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May 07, 2013

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Mary

So Peter remember yesterday we were talking about confidentiality agreements? In an ideal world or should we say in the world among Christians when you have people like Joshie making up their own rules this is why you have to have confidentiality agreements. You get a group of people who declare I know what should remain confidential and what should not you end up with people making all kinds of justifications for pushing the boundaries and just making up their own standards.

Also what poor young Joshie doesn't get is that he just gave the gift of ammunition to Aguillard's supporters.

"If he's innocent why wouldn't he cooperate with the investigation? Why did he withhold evidence?"

"Because the people who are after him have proven you cannot trust these guys as far as you can throw em. They leak confidential documents against the instructions of attorneys, they secretly record conversations, they go back on their word about not mentioning people in the blogosphere...."

It's one big mess and who knows what is really going on.

volfan007

Peter,

I'm shaking my head, and saying, "Um um um." This is so incredible....I wouldnt believe it, except that you wrote it. Wow.

Also, double wow about the fella recording you! I missed that post back when it happened...I just read it....wow, wow, wow....amazing, incredible stuff...

David

Lydia

"Breland might suggest, "Of course I believe in God's sovereignty! But just in case I'm lied about, I want a backup plan." ''

It has long been obvious to me they do not practice what they tell others is the truth about God. I mean, I don't blame them for not practicing it, it is impossible to apply Calvinism. It needs to stay on paper and only be words. That is why it turns out to NOT be the "true" Gospel and the only place to go if you want to see the nations rejoice for Christ.

If someone lies about him, according to his own doctrine, God planned it and that is the way it is supposed to be. Man up. If God decides that people should believe Joshua, then God will force them to. After all, He is controlling every molecule.

So, practice what you declare others should believe, Joshua. Trust God. He is in total control, remember?

As to the rest of the blog post---why do folks think Calvinism has become such an issue? Breland cannot see the cognitive dissonance in what he says and does as do most of his YRR contemporaries. It is like this all over YRR land. Which is why there is such a big push back. And it will not be easy to gain people's trust who have seen it in action. And more and more churches have seen it in action.

Mary

Oh my! I just read his post on this and the poor child has no clue.

First he justifies his completely unethical behavior of secretly recording a conversation by declaring "it was for my protection but I had no plans to release it!" Which tells us he went into this conversation looking for a fight.

Then after his unethical behavior he spends a whole lot of words telling us how he was following the rules in reporting the confrontation. So we see he's comfortable making up his own rules about secret recordings and then he wants us to see how he's a real rule following kinda guy!

Finally we see things go horribly wrong for our brave young hero when he failed to oust Aguillard. And what does he do? HE BREAKS HIS OWN RULE! Laugh. Out. Loud.

He makes up rules for unethical behavior, then paints himself as an upstanding citizen who follows the rules and then just decides it's ok to break his own rule justifying unethical behavior!

And the killer - he's gonna advise people on who is qualified to serve!

Oy! Kids these days!

SBC Historian

Peter,

As to your statement, "Just to be gut-level honest, I may have to give President Aguillard more credit than I have offered heretofore," please afford me to offer a plausible suggestion. Could it be that Joshua recorded the conversation only after his repeated rebuffs by Aguillard, including being accused of disrespecting the college by the head security officer? If my memory serves me correctly (which is not always a good assumption for me), Breland had been brought up on (trumped up) charges of misconduct well before he interacted with Argile Smith. This 'plausible suggestion' does not mean I agree with Breland's decision to record or release the tape, but only to provide some historical context for why he may have recorded it, and, in doing so, give you reason to reconsider your idea to give Aguillard more credit than he deserves. His moral ineptitude goes well beyond his dealings with one (or a few) student(s).

Boris

Here's another good question:

What college would want a man as their Dean of Chapel and future Dean of the Divinity School, who lies to students and threatens them?

peter lumpkins

SBC Historian,

Thanks. The "more credit" than I have "offered heretofore" to Agulliard was intended to be the understandably reluctant posture he may have had in meeting with Breland had he known of Breland's disregard for respectable one-on-one encounters in private conversation. Imagine the wails of protest coming from Breland and his camp (and rightly so) had Dr. Agulliard met with Breland and it was leaked that Dr. Agulliard recorded not only their private conversation, but he had a built-in secret recording system which has recorded every private conversation he has ever had with every individual with which he's ever met.

More significant is Breland's actual questionable practice of recording private conversations. We cannot allow ourselves to lose sight of this.

SBC Historian

Peter,

As I mentioned, I do not favor or approve of recordings. But if I was treated the way (I have understood) he was treated by Aguillard, I can't say what measures I go to ensure my statements were not incorrectly used against me. My point, though, was to point out that, based on a timeline of events, the recording took place only after Breland had been harrassed and brought up on charges which, had they been finalized, would have led to his dismissal. If that is the case, I see no reason why Aguillard would have suspected Breland to act as he did before it actually happened, and, therefore, no reason to give him any more credit.

And while it is perfectly fine not to lose sight of Breland's activities, even more so let us not lose sight of the immorality of Aguillard. The man covered up sex scandals, forged documents, misled trustees, ostracized a major donor, misappropriated funds, brought the college under SACS probation (for various reasons), and single-handedly lost $55 million in future gifts from a single source (not to mention how much in potential money he lost since he had asked the donor to solicit additional gifts from his friends).

peter lumpkins

Hi Boris,

First, do not bring back up the implication that Dr. Smith lied unless you've got more than hearsay. It's true we presumed the president has misled people at least in some documented instances. But we do not base that on hearsay; we based that on an official investigation report.

