Until today, I had not heard the name Voddie Baucham in over a decade. But I am absolutely certain he spoke at chapel when I was at OBU. (Who could forget a name like Voddie?) Actually, as I've perused lists of recent and upcoming chapel speakers, it's amazing how much recycling goes on.
Now, I have always believed that making religious worship compulsory was bizarre and counter-productive. But as I experienced OBU as a student and then as an alum, I have come to realize that OBU is surprisingly authoritarian and somehow gets near-universal conformity with minimal questioning.
Why the fuss about today's chapel speaker, then? Because Voddie Baucham is not your typical Baptist minister. Instead of partnering with the mainstream Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baucham's congregation is part of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Whereas fundamentalists succeeded in taking control of the BGCO and most other state conventions, they failed to take control of the BGCT. So they formed an alternative state convention, putting politics and fundamentalist dogma ahead of mission and ministry cooperation. Even now, the SBTC encourages "stealth" fundamentalist pastors to remake churches from within and endorses ethically dubious tactics to lure unsuspecting congregations away from the BGCT.
Thus OBU has given a platform to someone who openly loathes Southern Baptists' long history of mission and ministry cooperation in Texas and felt so strongly that the conservative BGCT was not conservative enough that he aligned with a controversial splinter group.
Here is Rev. Baucham on CNN in 2008 lamenting the fact that Sarah Palin left the kitchen to pursue a career of public service. You have to watch this (it starts about 1 minute into the video). It's pretty breathtaking. The anchor (who knows her Bible better than most) is truly taken aback.
Apologies to all if Rev. Baucham has miraculously moderated his extreme views in recent years and preached an inspiring sermon in Raley Chapel today. But somehow I doubt that's the case. It's just a shame that the Raley Chapel pulpit continues to be a platform for extremism, sexism, and fundamentalism.