The last issue of ARPTalk, “Kooistra’s ‘Hail, Mary,’” must have hit a nerve in Due West. Instead of presenting the case for an Erskine football program and asking the board’s approval (as was anticipated), President Kooistra pulled back. In uncertainty, he said he just wanted to talk about football. Was he indicating that football was not a “Hail, Mary,” but just a forward pass?
When Paul Kooistra was hired as the President of Erskine College & Seminary, he was hired to return Erskine to her roots as a Christian Liberal Arts college with a reputation for academic integrity and excellence. Instead, what do we get? We get football presented as the Messiah for all financial woes! Is this a “Hail, Mary” pass of desperation?
The new year has begun well for Erskine College & Seminary. What does 2016 portend for financial disclosure at Erskine? More of the same? A new page? I do not know!
Congratulations and a tip of the hat are due to President Paul Kooistra of Erskine College & Seminary. He was somehow able to talk the SACS people into removing the sanction of probation on Erskine. He is a magician! What else can he pull out of his hat?
FDR’s once intoned, “Four years ago we were drowning in the waters of a great depression. Today, we are still drowning; but we have learned to breathe under water.” Well, that is the story being told at Erskine — they have learned to breathe under water financially. And as baseball’s philosopher Yogi Berra coined it, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
An Abbeville, SC, jury found for the plaintiff in the case of Dr. William Crenshaw v. Erskine College. Going forward, what does this mean?
The Erskine board meeting on May 28, 29, and 30 began with drama. It was a time in which little was done and much was accomplished. Chairman David Conner resigned from both chairmanship and the board leaving new Chairman Bill Cain with the task of reconstituting the Presidential Search Committee. At long last, I think this chapter of the battle for Erskine is closed.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results.” Einstein’s definition is a perfect opening for a report on the February 20 and 21 meeting of the Erskine board.
Despite our Presbyterianism, most are unaware the ARP Church has an ecclesiastic who sits de facto as a bishop over a board and agency of General Synod. The chairman of the Erskine board sits without ecclesiastical parallel in the history of the ARP Church. And he, as was his two predecessors, is unparalleled in the use of his office to resist the will and directives of General Synod.
When we in the ARP Church are confronted with the history of Erskine, what do we say? Have we hastened to obey God? Knowing the “right thing,” have we attempted to do it? The 2013 meeting of General Synod is the time for us to “Carpe Diem” and “hasten” to obey God.
According to reliable sources, the “blame” game has begun – well, unofficially, at least! At the board meeting on August 17th and 18th, in scattered and private conversations, the lament, “ARPTalk is killing us!”, was overheard. To blame the Erskine disaster on Chuck Wilson and ARPTalk is a gratifying but ultimately ridiculous act of blame-shifting.
Ms. Jane Green’s letter of resignation on July 29 from Erskine Theological Seminary was a surprise. Fourteen months ago she was brought on board ETS with a record of success and a sterling reputation for industry and integrity. The reasons she lists for her resignation are plain and damning.
The enclosed article below is by Mr. Craig Mutton. Mr. Mutton and his family are members of the Unity ARP Church, Piedmont, South Carolina. “Let me make it clear that I have not spoken out because I like to participate in controversy. In fact, I hate confrontation. I would much rather see our denomination in the place of Psalm 81:13-16 than in the place of Psalm 109:6-15.
The meeting of the General Synod did not end but fizzled out like a wet firecracker for want of a quorum at about 8:00 PM on Thursday, June 7. I am still depressed. How does one describe the 2012 meeting of Synod? Erskine, Erskine, Erskine, Erskine ad infinitum, ad nauseum. And Wolves.
What’s Going on at Erskine? Have You Noticed That Reality at Erskine Ain’t as Real as It Is Outside of Due West?
How is the ARP Church an “external influence” (like the Alumni Association, EC Foundation, the Due West Subway restaurant, and the homeowners’ association) and not an “internal influence”? If Erskine administrators say they are under Synod’s Manual of Authorities and Duties, how is the ARP Church an “external influence” and not an “internal influence”? An “external influence” cannot do the above things. Yet the ARP Church is now identified as an “external influence” by the administration. Oh, the irony of the howling contradiction! And, pray tell, how is it that SACS and ATS are not turning flips over these things?
Last week, an unsigned “attack piece” was released by EBOT Chairman Joe Patrick as an official response from the EBOT to the signers of the Minority Report. It flings double-speak, half-truths, misdirection, avoidance of findings, unctuous pseudo-piety, self-justification, and threats of reprisals like water at the signers. WHY? They were caught by the signers of the Minority Report in their treachery and exposed with their drawers down!
Folks, I am so tired of this. I am tired of Erskine College telling the ARP Church that has birthed them, prayed for them, and given more than $20,000,000 in the last 40 years to stay out of their business. I thought they WERE our business. What we are asked is to drink water from a poisoned well! I will not do it!
According to Julie Andrews in the film Mary Poppins, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is a word that one says when one has nothing to say. It is a nonsense word meaning nothing. And if there is a better word to describe some of the goings on in the ARP and Erskine communities nowadays, I do not know it. Indeed, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious maximus!
With all the miseries that have beset the ARP Church regarding Erskine College (EC) and Seminary (ETS) the last five years, an obvious thing has been lost in the miasma of words. That is, all roads lead to Greenville. Well, I suppose all roads lead to GARPC. One gets a feeling there is an embedded institutional incestuousness when begin to look at the players involved.
The blowing of the wind that you heard and felt a few days ago was the collective sigh of relief that came out of Due West, SC. The question terrifying Erskine was whether or not ATS would forgive ETS for all the indiscretions that occurred under the “reign of incompetence” of Harvey Gaston. Also in this article is a current-events demonstration of what happens when a denomination fights for its college. Would the ARP had been so bold…