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Changing God’s Purposes Result in Division: The Dilemma of Christian Colleges


 What Does the Bible Say About Division?erskine

Mark 3: 24-26 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.

Erskine President Paul Kooistra recently wrote a letter implementing major cuts from the College and its Theological Seminary. Beginning July 2015, reductions in salaries, early retirements and sabbaticals to completely eliminating the Modern Language department are grim reminders of the fight from Montreat College in the last few years. My husband graduated from Montreat with an MBA.

Erskine in on the same track as Montreat College has been unless agreements can be made according to God’s will.

Recent graduates from Erskine informed me of the campus negativity and atmospheric sadness. In fact, some have told me before they graduated they couldn’t wait to leave.
In all honesty their view of the future of Erskine appeared dim.

Again I will reiterate the “repeat performance” I am witnessing here from Montreat College.

Many of my own classmates have disagreed with my position and that is fine; I am not the least bit offended. However, going into a sanctuary of God’s ordination and attempting to change his laws will only result in division, fighting and possible closure.

If you are a graduate of Erskine and do not understand the fight it is presently enduring, then you need to understand the enemy is on the prowl and Erskine is on his chopping block unless the people of God agree to stop the divisions. 

Fellow alumni, I plead with you to pray earnestly about this dilemma. Erskine runs deep in my veins from decades of family members all the way back to my Grandfather Craig who either attended, graduated or aided in building the campus. Our roots are in the soil of the land it has occupied for generations. Many of you come from families dedicated to the Erskine traditions and institutional customs that gave careers that might not have happened otherwise.

Do we continue to fight over money, personal agendas and power?

Do we feud over who gets what while employees are laid off, salaries are cut and students are left holding a bag of bad memories?

My husband is one of those employees who was cut after 13 years of dedicated hard work at Montreat College due to the same fight occurring right now at Erskine. Like many others in his position, we lost everything including our daughter’s ability to get a reduced college education because of his job. Searching for months for him to get another job we ended up moving to another state leaving family and friends we had had for years and changing our lives completely.montreat

This was a result of the feud brought on by people who wanted to change what wasn’t supposed to be changed.  I am talking about real people with real jobs and real lives.

This is the future of Erskine employees; some of which have dedicated much of their lives to serving God on the ground of His College. Then there will be those who wonder if they are next? Will they be on the “chopping block” of a career they deemed anointed by God? And the students? New Students; will they apply? Will they have the desire for a less than questionable college experience?

A very wise friend of mine who had been a Professor at Montreat college for decades told me over 20 years ago he had been telling the leadership there that if they didn’t start adhering to God’s word, the college would see an early demise. A Professor of Computer Technology and Economics, his wisdom was ignored. Unfortunately, his prophetic warnings began after he left voluntarily.

I speak from the heart here as one who was directly affected by the tearing down of a Godly institution ignited by selfish greed and personal demands. It is no fun my friends and a test of faith to go through what we endured. I thank God by his grace we are in the position we are in right now. He preserved us and blessed us because of the injustice imposed upon my husband.

Fellow Erskine friends.  This fight is just beginning.  It breaks my heart knowing others are now experiencing what we did.

But it isn’t the loss of job or health insurance or a college education that is most important here. God is the great provider. Philippians 4:19.

What is at stake is far more important.

The foundation Erskine was built upon is the Cross of Christ. That foundation has been rocked by those who desire to move away from the saving Grace of God. And God can’t come to the rescue unless his followers pray and ask him to intervene. That being said, he will expect the church and college to repent and return to His word and fellowship.

Prayer works. And Erskine needs it desperately.

Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.


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This Day in History


The fall of 1975 I was in my Junior year in college. Due to the location of the campus universal events never reached our dorm rooms.

No cell phones. No computers.  Each dorm had one TV in the lobby so we never watched it. Any communication in general was by radio and we didn’t listen to the news.

Those 4 years I was completely sheltered from the outside world.

Except for going home for holidays and summers I lost track of the Viet Nam war and the Nixon Presidency. It wasn’t until after I graduated I found out Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned for tax evasion and George Foreman knocked Joe Frazier out.

That season for me was living in a 4 year time frame in a town with one stoplight, one gas station, a small pharmacy and no “eateries” of any kind.  We were forced to eat “mystery meat” every day.

To some extent being ignorant to worldly catastrophes and political zingers never left me feeling as if I was missing anything.

However in 1976 a song hit the air waves about a ship that sunk in Lake Superior the year before. At the time, I didn’t know it was true but soon found out the Edmund Fitzgerald was real and had disappeared on
November 10, 1975 in the deeps of that cold, dark lake.lost

The song by Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” became a top 10 hit.

Researching the history of this massive ship I found some very interesting details. Giving credit here is a website dedicated to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the 29 crewmen who died along with it.

http://www.ssefo.com/

 

⇒Edmund Fitzgerald was President of Liberty Mutual Life Insurance Company. The ship was named after him.

⇒This iron ore 75 feet wide, 759 feet long and 38 feet tall cargo ship was launched in 1958.  It was the largest ship on the lakes during its 17 years of life weighing over 13,000 tons, 

⇒The ship lost contact with the “Arthur M. Anderson” a fellow ship in the waters, around 7:20 pm the night of November 10, 1975. The last words from Captain McSorley of the Edmund Fitzgerald to Captain Jesse Cooper were:

⇒“We are holding our own.”

⇒A storm raged around the ship at 52 knots or 59 mph (winds) and waves over 10 feet high.

