A deal to sell a financially troubled Southern Baptist camp owned by Nashville-based LifeWay Christian Resources to a Christian college may unravel this week.
In July, LifeWay announced tentative plans to sell the Glorieta Conference Center outside Albuquerque to Olivet University, a small college based in San Francisco.
The deal has proved controversial, because Olivet's founder, the Rev. David Jang, has been investigated for heresy by several Presbyterian groups in East Asia in the past.
LifeWay and Olivet officials plan to meet today with leaders from the National Association of Evangelicals, which was hired to study Olivet's theology.
Olivet president Bill Wagner says the college's beliefs are sound. But he fears the deal may fall apart anyway.
"We may just lose Glorieta, and it's a shame," said Wagner. "The theology is no longer an issue. The Southern Baptists are saying, 'We don't want to be part of the controversy.' "
LifeWay hopes to cut its losses by selling off the camp, which lost money in 24 of the last 25 years, said Marty King, LifeWay spokesman.
King said LifeWay officials have not made any decisions about the sale to Olivet. They are waiting until they get an official report about the school's theology.
The main issue holding up the sale is the so-called Second Advent Christ controversy.
Traditional Christian teaching holds that Jesus will return from heaven in the future and set up the millennial kingdom, a 1,000-year reign of peace.
Jang's critics say his followers believe that someday he will be transformed into a new version of Jesus.
"In a nutshell, the group teaches that the Second Advent Christ is a mere human being made into Christ by other human beings," said Edmond Chua of Singapore, who graduated from Olivet.
Until recently, Chua was editor of the Singapore edition of the Christian Post, an online publication whose leaders have ties to Olivet. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is the executive editor of the U.S. version of the Christian Post.
Chua quit the Christian Post after posting an article online, accusing Jang and his followers of heresy.
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SOURCE: The Tennessean