Student Handbooks that Would Make Draco Jealous

College Lakes Baptist Church in Fayetteville,NC describes themselves this way:

“The church family believes in: an unlimited atonement, a universal resistible call,resistible grace, using the King James Version of the Bible, deference to the pastor in all matters, serving at the pleasure of the pastor, a church-led government, a person with a servant’s heart who is seeking to meet spiritual needs rather than being recognized as a person with a title, traditional church music only, a wife actively involved in the ministry, and the church is anti-Calvinistic.”

Oh, but it gets better. A quick trip to their website reveals a student handbook for their Christian Academy that reads like something you’d expect to find in a volume entitled “Total Domination and You: Cult Making For Fun And Profit.”

A few excerpts:

Is your kid having a problem with the way a rule is being enforced? Forgetaboutit!

WE DO NOT TOLERATE GRIPING
If your child comes home complaining about a policy or discipline, please follow this procedure:

1. Reread the handbook; it states our policies. You can then remind the student that you both
were aware of the policy when he enrolled in the Academy.
2. Realize that your child’s reporting is emotionally biased and may not include all the
information.
3. Realize that the school has reasons for all rules and we enforce them without partiality.
4. Support and contact the school for all the facts. You may talk with the lead supervisor in
each Learning Center. Please do not seek to talk with the principal or anyone else because
discipline is left to the discretion of the supervisor

And let’s not forget to include a section on CHRISTIAN AMERICANISM!

Christian Americanism places emphasis upon the greatness of America’s heritage and the sacrifices of her heroes. America’s constitution guarantees liberties to educate in order to preserve freedom. We unashamedly teach the Biblical doctrines of self-discipline, respect for those in authority, obedience to law and their natural outgrowth, and love for what the flag originally represented.

Ready for the best part? The church description I started with was from a listing on the BJU church placement service website as part of an advertisement for an associate pastor position. Crazyland is never as far from “mainstream” as the fundies would like you to think.

40 thoughts on “Student Handbooks that Would Make Draco Jealous”

  1. BJU is closer to that than most people realize – having been a student and having worked there, I know for a FACT that it does put out some nuts that will use the school’s referral service to find like-minded nuts.

    As for the school handbook – yikes. Wouldn’t be suprised if that church didn’t end up in the news for some kind of child abuse.

  2. This is a line from the handbook:

    “The administration may dismiss any student at any time WITHOUT prior notice and WITHOUT giving the reasons for such dismissal to the student or to the parents of that student.”

    Hey – instead of getting preached at from the pulpit for not agreeing with the pastor, they’ll just throw your kid out of the school!

  3. Nearly the exact same “No Griping” rules are pasted on every dormitory door at BJU.

    At least this church makes their handbook public. At other larger institutions they don’t let you see them until they’ve already suckered you into the system.

  4. Imagine my surprise at finding there is a Biblical doctrine of love for what the flag originally represented. Is that in the same passage in which Jesus condemns “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men?”

  5. Gotta love this one…

    “If a young man suffers with pseudolliculitis barbae (ingrown neck and facial hair) and brings a statement of the fact from a physician, he may wear moderate facial hair.”

  6. Nice to see that the church requires “deference to the pastor in all matters.” ;)

    Comments on the school handbook:

    “Any student observing questionable activities or overhearing conversations that are contrary to the policies or spirit of this Academy should immediately discuss the matter with a supervisor. THIS IS NOT TATTLING.” (This is COMPLETELY unBiblical.)

    “Girls age nine and above must wear skirts that come to the bottom of the knee. Slits must not come any higher than the bottom of knee. Girls below age nine must not wear dresses any higher than the top of the knee.” (So, the knee becomes offensive starting at age 9????)

    So, pregnancy is grounds for expulsion, but not abortion? I mean, technically speaking, one could have an abortion privately and still remain a student, right?

    “Semi-nudity” is also grounds for explusion. . .hmm. . would this mean wearing shorts? Or a skirt above the bottom of the knee after age 9?

  7. Since the KJV is used to approve their standards, form their doctrines and justify their actions, what relationship would it have to the hypothetical book, “Total Domination and You: Cult Making For Fun And Profit.” ?

    @RJW “Semi-nudity” is a semi truck with no trailer skirts on it ;)

  8. Oh my. That “statement of faith” (that’s truly a stretch I know…) has so many seeming contradictions it’s scary. Ok, just a few. But still.

    I’m actually quite surprised that the church accepts the fact that Wal-Mart is across the street…Couldn’t that be some sin for them? Ya know…a kid sees something bad happen across the street…uh-oh!

    “Football players, basketball players, softball players, and cheerleaders who observe unacceptable behavior must report the actions to the principal within 24 hours or risk losing their eligibility to participate in these extracurricular programs.”
    You mean they even ALLOW that!! :)

    I just keep on wondering how churches like these are so blind, they can’t even see what’s wrong with themselves…

  9. “5. Any extremes in clothing and hair styles are unacceptable.”

    ummmm? Have they looked in a mirror? “Not being like the world”, doesn’t mean that you have to stick out like a charismatic at a Presbyterian church.

