182 thoughts on “Evaluations”

    1. Ok, so seriously, I don’t know why anybody would volunteer to put themself through that amount of stress. Does this position have a history of a high rate of mental breakdown?

      1. There are several reason to volunteer to go through this.
        1.This is the path to leadership. Can you imagine how amazing it would be to be able to put “Hall Leader” on your resume when you go out into the real world? This is just two measly steps below the prestigious hall leader title . . . what do you mean, no one outside of Bob Jones cares?
        2. It gave you a semblance of authority. You were in charge of your room and could wield the iron rod of “APC” until your were caught offending God in some immoral way, like by getting caught listening to “The Little Drummer Boy” on the radio or some other perversity (true story, not me though).
        3. It meant that there was not another person in your room watching your ever move for a chance to turn you in to increase their fundy cred. Having your own room “under your authority” gave you the slightest reprieve from the craziness that was BJU.

        In case you didn’t guess, number 3 was my reason.

        1. I didn’t care about my resume or having authority. I suppose #3 was partly my reason, but my reason mostly was that it was expected. If you WEREN’T an APC by your junior year, your spirituality was under question, maybe not officially but certainly people always wondered what was wrong with you that kept you from being recommended. I wanted to be one my junior year because I didn’t want anyone to think I wasn’t a good, godly girl. We were always supposed to have a good testimony so I thought that NOT being one might possibly be a BAD testimony.

        2. I am married to a BJU grad who was a hall leader and I am still somewhat bewildered by the many, many layers of “leadership” in the dorms. I think it goes:

          APC, assistant prayer captain
          PC, prayer captain
          Hall leader
          Floor leader
          Dorm leader . . . isn’t there some sort of Dolores Umbridge level that oversees the whole dorm??
          Assistant Deans
          Dean of Students

          Or am I leaving some layers out???

        3. I think you mostly got it right. I don’t remember floor leaders although hall leaders is definitely right.

          The dorm leader was called the dorm supe and it was a paid position not filled by present students. There was also a dorm counselor. (It is possible that those positions were GAs though.)

        4. It was either be an APC or be labeled as a reprobate. It never did occur to me that I was there to rat on my roommates (although I did have one roommate who openly held all the rules in so much contempt that I asked why she even came to BJU). I took the role seriously (at the time) when I became an APC as a junior, until by the end of my senior year when I started to realize how ridiculous it was and how impossible. By that time, with one roommate leaving and another heading off to the Home Ec house, my room had been reduced to just two of us, and we would sit down at night and just talk about what the Lord was doing in our lives and the questions we had. My Bible was falling apart, and the best gift I ever got was when my roommate Anne left a Bible for me on graduation day with a note about how much she appreciated our friendship. But I did understand by then that it was wrong of the school to make me responsible (or to say I was responsible) for the spiritual well being of my roommates. I took on the role as a spiritual duty, and I did have Prayer Captains who did influence me for good. I also had a hall monitor, Carol Brown, who tremendously influenced my understanding of God’s grace to us in sorrow. So conscientious kids could make it beneficial. But years later I realized there was nothing spiritual invested in the system; it was just another way for the school to maintain control: a trustee system.

        5. PS: When I was there, we had APCs. PCs, hall monitors, and the dorm sup was a paid position. No dorm counselors or anything like that.

  1. Tell me someone else sees this: asking 18-22 year olds, many of whom have been sheltered and have no life experience outside Fundyland, to judge themselves and others about whether they are “mature” Christians. How the heck would they or anyone else in those isolated circles know?

    1. Easy. If they are a carbon copy of their pastor and would never question him or think for themself, then they are a (fundy) mature christian.

    2. Indeed, how would anyone, however wise, be a good judge of his or her own spiritual maturity?

      Any system of self-evaluation tends to remind me of the taxation systems proposed in “Gulliver’s Travels”:

      “I heard a very warm debate between two professors, about the most commodious and effectual ways and means of raising money, without grieving the subject. The first affirmed, β€œthe justest method would be, to lay a certain tax upon vices and folly; and the sum fixed upon every man to be rated, after the fairest manner, by a jury of his neighbours.” The second was of an opinion directly contrary; β€œto tax those qualities of body and mind, for which men chiefly value themselves; the rate to be more or less, according to the degrees of excelling; the decision whereof should be left entirely to their own breast.” The highest tax was upon men who are the greatest favourites of the other sex, and the assessments, according to the number and nature of the favours they have received; for which, they are allowed to be their own vouchers. Wit, valour, and politeness, were likewise proposed to be largely taxed, and collected in the same manner, by every person’s giving his own word for the quantum of what he possessed. But as to honour, justice, wisdom, and learning, they should not be taxed at all; because they are qualifications of so singular a kind, that no man will either allow them in his neighbour or value them in himself.

