BJU and What they Teach vs. What they Do

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Harvey, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey
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    I have been reading with interest the various comments about Bob Jones University and their past and how they have "spinned" the present.

    I was a student of the Univesity in the 80's and so I heard the "Biblical" based teaching of the interacial dating ban.

    I also worked at the University for many years and I worked with an individual who was of another race and his wife was white. I know of his stuggles and how at different times during his school year he was told he could date one race and than because of the appearance of his race, he was forbidden to date that same race a semester later. It would go back and forth.

    My problem with the University is not that they change their minds or policies. We all are human and we all grow and learn from our failures and experiences.

    I know much of what the school does is political and is done with more than one motivation. They are always very concerned about their "Show Window Appearance."

    As I started to say, my problem is, they Never seem to admit they were wrong. I've been there. I have heard things, and seen things first hand you wouldn't believe. But I never heard those wonderful words from Dr. Bob III, I was wrong or I am sorry.

    They always "spin" things or change things behind the scenes so as not to draw attention any more than they have to over a policy change.

    The accrediation issue is a perfect example. I have Dr. Bob's own article called "The Accrediation Trap" wherewith he finds fault both in the secular and Christian community type of accrediation.

    I heard they were going to seek accrediation and two days later, that article was quietly and without explaination missing off their website.

    So while for years I heard the preaching, the teaching from chapel that accrediation was wrong, they now act like it was no big issue. And I heard them find fault with everyone else who looked to be accrediated.

    We all know why they are seeking it now. Graduates were having a harder time getting employment and that means less students attending BJU and less money coming into the organization.

    I was there when they were told they were in voilation of federal laws concerning the requirement to pay hourly employees for required attendance at certain events. Instead of talking to that employee who brought it to their attention, they laid him off. Yet, they require their students to give 100% obedience to their rules while they turned their cheek on the rule to comply with hourly wage laws. Even now with their revised f/s handbook, they have written their attendance policy to lay a burden of guilt on their employees to attend functions "off the clock."

    That layoff gives another illustration of how the University doesn't live by what they teach. Compassion is a thread deeply woven into the Bible and we would expect it to be a highlight of the University.

    Yet when they laid off 100 people, there was no time of prayer from the leadership, there was no severance, their was no admission in any meetings that people were reqrettably being let go due to finanical reasons, there was no letter from the president wishing people well. In a word, they didn't want people to know there was problem. As one teacher at the Academy told a student, "don't bring it up {the layoff} it looks bad on the school."

    Yet James Dobson, when they laid off people at Focus on the Family, had a time of prayer, severance, officially acknowleged it and showed visible grief at having to reduce their staff.

    So I struggle with what the University teaches, and how they spin what they do.

    Its so important we address the heart in all these matters.

    There are some great people at BJU. I think Stephen is one of them. I only hope, he will stay tender and humble as when I saw him. I would love nothing more in my heart, than to see that place be used of the Lord.

    They just need to be real, and honest and transperant. The world isn't looking for perfect, show window Christians. They are looking for people who love the Lord and are willing to love them to Him.
     
  2. Paul33

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    O my heart can respond to your post.

    The pain they cause because of a failure to be transparent is so true. And this infectious attitude is spawned off on their clones like NBBC, PCC, etc.

    I, too, was there in the 80s. Saw it all.

    The worst thing about schools like BJU is the demerit system which, instead of teaching mercy and grace, teaches legalism and living under the law.

    Imagine the respect we would all have if BJU or BJIII would simply say, I'm sorry, I was wrong, we've changed our policy to fix it.
     
  3. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    One word....PRIDE....enough said.

    Greg Sr.
     
  4. MargoWriter

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    I graduated from BJU in May and I now work for the university. I'm young so you'll probably just ignore me . . . But I believe the university realyl is being used of the Lord.

    You talk about a showcase--at least we stand up at all. At least we support the right political views and work with the community and reject false teachings . . . I cannot say the same for some of those "clones" you spoke of.

    I agree with you on the demerit system--I was one who got unfair treatment in that way. My last semester I was very sick and missed a lot of things because of accidentally sleepign in--I couldn't seem to get enough sleep at all. And I wrote a long letter to my dorm sup. explaining exactly what you spoke of. God doesn't punish his children even though he chastens--he lovingly brings us back to the right. After the letter and a good talk, I got some mercy. 25 demerits were removed from my record.

