Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Here We Go Again

In the aftermath of the SBC it has been interesting to talk with people who were "in attendance" in Louisville and those who "attended" via the internet. The consensus has been that this was a good Convention but like so many times before, the after story becomes the story. Enter a fine young man named "Clark Logan" accompanied by the bureaucratic "two-step" which has become so prominent.

Candidly, I've met Bro. Morris Chapman one time about 15 years ago and I've never met Bro. Clark, so it is not that I have a "dog in the fight" of the employee-employer relationship publicity scandal which has surfaced. However as a Southern Baptist, any time a situation develops which causes a black mark on the Southern Baptist name and thus, negatively impacts our testimony of grace and gospel concerns me greatly. While those "inside the beltway" of the Executive Committee might see this as a "Personnel Policy" being implemented, the public perception (including me at this point) is that we have one more time "bloodied our own nose." Statements like "no comment" and "We do not comment on personnel matters" only serve to promote speculation about a bureaucracy gone wild. Honestly, in my heart I believe that the SBC is better than this, deserves better than this, and has a right to demand better than this.

While it is obvious that Bro. Clark was given the privilege of resigning (effective immediately) it is equally obvious that something is amiss in this situation. Whereas it is true that the general public doesn't have to know all the "ins and outs" of a personnel review, the personnel policy might need to be reviewed if it is the practice of the Executive Committee to call for a resignation in the AM and an evacuation in the PM. If an employee is not measuring up, the process should allow for more notice and direction than this.

However, the disturbing thing here is this; in a time when the Executive Committee and all of our national ministries just made a call for more support, their integrity comes into question with a unilateral decision to take the livelihood from a young man who is well thought of among his peers. Additionally, others are so afraid that they have little or no comment.

I am not angry, but saddened about this entire situation. I am saddened for Bro. Clark and his loss of a job in such a public manner. I am saddened for Bro. Morris and his loss of respect (at least from me) for the way this has been handled. I am saddened for the Executive Committee who seems to have been given a black-eye for their remaining silent (instead of giving some statement which assures us that this has gone through proper channels and processes). I am saddened for Southern Baptist who, once again, made the news by giving the perception that we have been unfair to one of our own. I am saddened for the gospel who always suffers when we make a mess of things. Let us not "Go this way again."

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