The Pathway Shutting Down?

March 08, 2008

In the latest issue of The Pathway, the column by editor Don Hinkle offered wild claims and over-the-top attacks on his fellow Baptists. Written prior to the judge's decision this week dismissing the Missouri Baptist Convention's lawsuit against Windermere Baptist Conference Center, Hinkle attacked the various ministry organizations. He claimed in the article that he and The Pathway are "not political" and will not "take a side in any battle between political groups fighting for control of the Convention." Really? That is what is whole piece does--and what many others have done--by attacking the five ministry organizations, the emerging church movement, or the 'Save Our Convention' group. Ironically, in the column he gave an example to prove his point that actually proves he and the newspaper are political and do take sides in Convention politics. He noted:

A perfect example of this was my endorsement a few weeks ago of Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. I was honest about my relationship and feelings toward Mohler, but still shared information that Missouri Baptists hopefully found enlightening.
Huh? So to prove he is not political and will not take sides in convention political conflicts he noted his endorsement of a political candidate (who has since withdrawn) for a political office with political opponents in a political campaign for political control of the Convention. At least he is not political!

In this column Hinkle also claimed repeatedly that he and The Pathway always tell the truth. He wrote:

For nearly six years The Pathway has told Missouri Baptists the truth. It is in our DNA.

... No matter the difficulties, Pathway readers can be assured that what they are reading is true, and when controversial, fair and accurate.
Really? What about when The Pathway reported that my mother was caught "red-handed" in the office of David Clippard? As the MBC finally admitted last year, that was a lie. Hinkle has yet to admit such untruths were printed in The Pathway or apologize. Or what about the fact The Pathway falsely claimed that a company owned by BGCM executive director Jim Hill bought land from Windermere when it was actually a different company owned by someone else? And they continued to make this untrue claim even after it had been publicly pointed out. Or what about the false claims The Pathway has printed about Windermere? The inaccurate attacks have sadly been believed by many readers of The Pathway and no correction has been made even after the facts were explained.

So it seems quite a stretch for Hinkle to claim that he and The Pathway have always told the truth (in fact, such a statement by him seems to be yet another untruth!). Despite these and other problems in the past, Hinkle repeatedly declared in his latest piece that Missouri Baptists can trust The Pathway because it tells the truth. Thus, one part of the piece is quite ironic:
"Trust" is something I've never taken lightly as editor of The Pathway.The day Missouri Baptists stop trusting their newspaper is the day it should close shop.
I guess this is Hinkle's announcement that he is shutting down The Pathway. After all, the numerous untruths destroy the possibility for real trust.