Blaming the Victim – BJU Style

In a way I’m hesitant to keep beating this drum for fear that this blog will turn into “stories about IFB rape vicims.” That’s not my intention for this site and there are already several other writers who are undertaking the task. However, in light of my post about “Destroying the Innocent,” I feel compelled to post this follow up to demonstrate that this kind of behavior is not an isolated incident but rather the result of a carefully constructed philosophy propagated by some of the bastions of fundamentalism.

Here, in sermon at Bob Jones University, Dr. Rand Hummel Demonstrates How To Blame The Victim and make her apologize to her rapist. Notice that nowhere in his story does he say that he contacted any law enforcement or even spoke to the gir’s parents. Even if he did, he doesn’t consider it important to making his main point that the real problem here is the girl’s attitude.

The real meat of the story begins about 2:30 in.

You can view or listen to the the full sermon here.

127 thoughts on “Blaming the Victim – BJU Style”

  1. @ Zari, but isn’t HOW we present our message important? I was always told that I couldn’t wear pants or listen to CCM (among myriad other rules) so my message of Christ’s Gospel would come across more effectively to the lost. If the speaker desires to effectively reach hurt people, shouldn’t he care about how he comes across to them? You said that he could “be more sensitive and supportive in how he does it.” I think that’s the point of the frustration a lot of people have. Jesus treated women with compassion, gentleness, and forgiveness. Mark Rosedale’s comments above are pertinent: “Instead of showing God’s love and forgiveness he slaps them in the face with God’s wrath and judgment. These girls needed love, not wrath. Justice for the wrong that had been done to them, not judgment for the sin they may be harboring. Had he gone to that root the sin of bitterness likely would have taken care of itself.”

    I love how when Jesus publically announced his ministry, He read from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” THIS is the heart of Jesus! Perhaps the speaker wants to help these women heal, but it must be done with love and sensitivity. “A bruised reed shall he not break.”

    Your second point is something I’ve been contemplating. I certainly want to obey Scripture and show love, even to those who no longer regard me as a Christian because I read the ESV and listen to CCM. Love is essential for a Christian! Yet at the same time, we must speak out against false teaching (such as saying you’re not a Christian if you don’t read the KJV only). Jesus had very harsh words for the Pharisees. Are we not to call out sin when we see it? I do want to rise above the narrow legalism I was taught and show God’s grace and love to all – including the conservatives! 🙂 But I don’t want to ignore sin either or sweep under the rug things that need to be brought to light.

    You definitely gave me food for thought! Blessings.

    I learned much from BJU too!

  2. I don’t know if Darrell posted here about why he does SFL – but I know he posted it on his personal blog – Zari should go there and read that. It was a good reasoning of some of the talk that goes on here.

  3. The harm done to that poor kid just sickens me. And as for that waste of oxygen in the pulpit, I’d like to remind him of Christ’s words about people who mistreat children, “it were better that a millstone was hung about his neck and he was cast into the sea”. And IMO, includes those who see harm don and do nothing to stop it.

  4. Rand, Jim Berg, nor Jim Binney would not say that illegal acts should go unpunished. Certainly they would agree that someone who raped a minor should be prosecuted. Rand is not dealing with that part of the equation. He is dealing with someone who is frozen in bitterness and is being eaten up inside. Christ is the example par excellence of someone who suffered at the hands of others and yet He did not revile them or blame the Heavenly Father. He did not “revile in return…when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

    There seems to be a lot of venum in these posts toward BJU and other fundamental Christian colleges; and a deep seated ill will toward fundamental pastors. If you don’t agree with the philosophy of a Christian college or a fundamental church, simply leave graciously. Why spend your life trying to “get even.” There are thousands of people who have been won to Christ by these schools and their graduates, and a vast number of these folks love and respect their leaders. These leaders are not perfect (and they have said that from the chapel platform), but why try to hurt their ministry because you are mad they don’t see things your way?

