Shorter College chills the Air

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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby William Thornton » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:13 pm

It's a old technique to take a individual, church, or denomination, or denominational school and deftly translate their belief that homosexual acts are contrary to Biblical morality into their being anti-gay, single issue zealots. But...that's life.

The two Georgia Baptist schools are doing well. In my former state, SC, a small state Baptist school that was struggling came to thrive by being unashamedly conservative. For the short to medium term, this looks like a good policy. Let those who want a more liberal school choose to go elsewhere. These are private schools.

That said, I don't see any big advantage in attending a Baptist undergrad school. I'd rather keep the state convention money and put it somewhere else.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Sandy » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:42 pm

With the costs of a college education skyrocketing well beyond the rate of inflation and price increases in the "real" world, and smaller, private, Christian colleges and universities walking a fine line when it comes to keeping their doors open, it seems that those which are related to denominations would want to keep their Christian emphasis compatible with their core constituency, which is where their bread is buttered, so to speak. And it seems that what is happening is that schools related to Southern Baptist state conventions which have drifted to the theological left are struggling to maintain enrollments and funding sources, while those which have a conservative reputation and have remained so are finding support and gathering new students from places that used to be in the geographic domain of some of the other schools.

There must still be a fairly steady stream of students coming from Southern Baptist churches to cause some schools to move toward attracting them. Liberty has allowed itself to be designated as "Southern Baptist-related," and may even have some kind of financial support coming from the SBCV. Statistically, it is the number one choice of students who self-identify as "Southern Baptist" from Virginia, North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic. Cedarville University in Ohio recently entered into a "fraternal relationship" with the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, and Southern Baptists are now the single largest constituency on their campus, formerly under the trusteeship of the GARBC. The Texas Baptist schools which have identified openly as conservative are seeing the percentage of Baptist students on their campus increase, and their overall enrollment swell.

Georgia Baptists have seen at least one of their smaller, four year schools shut down. Perhaps this is a way to help ensure that the others will be around for a while.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:54 pm

William Thornton wrote:It's a old technique to take a individual, church, or denomination, or denominational school and deftly translate their belief that homosexual acts are contrary to Biblical morality into their being anti-gay, single issue zealots. But...that's life.


Fair enough William. But can you tell me where the line is drawn between believing that homosexuality is contrary to Biblical morality and being anti-Gay. Even Al Mohler, not a person I often agree with, showed concern that Southern Baptists have at times been too strong in the way that they have reacted to homosexual persons. Can the viewpoint about the Bible be separated easily from anti-gay sentiment in Georgia?
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:54 am

I am a conservative educated at Emory. The openess of their education and mind-broadening did not IN ANY WAY destroy my faith. It just made it deeper!

Since when do young men and women need to be indoctrinated rather than educated??????

Here is something to remember: as we held Open House at the BSU there were any number of parents accompanying their freshman youth to the door making sure they were going to participate and keep the home fires burning. I could always bet money that their progeny would not be seen again!!!

At some time in life you have to let them go and trust what you taught them by living like Christ continues into the challenges of an outstanding education.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby William Thornton » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:12 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
William Thornton wrote:It's a old technique to take a individual, church, or denomination, or denominational school and deftly translate their belief that homosexual acts are contrary to Biblical morality into their being anti-gay, single issue zealots. But...that's life.


Fair enough William. But can you tell me where the line is drawn between believing that homosexuality is contrary to Biblical morality and being anti-Gay. Even Al Mohler, not a person I often agree with, showed concern that Southern Baptists have at times been too strong in the way that they have reacted to homosexual persons. Can the viewpoint about the Bible be separated easily from anti-gay sentiment in Georgia?


For the mod/lib and the homosexual advocacy groups, there is no line. There was nothing in Shorter's policy change that was more than bringing the school in line with the trustees' view of biblical morality.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:23 am

William Thornton wrote:For the mod/lib and the homosexual advocacy groups, there is no line. There was nothing in Shorter's policy change that was more than bringing the school in line with the trustees' view of biblical morality.


