"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


$34 million

This'll be nice, but it won't make up for the recruiting pool problem, wherein Baylor must compete with Texas, A&M, Tech, OU, and OSU.

I was talking with a colleague today who pretty much holds church and faith in contempt. We were talking about the reasons why, and he commented that megachurches with lavish facilities seem so opposed to the actual message of Christianity. "Why do they spend so much money on swimming pools and fancy buildings?" he asked. "Because they want a safe place," I replied. We talked about how so many churches spend money on unnecessary things while people starve on the other side of the world, and the difference between American cultural Christianity and the message of Christ. "When it comes to money, most Christians ignore the Bible," he said.

It's hard to argue with that. It's hard to defend my own complicity on the point. It's even harder to believe that it's justified for a Baptist university to spend $34 million dollars on three practice fields and a pool. And it's even more impossible to explain to my friend why he'd want to have anything to do with us on that point.

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Anonymous roger said...

Your friend has an easy point to make, of course. But it can be a too easy and not genuinely thoughtful critique of the church to go after the money issue. Yes, there are better things and more gospel things to spend money on. No one would argue with that....However, I seriously question whether the people givng the $34 mill for the football practice fields would instead, give it to medical research or peace efforts or hunger causes. And I would add, that in fact, a lot of those same people who first give to things like football get invested in the university and then give to much better stuff. Read the histories of most hospitals in this country or many around the world or some wonderful universities. Is the work of Riverside church responsible? More than responsible....so, who paid for it? Rockefeller who also gave to a lot of crappy things as well. Closer to home, what about the egocentric Paul Meyer who paid for half of Ferrell arena so he could see his name on the Paul Meyer Court, only later, to begin to give to research fellowships in science at BU. And since he was once my parishioner, I know his journey. And what about Melinda Gates who has been so deeply affected by the work of David Beckham at Bread for the World that she began to influence her husband and then helped Beckman create a meeting between Warren Buffet and the Gates, who now are using their wealth for anti-poverty programs.

Its just NEVER as simple as your friend critiques it to be, though his/her critique is highly valuable. Even closer to home, I can point to the largest contributor to our garage/ministry center and document the millions and millions of dollars this person has given for abused and neglected children, world hunger, povery issues, AIDS research, etc.....

so, its a valid point...but it is not the full story by any means....

Thursday, February 15, 2007 11:49:00 PM

Anonymous bryan riley said...

Jesus said long ago that you can't serve God and Mammon. I think that explains it in most instances. Not all, but most.

In a culture where many people often fail to ask God what He wants them to do but instead ask their budget whether they can afford to give or who build the extra car garage or spend two weeks on a cruise ship rather than in Congo... well, I'm thinking they are having a hard time with whom they serve.

Sunday, February 18, 2007 7:10:00 AM


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