President's home at SWBTS

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Rather than continue to steer the other topic off course I decided to start a new one here.

    It is possible that my convictions are “missing the mark” and perhaps you can help me by addressing my points.

    It is obvious others felt that having a large home was okay because they gave him money to do it. However that says nothing about what God thinks. Amos and Haggai recorded what God thinks.

    You never answered the question, "Would 8,760 square feet be enough for two people?"How does a huge home demonstrate leadership to people following Christ in today’s world in the US and around the world?

    If more room were needed to entertain guests there are some very nice large buildings on campus that are used for that very reason.

    I want you to think about the condition of some people, while expensive buildings are being built and how building big buildings serves to meet the needs of people. Lots of people want to be like Donald Trump but how many want to be like Jesus? Being like Jesus means denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily.

    James speaks to the issue of living and ignoring the person in need in James 2:15, 16, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?”

    Think about the following two examples. Years ago I went to school with a student who went go into the dining hall and removed uneaten food from the plates that had been turned in when people were done eating. The students took up a collection to give the student some money. I knew a student who coming from another country did not eat for days at a time because he had no money. Then compare that to the cost of a 7500 square foot house, its maintenance, and cleaning costs.

    How did Jesus live in comparison to the modern standards then and yet he reached the world?

    Of course adequate is subjective. What some people claim to need may be lavish living by the standards of others. Saddam Hussein had palaces and Rockefeller just wanted a little more money. Eventually all of their possessions will disappear. What we will leave with is not subjective and what we came with is not subjective. But what we do that will last for eternity is eternal.

    My Bible teaches, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "

    Does it not take more discipline to live on less and want less just so that others may have what they need than it does to simply have less? Isn’t the Christian supposed to help meet the needs of others around him by living on less and working hard?
     
  2. Karen

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    Part of the trouble here, though, is that you and I are commanded by Scripture to examine our own logs before examining others' specks.

    I live modestly by the standards of the town I live in. However, I have running water, electricity, air conditioning, heat, two indoor bathrooms no less, 3 bedrooms.
    Am I disobeying Scripture by not living like my grandparents did with a wood stove, a cistern for water, almost zero modern amenities, and not giving the rest to people that have less?

    And yet even they had more than many of the people around them. They were industrious farmers. Should they have lived on even less and given the rest away?

    Or are you saying it is ok to have a lot of stuff just as long as it is in some kind of "balance" with what people around you have? That Paige Patterson can have a lot of stuff as long as there is some upper limit "everybody" agrees on? That 8000 sq ft is too much but 3500 would be ok? Or nobody should have more than 1500?

    That I am doing fine because my youngest vehicle is 7 years old? That it is absolutely a sin to have an expensive car?
     
  3. gb93433

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    I would say that the more heart we have for God and people the less heart we have for things.

    Living life is full of questions and struggles.

    I think the answer lies in our heart and our focus. Along with life should come wisdom. That is the reason why it is so important for all of us to have people we can trust to tell us the things we should hear, the good and bad.

    There are people who will look at our lifestyle and question it. We should have those kind of people around us who will ask the tough questions.

    I do not believe the answer lies in so much how much we should have but in what we do with what has been entrusted to us. Is the focus on Christ or ourselves and our wants? I have seen poor selfish greedy people and rich selfless people who give and give.

    I think it takes a lot more discipline to have more and give a lot than to have nothing and nothing to give.
     
  4. drfuss

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    This reminds me of the PTL situation years ago. When Jim Bakker was asked about his expensive lifestyle, he said the president or CEO of other large organizations can live high, so why can't he?

    Christian organization leaders should not compare their lifestyle with their counterparts in the world. I am afraid that is sometimes happening to the high rollers in the SBC. Where there is large money, there is the temptation for extravagence.

    Under the O. T. Law, the levites were the preachers and the teachers. While they were allowed to have their own houses and gardens for their own consumption, they were not allowed to be in business for money or to become wealthy. Ministers today should use this as an example.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    I may think it is too opulent with all the poor people we have, but I'm not part of the Acme Judgement Company. I live simply... but I am sure that someone could look at my spending and think that eating out once a week is too much or that taking a cruise is too much. The fact is I am not anyman's judge. Go to the convention in San Antonio and bring it up.
     
  6. gb93433

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    The Bible says in 1 Cor 6 that we are to be able to judge our own. Notice what the passage says in verse 5, “Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?” When there is nobody to settle issues then we have chaos and that is what many denominations have today.

    1 Cor. 6:1-8, “Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.”

    It is not about judging with evil intent or condemnation but for good and holding people accountable to what is right and reasonable. By holding people accountable it encourages them to do what is right and it saves the church from doing what is wrong. It presents a healthy picture to the world of what a caring loving church looks like. It gives a genuine picture of what Christ is like.

