Liberty U Gone Berserk

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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Sandy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:21 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:With the reductions of state convention staffs across the South, most matching is now left to computers or simply done on "the flood method" of sending the stack out en masse, often overwhelming the committee in a church. As an interim, I teach a session on how to read ministers' resumes. I've still been ignored, even when I taught that course. There are also frequently coded references in resumes that churches need to learn to recognize like the two: "I subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000," or "I subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message 1963."


When I served on a committee nine years ago, it had been sixteen years since the church had called a pastor, and no one on the committee had any experience. We got 500+ resumes, and they wanted to go through all of them. I had to explain the difference between the SBC seminary degree programs and the diploma programs, and that students with bachelor's in Biblical studies or Christian ministry did not have the equivalent of seminary training, and less than a third of the required hours in Biblical studies. Several of the Liberty online candidates hadn't actually finished their programs, and a couple of them were pretty screwy when it came to their theology and ministry philosophy. It took three meetings to train the committee on what degree programs offered and required, which ones actually studied theology, doctrine, and taught hermeneutics, and what a diploma mill degree candidate looked like.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Haruo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:58 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:... training drone pilots to bomb in the name of Christian America bothers me since Liberty trains more drone pilots for the US than any other institution.

What sort of degree does LU offer in drone piloting? Or is it just a class, or a special feature of their ROTC, or what? I've never thought of drone piloting as something a university would do for the feds.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:48 pm

Sandy wrote:When I served on a committee nine years ago, it had been sixteen years since the church had called a pastor, and no one on the committee had any experience. We got 500+ resumes, and they wanted to go through all of them. I had to explain the difference between the SBC seminary degree programs and the diploma programs, and that students with bachelor's in Biblical studies or Christian ministry did not have the equivalent of seminary training, and less than a third of the required hours in Biblical studies. Several of the Liberty online candidates hadn't actually finished their programs, and a couple of them were pretty screwy when it came to their theology and ministry philosophy. It took three meetings to train the committee on what degree programs offered and required, which ones actually studied theology, doctrine, and taught hermeneutics, and what a diploma mill degree candidate looked like.


A pastoral search can be an overwhealming process! It is great when a committee is willing to be trained and get good information on how searches work best. When they don’t you get bad matches where pastors are short and painful.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Jon Estes » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:25 pm

Sandy wrote:
Jon Estes wrote:The worlds largets student body Christian University knows they will have student who disagree along the way. No sweat.


It obviously bothers Falwell, especially the sheer number of Liberty students showing up in support of the activist and his rallies in Lynchburg. Otherwise, there'd be no ban on his presence on the campus.

Well, I guess perhaps it might be progress these days to consider adultery, fornication, cheating in business, running gaming casinos and strip joints, and hanging out with porn starts, along with patently false theology as common values to expand the diversity of the "world's largest Christian university". You go ahead and support that, Jon. When you come up with a good, Biblical based sermon on why a night of sex with a porn star is a good illustration of a Biblical principle, or ten reasons why "God Really Did Have Sex With Mary and Does Live on the Planet Kolob", send me a copy.

https://www.wsls.com/education/educatio ... ff-layoffs
http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/v ... 62a33.html

Apparently, declining enrollment at Liberty is large enough to drop the stats for the entire state. I love the language used to explain. "Well, it really didn't decline," then when the numbers prove otherwise, "We anticipated the decline due to new personnel and a new system." A decline of over 10,000 in one program in one year? Anticipated?


Using more than a year old article does not give a current picture. All schools have dips.

Numbers of enrolment this year so far is over 110,000.

Supporting Trump as President does not mean I support the sins in his past life. It seems too many people are obsessed with his sin. There are better things to think on... Phil 4:8
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby KeithE » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:59 pm

KeithE wrote:I’m going to ask a recent LU Sem graduate (on line student) about this practice of a ‘con in sheep’s clothing’ tactic. I suspect it is side cabal of on campus ministerial students / conniving profs - if it is real at all.

Well I asked him (Michael Bowe is his name) and contrary to my suspicions, even online graduates were asked to be deceptive by selling themselves to BGAV churches as liberals only to turn once selected - that pitch was made to him several years ago. So Dave Roberts was correct. I trust good people like Dave but verify if it sounds too fantastic.

