SBC Heritage is a blog focused on the history of the Southern Baptist Convention. The recent events surrounding the non renewal of contracts at Louisiana College have hit close to home. Both admins for this blog are graduate students at the Caskey School of Divinity. It is deeply troubling and this situation bears watching. Until this is over, the thrust of the posts found here will be toward the events taking place at LA College. It seems appropriate at the present time given the number of page views across multiple blogs this story has generated. The convention is watching. Many people in the SBC say Calvinism is not worth dividing over, yet it seems the powers that be in the LBC think otherwise. SBC Heritage will be back to its historical posts as soon as this event has run its course.
This post is a response written by a LA College Undergraduate Student which was posted on facebook. I have contacted Devin and he agreed that I could share it. In case you missed it, you can read all related posts here, here, here, and here.
I remember the first time I walked on the campus of Louisiana College. I was with my youth pastor who is an alumni to the college I was considering transferring. I always looked up to him. He raised me in my faith and opened up to the need for missions. Louisiana College was a stepping-stone to his joy for the gospel. His influence to follow his example by going to Louisiana College is a decision that I would still say was wise to this day.
The admissions counselor was a helpful and godly man who informed me about Louisiana College. He gave me a tour around the campus and I could not believe how loving and peaceful the atmosphere was in those days. He asked me what I wanted to major in and I told him Biblical Studies. He raved about the professors within the Christians Studies department, saying that they were godly men, who could read right out of the Greek and Hebrew bibles! I remember hearing that, a Christian of almost 3 years, thinking of how I revered them. How they have spent their lives equipping themselves to share what they know today. Of course, one could say such a gift is too academic or intellectual and there is no need to learn Greek and Hebrew paradigms or the deep doctrines of theology. However, after the long wait to transfer (a blessing God granted) and the toil of core classes, I finally entered the classrooms of the Christian Studies department. And you know what I found about the professors there?
I found that the testimony of what the admissions counselor told me was true and not a strategy to collect my money. I found that the professors that I revered through testimony shined true before my very eyes. They had no agenda. They also had no passion to indoctrinate a movement of religious dogmatism and divisiveness. In the classroom, we had life together. We opened the sacred scriptures and I worked through the text with godly men I admired. The admiration I had was not due to intellectualism that is easy to target against them. No, they served us with all their being to ensure that we lived the text out. I praised God when they would warn us collectively and even personally to stand in the faith. They held us accountable and they pushed us to avoid the negative symptoms of academia. I love them all because they did life with me and my fellow peers as if they were not paid to teach us. For that, I am proud to call my professors godly men who love the truth and would die for it.
In case for those who find my positive praises toward the Christian Studies department is simply smoke or propaganda, this comes down to one thing: honesty. Honestly, everyone who has taken classes with these professors knows that what I say is trustworthy. This comes down to two conclusions: Either the Christian Studies department is secretly conspiring together to present the department as immaculate or I am merely being trustworthy. That is the burning question for everyone. Who is being trustworthy? Who is being honest? Who can stand in confidence to hide their wickedness in secret, fearing that it would be exposed to men? Surely this should be trivial compared to God knowing every little detail of every single person who each must give an account for what they have done (Hebrews 4:13). Why would I lie about my testimony about these godly men? I have nothing to achieve except to look at the cross and know I must live out the gospel by being honest and loving people and unifying for the purpose to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. The gospel is everything, yet I sadly feel this way of life is not shared mutually.
What I mean by this is because I learned as of today that Dr. Kevin McFadden and Dr. Ryan Lister will not have their contracts renewed for the following school term. This news makes my heart weep. But I want to share one important detail that shows where true integrity flows. Both of our beloved professors found out this morning about their non-renewals. I was in class waiting for Dr. Lister to teach but he was 10 minutes late. He came and apologized about his delay and taught as if nothing was different. Now knowing that he knew he would not continue teaching what he loves at Louisiana College, he never entered into a rant or discredited others. This shows where his true desires are. He believed that teaching the gospel to us is more important than raising an army within the Christian Studies department and this integrity is consistent with every professor I have sat under. I applaud him and love him for his faithfulness. I am also thankful for Dr. McFadden. I have been with him since the day he first taught at Louisiana College. He is the most humble and faithful man I have sat under. And know that this truth does not matter to other brothers and sisters in Christ and are willing to overlook their godliness for some deeper political agenda. I am grieved to know how Dr. Lister and Dr. McFadden’s possible departure will not only affect their positions, but family, friends, churches, ministries, even losing my daily walk in life with them so prematurely.
As a Biblical Studies major, this affects me and I deserve to know along with everyone else on why I am losing people who I have learned to live out the bible. Let’s be honest. Let’s be godly men and woman and throw all the cards on the table. Confessing now will bring more forgiveness and righteousness then hiding secrets that the wrath of God will judge on the last day. I for one do not wish to attack and this letter is not its motive. I am here to inform that there is something deeper going on at Louisiana College. I am here to ask that we be godly men and women, and do the right thing: to live and love in unity and not treat others as impersonal expendable. Be in prayer with me for the Christian Studies department as well as Louisiana College and may God’s will be done and may faithful and godly men and women continue to lead in the midst of dark times at Louisiana College.
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