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OPINION

A4

September 11, 2018

#MeToo scandal The church is not immune from sexual misconduct

Mikaela Stiner mstiner@liberty.edu

Early in 2018, #MeToo came for the Southern Baptist Convention. And before the rest of us think we’re exempt from the judgment at hand, we must realize that #MeToo has also come for us. In March, President and Chief Executive of the SBC’s Executive Committee Frank Page resigned over what was described by the church as a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past,” according to Baptist News Global. Not long afterward, Paige Patterson, who was at that time president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, came under severe criticism regarding allegations of his objectifying comments toward women and harmful, unbiblical counsel for victims of sexual and domestic abuse. He was fired from his position as seminary president and stripped of all benefits, losing a highly influential position within the SBC, according to a Christianity Today report. Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern

Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote on his website that, “The #MeToo moment has come to American evangelicals. This moment has come to some of my friends and brothers in Christ. This moment has come to me, and I am called to deal with it as a Christian.” The situation has required deep, painful work for the SBC as leaders repent and work to correct mistakes they made within their denomination. But the situation also requires both a response from the evangelical church at large, and a response from individual believers. Liberty University professor Karen Swallow Prior was one of those who helped craft an open letter published online to the SWBTS Board of Trustees, calling for Patterson’s removal. They believe Patterson’s termination was the right action for the board to take. Many signatories have continued to speak out, emphasizing the role and dignity of women in the church. And this is only the beginning of the work that the SBC will need to do in the process of the denomination’s restoration.

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BILL HYBELS — Hybels retired in April from his position as senior pastor because of accusations of sexual misconduct.

It is easy for those looking in from the outside to criticize the Southern Baptist Convention and to wonder how mental and behavioral patterns as destructive as those currently being addressed can go on for decades, overlooked and unnoticed. But every church outside of the SBC should first look at themselves, not assuming that they are blameless. The New York Times reported in August about Bill Hybels, the pastor of Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago. A wellknown pastor among Evan-

be that which the disciples ask when Jesus indicates that one of them is to betray him ... ‘Is it I, Lord?’” That is the question that the church must ask, and that is the question that each of us must ask ourselves individually. It is easy to imagine that we are the exception, that we are generally good, and to fail to realize the judgment to come. But don’t we justify many of our sins by assuming — consciously or subconsciously — that we are the exception and that our circumstances are unique? And that is how we begin the

The #MeToo moment ... has come to

me, and I am called to deal with it as

gelicals, Hybels is accused of coercing and sexually abusing his church secretary and pressuring her to remain quiet about his actions. But not even Hybels was immune from the consequences of his actions. He retired from the pulpit in April 2018. His secretary expressed feelings of guilt, shame and humiliation. She has since left the church. In a podcast discussing the church’s role in supporting its members who have been sexually abused, Dr. Carl R. Trueman, professor in the department of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College, said, “The first reaction of the church, when somebody indicts the church ... should not (immediately) be … selfjustification or to refute the allegations. It seems to me that the first question should

a Christian. — Dr. Albert Mohler

slide into sin — with those sinful patterns that seem insignificant and inconsequential, but are destructive and dismantle our own lives, the lives of those around us and even entire denominations. Instances of deep-seated sinful mentalities and behaviors are not a new scenario for the church. They are not new for individual believers. In the Christian life, we are continually called to repent from sin and to place our faith in Christ. Many SBC church leaders have humbled themselves, repented and sought to do the right thing in these difficult times for their denomination. It is a reminder for all of us to do the same, beginning on a personal scale. STINER is an opinion writer.

Cashless dining Changes in Montview makes food options more efficient

Mary Obringer mgobringer@liberty.edu

No one likes waiting, especially for food. Smelling food and wondering how long it will take to get your order can be frustrating and timeconsuming. Sodexo is trying something new this semester that might save a few minutes of your time. All dining locations in the Montview Student Union will be primarily cashless this semester. The changes are part of a “test operation,” according to Duane Davis, the general manager of Sodexo. The new system is not 100 percent cashless, Davis said. If you forget to bring your card with you, don’t worry. Anyone who needs to pay with cash, the Montview Student Union has a register at each location to handle cash transactions. Sodexo is simply encouraging people to use cards. Changing to a cashless system brings benefits for students. Cash transactions take longer to process. Eliminating cash transactions shortens wait times and lines. Who doesn’t want to get food faster? At Liberty, students also have the added bonus of receiving a discount for using flames cash or dining dollars, according to Davis. Now, you can save your cash for T-shirts from your

