Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Baptists Fire Football Coach!

ImageBaylor University, (a university associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas), is the largest Baptist University in the world. The university football team competes in the Big 12 conference, and finished last season with the 13th ranked team in the nation.

On Thursday, a scandal broke, when reporters uncovered institutional efforts to squelch the investigation of sexual assault claims made against players on the football team. Art Briles, the head coach of the football team, was allegedly aware of the cover-up, and was summarily dismissed from his position.

Ironically, Ken Starr was also removed from his position as President of the university because of the scandal. In the late 1990’s, Starr was the chief investigator into Bill Clinton’s sex scandal with White House intern Monica Lewinski, leading to Clinton’s impeachment. On Thursday, he was demoted to the position of chancellor. (Starr has tenure at the university).

The scandal reveals a truth that should be obvious to all—there is nothing religious or spiritual about a university such as Baylor. As big a business as college sport is, it is possible that any big “church” school, regardless of denominational affiliation, might be found guilty of the same types of rule and law breaking.
In fact, another such university , Southern Methodist University, was hit with extremely strong sanctions by the NCAA back in 1986. For years boosters, with the sanction of the football program, had kept a “slush fund” used to recruit and pay players. There were also reports of prostitutes being hired in the recruitment of football players to the university. The sanctions led to the 1987 season being cancelled for the program, (the so-called “death penalty”).

Baylor itself had an earlier scandal with its basketball program in 2003. In addition to numerous NCAA violations, one of the players was murdered by a teammate. Evidence indicates that coaches instructed players to lie about the murdered player in an attempt to direct suspicions away from any individual on the team.

These are sordid affairs, as distasteful as any scandal found in a public university. So, what does it teach us?

Simply, there is nothing spiritual about a college, a hospital, a nursing home, or any other type of human institution that purports to be affiliated with these denominations. Any human institution’s affiliation with any church creates an inappropriate bond, and invalidates any claim that said church is doing God’s work.

The Lord established His church for a specific purpose. Jesus Christ promised he would build His church in Matthew 16:18, and Paul wrote that the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Jesus designed his church to be sufficient to do every work He desired for it to do, and football (as just one egregious example) was not one of those works. In scripture, there are no para-church organizations affiliated with the Lord’s church. In modern times men make such associations without divine authority.

These scandals are used by unbelievers to invalidate the moral claims made by the religious. “How can you claim the moral high ground when your institutions are as corrupt and evil as any others?” Such criticisms are legitimate.

The Lord’s church (the true church) has no such affiliations. True Christianity is far different creature than the monstrous abomination of denominationalism prevalent in our land and time. These examples just prove the point!