I would agree with you if the school didn't require people to sign the policy. What that does is create a policy that not only does the school have certain theological priorities but no one in the school is allowed to be in disagreement with any part of the policy. Priesthood of the believer stops at the property line of Shorter College.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Sandy » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:28 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
William Thornton wrote:For the mod/lib and the homosexual advocacy groups, there is no line. There was nothing in Shorter's policy change that was more than bringing the school in line with the trustees' view of biblical morality.


I would agree with you if the school didn't require people to sign the policy. What that does is create a policy that not only does the school have certain theological priorities but no one in the school is allowed to be in disagreement with any part of the policy. Priesthood of the believer stops at the property line of Shorter College.


Shorter College is an educational institution, not a church. It is an educational institution which has policies that express the will of its owners. Priesthood of the believer comes at the point where someone who is hired to teach or work there, or go to class there, makes a decision to do so when informed of the school's policy. No one is having their arm twisted behind them and forced to sign with their free hand.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:16 am

Sandy wrote:
Shorter College is an educational institution, not a church. It is an educational institution which has policies that express the will of its owners. Priesthood of the believer comes at the point where someone who is hired to teach or work there, or go to class there, makes a decision to do so when informed of the school's policy. No one is having their arm twisted behind them and forced to sign with their free hand.


If the school changes its policy after someone works there then to keep your job I'm guessing you have to sign the document. That isn't arm twisting. But it also isn't without pressure since keeping your job probably depends on going along with the change.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:12 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Shorter College is an educational institution, not a church. It is an educational institution which has policies that express the will of its owners. Priesthood of the believer comes at the point where someone who is hired to teach or work there, or go to class there, makes a decision to do so when informed of the school's policy. No one is having their arm twisted behind them and forced to sign with their free hand.


If the school changes its policy after someone works there then to keep your job I'm guessing you have to sign the document. That isn't arm twisting. But it also isn't without pressure since keeping your job probably depends on going along with the change.


Ed; Tim If that parson holds a tenured position I would think they may Have a legal case against being fired. I believe that most if not all states in the US have laws that prohibit changes in "Conditions of employment" that will adversely affect the employee w/o said employees consent. On the other hand there is such a thing as winning a battle and Losing the war. :( I would sign nothing under duress, unless and until I had consulted an attorney. And then it is permissible for an employer to change conditions of employment for new hires with out affecting those already on the payroll.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:14 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Ed; Tim If that parson holds a tenured position I would think they may Have a legal case against being fired. I believe that most if not all states in the US have laws that prohibit changes in "Conditions of employment" that will adversely affect the employee w/o said employees consent. On the other hand there is such a thing as winning a battle and Losing the war. :( I would sign nothing under duress, unless and until I had consulted an attorney. And then it is permissible for an employer to change conditions of employment for new hires with out affecting those already on the payroll.


Good points about employment Ed. Anytime someone starts talking about signing a faith statement, particularly one that requires highly specific interpretations including a specific theory of inspiration, I am concerned. I'd not be surprised if not a few staff don't start circulating their resumes because even if they agree with the current changes it signals a desire on the part of the Trustees to change or codify the theological positions of the school. Given that each of us have differing opinions on different areas of faith, it might only be a matter of time before they pick some doctrinal view that a member of the faculty or staff would have issue with.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Sandy » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:28 pm

I'm not sure as to what extent those state laws would apply to institutions governed by church bodies. I know that, here in PA, as administrator of a church operated school, I do not have to hire employees who are not in full agreement with our doctrinal statement or educational philosophy. Since we operate on a year-to-year contract basis, there is no "tenure" or guarantee of employment beyond the current contract. I would guess that the trustees at Shorter College have consulted their legal counsel as to what they may or may not do with regard to tenured employees. If Georgia is an "at will" employment state, the school wouldn't even be legally obligated to pay out the remainder of the person's contract.

It's not like this didn't have plenty of advance notice. I'd say that leaves school employees the option of looking elsewhere if this is such an overwhelmingly important issue worth leaving over, and if not, exercise integrity by honoring whatever you put your name on.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:12 pm

Sandy wrote:I'm not sure as to what extent those state laws would apply to institutions governed by church bodies. I know that, here in PA, as administrator of a church operated school, I do not have to hire employees who are not in full agreement with our doctrinal statement or educational philosophy. Since we operate on a year-to-year contract basis, there is no "tenure" or guarantee of employment beyond the current contract. I would guess that the trustees at Shorter College have consulted their legal counsel as to what they may or may not do with regard to tenured employees. If Georgia is an "at will" employment state, the school wouldn't even be legally obligated to pay out the remainder of the person's contract.

