"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Louisiana College and Ladies Mowing Their Lawns

On Sunday, February 10, 2019, investigative reporters Robert Downen (Houston Chronicle),  Lise Olsen (Houston Chronicle), and John Tedesco (San Antonio Express-News) published the first of their stomach-churching three-part series entitled Abuse of Faith.

With bulldog determination and Pulitzer-Prize level reporting, these three reporters uncovered a systemic problem in the Southern Baptist Convention, one that we refused to confront ourselves.

Southern Baptists have a pattern of covering up for their own.

On Thursday, February 14, 2019, just four days after the release of Abuse of Faith, Dr. Joshua Dara, the Dean of The School of Human Behavior at Louisiana College (Southern Baptist-affiliated), spoke at the school's chapel service.

A video or audio recording of Dr. Dara's chapel presentation has never been released to the public.  Other recordings of chapel sermons at Louisiana College, both before and after Dr. Dara's message, can be watched or heard at Louisiana College's website.

Louisiana College, Pineville, Louisiana
According to those present at the chapel service, Dr. Joshua Dara spoke on the topic of relationships. It was an appropriate topic for Valentine's Day. But what he said was extremely inappropriate.

In the course of his message, Dr. Joshua Dara suggested to the ladies listening that he knew why their phones were not ringing, meaning why members of the opposite sex weren't calling them. Dr. Joshua Dara suggested that men like the ladies who keep their houses clean and mow their lawns.

Stop.

People fifty years of age and older who compose a majority of the Southern Baptist Convention probably think that mow your lawn means getting on a John Deer lawnmower and cutting the grass in front of your house.

Of course, in the context of a college talk where most ladies live in dorms, that definition of mow your lawn doesn't fit. And besides, cutting grass in your yard as the definition of mow your lawn is from a culture that existed long ago.

Today, in our pornographic "women-are-sex-objects" culture, mow your lawn means "shave your pubic hair." The kids at Louisiana College got the pornographic reference. That's why many burst out laughing.

But there's more.

Dr. Dara suggested that someone who has men go in and out of her house is like a "crackhouse." So, keep your house clean and mow your lawn to get your phone ringing, but don't let all those men who are calling you go in and out of your house at their pleasure or you'll be known as a "crackhouse."

Of course, entering a lady's house is a cultural euphemism for sexual union. To give Dr. Dara the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure he was attempting to relate to college kids with humor.

But even assuming the best intentions of the chapel speaker, the language used by Dr. Dara is wholly inappropriate and offensive. That's why the recording has not been released. Administrators are keeping it under wraps.

That's also why Karen Watkins, the Executive Assistant to Louisiana College President Rick Brewer, sent the following email to faculty and staff less than a week after the chapel message. The first part is written by Philip Caples, the LC administrator in charge of chapel services,  and the second by Josh Dara. Read carefully the apology contained within it:


"What occurred was evidence of differences in cultural perceptions and nomenclatures."

"I am sorry to hear some of you were offended..." 


Dr. Russell Meek and His Offense at the Chapel Message He Heard

Dr. Russ Meek
Dr. Russell Meek, Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Louisiana College, sat horrified listening to Dr. Dara speak during the February 14 student chapel. As a faculty member representing Louisiana College, Russ knew he had to do something.

The next morning, Friday, February 15, 2019,  following the school's Handbook and Procedure Policy Manual,  Dr. Meek asked for and received a meeting with Dr. Philip Caples. Dr. Caples is the Vice-President for Integration of Faith and Learning at Louisiana College, and he is over the school's mandatory chapels.

Dr. Caples listened as Dr. Meek expressed his concerns. He let Russ know that he had heard from other faculty as well. Though the meeting was brief,  Russ felt hopeful. He believed that the administration of Louisiana College would issue some kind of formal discipline against Dr. Dara, or at the very least, a public statement distancing the college from what Dr. Dara had said.

Dr. Meek went on to teach his classes that day and heard from many of his students, both male and female, who expressed their frustrations and confusion over the chapel message. Dr. Meek would later write an email to his students:
 "I just wanted to thank you for speaking up in class today about your feelings regarding the chapel sermon. A biblical view of humans as created in God's image and intrinsically valuable because of that is very important to me, as it is to you."
Then, the following Wednesday (Feb 20), the President's Executive Assistant Karen Watkins sent the email from Caples and Dara which seemed to fault listeners at the previous week's chapel for not understanding the "cultural perceptions and nomenclatures" of the speaker.

Twenty-one minutes after that email from Karen went out, President Rick Brewer sent another email to the faculty and staff of Louisiana College a second email. This email, sent from the office of Norman Miller, Director of Communications at Louisiana College, warns the reader about Matthew 18.


Norm Miller, one of the contributors to the now-defunct SBC Today, followed the instructions of the Louisiana College President and sent this second email as a warning to Louisiana College faculty and staff that they were not to speak of this chapel message to anyone other than to the speaker himself.

President Brewer also sent a Matthew 18 reminder email to students on the same day he sent one to the faculty (Wednesday, February 20, 2019). That email, according to a student who spoke to the President, was intended to protect Dr. Dara.


An Appeal to Address the Issue of the Sexualization of Women at Baptist Institutions


After receiving both emails from the President's staff, Dr. Russ Meek drafted and sent an email to President Rick Brewer on Friday, February 22, 2019.

In his email to the President, Russ stated clearly his offense, not only with Dr. Joshua Dara (the chapel speaker) but now his offense with the administration of Louisiana College and President Rick Brewer himself for not addressing the issue.

Russ wrote, "You admonished us to reach out personally to someone when offended, so I am sending you this email as a brother in Christ. I realize that you are my boss and the leader of LC, so please know that I write this with humility and with a deeply grieving heart. I am not angry; I am very saddened by the events that transpired last week. This is indeed much more than an issue of being offended,; it is an issue of biblical truth and how God himself views women and tells us to view them."