Second, I listened to the entire recorded conversation. At no point did Smith actually and clearly threaten Breland. It's true he said "I'm coming after you" (perhaps as many as three times). But what's not clear is, he meant it as any kind of tangible threat. In fact, as I recall, the third time Smith said it, he explained it as a necessary "discussion" he'd have with Breland. Why the former two times must be taken as a tangible threat exceeds reasonable interpretation so far as I am concerned. Dr. Smith while obviously upset never lost control. Neither did Breland for that matter.

But Breland knew he was being recorded. Hence, he knew he needed to be very cool, calm, and collected. Moreover, to approach Dr. Smith as if he just wanted info about Moore was blatantly disingenious. No he wanted something else--he wanted to record Smith's words. This is morally unbalanced at best...

Nate

Look, it is inappropriate for Breland to secretly record conversations. However, to say that a Calvinist, because he believes in the Sovereignty of God, should never have a "backup" plan is ludicrous. So, because I believe in the Soveriegnty of God, should I never enter into a contractual agreement because it may be broken by the other party? Should I just trust the "Sovereignty of God" and not be prudent? Should I simply shake another's hand without any contractual agreement about the selling of a piece of property, simply because I believe in the Sovereingty of God, because the buyer might back out? Of course I should have a contract!

It is fine to say that Breland should not have secretly recorded the conversation. It is fine to say that kind of action is sinful, but to misdirect his inappropriate behavior onto Calvinists in general is apalling and simply a red herring.

Max

There is a thread of New Calvinism which approaches antinomianism ... lawlessness. Such folks view themselves beyond ethical/moral bounds which should constrain pastors-in-training from activities of this sort. When one is "right," anything is OK in their minds. I truly believe there is a spiritual battle going on in Southern Baptist ranks for the minds of the next generation. We so easily write it off as theological differences, opinions of men, they are young, they will get over it, etc. ... but this thing is spiritual folks ... a war for the minds of our youth, particularly those headed to the pulpit. Pray!

peter lumpkins

SBC Historian,

I don't think you see my actual point about Aguillard's "more credit": the "more credit" to him amounts to little more than rhetorical polish! It would amount to being both perceptive and shrewd. It does nothing to alleviate the irresponsible decisions documented against him.

Please note, however: you bring up several things in your indictments against Aguillard which have not at all been substantiated by any objective investigation. Namely, covered up sex scandals, forged documents, misappropriated funds, brought the college under SACS probation and single-handedly lost $55 million in future gifts from a single source. None of this has any corroboration, SBC Historian. Hence, please do not reference them again. We know none of this to be true. Especially the first one--"covered up sex scandals"--I find very offensive and unfortunate.

Mary

Historian many words have been spilled and will spilled about Aguillard. The topic here is Joshie.

Aguillard being bad a guy does not excuse Joshie's unethical behavior. If he was worried about his words or threats then the ethical thing to do was tell the other person he was recording the conversation to keep everything clear and insure no misunderstandings.

Joshie's behavior does not help the creditability of Aguillard's critics. Trying to dismiss and/or excuse unethical behavior only adds to questions of creditability to Aguillard's critics.

peter lumpkins

Hi Nate,

Well, no it's not a "red herring" so to speak. It's a question meticulous sovereignty solicits when pulled from theory into everyday life.

Lydia

It is real simple Historian, you take as neutral of a third party as you can find, with you. If that is not possible then don't meet. One thing you never do as one supposed believer to anotheris record a conversation without the other party knowing it.

There are quite a few professional "Christians" I would never have a private conversation with.

It does not look like Joshua took CB's advice. There are some things you just need to walk away from.. As several I know had to do with SBTS. Someday I hope they will tell their stories.

Mary

Max, it is indeed a spiritual battle. We've spent so much time puffing up this generation to assure positive self esteem but have failed to instill just basic commen sense. So you have these young prople running around who feel so good about themselves that they believe they don't have to follow any rules and can just make up their own standards for conduct but they have absolutely no commen sense to draw upon to make up the rules. Add to it that they consider themselves to be more spiritual, more smart, more everything than their elders so they throw out the Bible verses about listening to elders and you get a big ol' mess!

SBC Historian

Peter,

If you would allow me to answer your last comment without feeling your wrath from "bringing them up again." Some of my statements do have corroboration. Numbers 3 and 5 (from your listing in your comment at 12.39pm) were substantiated by the independent report produced by the New Orleans law firm. As for numbers 1, 2, and 4, you are correct that they have not been made public nor has there (yet) to be corroborating evidence shown. However, that does not make them untruths. But, as per your request, I will mention them no more. Thank you for allowing me to interact.

SBC Historian

Max,

As for your comment dated 12.36pm, sans the language of antinomianism, the same could be said for the LC Board of Trustees.

SBC Historian

Mary,

To follow your logic at 12.41, so-called Traditionalists should all be held accountable for the outlandish language employed by Norm Miller when he called Ed Stetzer's behavior treason(ous). But that wouldn't be right. Only Norm said it, and unless you specifically agreed with him, I would not assign that to you also. In the same way, Breland's action does not de jure call into question the accusations of, for instance, Chuck Quarles or Tim Johnson.

SBC Historian

Peter,

Maybe I did misunderstand your point about Aguillard. I find online interaction substantially deficient when communicating nuance. I appreciate and fully agree with your third sentence at 12.39.

peter lumpkins

SBC Historian,

As for feeling my "wrath" from "bringing them up again" I can only laugh.

You’re correct about the third in the list I mentioned. Actually, that was a blunder on my part by not deleting it from the copy/paste I did to your comment in my response. Misappropriation of funds surely is a part of the investigation findings. But point well taken just the same.

You are mistaken, however, that either the SACS probation or Agulliard's single-handedly losing $55 million in future gifts from a single source was substantiated from the investigation (I couldn't tell which one you were citing for I run both of them together). At least neither is mentioned in the conclusion as substantiated and the first is flat denied as being a part of their study. 

