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DEAR DR. BOB: an open letter to Bob Jones III and the Board of BJU

Matthew 18 requires a Christian who has been offended by a brother to go to that brother to see whether things can be made right without escalation of the issue to “two or three” and then “to the church.” This is not that. Rather, this might be something I would drop into the Suggestion Box were I in Greenville. It is a signed list of suggestions, along with the reasons for those suggestions from a longtime loyal alumna, former staff member at BJU Press, and author of 11 books, all still in print with Journeyforth, an imprint of BJU Press.

May 1, 2013
sharonhambrick@hotmail.com
Rancho Cordova, California

Dear Dr. Bob,

I recently wrote a post on my blog about things I’d like to see changed at BJU. Today, my husband encouraged me to send it to you personally. However, because I included bits of humor and irony in that post in order to spark conversation, I felt that the post as it is would not be appropriate to send to you. Because of that, I have taken out the humor, distilled some points, removed others, and added some, so that this letter will reflect my thoughts without the funny bits that, it must be admitted, were simply an attempt to mask my fear of speaking plainly.

To introduce myself to you, this is what might be in my file at BJU: In 1980 or 1981, I turned in my roommate for wearing pants off campus. In 1990, I contacted you for advice because I had been fired from a Christian school for telling students Santa Claus is a myth. In 1993, I came to you with the scary news that I had received a positive HIV test after attempting to give blood for a fellow BJUP employee. (The test was later found to be in error.) In 2009 or 2010, Beneth poured ice-water for me at the Perrys’ home here in my neighborhood. I have written 11 books (all still in print) for Journeyforth. You have always been kind to me.

Dr. Bob, there is a rumbling among some alumni, and it is a rumbling of fear. We are afraid that our friends who have 30 or more years of service invested in the University will be fired without a pension and without benefits, as Dr. McCauley was. If you and Stephen were powerless to help Dr. McCauley, you will be just as powerless to help our friends who are less visible than Dr. McCauley is.

We are afraid that the Board will, at any moment, decide that the purpose of the School can no longer be fulfilled and will shut the whole place down (as the Charter provides), distributing funds to a select few—including most importantly your immediate family—without regard for the thousands of students and faculty and staff who would be left high and dry.

We are afraid that, because of dwindling enrollment and a shrinking demographic and the availability in other places of more modern music, water parks, and what not, our Alma Mater will not be available to future students. Our own children and grandchildren will not even have the choice to experience the distinctives BJU offers because, due to Board action mentioned above, it will not exist.

Should the Board really have the power to sell to the highest bidder a Campus dedicated to Christ and purchased with the sacrificial giving and life’s work of thousands of loyal alumni, faculty, staff, and students simply because it doesn’t care for reasonable modernization?

Should not the Board, rather, repent of its collective heels-dug-in stance against, say, modernizing the music, in hopes of recruiting a new generation of Christian young people committed to Jesus Christ and His Gospel of saving grace? Indeed, does not a refusal to budge on non-creedal issues indicate a desire to see BJU close and the proceeds distributed among those the Board chooses? This frightens me.

Because of these and other concerns, I wrote a list of changes I would like to see implemented. Edited and changed for reasons mentioned above, here are those things:

1. Change the name of the school. As sad as it is to hear, “Bob Jones University” has unhappy connotations, nor do many people have any idea who your Grandfather was. I recommend “South Carolina Christian College” or something similarly generic.

2. Bring in a new President from outside who has an earned doctorate from a regionally-accredited University. Tie his salary to enrollment. We feel very sorry that Stephen has been so ill for so long, but at this point the School needs someone who can vigorously preach, vigorously promote, vigorously recruit, and vigorously move the School forward. Even a pro tempore President might work, if one had the magnetic personality and outgoing nature of, say, Mike Buiter.

3. There is a widespread feeling that the Board is a group of old racists. In a spirit of disarming this belief, require all members of the Board to sign and then read aloud in chapel to be permanently posted on sermonaudio.com the following statement:

“I have never aligned myself with, nor prayed for the success of the Ku Klux Klan. I regret my racist past, if any, and pledge myself to furthering the mission of South Carolina Christian College by actively seeking out African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic-American faculty and students.

