CORPUS CHRISTI Dorothy Patterson, keynote speaker at the
SBTC Women’s Luncheon on Nov. 15, exhorted the women to live in God’s reality,
not the world’s, being especially mindful of Satan’s efforts to mislead and
distract. The reality of Christ in them should be the source of strength and
discernment that women need in order to live and succeed on God’s terms, she
Patterson, a popular speaker, author and professor of
theology in women’s studies, claims her most prized credentials are those of
wife of Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson, mother and
grandmother. She encouraged the women to find their worth in their calling and
the fact that Christ in them is their hope of glory.
Drawing from the theme “Christ: His reality, not mine” and
Colossians 2:8-10, Patterson said the apostle Paul was writing to affirm the
members of the church in Colossae and warn them of false teachings. She
cautioned that the warning is just as applicable today as it was 2,000 years
“Don’t think Satan is not crafty enough to interject false
teaching. If we live under Christ, we will not go wrong,” she said.
Using the text from Colossians 2:1-15, Patterson shared with
SBTC women the same message Paul sent to the church. Paul, she said, wanted to
encourage the church, instruct them to love, and assure them of the confidence
and boldness available in Christ.
Unpacking the passage, she referenced the Greek language to
explain in detail the meaning of Paul’s exhortation. She urged women to depend
on Scripture, not the “fine-tuned rhetoric” of the world, when making
decisions, recognizing the role of God in their lives.
“God gives us the ability to be discerning,” she said.
Referencing the military nature of the terms in the passage,
Patterson told the women be confident that they are in the place God would have
them. Although it flies in the face of feminist ideals for American women,
Patterson emphasized her most important job is not as an author or seminary
professor, but as wife and mother.
“I am a homemaker and helper to my husband. It is the heart
of who I am.”
The world, she said, minimizes that role, calling it
“traditional” as if that were a bad word. She said she is a Baptist because,
historically, Baptists have held to traditions that are based on Scripture. The
concept of tradition does not fit the feminist or liberal view of the world but
when women’s ministry is built on traditions that are scripturally grounded
there is no need for apologies.
“Let them argue with Scripture. They have to argue with God,
not us,” she said.
Being confident in who they are in Christ requires women to
live as his representatives. Though that is not an easy task, Colossians 2:6-7
outlines the principles to do it. The key, she said, is having an attitude of
thankfulness despite circumstances.
Referencing the conclusion of verse seven, she said, “We
have to be able to say thank you in the hurts of life.”
Patterson thanked Shirley Moses, SBTC women’s ministry
consultant, for selecting the passage from Colossians. She said studying for
that portion of Scripture caused her to remember?as she is often in need of
reminding, she said?that Christ is her hope.
“I needed to know Christ is
sufficient,” she said. “You will be reminded when you are at the end of
everything you can do, ‘In you, Christ, the hope of glory.'”