As Solomon neared the end of his life, he be came aware that he
had a son wearing a "foolscap" destined to sit on David's
throne. He viewed with growing alarm a brilliant young man, Jereboam,
in his court who had all the kingly qualities lacking in his irrational
son. Solomon feared that Jereboam posed a mortal and growing threat
to his son. Jereboam sensing that he was facing imminent danger
fled to Egypt for sanctuary in Pharoah's court.
Jereboam returned to Israel after Solomon's death apparently without
intent to wrest the kingdom from the arrogant and irresponsible
Rehoboam. However, he accepted the request of the elders of the
northern tribes to become their king.
The wise and ambitious advisors of Jereboam knew the hearts of
the people lay in Jerusalem. Jereboam took counsel from these
calculating men in their plot to seize the ten tribes of Israel.
They could not have hoped for a more compliant foil in their scheme
than the arrogant Rehoboam and his court cronies.
The shrewd and calculating elders of Israel advised Jereboam to
set up two golden calves in Israel placing one in Dan and the
other in Bethel. The people were told, "These are your gods
which brought you up from Egypt," and it would be easier
to worship their god Baal in Israel than to endure the rigors
of long journeys back to Jerusalem.
An Obvious Comparison
The conservative churches of Christ today are facing a similar
dark crisis. The churches are already infiltrated by a growing
number of "change agents" who will stop at nothing short
of a sweep of church takeovers. The Northern Kingdom was lost
in a day to David's house, but centuries passed before the "ten
tribes" of Israel disappeared into the dusty bins of history.
A new generation of liberal "Church of Christ" leaders
are now on the scene working havoc. They calculate to cover up
and sanctify with pious rhetoric their introduction of liberal
postmodern theology into the churches. This is being accomplished
through a generational passage of the power and influence from
the old to the young.
The mantle of such pious brethren who preached the gospel in another
time and place with such sweetness and light, and in such a positive
manner, and who were never negative, and who never called names,
is now worn by their clever successors. This new generation of
liberal radicals obviously hold the conservative churches of Christ
We choose to single out one of the most influential and liberal
leaders in churches of Christ today in this connection. He is
Harold Hazelip. He has had a major influence in putting in place
and endorsing much of the ground work for "change agents"
to infiltrate and seize control of unsuspecting churches. He is
uniquely enabled to do so with the power and prestige of the presidency
of David Lipscomb University.
Dr. Hazelip, at an earlier time, championed the cause of our "antiinstitutional"
brethren. Why he abandoned the "anti" position could
be explained by the likes of Leroy Garrett and Bill Humble who
followed a similar course. They chose the path of liberalism,
and why they did so may not be such an enigma. There were few
plums on the branches for brethren of their persuasion and ambition.
(An interesting note is that perhaps Dr. Hazelip's last appointment
of a DLU Bible faculty, Brandon Freedonburg, comes out of this
Dr. Hazelip was welcomed ten years ago to Lipscomb by faculty
and alumni because it was hoped that he would continue to implement
the timehonored traditions of the school David Lipscomb
founded. Willard Collins had served a brief tenure as DLC president.
Brother Collins restored in a short time confidence and personal
integrity to David Lipscomb College.
Dr. Hazelip served for a number of years as the Dean of the Harding
Graduate School. He assumed the mantle of academic scholarship
on the single basis of an earned Ph.D. from the University of
Iowa. However, there are no scholarly publications and additional
documentations to support this highly touted reputation.
We keep in mind that an educational institution is granted the
privilege to operate under a state charter with clearly stipulated
principles and conditions. No educational institution operated
by members of the churches of Christ has a clearer mandated charter
than the Nashville Bible School which was drawn up in the personal
handwriting of David Lipscomb.
The constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to express personal
views and opinions cannot be abridged. A college operating under
a state granted charter fits in another category. This is a public
trust. The bottom line is that the actions of the trustees can
be lawfully questioned in a court of law by informed, concerned,
and responsible citizens who are tax payers.
The one great lesson beginning with Harvard University shows that
schools with a religious origin will ultimately follow the sources
of money and students. Today less than 20 percent of the student
body of Bethany College is made up of students from churches of
Christ, Christian Church, and Disciples of Christ combined. The
great majority of the student body is Catholic determined by the
demographics of the region. (A choice of draft beer is on tap
in the student center.)
President Harold Hazelip proved beyond reasonable doubt his intentions
to abandon the traditions and the principles of the charter formulated
by David Lipscomb. The fact that he had made a 180 degree turn
away from his previous enchantment with the "cultic antis"
shows his ready willingness to break away from one position and
to adopt another. That he and Rubel Shelly have now become true
yokefellows finds a common denominator in the fact that both share
in a similar detestation for the conservative churches of Christ.
The most extreme positions of postmodern theology are obviously
understood by Dr. Hazelip. DLU Bible scholars tell you down front
that they accept positions of postmodern theology. This is amply
documented by the articles and books published by our scholarly
brethren in DLU and sister institutions. Counter exposes of their
views appear on a regular basis in Firm Foundation and
numerous other church publications.
There is a catalogued list of decisions and actions made over
the past ten years by the DLU administration which puts into clear
focus the present course of DLU. One of the very first things
that the incumbent president did was to set in motion changes
which only the DLU board of directors should address.
The first proposal was to water down the primary worded objectives
of the Nashville Bible School as phrased in the charter. The submitted
proposal could be easily adopted by any institution with the most
vague Christian connections. And tied in with this proposal was
a move to change daily Bible teaching to three days weekly with
two chapels thus meeting the legal requirement for daily Bible
classes. Both proposals were formally rejected by the DLU board.
Even though advised against it by DLU faculty, the president took
the lead in granting the elders of the Woodmont Hills "Family
of God" the privilege of using the Willard Collins Auditorium
on the DLU campus for the Sunday meeting place of worship. Dr.
Hazelip continues to promote this brother with a 1000 theological
faces. This is further evidenced by the fact that Dr. Hazelip
is a guest speaker in the Woodmont Hills pulpit, and Rubel Shelly
is invited to speak in DLU chapels.
Over a ten year period, President Hazelip has loaded the DLU Bible
faculty with theologians who endorse the principles of postmodern
theology, and the practices of the cultic charismatic churches
identified with the Vineyard Movement, the Kansas City Prophets,
the "Third Wave" Pentecostal movement.
The present direction of DLU could take a dramatic turn to correct
the current direction of the school, if the board of directors
choose to will it so with their choice of the next president.
Whoever he may be, he will be saddled with an ultra liberal Bible
faculty who are persuaded that they can continue to operate as
usual with impunity.
A dedicated and committed president who is resolved to honor the
ideals and tradition of the school could issue a directive to
the DLU Bible faculty that the principles of the school charter
applies to them, and will be respected.
A Promise That Will Be Kept
The DLU school year for 1996 and 1997 will be highlighted in the
search for the next DLU president. An historian's credibility
depends solely on the truthfulness and accuracy of documentation.
My primary objective is to set down facts in order of their occurrence
for future church historians to tell the whole story.
I personally challenge no one. Prove me wrong, and I will correct.
Feature Book: Among the Scholars
by David W. Hester
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