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The More Things Change,
the More Things Stay the Same

Morning ~ Thursday, May 4, 2000 about 10:00 am (CST)

It is said:  
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

The portion of scripture below -- from the
Living Bible (which is
a paraphrase, not an exact translation) -- was written by the prophet
Jeremiah as a warning to the people of Israel.

A friend brought this to our attention and wondered if
Jeremiah had
visited Bolivar, Missouri, attended Southwest Baptist University,
spoken to the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Jeremiah 7

7:1 Then The Lord said to Jeremiah:

2 Go over to the entrance of the Temple of the Lord and give this
message to the people: O Judah, listen to this message from God.
Listen to it, all you of you who worship here.

3 The Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel says: Even yet, if you quit
your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land.

4 But don't be fooled by those who lie to you and say that since the
Temple of the Lord is here, God will never let Jerusalem be destroyed.

5 You may remain under these conditions only: If you stop your wicked
thoughts and deeds, and are fair to others,

6 and stop exploiting orphans, widows, and foreigners. And stop your
murdering.  And stop worshiping idols as you do now to your hurt.

7 Then and only then, will I let you stay in this land that I gave to you
fathers to keep forever.

8 You think that because the Temple is here, you will never suffer?
Don't fool yourselves!

9 Do you really think that you can steal, murder, commit adultery,
lie, and worship Baal and all of those new gods of yours,

10 and then come in here and stand before me in my Temple and chant,
"We are saved!" -- only to go right back to all these evil things again?

11 Is my Temple but a den of robbers in your eyes?  For I see all the
evil going on in there ...

23 But what I told them was: "Obey me and I will be your God and you
shall be my people; only do as I say and all shall be well."

24 But they wouldn't listen; they kept on doing whatever they wanted to,
following their own stubborn, evil thoughts. They went backward instead
of forward.

28 Say to them: This is the nation that refuses to obey the Lord its God,
and refuses to be taught. She continues to live a lie

Chapter 8
... 4,5 Once again give them this message from the Lord:  When a person falls,
he jumps up again; when he is on the wrong road and discovers his mistake
he goes back to the fork where he made the wrong turn
. But these people
keep on along their evil path, even though I warn them

6 I listen to their conversation and what do I hear?  Is anyone sorry for sin?
Does anyone say, "What a terrible thing I have done?" No, all are rushing pell-
mell down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing to the battle!

7 The stork knows the time of her migration, as does  the turtle-dove, and the
crane, and the swallow. They all return at God's appointed time each year;
but not my people! They don't accept the laws of God.

8 How can you say, "We understand his laws," when your teachers have twisted
them up to mean a thing I never said
? ...

Chapter 9
... 5 With practice tongues they fool and defraud each other; they wear
themselves out with all their sinning.

6 "They pile evil upon evil, lie upon lie, and utterly refuse to come to me,"
says the Lord.


The following words from the writings of the prophet
Isaiah caused one
friend to ponder:

"Maybe, the prophet Isaiah made more than one unrecorded missionary
journey to
Bolivar, Missouri , Southwest Baptist University, and
the Missouri Baptist Convention
as well."


Isaiah 59

1 Listen now! The Lord isn't too weak to save you. And he isn't getting deaf.
And he can hear you when you call!

2 But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God.  Because of sin,
he has turned his face away from you and will not listen anymore.

3 For your hands are those of murders and your fingers are filthy with sin.
You lie and grumble and oppose the good.

4 No one cares about being fair and true. Your lawsuits are based  on lies;
you spend your time plotting evil deeds and doing them.

5 You spend your time and energy in spinning evil plans which end up in
deadly actions.

6 You cheat and shortchange everyone.  Everything you do is filled with sin;
violence is your trademark.

7 Your feet run to do evil and rush to murder; your thoughts are only
of sinning, and wherever you go you leave a trail of misery and death.

8 You don't know what true peace is, nor what it means to be just and good;
you continually do wrong and those who follow you won't experience any
peace, either.

10 No wonder you grope like blind men and stumble along in broad daylight,
yes, even at brightest noontime, as though it were the darkest night!  No wonder
you are like corpses when compared with vigorous, young men!

11 You roar like hungry bears; you moan with mournful cries like doves.
You look for God to keep you, but he doesn't. He has turned away.

12 For your sins keep piling up before the righteous God, and testify
against you.
     Yes, we know what sinners we are.

13 We know our disobedience; we have denied the Lord, the Lord our God.
We knows what rebels we are and how unfair we are, for we carefully
plan our lies.

14 Our courts oppose the righteous man; fairness is unknown.  Truth falls
dead in the streets, and justice is outlawed.

15 Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who tries a better life is soon attacked.
The Lord saw all the evil and was displeased to find no steps taken
against sin.

So, what is to be done?  

Two meetings
will be held within the next week.

The first meeting is an Associational Conference
of the Missouri Baptist Convention  --
New Directions Conference 2000 Conference --
on Thursday and Friday, May 4 - 5
in Springfield, Missouri at Second Baptist Church.

[Click here for Conference Information.]

This meeting begins today.

One of the scheduled speakers is Vernon Armitage, a SBU alumnus,
current Trustee of Southwest Baptist University, and the pastor of
Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri -- the largest
Southern Baptist congregation in Missouri.

His topic will be:  Kingdom Growth through Empowering Leaders.

We understand that Dr. Vernon Armitage will also be the Speaker
for the May 20 Commencement at Southwest Baptist University.

[Click here for Information on Conference Presenters including
Dr. Vernon Armitage.]

The second meeting is the Spring Meeting
of the Southwest Baptist University Board of Trustees
to be held Monday and Tuesday, May 8 and 9
on the campus of Southwest Baptist University.

Please understand
... if no resolution to this situation is reached
during these meetings, we will be forced to undertake --
       not only the Boycott of Southwest Baptist University --
but a series of other immediate and irreversible actions as well.

Those whose lives have been savaged by these events have been more
than patient and understanding ...

But, the time for Southwest Baptist University to take responsibility
for the illegal, immoral, and unethical actions of its employees and
is long, long overdue.

We will keep you posted on any progress.

Your prayers are appreciated.

More to come ...

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