SBC Colleges Separate

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an ear:

    I invite all; SBC, IFB, and all other tints and hues of Baptists; to read the following story:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/22/education/22baptist.html?ex=1154491200&en=f32d0ad785ae6a22&ei=5070&emc=eta1

    Dr. Herschel York, preaching prof @ The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, church pastor, and President of the KY. Baptist. Convention., had the "gall" to ask the President of Georgetown (Ky) College to put someone on as a Religion prof who believed that "Adam and Eve" were real people.

    Anyway, you can read the article for yourself. What I would like to know is:

    Should the SBC break ties with the old and historic Baptist state colleges and universities over trustees, money, power, leadership, or any other issue?

    Or,
    Should we fight "tooth and toenail" to keep them as state Baptist convention schools regardless of the costs?

    As I said above, I would like to hear the opinions of all of my Baptists brothers. I know most on the BB are conservative and some ultra-conservative. But, I would also like to hear those who might not say "shibboleth" exactly like I do respond.

    Let me hear those opinions please.

    sdg!:thumbsup:

    rd
     
  2. Lagardo

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    In Missouri, our convention is fighting tooth and nail to keep a college, conference center, and a few other entities.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Opinion???????????

    Lagardo,

    What do you think about the situation in Missouri and the entire SBC?

    I would really like to hear your opinion.

    Thanks,

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  4. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Odd that you should mention the name of Dr. H. York.

    About 35 or so years ago his father, Wallace York, was connected with a small, local-church-run Bible college in Clarksville, TN (NW of Nashville TN on the TN-KY line near Ft. Campbell KY where the Army's 101st Airborne Div has its home). One thing that always struck me about Wallace York was his patient humility.

    Brother Wallace York obviously had a great impact on his son--who went on to be quite a student of Greek at the Univ of KY in Lexington. His son then went on to become pastor of the Ashland Ave BC in Lexington KY---which back in the late 1960's had separated from the SBC because of the liberalism that was rampant there.

    Ironically, AABC also had its own local-church based Bible College (Lexington Bapt Coll), and it was from this college that many of the instructors I'd sat under there in Clarksville TN had come.

    I went my separate ways--spent time in the military (USAF), and a whole lot of other jobs here, there, and all parts in between--and kind of lost track of both schools schools (and their "mother churches") until one day I'd happened to run across an old Bible collage acquaintance of mine who told me that Dr. York had led Ashland Av BC to re-join the SBC, closed down Lex Bapt College and shunted off what student body there was at LBC off to the Bible college (Boyce?) that the SBC seminary in Lexington had.

    (NOTE: I'm not reporting this as a means of criticism of Dr. York or Ashland Ave BC or the SBC seminary, etc. It's just an observation by someone who fondly remembered Dr. York's father and that's all.)
     
  5. Lagardo

    Lagardo
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    I am very new to this state, so maybe another Missouri pastor might contribute as well. Of course, I am originally from Missouri, so I've always known a little what was going on.

    I have friends on both sides of the issue, and I understand both sides. On one hand, it is very reasonable that if the convention has established a conference center, or college, then it should be able to have some authority over it (ie, appoint its trustees.) On the other hand, if long after these entities are established, various people and groups become much more involved financially, and otherwise, in these ministries, then it is reasonable that they may not want convention politics to hurt the work they are doing.

    I was speaking with the director of a MBC ministry the other day. Given the nature of the conflict, I will keep them anonymout, but suffice it to say that this is a ministry that is funded by both the convention, and more so by a foundation, long established to support this minsitry. Furthermore, the ministry meets in a building that was built and paid for by the convention but is maintained, furnished, and remodeled by said foundation. The director's salary is paid by the convention.

    I asked him if he felt that his ministry might have the right to break away as others have done. He said that he felt that politically, he was not in with the conservatives who currently run the convention. He said he had no theological difference with them, but it all came down to us and them; if you aren't with us, then you are with them. He said it could very well happen that he could be replaced soley for political reasons. Now, the foundation, along with many other supporters do not want this to happen and feel that it would be harmful to the minsitry. They have contributed the most, short of the director's salary, so it seems they could break away if they felt that the convention's control could hurt the minsitry.

    I don't know where I stand there, but I do know that the conflict in our convention is certainly making a statement to the public. Not a good one either...we're suing each other, for crying out lough!

    Maybe its time that churches, associations, and conventiosn learn that its not about politics, but Christ. Politics got us here...not sure how we'll get out.
     
  6. Rhetorician

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    Dr. York

    KTN4EG (I hope I got it right?),

    I follow Dr. York b/c he and I are both Mid America grads. He is great guy and may be one of the better preachers in the SBC at the moment. He is highly recognized and well thought of in the KY. B. C.

    Here is a link to his credentials at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Enjoy:

    http://www.sbts.edu/academics/theology/faculty/YorkHershael.php

    sdg!

    rd
     
  7. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Rhet:

    You've it right!

