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« Blessed be the Name of the Lord: The Katelyn Grace Story | Main | BJU Petitioners Take a No-Nonsense Look At Bob Jones III's Interracial Duplicity »

April 18, 2008

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Bill Lamb

Mark,

I think the author of the petition showed wisdom in addressing the letter to Steve Jones and leaving Dr. Jones III out of it. Any changes that come about very likely will occur AFTER Dr. Bob Jones III is off the scene at BJU. A contentious petition would probably result in offending Steve Jones and drive a wedge that may be impossible to remove. I think the gracious petition as written will not do so.

Bill Lamb

Editor comments: I disagree on a number of levels.

First, the author[s] of the petition are to be commended. This petition recognizes the 10,000 lb. elephant that has been in BJU's parlor for decades. It hasn't been resolved and it will not be resolved by simply ignoring it. I hope those who direct the affairs of BJU will view this petition as an opportunity rather than as a threat to their image.

I disagree with your premise that a forthright approach confronting Bob Jones III would ipso facto constitute a "contentious petition".

Further, Jones III is the chairman of the board; he is not "out of it" and, in fact, he will be calling the shots for the next 10 to 20 years. He is very much involved and has been very much involved since the '60's.

Third, like the apostle Peter in Galatians 2, Jones III has caused great confusion within fundamentalism in this area. He has caused divisions where God did not. The facts are quite clear: Jones III has repeatedly invoked God's Word, the Name of Jesus Christ, and heaven to support his bigotry. Under Bob III's leadership, and behind the cloak of the Gospel of Christ, people have been fired, students have been expelled (and have had such censures entered into their transcripts), ostracized, etc.

Bob Jones III has endeavored to deceive the University family and the public about the nature and history of his interracial dating ban for years, most dramatically on Larry King Live.

Bob Jones III assumed the mantle of statesman/prophet. He has a paid staff of religious wisemen. He exerts authority over others. In that capacity, he stated that God's Word supported his position. He fought to maintain that position all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. When he lost, he cursed the Supreme Court as enemies of Jesus Christ, God's Word, and Heaven. He publicly stated he would hold to his policy and stated his was a "Bible policy". Without admitting that his policy was wrong, begging forgiveness from those harmed by his policy, he tried to characterize his position as "meaningless" and "insignificant". When a religious leader acts in such a way, his credibility is effectively destroyed in the eyes of everyone who trusted him.

After Bob Jones III's approach to the interracial dating controversy, who in their right mind would trust Bob Jones III to speak on "Bible policy" as it relates to other controversies such as Bible translations, secondary separation, soteriology, prophecy, Masonry, Calvinism/Armenianism, etc.?

Certainly, he wouldn't have been selected for leadership with the likes of Stephen in Acts 6 based up his established reputation. Were he the CEO of a secular corporation, he would have been fired or forced to resign in disgrace.

Old Testament prophets who falsely invoked the name of God ("thus saith the Lord") were put to death. Highly-religious people like Jones III hate the light lest their deeds be made manifest. If we do not confront wrongdoing, could the argument not be made that our silence makes us tacit partakers in his evil deeds by not rebuking him? I believe we have a responsibility to demonstrate to an onlooking world that fundamentalist Christians, who are quick to point out the world's faults, also have the integrity to correct our own.

In Acts 7, Stephen was unequivocating in his assessment of the Libertines. In Galatians 2, Paul was unequivocating in his forthright treatment of Peter. Peter responded positively. Paul's corrections were not always met with such success. Neither were Christ's. (Matt. 15 and 23)

I hope Bob Jones University responds to this petition positively. We'll see.

(Bill, I re-re-worded my original post as a result of your comments. Perhaps I said it better the second or third time around.)

Christopher Graves

Frankly, I do not see anything wrong with the previous policy banning interracial dating. Do you want a mono-cultural world where there is a lack of a clear demarcation among races, ethnicities, and nationalities? I think it is time that we drop the liberal/integrationist approach to race that has been an abysmal failure. Consider the recent study by Robert Putnam showing that racial diversity within a community fosters social isolation.

I propose that we embrace a sort of conservative multi-culturalism such as that advocated by Edmund Burke that values all traditions and races as a God-given gift. Instead of viewing race as a curse, let us each embrace our own racial identity as a bond with a particular people in a particular locale. I would agree that we do need to emphasize the moral equality of all people and the importance of maintaining each race and culture.

Concerned citizen

I haave emailed Dr. Putnam regarding this use of his thesis. We shall see if he agrees with Mr. Graves' diagnosis, or if he was cited as authoritas ex machina.

Concerned citizen, Jonathan Henry

Dear Mr. Graves,

I received a reply from Dr. Putnam, which includes the follows:

"The reference in the quotation you cite is a misstatement and misuse of my work. You can read my work yourself at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-9477.2007.00176.x ."

In other words, the weight that you borrowed from his name to support your thesis should now be seen as working against your thesis. If you are truly dedicated to your cause of segregation, your task is to discredit Dr. Putnam and his research.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Henry, a concerned citizen

Editor: Thanks, Jon. There's nothing like going to the source to find out the truth.

Wesley Roy

It is a shame that God's people are more concerned about the skin color of the person that marries their daughter or son than their doctrinal stand and love of the Lord.

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