In Support Of Bryan College - And Response (6)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I have watched from a distance over the past several days this 'incident' at Bryan College. I am greatly dismayed and disappointed that people calling themselves Christian would try to destroy, defame, discredit and run out of town a Godly man and his family. I would say that about you if it were happening to you. But in this case it is Dr. Livesay and his family. I know Dr. Livesay and his wife; I count them as my friends. We have fellowshipped together, worked together on several projects for the college, and I know the man loves the Lord. I am just appalled at the outright hate going on. That's what it is... pure and simple. 

Some have fire in their eyes, and they can smell blood. Some I know have vowed to 'destroy the college". I read in the paper that the latest 'incident' was over the termination of a professor..."just privately voicing concerns about the college". Baloney.

I am looking now at some of these emails, and this is a far cry from 'voicing concerns'. This is revenge driven. Organizing groups to take out full page ads, online petitions, writing accreditation agencies, "recruit others to do the same", an "expose' in World magazine". Seriously?

I am neither a Bryan graduate nor an employee, but what I see is venomous. I too received invitations to 'organize' and sign petitions; many of you probably did as well. I do have a question: those who spew this vile hatred: when have you been to the college, got on your knees with Dr. Livesay and prayed for the college, its faculty, all that has happened and asked God to heal and move forward? 

I saw this happen in the Southern Baptist denomination a couple of decades ago over "intellectual freedom to teach" and "alternate beliefs" on certain issues. I think Dr. Livesay should receive an award for standing on the Word of God and not bending to worldly pressure to 'get with the times'.

The church (and I see Bryan College as an extension of it) is called to make a difference in the world, not the other way around. There are plenty of liberal religious colleges out there where one can teach anything they wish with no questions asked. But Bryan College... its founding principles and Statement of Belief... I don't think it wants to go down that road. At least the administration does not. Is Dr. Livesay or anyone else at the college perfect and blameless? I don't really know, but I doubt it. No one is.

In a broken marriage there is fault on both sides, but in my humble opinion, it is time to look in the mirror, fall on your knees, and either get behind this great institution or let it be and move on. To destroy purposely what I think God ordained and built many decades would be a terrible thing. if this makes you mad I hope you and I will be okay. I seek no ill will toward anyone. I just had to get it off my chest. It just wrenches in my gut to see a man publicly belittled and discredited.

I do not think God intended for Christians to handle things in this manner. No matter where you fall on this, please pray. For healing; reconciliation where it is possible; and that God will receive glory and He will stand above all. 

Brad Harris
Dayton 

* * *  

I am writing in response to the recent disparaging remarks that have been made in the press about Bryan College and its administration.  I begin my comments by stating that my husband and I both are employed by Bryan, and we love this college.     

I can only recount our personal experiences, but I must say that the comments made recently about our President, Dr. Stephen Livesay, do not reconcile with the man we know and respect.  When my husband began working at Bryan after hearing from me that it is a great place to work, I was so happy to hear that Dr. Livesay had taken time to sit with my husband in the cafeteria while my husband was still very new in his job.  Soon after that, my mother-in-law passed away, and Dr. Livesay took the time to write a heartfelt, handwritten card to our family and ministered to my husband during my husband’s period of intense grief.  Our family is forever grateful for the kindness that Dr. Livesay showed to us during that difficult time.   

Regarding the college itself, I want to inform your readers that Bryan College is thriving.  I teach here and direct tutoring services, and I know how our students are being challenged academically while also being encouraged to grow in their faith.  Consider the fact that our biology seniors this spring scored in the 99th percentile nationally on the ETS Major Field Achievement Test, and our prospective graduating teachers accomplished a 100 percent pass rate on the Praxis II.  

Also, our online presence continues to grow as more majors have been added. The academic environment is rigorous here for both in-person and online students, and that is one reason my husband and I will enthusiastically encourage our son to attend Bryan College when he graduates from high school.   

The other reason – the most important reason – we will encourage our son to attend Bryan College is that we know that this is a Christ-centered college.  The administration, faculty, and staff take our motto of “Christ Above All” seriously.  I know that my son – like so many freshmen who come here each year – will find a faith-filled home and will become part of the Bryan College family.  

