if they work outside the home. Comments such as the ones PP makes on this topic do that, in my opinion.

As a seminary graduate, I know how difficult it is to make it through seminary without going in debt. Perhaps that's the problem. Students are the ones who end up paying the high salaries of profs (I've seen their houses and some of them live pretty high on the hog!) and operating expenses for the school. Everytime you turn around, there's a fee to be paid. Because the husband is in school, his hours of availability to work are often very limited. Therefore, many times, he can only get a part-time, minimum wage job, or a job that pays slightly above minimum wage. (This is also true for single students as well.)

It's a shame when students and their families have to rely on food stamps, food pantries, and clothes closets to "survive" seminary. It's also a shame that students must take out student loans to pay for their classes each semester. If a student is married, both the husband and the wife often have to work just to pay utilities and living expenses. And most seminarians I know (and I work with a boatload of them) don't live extravagantly or drive fancy vehicles. They live in seminary housing and drive older vehicles.

To answer one poster, in my experience, SWBTS is not set up for the nontraditional student. Required chapel attendence is evidence of that fact. Who working a full-time 8-5 job can take off 2 or 3 days a WEEK to attend chapel?? The MDiv program is set up to be completed in 3 years, by taking a very heavy course load fall, spring, and summer semesters. What adult working a full-time job can go to school 18 hours a week and work a full time job (40 hrs/wk) and still do well at both PLUS spend quality time with his or her family AND be active in his/her church?

In many cases, Seminary is an extension of college for many, as they come directly from a Christian college after attending Christian high schools and elementary schools. It's not that way for some, but for many that's the case.

So, let the women stay home and take care of the kiddos while the students incur debt to get an education for which the family will be paying for the next 10 years or so. Which is worse, a working mom with kids in day care keeping the family out of debt or strapping a family with debt up to their eyeballs to uphold an ideology?

Stephanie

Anonymous said...

I am going to throw in my "2 cents." My wife, who back then (mid 1980's) was a single seminary student, worked at the SWBTS daycare center. To this day, she will proudly tell the world that it was an excellent run center that ministered to the children of seminary families.
Because of her wonderful experience at SWBTS daycare, she later became a daycare director at one of the largest churches in our area.
As a single seminary student, she worked and as a married pastor's wife she has continued to work.
Look at her upbringing. Her dad was a bivocational pastor and her mom was a stay at home mom. Her parents raised 5 children (my wife being the youngest). All 5 children have served on church staffs from mega churches to the smallest churches on the face of the earth. They were a happy family, yet their parents struggled financially during those retirement years - they were not golden years by any means.
My parents raised 4 children on the farm with a stay at home mom. My 2 brothers, myself, my brother-in-law are all "in the ministry."
My parents also struggled during the retirement years.
My wife has always worked because of financial considerations, but also her work is a ministry. In the rural church I pastor, she singlehandedly has brought more people into our church than anyone else.
I am blessed - my children turn 20 today (yes, we are blessed with twins.) When they were born, they went to a church daycare center where their mother was the director. When they started to school, they were under the same roof (K-12 school) where my wife taught. Now in college, they miss their mom and hopefully their dad. Have my children been "hurt" because they had a working mom? By no means! One thing both of them will say, "Praise God I will not graduate from college having a $40,000 note staring me in the face." Why? It probably has something to do with that working mom. Also, dear ole dad can honestly say she is a fine Christian young lady and he is a fine Christian young man. I don't think either of them has suffer in any area because of a working mom.
Thanks for allowing such rambling comments and such a long post.
Gene Price
Gleason, Tenn.

Wade Burleson said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I sincerely apologize, but until further notice, this blog will be on comment moderation. I have long sought to have an open and free forum. I have been extremely patient with those who attack me, but draw the line with attacks on others. Recently, however, there have been two men who have taken liberties with their comments that cross the bounds of both Christian behavior and ethical standards. It saddens me that they represent Christ and Southern Baptists. I have deleted their comments and will not be allowing either one of them to comment on this blog again. One has accused me of making fun of mentally challenged people, which is not only a lie, but is offensive to me and and my family, who love and respect our own relatives who have been born with birth defects mental challenges. The other person has resorted to posting anonymous comments purported to be from members of Emmanuel. I am saddened by both men and their puerile behavior. I will no longer allow them to pull this blog down by hijacking it with their thoroughly unChristian manners.