Mary

Historian (choosing to be anonymous it might have been better for you to choose a less pretentious moniker).

Unless you're throwing Joshie under the bus and declaring all the bad acts of Aguillard's critics are all Joshie alone then your logic falls apart. This is just another bad act among several - leaking classified documents, throwing out accusations anonymously ...

And it really doesn't matter what's logical or right but how this is perceived. And the perception is Aguillard's critics are using unethical behavior so how can they be trusted.

Add to that that Joshie isn't just anybody in this melodrama - He's the hero! And people's perceptions whether right or wrong will be that this may be a witch hunt.

See what's happened here is Aguillard's team is playing eleventy dimension chess and you guys can't figure out the rules of Candy Land.

SBC Historian

Peter,

Glad to provide you a bit of humor today. As for the list (as best I can count, and maybe we are counting the list you provided at 12.39 differently), #3 refers to misappropriation of funds and #5 refers to single-handedly losing $55 million. The issues with SACS was #4, which i agreed has not yet been substantiated. You already agree that #3 was substantiated by the report. I would proffer that #5 was as well, by means of the letter sent by the Cason Foundation stating they believed Aguillard misappropriated funds, misled trustees, and tried to trick the foundation into signing an undated letter. These actions, according to the Cason letter, were the cause of the revocation of the remainder of the gift, which (by all accounts) was listed as $55 million.

SBC Historian

Mary,

As always, I'll let you have the last word friend.

Scott Shaver

To Nate: Not a "red herring" if Calvinism and the perceived persecution of Calvinists were the flags Breland insisted right or wrong in waving. And wave them he did until the threads started unraveling.

To SBC Historian: You my friend are standing on shaky ground with your unsubstantiated suggestions of hidden sex scandals etc. Faith on View teased out this topic in a most disgusting fashion yesterday. I'm no fan of Joe Aguillard and company but I agree with Pete's request that you back off the rumor-mongering unless you have unmistakable proof.

The role of Quarles and his agenda in this whole debacle are topics I've not seen discussed. He rode out of town (Pineville) before the guns started blazing. Wonder why?

peter lumpkins

SBC Historian,

You perhaps may infer that. The investigatory team apparently did not. I also think it remains problematic to infer actually losing what was only potentially awarded. To suggest one plans to give X amount of dollars is not the same as X dollars actually being given. I wouldn't go far down the road with that but it (and perhaps other complications) may have been enough for the investigation team to not infer as did you...

Mary

Peter I'm not sure how much an admittedly one sided investigation can be declared as substantiating anything.

Agulliard's attorney played it brilliantly by holding back the secret file. Now supporters can dismiss the law firm's report because there was evidence they didn't see.

David tells me the law firm probably knew what Aguillard had available for defense and so felt comfortable making recommendations without having seen it but still the public perception of a secret folder helps Aguillard's supporters.

SBC Historian

Scott,

I have, from time to time, read Faith on View. I don't remember the last time I read it and, until your comment, was unaware of yesterday's post. My comment and Faith on View's post deal with two separate issues.

As for Quarles, I am unaware if he has ridden 'out of town'. I believe his contract does not expire until after graduation. To my knowledge, he's still there (though I could be wrong). But if you blew the whistle on your boss, and then no action was taken against your boss, it is certainly reasonable to believe you (or anyone) would look for a different work environment, right?

SBC Historian

Peter,

I do understand the difference between actual money given and potential money given, and I'm fine with you making that distinction. But what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and I didn't see anywhere where LC articulated that their recent $10 million gift was merely a potential donation. When Joe stood up with a $10 million check made out to LC, the perception (to quote Mary) is that $10 million had been given to the college when, in fact, some report that no money has actually been received into the LC coffers as of yet.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

The firm did confirm and repeat the confirmation in its report that a weakness existed in their conclusions--the weakness existing because of no cooperation from Agulliard himself. Thus, they cautiously draw their conclusions.

This being the case, while one may technically throw down that trump card of a "one-sided" conclusion, I personally do not think it gets them anywhere with the court of public opinion. People will smell a rat when the secrecy card (as in "secret file") is overplayed. Aguillard may very well technically win the legal case but lose the public case as surely as OJS won his murder trial but everybody still thought he was guilty as sin.

peter lumpkins

Like I say, SBC Historian, I wouldn't go down that road far. But the investigation team didn't go down your road at all...

Mary

Peter you may be right. I have no clue which way winds are blowing in the bayou state.

I think the strategy of Aguillard's defense is

1. The Calvinists are after him
2. This is a witch hunt by Calvinists
3. You can't trust these guys - look at leaks and secret recordings so of course I couldn't cooperate and give up my evidence
4. I had information from people who didn't want their names out there because you can't trust these guys.

For people who want to believe Aguillard that all makes sense.

What I would be interested to hear from some one who is unbiased is whether David Hankins truly rules by fear or he rules because he's liked or perhaps a bit of both. That might give you an indication of how the wind blows.

Mary

I didn't finish my thought. If Hankins is liked then his endorsement of Aguillard might go a long way. If Hankins is truly the monster as is being suggested then this could be the proverbial straw which motivates the Baptist in the Bayou to clean up the swamps.

Scott Shaver

SBC Historian, you are right about looking for a new work environment post whistle blowing. Especially if I had an agenda at work prior to leaving that depended heavily upon the termination of the LC President. What did Quarles know about Tanzania and to what extent was he involved with that particular project under the umbrella of Caskey Divinity School?

Former_IMB_Trustee

SBC Historian,

What type of historian are you? Trained? Your venom and baseless accusations bemoan of a hack. Your wild accusations remind me of the Burleson and Co. vs. IMB Trustees battle.