I encourage everyone who loves Bryan College to pray for all who serve here – the administration, faculty, and staff.  Most importantly, I ask for prayers for our students.  I would also encourage prayer for those who have made disparaging remarks.  Our family will continue to pray that God’s purposes for Bryan College will shine forth.  May God continue to bless Bryan College.             

In Him, 
Kristi Strode 

* * * 

I am a supportive alumnus of William Jennings Bryan College, Class of 1993. I published my support of the leadership's decisions in 2014, and continue to support the President, the Board, the faculty and the school.

My education at Bryan was foundational in shaping and establishing my strong Biblical worldview as well as equipping me to use my gifts and passions for God's glory as a music director. My parents (retired faculty), present faculty, current students and prospective students that I know are absolutely thrilled about all of the incredible things God has done before and since the strong Biblical stand of the Creationist, historical, Biblical view of Genesis that was upheld and clarified in 2014.

I will continue to recommend Bryan College to parents and prospective students, and will continue to pray for and support the leadership as they weather the present criticisms while defending and protecting the school's mission, "educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world". 

I believe now more than ever, the school on the hill is faithfully upholding "Christ Above All!" 

Kelly Luther Stultz
Hixson 

* * * 

I write here as one with experience/training as a criminal investigator/trial lawyer. I do not accuse and neither do I defend any person. I intend to defend principles, and processes which will lead a reasonable and prudent person to a solid, defensible conclusion, such as one would expect of a jury in a criminal trial.  Moreover, as my audience here is largely (presumably) Christian, I will reinforce legal principles with spiritual principles.  

I do not write here to convince anyone who has already pitched their tent, but rather to anyone who might still be looking for a campsite. I appeal to reason, and not to passion.  I do not seek argument or debate.  This is my position.  That is all.  

Evidence is any fact which tends to prove the matter asserted.  When dealing with people’s lives, it is prudent, I think, to apply the same standard as in criminal court- evidence beyond reasonable doubt.  While less than precise, the standard of “beyond reasonable doubt” is considered an objective standard.  Inference, innuendo, and ambiguity are elements or signs of subjective evidence, and the best one can hope for in such an argument is some chance that your opinion might find some vindication.   Still, in the end, you are left with mere opinion, which is never persuasive. 

In any matter where criminal activity is alleged, the objective evidence must lead a reasonable person to a conclusion, beyond “reasonable” doubt. What is "reasonable" is also imprecise, but mostly an objective standard.  An accumulation of sufficient objective evidence, even if somewhat “fuzzy” can still be used to convict beyond reasonable doubt, but the shakier the evidence, the more of it is required to convince a jury.  The final arbiter is the court who applies the legal rules of evidence and the law. 

In matters not criminal (that is, in violation of a specific law) evidence that does not prove criminal guilt, may still prove impropriety or an ethical breach.   However, this moves ever more towards subjective reason (filtered through the thoughts and beliefs of the individual person sitting in judgment) and is therefore less reliable as a solid indicator of miscreance.  The more subjective the issue(s) the more cautious we should be in passing any judgment or giving in to passions.  

In review of the documents attached to a recent email (July 26), and doing due diligence to ascertain the relevance and the weight of the evidence, I looked for something that would lead an objectively reasonable person to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that a crime had been, was being, or was about to be committed.  Finding nothing remotely close, I conclude that there is no basis in fact to support any charge of criminal misconduct, or that would justify the use of an epithet such as “criminal”. 

Next I reviewed the letter from Mr. Cropp for any evidence of willful misconduct, or malfeasance.  I found nothing that objectively supported such a conclusion. I do find a reasonable question as to actions that sound like “stacking” the board, and setting up a transfer of property that might have the effect of creating a large personal gain for President Livesay.   Such an appearance of impropriety needs review by an attorney to make a determination of possible conflicts of interest.