Dr. Russ Meek then wrote the following to President Brewer. It's rather lengthy, but it's important for you to read carefully. It represents the kind of leaders we need in the SBC to change the culture.
"On Thursday morning, still reeling from the sexual abuse uncovered by the Houston Chronicle and reported on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I came to chapel at Louisiana College looking for a reprieve from the darkness swirling around the SBC. Instead, I was confronted head-on with the culture that makes such abuse possible.
Joshua Joy Dara, the dean of LC's school of human behavior, delivered a message on relationships-fitting for Valentine's Day. He offered sound advice to women about finding a godly spouse. Toward the end of his sermon, his language took an offensive and unbiblical turn. He addressed specifically the women in the chapel service, telling them to think of their bodies as houses. He then told them to "mow your lawn" and advised that if they were not getting attention from men, it was because they were "not taking care of your house." He continued in this vein, at one point stating that women who have "let too many men" into their house are a crackhouse. Let that sink in - crackhouse.
In those final minutes of his sermon, Dara reduced women to physical objects who existed for a man's pleasure. He then told them that if they had sex with too many men, they were not only valueless but indeed repulsive. A crackhouse.
This sermon has not been posted on LC's YouTube channel, which houses dozens of other chapel messages, and those who have asked for a copy of the sermon, including the school's Title IX coordinator, have been denied access to it. I -along with others at LC - expressed my concerns and the concerns of several of my students to the vice president for the integration of faith and learning. I was shocked that a dean at LC had presented such an unbiblical, false picture of women.
Let me say this clearly: no woman is a crackhouse. No woman exists for the pleasure of a man. No woman's value is in her physical appearance. The Bible is very clear about this. In the poem of the valiant woman in Proverbs 31, the only thing said about beauty is that it is fleeting. Peter calls women to be beautiful on the inside rather than focusing on their outward appearance (1 Peter 1:3- 4). The Lord said to Samuel when he was seeking to anoint the next of Israel, "Do not look on his [Eliab's] appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7). Think even of our Lord Jesus Christ, who "had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him" (Isa 53: 2). When Jesus encountered the woman at the well, did he call her a crackhouse? No, he gave her living water.
Dara wrote an apology that was emailed to the faculty, staff, and student body. In it, he apologized for "the tone" of his sermon, expressed gratitude that it was brought to his attention, and ended by saying, "I'll be sure to weigh my warped sense of humor against my sense of propriety and choose something that isn't controversial. " I am thankful for Dara's apology, but it still troubled me that he did not address the misogynistic view of women in his sermon.
Dara delivered a public message in chapel, at the least implicitly endorsed by those who gave him the platform to do so, in which he reduced women to sexual objects and communicated that their value was in how many sexual partners they had. Yes, this is offensive. Yes, this is a false gospel. And yes, this message was delivered publicly as biblical truth. Such a message goes far beyond the confines of Matthew 18. Louisiana College is not  a church, and this was not  a private sin. In addition, one wonders how victims of sexual abuse and harassment are to feel safe in a place that rebukes them for complaining about misogyny preached in the school's chapel. Is a rape victim supposed to confront her rapist privately before seeking "more 'official' redress"? And what if the rapist repents? Is the  victim supposed to forego "more 'official' redress"? I know such questions are absurd, but  Brewer's email was sent in the context of concern over degrading and sexualized comments about women. How can we protect the abused from the powerful if the powerful are able to hide behind Matthew 18?
The fruits of misogyny are abuse. Physical, verbal, sexual abuse. Men  are told that women are objects for their pleasure. Women are told that their value is in their sexuality and physical appearance. And all this is presented as true . As the  Southern Baptist Convention reckons with the current sexual abuse scandal, we must address institutions that foster the teaching and worldview that engenders such abuse."
Problems at Louisiana College 

If you've made it this far reading this blog,  then you a Christian interested in solutions, not just the problems.

Dr. Russ Meek's email to President Brewer led to a meeting on February 25, 2019, in Dr. Brewer's office with the following four people present: 1).  Dr. Rick Brewer, President of Louisiana College, 2). Dr. Cheryl Clark, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, 3). Dr. Philip Caples, Vice-President for the Integraton of Faith and Learning, and 4). Dr. Russell Meek. 

Dr. Caples didn't say much in the meeting, but Dr. Brewer and Dr. Clark had a great deal to say to Dr. Meek. Three days after this meeting, on February 28, 2019, Dr. Russell Meek resigned from his position at Louisiana College, effective May 4, 2019. 

What was said in the President's office to Dr. Meek will be summarized in five statements with a sentence or two of commentary from me:

1. Dr. Clark said to Dr. Meek, "Why do you want to do that at all (make public what happened at the chapel)?  Why do it? If every action that we take at this institution is either for the good of the institution or it harms the institution? Which do you think that's going to do? How is that going to help the institution? What good comes out of that? That's what I don't really get. I really don't."
Dr. Clark, go back and read article Abuse of Faith. The systemic problem in the SBC is leaders are more concerned with the institution than with the abused. You, of all people, should know better. 
2. Dr. Brewer said to Dr. Meek, "This (Russ's email above)  has already been reviewed by our attorney. He says it's actionable. It's libelous. It's slanderous. It's defamatory, and it's inflammatory. And by the way, you're taking on one of the most powerful, if not one of the Top Five most powerful people, in Central Louisiana. Not me, Joshua Dara. He's an attorney as well, Russ. He's got a strong legal mind."
Dr. Brewer, take it from one who has been threatened multiple times (me). When threats like yours are made, it's a tell-tale sign that the threatened person should keep pressing.
3. Dr. Brewer said to Dr. Meek, "Go see Dr. Dara. Go sit down with him. He's one of our own. He's a dean. Now what if he had been a person who just came and spoke and flew out and he wasn't a member of our team, a member a family? We'd take a different approach most likely on that. Yeah. But, uh, he (Dr. Joshua Dara) is with us. He's a member of our family."
Dr. Brewer, are you serious? Protecting your own is never a Christian principle. Judgment should begin in the house of God. 
4.  Dr. Meek said to all LC Administrators present: "I'm concerned for the women who think that what Dr. Dara said is true. Their identity is not found in how many sexual partners they've had.  My concern is for the women who think, 'I've had sex with a lot of guys.' Is she a crackhouse? I have a family member who was molested as a child by multiple people in her family. Is she a crackhouse? Is her identity bound up in how many sexual partners she's had? If men don't pursue a woman is it because the woman is ugly? He said if your phones aren't ringing It's because you're not getting taking care of your house. Dr. Brewer, women are made in God's image. This is a fundamental gospel issue. Who humans are. I'm not mad; I'm grieved.  If I had a daughter I would be horrified to know that she was being told these things about herself."
Standing...applauding. 
5. Dr. Brewer said to Dr. Meek about the chapel video: "We'll post it. But I heard so much riff-raff, why would I put that out there for some of the cynics on this campus, faculty, and students, who will take the clips they don't approve and post them on Twitter and make fun of this man. Would you want me to do that Russ? It's uncontrollable at that point, isn't it? But I'll be glad to put it out there if that's what bothering you and other people that you think I'm trying to hide. I'm not trying to hide anything."
Sitting...waiting. 
The Follow-Up

The video of the chapel sermon is still not posted. 

Louisiana College administrators canceled the scheduled April 2019 conference entitled "What is a Woman Worth?" - a conference that was to be led by Dr. Meek - and refused to reschedule it for later in the semester.

Dr. Russ Meek resigned and is no longer a faculty member at Louisiana College. 

All the administrators named above remain at Louisiana College. 

On the official last day of employment at Louisiana College, Dr. Russell Meek wrote a paper entitled Misogyny in Baptist Higher Education.

At some point, all Southern Baptists will understand what the issues really are. 

66 comments:

Wade Burleson said...