      “The women were proposed to be taxed according to their beauty and skill in dressing, wherein they had the same privilege with the men, to be determined by their own judgment. But constancy, chastity, good sense, and good nature, were not rated, because they would not bear the charge of collecting.”

    3. Judging spiritual maturity is easy when you have tests like these. All you need to do is run your life experience through these algorithms, and we know everything God thinks about you.

  2. If I understand the bottom chart correctly, there seems to be an idea that before you are a christian you are evil in all those manners; addicted, hate good, disreputable, inhospitable. Then as you become a christian you start to grow all these characteristics, and then as a mature christian you are abundant in all of them.

    But… I know non-christians who are really good at some of these things. You can be a non-christian and still be hospitable, and love your family, and be a good steward. You can be a christian and still struggle with them. We’ve seen many of the IFB major pastors struggle with being self-willed, callous to their families, of poor reputation (once the closet door opened a crack and all their carefully stacked skeletons came out).

    So much better to admit we are all sinners and just say sorry and make amends as best as is possible.

    1. I’m sorry, no. If you step one foot out of the IFB camp, you will be destitute, miserable, sick, abusive, drunken, addicted to porn and gambling, and worshipping satan within minutes. That’s just the way it is. The fact that you have seen, with your own eyes, and experienced firsthand that people outside the camp seem happy and loving and fulfilled is just proof of your rebellious nature and sin in your heart. Siddown and shaddup.

      (How’d I do?)

      1. So former Fundies are to a man jack, supposed to be impoverished, drunken, destitute, depraved, addicted to porn, etc? Then I and a lot of other fallen Fundies aren’t doing it right? Can you RTCs show us how it’s done? 😈

        1. Some of these I can show ya, some I can’t. Lead me not into temptation…..I can find my own way just fine. 😎

    2. Indeed. I remember slogging up and down streets, trying to sell raffle tickets to pay for a school trip. The self-described Christian mom shouted, “We believe that charity begins at home!*” and slammed the door in my face. The Unification Church bride, with barely a word of English, insisted that I come in and put my dripping, shivering self on her couch and drink tea, and brought me a phone in case there was somebody I needed to call. (I don’t even remember whether she bought a raffle ticket or not; just her kindness.)

      *Is there a list somewhere on SFL of these ridiculously misquoted** “Biblical” phrases? There should be.

      **Dickens: “Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door.”

  3. This looks like it’s from 1988 (see date in 3rd pic). When I was at Bob Jones in the early 2000s, we still had spiritual evaluations, but everyone evaluated themselves and then their APC or PC had a meeting with them to discuss their evaluations – talk about awkward!

    There was no line graph given like in the last shot (which reminds me a lot of standardized test scores from elementary school), but if your APC or PC didn’t like you, or you didn’t get along, you would get a lower rating, which would effect your ability to be an APC or PC the next year and also whether the staff would be watching you more carefully.

    1. so you’re saying it’s a good ole’ boys club? Couldn’t be… it’s fundyland.

  4. sounds like one of those surveys in fashion magazines that would be squeezed between “are you pleasing your man?” and “what breed of dog are you?”
    Probably just as accurate.

        1. BG, if you are any part of a Labrador, then you are one of God’s own breeds. Never knew a Lab gone wrong, they are just determined to do right to the very end.
          Okay, my brother did have a Lab-something who would have given her life for you, but it’s not like I’m biased, Dog Forbid. 😳 πŸ™‚

        2. I tend to be all over the place on quizzes like these. My most frequent answer was lab with 3, but German Shepherd, bull dog, and mixed breed all got 2.

          (I didn’t see my clothing type described on there at all. Also they asked which type of car you’re most likely to drive — which would be second-hand minivan — instead of which type would you dream of seeing yourself driving!)

  5. We are not told to constantly wash ourselves in the Word like this implies, that’s a baptism reference, Baptists. The idea of grading your progress is sinful.

    1. Whatever do they mean by “constant ‘washing of water by the word'” (middle of page 8 in the first photo)?

      They’re washing water?

      1. Ephesians 5:26 is discussing marriage and urging husbands to love their wives and showing a picture of love. But it’s also saying what Christ has done for the church. If you dont understand baptism or how to properly intrpret Scripture then you can do what they did. Go read it. They just lied with their interpretation.

        1. Ah. Most translations have that as “washing WITH water by the word,” but the KJV does say “washing OF water by the word,” which implies (at least in 2013 English) the word is washing water rather than using water to wash.

          But of course, the KJV is infallible …

    1. It’d be handy if they could boil all of that info down into a “Value Over Unspiritual Dirtbag” type stat.

      1. I assume the part in the Bible where Jesus called the Disciples to him, one by one, for their annual evaluations, was one I never read. (“Well, John, your total performance score is only 3.1… we really have a policy of maintaining a 3.5 minimum, so we’re putting you on a 90 day probation period to see if you can get those numbers up, otherwise, we’ll have to let you go.”)