It's not like this didn't have plenty of advance notice. I'd say that leaves school employees the option of looking elsewhere if this is such an overwhelmingly important issue worth leaving over, and if not, exercise integrity by honoring whatever you put your name on.


Ed: And Sandy how are you defining "church bodies" ? Under Baptist polity, I don't believe the GBC would qualify. And in the Case of Shorter we are discussing employees already in the employee of the institution, not new hires. Why would you "guess the Shorter has consulted its legal council, or even that their legal council gave them adequate advice? The largest corporations in the country not infrequently loose court cases involving labor law. It is true that some institutions of higher education do not offer tenure, however that does not affect their contracted employees protections under law.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:45 pm

Gentlemen---

Why don't you check out what happened at SEBTS when the fundies took it over?

They called in SACS and formed a chapter to protect them = didn't work!!!

When Paige Patterson arrived as the new President the pressure was on! Few of my former professors remained. Those who did were biding their time to retirement.

NO ONE was happy and many heads rolled in the process!

It's not pretty / it's not in keeping with the fellowship of Christ which provides for diverstity----and it sure isn't Baptist Autonomy!!!! :blech:
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:29 pm

Gene Scarborough wrote:It's not pretty / it's not in keeping with the fellowship of Christ which provides for diverstity----and it sure isn't Baptist Autonomy!!!! :blech:


Well to be fair Gene, Baptist autonomy applies to churches and not to employees of colleges and seminaries. And, in effect, this is directly related to Baptist autonomy and polity. No official doctrines or faith statements means everyone is free to create their own be that churches, conventions, or schools.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:37 pm

Tim---

That's why you enjoy the Methodist protocol and I enjoy AUTONOMY!

Like it or not, Autonomy means "to thine own self be true, and **** the one who makes your conform in every way!"

It's the real secret to success of such diverse people giving to missions. From snake handlers and holy rollers to the formality of robed clergy and litergy, Bapstists USED TO get along for the sake of sending missionaries to share the Gospel.

No longer!!!! Now we major on theology and minor on missions and that is the dilemma of freedom of conscience!
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:43 pm

I get the concept of autonomy Gene. I just don't believe any more that it works the way Baptists tend to think it works. In some cases it leads to less freedom instead of more because Fundamentalists use it to move the goal posts whenever they feel like it. (Always further to the right.)
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:58 am

The real question here is, "What was in the contracts of tenured faculty prior to this?" Without that information, we are all shooting in the dark. I admit that I have no idea what Shorter faculty members have in their contracts.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:11 am

Gene Scarborough wrote:Gentlemen---

Why don't you check out what happened at SEBTS when the fundies took it over?

They called in SACS and formed a chapter to protect them = didn't work!!!

When Paige Patterson arrived as the new President the pressure was on! Few of my former professors remained. Those who did were biding their time to retirement.

NO ONE was happy and many heads rolled in the process!

It's not pretty / it's not in keeping with the fellowship of Christ which provides for diverstity----and it sure isn't Baptist Autonomy!!!! :blech:


Ed: Again Gene are you under the impression that you are telling us something we are not already aware of? It is all in the archives. Why live it all over again every few weeks .
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:04 am

Tim---

The real beauty of Autonomy is that we don't have to support that which we loathe---hence CBF was formed with the same danger attached. I'm hearing complaints about the District / Conference dues required of your churches in hard times. You can't squeeze blood from a turnip, but the UMC does have squeezers that Baptists do not.

Ed---

You keep carrying on about the Archives as if everyone cares what was written years ago---much less has time to research such. Further, you seem to think this is a closed circle of discussion with the same golden oldies forever. Do you not hope new people come and join so our discussion is fresh and lively.

One of the PM's I got upon joining was, "Thanks for a fresh voice and outlook. It was getting boring and predictable until you came along!"

If you are boring and predictable, it just gets old and people lose interest in what, I think, is a great discussion most of the time.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:57 am

http://romenews-tribune.com/view/full_story/16296946/article-Shorter--Mercer-universities-on-different-paths?instance=home_news

The local paper in Rome, GA, reports the Mercer approach to things vs. that of Shorter. It is factual without editorial comment.