To all those who wish to comment, remember the following:

1. I've listed facts and in cases of motive, I've attempted to give the benefit of a doubt.
2. If you comment, speak to facts, principles, and not persons.
3. When the institution fulfills its promise and puts the video on the Internet, you'll be able to judge for yourself the appropriateness of what was said. I concede that until they do so, you will have to trust the institution that there was no problem (except in the ears of the listeners) or you'll land somewhere else (as have I).
4. The point of this post is to challenge all Southern Baptist-affiliated institutions to create a culture where men and women are treated equally.
5. To the two friends who first commented, I apologize for deleting your comments. The post went up unintentionally before two minor corrections could be made. Thanks for your understanding.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Dr. Joshua Joy Dara, Sr. brought shame to the name “Joshua in the Bible” as well as to the school he was hired to serve. When he said, “Next time, I’ll be sure to weight my warped sense of humor…” I thought there should not be a “next time” because he should be fired.

Russell Meek is the hero of your post. I believe the ‘cover-up’ by the President Brewer is worse than what Dara said. He should be replaced by Russell Meek instead of resigning.

Victorious said...

The point of this post is to challenge all Southern Baptist-affiliated institutions to create a culture where men and women are treated equally.

I'm sincerely asking if women can be treated equally unless they are truly believed to be equal?

For if it's true that what's in your heart comes out of your mouth, there is some serious heart surgery needed and soul searching before women are seen as equal in this institution.

Wade Burleson said...

Victorious,

It's both a serious question and a good question.

I believe the answer is "No." You can't treat a woman equally until you believe a woman is equal.

The time is coming.

Cheryl Summers/ For Such A Time As This Rally said...

Just when I think that not much more could shock me as it relates to the treatment of women in the SBC... there's this. Wow. I feel so bad for Russell Meek, and so grateful. Wade, once again you hit the nail on the head: "I believe the answer is "No." You can't treat a woman equally until you believe a woman is equal."

Anonymous said...

Nothing in his e-mail is libellous or defamation. What's more, they would certainly have to release the video or audio of the chapel they are hoping to keep locked up if they were to sue for defamation. What does that wonderful legal mind think is discovery? What a horrible tactic to use to try to silence the voice of a man with biblical convictions. Next up on SBC News: King David Threatens to Sue Nathan for Defamation of Character. The president of LC needs a vote of no confidence if he can't protect female students from this type of harassment.

Anonymous said...

The school will not live this down. Not so much for the depth of the depraved 'sermon' in chapel as for the attempts to cover up and to intimidate people.

No Christian family should let their daughters near this school while it maintains this kind of perversion.

if they wanted to hide this, they knew it was wrong

there are some who set this up, and likely they are the same ones doing the intimidating . . . they are the ones to be concerned about the most, because having 'got away with' this, they will now proceed with their 'agenda' and behavior will almost certainly deteriorate

Anonymous said...

No, men and women are NOT equal. Men have a very long way to go.

Carolyn said...

The SBC needs more leaders like you, Wade, and Dr. Russell Meek.

When will the extreme sexism within the SBC end? When will women be treated like daughters of the Most High God and co-heirs with Christ?

What was taught at Louisiana College sickens me.

No wonder God has been raising up an army of people to shine the light on some dark issues within the SBC; to overturn tables as Jesus did in Matthew 21 and let the dove feathers and poop fly. Jesus was driving out those who were robbing God. Jesus does not approve of God, or God's children being robbed. God's house needs cleaned of issues that are robbing Christ followers of:
dignity
grace
justice
reputation
the truth of what happened to them (abuse)
the truth of God's word (the worth of women)
the truth of what wolves have done (clergy abuse database for confessed, convicted, or credibly accused abusers)
the heart of Jesus
sheep's trust or naivety.

Jesus is using this generation, for such a time as this, to act in His righteous anger to clean His church. He is not making a mess. He is cleaning house. He is in the business of protecting the flock from wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Keep disrobing the wolves, Wade!

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
It seems to me that he was doing the same thing that Tommy Nelson does in his Song of Songs series followed by many Southern Baptist and evangelical churches.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hbi3dqmEiLY

Anonymous said...

2020 is coming and with it, comes our hope for an end to the War On Women in our land.

But only 'in Christ' can the War that started in Eden finally end.

Those 'in Christ' do not engage in wars of division from one another. If they did, they would not be 'in Him'

The 'unity of the one' in marriage mirrors the 'unity of the One in Christ'. . . . there is a mutual loving-kindness that serves either to other in the bond of Christian marriage

For some reason, some Christian men feel that God decreed that they should 'rule' over women, but He did not. He stated the truth: that from the Fall, the 'unity of one' would be destroyed and perverted and become a relationship between men and women that would be in need of healing.
The Incarnation of Christ opened the door for the proper order among all persons to be restored 'in Him'.

The War on Women? Profoundly un-Christian.


Celeste said...

As a woman who has worked in male dominated fields for the past 3 plus decades, I am tired of this battle. I am tired of being talked over and ignored. I walked away from the church for years because it was a space no different from my work world and I asked myself, why am I trying to fit in a world where I do not fit (meaning the church). I have recently tentatively returned....in that process of I have been reading and listening. I have come back but these episodes leave me with an emotional exhaustion. I am not a fan of #MeToo or even #ChurchToo. Those movements seem to call a band of people to declare their victimhood, yet certainly, having had my stalker, having been called "Veronica" when all the men around me were called their given names (by a particularly narcissistic "leader"), having been continually talked over, ignored and given 2nd best, I am tired.

The church and the school are all human constructs. We would hope that the ones that are supposed to be based on God's word would have a higher standard, but usually, we as humans fail in that endeavor. This is a glaring example of that.

When I read this, I interpreted "mow your lawn" as keep your Bermuda trim, but regardless of the interpretation of the phrase, both are demeaning to women and devaluing. The more base interpretation is particularly horrific. I recently read a blogpost "Those Who Protect a Woman's Call" (https://juniaproject.com/those-who-protect-a-womans-call/). This article was particularly uplifting to me, as I consider leaving my secular job (which I have always considered my calling, but has become my own personal nightmare). In the comments, someone references a CNN study suggesting that having a token woman on the Board does nothing to change the culture of an organization. My experience has confirmed that.

I will tell you that I started leaving a local church based on one sermon where the visiting pastor talked about "Christian stalking". Everyone laughed. I didn't. (I write "started leaving" as that sermon was my first warning flag; I waited until I had accumulated additional warning flags.) Has Dr. Dara considered that he may caused some to put on their walking shoes? The apology, "I am sorry to hear that some of you were offended..." does not resonate as a true apology in my ears. He still thinks he is OK; "we" (the "some of you") just don't recognize his warped sense of humor. A true apology would have read, "I was horrified to be told how my sometimes warped sense of humor was devaluing to all women. That was not my intent and I am very upset to realize the harm that my words have inflicted." The apology could continue...

Wade Burleson said...

Robert I Masters,

Interesting.

Wade Burleson said...

Caleste,

I feel your pain - however, there are some incredible Christian churches/schools where leaders value women and the Spirit-giftedness of all members of the body, regardless of gender.

Don't give up on everyone. Just correct the wrong you see and hang in the sake of His Kingdom and His people.

Victorious said...

Perhaps if he were required by his superiors to speak on on Eph. 5:3-4 he may be convicted about the condition of his heart....

