Monday, October 8, 2007

ORU Takes a Hit in National News

A lawsuit filed last week is hurting the image of Tulsa's Oral Roberts University.

A scan of national news sites over the past several days reveals that the ORU story made big (and embarrassing) headlines on the wires and cable news networks. The Associated Press released major story last week and the story was prominently displayed on CNN's homepage today.

Locally, the World has reported that some Tulsans are withholding judgment on the charges against ORU. The World cited a recent ORU graduate who said he wanted to see evidence of wrongdoing before he makes a judgment about the school.

The lawsuit, filed by three former professors, claims that ORU President Richard Roberts required a government professor to make his students help a mayoral candidate in Tulsa. It also includes charges that the Roberts family used school money for personal use. Roberts issued a statement Friday denying the allegations.

Whatever the merits of the lawsuit, the national publicity is bad news (literally!) for ORU.


Tulsan said...

It was surprising to learn from Richard that the Lord does not know how to correctly pronounce the word, "litigious."

What is not surprising is the whole fiasco. If you've read "Prime-Time Religion" (1979) by Jerry Sholes (former TV producer for Oral,) you would only be surprised it has taken this long for a major meltdown.

It was Richard's misfortune to be flagrantly transgressing at a time when bad religious apples are falling like rain before The Flood.

Too bad. (Schadenfreude)

Jeff Shaw said...

Small, local churches are the foundation of religion in this country. Because the mega-churches get all the attention from non-church goers, people wrongly assume this is how church is going these days. It is not.

It will be disgrace in many cases how this gets played out in the media.

Below is how Christians are supposed to behave. We are fallible, however. We don't always get the job done.

....You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16 NASB)

Tulsan said...

Researchers Paint Latest Portrait of U.S. Megachurches

The number of megachurches has dramatically increased in recent years, and according to these researchers at the Hartford Seminary and the Leadership Network, it will continue to rise.

Relevant to Oral Roberts:

"Twenty-five percent of megachurches belong to the 'Charismatic Pastor-focused' group. This stream is more often nondenominational and much of the identity of these congregations is formed around the vision and passion of their founding minister. They are more apt to be within a Pentecostal or charismatic theological tradition."

I would guess this segment to be the most liable to abuse, since these followers cannot apply any effective checks on the organization.

In other words, absolute power corrupts absolutely.