Michael only took the MDIV course at LU Sem because there was no other way for him to get a MDIV while raising his family (he was going through a divorce). He goes to our church now. Then he brought up (himself, not egged on by me) the threatened arrest of Shane Claiborne. Then he started in on how much he “loathes" Jerry Falwell Jr. He is now in a DMIN program from Memphis Theological Seminary (which he travels to every few weeks for a week at a time - I think he has a baby sitter stay with his kids ~ 16 yr old girl, ~12 yr old boy and ~10 yr old boy all the while working at a Salvation Army Thrift Store, delivering Coke products (that’s drinks not cocaine), and occasionally filling pulpits - he is a good preacher (he has preached at my church and my son's Methodist church among many others). I admire his perseverance and doggedness. He has a few more classes and a Dissertation to finish his DMIN and I’m sure he would love to land a job in the BGAV.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:19 pm

Jon Estes wrote:
Supporting Trump as President does not mean I support the sins in his past life. It seems too many people are obsessed with his sin. There are better things to think on... Phil 4:8


How far past does it need to be to be ok to over look? If he was in on paying off a porn star while running for President, that is pretty recent past.

I still am almost agast at how Evengelicals and flip flopped from being upset with Bill Clinton for an affair with Monica Lewinksi and deception about it enough to impeach him but totally over look multiple marriages, affairs, and sinful behavior on the behalf of Trump.

I honestly no longer believe that evangelicals, by and large, care about personal morality except when it suits them. I’ve not been an evangelical for a long time. But I always used to respect at least how evangelicals stuck to their moral principles.

The full throated support of Trump by the evangelical wing of Christianity pretty much ended that for me. And, I’m basically going to laugh out loud anytime evangelicals go after any politician in the future for moral misdeeds. Supporting Trump makes any such criticisms of morality clearly only about politics rather than an actual stand for moral behavior in our leaders.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Jon Estes » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:05 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
Jon Estes wrote:
Supporting Trump as President does not mean I support the sins in his past life. It seems too many people are obsessed with his sin. There are better things to think on... Phil 4:8


How far past does it need to be to be ok to over look? If he was in on paying off a porn star while running for President, that is pretty recent past.

Do we judge that as truth now or wait till facts are given?

I still am almost agast at how Evengelicals and flip flopped from being upset with Bill Clinton for an affair with Monica Lewinksi and deception about it enough to impeach him but totally over look multiple marriages, affairs, and sinful behavior on the behalf of Trump.

So far, i see the difference as one of the behaviors of the sexual sin you mention was done while BC was in office. DT's indiscretions are not. Both are wrong - I agree. One was taking advantage of a subordinate employee while the other was paying a professional. Both are wrong but the dynamics of the wrong (time and place and persn) tell a different story).

I honestly no longer believe that evangelicals, by and large, care about personal morality except when it suits them. I’ve not been an evangelical for a long time. But I always used to respect at least how evangelicals stuck to their moral principles.

I think it would be safe to say that most evangelicals who support DT now would walk away if he did what BC did while he was in office.

The full throated support of Trump by the evangelical wing of Christianity pretty much ended that for me. And, I’m basically going to laugh out loud anytime evangelicals go after any politician in the future for moral misdeeds. Supporting Trump makes any such criticisms of morality clearly only about politics rather than an actual stand for moral behavior in our leaders.

Thats fine if you want to laugh out loud... it will probably make you feel good.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby JE Pettibone » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:32 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
Jon Estes wrote:
Supporting Trump as President does not mean I support the sins in his past life. It seems too many people are obsessed with his sin. There are better things to think on... Phil 4:8


How far past does it need to be to be ok to over look? If he was in on paying off a porn star while running for President, that is pretty recent past.

I still am almost agast at how Evengelicals and flip flopped from being upset with Bill Clinton for an affair with Monica Lewinksi and deception about it enough to impeach him but totally over look multiple marriages, affairs, and sinful behavior on the behalf of Trump.

I honestly no longer believe that evangelicals, by and large, care about personal morality except when it suits them. I’ve not been an evangelical for a long time. But I always used to respect at least how evangelicals stuck to their moral principles.

The full throated support of Trump by the evangelical wing of Christianity pretty much ended that for me. And, I’m basically going to laugh out loud anytime evangelicals go after any politician in the future for moral misdeeds. Supporting Trump makes any such criticisms of morality clearly only about politics rather than an actual stand for moral behavior in our leaders.