“I regret the termination of aging faculty and pledge that this practice will no longer occur. I pledge to sell the art collection, back-campus housing, or other non-educational assets rather than to abandon those who have given their working lives to this school.

“I further pledge to speak out boldly against any past, present, or future corruption relating to the College—including sexual abuse or its cover-up—when I learn of it and without regard for my own or my colleagues’ personal interests.

“Furthermore, I will attempt to avoid speaking evil of the President of the United States during his or her term in office.

“So help me God.”

Retain no one on the Board who cannot enthusiastically sign this statement.

4. Enlist the help of Alumni volunteers of good-standing to check music submitted by students so that new songs that meet reasonable objective guidelines as to beat, lyric, general tone, and genre can be listened to and even purchased in the Bookstore.

5. Occasionally introduce in chapel a new worship song that meets the reasonable objective guidelines mentioned above. “New” may mean songs that are decades old, such as “We Will Glorify the King of Kings” (copyright 1982) by Twila Paris, which is now in hymnbooks. The fact is that students and their parents know that there are many authentically worshipful, Bible-based, and non-rock songs among what is called Christian Contemporary Music.

6. Allow other checked worship songs in hall meetings, society meetings and outings, and other non-worship-service settings.

7. Encourage chapel speakers to speak more of Jesus and less of homosexuality, remembering that we speak about what we think about.

8. Encourage students who may be engaged in sexual sin or struggling with homosexual or heterosexual cravings or who may be pregnant or otherwise in moral difficulty to seek confidential help. History tells us that the Dean of Men’s and Dean of Women’s offices have not been safe havens for students with moral issues, but merely pit-stops on the way to being shipped home. A confidential counseling center could be established to help students work through issues—rather than being shipped for them.

9. Drop the word “Fundamentalist” for the simple reason that it connotes jihadism. Purposefully distance yourselves from this word. Coin a new word if a label is necessary and no existing word accurately describes us.

10. Hire one Black faculty member immediately. Add one more every year. Add an African-American to the Board without delay. Add another in a couple of years.

11. Commit yourselves to accepting the G.R.A.C.E. report with dignity, with repentance, and with grace, making the changes that will be obviously necessary once the report comes out. If you have not already done so, exhort any faculty, Board member, affiliated preacher, and so forth, to come clean before the report comes out, resigning from his ministries, seeking forgiveness from and offering restitution to those he has wounded, and even turning himself into law enforcement if appropriate.

12. Do what needs to be done to implement the Promise, especially as to those older former faculty already dismissed and living on Social Security. It is wrong to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right, and it is wrong to fire loyal, hard-working faculty in order to save money for whatever “right” reason.

13. We beg you to reinstate Dr. McCauley in some capacity for the next two years so that he can retire with full benefits.

14. Give Mr. Peterman his diploma. Expelling anyone (no matter what the infraction, less than a serious felony, perhaps) within 9 days of graduation is unconscionable.

15. Create and publish an “exit strategy” that will calm fears, indicating that, in the sad event the School closes, all current faculty and staff and all retired faculty and staff will receive a portion of the proceeds of the School’s sale in some proportion relating to their years of service, before the remainder of the money is distributed to other Gospel endeavors, the M & G, or the Jones family.

16. Apologize for saying homosexuality would be stopped were all gays to be stoned. Although this statement was made decades ago, it continues to wound.

Sincerely, and in the hope that our School will continue to exist to glorify Jesus for the next eighty-six years,

Sharon Hambrick (MA, 1981)
Brian Hambrick (BSN, 1997)

P.S. From Brian: I fully support Sharon’s statement here and asked her to send it. Both Sharon and I continue to be thankful for our BJU educations, and for Journeyforth’s publishing of Sharon’s books. My nursing degree has allowed me to support my family well in the sixteen years since I graduated (at the ripe old age of 39!). Sadly, at this time, we feel it is impossible to look at BJU as a future place for our children’s education, but we hope that will change as appropriate changes come to BJU. We are committed to doing our part, if there is anything we can do to further reasonable, appropriate change.