    Bob Jones III is a wonderful Christain man. Being the president of a unversity is a very hard job--and as you said we all make mistakes. I have personally heard him apolagize to the whole student body for mistakes on several occasions.

    The school has its flaws, yes. But I submit that if you are truly concerned you will contact the school. As a former student or graduate, we are compelled to do so--we are asked to make our concerns known. And firmly believe that should the school depart from the will of God, the doors will be closed.

    Please lets not just discuss this with people who will agree with you and do nothing more. I really love this school--and trust me, there are things I don't like about it too. Many of you went here and graduated from here--some of you love the school too and love the people here. And if you love them, you will want to help them . . . not just sit there and say, "they are so full of pride."

    [​IMG]
     
  5. just-want-peace

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    Well said, Margo, well said!

    I'm from G'ville originally,and knew several BJU students/graduates over many years. A few were so pious that they stunk, but basically they were just common, ordinary folks who wanted to serve God in their daily walk.

    While this fact does not directly "rate " BJU, it DOES reflect on the standards & policies that were embedded in the school!

    If everyone/every org. were judged as some try to do to BJU, there would be NO organizations that trained godly students; and if one or two organizations did survive, there would be no one to run/attend them!
     
  6. MargoWriter

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    Thank you just-want-peace.
     
  7. Harvey

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    MargoWriter I don't discount what you have said, nor do I discount what-just-want peace says.

    I will say if your new on staff as you say, you haven't had the "experience" I had over the years to see the problems I heard and saw.

    As far as contacting the school, I wrote Dr. Bob and he never wrote back once or acknowledged that I wrote him. My letter was sincere and honest and signed. I have copies of everything.

    Perhaps if you could address some of the issues in my earlier post, you could help me out then.

    I can appreciate your loyalty and defense of the president. I too for many years had the upmost respect for him. But like many f/s there, I lost it when I saw things behind the scenes you have not seen or heard about. The things I speak of are documented.

    I am afraid we elevate these men too much and than we fail to help them be accountable to others. Many great men have fallen from the cause because we have held them up to high. But people are afraid to confront them with the truth too for fear of losing their positions or honor.

    I could give you some real "meat" as far as examples of how "unChristian" at times the president has been. I alluded to some above, but my point in this post has been the school needs to work on its heart issues.

    Being away from that fundamental fortress as they call themselves, I have found the BJU people are not reaching out like the people in the SBC camp. I longed for a BJU youth pastor to visit my teenagers and not once did he come by to visit.

    However, I had 10 out of 16 weeks, a visit from the people from a SBC church we visited. From the pastor, youth pastor, etc. It was truely amazing.

    If you carefully read the Gospel of John, you will see the Lord's only hard words were toward the religious leaders. While He didn't condone sin in the people He ministered to, He had tough words for those spiritual leaders who were so concerned about the outward, that they were like pretty graves full of dead man's bones.

    All I am hoping is the new leadership will have a focus on being more truthful over issues, {less spin and to be honest, less deception} compassionate in all dealings and maintain standards that are clearly biblical rather hold to preferences as convictions until no longer convenient.

    There are truely a lot of great people there.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Concur. Not attacking BJU or clones personally, but the issue is valid and must be recognized (and stopped) or it will only degrade fundamentalism further.
     
  9. Humblesmith

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    I never attended BJU or had much contact with anyone who went there. But I did look at the faculty credentials. All of the faculty graduated from BJU. Which makes me instantly suspicious. No one with a degree from another school teaches there? If so, I didn't find any.

    Inbreeding is never healthy.
     
  10. MargoWriter

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    I would not say that unless I had proof. I don't think it's entirely accurate. I imagine most of the faculty are BJ graduates, but I seriously doubt that all are.

    Even so, many of these faculty received MA's and Doctorate's at different schools.
     
  11. Humblesmith

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    I don't know about the other colleges at BJU, but the faculty at the school of religion at BJU is as follows (according to their website today):

    --20 faculty members
    --16 of them recieved every one of their degrees at BJU
    --3 received a bachelor's degree at another school, and all advanced degree work at BJU.
    --1 received all his degrees at other schools.

