It’s interesting to note a couple things about Billy Sunday’s approach to “preaching.” He uses no text. He doesn’t even open a Bible. What he has instead are certain memorized phrases and word pictures that he gives out in rapid-fire succession to keep the audience engaged. It’s not about Jesus, it’s all about getting people to sign on the dotted line.
If we wonder why preachers in the IFB movement these days have such strange ideas about what it means to “preach the whole counsel of God” we need look no further than these early days of performance preaching by a pantheon of pandering populists.
Those who have spent time at the Bill Rice Ranch will likely remember this one. Unfortunately, an audio version seems to be almost nonexistent on the Internet.
It seems to be a week for West Coast Baptist College around here. Before I get into the new story, however, it’s necessary to give some background…
Way back in the day, Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status because it refused to change its policy on interracial (whatever that means) dating. A lot of other fundamentalist institutions beheld this debacle from afar off and were severely torn between the love of two different kinds of money: 1) money in tax savings and 2) money from the racist parents of students at their schools who didn’t want their little girl dating one of “those people.”
So somebody came up with a VERY CLEVER compromise called the “parental consent” rule which said that any dating relationship on campus has to have parental permission. This kicked responsibility up the road a bit so that the administration could claim “We’re not racists — we just follow the wishes of racists parents who pay us money!”
This is all rather strange because in no other area does the administration of a fundy college allow the whims of parents to set its policy. In fact, when I was at a very similar Fundy U I was told that my parents calling and complaining about the rules or asking for exceptions to policy would be seen as rebellion by ME and that I was to ask my parents not to call.
With that in mind, here’s a West Coast Baptist College memo from 2001 (PDF) in which Paul Chappell attempts to quash feelings of unease in his staff about a dating policy that is put in place specifically to cater to racism. The page numbers in the pages that follow indicate that the material is from some kind of official handbook.
There is a fully symphony of dog whistles here with references to words like “compatible”, “unequally yoked”, and “exotic relationship.” We’ve seen this kind of thing before and it stinks to high heaven.
Nothing say “VBS” like Hitler.
The following pages come from the handbook for staff members of Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College.
If you ever come across a business that wants editorial approval over the pictures on your blog about your family vacation I advise you to just walk away. In fact, I advise you to run.