Bob Jones University Fires GRACE & The New York Times Takes Notice

"While remaining resolute in our desire to achieve our stated objectives, in view of the ongoing challenges in leadership change … Bob Jones University hereby notifies GRACE that we are terminating the Nov. 16, 2012, Engagement Agreement for Independent Investigation.  This termination is effective immediately."

Letter from Bob Jones University to GRACE dated January 24, 2014

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=66150&picture=woman

Woman

Two years ago we were encouraged by some incredible changes that 'appeared' to be taking place at Bob Jones University (BJU). In a post subtitled Change is Coming! Dee wrote:

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.

One of the protestors, Christopher Peterman, founded Do Right BJU in October 2011 and also started a Facebook community page by the same name on November 16, 2011.  It appears the protest efforts worked because Chuck Phelps, a proud BJU alumnus, resigned from the BJU board shortly thereafter.  

The following April — just days before he was to graduate — Peterman was expelled from BJU.  Here is his testimony:

When BJU took action against Peterman, we wrote a post about it.

Then on November 8, 2012, this announcement appeared on the Do Right BJU Facebook page:

It is with great relief that we announce the hiring of GRACE by Bob Jones University to investigate abuses over the years. It is the result of many prayers and means that BJU has, finally, Done Right.

What does this mean?

It means that anyone affected by abuses that happened to them at BJU or were counseled about at BJU and were not handled well have a neutral party with a solid track record looking into these abuses. It means BJU is releasing control of the process.

This is unprecedented, and we are beyond thrilled.

By all outward appearances, everything was going well with the investigation.  Then without warning BJU abruptly ended its relationship with GRACE.  Here is the 'confidential' termination letter dated January 24, 2014. 

As you might imagine, there has been extensive coverage of this recent development with BJU.  Last week Christianity Today published an article entitled Bob Jones University Fires GRACE as Sex Abuse Investigation Nears Completion on its Gleanings website.  Here is an excerpt:

Bob Jones University drew praise in 2012 for proactively investigating allegations of sex abuse and whether the school responded adequately. But approximately one month before the results of the 13-month investigation were due to be published, it has fired the private firm it hired, GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), and requested that the investigation halt and remain confidential.

GRACE, which was similarly fired last February shortly before it could conclude another abuse investigation, revealed the news yesterday on its Facebook page.

"This 'Notice' took GRACE by complete surprise as there had been no prior indications from BJU that termination was even being considered," stated GRACE in a press release. "Furthermore, this termination occurred days before GRACE was to conduct the last interviews of this 13-month investigation and begin drafting the final report scheduled for publication in March."

BJU promptly responded. "Over the last several months, we grew concerned about how GRACE was pursuing our objectives, and on Jan. 27, 2014, BJU terminated its contract with GRACE," the university stated in a press release.

And as you might expect, the startling news has caught the attention of the secular media.   Just yesterday The New York Times published this piece:  Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse Study.   The article begins as follows:

For decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners.

All of this happened until recently inside the confines of this insular university, according to former students and staff members who said they had high hopes that the Bob Jones brand of counseling would be exposed and reformed after the university hired a Christian consulting group in 2012 to investigate its handling of sexual assaults, many of which occurred long before the students arrived at the university.

Last week, Bob Jones dealt a blow to those hopes, acknowledging that with the investigation more than a year old and nearing completion, the university had fired the consulting group, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or Grace, without warning or explanation. The dismissal has drawn intense criticism from some people with ties to Bob Jones, and prompted some victims and their allies — including many who were interviewed by Grace investigators — to tell their stories publicly for the first time, attracting more attention than ever to the university’s methods.

Last Friday, Stephen Jones, president of the university and great-grandson of its founder, shared his concerns about the investigation with students and employees, explaining:

“We grew concerned that in the process, Grace had begun going beyond the originally outlined intentions.”  

Here are his remarks:

Bob Jones III, the grandson of BJU's founder (and Stephen Jones' father), explained on November 15, 2011, that sexual abuse has never gone unreported at BJU (see below).

On December 13, 2013, Dr. Stephen Jones (great grandson of BJU's founder) submitted his resignation as university president to the Board of Trustees.  Apparently, health concerns were a contributing factor.  Bob Jones University's PR blog made the following announcement:  

Larry Jackson, chairman of the Bob Jones University Board of Trustees, said the Board accepted his resignation as president effective at the end of Commencement, May 9, 2014.

No doubt there will be much more to come with regard to Bob Jones University and its sudden falling out with Boz Tchividjian / GRACE.  Rest assured we will do our best to keep you updated with any developments.

We leave you with the song that Christopher Peterman mentioned in his interview — Only Grace by Matthew West — that contributed to his expulsion from Bob Jones University.

Lydia's Corner:  Jeremiah 14:11-16:15   1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13   Psalm 80:1-19   Proverbs 25:1-5

Comments

Bob Jones University Fires GRACE & The New York Times Takes Notice — 277 Comments

  1. I found Robert Peters’ February 8th “Open Letter to Stephen Jones and Bob Jones University” on Facebook to be very pointed in its criticism. Worth reading.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-peters/an-open-letter-to-stephen-jones-and-bob-jones-university/10152121664261749

    An excerpt:

    You also spent a lot of time on how GRACE has diverged from your “objectives,” but you won’t disclose those “objectives” or how GRACE has diverged from them because it’s between you and them. It is not. Hundreds of survivors and alumni have a right to know exactly what part of your “objectives” conflicted with the investigative goals of an objective third party firm. How did GRACE “go beyond the original outlined intent?” Did they uncover more than you expected? Was their investigation not narrow enough for your comfort? When you say “it had gone askew,” what do you mean? Do you mean they looked where you didn’t want them to? Was it too painful for BJU to face abuses when they were complicit?

    Furthermore, why do you expect a third party investigation to align with your objectives? If GRACE followed your “objectives,” they would cease to be objective! This illustrates a fundamental flaw; the goal of the investigation should not be narrow, as your response implies (and if you’re honest, this is the goal of terminating GRACE’s agreement: gain contractual leverage, narrow the scope of the report). It should bring darkness to light, institutional and otherwise. (John 1:5) We are a City on a Hill, not a fortress of secrecy and intentional vagueness.

  2. Looks like GRACE told God the Grandson (Bob Jones III) and God the Great-Grandson (Stephen Jones — not Bob Jones IV?) something other than what they wanted to hear.

  3. As a Bob Jones Graduate… I am very disappointed by this move by the university. However I am not surprised. Control dominates every aspect of the culture at BJU. My heart goes out to the victims who had their hopes up that they would receive a fair hearing and that things would be made right. I personally know several of those who testified to G.R.A.C.E. and I feel their pain.

  4. I went to The Wilds, their summer camp/indoctrination center way back in the 70s. Even for someone brought up in a fundamentalist GARBC Baptist church, it was ridiculous. Their focus for girls at the time was The Evil of Short Skirts. Never mind I was 12 and scrawny, the sight of my knees apparently had the power to make boys lust. And of course that would be my fault. By the time my little sister went, short skirts weren’t in style. Now it was about not wearing men’s clothes, and jeans with pockets on the back were for boys only(why?). Plus, they drew attention to the buttocks (I’m not making this up). My sister was scrawny like me, and the only pair that really fit Had Pockets. So my mom removed the pockets. But that wasn’t good enough for these whack jobs. She was forbidden from wearing the evil attire. The good news is that my parents stopped talking about sending us to Bob Jones. Can’t believe that place is still in business, but not surprised at all about weirdness and abuse going on there.

  5. Pingback: The BJU Sex Abuse Coverup, Day 7 | The BJU Sex Abuse Coverup UNITED STATES

  6. @ Dee Dee:

    Thanks for your comment. I just looked at the BJU dress code, and the women's rules are much longer than the men's.

    I would be in violation of the BJU dress code most of the time because of this on page 36 of the Student Handbook

    "Jewelry and Body Art

    Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and tattoos are not appropriate including in the residence halls."

    I have always enjoyed wearing jewelry. When I was a teenager, I worked two summers in the (gasp!) jewelry department of Ivey's (later bought by Dillards), and it was a wonderful experience.

    Full disclosure: I DO NOT have a tattoo (ed). 😆

    ******************

    UPDATE:  Verity at 9:17 am 2/13 has corrected my misunderstanding of the jewelry rule by writing:

    "This rule is for the men students. Women have always been allowed to wear jewelry."

  7. @ Dee Dee:

    Now it was about not wearing men’s clothes, and jeans with pockets on the back were for boys only(why?). Plus, they drew attention to the buttocks (I’m not making this up).

    I don't know about BJU Press, but the Abeka curriculum out of PCC still teaches this in their Sex, Love and Romance book – in fact they compared women who wear pants to "women of the street." Their health curriculum leaves out the reproductive system too. Very popular among homeschoolers.

    Of course my homeschool health class included coloring all 11 plates in the reproductive system chapter of The Anatomy Coloring Book (which is basically Gray's Anatomy with colored pencils), so clearly my mind has been corrupted by sin.

  8. @ Deb:

    women’s rules are much longer than the men’s

    If you think BJU is bad, go check out Pensacola Christian College (PCC). Last I heard women and men had to walk on different sidewalks and use different staircases and elevators.

  9. @ Hester:

    True story…

    When I was in 5th grade (public school), we had some terribly cold weather here in North Carolina.

    The dress code for girls at that time was dresses only (although we could wear jewelry :-)). My mom was so concerned about me being cold that she made me wear a pair of long pants UNDER my dress to school. I got in a little trouble but don't remember the details. Not long after that we were allowed to wear pants.

    Just call me a common sense rebel…

  10. Deb wrote:

    @

    Full disclosure: I DO NOT have a tattoo, but I do violate BJU’s rule regarding hair color.

    Deb, I say give the “tat” a try. Your kids (and your husband) will be impressed. Let your inner child play.

  11. I was interviewed for the New York Times coverage of this story. The student handbook is available, but the Faculty-Staff Handbook is more plain. In the current BJU Handbook, the dress code is described as follows:

    Modesty entails a thoughtful, humble approach to dress. It requires
    that a Christian woman’s dress and deportment be free from vanity and
    ostentation and that her clothes provide enough coverage that men’s
    attention is not unnecessarily drawn to her body. Her clothing not
    only should cover the private areas of her body but also should not
    mold to the form of her body in the bust, midriff, and hips making her
    clothed silhouette “suggestive” of her unclothed body. The world’s
    fashions are generally designed to be sexy. The Bible forbids as
    immoral all sexual enticement–visual or verbal–except that between
    spouses in private.

    To be loose-fitting, garments (dresses, skirts, formal gowns, pants,
    capris and shirts) must have a minimum of three inches of ease at the
    bust, midriff and hips.

    An informal way to measure ease is to stand up straight and pinch the
    loose fabric on both sides of the hips, bust and midriff. Without
    stretching the fabric, there should be at least a 3/4-inch fold of
    fabric on both sides.

    Loose-fitting tops will not cup or hug under the bust, thereby
    accentuating its form. Loose-fitting tops, skirts and pants will not
    show lines of undergarments.

    Tops should be long enough to cover the midriff even when the person
    bends over or reaches up. Skirts or pants should not ride low on the
    hips.

    I am local to Bob Jones University, and I am a whistle-blower about the problems. The harassment that continues in this location is something that is difficult to talk about because I’m afraid of even more. Police reports have been filed, certified return-receipt letters have been written (and are lost because the BJU (federally sanctioned) post office can’t find them).

    For those of us in the fray, it’s not easy.

  12. I was in public school in a Northern state 50 years ago and the girls had to wear dresses to school. In the very cold weather we wore "ski pants" under our dresses and took them off and hung them up on our coat peg while at school. It had nothing to do with Christian mores. It was just a rule, part of the current culture which later changed. But when folks attempt to use the Bible to back up dresses, no slacks, etc. it gets bad. I knew nothing of this BJU investigation until recently, having little or nothing to do with BJU anyway. I hope they shut down due to lack of students and wisdom of the part of parents.

  13. GRACE’s findings must have been pretty disturbing for BJU to decide that the inevitable media fallout would be a better alternative than allowing the investigative report to be completed and released.

  14. @ Deb

    When I first moved to North Carolina in 1970 I was clueless. I went to work the first day on my new job, at a county public hospital, in a pair of pants and a long white coat. It caused a mini-ripple of enthusiasm. The way they told me the story was that the nurses had wanted to start being allowed to wear pants on the job, but administration had said, let's wait and see what Dr. X does, and if she wears pants then you can too. What? So I could get labeled as the new destroyer of civilization? And nobody warned me before hand; I just walked into it like a lamb to the slaughter.

    I do have to say, culture itself has changed so radically from "back in the day" that some of the residuals of bygone days that are still present in some Bible Colleges do not look quite as shocking to those of us who remember "when." Not to say that they do not need to change some things like dress codes and such, just saying that it has not been too long ago that they would have been only slightly more conservative than the surrounding secular culture. I sill wear pants. It covers up my scrawny legs and keeps me warm in the winter and out of the poison ivy in the summer.

  15. I went to Catholic school through third grade in the 1960’s. We had “color day” in which we didn’t have to wear a uniform; we could wear clothes from home. One girl wore … gasp … a pantsuit! The top came just past the top of her thighs, as long as a minidress. And the nun was so offended by the pants that she made the girl take them off and just wear the top all day. Can you imagine?

  16. If you follow the link (in the post) to the Facebook page, you can sign the change.org petition for BJU to rehire GRACE, etc…

  17. What a disgusting, cynical move by BJU. It seems clear that GRACE was hired only as a way to quiet critics and buy time so the problem would just go away. Sad thing is, it will probably work. Better to put up with criticism of the firing of GRACE than face the truth of what a cesspool of morality BJU is. People have just got to stop going to phony ‘Christian’ schools that allow their students to become prey for sexual predators.

    Has GRACE ever been able to finish a report? This is at least the second time they’ve been fired in order to keep the truth from being known.

  18. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.

  19. Something you will not see at BJU:

    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”

  20. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Looks like GRACE told God the Grandson (Bob Jones III) and God the Great-Grandson (Stephen Jones — not Bob Jones IV?) something other than what they wanted to hear.

    Bob Jones IV got into trouble while at the Bob. I guess they thought he was too rebellious to take the reins.

    The NYT article had some interesting back story. The reporter let the Bob know he’d be on campus that day but when he arrived with his photographer, no one official took any interest. No one gave them a tour; no one greeted them. If they asked anyone on campus about the issue, the students said they didn’t know anything and the faculty referred them to public relations.

    So, Dr. Camille Lewis, one of those speaking out against GRACE’s firing (and someone who is banned from campus), took them on a tour. Near the end, when the photographer was taking pictures, the head of Public Safety sidled up (Camille’s words) and told him he wasn’t supposed to be there without an escort. They told this guy they had called ahead. So when the Public Safety guy heard this, he got on his phone and went into the Administration building. That’s when the photographer insisted they leave right away.

    I’m sorry, but when the NYT comes a callin’, you make sure you’re on top of their visit. However, I’m glad they weren’t; less chance to spin the situation in their favor.

  21. JeffT wrote:

    Something you will not see at BJU:
    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”

    Interestingly, this verse/quote is engraved on the Main Building at my alma mater, a state school known for its liberal leanings. I did find a lot of truth and freedom in my time there, but I worry that students at BJU will find little of either.

  22. Oh, and there’s Camille herself! *waves*

    lemonaidfizz wrote:

    GRACE’s findings must have been pretty disturbing for BJU to decide that the inevitable media fallout would be a better alternative than allowing the investigative report to be completed and released.

    Sometimes I don’t think the Bob understands the Streisand Effect.

  23. I am so, so so, glad, to be out from under the oppressive Christian fundamentalism that is always subjugating people to endless rules. I mean I am happy, happy, happy, to be free. I will NEVER go back.

    I feel for the people who think they are truly following scripture by living this way. It doesn’t have to be. Seriously, getting out is the best thing I ever did in my life!

  24. Nancy wrote:

    @ Deb

    When I first moved to North Carolina in 1970 I was clueless. I went to work the first day on my new job, at a county public hospital, in a pair of pants and a long white coat. It caused a mini-ripple of enthusiasm. The way they told me the story was that the nurses had wanted to start being allowed to wear pants on the job, but administration had said, let’s wait and see what Dr. X does, and if she wears pants then you can too. What? So I could get labeled as the new destroyer of civilization? And nobody warned me before hand; I just walked into it like a lamb to the slaughter.

    I do have to say, culture itself has changed so radically from “back in the day” that some of the residuals of bygone days that are still present in some Bible Colleges do not look quite as shocking to those of us who remember “when.” Not to say that they do not need to change some things like dress codes and such, just saying that it has not been too long ago that they would have been only slightly more conservative than the surrounding secular culture. I sill wear pants. It covers up my scrawny legs and keeps me warm in the winter and out of the poison ivy in the summer.

    Nancy, did you do a stint on an Indian reservation, gallbladder surgery 24/7?

  25. Verity wrote:

    @ Deb: This rule is for the men students. Women have always been allowed to wear jewelry.

    Whew! I was scanning the handbook and didn't realize that prohibition was in just the section applying to male students. What a relief that women can wear jewelry.

  26. Deb wrote:

    Thanks for your comment. I just looked at the BJU dress code, and the women’s rules are much longer than the men’s.

    I would be in violation of the BJU dress code most of the time because of this on page 36 of the Student Handbook:

    “Jewelry and Body Art

    Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and tattoos are not appropriate including in the residence halls.”

    I have always enjoyed wearing jewelry. When I was a teenager, I worked two summers in the (gasp!) jewelry department of Ivey’s (later bought by Dillards), and it was a wonderful experience.

    Unless “Deb” is a man, this is incorrect. And here is part of the problem. BJU is completely misrepresented without apology, without retraction, and without repentance. Shameful. If you can’t read the rulebook, then it is probably better not to quote it. Hopefully, Deb will fix this error by removing the comment and offering a public apology for the comment.