That being said, are you one of the ole' Memphis Declaration boys? Overly righteous? Check! Obnoxious? Check! Distorter of the truth? Check! You are either the second coming of Benjamin Cole or one of the other lackeys from the mid2000s.

Max

Mary writes "... they consider themselves to be more spiritual, more smart, more everything than their elders so they throw out the Bible verses about listening to elders and you get a big ol' mess!"

There's no doubt that some of the young, restless and reformed are more restless than others, with a huge dose of arrogance in the mix. Reminds me of Rehoboam's rejection of the advice given to him by Solomon's counselors (think about it - he rejected the advice of folks who advised the wisest man on the planet!). The following passage from 1 Kings 12 fits our SBC dilemma as the New Calvinism movement spreads: "... Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him ..." Surely some mature men of faith have taken young Breland aside to reprove and correct, but it's all about reformation and revolution, you know, and the window is open for rebellion. It didn't turn out well for Rehoboam.

Mary

Peter, it's that kind of hyperbole by Joshie that pushed me to try to understand "the other side." If this is the worst thing Joshie ever has to go through in his life he will have led an enchanted life indeed. If he's so emotional and over the top about this he may need to reconsider his calling. Let's hope he calms way way down before the arrival of his child - because that's when real life begins.

Now perhaps a wee big OT. How is it that these young Calvinists brag about Calvinists being the best evangelist ever but they have to make up excuses for their lack of fruit. It goes to the idea of this whole logic/reasoning thing is not strong trait among the YRR.

Rondall Reynoso

I've debated a whether to weigh in on this blog because I find the tenor to be rather problematic. The insistence by Mary to write in a demeaning manner toward Joshua Breland by referring to him as Joshie seems lacking in appropriate Christian charity and Former_IBM_Trustee's derisive tone toward SBC Historian seems uncalled for.

That said, I still think it may be worth engaging here. For total transparency my name is Rondall and I write the Faith on View blog referenced above. If anyone has read my blog they know that I have a personal history with Louisiana College. When I first took a position at LC I spoke publicly in defense of Aguillard it was not until his behavior demonstrated that such a defense was not justified did I stop. Further, I should point out that it was before Aguillard went after me personally that I realized his character and stopped my defense.

I have to admit I have been surprised by the reaction to Joshua's recording of his conversation with Dr. Smith. I understand that some find it distasteful. But, to me the far worse offense was for Dr. Smith to threaten Breland in the way he did. The idea of a Dean telling a student "I will go after you" is unthinkable. Frankly, to argue that this is in some way less than a threat is silly. Further, how recording a conversation is self evidently immoral escapes me. I understand that it makes some uncomfortable but personally I tend to say what I mean without a lot of political spin so my conversations being recorded, while it would seem weird, is not a huge concern to me. Obviously we all at times say things in confidence and if I said something in confidence and a recording of that was released then I would certainly be upset. However, you must remember that all Breland asked Dr. Smith about was a change in the Chapel schedule. No doubt the issue of recording is a little sticky but remember a couple of things 1) Dr. Smith had demonstrated a propensity for fluid truth, 2) The administration was at the time targeting Breland, and 3) it is legal. I do not think that the recording issue is self evidently unethical. Clearly, there are questions about the wisdom of releasing said recording but given the environment and situation at LC I can hardly blame him for making the recordings.

Rondall Reynoso

One last thought on Calvinism. I've seen thrown around in this discussion that the Calvinists are after Aguillard. Their arrogance has also been mentioned. First, let me say that I am not a Calvinist. I am much for Classical Arminian in my theology. I think they are wrong theologically on several issues. I also agree that there can be a good deal of arrogance in the Calvinist communities. That said, the reformed students at LC are no more arrogant than any other college aged kids I've run into, especially for Bible majors. I've run across students at other institutions that are not Calvinist who are much more arrogant. Also, there is no cabal, at least not within the LC Calvinists, to go after Aguillard. Aguillard supported the Calvinist faction for years. After, Dr. Quarles answered honestly some hard questions from the Board and even more so after Dr. Quarles filed the whistle-blower complaint, Calvinism because an issue. An examination of the timeline makes it clear that this was a tool by Aguillard to get back at Quarles by not extending the contracts of those under him since Quarles was protected by the whistle-blower policy.

peter lumpkins

Rondall,

You write "The insistence by Mary to write in a demeaning manner toward Joshua Breland by referring to him as Joshie seems lacking in appropriate Christian charity and Former_IBM_Trustee's derisive tone toward SBC Historian seems uncalled for." Sweet heavens man. Are you serious? Breland just referred to a sitting executive director, David Hankins as "part and parcel of the deception and wickedness at Louisiana College" the "covering up and scheming" Breland calls "pure evil" and you show up and speak about how Breland is so uncharitably treated because he's referred to as "Joshie" that you didn't know if you wanted to enter such a presumably unloving environment? Please. Now I've heard it all.

Second, it's not about the secret recording being "distasteful." It's about sheer hypocritical behavior. You wail about the "cover-up" at LC and turn right around and apparently commend Breland for the very same type of action--cover-up, doing things secretly, and behind the scenes. This remains morally absurd.

Third, don't post that trash here again about sexual scandals the president allegedly covered-over. Keep it on your site. I won't post it. We posted what I believed to be a credible investigation. I won't post your junk here. Clear enough?

Rondall Reynoso

Peter,

I am not defending the tone Breland took. I think he should have been a bit understated. however there is a clear difference Breland's argument of "pure evil" is a conclusion he has drawn based on his experience with Hankins, Aguillard, and LBC. It may or may not be over stated but it is not belittling for the sake of being belittling. In Scripture both Paul and John call out members of the Church by name when they think what they are doing is wrong even evil. What they don't do is come up with belittling nick names. Would I have moderated my tone more about Hankins? Yes! But such notables as Jesus and Paul used harsh words when appropriate. We can debate the merits and appropriateness of Breland's comments. But, Joshie is diminutive without any redemptive justification.