Ed: Tim, what do you mean by "The full throated support of Trump by the evangelical wing of Christianity...) ?
BTW, I believe it has been established that the Lewinksi affair was not Clinton's first and only. I also believe your condemnation here of Trump and Evangelicals in general is full of hyperbole. And has nothing to do with Liberty University which I believe was built on similar unsupported rhetoric about other Christian entities.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:36 am

One major difference was that Bill Clinton asked for forgiveness from people showing at least a degree of contrition. DT has not publicly admitted that he has done anything wrong.

Back to LU. This morning in a piece on student loan defaults in VA, LU was reported as now having over 3,000 current or former students in default on student loan repayments to the federal student loan program. One of the things that bugs me about them is that to get students, they offer lots of freshman scholarships. After the first year, these are not renewable and students face the full costs with which they are directed to federal student loans. I've had church members receive those and have to drop out after one year because the bait did not lead to additional help. Every year they send a letter to pastors asking them to nominate students for their freshman scholarships, and those letters nowhere say that the scholarships are not renewable.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Jon Estes » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:57 am

Dave Roberts wrote:One major difference was that Bill Clinton asked for forgiveness from people showing at least a degree of contrition. DT has not publicly admitted that he has done anything wrong.

Was that before or after he waved his finger at the world?

Back to LU. This morning in a piece on student loan defaults in VA, LU was reported as now having over 3,000 current or former students in default on student loan repayments to the federal student loan program. One of the things that bugs me about them is that to get students, they offer lots of freshman scholarships. After the first year, these are not renewable and students face the full costs with which they are directed to federal student loans. I've had church members receive those and have to drop out after one year because the bait did not lead to additional help. Every year they send a letter to pastors asking them to nominate students for their freshman scholarships, and those letters nowhere say that the scholarships are not renewable.

WHat is the national school average for federal loan defaults? That number would give us a better picture than just to throw out this info. You are aware that many if not all schools do the same thing to get students. Is it only a problem when LU does it?
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Sandy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:25 am

Jon Estes wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Jon Estes wrote:The worlds largets student body Christian University knows they will have student who disagree along the way. No sweat.


It obviously bothers Falwell, especially the sheer number of Liberty students showing up in support of the activist and his rallies in Lynchburg. Otherwise, there'd be no ban on his presence on the campus.

Well, I guess perhaps it might be progress these days to consider adultery, fornication, cheating in business, running gaming casinos and strip joints, and hanging out with porn starts, along with patently false theology as common values to expand the diversity of the "world's largest Christian university". You go ahead and support that, Jon. When you come up with a good, Biblical based sermon on why a night of sex with a porn star is a good illustration of a Biblical principle, or ten reasons why "God Really Did Have Sex With Mary and Does Live on the Planet Kolob", send me a copy.

https://www.wsls.com/education/educatio ... ff-layoffs
http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/v ... 62a33.html

Apparently, declining enrollment at Liberty is large enough to drop the stats for the entire state. I love the language used to explain. "Well, it really didn't decline," then when the numbers prove otherwise, "We anticipated the decline due to new personnel and a new system." A decline of over 10,000 in one program in one year? Anticipated?


Using more than a year old article does not give a current picture. All schools have dips.

Numbers of enrolment this year so far is over 110,000.

Supporting Trump as President does not mean I support the sins in his past life. It seems too many people are obsessed with his sin. There are better things to think on... Phil 4:8


According to what Liberty has reported, the 110,000 figure is from 2016. Same report shows 47,000 undergraduates in the fall of 2017, and a total of 75,756, including on campus, online and graduate.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:53 am

Jon Estes wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:One major difference was that Bill Clinton asked for forgiveness from people showing at least a degree of contrition. DT has not publicly admitted that he has done anything wrong.

Was that before or after he waved his finger at the world?

Back to LU. This morning in a piece on student loan defaults in VA, LU was reported as now having over 3,000 current or former students in default on student loan repayments to the federal student loan program. One of the things that bugs me about them is that to get students, they offer lots of freshman scholarships. After the first year, these are not renewable and students face the full costs with which they are directed to federal student loans. I've had church members receive those and have to drop out after one year because the bait did not lead to additional help. Every year they send a letter to pastors asking them to nominate students for their freshman scholarships, and those letters nowhere say that the scholarships are not renewable.

