For the second time in BJU’s 84 years, listen in on a Bob Jones University faculty meeting. This one announces the “five-year strategic plan” that TRACS requires its institutions to widely communicate to its entire organization. It’s long, so settle in.
In some ways this meeting is like every other faculty meeting, the anticipation builds. You think you’re actually going to get some actual information, and then you are sorely disappointed and unsatisfied.
But this was different. It was so painfully clear. Obviously Stephen is having trouble with the medication at first. We all feel it. His listeners in the FMA feel it, and we out here feel it too. We’re wholly empathetic.
Then adrenaline takes over and he sounds like himself again. Whew.
And then. It happens. He sounds just like his dad. Yes, Stephen, I know you and your staff are reading this. I know that we who are your peers and those younger than we have trouble understanding this. But the patronizing, condescending, self-righteousness is just like Bob III. And Jr. And Sr. I have the benefit of history to have seen that dynamic with every member of your family. But for the rest of us, I must say: this is not a kinder and gentler BJU. It’s the same one we all know so well.
And then Stephen catches himself. The Holy Spirit convicts, maybe. I don’t know. But he is in the middle of talking about how people will be compensated by accomplishments and effort for the “ministry,” and he realizes that he hasn’t really worked for a year and he’s about to not work for another 2.5 months. . . . and he realizes that he is a child of privilege. And . . . his energy plummets.
It all happens right “before” your ears. You can see the whole problem. We can all feel it.
Stephen, my dear friend, I beg of you. You know this as well as anyone: identifying the problem is the beginning of healing. The Problem here is not the economy, not the shrinking remnant, not the “sister institutions” with which you share “the same kingdom.” It’s not social media. It’s not people with assertions and opinions. It’s not the World raging against you.
God bless. I know you don’t see me that way. I know you see me as the threat. I’m not. I’m really not. I see you as more YOU than I think you do. God bless.