Combating Worldliness at

Part Two

My struggle against worldliness at the University was interrupted about three months after I was dismissed. I first suffered a severe case of Herpes Zoster (shingles—not a sexual disease) on the upper half of my right leg. I began to develop the symptoms just before departing to get my mother in Florida to bring her here to my son’s graduation from the University in May. I did not realize what it was until I became so ill that I had to see a physician in Nashville, Tennessee, on the way back. Then, later that month, tragedy struck my widowed mother and my divorced daughter: they both became severely disabled for unrelated causes. My mother suffered a major stroke the day after she arrived home by air after her visit with us in Searcy. The stroke was caused by a blood clot in a major artery of the brain. The neurologist explained that she had been experiencing heart fibrillations for the last couple of years (something she did not tell us about), and that was probably the cause of the clot. It seems that these fibrillations cause substances in the blood to coalesce creating clots. The clot caused damage to a large portion of her left hemisphere as a result of the lack of blood supply. Hence, she suffered hemiplegia (paralysis) on the right side, expressive aphasia (loss of speech), and incontinence.

The day after her stroke, I and my wife left for Florida by car to be with my stricken mother. That very day my daughter developed a fever of 106.7 degrees and was rushed to the University of Florida hospital in Gainesville where she had been receiving extensive care the last several years for Crohn’s disease. Her heart stopped twice, and they had to use the paddles on her both times. In order to stimulate the heart her doctor ordered continuous intravenous injections of epinephrine (a stimulant). However, because she was taking so much medication to control her Crohn’s disease, her vascular system was vulnerable to stress. Then, somehow she was not carefully monitored, and damage began to occur in the sensitive blood vessels of her extremities. The end result was the loss of three of her fingers on each hand (Thank God both thumbs, and one finger on each hand were spared). The tissue of those fingers turned black, shrank to the bone, and became rock hard. Both of her legs also turned black from the knee down. To make a long story short they eventually amputated both legs. They first amputated the right leg below the knee. Then, after much skin grafting in an effort to spare the left leg, they also amputated it below the knee. Later, in Arkansas, because of an uncontrollable infection, what remained of the left leg was amputated above the knee.

After two weeks in Florida we returned to Searcy leaving my mother in a nursing home in Florida. My daughter remained in the hospital. She was there six months without a break. After about two months (at the end of August) I returned alone to Florida to care for my mother in her home. I planned to bring them both to live in Searcy after my daughter had received sufficient therapy. I cared for my mother alone for about two months. During that time I learned about the host of chores (some of them very unpleasant), and problems that go with providing full-time care for someone so incapacitated. I could not even leave the property without finding someone to stay with her. But God was merciful to me, and sent an angel of mercy, named Dorotha, my cousin. She had remained in Florida during the time my mother was in the nursing home there. It was a great relief and joy to me for her to do the major chores involved in caring for my mother; all the more because Dorotha enjoyed doing it. She did the cooking and washing as well. It was also very nice to have some company, and freedom to come and go. Visits to individuals who are as disabled as my mother are not frequent, especially when they are unable to speak. It was during the time that Dorotha was there that I wrote most of part one of this report.