    So out of the 19 religion faculty members with advanced degrees at BJU, 18 of them received them from BJU.

    Just a tad too much "groupthink" for me. Don't get me wrong, BJU very well may be a great school, I have no idea. I just don't know of another school that is like that, and it makes me a bit skiddish of them.
     
  12. MargoWriter

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    Well you aren't the only skiddish one.
    And I understand your point. It's well made. And I appreciate your doing the research.

    However, just because people get their degrees from the same school doesn't mean they are of the exact same thought, belief, feeling, etc.

    And we share/exchange our faculty with a lot of schools. [​IMG] Some have come from or gone on to Clearwater, Marinatha, and other Christian schools.

    A lot of the faculty have gone out to work other jobs or get further degrees from other schools, and have been called by the Lord back to Bob Jones in later years.
     
  13. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Humblesmith's post was very upsetting to me so I went to bju.edu to check him out. (not to doubt you Humble, but you are pretty new) His facts are correct. The school of religion lists a faculty of 21 and 15 of those 21 received all listed degrees from BJ. Only 6 have degrees from other schools. There are faculty members with degrees from Purdue, Indiana, Vanderbuilt, Harvard, SUNY, and Syracuse, but these are all concentrated in three men. Three other faculty members hold undergraduate degrees from other Bible schools. 4 members of the Religion faculty have no phd degree. The Seminary lists a faculty of 19, but 9 of these are also on the faculty of the school of religion. The seminary faculty does not list where they graduated from.

    I checked out the school of natural science and it did get a little better. Of course BJU does not offer advanced degrees in sciences. Of 17 faculty members in the school of natural science 3 have no phd degree. The other 14 are phd graduates of Clemson (7), Florida (2), Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Syracuse, and Indiana. That is a little better.

    I don't know how this compares to other schools but I do wish they had a little more variety of background in the school of religion. I love BJ. My wife is a graduate and former staff member. We use a lot of their homeschool material, but this information was a surprise to me.
     
  14. Pastor J

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    PCC is the same way. I don't know the exact #'s, but almost all of their faculty (Except the Seminary) are now graduates of PCC for most of their degrees. Some have gone to other seminaries for Doctorate degrees, but for the most part they are all clones (And I am a supporter of the school)
     
  15. UZThD

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    I think that it is academically healthy for a school to have a faculty with degrees, particularly advanced degrees in the area of instruction, from assorted schools even if those schools are not representative of exactly the same belief systems of the school in which instruction is done. It has not been my experience that any masters level or higher degree has very much influenced my belief system, though some have much influenced the system of my research.
     
  16. Rhetorician

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    Hey Gang,

    I have three advanced degrees in Religion, Theology, Rhetoric, and such. One of them is from Harding University Grad School of Religion.

    Several years ago they were considering implementing a PhD program. They were unable to do so for whatever reason. Anyway, one of the "brethren" inside the COC "Restoration Movement" told me that this would have been a mistake. In his opinion, one of the things that made Harding an outstandingly great school was the fact that they DID NOT have a PhD program w/in the Church of Christ fellowship.

    All of Harding's scholars have ed. credentials from other "big name" schools. Most of Harding grads have gone on to do grad level PhD work in all Biblical and related subjects and have done VERY WELL. This is "sorta" and "kinda" the other extreme along the spectrum of inbreeding from BJU.

    Just a thought. Whatdayathink?

    sdg!

    rd
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey
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    "But I submit that if you are truly concerned you will contact the school. As a former student or graduate, we are compelled to do so--we are asked to make our concerns known. And firmly believe that should the school depart from the will of God, the doors will be closed."--MargoWriter

    I reckon MargoWriter's quote is at the crux of my dissapointment witht the school.

    Let me say up front, its a wonderful place to go to school and work in many ways. Indeed, if you are not in a position to "hear and see somethings," you can remain at Ease in Zion.

    Unfortuantely, as one Bible faculty told me when I shared my story, students see a bit of heaven at BJU until they start working there.

    There are great people there as I have said. I know from many years of working with them. Never a more dedicated, hardworking group of people. They are sincere by and large and really are trying to serve the Lord.