Until further notice all comments on this blog are on comment moderation. I will post your comments upon my return from OKC and the Board of Directors meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Tuesday night.

Wade Burleson said...

In this comment string there are responses to Peter and Michael that you will be unable to understand. Both Peter's and Michael's posts have been deleted. Again, I apologize for the confusion. The comment section will be much more understandable in the future.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

Thank you for what you've done in your comment section. I know your desire is that there be free and open debate and that civility characterize it all. When it doesn't__that freedom of debate is hampered. It's a loss we all experience because of the excesses of some in casting aspersions at every turn of a conversation. I wish it were different but until it is, I, for one, believe your decision is in the best interest of all concerned.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Wade. Good decision. KMC and Peter (and a few others) are making everyone else here ill with their comments. Even those who disagree with you can have a decent dialogue...but not these two for sure. They are here for no good.

I say delete them for life and we will have a better place to exchange thoughts and ideas. But I know you probably won't do that.

Good comment from Benji about the former "dictator type" pastor that was alluded to above. It is hard to really love that pastor, to love that church, or even love God with that kind of pastor. I agree! In my view, that is EXACTLY what KMC is headed for unless he heeds advice here from everyone. But then again, I suspect that is what he wants.

And I do mean everyone. I can't find one comment in support of him or his attitude.

But as he has reminded us all many times, he is right and everyone else is wrong.

As for Peter doing an eisegesis with Wade's text, you should converse with Peter on biblical text and watch the eisegesis flow.

Karen Scott said...

Stephanietx,

I agree with the fact in your post that wives nor their husbands should be made to feel guilty because they "need" or choose to work outside the home, but your statement about large salaries being paid to professors is off base.

I know first hand that they make no where near as much as their counterparts in secular Universities. That is often why we see so many professors leaving the seminary to take ministry positions in churches.

I will acknowledge that stewardship within our seminaries is often handled very poorly, but the salaries of our professors is not one of the black holes in which it is poured.

Karen Scott

Paul Burleson said...

Karen,

I completely agree with what you have said. My experience with some great professors at SWBTS during the seventies and eighties while Pastoring some of them such as T.W. and Laverne Hunt, Oscar and Carolyn Thompson and others, was that they were NOT paid near enough and had to supplement their income with meetings and speaking engagements. My information is that times haven't changed.

Of course I'm convinced the AVERAGE pastorate/staff does not pay as it should either, much as public school teachers are lacking in adequate pay.

I'm satisfied with recognizing the fact that there is calling involved here and non-material benefits as well, but when it is wrongly thought that we're paying too much to professors, I want to put in my thoughts on it as you do.

This is on post as we think of an SBC entity using monies correctly whether it's day-care or salaries. I'm not in the know about administrative salaries and cannot speak there.

chuck said...

Wade,

I commend you for your incredible patience and grace. If someone had said half the things those two men had said on my blog I would have lost my Christianity responding. I hope, like the person who commented above, that you consider banning them both forever. They have poisened the comment stream and I find it will be refreshing to debate, disagree, and dialogue without their venomous, bitter attacks.

Chuck

Anonymous said...

Having followed this post and comment string (and having even commented on it once myself), I have since been an interested observer on the various positions represented. Pulling back a couple of steps, I seem to notice that beyond the semi-obvious divisions of "Wade supporters" and "Wade detractors," or "conservatives" and "moderates, " or whatever, there is a more subtle and more significant divide. Now from my vantage point, both "sides" are Christians and brothers/sisters in Christ, but even within that relationship, there seems to be different guiding principles or criteria.

One group's criteria is rather static, being centered around "order," just as in Malcolm Yarnell's recent emphasis in his exchanges on David Roger's blog. Doing things in an orderly fashion and in order with (their interpretation) of various New Testament passages is their principal of Christian (or perhaps denominational) cooperation, and anything that attacks or even takes away from that orderly methodology is considered heretical or dangerous, and must be prosecuted and eliminated, or at least minimized, from the Church.

The other group's guiding principal or crieria is a bit more nebulous, but is (1) more dymanic and (2) prophetic. It centers around the concept of God's call, and says that He may call one person to follow one set of actions--i.e., place children in daycare so that both parents can work/go to school--and others to follow a different set, i.e, have a stay-at-home mom who personally cares for the children.