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Eph 5:3-4

and serve as a reminder to those hearing as well....and then the need for repentance would be obvious. Only the Lord can change the heart.

Alaskan in Texas said...

Those of us in the legal profession, particularly those of us who have worked as lawyers for large organizations such as corporations (regardless of for-profit or non-profit status), joke sometimes about a phenomenon we call the "Lawyer Hokey-Pokey." Sung to the tune of the classic children's song, the lyrics go something like this:

You put your Lawyer in,
You take your Lawyer out,
You put your Lawyer in,
And you shake him all about.
Do the Lawyer hokey-pokey,
And turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!

It is the hallmark of weakness when a leader plays the "Lawyer Hokey-Pokey."
Weak leaders are insecure, and therefore do not know how to listen constructively and objectively to someone aggrieved by their leadership actions or inaction.
Weak leaders are full of pride, and therefore cannot conceive of the thought that they might have made a bad decision.
Weak leaders are vain, and therefore think if they have to repent or apologize then they will be seen as weak (precisely the opposite of what true repentance or apologies entail).
Weak leaders are emotionally brittle, and therefore take criticism personally, sometimes vehemently so when they perceive the person questioning them as a "subordinate."
Weak leaders are fearful, so when a weakness is brought to light they hide behind the skirts of perceived "higher authorities" such as their lawyers or even their Bible.

You are exactly correct to keep pushing when a purported leader plays the "Lawyer Hokey-Pokey" in response to sincere questions about legitimate concerns. The "Lawyer Hokey-Pokey" is a weak move by a weak leader. When one sees it being played, one can rest assured they are on to something legitimate!

nce said...

What a bully. Not a leader.

nce said...

Yes!

nce said...

Thanks for this response. Copied and saved b/c I will probably need it soon. 😑

Wade Burleson said...

Alaskan,

That's a wonderful and prescient comment.

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
Interesting is not a thoughtful response on your part!

I heard Tommy Nelson at First Baptist Fort Lauderdale and what he said about sex was exactly the same thing. Honestly I thought it was inappropriate at the time but really has not been radar in years now.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Masters,

It's difficult to know whether I am being thoughtful or not since you don't know my thoughts. I have not heard Mr. Nelson speak, but I listened to 30 seconds of one clip (from the link which you sent) and determined to watch it later. I did notice that the clothing makes it an 80s time-period video, and because I only had 30 seconds of content, my thoughtful response was "interesting."

Anonymous said...

Proverbs 10:12 Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses. I see hatred being stirred. I am older, but it is true that any sexual partners before marriage is wrong...it is a sin for Christians whether male or female. Maybe not said properly, but I don't get it. Why do you want to publically disgrace another Christian who said sorry??

Christiane said...

Anonymous,
keeping secrets about evil is NOT what the Church is all about, though many have tried, we know that from keeping those secrets, perpetrators are allowed to continue

say 'sorry'? in a joking manner? please

The only 'sorry' that counts is the repentence of the heart and that takes grace from God, and then to act on that grace is a choice made at the core of the soul, only then can one say 'sorry' and mean it, and that sorrow is made before God and to God and then healing comes from God . . .

‘coming under conviction’ is a painful, sorrowful process . . . there is no peace and tears flow because of the intensity of the disturbance in one’s heart . . .

for anyone who has experienced this, they know what cannot be told about it

for those who haven’t experienced it, may they live longer and it doesn’t hurt for them to read the Holy Gospel of St. John

grace will find you, however insulated you are from repentance, sometimes grace overwhelms those defenses but even then, you still are free to say ‘no’ to it, this:

““” In spite of the all-powerful strength of God’s merciful hand,
which touches, enfolds and bends the souls with so many inspirations, calls and attractions,
the human will remains perfectly FREE, unfettered, and exempt from every form of constraint and necessity.
Grace is so gracious, and so graciously does it seize our hearts in order to draw them on, that it in no wise impairs the liberty of our will…
grace has a holy violence, not to violate our liberty but to make it full of love…it presses us but does not oppress our freedom…”
(Francis DeSales)


10 “Then I will pour out on the house of David and on the residents of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look on Me, the One they have pierced.
They will mourn for Him as one mourns an only child,
and weep bitterly for Him as one grieves a firstborn son. ”

(ZECHARIAH 12:10)

Tom said...

hello,

I think the point of Wades Blogs is to encourage people to seriously think about where they stand on many of the social issues that afflict our society today.

He cannot change anyone to come to the right understanding, but he can encourage people to respectfully consider, in light of what the Scriptures present, within their original context, what the attitude of their heart should be within the bounds of the social issues that afflict our society today.

The only person that Wade can change on these issues is himself, because he only has control over his actions and his actions alone. He can, however, present his case as to how others should understand the scriptures with respect to these social issues afflicting our society today.

It is then up to the readers of Wade's blogs to decide for themselves how they will respond and act concerning those attitudes of their respective hearts towards God's desire for our society as a wholesome society in which we live that reflects God's heart in all things.

Sadly our respective hearts are very deceptive and they trip us up when our desires do not line up with God's desires for mankind but with the powers of darkness and we act out of the desires of the darkness that infiltrates our hearts.

We can be a single voice for what we believe God is calling our society to become and be lost in the darkness of rebellion, or we can also stand up and call for our society to repent of our wickedness and to turn back to the ways of the Lord and the renewing of our minds and heart to become the person that He has always wanted us to be from the beginning of time.

This requires us to have courage and to die to our self and its way and to show God's way through how we live our lives.

Christ's challenge in Luke 14 was that we had to take up our own cross and live for Him in all that we do even at the cost of our own life.

How far will you take it in light of what is recorded of Christ's words in Luke 14, to show God's love to all the people around you in this present world where darkness abounds.

Shalom

Anonymous said...

Louisiana College has shamed itself.
Its witness to Our Lord has lost its way.

Julie Anne said...

I have nothing but praise and respect for the integrity of Dr. Russ Meek. Thank you, Dr. Meek, for speaking on the behalf of women and survivors. Your strong voice has been needed in the SBC.

Regarding the other men, I have mixed emotions of sadness and anger.

Dr. Dara is Dean of Human Behavior? I wonder what kind of behavior is being taught at his institution regarding women? The Dean of Human Behavior did an abysmal job of taking full responsibility for his misogynistic and degrading words about women. Also, the lack of empathy and remorse was evident.

I have a few words for Dr. Brewer. I read through Dr. Meek's email a couple of times. Dr. Brewer, if your attorney reviewed Dr. Meek's email and found it libelous, slanderous, and defamatory, I think you need to find another attorney. There's no such thing as "slander" for a written document. Slander is making a false SPOKEN statement about someone's reputation. It obviously isn't slanderous since you are referring to an e-mail. Any competent attorney would know that.

Dr. Brewer, I do not know you, but from what I read, you behaved like a bully (I'm sure you are reading this because people like you need to know what people are saying about you.) You acted high and mighty by saying your attorney read the email and found it slanderous, libelous, and defamatory. Those are legal terms. Libel and defamation are more closely related, but both have to do with someone giving FALSE statements with malice (the intent to harm). Dr. Meek expressed opinions, not false statements. And he certainly did not say anything with an intent to harm. But for you to refer to your attorney and use those legal terms was a way to bully and instill fear (of a lawsuit). That's not cool.