  6. The second picture shows a dorm student evaluation. APCs and PCs were supposed to evaluate their roommates on this form once a year (if I’m remembering correctly). Notice that there are 40 items you are supposed to judge your fellow students on, and you are supposed to evaluate every single answer whether they do so 6-7 times a week, 3-5 times a week, 1-2 times a week, or never.

    If a student is conscientious and honest, can you imagine the pressure in trying to fill this out honestly on someone else? How do they respond to pressure? Do they exhibit poise? Do they make sound decisions? Those questions are challenging enough, much less when you have to be specific about how often during the week they exhibit those qualities.

    1. That says so much about the fundy mindset it’s incredible. Judge others. Keep up appearances at all costs. Etc, etc. Who cares what’s actually in the heart? πŸ˜₯

    2. Now that I reread the information in the first picture, it appears that the massive evaluation form was only for those you were recommending to be an APC or PC so it WASN’T for every single roommate, unless you wanted to recommend them.

  7. Why does this remind me of those spiritual gifts tests? The kind like we took in my Fundy High where everyone knew the right answers and came away with an abundance of gifts, some of which weren’t supposed to exist in the same person, according to the man giving the test.

    1. Oh, I took one of those spiritual gifts tests at my fundy church. I rated high in teaching and prophecy (which totally didn’t mean what those charismatic types thought it did, haymen?) which I’m sure must have seemed bizarre considering my gender.

    2. That’s sort of like those tests some prospective employers have you fill out where you’re supposed to “Agree” or “Disagree” with statements like “I love to steal things from my workplace,” and “Voices in my head tell me to roam around at night stabbing sleeping people in the eyeballs.”

      1. When seeking high level employment with the federal government, you frequently have to complete “ethics and leadership” tests with questions like these:

        Your immediate supervisor places you on a Religious Diversity Task Force that consists of a white, gay, wiccan; a black, lesbian, Christian; a Chicano Catholic; and a female Muslim. Obviously, you are immediately concerned by the lack of diversity on the Task Force. The best way to raise your concern is:

        (A) Encouage the Task Force to seek a more diverse range of viewpoints throughout the course of their work.
        (B) Request that your supervisor take additional steps to ensure diversity on the panel.
        (C) Make sure that your own participation includes respect for and reference to alternative viewpoints.
        (D) Report your supervisor to the Civil Rights Department for discipline.

        I have never had a clue what answer they are looking for in questions like that!

        1. I took one of those when I applied to work for the Census, and I scored high on it.
          But they gave us a text to read first, and the questions were based on the text, so it was more a test of reading comprehension than anything else.

        2. By the way, I think the answer to the question above would be (B), because that reflects going through proper channels. (A) and (C) would be taking things into your own hands, which is mostly frowned on in the federal government, and (D) would be jumping a level of management, which bureaucrats hate.

        3. Am I the only one who was bothered almost as much by the erroneous comma usage (while simultaneously giving kudos for the proper semi-colon useage) as I am by the obvious assumptive issues? lol

        4. Sorry, about, the, commas, SteveA. When, you, are, trying, to, write, like, a, government, bureaucrat, then, punctuation, does, not, come, too, easily.

  8. The bottom two pictures are from a different quiz – the BLQ – given to evaluate APCs and PCs. Those charts show the results.

    The survey shown is one that APCs and PCs were supposed to fill out on the other students in their room.

  9. Is the rainbow on the page a sign that God won’t flood the world if you lie on this IQ test?

        1. Haha! True!

          I don’t mind that people know these were from me.

          And, yup, those were my scores on the bottom so now you can know all my 20-year-old character flaws! πŸ˜€

        2. Wow, PW, you were so quick-tempered! I’d never have guessed seeing as how you are famous on this blog for your calm and well-reasoned posts without a tinge of anger or bitterness. (I am being serious, not sarcastic.) I guess being at BJU must have just filled your rebellious little heart with rage πŸ‘Ώ

        3. I was just thinking the exact same thing, Deacon’s Son. I can’t even imagine PW being quick tempered.

        4. And what’s with the color coding:

          Blue = doing fine

          Green = room for “growth” (oh, I get it, green = growth, how cute :roll:)

          Red = You are Going Straight to Hay-ull.

        5. You cracked my deeply complicated color code! haha!

          The rest of the leader’s guide that you see in the first pic described each of the 19 character qualities, gave Bible verses about each, listed Bible characters whose lives demonstrated that quality, and then listed 3 to 8 steps one could take to help develop that quality. I went through and highlighted those too in different color so I knew what to concentrate on. I was very earnest.

          Anger has always been a temptation for me, though I try to exercise control over it.