So, taken on its face and assuming no contrary (exculpatory) evidence, once might subjectively arrive at a conclusion that something was “amiss”.   It turns out that the transactions involving transfer of the Ft Bluff Property to Bryan College were reviewed by an attorney, in the presence of duly appointed members of the board, in accordance with the law and (apparently) by-laws of the organization.  In other words, the concerns of Mr. Cropp, and his view of what should have happened, (which may in fact have been conducted differently with perhaps a better outcome) nevertheless have been scrutinized by (presumably) competent legal counsel and the matter therefore should be laid to rest.   Without further context, additional documentary evidence, testimony under oath, etc. and acknowledging that there might yet remain “lingering questions” to a reasonable person, I find nothing that would justify the huge public outcry or accusations which have descended on Bryan College in recent days. 

Please read the final paragraph concluding Mr. Cropp’s letter, which is his final closing arguments about the source of his concern.  Read that list of concerns carefully.  Ask yourself if any of those conditions are likely to improve by instigating more doubt, and stirring up more accusations.  Anyone familiar with principles of logic can see that “correlation is not “causation” and that the facts presented in his letter, whether true or not, were subjected to legal scrutiny.  There may be many other explanations for the conditions Mr. Cropp notes. 

While this may create a “cloud of doubt” in the minds of some, without something substantially more, it seems to me that the path most likely to reflect the glory of Christ would be that which leaves the image of Bryan College the least tarnished.  If there is evil in our midst, it will surface again, and God will deal with it in His way, and in His time.  (Akin to watching someone you have investigated and concluded is guilty, have the charges dismissed. He walks, but you know because of the flaw in his character, he will do it again, and you’ll be there to arrest him again. ) This is the time to pray for the college, the president, the leadership, and the faculty and staff.  It is not the time to fan the flames of a small fire until you have a conflagration. 

Speaking to the content of one of the attachments concerning firing practices  and “forced termination agreements”, I note the following:  As a matter of law, a contract is a legally enforceable agreement.  There are several factors which create a contract and several factors which render a contract a “mere agreement” not enforceable at law.  One of the elements of a contract is that it reflects a “meeting of the minds” of competent parties.   It does not require that the parties be on equal footing (socially, economically, positionally, etc) and contracts are still enforceable even when there is pressure placed upon one of the parties.  If that pressure is “undue” or “excessive” or leaves one party without any other recourse, that contract will likely fail because it is a “contract in adhesion”.  However, to reach that threshold, the bargaining position of the weaker party must be so limited as to be “unconscionable”.  Mere inconvenience or uncomfortable or unpleasant  choices by themselves do not create a contract in adhesion.  So for me, when a person makes an allegation, or an assertion of fact from a position that is untenable, or highly subjective, or shows lack of understanding of the issue or the law, then it tends to call into question that one’s objectivity with regard to other aspects of the testimony.  This is not a personal judgment as to anyone’s character or sincerity.  It is statement of detached and objective determination as to the credibility of a witness.  It is why there is a saying that the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.  It is why police officers may not investigate accidents in which they are involved or investigate crimes involving their family members.  You simply lose your objectivity.  

 Again…for emphasis, I do not know much about the people involved so I am not a position to make a judgment as to any personal character attributes.  Hence I cannot speak about persons, only about processes.  My words here reflect a dispassionate explanation of how truth (objective and subjective) would be applied in a courtroom.  It is my observation that in order to reach a rational conclusion on any issue, which is supported by objectively reasonable facts, one must divorce oneself from emotion as completely as possible.   Passion may follow reason, but reason will never follow passion.   Once we embark on a path of passion, we will not discover reason but if we embark on a path of reason, we may subsequently find the passion for our argument.   

What does the Bible say?  As the body of Christ, we are to extend grace to each other.  Jesus said “To whom much (grace) is given, much (grace) will be required.   I have been the recipient of great grace, ergo, I am required to extend great grace, regardless of how I feel.  There is a time and a place for “divorce” (excommunication, disfellowship, etc.) after observing the requisite protocols for such an action.  When we are no longer able to remain in fellowship with another brother in Christ because that one is unrepentant, then we are to withdraw and “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph 5:11).  But in my reading of scripture, I find no support for a Christian launching attack against another Christian (even an unrepentant one).  Rationally, if an unrepentant believer was affiliated with an organization whose purpose and mission was to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it would be imprudent (at least) and unsupported by Scripture to take any action that would mar the ministry of the institution.  Unless the institution itself was perverted and it was “anti-Christ” in its functions and mission, then the advice of Gamiliel (Acts 5:34-36) would be worth considering.  If God is in this thing, then let it run its course.  If we interfere, and find ourselves against God, what judgment will be ours? Let God judge our works and the works of those who claim to be His ministers.  (Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares also comes to mind). Do we find any example in Scripture of Jesus exhorting His followers to pursue legal “justice” when we perceive we were individually wronged? I can’t find it. Rather we are told to avoid the entanglement with man’s systems of justice if possible. 