    BJU has a lot of problems, and firing GRACE appears to be a bad one (although remember that GRACE’s reputation is not all that good). BJU should not have fired GRACE, and certainly not without giving reasons. We don’t know what went on, and BJU should make it clear.

    Regarding objectives, GRACE was hired by BJU to fulfill BJU’s objectives. If GRACE isn’t doing what they were hired to do, then they are in breach of contract, and that means the firing should happen. If GRACE has a contract, then they need to keep it. They can’t go outside of it without rewriting it. Unfortunately, we don’t know that since neither BJU nor GRACE has made that public. BJU did state that they tried to meet with GRACE and GRACE refused. If that’s true, then that may be why GRACE didn’t know the problems with their investigation.

    If some group has different objectives, then they should hire GRACE. The survivor’s group is perfectly able to do that.

    The NYT piece, overall, was bad journalism, as has much of the reporting on this topic. Commenting on the policies of conduct has nothing to do with the topic of the article. It apparently was intended to prejudice the reader without considering why those policies may have been in place.

    In the end, BJU should not have fired GRACE. It is unfortunate that they did, and it is bad that they have not said why. Hopefully they will get this thing going again.

  27. Deb wrote:

    The dress code for girls at that time was dresses only

    Back around 1970 we had a cold snap that had temps below 0F at night for a few days. And not much above during the day. My high school had the same dress code but suspended it for the cold weather. When it warmed up the female students and teachers both let it be know they were not going back to dresses and skirts just because it was now 20F or 30F. The rule vanished without much comment.

  28. I have one observation about this BJU statement

    IMNHO-they appear to me to be flinging BS in a wide arc. Total, absolute garbage.

  29. lemonaidfizz wrote:

    GRACE’s findings must have been pretty disturbing for BJU to decide that the inevitable media fallout would be a better alternative than allowing the investigative report to be completed and released.

    Well said! Wished I had thought of it.

  30. Seneca “j” Griggs wrote:

    Nancy, did you do a stint on an Indian reservation, gallbladder surgery 24/7?

    A member of the peanut gallery is jealous this morn. Feeling sour that he never had the fun of doing gallbladder surgery 24/7. Or was it heart surgery 24/7 or kidney transplant or general nursing? Whatever, who cares?

    He is actually low on Vitamin D; been a long winter already.

  31. @ Nancy:

    I am so glad that you were able to change the culture. Back when I was young, nurses wore dresses, nursing caps and those special white lace up clinical shoes.

    The first time my cap got caught in an IV line, I ripped it off and threw it across the room and refused to wear it from the time forward. I switched to public health nursing and started wearing street clothes. Yay!!

  32. @ Tikatu:
    Great story. Now the NYT knows what gives at BJU and you can be darn tootin’ sure they will be looking into BJU and the Bobs. I think that there is a lot going on behind the scenes and the revelations could be devastating to the school.

  33. Tikatu wrote:

    the Streisand Effect.

    For those of you who do not know what this is, here is the explanation direct from Wikipedia.

    “The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

    It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California, inadvertently generated further publicity. Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters, to suppress numbers, files and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.

    Mike Masnick of Techdirt coined the term after Streisand unsuccessfully sued photographer Kenneth Adelman and Pictopia.com for violation of privacy. The US$50 million lawsuit endeavored to remove an aerial photograph of Streisand’s mansion from the publicly available collection of 12,000 California coastline photographs.

    Adelman photographed the beachfront property to document coastal erosion as part of the California Coastal Records Project, which was intended to influence government policymakers.Before Streisand filed her lawsuit, “Image 3850″ had been downloaded from Adelman’s website only six times; two of those downloads were by Streisand’s attorneys. As a result of the case, public knowledge of the picture increased substantially; more than 420,000 people visited the site over the following month.”

  34. NC Now wrote:

    Deb wrote: The dress code for girls at that time was dresses only Back around 1970 we had a cold snap that had temps below 0F at night for a few days. And not much above during the day. My high school had the same dress code but suspended it for the cold weather. When it warmed up the female students and teachers both let it be know they were not going back to dresses and skirts just because it was now 20F or 30F. The rule vanished without much comment.

    I guess that's when my mom sent me to school wearing pants under my dress. I'm grateful she had/has a backbone.

  35. Rob wrote:

    mean I am happy, happy, happy, to be free. I will NEVER go back.

    Your comment made me smile. I am so happy for your happiness.

  36. Rob wrote:

    I am so, so so, glad, to be out from under the oppressive Christian fundamentalism that is always subjugating people to endless rules. I mean I am happy, happy, happy, to be free. I will NEVER go back. I feel for the people who think they are truly following scripture by living this way. It doesn’t have to be. Seriously, getting out is the best thing I ever did in my life!

    Here's my song dedication to you. Would BJU allows students to listen to it?

  37. Gene wrote:

    Hopefully, Deb will fix this error by removing the comment and offering a public apology for the comment.

    She said she was wrong. A “pubic apology” to BJU for their jewelry policy being misrepresented????? ROFL!!!!

    OH, BJU, we are so very, very very sorry for thinking that women can’t wear jewelry. Now we know that only men can’t because…….well just because y’all take the Bible seriously and it says it in there, somewhere, that men can never wear jewelry because…..I know it is something very, very important. It has to be. I bet it has something to do with that “unforgivable sin” everyone is always talking about.

    I am prostate with grief for our unforgivable error. I shall wear a skirt to church every Sunday for the next year in penance, unless it is in the wash because, as every Christian knows, “cleanliness is next to godliness” right? It is in there somewhere…..

  38. Gene wrote:

    If GRACE isn’t doing what they were hired to do, then they are in breach of contract, and that means the firing should happen.

    ROFL

    Gene wrote:

    The NYT piece, overall, was bad journalism, as has much of the reporting on this topic. Commenting on the policies of conduct has nothing to do with the topic of the article. It apparently was intended to prejudice the reader without considering why those policies may have been in place.

    Prejudice the reader???? Double ROFL.

    Your comment helps me to see just how the church and parachurch group get away with despicable behavior (all allegedly of course).

  39. dee wrote:

    She said she was wrong. A “pubic apology” to BJU for their jewelry policy being misrepresented????? ROFL!!!!

    No, a public apology here to the people to whom it was said. Here, on these comments. In fact, with your magic moderating power, why not just go back and make it disappear, and put a note that “Something inaccurate was said and we have taken steps to correct it.”

    Why is the humility of saying, “Hey, I am sorry. I misread that and misrepresented something,” so out of the bounds of thought? That would seem to be a normal thing, particularly among you guys who want change from everyone under the sun (and rightfully so for the most part). In fact, it doesn’t even require that much humility. Just say, “Hey, I’m sorry. I misread that.” It seems to me that you want to hold others to a standard; are you willing to hold yourselves to the same standard?

  40. Gene wrote:

    Commenting on the policies of conduct has nothing to do with the topic of the article. It apparently was intended to prejudice the reader without considering why those policies may have been in place.

    This is what you're missing. It's exactly relevant but it speaks to the entire culture at Bob Jones University.

    It's not just BJU's firing of GRACE. It's century-long treatment of women and children and even men who are not in power.

    Sunshine is the best disinfectant, Gene. And sunshine needs to be directed on every part of Bob Jones University.

  41. dee wrote:

    Gene wrote: Hopefully, Deb will fix this error by removing the comment and offering a public apology for the comment. She said she was wrong. A “pubic apology” to BJU for their jewelry policy being misrepresented????? ROFL!!!! OH, BJU, we are so very, very very sorry for thinking that women can’t wear jewelry. Now we know that only men can’t because…….well just because y’all take the Bible seriously and it says it in there, somewhere, that men can never wear jewelry because…..I know it is something very, very important. It has to be. I bet it has something to do with that “unforgivable sin” everyone is always talking about. I am prostate with grief for our unforgivable error. I shall wear a skirt to church every Sunday for the next year in penance, unless it is in the wash because, as every Christian knows, “cleanliness is next to godliness” right? It is in there somewhere…..

    At least I can admit it when I make a mistake. How about the BJU leadership???

  42. dee wrote:

    Your comment helps me to see just how the church and parachurch group get away with despicable behavior (all allegedly of course).

    I was going to say that, but you beat me to it. 😉

  43. Tikatu wrote:

    The NYT article had some interesting back story. The reporter let the Bob know he’d be on campus that day but when he arrived with his photographer, no one official took any interest. No one gave them a tour; no one greeted them. If they asked anyone on campus about the issue, the students said they didn’t know anything and the faculty referred them to public relations.
    So, Dr. Camille Lewis, one of those speaking out against GRACE’s firing (and someone who is banned from campus), took them on a tour. Near the end, when the photographer was taking pictures, the head of Public Safety sidled up (Camille’s words) and told him he wasn’t supposed to be there without an escort. They told this guy they had called ahead. So when the Public Safety guy heard this, he got on his phone and went into the Administration building. That’s when the photographer insisted they leave right away.
    I’m sorry, but when the NYT comes a callin’, you make sure you’re on top of their visit. However, I’m glad they weren’t; less chance to spin the situation in their favor.

    Yup. I saw it for myself. BJU’s PR wouldn’t give the Times a tour, so they called on me.

    I’ll be sending BJU an invoice on Monday. 😉

  44. Nancy wrote:

    @ Deb
    When I first moved to North Carolina in 1970 I was clueless. I went to work the first day on my new job, at a county public hospital, in a pair of pants and a long white coat. It caused a mini-ripple of enthusiasm. The way they told me the story was that the nurses had wanted to start being allowed to wear pants on the job, but administration had said, let’s wait and see what Dr. X does, and if she wears pants then you can too. What? So I could get labeled as the new destroyer of civilization? And nobody warned me before hand; I just walked into it like a lamb to the slaughter.
    I do have to say, culture itself has changed so radically from “back in the day” that some of the residuals of bygone days that are still present in some Bible Colleges do not look quite as shocking to those of us who remember “when.” Not to say that they do not need to change some things like dress codes and such, just saying that it has not been too long ago that they would have been only slightly more conservative than the surrounding secular culture. I sill wear pants. It covers up my scrawny legs and keeps me warm in the winter and out of the poison ivy in the summer.

    I grew up in a rural town with very strict rules. In 1972, they finally allowed female students to wear matching pantsuits….by the time I graduated from high school, ’75 the girls were wearing Wrangler jeans and boots just like the boys….girls in skirts and pantsuits just didn’t cut it in agriculture class….could you see a girl trying to castrate a calf or trim hooves in a skirt, circa 1973?

  45. Camille K. Lewis wrote:

    It’s century-long treatment of women and children and even men who are not in power.

    I’m telling ya.
    This worship of hierarchy and power in Gothardism and BJU and Vision Forum… it’s bad stuff. It’s bad news. It’s a ‘bad news’ gospel and not the true gospel.
    And it does need the disinfectant of Sunshine.

  46. dee wrote:

    I am prostate with grief for our unforgivable error.

    Dear Dee. I trust that your apology statement was meant to be *prostrate* and not a *prostate* as typoed — although it appears there are those types with prostates who should be apologizing prostrate. B-

  47. I really feel sorry for students who attend such strict Christian colleges. College is a time to grow into adulthood, not to extend the teenage years.

    I went to Pacific Christian College in the late 80’s and early 90’s. If we had a dress code, I don’t remember it. The rules really were not bad at all. The only rules that I really remember were no alcohol in the dorms and opposite sex time constraints for visiting dorms. Otherwise, we were expected to act like adults, and we were treated as so. I appreciated that.

    On the other hand, I spent a summer in Chicago doing an internship where I lived on Moody Bible College’s campus. I think I broke every dress code as I would wear shorts and a t-shirt to go running. I didn’t care at all because I thought their rules were so back-assward and ironic given that they lived in the middle of the city. I may have even been considered as the Southern California Christian girl “bad influence” as I made friends with some of the security guards who would sneak me in and out past curfew to go see movies or experience some of city life. Sometimes the security guards would join me, and seeing movies off campus was definitely against the rules.

  48. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Dear Dee. I trust that your apology statement was meant to be *prostrate* and not a *prostate* as typoed — although it appears there are those types with prostates who should be apologizing prostrate. B-

    lol! Thanks for the chuckle!

  49. I will add…During my college experience I don’t remember there being any issue with rape or professors being inappropriate with students. That’s not to say that it didn’t happen, I just don’t remember an incidents. I wonder about early times in the school’s history when the rules were more restrictive and there were fewer women than men. I honestly don’t know.

    What I do know is that I think the faculty and staff of the college treated students like fellow adults, and not like “kids.” I think that the mutual respect that students, faculty and staff had toward each other lead to a good learning environment.

    My heart goes out to all of the victims at BJU. I am sorry that this recent event has happened and delays the closure of the truth coming out. I hope that in your lifetime you will be able to witness BJU owning up to role that they played in silencing abuse.

  50. I graduated from BJU in 1953; am not too surprised at recent event. Was kinda surprised that they ever hired Grace group. I may have been totally out of it during my years there, but don’t remember too much stuff being talked about. I came from a highly dysfunctional family, tho, if that made a difference. Had some wonderful teachers, whom I still remember at age 82.

  51. In other news, I have finally managed to play through the third page of Rachmaninov’s Bb minor Prelude with no wrong notes.

    (Still allegretto rather than allegro at the moment, but you must always play it right before you play it fast, or you will always play it craply.)

  52. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    In other news, I have finally managed to play through the third page of Rachmaninov’s Bb minor Prelude with no wrong notes.
    (Still allegretto rather than allegro at the moment, but you must always play it right before you play it fast, or you will always play it craply.)

    Congrats, as one who studied music for years, I am impressed.

  53. Gene wrote:

    The NYT piece, overall, was bad journalism, as has much of the reporting on this topic. Commenting on the policies of conduct has nothing to do with the topic of the article. It apparently was intended to prejudice the reader without considering why those policies may have been in place.

    Let me see, Deb apparently made that comment to prejudice the readers. And you know this how?

    And the readers here have a bit of comical relief and decide how important or not a rule about jewelry (as compared to possible sexual misconduct) is in the big picture of what is going on at BJU?

    Do you have a low opinion of the intelligence and the concern for the spiritually abused that the readers have at TWW?

  54. @ Bridget:

    I made an honest mistake in a comment (not the post) about jewelry which I acknowledged as soon as it was pointed out in the comments.

    Observing the reaction of BJU supporters made the mistake worth it IMHO. I believe it reveals matters of the heart.

  55. Sexual assault on college campuses has gained national attention. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-addresses-sexual-assault-colleges-article-1.1591696
    I highly doubt that BJU is exempt from this problem. Their decision to have GRACE investigate could have shown their initiative to right any wrongs without being forced to. Their firing of GRACE is highly suspect. It seems that, once again, law enforcement must intervene where Christians fail.

    I don’t have a problem with a private university having a dress code. Lots of private schools require uniforms. What I do take issue with is the hypocrisy of requiring a female to not draw attention to herself, and then not defending her when she is assaulted.

  56. All this talk makes me glad I attended Catholic University, where some folks (not me or my friends!) drank themselves silly and did all kinds of crazy things. And listened to Billy Joel’s song about Catholic girls.

    I think anyone who wants to go to a Christian college should go to Pepperdine where they can live in Malibu and stare at the Pacific Ocean. (Don’t know anything about their policies, though, just know it’s in a gorgeous locations.)

  57. @ Former CLC’er:

    All this talk makes me glad I attended Catholic University

    Hey, I regularly take online classes from the Mormons (BYU). I also had to sign an online (non-religious) agreement with the Mormons to become a home FamilySearch.com record indexer. What does that say about me? 😉

  58. dee wrote:

    Gene wrote:
    If GRACE isn’t doing what they were hired to do, then they are in breach of contract, and that means the firing should happen.
    ROFL

    That’s only funny in a world where contracts and promises don’t matter. If BJU violated their end of the contract, they are in breach of it. But the truth is that we don’t know because neither side has said anything yet. Contracts exist for a reason, and that is to stipulate the agreement ahead of time. I am quite sure you would not be happy if yours or your husband’s employer didn’t stick to their contract. I am not sure why this is different. If GRACE was keeping their contract and BJU is lying, then that’s another strike against BJU. But until we know, we don’t know.

    Prejudice the reader???? Double ROFL.

    It’s a common rhetorical advice. It’s poisoning the well, of a sort. There is something immoral about abuse. There is nothing immoral about these policies (however, legitimate or illegitimate they may be on other grounds). And making the case for a moral wrong by mentioning amoral issues is simply bad journalism, bad rhetoric, and bad ethics. The case against BJU for firing GRACE is strong and evident regardless of these policies.

    And no, Camille, it doesn’t speak to a century of mistreatment. Things like not drinking alcohol, not going to movies, or having theological and philosophical disagreements with other ministry leaders is not mistreating people. BJU has mistreated people. These are not examples of it.

    As a professor with a PhD (if I recall correctly), you should know that. I know I would never get away with that in my education.

    Your comment helps me to see just how the church and parachurch group get away with despicable behavior (all allegedly of course).

    Really? Someone claiming that BJU was wrong to terminate the contract and should reinstate and see it through shows how people get away with despicable behavior? Help me understand how that works?

    I think I was clear before, but just to be sure let me say it again: BJU should not have terminated the contract; it was wrong for them to do so. It was hurtful on a lot of levels. They should finish the investigation as they said they would and deal with the fallout.

    Hopefully that is clear enough for you and others here to understand. You guys are more than a decade behind on these kinds of issues. Camille Lewis was still happily employed by BJU when I was refusing to recommend it as a viable college option because of these kinds of issues (reputation, accreditation, policies, etc.). Don’t get me wrong; I am glad you are against abuse and bad counsel, and I am glad you are using your voice against it. But many of us were there long before you started, and long before Camille and her group started.

