In early July of this year, the pastoral staff of Briarwood PCA church, under the leadership of Harry Reeder, targeted the wife of this writer because of articles addressing the LGBTQ+ movement “flourishing” in the PCA. You can read the article here which inspired the attacks coordinated through Briarwood, Christian Medical Ministry of Alabama and its director Bobby Parks. Now it has surfaced that a Briarwood pastor is celebrating the organization driving LGBTQ flourishing on the UAB campus where Littleton and his wife worked as part of the CMMA/Briarwood ministry. What do these mixed messages mean for the flock at Briarwood and the future of its ministries like CMMA? What does it mean for the PCA itself? Many younger ministers who our institutions have educated for ministry fail to discern the threat or the goals antithetical to the Gospel represented by these concerns.
THE AGGRESSIVE ACTIONS OF A DOZEN COWARDLY GUYS AGAINST KAREN LITTLETON
In retaliation for the above article, Briarwood staff and CMMA Board leaders engaged an all out and coordinated assault on Dr. Karen Littleton – the only female and only minority on the CMMA Board leadership. It is discussed in detail in the link here.
ENTER THE GLARING IRONY
Reeder’s team at Briarwood and CMMA determined that Littleton’s wife was not qualified to represent the church nor the ministry on the UAB Campus, while just weeks later a Briarwood minister discovered and pointed out that a long time BRIARWOOD PASTOR and now youth mentor and church planter was celebrating his spouse on Facebook as the “Director of Diversity and Inclusion” in her new department position on the UAB campus.
FROM FACEBOOK SENT BY BRIARWOOD MINISTER TO THE LITTLETONS
August 9th at 8:57 “Huge shout out to my rib who excels in all things, wife, mother, and career. Congratulations on receiving promotion and tenure as an Associate Professor. She has also been appointed as Director of Diversity and Inclusion within her department at…. @UAB, which by the way is the #1 school in the Nation ….”
IS THIS A FITTING OR SAFE POSITION FOR A PCA PASTORS WIFE ?
“The Alliance (of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion ) is an employee-resource group of The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the UAB Health System (UABHS), the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation (UAHSF), and the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital. It exists to provide advocacy, support, and networking for faculty and staff members of UAB’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Allies (LGBTQA) community. Membership is open to all such employees and retirees”
“Ongoing topics of discussion include:
Creation of an LGBTQ services office for members of the UAB community.
Creating the option of indicating a “Preferred Pronoun” in UAB’s student database.
Making Accessible Single-Use Restrooms available when required by building code.”
“The Alliance for LGBTQ Equality at UAB exists to support and advance the UAB Strategic Diversity Plan through inclusion of “the full range of human difference and potential that manifests itself in individual members of the campus community”* including those who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) members of the campus community and their allies.”
“The Alliance seeks to enrich diversity and contribute to a high quality intellectual, cultural, educational, and work environment for all members of UAB, the UAB Health System (UABHS), the UA Health Services Foundation (UAHSF), and the Callahan Eye Foundation. The Alliance exists to ensure the equitable treatment of LGBTQ administrators, faculty, and staff; their allies, and the spouses/partners and families of these entities while simultaneously strengthening UAB’s ability to recruit and retain top employees, thereby empowering UAB to serve the community and the world.”
Such efforts on University Campuses are not uncommon today, but what is uncommon is for one of the Directors to be spouse of a PCA Pastor.
BRIARWOOD PASTOR HARRY REEDER AND CMMAs PARKS IGNORE THE REALITY
Contacting the Briarwood and CMMA staff about these concerns on September 4th did nothing to avert the dangers posed by the new position for a PCA pastors spouse. Emails were ignored. A follow up email to Reeder again received no response. Williams has not responded to the concerns either.
MULTIPLE EMAILS TO REEDER/BRIARWOOD STAFF FAILED TO GET A RESPONSE
The Pastor Williams is a likable and popular figure locally and has involvement with multiple Briarwood supported ministries. He is also a graduate of Briarwood’s Birmingham Theological Seminary now led by Reeder’s son. The emails to Reeder point out concerns over the conflict of a PCA pastors wife serving as “Director” of such an effort in her department along with the impact of it on students, health care providers and healthcare POLICY in general going forward.
Reeder and Briarwood have failed this young couple who have been under their discipleship FOR MANY YEARS as members and ministers of Briarwood. The pastoral staff now seem more concerned with ignoring reality and targeting the wife of the person voicing these very disturbing concerns and dangers, including those posed to this couple.