26 comments on “DEAR DR. BOB: an open letter to Bob Jones III and the Board of BJU

  1. Werner Lumm
    May 1, 2013

    Open letters generally are not sincere efforts to change the minds of those to whom they are addressed. In most cases, they are political tools intended to influence others to support the author’s personal opinions. Dr. Bob would be very unwise to respond.

    • Sharon
      May 1, 2013

      Dear Dr. Lumm,

      I appreciate this reply from a member of the extended Jones family. Thank you.

    • Crosscarry America
      May 2, 2013

      While I love my brothers in the Lord. Jesus summed this regime of religious training up in one statement. You can’t put new wine into old wineskins. I think you know the rest. The point is each individual needs to seek Jesus. Each individual needs to be born again. The point is Jesus doesn’t need an old stuffy religion. Each soul is precious to Him though. Relationship with him starts in your own heart and It never ends and never gets old. Love, a seeker and friend of our Lord Jesus. Stephen Hope

    • LMcC
      May 2, 2013

      Actually, considering the huge amount of support for many of these ideas among former students and alumni, Dr. Bob and company would be unwise _not_ to respond. As it is right now, the administration has handled legitimate concerns of alumni horribly. About the only thing they’ve done right is hiring GRACE; and many of the abuse victims are terrified that the school will either fire GRACE before they can release the report, or that the school will promptly file all of GRACE’s recommendations into file 13 and keep mistreating victims and enabling abusers. Let’s face it, from the outside, it really looks like the school cares more about consolidating power in the hands of a few — and not in the least about having and maintaining a true Christian testimony that would help lead a lost world to the Savior.

    • Nathan
      May 2, 2013

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      Is an open letter worse than the numerous rants and tirades we’ve heard from the BJU pulpit? Sharon was very factual and respectful here, and many of us agree with what she has written.

      Are there open letters that you would support? For instance, when Salman al-Oadah wrote an open letter to Osama bin Laden in Sept. 2007, condemning his practices and violence, would you characterize that as an insincere effort, or would you support it because you agree with the message?

  2. Susie Baker
    May 1, 2013

    I think this was well written. I graduated in 1976 and have watched with sadness the situation of many of our faculty. I would have to agree with all of her points and agree in asking for Dr. McCauley to be allowed to decide his own date. Nothing is as important as honoring those faculty who gave years of their lives. I feel providing for them is much more important than lighting for the fields and other plans. None of my children went to the school because of the issues shared by Sharon. I am thankful for many things that happened during my 4 years at the school.
    I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have GRACE involved. I was sexually assaulted by a Preacher Boy student when I was a patient in St. Francis Hospital. I finally was able to share my story with them and know that I was listened to and believed. Thank you for your willingness to listen to our thoughts.

  3. Jason Harris
    May 2, 2013

    I think you’ve made some good points and some not-so-good points. But I wanted to comment on one point.

    You said (in point 12): “It is wrong to fire loyal, hard-working faculty in order to save money.”

    I have not followed the situation with Dr. M, but as a BJU music grad now teaching business at a secular university, I feel that this statement is not only false, but rather bizarre. How can it be wrong to fire someone? And what other reason would there be for firing someone? Employment is business. Business is money. Sure there’s an element of ministry in the picture, but for BJU to ignore the fundamental business nature of the organisation would be the quickest way to destroy the university and put everyone on the street. As I mentioned, I don’t know if there are extenuating circumstances, but on the face of it, this seems to me to be an unreasonable request.

    • LMcC
      May 2, 2013

      There has been a pattern of firing older professors, just shy of retirement, for very flimsy reasons.

    • Nathan
      May 2, 2013

      Dr. McCauley was one of only two voice faculty members with a terminal degree (PhD). The only remaining voice faculty member with a terminal degree will be Dr. David Parker. Other faculty are:

      – Laura Brundage, BMus, Church Music, BJU; MMus, Voice Performance BJU
      – Pam Dunbar, BS, Music Education, BJU; MMus, Voice, BJU
      – Jean Greer, BMus, Music, Simpson College; MMus, Voice Performance, Indiana University

      That doesn’t seem like a strong faculty line-up for voice programs, especially for a college that is supposedly pursuing regional accreditation.