      1. There are more Gayz than you might think at BJU (and every other fundy u, for that matter). There was some rumor that Bob Jr. had some “unusual” proclivities in that regard.

  10. I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by these charts and I’m not even at FundyU anymore. No wonder we are all burnt out trying to just get something productive done for the cause of Christ! We have to have a non-paying full time job just to sift through the paperwork and man-made requirements in order to even write someone up on a bed-making violation. In. Sane. How is this like Christ? Did Jesus hand out graphs and charts for the disciples to fill out before he deemed them worthy to hand out bread and fishes to his followers? NO! πŸ™„ It’s craziness. I think I would just cheat on it like I did my ACE PACE testing when I was a kid…. 😈 :mrgreen:

    1. can i just say….your username is cracking me up right now….LMAO πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    2. Add to all that their insistence that you do so calmly, with humor and poise! Talk about being set up for failure.

      32. Stays calm under stress and pressure
      33. Possesses a sense of humor
      34. Maintains a cheerful, positive outlook (not moody)

      1. I don’t like #34 because it feeds into the offical BJU line that all mental illness, and depression in particular, is a spiritual problem.

        (Not to mention that being “moody” is not a sin, the last time I checked. If you read the gospels you will see that Jesus was a pretty emotional guy. But if the BJU enforcers had seen Jesus in the Gethsemane, they could have given him demerits for having a bad attitude.)

        1. “You brood of vipers!”

          “How long do I have to put up with you people?!”


          He had His moments.

  11. Who knew that things like “lover of God” and “holy” were quantifiable traits?

  12. I just read in the top picture, I think it’s from a handbook (?), that at the end of the semester everyone in the group fills out a survey on how “effective of a spiritual leader” you are….as if getting up at 4am to work your work scholarship until 11am, 6 days a week, class from 11-5, which you BETTER be all put together, work meetings (which you never get to clock into) until 6 or 7, homework until 9 when the computer lab closes, rush back to your dorm, fix mac and cheese in your hot pot, oh WAIT, you can’t HAVE a hot pot because your 22 and not responsible yet, to be at previously mentioned prayer group at 10:15 and LIGHTS OUT at 11 pm SHARP where you have a power-crazed MK who walks through your door at 11:00 (and 10 seconds) and writes you up for a demerit because you’re not in your awesome dorm bed yet, you slacker! Oh, and by the way, you’re spiritually responsible for all the people on your hall…you better get up at 3:30 tomorrow morning and make sure they’re in the hall having their personal devotions….oh wait, they can’t have public devotions…..I digress.

  13. I was both an APC and PC in my time at BJU (78-83). Our evaluations at that time must have been very low-key and informal, since I don’t remember ever seeing these forms. I only remember some nights we would have meeting with the monitor to discuss who might be preferable for those respective positions.

    I wouldn’t say there was any especial stress involved with the position. But then again I was a true “Joneser” at the time, so I suppose I took like a duck to the water.

  14. What’s the p-value? t-stat? What is the statistical distribution of holiness among APCs? Is there a statistically significant correlation between Christian maturity and the amount of time spend reading the Bible? Is it scary that I sound vaguely like Jonathan Edwards?

      1. Different Jonathan, I think.

        But this song reminds me of a girl who was in a church youth group with me. She loved this song and used to play it on her guitar all the time. Last time I talked to her, she was in seminary, so I guess she’s an ordained minister by now.

  15. I cringe at the thought that you can somehow quantify the difference between a “Normal Christian” and a “Mature Christian”, or even that there IS such a difference. What is especially bad is the disclaimer on the bottom: “This chart is approximate,” it reads, and I think, “Okay, I still don’t like it, but I guess for visually-oriented people the chart might be a good way to mark growth.” Then it goes on, “A more precise score may be obtained by plotting the raw scores on the shaded profile sheet.” So, I guess the charts are part of God’s inspired word if they can tell so precisely who’s mature and how mature they are (not)?

    That said, who gets to be an APC or other leader depends a lot on connections. When I was a freshmen there, my RA (really a good one and no longer fundy) simply told me that only juniors and seniors could hold room leadership positions.

    That may be the case on paper, but it gets broken All. The. Time. Several of my other room leaders were sophomores, and guess what? Most of them had family who had attended the school. When I was a senior, I actually was an APC for a semester (I wasn’t a very good one), and the PC in charge of me was a junior and several years younger than me to boot. It was kind of awful.

    1. Well, I did until I started taking tests like these.

      15. Is well liked by others

      20. Sees lasting results from counseling attempts

      22. confidently and consistently enforces regulations

      29. Makes effective use of time

      As a perfectionist, I could go down the list and say, “Sort of but not always” to many of them and feel weighed down by guilt.