Dorotha left for Kansas City on December 17, 1996 for the holidays. Tragically, she died about two months later. Because my daughter had been released from the hospital, and was having difficulty finding a facility that would take her (being on Medicaid), I finally departed for home with them both in my mother’s mini-van early Christmas day. My son had taken time from his employment to help me with the journey, and he followed behind me in my car. It was in Searcy that they discovered the staph infection in my daughter’s left leg necessitating further amputation above the knee. I placed my mother in a nursing home soon after returning. After her third amputation, my daughter was released to the same nursing home. I could not bring her to live in my house or she would have lost her Medicaid, and the coverage of medical costs which it provided. My daughter had reached the one million dollar limit of the private insurance I had gotten for her, just before her amputations and prolonged hospitalization in 1996. It so happened that both my mother and my daughter were able to be in the same room. After about a month my daughter was accepted for admission in an excellent rehabilitation center located at Hot Springs, but because of several things she was returned to Searcy, and had to wait for the disposition of her reapplication. My mother remained in the nursing home until I returned from Florida where I spent the month of March disposing of most of their household and personal possessions, and preparing the property for sale. About three weeks after returning to Searcy my mother died. She had made prior arrangements to be buried beside my father and my brother in Miami, Florida. Hence I made another trip to Florida. I took my wife, Genelle, and our daughter, Genette with me. We returned May 2. Then, tragically, in August of this same year (1997), about six weeks after I had taken her back to the rehabilitation center in Hot Springs, my daughter also died. My family has been stricken severely these last couple of years. But our faith, hope, and love remain strong. For, like the great apostle Paul (2 Timothy 1:12), we know whom we have believed, and we are persuaded that we will all meet again one joyful day in a land where God will wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4). If you want to read more detailed  reports about my mother and daughter, click here.)

In spite of our family problems I found some time to continue my efforts to promote obedience to Christ. On January 14, 1997, I called brother Liddell, Dean of Admissions at the conservative Memphis School of Preaching, and asked him if I could send copies of The Second Mile for each of their 16 students to critique. He graciously consented. And so I sent that material, including a letter to him. I also sent extra copies so that each of their faculty members could also have one. After waiting over one month without receiving a response from anyone there, I mailed a letter to brother Liddell asking him to tell me what his students had said about the manuscript. I also requested Memphis School of Preaching arrange a group meeting with me to discuss the issues I had raised. Moreover, I requested brothers Ira Rice and Rubel Shelley be present at the meeting (I also sent copies to them). Those two men are among the most respected leaders of the conservative and the liberal persuasions within the Churches-of-Christ. Members of those two sides rarely engage in any kind of fellowship, and each generally looks upon the other as an adversary. Nevertheless, to please Christ we must actively pursue reconciliation and unity among us (Matthew 5:23, John 17, 1 Corinthians 1:10). The Second Mile was written to help achieve that.

On about February 21 I received a letter from brother Liddell in which he said:

Upon receipt of your paper, we reviewed it, as I said we would before giving it to the students, and finding within it certain things which we consider to be contrary to Bible teaching concerning women, head coverings, etc., we did not give the paper to the students…these areas have been dealt with in numerous discussions, to the point we think they have been addressed sufficiently.

I called brother Liddell that same day to ask him if he had received the manuscripts I had intended to send, because The Second Mile is not about women. Of the 7400 words in the manuscript only about fifteen sentences (about 200 words comprising 2.5% of the content) contained anything specific about women. However, he assured me he had received the correct manuscript. He said he and brother Cates, their director, had reviewed it together, and agreed to reject it. Since brother Cates was then out of town, I called him a few days later. He also focused upon what he called "the hats and hair" objection, saying that was a major reason for its rejection. When I asked if he would allow his student to critique the paper, he said no. When asked why, he said, "It would only confuse them." I then asked him if he would like to hear what I had been doing at Harding. He said he would. I then explained how the policies of the University are encouraging the violation of Jesus commands about how we are to deal with offenses committed by a brother. He agreed the commands need to be obeyed, but he went on to say that in an academic environment it is not necessary. Indeed, he said, Memphis School of Preaching used to use anonymous questionnaires, and it continues to permit other Christians to voice complaints about a brother to his superiors without first going to that brother. When I asked him how that command could be violated, he gave an example of a man going to others with condemning statements about someone behind his back. When I told him that is exactly what they are doing at Harding, he responded saying that in an academic setting it is considered acceptable; thus he saw nothing wrong in it. Concluding I could not persuade him otherwise, I thanked him, and we said goodbye.