  59. Deb wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    I made an honest mistake in a comment (not the post) about jewelry which I acknowledged as soon as it was pointed out in the comments.
    Observing the reaction of BJU supporters made the mistake worth it IMHO. I believe it reveals matters of the heart.

    I quite understood. What I couldn’t understand is the importance placed on your comment by Gene and to what ends He thought you needed to go to correct it — all over a rule about jewelry! Gene seems much more concerned about BJU’s rules being represented properly than he is about how BJU treats their students — in the name of God. Does it ever occur to BJU, or Gene, that they may be misrepresenting God to the world?

    FWIW – I don’t believe jewelry or tattoos, on women or men, have anything to so with one’s righteousness in Christ. I’m not thinking that Jesus would shun anyone who had them, unlike many ‘Christian’ establishments.

  60. Bridget wrote:

    Let me see, Deb apparently made that comment to prejudice the readers. And you know this how?

    Uh, Bridget. Did you read the comment? It was the NYT piece that was the point of discussion, not Deb’s mistake.

    Do you have a low opinion of the intelligence and the concern for the spiritually abused that the readers have at TWW?

    Not all of them. I think there are some that are relatively uninformed on some things (such as BJU). There are a number of people here who believed Deb’s comments, and other similar claims by others. Yet I knew immediately that wasn’t true. I knew she had misread it. Others, with less knowledge, would not know that. I think there are a number of very kind and intelligent and gracious people here. And there are also some other people here. 😉

  61. Deb wrote:

    Observing the reaction of BJU supporters made the mistake worth it IMHO. I believe it reveals matters of the heart

    I noticed this too and was going to comment but wasn’t sure how.
    Your comment was perfect.

    With the alleged terrible things going on at BJU (beams, logs, entire trees including all the roots and branches), someone is going to freak out concerning a splinter (speck, piece of dust).

    That someone freaking out over the speck really needs to take a closer look at his priorities and re-examine the Kool-aide he’s been drinking.

  62. @ Bridget:

    Sorry Bridget. My comment wasn't addressed to you specifically.

    I just wanted to highlight what you said because I thought it was important.

  63. Marsha wrote:

    Gene, why in the world would you say that GRACE’s reputation isn’t that good?

    Because of the allegations made by ABWE that were not fully answered and similar allegations in dealings with PBI. I simply don’t know the truth. But I know that there are some fairly serious charges made. Overall, I am neutral on GRACE. I thought it was good for BJU to hire them, and I hope that BJU continues with them. They need to.

  64. Bridget wrote:

    What I couldn’t understand is the importance placed on your comment by Gene and to what ends He thought you needed to go to correct it — all over a rule about jewelry! Gene seems much more concerned about BJU’s rules being represented properly than he is about how BJU treats their students — in the name of God.

    Because truth is never well represented by errors. Errors detract from credibility, even if unintentional.

    Does it ever occur to BJU, or Gene, that they may be misrepresenting God to the world?

    I can’t speak for BJU, but yes for me.

    FWIW – I don’t believe jewelry or tattoos, on women or men, have anything to so with one’s righteousness in Christ. I’m not thinking that Jesus would shun anyone who had them, unlike many ‘Christian’ establishments.

    Glad you agree. It means you won’t be bothered by my gold bracelet. (My mom doesn’t like it though, so I take it off when I am around her.)

  65. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    In other news, I have finally managed to play through the third page of Rachmaninov’s Bb minor Prelude with no wrong notes.
    (Still allegretto rather than allegro at the moment, but you must always play it right before you play it fast, or you will always play it craply.)

    This pianist’s outfit would certainly not pass muster at BJU!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU8VgS-2hpk

    I love the B minor prelude, but I think the B flat major prelude is my favorite, albeit “a bit” harder to play (there’s no way I could where I am today).

  66. @ Josh:

    Hmm… yes, I’ve no plans for the B flat major!

    The lassie playing the B minor (you did register it was the B b minor I’m doing? – just checking) looks as though she arrived on a horse. Can’t comment on whether BJU would approve, of course.

  67. @ Gene:
    We have gone down this road with you before.

    You pick on a minor (really, really minor point) and build it into a major conflagration. It is happening again. You made your point. We disagree that this was a major point and we have said it was an error.

    So, basically, back off. There is a reason that you are in permanent moderation.

    Finally, if ABWE’s response is your “proof” that there is an issue with GRACE, then I have little further to say.

  68. Mara wrote:

    That someone freaking out over the speck really needs to take a closer look at his priorities and re-examine the Kool-aide he’s been drinking.

    Yep!

  69. I don’t know and I’ve not been told, but I have a hunch that that report was shaping up to be a major source of lawsuits against counsellors, etc. at the school. I did read that many of the alleged abuses happened at the abused’s homes and they sought help at school, but received “get over it, change your attitude (attitude being a big deal there).” Statutes of limitations tho. Just hearsay

  70. Just came across another Facebook page that might be of interest:

    Truth seeking graduates of Bob Jones

    About
    This page *will be* a safe haven for survivors of abuse.
    Two things will be cause for immediate removal and blocking from this page.
    1. Personal attacks on survivors as they recount their experiences.
    2. Victim blaming.

     

    Mission
    Telling the truth Bob Jones University may not want you to hear concerning your Alma Mater.
    Description
    We will, of course, have differing opinions on a variety of topics from time to time. That’s okay, but lets remember to have compassion of survivors of sexual and/or physical abuse. It is not appropriate to place any blame on anyone whatsoever for any abuse they suffered. Abuse is always the fault of the perpetrator. Never, EVER, is abuse the fault of the survivor.

    This page *will be* a safe haven for survivors of abuse.
    Two things will be cause for immediate removal and blocking from this page.
    1. Personal attacks on survivors as they recount their experiences.
    2. Victim blaming.

    *Personal attacks against survivors of abuse will not be tolerated on this page. This is in no way limited to such things as questioning the veracity of a victims account or story of their abuse.

    *Victim blaming* will not be tolerated on this page.

    Good for them!  Social media is changing how we communicate.

  71. If nothing else, with hearing about all of these “Jones” that are in top leadership the school shows there is a lot of nepotism. It sounds like this school may be run more like a “family business” than a Christian College. You get in leadership many times due to being “family” rather than the right person for the job.

    As others have said, I am sure in Stephen Jones “explanation” of the firing he wasn’t being fully truthful and trying to backpedal and make it look like there was a valid reason to fire them.

    It was quite spiteful to expel this student a few days before graduation. I hope the student files suit to get his degree and wins. I guess like a lot of groups they don’t do well with those who question.

  72. Gene, I haven’t looked into the PBI situation, but I found GRACE’s response to ABWE to be thorough and persuasive. You cannot say they didn’t address the criticisms.

  73. Gene wrote:

    There is nothing immoral about these policies (however, legitimate or illegitimate they may be on other grounds)

    In my opinion, treating young adults like children and telling them how to dress is immoral. they are able to vote at 18 so I think they should decide how they want to dress.

  74. @ Bridget:
    A mess but, so far, no loss of power at our house. People are staying off the road. Last night was a replay of the Atlanta situation. They didn’t realize how fast the snow would fall and people waited until the snow started to leave work. Not good.

    I am really looking forward to the Spring.

  75. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    @ Josh:
    Hmm… yes, I’ve no plans for the B flat major!
    The lassie playing the B minor (you did register it was the B b minor I’m doing? – just checking) looks as though she arrived on a horse. Can’t comment on whether BJU would approve, of course.

    Nope! I totally missed that ever-important b. Although I have a recording of all of the preludes, I tend to forget which one is which without being constantly reminded. 😮

    With that said, it’s not as bad as the Bb major prelude, but the Bb minor prelude has some challenging left hand parts.

  76. @ dee:
    Atlanta is now a verb. It means to wait until too late and then clog the system b/c you waited too late. Apparently the Triangle and Charlotte “Atlantaed”, and perhaps DC, Philly, etc. as well.

  77. dee wrote:

    You pick on a minor (really, really minor point) and build it into a major conflagration. It is happening again. You made your point. We disagree that this was a major point and we have said it was an error.

    I only initiated one thing about it . (Verity posted twice about it.) Others questioned me and I gave them the respect of a short response. So recognize that I did not pursue it. Even now, you are the one who brought it up. Not me.

    There is a reason that you are in permanent moderation.

    Ah yes. I recognize that. Funny, in a way. Dee, you realize, don’t you, that you have apparently never censored people for the way they have treated me here. I am fine with that. But it appears sort of a double standard. I have been doing the internet-interaction-blog thing for more than fifteen years, so I know my way around. I can tell you that I have never been treated other places the way I have here.

    Finally, if ABWE’s response is your “proof” that there is an issue with GRACE, then I have little further to say.

    I didn’t say ABWE’s response was “proof” of anything. I suggested, on the basis of three major organizations, that GRACE’s reputation may not be all that good. I don’t see how that is disputable, particularly given the issues surrounding PBI. ABWE may be less of a problem. I don’t know. But again, I was asked about that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have mentioned it.

    Dee, we shouldn’t be scared of conversation, even with people that we disagree with. But we should keep it respectful and I have done that from my end. I am glad you agree with me about BJU. I am sorry we diagree about other things, but I am okay with that. I have tried to treat you and others here with respect, and will continue to do so when I post. Thanks.

  78. Marsha wrote:

    Gene, I haven’t looked into the PBI situation, but I found GRACE’s response to ABWE to be thorough and persuasive. You cannot say they didn’t address the criticisms.

    Yes, I think they addressed the criticisms, but IMO left some holes. But again, as with BJU, I think ABWE should have finished with GRACE.

  79. nmgirl wrote:

    In my opinion, treating young adults like children and telling them how to dress is immoral. they are able to vote at 18 so I think they should decide how they want to dress.

    I would be willing to bet your employer doesn’t agree with you on that, unless you are self-employed. Most employers have a dress code and enforce with similar rationale to what BJU does, namely, that while you are here, this is how we do it. When you leave, do what you want.

    Having a dress code is not immoral. I don’t agree with the dress code. Remember, their policies like this are one reason why I don’t recommend people go there.

  80. I know that a couple of BJU alum have posted on here, so perhaps they’ll give their input, maybe not (and I understand).

    Because I’ve always been curious: why do people go to Bob Jones University? What are people majoring in and what fields do graduates mostly go into (I assume the ministry)? What is the “value” of a BJU education?

  81. Kathi wrote:

    On the other hand, I spent a summer in Chicago doing an internship where I lived on Moody Bible College’s campus. I think I broke every dress code as I would wear shorts and a t-shirt to go running. I didn’t care at all because I thought their rules were so back-assward and ironic given that they lived in the middle of the city. I may have even been considered as the Southern California Christian girl “bad influence” as I made friends with some of the security guards who would sneak me in and out past curfew to go see movies or experience some of city life. Sometimes the security guards would join me, and seeing movies off campus was definitely against the rules.

    Kathi, I went to Zion Bible College in RI (now Northpointe Bible College), and while so many positive experiences were had there, the legalism was often smothering. I vividly remember one student preaching his “senior sermon” all about grace. He basically just read verbatim Scripture, but it was viewed as scandalous. He said things like Jesus loving us no matter how many hours we pray/study, or how many people we witnessed to. I remember thinking at the the time that he was “worldly” and “backslidden”!

    Watching Christopher Peterman’s story made me so sad for him. What a contrast to the love of Jesus! At times I try to just ignore these things happening, and just move along. But I see real people being beat up, abused, lied to, or manipulated…..and all in the name of Jesus. It is so hard to ignore.

    I am praying for Boz and others like him.

  82. Camille K. Lewis wrote:

    I am local to Bob Jones University, and I am a whistle-blower about the problems. The harassment that continues in this location is something that is difficult to talk about because I’m afraid of even more. Police reports have been filed, certified return-receipt letters have been written (and are lost because the BJU (federally sanctioned) post office can’t find them).

    In other words, you are a Thought-Criminal and they have invoked Scientology’s Fair Game Law.

    As for the Federally-sanctioned Post Office conveniently losing mail, remember that GOP Presidential Candidates since Reagan have had to make pilgrimage to BJU for Bob Jones the Nth’s Blessing Ex Cathedra to kick off their campaign/secure the Christianese base vote, and BJU very much likes being Kingmaker.

  83. Steve240 wrote:

    If nothing else, with hearing about all of these “Jones” that are in top leadership the school shows there is a lot of nepotism. It sounds like this school may be run more like a “family business” than a Christian College. You get in leadership many times due to being “family” rather than the right person for the job.

    “Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and Bob Jones III…”

    You mean you don’t know how to become THE head of a Fundagelical megachurch, parachurch, or Bible College? The most sure way is to be born the son of the current head; 100% surety if your name ends in “Junior”. The ManaGawd mantle (and Speshul Standing before Gawd) is passed on from father to son like any other personal property.

    You DO know the Catholic rule forbidding married clergy was instituted for this very reason? In a day when political POWER was routinely inherited like any personal property?

  84. Rafiki wrote:

    Because I’ve always been curious: why do people go to Bob Jones University? What are people majoring in and what fields do graduates mostly go into (I assume the ministry)? What is the “value” of a BJU education?

    I have a family member who went to BJU. Mind you, this was years ago and way before the internet. His parents wanted him to go to a Christian college. He picked BJU because it was Christian and 600 miles from home. (he was that kid who couldn’t wait to leave home) He didn’t know anything about the legalism associated with the college until he got there. He majored in science and went on to graduate school at a state university. But from what he says about most grads, many are preachers. They also have a strong education program, so lots of teachers go there. They have a fairly large nursing school, too. Music is a popular major and they have a LOT of rules about what music is acceptable.

    From what he says, BJU’s firing of GRACE is par for the course. When he was a attending, students were NEVER allowed to question authority. Even questioning a professor about a different view of theology was grounds for being put on probation. (i.e. if you didn’t swallow the BJU view of the bible, hook, line and sinker they questioned whether or not you were even a Christian)

    Early in our marriage, we lived in SC near BJU, so I met a lot of folks who were BJU grads. It seemed to me like there were a lot of multiple generational grads. The grandfather went there, the parents, then the kids, and they all just thought Bob Jones was almost a perfect man. What I thought was funny was that in those “circles” it was a pretty big deal and people were esteemed for being BJU grads. I used to want to say, “Hey nobody cares that you went to BJ and most people have never heard of it.” But my mamma taught me better than that…………

  85. Rafiki wrote:

    Because I’ve always been curious: why do people go to Bob Jones University?

    Because you’ll lose your salvation and burn in Hell if you go to any Heathen Secular University? Because you won’t be contaminated by the presence of those Heathen?

    It’s a consolation/booby prize for those Forbidden the Real Thing, in this case a college education/university degree.

  86. @ dee:

    “IMNHO-they appear to me to be flinging BS in a wide arc. Total, absolute garbage.”
    ++++++++++++

    but he said it with such a noble, far away look in his eyes, so they can’t have done anything bad.

    (reminds me of when Alberto Gonzalez, Atty. General for Pres. Bush, was forced to come clean on something truly bad he had done, a confession — never seen anyone look more noble. head held high, looking off far & away to the distant northwest, now angling his head off to the distant northeast…)

    well, this Stephen Jones tried to look & sound noble, making quite the point of how they want to sit at the table & work “collaborately” with GRACE.

    Looked scared spitless to me.

  87. M. Joy wrote:

    Early in our marriage, we lived in SC near BJU, so I met a lot of folks who were BJU grads. It seemed to me like there were a lot of multiple generational grads. The grandfather went there, the parents, then the kids, and they all just thought Bob Jones was almost a perfect man.

    “Almost”?

    Don’t you know a God (or CULT Leader) is Perfect In Every Way and Can Do No Wrong?

    Bob Jones is just “L Ron Hubbard, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  88. Gene wrote:

    There is something immoral about abuse.

    “Something”, Gene??? I believe this is known as an understatement. There is nothing right about abuse. This kind of sentence reveals just how little you understand about abuse and the long-term effects it has on the abused.

  89. M. Joy wrote:

    Music is a popular major and they have a LOT of rules about what music is acceptable.

    This reminds me of something that happened at the church we attended in SC. The music director and his wife were both BJU music grads. One Sunday, a visiting guest soloist sang in church, picked up the microphone from stand and held it while he was singing. The following week, the music director met with the pastor. I heard he almost came unglued because the guest soloist held the microphone. Apparently, they are taught at BJU that the only acceptable way to sing is with the microphone in the stand because holding a microphone brings glory to the singer, not God. The pastor didn’t think it was a big deal and nicely told him to get over it. The music director actually left and QUIT his job because the pastor didn’t hold to the same music standards Bob Jones taught.

  90. Rafiki wrote:

    Because I’ve always been curious: why do people go to Bob Jones University?

    Billy Graham started out there. He left after a semester saying it was a bit too much for him. 🙂

  91. @ M. Joy:
    My brother lives in the area and works for a major corp. He says it’s not uncommon for recent grads to not be able to deal with life in a heated company debate or on the production line interacting with others who are NOT BJU people.

  92. @ dee:

    I did not do it. They just used me for an excuse. Not sure why anybody needed an excuse, but whatever.

  93. Rafiki wrote:

    why do people go to Bob Jones University?

    I think it has to do with the type of family that you are born into. Bob Jones is the Ivy League for the IFB. Often young people are not given the choice or have been so indoctrinated that they believe this is the best place on the planet. I think the stories written by the young people who went through Gothard’s ATI give an excellent insight into this mindset.

  94. @ Erik:
    You came to TWW. So, you are no doubly backslidden! Good for you. You are using the brain that the good Lord gave you.

  95. NC Now wrote:

    @ M. Joy:
    My brother lives in the area and works for a major corp. He says it’s not uncommon for recent grads to not be able to deal with life in a heated company debate or on the production line interacting with others who are NOT BJU people.