In another vein, when we do not personally know, or cannot vouch from personal experience as to a man’s conduct under fire, then we might rely on the testimony of other men who we know, who themselves have worked with a certain man.  In Acts 6:3, people were asked to select men of “good report” to serve as Elders.   Did every voter know these men? I suspect that many had to rely upon the testimony of other men whom they did know to vouch for the integrity of the chosen ones.  In Hebrews 11: 2 we read about men of “good report”. These men were trusted because of the testimony of Godly men with whom they served.   When we do not have personal knowledge of a man or his conduct, or his character, but we know men who do, and we trust them, then we impart trust vicariously and we trust God to protect what is his.  I have worked at Bryan for a couple of years, so whatever happened before I got there is rumor, or anecdotal reports by people who are still there after the upheaval.   In two years, I have begun to know, and trust these men and women and when they affirm those in leadership, then I find that persuasive as “evidence”. (Remember the definition of evidence I offered at the beginning). Trust may be imputed vicariously by men and women of good morals and solid reputation.   There are many of those with whom I associate regularly, so the accusations of others, no longer close to the institutions inner workings, rings quite hollow in light of what I witness daily.  Again, this is how witnesses are vetted in trial proceedings.  

As one who has been called by God to serve in my present capacity, and as one who places considerable trust in those I work with, and as one who sees the tremendous potential for good that comes by drawing more students to Bryan College in the future,  I cannot find a compelling argument to support the accusations, innuendos, suppositions, and almost entirely subjective interpretations of historical records which lead only to division, anger, hostility, exhaustion, spiritual (and emotional) turmoil and a reduction in the institutional effectiveness of Bryan College. Even if something was terribly wrong in the past, it seems (to me from my present vantage point) that Bryan is recovering in spite of it. (God heals institutionally, as well as personally)  I see nothing positive in continuing to stir the mud, in some vain effort to rekindle “the way it was back in the day”.  We all should trust in the Lord, and desire to move forward in the Lord, and to present a united front against our real enemy, our adversary, the devil, who is roaming about, seeking whom he may devour.  Whether you intend to or not (many have said they do not wish to harm the college or its present faculty or staff) this is hurting me, and affecting my ability to do what God has called me to do.  I know that others (present employees) are likewise affected.  The damage being done is incalculable and cannot be justified merely on the basis of a subjective perception that some person(s) were treated “unfairly”.  Even if that were true, how does scripture say that we are to respond?  (Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you (MT 5:44, Lu 6:28 ) People have been wounded.  What is the most honorable path? DO we let the wounds heal and move forward, or do we allow ourselves to do as the Gentiles do in Ephesians 4: 17-18 , “…in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”  

In conclusion (although there is much more that could be said) the issue seem to me to be thus: (1) accusations and suspicions of institutional wrong-doing have already been vetted by legal counsel in accordance with the institutional bylaws and the laws of the State of Tennessee.  Ergo, nothing untoward being identified, the matters associated therewith should be laid to rest, regardless of your personal opinion to the contrary.  Acting in opposition at this juncture is not supported by scripture.  (2) Whether Dr. Livesay is personally a man lacking in integrity is matter of judgment. One may be judged subjectively or objectively.   Objective judgment is the most reliable.  One method of objective judgment is on the basis of witness testimony- by those who are in the closest relationship with him.  It stands to reason (or should) that if you know some of those people, and you trust them, and you are not privy to some “special” relationship that provides you with special insight, then again, logic and reason would dictate that you defer to those who are close to the man.   (3) If you feel strongly that someone was dealt an unfair blow (i.e. termination) and it is your loyalty to that person which animates your opposition to the institution, then consider carefully what is happening: your (subjective) feelings are obstructing your (objective) reason.  As commendable as may be loyalty to a man, even in a non-Christian world it is considered low-class (for want of a better description) to be disloyal to an employer.  While employees are not, and should not be, required to turn a blind eye to evil conduct from their employer, absent evidence of such conduct, employees should “ride for the brand”, defending the employer and the mission of the institution.   Only when the friction becomes so acute that the relationship cannot continue, and the employee resigns (or gets fired) does that duty of loyalty dissolve .  Like marriage, the “love” is not a feeling, it is a choice. You can badmouth from the outside, but not as long as you get a paycheck.