After I began to notice this division, I recalled a book from a church history course in seminary, back in the 1980s, A History of Medieval Christianity: Prophesy and Order, by Jeffrey Burton Russell (Arlington Heights, Ill.: AHM Publishing, 1968). The author's contention is that the very same division characterized medieval Christianity, one side reaching its apex in the scholastic order of the Catholic Church, and the other, the Protestant reformation. By the way, I am NOT saying that adherents of the ORDER group have other characteristics of or an affinity for Catholisicm, or that those of the PROPHESY group are the way in which God is moving, nor am I saying here that one side is right and the other is wrong. In other words, don't take the analogy of the book too far! In fact, if I remember the implications of Russell correctly, he would suggest that a dymanic Christian church needs BOTH in order to avoid the excesses of either extreme.

Any way: that is my observation. What do you think, Wade, C.B., Bob, Debbie, Monte, Peter, David "volfan007," K. Micheal Crowder, and others?

John Fariss

Kerygma said...

There are many models for the Christian family. Had we waited for my father to be head of the household, we'd still be waiting. That task fell to my mother, who went to work in order to feed us. Some of these comments are not only simplistic but hopelessly naive, as though all the Christian families in the world were exactly alike. They're not.

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous John Fariss: I think the Holy Spirit is alive and well today, just as much as He ever was in Biblical times (OT or NT). Furthermore, I think He's willing, capable, active & involved, and interested, now as then.

I think much of the church has insulated itself from that fact in the name of order, and is missing out on much of what He has to offer to available, willing and obedient folks.

At least that's what one old dog (me) thinks.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

John,
I think you have done a pretty accurate analysis.

Kerygma,
Had we waited for my father to be head of the household, we'd still be waiting.

Yeah-me too!

Wade,
I'm sure you didn't enjoy your decision but it makes sense. There have been times I thought about posting a comment and decided not to because I didnt want to get into and argument with a certain someone. I dont mind people disagreeing with me, but some people you cant have a friendly conversation with.

Dave Miller said...

I am sure that it is way too late in this comment stream to be heard, but the anti-establishment crusade is getting to sound like the Democrats and the Republicans (or the Hatfields and McCoys?).

To Wade and the SBC Outpost folks, EVERYTHING Paige or those who support him do is of impure motives. President Bush has done nothing right in 7 years, if you listen to some. Dr. Patterson has done nothing right in 15 years according to these folks.

Then you have the other side who attack Wade (Jeremy, Crowder, et al) and criticize everything he and his sidekicks do and say.

I had high hopes when the whole thing with the IMB broke a couple years ago that we could have a powerful movement to work inside the SBC to bring some much-needed change, some greater openness and accountability.

I am disappointed that it has degenerated into what it has become.

Surely, Dr. Patterson has done something right. I have never met Wade personally, so I have not had the opportunity to check to see if there are horns hidden under his well-groomed hair.

Now, we have the "powers-that-be" denigrating SBC outpost and Wade, and Wade constantly questioning Paige's motives.

I had high hopes for this movement, but now I am afraid that it is going to end bloody.

Anonymous said...

This is from a Baptist Standard article dated July 9, 2001, entitled "Southeastern Closes Child Care Center."

"Seminary President Paige Patterson said the center doesn't fit into the school's "Statement of Institutional Purpose."
Providing day care "is not really a part of our mission, especially when the vast majority of our clients are from the community and not students," he said. "We have no program for early childhood education, and the center serves no educational purpose."
In separate letters to student parents, community parents and the center's 21 employees, Patterson related a variety of reasons for the closure. He told parents from the community that the children had been "an infinite spring of happiness" but that child care is not the seminary's focus, and he was concerned about the seminary's liability exposure.
To student parents, Patterson said the seminary could no longer afford the liability or the operating cost of keeping the center open. Raising fees to a break-even level would make it impossible for students to afford the service, Patterson said. The center reportedly has lost $332,000 over the past five years.
Patterson also told students seminary officials had "ideological problems" with seminary sponsorship of a child-care center.
"Recent discoveries regarding children reared in child-care centers have only escalated our convictions that the child that is most likely to have a happy and useful life is a child reared in the home with the parents, not in a child-care center," he said.
Patterson said Southeastern students embrace those views.
"However, our position on child rearing did not close the center," he told Baptist Press. "Had that been the case, we would have closed it nine years ago when I became president."

Just thought I would throw that in to give readers a more balanced version of this "story."

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg.w.h said...

