A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes… and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.
A couple of years ago, I read, and reviewed a book called Schizophrenic Christianity by Jeri Massi. Here is an excerpt from that post which also dealt with other matters.
“Last year I read Schizophrenic Christianity: How Christian Fundamentalism Attracts and Protects Sociopaths, Abusive Pastors, and Child Molesters by Jeri Massi. LINK to Amazon.
I was dumbfounded at the reported number of pastors accused and convicted of child molestation. What is shocking is that many of these men continue to be involved in positions of leadership. The pastors, seen as specially anointed, are shielded from blame. Instead, the victim, who is under the age of consent, is usually censured for pursuing justice and there is a concerted effort to isolate and shun the victim of abuse.
The book also discusses the extreme patriarchal views that are taught in the IFB. Men are seen as the head of the church and family while women take a distant, secondary role. In this system, when there is a man and a woman at odds, the male “head” gets protected while the women are thrown to the wolves."
The following quote from the above link at Amazon tells the story." (Pastors) “…hold themselves above accountability by merging into a system that refuses to police itself or institute rules of behavior for its clergy.”
Winds of Change
TWW has long maintained that the Internet is changing the way the religious community does business. Hyper-authoriatarian pastors and religious college leaders have been accustomed to a conspiracy of silence in which they controlled the information flow. However, today’s young adults have grown up in the information age. With a couple of clicks, they can find information on just about any subject. Then, they use social media to let their acquaintences in on the news.
It appears, there are some Bob Jones students and alumni who have effectively challenged the status quo by conducting a petition drive and a silent protest. We believe this story is a sign of the times. In fact, just a few short years ago, such an event would never happen. Or, if it had, the participants would have been thrown out of school. College authorities must be getting the message. Any strong-arm tactics will find top billing in the blogosphere. Perhaps this is what the Elephant Room boys are afraid of?
These students effectively used a combination of Facebook and Twitter to get their message out. They were protesting the presence of Chuck Phelps on the Board of Trustees at Bob Jones. Who is this Chuck Phelps? Christa Brown wrote about this sordid story at Stop Baptist Predators here. This is a short excerpt from the article.
“After being raped and impregnated by a fellow churchgoer more than twice her age, a 15-year-old Concord girl was forced by Trinity Baptist Church leaders to stand before the congregation to apologize before they helped whisk her out of state, according to the police.
While her pastor, Chuck Phelps, reported the alleged rape in 1997 to state youth officials, Concord police detectives were never able to find the victim. The victim said she was sent to another church member's home in Colorado, where she was home-schooled and not allowed to have contact with others her age. It wasn't until this past February that the victim, who is now 28, decided to come forward after reading about other similar cases, realizing for the first time it wasn't her fault that she had been raped, she told the police.”
So, how did Bib Jones University punish the pastor who put this young woman through hell on earth? They gave him a position on the BJU Board of Trustees! However, this story hit the national news earlier this year because of the courage of the victim. Concerned alumni and students circulated a petition, which garnered 2000 signatures, a virtual tsunami in this hyper-controlled school
On 12/6/11 the Concord Monitor’s Ann Marie Timmins reported the story here.
“Ex-pastor quits board of university: Church's handling of rape criticized”
“The petition describes Phelps's response to Anderson's rape accusation this way:
"(Phelps) gave comfort to the rapist. . . ; made the young girl apologize for her part in getting raped; sent her away with her mother's help . . . and allowed the rapist to remain in the church." The petition also provides links to news segments about the case.
School officials responded to the petition last month on the school's website, saying they had talked with Phelps and determined he had made some mistakes in handling Anderson's rape. But much of what had been reported was untrue and unfair, the post said.
"A teenage girl was raped – this is a tragedy," the post said. "A rapist is in jail – this is justice. A faithful pastor is being pummeled in social media and his family maligned – this is unjust. Our God is being grieved."
However, reading the writing on the wall, Chuck Phelps resigned from the board. In the same Concord Monitor article:
“In accepting Phelps's resignation from the cooperating board of Bob Jones University, board Chairman Dr. Bob Jones III thanked Phelps for his "many years of loyal service."
Well, it appears that the students and alumni beg to differ from Bob Jones III. WSPA reported the story here.
“A small, but vocal, group of Bob Jones University students spoke about Monday about what they call a "conspiracy of secrecy" at the school, and within Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches. The group of roughly two-dozen students and alumni wore red in unity, as they attended the University's Monday chapel service.
Do Right BJU" members say even though Phelps resigned from Bob Jones' Trustees, they are still unhappy with how the administration handled the matter. "This is about awareness and support for victims," says Peterman. "We want to say we're here for you and if you want to come talk to us, we'll help you heal."
Please note the rather inane ”talking head” response from the University. There is not one word about why they chose to defend Phelps.
“University spokesperson Brian Scoles released a statement saying that “the school has a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to abuse, and students are encouraged to file grievances with the University.”
It is obvious that the administration does not get it but a growing number of young people do. And that fact gives this blogger some hope that change may come with the next generation. We pray for the day that sexual abuse will be brought into the open and the perpetrators punished instead of hidden.
TWW applauds the efforts of this small group of alumni and students to expose the cover-up of sexual abuse in today’s churches. We are sure that you will hear “Well done, good and faithful servants” when you meet our Savior, face to face. And we will be there, applauding you!
Lydia's Corner: Job 12:1-15:35 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 Psalm 39:1-13 Proverbs 21:30-31