Baylor University was founded in 1845 by Baptists in Texas. It was long aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention. In recent decades it has been aligned with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
“Shortly after the advent of the 20-century, evolution and modernism gained a foothold in this school, a foothold that has never been released. Numerous attempts by conservatives to change its direction have always failed. In the early 1990's, the Baylor Trustee board [illegally] revised the institution's charter and seized control from the Baptist General Convention of Texas [BGCT], the state's Southern Baptist Convention related association. Despite this seizure, the BGCT and many Texas SBC churches still call it "their school," backing Baylor with generous financial support and students” (The Fundamentalist Digest, Nov.-Dec. 1997).
In about 1927, the local affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention tried to control the ministry of the young preacher John R. Rice. He had warned of the evolution being taught by Samuel Dow at Baylor University and had been affiliating with J. Frank Norris and preaching on Norris’s radio station KFQB. A committee composed of two professors of Southwestern Baptist Seminary plus the pastor of the Seminary Hill Baptist Church visited Rice. They gave him an ultimatum to stop warning of error in the Convention and to break off his association with Norris or face being blacklisted in the county and the state. They said a notice would be printed in the state paper, The Baptist Standard, warning pastors not to have him in for revival meetings. “They told him he would not be able to continue his work as an evangelist, could not educate his children, and would be forced out of the ministry” (Robert Sumner, John R. Rice Man Sent from God, p. 100). Instead of ceasing to preach on Norris’s radio KFQB, Rice went on the air the next week and told the whole story to the public and announced that he had no intention of following the dictates of the Convention and that he was confident that the God who had called him would open doors for him and provide his needs. That turned out to be true, of course, but the point is that the Southern Baptist Convention tried to blackball a preacher for no other reason than that he was saying true things Convention men didn’t like and was affiliating with men they couldn’t control.
Baylor professor Curtis Wallace Christian, in his book Shaping Your Faith, supported Darwinian evolution.
Bob Patterson, who taught at Baylor beginning in 1961, held to theistic evolution and denied the Bible’s teaching on creation. Patterson denied the inerrancy of the Bible.
In 1977, a Mormon, Phillip Johnson, joined the faculty at Baylor.
In 2000, Baylor University professor William Dembski was removed from his position as director of the Michael Polanyi Center for Complexity Information because he supports “intelligent design” rather than evolution and allowed this to be debated at the center. On April 18, 2000, twenty-six Baylor faculty members called for the dissolution of the center, after it sponsored a conference that featured both Darwinian evolutionists and intelligent design proponents. The question debated was this: Is the universe self-contained, as widely held throughout the scientific community, or does it require something beyond itself to explain its existence and internal function? Any humble Bible believer knows the answer to that, of course. Dembski does not believe in a six-day creation. “William Dembski says with Jonathan Wells that ‘[e]xplanations that call on intelligent causes require no miracles but cannot be reduced to materialistic explanations” (The Design of Life, 2008, pp. 13-14).
“In a separate action, eight Baylor science professors wrote to Congressman Mark Souter in May 1997 to protest a Washington D.C. conference on intelligent design. The Baylor professors mocked intelligent design as ‘an old philosophical argument that has been dressed up as science.’ In his reply, which was entered into the Congressional Record, the congressman proved that he was more a man of wisdom than the Baptist professors. He said: ‘I am appalled that any university seeking to discover truth, yet alone a university that is a Baptist Christian school, could make the kinds of statements that are contained in this letter. Is their position on teaching about materialistic science so weak that it cannot withstand scrutiny and debate? ... Today, qualified scientists are reaching the conclusion that [intelligent] design theory makes better sense of the data...” To this we say, Amen!” (The Fundamentalist Digest, Nov.-Dec. 1997).
In the 1960s, Evangelist John R. Rice warned, “The lewdness of the modern dance is now excused and the worldly viewpoint accepted in most Southern Baptist colleges” (“Dancing in Southern Baptist Colleges,” Sword of the Lord, Sept. 5, 1969). In 1986, Baylor began allowing campus dances. Speaking with the Ft. Worth Telegram-Star, university President Robert Sloan described the move as exciting and said, “It’s done at other universities and we’ve wanted it for a long time.” Baylor sororities, fraternities, and other organizations had held off-campus dances for years.
Bernard Ramm was Director of Graduate Studies in Religion at Baylor University and later was Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Apologetics at California Baptist Theological Seminary. Ramm’s 1955 book The Christian View of Science and Scripture was reprinted by Moody Press and approved by Fuller Seminary professors Edward J. Carnell and Wilbur Smith, as well as by Elving Anderson of Bethel College. Ramm claimed that the Bible was only inerrantly inspired in some matters and that it contains mistakes in areas such as science and history. He said, “Whatever in the Scripture is in direct reference to natural things is most likely in terms of the prevailing cultural concepts.” He accepted theistic evolution, denied that the Noahic flood was worldwide, explained many of the Exodus miracles in a naturalistic manner, denied that the sun stood still in Joshua’s day, etc.