      1. Which then would mean I’m failing because I’m not being cheerful and positive.

        1. It’s not enough to follow them yourself. You were to make sure others kept them too.

    2. Yeah, when I was 20, I knew everything and understood everything (according to me). People who didn’t agree with me just didn’t know as much as I did.

      I don’t know how I’ve gotten to be so ignorant and bewildered over the years. 😐

  16. Good lord. It’s got a graph.

    I’m starting to get reminded of Dr. J. Evans Pritchard’s excellent essay Understanding Poetry from Dead Poet’s Society. πŸ˜‰

    1. Nailed it!

      “Rip it out!” — said those just before their escape from the cult.

  17. This is no different than any other despotic collective. It destroys the individual by forcing them into an impossibly subjective abstraction: “perfection”. My head is spinning. The is madness! You think Jesus went around with a fricken list?!

  18. I would be tempted to scrawl “Let another man praise thee and not thine own lips” (Proverbs 27:2) across the front of this abomination. That would, no doubt, mean I wasn’t spiritual.

  19. Isn’t this kind of rote, rules-based, obsessed-with-formalities kind of thing precisely what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for? Isn’t one of the primary tenets of Christianity that Jesus removed all barriers between humanity and God, negating the need for formality, ritual, and a priestly class to control and direct man’s interaction with the divine?

      1. That halfling may be sociopathic, but he has a better understanding of Christianity than most people in the church.

        1. That’s the thing about OOTS. Roy may be a kind-hearted do-gooder, but he knows nothing about people. And Belkar may secretely want to be Sauron, but he totally gets people.

  20. One more reason I’m glad I was a Towny. Looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t have to fill one out as “Spiritual Head Of Household”. Maybe if my wife had been a student, I could have been PC and she APC.

  21. On the student evaluation:

    5. Is not preoccupied with material things

    Yet I heard Dr. Bob Jr., from the pulpit, say he could evaluate a man’s character based on two things: the pen he used and the shine on his shoes.

    I was shocked.

    1. Did he mean that using a cheap pen and wearing beat-up shoes reflects an admirable lack of concern for worldly status symbols?

      1. I wish!!!

        No. Weirdly, the BJU admin apparently has something for a particular brand of pen. Mt. Blanc or something.

        I’m willing to spend money to buy something that’s truly quality (and will last longer and perform better than something cheap), but in general I prefer NOT to spend money just for a status symbol because then I have money left over for books or travel or helping others.

        And the shoes? I know he mentioned about them being well-polished but he may have also had in mind judging men if their shoes were old or cheap no matter how polished. It was just such a strange, old-fashioned, narrowly classist thing to say.

        I judge people on the quality of their character as demonstrated in how they treat other people. I don’t usually take notice of their pens or their shoes.

        1. Is that for real? Mont Blanc pens are right up there with Fendi and Louis Vuitton as far as materialistic icons/status symbols!

        2. Then Pope Francis, the very POPE! the leader of a billion faithful, is definitely out of the running, he still wears the same scuffed-up black shoes he did as a priest. 😎 But then, he’s an idolatrous Catholic, so he’s condemned anyway.

        3. I double-checked, and, yes, the pens are highly valued by the admin of BJU. I just never forgot hearing that; it was a slip in the facade, a glimpse of an ugly truth behind the stained-glass image presented.

    2. So someone who used their finger as a pen and dirty sandals would be a rebellious hippie? I guess Jesus wouldn’t make prayer captain.

  22. On the student evaluation:


    11. Openly supports the University and its administration (positive and appreciative)

  23. I love the irony of #33. Students know they are being scrutinized on ALL these behaviors, even down to “did they exhibit them 6-7 times a week or just 3-5 times?”), yet they are ALSO supposed to live up to #33: “Possesses a sense of humor, able to laugh at himself/herself.”

    Honestly, when you set up students in this atmosphere, the conscientious ones are NOT going to develop a sense of humor. It just seems so unreasonable.

    1. I find it highly amusing that fundies think it is important to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at yourself. When I think of fundies those are totally the first characteristics I think of. πŸ™„

      1. The fact that so many Fundies have a stunted sense of irony is what provides endless material for projects like “Stuff Fundies Like.”

        1. Ironic: The fact that I received a scholarship from Fairhaven for Christian Character. Then proceeded to get kicked out of three FUs.


          It doesn’t get much better than that.

      2. Having spent years working for a hyper-picky, unreflective, bombastic, tactless, buffoonish jerk, I am willing to bet that this really means “laughs at all stupid, offensive, creepy, and/or hurtful jokes told by people in authority over them.”

  24. As usual, this sort of thing falls apart when you examine its internal contradictions.

    (1) You are supposed to not be “clique-ish” (#37) but you are supposed to chose only “godly people” for intimate friendships (#38) and are not supposed to be “easily swayed” by “unspiritual acquaintances” (#10).