WHat is the national school average for federal loan defaults? That number would give us a better picture than just to throw out this info. You are aware that many if not all schools do the same thing to get students. Is it only a problem when LU does it?


Two comments, Jon. First, I don't like Bill Clinton. I wouldn't like him as a friend or a neighbor. I am willing to forgive those who ask, and at least he brought aboard some spiritual advisers who met with him about how to find forgiveness and restoration. Hillary also had advisers who included Billy Graham who advised her to try to rebuild her marriage, forgive her husband, and try to move on.

Second, the last year for which default rates were compiled by the Department of Education was those entering in 2009. The average rate of default was 8.8% on federally insured student loans. Assuming that Liberty has 25,000 student, 20,000 of those would probably receive student loan assistance or other grants. Therefore, the default should run around 1,800, if they were at the average. Glad to support my info with statistics, since you asked.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Sandy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:11 am

Arguments invoking the Clintons, particularly Bill, are simply diversions from the real issue. When someone starts in on that, they are saying, loud and clear, that they have no real legitimate rebuttal of their own.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Jon Estes » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:53 am

Sandy wrote:Arguments invoking the Clintons, particularly Bill, are simply diversions from the real issue. When someone starts in on that, they are saying, loud and clear, that they have no real legitimate rebuttal of their own.


Who are you accusing of diversion?

You were the first person in this thread to mention them. Tim was the second.

Interesting self accusation there, Sandy.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Sandy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:46 am

Jon Estes wrote:
Sandy wrote:Arguments invoking the Clintons, particularly Bill, are simply diversions from the real issue. When someone starts in on that, they are saying, loud and clear, that they have no real legitimate rebuttal of their own.


Who are you accusing of diversion?

You were the first person in this thread to mention them. Tim was the second.

Interesting self accusation there, Sandy.


I did not use the Clintons as a diversion, as you normally do, to compare them in a "who's more corrupt" contest with Trump to try and justify Trump's immoral behavior. I simply pointed out that if Liberty was being as diverse as you claim they are, then the Clintons and Obama would have been scheduled speakers for their convocation, opposite the Mormon "conservative" and the adulterer "conservative."
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Jon Estes » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:14 pm

Sandy wrote:
Jon Estes wrote:
Sandy wrote:Arguments invoking the Clintons, particularly Bill, are simply diversions from the real issue. When someone starts in on that, they are saying, loud and clear, that they have no real legitimate rebuttal of their own.


Who are you accusing of diversion?

You were the first person in this thread to mention them. Tim was the second.

Interesting self accusation there, Sandy.


I did not use the Clintons as a diversion, as you normally do, to compare them in a "who's more corrupt" contest with Trump to try and justify Trump's immoral behavior. I simply pointed out that if Liberty was being as diverse as you claim they are, then the Clintons and Obama would have been scheduled speakers for their convocation, opposite the Mormon "conservative" and the adulterer "conservative."

i normally do not. To make the accusation you did in this thread was fine but just go to who brought them into the discussion. I would not have brought them up but in reply to someone else.

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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby ET » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:02 pm

Back to what started this thread....
KeithE wrote:Posted on the Baptist History and Heritage Forum by none other than Stephen Fox, this needs to read by a wide audience.

Offering prayer, Christian activist threatened with jail

Messiah College history prof John Fea makes some good points - there's plenty of room to doubt Claiborne's motives based on his past comments regarding Liberty and Falwell, Jr.
Yet something doesn’t seem right to me about Claiborne’s letter to Falwell.

Yes, Claiborne takes the high road. He asks Falwell to pray with him on the campus of Liberty University. But the letter also fails to acknowledge that Claiborne has brought this Red Letter Revival to Lynchburg precisely because Lynchburg is the home of Liberty University and precisely because Falwell Jr. is a rabid court evangelical.

This Red Letter Revival is a direct attack on Falwell Jr. and his university. It suggests that Falwell Jr. and Liberty University are somehow insufficiently Christian. (This might be a fair argument, but that is not the point here). But the letter sounds like Claiborne has no issues whatsoever with Liberty or its president. Claiborne should at least acknowledge his differences in his letter to Falwell or say something about how prayer might play a role in softening those differences.