    As much as I hate to say this, there are home-school people I know who also have a hard time adjusting to the work-force. I’ve had seen kids who were home-schooled grades 1-8 try and adjust in high school and maybe by the time they were seniors, they had social skills….maybe..

  96. Erik wrote:

    I went to Zion Bible College in RI (now Northpointe Bible College), and while so many positive experiences were had there, the legalism was often smothering.

    It’s interesting how different Christian colleges can be, yet I would venture to guess that most are very conservative and lean heavily on rules.

    When it came time for me to choose college, I could easily have picked from several Christian colleges in the midwest that wanted me to join them. However, I wanted to study inner city ministry and missions, and I wanted to go to a school that practiced it as well as taught it. I knew I wouldn’t get that in the middle of a corn field! PCC (now Hope International University) had regular weekend trips to Mexico to build homes for the poor. That’s what instantly drew me there.

  97. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    “Something”, Gene??? I believe this is known as an understatement. There is nothing right about abuse. This kind of sentence reveals just how little you understand about abuse and the long-term effects it has on the abused.

    I said I was bowing out, but I want to respond to this since it opened the possibility of misunderstanding. If you know me, or have read what I have said here, you know that I have repeatedly said that everything about abuse is immoral and wrong. I am well aware of abuse and the long-term affects of it. My wording of “something” was not intended to communicate that there was something right about abuse. It was a statement comparing two things: one is immoral; the other is not.

    Thanks for calling attention to that so I could clarify it. I should have worded that better. At least I am not prostate though. 🙂

    BTW, this is why it is hard to communicate at times. There is no way to overestimate the ways in which people can misunderstand a simple statement. I encourage us all to read with charity. These are informal blog comments, often written quickly without a lot of editing. Don’t assume the worst.

  98. @ TW:
    At least, for once, the church in their statement did not say how they would surround the abuser and instead said this

    “In an email, Kerr stated, “We acknowledge that an individual who attends First Baptist Church has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. As a church family, we grieve for anyone who may have been victimized and pray for their total healing.”

    No garbage about the deacon being a Christian and need of support and forgiveness. Slowly, the message is beginning to get through. Not enough but a small crack of light.

  99. dee wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    I am heading to Scottsdale on Saturday, My husband has a conference and I am going along for the ride.

    I think some lessons were learned from Atlanta, although I can’t get on Atlanta’s case too hard since they are not used to dealing with this type of weather on a regular basis. I do think cities need to trust the advances in predicting weather. We’ve come a long way and the predictions should be heeded and planned for to avoid Atlanta-like nightmares.

    Hope you have a lovely time in the sun. I can’t complain about weather. I only find mine boring at times, and I actually miss seasons 😉

  100. Rafiki wrote:

    Because I’ve always been curious: why do people go to Bob Jones University? What are people majoring in and what fields do graduates mostly go into (I assume the ministry)? What is the “value” of a BJU education?

    I went there in the mid-80s as a graduate assistant. I had to follow the faculty handbook, so I had a lot of freedom the students didn’t have, but more responsibility. I went because both my pastor and music director went. I respected them and, at the time, wanted the kind of Christianity I saw in them. I still can’t figure out how I got the M.Ed. degree; my B.Sci. was in Communications/Media. I did go into it with my eyes at least half-open; I knew I could only teach in Christian schools and, at the time, that’s what I wanted. A BJU degree opened a lot of doors that way. However, at the time, the Bob was not accredited at all, so if I wanted to teach in public schools, I couldn’t. The degree is pretty much worthless.

    I met my husband there, so it wasn’t all bad. The faculty are the best. Most consider what they’re doing to be a ministry and a sacrifice for Christ. What the Bob puts on them as far as extra-curricular duties (chaperoning outings, being campus parents), low pay, and no voice in how things are run, is a true disgrace. At one point, the Bob was considering regional accreditation, which would open up doors to more graduate schools and more careers. However, the entire culture of the campus would have to change with respect to the faculty.

    A lot of homeschooled kids go to Bob Jones as it’s the only option their parents will consider.

  101. elastigirl wrote:

    but he said it with such a noble, far away look in his eyes, so they can’t have done anything bad.

    The “Noble, Faraway Look in His Eyes” like all the official publicity pics of one Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Campaign? That’s called “The Messiah Look”, AKA the Heroic Eyes-on-the-Horizon pose.

    Or (more sinister) the noble, faraway look in the eyes of Citizen Robespierre as he gazed on the future Republique of Perfect Virtue in the distance, beyond the “regrettable but necessary” Reign of Terror.

  102. Gene wrote:

    And no, Camille, it doesn’t speak to a century of mistreatment. Things like not drinking alcohol, not going to movies, or having theological and philosophical disagreements with other ministry leaders is not mistreating people. BJU has mistreated people. These are not examples of it.

    Yes, you can cherry pick these instances. Those theological disagreements, however, are code for petty fights. The Joneses didn’t like Billy Graham because he pushed integration. And their fight with John MacArthur had more to do with his father’s support of Billy Graham than anything else. How about their fight with John Piper’s Dad, Bill? He supported Graham too, and that’s why his church across the street from campus is still off-limits.

    I could go on. And while you’d like to disparage my professional degree, I have all the research to back it up. Every last piece.

    Camille Lewis was still happily employed by BJU when I was refusing to recommend it as a viable college option because of these kinds of issues (reputation, accreditation, policies, etc.). Don’t get me wrong; I am glad you are against abuse and bad counsel, and I am glad you are using your voice against it. But many of us were there long before you started, and long before Camille and her group started.

    My “group”? What is that? This is odd, Gene. Why are you mansplaining like this? Yes, I worked there. Happily? Well, . . . whatever. My story is here:

    http://www.drslewis.org/camille/ebenezers/

    I am well-aware that there was a long history of problems with BJU and its treatment of employees since the beginning. I’ve documented it. Instead of assuming that I am the Person-Who-Must-Be-Corrected, you should see what I say and the research I have.

  103. I was wondering if you all were going to mention this story. I know a woman involved in the investigation. She has been threatened, intimidated, and harassed via e-mail and phone by BJU and another “ministry” for the last thirteen months. At least one girl I know of committed suicide since I started following some of the blogs former BJU students were writing during the investigation. It has been a terrible ordeal and you bet your sweet bippy they don’t want the results coming out. Because BJU and the IFB protect criminals and liars and it goes all the way to the top. They were evidently under the delusion that they could hire GRACE and then intimidate victims, falsify and lose records, pay people off for changing/dropping their story, and employ their arsenal of time-tested spiritually abusive control tactics, so that the truth would not really matter. The whole thing makes me spitting mad. There has been truly evil stuff going on there and in churches run by their graduates in the IFB for years. (Chicago Magazine expose: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2013/Let-Us-Prey-Big-Trouble-at-First-Baptist-Church/) It also makes me mad to see this conversation turn into a “look at those silly fundies and their goofy rules – how amusing” kind of thing. They ruin people’s lives and this investigation is a really serious thing.

  104. “Because BJU and the IFB protect criminals and liars.”
    *
    I wish commentors wouldn’t write things like that. I think those kind of comments rebound back upon the blog authors, who may or may not care actually. But then they get threats.
    *
    Also, it’s not necessarily true.

  105. Christy wrote:

    I was wondering if you all were going to mention this story. I know a woman involved in the investigation. She has been threatened, intimidated, and harassed via e-mail and phone by BJU and another “ministry” for the last thirteen months. At least one girl I know of committed suicide since I started following some of the blogs former BJU students were writing during the investigation. . .They were evidently under the delusion that they could hire GRACE and then intimidate victims, falsify and lose records, pay people off for changing/dropping their story, and employ their arsenal of time-tested spiritually abusive control tactics, so that the truth would not really matter.

    This sends chills up my spine. It doesn’t surprise me anymore, but it horrifies me.

  106. Way back when we were in an MLM, there were endless rules, one being that ladies were not allowed to wear pants. That was one rule I did not want to abide by.

    It was time for the big function, and the keynote speakers were none other than the president of the corporation and his wife. They walked out on stage and what do you think the wife was wearing?

    She had on a beautiful pantsuit which which was forbidden by our local leadership. That was My 'Ah-Ha' Moment as I was sitting there in my pantsuit.

  107. Camille K. Lewis wrote:

    Those theological disagreements, however, are code for petty fights. The Joneses didn’t like Billy Graham because he pushed integration. And their fight with John MacArthur had more to do with his father’s support of Billy Graham than anything else. How about their fight with John Piper’s Dad, Bill? He supported Graham too, and that’s why his church across the street from campus is still off-limits.

    Wow! I did not know that. And you go, Camille. Let the detractors hear your voice.

  108. @ Christy:
    Anyone who treats abuse as amusing has troubles of their own. Abusers infect every segment of this world.

    Could you direct me to any blogs that dealt with suicides and BJU? We would be happy to write something about that as well.

  109. Seneca “j” Griggs. wrote:

    “Because BJU and the IFB protect criminals and liars.”
    *
    I wish commentors wouldn’t write things like that. I think those kind of comments rebound back upon the blog authors, who may or may not care actually. But then they get threats.
    *
    Also, it’s not necessarily true.

    D and D can moderate my comments if they deem them harmful.

    I also provided a link to a mainstream piece of investigative journalism and cited a personal relationship and accounts in other blogs as the basis for the opinions in my comments. They were clearly not based on anything written by the authors of this blog.

  110. dee wrote:

    @ Christy:
    Anyone who treats abuse as amusing has troubles of their own. Abusers infect every segment of this world.
    Could you direct me to any blogs that dealt with suicides and BJU? We would be happy to write something about that as well.

    I will look around a little later and see if it is on a public blog.

  111. @ Gene: I’m much worse than just self-employed. I am an unmarried female who has a college degree in Science who works in a male dominated industry and I am a pr choice FEMINIST who votes Democrat.

  112. @ nmgirl:

    I am a pro choice egalitarian who is a registered R and votes D as much or more than R. Just the R primaries in Texas are the only game at the primary level.

  113. @ K.D.:
    K.D., unfortunately there are many many more stories like that all up and down the East Texas corridor, too many to count. If I were a parent I would not allow my child to participate in activities without my direct supervision. It really is that bad.

  114. Gene wrote:

    …the possibility of misunderstanding…. Don’t assume the worst.

    Gene,
    There is no misunderstanding. A person who understands what abuse does would never blow it off like this. They would say unequivocally and with utter clarity that abuse is always wrong, always causes pain, is never the victim’s fault, and that there is NEVER any reasonable explanation for sinning against someone in this manner. You might in this context have also pointed out that any organization that calls itself Christian would stand, like Jesus, alongside those who are hurt and burdened as a result of the sin of others.

    I am not assuming the worst. I think you often try to bring a different perspective to the discussion, and you are pretty quickly shut down. This illustrates why. You just don’t get it. You show no awareness whatsoever what this kind of sentence – so offhandedly typed – means to those who have been hurt. If someone close to you had been violated, you would never dream of writing a sentence like “There is something wrong about abuse.” You would fight to make sure no one ever got hurt like that again. And Gene, I hope God protects you and yours so you continue to live in your little bubble where all is roses and rainbows.

  115. @ An Attorney:
    I’ve been in a dozen or so of these snow events over the years. The single biggest issue is that the general population sees a few flakes and leaves work early to go home. And guess what. There isn’t a city in the world built to handle 80%+ of the cars on the road at once. Snow or not you get gridlock. When I am somewhere and everyone heads for the doors at the same time I usually wait a hour or few and drive home in a reasonable manner.

    The problem with all of this is it is never good for a politician to call the voters stupid for their actions. So they get up and take the fall and hope the acts of contrition help redeem them before the next election. And yes at times they also act stupid but it’s not a solo ride.

    Grew up plowing snow. Lived in western PA for nearly a decade, New England for a few years plus years of business trips, DC snow events, the big east coast one that iced over Atlanta back around 82, etc… And I drove home (300 miles) into this one without much issue. I just got into the area about 5 or 6 after all the crazies had abandoned their cars.

    Best avoidable mess was in Hartford when all the insurance companies told everyone to go home at the same time. Mid 80s. 50,000 people walking out the door within a few blocks of each other at the same time was quite a mess. After that they started a coordination policy with staggered departure times.

  116. M. Joy wrote:

    Apparently, they are taught at BJU that the only acceptable way to sing is with the microphone in the stand because holding a microphone brings glory to the singer, not God.

    I have always had a hard time understanding this mindset amongst the numerous flavors of American Christianity. Is the Almighty that ego sensitive and control driven that he can’t tolerate his beloved humans receiving their own accolade and honor? The writer of Psalm 8 didn’t seem to think so. Green with jealousy and always requiring genuflection is something I associate with the gods of the Greeks & the Canaanites, not the God of Abraham.

  117. @Attorney – D.C. appropriately cancelled everything so there was no mess. We did get 15-16 inches of snow, though. I might hitch a ride with Dee!

  118. @ Former CLC’er:
    I beat feet from Maryland just north of DC at noon Wed headed for Raleigh. I figured I was better getting close than getting stuck where I was for a few days of boredom. 🙂

  119. I graduated from BJU in 2002 and received a masters degree in 2006. I went to BJU because my pastor went there, my youth pastor went there, the majority of my school teachers went there, and my parents went there. My parents did not force me to go there, but I was taught from a young age that state schools were places that would ruin your faith. I was told I would be taught everything from an evolutionary, atheistic perspective as opposed to a Christian worldview. So since I wanted to be a good Christian, my choices were limited to BJU, Northland, and Pensacola. I was a good student and loved the fine arts and BJU was the gold standard for academics and music. I thought Northland to be more of a Christian camp-like environment, and Pensacola was KJV only (even then that seemed weird to me).

    My experience and I believe the experience of many other students is complicated. I loved the teachers, and feel that many truly cared for me. Many were well qualified and were excellent teachers. I loved my education for the most part.

    Unfortunately, there are 2 primary negatives that are also I believe a common experience of most graduates.

    1. While many of the teachers are wonderful, the administration (i.e. president, Dean of men’s office, school board etc in my opinion are legalistic, proud, secretive, and controlling. I know this because I was on the dean of men’s staff for awhile as a residence hall leader (over 60 other residence students). I was in many meetings with the dean of men’s staff discussing the problems of the other guys on my hall, whom I was in charge of. On several occasions I was ordered to search a room because one of the guys was suspected of having a contemporary music cd or something else “uncheckable” in his room. We would go through all of their belongings until we found something. They would then have those cds or “uncheckables” confiscated and the student would either be campused (which meant no talking to girls and losing all social privileges for the rest of the semester) or else being expelled if they were already at a certain level of demerits. My problem with this is that it wasn’t like somebody found a cd and turned them in. That would have been enough. But we would actually proactively search their rooms for uncheckable items. We were told it was our spiritual duty to turn our fellow students in for whatever violation we saw as this was our spiritual duty and an act of obedience to God. This of course created an environment, where if any one legitimately was struggling with a sin (i.e. pornography) there was no where to get true help. To go to someone for help, meant either getting expelled or being placed on probation. Therefore, every student learns to be fake. Unfortunately, I was a part of that system for a year, until I messed up myself and received too many demerits one semester. I was caught violating a university policy. I lost my responsibilities as a dorm leader. I was immediately shunned by the other dorm leaders. I had fallen from grace. This of course was the best thing that ever happened to me as it exposed to me the fallacy of that way of thinking.

    I believe the abuse victims because I heard the dean of students and dean of men with my own ears state that victims should handle things in the church, and should forgive their abusers. That was the method of operation for every problem, sexual abuse or not. They are a law unto themselves. I myself was involved in a situation where my roommate stole my car and wrecked it 1000 miles away. The dean of men instructed me not to tell the police, because Christians are not allowed to use the law or the police. We are to handle things within the church as fellow Christians and not involve the law. I obeyed his instruction.

    2. The second major problem with getting a degree at BJU it is to a large extent worthless. South Carolina and Georgia are the only states that I am aware of where one can be accepted to a regionally accredited grad school, be licensed to teach in a public school, practice nursing, and be licensed in accounting etc. It would be one thing, if BJU was transparent about the difficulties in employment and education that one faces when they leave the campus. Unfortunately, they greatly exaggerate the benefits of their national accreditation (TRACS). A truly humiliating point in my life was when I was refused by every single state school in NC for admittance to State grad schools (despite my 4.0 GPA in undergrad). While I was applying for these state grad schools, I went to the local community college to take a couple of prereq classes in accounting, and I was told even they did not recognize my degree from BJU and I had to take entry level math exams (1+1 type questions) in order to be admitted. Most every time I have interviewed for a job, I have either gotten a blank stare or I see a visible skeptical look when they look at my academic credentials.

    I have gained some level of professional success but it is in no thanks to my degree. In fact, it has been in spite of my degree.

    So to recap I have a love hate relationship with BJU. I had many fond memories, many excellent educators, met my wife, and started a relationship with God at BJU… But yet, I also saw the legalistic, abusive practices of the administrators and have an albatross on my neck in both my educational and vocational pursuits.

  120. @ NC Now:
    I grew up in NE Ohio, spent 9 years in Michigan (lots of ice and snow, especially on 4/1!), and more years in OH, before moving to TX. Learned to drive in a snow storm. As a manager in NE Ohio, I sent employees home from a rural office/lab when it began to snow and 8 inches was predicted; got in trouble from the boss, who stayed and ended up stuck, while the rest of us made it home OK.

    People in the South, especially TX, do not know how to drive in snow/ice and it causes accidents which is the big problem. The secret is the egg-shell between foot and pedal approach. Using as little brake or gas at a time as possible. Gentle braking and acceleration.

    Worst experience was in 1985 being on interstate hwy at 75 mph on dry pavement, going over a rise and hitting ice at the top of a 3 mile slope with semis all over the place. Chose the median which was 6″ deep in snow, slowed to 20 and got back on the road, wiggling between the semis and going on to the Baptist State Convention that afternoon.