    “No student is to invite another student at school to any function not related to College Lakes Christian Academy”

    So I can’t ever, ever, ever have a friend over to watch a baseball game, hang out, or maybe, sleepover.

  10. Yikes, does that picture on their home page show a kid with his dress shirt untucked? His laces though appear to be tied. Funny, for some reason that guy at the top of the stairs looks like he’s on the look-out for an NIV or something.

    Also, other than the pastor’s kids, I wonder how many students actually go to the school.

  11. Anyone find it amusing and ridiculously ironic that the new pastor’s name is Tim Medlin?

    Med(d)lin(g) seems to be the perfect name for a fundy dicta- I mean pastor.

  12. “The Bible mandates that children be reared in a Christian home, attend a Bible-believing church, and be educated in a Christian school.”

    Huh? Is that all children or just children of Christians? Funny, I must have missed those verses the last couple of times I read through the Bible.

    “Students will recite the following creed daily:”

    BJU students will recognize about half of this as the same creed they recite daily. If you’re going to let someone else do your thinking, at least show some originality. For comparison:

    “I believe in the *plenary verbal* inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments; *the creation of the world in six twenty-four hour days;* the creation of man by the direct act of God; the incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; His identification as the Son of God; His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross; the resurrection of His *physical* body from the tomb; His power to save men from sin; the new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit; *the imminent and personal second coming of Jesus Christ;* and the gift of eternal life by the grace of God.”

    Stuff in asterisks are added to the BJU creed. Nothing is removed. Guess BJU isn’t quite doctrinal enough?

  13. FWIW, doesn’t “His power to save men from sin” contradict “resistible grace”?

    BTW, I know of a church whose entire doctrinal statement is the BJU Creed.

  14. Ron,

    Actually the bigger contradiction may be their statement on man’s total depravity.

    “that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition”

    There is no way that a church can make that statement and at the same time say that they believe and teach, “a universal resistible call, resistible grace.”

  15. “The church family believes in: an unlimited atonement, a universal resistible call,resistible grace…”

    Ok, I had to laugh when I read this. See, the thing is that whether you are more Calvinistic or more Arminian, both groups limit the Atonement. Calvinists believe it is “limited” by God’s choice, and Arminians believe it is “limited” by man’s choice. In other words, only Universalists believe in an “unlimited atonement”.

    So, either they are just bad at putting Doctrinal terms together, which is more likely, or they follow what church history has called the heresy of Universalism. Either way the phrase “unlimited atonement” is enough to let me know they don’t much about either side of the Calvinist/Arminian debate. But then perhaps that is why they call themselves “anti-Calvinist” rather than Arminian.

    At least Arminians have a consistent theology, even though I may disagree with them. I can actually get along a lot better with an Arminian then I could an Anti-Calvinist…

  16. “that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition”

    There is no way that a church can make that statement and at the same time say that they believe and teach, “a universal resistible call, resistible grace.”

    They can if they believe in the Wesleyan ideal of “Prevenient grace.”

    I’ve come to understand that there is simply way too much misunderstanding of what both sides believe in this debate. So much time is spent fighting straw men that it’s no wonder they can’t believe that they actually agree about 99% of the time.

    The book here for the Calvinists to read is Wesley for Armchair Theologians by William J. Abraham. It’s short. It’s accessible. It will change the way you look at your Arminian brethren.

    (sorry to get all serious on here but YOU STARTED IT! :) )

  17. My Christian school in Tulsa (which no longer exists) lifted the BJU creed too. But added a dispie line at the end.

    I always think that’s interesting. . . . And I miss the fact that I can’t recite the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicean Creed.

  18. Ok. This just made me laugh.
    “Young men must always keep their shoe laces tied.”

    The school I attended enforced this. I had a long lecture with the teacher about why the untied shoelaces=rebellion on my part.

  19. At the Christian school I went to we had prayer chapel Mondays where we had to fill out prayer request forms and the principal would read them and punish students if they were mentioned in prayer requests for wrong doing. My friends were suspended for 3 days because of those sheets.

  20. Loved the remodeled sanctuary! Red carpet and all, they even told what all these colors represent.
    Every time I see red carpet, I instantly think Calvary! How about you?

  21. This sounds like a school I taught in lo these many years ago…early 80s. I can’t begin to list the kids who have graduated to some of the finest penal institutions in the state. No joke, sad to say. A former student, now friend, keeps in touch. I remember one case in the first of three years there. The pastor asked the teachers to give him names of kids who could use a bit of encouragement. I took this at face value. I should have known better, but I was young and idealistic. One 6th grade boy had potential, but needed …well, some encouragement. He came back form his visit with the pastor with a sore behind. I never, ever was able to regain that boy’s trust or respect! It broke my heart. God help these men! When I think of the lives and spirits they destroy…! And I praise God for getting me out of there even if it did take another 2 years.