Near the end of my stay in Florida during the month of March I had called brother Rubel Shelley to ask him if I could visit with him on my journey back. He said he had gotten my letter, and had "skimmed" through The Second Mile essay, but he had no interest in visiting with me. About a year before that I had wanted to meet again with brother Ira Rice. I had invited two other faithful brothers who live in this area to go with me. But after calling him about such a meeting, he told me he would not meet with me because he was, in his words, not interested in anything I wanted to talk about.

Earlier this year, while my mother and my daughter were being cared for at the health facility, I was able to continue my efforts to combat the growing worldliness at the University. On January 20, I sent copies of the first part of Combating Worldliness at Harding University to my former students (250). I included copies of my manuscripts Jesus, Our Redeemer and Searching for God. None wrote back. I did see one student after a worship service who is sympathetic to my efforts. His only comment about the manuscripts was that he was sorry I was being ignored.

I also sent, on January 31, a copy of the manuscript The Second Mile to the conservative brother Roy Deaver, and I asked him to publish it in his periodical Biblical Notes. Later, on February 9, I called him to see if he had received the copy. He said he had received it, but he apologized, saying had not found the time to read it. I urged him to allow it a wider audience by publishing it. I also asked him to arrange a group meeting with some seasoned Christian men of his choice to discuss with me what I had written. I received a letter from him on Tuesday, February 18, saying that he did not want to publish the manuscript. His reasons were, briefly stated, that it is too long, and it contains controversial material. He said he would be glad to consider publishing a short article from me on another topic. He concluded by wishing me Godspeed on my planned return to Florida. He added, "We are ever grateful for all you have done to help in the work which—together—we seek to accomplish." Although we are not close friends, Brother Deaver has always treated me with unfeigned love. I believe his heart is tender and his piety is genuine.

On February 10, I got up very early in the morning, and spent much time in prayer and meditation. I then went to Harding’s School of Bible and Religion, and hand delivered to their main office secretary envelopes for each Bible professor containing the following manuscripts: part one of Combating Worldliness at Harding University, Jesus Our Redeemer, and Searching for God. I included a letter in which, among other things, I said, "Some of the things I wrote about are controversial (not that I love controversy, on the contrary I love truth and the peace that truth brings), but if I do happen to offend any of you, please treat me like the brother I am to you, and tell me, because your feelings are important to me."

One week later, on Monday, February 17, I went to their lunch room to talk with some of them about what I had sent. Only three professors were there during the hour I was present. They spoke kindly with me, but none of them had yet received their envelopes containing my manuscripts. The secretary I had given the envelopes to was at home ill that day, and the head of their department, brother Alexander, was away at a lectureship, so I had to wait for an explanation. I later made an appointment to see him Thursday afternoon, February 20. On Tuesday I began another fast for several days.

Wednesday morning I went to the University and began to distribute to the faculty unsealed envelopes containing the following manuscripts: part one of Combating Worldliness at Harding University, and Searching for God. I also included the same letter I sent to the Bible faculty. I went to each department. If the chairman was present I requested permission to distribute them. All but two who were present consented. If the chairman was absent, I asked one of their faculty members. If none of them were present, I asked the secretary. When I went to my former department I went directly to their offices to visit each one who was there. I first saw two assembled in one office. I asked if I could give them some manuscripts. One said no, she did not have time to read it. The other accepted the envelope, but indicated she did not want to talk about my dispute. I then found another former colleague who was very glad to see me, and welcomed what I had to give. He invited me in his office, and we had a nice conversation. Finding no other faculty members available except brother Thomas, I asked him if I could leave the envelopes for the others. He said I would first have to get the president’s permission, so I left. Later, another chairman, who is also a close friend of the president, refused to accept the envelopes saying he would have to get permission from the president. But since he had not explicitly ordered me not to distribute them, I went through the halls of his building, and either gave one to each faculty member I met, or I slipped one under each of their office doors. After about two hours I had distributed the material to almost all of the faculty.

