Many years ago our local school board was thinking about going to a year-round system. Concern for our church camp program led me to attend a school board meeting to find out more information. The room was filled with people who also wanted to know more. Most of the parents attending were not happy with the idea of giving their children to the school system for the entire year. The speakers that evening were very motivated.
Later, I found that there was a group of parents who organized to stop the school board’s idea and to try to replace some on the board in the next election, which they did.
The five-member school board was asked what the year-round school schedule would actually do. Their answer was that it would raise test scores. When asked for their research, they produced a one-page report to prove their thesis.
On the community ad hoc committee were teachers, college professors, doctors, lawyers, and many other professionals. Several worked at the University of Cincinnati and decided to do their own research. They ended up producing (if memory serves me correctly) an approximately 160-page document, fully footnoted, that showed that test scores could be raised if you had migrant farm workers in your district. Our district was one of the wealthiest, highest-rated districts in the state; totally urban and no migrant farm workers in it at all.
The school board had an idea that someone threw on the table that at first blush sounded good, but totally lacked credibility or viability. Someone didn’t do their homework.
In looking at the Cincinnati Christian University and their new “restructuring plan,” I can’t help but think of that new board sitting around a table and someone said, “I’ve got a great idea. We need more students. Let’s offer more degree programs. Why, we can even start a football program that will bring in ‘the highest caliber students.’ And who knows but that a football program might help the music program and someday we could even have a marching band.” (The marching band comment was actually made at the meeting on October 27, 2015 chapel meeting. That meeting is online if you care to check it out.)
I doubt if anyone in that meeting knew or remembered that an article about our Bible colleges “restructuring” appeared once in the Christian Standard. That article is on the front page of this issue. In fact, I wonder how much study was really given to this “restructuring plan.”
This whole thing reminds me of King Asa in 2 Chronicles 14-16. When Asa became king he did good things. He tore down idols. He removed his own mother from a place of authority because she worshipped false gods. The Bible says that he did what was right in the eyes of God. And when the army of Ethiopia came up to fight him with an army that was twice as big as his, he didn’t retreat. Rather, he prayed and said, "O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you."
They fought against the Ethiopians and the Bible says, “the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa…”
Later the text says a prophet went to Asa and said: "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”
Did you see that warning he gave Asa? “If you forsake him, he will forsake you.” The “him” and “he” there speak of God Almighty. The prophet gives Asa an example and reminds him of Israel to the north and what happened to them because they forsook their God. If you forsake God, He forsakes you. Your unfaithfulness happens first.
Asa took courage and continued the reforms to get the nation back to God. Notice also that their population GREW during the time of reforms as people came from other tribes when they noticed that Judah and King Asa were following God and God was with them.
After about 25 years of following God and having peace, Baasha, the king of Israel, decided to make war against Judah. But instead of Asa praying, instead of seeking the Lord, instead of doing the right thing, someone, maybe Asa himself, said, “I’ve got a great idea. We need to broaden our support. Let’s add programs and a new team and then we can defeat them.”
Asa bought the army of Syria to fight for him. He thought kings and kingdoms more important than trusting the King of Kings. Oh, they defeated Israel, but the prophet of God went to Asa and said, "Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars."
He had problems from then on because Asa didn’t trust God. Of course Asa didn’t blame himself, he blamed the prophet and took out his anger on him. When repentance was called upon, Asa “inflicted cruelties upon some of the people.”
How does that story from the Old Testament apply today? I know that the things in the Old Testament were written for our instruction (Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:11) but probably not this story. I guess we should just ignore it and “restructure.”
Oops. The last time someone said “restructure” in our brotherhood, it wasn’t a good time then, either.