    1. You. Have got to be kidding there are numerous allegations that Phelps berg and Rand protected rapists and covered up for them. There is even a video on u tube where rand says he even counsels a young female victim to ask forgiveness of her abuser for her bitterness toward him. The only reason victim should do this is under the direction of a police officer who is taping the conversation for evidence purposes. Even if the offense is out of statute the abuser may have new victim. Oh yeah thats right you fundental fake doctors would not want to see one of your buddies prosecuted. If you think I don’t know what I’m talking about in the criminal realm I am a retired Criminal Investigator from the U.S. Treasury Dept (27yrs).

  5. @C.J.
    ummm….He encourages the one sister to forgive the other sister for the shame she brought on the family. Forgive the sister who was RAPED! Violence towards women is a SIN issue, and your so called “christian” colleges take a less (being kind) than Biblical view towards this issue. When fundies begin worshipping King Jesus instead of Plato, then you can talk about how we “try to hurt their ministry.” If you don’t understand what I mean by that then take a month or two to read Plato’s collected works and compare them to the chapel/camp/sunday sermons that are frequently heard from fundie pulpits.
    To everyone else – I apologize for the oversimplification. I understand that fundy doctrine has more problems with it than platonism. C.J. has to begin somewhere.

  6. Kudos to Celia Brown’s comment. Specifically about the “root of bitterness” being apostacy.
    It’s somewhat of a quote of Duet 29:18 except the OT text says root of gaul and bitterness. I read about the chapter on another blog and that comment came back to my mind.

  7. Just to clarify, that last statement was directed at C.J. for defending a pastor who said a rape victim needed to be forgiven by her family for bringing shame to them.

  8. Like many things, BJU is totally wrong on this issue. If you’re raped, go to the police, don’t go to your IFB pastor. See that the guy is prosecuted. If your pastor asks you to apologize for the
    “shame you brought to your family,” run away. It’s a cult.

  9. John (exIFB) I did not get that “a rape victim needed to be forgiven by her family for bringing shame to them” from Rand Hummel’s message. And I don’t believe he said that either. I do know that he has helped thousands of youth at the WILDS. A group of youth from our church went there and came back loving Christ more and with a burden to reach the lost. I think if you actually met him and questioned him about what he is trying to say, you might have a different impression.

  10. Wow – just read enough of these blogs to be overwhelmed with the incredible flow of bitterness and pride. What does all this blogging accomplish? – absolutely nothing but the defacing of the beautiful personage of Jesus Christ. We would all do well to spend time spreading the gospel to our neighbor and taking time to meditate on the truths of God’s Word and commune in prayer than to banter on as the fool that “uttereth all his mind.” I won’t ever return to this blog so anything you say will not reach me. May Christ cause you all to speak words of edification and encouragement to one another to reflect Christ in all you do!

  11. Hey, thanks for stopping by “Very Concerned” even if it was only for one drive-by comment.

  12. And G-o-o-d riddance… don’t let the cyber door hit you on your way out.

    May Christ cause you all to speak words of edification and encouragement to one another to reflect Christ in all you do!

    Actually I think we do that quite well with one another here. I for one appreciate the words of encouragement and comfort from my brothers and sisters in Christ who have much of the same “excape the cult” experiences. And that is what all this blogging acomplishes.

  13. Ah yes, the “but they’ve done many wonderful works!” and “shouldn’t we all just be soul-winning?” redirective tactics.

  14. Hi, everyone. I hope you are having a wonderful day. I just feel the need to ask if any of you have talked your feelings over with Rand personally. You talk about justice, and victims, and abuse, and you forget that you are abusing Rand by taking one video clip and forming opinions. My heart goes out to each of you, because I know that God wants his children to be in union with one another. I have known Rand personally for a very long time, and It is hurtful to read some of the things you have to say about him. You have been just as abusive as you claim he has been. Please. I beg you. Follow what God has asked you to do, and go talk to him if you have a problem with him. Here him out. And I beg you to stop speaking so shamefully of him. He is a lover of God, and I know that for a fact. He’s not always right, and he makes mistakes. But he loves God with all of his heart. Thank you for considering my plea. I beg you to stop your discord. I beg you.