    (2) You are supposed to avoid “needless waste of money” (#30) and not be “preoccupied with material things” (#5) but you are supposed to be obsessed with your “appearance” and even your “make-up” (#39).

    (3) You are supposed to be “non-critical” of others (#13) while simutaneously “challenging others to fulfill responsibilites” (#21) and “consistently enforcing regulations” (#22).

    (4) There is the classic conflation of “the University” with biblical “authority” (#11), which basically boils down to “all the Bible passages about authority apply to us because we say they do and we are the authority.” Because that’s not circular reasoning or anything.

    (5)You are expected to fulfill all the other rules, thereby making a nasty prat of yourself, while at the same time remaining “well-liked” by others (#15).

    (6) Oh, and I love how “wisdom” is defined as “seeing lasting results from counseling attempts.” WTF does that even mean???

    1. Thank you for spelling that out so clearly! I knew this evaluation form was contradictory but hadn’t been able to clarify it.

      On the last point, how would I even know if my roommate’s counseling attempts were producing lasting effects?

      1. This is tragically true. I know of one person who DID commit suicide because he felt he couldn’t live up to the standards required of him. He left a note behind about “straddling the fence” and that he couldn’t do it any longer. It was heartbreaking.

    2. “…β€œseeing lasting results from counseling attempts.” WTF does that even mean???”

      12 years in federal prison? :mrgreen:

  25. So I guess if you get the low score (new Christian)then you’re busted? Sucks to be only a bottom of the barrel “new Christian” ranking. πŸ™„

    Sounds more like a game…whoever gets the most points gets to be in charge.

    1. Not busted. Counseled. Say it with me: “counseled.” Because the #1 focus of Dr. Buuuuhrg and his minions is discipleship.

  26. You know, this is pretty awful. And so many of us used checklists such as this one to grade ourselves and judge others (not saying you did, pw). I know I for one learned next to nothing about grace and freedom in Christ in my 20+ years in fundamentalism. The lists were so much easier, if you know what I mean. “I can check this and this and this. Hey look, I’m a ‘mature Christian’! It’s so easy..forget the abstract leading of the Holy Spirit.” (bit of sarcasm) But really, I believed this was the way to ‘accomplish’ a good Christian life.

  27. Dear SFL Reader:

    What do the forms say about some of Israel’s judges?

    Christian Socialist

  28. The principal of our church ACE school put all of the 20 graduates that they have had in the ten years that they have been in existence and had the 10 current high school students rate who was “going on for the Lord”. Two students received check marks for serving the Lord. When I asked what the criteria was to receive the check mark of approval, I was told “oh we all know.” Well, I honestly didn’t know. However upon reflection, I realize that it was because HE thought they were the only ones good enough. He asked the students if they were going to follow the two check marks or those that didn’t love God? The Christian mothers, fathers, those who attended other churches (out of state!), even a young Christian woman at Bible college didn’t get a check for being good enough. Soon after questioning this-after all aren’t we supposed to be following Jesus?- I was informed I’m not good enough either…as if I didn’t already know! Isn’t that the point of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
    Sorry for the ramble, but I am still recovering…the pressure to be perfect is unbearable, made even more so because those demanding it are so obviously imperfect…

  29. Darrell, thanks for posting this. When I was at BJU, I got up the middle of the night one night to go to the bathroom and found one of these lying on the hallway table. In the front, it gave strict instructions that NO ONE BUT AN APC/PC was to read the sacred contents therein.
    I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a hard copy ever since.

  30. Be sure to make copies because Jesus will need to review your file before letting your into.

  31. Back in 2004, there was an online magazine named The New Pantagruel which lasted about 3 more years. I wrote two articles on Christian worldview tests. Some of the best writing I’ve ever done. The magazine is now defunct, but the worldview tests still exist. I’ve reposted the articles on my own site, http://jackheller.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/christian-college-professor-flunks-christian-worldview-tests/ and http://jackheller.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/further-scandal-christian-college-professor-doesn%e2%80%99t-teach-from-a-christian-worldview/

    Comments and questions are welcomed.

    1. fascinating exposure of these tests. I’ve never been administered a test like this myself, but the premise is similar to the evaluations I took so often at BJU. The problem is that each and every one of the questions can be deconstructed. If you’re a shallow thinker, you do fine on these tests, but if you actually think through the questions, you can’t answer the way you’re “supposed to.” For example, one of the questions you discussed was “people should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as it does not hurt anyone else.” (the answer was supposed to be “Strongly Disagree.”) Well, this statement certainly raises our Christian hackles, until we realize that the opposite of this would be to legally regulate every aspect of peoples’ behavior. The answer, unfortunately, is somewhere down the middle in a gray zone, and (as I frequently tell my students) no one is comfortable in a gray zone. We like sharp contrast and high visibility; however, that is a testament to our weak vision.

