My schedule these days is keeping me from blogging much so I thought I would bring up some of past material which is relevant to now. One of my earliest meetings with Julie Roy was in 2017 when she hosted a radio show with Moody. This program related to Christian nationalism.
At noon (ET) tomorrow, I will be on the Moody Radio Network program “Up for Debate with Julie Roy” to discuss the question, “Should Christians Be Nationalists?”
The guest taking a contrasting position will be Ken Klulowski who is the Legal Editor at Breitbart News and Senior Counsel & Director of Strategic Affairs at the First Liberty Institute.
As background, see these posts on the subject (here, here, and here)
The show went well I think in that both sides had the ability to make important points. I do want to correct or least amend a couple of Ken Klukowski’s claims.
On one occasion he said he didn’t recognize James Madison from my quote of Madison and then said Madision’s views could be discerned by his vote for chaplains in Congress. He also said most of the founders had seminary degrees.
One. my Madison quote is sound and two, Klukowski did not tell the rest of the story on Madison. Later, Madison forcefully disagreed with the funding of chaplains and said so here.
On the founders and seminary degrees, this is a distortion made famous by David Barton. See this piece about that misleading claim.
Over at the Broken Twig blog, news of resignations and a retirement has been posted via an email about the senior leadership of Moody Bible Institute. The email from the student development office also has been posted several places around the web by now, and I have it here below. In short, the Moody Board of Trustees has accepted the resignations of president Paul Nyquist and chief operating officer, Steve Mogck; and the retirement of provost Junias Venugopal.
This news follows the firing on Monday of Moody radio personality Julie Roys after she after she raised concerns about various financial and personnel issues at the Bible college.
From: stdevel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 6:49 PM
Subject: Statement from Moody Board of Trustees
To: students <email@example.com>
Dear Moody Family,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, let me thank you for your service to Christ, your dedication to Moody Bible Institute, and commitment to be in prayer for the ministry at this time. We often refer to the Moody family, which is how we see all of you.
We apologize for coming to you so late in the day, but given the nature of the news we are sharing, we felt it best to communicate with you as soon as possible.
As you know, the Board of Trustees has been discussing issues related to widespread concerns over the direction of Moody. Today, we accepted the resignations of President, Dr. Paul Nyquist; Chief Operating Officer, Steve Mogck; and the retirement of Provost, Dr. Junias Venugopal.
Let there be no mistake that the Board of Trustees holds these three men in high regard for their ethical, moral, and spiritual leadership. They are godly, honorable men to whom we entrust to the Lord and offer our deep gratitude for their years of faithful service to Christ and to Moody. However, we are unanimous in our decision that it is time for a new season of leadership. I ask that you be in prayer for them and their families.
While we begin to develop plans for a nationwide search and prayerfully seek the Lord’s direction for these important positions, we are encouraged that the Lord has provided a strong leadership team to step into these roles in the interim.
Greg Thornton, Senior Vice President of Media, will serve as Interim President during our search.
Mark Wagner, a member of our Board, who is former president of, and now a consultant to, Walgreen’s, will serve as Interim Chief Operating Officer.
In addition, Dr. John Jelinek, Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim Provost.
Understandably, there are many questions at this time. Please know that we are working diligently through everything, and will stay in regular contact with you first, our Moody family, and with our many partners and friends as well.
I ask for your prayers for the Board, our interim leadership team, and the entire Moody community during this next season. God has been faithful to Moody since 1886, and we continue to seek His favor as we move forward.
Chair, Board of Trustees
See the end of the post for updates…
Julie Roys, host of the Moody Radio show Up for Debate, was terminated from her radio show yesterday after she alleged the existence of questionable fiscal and employment practices at Moody Bible Institute. Roys’ disclosures include a loan nine years ago from MBI to the school’s president Paul Nyquist for a condo (source). According to Roys, that loan has not been repaid. She also details alleged irregularities with college facilities, gambling by a board trustee, heavy handed tactics with faculty and much more (source, source). According to her post today, in the midst of these revelations, she was fired from her job.
Then yesterday at noon, I received an email from Greg Thornton, MBI senior vice president of media, informing me that “after consulting with the Executive Committee of the Moody Board, leadership is terminating your employment.” No reason was given and I was informed that my boss, Program Manager Dan Craig would be at my house in two-and-a-half hours to pick up my laptop.
I reached out to Roys and she repeated the quote above which came directly from her email from MBI’s Greg Thornton. A voice mail was left with Moody Radio’s public relations office.
A January 6 article in the Christian Post contained rebuttal from MBI. Brian Regnerus said Roys’ blog post relied on “anonymous and second-hand sources and include past events that have been resolved.” He added that the statements were “incomplete” and “inaccurate.”
Up for Debate
On her Up for Debate program, Roys personally leaned to the right of center, but she often featured two sides of controversial topics. I have been
on the show before and I found her to be fair in moderating the guests and callers. In my view, talk radio is often a waste of time with people shouting over each other with loads of misinformation. However, in my limited experience on her show, it seemed to me that she sought to provide a place for different points of view to be heard. I especially enjoyed the conversation about the Johnson Amendment back in April, 2017.
In any case, I suspect that — as often happens — MBI will find that firing an employee who is asking questions will not make those questions disappear.
Board of Trustees to Meet January 10
UPDATE (1/9/2018) – Earlier this week, MBI president Nyquist sent this email to the “Moody community” which includes at least students…
Dear Moody Community,
You were all made aware last Friday that a number of accusations have been made against Moody’s leadership including members of our executive team, Board of Trustees, staff, and faculty. As we continue to pray and seek resolution to these allegations, we are committed to keeping you informed about this matter and how we are proceeding.
First, please know that we are deeply grieved and disappointed over these allegations, have taken them very seriously, and are consistently prayerful before the Lord. We’re reviewing each of the issues raised and determining how it was addressed in the past, what we need to do in the present, and lessons learned for the future. And while interest and concern about specific details regarding personnel-related matters has been voiced, we will not violate the privacy of those involved, nor debate these issues through a third-party outlet. That is not helpful to the process, nor is it honoring to the Lord as His children.
In addition to last week’s meeting of the Board’s Executive Committee where these issues were discussed at length, the full Board of Trustees will deliberate further on Wednesday, January 10. We covet your prayer for that meeting, and when more information is available, we will inform you, our Moody community, first.
As we press forward, despite the challenges and hard conversations that are taking place at Moody, our executive team and the Board of Trustees are unified in our love for the Lord and this great institution, the pursuit of truth, and seeking reconciliation where possible. With that, we have also come to recognize the need for, and are committed to, improving our culture and climate at Moody through greater transparency, frequent, concise and timely communication.
Please continue to be in prayer for Moody, our leadership, and each other that we would reflect the unity of one body joined together by Christ as expressed in Ephesians 2.
Moody has faced and overcome numerous challenges throughout the course of our 132-year history. We must not forget that ceaseless prayers and God’s guidance are how we’ve been effective in ministry for so many years in a rapidly changing world, and that He continues to bless us with the incredible privilege of equipping people in the Word of God.
Thank you for your commitment to prayer and seeing God glorified through this. We will continue to be in prayer for you as well.