To compare Breland's recording of a conversation to the unethical and illegal actions of Aguillard demonstrates a misunderstanding of the situation at LC. In Brelan's case he is rightly or wrongly attempting to hold someone accountable for their words and actions. In the case of LC they are trying to avoid the consequences of their actions. Further, I am not commending Breland. What I am saying is that I was not in his shoes. I can see why he did what he did and to conclude that it is self evidently unethical seems simplistic.

Finally, my post which you did not permit was hardly trash. It was a reasoned post with a moderate tone which explicated exactly what I know and don't know. To mischaracterize a quote which your audience has not read to characterize me as a pusher of junk and trash is a useful polemic but does little to serve Truth.

Mary

Peter, henceforth Joshie shall be known as Skippy and our new friend Rondy will be Sparky. I'm thinking about Scooter for Historion.

Here's another perfect example about people just making up justications and lowering standards - what kind of standard is "It's not illegal so what's the big deal?" Abortion is not illegal but it's a pretty big deal. We could sit here all night with examples that are not illegal and yet for Christians should still be reprehensible. It's Max's point about lawlessness - everybody just determining what they think is right. But hey declaring ME unChristlike for snark while declaring unethical behavior perfectly acceptable because poor young Skippy was forced into it somehow makes sense.

And Sparky needs some help with reading comprehension. Speculating as to Aguillard's strategy to blame Calvinists is not the same as agreeing this is what happened.

These people really need to get a clue and understand the public perception on some this nonsense or they will never get out of Candy Land. The more you hear from Aguillard's critics the less sense they make. You ain't just preaching to the choir here boys.

peter lumpkins

Rondall,

First, let's be clear: I said nothing of you defending Breland's "tone." It's not about "tone"; it's about behavior.

Second, to suggest David Hankins' actions are "pure evil" with nothing to go on but vague "experiences" he's had with him, is absurd. What's more absurd, is your defending it.

Third, to argue "Joshie" is "belittling for the sake of being belittling" while calling David Hankins' unsubstantiated actions "pure evil" as morally acceptable only shows how topsy-turvey ethics can become when men have a stated agenda. In addition, you categorically judged the moniker "Joshie" as "belittling" without inquiring for a single line of explanation as to why she did so. For all you know she was doing so simply because he may be young enough to be her son. You don't know. Finally, while calling someone a name like "Joshie" may or may not be the best way to communicate a point, to categorize it as morally offensive is simply nonsense. You would have to call Jesus morally offensive when he referred to Herod as a fox if your point possesses any moral teeth to it.

Fourth, you claim "To compare Breland's recording of a conversation to the unethical and illegal actions of Aguillard demonstrates a misunderstanding of the situation at LC." Well, that depends on what comparison I was drawing now doesn't it? What I suggested was the same type of cover-up, secrecy, behind-the-scenes maneuvering condemned by you and Breland are commended when Breland covers up a recorder, secretly records another without the person knowing thus hiding this information, information which any person would reasonably want and think he or she has a right to know, all the while telling the person his motives were pure and that he just wanted information about Moore.

The fact is, Breland had two purposes in mind in speaking to Smith: a) get info about Moore's not coming to LC; b) secretly record the conversation. He only told Smith the first purpose while intentionally covering up the second purpose. So, no I don't misunderstand the situation at all. To the contrary, it's you and Breland who want to morally justify covering-up what you're actually doing all the while condemning LC for covering up what is alleged they're doing. If you don't get the connection, I have nothing else to say about it but this: a man is a fool to privately talk to anyone who possesses no moral scruples against secretly recording another's conversation. You got some nerve, brother.

Finally, what you think is a "well-reasoned" post and what I judge to be a well-argued one is obviously far apart. Not only does your despicable defense of Joshua's secretly recording another frighten me, to suggest the hearsay-based post about sexual scandal stands on a par with an official investigation study blow a fuse in me. You've obviously come to the wrong place.

Scott Shaver

Don't waste time with Mr. Rondall. The fact that he would post the trash on prospective LC donors on his site that he did belies that until he can clean up his own house (site), He has nothing of value to contribute here. Respectfully that is.

Mary

Ok I admit I am old enough to be Skippy's mother. It would not have been a teen pregnancy. Funny but I don't feel old enough to be a Grandmother.

Skippy not only did the morally reprehensible deed of secretly recording a conversation but he shows himself to not be a man of his word. How many times in that recording did he declare he would not talk about the conversation on his blog.

I don't know how many times I've told my children "I don't care what the other guy did YOU have got to do what you
know is right."

And of course Skippy now blatantly seeking revenge is showing anything but Christlike behavior.

Hey Lydia, this would certainly be a good time for Miller over there at Pravda to practice some calling out of his own don't ya think? How many blog posts has he bragged he would call out his own? Somehow I don't think ol' Dave's gonna touch this one.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

I lost count how many times Joshua said he wouldn't post Dr Smith's name on anything. No wait! He was inspired by God to warn Louisiana Baptists about Smith. That surely justifies it.! Did you also catch the line Bre land said to Smith when he was correcting Smith's false assumptions about him? Bre land said, "Dr Smith, you're assuming that I post every private conversation on my blog!" Well...Yeah!

