Epilogue: A Few Suggestions

Pensacola Christian College is not known for listening to advice from former students on how to improve life on campus and even less known for listening to former students who are on their perpetual “black list.” Nevertheless, in the spirit of not only pointing out the wrong but also promoting the right here is my list of suggestions for ways the college could improve life on campus.

1. Love your students.

That’s it. That’s the entire sum of what is lacking at PCC.

If you love your students you won’t provoke them to wrath with petty, unjust, and ever-changing rules.

If you love your students you won’t mislead them with incomplete information, not telling them about the real rules until they’ve already spent their money.

If you love your students you won’t presume them guilty until proven innocent.

If you love your students you’ll get regionally accredited to give your graduates the best possible opportunities.

If you love your students you’ll teach them to be responsible and let them exercise their own soul liberty instead of taking a one-size-fits-none approach to sanctification.

If you love your students you’ll make your priority looking after their safety and well-being instead of first trying to protect your own reputation.

And since love bears all things and believes all things, I hope and believe that someday I will begin to see more true love on PCC campus. It could happen today if you who are in power would only let it.

54 thoughts on “Epilogue: A Few Suggestions”

    1. Shoot. Missed it by that much. Dadgum Windstream ISP.

      Congrats, RG. (said bitterly)

      1. My computer freaked out on me. I was sure I didn’t get it. You can borrow my butt cushion whenever you’d like. 😆

      2. Nope. But Seriously gets his/her own butt cushion. It was a good college try. (Pun totally intended… Ba da bum).

        Enjoy and be happy. 😉

        1. A rare double butt cushion day! This completely explains the withheld butt cushion for the person who stole the rare Natalie first this week!

  1. Gosh, Darrel, your cure is more rules? 😛

    A lot of churches would do well to pay attention to this list, too.

  2. And this is absolutely true. Love is what’s lacking. I hope some higher ups with tender hearts at Fundy Us will read this and begin implementing some changes. I hope the students (and parents) will begin demanding more respect and love from administrators.

    I’m also curious, Darrell, if they often hit you up for donations or to attend alumni events.

      1. The fact that a “Christian” organization would blacklist a fellow believer speaks of their Christianity – and not in a good way.

  3. And while we’re at it, love your faculty and staff with the same love. Those rules and over-bearing tactics are just as humiliating for them.

    1. I was at a UU Summer Retreat and met some people from Pensacola. I asked if they had any interactions with people from PCC. Turns out their neighbors both worked there, and would ask them to go to the video store to rent videos for them so they wouldn’t be seen going in. Even though the videos they were requested were absolutely non-objectionable. They thought it was funny and sad at the same time.

  4. Amen and Amen.

    While they are at it, they might also try checking out the other fruits of the spirit as well.

    1. As the Good Book says, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”

  5. Maybe I’m just totally dense, but I saw nothing in your story that explains why you’re blacklisted. Was it one of those (to my mind, crazily minor) infractions that you wrote about? Is it this blog?

    1. This blog, being the tech guy for an unofficial alumni forum, taking over curating of the Student Voice newsletter archive…

      You can pretty much take your pick.

      1. Gosh, I thought maybe shaming rape victims or embezzling or assaulting minors would be blacklist-worthy offenses, not just talking about problems.

        Oh. Right.

        1. Shaming rape victims, assaulting children and embezzlement are highly encouraged if not actually expected. Darrell might have gotten on their board had he had enough foresight to go that direction.

      2. They’re just pissed at Darrell because he stirs the pot. He encourages questioning, instigates dialogue, and reminds us that we’re full grown adults who don’t have to be treated like children.

        (You owe me for that one, Darrell 😉 😉 )

  6. Darrell, I hope that once these thing all happen, we can all enjoy front page photos in The Hades Daily Press of ice-skating demons.

  7. Great post. The “real” authority, the Bible, says, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom. 13:10). It’s so ironic that those who believe that iron-fisted authority of OT proportions is mandated by God’s word, seem to be ignorant of this statement; that fulfilling the “law” requires “love.” Dictatorial and oppressive rules, more suitable for a concentration camp, cannot accomplish one scintilla of what true love can. But then, I’m presuming that people in “authority” such as college personnel, are reachable with the Bible, and that they regard the Bible as having binding authority on them.

    1. Some are, but I really believe that so many have seared their consciences that they are not reachable.

    2. It’s funny, for all the talk about the Bible being the authority, not humans (especially among the KJV-only crowd), when it comes down to it, they’ll back any human authority figure, and never once hold that person to any of the standards in the Kingdom of God. Even the Bible itself must go when human authority is at stake.