  121. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    A person who understands what abuse does would never blow it off like this. They would say unequivocally and with utter clarity that abuse is always wrong, always causes pain, is never the victim’s fault, and that there is NEVER any reasonable explanation for sinning against someone in this manner.

    I am glad you agree with me. For you to try to paint my comments differently is wrong. I have been explicit on what I believe about this many times and many places, both in person and here, as well as other places. Quite frankly, my words were fine. To say that there is something wrong is not to imply that there is also something right. There is nothing right or okay about abuse, and nothing I have ever said any where at any time could be legitimately interpreted that way. But you misread it, and I take responsibility for my word choice. But now, having cleared it up by being explicit, you should cease your accusations against me. They are incorrect. I stand against abuse unequivocally. I hope that you are clear on this, and that you will cease saying otherwise.

  122. Yes, Camille should write an article for this site. No one is more qualified to address the issues at BJU.

  123. Kathi wrote:

    regular weekend trips to Mexico to build homes for the poor.

    Why do we do missions trips to Mexico to build houses/churches, but hire Mexicans to do our local construction?

  124. Jerry wrote:

    My problem with this is that it wasn’t like somebody found a cd and turned them in. That would have been enough. But we would actually proactively search their rooms for uncheckable items. We were told it was our spiritual duty to turn our fellow students in for whatever violation we saw as this was our spiritual duty and an act of obedience to God.

    Now you can call yourself Commissar Jerry of the Thought Police.
    “LONG! LIVE! BIG! BROTHER!”

  125. Jerry wrote:

    So to recap I have a love hate relationship with BJU. I had many fond memories, many excellent educators, met my wife, and started a relationship with God at BJU… But yet, I also saw the legalistic, abusive practices of the administrators and have an albatross on my neck in both my educational and vocational pursuits.

    Thanks for your post. I have heard exactly the same thing from other BJU grads. They didn’t realize the problems associated with a degree from BJU until after they graduated. Yes, if you venture outside of SC looking for jobs or grad schools the going is tough.

    This is also a problem with degrees from many other Christian colleges, but like someone mentioned earlier, Bob Jones considers themselves sort of an “Ivy League” of Christian education. I think that gives students a sense of false security about what a BJU diploma will mean for them.

  126. Rafiki wrote:

    I know that a couple of BJU alum have posted on here, so perhaps they’ll give their input, maybe not (and I understand).
    Because I’ve always been curious: why do people go to Bob Jones University? What are people majoring in and what fields do graduates mostly go into (I assume the ministry)? What is the “value” of a BJU education?

    I have been lurking and have never posted here. I spent over half of my life on Bob Jones campus . Administrators and faculty were my next door and down-the-road neighbors. The campus barn was one of our favorite playspaces. Right across from the barn lived the Principal of the Academy and next door to him was the Bible Faculty member who famously wrote the BJU Press publication explaining why racism is commanded by the Bible thus defending the school’s anti-integration stance – specifically interracial dating and marriage. Do not be confused by the Larry King Live interview by Doctor Bob Jones III – or more correctly Mr. Jones (all of the Jones’ doctoral degrees are honorary except for Stephen’s and his was made up to ensure he could pass the program. There are others who have been to this site who can talk more on that topic.) My familial ties with the University predate World War II. My life WAS Bob Jones University. I was not permitted to go anywhere else for school. Yes, my parents required it – it really wasn’t even a question. But the University required it as condition for my parents continued employment. What I will say in this post is from first-hand observation and my own personal experience. And yes, it does reflect opinion.

    Bob Jones University grew its own network of churches and Christian schools. Churches being planted by Bob Jones “Preacher Boys” using seed money from the University and always with the goal of having a school attached to the Church. There was always a contract with BJU that went along with that seed money. Basically BJU owned and controlled the church. Of course, the pastor always sends the kids from the church to BJU. A school attached to the Church often means a larger congregation and a larger group of new students to send to Bob Jones. Those students graduate the University go an recommend BJU… you get the concept. I worked for quite some time there were times when there were over 6,000 students. And the students expected, for the most part, to be treated like children because that is how they were treated at home. We were all told – and I can hear the echoes of Bob Jones Junior in my head -that accreditation is unnecessary and will never bee asked about. If it was, just let him know and he wo9uld set it straight with the questioning University or employer. He even got Strom Thurmond, a SC Senator for a very long time, to smooth thing with Clemson and University of SC to ensure BJ graduates could go there.

    Many students, when they have graduated from Bob Jones have gotten a very rude awakening when they try to use their Nursing degree in OH, or their education degree in just about any state except for SC: the lack of accreditation of Bob Jones has meant that most have to work in Christian schools because they have much lower standards for their teachers OR they can go get an accredited degree somewhere else for more money.

    Graduates are realizing the educational issues of Bob Jones. They also no longer cotton to being treated like a child nor other spiritual and psychological abuse that goes on at Bob Jones. The last several years their numbers have every year significantly dropped. This pas fall they had fewer than 3,000 students.

    There is no value to a Bob Jones degree in the real world today. When one points out the issue of graduates being able to find employment the schools apologists are quick to point out that the purpose of a Bob Jones Education is NOT to help anyone get a job. One cannot get them to further explain. Even the technical college system in South Carolina does not recognize a Bob Jones degree. The technical colleges will – in their own words – “accept some transfer credits from Bob Jones University as a courtesy.”

    Please realize how difficult it is to explain this for me because it means that half of my life doesn’t matter and was a complete lie.

    If you look carefully at the many things that have happened throughout all of this you will notice a pattern on behalf of the University of saying one thing to explain their position and the next time they say something, the first issue is never mentioned but it is something completely different. Even the letter sent to GRACE was full of inaccuracies. Stephen Jones had Stepped down effective immediately and was going to be on medical leave throughout the semester and occasionally pop in and help out and he would run graduation. The letter says something different.

    I was interviewed by GRACE. They have done nothing outside of the stated purpose for the investigation. The University started all of this because of the courage of Mr. Peterman and the Do Right BJU group. Camille and Grant Lewis were there and have provided amazing support to the myriad survivors. Also at that time the BJUnity group under the leadership of Mr. Jeffrey Hoffman was organizing and being there for a an additional group of people who were daily told from the chapel pulpit that they are worthless and in the words of Bob Jones III, they should all just be stoned dead. Stephen and the University are now denying that and are pointing to Penn State’s situation and the impetus of the hiring of GRACE. And I must take this opportunity to say that only a complete and total ninnynincompoop who really has not done true research would question the qualifications or motive of GRACE and point to ABEW and PBI as proof (both of them did almost the identical thing that BJU is doing) Bob Jones has to be realizing the repercussions of the sex abuse at Penn State hit as high as the President of that institution. They have to be worried the same thing will happen there.

    What has been happening at Bob Jones – the not reporting of sex abuse – is institutionalized, discussed, and approved at the administrators meetings. The former primary “counselor” on the campus was a graduate of the University for all of his degrees all of which are Bible. None of which are counseling, psychology, or any other field that could or should lead to a job as a counselor. He does not have a certificate in the state of South Carolina to be a counselor. He does not believe in psychology. Bob Jones is s proponent of “Nouthetic Counseling” which denies any psychological part of the individual and says that if there is a problem that it is either a physical problem or it is sin in your life. They get by the laws in South Carolina by claiming they are doing pastoral, Boblical counseling which in SC doesn’t need a certification. Greenville has become a hot-bed of this kind of quackery with entire churches being planted around it. One church is actually trying to open a center to treat addicted women using the concepts and methods of this particular counselor. (he is no longer in his head counselor role at the University but has been moved to the Seminary in an effort to put younger people in administrative roles) These Nouthetic counselors are predatory in nature and have turned more people away from God than just about anything I know of except for Bob Jones its self. Many many MANY of my BJ friends – including former faculty, staff and faculty/staff kids – now claim to be atheists or agnostics. Based on the actions and attitudes of the University and what I personally experienced, I do not blame them. I doo turned my back on all things Christian. Who wants to serve a god like they serve at BJU that is so extremely evil trying to make you trip up and getting glee when you do because he can just pound you senseless. It is fascinating that BJU has grabbed ahold to Nouthetic Counseling as they have because it was invented by a Presbyterian. The University hates Presbyterians almost, not quite, as much as they hate Catholics. (Someone very close to me barely escaped expulsion in 1970 along with several others who were expelled for their strongly held Presbyterian – specifically Calvinist – beliefs.)

    One of the stated purposed for the GRACE investigation was so that the University can apologize to those they maliciously blamed and shamed for their own abuse (that is not underserving someone, it is just evil.) If they actually do finish the investigation and issue an apology, if it turns out to be anything like the statement they issued about their racism that they called an apology, they can just keep it. Their statement regarding their racism states that they never claimed it to be a biblical issue (I believe I have heard that Mrs. Lewis has that very well documented as a lie) but was southern culture and they were just following the crowd. The last I checked, in 2000, Bob Jones was the only school that still held onto these policies.

  127. Jerry wrote:

    We were told it was our spiritual duty to turn our fellow students in for whatever violation we saw as this was our spiritual duty and an act of obedience to God. This of course created an environment, where if any one legitimately was struggling with a sin (i.e. pornography) there was no where to get true help. To go to someone for help, meant either getting expelled or being placed on probation. Therefore, every student learns to be fake.

    2. The second major problem with getting a degree at BJU it is to a large extent worthless.

    Jerry, I attended TTU (another IFB school) and concur that the same sort of culture existed there. I don’t know how one compares to the other since I did not experience BJU, but the same elements existed.

    I went in completely blind as a new Christian who didn’t know what to think or where to go to study the Bible. I just believed what they taught me and tried to live it out to the Nth degree. It didn’t take long till I discovered that it wasn’t possible. I also discovered that most were not really trying to live it out themselves (students, teachers, admin, etc…) Thankfully, I realized I needed a real education and left.

    My second college proved to be so far advanced -in comparison- that I never regretted redoing my whole 4 years of college in order to not only get an accredited degree, but also a degree that taught me how to think and encouraged me to do so. I walked out with a confidence that I was no longer afraid of the Scriptures, and not afraid to live with the tensions we find there. One of the main differences, besides the academics, was the emphasis of learning how to live and play well with others. It was a foreign concept after having been indoctrinated by the IFB and TTU my first few years as a Christian.

    It was my observation that many who “fell” were far better off, because they woke up.

  128. Someone asked why students go to such IFB schools as BJU? When I was at IFB’s TTU school in the early 80’s, most students came from fairly uneducated homes and fearful parents. The parents were highly influenced by their pastor’s school of choice, which was usually: TTU, BJU, PCU, Liberty (though they were considered a bit liberal back in those days by the IFB,) and Hyles Anderson.

    Each school had some serious legalism, poor people skills, group think, isolationism, often poor academics, fear, manipulation, intimidation, abuse, corruption and the like.

    When I left TTU in the middle of my senior year, I was told by the Vice President of the school that “If you leave TTU, God will never use you again.” I left and the rest of that year many of the administration were exposed for different types of abuse and corruption (25 year affair, embezzlement, etc…) TTU declined from 6,000 students to 300.

  129. M. Joy wrote:

    Jerry wrote:
    Bob Jones considers themselves sort of an “Ivy League” of Christian education. I think that gives students a sense of false security about what a BJU diploma will mean for them.

    When comparing to other IFB schools, the bar is low and BJU comes out looking much better academically, if my friends who attended both are telling me this accurately. But compare BJU to Columbia International University in any area, then BJU pales significantly … again, if my friends who attended both are telling me accurately. But having lived in the two cultures, myself, schools like CIU are vastly ahead in preparing people to be able to live winsomely in the world, handle Scripture well, and go the long haul.

  130. Hester wrote:

    @ Deb:
    women’s rules are much longer than the men’s
    If you think BJU is bad, go check out Pensacola Christian College (PCC). Last I heard women and men had to walk on different sidewalks and use different staircases and elevators.

    I’ve communicated with a online recovery group of those who attended/graduated from PCC. They seem to be the most restrictive of all the IFB schools at this time.

  131. Katie wrote:

    When I left TTU in the middle of my senior year, I was told by the Vice President of the school that “If you leave TTU, God will never use you again.”

    Katie, what an awful awful statement.

    The feedback here on why people pay to attend these … institutions is interesting. Jerry, your story in particular is a great cautionary tale regarding future employment prospects.

    While perfectly legal, as it is a private institution, I find the level of brainwashing necessary for a student at these institutions to agree to the horrible routine invasion of privacy, much less the unnatural and creepy separation of the sexes (which would do the Saudi religious police proud)to be profoundly disturbing.

    Hester wrote:

    If you think BJU is bad, go check out Pensacola Christian College (PCC). Last I heard women and men had to walk on different sidewalks and use different staircases and elevators.

    Unbelievable.

  132. Katie wrote:

    I was told by the Vice President of the school that “If you leave TTU, God will never use you again.” I left and the rest of that year many of the administration were exposed for different types of abuse and corruption (25 year affair, embezzlement, etc…)

    What do those who live under such legalism do with the apostle Paul in Colossians:

    ‘If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines?
    These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh.’

    The last phrase always sticks in my mind; legalism is not only worldly rather than spiritual but doesn’t change behavior, having no power to do so. Making up huge lists of rules is so pointless. An alternative translation of the phrase says such rules can actually make fleshly indulgence worse.

    I imagine we all have experienced legalism at some point, and even been legalistic at times, but I have to say the extremes this is taken to going by the accounts in the last few posts is not something I have ever had to deal with personally. Why on earth should Christians of all people feel a need to act like this?

  133. Jerry wrote:

    I was immediately shunned by the other dorm leaders. I had fallen from grace. This of course was the best thing that ever happened to me as it exposed to me the fallacy of that way of thinking.

    Jerry – it’s good to hear that you rose above your circumstances. But the phrase “fallen from grace” is interesting, isn’t it? The question is: how does one “fall” from something one could never rise to in the first place?

    As you observed, that kind of culture loads huge burdens on peoples’ backs without lifting a finger to help them. Not only is it powerless to work any spiritually-sourced transformation in us, it then necessarily refuses to give any practical or emotional help. (Because offering help to someone struggling with sin would mean admitting that the magical teaching/doctrine on offer had no power to “cleanse” them from it.)

  134. Jerry wrote:

    The second major problem with getting a degree at BJU it is to a large extent worthless.

    This second point is close to my heart as well… but it’s lunchtime in Blighty and I need to gather my thoughts properly. Maybe I feel a blog post coming on!

  135. @ dee:

    You threw your cap across the room? Don’t talk to me about “rebellion,” woman. I wish I could have seen that.

  136. There are great, accredited Christian colleges. Baylor, Ouchita, Furman, etc., etc. Places that provide an accredited education that will be accepted as academic preparation for life while also recognizing and promoting Christian faith. A college does not have to give up faith to be accredited.

  137. nmgirl wrote:

    I am a pr choice FEMINIST

    An Attorney wrote:

    I am a pro choice egalitarian

    Now that I have clearly established myself here as a physician and a wearer of pants and a person who believes that unjust laws (religious rules) must in all good conscience be broken-publically and boldly…

    And now that a couple of folks have brought up certain descriptive qualifiers that people sometimes associate with and/or assume about people like me…

    Let me say, I am not, a pro-choice feminist or a pro-choice egalitarian–not with all the implications that those terms include.

    I am “pro-choice” only as long as the choice is to save as many lives as possible. Abortion rarely accomplishes that. Certainly there are horrendous medical situations where horrendous choices have to be made. Not talking about that. But what is going on in the US now with huge disregard for both the women and the babies, oh #@%* no. Life is too important for that.

  138. As a libertarian, I do not like the government interfering more than necessary for safety, etc., in the relationship between a woman and her physician. I would like to see abortion discouraged, but not so restricted so as to prevent it early in pregnancy, or when there is a medical reason later in pregnancy. But to claim that BCPs are abortifacients is ridiculous. I am against extremism of a wide variety of sorts.

    I have had two experiences involving abortion, one before Roe v. Wade when I had to transport a friend to the ER after she had had an abortion. Making them illegal did not stop them and resulted in a lot of bad outcomes for women. The other involved a woman who got pregnant as a result of a one-night affair (not with me), but did not wait a week for me to decide whether I would adopt and raise her child as a single guy in an unstable career, and she had an abortion and called me to come pick her up afterward. I do not like abortion, but I like the consequences of pushing them underground less.

  139. @ An Attorney:

    People do not need to go to a “christian” school in order to (1) get a good education or (2) be a christian. It is past time that parents and churches started growing young people with the knowledge and ability and courage to be christian wherever they are, including some secular campus. Or on the job. Or in the military.

    Why? A nice little formerly Baptist school in my town (Wake Forest) has listed undergraduate tuition for 2014-15 at $45,638. Tuition only. The school recognizes it’s Baptist history/heritage, but that is all. Take another look at Baylor and Furman and see what you find. Academics? Probably, but no better than the state university down the street. Rich kids? Lots of them. Turning out grads established in the faith (or however you want to state it)? If they are, there certainly has been no impact on this comment in that area. We don’t see that around here. Good to have them as a big employer, but that is about it.

    Wake Forest, Baylor, Furman et al seem to have served their time as bulwarks of education in a christian setting and now have moved on to other goals and other student populations.

    Christianity has never (as in never) been the prerogative of the wealthy or the entitled or the academically gifted or the young and gorgeous or those of the ethnicity du jour or whatever. And it has never been the prerogative of the legalistic works-based-righteousness crowd. In fact, Paul in Galatians does call that falling from grace. But, yes, a lot of silly little Sunday School ideas and mediocrity will not stand up in the larger culture in which people live. No matter how much tuition one spends, however, that will not “fix” or even “protect” some of the poor little sheep some christian churches turn out. The world has changed. The time for that has come and gone.