    No company would hire an employee and not expect that employee to work hard. The church should not expect itself to have leaders who are not what leaders should be. When leaders act like the world then the world sees a church they do not like and is not what it should be.

    We have a serious problem when the world reads about troubles in denominations suing each other and problems that should be settled in house. We have problems when the SBC sues its own entities.

    We also have a serious problem when there are people who do not have enough to eat and others are throwing away food. We have a serious problem when people are paying more for entertainment than the education of their children.

    When we have compassion on people as Jesus did we will more closely see our own condition. When we look at God face to face how can we not want to do what we can to give and help others as we have been helped?

    Luke 10:29-37, "But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. "And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. "But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. "On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.' "Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

    How can we pass up people who have needs that we can meet?
     
  7. donnA

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    Oh Lord, again?
     
  8. Lagardo

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    My answer would be: I really don't know, as no two people are exactly alike. If it were me, I'd say no. My wife, son, and I life nicely in much less. My parents live in 6000 sqare feet (it was a gift), and while from time to time it seems a little spacious for the two of them, when they offer to host Sunday School fellowships or family get-togethers, it can get crowded.

    I really don't know what the daily life of the president of SWBTS is like. I don't know if he needs the office space, the entertaining space, etc. It would be hard to judge him on this particular issue.

    GB, I really do think we should live simply. But you have already shown your anger at our simple-living professors comparing them to university professors. So is the answer to bring the standard up for everyone or down for one?

    Incidently, I once heard a seminary professor (NOBTS) say that the low salary was easier to live with because of the house he was provided.
     
  9. gb93433

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  10. Lagardo

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    I'm sorry. I did not mean to say that you were angry at the professors, but at their level of compensation. My mistake. But my point stands. If this is a problem, then is it a problem for the seminary president is then at a more equal level with a university president. Which is a move in the right direction: to raise the level of everyone, or lower it for one?

    Well, this seems to have more to do with your overall beef towards the SBC than it does about a president's house, but in response I can say that I had several professors that were pastors or intermi pastors and that was only 7 years ago. Last time I checked, they were still both pastors and professors. In fact, NOBTS still contends that all professors are activley involved in ministry.

    I could understand that the seminary might be concerned about a professor's time, just as my church would have a problem if I had a job somewhere else. That's just my observation though, I have not heard of any such policy against a professor serving as a pastor.
     
  11. EdSutton

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    Apparently, yes!

    Ed
     
  12. EdSutton

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    I submit that no one here has disagreed with this, and I don't either.
    Uh', so who appointed you the one-man committee to decide "what is right and reasonable"? :rolleyes: I musta' missed that one in the SBC Reports, from last year.

    I posted on the other thread that should you wish, become a 'messenger' to the annual meeting and you could raise these concerns you seem to have that few others seem to have voiced, in this. And another has suggested that this issue be raised to the board; one has asked if you have voiced the concern to the President, himself, and I suggested getting yourself on the board, where you could bring up the issue, personally. I have seen no indication that any of these suggestions have even begun to be followed to any goodly degree, if at all.

    FTR, I submit to you that is is not relevant, nor is it requested, that any other person decide if our (my family's) home is too small, too big, too 'grey', too well lit, too dark, or too anything else. It is none of anyone else's business, but is entirely between us and the Lord.

    One does not have to personally agree with what another, or others are doing, and I don't recall any (aside from you, maybe) suggesting that that should be the case, in any sense. I do have one request, in this, however.
    Please desist from this single-issue 'carping', already! Is that a fair request??

    Ed
     
    #12 EdSutton, Mar 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2007
  13. gb93433

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    When I was at SWBTS the professors could not be full time pastors just interims. Several of the professors mentioned that there was a policy against it. Perhaps NOBTS is different.

    Being a president of a seminary is about trust and doing what Jesus called servant leadership. For one to be first he must be last and put others ahead of himself. That means in every area.

    Last I was told a starting professor out of seminary with a doctorate at SWBTS starts at less then a starting high school teacher in the secular schools. Doesn't seem rather strange when a starting pastor makes more than a starting professor. Doesn't it seem strange that the president of SWBTS lives in a $700,000 home and draws a big salary with all expenses paid including a car while a starting professor makes less than a starting high school teacher and has to pay his own rent. How does that speak of servant leadership as Jesus taught?

    Leadership is not just about money, power, and position but about substance and serving others. It is about the trust others place in you. Servant leadership is about putting others ahead of yourself as Jesus did in Phil. 2. True leadership only happens when others put you there because they want to, not because of position.
     
  14. gb93433

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    So do you blindly trust the SBC leaders especially the trustees at SWBTS who had already proven themselves just a few years ago when there was little accountability? It was clear that there were some on the board at the time who spoke out against some things that were happening and the rest would not listen. Let's see the IMB tried to get rid of Wade Burleson and the trustee board at SWBTS tried to get rid of McKissic because they did not like what he had to say. To "protect" people, McKissic's sermon was not broadcasted. All in the interest of the public.

