This is just a temporary podcast of a sermon by a Pastor acquaintance on an early chapter of the book of Genesis.
I heard that Newtown, Connecticut has received well over 60,000 Teddy bears in the last month. How many warehouses does that fill? Those are symbols of hearts broken across this nation by the unspeakable and tragic loss of Teachers and Babies.
In Rockwall, TX, “Christians” throw them out in the street.
There is no better explanation of why this country has gone off the rails spiritually and practically than a small news item that came out of Rockwall, TX in April of 2012.
Dr. Ron Taylor, Headmaster of the Heritage Christian Academy, terminated the employment of Teacher and Award winning Volleyball Coach Cathy Samford due to a violation of the “morals clause” of her contract when she became pregnant without being married.
According to various news reports, Dr. Taylor reported that it was a hard decision to make, but felt that “they” (I assume he meant himself and the school board) had to take a stand on the issue due to her position as a role model and a Teacher in the classroom.
In an election year that brought us the contrived meme of “The Republican War on Women”, several news sites on the left picked up this story and ran with it to further that narrative. It’s a shame that Sandra Fluke was picked as the poster-lady for their cause, because I believe from the small amount of facts reported on Ms. Samford’s story, she is FAR more illustrative of the problem facing America and American Christianity today.
American Evangelical Christianity has transformed from the worthy goal of shepherding the flock into the best and holiest that we can be into clubhouses of people who can follow the rules.
Then we dismiss anybody who hasn’t. That flies in the face of the entire reason we needed a Saviour in the first place, and I'm done with it.
Here’s the problem, when the Shepherds start enforcing the rules without offering redemption for violations of the rules, then we’re all doomed.
Ms. Samford, already a mother of two, offered to marry the “Sperm Donor” of child #3, and gave a fairly flimsy excuse of why they hadn’t already. It’s here that Dr. Taylor missed a GOLDEN opportunity to rescue and redeem the situation and instead won the honor of being 2012’s “Buckethead Baptist” of the year.
In the hope of preventing such boneheaded mistakes being made in the future, and excusing them by wrapping these decisions with a leather bound KJV and crying “Supreme Court Decision 9 to 0” on a church’s ability to hire and fire whom they choose,
I’d like to offer aspiring Christian leaders… another way.
When the option of a single mother of three to get married is put on the table, you TAKE IT!
What's wrong with a good old fashioned shotgun wedding?
In fact, had I been Dr. Taylor that day, I would have cleared the appointment book, picked up the phone and called the employer of “Sperm Donor” and ask that employer to deliver up “Sperm Donor” for an appointment at the HCA altar within 90 minutes or he would be looking at charges of corporate espionage. I would explain that “Sperm Donor” violated the Security Policies of HCA and one of its employees causing medical expenses to be incurred by both the employee and the HCA educational corporation. I would also suggest that “Sperm Donor” would be needing a raise of $30 a week (diaper money) in lieu of pursuing damages in Civil Court based on damages to HCA’s reputation. (I’m afraid that would probably lose in arbitration because there’s enough boneheadedness to go around in this situation, but hey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.)
Instead, we ended up with (as Dr. Taylor has been all too quick to point out her continued unmarried state) a single unemployed mom with three young mouths to feed. FOUR more burdens on the state and us taxpayers… ok, NOW this is ALL our business.
You could have transformed “Sperm Donor” into instant family man with the title of “Father” and all the crushing weight of responsibility that comes with it. You could have rescued 3 children from the absence of a “Father” role model in their lives, which is the #1 problem our nation has. But you didn’t. Instead you chose to make things... WORSE.
Before you take sides with HCA’s “morals clause” and the administration of what I'm sure is an otherwise fine and oustanding educational institution, perhaps perusing Deuteronomy 22:28-29 for some guidance would be profitable. Yes, they'd need to overlook that “virgin” phrase, but let’s face it, they didn’t hire her in that condition in the first place and that ship sailed long ago. There is that 50 shekels of silver fine though… roughly $1500 today. That money could be used to finance a nice little program of premarital sex counseling for the school to offset whatever damage Ms. Samford’s continued presence in front of little girls might cause. Personally, I think seeing a woman with 3 kids tossed out on the street is sending quite another message to those little girls of your school than they do.
Instead of a family of five, two incomes, with Health Insurance… we now have a ready made tragedy waiting to happen multiple times. I should add that HCA pretty much took away any support structure Ms. Samford could have had with the relationships ended among friends and co-workers. Removing her from a community of people that may have cared for her and the kids may have been more destructive then just firing her, only time will tell.
People who wonder why single women voted 2-1 for Barack Obama this past election, should look no further than Heritage Christian Academy. It’s not hard to figure it out when good “Christian” men… reject the model of the Christ and the Redeemer for the security of a “morals clause”. We’ve lost the forest for the trees. We live in a nation that sees half of its children now conceived out of wedlock, and our churches are full of Prosecutors of the Law who wag their fingers and buy Chick-fil-A for Jesus. We missed the fact that in every single legal confrontation that Jesus was in, he acted as a Defense Attorney, and thank God, still is.
To those “Christian” men and women who think that prosecuting the law on those who’ve failed to live up to a “morals clause” is just being faithful to God, I question your biblical literacy and quite frankly, your sanity. He’s all about redemption and restoration, not punishment. He’s a God of life, not death. The law only brings death. Who's side are you on anyhow?
The Deity ALSO takes a dim view of corrupt Judges. God doesn’t even take that crap from the Heavenly Host or Divine Council (Psalm 82 -- especially verse 3, take a listen to an interview with Liberty University's Dr. Michael Heiser to learn more about God's Supreme Court). There’s some warnings about how to judge sprinkled in Leviticus 19 and several other places too.
Matthew 18 was Jesus’ own directive on resolving hard issues like these. When Samford offered to marry, that would have fulfilled Matthew 18, but Taylor and HCA refused to uphold their responsibility of that command. Why? Because it was easy, and since when does American Christianity do anything hard? The “morals clause” contract that an institution like HCA had is weighed heavily in the favor of those in authority, It’s an unjust weight (Proverbs 11:1). It protects the organization at the expense of the employee that goes astray. ("The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one" is NOT a biblical concept, see Luke 15)
Dr. Taylor, I bestow upon you the title of “Buckethead Baptist of 2012”, and yes I realize that you are very likely a C of C kinda guy… but around where I live, the only difference is the piano and organ... and all the grief I've enjoyed from them, I now return to you.
The award usually comes with a head sized bucket from Lowe’s… but this year, a ticket to “Les Miserables” at your local cinema seems more appropriate. Have you ever seen it? Watch and learn, you might recognize the story. I'm more partial to the Liam Neeson version myself... but that movie is an excellent example of how the relentless and ruthless pursuit of the Law is undone by Grace.
When you’re brought before the King, expect to see mother Mary in the audience for your hearing, she might have something to educate you about concerning the “morals clause” of her day.
May God have mercy on the United States.
I LOVE this guy...
Dr. Larry Spargimino is my new hero.