Dean

I am amazed at the hypocrisy that is on display over this issue. I want to state unapologetically that have a profound respect for Dr. Argile Smith and as hard as I try I am finding little for Joshua Breland. I have never witness Dr. Smith be anything but gracious and genuine. He has been a tremendous educator, pastor and institutional administrator. He has impacted the Gulf Coast area for Jesus. The fact that someone of JB's stature will even be listened to as he questions a life of service like Argile Smith's lets me know that we can have no fellowship with the YRR. I think he did threaten JB and he did so mighty graciously. How many people has JB gone after? He taped the conversation so he could go after Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith says to him in no uncertain terms if you go after my friend, Dr. Moore, I am going to go after you. I heard give it and you will get it. As for Dr. Smith sabotaging a career for JB, if we are talking about the ministry he has done that very well for himself. Jb is through with LC and LBC! Maybe the process of healing can begin.

Mary

And some one please tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor. The child hood church of Skippy's wife, the last pastorate of Skippy's father law who is a friend of the Founders is somehow now considering Dr. Smith as an interim? Some people with what we used to call humility might start thinking that God is sending them a message to get a grip and calm down, but not our young hero! Everywhere a Sovereign God sends these "evil" men Skippy will save the day!

The other thing that was funny is Skippy declaring in the tape that he did not want to destroy the school. Now he wants it to burn down since nothing is going his way.

Lydia

"Hey Lydia, this would certainly be a good time for Miller over there at Pravda to practice some calling out of his own don't ya think? How many blog posts has he bragged he would call out his own? Somehow I don't think ol' Dave's gonna touch this one."

Mary, If Miller has been totally silent about Mohler's embrace, defense and promotion of Mahaney/SGM scandalabra why would he mention the obvious problems with this one?

Instead, the opportunity for hyperbole about "great leadership" (Chitwood who is known here as Mohler's pick) and "courage and conviction" for guys who have done nothing more than write articles and letters. As if they stormed Normany and endured torture or something. But then I think the blog posts are "suggested" for him. Yeah, the lack of "Neutrality" screams. Why not just admit you are not neutral?

Look, many over the last 6-8 years too many have had personal experiences with the YRR and it has not been positive. In fact, some of it has been downright mean and divisive in our churches and institutions. That is why the Calvinism attack had legs. Perception is everything and they only have themselves to blame. Now Joshua has given that perspective even more credibility with his recording convos and probably hurt his not yet begun career over it. Maybe the Presbyterians?

It is one thing to speak of what you see or experienced on your blog or even allow others to tell their stories. That is totally understandable and right.

But it is another thing altogether to try and set people up using deceptive means. You become as bad as the bad guys you want to see fall.

But then, no matter what he does or what happens, according to his doctrine, God planned it.

Campbellsville College is next on the list. I am looking forward to hearing who will be smeared as a "liberal" and how "conservative" will be flouted as the new label for Calvinism. Chitwood is preparing the ground. I hope they tell him to walk but that is doubtful since some of Mohler's minions are Trustees.

Scott Shaver

Lydia: I wouldn't hold my breath for Miller to come in here offering up his incense on this issue. He's much more comfortable hiding behind a moderators button where he can control the flow and presentation of thought.
Mary: Please stop. My ribs are about to break from laughing. I have known Argile Smith for years and any church that can get him in the pulpit and on the parish beat for any length of time does itself a huge service.
Dean: You are obviously acquainted with the same Argile Smith I know and love. Breland got a lot less from Smith than he deserved for his underhandedness.

Mary

Scott, it's fun and good while we're playing in Candy Land but these people are starting to seriously tick me off. Then the real name calling begins and Peter has to start fighting the imaginary voices in his head - it's just not pretty.

Lydia

"And some one please tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor. The child hood church of Skippy's wife, the last pastorate of Skippy's father law who is a friend of the Founders is somehow now considering Dr. Smith as an interim?"

Mary, Really? That is interesting.


Did I also read that Brelands father in law was a trustee at LU?

Here is the thing I have seen over and over in my career. The same people who will egg a young buck on and promise to "stand" with him are the same folks who will drop him like a hot potato to either compromise when the heat is too much or there is something in it for them.

Putting ethics aside for a moment, from a purely strategic point of view, the recording was a big mistake. He marginalized himself.

Scott Shaver

Proverbs 22:1-2 "A good name is more desirable than great riches, to be esteemed is better than silver or gold, Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all."
Looks to me like the good name of Argile Smith demonstrates the truth of the Proverb. His reputation seems to be performing wholesale massacre on the words and reasoning of his critics and the man hasn't lifted a finger (or pen) in his own defense. Maybe this is what he meant by "coming after you."

Mary

Lydia, I could see Miller writing something along the lines of what's being pushed here. "Sure it's wrong but it's not really his fault because he was forced into by bad bad people! Give the guy a break!" Unlike how he went after Norm Miller for a word on a blog. Skippy, who Miller defended will not be getting anything close to the scrutiny of Norm Miller even though what Skippy has done is so egregiously and outrageously wrong.

peter lumpkins

Lydia

There was a conservative during the CR who kinda went astray and secretly "sided" with the Moderates/liberals. CR guys didn't know it and kept him in their company. He pulled a "Joshua" on them and secretly recorded some info and leaked it to his new "friends". After his cover was blown, of course the CR guys banished him. However, his new "friends" wanted nothing to do with him either since they knew he had no scruples against secretly recording conversations. They simply could not trust him.

When trust has so crusted over that parties have to turn to secret recordings to under-gird conversations it's time to call it quits. No hope exists for a peaceable, viable solution to the embedded conflict. Better to walk away and go on with your life.

peter lumpkins

All,

Here's a funny. I got an email from one of the defender's of Joshua Breland's secret recording tactic. The defender wrote,

"Peter,
I would like to talk. Please call me at (___)-___________ or send me your number and I will foot the long distance bill."

To which I replied:

"Are you kidding me? And risk being recorded? I don't think so bro. I didn't ride in on a turnip truck..."

What a double Georgia Hoot!