Therefore, no matter what else you find to like about a man or a woman, if they are disloyal while employed, that is a mark against them (and…grounds for termination).  These are principles woven through the narrative of the Gospels and the Epistles. 

Finally my brethren, let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; (Ro 12:9) 

John Sterling, MA, JD
Director of Campus Safety and Security
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Government,  
Bryan College

* * *

The reason the petition signers are asking Dr. Livesay to step down as president of Bryan College is solely because Dr. Livesay lacks the support and confidence of the alumni, faculty, donors, and community that is necessary to effectively lead the college.  

President Livesay’s recent response claiming the alumni petition asking him to resign is due to the creation/evolution debate is completely false and a distraction from the true reason for the petition which has close to 2,000 signers.   

Dr. Livesay has been president for going on 15 years now.  His predecessor Bill Brown served for nine years as president.  The average length of time a university president serves is eight and half years according to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and seven years according the American Council on Education.  I think it would be healthy for any organization to bring in new leadership and vision at this juncture. 

Dr. Livesay has served and worked hard on behalf of Bryan College and for that he should be commended.  Now the best thing he can do for the school is to step aside. 

Nathan Humphrey
Bryan College Class of 2003

* * *

In response to those who have recently written in to defend Dr. Steven Livesay and the Board of Trustees of Bryan College, 

There are several kinds of responses and they need to be addressed carefully. Many arise from a clash of personal relationship and experience versus the claims of strangers. Others are focused on the debate over origins and the 2014 “clarification” of the school’s statement of belief. And recently current Bryan professor John Sterling wrote a lengthy defense predicated on a combination of legal and Christian principles. I will respond to each in turn: 

1. The employment culture that has marked the last six years of Dr. Livesay's tenure (a faculty vote of no confidence, dramatic numbers of faculty and staff departures, failure of oversight by the Board of Trustees, a half dozen trustee resignations etc...) These things should cut through the "oh you are being unchristian and mean" line of reasoning. The idea here is straight forward. You do not have to believe that Dr. Livesay is a bad person to believe that he and the Board of Trustees are no longer serving the best interests of the institution (which, it must be emphasized, is bigger than one man).

For those who are defending the status quo I must ask: What level of organizational dysfunction is necessary for us to consider a change in leadership? It can simultaneously be true that the institution is doing well in certain metrics (test scores and online courses) and yet not be a healthy organization. Criticism of leadership for the benefit of the institution is not, ipso facto, unchristian and mean. [However, It is incumbent on we, the critics to make sure that our demeanor reflects an appropriate style of criticism. That has not always been the case, but it is generally been true.]

So, for a friend of Livesay or an employee who is happy with her boss, we must ask "how bad would it have to get for you to agree that it is time to look for different leadership?" One has to acknowledge that it is possible to reach a level of dysfunction where that is reasonable and indeed imperative to discuss whether leadership changes must be made.  

2. The origins debate is such a red herring. The vast majority of faculty who voted no confidence were fully in line with the content of the “clarification.” I know so many signatories of the petition who are too. That’s not the issue. The "clarification" is only an issue as it relates to process and propriety. Does the charter of the school permit the Board of Trustees to "clarify" a statement of belief that is supposed to be unchangeable? Is it wise to make that clarification? What an incredibly dangerous precedent to set.

