Paige Patterson wants mental health patients to stop their meds and pray like battered women?

During their 2013 annual meeting, Southern Baptists overwhelmingly adopted a resolution entitled “On Mental Health Concerns and the Heart of God.”  That resolution states, in part:

RESOLVED, That we support the wise use of medical intervention for mental health concerns when appropriate; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we support research and treatment of mental health concerns when undertaken in a manner consistent with a biblical worldview; and be it further

deacb3b7-0c04-4c76-a400-f6f600b68c92-Floyd-mental-health-motionAt the same convention, Arkansas Pastor Ronnie Floyd — himself a two-time graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary — offered a motion calling for Southern Baptists to ramp up their ministry to people afflicted with various mental health disorders. Thom Rainer, during the Lifeway Report, strongly commended a book by famed pastor Rick Warren, who lost his own son to suicide after a lengthy battle with mental illness.  In 2014, ERLC President Russell Moore hosted a roundtable discussion on the topic of mental health with Warren and Pastor Tony Rose, the chairman of the SBC task force on mental health issues.

Clearly, Southern Baptists had determined to affirm and encourage a holistic approach to mental health ministries and care.

Enter Paige Patterson.

In a Feb. 2, 2015 meeting of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty, a memorandum from Patterson was distributed that enumerated 10 items that Patterson said professors “must reinforce . . . at Southwestern Seminary among our students.”  His directive, he asserted, was “based upon what [he has] encountered in the field the last few months.”  His observations, he continues, underscore what he “already knew to be true.”

Item number three in Patterson’s list concerned mental health and biblical counseling. Patterson instructed faculty that the seminary’s “text driven methodology . . . should also inform our biblical counseling.”

Stating that “this is not an issue of whether or not mental illness actually exists” (as if that were up for debate), Patterson noted that the seminary is “not capable of doing the medical side of it.”

But he didn’t stop there.

“As recent works have indicated, the medical and pharmaceutical side of the healing industry is not a commendable one anyway,” Patterson added, then linking his views on mental health treatment “to a theology of womanhood.”

So did you get that?

Patterson’s theology of womanhood is closely associated with his views that medical treatment for mental health is “not commendable.”

Or put another way: If a woman’s husband is beating her, a woman needs to pray for God to intervene. If a man’s son or daughter is suffering from mental health issues, they should do the same.

So a question: Do Paige Patterson’s instructions to Southwestern faculty reflect the Southern Baptist Convention’s position on mental health ministries?

Click here to read the actual document that Patterson distributed to faculty on February 2, 2015.


9 thoughts on “Paige Patterson wants mental health patients to stop their meds and pray like battered women?

  1. I remember how my heart sank when I learned that PP was doing away with the existing counseling program and replacing it with “Biblical Counseling”. I had the same feeling when I recently listened to a young lady who was in the program at SWBTS. She was a sweet person and sincere in her desires but did not seem to have any concept of how harmful these practices could be. These students are naive and have no idea of the bigger picture.

    When we look at PP’s track record of counseling abused women, how can we expect him to have good advice on what counseling education should look like?

    1. The difference for me was that I knew people in the SWBTS program at the time so I felt particularly bad for them. SBTS may be ground zero.

  2. Read most of the document. I have a particular distaste for the way PP promotes their “Text-Driven” approach. They coined a term, built a school around it, appointed a Dean (from the good ole boy club), and then pronounced it good. Such hubris!!

    A seminary that is training people for the pulpit should at least have an elective on how to prepare effective topical sermons.

    1. As could many women at sbts. It’s where CBMW is housed. Moore was the go to guy for patriarchy. Frankly they are more alike than different. But Mohler always gets a pass. Moore is rebranding himself without explaining why he taught totally the opposite before.

      The whole lot of them are frauds.

  3. Sincere question and no snarky reply please. I have never received a clear explanation as to what is a Theology of Womanhood. Anyone?

    1. I know you requested a non-snarky response, so I am trying to hold my tongue. I have long suspected that the single major concern of Patterson and Pressler in starting the CR was their concern over women in the pulpit. It scared them beyond mortification. They put everything in terms of “Biblical Inerrancy” and driving out the “liberals” but, in my opinion, the one thing that fueled their fire (other than just plan old power politics) was making sure that the SBC had no place for a woman preaching the Word. Rumor has it that Patterson once had a pulpit removed from SWBTS chapel because a woman had previously been allowed to speak from it and it was now defiled.

      To answer your question then, their “Theology of Womanhood” is that regardless of equality or competency, under no circumstances should a woman be allowed to preach. In other words (uh oh, here comes the snark) the women the empty tomb should NOT have gone to tell the other disciples that Christ was risen.

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