      • It is pretty shallow, with the exception of Jean Greer, who has years many of actual opera experience with an opera company in Germany. Degrees set aside, she has the actual experience to back up her qualifications.

  4. Becky Griffith
    May 2, 2013

    Since you have quite a lot to say about the “board members” I was just wondering if you knew any of them personally or their backgrounds. I ask this because I know many of them personally. Seems to me if you are going to insinuate that someone is racist, you’d better know of whom you are speaking!
    I would agree with what you say about the school’s tendency to fire the folks that have dedicated their lives to the school, however, that may not be in keeping with your call for modernization especially in the music or speech faculty. I say this in agreement with you that they should keep the older faculty and listen to what they have to say – my mom is one of them and afraid for her job, but hoping and praying that she will be able to stay until her 50th year of service, 3 years from now. Just saying that perhaps those two demands do not agree and that is perhaps the problem.

    • Sharon
      May 2, 2013

      I’m so sorry your mother is fearful for her job.

      • Becky Griffith
        May 2, 2013

        Let me be clear for her sake. She is 110% loyal to the school and has dedicated her life to work there and will continue as long as the Lord allows it. But perhaps all this call for change and modernization is what is kicking the “old guard” out. There has to be a balance. Change for change sake is not an answer. There has to be a plan where the advice and experience of the older generation is worth something and balanced with the “new”. And yes, bring Dr. M back along with some of the others that have been set aside.
        As far as the board members, again, I ask respectfully do you know them – any of them? It is very serious to insinuate that someone is racist in today’s society because it carries with it such hate. It is also one of the few areas in our culture where someone is not presumed innocent until proven guilty.
        Also, are you sure that the board really makes those decisions? I would suggest that the board members have nothing to do with and no say in the hiring and firing of faculty members and that those decisions are made by the administration or more probably the departments. While it might look nice in writing to say that board members should be made to make certain promises, I really don’t think much of what you have written there is relevant.

      • Sharon
        May 2, 2013

        No one is calling for “change for the sake of change.” We are calling for change for the sake of the school’s existence. Did you know that freshman enrollment has been falling? Did you know WMUU was sold? Did you know Soundforth was sold? Did you know the Dining Common services have been outsourced? These are not the actions of a flourishing enterprise, but of one that is in a serious retrenchment.

        Many of us are, as your mother is, 110% loyal. That is why we are crying out for change before it is too late, before we sacrifice the eternal on the altar of Fanny Crosby hymns. You cannot blame us that your mother’s job might be in danger. We cry out for her job as well.

        No, I do not know any Board members personally. This does not invalidate my statement that there is a widespread feeling that they are a bunch of old racists. Dr. Bob III himself stated once that a “Negro is at his best when he is serving at table,” please see Jeffrey Hoffman’s comment on this thread for the citation. Such a statement (along with his other wild statements, which perhaps we can blame on his father’s personality) should be retracted and tearfully (or at least sincerely) repented of.

        It is not tangential to BJU’s hopes of rebranding to boldly, loudly, and immediately not only apologize for past racist policies (as has been done), but distance itself from all whispers of racism by proactively embracing believers of color within the context of the Campus itself and on a full-time and obvious basis. A statement by Board members of their personal dedication to a color-blind future would be welcomed by everyone, no matter how tardy, in 2013, it would seem to be. Better late than too late to matter.

  5. Tim Snyder
    May 2, 2013

    Sharon, I’m sure it was a tough decision to write this letter and while I don’t agree 100% with everything in it, I hope it is received well. I am proud of the education I received in my nine years at the school (Jr. high through University) and have no regrets of choosing to go there, nor do I hold any grudge against the school as many former students do. I knew the rules and while I may not have agreed with them, I obeyed them (most of the time).

