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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spritual Discrimination?

The most bizarre thing just happened to me earlier today. I went to a certain Christian Academy (I’ll refrain from giving its name) to apply for a teaching position. As I am filling out the application, the headmaster, or at least the person who is in charge of hiring walks up to me and introduces herself. After the introductions, she asks me if I am a member of their church. Well, I was not a member of their church and told her so, upon which I could see on her face a sense of despair about what to say.

After a brief pause she asked me about my teaching background. I explained that I had taught at the grade school level for about 2 years in my home town, and taught ethics at the university level (upon hearing this she raised her eyebrows and said, “Wow,” I guess being impressed). Then the most bizarre thing happened. She said, “We usually require that our teachers be members of our church.” Then she paused and asked, “Are you Spirit Filled?” Now I must admit I was ill prepared for this question and all at once a million things rushed into my head. I knew exactly what she meant by the question and all of its Charismatic/Pentecostal nuances and theological attachments and implications. However, two things immediately came to mind. I thought I might answer by saying “No, but I watch American Idol occasionally.” An answer that would have been as irrelevant as the question; but instead I answered, “I am Presbyterian.” Upon which she used her first “way out” and restated that I had to be a member of their church.

Now, what comes to my mind is this thought, “Is my being ‘Spirit-Filled’ (according to her meaning of the term) a good indication of whether I am a good teacher?” Well, obviously not, but apparently for her it was a requirement and based upon my answer I was certainly not qualified to teach at her school. Thus, I was, in so many words and expressions, shown the door.

13 Comments:

Blogger Chris Tilling said...

lol!!

They are probably lovely people, but if you were to work there, I could see trouble on the horizon.

12:36 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

Chris,

Very true.

12:53 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

Yes- next thing they would require you to speak in tongues, which, being a good theologian, a good Calvinist, and a good son of the Reformation, you could certainly not do (unless by tongues they understood it to be the gift of translating hebrew and greek).

1:59 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

Jim,
lol . . . I could have answered her in Spanish. Oh well, it was probably best that I did not get the job - I agree with Chris, it would have, more than likely, been trouble in the future.

2:52 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Gage Browning said...

Nothing like quality Christian Education.

4:16 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger muzik316 said...

Hmm... Many colleges that are associated with various religious denominations are like this. I'm sure it's something written into the rules governing the colleges but I could be quite wrong. i'm actually surprised that no one has called for discriminiation in this regard.

5:19 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

Hey Muzik,

Welcome to my blog. Actually this was a pre-k through high school, not college. Albeit, the same rules may apply granted that they state them upfront. However, they did not let me know what the "conditions" were for me to teach at the school until I actually got there (and being a member of their church, and of course, being "spirit-filled" were their conditions - that were communicated to me anyway).

You are correct though, that type of practice is standard at Christian universities, colleges, and seminaries (for prospective teachers). But these things are usually made known before anyone ever applies or submits a resume.

5:37 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Theway2k said...

It is only natural that a school would want not only a qualified teacher, but one teaching the same spiritual view as their Church. It is hardly discrimination.

10:17 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

theway2k,

Hello and welcome. I agree with you and I agree with her letting me know I needed to be a member of the school's church (albiet they should have told me this before I arrived for the interview). However, and this is a 'big' however she was willing to make an exception after she asked me my teaching background - thus the question "are you 'spirit-filled?'" Had I answered 'yes' and told her that I went to a charasmatic/pentecostal church (granting - "if" that was the case) I can almost bet she would have hired me - thus breaking the rule of her school to accomadate me and her - and this is where I think the possible discrimination tends to occur.

However, there is a question mark in the title of this post.

10:45 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Ben Myers said...

Interviewer: "Are you Spirit-filled?"
Interviewee: "Well, madam, normally I don't start drinking until noon..."

12:08 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:49 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

Ben,

8-)

8:28 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

Thos Aussies and their beer.. what is it- Foster's?

;-)

8:50 AM, April 06, 2006  

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