And then this: "you're taking on one of the top most powerful, if not one of the Top Five most powerful people, in Central Louisiana." What a ridiculous thing to say. Are you again trying to instill fear in order to control Dr. Meek? It sure looks that way. And so what if Dr. Meek is taking on a powerful man? In reading about the chapel service and what was said about women and their worth, Dr. Dara needs some accountability. He needs to learn some humility and also how to treat women with dignity and worth. Dr. Meek was absolutely right in calling him out. He did what Jesus would have done.

Dr. Brewer, you have made a mess of this situation by misplacing blame and bullying Dr. Meek who was appropriately holding you and others to the standard of Christ. You do not deserve to be in the position of president when you defended Dr. Dara who verbally abused women - image bearers of God - in chapel, no less. The women on your campus are not safe if their president cannot stand up for them, and defend and protect them. God must surely be grieved. Please step down.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

“The post went up unintentionally before two minor corrections could be made.”

“Unintentionally”? Could you explain how that happened?

The presidents’ name is Rick Brewer, but once you referred to him as “Russ Brewer” and now you have corrected that.

Page one states: “…Dara…knew why their phones were not ringing…men like the ladies who keep their house clean and mow their lawns.”

Wade before you made the correction on the last page, you quoted him: “If your phones ARE ringing It's because you're not GETTING not taking care of your house.”

Your correction states: “if your phones AREN’T ringing It's because you're not GETTING taking care of your house.”

Changing “are” to “aren’t” is correct, but in both ‘old’ and ‘new’ the word GETTING sticks out like a sore thumb. (Are you still talking into a machine?)

Welcome to the real world; it’s called ‘making mistakes’. :)

Isn’t that what Dara and Brewer did; denying any mistake had been done?



Julie Anne,

Excellent! Well said.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex, it was typos - intended to post Monday. Late Saturday night it was going through corrections. Hit "Publish" instead of "Save" and didn't catch it till Sunday.

And yes, mistakes are made.

The question becomes, how do we handle mistakes?

"Louisiana College appreciates the contributions of Dr. Joshua Dara to our school and our state. However, what Dr. Dara said in the chapel service in no way represents the school's view about women. We've made Dr. Dara aware of our disappointment in his words during chapel, and will be taking corrective measures to see that this view of women - whether expressed unintentionally or intentionally - is never represented as the view of our school, administration, or faculty."

That's how you apologize.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Julie Anne,

Spot on.

https://spiritualbattles.org/ said...

Yes, Julie Anne, you're correct.

I highly doubt an attorney told the president of the university, Dr. Brewer, that Dr. Meeks words were libelous, slanderous, and defamatory. Even if Dr. Meeks had published the words in a public letter they wouldn't be found libelous, slanderous, and defamatory.

I agree with you; it sounds like Dr. Brewer was possibly dishonestly using strong arm, bully tactics. If an attorney did tell Dr. Brewer that information I hope the university didn't pay for the info. Regardless, Dr. Brewer had not handled any of this mess in a Christ-like way. He needs to resign or be removed from office. He's part of the problem in the SBC.

Anonymous said...

what a stark contrast between Dr. Russ Meek and Norman Miller

DMC0821 said...

As a senior of LC and a member of Dr. Dara's church, I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that the message was DEFINITELY out of line and he should have issued a greater apology than the one he released and disciplinary action should have to taken to some degree; if not, a retraction that is not the values that LC stands for (which would be a wholehearted lie given how a great portion of the girls there are admittedly only in college to find them a man and have a child [once again, their words, not mine]) would've sufficed.
However, I can’t help but notice something odd about the timing of this since there have been many speakers at Chapel who said worse than this, but the core difference between them and Dr. Dara is the fact Dr. Dara is African-American man tellingly this to a great deal of young white women. As a black person in the current state of America (thanks to our president nonetheless), I may have become a cynic towards these type of things, but it just bothers me that this issue was the choice to be heralded, rather than the lack of diversity (programs for black kids, black gospel music in chapel, more than a single black speaker at chapel, the lack of acknowledgment of the American Black struggle at LC, etc) that has plagued me throughout my 4 years at LC.

Wade Burleson said...

DMC0821,

Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that the current state of America is not a healthy one right now. Hopefully, it will improve.

I know that you don’t know me. I’ve never met either Dr. Dara or Dr. Meek. Dr. Meek emailed me with the details of his story, and I spoke with Dr. Meek twice on the phone as I prepared to write this blog post. Not one time was the ethnicity of Dr. Dara even mentioned.

I did not know Dr. Dara was African-American until I had finished the post and went back to “link” the staff bio and photo of Dr. Dara from LC. I know that Dr. Dara is well known in Louisiana circles, but he was unknown to me.

Thanks for you comment.

Heather said...

DMC, "who said worse than this". Do you have information to verify this assertion?

Concerning the words of Dr Dara to the Chapel congregation, I would like to know if he planned these words or if they were "off the cuff", "spur of the moment"? Only Dr Dara knows but it was one or the other. If they were planned, then that shows he meant what he said and had thought these words through. I hope that he said them "on the spur of the moment", perhaps caught up in the strange exhilaration of the moment. As a mature Christian man, with great depths of experience and learning, I would think that he would either have been unaware of the full impact of the slang behind the phrase about "cutting the grass", or worse, knew full well what he was saying.

Why would a middle aged man know this phrase? And if he knew it because he was aware it was popular slang, why in the world would he use it in a chapel with young women present?

We once had a friend who acted and spoke in certain ways which seemed inappropriate but thoughtless. But it was his inadvertent off color, to say the least, comment on Facebook that showed me his willful intent. We cut off contact with him as he was showing sure signs of being a predator and we had young girls to protect.

If Dr Dara spoke "off the cuff" then a prompt and full apology was in order. If he spoke intentionally and in full knowledge of what he was saying, I hope that someone close to him challenges his thinking. Given there has been no apology, I would suggest great caution with putting him in a role of authority and influence over young people. I hope he clarifies and disavows his awful words.
Heather

Anonymous said...

I don't think 'race' was a factor here because it took a 'village' to destroy a college's reputation and men of different races were involved in the intimidation of people in the attempt to cover up what they knew was wrong.

The cover-up is somehow almost as worse as the original because it involves complicit behavior on the part of the bad actors, and indirectly demands 'silence' from innocent witnesses which then drags them into complicity with the whole wrong-doing, out of fear which intimidation always uses to get people to keep quiet.