    I have been encouraged over the years to see the school slowly change rules that I never thought would change. Students have it better now then when I graduated in ’99. That being said, it is time to change. I understand having rules and standards but when those rules and standards are elevated to a point where people question you Christianity because you do not look like them or listen to the same music they do then that is legalism and something that is killing the church. We all have different preferences. Some people like apples over oranges. Is there anything wrong with either of these? No. The music standards need to be addressed. I didn’t listen to CCM when I was at BJU but I have since. Look at the lyrics of some modern worship songs, they are solid. It’s the music or beat behind them that some people don’t like. That’s preference. Mix it up. Throw a few modern songs in with the hymns.

    The school has shown the willingness to change. Going to the movies used to be an unpardonable sin. Now it is okay as long as you go a certain distance from the school. Why the change? Did movies change? No. Some of the dress code changes have really surprised me. So why not make a few more changes? No doctrinal changes, just preferences.

    I pray that the school will continue to grow and turn out graduates that will be shining lights in a dark world. I pray that the school will continue what I believe to be the best Christian education around. And I pray that they will be open continuing they changes that have started and embrace some more.

  6. Terry
    May 2, 2013

    I appreciated the tone and heartfelt sincerity of the letter. However, after a lifetime spent in BJU-type school ministries, I am afraid it will fall on deaf ears. The leaders of fundamentalism do not like being questioned, called out for offenses, or rebuked by those “under” their authority. They have long since become accustomed to simply ignoring these kinds of things because any response, positive of negative, provides credibility to the “critic” and thus undermines their authority before their followers. I heard on of them recently making the point to fellow leaders, that followers rarely have legitimate concerns, otherwise they would be leaders and not followers. One does not govern a ministry based on the feedback of either followers or, least of all, critics. They operate on a completely different level from a normal person . . . because they are leaders. Because they are leaders, they have responsibilities, wisdom, and understanding far superior to the ability of non-leaders to comprehend let alone attain to. They live in their own little worlds. I am sorry, but that is the way it is in fundamentalism.

  7. Steve Miller
    May 2, 2013

    As a BJA (’75), BJU (’80), and Ed.D (’90). graduate from Bob Jones, I greatly appreciate the concerns that you’ve expressed in both content and tone. I’d only make one point of legal clarification. Unless I’m wrong, no one from the Jones family — in any generation of its leadership — OWNS any portion of Bob Jones University. Apart from a fairly determined severance pay, for them to receive any personal profit if the school closes would not only be suicidal in terms of public relations, but it might be considered illegal. I realize that the school is uniquely NOT tax-exempt because of the issues back in the late 1970s (unless something has changed since my days as a student), but I’m guessing that there would still be problems any of the Jones were to receive an inordinate sum from the board if the school were ever to close.

    In spite of differences with the school on personal beliefs and interpretational issues, I have always been grateful for my education at BJU. I’m honored and blessed to have sat under the teaching and personal influences of great teachers like Fremont, Bell, Neal, Custer, Anderson, Horton, St. John, and others. I’m saddened by the whole MacCauley incident to think that people who have given their lives and loyalty to the school might not enjoy the confidence of knowing that the loyalty is reciprocal.

    Dr. Lumm is correct is saying that responding to open letters are not necessarily a wise forum for leadership, but if this letter — which was graciously written — might be read by Dr. Bob or another person of influence, I’m glad to have my name included as a signer of general concern and support.

    I’ve read some of the other blog sites that are written with harshness and are far more crude in making their points… and I sincerely appreciate the spirit on honest concern that I’ve read here. I pray that this discussion with the leadership of Bob Jones University will not just be “seasoned” with grace, but that it will be SATURATED with grace so that God will truly be honored, so that the school will survive, and that there will be spirit of truth & joy rather that the cloud of doubt and fear that seems to be hovering over this BJU’s concerned constituency.

    Sincerely,
    Steve

    • Steve Miller
      May 2, 2013

      Sorry for the grammatical errors and subject/verb conflicts scattered throughout… you all get my points. I’m in a rush and doing too many things at one time.