Note the allignments of schools similar to Mercer. Somehow they all have academic respect while Shorter . . .is marginal.

The comments from readers are most interesting----and not very complimentary of Shorter.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:51 am

Dave Roberts wrote:The real question here is, "What was in the contracts of tenured faculty prior to this?" Without that information, we are all shooting in the dark. I admit that I have no idea what Shorter faculty members have in their contracts.


True Dave. Not having served as faculty for any institution I don't know what the ususal standard is for academic freedom at varied theological schools. My impression is that it may vary greatly. But that is just an impression.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:58 am

Gene Scarborough wrote:Tim---

The real beauty of Autonomy is that we don't have to support that which we loathe---hence CBF was formed with the same danger attached. I'm hearing complaints about the District / Conference dues required of your churches in hard times. You can't squeeze blood from a turnip, but the UMC does have squeezers that Baptists do not.


I assume you are talking about apportionments Gene. Yes United Methodist congregations have to pay their share to support the Church they are a part. IMHO that is only fair. I remember being shocked in Mid-ABC to find that one of our largest churches which was always making demands and wanting leadereship positions gave little to nothing to the region/denomination because of their theological leanings. IMHO if you don't help pay for it then you have no right to have a say in it.

There is a formula for apportionments based on the budget of the church which means that if the church budget goes down over time the apportionments go down which I also think is fair.
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:59 am

Gene Scarborough wrote:Ed---

You keep carrying on about the Archives as if everyone cares what was written years ago---much less has time to research such.


You got it backwards, that was Ed's point. We've hashed and rehashed the SBC takeover here. That is what Ed means by "it is in the archives."
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Re: Shorter College chills the Air

Postby Sandy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:45 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Sandy wrote:I'm not sure as to what extent those state laws would apply to institutions governed by church bodies. I know that, here in PA, as administrator of a church operated school, I do not have to hire employees who are not in full agreement with our doctrinal statement or educational philosophy. Since we operate on a year-to-year contract basis, there is no "tenure" or guarantee of employment beyond the current contract. I would guess that the trustees at Shorter College have consulted their legal counsel as to what they may or may not do with regard to tenured employees. If Georgia is an "at will" employment state, the school wouldn't even be legally obligated to pay out the remainder of the person's contract.

It's not like this didn't have plenty of advance notice. I'd say that leaves school employees the option of looking elsewhere if this is such an overwhelmingly important issue worth leaving over, and if not, exercise integrity by honoring whatever you put your name on.


Ed: And Sandy how are you defining "church bodies" ? Under Baptist polity, I don't believe the GBC would qualify. And in the Case of Shorter we are discussing employees already in the employee of the institution, not new hires. Why would you "guess the Shorter has consulted its legal council, or even that their legal council gave them adequate advice? The largest corporations in the country not infrequently loose court cases involving labor law. It is true that some institutions of higher education do not offer tenure, however that does not affect their contracted employees protections under law.


Shorter College is governed by a board of trustees elected by the Georgia Baptist Convention, in Baptist policy, an independent, autonomous body of messengers from the churches. It is clearly owned and operated by Georgia Southern Baptists, and the school itself has a clear mission and purpose determined by that body of messengers. If tenure is part of their policy, it is not necessarily a shield against changes in their theological and doctrinal position. This insistence that the school "can't" go against tenured employees who don't agree with a change, or with a stricter interpretation of the school's position on a doctrinal or theological issue on legal grounds is silly. If Georgia is an "at will" employment state, it's a moot point. If I worked for an organization or school that had made a move to clarify its position on an issue such as this, I think I would have to decide whether my job or my social position was more important, and go from there.
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Thornton misses larger point

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:55 am

And that is the culture of the 7th District of Georgia and its influence on Shorter Power wielder Nelson Price.
That is an area of the discussion I hope to pursue in the letter I submit to the Rome N-T
Meanwhile Zach Dawes has weighed in at ED.com that seems appropriate for aspect of the discussion being hashed out by Abel and Gene Scarborough among others in this thread

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/will-baptist ... -cms-18773
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