More Spin

April 16, 2009

Want to know how can to spin bad news into good news? Well, just take advice from The Pathway because no one is better at it. Their latest article about the lawsuits is proof. Last week, a judge dismissed the MBC's second lawsuit against Windermere Baptist Conference Center (the MBC's loss in the first case against Windermere has been upheld by the appeals court). The judge also dismissed the case against several other defendants, including several banks, Windermere's attorneys, and Bill Jester and his companies (although Jester's $10 million countersuit against the MBC is still alive). That is a pretty big loss, especially since the MBC had been pointing to this second case to explain why they were not too worried about losing the first one. Yet, now all defendants were dismissed except Jim Hill and his consulting company. So instead of reporting the true bad news, The Pathway blows out of portion the lack of dismissal for Hill to make that the news item, not the multiple losses. In perhaps their most inaccurate headline ever (and that's saying something), they claimed, "Fraud, Fiduciary Breach Claims upheld in Camden Co. Case." Nothing of the sort occurred because nothing was upheld. The lack of a dismissal does not mean there is merit to the case. It just means it has not been thrown out yet. The first line of the article claims the judge "has approved" the MBC's claims of "fraud and fiduciary breach." All the judge did was not dismiss, unlike the action taken on the vast majority of the MBC's case. Only a throw away line even acknowledges that they actually lost most of the case. When the last defendants are released from the case, it will be interesting to see what the MBC's claims will be then. But they will probably figure out some way to spin it.

The second important issue here is that this article highlights something that many people may not know about the case--the MBC has sued individuals. They highlight such a fact by pointing out that they have sued Hill (as well as Jester and the attorneys who were released from the case). This is significant because when the lawsuit was first filed, some critics charged the MBC with violating the scriptural command in 1 Corinthians 6 to not sue each other. MBC leaders argued that the passage did not apply to their case because they were only suing corporations and not individuals. When they filed their second lawsuit, however, they sued individuals. Now, they are making a big deal about one individual still being sued in that case. So by the MBC's own interpretation of scripture, they are violating a biblical command. This adds to other broken promises about the lawsuits, such as promising not to appeal and promising not to use Cooperative Program money to fund the lawsuit. A recent Ethics Daily article proved the latter is not true. With that track record, it should be obvious why their current legal claims and spin should not be trusted.

3 comments

  1. Anonymous8:21 PM

    Amazing!

    I remember the Missouri Baptist Convention's claims of simply wanting a third party to decide who was right and who was wrong -- them or the agencies. How many third parties do they need?

    I remember the Missouri Baptist Convention's original justification that suing corporations instead of individuals did not violate any Biblical guideline. Now they have sued individuals. Do they have a new interpretation of scripture?

    I also remember the Missouri Baptist Convention's assurances that they would not be using CP $'s for legal fees. They need to be honest about this and quit hiding behind false claims. What is the $ amount of CP dollars (current year and past years) that have been used to pay legal fees?

    I believe the Missouri Baptist Cconvention is under the management of a 52 member board. Who are these individuals, what are their qualifications, and is this really what they want or is the MBC attorney calling all the shots?

    Wake up Missouri Baptist before it is too late.

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  2. Anonymous9:07 PM

    I feel that it is time for all this to stop. I know that many on both sides have been wanting this situation to come to an end. The problem is that we have bull headed greedy people on both sides of the table. This is filtering down the line. I read both the Pathway and the Word and Way and its like watching Fox News and MSNBC. They both try to spin the news. What I'd like to see is articles from everyday conservative Baptist and moderate Baptist with their opinions on this matter. I know that there are other issues that separate the two groups, but in the end I feel they would rather all this be dropped so that we can serve God and not our own greed and pride.

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  3. Anonymous7:59 AM

    I am responding to the "bull-headed greedy people on both sides of the table" post by anomymous. A side note is that it is sad we feel the need to be anomymous for fear of retaliation.

    Anyway, I personally know and am friends with many in this situation on the MBC side and the agency side. That is where I get information that I trust. If you are just reading the Pathway and the Word & Way you don't really know what is going on. Maybe, you should just read the Word & Way. It is the much better source of information. If you choose to read the Pathway, please remember that it is not truthful reporting.

    What I have personally seen is the "bull-headed greedy" ugly stuff coming entirely from the MBC leaders.

    What I have seen from the agency side are trustees and employees giving their heart and soul to keeping the ministry going.

    I think to say that there was wrong on both sides is an attempt to minimize the huge damage the MBC has tried to inflict on the agencies and to make the MBC leaders look less guilty of un-Christian actions and attitudes.

    I think it is time for Missouri Baptist to take action and insist that the MBC leaders stop ALL legal action and try to build some bridges.

    The agencies are there for ALL Missouri Baptists--I think Missouri Baptist will find that half of the bridge is already built and ready to be connected to.

    So---another anonymous posting.

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