Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The way of institutions

My alma mater has revised its sexual conduct policy.

Gay rights activists and secular media were quick to declare victory last week when Baylor University announced it had removed “homosexual acts” from the school’s list of prohibited sexual conduct. Activists believe the change is a move toward affirming homosexual relationships and same-sex marriage. Although a Baylor representative denies the inference, some alumni of the private Christian college in Waco, Texas, said the policy is sufficiently vague to make such presumptions inevitable.

Progress!

Frustrated with the media coverage, Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said reports have ignored the new policy’s foundation in the amended 1963 Baptist Faith and Message (BFM), the doctrinal statement for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). It defines marriage as the life-long, covenant relationship between one man and one woman.

Bigots!

Seriously, here’s an accurate take of what this means:

But critics believe the omission of a marriage-defining statement within the policy puts the nation’s largest Baptist university in a position to accept—if not affirm—gay relationships when pressed on the issue.

Since I started calling myself a Baylor Bear, Baylor has been driven by the desire for national prominence. They’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars to boost enrollment and elevate the school’s profile beyond its Baptist roots. If they hold firm to Biblical teachings, they’re just a hick school in Texas that didn’t allow dancing until 1996.

The flaw in that logic is, if people want Harvard or Yale or Princeton, they’ll go to Harvard or Yale or Princeton, not Harvard or Yale or Princeton on the Brazos. A critical mass of college students has been reached, and more families are reconsidering the costs versus the benefits of going to college. A non-confessional Baylor can’t compete against better-known brands for a static pool of undergrads.

Do not live the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. (1 John 2:15)

Albert Mohler reported on Baylor’s identity crisis in 2004. At the turn of the century the power struggle between liberals and conservatives had migrated from the Southern Baptist Convention to Baylor. Except at Baylor, the liberals won. To illustrate just how secularized Baylor had become by then, intelligent design researcher William Dembski was forced out by a faculty revolt in 2000—not because intelligent design grated against the Bible, but because it grated against Science™—and the student newspaper editorial board endorsed same-sex marriage in 2004.

I spent 3 years at Baylor and I left without knowing more about Baptists than when I arrived. That’s a failure of education that I blame myself and Baylor for. Not even in my religion or philosophy courses did we think probingly about God’s plan for man and who/what we were supposed to serve with this education we were getting. Fortunately I had a good remedial education:

The way of institutions is rot.

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