Brad Harris wrote that he is proud of Dr. Livesay for "standing on the Word of God and not bending to worldly pressure to 'get with the times'." I must ask him: If you allow a Board of Trustees to "clarify" in one direction, where is the protection against a "clarification" in another? Who is to say that a future board might "clarify" the statement to allow for universal salvation and deny the existence of an eternal hell. With some clever reinterpretation, I'm sure it could be done. That sort of monkeying with the text of an unchangeable statement is dangerous. That's the objection. It is irrelevant whether you like the direction it was clarified. Process matters.

Also, the treatment of the faculty in this process of clarification, without time for comment or time to find alternative employment for those uncomfortable with signing the new statement was dishonest and unkind, but I will leave that to those who were immediately affected.  

3. My response to John Sterling is long, because his letter was long. I have several objections which I will seek to summarize here.  

First, he's doing something that happens too frequently in this debate, selectively deploying "Christian duty" to the aid of his side in numerous instances: 

1. He claims we have a responsibility as Christians to give Dr. Livesay and the Board of Trustees what would appear to be infinite leash (barring substantiated criminal acts) because Christianity is about grace. And we can have comfort in this because we know that " If there is evil in our midst, it will surface again, and God will deal with it in His way, and in His time." (I must say this is cold comfort for those who want the "evil" to not surface again).  

2. He calls upon critics to exercise restraint because "Rationally, if an unrepentant believer was affiliated with an organization whose purpose and mission was to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it would be imprudent (at least) and unsupported by Scripture to take any action that would mar the ministry of the institution." (This assumes that “taking action” against Dr. Livesay and the Board of Trustees is marring the ministry. I think most of those involved in this action believe that the long-term health of the school will be improved by a leadership change. But by stating things this way he has essentially created a system whereby the leadership of a Christian organization is immune to criticism as long as they don't break the law. Surely this cannot be.

The Bible offers several examples of prominent leaders being held accountable by those under their religious and political authority. Samuel and Saul, Nathan and David, Apostles and the Sanhedrin. Those are extreme examples, but they believe the notion that leaders are immune to the rebuke “from below.” Here again I must ask: Is there a level of institutional dysfunction that warrants action? If so, what is that level? He appears to be arguing that there is no level of legal dysfunction that would warrant action, but surely, he'd balk at making that claim outright.)  

3. He continues to conflate the organization of the church with the organization of the school which is faulty. Dr. Livesay is not a pastor, the Board of Trustees are not the session of elders, and the employees are not under the leadership of those figures as they would be under a session of elders. Furthermore, the call for leadership change at the school is not the same thing as breaking fellowship with another believer. One can continue to fellowship with a person who is no longer good at their job. 

So, how is all of this “selective application of Christian responsibility”? When he turns to how the school treats its employees suddenly it is all about business and contracts. Criticism from within the organization is a violation of contract and therefore the critic should be terminated. Sorry, that's the nature of contracts. But grace and patience are the hallmarks in how we handle dysfunctional and ineffective school presidents?  

Second, regarding Mr. Sterling’s summation: 
1. If something is legal but not ethical, lawyers can sign off on it. (heck lawyers sign off on illegal things to, willfully or mistakenly, but let’s assume that the law firm in question did its due diligence and correctly affirmed that this is legal). It does not follow that when a lawyer says "you may legally to do X" that all criticism of the action must cease. That's nonsense. (I will note (and I say this as a relative of many lawyers) that it is unsurprising that a lawyer made that argument. My response: you wish.)  

2. One must wonder how the testimony of so many witnesses on the side of calling for leadership change is discounted. He seems to be arguing that the best witnesses are the ones who are very close with Dr. Livesay (I assume friends and long-time co-workers) but that would seem to violate the spirit of objectivity he called for earlier. In many ways, his statement here could be read as a support for the multitude who signed the petition based on personal experience or relationships of trust with those who had personal experience. I think one of the reasons that Dr. Lestmann's firing garnered such attention and shock was because of how highly he has been regarded by 40 years of students and coworkers. For the students who graduated before 2012 and who knew so many of the faculty who voted no confidence or who resigned or were fired or were forced out, we trust their judgment. It would appear the preponderance of witness testimony is not on the side of Dr. Livesay and the Board of Trustees. 