      • Sharon
        May 2, 2013

        Thank you, Steve, for saying you’d be willing to add your name to this. Let me think about that.

  8. Lori Ramey
    May 2, 2013

    Thanks, Sharon, for writing this. I don’t know that I’d state everything the way you did, but that isn’t the point. As an alumna with two degrees from BJU (BA 1996, MA 1998) and another four years of service as a staff member, I really do want the University to succeed in a mission of educating young people in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Right now, I don’t think BJU represents that Gospel accurately. As long as authorities at the school think & act as if following certain standards makes God happier with us, they’re preaching “another Gospel.” I know there are many faculty and staff who “get” Grace and work tirelessly to make BJU a good place for students. But change must come to the institution as a whole.

    Open letters are valuable because they start a conversation. Let’s face it: no institution changes because of a single letter (though I do think you should send a copy of this to every senior member of the Administration). Alumni who want to see the school change for the better and turn away from the abuse, racism, and legalism of its past have to support those changes when they come.

    This is a good starting place for the discussion, and I appreciate your post so much.

  9. Jeffrey Hoffman
    May 2, 2013

    Dear Sharon,

    Your sincerity and courage in suggesting these appropriate changes is so very refreshing to read and I am grateful, once more, for your speaking out.

    Stephen Jones and I have known each other since childhood and I pray daily for his healing. Your suggestion that he move on to other work is one I think would be tremendously beneficial to him personally and might perhaps bring about a positive change in his health.

    Your suggestion that BJU establish a counseling center is also a good one. What I must unequivocally state is that BJU must not be given cover to continue to harass LGBT+ under the guise of “Christian counseling” either. We at BJUnity do not expect BJU to change its theological position, though we are hopeful they might reconsider it prayerfully. So long as gender identity and sexual orientation (two very separate and distinct phenomena) are misunderstood and LGBT or questioning students are harassed for what are complex psychological characteristics beyond their individual control — and evidence is growing that there is a biological basis for both gender identity and sexual orientation — BJU will not be a safe place for LGBT+ students. The default position of Bob Jones, III’s cry for our destruction which he routinely echoes from the chapel platform, will not be completely remedied by an apology as we have requested in our online petition that has garnered nearly 2000 signatures online or in handwritten responses (many of whom will be familiar names to members of the BJU administration, because they are in fact alumni of Bob Jones schools). But an apology would clarion a significant change in tone and rhetoric and would be most appreciated by our constituency.

    Likewise, I doubt the appointment of a few token people of color to positions of power within the administration and faculty of the school, would serve to undo many decades of racial hostility any more than the non-apologetic “statement on race” currently does. It is not enough for a religious school, which for decades provided the religious rhetoric of racial segregation that gave moral cover for lynch mobs, to glibly dismiss that as merely having “followed the culture.” For a school whose Chancellor who once told a reporter “a Negro is best when he serves at table,” and excused such a statement as being biblical, as Bob Jones III did to Robert Sherrill of The Nation back in the 1960s to do anything less than offer a profound, humble apology, accepting its responsibility for the harm it has caused is not enough. Only then will there be sufficient repentance to honestly enact the changes you suggest, which might begin to undo some of the terrible wrongs that it has caused.

    You mention the G.R.A.C.E. investigation, too. BJU has been accused by many survivors of sexual abuse of bad counseling. Bob Jones III defamed Tina Anderson to a woman in upstate New York while defending then Board Member Chuck Phelps. An apology to the victims of sexual crimes who have been, as the University euphemistically put it, “underserved,” is a mandatory change that must be made. No one is completely safe from sexual predation in an environment where it is not taken seriously and rooted out; where victims are believed and criminals are prosecuted.

    Otherwise, BJUnity would welcome these changes at BJU with you.

    God bless you for your powerful, prophetic voice.