I again spent considerable time praying and meditating Thursday morning. I interrupted that time briefly to call President Burks, but he was out of town, and unavailable until the following day. Later that morning I went to the Bible building to meet with individual members of the faculty. I planned to read to them a summary of what I was going to say to President Burks when I called him Friday, and give them a copy of the manuscript The Second Mile. The first faculty member said he wanted nothing to do with anything I was doing. I then went to another area in the Building where faculty offices were located. I saw a good friend of mine just as he was leaving to go to class, and so unable to visit with me, but I did ask him if he had received what I distributed yesterday. He said he had not. When we asked the secretary, she said she placed them all out on the counter to make them available. I then met with another faculty member who did have a little time. I told her what I was going to say to the president, and we had a cordial conversation. She did not condemn what I was doing, but was pessimistic about any success. Moreover, she was concerned about my own welfare—what this struggle was doing to me. I was very grateful for her sentiment, and the loving spirit she demonstrated.

By then it was near lunch time, so I went to the faculty lunch room where a few of them were beginning to gather. Eventually, four came, and they listened to me as I told them what I was going to say to the president; and then they conversed with me briefly about my conflict. All of them thought I was wrong in what I was trying to promote. Nevertheless, one brother did expressed some sympathy toward me. Having read Combating Worldliness at Harding University, he said, in the presence of the others, that he thought I had not been treated properly. He was the only Bible faculty member who ever told me that. They soon lost interest in talking about the subject, so I thanked them for their time and went to look for other faculty members. Many were not in their offices. A few were too busy to visit, so I just left them a copy of The Second Mile. One brother was busy sorting materials, but he did allow me to tell him what I was going to say to the president. He told me he was a new professor, and knew nothing about my dispute. Moreover, he thought that I should not be discussing what I was going to tell the president before talking with him. I told him that I wanted to give faculty members a chance to ask the president some questions anonymously, and hear his response from me. Nevertheless, I began to consider what he said. The next faculty member was too busy to visit, so I just gave him a copy of the manuscript. However, I began to ponder more about the matter of telling others about what I was going to say to the president before meeting with him. So, I decided to return home and pray about the matter. I finally concluded that there was one thing in what I was going to tell him that I should not have voiced prematurely to others: the accusation that he was not showing love to others in the way he was ruling the University. I then called the brother who raised the question, and thanked him for bringing that to my attention. I also told him that I was no longer going to speak to anyone about the call before talking with the president himself. Later that afternoon I met with brother Alexander as scheduled. He greeted me warmly, and we discussed matters for about 40 minutes.

After returning home I found two letters in my mailbox addressed to me from President Burks saying, "The policy of Harding University prohibits persons who are not faculty, staff, or students from being on campus for the purpose of soliciting or handing out materials. Therefore, you are being asked to refrain from being on the campus of Harding University for the purpose of soliciting or handing out materials." I received the same letter the next day by Certified mail. My brothers, I was a member of the Harding faculty for over 24 years, and I know that the University does not object to book salesmen coming on campus and going about freely to solicit book sales. It is ironic that this Christian university allows the financial solicitation of secular material on campus by unbelievers; much of which advocates evolution, promotes atheism, and supports ungodly practices such as homosexuality. However, I was ordered by the president not to solicit obedience to the commandments of Christ through my manuscripts, even if I gave them away. Nevertheless, I will no longer personally distribute any kind of materials on campus without his permission.

Later that afternoon, as I was reviewing in my mind the events of the day, and was praying, I began to realize that when I had assembled with the four brothers in the lunch room of the Bible building I had violated Jesus command given by Paul in Titus 3:2; which is translated in the KJV as, "…shewing all meekness unto all men," and in the RSV as "…show perfect courtesy toward all men." Therefore, after asking God to forgive me, I called each one at their homes to confessed that sin against them, and apologize. One of them did not want to accept my apology saying I had nothing to apologize about. He then went on to express sympathy to me for what I had gone through, and stated that we can still remain brothers even though we disagree. He wished me well. Another was also very sympathetic. He recognized my sincerity in trying to obey Jesus in spite of opposition and rejection, and also wished me well; although he was still not convinced about all I had done. The other two listened to me but did not want to talk further.

