Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Co-signing Is Stupid

Some instruction in the Bible is just plain hard to swallow. Verses discuss the need for self-control, don't be a glutton, gossip is sinful, etc. I just don't want to hear about it. God did not intend for his people to pick and choose which parts of his word fits their lives best and just lean on them. We are to keep all of his commands if we love him. Sometimes, people go against wise counsel and instruction, not out of rebellion, but what they're confusing as a generous heart. Instruction is given so that in times of weakness and confusion there are established principles to live by.

There are many opportunities to do something we think is helpful, but in reality it is only harmful. When a worm goes into its cocoon and starts to break out, if you tear the cocoon for it in an effort to help its struggle then you have essentially paralyzed it and it will die. The reason being that it did not have the opportunity to build the strength in its wings to fly from the struggle of breaking through the cocoon. People treat their struggling friends and family the exact same way. Solomon wrote, "Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure" (Proverb11:15). You might be thinking, this is for a stranger though, if I co-sign for a friend or family that's different. Proverbs 17:18 carries the same principle, but in regards to a "neighbor."

When we start to justify actions that go against the advice of God's word we get into deep mud. If that struggling family member could just get ahead they would be alright. That may be the case, but it is not justification for doing something stupid. If you have the money and want to give it to them to help along the way, that is one thing. As long as you're not enabling their poor choices, it can be helpful. If you don't have the money, but could co-sign a loan with them, the wise man says that is harmful. If you think you are helping, believe God, you're not.

Monday, November 19, 2012

2 Philisophical Approaches of the Harding University President Selection

It has been said that "change is always a great thing."  At least that's how Fred Armisen quoted it in a recent Today Show interview concerning his role with NBC's Saturday Night Live.  There is also the saying that seems to contradict this philosophy, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  So which philosophy is best?

Harding's New President: Dr. Bruce McLarty
He will take office in June 2013 after a 26 year long presidency of Dr. David Burks.  In the decision making process of who would be the next president for the university, many differing opinions were given.  These differing opinions, for the most part, could be categorized under one of the two philosophies mentioned.  Now that the decision is final, some have classified the decision to go with Dr. McLarty as, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Some have spoken out about how they think Harding should move forward in their thinking and be more open to new ideas and groups of people that have been banned from campus in the past.  These people claim that the decision to go with Dr. McLarty will not promote this path.  They say that with the last several years of record enrollment, Harding decided to go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach and this is the wrong move.

McLarty is Not the "Don't Fix It" Candidate
I don't think anyone would agree that Harding is not broken.  By broken I mean like any other institution or human.  It's broken, in need of Christ.  So the mentality of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" simply doesn't fly with this presidential decision.  Harding needs fixing.  I need fixing.  Harding needs change just as I need change.  Dr. McLarty brings just that to the table.  A fresh perspective on the much needed fixing and change.  He's certainly not the one bringing the fix or the change as none of the other candidates would, only Christ does that.

The Board's Recognition that "Change is Always a Good Thing"
You have to be careful when using absolutes.  When it comes to keeping certain people/groups off campus that say/do things contrary to the Bible, this does not need to change.  Jesus and the apostle talk about the importance of resisting false teachers.  Harding does need to change in how they can better resist this encroachment because again, she is not perfect.  I believe the Board of Trustee's decision had in mind that Dr. McLarty is the needed change for the university.  This doesn't suggest I think past leadership was terrible, just imperfect, like me.  Change is always a good thing because we can always be better.  We will never be perfect, which means there will always be room for improvement.  Improvement requires change.  I am excited about that improvement with HU's new president.  I am excited about how Harding will change, hopefully for the good, in the future.

We all need to improve.  What changes are necessary for that to happen?