  8. One more……Love your students by not lying about the transfer credits they will receive from other schools.

  9. Absolutely. The longer I’m out of fundamentalism, the more I’m convinced this is what they’re missing altogether. Love isn’t a bad word or bad theology, but I feel that’s what I was taught.

  10. Many of the Fundamentalist positions I understand, even if they are legalistic and not biblical. For example, the total prohibition against alcohol, clearly the Bible does not command this, but I understand their logical thought progression. The same is true of many of the rules.

    Here is my question regarding other behaviors. If any of those who were mentioned in these stories were to be questioned on their behavior, how would the respond? How would they justify the accusations made about things that Christians ought not do to each other… Or anyone for that matter?

    1. Some potential responses:

      1. dismissing the seriousness of what happened: “We only woke him up at night because our deans are SO BUSY that that was the only time they were free. We totally weren’t trying to intimidate him.”

      2. denying that the incident happened at all or happened as described

      3. discrediting the person telling the story by saying he or she is rebellious or bitter and thus anything they have to say can’t be considered

      4. denying personal accountability: “I was only trying to do what I was told.”

      5. deflecting the focus: “How can you worry about this SMALL thing that happened to you when the college is such an important ministry? Thousands of people are being trained to be used for God here. Isn’t it rather petty of you to hold on to personal hurt in view of everything this school has done?”

      I believe it is a work of the Holy Spirit to crack the hard heart of a legalistic Pharisee so they can be humble enough to apologize.

      1. Regarding your point #5: “Isn’t it rather petty of you to hold on to personal hurt in view of everything this school has done?” If being “petty” is a violation of the rules or decorum, why are these institutions so petty in the administration of their iron-fisted rules? They are not bothered by the beam of their own pettiness, but cannot tolerate the speck of someone else’s perceived pettiness. To paraphrase Shakespeare: “The rulebook’s the thing…”

  11. What you have submitted is very accurate. I recently was a student there and left because I wasn’t allowed to love and be loved the way Christ would have it. I was apart of an underground worship service we called “the Bible study” and was shut down because someone recognized the leader who was also an ensemble member. It made me angry that music that was pop music could be played on the guitar and sung but the worship songs we were singing were not because they were CCM.
    Because of the weight of the legalism there I am still healing and learning how to be a Christ follower and what is God-approved and not just PCC approved. There ARE good Christians there but they are either scared or fine with going with the crowd. Just like the rest of this country, they desperately need a revival.
    Thanks again for your blog!

    1. ‘Just like the rest of this country, they desperately need a revival.’

      And there it is.

  12. I wonder how much these colleges are really more for the parent than for the student — that is, “Don’t worry – we won’t allow your [precious] kids to run wild like they do at other universities — we have RULES and we ENFORCE them – thus, we keep your kids safe”.

    From reading the posts here, it seems that the parents have made the choice for their chilrden in many circumstances, and so maybe the schools pander to the parents’ fears. (?)

  13. I can hear the PCC feedback: “If you love flowers, you must also hate anything that hinders the flowers from reaching their full potential. So, too, we love students and want them to achieve their full potential for God, so we have rules against worldliness, and etc, etc, etc”

  14. If u had a “like” button for this post, I’d have clicked it. Well said…

  15. I just came across a quote by ol’ Jack Hyles from his book, Jack Hyles Speaks On Biblical Separation, 1984 that fully explains the Fundamentalist rationale…p.24,

    “Rules and standards do not enslave; they liberate! The very purpose of commandments, rules and standards (My observation: Fundies mesh God’s commandments and Fundy ‘rules/standards’ together), is to build a wall so those things which could enslave cannot reach our people…Freedom is not in the university which has no rules; freedom is in a university which loves its students enough to build rules of protection around them. Love is not breaking down the walls; love is building the walls! Love is not freedom to go to the captor; love is freedom from the captor.”

    Make of this what you will. Consider the source!

    1. I had a picture in my mind of William Wallace (Mel Gibson) yelling FREEEEEDOMMMMM as his last word.

    2. I heard this before. Rules equal freedom. It reminds me of Orwell’s book 1984.

      The issue is whose rules are we talking about? God’s rule for faithfulness in marriage does set us free to enjoy our spouse. A Fundy U’s rule for girls to never wear pants ever, ever, ever, including pajamas to bed, doesn’t set anyone free. It chains people instead.

    3. Pastor Schettler used to preach that same sermon at least annually at PCC. It’s truly dumbfounding justification of inane petty rules to claim God wants you to be protected from yourself by us.

      1. Its called doublethink. Just tell them the exact opposite of Truth. Eventually they will buy it. Unless, of course, they have taken a course in logic or critical thinking, which may be why PCC doesn’t offer one. You can download an excellent one from Oxford on iTunes U for free, though.

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