How does Claiborne expect Falwell to respond in light of some of Claiborne’s recent tweets?

Reading the tweets that Fea has taken from Claiborne's feed, it's not too hard to understand that Claiborne's intentions may not be as pure as some might think. May be a bit harsh to threaten arrest, but I can't blame Jr for doubting the sincerity of Clairborne - "come into my web, said the spider to the fly" --- or some such thing like that.

Translation of the original headline:
"Nasty ole Bible-thumping fundy, intolerant Baptist is mean to Jesus-loving, sweet talking, pure-hearted, soft-spoken progressive."

This is sorta like the Dems who have all of a sudden started using the phrase "States' Rights" when it comes to not enforcing or assisting with federal immigration law.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby KeithE » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:03 pm

ET wrote:Back to what started this thread....
KeithE wrote:Posted on the Baptist History and Heritage Forum by none other than Stephen Fox, this needs to read by a wide audience.

Offering prayer, Christian activist threatened with jail

Messiah College history prof John Fea makes some good points - there's plenty of room to doubt Claiborne's motives based on his past comments regarding Liberty and Falwell, Jr.
Yet something doesn’t seem right to me about Claiborne’s letter to Falwell.

Yes, Claiborne takes the high road. He asks Falwell to pray with him on the campus of Liberty University. But the letter also fails to acknowledge that Claiborne has brought this Red Letter Revival to Lynchburg precisely because Lynchburg is the home of Liberty University and precisely because Falwell Jr. is a rabid court evangelical.

This Red Letter Revival is a direct attack on Falwell Jr. and his university. It suggests that Falwell Jr. and Liberty University are somehow insufficiently Christian. (This might be a fair argument, but that is not the point here). But the letter sounds like Claiborne has no issues whatsoever with Liberty or its president. Claiborne should at least acknowledge his differences in his letter to Falwell or say something about how prayer might play a role in softening those differences.

How does Claiborne expect Falwell to respond in light of some of Claiborne’s recent tweets?

Reading the tweets that Fea has taken from Claiborne's feed, it's not too hard to understand that Claiborne's intentions may not be as pure as some might think. May be a bit harsh to threaten arrest, but I can't blame Jr for doubting the sincerity of Clairborne - "come into my web, said the spider to the fly" --- or some such thing like that.

Translation of the original headline:
"Nasty ole Bible-thumping fundy, intolerant Baptist is mean to Jesus-loving, sweet talking, pure-hearted, soft-spoken progressive."

This is sorta like the Dems who have all of a sudden started using the phrase "States' Rights" when it comes to not enforcing or assisting with federal immigration law.


Claiborne’s intentions may be a sort of 'cattle prod’ to have the “evangelicals”/political conservatives on campus / in the community think deeply about the actual words of their supposed leader, Jesus (i.e. the red letters). Nothing wrong with that! Try Matt 25:35-36 for instance.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’


To anticipate ET's response: Those instructions from Jesus are aimed at individuals as well as people groups and governments. God is pleased when any of these entities (individuals, groups or governments) care for the hurting (whatever their hurt). And he is not pleased when and of these entities say to the hurting - you caused this yourself.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby William Thornton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:16 am

This story is a bit silly but mod/libs are always receptive to a good Falwell-bashing story even if it is a manufactured stunt. Maybe Junior was too aggressive with the publicity hound but he got what he wanted.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:47 am

:lol:

There's always a good reason, an ulterior motive, an exception, a conspiracy theory, allowing for the justification of bad behavior by those who have a high profile and prominent "ministry". Falwell has invited at least two Mormons and an immoral adulterer to address the entire student body at Liberty from a right-wing political perspective in a mandatory attendance venue. So along comes a group and a leader that make the claim of taking the words of Jesus literally and seriously, certainly more theologically centered than the Mormons, and in total moral contrast to Trump-style immorality, and holds a two day revival in Lynchburg built around a Biblically-centered message, not hijacked by right wing politics, and not connected to Thomas Road or Liberty, and got a lot of attention, including from a good sized segment of the Liberty student body. I'm sure that caused some consternation on Liberty Mountain, and irked the powers that be.