  22. “deference to the pastor in all matters, serving at the pleasure of the pastor, a church-led government”

    Aren’t “deference to the pastor in all matters”, and “a church-led government” opposites? When you see this kind of double talk, you can be sure the “church-led government” part is a fantasy, and that self serving leadership is in “control” mode.

  23. Where did you find that first statement on their website? Where they describe themselves, “The church believes in…” When I went there I could not find it anywhere! If this is truly what they believe, I feel very sorry for this congregation.

    One suprising statement was their committment to expository preaching. Most churches like this do not preach that way. Of course you have to wonder what their definition of “expository” is.

  24. Matt:

    at the end of the article I explained “The church description I started with was from a listing on the BJU church placement service website as part of an advertisement for an associate pastor position.”

  25. Re. Matt: Every fundy church I’ve ever been in claim they specialize in exegesis and expository preaching. Which is accurate, insofar as their ideas are actually exegeted from scripture, which is another issue altogether.

  26. Why doesn’t it surprise me that BJU was linked in some way. Well such is life. BJU’s rules are almost just as bad it just depended on whom you talked to or to whom you complained.

  27. It’s all fairly well represented in Harry Potter: “The Order of the Phoenix” by Dolores Umbridge and the way she brings IFW (independent fundamental witchcraft) to Hogwarts. The resemblances are too fine tuned to think anything other than Dolores Umbridge is in fact based on your basic IFB pastor or the Principle of any IFB “Christian” school. All things being equal I’d rather attend Hogwarts than just about any of the IFB non-accredited pseudo colleges out there today, especially Hyles Anderson. :-)

  28. I recently came across your site & have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. My husband was browsing through & saw this post & realized that this was my childhood church.

    My family first came to CLBC in 1988. I was 8. My memories were of happy times & a close church family. In ’91 we were sent to Hawaii by the Army. A year later we were back. Then a year after that (’93) we moved to western NC. We visited every few months because the church was like home to us.

    Then in 2000 my dad found a job opportunity in Fayetteville & jumped on it. I was going into my junior year at BJU (yes, I’ll admit it & even though I consider myself a former-fundy, I’m still not ashamed to call it my alma mater). Anyway, by then things weren’t the same anymore. The pastor (not the current one) was different. Or maybe he wasn’t but we finally opened our eyes & saw how controlling he was. “Deference to the pastor in all matters” exactly describes how things were.

    My brother had to spend his senior year of high school at the church’s school. He was the only graduating senior. During that year he joined the Army reserves. Fayetteville is a major military city, with Ft. Bragg army base & Pope Air Force Base there. So of course much of the congregation is connected to the military in one way or another. Once a month he was required to be on duty. Well, when one of those weekends fell on one of the school’s special Sundays (the students sing songs & recite verses in front of the congregation), Pastor Smith did not approve. Apparently the handbook basically says the only way you can miss one of those Sundays is to be on your death bed. My parents tried to reason with him but he wouldn’t have it. My brother had to ask the Army to allow him to miss his required weekend.

    One Sunday the pastor even used my family in a sermon illustration. He didn’t name names but everybody knew who he was talking about. And my parents, brother, & sister were all right there!

    I was away at college thankfully. Ironically I was the only one he didn’t have a problem with because I was going to his alma mater. Believe me, he had nothing to do with why I was there!

    After my brother graduated my family finally left. They would have sooner but didn’t want to have my brother switch schools with 3 months left. They still belong to another fundy church. Bummer.

    The current pastor was assistant pastor for years & finally took over only a couple years ago. I had hoped he’d be different but from the looks of things all those years just trained him to be just like Pastor Smith.

  29. “Do not call the school administrators to explain why your student was unable to attend these services. Attendance at these services is a condition of enrollment. If other activities

    would prevent your student from attending these programs, please do not enroll your student with us. If your child is enrolled and you make plans that would keep him from these services, do not call. Just kindly withdraw your child from our enrollment.”

    Got a funeral? Emergency? Wedding? Family Gathering? TOO BAD! Don’t tell us, we don’t care. Just don’t show up ever again.

  30. What really strikes me when reading their handbook isn’t so much the condescending attitude toward the the students (that’s generally normal in schools, whether Christian or public), but the attitude toward the parents! They’re basically ordering the parent not to ever disagree with the school, even going so far as to give them a procedure to follow if their child dares to complain, all while telling them that they have absolutely no say in what goes on at the school. In a time when public schools, more and more, are trying to shut parents out and deny that they have any say in how their own children are educated, we have Christian schools doing the same thing! :shock: :sad:

  31. Kind of random, but when I was in high school, at an indy-fundy pace loving school very much like this one, I used to have extremely painful menstrual cramps. They would leave me unable to do just about anything, I could only lay there and wait for the pain to subside. Their school policy was that I couldn’t call a parent to take me home unless I was running a fever or vomiting. I was in tears one day because I was in so much pain, and I just wanted to go home and rest, but their rules, much like the ones on this page, prevented any kind of sympathy or kindness. I’ve never forgotten that.

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