Dr. Meeks aside, the players in this tragedy were of more than one race, but what shocks to the core is the setting: a Christian chapel in a Christian school where there ought to be some sanctuary from the viciousness of misogyny . . . but there was not. And 'slip of the tongue' excuse may make sense to supporters of Dr. Dara, but the truth is that words come from what is in the heart of a person. Rather than counsel Dr. Dara, as Wade would think would have been appropriate, the decision was made to 'cover-up' and that sealed the reputations of those involved as people unable to handle their Christian responsibility to a brother who had fallen . . . his 'apology' still showed he 'didn't get it' what he did, and that just puts more light on the deeper problem:

there is need for men in the Church to confront the great sin of misogyny in all its forms and in all of its disguises, and if they will not, that sin will drag them down because when any human person belittles another, he himself/herself is also proclaiming in themselves a 'lesser' being, and that is not what God intended for human persons.

Did the cover-up folks 'know better'? One of them ought to have known better, from what happened to another 'Christian' blog. But the weight is on 'the leader' who abdicated in favor of hiding something too horrible to be hid, which has done more damage to him than to anyone, except the good name of the school. It's sad. But this cover-up business always is.

Sooner or later, the truth always comes out. Later perhaps, but in the meantime, others may be wounded by covering up what must be stopped.

RB Kuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victorious said...

I don't know that women can appreciate this aspect of men's dilemma. We men are very image-related...

RB Kuter, have you ever noticed how image-related women are when they are shopping for the latest fashions, the newest make-up, or the "must have" sofa for her newly renovated living room???

I'm of the opinion that the imagery we focus on is one of choice. When a male friend of mine complained of the immodest clothing of women in front of him at church, I suggested he stop focusing on body parts. We do have control over the objects of our temptation and indulgence imho.

Christiane said...

Mr. Kuter, there are images of women out there that are keepers

https://66.media.tumblr.com/2cc61fed8eb8cf441b97be3c9350fe4d/tumblr_nh06azSSui1qz63oyo1_500.jpg

Christiane said...

there is a poem that goes with that image of Mary consoling Eve, this:


"O Eve!

My mother, my daughter, life-giving Eve,
Do not be ashamed, do not grieve.
The former things have passed away,
Our God has brought us to a New Day.
See, I am with Child,
Through whom all will be reconciled.
O Eve! My sister, my friend,
We will rejoice together
Forever
Life without end."

(Sr Columba)

RB Kuter said...

Victorious and Christiane, I agree with your comments and appreciate Christiane's reference to good and proper imagery. I deleted my comment. After thinking about it, I realized it was quite presumptuous on my part.

Sallie Borrink said...

RB Kuter - I wish you hadn't deleted your comment. I thought you raised a good point overall even though I knew you would get skewered for it.

I was one of the people whose original comment was deleted. I'm honestly not sure why, but I addressed the porn in chapel angle.

I understand that Wade's point is about how women are treated and viewed. But the young men in that chapel were also abused. However, it's not politically correct to defend men at this moment of time so most people won't mention it. I don't care. I will.

We have a pastor/dean standing up in a Baptist chapel and normalizing porn use and terminology. Yes, it is wrong and offensive to women. But it's also harmful to men. What does it tell young men when a leader in a Christian college stands up and makes jokes about porn in chapel?

Porn illustrations in a Baptist chapel to make a point to young unmarried men and women about how much sexual activity they are getting.

I can't even believe I have to type these sentences out.

Sallie

Victorious said...

Sallie, "skewered" is quite a bit rougher than what my comment intended. I hoped I would challenge RB Kuter's apparent perception that only men experience temptation of the eyes. I pointed out that women experience vivid image-related episodes in a different area as well. We are all individuals and while I (for the most part) am opposed to stereotypes and generalities, I do see some similarities and that's what I tried to convey.

RB Kuter evidently saw the similarities and was gracious in recognizing the point being made.

Victorious said...

...and I might have even included the possibility that some women may (gasp!) be tempted by those good looking, charismatic gentlemen with the tight pants and 3 open buttons on Sunday-best shirt. And in that case, it would be difficult to divert one's attention since that image is the center of the gathering.

hmm....could that be the reason for some men not wanting women at the front of the "stage?"

Anonymous said...

https://jessicaautumn.com/signs-someone-really-is-too-easily-offended/

Victorious said...

I was one of the people whose original comment was deleted. I'm honestly not sure why...

Sallie, Wade addressed this in #5 of his very first comment above.

Christiane said...

time out:

I was thinking about Dr. Dara's sermon, this:

"“I have thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”
― Anne Lamott

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, this chapel was mandatory for these students, both young men and young women, and furthermore, the Lousiana Baptist Convention supports this school, its practices, and its teachings. Is that correct? If so, the continuing support of this school and its current administration by Louisiana Baptists brings shame on all of us. HOW can they stand for this?

If the school supports these teachings, then let the video be published for all the world to evaluate. If not, then who has authority over this administration? A board of trustees? Who are they? Why aren't they speaking out and taking ACTION against this administration? Are they afraid of Dr. Dara more than our Lord?

Anonymous said...

this incident with Dr. Dara and his sermon begs the question:
"Why did Dr. Dara think that particular sermon WOULD be 'acceptable' at this school's chapel?"

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

I agree 100% with your male friend who complained of immodest clothing.
Do you think church clothing should pass a high school dress code?

I’ve thought of talking a picture of a woman who stands in front of us, and showing it to her saying ‘do you know you look like this? But I’ve haven’t had the guts or am afraid of losing a friend.

Reminds me of a joke:
“How’d you get that those black eyes?
“Thought I’d do this woman a favor by giving her pants a quick jerk to make them smooth. She hit my eye. Made her so mad, I made them like they were.”

Victorious said...

I agree 100% with your male friend who complained of immodest clothing.

Hi Rex Ray,

Did you agree 100% with my suggestion to him? You see, it's not just in church that self control must be practiced, because the world is full of temptations.

It might be possible some women in the assembly are not believers.

Some may be unaware of the thought-process taking place and assume everyone there is focusing on the things of the Lord.

Assuming no body parts are visible, it seems even the shape of a women's body (under the clothing) is suspect to some. I think even a jihab would make the mind that's victim to imagination, Possibly lead to a complete separate service for women only.

A personal experience....many years ago my brother (1 yr. younger than me) asked for a ride somewhere. I happily obliged and in the course of our conversation, he turned to me and said in a demeaning manner...."You women! You always wear clothing that is revealing with nothing on underneath." I had on a sundress sleeveless but down to my ankles in length. You see...his imagination was at work. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and politely asked him what he wore under his clothes. No answer.

We need to recognize and own lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes and stop blaming someone else. (Not meant for you personally, Rex Ray, but for all those who cannot take their eyes off body parts....)

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

“…all those who cannot take their eyes off body parts....”

Reminds me: “We cannot stop birds from flying over our heads, but we can stop them from building nests.”

Off topic story: We couldn’t stop a Mocking Bird from building her nest in our newspaper box. (The guy had to put it on the ground.) After removing her nest three days in a row, we came up with a solution: MOTHBALLS.

You never replied to my question: “Should church members pass a high school dress code?

You mentioned some men didn’t button three buttons on their shirt. Is that about where some dresses start?