    Being away now, I do see how critical a person I was at the University. The emphasis on the rules often takes precedence over the heart and I found myself like so many others there, wanting people to come to me before I reached out to them. The "world" and the people in it need to be saved. And indeed, all do without Christ, but its easy at BJU to think you have an edge on righteousness.

    Indeed, I have learned that I am as righteous as Bob Jones III. Because I have learned he is a sinner saved by grace as I was and my righteous and his, is not our own, but Christ's.

    So over the years, and specifically, the last few years, I made attempts to share my concerns over issues that were a problem to me.

    When I discovered through the internet, BJU was not in compliance with hourly wage laws, I humbly wrote HR. They never would answer my questions concerning it. I was only told to keep silent.

    When my pastor approached my concern to the leadership, he too was told to keep it confidential.

    I was told from HR to keep silent about the issue; two and half weeks later from that phone call at my desk, I received a letter stating my wife and I were being laid off. After 19 and almost 20 years of laboring there, my wife and children left BJU without a letter, without severance, without health insurance, and without the compassion we would have expected from such a fine institution.

    My point is I feel the school is a great place. I think I would love to return to it; I have a special place in my heart for Stephen. He was the bright spot in my life those last few months. He alone among the leadership showed a biblical compassion that manifested itself in deed and word. I wish my last correspondence hadn't been so blunt that I offended him so.

    But I couldn't return unless it changed as I know I have. Bob Jones University needs to worry less about offending their "base," and worry more about honoring the scripture they value. Its not enough in word, its tested by deed. As someone else said on a post about BJU, let the chips fall where they may. If letting people know you are having to let people go looks bad, so be it. The hardest part about the layoff was it was a concealed issue. There was no public prayer for those being laid off and no general recogination. Maybe only the "trash" was being thrown out.

    Its not enough to say in the handbook that faculty and staff can come to the leadership and express their concerns. Communication is a two-way road and both sides must be honest and forthright over these things.

    I asked myself after MargoWriter wrote, why I even brought up this post. I didn't want to just be another voice of criticism to the school. While I was there for almost 20 years, I saw that often enough. Than I realized in my heart I would be willing to go back and perhaps wanting to go back. And I would if asked and if I heard those wonderful godly words, we are sorry.

    But the school seems so far away from that type of mindset. The hour law issue is just one example, and MargoWriter has only to look at the last 4 years of facutly/staff handbooks to see how it has been "revisited."

    So MargoWriter, I did write letters and emails. But I was never given an opportunity to hear the truth. So I see the University "spin" things and I have plenty of examples I could give you.

    Lastly, I wish the school as I have said repeatedly, would just admit they are changing their view on an issue and apologize if they had been finger pointing over the years at other institutions who were doing what they are now attempting to do.

    Maybe Stephen Jones is taking over "for such a time as this."
     
  18. MargoWriter

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    I have nothing to add. I do not posess the mental faculties nor the emotional poise nor, as you so graciously pointed out the years of experience, to say anything that will not be eaten up for breakfast.

    Please excuse me, but I don't feel I can post on this thread anymore. I know you all have made some valid points--I don't discount those--but I am not a debater.

    And I am still at BJ.
     
  19. MargoWriter

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    PS Some of you have said you DID TRY contacting Dr. Bob about some of these things. Two things:

    1. Do you know how many letters Dr. Bob receives every day? (And out of those, how many would you guess are complaint letters . . .)

    2. A lot can happen in a few years.

    TRY AGAIN. When something is that important to you, you keep trying. This I know from experience in many areas.

    A childhood friend of mine and I used to write letters back and forth all the time. OVer the years we seemed to drift further and further apart. But I always kept writing and emailing and calling, and I'd hear from her a few times a year. But I kept pushing at it--I didn't want to lose a friendship just because of time and distance.

    I tell people the same thing about my country and about my family--I may not agree with everything they do, but I love them and stand by them. And if I have a concern I keep on trying.

    Out of love and concern you keep trying. There's always hope.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    The reason for this is pretty simple. Theology is a pretty unique issue, and most of the schools offering advanced degrees in theology are not committed to biblical orthodoxy and the philosophical commitments of BJU. Given that their aim is to turn out biblically orthodox graduates who are committed to biblical separatism, it is easy to see why their Bible faculty is made up as it is.
     

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