A former BJU student sent me these images of spiritual evaluations that were required from candidates for the positions of Assistant Prayer Captain, a non-paid volunteer position with minimal actual authority in the dorms.
In 2011 Clarence Sexton went to Pastor’s school at FBC Hammond and showered the church and now-disgraced pastor Jack Schaap with praise.
In 2013 Clarence Sexton is not only on the list of speakers who will be preaching at Bob Jones University’s Bible conference, he’s speaking twice and closing out the conference.
Now stop and consider that BJU would NEVER have someone from a “liberal” denomination or even a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention come to speak at their school because of their huge emphasis on “separation.” Yet, apparently, somebody who merely loves and preaches for a school that is embroiled in abuse, scandal, and horrifying theology is ok since at least those people are still Independent Baptists.
As I have said many times before, the lunatic fringe of fundamentalism is never quite as far away from the “normal” fundamentalists as they would love for you to believe. In fact, if Clarence Sexton is any measure, they’re not different at all.
The yearly “spring break” Bible conference at Bob Jones University starts tomorrow. Check out the schedule and then use Twitter to see my live commentary of the events as they unfold.
See you there!
As NPR Reports:
Bob Jones University used to be a “station of the cross for aspiring presidential candidates,” NPR’s Ari Shapiro reports on Friday’s All Things Considered. Candidates like Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and Pat Buchanan all spoke at the school, a “bastion of the most conservative brand of evangelical Christianity,” Shapiro says.
But he explains that tradition changed after the 2000 campaign, when candidate George W. Bush campaigned there without mentioning the school’s ban on interracial dating. As Shapiro reports:
“The school ultimately dropped the ban, and apologized. President Bush apologized, too, for failing to speak out. Today, Bob Jones no longer officially endorses or hosts candidates.”
Until a decade ago, Shapiro reports, the school “referred to Catholicism and Mormonism as cults.” That meant it wasn’t a natural stop for Romney, a practicing Mormon.
“So this week something happened that would have been unimaginable 20 years ago,” Shapiro says: Romney came to Greer, S.C. — just a five-minute drive from Bob Jones — and didn’t make a stop.
Instead, he focused on foreign companies like BMW, Bosch and Hitachi that have invested in Greenville.
“I want to make America the most attractive place in the world again for investments,” Romney said during a campaign stop.
And, as Shapiro puts it, that let him make his pitch “without having to worship at the altar of the evangelicals.”
Which leads me to wonder: has Bob Jones really stopped calling Mormonism a cult? Or is that just bad reporting?
If you haven’t already read it, check out the transcript of this meeting here.
You can also find more information on the background of this discussion here.
I’ve had some personal interaction with the lady who had this meeting and I have ever reason to believe that this transcript is legitimate and accurate. It’s also appalling but that doesn’t come as any real surprise.