In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul gives a defense of his leadership and his right as an apostle to correct the wayward church in Corinth. His defense is phrased in sixteen biting rhetorical questions. The principle here is clear: Every Christian has the right to respectfully question any Christian leader and every Christian leader has the right to defend his (or her) leadership.
I was pleased to learn that Roberts was going on Larry King last night and I found his responses to be satisfactory. I assume that there are some who will question his responses (and the responses from Lindsay), but at least they went public to tell their side of the story. At least they did not go into silence “on the recommendation of the lawyers.” My prayer is that the truth will come forth.
Roberts responses to the allegations seemed to make sense. Here are the issues and his (and Lindsay’s) response last night.
On supporting a political campaign…Roberts says that he did not ask any university employee to work on a political campaign. Many ORU government students work on political campaigns in order to get “laboratory” experience in real life politics, which is normal for government majors and legal.
On using the University’s plane to fund a Senior Trip for his daughters and their friends…Roberts says that it was a preaching and recruiting trip in both Orlando and the Bahamas and he was asked to bring ORU students to both locations as they were recruiting students to come to ORU. Roberts also noted that the university does not own the plane. It is a leased plane.
On the documentation of financial impropriety…Roberts says that the computer which held the documents cited in the suit was owned by his sister-in-law who made notes of rumors that were swirling around. These documents were short notes about rumors written by his sister-in-law and could easily be confused to be documentation of actual events. He says he heard of some of these rumors three years ago and did not act on them, because they seemed ridiculous.
On 11 remodeling projects in 14 years…Lindsay and Richard point out that they had hail damage and black mold in their home (which is owned by the University) and many of the so-called remodeling projects where to take care of those problems. So the University did not pay to work on the Roberts’ home, the University paid to work on its own home.
On text messages sent to “underage boys” during early morning hours…Richard and Lindsay responded that often their girls use Lindsay’s phone, they do send txt messages to ensure that their children and their children’s friends have arrived home (or wherever they are going) safely, and the Roberts have reached out to trouble kids and have often talked to them late at night.
On a side note, Lindsay made a good point that she is not an employee of the University and neither are her kids, yet they were brought into a wrongful termination suit. Obviously, Lindsay has a leadership role in the University, but she had nothing to do with the administration of the school and the termination of these professors. (To be clear, one professor was terminated, one did not have their contract renewed and one resigned.)
Richard was clear: “I have not done anything wrong. I can’t say how much this has hurt my family.”