⇒Many theories as to what caused the ship to sink remain theories. Many expeditions since that dreadful night have occurred with no conclusive explanation as to the reason it sank. The bad weather could or most likely had a part to play in the outcome.

⇒Some family members were called about the loss of their loved ones on the ship. Sadly, the others found out by watching it on TV.

⇒Gordon Lightfoot wrote the song as a tribute to the 29 crewmen who died on the Edmund Fitzgerald. He has been careful to protect the song for the families left behind as a gesture of support for their loss and honors them by singing it at every one of his concerts.

This true story is a replica of many. Lives lived doing what they were called to do only to die pre-mature deaths.

Life is short on this planet which is why we need to tell people about Jesus Christ every day.

As we remember our Veterans tomorrow let us be reminded of those who have fought for our sacred beginnings of this great nation. Let us agree in prayer for America to seek God’s face and fall at the cross of Christ in repentance.

Let us thank God for his great mercy and grace as he continues to extend it to us because we sure don’t deserve it.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


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The Unsuspecting Assault


When did God leave our educational system? Why did he leave? Is he coming back? These are questions that many Americans are finally asking. This is based on information I have been reading on forums and social networks like Facebook concerning the major assault of adverse theology in our Christian Colleges. Living in an area for 17 years and connected deeply with a very small Christian college I was unaware that quietly and slowly it was being stripped of its heritage, values, morals and most of all the Christian foundation it was created upon so many decades ago.

The atmosphere changed over the time period I lived there. The college was in the middle of a battle it was not prepared to fight. This endeavor emerged from those who had the desire to change the foundation of God’s church to meet the current ambitions of an American society that is caught up in a travesty of selfishness, greed and political correctness.

The fallout of the mess hit my family directly. My husband along with many who worked there were in various ways shown the door.  Basically, many good Christian families’ lives were torn apart by an invisible enemy that slyly crept through each facet of the campus like a snake. We and those others in the same boat had to pick up the pieces, and start over somewhere else leaving family, friends and many years of hard work behind. It was devastating.

At the time, I was not aware of the devious plan of the enemy. He would take one school and pick it apart and then move onto another.

Now, the fight has catapulted to a war in the backyard of my own Alma Mater. It was heartbreaking enough to be among one of the many who watched the decline of one of God’s great institutions. I cannot wrap my brain around the surge of in-fighting, bickering and name calling that has become the speech on facebook and other websites about the college I graduated from along with many of my family members dating back to my grandfather.

It makes me sad. We have allowed our greed, personal causes and selfish desires to run God out of our public schools, neighborhoods, government and now our Christian Colleges. It is one thing to be called a liar, yelled at through cyber space or questioned by many who decided they knew more than I did and I lived in it! I witnessed this demolition in one college; I don’t want it happening again especially where I received my degree.

In my effort to reach those that I hold dear through forums it became technological warfare. I was trying to warn them. This occurred in about a 24 -36 hour turn around that I was extended hate, verbal abuse and even informed by a certain past alumni who claimed to be “gay” he would not give another dime of his money to that institution until their liberal agenda was accepted. His sly attack on me started with a message that questioned the validity of what I had written. I have never met this man or heard of him, but he let me know in no uncertain terms that he disagreed with me almost as a threat.

As far as his withholding his contributions I am sure that God can get money anytime from anywhere and that his would not be missed.

Writing my entries on the forum I told them “the names may have changed, but the game is still the same.”It has just found a new home to do business. Apparently very few agreed with me and the ones who did not as I wrote lashed out at me with a vengeance. I had to make sure I was not on a secular website that hated Christians. No! I was on a forum of my own alumni from a Christian college! I became acutely aware that they didn’t believe me or that I had already been a pawn in this clever scheme of the devil.  We had “already been there and done that.”

This so bothered me that I lost sleep over it. I never dreamed that anything like this would happen to the cherished college of my family and so many friends that I thought were friends. The divisions are so thick you “can cut them with a knife.”

Within a 48 hour period of making the effort to warn this family of friends, the Lord showed me these words of his,

Titus 3: 9-11 “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

The storm that is now on the other side of the horizon had worn me out physically and mentally but I knew what God wanted me to do. It is like watching your adult child make mistakes that you know will eventually catch up to them.  They refuse to listen because they believe they know everything and don’t need advice. God was telling me to leave this group to their fate. I had warned them.

Leaving the love I have for this great institution to follow Jesus I wrote my last entry. I warned them once more of the fate of our Alma mater if they didn’t stop the fighting. If a non-Christian had stumbled onto this particular forum they would have decided they never wanted to be a Christian if this is the way we act. No wonder our country is in the mess it is in. The Christians are setting an example that we are no different than anyone else. You cannot give what you don’t have, and if Christians do not exhibit the love of Jesus in their hearts even with each other, we have all lost. There was no love in the comments written that I could see; it felt like an all out attack on the Cross of Jesus.

In the end of my entry I wrote that the words spewing out on the pages of this forum were not making God happy. That was when God revealed to me the scripture from 1Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace.” There was nothing peaceful about what I was reading or the actions being taken among those involved with the actual decisions of the future of this Christian college.

This unsuspecting assault would never have happened if Christians would follow the truth of God’s word; not twisting his word to meet our own agendas. Following God’s word as he wants us to understand it would show us how to live our lives so that we will know how to keep his institutions in line with what he desires.

So let me ask you again. When did God leave our educational system?  He left when God’s church stopped standing up for the truth. Why did he leave? He moved out of the way because he is a gentleman and will not force us to love him or to do his will.

Is he coming back? I hope so. But we need to ask him and really intend on doing things his way.

Article published on believersbay.com and theaquilareport.com