    Jeffrey Hoffman
    Executive Director
    BJUnity
    the affirming alternative for LGBT+ alumni and students of BJU

  10. Pottsy
    May 2, 2013

    Sharon, I vehemently disagree with every single point on your post. The bottom line is God calls actions and words like this as from unbelievers. The book of I John speaks of those who do not follow His commandments void of the truth. Romans 12:1-2 specifically talk about the very thing you are asking BJU to do. We are to not be poured into the likeness of the world’s mold ever. We are to be separated into God’s mold, living as sacrifices unto God’s glory. Living in the world’s system and living for it is what you are suggesting. You are saying that if BJU changes it’s music policy to be more tolerant of CCM music that yes may have decent doctrinal content, all for the sake of engraciating more students and essentially broadening the footprint of the school blurs all lines of Biblical separation that are Biblically warranted. When God commands us to come out from among them and be separate, it’s not separated so much that we are isolated from being able to minister to people, but to create a distinction between us and the World’s system to ensure the integrity of the gospel.
    BJU may as well join the ranks of LIberty, Cedarville, Dallas Theological, GRACE Seminary and others who may preach a form of a fundamental gospel but their philosophy of ministry and practice of it do not match their Theological teaching. God is HOLY. We are to ascribe to His Holiness not a measure of our own standard for the sake of fulfilling the desires of our flesh. With all due respect you are asking the school to shut down with the suggestions you are making. I would personally fly to Greenville and demand the school shut down if they implement even one of your suggestions. My father is a board member and I take great offense to the statement that these men are racists.

    The bottom line is BJU is to be an extension of the local church not the end all be all. I know Dr. Bob personally would agree to this and has sat in my home and told me as much. They exist to be an arm of the church not replace it. If your Pastor would teach the whole counsel of God as he is commanded to by scripture, and help instruct you that what you just wrote was sin we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. This kind of behavior and call to action that has no biblical basis is appauling. I am shocked to see how few people who have written responses to this have not stood firm.

    Finally, you are asking the school to do what Matt Olsen was doing at NIU before he was asked to resign this week. I think you better think long and hard before ever posting anything like this again. Dr. Bob will not change and they should not change.

  11. Pottsy
    May 2, 2013

    I need to apologize to your Pastor. He’s not at fault for the lack of understanding on your part. I did not mean to state that he is not Preaching the whole counsel of God.

    • Sharon
      May 2, 2013

      Thanks, Pottsy.

      I wonder if you would fly to Greenville and demand the school be shut down for allowing students to go to movies and read Harry Potter novels? Or, what if I had asked for Dr. Bob III to resign as Chairman of the Board? Would that do it?

  12. Erin Warner
    May 3, 2013

    In response to Pottsy’s response, EXCUSE yourself, please. I attended Grace College (albeit not seminary) for 4 years, and not only did I become stronger in my faith, I learned what it was like to LIVE out my faith – to reach nonbelievers, but to remain strong in my beliefs and morals. God does command us to be separate from the World, that truth was and is taught at my school. What he does not command us to do is to become close-minded, legalistic bigots – yes, bigots. When these kinds of people reflect their “Christianity” to the rest of the world it not only creates a distinction, but rather creates an impenetrable wall impossible for nonbelievers to know the one, true God. How dare you, without having attended Grace, ever say their “philosophy of ministry and practice of it does not match their Theological teaching.”
    Students go out into the little surrounding community, and practice what they have been taught; that GOD is holy, He is just, He is the true light, and most important, He LOVES us and you. So, before speaking against a school you know nothing about, I suggest you keep your mouth shut.

  13. Sharon
    May 3, 2013

    Hi Erin,

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time at Grace College. I grew up in the Grace Brethren denomination, attending First Brethren Church of Long Beach, CA, for many years (pastored by BJU/Grace Seminary graduate David Hocking, who lived across the street from me). I also attended the Brethren school started by that church from kindergarten through 11th grade, and always heard good things abut Grace College.

    I think we can leave Pottsy alone. He or she seems harmless, if noisy. If adding a few CCM worship songs to the mix would cause him or her to fly to Greenville and demand the school shut down, that visit is long overdue. There is a Harry Potter club, I understand, and many people will be going to see Iron Man 3 today.

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This entry was posted on May 1, 2013 by in Alma Maters.
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