Issues We Have With G.R.A.C.E. Investigating BJU

Posted: January 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Bob Jones University has been under scrutiny by another “do right” group led by homosexual activists called “Do Right BJU”. The group has the same anti-fundamentalist sentiment that the other Do Right groups have but seems to lean more toward complaints about BJU’s stance against the LGBT community(Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender)* The two prominent complaints appear to be over the alleged cover up of 9 cases of sexual abuse (which they later admitted was committed by one person on all 9 counts, although when they first reported the story, they gave the impression that it could have been 9 different offenders. Although one is too many, there is no need to embellish the story and sandbag the facts. And, it does appear that when one of the incidents was reported, BJU contacted the police, and the perpetrator was arrested, which was not mentioned in any of the earlier reports), and the cover up of the rape of Tina Anderson by BJU staff member, Chuck Phelps. ( We do believe that the perpetrator in this matter has been incarcerated for this incident. Tina’s story can be found here. Although the editors and religious experts GROSSLY exaggerated the doctrines of the IFB, the story that focuses on Tina Anderson is gut-wrenching)

Bob Jones University responded to the complaints for accountability by requesting the assistance of third-party victim advocacy group called G.R.A.C.E (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). We will make more editions to information about this at a later time regarding any results of investigations posted by GRACE, but for now, we will post the main, and so far, only issue that we know that has our eyebrows raised in this report provided by Christianity Today:

The Bob Jones University/Academy leadership has communicated to GRACE that acknowledging and understanding any recognized failures will better equip both Bob Jones University and Bob Jones Academy to demonstrate authentic repentance to those who have been harmed, while also making the necessary institutional changes to insure that such is never repeated. [1] (emphasis added)

While we have no problem with an outside investigation agency using their legal resources for investigations such as this, it is quite a stretch for an outside Christian organizing to determine what is or is not the proper response that qualifies for “authentic repentance”. Repentance is a much debated topic from doctrines of “easy believism”, to Lordship Salvation a priori of salvation, and whether there needs to be sorrow, regret, change of action a posteriori.

The debate about repentance is not the issue in this article but a colleges right to define it. We ARE concerned about the appearance  that the colleges being investigated would have to meet GRACE’s definition of repentance in order to receive a “clean bill of health”. What if the colleges or religious institutions being investigated have a fundamentally different view of repentance than GRACE? This can certainly be an issue since the founders of GRACE are acquainted with the Billy Graham Association and there has been a traditional view of cynicism among fundamentalist churches regarding Billy Graham over the last 30 years. .

We are certainly not advocating that a corporate Christian body need not demonstrate repentance, but in this article the emphasis on “authentic” repentance allows for an outside institution that may not share the same beliefs to define that institution’s doctrine, and that can set a very disturbing precedent; particular if the government attempts to make these type of investigations mandatory (which many of the victim advocacy groups are pushing for).

While it is honorable that BJU appears to want to “do the right thing”, as fundamentalists and separatists, we must not become so desperate under pressure of criticism to compromise our core beliefs or give up the right to define those to satisfy the negative public opinions of our institutions, many of whom will not be satisfied with the results regardless of the efficacious effect the investigations may produce.

This will likely ruffle some feathers and be misinterpreted by our critics (as if we care) but if fundamentalist churches allow this type of precedent to be set, it opens the door for many other emerging church philosophies; something for BJU to prayerfully consider, and for G.R.A.C.E. to perhaps clarify the implementation of such statements and how they arrive at their conclusion as to what demonstrates “authentic repentance”.

_____________________

*A petition made by members of the Do Right BJU Facebook group on I-Petition created a complaint directed toward Pepsi who has apparently sponsored BJU sports teams in some manner. Some of the bulleted complaints are 4) BJU’s history on LGBT rights, 5) BJU’s views on other religious organizations — especially Catholicism.

How and why anyone would expect a fundamentalist Christian institution to be bullied into changing their views on homosexuality and the Catholic church is astonishing.

** We have a variety of major contentions with BJU doctrinally, but this matter has to potential to set a trend that if the body of this story has merit, could have a negative impact on all churches considered fundamentalist.

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Comments
  1. drjamesa says:

    And of course as predicted, the first person to take this issue out of context, Christopher Peterman. Not surprised when the agenda of these do right groups has nothing to do with wanting any Christian college to “do right” they are interested in the EXPOSURE of the bad acts so that they can tell the world that Christianity is a religion based on violence, hate and immorality, they are not concerned about whether GRACE or anyone else helps them. Christopher Peterman is already criticizing GRACE’ investigation, so even in his own critique of my article on here and SI, he can’t decide which side of the fence he is on in his own debates.
    For a person that admits he is an agnostic (no such thing) and claims that there is no such thing as sin, the Bible is full of hate and lies, is it any wonder why any normal person with common sense questions why an agnostic is so interested in how another Christian organization investigates a Christian college?
    But for our critics, long on wind, short on common sense

  2. drjamesa says:

    And now Stuffed Undies Like owner, Darrell Dow chimes in with his list of illiterate puppies who wouldn’t know what a Bible verse was if it cooked them dinner. Nothing like a bunch of ex fundies claiming they now act any different then they did when they were fundies.

    And Jeri Massi’s comment takes the cake “Fundamentalists don’t want to repent”. What about the clear teaching in the Bible that defines repentance as turning to God from idols? Has Jeri Massi turned from Buddha yet? Amazing how an agenda-driven group of heathens create their own theology to explain theology that they say fundamentalists created ex nihilo.

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