Welcome, friends! In accordance with our internal analytics, there is a good chance you’re not used to the Save OBU website. Before week, we’ve had a huge selection of first-time visitors. Website traffic in Shawnee will spike dramatically as students return for the start of the spring semester on Monday. Whenever we introduced Save OBU in December, students were studying for finals & most have been from Bison Hill for days gone by 5 weeks. Unless the administration has blocked this site, students could have usage of weeks’ worth of information this website has presented. Their legitimate questions and concerns have already been rebuffed before, but a crucial mass is building. Inside the coming months, administrators must decide which vision of OBU they support and where their loyalties lie. They are able to cast their lots together with the fundamentalists who control the BGCO (as well as the $2.5 million in annual funding they offer in trade for dismissing moderate professors, gutting core curriculum areas, ignoring faculty norms, etc).
Dinesh D’souza Liberty University
Or, they are able to side with the students, parents, faculty, and alumni who have confidence in academic freedom, open inquiry, and OBU’s proud liberal arts heritage. It really is already becoming obvious that both visions for OBU aren’t compatible. As Christ himself says, “No man can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). Throughout that time, students will start a genuine conversation on campus concerning the nature and future of OBU. We have been confident they’ll conclude that the recent negative changes are an affront to, no embodiment of, OBU’s true nature. In previous weeks, we’ve devoted Sundays to telling stories of some fine Baptist schools which have ended their relationships making use of their state conventions (William Jewell College, Stetson University, and Furman University). Without exception, these universities have flourished given that they rid themselves of fundamentalist control. Likewise, hawaii conventions are far better off, being relieved of a substantial financial burden and in a position to dramatically expand other, more fruitful, ministry and mission opportunities.
The splits were painful, however they became necessary because the state conventions came under fundamentalist control within the last three decades. For some of this time, OBU has were able to walk the fine line between your needs of its academic constituency plus the demands of BGCO leaders. However in modern times, the fundamentalist elites began demanding radical changes on Bison Hill. Administrators can’t protect each side’s interests. It isn’t the administrators’ faults. Rather, they’re within an impossible situation. Ultimately, they have to produce a choice. If you have been paying even scant focus on the changes on Bison Hill these past 2 yrs, you almost certainly believe they have made the decision to side with the fundamentalists. But among the reasons Save OBU exists would be to publicly show administrators that students, parents, alumni, and faculty will be ready to raise an army to aid them should they courageously endure the BGCO’s agenda.
In the three cases linked above, presidents and trustees sided using the schools’ true constituencies (students, parents, alumni, faculty) and true values (academic freedom, soul competency, liberty from the conscience). They resisted the fundamentalists’ agenda for his or her beloved institutions. You can find other Baptist schools which have done likewise and achieved greatness (e.g. Mercer, Baylor, and Wake Forest). But we have to realistically assess where we have been in such a fight. Along with dreaming in what may be possible if we end fundamentalist control, we have to plan the nightmare of remaining under it. Frankly, the nightmare scenario seems much more likely at this time. This link lists the 56 Southern Baptist colleges. More precisely, 51 of these are associated with state conventions that maintain cooperative relationships with all the SBC. Five of these are undergraduate programs at SBC seminaries. Fortunately, OBU is normally thought to be one of the better Baptist schools in the us (though understand that lots of the best schools have previously left their state conventions).
But lots of the schools onto it shows just what a nightmare scenario might appear to be. We’ve already looked briefly on the disastrous consequences of fundamentalism at Louisiana College and Shorter University. These schools have observed faculty departures because of the dozens, horrible governance problems, and financial difficulties. Continuing accreditation looks doubtful. We probably have to look more closely at these cases, and also other avowedly fundamentalist schools. Furthermore, we have to examine the cases of schools where in fact the academic constituency declined to fight (or fought unsuccessfully) against fundamentalist takeover factions. For a long time, OBU was at the fortunate position to be able to keep up with the status quo even yet in the throes of this Fundamentalist Takeover. But that’s no more possible. If we do nothing, the fundamentalists will lead OBU off a cliff. We shall become another nominally-accredited fundamentalist Bible academy, among the many in Baptist life. If we fight, at the very least OBU includes a possiblity to survive as a respected Christian liberal arts college.