A few days later, in retrospect, after much prayer and deliberation, I realized that I had also offended brother Alexander during our meeting. Here is what came to mind:

  • I failed to appreciate his responsibility as a leader at the University.
  • I should have asked his permission before attempting to distribute the manuscripts.
  • I should not have objected to others before giving him a chance to explain.
  • I was not fully courteous to him as he was to me.
  • I was self-righteous, and spoke arrogantly.
  • I was too harsh in my criticism of the local ministers, and should not have said "they slammed the door in my face", because they did listen to me courteously.
  • I should not have told him I was going to print what he said to me even before hearing what he was going to say.

Therefore, after asking God to forgive me, I called brother Alexander to express my apologies for all of those offenses. Moreover, I told him that since he had not offended me in any way during that meeting, I would not print anything that he said without his expressed permission. I added that it had been an evil day for me, having committed so many offenses, and I had been trying to rectify them all. He spoke kindly, and thanked me for calling. That was Sunday, February 23. Later I mailed him a letter expressing that apology, and asking him to share it with those I had spoken to about him.

The previous Friday afternoon president Burks had returned my call. I thanked him for giving me some of his time, and told him how important this conversation was to me; adding that I had prayed and meditated about what I was going to say to him for over four hours yesterday morning. I then reminded him that from the beginning my efforts were intended to seek reconciliation among Christian brothers Christ’s way. And I told him that I was not going to stop doing that. I said as part of that effort I went to each department last Wednesday, and distributed copies of two of my manuscripts for all of the faculty. I told him I also left copies for him. He responded by simply saying he had received them. I then asked if I could ask him a few questions, saying there were less than ten, and most of them could be answered either yes or no. I went on to say that I had one other comment to make before that. I then said, "I do not think you are showing love to others in the way you are ruling the University." I waited for a response, but he made none. I then urged him to study 1 Corinthians 13. He still did not respond.

My first question asked if he was going to order me to stay away from the campus. He said not for the time being. I then reminded him that I believed he had dismissed me improperly, and I was now requesting specific reasons in writing for my dismissal. He said he was not going to do more than he already had. I asked him if all of the Trustees knew of my dismissal. He said yes. I asked him if they had approved my dismissal. He said yes. I then requested a meeting with them. He said, "That is not possible."

I then asked him if he had any objections about faculty members writing the Trustees. He immediately responded with an emphatic, "Yes!" However, over the course of the next few minutes he gradually changed his response, finally saying that he had no objections. He even added that some had done that in the past, and he had not disapproved. He told me that the names and addresses of the Trustees could be obtained from his office. I asked him if he would distribute that information to all of the faculty. He said he would not. I pointed out to him that he has great power over the University, and it was intimidating to have to go to his office to get that information in order to communicate with his superiors. He made no comment. I then added that since he was not going to distribute that information to the faculty, I was. He made no comment.

I next asked him if he would object to faculty members writing the Trustees anonymously. He quickly responded by saying, "Yes." He then said that he never reads anonymous letters, and he assumed the Trustees would not want to receive such letters; although he went on to say that such a decision would be theirs to make. I asked him if he would object to faculty members sending the Trustees confidential letters. He paused for a moment, and then said he did not want to answer what he called "a hypothetical question". Then he added, "It depends on what it says."

Now I must say that I am astonished at his response to my questions about faculty members writing the Trustees either anonymously or in confidence, for my own objection to individuals making accusations either anonymously or in confidence against faculty members to their superiors was part of the very thing that began my conflict with him. He has fought to retain the policy of encouraging students and others to make accusations anonymously (or in confidence) to the administration against faculty members; and these are accepted at face value without further investigation. Yet, he told me he would object to faculty members writing to his superiors anonymously for any reason, whether they made accusations against him or not. He rejects the very method of anonymity in dealing with his superiors, but somehow sees nothing wrong in promoting a policy at the University that encourages anonymity when students and others write about faculty members. And he and the other leaders of the University compound that error by accepting accusations against them without further investigation; then they use that material, some of which contains false testimony, to make important decisions about them. It is a shameful thing committed by Christian leaders against their Christian brothers; and God will hold them accountable.