    Somebody has mentioned age 18 and voting as a time to treat folks like adults. Amen to that. If somebody is 18, and can vote, and can literally go off to war to kill and be killed, then it is past time for that one to step up and join the rest of us on some “front lines” somewhere and “be a man” for crying out loud.

  140. An Attorney wrote:

    But to claim that BCPs are abortifacients is ridiculous. I am against extremism of a wide variety of sorts.

    Of course, increasing access to birth control reduces the abortion rate. But there are enough people with enough political clout who believe that people who [are presumed to] have sinned must Suffer™, so initiatives to make birth control more widely available are doomed to failure.

  141. I just read in the Greenville News (Greenvilleonline) that a “meeting” would take place between the two parties involved in order to reconcile their differences. I don’t know how to put the link in. Sounds hopeful.

  142. Kate:
    “When I left TTU in the middle of my senior year, I was told by the Vice President of the school that “If you leave TTU, God will never use you again.”

    I have been reading David Aikman’s book on Billy Graham. It is known that Billy Graham attended what was then called Bob Jones College in Tennessee and was planning to leave. Bob Jones senior called him to his office and said “Billy if you leave and throw your life away at a little country Bible school, the chances you’ll never be heard of”… “at best, all you could amount to would be a poor Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks.”

    Billy Graham has been shocked at the restrictiveness of the college and his health was suffering because of the climate such that his doctor recommended going to a different college. He went to the Florida Bible Institute and his health quickly recovered.

    As we know, later on Bob Jones senior bitterly opposed his ministry, saying things like “(Billy Graham was) doing more harm to the cause of Jesus Christ than any living man” (1966). In the 1970’s BJU produced a pamphlet with the title “we do not support Billy Graham” which compared him to Jehoshaphat. In the late 50s Billy Graham reportedly tried to mend bridges with Bob Jones senior but was told “Your on your way down Billy.” (Source David Aikman).

    I don’t know whether there has been any reconciliation over the years with the Jones’s but I am intrigued that Billy Graham’s grandson is involved in these recent events and as to why GRACE was selected.

  143. @ Peter:

    If I remember correctly, some of the opposition to Billy Graham had to do with ecumenism also. Like, how could a Baptist and a Methodist (or whatever) “share the platform” together. Take the doctrinal purity concept and the separation concept, and then throw the race issue in there, and Billy Graham’s opponents had right much to use against him. Doesn’t look like it slowed him down much, though. Heh, heh, heh.

  144. Jerry wrote:

    I have gained some level of professional success but it is in no thanks to my degree. In fact, it has been in spite of my degree.

    Whereafter, An Attorney subsequently wrote:

    There are great, accredited Christian colleges. Baylor, Ouchita, Furman, etc., etc. Places that provide an accredited education that will be accepted as academic preparation for life while also recognizing and promoting Christian faith.

    It’s not just Christian colleges – which we don’t really have in the UK – that can be great or awful. “Christian jobs” can go the same way. I’ll finish this comment on a positive, so we’ll start with:

    1) Awful

    When I graduated in 1989 from Cambridge University (an establishment with at least a half-decent reputation), I spent a year working in the university to save up some funds, then did a year of voluntary work in a pioneer church in Glasgow that was part of the Covenant Ministries set up as was then. The year was a centrally-driven idea called “GO Team”, with the “GO” standing for “Gospel Outreach”. The idea was that a bunch of young people with lots of energy and zeal would spend a year, self-funded and unpaid, in exciting service to the Lord in a pioneer church setting. In essence the idea was that we were serving God. In practice we became unpaid staff of the church congregation.

    It was only looking back that I realised the worker deserves his/her wages and that therefore something that demands a year’s free work from someone cannot be fully in step with God. The church cannot stand in God’s place over us regarding day-to-day authority, but then abdicate that place regarding provision and the means of daily living. In theory we had Mondays off, but in practice we were on call whenever there were any kind of church meetings, and because the man leading that particular plant had great ambitions to be a conference speaker, there were a lot of meetings that everyone had to attend. We were expected to serve long hours and with great professional effectiveness, but were given no training (unless you count things like a short workshop on improvised street drama) and no professional support. And, of course, no wage. We were supposed to “believe God” for everything we needed. But we were not supposed to “believe God” for instruction on what things to work on – there, we were supposed to “submit to authority”.

    I finished that year having acquired no portfolio of accomplishments, no commercially useful skills and no experience that was relevant anywhere else than in a church. By that time, two years on from graduation, the value of my Oxbridge degree was greatly diminished; in the stagnant graduate job market of the early 1990’s, I spent eight years in low-wage McJobs or unemployed. My career – by which I mean simply, my ability to provide for myself and my family – to this day has never recovered.

    There is another layer to my story, in that my God-appointed calling is with the unemployed and that needs someone who can properly relate to them. Also, in a generation when God needs Nones who are able to discern The Church without being distractedly wedded to a small sect called “a church”, he has certainly turned much of our negative experiences of “church” to good. But there was no need to encounter so much sin and injustice from christian structures. As Paul said:

    What then? Should we sin, to give God the chance to bring good out of evil? Like **** we should!

    Which brings me to:

    2) Good

    Lesley and I both do a certain amount of work with a charity called Christians Against Poverty, or CAP for short. They, at least until recently, ran year-long placements for school-leavers or graduates.

    These placements do not involve wandering without leadership or support around Bradford handing out leaflets advertising “crusades” or “healing meetings” or otherwise trying to cold-sell something of life-changing enormity to total strangers. They involve doing a structured job, 9-5, in a professionally-run office with a great atmosphere of hope and adventure (I’ve spent time there), with supervision, training, performance management and a whole load of acquisition of skills and experience. The young people on these placements are paid so that they can afford to live without depending on handouts or sponsorship. And when they leave, they are excellently-placed in the job market.

    (It’s a mark of how desperate my own struggles in the job market have been that, if you offered me such a placement today, I’d bite your arm off and start work tomorrow. And I’m no school-leaver: I’m 45 with a wife and two children.)

    Which brings me to:

    3) The difference

    CAP is a “para-church” organisation. It is built around compassion for people that is rooted in physically and tangibly helping them out of physical and tangible need. The things it does are real, and therefore truly spiritual, not empty and imaginary (but labelled “spiritual” because they can’t be disproved).

    Like Jesus said: if you love me, you’ll obey me. And if a christian organisation loves people, it will help them. It won’t take money, time and tangibles off them in order to “bless” them with intangible “covering” from invisible demons and an undisproveable “lost eternity”. I believe those things are all very real: but for the sponging christian organisation, they may as well not be.

    That’s not to say all “churches” are bad. I mean that an organisation focused on its own separateness and ideology will always be a stunted, unhealthy tree and will never produce good, rounded fruit in people’s lives.

  145. Peter wrote:

    As we know, later on Bob Jones senior bitterly opposed his ministry, saying things like “(Billy Graham was) doing more harm to the cause of Jesus Christ than any living man” (1966). In the 1970′s BJU produced a pamphlet with the title “we do not support Billy Graham” which compared him to Jehoshaphat. In the late 50s Billy Graham reportedly tried to mend bridges with Bob Jones senior but was told “Your on your way down Billy.” (Source David Aikman).

    Was Godly Jealousy and Righteous Envy a factor in this?
    “HOW DARE YOU BECOME MORE FAMOUS THAN MEEEEEEEE!”

  146. @ Rob:
    What I want to know is why don’t our own American poor deserve help with houses and churches? I can show you several communities right here in Albuquerque that are as poor as some areas of Mexico.

  147. Nancy wrote:

    It is past time that parents and churches started growing young people with the knowledge and ability and courage to be christian wherever they are, including some secular campus.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. With the caveat that in this life we don’t have all the answers, the Christian faith ought to have enough going for it to be able to withstand the scrutiny of a secular education. Many if not most subjects are religiously neutral anyway. Those that might not be, such as biology, or where dubious ethics are taught, can be countered by the local church getting ministry with expertise in the relevant area.

    What is going to happen to children over-protected from the world around them when they enter the world of work?

  148. Peter wrote:

    It is known that Billy Graham attended what was then called Bob Jones College in Tennessee and was planning to leave. Bob Jones senior called him to his office and said “Billy if you leave and throw your life away at a little country Bible school, the chances you’ll never be heard of”… “at best, all you could amount to would be a poor Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks.”

    This is very telling. Seems Bob Jones’ definition of a successful ministry is equated with having worldly fame and fortune. Didn’t he pride himself in being separate from the world, evidenced by his founding of the “holy huddle” that we now call BJU? I’ll take my pastor’s sermon any day over Billy Graham or any other well known mega church pastor.

    God bless these preachers who faithfully serve small congregations. I think their reward will be greater than Billy Graham’s or any other big name preacher.

  149. @NC now – I haven’t reached boredom yet. I have been going through piles of papers, etc that have piled up since I’ve been in school the last two years. I could be here cleaning for awhile. Plus reading, catching up on movies, etc. Nice to take a break once in awhile.

  150. Nancy wrote:

    @ An Attorney:
    People do not need to go to a “christian” school in order to (1) get a good education or (2) be a christian. It is past time that parents and churches started growing young people with the knowledge and ability and courage to be christian wherever they are, including some secular campus. Or on the job. Or in the military.
    Why? A nice little formerly Baptist school in my town (Wake Forest) has listed undergraduate tuition for 2014-15 at $45,638. Tuition only. The school recognizes it’s Baptist history/heritage, but that is all. Take another look at Baylor and Furman and see what you find. Academics? Probably, but no better than the state university down the street. Rich kids? Lots of them. Turning out grads established in the faith (or however you want to state it)? If they are, there certainly has been no impact on this comment in that area. We don’t see that around here. Good to have them as a big employer, but that is about it.
    Wake Forest, Baylor, Furman et al seem to have served their time as bulwarks of education in a christian setting and now have moved on to other goals and other student populations.
    Christianity has never (as in never) been the prerogative of the wealthy or the entitled or the academically gifted or the young and gorgeous or those of the ethnicity du jour or whatever. And it has never been the prerogative of the legalistic works-based-righteousness crowd. In fact, Paul in Galatians does call that falling from grace. But, yes, a lot of silly little Sunday School ideas and mediocrity will not stand up in the larger culture in which people live. No matter how much tuition one spends, however, that will not “fix” or even “protect” some of the poor little sheep some christian churches turn out. The world has changed. The time for that has come and gone.
    Somebody has mentioned age 18 and voting as a time to treat folks like adults. Amen to that. If somebody is 18, and can vote, and can literally go off to war to kill and be killed, then it is past time for that one to step up and join the rest of us on some “front lines” somewhere and “be a man” for crying out loud.

    My late grandmother, a devout Baptist so wanted one of her grand kids to attend Baylor, but we could not afford it. ( next year’s tuition to Baylor, $44,136)
    That said, all of her grand kids, all 17 have college degrees, Texas A&M, UT-San Antonio, Lamar , McNeese, Oklahoma University, Univ. Of Arkansas, Idaho State( all state universities) when I left little Lamar for SWBTS in Ft Worth, I was was worried, I was not as smart as the Baylor religion BA degreed seminarians, until I sat between two Baylor grads in my Church History class. They made a “B” and I pulled an “A”….:)

  151. Here’s one book you will want to rush out and purchase:

    http://www.crossway.org/blog/2014/02/a-poem-for-valentines-day-by-john-piper/

    After reading the poem I wanted to break out singing the hymn below. Perhaps there is something to the friendship between Driscoll and Piper?? In any case, don’t give up your day job John.

    A Poem for Valentine’s Day by John Piper

    None But You

    Whose tears have soaked my collar dark?
    None but yours, no, none but yours.

    Whose sorrows leave the deepest mark?
    None but yours, no, none but yours.

    Who gave herself to me alone?
    None but you, no, none but you.

    Who is the only one I’ve known?
    None but you, no, none but you.

    There is no other I desire,
    None but you, no, none but you.

    Till death my deepest friend, my fire:
    None but you, no, none but you.
    ============================

    There’s Not a Friend Like the Lowly Jesus

    There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
    No, not one! No, not one!
    None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
    No, not one! No, not one!

    Refrain

    Jesus knows all about our struggles,
    He will guide till the day is done;
    There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
    No, not one! No, not one!

    No friend like Him is so high and holy,
    No, not one! No, not one!
    And yet no friend is so meek and lowly,
    No, not one! No, not one!

    Refrain

    There’s not an hour that He is not near us,
    No, not one! No, not one!
    No night so dark but His love can cheer us,
    No, not one! No, not one!

    Refrain

    Did ever saint find this Friend forsake him?
    No, not one! No, not one!
    Or sinner find that He would not take him?
    No, not one! No, not one!

    Refrain

    Was ever a gift like the Savior given?
    No, not one! No, not one!
    Will He refuse us a home in Heaven?
    No, not one! No, not one!

  152. dee wrote:

    Final warning. Back off. Not everything is a hill to die on.

    Feel free not to post this but this is the only way I have to communicate with you. Remember, I was misrepresented. I was explicit in my clarification and then I was attacked and accused again and you did nothing about it. How can you expect me to sit by and not respond to that? I can let a lot go, and I have, but when someone paints me as supporting or defending abuse, I will not let that go. You can’t blame me for defending myself against that, particularly after I have clarified. It’s one thing to miss it the first time. It’s another to repeat it after it has been clarified explicitly. You should have addressed the other commenter and told them to back off since I had been very clear about my position, even if they didn’t like it. Had you done that, no comment by me would have been necessary. Dee, don’t just defend the people who agree with you. All of us deserve to be treated fairly.

  153. Nancy wrote:

    If I remember correctly, some of the opposition to Billy Graham had to do with ecumenism also. Like, how could a Baptist and a Methodist (or whatever) “share the platform” together.

    It was actually not denominationalism that was the issue. Bob Jones Sr was a Methodist. The issue was more over theological liberalism that developed out of higher criticism in the 1800s and denied core doctrines of the Christian faith such as the Virgin Birth, and over inclusive evangelism such as including Catholics who Graham included in his rallies beginning in the late 50s and early 60s. The position of the fundamentalists was that it was wrong to extend Christian recognition to someone who had denied one of the fundamentals.

  154. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    You mean you don’t know how to become THE head of a Fundagelical megachurch, parachurch, or Bible College? The most sure way is to be born the son of the current head; 100% surety if your name ends in “Junior”. The ManaGawd mantle (and Speshul Standing before Gawd) is passed on from father to son like any other personal property.

    You DO know the Catholic rule forbidding married clergy was instituted for this very reason? In a day when political POWER was routinely inherited like any personal property?

    I hadn’t hear that explanation for the Catholic rule on married clergy (assuming you are joking) but it certainly does have the affect that a leader can’t pass it down his power to his son. The again there is always someone in the family like a nephew.

    I don’t have any insider knowledge but it wouldn’t surprise me if the group Grace started to uncover some things involving “family” that made Bob Jone University quite uncomfortable and at least contributed to the firing. Again this is just conjecture but BJU might have been comfortable exposing some sin if it didn’t involve family members but if they were starting to find that then a good reason to try and stop the inquiry.

    With Sovereign Grace Ministries you would also see a lot of nepotism. Sadly I am sure that is the case in a lot of other groups.

  155. Peter wrote:

    Bob Jones senior bitterly opposed his ministry, saying things like “(Billy Graham was) doing more harm to the cause of Jesus Christ than any living man” (1966). In the 1970′s BJU produced a pamphlet with the title “we do not support Billy Graham” which compared him to Jehoshaphat. In the late 50s Billy Graham reportedly tried to mend bridges with Bob Jones senior but was told “Your on your way down Billy.” (Source David Aikman).

    Perhaps my belief in Divine Poetic Justice (DPJ) is misplaced in this.
    But seriously, part of me wants to think that Graham’s success, though due in part to his giftings, is also God saying a more holy sounding, “Nanny, nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo,” to Bob Jones, his false prophecy, his taking God’s name in vain, and using God and His Name to control and spiritually abuse people.
    Yes, my belief in DPJ may be misplaced. But I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

  156. Shout out to all the peeps who survived the storm on the east coast!! I was digging out my car (it’s been a all morning event due to how much snow exists and how much was plowed behind my Nissan) and as I was digging out my car I thought how much I would rather be listening to John Piper tend to tap into God’s mind. You know how it is…he knows God better than himself!

    We’ll I need to get back to shoveling snow.

  157. I probably should post this in the John Catanzaro thread. But Washington State seems to have a history of infamous and well known “doctors”. I was reading up on the case of “Dr Linda Hazzard” who practiced a form or starvation for treatment. She starved a number of patients to death and you can read about it here…

    http://murderpedia.org/female.H/h/hazzard-linda.htm

    Made me wonder due to the controversial and suspect nature of John Catanzaro’s treatment if he falls in the same category as Linda Hazzard.

  158. @ Gene:

    Everything is not about poor misunderstood you. This is about an attitude that minimizes the experience of others. What would be so hard, in your original posting, about saying something like “abuse is disgusting and wrong”?

    Every time you post trying to justify yourself, you reveal once again that you have little awareness of the issues. So if you don’t want to be perceived in a negative light, stop posting. Or think for a moment before you post. Yes, stopping to consider ones words is possible. The words you use reveal an internal attitude. Enjoy your bubble.

  159. Eagle wrote:

    I probably should post this in the John Catanzaro thread. But Washington State seems to have a history of infamous and well known “doctors”. I was reading up on the case of “Dr Linda Hazzard” who practiced a form or starvation for treatment. She starved a number of patients to death and you can read about it here…
    http://murderpedia.org/female.H/h/hazzard-linda.htm

    Though I have witnessed how Stage IV cancer performs as a weight loss program, “Starvation Cures Cancer” is a new Alternative Medicine on me. Though I shouldn’t be surprised. If Veganism and Vitamins cure cancer, why not Starvation?

