Maranatha's clever "I'm Gunna Apply" video

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DavidO's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
You contradict yourself here. How do you determine which time this is - the one that's ok or the one that's not ok?

For starters, I wouldn't say I've made much of an express judgement about the video itself here.

As for discerning whether this is the way one would want to communicate really good reasons to go to a place where you will receive a serious, theological education, though, look at the reactions it received (which were likely anticipated).

-I think it's cool
-this is serious?
-what you get when you cross Glee with Walmart
-Sounds like something from Oklahoma! or Music Man
-it's...like "Broadway meets Walmart"...
-Aww it was cute and catchy ..
-I give it a 90 .. fun to listen to .. but you shouldn't dance to it.. (a reference to the cliched American Bandstand new song reaction)
-why the wide and long shot of the puppeteer in the last "marching up the street" scene show him with the Wierd Al Yankovic wig (actual hair?)

and from elswhere:

-This was pretty awesome for a fundyU promo video. Cute, talented, and (relatively) cool guys? I’d so apply.
-I was talking with a friend about this and he pointed out that the current generation of teens are growing up with High School Musical and Glee and suchlike. Somebody there has a pretty keen sense of that ethos — in fact, it’s almost too good. Somebody has been watching modern TV and movies.
-Glee was actually my first association!
-Funny to see Dr. Oats’ mug in a “Glee”-style video.
-Has anyone checked the graves of Dr. and Mrs. Cedarholm which are on the front lawn of the campus? The ground must have heaved from the two rolling over in their graves.

I don't think its entirely fair to hold whoever made and approved the video responsible for every last reaction. However, the form in which they placed their "message" certainly had an impact on how that message was viewed.

Was this the time and subject about which to be silly?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

David,

If it's ok to be silly sometimes, I'm having a hard time understanding why this couldn't be one of those times. It's a video about registration. It's certainly not the only enrollment tool they use; there's even an ad here on SI. Nothing silly about that one.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Rob Fall's picture

Concur.

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
David,

If it's ok to be silly sometimes, I'm having a hard time understanding why this couldn't be one of those times. It's a video about registration. It's certainly not the only enrollment tool they use; there's even an ad here on SI. Nothing silly about that one.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

DavidO's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
If it's ok to be silly sometimes, I'm having a hard time understanding why this couldn't be one of those times. It's a video about registration.

I'm having a hard time understanding what the puppet-wielding longhair in the phalanx of Sharks and Jets or the chorus line of seminary profs has to do with registration. Might be a failure of taste on my part, though.

Aaron Blumer's picture

Charlie wrote:
Sometimes I really don't understand SI, particularly why certain topics generate the attention they do, and why others do not.

I have plenty of days like that, too.

In this case, the thread is very similar to lots of previous ones on the topics of CCM and consuming alcohol. Easier to see the pattern w/the CCM debates.
1) Topic involves many highly subjective factors
2) Topic presents many opportunities for disagreement
3) Because of the highly subjective/personal taste element, a high percentage of comments carry a lot of personal emotional investment & sensitivity (people often feel more loyal to their feelings than they do to their ideas, oddly enough)
4) Topic is difficult to analyze (for all the reasons above)
5) Fear and anger are not far from the surface because topic involves change
6) Because of #1, #3 etc., there's a huge personality element and people are often not aware of how their personality shapes their "analysis" of things (in this case, you have your very somber, duty-focused personalities clashing with more sangiune, joy-focused personalities... One is not better than the other. We need both. But it's important for people to recognize how their "default outlook" shapes their view of things and to understand that their personality is not the ultimate standard of righteousness to which all must conform.)

Surely we all know that...
a. The Christian life involves serious responsibilities (1Cor.4.2) and is a call to battle (Matt.10.34, Eph.6:12) --and that prep for ministry is hard work (2Tim. 1.6, 2.15)
b. The Christian life involves enjoying the pure pleasures God has given us in abundance (1Tim.6.17, Neh.8.10, Phil.4.4)

There have been a few solid points in the thread...
One is that a single video can't reasonably be interpreted as defining "the" emphasis/character of a school. Certainly it "says something about them," but that's not much of a claim (the socks I'm wearing say "something" about me). "Something" is clearly not "everything."

OK, sorry for the long, sort of pedantic lecture. It's just interesting to me how folks (including myself) forget things they have long known once they get a bit riled up.

Brenda T's picture

Quote:
OK, sorry for the long, sort of pedantic lecture

Labeling your own lecture as pedantic -- that's funny. :bigsmile:

It probably wasn't your intent to revive this thread with your lecture, but the topic has been an interesting one to observe. However, it's most likely a precarious talking point seeing as the sponsor of the video is one of the main advertisers on this site.

Indeed the video was a marketing/advertising tactic aimed at increasing applications. Advertising tactics make for interesting discussion as is happening elsewhere on this website regarding the propriety of homeless wi-fi hot spots. Just this week in the Wall Street Journal there was an article about the crazy things companies do to attract attention and hopefully customers/revenue. That article even mentioned the initial flak about the homeless wi-fi endeavor. The article was titled "Product Doesn't Speak for Itself? Hit the Street in a Clown Suit."

