The SACS Report: An Assault By Secular Terrorists Against the Christian Church In Higher Education

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The SACS report and its recommendations represent a clear threat to ANY religious body that seeks to hold the trustees of denominational colleges and seminaries accountable to missional criteria. This report is a declaration of war on the Christian Church in higher education. The little ARP Church now finds herself as the Dutch Boy with a finger in the dike attempting to hold back the terrorist assaults of secular agnosticism/atheism that seeks to silence the voice and witness of Christianity in higher education. Our friends and brothers and sisters in the PCA (Covenant College and Covenant Theological Seminary), the Southern Baptist Convention (a host of colleges and seminaries), the RPCNA (Geneva College and Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary) and other Christian denominations and their colleges and seminaries are watching what we ARPs do in this important conflict. Our prayer is that they will join us in this struggle that is also their struggle.

SACS bureaucrats have pushed themselves into a family dispute in the ARP Church between General Synod and Erskine, the educational institution of the ARP Church, and obviously interjected the SACS committee as a participant and taken the side of rebellious and traitorous Erskine trustees and administrators who are COVENANT BREAKERS who have broken faith with the GSARPC. Any veneer of evenhandedness and intellectual fairmindedness that the SACS committee may have had is now gone. This SACS committee has told the ARP Church to go to hell. To all other Christian churches that have denominational colleges and seminaries and that hold their colleges and seminaries in the same manner as the ARP Church, this SACS committee has also told to go to hell. The originating agency of the church that appoints trustees is, according to the report of the SACS committee, an idiot child with no standing in their sight.

Don Clements in The Aquila Report writes: “The recommendations and comments, if approved, will require Erskine to clearly separate itself from any direct influence by the ARP Church.”

The partisan nature of the report of the SACS committee is BREATHTAKING! The Erskine Board, unless the meeting is canceled or rescheduled at the last minute, is scheduled to meet Monday, June 7, at Bonclarken. From all reports, the topic on the table for discussion is how to declare the Board self-perpetuating and independent of the ARP Church IN SOME MANNER. The timing between the meeting and discussions at the last BoT meeting and the follow-up ruling by the SACS committee are very close. Are the directional discussions of the BoT and the allied herding efforts of the SACS committee conjoined? It is enough to make one wonder if collusion has taking place! Do you think?

What is a feasible response for the General Synod? Hang tight!

A number of years ago in a conversation with a now retired administrator, he said that every so often the GSARPC got indignant over affairs at Erskine. Speeches were made. Investigations and reports were made. At the end of the day, the members of GSARPC felt good about themselves in that they had spoken out against evils at Erskine; however, the members of the GSARPC were not willing to undertake the hard task of discipline that makes for real accountability, and the folks at Erskine, having weathered the storm again, went on their merry way. Will the response of the GSARPC this year be a repeat of “sound and fury signifying nothing”? We must have the courage of patience in the face of the intimidation by the Erskine BoT and their allies on the SACS committee. C. S. Lewis says, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

The arrogance and sweep of the report of the SACS committee are astounding. Erskine College and Seminary is not the only educational institution that is denominationally connected in the manner that Erskine is. This report will probably cause a great deal of consternation amongst certain SACS member schools. As in the case of all committees, the appointing body SACS may modify or annul this committee’s report. Since the Appeals Court has redlined 4 out of 5 of his opinions, not much has been heard.

A committee report by a SACS committee is exactly that: a committee report. As noted earlier, it is open to change and it has to be adopted. If adopted, that is not the end of the matter. There is an appeal process, both with SACS and the civil court, for this report by the SACS committee has opened “freedom” issues that involve more than academic freedom. Did anyone notice that the SACS committee report seems to reach out and take not only control of governance but effectively ownership of Erskine? Issues such as these are what spurred Dr. Charles McMcKenzie, former President of Grove City College, to take on the federal government in civil court. Do not forget that Dr. McKenzie and Grove City College won before the Supreme Court. Beside, even if SACS does rule in a threatening manner, it takes time for a bureaucracy to work and time has to be granted from implementation. According to what the Editor is told, notations are given a year or two in which to be addressed.

It is the opinion of the Editor that time and money and events are with the GSARPC. According to sources, since the redlining of 4/5 of Judge Griffith’s opinion, the attorney’s for the ARP Church are seeking to recover attorney’s fees from the plaintiffs. One will have to wait and see how this unfolds, but it has been reported to the Editor that the matter is going well.

These are my thoughts,

Charles W. Wilson

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  1. Just to let you know, we are working on a story with commentary on the SACS report. We have input from Geneva College, Covenant Seminary, and a member of the Moderator’s Commission. Dr. Nielson, President of Covenant College, is in Indonesia, but we hope to have his comment by Sunday afternoon. We will publish by 1:00AM Monday with or without the Covenant College input.

  2. William Epps says:

    No matter what the President of Covenant College says. This is very serious. If Erskine is not accredited then enrollment will drop and to less than half and will close. Lets get serious folks. SACS is an independent agency and the leadership on all sides should follow their directives.