Sharper Iron isn’t exactly known as a bastion of clear thinking when it comes to topics of abuse and fundamentalism. However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a clearer representation of their priorities than in this response to the GRACE report at BJU written by BJU grad C. D. Cauthorne Jr.
Allow me to do some on-the-spot translation of his ending analysis.
Certainly, the Report contains helpful information. Sexual abuse victims to whom we minster need to understand that God does not judge involuntary sexual activity. Also, we should always follow mandatory reporting laws where we live when we first hear of probable sexual abuse.
Theoretically, we should be concerned about sexual abuse. We just have to have the allegations rise to the level of “probable” before we do anything about it and that’s just never going to happen. You think you were raped? I find that improbable.
Fundy Rule 34. When a pastor gets caught doing wrong his job is to deny, deny, deny. Your job is to back him up to the bitter end.
However, the Report mainly provides a wonderful opportunity for BJU to defend its Bible-based, Christ-centered counseling techniques. Far from going on the defensive, BJU ought to boldly reply to the criticisms leveled against it. The GRACE Report is the opinion of fallible people based upon the input of mostly dissatisfied acquaintances of BJU. The Report is in no way above criticism.
The people who are complaining are a bunch of liberal malcontents and therefore we should not have to listen to them.
Fundy Rule 73. The only people allowed to criticize us are us. And we think we’re just fine.
BJU presents a greater hope for victims than that offered by GRACE. It disagrees with the Report’s assertion that “sexual abuse is a devastating crime that impacts the personal and spiritual lives forevermore” (219, emphasis added).
If you would all just get with the program and stop whining then your troubles would disappear. The fact that you’ve already tried this and failed is evidence that you are just a bad person.
Fundy Rule 70: When you pick on our guy for something stupid he did, it’s judgement. When we pick on your guy for something stupid he did, it’s discernment.
BJU should not change its current dress code, disciplinary system, spiritual accountability system, or emphasis on excellence. Without these key elements, BJU will lose its niche within evangelicalism and will follow the devastating examples of other fundamentalist institutions that have declined precipitously after lowering their standards.
Keep on keeping on, amen. Because if we change it means we’ll have to compete with the larger realm of evangelicalism and Lord knows that we can’t afford that. If we quit being fundamentalists then our school will have no reason to keep on existing — and that terrifies us.
Fundy Rule 3. The less certain something is, the more certain you must appear to be about it.
Do we really believe that “[God’s] divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3)? Do we really believe “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:28- 29)?
I’ll put some proof texts here so that this whole screed looks “bibical.”
Fundy Rule 2: Unity Means Agreeing With Me That My Pastor Is Right.
Eternal truths are at stake in this debate, and I pray that BJU will not retreat on the biblical counseling principles that many of its alumni continue to embrace. Those principles radically transformed my life, and I pray they will continue to impact others as well.
I’m a pastor. My entire existence consists of believing that what I was taught at BJU is right. If that goes away then my whole world stops making sense.
Fundy Rule 1: I am right and you are wrong. Always.