As a current homeowner at the former Glorieta Conference Center, I differ with many of Tom Rainer’s comments to the Southern Baptist Convention about the sale of Glorieta.
First, we were threatened from the beginning with the sale of Glorieta to a casino owner. I daresay the “world” would have treated the homeowners with much more respect, integrity and fair-market value for our homes than has the so-called “Christian” organization called LifeWay.
Granted, there are only a few of us homeowners who have invested their life savings into their sole home at Glorieta, but that does not make the second homes of others any less valuable.
As to not being able to determine fair market value, we have gotten an appraisal of our only home at Glorieta by an appraiser familiar with appraisals where the home is owned and the land is leased. What Rainer continues to leave out is that our offers for our homes are at $30/square foot, whereas our appraisals are well over $100/square foot. While $100,000 sounds like a lot of money for homeowners, that amount covers only a handful of church lodges, one of which is valued at over $1 million.
As to the one-year leases, that was instigated only after Rainer began leading LifeWay. It was LifeWay’s responsibility to step up and purchase our homes at fair market value before they confiscated them and sold the whole campus for $1.
Our home is our property—paid in full by us—not LifeWay’s.
LifeWay ‘more like moneychangers in the temple’
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The comment by Thom Rainer regarding the treatment of Glorieta homeowners reminds me of the drunk driver telling the police office, “I only had one beer,” but neglecting to tell about the two quarts of whiskey he consumed before plowing his vehicle into a string of cars. The limited statement was true, but he left out a lot of material facts that complete the story.
He said, “The buyer was under no legal obligation to lessees.” That’s true; LifeWay was. He said the buyer “offered options including purchase for a maximum of $100,000.” That is true, but he failed to say the offer was based on $30 per square foot when the fair market rate was in excess of $100. The other “options” were simply give them the property or lease it for another 12 years at 150 percent of the current lease and give it to them at the end of the lease. Rainer did not bald-face lie, but his limited comments did deceive and obscure the whole truth.
For 59 years, LifeWay routinely either renewed the leases or paid fair market value for homes. After repeatedly promising to “take care” of homeowners when announcing the exploration of a sale, they basically abandoned the homeowners and robbed them of millions in the value of their homes and lodges. That doesn’t seem very Christ-like for a “Christian” organization with $71 million cash in the bank. It’s more like the moneychangers in the temple.
Engage the world
If the Scripture said not to engage the world, then why did the apostles go to lands where they worshipped idols? Even India, where Hindu practices were far from Jesus. We are to be salt and light, even at the risk of death.
Glad these folks are willing to engage the pagan world. They may bring some to Christ.
Ancient-coin claims ‘hugely overblown’
“Baylor expert urges scrutiny of trade in looted coins” is part of a campaign by academics with an axe to grind against private collecting. The claims are hugely overblown. For an alternate view, see my article published in the magazine of the American Numismatic Society
Baptist leaders without the name
It seems strange that the Southern Baptist Convention keeps electing pastors who pastor churches that do not use the “Baptist” name—especially not “Southern” Baptist. Several years ago, the convention chose not to try to change its name, so I guess the trend is just to not mention the denomination at all.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
‘Wonderful example of Christianity’
Your preacher Jeff Hood, who walked and prayed to bring a message of love and opposition to the death penalty, is a wonderful example of Christianity.
Jesus, government & public prayer
The governor of my state, North Carolina, recently signed a bill into law that would explain some of the religious rights of students and staff in public schools. I am a supporter of freedom of religion, but I think citizens should also have freedom from religion. I also believe in the separation of church and state. The state shouldn’t be telling people how, when and where to pray. Many conservative Christians support this legislation. Some of them obviously have read more of the Old Testament than the New Testament. According to the New Testament, Jesus said people who pray in public are hypocrites. He also said when you pray you should go home, shut the door and pray to your Father in secret. He did not say people should pray in school, at sporting events or before government meetings in “Caeser’s house.”
Was Jesus wrong on public prayer ? If so, what else was he wrong on ?