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Judge Not!

Goodbye Belmont

Well it's official, Belmont University is no longer Baptist. Just a couple of years ago the school elected trustees without the consent or approval of Tennessee Baptists, something they agreed in writing to never do. They claimed to discover a document written years ago that demanded repayment of all monies given to the university from Tennessee Baptists after they had chosen their trustees. Dismissing, at first, as a careless mistake they continued to distance themselves from the TBC. Then, realizing that argument would not hold water, they claimed the document was no longer valid since it was written so many years ago. Then they requested documents from hundreds of Tennessee Baptist churches detailing contributions to the university. This was most likely just a legal ploy to get enough churches angry enough so they would petition the leadership in Brentwood to drop everything and let them go. That didn't work. What do you do when you are stuck in a legal agreement and can't find a way to get free without a fight; a fight you will most probably lose? You employ the tested and true "buy your way out of a jam" technique. So just before the annual meeting of Tennessee Baptist in early November the two sides would come to an agreed upon settlement. Instead of paying the $58 million they rightfully owed the TBC the would pay $1 million up front and $10 million more in $250,000 annual increments over the next 40 years.

So instead of paying the $58 million they truly owed they ended paying less that 20% of their debt. I wonder how my mortgage banker would respond if I offered to pay 20% of my debt over the next 40 years. Truthfully, unless it was offered to me, I would be ashamed to even propose the idea. I have enough integrity to pay what I rightfully owe without threatening to tie someone up in court for years. Given the actions of the leadership of Belmont University I for one am happy that they are no longer associated with Baptists in Tennessee. We do enough on our own to give ourselves black eyes without inviting someone to "sucker punch" us. So long Belmont. Just remember, you reap what you sow.             

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