  15. Hmm. I was actually there as a student for this particular message. And I no longer attend BJU due to difficulties I had with the university. In the message, Hummel was merely attempting to address the sin of bitterness. I think in the first example on the clip he handled the situation well, the second one was not. He should have addressed the issue of bitterness later, not immediately. The timing was off.
    And to the various flamers: Really? Both sides believe they are in the right. Both sides emphasize different aspects of different issues. Only God can really know which side is “most correct.”
    And if you want to see true hatred, go to the Westboro Baptist Church website. That will sicken you.

  16. In no way did Hummel even come close to insinuating what you say here, and an argument from silence is misguided at best.
    His message was on bitterness and he stuck to his point, he didn’t go into all the dirty detaiuls of the crime committed-thank God.

  17. I found my way here today quite by accident. But that’s the plight of having Attention Deficit and a computer … O look there’s a butterfly!

    It appears to me that a lot of intellectual resources are being squandered here. If this were actually a Christian version of, it might be interesting and fun. And like many of you, my comments are merely in the “For what it’s worth” department … I’m neither an “attorney” for the prosecution OR the defense.

    I do think the differing sides of EVERY life experience deserve to be heard and/or appreciated for their unique perspective. Lots of folks have had criticism leveled against them for this or that, but the sum total of the good things they have done are often never given much press. It’s a lot like political advertising these days … just give me a couple of little “bad” nuggets about a candidate and I’ll demolish his chances for public office. In the same way, many Christians seem to work for the “Brotherly Love Advertising Agency.” It’s sort of the ultimate Oxymoron, isn’t it?

    Criticism is a really cheap commodity … to get into the “business,” all you need is a $9 domain name and $3.95 a month hosting and you can have FUN & PROFIT from blogging to your heart’s content. More than anything else, I guess what I’m saying is harsh words don’t brighten anyone’s day … and they generally don’t suffer the burden of carrying a lot of factual baggage either.

    But hey, what do I know? I’m just a 1970 Bob Jones University business graduate originally from California (you know, the land of fruits and nuts). I currently reside in Lawrenceville, Georgia. My website is linked for further contact.

    We can find a whole lot more enjoyment in the time we have left on this planet by trading in our clubs and flamethrowers on more productive tools for our social toolbox. And while I really don’t think much of those quaint sayings like “Honk if you love Jesus” or WWJD?, after reading through these comments I’m tempted to start using more of them … but then, what do I know … I’m just a guy who NEARLY went to the University of California at Berkeley.

  18. So this guy was preaching at revival services at my parents’ church this week. Yes, that’s right – thanksgiving week. Like it’s not busy enough. When my parents and sister told me he was speaking it took all I had to keep my mouth shut. And when they raved over how good he is and how much they like him, I had to walk away and keep telling myself to keep my mouth shut. They already think I’m a heathen.

  19. Jocelyn, thank you for telling the truth…i went to IFB for a long time….this story needed to be told to prevent people from entering the cult!

  20. Okay, I’m all for calling out preachers/church leaders (not just fundamentalist ones, either) when they actually do or say something wrong. I do believe the Bible and in the fundamentals of the faith, though I don’t consider myself a “fundamentalist” because of all the extra, man-made, legalistic baggage that goes with the title.

    That being said, I think a lot of you are just looking for something to criticize, even if you have to make something up or purposely misinterpret it. Listening to that clip, and especially in the context of the sermon itself, it’s obvious that he wasn’t blaming a rape victim for being raped. He was addressing a girl who was bitter because she felt her sister had brought shame upon the family and now that sister was getting more attention then her. At no point did he imply that the girl deserved to get raped, and saying that he was doing so by telling the other girl she needed to forgive her sister is just reaching.

    Again, I’m all for calling out real error, including many of the errors that are typical in fundamentalism, but there is a difference between that and making something out of nothing. And for the sake of this site (which I like, and have a lot of fun browsing) there is a difference between a sense of humor and a bitter spirit. Please don’t adopt an attitude of “I hate all fundamentalists and I’m going to disagree with everything they say or do just because.”

  21. I am fascinated that I’m in this video…I had a particularly neck-breaking chapel seat at the time, so I saw myself and I remember this sermon. *sigh*

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