Two months ago we revealed what has been happening at Cincinnati Christian University. Questions have arisen from many. Before the main question is answered, a brief review is needed.
The by-laws at Cincinnati Christian University have been changed. Of that there is no doubt. The original Constitution of the school said in part; “every trustee and teacher must be a member of the church of Christ (undenominational) and MUST BELIEVE, WITHOUT RESERVATION, in the full and final inspiration of the Bible to the extent that it is to him the infallible Word of God, and therefore the all-sufficient rule of faith and life; in the deity and supreme authority of Christ; obedience to the Gospel; the edification of the church; and the restoration of its unity on the New Testament basis.”
That was in what was called “ARTICLE IV: CHARACTER OF THE CINCINNATI BIBLE SEMINARY”
Later, ARTICLE V: AMENDMENTS, said, “This constitution may be amended at any annual meeting of the Board of Trustees by a majority vote of the trustees provided notice has been submitted in writing to each trustee ninety (90) days in advance of the annual meeting, except that Article IV above entitled Character of Cincinnati Bible Seminary shall remain perpetually in force.”
But then on May 14, 2015, the powers that be at the school changed the by-laws and specifically the original Article IV that should never have been touched. Now anyone can teach or be a trustee. The word “perpetually” meant absolutely nothing to them. Their wisdom superseded that of the founders of the school.
The question that has arisen is “Could they legally do that? Could they change something that the by-laws themselves said could not be changed?”
That is a legal question that I cannot answer. I have been told that they had a legal opinion that said that they could.
But since we don’t have a definitive answer, let’s look at it another way. Let’s suppose that legally they could change that part of the by-laws. Does that make it morally right?
There is a big difference between something being legally right and morally right. Back during World War II, Adolf Hitler was the dictator of Germany. He was elected to one position but used it to consolidate his power. He eventually became a dictator and moved to kill Jews. Since he was the law he did what he wanted. To him it was not illegal to kill Jews or anyone else who got in his way. What he did may not have been illegal, but it certainly was immoral.
On January 22, 1973, abortion became legal in the United States. I am sure that not one person reading this would say that because it was legal, it was right. Most of us who are pro-life consider abortion immoral.
You understand from just those two examples that something can be legal, but morally wrong. In both of those examples we are talking about the taking of a physical life. What the CCU trustees did is worse than that because now we are talking about what could be the taking and condemning of a person’s soul by what is taught.
When they entered into their trusteeship their duty was to be a steward of that that had been placed within their hands, not by just those who had served directly before they took their place around the table, but a stewardship that was handed to them from those who started the school. It was not their job to do whatever they wanted with the school. To the contrary they are just temporary custodians of a very precious entity. Those who started the school did not want certain things in the by-laws changed because they thought those things were important and would help safeguard the school.
Several had attended College of the Bible in Lexington. They had learned from J. W. McGarvey. They knew what Bro. McGarvey believed; they believed the same things. But within just a few years of President McGarvey’s death, the College of the Bible had become a haven for enemies of the faith. They no longer believed in the inspiration of Scripture or the deity of Christ. No longer were faithful men going from those halls to preach “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.”
Those founders of The Cincinnati Bible Seminary (now CCU) wanted the school to remain true to the vision they had for it. They taught faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2). They hired faithful men and they fired unfaithful men! And now the only fence that was there to protect the school has been ripped from its roots (MA suggested hedge?) and thrown away by “visionaries” of our age. A stewardship was given to them and they have failed!
If those current trustees have a vision for an institution of higher learning, then let them go out and start their own school using their vision, but don’t take a school and corrupt that school’s vision to fit theirs.
The words “trustee” and “steward” can be used interchangeably. The Amplified Bible uses “trustee” to explain “steward.” The Bible has much to say about stewards/trustees, perhaps the most important of which is when it says: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).
So, if and when, you talk to the school officials and they say that legally they had the right to change the by-laws, just ask them if they had the moral right. The answer to that is a resounding “NO!”
Mini-Messages….If, by the time you get this, there hasn’t been a public meeting of the trustees with those who are interested in the future of the school, perhaps there should be. Ask for one. The school does not belong to the trustees. They are just that: “trustees.”