Steven Smith: Thoughts on Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Trustees’ Prayer

I wonder if any of my fellow Southwestern Seminary alumni shared my roller-coaster ride related to the goings-on at our once-beloved alma mater.

I guess the dust has cleared and settled there. I never was a supporter of Paige Patterson; so it took all of my spiritual and moral muscle not to gloat when his trespasses found him out.

I kept quoting Galatians 6:1-5 to myself, but I could not stop at verse five because verses seven and eight interrupted the conversation and provided ample justification for gloating.

When someone I dislike “falls,” what emerges in me and in us?

News of Patterson’s termination and assumed humiliation caused my baser nature to surface like a previously sunken battleship.

I felt the same thing when Bobby Knight left the University of Indiana and Joel Gregory left First Baptist Church in Dallas. I went to war with gloating undergirded by jealousy. Noxious, gloating fumes filled my nose. I inhaled deeply.

I confess that my lungs were saturated before I gagged on gloating fumes—and I learned to my own humiliation that those fumes addicted me. Hard to imagine a Christian and a Southwesterner smoking gloat!

What I learned about myself while gloating

So I learned a dark, buried lesson about myself as I watched the proceedings unfold on “The Hill” in August. Patterson does not know me and probably does not care, but I ask his forgiveness for smoking gloat.

What the trustees learned

Those among us who loved Southwestern watched to see what lessons the trustees learned from the recent debacle. Very few, it seems. Southwestern trustees wasted no time forming a search committee to select and replace the terminated Patterson.

Speaking of replacement efforts, I am waiting for them to replace the Patterson Window from the chapel on campus. Has anyone else wondered about its future? I think even Roman Catholics let several decades pass before they endorse sainthood for their heroes.

I giggled when I read the call to prayer for the work of the presidential search committee. Any “seasoned” Southern Baptist knows that who is noton the search committee is as important as who is on it.

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Source: Baptist Standard