Years ago, I remember standing in line to pay at a grocery store, and this old guy kept messing up and taking forever to pay. When my turn came, I saw what his trouble was. The woman checker had half of you know what showing. Days later, she was buttoned up and I assumed management had corrected the problem. I still see on cold days young girls wearing heavy coats but bare legs. I guess they want to be noticed, but to me I’m thinking they’re dumb.

Victorious said...

Hi again Rex Ray,

Perhaps I should have said..."all those who WILL NOT take their eyes off body parts...." That would make more sense given I believe we have control over what we choose to see.

You never replied to my question: “Should church members pass a high school dress code?

Actually, you worded your question a bit differently above...."Do you think church clothing should pass a high school dress code?" I didn't answer because I'm not sure of your reference to high school dress code. Both girls and boys were required to wear a uniform through grade school where I attended and uniforms also required in the girls-only high school I attended.

So if you could clarify what you meant and how this might affect those who attend church, I would better understand and answer accordingly.

You mentioned some men didn’t button three buttons on their shirt. Is that about where some dresses start?

Again, I don't understand your question about where some dresses start. The point I made about the dress of some young hipster, celebrity pastors might very well be a temptation to some women but since they were center stage, it seems the attention is intended. Whereas in the example of a female sitting somewhere in front of you with her back to you does not seem to be intentionally directed to the male sitting behind her. I further mentioned that she may not even be a believer or those who may be unaware of the "thought process" taking place behind her.

An additional thought...whereas Wade's post mentioned ...the language used by Dr. Dara is wholly inappropriate and offensive." In my opinion, the words "inappropriate and offensive" soft-pedaled what I think were filthy, disgusting, and/or vulgar. Also of importance to me was the very fact that a male was defining what his measure for a female might be...and setting boundaries (so to speak) for them. Now, some may disagree with my analysis, but the pressure put on women to conform to or abide by the expectations of others to define femininity, men, other women, media, fashion industry, etc. is enormous. The message perpetuated from those venues is that women's value is her beauty. When this message is heard from a young age onward, she begins to believe it and tries to achieve that beauty. That most often entails some attention to physical enhancements. Then she runs the risk of being perceived as immodest or seductive.

In my opinion, women must be courageous enough to ask others to mind their own business when they endeavor to define who they are or should be.

Just my opinion....

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

About 20 years ago, I heard a sermon that made a lot of sense to me: “Everyone has a different filter.” He said, “Just like everyone has different fingerprints, our brains process everything through our different experiences.”

You mentioned an experience you had with your brother where he blamed you and women for exposing themselves. You in turn, blamed him for thinking ‘bad’ thoughts. (I think that’s about right.)

An experience I had with my two sisters was like this. Our parents decided to teach school in an Eskimo village in Alaska, so they had them live with me. I was a senior in college and one was a senior in high school; the other a freshman. In a few days, I told them our parents didn’t allow them to wear ‘short-shorts’ at home, so they were not to wear them in my house that I was renting. The senior consented but not the freshman; “I’ll wear what I want to wear!” A couple of days of friction went by until I filled a bathtub full of cold water. There was no struggle because she was small. I held her and her short-shorts over the bathtub and said, “I’m dunking you if you don’t agree to stop wearing your shorts.” Her mouth was a fine line that matched the frown on her face: “GO AHEAD!”

“Well, if that’s the way you’re going to be; be that way”, and I let her go.
She never wore them again.

Schools with required uniforms” wouldn’t need a dress code. I was thinking more like “no boy’s hair over their collar and length of dress compared to their knees.”

“…female…may be unaware of the “thought process” taking place behind her.” I assure you with me it’s not lust but more like disgust.

I agree with you that Dara’s words were “filthy, disgusting, and vulgar.”

Victorious said...

Rex Ray,

You in turn, blamed him for thinking ‘bad’ thoughts. (I think that’s about right.)

I wasn't blaming him, but was challenging him to hopefully see how absurd his statement was.

May I ask why your sisters weren't allowed to wear short-shorts? I had a similar experience involving short-shorts when I was about 11/12 yrs. old. I had on a pair of short-shorts. It was a hot day in Maryland. As I was ready to go outside to play, my (same) brother asked my mother, "are you going to let her go outside dressed like that?" Now if my memory serves me correctly, my mother had the same look on her face that I did with that brother some 40 yrs. later and that was the end of that. I went outside to play hop-scotch with my friends.

Question is...where does this desire to exert power and control come from? And sometimes at such a young age? And did it occur to you that her resistance to your threat may have been justified?

Schools with required uniforms” wouldn’t need a dress code.

Required uniforms IS a dress code.

I was thinking more like “no boy’s hair over their collar and length of dress compared to their knees.”

What's wrong with those two examples? What would be next?....no red sneakers; no punk hair style; no tattoos; no makeup; no t-shirts; no nail polish, no dreadlocks; no pierced ears; etc. I worked at Xerox Corp. when women were sent home for wearing slacks!!

One of my sons wanted to have one ear pierced when he was in school. I told him that when he reached the age of about 18, he could make up his own mind about that. In the early 80's (I think) the only boys who pierced their ears were bikers who also wore leather jackets. He evidently went ahead and had an ear pierced but I didn't know it. When he was in the army and stationed in Germany, I happened to find one earring that dangled the "F" word. I sent it to him and said I figured it was his. He never responded. But you see, giving room for a person to make their own choices is far better than making boundaries for them so they never have to learn the consequences of their actions.

....and last but not least....

I assure you with me it’s not lust but more like disgust.

You don't have to answer, but why would someone else's attire cause you disgust? My nephew is a captain on the police dept. How effective would he be in that position if he was disgusted at the things he saw on the street? Or how effective would pastor's be? Or if David Wilkerson was so disgusted at what those drug addicts wore, we might never have had a Teen Challenge. When I went to lunch with my boss (who was black), we got looks of disgust back in the 70's.

Only when we can look past outward appearances can we see the person inside.

Just my opinion....

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an update on what is happening about this, if anything, at Louisiana College, in the LBC, or in the LCP?

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

You say, “Just my opinion…” I think a more detailed explanation would be: ‘Just my opinion through my filter’.

You said, “But you see, giving room for a person to make their own choices is far better than making boundaries for them so they never have to learn the consequences of their actions.”

From that I guess you disagree with, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NLT) and “Those that spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those that love their children care enough to discipline them.” (Proverbs 13:24 NLT)


Our father was a Baptist preacher/school teacher. My twin brother and I were taught when we were small if we saw a cigarette butt on a sidewalk, we were to smash it with our shoe and say, “Dirty-old-cigarette!”

Extreme, huh? Well, I think my health is better for never having smoked one. Our father said the first goal of education was not knowledge but character.

Its been said, “Fools never learn from their mistakes. A wise person learns from theirs, but a wiser person learns from the mistakes of others.”

To finish the story with my younger sister, I told her actions reflected she wasn’t a Christian.

“SURE I AM. I WENT TO THE FRONT WHEN ANN DID!” (Ann was older sister.)

Later, she told me she had asked the Lord if she was a Christian, and his answer was no. She then said, “I cried and asked him to save me and he did.”

After that, she was much easier to live with.