Lorena Rivera | Liberty Champion

CASHLESS DINING — The new changes to the food options in the Montview Student Union are supposed to make ordering faster and more efficient.

favorite band or those latenight trips to Walmart to buy necessities. Not only does going cashless benefit students, but it also benefits Sodexo in several ways. Cashless systems make it easier for businesses to manage their accounting, according to Forbes. If employees spend less time keeping track of the money and inventory, they can focus on other responsibilities. Going cashless can also save Sodexo money. A cashless system would eliminate the need for hiring armored car services to transport the cash off campus, according to Davis. According to USA Today, cashless systems also save money by eliminating

bank processing fees for large amounts of currency. Saving money is great, but what about safety? A cashless system is actually safer for employees and customers. If thieves know there is nothing to break in to steal, the likelihood of being robbed goes down. Another benefit to a cashless system is convenience. Davis mentions that card transactions are easier for employees. All employees need to do is tell the customer to insert or swipe their card. This gives employees a more “hands off” way of completing transactions, eliminating any concerns about giving a customer the wrong change. The Montview Student

Union serves as an ideal location to try out a cashless system. The amount of cash used in the Montview Student Union has declined since it opened, and Flames Pass carrying patrons make up the majority of the people who eat there. At the end of this semester, Sodexo will analyze the results and decide whether to keep the cashless system at Montview or revert back to the old system, Davis said. If the system works well over the course of a year, they may consider expanding it to other locations on campus. OBRINGER is an opinion writer.

LIFE WITH

LOGAN Logan Smith lcsmith1@liberty.edu

Chaos, confusion and tragedy. These three words summarized Sept. 11, 2001, a day made infamous by Islamic terror. The attacks resulted in 3,000 innocent American deaths and 6,000 injured. It left America crippled, angry and distraught. We often measure a tragedy based on death tolls and injuries, but we rarely consider the people who miraculously escaped both. According to CNN, about 20,000 workers occupied the World Trade Center (WTC) when the first plane hit the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. Had the attack occurred later that afternoon, after the entire workforce of 50,000 arrived, the death toll may have reached a much higher quantity. But this column is not about reminiscing past tragedies or articulating future procedures to prevent another disaster. I want to highlight the individuals who made it possible for 18,000 to escape the deadly clutches of 9/11. While many fled the scene, firefighters, police officers and even several members of the general public rushed to their graves with one thing in mind: Others. These heroes stopped at nothing to clear the towers. I occasionally watch YouTube videos of firefighters approaching the WTC, even as the buildings were on the brink of collapse. The buildings trembled violently, weakening by the minute. Yet these heroes continued to ascend in hopes of reaching one more person. These champions knew they would never hug their children or kiss their wives again. With the 17th anniversary of 9/11, the word “sacrifice” is taking a whole new meaning, most recently displayed on a Nike advertisement. America has fallen into a culture that distorts bravery, heroism and sacrifice. Culture has entirely redefined the terms to meet the narrative of a political agenda. It sickens me. Why does our society exalt people like Bruce Jenner for undergoing transgender surgery? Does “walking out of the closet” really reach the peak of bravery? Even further, is “sacrifice” truly the correct verb to describe kneeling during the National Anthem? Absolutely not! I do not want to dehumanize these individuals. They are fallen, sinful people — like myself. We live in a country saturated in political correctness, a cancer that is indoctrinating society to ignore true problems in pursuit of a political narrative. I personally love Nike apparel, and I plan to wear my comfortable Nikes during my next intramural basketball game. But it is an utter insult to place individuals like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on a pedestal of “sacrifice.” Some celebrated the new advertisement. Others, like myself, were deeply disturbed. To even use the words “sacrifice” and “Kaepernick” in the same sentence makes me cringe. In 2015, Bruce Jenner received the ESPYs’ Courage Award, an honor given to individuals who demonstrated perseverance through adversity. As you read this, thousands of homeless veterans are struggling to survive, and active military personnel are fighting for your protection. Police and firemen continue to sacrifice. Yet somehow athletes and celebrities are receiving the badges of honor. As we remember the lives lost during the 9/11 attacks, let’s never forget the sacrifices made by countless firefighters and other first responders. They are the real MVPs, reflecting the real meaning of “sacrificing everything.” SMITH is the manager of content.

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Liberty Champion September 11, 2018  

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