    And in the above link, I noticed that when the Starvation Quack got busted, she went on the offensive, rallying her Loyalists with cries of PERSECUTION!!! SEXISM!!! and Medical Establishment CONSPIRACY!!! Sound familiar?

  160. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    @ Gene:
    Everything is not about poor misunderstood you. This is about an attitude that minimizes the experience of others. What would be so hard, in your original posting, about saying something like “abuse is disgusting and wrong”?

    Anyone remember that study that the most common characteristic of psychopaths and sociopaths is getting others to feel sorry about Poor Poor Misunderstood ME?

  161. @ Gene:
    Also, to clarify, I didn’t say you supported abuse. I said you show little understanding of the issues, and used your sentence as an example. There are other places all over this blog that illustrate the same thing. And you are not being attacked or abused. The only goal is to help you develop some understanding. But I think maybe I am trying to cast pearls here, so I will not engage in this again.

  162. @ Ken:

    Ken wrote:

    Those that might not be, such as biology, or where dubious ethics are taught, can be countered by the local church getting ministry with expertise in the relevant area.

    Thanks, Ken. I hear what you are saying, but I would take that idea a bit of a step further if you don’t mind. I think that biology as a threat to faith is over-rated. I was a biology major as an undergrad. I think that if anybody is going to deny Jesus because of Zoology 201 taken just because they needed a “science” credit to graduate, that person is looking for an excuse to defect. If they don’t blame it on school they will probably blame it on something else.

    And for those of us who majored in biology, let me state that my 2-semester-hour credits in “anatomy and physiology of the cryptogametes” did not have anything to do with this or that theory of the atonement. And my 3-semester-hour plant physiology course that we spent out in the university greenhouse never touched on the idea of whether christians could drink beer or not. But two semester hours of bird watching every Saturday at the crack of dawn was a real threat to my soul?? What we did learn was how to tromp through the woods, collect and fix and identify specimens and draw the results in the usual way. And we practiced our skill at being only slightly more nerdy than everybody else. I am being flippant and snarky, I know, but really the danger is over-rated. In all my years in school, I never had a professor care one whit what anybody thought or did not think about God. I did have one care whether we could identify the shells of various bivalve mollusks by touch only, while blindfolded. That was just a lab quiz though. And, yes, I did take one course in evolution, post-grad as an audit. Lots of math and formulas on the statistical effects of emigration and immigration on gene frequency in populations. Trust me, that does not go to the top of some prayer list. (Unless it is Oh Lord help me with the math.)

    If people want to think of “us” as kind of odd–well maybe so. I admit that I am thinking about starting a container of earthworms, and I do grow tomatoes every summer. But we are not people with contaminated minds who should have to sit in a special roped off section at church. It is just not like that.

    As to the teaching of dubious ethics. Who does that? I did take a very few philosophy classes in undergrad, trying to keep up my GPA and impress a future admissions committee, and one of those courses did happen to be ethics. It was just a bunch of stuff about various schools of thought. All you had to do was remember it well enough to write it down on the test. Nobody had to swear to anything. Frankly, I met more guys from SBTS who were questioning the faith, than I ever met faith-denying ornithologists at the university. (And dated one or two of the SBTS crowd. It did not go well.)

    OK. Whatever. Just saying. Oh, BTW, that was the University of Louisville. Yeah!

  163. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    t I think maybe I am trying to cast pearls here, so I will not engage in this again.

    This has happened before. Gene is always right and if we don’t understand him it is because we are obviously not “understanding” him. Gene is gong back on ice.

  164. Gene wrote:

    Dee, don’t just defend the people who agree with you.

    This is baloney. This is a diverse community, probably far more diverse than many Christian blogs. You have a knack for causing confusion which you pretend is all of us not understanding your “nuanced” POV. And so…. Come back and see us after a few weeks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHBkxTnMhXY

  165. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I’ve been in a CAP finances course, very helpful. I have a lot of time for them, & one of my old youth groupers did a placement with them, fresh out of Cambridge.

  166. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    The starvation treatment probably had some good statistics. After all, the patients did not die of their cancer! Just from the treatment. I think the word is “iatrogenic”, caused by medical treatment.

  167. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Very good, Nick! CAP sounds lovely.

    Something else that I’ve often wondered at is the assumption that “the poor” who need our help are not believers. It’s an odd assumption seen, for eg, in our insistence to give gospel messages along with our food-aid. Also in the idea that “helping the poor” is often seen to be more a mission than a ministry.

    There’s an unexamined notion that if they are poor, they are obviously not heeding the principles of Christ, even among those who don’t believe the prosperity gospel. I don’t know if this is so where you are but it is definitely here.

    The US church is more defined by middle-class values than it is usually willing/able to admit. As the economy continues to decline, I hope that we will be able to sweep that away.

  168. dee wrote:

    t I think maybe I am trying to cast pearls here, so I will not engage in this again.

    This has happened before. Gene is always right and if we don’t understand him it is because we are obviously not “understanding” him. Gene is gong back on ice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OndJp6Dcwjk

  169. Former CLC’er wrote:

    I haven’t reached boredom yet. I have been

    I was going to be stuck in an empty townhouse 5 hours from home in good weather with a few frozen dinners in the fridge, and basic cable. Oh, no furniture except for a few old wooden chairs and a bed. I DID have my laptop but 3 days of that life seemed worth the journey to beat feet. 🙂

  170. Hanni wrote:

    I don’t know how to put the link in.

    Many of the mistakes in comments are from people trying to put in “nice” links. Just put the link on a separate line like this:
    http://www.nytimes.com
    And all will be fine.

  171. nmgirl wrote:

    What I want to know is why don’t our own American poor deserve help with houses and churches? I can show you several communities right here in Albuquerque that are as poor as some areas of Mexico.

    It’s hard to get the teens interested in rehabbing an ex crack house across town compared to spending a week in Belize teaching under 12s a vacation bible school. In February. And of course the later is a much better use of resources.

  172. NC Now wrote:

    TTU = ?
    BJU = Bob Jones University
    PCU = ?

    PCU = Pensacola Christian Univ

    I think TTU might be Tennessee Temple Univ, but not sure.

  173. NC Now wrote:

    nmgirl wrote:
    What I want to know is why don’t our own American poor deserve help with houses and churches? I can show you several communities right here in Albuquerque that are as poor as some areas of Mexico.
    It’s hard to get the teens interested in rehabbing an ex crack house across town compared to spending a week in Belize teaching under 12s a vacation bible school. In February. And of course the later is a much better use of resources.

    Overseas short-term mission trips. One of my pet peeves. Don’t get me started. There’s enough opinions out there for Dee and Deb to devote an entire post. I highly recommend Steve Saint’s book “The Great Omission” and his DVD series “Missions Dilemma”.

  174. Gene:

    (in relation to Billy Graham) ‘The position of the fundamentalists was that it was wrong to extend Christian recognition to someone who had denied one of the fundamentals.’

    This was my understanding. I can only judge the UK outcome, but a strategic error in my view and a misunderstanding of ‘recognition.’

    Billy Graham said “I am neither a fundamentalist or a modernist” (liberal). He had to face attacks from both directions but steered a middle path with dignity and humility.

  175. Another comment not approved. Listen, the three of you guys need to start a blog. It would be a gas. I would even comment before you banned me.

  176. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Go Teams . . . your entire comment leaves me with one big sssiiiggghhh . . .

    It obviously never occurred to the “authority,” who should possess some common sense discernment, that your gifts lay elsewhere? It’s also quite possible that the “authority” had a predetermined agenda and wasn’t taking into consideration each individual image bearer that they assigned to a Go Team.

  177. Nancy, a fabulous post about taking science courses in college! Thank you. I often shake my head at what isolated Christians imagine is taught in secular colleges.

  178. Bridget wrote:

    It’s also quite possible that the “authority” had a predetermined agenda and wasn’t taking into consideration each individual image bearer that they assigned to a Go Team.

    I don’t think it mattered. Centrally, I think it was a poor idea that was not well thought out at any stage. Locally, we were just bodies to be used in spam marketing that only works because the labour is free. Interestingly, there were many GO-Teams over several years and from what I heard, there was little fruit in terms of new believers added to churches.

    On the other hand, it was tragically common for GO-Teamers to lose their faith within a few years of being used in that way. And I don’t entirely blame them; we often read references to C.S. Lewis’s dwarves on this blog, but their back-story was that having been fooled into following a counterfeit Aslan, they found it hard to follow the real one.

  179. Patrice wrote:

    @ Patrice:
    Ach, sorry HUG. That was meant for Nick way early-thread.

    Partly my fault – I got moderated (and as a WordPresser, I think I know exactly why) so my comment didn’t appear till later. Plus, it was on the long side…

  180. dee wrote:

    They are not happy with me.

    Not happy with you?
    What did you do?
    Stand up against abuse and oppression of the ‘establishment’ against the ones Jesus told us to be concerned with? How dare you?

  181. Nancy, my undergrad degree is in Geology. We never talked about origins or creationism. we did talk about evolution and looked at real life examples. I remember well a series of small cephalopods in the San Saba Formation of Central Texas. The only salvation we were concerned about was from: ticks, sun stroke, rattlesnakes and mean professors.

  182. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    And I don’t entirely blame them; we often read references to C.S. Lewis’s dwarves on this blog, but their back-story was that having been fooled into following a counterfeit Aslan, they found it hard to follow the real one.

    Which adds a whole new angle to it:
    The Burn Job Reaction — Communism begets Objectivism.

  183. @ nmgirl:
    I understand where you are coming from too. My dad planned entire vacations around rock hunting and where we could see various geological processes. We stocked up on bug spray, sunscreen and buckets for our haul. By the time I got to college and actually took a geology course I was rather bored. My college was a state school but still one of the more conservative ones in the country but never once did a professor try to influence my religious beliefs. My fellow classmates were the obnoxious ones. 🙂

  184. Sheesh, if that isn’t De ja vu! The same thing happened at First Baptist of O’Fallon (same area as First Baptist of Fairview Heights, for those that don’t know) in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I know several of the victims. Only the perpetrator wasn’t caught until he did the same thing in Oklahoma (he was a Deacon and an Officer in the USAF…and he got to KEEP his retirement!). What a mess. (btw, I agree with the way IFB like to cover up and lie…grew up with it)

    TW wrote:

    Once again the Baptists prove that they have just as big a problem as the Catholics.
    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/deacon-at-fairview-heights-church-accused-of-sexually-abusing-boys/article_da815e34-3f20-5fda-a14a-c610c792878a.html

  185. Seneca “j” Griggs. wrote:

    “Because BJU and the IFB protect criminals and liars.”
    *
    I wish commentors wouldn’t write things like that. I think those kind of comments rebound back upon the blog authors, who may or may not care actually. But then they get threats.
    *
    Also, it’s not necessarily true.

    Yes, it is absolutely true. You either haven’t spent enough time researching the IFB cult, or your are lying as usual.

  186. @ Jerry: Those stories of going through someone’s room and checking for “contraband” items like CDs – Exposing “sins” like that is ironically hypocritical in a place that shelters sexual abusers and hides their crime.

  187. Patrice wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Something else that I’ve often wondered at is the assumption that “the poor” who need our help are not believers. It’s an odd assumption seen, for eg, in our insistence to give gospel messages along with our food-aid. Also in the idea that “helping the poor” is often seen to be more a mission than a ministry.

    There’s an unexamined notion that if they are poor, they are obviously not heeding the principles of Christ, even among those who don’t believe the prosperity gospel.

    Patrice, I used to do Christian work in the inner city in a large city.
    1) We do not assume the poor are all unevangelized. But some behavior which Christians frown upon – alcohol, having children out of wedlock, an aversion to hard work, play a role in at least some people getting poor. Thus the poor neighbourhoods tend to have a disproportional amount of people doing obviously un-Christian things,(which some with their middle class eyes see as worse than typical middle class sins) and there is more of a temptation to participate. Crime and prostitution are, in a bad neighbourhood, more often seen as possible income sources than in a richer one. Which don’t mean everyone in poor areas are un-evangelized.
    2) The kind of person who, say, dreams of starting a good child care facility in a poor area as a Christian ministry usually overlap strongly with the kind of person who wants to talk of Jesus. She may not think that poor children needs Jesus more, but she wants to help practically and she wants to talk of Jesus, so … she ends up telling poor children about Jesus, at the child care facility she started.

  188. Patrice wrote:

    Something else that I’ve often wondered at is the assumption that “the poor” who need our help are not believers. It’s an odd assumption seen, for eg, in our insistence to give gospel messages along with our food-aid. Also in the idea that “helping the poor” is often seen to be more a mission than a ministry.
    There’s an unexamined notion that if they are poor, they are obviously not heeding the principles of Christ, even among those who don’t believe the prosperity gospel. I don’t know if this is so where you are but it is definitely here.
    The US church is more defined by middle-class values than it is usually willing/able to admit. As the economy continues to decline, I hope that we will be able to sweep that away.

    Retha wrote:

    1) We do not assume the poor are all unevangelized. But some behavior which Christians frown upon – alcohol, having children out of wedlock, an aversion to hard work, play a role in at least some people getting poor.

    One of my children teaches EC in a public high school. A significant percentage of the adolescents on her roster come from situations which are “poor” with all the concomitant problems associated with that. Some are illegally in this country. Many have criminal records. Most are in ethnic gangs of one sort or another. A significant number make their living selling stolen stuff, drugs and their bodies on campus, often because it is that or starve. For many, the “parent” is alcoholic or addicted or “sorry” or has been deported. So what exactly do these adolescents need to survive? Perhaps to thrive? Is it impossible?

    Here is the illustration I am leading up to. One of the kids, an adolescent male (in the hood that has a little different meaning than at First Baptist of Downtown) had made a habit of portraying himself as a believer. Apparently it is acceptable to say you believe just so long as it does not affect your behavior in any way that would hurt the gang. So my daughter challenged the kid on that, with so why are you planning to do such-and-such since you say you believe. You know you will end in jail and maybe the grave for this. And the kid said: “You got to understand, Ms. X, I ain’t all the way saved.”

    So what does this kid need at this point? A stable home situation to grow up in? Too late for that. A clean police record? Too late. An education? The state is trying; at least he can read. A good church? Which one; First B of D? A group of friends so they can help each other? Got one; it’s called a gang. Job skills and job opportunity? Would you hire this kid?

    I think he needs somebody/ anybody to convince him that he might have a future somehow.

    He needs basic needs met: food, clothes, a roof over his head, relief from the necessity and the excuse of having to provide everything for himself and for his “slow” little sister. (Oh, didn’t I mention her and how this kid looks out after her?)

    And he needs Jesus. He needs to get all the way saved. I am not going to go down there and live with him, but Jesus will.

    Basic necessities are not enough. The gold chains around his neck and the cutting edge electronics in his pocket (which the po-po will confiscate) are not enough. All he can take to jail with him is Jesus. All he can take to the grave with him, if it comes to that, is Jesus.

    That’s why.

  189. G’morn, Retha and Nancy. Oh yes, certainly there are gigantic problems among the poor and many are not believers. And their common human problems are made nearly intractable because of poverty.

    My point isn’t that there aren’t unbelievers who need to know Christ, but that there are at least as many believers among them as in any other economic group and yet we tend to see only the non-believers, and then we conflate that with mission.

    IMO, it is more accurate to recognize that we have many spiritual sisters and brothers who are poverty stricken. This could help give us more urgency to bring aid and also erase a niggling tendency to see them in their position because of moral failure. Because we tend to think this way, we go to the most morally failed among them and make them stand in for the complete group.

    The kinds of awfulness you both mention happen in all classes: many fall straight into poverty because of it, some stay in poverty because of it. But also many can’t get out of poverty even when they try and try.

    Yah, the greatest sorrow is the children of poverty-stricken abusive parents. How they can come to understand love when they’ve only experienced neglect, chaos, violence is beyond understanding, and requires a miracle from God via our hands.

    I come from a family of dentists, architects, engineers, pastors: all Christian. I experienced that abuse and I am tres grateful for the miracle. To have deep poverty on top of it? I don’t think I would’ve been able to stay alive, TBH. I am not different from them, except for their additional burden. And I talk here of believers.

    “You got to understand, Ms. X, I ain’t all the way saved.” An honest person on his way. How lovely!

  190. Retha, yah, I am talking generalities. Your attitude/understanding is the one that should be de rigueur for believers, but it isn’t. I deeply admire those who go out in Jesus’ name. I have a good friend who spent his career doing such in Detroit; it cost him a great deal. He is an amazing man.

    I also agree with what you wrote about how people with more economic stability view the sins of the poor. The poor will sin in ways that economically stable people would never consider. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are all unbelievers, but they sin differently. It works opposite, too, there are sins committed by the economically stable that the poor would never think of doing. For eg, mutuality and generosity is big among the poor.

    There is another aspect too. The economically stable have a way of disappearing the problematic among them. This makes them look better than is accurate. Many of those “problems” end up at the bottom of the economic scale, at which point the wealthier sometimes point their fingers at the failures of those in poverty, which are actually their own.

    Lastly, these days, there are many people who live lives of quiet desperation. They don’t draw attention to themselves in any way, but are always on the edge. We often do not think of them when we do our ministries. When I worked alongside an inner city mission decades back, the head of the diaconate told me that when we choose who to help (there are too many!), it is wise to pick those who are most likely to succeed. I was appalled, but he said that by doing so, resources/energy are spread further and over the long haul, more people will escape the poverty cycles. I dislike such cold practicality, but he was correct.

  191. Patrice wrote:

    I dislike such cold practicality, but he was correct.

    Very interesting.

    I work in Foster Care.
    In spite of propaganda that says otherwise, our job is to support the family with services and the first goal of the family is for the child to return home if possible.