W.R. White was President of Baylor in the 1950s. “The policy of referring converts to liberal churches was defended by White ... He declared it to be a healthy practice because ‘new converts with a genuine experience of grace are planted in those liberal churches as a New Testament witness. ... Furthermore, Christ, Paul, and all the great evangelists followed a similar pattern" (White, ‘Modern Pharisees and Sadducees,’ Baptist Standard, July 2, 1958, p. 5). To read such a false statement as this from a Christian leader is breathtaking. How could a Baptist preacher, professing to believe in the Baptist distinctive of regenerate church membership, ever for one moment defend the practice of sending converts to churches that do not practice regenerate church membership? One does not join a church in order to evangelize its members. One joins a church in order to worship and serve God with other true believers, to be taught the sound doctrine of Scripture, and to go forth to evangelize the lost” (Ernest Pickering, The Tragedy of Compromise: The Origin and Impact of the New Evangelicalism, 1994).
In December 1996, Walter Burghardt spoke at Baylor. He was also included in a list of 12 men Baylor considered “as the most effective preachers in the English-speaking world.” Baylor News, Nov-Dec. 1996, reported, “Burghardt has been a leader in the Catholic community for more than 55 years, serving as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the North America Academy of Ecumenists, the Mariological Society of America and Theologian-in-residence at [R.C.] Georgetown University.”
In January 1997, James Forbes spoke at Baylor. Forbes was senior minister of Riverside Church in New York City. “Riverside Church has a reputation as one of the most left-wing liberal churches in the USA. Riverside church is dually affiliated with the apostate American Baptist Churches [ABC] and the United Church of Christ, [UCC] as well as the pro-pro-Marxist NCCC and WCC” (Fundamentalist Digest, Nov.-Dec. 1997).
In 1997, Don Jasmin reported, “While touring Baylor's campus recently and reading the local Waco [TX] city paper where Baylor is located, the writer discovered the following facts concerning this Southern Baptist supported school. 113 Baylor employees are Roman Catholics: 47 faculty members, 63 staff and 3 librarians. Baylor also has 1,529 Catholics in its student body. [That's not all: the BU student body includes 75 Buddhists, 65 Hindus and 55 Moslems, plus Jehovah Witnesses, Jews, Unitarians--you name it, Baylor has them all!] Source: Baylor University, Fall 1996 Facts pamphlet” (Fundamentalist Digest, Nov.-Dec. 1997).
The Baylor Line, Fall 1997, the official Baylor University magazine, contained an article revealing that Baylor had recently honored six individuals with the ‘W.R. White Distinguished Service Award’ in ‘recognition for outstanding service to Baylor’ (p. 6). ‘Monsignor Mark Deering,’ the ‘founding pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church in North Waco,’ was among the six honored recipients. According to the article, Deering was ‘born in Ireland and came to Waco in 1953. He has served as president of the Waco Ministerial Alliance and the Waco Conference of Christians and Jews and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.’ In 1995, he was designated an 'Alumnus-by-Choice' of Baylor. The Waco Tribune-Herald (11-15-1997, B5) contained an editorial on its religious page by this Catholic priest dealing with the problems in Northern Ireland. Writing from an obviously biased and prejudiced viewpoint, Deering defamed the noted Ulster Fundamentalist preacher Dr. Ian Paisley, calling him "Ivan Peasley" and stating that "Peasley has the reputation of being one of the most bigoted human beings on the face of the earth." Paisley's gospel preaching is responsible for thousands coming to Christ in Ulster and Great Britain. This doesn't mean we concur with his Presbyterian type polity. Baylor University's rejection of its historic Biblical Baptist heritage, and its practical endorsement of Roman Catholicism is a grim reminder of what can-will happen to any Christian institution once it begins to compromise with the trends of the age (2 Tim. 4:10)” (Fundamentalist Digest, Nov.-Dec. 1997).
The February 27, 2004, edition of the Lariat, Baylor’s school paper, featured an editorial defending homosexual marriage.
In 2015, Baylor dropped “homosexual acts” from its sexual conduct policy. Previously, the policy said that homosexual acts are a misuse of “God’s gift” and equated them with “sexual assault, incest, adultery, and fornication” (“Baylor University,” Huffington Post, July 6, 2015). In 2013, the Student Senate had demanded that this action be taken.
In 2019, Baylor stated on its web site that “students are not disciplined or expelled from Baylor for same-sex attraction.” The school also stated that it provides resources for LGBTQ students. It said, “A common theme emerging from all of the aforementioned conversations is the need for us to provide more robust and more specific training for students, faculty and staff in loving, caring for and supporting our LGBTQ students” (“Human Sexuality at Baylor University,” baylor.edu, Aug. 27, 2019).
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