So what do you do when a group of Christians with plenty of credibility and a following, even among the students at your school, come to town for a revival and the leader suggests that you get together to pray? You threaten to have him arrested if he steps foot on your campus, where you've allowed a couple of heretics and an adulterer to speak to your students. You can make all of the excuses and point the finger at all the conspiracy theories and ulterior motives you want, a duck is still a duck. And I can't help thinking how much that scenario sounds like the triumphal entry narrative.

How much different would the headlines, and perceptions, be if Falwell Jr. had accepted the invitation, prayed with the guy, and then let him address the students in convocation?
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby William Thornton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:55 am

Sandy wrote::lol:



How much different would the headlines, and perceptions, be if Falwell Jr. had accepted the invitation, prayed with the guy, and then let him address the students in convocation?


Here's your headline: Falwell, a complete idiot, let's bozo critic address students. Result is a disaster.
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Shane Claiborne no bozo

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:13 pm

Shane was born in Maryville, Tn where my Father comes from and my Grandfahter and all his sisters, most of them good Methodist women who were early East Tenn supporters of Lamar Alexander. Shane was in conference at Koinonia in Americus Ga, of Marshall Frady fame among others, about two weeks ago to the spiritual enrichment of the son and daughter in law of John Morgan, pastor of Collinsville BC the last 40 years, John Morgan Third and his wife Susan, daughter of a legendary football coach in NE Bama got the spirit. William Barber, the NC Prophet was the leadoff presenter.

It is my understanding President Jimmy Carter is to be the commencement speaker in a few weeks at Liberty U.

I think Jerry Vines children and that of many SBC Presidents since the Takeover are graduates of Liberty U. Here in bama Rick Burgess seems to love the Place as does his friend Scott Dawson, the evangelist running for Governor.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby ET » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:52 pm

KeithE wrote:Claiborne’s intentions may be a sort of 'cattle prod’ to have the “evangelicals”/political conservatives on campus / in the community think deeply about the actual words of their supposed leader, Jesus (i.e. the red letters). Nothing wrong with that! Try Matt 25:35-36 for instance.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’


To anticipate ET's response: Those instructions from Jesus are aimed at individuals as well as people groups and governments. God is pleased when any of these entities (individuals, groups or governments) care for the hurting (whatever their hurt). And he is not pleased when and of these entities say to the hurting - you caused this yourself.

As you note, we've covered this ground before. The problem I have is that folks like Claiborne don't seem so much concerned with caring for the poor nearly as much as taxing someone other than themselves (the "1%") to do it. It's always great to be able to take money from others and throw it around and then try to make a case that you are following the "red letters". Doesn't cost you much, especially when almost 50% of households don't pay any income tax, which leaves them only to support social security and medicare/medicaid, leaving a whole host of other transfer payments to "the rich".

One cannot legitimately translate that passage to read: "For I was hungry, and you voted to tax someone else to give me something to eat, I was thirsty and you took from another and gave me drink, I was a stranger and you put me up in public housing, I was sick and you taxed the 1% to give me health care, I was in prison and you sent a social worker to visit me."

Do Christians get credit for visiting someone in prison by proxy, if the social worker does it for them? What other "credits" do I get for using government employees as my proxy for carrying out the "red letters"? Is that not a logical implication for the argument you and Claiborne would make?

F.A. Hayek wrote in Chapter 14 of "The Road to Serfdom":
"Only where we ourselves are responsible for our own interests and are free to sacrifice them has our decision moral value. We are neither entitled to be unselfish at someone else's expense nor is there any merit in being unselfish if we have no choice. The members of a society who in all respects are made to do the good thing have no title to praise.