Dave Miller:

I see a similar dynamic in this post by you: Music Matters: My Two Churches

Greg Harvey

P.S. Apologies to Grace and Truth to You for the previously botched post.

Anonymous said...

the day care at MBTS had a $900,000 annual budget, NOT a million dollar annual profit, we used it as a "lab" for future church day-care providers, PR came in with 'guns-blazing' to shut it down(after getting his march orders from Paige P.), we said it was trustee voted on to open it would take a trustee vote to close, he rammed it thru with false numbers and another media headache when it hit the KCStar and TV stations...it was closed 4 weeks before school was out...what an unecessary night mare, two trustees quit over it and how he treated them and once again MBTS took an unecessary hit for an out-of-control President...he's getting ready to pay the price for this 5+ year behavior....
SAD.

CB Scott said...

John Farriss,

I think we should all seek the truth of daily living (practical theology) and systematic theology from the Scripture asking the Spirit to give us guidance and wisdom to make sound Biblical decisions in all areas of life. God has promised us in His Word He will grant such request.

I also think we should be very careful not to superimpose our own personal desires, concepts, and ideas gained from various schools of thought upon the Scripture.

Wherein the Scripture plainly speaks (which is true relating to most things) we should follow the Scripture to the letter. Wherein the Scripture does not speak plainly we should seek to know the closest scriptural directive and follow it.

In doing so we must understand other people may see some things differently. We should not be so very quick to take up our swords on those matters. There will always be some things we can only see "through a glass darkly" in this life.

Far too many Baptists have died on ant hills rather than on true mountain tops. That has happened, most often, at the hands of other Baptists.

John,for the record, I do not believe the Bible teaches a woman cannot work outside the home. I do not even believe that a home wherein the mother stays at home every day is a guarantee that children will be better off anymore than I believe a child wherein the mother works outside the home guarantees a barbarian.

I believe children do well in true Christian homes wherein the parents actually are seeking to follow Christ biblically. I also believe a home wherein there is only one parent in the home can do well if that parent is seeking to truly follow Christ. God said He would be Father to the Fatherless. I believe Him.

I hope you accept my answer to your question as my answer and no other person's. I can only speak for me and my house and I do.

cb

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks for the information about the budget. The trustee from whom the information came mistakenly said profit when he should have said budget. The error has been corrected.

Anonymous said...

Roger D. Lee,
You asked about comments from those familiar with MBTS and its day care center. When our family was there in the late 90's few if any seminary families used the center, although many of the employees were seminary wives. The cost of maintaining the center to comply with regulations the increased cost of insurance, combined with the need to house other campus projects drove a decision to close the center by Mark Coppenger. It was one of several times the center was closed. Yes, ideaology probably played a part, but for practical purposes it remained closed for a while until I guess it reopened briefly again under the interim direction of Michael Whitehead. It was always the prevailing thought that the seminary provided a ministry to working parents who used the center, a sort of giving back to the community. In reality, the lack of good usable building space, the cost of upkeep and insurance and the attitude of more seminary wives who choose to stay home with their young children (meaning they are also not staffing the center) has probably made it more and more difficult to defend as a viable part of the campus.

Michael H said...

you know, its the strangest topics on this blog that stir up a hornets nest.
I think the only other time there was this much emotion was during the elections.
not even grave theological issues stir up as many comments.
Now doesn't that tell us something about priorities?
God vs politics and apparently politics wins
Michael (a different one)

Anonymous said...

This immense anti-daycare website has an entire section about Daycares and Religion...
http://www.daycaresdontcare.org

Pat Pace said...

Sir, You stated "There is nothing necessarily morally wrong with a mother who chooses to stay at home to raise her children. There is also nothing necessarily morally wrong with a mother who chooses to work and places her children in day care. It would seem to me that the mother must follow the Lord's leadership in this area, and it may differ from one mother to another." You say it is not necessarily morally wrong for a woman to stay at home. Hmmm...that must be your opinion because it does not line up with the word of God. Titus 2:5 says that a woman is to be "a keeper AT home". That is her job and commanded by God to do so. When a woman goes outside to work(unless she has no choice due to her husband being sick or dead and her family does not take care of her or her church does not take care of her), then she is morally and scripturally violating the Word of God. This is not an opinion it is the Word Of God, but then again you may not believe in the Word of God. It appears that you think that a person should base their decisions based on their emotions. Emotions will fail you, but the Word of God never will.
David Pat Pace
Nacogdoches, Texas