MORE ON THE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION WORK ON CAMPUS
1. UAB Medicine Celebrates 3rd Consecutive Year as Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equity …(News)2018 marks the third consecutive year that UAB Medicine has been named a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Healthcare Equity Index. The Healthcare Equity Index (HEI) is a unique annual survey …Created on April 25th, 2018
2. LGBT Health Awareness Week, March 27-31, 2017 …(News)LGBT Health Awareness Week is the last week of March, March 27-31, 2017. This is a week designed to promote LGBT health and bring awareness to the unique health care needs of the LGBT community. The National …Created on March 10th, 2017
3. LGBT in Medicine & Science …(Uncategorised)UAB School of Medicine is dedicated to providing an inclusive environment for faculty, trainees and students who identify as LGBT. Discrimination against members of the LGBT community is prohibited, and …Created on September 26th, 2016
4. Graduate Medical Education: Building Diversity (News)… not all, academic medical centers in the United States. A myriad of structural and social obstacles means that women, members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and racial and ethnic minorities …Created on June 21st, 2019
5. Student and Resident Mentoring (Student Affairs)… initiative as well, to include those from rural hometowns, those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and first generation medical students. In the future, we also plan to include LGBTQ individuals …Created on June 6th, 2019
6. Student Organizations (Student Affairs)… o foster awareness of health issues in the Asian-American community. https://apamsa.org/ MedPride MedPride is the School of Medicine’s community-building organization for LGBTQ students, residents, fello …Created on June 3rd, 2019
7. Ask the Deans (Uncategorized)… on with respect to women, under-represented minorities, the LGBT community and others who encounter systematic discrimination. As we move forward in the pursuit of excellence, I look forward to the discussion …Created on May 4th, 2015
8. Resources (Uncategorized)… gher Ed Women in Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, September 2015 Women Doctors are Undervalued and Underpaid, The Guardian, March 2015 About LGBT in Medicine and Science Reflec …Created on May 4th, 2015
UAB OFFICE OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION ALSO RESOURCES STUDENTS WITH CONNECTIONS TO LGBTQ + COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
These connections include a full range of the local city LGBTQ activist groups like Human Rights Campaign (whose Healthcare Equality Index the Diversity & Inclusion research is celebrating in 2018 at the top of the list above).
The “community resourcing” also includes putting students in touch with Dykes on Bikes and other similar organizations from the web links provided.
CIVILITY THE COMMON NARRATIVE OF CHANGE AGENTS.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion also promotes “Civility Resources” while working to transform the culture of the University, and the HRC drive toward the Healthcare Equality Index. It is also working to transform the healthcare industry itself from the educational institutions outward. There are many reasons why activist lead healthcare policy is a problem. The “affordable ” reforms of the last US administration prove the problems in stark reality which are being lived out daily by all Americans including LGBTQ. More Government and more politics in Health Care was never a good idea nor does it lead to any meaningful reforms. Favoring LGBTQ politically correct policy over biological and CDC confirmed health realities is not a sustainable health care trajectory for the industry or for determining “best practices ” or outcomes.In short, activist-run healthcare policy is harmful and destined to fail .
Still the activist call for Civility as the politics are forced into policy. Whose book is offered as a resource on Civility? PCA and The Gospel Coalition favorite Os Guinness
TGC IS SELLING ORIENTATION OVER TRANSFORMATION
No one appears to be stepping up at Briarwood to warn this couple or anyone else of the eternal realities posed by a range of compromises on the LGBTQ topic.
Briarwood and other conservative PCA and reformed Southern Baptist made the mistake of signing onto The Gospel Coalition, which did some LGBTQ Reforms of their own when TGC signed those under their influence into the ideology of the APA, homosexual orientation and Christian counselor-turned-researcher Mark Yarhouse. This game changing move resulted in the current LGBT+ “Flourishing” movement, Revoice, which came out of PCA seminary Covenant in St Louis and SBC Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. All of which lead to the PCA General Assembly battles which lead to the article discussing them which led to the targeting of Littleton’s wife Karen for writing about them. Circular sounding? Yes, isn’t it?
UAB began on this pro LGBTQ trajectory in earnest in 2014/15 after they collaborated on this project .
“Living LGBTQ in Central Alabama” gathered thought leaders to draft and drive the desired policies favoring the LGBTQ community in Central Alabama while UAB had multiple departments involved. Healthcare was a major topic of the effort.
CMMA and Brairwood leaders and other regional pastors ignored the realities of these activist policy objectives outlined above and offered no resistance and raised to concern to them. Now the spouse of one of their own leaders is “Director” of the UAB effort in her Department on campus.
“Strange Days have found us. Strange days (indeed) …have tracked us down ”
Is the PCA done for? The sad reality is that the denomination's convictional resolve against a long time & old enemy to Biblical faithfulness appears very weak. Like most evangelical movements who resisted the "non-practicing” narratives of 30 plus years ago, the TGC affiliated churches now have a similar progressive narrative of their own, and it is being bought on a global scale by young church members and Christians in their Universities and Seminaries. Popular leaders like Tim Keller are doing little to reinforce Biblical convictions, while sharpening their own tools of the activist & change agent's trade. The denominational leaders appear bent of social change and pushing boundaries, something Solomon condemns when he warns about “removing the ancient landmarks our fathers have set.” Boundaries matter in seasons of cultural change, and not just systematic theological lines. The Moral health of a civilization depends on God Given Boundaries. They are the unchanging Word of God.
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
So that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you.
Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?
Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
For the Lord will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.
Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,
One of those who is surety for debts;
If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you? Do not remove the ancient landmark
Which your fathers have set.
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