If Claiborne wants conservatives to "think deeply about the words of their supposed leader", then these are the types of questions for the discussion:
  • Is Hayek wrong? Is there moral value in being unselfish with another person's money - regardless of much they might have?
  • Do Christians get the approval of Jesus for being "unselfish" with the money of the 1%?
  • Is there merit - as you and Claiborne imply - in being unselfish when I have no choice?
  • If single-payer eventually becomes the health care law-of-the-land, will Jesus give us credit for carrying out His words even though no one will have a choice?
  • Do I as a Christian get "compassion credit" for paying SSI and Medicare taxes - for which I have no choice unless I want to go to jail - that have been around since before I was born?
  • When did Jesus ever force anyone to do something?
  • What would Jesus say about shackling future generations with all the trillions of dollars in debt because our politicians want to hand out goodies to keep themselves in power, but don't have the money to pay for them?
  • Does one love one's neighbor - in this case, future generations - by dumping a bunch of debt on them because we were not willing to exhibit self-control and insist that government live within its means?
  • How does one determine that the desire to "tax the rich" is not being done out of envy and covetousness? Much is said about greed in these discussions (the speck in the eye of the rich), but little time is spent on envy (probably the log in the eye of those seeking to benefit themselves at another's expense).
  • "The kingdom of heaven is like...." - What is the implication of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 for the (age-old) rhetoric of "income inequality", particularly in verse 28 where the master gave the talent he took from the slothful servant and gave it to the guy with 10 talents. Why did the master not give it to the guy with 5 talents? Why did the master increase "income inequality" instead of giving the talent to the one with less, or splitting it between the two of them?
These are just some of the issues I find with the implications by "red letter Christians" that the words of Jesus are carte blanche for big government and anything done in the name of Big Government in the name of taking care of the poor is essentially the same as doing it in the name of Jesus.

That does not mean that a case for government doing it can't be made, only that I'm not going to buy off on the concept that when government makes us do "caring" things we automatically have some claim and will receive some kind of credit from heaven for caring "for the least of these".

And that's my ramblings for today.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby KeithE » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:29 am

Much to tackle there ET. So I’ll take it in selected pieces.

ET wrote:The problem I have is that folks like Claiborne don't seem so much concerned with caring for the poor nearly as much as taxing someone other than themselves (the "1%") to do it.


You are impugning Claiborne’s motivation. Have you read him? I seriously doubt Claiborne’s heart is centered on "taxing someone other than themselves (the 1%)” instead of caring for the poor.

I’ll spend some time scanning the 2 books I have by Claiborne (Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President) to try to spot his focus - is it venom for the rich? or care for the poor that is most often mentioned? My impression/remembrance is that Claiborne is primarily calling for a simpler lifestyle (definitely outside my comfort zone to join with) but I doubt he said anything about government taxation or enforced simple lifestyles.

Looking him up on Wikipedia, I am wrong - he did refuse to pay taxes in proportion to how much the US budget was devoted to the military.
In 2011 he has appeared as both a guest and co-host of the TV show "Red Letter Christians" with Tony Campolo.[12] That year also, he declared his unwillingness to pay taxes to fund U.S. military activity. He withheld a portion of his income taxes meant to correspond to the percentage of the federal budget spent on the military, donating that money instead to charity. He wrote a public letter to the Internal Revenue Service to explain his decision.


Here is that letter:
Dear Internal Revenue Service,

I am filing my 1040 here. As you will see, I made $9,600 this past year, and found that according to the 1040 form, I owe $324.44 of that to federal taxes. While I am glad to contribute money to the common good and towards things that promote life and dignity, especially for the poor and most vulnerable people among us, I am deeply concerned that 30 percent of the federal budget goes towards military spending, with 117 billion going to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Further, when we include the 18% that goes towards past military costs, such as the 380 billion in debt payments, 80% of which are military related debts, that number goes up to a total military budget of 1,372 billion dollars — nearly half of the federal budget). My Christian faith and my human conscience require me to respectfully reserve the right not to kill, and to refrain from contributing money towards weapons and the military.

For this reason, I am enclosing a check for $227.11, which is, according to the form, 70% of what I owe. The remaining $97.33 represents 30% of my tax payment, the amount that would go towards military spending. I will donate this remaining 30% to a recognized US nonprofit organization working to bring peace and reconciliation. My faith also compels me to submit to the governing authorities, which is why I am writing you respectfully and transparently here. I am glad to discuss this further if you have any questions. I can be reached by phone at 215 423-3598 or by mail at 1838 E. Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19134.

May we continue to build the world we dream of.

-Shane Claiborne


He is a grandstander, I'll give you that. But with a prophetic message.
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Re: Liberty U Gone Berserk

Postby ET » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:29 pm

I'll give you I may be a bit harsh in my assessment of Claiborne. He may be an exception to the norm when it comes to the standard rhetoric of this issue. If his concern is primarily for the poor, then of course that will take use back around to a key question: Is giving the government the power to play god in the economy and attempt to regulate who has "too much" and who doesn't have "enough" the best way to address the issues of poverty?

Since we're off the tracks in regards to the original topic, I'll leave it at that.
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