Well, I said that but it wasn’t long before the police contacted them (we didn’t have a phone) that I was in a hospital a hundred miles away from a motorcycle wreck. They came and brought me back where I spent three months in the college hospital. They stayed in the house by themselves with no problems as they had the Holy Spirit to direct them.

Anonymous said...

As a graduate of Louisiana College but someone who is no longer part of SBC life, I always felt a tinge of anger and sadness as the great institution I attended when led by Pres. Lynn took a slide into something much less during the Aguillard years. I have watched with hope that Brewer would turn things around and believed he had. Now, I am concerned that not much has changed. The protection of institution over persons, the accumulation of power over purity, the idea of image over heart and substance seems to still be there. I am wondering if a denomination and any institution from it can ever be pure when it has used such worldly means to contain and control its members. The Fundamentalist take-over of the SBC may have rotted it to the core.

Anonymous said...

72-0 vote says it all: https://brnow.org/Resources/Archives-2000-2007/April-2003/Candidate-for-Mars-Hill-president-faces-opposition

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an update on what is happening about this, if anything, at Louisiana College, in the LBC, or in the LCP?

Dee said...

Thank you, Wade, for always standing up against baloney. You are a hero.

Concerned said...

By the way,Wade, do you know what Dr Joshua Joy Dara's doctorate is in? Research that and let us know. I think you'll find it interesting.

Thank you for your article. I wonder, did God make a mistake putting pubic hair on males and females?

Celeste said...

I took the bait and tried to find Joshua Joy Dara's doctorate. He has a JD. I was unable to unearth any sort of academic writings, although I don't know where you would go for lawyer type academics. There certainly are no decent academic articles published online or in his biography, so.....am I missing something?.

In pursuit of Joshua Joy Dara's academic creds, I found two interesting additions to what has already been written here: https://www.bayoubrief.com/2019/05/27/louisiana-college-professor-resigns-in-protest-after-school-leaders-conceal-lewd-sexist-comments-by-prominent-dean/ and the audio of the meeting: https://www.bayoubrief.com/2019/05/28/full-audio-louisiana-college-leaders-discuss-suppressing-criticism-of-joshua-joy-dara/

Celeste said...

I did do a small transcription of a very small portion of the meeting posted above. There are some uhhhs, and respeaking that I did not transcribe.

Around minute 14. Discussion with Dr. Clark - “Not everyone takes away from it what you did…..is there a double standard in our society regarding sexuality activity?"
(The answer — Yes; men can have a lot of sex and women can’t. Clark then suggests that a reputation earned by a woman stays with her. It is a "cultural problem" per Clark. Dr. Meeks challenges this to suggest that you can be made new in Christ).
Clark: “I am not saying that God can not forgive you and you can have a new life and all those things, yes. But still, that reputation tends to stay with women when it never happens to men.….and do I think that is fair? Absolutely not. But do I want girls to know that? Yes.”
Meeks: “ But can’t Christians say that is not true? You are made in God’s image."
Clark: “….It doesn’t change what culture labels you.”

Don't support the "culture" if the culture is wrong. Cheryl Clark does later acknowledge that Joshua Dara made a poor choice of words, but in labeling a decision to call women "crackhouses" a mere poor choice in words she fails to recognize how accepting these words, unchallenged perpetuates and strengthens a cultural bias that is wrong. I would like to suggest to her that culture is the customs of a group of people. Customs can be changed but only by members of the group. If a member of the group refuses to change his/her behavior when confronted by a wrong, he/she accepts the cultural norm and has just become part of the problem by allowing it to go unchallenged.

Celeste said...

A little later……..
Brewer: (paraphrase) what about the previous week’s speakers. Women had to feel very affirmed…..
(My editorial comment injected here: "so this is all OK if we give the girls a voice every now and then? But alternate weeks, having affirmed them previous week, it is OK to make chapel akin to locker room/bar talk. That is not at all appropriate. )

Brewer talks about the email form Meeks. “…When you juxtaposition this with the Houston Chronicle article, you knew you when that if you post this, this goes viral. That makes it sound like we have a pattern and a history of sexual assaults on this campus we are covering up. That’s all the people will read.”
Meeks: “That’s not what I say.”
Brewer (I assume now referring to Meek's writing): “No but you .. juxtaposition with it 'I am reeling from the sexual abuse uncovered by the Houston Chronicle and blah, blah, blah and then instead I am confronted head on with the culture that makes such abuse possible. “
Meeks: “Absolutely. This misogynistic culture.”
Brewer: “Our chapel is not a culture that allows or promotes the kind of abuse sited in the Houston Chronicle article and that’s what it sounds like.”
Meeks: “2 of the 4 people in Louisiana graduated from here or went to school here and then you have a chapel speaker here saying women are crack houses?”
There is then a discussion about Jesus and the woman and the well and the conversation goes all over the place.

When I was listening to Brewer, my head exploded a little. Still trying to find the brain matter. The small part of the audio that I lifted illustrates how he has absolutely no understanding of how misogynistic Joshua Dara's statements are.

I would argue that contrary to Brewer's statement that the Chapel's culture does not promote abuse, through a speaker that is allowed to speak of women in a very demeaning and objectifying manner, this Chapel is displaying exactly that kind of culture. No, Brewer can not know ahead of time what a speaker chooses to say, but afterwards, if something IS that grossly inappropriate, he can certainly, as a leader, use that mis-step or failure as a teaching moment. Instead, this is being covered up through a failure to post the sermon as other sermons are posted, and they have not done their remedial work with respect to the "poor choice of words."

As an aside, I live in TX, which like LA has a law that recordings are legal as long as there is "one consenting party" (oftentimes, the person doing the recording). Obviously, I listened. It was obvious from the original blog posts quotations that there must be a recording out there. At times, I am very saddened by the lack of privacy that any of us has in this day and age, but the reality is that if we are living our lives the way that Christ would have us live them, that shouldn't be an issue at all, should it? (Although.....I think all of us deserve privacy when we are trying to work through our human failings and inadequacies.....So much of our lives really aren't meant for public display).

Christopher Burcham said...

Obviously, none of us were present for the chapel message in question (which none of us have heard) nor were we present for any of the aforementioned meetings nor do we know all of the specifics involved.

While there is much that, on the surface at least, appears concerning, I would simply like to speak in defense of Dr. Brewer--as perhaps one of the very few here who actually knows him.

I have, in fact, known Rick for well over 30 years now and, while I'm sure he would be the first to admit that he is a flawed and imperfect sinner just like all the rest of us, I have NEVER known him to be a bully! In my own personal experience, I have seen only a man who loves the Lord deeply and has, on more than one occasion, shown great humility and teachability. He has given me reason to hold him in high regard and, as such, is a man for whom I have great respect. Frankly, I do not recognize the man as he's being characterized in many of the comments in this thread, and am concerned that calls for his resignation and/or removal are misguided (or, at best, premature).

Clearly, there is much within our culture that needs to change--particularly where women are concerned, but I think Dr. Brewer would agree with that as much as any of us here.