3. Employees of Bryan College have a responsibility to the organization that supersedes their responsibility to the president. When the normal avenues of voicing their concerns were eroded and eliminated (ignoring the no-confidence vote, changes to rules regarding faculty meetings, barring all faculty from talking with Board of Trustees members, and the purging of "trouble makers" in their midst) the employee is, I would argue, justified in exercising alternative means of dissent. If Mr. Sterling is to be believed, that Christians are called to a higher standard of behavior than non-believers, one must wonder at the decision to summarily terminate employees for dissent rather than seeking to address grievances in a more "Christian" manner. Furthermore, (and I say this somewhat tongue in cheek) by the logic of Mr. Sterling's argument one must assume that he is not, as he maintains, capable of objectivity. For, as an employee of the school who believes himself to be bound to silence—by both worldly and Christian standards—he might actually believe that the school was being led in a dangerous direction and yet would be honor-bound to hold his tongue.  

Evan Johnson
Bryan College Class of 2011

* * *

I read in a Townhall article that "Bryan College is rapidly becoming Christian in name only." Mike Adams is so misinformed. 

 

I've worked for Bryan College since 2001.  What I love most about Bryan are:  prayers at the beginning of classes; worship chapels three times per week; a day each semester when classes are canceled to spend the entire day in prayer; a day each year that faculty, staff and students do service projects for the elderly, non-profits, small businesses, churches, and such; Luke 14 Project where busloads of children with handicaps are brought to campus for a day of fun while we minister to them and their parents; students and faculty that choose to spend their spring break on Break for Change mission trips; faculty and staff devotions and prayer time each Thursday in the president's boardroom; my department's weekly devotion and prayer time; hearing Christian testimonies of students.

 

The strategic planning committee met for several days establishing short- and long-term goals.  Many times throughout those days, we paused to pray because we wanted to be sure we were truly seeking God's plan and not our own. 

 

Bryan's motto, engraved in stone and in hearts, is Christ Above All.

 

Janice Pendergrass

Dayton, Tn.






Will God Still Bless America?

Our homeland is in peril Dire straits no doubt Contempt for each other Voiced in scornful shout  We must desire to reconcile Our differences posthaste Beg the Lord for one last chance To earn his saving grace  We need to bind our wounds and heal Before the end is neigh How many tears must we spill Before our soul runs dry?  Heavenly Father, ... (click for more)

It's Been A Good Run

Six years ago, I made the decision to run for the Georgia State House and enter the world of state politics. It has been a challenging and daunting experience for which I am very thankful. It led me to national and international involvement for the state, meeting many interesting people of differing ideologies. Sharing ideas with both parties and listening to their views enabled ... (click for more)

Funeral Service For John P. Franklin Will Be Friday; Public Memorial Service Is Thursday Night

Funeral services will be Friday for John P. Franklin, Chattanooga's first elected black official in the post Jim Crow era. Mr. Franklin died Thursday at the age of 96. He will lie in state in the chapel of John P. Franklin Funeral Home from noon until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday,. Public viewing will resume at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Olivet Baptist Church, and a ... (click for more)

Woman, 20, Killed While Trying To Cross Highway 153 Early Sunday Morning

A woman, 20, was killed early Sunday morning while trying to cross Highway 153. The victim was identified as Ansleigh Kaylyn Harrison. At approximately 1:28 a.m. , Chattanooga Police officers responded to a pedestrian struck at 5256 Highway 153. A Toyota Sequoia driven by 31-year-old Asher Powers was traveling north on Highway 153 in the inside lane. The pedestrian ... (click for more)

Chris Douglas Wins Waterfront Triathlon Sunday

More than a thousand trim and fit men and women gathered at Ross’s Landing Sunday morning for the annual Waterfront Triathlon with McKenzie’s Kirsten Sass the only one of four defending champs to successfully defend her title. There were two races held on Sunday, including a sprint event that included a 400-meter swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run.   The longer intermediate ... (click for more)

UT Athletics Department To Host Tribute To John Ward On Wednesday

  The University of Tennessee Athletics Department and The Vol Network are hosting a Tribute to "The Voice" event honoring John Ward on Wednesday, June 27, starting at 6 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena. The legendary broadcasting and marketing icon passed away this week following a lengthy illness. He was 88. Wednesday's event will take on a celebratory ... (click for more)