    Prov. 17:10 “A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool.”

    Did you not read what I wrote earlier about that issue? You really can’t be serious though. The board of trustees at SWBTS has many of the same board members who fired Dr. Dilday and lied to the press. And you really do expect them to do something? Come on! Would you trust a chameleon to not change color? Does a leopard change its spots?

    Your suggestion is much like trying to rid the RCC of pedophiles by contacting the pedophiles and asking them to deal with the problem.

    If it is just between you and God then who tells you when you are wrong or do you always have the right spiritual and mental condition?

    So you are not accountable to anyone except God? Would you consider reading the exhortations found in Heb 10:24,25 and 3:13?

    I am sure you have read Amos and Haggai and would know that they had something to say about the issue.
     
  15. gb93433

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    No matter how flat you make a pancake it still has two sides. So why not tell us your side?
     
  16. donnA

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    I've already given you my side on 2 of your previous threads, same topic.
    Bitter and vindictive.
     
  17. preachinjesus

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    I don't know how much will be gained from a discussion like this. There are some bloggers and so forth that are constantly going on about this, and other topics. Truthfully I believe full disclosure must be made on all sides.

    While I don't agree with Drs. Patterson on their current abode and the finances used to help expand it, I think that is a matter for the trustees of Southwestern and those whom the trustees are elected by to consider. I do know that much of the funds used to improve the current mansion were gotten from a private contributor and not SBC CP funds. Now I can certainly see some much more needed places than the presidential manse to put one's funds towards (building churches in India, helping the IMB, help planting churches in truly unchurched regions, etc.)

    Now some of the issues some are taking with Dr. Patterson and his "excesses" are traditional expenses associated with the president of any SBC seminary. All presidents get a car, all presidents get their own oil portait, all presidents have significant expenses for travel, all presidents get their own house on campus, and other expenses. I'm not so certain we can legitimitize going after one president over the others. These seem to be expenses the SBC and trustees know about and have endorsed for a number of years (since and before Dr. Dilday.)

    We can take issue with some of the issues and expenses...but I think we need to be careful about who we lambast and who we forget about. :)
     
  18. blackbird

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    I didn't have "diddly" in seminary!!!! Our president, Dr. Landrum Leavell lived in a ordinary house----that is, compared to some elaborate houses that I have seen in the New Orleans metro area.

    Put it to ya this way-----what if it were ME!!! What if I were president instead of Paige Patterson and my wife were SWBTS's "First Lady" and it were "WE" living in that 8700 sq. ft home????

    Think about it!!! 8700 sq. ft!!! That's a lot of feet to chase my wife around and her chase me----get it?????:type: :saint: :saint:
     
  19. gb93433

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    I think the main issue is full disclosure and the wise use of funds. When that happens there will be less waste and much more trust. Full disclosure and a high level of accountability does two things. It helps to prevent abuses and sin. It also helps to protect the leaders and be assured they can be trusted. It does nothing but build trust and respect. I was a member of a church years ago where someone was stealing money and it quickly destroyed the credibility they had. The church up some additional paramaters to ensure accountability.

    Spurgeon was given large sums of money and used it to help pastors and other Christian ministries. Just because someone would like to give money to build a building does not mean it has to be accepted for that purpose. Many times if a person was told about other needs such as the need to support pastors who are struggling financially or perhaps missions projects that person would elect to give their money to some other ministry if encouraged to do so.

    For 14 years my wife and I were in a church that before any major leader was brought on, the person was nominated by secret ballot and then contacted by the pastor. If the person agreed to serve then his name was brought before the main church leaders. Once approved by the church leaders then the person’s name was brought before the church and the people were told. The pastor would say that if there was any reason why the person should not serve to let him know. After going through that process then there was an open forum held and somebody was the moderator. The man would start off by giving his testimony and answer some simple questions. Then it was opened up to the congregation. When I first joined that church and saw what happened I was impressed. They were godly men who wanted to do God’s will His way.

    I was in a church that did not have designated funds except a building fund. Too many times it can be a way for people to force control on an issue and become divisive. It is a well known fact that people will give to projects quicker than anything else. People will give much more quickly to a sports arena than education and funds to improve a campus educational program. Look at the amount of funds given to build buildings rather than tutoring students in the projects and other poverty areas.
     
  20. palagislandgirl

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    I don't know where the money came from that Dr.P used for his house and I frankly don't care. I think that it is a shame that he lives in that huge house and there are students there who have to live in the dorms. Where it took months to get showers that might actually work for more than one week. How do I know? Been there, lived there and paid rent and tution there and left there!
    :godisgood:
     

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