      1. I am forever having to deconstruct the notion of a Christian worldview, including, today, twice suggesting that Tillyard’s Elizabethan World Picture is an out of date book. But, as I’ve written on one other article on the site (Divine Diversity), the critique of the concept of worldview can be found even in John Donne’s writing.

        Thank you for the feedback. May I ask where you teach? I’m at Huntington University in Indiana.

        1. J Heller, do you perchance know Edwin Tait? He also teaches at Huntington.

          Small world!

        2. I teach at Liberty University–Indiana is near and dear to my heart because I grew up there πŸ™‚
          I’ve actually been reading Tillyard’s little book for a thesis I’m writing-I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

        3. As I’m just about to take a group of students to Indianapolis for a play, I’ll offer this suggestion: Debora Shuger’s book Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance is a great counterpoint to Tillyard’s thesis. I may have time to say more later this weekend. Cheers!

  32. Ahhh, at long last!! 37 years after graduation, I finally get a look at the Holy Doo-Don’t List with all the characteristics that make one a true IFB Christian bound for heaven instead of that other place. I finally know what I should do and even how many times a week I have to do it to earn God’s approval and love. I always thought for all these years it was the Bible that was supposed to be the basis of our living . . . now I find out that the Bible has nothing to do with being a Christian. What Bob Jones says is what goes Who’d a thunk it? Isn’t Bob Jone = God? πŸ™„

  33. Nothing makes me twitch more than this stuff. This is why I STILL have a hard time talking to elders and pastors in my current, far from fundy church. This is why I cringe whenever personal Bible study, church attendance and “outreach” come up. I never measured up based on BJU standards…but what I didn’t know then was that it really only matters what God thinks of me, not what they thought based on their charts.

    1. Fully understand; been out of a cultic church for some time now, still have lots of guilt (thus my name) because I didn’t do the door-to-door selling heaven program (under the name of soul-winning). That was THE measure of everyone’s spirituality. Never mind that some of the best “soul-winners” didn’t have study the Bible or meditate on it, but they certainly racked up some good numbers and made the pastor look good.

      Whether it’s called soul-winning or outreach, it is hard to find a balanced view. Yet, I have given witness to the goodness of God to co-workers when God opens the door. But the in-your-face confrontation “If you died today, are you 100% sure you would go to heaven?” isn’t a style I’m comfortable with.

      People who know me from the other church consider me a decent individual, but not a spiritual person, nor someone they want to be around, for fear of “contamination”.

      Sorry for the rant, your usage of the word “outrage” triggered this reaction.

  34. I remember my old pastor at an IFB church. The church was about midsize for the community, not large. In the South there are lots of churches and lots of competition.

    The Pastor got the church into a building campaign. Of course, after the new part of the structure was done it was clear we had more building than use for it. So he got the best literature he could find on building up membership. There was a kind of a “spiral” program with lots of soul winning, lots of church activities, visitation, other kinds of outreach. The books outlined step-by-step methods for doing the activities, handling administration, dividing responsibility for the church members among the deacons, and so on.

    And after three years, the church was no bigger than it had been before.

    Was he discouraged? He was way beyond discouraged. He was despondent. But I pointed out that the problem was that the books treated the church like an organization and evangelism like a sales campaign. The church is not an organization, but an organism.

    Fundamentalism in its quest for “scientifiky” type validation (they hate science, but love the results) decided that everything could be quantified. So they set about trying to put everyone and everything in the same mold, and all those who conformed to the mold became uniformly moldy. Everything was reduced to a formula, whether it was establishing and running a Christian school, having Vacation Bible School, or Salvation itself.

    And they simply pushed the Holy Spirit and Humanity out of the process.

    1. This is such an excellent analysis! Wow! My former church was obsessed with the sales (er, “soul-winning”) statistics — how many doors they had to knock to give a presentation, how many presentations they had to give before they talked someone into saying a prayer (“profession of faith”), how many of these actually came to church (and the follow-up on this was disgusting; we were supposed to call them on Sat, and remind them to come Sunday; we weren’t supposed to let them drive; we were to pick them up; we were to call them to get them out of bed on Sunday, because “they aren’t used to getting up on Sunday”, we were supposed to pick them up, and bring them to church, and then sit with them, and encourage them to go forward at the invitation), and the number of people who came to church who actually got baptized. So, the Big Chief could announce something like “we” needed to knock on 173 doors to see a baptism, and 56 to see a visitor come to church.

      Made me wonder “Where is the Holy Spirit in all this?”… now, thanks to your post, I know: they pushed Him out of the process.