    I do see a lot of ‘believers’ among the more destitute. But I also understand that their believership is just a bit different than my middle class view of being a believer. And yes, I see this mutuality you speak of. I’m also quite used to being lied to. So much so that when they tell me the truth, I’m surprised. I know middleclassers who thing all liars aren’t worth spit. I’ve come to see it as just another survival skill in an extremely hostile environment.

    Anyway, back to picking those most likely to succeed.

    When the child’s goal to return home isn’t met due to parents’ failure to provide minimal parenting and stability, the next goal is termination.
    We have child in care right now who was on the bottom of the barrel. Left in her own home, she would be the least likely to succeed. But in her new foster home and with the potential of being adopted, we see a bright future for her.

    I see the cold practicality approach as being the best for those not involved in the work I do. But such cold practicality really does leave ‘the least of these’ abandoned. I’d take that practicality with a grain of salt. Sometimes you can’t always see the most likely to succeed because they are so far on the bottom of the abuse food chain it’s like they aren’t there at all.

  192. Retha wrote:

    What did GRACE do the last time they were fired? Did their findings simply go unpublished in that case?

    They didn’t publish them as far as I know. But they definitely should have turned those findings over to the authorities and I hope they did.

  193. OLd Alumnus

    Not sure of your point. You seemed to just copy a lot of text from the main post and a lot of comments into one monster comment. Make your point or whatever but that monster one will not be approved.

  194. Nicholas wrote:

    Yes, it is absolutely true. You either haven’t spent enough time researching the IFB cult, or your are lying as usual.

    Dial it back. a bit.

  195. Mara wrote:

    But such cold practicality really does leave ‘the least of these’ abandoned. I’d take that practicality with a grain of salt. Sometimes you can’t always see the most likely to succeed because they are so far on the bottom of the abuse food chain it’s like they aren’t there at all.

    Yes, I found it unpalatable for myself. But with a diaconate in the middle of a large poverty-stricken area, there is so much need that inevitably many will be left out. Who to choose?

    I think it’s often hit/miss. Someone who looks on his last leg of entrenched destruction, sometimes will rise up more surely than another in much less trouble. I couldn’t follow the diaconate leader’s advice, in the end. I had relationships with those nearest me (neighborhood wise) and stayed with that.

    But the guy did have better success, in the most literal sense, than I did. He had to deliver regular reports to his denomination. I think he became very good at analysis of individuals, although I’m sure he missed the lovely surprises. Anyway, I see success as simply offering love and clarity and letting God do what S/He will, whether decades down the line or tomorrow.

    Foster Care is a very distressful field. My respects, Mara. I hope you have solid support.

  196. Mara wrote:

    I’m also quite used to being lied to. So much so that when they tell me the truth, I’m surprised….I’ve come to see it as just another survival skill in an extremely hostile environment.

    Yah, lying is what you learn to do to avoid being violated. That’s a potent lesson. Also I found that fantasy-life sometimes gets mixed in with reality, an honorable defense used to help living be bearable. Put the two together, especially for children, and establishing the truth can become difficult. It certainly becomes unimportant in comparison to other things, such as not constantly hurting.

  197. @ Patrice:
    Oh, and then there’s the lies that the adults tell. “No it didn’t happen” is common. All of reality can be up for grabs. It’s a conundrum. Poor tykes!

  198. Patrice wrote:

    Also I found that fantasy-life sometimes gets mixed in with reality, an honorable defense used to help living be bearable

    Very much have seen this fantasy life.
    The hard cold facts of these lives are too much to bear. So lying to others and to themselves are well-developed defense mechanisms hard a work.
    It is a lot of crap to cut through or layers to peel off. This sort of work is not for the faint of heart.

  199. Mara wrote:

    This sort of work is not for the faint of heart.

    No it isn’t, not for the kids nor for those who help. Take care of yourself in your work!

  200. @ Mara:
    This whole issue about what’s real/true goes directly to Dee’s next post on why people attend BJU. In those circles, what is deemed “reality” is laid over top of what actually “is”, and reinforced over and over everywhere. Facing dissonance, a child believes that her own young “ignorant” perceptions are awry and will eventually become convinced that they are actually sin. The stability of the self ends up being based purely on external rules because there is nowhere else that is firm. This undermines any methodology for arriving at a different solution. Thus people attend BJU and find it comfortable because it is reassuring.

    IMO, it is a wonder that as many people get out of these systems as do. Those who do get out have learned the long hard way what genuine reality is. So when they assert it to us, it is only proper that the church to listen very carefully.

    I am glad to know a little more about you, Mara.

  201. Mara wrote:

    I’m also quite used to being lied to. So much so that when they tell me the truth, I’m surprised. I know middle-classers who think all liars aren’t worth spit. I’ve come to see it as just another survival skill in an extremely hostile environment

    Yes, I liken it to a TV documentary with footage of a wolf chasing a rabbit. The rabbit zigs and zags as the wolf pursues. The rabbit instinctively knows how to change course 180 degrees. I see victims of child abuse the same way. Lying is just a survival skill. They gauge your reactions and change the story instantly and convincingly. I don’t judge them for that.

    As Patrice said, [lying is] “…unimportant in comparison to other things, such as not constantly hurting.”

    So true. Anything to stay alive and find some level of safety.

  202. @ nmgirl: B.J.U. has every right to have rules of dress, what you can watch or do as a student. They are a private Christian institute and you can choose to go there or not. I was a student back in the early 80's and sure I hated some of the rules but you know what…. they didn't kill me! Lord have mercy! I knew all of the rules before going there and I chose it. Everyone has a choice in life. I never heard of anyone complaining about abuse when I was there. All of this has come about since I went there. We are all human and I am sure B.J.U. has made mistakes but haven't we all. It is so sad to see Christians trying to hurt other Christians by writing negative things here. Let B.J.U. and who ever else is involve handle this. It is really none of anyone else's concern about what is happening. You can either choose to go there or choose not to. Shame on you who are just letting the devil get in your thoughts and try to destroy a godly place. I am so sickened by this. No I don't just wear skirts. I actually wear jeans, go to movies, listen to Christian contemporary music sometimes. That is a choice I made as an adult. When I went to B.J.U. I followed their rules and I had a great time as a student. No regrets. Not being able to do the other things was not a big deal. Sometimes we put these petty things right up there where they are not really important.

  203. @ Stephanie:

    Silence about abuse is to abet abuse. And covering up abuse, making the victims of abuse be silent about it, and blaming the victim are all abuses by the organization. The dirty linen must be publicly washed and corrective steps taken. This blog speaks for the victims, of both abuse and of the system that seeks to blame the victims — And BJU has policies and practices that have blamed the victims and protected the perpetrators. That will come out in an fair, unbiased investigation. Changes in the policies and practices, staff, etc. at BJU are necessary to stop the crimes being committed there.

  204. Stephanie wrote:

    I never heard of anyone complaining about abuse when I was there. All of this has come about since I went there. We are all human and I am sure B.J.U. has made mistakes but haven’t we all. It is so sad to see Christians trying to hurt other Christians by writing negative things here. Let B.J.U. and who ever else is involve handle this. It is really none of anyone else’s concern about what is happening. You can either choose to go there or choose not to. Shame on you who are just letting the devil get in your thoughts and try to destroy a godly place. I am so sickened by this

    FUNDY ALERT!

  205. @ Stephanie:

    I hope you were not thinking when you wrote and published your comment. We are not trying to be negative. Abuse is abuse wherever it occurs.

  206. Patrice wrote:

    This whole issue about what’s real/true goes directly to Dee’s next post on why people attend BJU. In those circles, what is deemed “reality” is laid over top of what actually “is”, and reinforced over and over everywhere. Facing dissonance, a child believes that her own young “ignorant” perceptions are awry and will eventually become convinced that they are actually sin. The stability of the self ends up being based purely on external rules because there is nowhere else that is firm. This undermines any methodology for arriving at a different solution. Thus people attend BJU and find it comfortable because it is reassuring.

    I actually had a whole lot more to say about this than I did but was pressed for time the other day.

    What you say above is true.

    But many, most, if not all people have difficulty arriving at what the actual truth or facts are.
    We all live in a bit of a fantasy about ourselves.
    And it is a bit of a self-preservation thing.

    What I’m trying to say is this. I’m aware that my perceptions concerning myself and my life are subject to a bit (if not a lot) of bias.
    When I see those in bad home lives and those going to BJU believing an alternate reality, a reality different that what is actually happening, I keep in mind that this is a human weakness. It is a weakness some of us are better at overcoming than others.

    Another variation of “Alternate Reality” thinking is this “The Gospel should have a Masculine feel” malarkey. These men want to be the heroes in their own stories so they make up a fantasy world, an alternate reality that makes them so.
    They are not dealing in true reality. They are dealing in fantasy and passing it off as the gospel making women and children bow to this idol that they love so much.

    The scripture that I consider when thinking about this phenomenon is in Psalm 50.

    16 But to the wicked God says,
    “What right have you to tell of My statutes
    And to take My covenant in your mouth?
    17 “For you hate discipline,
    And you cast My words behind you.
    18 “When you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    And you associate with adulterers.
    19 “You let your mouth loose in evil
    And your tongue frames deceit.
    20 “You sit and speak against your brother;
    You slander your own mother’s son.
    21 “These things you have done and I kept silence;
    You thought that I was just like you;
    I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

    These may be a very strong verses.
    But consider this.
    Piper is a spiritual thief, stealing from women part of what Jesus bought for them on the cross. And other men are pleased with his thievery.
    They hate the discipline that says, “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought,” and rather raise themselves above women and run rough shod over the words of Jesus concerning worldly hierarchies. They cast those words of Jesus behind them and set up their misunderstanding of Paul’s words as gospel.
    So they adulterate the Word of God to make it into what they want and deceive others into believing that their version is the only true version.

    I know. The words are still kind of harsh. Even a bit stronger that what I care for.
    But it’s that last verse that I really want to focus on.

    21 “These things you have done and I kept silence;
    You thought that I was just like you;
    I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

    These men truly believe that God thinks like they do. That God is all about this Masculine Gospel. But it is a fantasy.

    And beyond this, my take home from all of this is that I want to always be aware of myself and try not to live in some of my own fantasies.

    As I said, this is a human problem, akin to self-righteousness. None of us are immune. It is the job of everyone of us to be aware of this and try to overcome.

    Sorry for the length of this.
    Like I said, I had a whole lot to say about this. Probably way more than anyone ever wanted to know.

  207. Janey wrote:

    Yes, I liken it to a TV documentary with footage of a wolf chasing a rabbit. The rabbit zigs and zags as the wolf pursues. The rabbit instinctively knows how to change course 180 degrees. I see victims of child abuse the same way. Lying is just a survival skill. They gauge your reactions and change the story instantly and convincingly. I don’t judge them for that.

    Very well put. Good visual. I like visuals.

  208. Stephanie wrote:

    Shame on you who are just letting the devil get in your thoughts and try to destroy a godly place. I am so sickened by this.

    Take your unchristian shaming tactics elsewhere.
    Jesus didn’t bring shame. He didn’t try to silence others through shame.
    One time when a misguided woman tried to shame Him and her sister (Mary and Martha) Jesus spoke to her with compassion and concern. He didn’t shame her back.

    Shaming is what legalism, phariseeism, and all the other unholy ‘isms’ do It is what ‘religion’ uses to try to control and silence.

    Share your opinion here all you like, up one side and down the other. But keep your abusive shaming tactics to yourself. They don’t belong here.

  209. @ Stephanie:When I was a Christian and 18, my parents sent me to a public university with few rules. I had to learn in a hurry to make my own decisions and take the consequences. I din’t have 4 more years of childhood.
    Guess what, I’m fine and not a christian any more thanks to hypocrites like you.

  210. @ Stephanie:
    So you never heard about it while you were there, but the minute you do hear about it you shame the people speaking about it. Perhaps you should reflect on the implications of that.

  211. Stephanie wrote:

    Sometimes we put these petty things right up there where they are not really important.

    How true. The eccentric rules of BJU, whilst hinting at something unhealthy, were not remotely the primary concern of this post and it is surprising that anyone would put them right up there when critiquing this post. The post was, of course, about sexual harassment and abuse, and a squandered opportunity for the university to walk in the light while addressing such.

  212. Stephanie wrote:

    Shame on you…

    Personally, I would think twice before claiming the authority to bring shame on a person, especially if I had just declared how sad it was to see Christians trying to hurt other Christians.

  213. Stephanie wrote:

    It is really none of anyone else’s concern about what is happening. You can either choose to go there or choose not to. Shame on you who are just letting the devil get in your thoughts and try to destroy a godly place.

    When sexual a—–t and abuse are occurring and being covered up, it concerns us all. And BJU is one of the most ungodly places in the United States, and I don’t say that lightly.

  214. Stephanie wrote:

    @ nmgirl: B.J.U. has every right to have rules of dress, what you can watch or do as a student. They are a private Christian institute and you can choose to go there or not. I was a student back in the early 80’s and sure I hated some of the rules but you know what…. they didn’t kill me! Lord have mercy! I knew all of the rules before going there and I chose it. Everyone has a choice in life. I never heard of anyone complaining about abuse when I was there. All of this has come about since I went there. We are all human and I am sure B.J.U. has made mistakes but haven’t we all. It is so sad to see Christians trying to hurt other Christians by writing negative things here. Let B.J.U. and who ever else is involve handle this. It is really none of anyone else’s concern about what is happening. You can either choose to go there or choose not to. Shame on you who are just letting the devil get in your thoughts and try to destroy a godly place. I am so sickened by this. No I don’t just wear skirts. I actually wear jeans, go to movies, listen to Christian contemporary music sometimes. That is a choice I made as an adult. When I went to B.J.U. I followed their rules and I had a great time as a student. No regrets. Not being able to do the other things was not a big deal. Sometimes we put these petty things right up there where they are not really important.

    Indignantly telling people off for speaking out about sexual abuse? Really? You might want to take off your pro-BJU blinkers and actually think about what this discussion is all about.

    Yes, the other rules at BJU aren’t the focus of this post (although it would make an interesting one – the extreme level of control as well as elements of racism and sexism in the few pages I read were a big neon warning sign to me), but they do speak to the broader issues of silencing and control that allow abuse to fester and continue.

    Also I notice you’re sickened not by the abuse that occurred but by people saying mean things about BJU. That is – to put it politely and not get this comment banned – completely messed up.

  215. Stephanie wrote:

    It is so sad to see Christians trying to hurt other Christians by writing negative things here. Let B.J.U. and who ever else is involve handle this. It is really none of anyone else’s concern about what is happening

    It is only when the light of truth shines in from outside that change takes place. Unfortunately, BJU is just another ho hum organization trying to hide from the light.

    In fact why don’t you talk about the racial component to some of those rules when you attended BJU?

    Also, BJU wants everyone to look at them and see how “godly” they are. They take out ads, etc. Once you go public, you get to be critiqued publicly.

    Stephanie wrote:

    Shame on you who are just letting the devil get in your thoughts and try to destroy a godly place.

    And you know that the devil is invading our thoughts how?

  216. @ Stephanie:
    I am concerned aout something in your statement or is it that a lack of something… You did not express concern for the victims. And that says it all.

    I am glad that you feel cool wearing jeans now that you are an adult and can make your own decisions. I am glad that you were happy to have BJU treat you as a child while you were there. It is comforting to have a mom tell you what you can wear at 20.

    Now, why don’t you say something about the victims? They are a bit more important than whether or not one can wear jeans, right?

  217. Stephanie wrote:

    B.J.U. has every right to have rules of dress, what you can watch or do as a student. They are a private Christian institute

    That’s fine, but people have a right to voice their opinions on the internet about that school, even if they’re not in favor of their rules or the school.

  218. An Attorney wrote:

    Making them illegal did not stop them and resulted in a lot of bad outcomes for women.

    Having it legal also doesn’t always help women or the babies they are carrying.
    Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Accused of Killing Babies With Scissors, Charged With 8 Murders

    Even after the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, on Nov. 20, 2009 of an alleged overdose of anesthetics prescribed by Gosnell, Williams said, the Department of Health did not act.

  219. @ Daisy:

    What Gosnell was doing was illegal under current law, so what was being done was not at all a result of the status of law in this field at all

  220. Dee wrote:

    Now, why don’t you say something about the victims? They are a bit more important than whether or not one can wear jeans, right?

    Not when “It’s All About MEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

  221. Pam wrote:

    Also I notice you’re sickened not by the abuse that occurred but by people saying mean things about BJU. That is – to put it politely and not get this comment banned – completely messed up.

    “BJU is my God, and a God Can Do No Wrong”?

  222. I found this link at today’s “BJU Sex Abuse Cover Up” (Day 12) post on DoRightNowBJU. The Desert Petrichor post gives one of the best categorizations I’ve seen for different kinds of responses/non-responses to victims by people bound by black-and-white thinking / fundamentalism / legalism. It is well worth our time to read!

    http://desertpetrichor.blogspot.com/2014/02/cognitive-dissonance-part-2.html

    I’m sure I’ll be giving this post many more readings, and puzzle through options for responding wisely to various kinds of commenters. It’s still difficult to know how to comment back constructively to those in a lot of these categories. For many of us who were stuck in these same kinds of enclosed systems of circular thinking, it wasn’t logical or theological reasoning from someone far away that got us to see how blinded we were … it often took an emotional or relational shock from up close — truly, an intervention of the Holy Spirit — to sow seeds of doubt about the doctrines and leaders and institutions we thought were true beyond truth. But still, I found the categories and examples here incredibly helpful.

  223. @ Daisy:
    Then you heard wrong. There is no secret network of butchers performing late abortions under unsafe conditions despite existing state laws. Whenever anyone claims otherwise (likee the doctor in WV who claimed to see more abortion injuries in a month at his hospital than occured in the past many years combined at the hospital) it is invariably lies.