Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

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March 2014

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Thoughts on Open Letter Regarding Louisiana College Troubles

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I read this morning an appeal to the churches of the Louisiana Baptist Convention from some of the trustees at Louisiana College.  Jay Adkins posted an open letter on his blog “The Cresent Crier” (Here)  Along with Adkins, signees of the open letter were trustee Lyndon E. Dawson, Jr., Jim Garlington, Glenn R. George, Ryan Gregory, Larry Hubbard, Michael Moore, Tony Perkins, Lonnie Scarborough, and Roxanne West.

The open letter is significant because it is a statement of appeal to the churches of the LBC to potentially intervene in what they believe has been an inability of the board of trustees to address the problems of the college. Indeed, over the last year and a half, we have watched trust evaporate and have had very little to inspire confidence in cooperation with regard to Louisiana College.

Last April, I wrote in Drawing Near

“The present situation at the college has not been handled forthrightly. When the trustees insist on having consecutive executive session meetings accompanied by public disclosures of deception and volatility, confidence is deeply shaken.  When you have Board members like Tony Perkins who is arguably one of the most trustworthy leaders in Louisiana, a godly man who has served in our Legislature and now serves as president of Family Research Council, calling for integrity and transparency among board members, it raises major questions to those of us outside the deliberations of the trustees. The events of recent weeks have strained the fraternal efforts of cooperation among Louisiana Baptists.”

As I have followed this conflict, I have done so with great interest and sorrow because I believe that it threatened to derail us off mission.  I believe that is true today.  We stand in need of repentance, prayer, fasting, humility, honest confession, and brokenness before the Lord. We also need “wisdom from above” (James 3:13-18) and a resolve to make some very hard decisions for the purpose of getting us back on assignment.

What will not work are more executive sessions with compromised, expedient decisions without honesty.  This is not about using rules and bylaws for subterfuges or saving face.  This is about disclosure and actually communicating with the convention of churches who support you and to whom you are accountable.

There is comfort and hope for the people of God in that Christ is always doing a work among His people. Our focus must be on him and his Kingdom.  May the Lord take the ashes of the last 18 months, and bring his healing and help to us.  Otherwise, it will only get worse, and that is hard to imagine.