      1. It sounds for all the world like you’re supposed to treat those new so-called “converts” like 5-year olds! 😯 “Now come on, we have to get up and put our jammies away, and eat our post toasties, get in the car to go to the big building and sing the pretty songs, you don’t want JAY-zuz to be unhappy, do you?” 😑
        As if these people have been living in a bottle up until now, yeesh!

      2. When I made it onto the business world at 19 I realized that most “evangelism” techniques I was raised with were based on marketing principles (human behavior) which create numbers and “converts” to a given brand or concept but don’t necessarily create a spiritual internal change. That, and figuring out that many sermon outlines were based on business type self help books sent a lot of credibility tumbling.

        1. Virtually all human activities, religious or not, follow similar patterns. Once you learn to start seeing things in terms of variables in a position, instead of focusing on what things are called, you get a much better grasp on the world. Social patterns tend to be identical in every kind of group, and they are determined more by how many people are in the group than by anything to do with what the group is actually about — a church, a business, a knitting circle, a sports team, an internet forum — all follow identical patterns based on their size and scope, not what they are.

  35. As a now former pastor of a diminutive Arminian IFB, when members came to complain, they would try to mask it by saying, “As a mature Christian…” But at the end of the day, it was still a complaint, and they were still showing their immaturity. πŸ™„

  36. I’m going to have to dissent from the consensus here. The book at the top indicates that the chart is for personal guidance, and is not used or available to judge the students later. I understand that a checkmarked list isn’t the be all and end all of the Christian life. But a similar, voluntary, private evaluation at a Steve Pettit meeting was exactly what started both my inner revival, and, eventually, my departure from rules-bases fundy-ish belief to true grace and Christian liberty.

    The key thing to me was that I was sunk in unmanageable guilt from all the regulations I’d known all my life, and repeatedly broken (and then hid, of course). The evaluation actually provided a way out; instead of focusing on the catalog of do-nots, it focused on attitude toward God, staying on speaking terms with God, etc.

    A personal, private evaluation from ourselves or someone we trust can motivate change in our lives. Change from legalism to grace; change from (good-looking!) weary apathy to confident flawedness. It can even trigger genuine ‘conviction’; a motivation to change based on our clearer understanding of God’s will. I think BJU is doing good by providing an evaluation which is not collected or viewed by others.

    1. I’m so glad that you had a positive experience! I do believe that God can use anything — from a talking donkey to checklists — to get our attention.

      I know for me though, endless lists like this only produced either 1) a self-righteous self-satisfaction and pride about how much better of a Christian I was than those other “worldly” people or 2) complete discouragement that I didn’t always #29 Make effective use of time or #34 Maintains a cheerful, positive outlook.

      I never learned how to change from legalism to grace or from weary apathy to confident flawedness until I threw away the lists and started focusing on Christ (and the fruit of the Spirit).

      But I realize that everyone’s backgrounds, experiences, and personalities do make approaches that crush one person revitalizing to another.

  37. I just don’t understand why they haven’t used King James’ English in their manual. I simply cannot trust anything which has not been composed in KJE.

      1. LOL!

        But that’s the thing with BJU. They’re not as over-board as some of the fundies out there. They DO allow women to wear makeup, to have short hair, to wear “trendy” clothes, to wear sweatpants to gym class and pajamas to bed. They are KJV-preferred not KJV-only. They put on Shakespeare plays. To someone who knows some of the extremism of some churches, BJU seems quite balanced. They definitely would not put on a psuedo, fake Elizabethan English for their rules. (That’s why it can be a shock to realize where they ARE extreme as well as shocking to see deeply rooted flaws, like the emphasis on laws and the down-playing of grace.)

  38. some of you surely remember Berg’s orientation lectures, where he showed us the graph of what stress looked like? It could have passed for an architectural blueprint. Then we had the “How to be a real man” graph and the Time Management Spreadsheet.”
    If that wasn’t bad enough, our grading in that class was based on “honest” responses to questions: “Did you read the book? Did you read the Bible Chapter?” “Circle Yes or No.” Which always struck me as an odd way to assess someone’s performance in Legalism 101.

  39. I just took one brief look at this (having just gotten back from vacation), and my immediate response was — quoting the late, great Jack P

    1. Sorry about that — I pressed the wrong key and wound up sending a half-post. I don’t know how to delete it.

      Here we go again: I just took one brief look at this (having just gotten back from vacation), and my immediate response was — quoting the late, great Jack Paar — “You’ve GOT to be kidding me.”

  40. Didn’t BJU try to go NCAA Division II and get rejected because they were uncredited?

    1. Yes. Rod Parsley’s charismatic bible college was also unaccredited when but played NCAA Division III. Now the school (Valor Christian College) is accredited and plays in NCAA Division II.

      Bob Jones is seeking accreditation and looking to join NCAA Division II as is PCC who is also vying for accreditation.

      Just wait ’till Bob Jones plays PCC, let the War Games Begin!

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