These four (4) posts -- The Lambs and
the Lions Series -- were posted
to a several internet newsgroups in early September 1999.
1/4 THE LAMBS AND THE LIONS:
The SBU "Questions of the Heart" PETITION and BOYCOTT
LOST LAMBS, LOST SHEPHERDS
As we were preparing the "QUESTIONS OF HEART"
PETITION and the "CHANGE OF HEART" BOYCOTT
of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri
this past weekend, an observer interrupted us with
This observer noted that it was naive to believe
that this degree of unethical and potentially criminal
activity could continue for so long without the full
cooperation, or at least the tacit consent, of the
Missouri and Southern Baptist Conventions.
A number of Trustees, current and former, are likely
to be implicated in some varying fashion, among them:
a Congressman; a Governor; a Supreme Court Judge
of the State of Missouri; two former Presidents of
the Southern Baptist Convention, and a myriad of
prominent Southern Baptist pastors and businessmen.
The observer reasoned, if these individuals feared
the laws of either God or man, these matters would
have been dealt with responsibly and justly long ago.
The observer asked:
"How can you proceed when even the shepherds are
corrupt, when both the Missouri or Southern Baptist
Conventions seem to have become little more than
Christian organizations and corporations primarily
dedicated to shielding wrongdoers from prosecution
and the political, social, financial or criminal
consequences of their misconduct?"
Well, the shepherds may be corrupt ...
but, nonetheless, we will proceed with the
Petition because we believe in the common morality
and decency of the Southern Baptists as a people
of a good God.
We still believe what our parents and Sunday school
teachers taught us: that God looks out for the lilies
of the fields and each little sparrow; that He is
a God who would not break even a "bruised reed,"
and a God who searches for and rejoices over each
prodigal son and each lost lamb.
Even if the shepherds have become lost, we believe
that God will seek the lost lambs -- and the
lost shepherds -- for His sake and for ours.
Even so, the "QUESTIONS OF HEART" should be asked
and answered ... for the good of all involved.
ENTERING THE LIONS' DEN ...
As we were preparing to post the revised "QUESTIONS
OF HEART" and enter into "the den of lions" (or wolves),
an individual intervened to offer assistance.
For the past few days, several individuals have aided
us in preparing formal inquiries and cooperating
with queries from several state and federal agencies.
The first week of September, formal complaints will
be mailed to these agencies and then posted to the
WORD OF HONOR
As part of several investigations and inquiries, these
letters will formally invite each member of the SBU
governance, past and present, to sign documentation
giving their "word of honor" that they, individually
and collectively, did NOT participate in and have NO
knowledge of any unethical or illegal conduct against
a student or other individual.
If the shepherds be truly lost, we pray they find their
way home ... quickly ... before the letters arrive at:
*the Department of Education (Accreditation and Eligibility
*the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools (NCA);
*the Missouri Department of Agriculture;
*the Missouri Department of Education;
*the Missouri State Board of Nursing;
*the Missouri Department of Insurance;
*the Missouri Public Service Commission;
*the Department of Education Student Financial Assistance
Programs, Region 7 (NDSL),
*the Environmental Protection Agency,
and *the Congressional Ethics Committee, among others.
THE LION LYING ... WITH THE LAMB
The revised "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART" PETITION will
be distributed in its entirety by September 3, 1999.
During the first week of September, once the PETITION
is distributed and before beginning the actual Boycott,
a representative will approach the SBU governance
with a reasonable, written proposal.
If accepted, this proposal will resolve at least one
portion of the conflict. It is hoped that the SBU
governance will take this opportunity to rectify ALL
the outstanding disputes over the upcoming Labor Day
Holiday (September 4-6, 1999).
If the proposal is denied and no progress is made
toward settling these conflicts, the "CHANGE OF HEART"
BOYCOTT will commence on September 7, 1999.
However, before beginning the distribution of the
revised "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART" PETITION this
coming weekend, we have for you a story, a true story.
Though we have skirmished, in our endeavors to obtain
the truth, with many lions, we have also encountered
more than one lamb.
We would like to tell you about one ...
A GENTLE LAMB GOING HOME
As you know, a portion of the "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART"
Petition concerns the abuse of pesticides on the SBU
When we began the quest to determine the toxicity
and potential long-term effects of these pesticides
we enlisted the assistance of Cindy Duehring.
We say that we enlisted her, perhaps it is more accurate
to say -- she enlisted us.
With the gentleness of a lamb vitalized by the
fortitude and ferocity of a lion, Cindy won us over.
In 1986, Cindy founded the nonprofit Environmental
Access Research Network (EARN), which is now the
research arm of the Chemical Injury Information Network
(CIIN), which is considered the world's leading support
advocacy organization for the chemically injured,
serving members in 34 different countries.