Southwest Baptist University Forms Kangaroo Court to Defend Heretical Professors

Kangaroo courts” are sham legal proceedings which are set-up in order to give the impression of a fair process. In fact, they offer no impartial justice as the verdict, invariably to the detriment of the accused, and is decided in advance. Such is the sham investigation ordered by Southwest Baptist University to look into the firing of a good professor just because he had concerns that several professors (including the school’s dean) were heretics.

As we wrote in Southwest Baptist University Fires Prof for Objecting to Heresy, SBU president, Eric Turner, fired professor Clint Bass after it was discovered that Missouri Baptist Convention officials asked Bass to investigate whether other professors – led by dean, Richard Reeves – were not holding to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

According to Bass (and according to the facts and evidence, including direct quotations and audio) Reeves and at least one other professor, Zach Manis, were guilty of teaching annihilationism and inclusivism. Annihilationism teaches that hell is not eternal and inclusivism teaches that there are ways to Heaven without faith in Jesus.

After reviewing the evidence, there is ZERO DOUBT – none, zip, zilch, nada – that Bass’ accusations are factually accurate. However, President Eric Turner asked to see his personal diary in which he made his notes and then fired him immediately without further investigating his claims or speaking to other parties. Turner blamed Bass for “undermining the institution’s integrity.”

In response, more than a thousand people signed a petition to rehire Bass. There was much public outrage and Baptists could not undertand how the concerned professor – and not the heretic – was fired.

In response to that outrage, it was recently announced that SBU had chosen David Dockery to investigate the matter. Dockery is the president of Trinity International University and former president of Union University. He is also a theological ecumenist who is well-known for his total toleration of aberrant doctrinal beliefs and his ecumenism – the blended partnership between people of divergent faiths.

In a 2014 article first published by Pulpit & Pen and later Worldview Weekend, Ken Fryer wrote of Dockery’s ecumenism in the post Hickory, Dickory, Dockery: Ecumenism in the SBC.

Will someone who signed the Manhattan Declaration – which calls Roman Catholics fellow Christians – really call Reeves’ and Manis’ purgatorial concepts unorthodox? He’s already on record calling Catholics orthodox?

SBU tainted the investigation by calling it a “peer assessment committee.” Understand this: Bass has accused his peers of heresy, and SBU thought it appropriate to let his peers investigate the accusation. In reality, SBU trustees and Missouri Baptist Convention trustees should have investigated the matter personally. When the “peer assessment committee” finds Reeves and Manis innocent of heresy in spite of the evidence against them, and paints Bass as a schismatic, the trustees will simply pass the buck to the committee and tell people to take it up with them. We have gone from “trust the trustees” to “trust the sham committee the trustees are trusting.”

In the scenario contrived by SBU, everyone will be off the hook except for professor Clint Bass. President Turner and the trustees will simply point to the committee’s decision (the outcome of which is already decided).

The Baptist Press article about this reports a few interesting details. The first are “enthusiastic affirmations” of the Southern Baptist Faith & Message by the inclusivist and annihilationist heretics with zero explanation as to what their recorded words meant. Of course, there is no defense for their words, so none was provided.

In terms of discernment, one might wonder how these men have so vehemently denied their previous positions as recorded on audio. One might even be convinced that their perceived sincerity and assertiveness in their denials speaks to their truthfulness. But false teaches lie. They deceive. They “sneak in unawares” in “sheep’s clothing” and “spy out” how to destroy. It’s doubtful that Dockery will grasp that concept.

Furthermore, we should remember the words of Westminster Philadelphia founder, J. Gresham Machen:

[Subversive liberals] seek a place in the ministry that they may teach what is directly contrary to the Confession of Faith to which they subscribe. For that course of action various excuses are made…if a man desires to combat the message instead of propagating it, he has no right, no matter how false the message may be to, to gain a vantage ground for combating it by making a declaration of his faith which – be it plainly spoke – is not true.

Machen warned in Christianity vs Liberalism that liberal professors would flat-out lie about their holding to the very Confession they sought to undermine. Unable to find employment anywhere else, they take employment in the institutions they seek to weaken and teach contrary to the Confession of faith.

Sound familiar? It’s what all the liberals did during the Conservative Resurgence and it’s what is happening at SBU right now. While literally calling themselves annihilationists (see links above for the evidence), teaching a purgatorial view of the afterlife, and teaching a possible salvation without faith in Jesus, these same men “enthusiastically” affirm the Southern Baptist Faith and Message.

Their careers are riding on it, so of course they affirm it. They have to in order to keep their job.

Missouri Baptists, this is a sham. Do not fall for this process. It is a kangaroo court and its outcome is already predecided.