    Thanks for the link! Yep, that's "Hersch" all right!
    Of course the one I remember didn't have any hair in his chinny-chin-chin! :laugh: :laugh:

    (And, no, I don't want to start this into a "beards are of the devil" thing either!! :smilewinkgrin: :smilewinkgrin: )
     
  8. Bro Tony

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    This is an important issue. In Texas the State Convention lost Baylor to its board of Trustees. Here in Arizona the trustees of Grand Canyon University followed suit and did the same thing. They forget many years ago when they were about to close the doors because of financial issues it was the AZ Southern Baptist Conv. who kept the doors open. I think the state conventions should make sure that the trustees authority does not extend to the point where they can declare themselves autonomous.

    Bro Tony
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    Another related Article and Link

    To all who have been following this link:

    David Dockery of Union University in Jackson, TN has written an article for Baptist Press. It seems to be somewhat of a response to New York Times article.

    Check it out:

    http://www.sbcbaptistpress.net/printcolumn.asp?ID=2321

    It is truly germane to the discussion at hand.

    sdg!:thumbsup:

    rd
     
  10. Humblesmith

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    It appears that some want us to tolerate everything........except conservativism.

    We don't accept academic freedom to teach racism, sexism, or other things we shouldn't tolerate. But we're supposed to accept denial of historic biblical orthodoxy in the name of academic freedom.
     
  11. thjplgvp

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    RE: Article

    I am probably out of my league here (discussing SBC schools) none-the-less I quote form the above article.

    "As Mark Schwenn of Valparaiso University has suggested, it may be time to acknowledge that the thorough secularization of the academy is, at least, unfruitful. There is even a renewed interest in many places in the relationship of the church to higher education. “Ex corde ecclesia” is the way our Catholic friends frame this idea, which calls for the church to be at the heart of the university and for the university to be at the heart of the church."

    It has been my experience that secularization has no boundaries, the proverb give an inch and take a mile is befitting of the term secularization and should not be something that we suggest is happening for history shows us plainly that it is truth. (Yale, Harvard are examples)

    Secondly that the university is the heart of the church must be rejected that in its self demands a join us or leave us, with us or against us stand (see BBFI and GIBF). The heart of the church must be people and not institutions or an institution. Anytime the an institution becomes the center piece of accomplishment it redirects the hearts of of its constituents away from Christ.

    Education should be a tool, a means to accomplish a given goal and not the goal its self.

    Once again I cannot edit, please forgive spelling problems and grammer.

    thjplgvp
     
  12. koreahog2005

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    Dr. Dockery made some great points in the Baptist Press article. I really admire him. He has done a wonderful job as president of Union University. He is a brilliant scholar, and he is also a conservative, dedicated Christian. True scholarship and Christianity do not conflict. My older son will be a senior at Union, and my younger son will be a freshman there this fall.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    As Rhetorician knows, the language of the covenants between a school and a state convention are a key. Unless specific language is written into the covenant, it is difficult if not impossible to stop a school from separating from a convention.

    When Dr. York was President of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, he recognized that it was futile to fight Georgetown's desire to separate, so he engineered an agreement (with others) to allow an amicable parting, at least publicly. Georgetown's leaders insist that they will continue to be fully Baptist. We shall see.

    This is one reason that the SBC pressed hard for its seminaries to name the SBC as "sole member." This is a legal term which basically prevents the seminariy trustees from stealing the seminaries.

    I chair the board of trustees at Mid-Continent University, Mayfield, Kentucky, which is fully Kentucky Baptist and Southern Baptist, but not an arm of either. We are currently working on a revision to our by-laws to prevent trustees "who knew not Joseph" from taking it liberal in the future.

    After watching what happened with Georgetown, with Belmont in Tennessee, and the problems in Missouri, we want to deal with that problem while it's not a problem.
     
  14. koreahog2005

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    Hi Tom! I remember you from WPSD in Paducah. I was pastor at First Baptist in Wickliffe from 1987-1995, and then I became an IMB missionary to South Korea. I miss seeing your talk show on Saturday nights. I've heard that Mid-Continent has really grown and developed since I was in the area.
     
  15. mcdirector

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    I'll admit. I don't know where the line is in saying that we are Baptists and the institutions we support should believe certain things VS when to cut them loose when it's clear they aren't gonna get with the program.

    I don't like the situation, but Ron has two degrees from Baylor -- before he was drafted into the marines and they weren't all that Baptist even then. Now we live down the street from Wake Forest. I won't even try to enumerate those issues.
     
  16. gb93433

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    My response would be "Show me a christian college or university that teaches industrial technology at the graduate level. " Show me one where I could teach that subject matter at. Furthermore, show me one where all of my education could get paid for and would be willing to offer me a scholarship in addition.
     
  17. Jack Matthews

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    Baylor is still affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which elects one third of its trustees and requires the other two thirds to be active members of Baptist churches of the BGCT.