SBC Historian

Lydia,

Joshua's father in law was pastor of a church in sw Louisiana and was a trustee at LC. Because, I believe, of major medical issues, he resigned both from his church and his post as a trustee. It is my understanding that while on the Board, he was a (vocal?) supporter of Aguillard. He recinded his support about 3 months ago. That's all I know about him. You brought him up so I thought it might be helpful to add some additional information.

Scott Shaver

What Breland did is currently illegal in at least 11 states.

peter lumpkins

Mary said, "The other thing that was funny is Skippy declaring in the tape that he did not want to destroy the school. Now he wants it to burn down since nothing is going his way." LOL and can't stop...

Lydia

Mary, Yes, Miller came out of a blogging vacation in order to strongly admonish Norm over the treason comment. But remember, the comment was made in reference to David Rogers floating Setzer as an example of someone who would make a great SBC President. And Setzer is the one that flew Dave Miller in for The Gospel Project wine and dine for promotional purposes. Then Dave becomes second VP. So, in Miller's mind, Norm deserved the admonition but Mohler gets a pass for defending and protecting Mahaney. Never mind about the molested children and the lawsuit.

This is simply the way it works.

peter lumpkins

Scott

Interestingly, two of Breland's biggest defenders of secretly recording a private conversation without consent live in 2 of the 11 states where it is illegal! J.D. Hall lives in Montana where Breland's action would be illegal. Rondall Reynoso (above defending Breland) lives in California where secretly recording private conversations without consent is also illegal. What a triple Georgia hoot! They're defending for Breland what would be illegal for them! :^0

Here's the comment on Breland's thread listing the states with a "two party" consent law-- http://thedailybleat.com/why-i-released-audio-of-argile-smith-threatening-me/#comment-888980021

Lydia

"Joshua's father in law was pastor of a church in sw Louisiana and was a trustee at LC. Because, I believe, of major medical issues, he resigned both from his church and his post as a trustee. It is my understanding that while on the Board, he was a (vocal?) supporter of Aguillard. He recinded his support about 3 months ago. That's all I know about him. You brought him up so I thought it might be helpful to add some additional information"

Again, confusion on how all of this has been about the President being anti Calvinists and getting rid of Calvinists, according to Brelands many blog posts.

I do hope his father in law is doing better. It is horrible to be so sick and have your family members embroiled in such a negative hateful fight.

Lydia

"When trust has so crusted over that parties have to turn to secret recordings to under-gird conversations it's time to call it quits. No hope exists for a peaceable, viable solution to the embedded conflict. Better to walk away and go on with your life. "

I personally think that is what has happened to the SBC. I really do not see how the YRR wing can build trust after all that has taken place with the deceptive strategies, arrogance, etc. So, they need power and they have acheived that with taking over the entities in leadership. Just like Calvin had to do in Geneva in order to rule it. :o)

I do think that leadership will pretend like all is well. I even think they will have Mohler craft the "unity" statement that is coming. That is how deaf they are. They will throw bones to Trads.

But things are not great out in the hinterlands. Now the pew sitters are starting to talk about these arrogant young'ens. I had to chuckle at some friends of mine who are moving out of state and were telling me how they are going to "interview" churches to make sure they never get involved in another YRR deceptive situation before they ever get involved in another church.

They want to know how well informed the church is about the YRR movement and what steps they take to protect themselves. And it is not Calvinsim that offends folks, believe it or not. We can live peaceably with Calvinists. It is this ridiculous movement of young know it all's with no real life experience who think Mahaney, Driscoll and Piper are great men of God. It is a movement of following man. Hero worship whether dead or alive. The irony is that while they proclaim God's Sovereignty as their foundation, it is a very man centered movement.

SBC Historian

Lydia,

I share your concern for the well-being of Breland's father-in-law. I do not understand your first sentence "Again, confusion on how . . ." It is my understanding, and a pretty solid interpretation of the events, that Joe needed David Hankins' support to keep his job. Joe couldn't give a flip about Calvinism. He's hired (and bragged on) many Calvinistic faculty members in his 8 years at LC (did you know the person who followed John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church was, at one time, hired as a religion faculty member by Joe Aguillard?). But David despises Calvinism like the plague. Joe knew if he started attacking Calvinists, that would appease David's agenda and get many of the pastors on the BoT to back Joe. To my knowledge (though it is limited on this issue), I do not believe Breland's father-in-law is a Calvinist. I don't think you are implying that he is, but it goes to show that even non-Calvinists (re: I believe Tim Johnson, the second whistle blower is not Reformed) were pushing against Joe's unethical behavior.

Dean

Peter, I was thinking the same thing about the tapings in the CR. Your are going to make me find my Hefley books and do some reading. Peter, I honestly am not too comfortable blasting a person. What Joshua did to Dr. Smith has no defense. I just want to point out that JB released the tape and before the week is over he signs off on LC and LBC. I perceive he loved his blog and the attention it brought. I speculate that someone close to him said to him, "Have you lost your mind," when he recorded Dr. Smith and then made it public. Again, I speculate that the the "wind beneath his wings" has disappeared as those who believe in him have a hard time supporting this action. I am persuaded his confidence is shaken and he is questioning if he made a mistake with the Smith tape. I would not be surprised if he is having conversations in his mind seeking justification. Anyone who has lived a life in the public arena understands those moments. I have had such moments dozens of times. I do honestly pray that those in his life draw close to Joshua and point out the qualities in him that they find admirable. The release of this tape was intended to hurt a career. It succeeded, just not the career at which it was aimed. That realization must be hard.

Mary

Peter, I was talking to David about the legality of secret recordings. His first response was "it's a scuzzy thing to do. ". It's something he's seen in his career and he says even amongst lawyers it's something they find low down and reputable lawyers wouldn't recommed it. But for a Christian to secretly record another Christian? There's absolutely no defense. And then to go publish that conversation after assuring the person being secretly recorded the conversation was private? Just boggles the mind how bad that behavior is and people are defending it.