After I finished asking him the questions I had prepared, I told him that I was going to write the Trustees, and ask them if they wanted to have more contact with the faculty. He said he had no problem with that. Then, at the end of our conversation, President Burks said something to the effect that he wanted very much to resolve our differences. I told him I wanted the same thing. But I also told him I hoped that he would not object if I continue to do all I could to try to correct, in a Christian way, what I considered to be wrong. He said he would not object to that. However, he then said he does object when I say things about him that are untrue. I responded by asking him to tell me what I had said that was not true. He then said that we had been over all of that many times, and he was not going to go over it again. At that, I concluded that any further debate would be unproductive; and not wanting to intrude upon his time, I thanked him for the conversation, and we said goodbye.

Immediately afterward I tried to recall what I had ever said about him that was untrue. The only times I can remember when he ever accused me of saying anything not true concerned two things I had written in my report to the elders of College Church. In that report I had stated that he objected to Halloween; he later denied having said that. In the same report I made the statement, "…I got the impression from brother Burks that the Harding administration keeps secret dossiers on file containing such complaints against faculty members…" In a later meeting he denied their existence. However, I had not said that there actually were secret dossiers, but that I had been given that impression, because in the prior meeting he told me for the first time that 14 students had complained to him about me. Since that was the first time I had ever heard about them, such information had certainly been kept secret from me. Moreover, I questioned whether he could have kept for several years such specific information as the exact number of students only in his memory. There are well over 200 faculty members on the campus, and he had told me such accusations against faculty members were common. Thus, if no records were kept, how could he possibly have remembered such details as the exact number of students? Of course, he later confessed to me, in the presence of brothers Neal Pryor and Jack Thomas, that the number he gave had been a fabrication. I could think of nothing else I had said that would have prompted president Burks to accuse me of saying things untrue about him. And his refusal to give me an answer when I asked him what specifically they were, is a clear indication to me that this last accusation is of the same sort as the one about 14 students complaining to him about me.

On February 26 I went to the Wednesday evening service of College Church with my wife to place membership there. I can report with rejoicing that we were warmly received by many. We have been worshipping there ever since. Early this summer I made one final attempt to persuade the university to make a greater effort to obey Christ. I tried to call each of the twenty trustees of the University. However, I was only able to reach eight of them. Hence, I tried to communicate with the remainder by written correspondence. None responded. Of those whom I called only one of those said he even knew about my dismissal, and that was the chairman. As with the president, none of them liked the idea of anonymous letters, nor would any of them accept anonymous accusations. Yet, in contradiction to their expressed disapproval of such things, as with the president, they too approve of the University’s policy of putting on record anonymous and unconfirmed accusations against faculty members. After speaking by telephone with the chairman, he wrote me a letter supporting the president in his decisions. I then wrote a response to him, sending copies to the other trustees, and to the faculty. I have not yet received any kind of response from anyone about that letter.

I fear that most modern Christians are so fainthearted and lukewarm that they have never experienced the real persecution that inevitably follows obedience to the commands of Christ. It is hard to resist conforming to the world. It is even harder to combat worldliness—it provokes persecution. The blithe, complacent spirit of Harding University is another symptom of its growing worldliness. Examine the things they enjoy doing, and the things they boast about most, and you will see where their heart is. There is no reason for the world to want to persecute them; they fraternize with it; not, of course, with the most degenerate element, but with the most seductive part of the world—the mainstream.