    Several years ago, the case of Grand Canyon University was used as an example in a law seminar I attended. It was my understanding that GCU was considered to be "owned and operated" by the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, and thus was considered as an "asset" of the convention from a legal standpoint. At that time, the convention was dealing with a financial scandal of incredible proportions that had arisen out of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, also "owned and operated" by the ASBC. The college trustees were advised that the school's endowment and even physical assets could be tapped to pay off the debt incurred by the scandal at the foundation. As I understand it, they changed the relationship from being "owned and operated" to being "affiliated" and the trustees, rather than being directly elected by the convention, appointed their own successors, two thirds of which were required to be members of ASBC congregations. That protected the school's assets. Several years ago, the university was sold by the trustees, at the direction of the ASBC, in order to generate revenue to pay back some of what was lost by investors in the scheme at the Baptist Foundation. It has become a major player in on-line graduate school education and I know several people who are earning master's degrees from there via the internet. It has also maintained both its accreditation, reputation as a school of excellence in the education and business fields, and its Christian character, at least according to one of my associates who is an alum.

    My own alma mater, Belmont University, is in the process of separating itself from the direct control of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. There is a minority of people within the TBC who think that the theology department is too "liberal," though I would disagree with that statement. It is hard to balance academics in a Bible classroom at a university with the diversity of belief that would be found in a group as large and diverse as the TBC. It is difficult to walk a fine line between genuine exploration of the Bible, using all of the language, cultural and historical tools available (things which most churches do not have at their disposal) and indoctrination which doesn't allow dissent, even if the evidence supports a different position.

    I've personally agonized on many occasions over something I heard from a teacher at church, or a pastor, that wasn't consistent with something I'd heard in a Bible class at college, and after spending a lot of time praying and studying the matter in great depth, discovered that the professor was on solid ground in terms of available evidence. On the other hand, there is a danger among those in the colleges and universities of relying on their educational experience alone and developing an elitist mentality which leads them to think that they are always right, and the people in the pew are always wrong, simply because they are not as well educated.
     
  18. Jack Matthews

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    I think you have slanted and misinterpreted the position of Georgetown College on this issue. You've made it sound like he didn't want a professor on his staff who would teach that "Adam and Eve were real people." That's not exactly what he said. He was asked by someone who is not a member of the governing board of the college, and who is only one Baptist among many, to specifically appoint a professor who would teach "a literal interpretation of the Bible."

    You are implying that:

    1. Georgetown College currently does not teach a literal interpretation of the Bible, and isn't interested in hiring professors who do so.
    2. That believing Adam and Eve were real people constitutes a "literal" interpretation of the Bible.

    Neither of those implications is accurate.

    What happened was that a man who happened to get elected president of the KBC overstepped his bounds and publicly put pressure on a college president to do something that he couldn't do without the approval of the trustees who are charged with the responsibility of setting policy for the college. The KBC president doesn't have the authority to tell the president of Georgetown College who to hire.

    There's a balance between educational institutions and churches that must be in place for a good relationship to occur. When a church body thinks it already knows the truth, it doesn't need educational institutions. When an educational institution thinks it knows everything, it doesn't need the church. Both positions are wrong.
     
  19. Rhetorician

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    Response to Jack

    Jack,

    Thank you for your input and response.

    When we post an opinion, it is almost impossible to critique all of our own insights. All of the implications of a statement cannot be know to us. That is what critical thinking is all about, or at least I thought it was?

    I only posed the thread to provoke some thought. Many SBC folk feel that moderate/liberal factions who left the SBC seminaries have moved the "fight" if you will to the state SBC colleges. And that this in turn has been one of the main factors to cause some of the separations that have occurred.

    Cheers!

    sdg!:smilewinkgrin:

    rd
     
  20. Jack Matthews

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    I've become interested in this particular issue since my alma mater, Belmont University, is currently struggling with the Tennessee Baptist Convention over remaining under its control via the trustee board being elected by the convention body in annual meeting. I have mixed feelings about it.

    Baptist educational institutions are in a unique position in terms of their relationship to the denominational bodies that control them. They are not affiliated with the national body, but with a state convention. The amount of financial support they receive from those state bodies is minimal. In Belmont's case, the funds aren't even applied to the general budget but are distributed to students on campus who are members of Baptist churches in Tennessee. The cost of attending Belmont, or any of the other TBC supported colleges and universities, is prohibitive. I once read somewhere that 85% of the college-age students in Tennessee Baptist churches could not afford to attend any of the state convention institutions. A majority of Belmont students are not Baptist. The school does have a Bible major for students preparing for ministry, but couldn't even come close to supplying the needs of the churches in the state of Tennessee out of its graduate pool. With that being the case, and considering the fact that the TBC doesn't really support the university financially at a level that would make it easier and more feasible for the students in its churches to attend, I have trouble with the convention exercising control over the school.

    If the purpose of Baptist higher education is to make a Christian environment accessible to the constituents in the churches of the denomination that supports the university, then the denomination needs to come up with a whole heck of a lot more money if they want to dictate the policy and curriculum of the school.
     

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