Now Peter, wasn't Skippy's daddy-in-law a Founders guy at a Founders Friendly church? How on earth is it that a Founders Freindly Church is even considering a nonCal like Dr. Smith for interim?

Lydia

SBCHistorian,

If David Hankins goal in life is ridding Louisiana of Calvinists, then he needs to take some lessons from Al Mohler on how to patiently prepare the ground first. It takes years to strategically consolidate power to make that dream come true. And you have to partner with, protect and defend some rogues along the way to that great power. You also have to stack committees, trustee boards and send out thousands of young know it all's to carry your banner.

You went down the Joe road which I figured you would. I was basically thinking of how "Joshua Breland" made it all about being anti Calvinist when there seem to be Calvinists in pretty hefty positions all over this story including his father in law a former trustee. Curiouser and curiouser.

If you get a chance, tell David Hankins to take lessons from Al Mohler on how to go about it. He does not seem to have Mohler's political strategic touch or power.

Lydia

"To my knowledge (though it is limited on this issue), I do not believe Breland's father-in-law is a Calvinist. I don't think you are implying that he is, but it goes to show that even non-Calvinists (re: I believe Tim Johnson, the second whistle blower is not Reformed) were pushing against Joe's unethical behavior."

Oh, Neither is Russ Moore, Kevin Ezell and many many others..... depending on the audience. :o)

When it is convenient, a 3pter or 4 pter is or is not a Calvinist. (Part of the brilliant strategy when it is really about power)

peter lumpkins

Dean,

I condemn any and all secret recording be it CR heroes, my mother, or my grandchildren. Period. One clarification. I do not consider recording class lectures to be of the same ilk as private conversations. I do know much of this stuff went on in the CR. Many profs were handed their heads because of class lectures. But the secret recordings of private conversations where baiting and 'sting' operations abound, has no place in the church of God and among Christian brothers and sisters.

SBC Historian

Lydia,

For the record, I have no idea why Breland focused on the firing of Calvinistic faculty, when there were much greater/weightier issues to be discussed. It, I do not believe, is the path I would have taken. However, I have no reason to believe his father-in-law is Reformed, and according to the Founders web site, FBC Moss Bluff is not listed as a Founders-friendly church.

Max

Lydia writes “Here is the thing I have seen over and over in my career. The same people who will egg a young buck on and promise to "stand" with him are the same folks who will drop him like a hot potato to either compromise when the heat is too much or there is something in it for them.”

Lydia, it sounds like your professional journey has taught you many of the same things from my trek through corporate America. I often found that old bucks used young bucks to accomplish an end. Young folks who had an aggressive edge to them to push forward an agenda were prize catches. After their “mentors” were done using them, these whippersnappers entered the hot potato ranks, dropped and forgotten.

I have observed the same thing in the New Calvinism movement. The Founders may have got the ball rolling, but they need the energy of youth to kick it down the road. While most “old” Calvinists (of the Founders sort) may be opposed to the particular message, method, and mission of their neo-brethren, others in the old guard appear to be putting up with this new brand as long as the essential reformed message moves forward in SBC ranks and elsewhere. However, if a certain potato gets too hot, it is tossed aside in favor of another. Young rebels usually end up in this predicament.

It’s a dirty shame that “traditional” SBC leadership does not mentor this generation as they ought in majority belief and practice. Most of what I’ve seen from traditional input is the usual Southern Baptist tradition of arguing about everything under the sun. We’ve got to get past this! In a way, I can see why these young folks are dissatisfied with doing church like their folks … contentious congregational business meetings focus more on the physical than the spiritual (but that’s another blog thread, I suppose).

It’s interesting to see that the spotlight has shifted from the seminary to the college level in this current buzz. SBC colleges are breeding grounds for this unrest long before pastoral hopefuls head to seminary. Students wait anxiously for the next Piper Point, Driscoll Drivel, and/or Mohler Moment to discuss while they attend an SBC-YRR church plant near campus. There is no doubt that certain SBC leaders and non-SBC reformers have tremendous influence over a new breed of Southern Baptist pastors-in-training. New Calvinists entering SBC pulpits have a strong allegiance to such influencers and their closely-connected network of reformed organizations.

One would argue that the academic environment has always been this way … where teachings and traditions of men are weighed and tested … where one-on-one between professor and student push the boundaries … where dorm room debates question belief and practice of their fathers … where new ways are charted to be “culturally relevant.” But this thing in Southern Baptist life right now has an ominous look and feel like none I’ve seen before in my 50+ year snapshot of doing church as a Southern Baptist. Lord help us!

Scott Shaver

Sounds too prophetic for a figment of Pete's imagination Lydia.

Jesse Lott

My stars! It's true! Baptists are the meanest people on the face of the earth. Many boast of being people of the Book. But they don't practice what the Book teaches on being godly, Christian gentlemen. I have a suggestion for Mr. Breland. If he harbors so much disdain for LC, perhaps he should just return his recently received degree and go to another university that fits his fancy. I think a tour of duty as pastor in one of the small churches in the SBC that has a Bell Cow or 2 in it will give Mr. Brelend far more schoolin' than he could possibly get in college or seminary. He might even learn a thing or two about humility and kindness and respect.

I do not know the President of LC. But having grown up in Louisiana and being a graduate of NOBTS, I do know Drs. Hankins and Smith. In fact, I attended seminary with Argile. Argile Smith is one of the most humble, kindest man I have ever met. He is a man of impeccable character. So, too, is Dr. Hankins. I thank God for these men. They are faithful servants of God, Louisiana College and Louisiana Baptists.

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