After waiting about four months for a response from the leadership of the University, I took the next step. I assembled together copies of my first report on worldliness at the University, with the letter I wrote to the chairman of the trustees, and some of my essays, to send to the brotherhood at large. Then on November 20, I mailed that material to the elders of 790 churches, most of whose addresses I had obtained at random from Dennis Kelley’s National Directory of the Churches of Christ. I included a similar cover letter to the one I had sent with the materials I gave to the University faculty. In response to that mailing, to date, I have received two telephone calls and one length letter. In each case those respondents extended words of encouragement to me. Then, on December 12 I decided to send copies of part one of Combating Worldliness at Harding University to the faculty members of Memphis School of Preaching, and to brother Deaver. I included the same cover letter. I have not yet received a response from any of them. Thus, having informed many Christians by mail about my struggle with the leadership of Harding University, I am now making it all available through this electronic means.

All of these efforts to publicize my conflict with the leadership of Harding University were done for one reason: to obey Jesus’ command to "tell it to the church" when brothers refuse to repent (Matthew 18:17). Now some may charge that any man who went to such lengths as I have gone must have a mental disorder. But such men fail to appreciate the importance of obedience to our Lord. Is a soldier who goes above and beyond the call of duty judged insane? And what did many Jews say about Jesus? "He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?" (John 10:20). But other Jews objected to that accusation, saying, "These are not the sayings of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?" (John 10:21). Of course, I can perform no miracle but I do understand much about God’s Word, and I am trying to help others gain greater understanding. Those who may judge me mentally disturbed, as many did with Jesus, have misperceived my zeal. Judge for yourself whether these words are from a man striving for Christ, or from a demented mind. As you can see from some of what I have written here, there are many things I need to improve about my life. But I will never stop trying to overcome my sins, nor will I stop trying to bear fruit for my Lord no matter how hard or unpleasant the task.

Regarding the essays I have written which are not related to Harding university, I mailed copies of the manuscript Jesus, Our Redeemer in the Fall of 1995 to eighty publishers of religious periodicals; sending about half to those affiliated with Churches-of-Christ. None were willing to publish it. In the spring of 1996, just before my family was stricken, I mailed copies of Jesus, Our Redeemer to each of the Bible faculty at the University, and wrote asking for their comments. I received one encouraging letter from brother Alexander who was the associate dean at the time. In the winter of 1997 I mailed copies of the manuscript The Second Mile to the same publishers I had sent Jesus, Our Redeemer. It too was rejected by all. At about the same time I mailed copies of the manuscript Feminism and the Church to about a dozen publishers. This time I sent most to publishers in foreign countries because this country is so dominated by feminism. None of them was willing to publish it.

Yet for all this, "…I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Timothy 1:12). As long as I remain faithful to Jesus, our Savior, I have no doubt that God will answer my unceasing prayer to bear fruit beyond measure for him. For our Father in Heaven is who matters, not me. I fully expect to die in relative obscurity, even among my brothers in the Church. And I truly think it is best that way, lest popularity puff me up, and then I become weak in God’s sight, and no longer able to bring forth the tough, enduring kind of productivity that men of God should pursue. For God told Paul, "…my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Having heard that, Paul said, "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10). Therefore, I do not mind being a fool (as judged by some) for Christ's sake, or weak, or held in dishonor, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

My brothers, I close by confessing to you (God is my witness) that I did not want to write these reports, and from the beginning I have agonized much over them. I wrote them not for my sake but for yours, because I am convinced that our Lord wants you to know these things. Christian parents should be able to send their children to our schools with confidence that their faith will be strengthened. Our Christian schools should be allies in the fight to maintain and promote the purity of Christ’s Church. But the explosive growth of worldliness in this country is invading our schools. Would it have been right for me to keep these things concealed from you? Please pray that God will raise up faithful leaders for our Christian schools. Then use every opportunity that God may give you to help answer that prayer.

"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, [be] honor and glory forever and ever. Amen" (1 Timothy 1:17).