The conservative/Bible college market is a competitive one and those colleges can't exist without students. Tuition is not a "drop in the bucket" either, so potential students and their families are likely to closely scrutinize their options. People realize that only one thing from a college (such as a video, particular faculty member, article, etc.) does not in and of itself totally define that college. As in the sock analogy: the socks you put on today say something, but not everything about you. However, I'm guessing you did not put on those socks today in order to draw attention to yourself, attract more readers or advertisers to your blog, or increase attendance at your church. If you had done it for any of those reasons, we'd probably be discussing you right now. Smile

The video that has been discussed was published in order to attract attention. And it succeeded -- at least on this website. Unfortunately, in marketing tactics, companies can't know ahead of time what type of attention they will attract. They hope that the positive responses will outnumber the negative ones, but you never know for sure until it's out there. I found it interesting to see the arguments pro and con regarding the video. And, yes, those arguments tell "something" but not "everything" about those people. I'm not so sure at this point that it was enough to make this out to be a somber vs. sanguine "clashing" of "personalities." Some of those who took a more somber approach probably have very good senses of humor, and some of those who demonstrated a more sanguine tone likely have numerous somber moments in their lives.

OK, I'm done. Was my post pedantic, too? H:)

SamH's picture

far, here are some of the arguments and rebuttals to the critics (there are others, and some of those are worth hearing and engaging):

1. One said: "Personally - I can see the article coming out on several blogs condeming[sic ] the influence of Broadway on MBBC" [BTW, I'll stop with the sics, they make me sic- umm...tired. The spelling errors from this point are not my own, but original to their authors. ]

2. One said: "Um ... have you recently checked out the typical Fundy youth group?" Did this mean, "if we are making comparisons as to the value of this video, let's compare it to the other (possibly) non-sober, non-serious church activities condoned by most fundies--so, lighten up?"

3. One said: "It was a fun video and there is room for ministries to have fun, believe it or not. And, there is room for people to laugh with the them. Too make a judgement that a school's standards are slipping because they produce one clean and humorous is video hyper-judgemental." [PAUSE..let the irony soak in--rich, deep and full...Hint: "only the Sith think in absolutes"... Ok, continue ]

4. One said: "It's o.k. to have some humor and some laughing." (Even though many of the critics of the video said they concurred with that notion.)

5. One said: "A quirk of Fundamentalism is that it excites passion over the fringes of what is really important" in reply to "Sometimes I really don't understand SI, particularly why certain topics generate the attention they do, and why others do not."

6.In regard to those who took issue with the video, or who at least thought one might consider taking issue with the video, one implied the following: (or were these statements made about those who saw it as "fun", etc.?)--that such ones often operate from "personal emotional investment," are "more loyal to their feelings than ... their ideas," are motivated by "fear and anger" in the face of "change", and are lacking in seeing and understanding that "their personality is not the ultimate standard of righteousness".

Some video critics made pronouncements, some asked questions--and above are the responses--there are other, but I selected these for a reason.

The Take Home Idea?
That critics, (some? all? hard to always tell from the responses) in this thread (or preemptively in other blogs!), by direct statement or implication need the following declared to them:

1. The video critics are "condeming" due to: force of habit? or a result of too much ______________? or too little________________? or____? [implied: whatever their motivation, critics would be wrong out-of-the-gate for condemning ] This is a great rhetorical device (although cheap and fallacious), but it works--a method many Fundy preachers have used for years--a method which I had thought was derided here...

2. The video critics are unaware that since other ministries engage in frivolity and fun as a major part of their ministry, then MBBC is excused from examination, critique, or something; or that specific critic's notions are without value. So the "Fundy youth group" reference would likely be perceived as "your argument against the video on frivolity and other bases lacks value because "Fundy youth groups embody exactly what you accuse MBBC of doing?" What if it's wrong or sinful for "typical Fundy youth groups" to major on "fun" to the exclusion of other needful things? Or did I exegete this wrongly?

3. The video critics are unable to comprehend and thus believe that Christians can have fun. Critics who examine this video in light of any possibility of the movement of MBBC's standards are "hyper-judgmental." I'm sure they read that and thought: "great, what a delightful opening for further discussion, dialogue, and dare I say, meaningful argumentation! I shall imbibe of this rich nectar of Christian discussion with relish and ardor! Game on my brother!" [sarcasm alert ] If the one making the "hyper-judgmental" statement responded this way because they thought the video critics were wrong in their approach--well, two wrongs don't end the argument.

4. See three (3).

5. The video critics are engaged in what are clearly the "quirks" of F'ism--with concerns/questions related to "fringes" over against that which is "really important." This remark by its content and the content of the remark that generated it, (see five (5) above) is directed at all critics at this point--unless otherwise fine tuned somewhere. So, whether by pronouncement or question, the critics are thus broad-brushed--quirky and fringy. There you have it.

6. Last, the video critics are in need of a lecture (which six (6) summarizes), including re-education and/or illumination (unable to see and understand their plight), needing to respond from logic, not feelings or "personal emotional investment", among other things. Personally, it read like the POTUS's SOTU addresses. And not a little condescending. Near and outright fallacy--petitio principii, loaded language, false dilemma...

Having written all of this, I say and write stupid things--especially on the Internet--go ahead search my name on this site--it's humbling and not a little embarrassing. I wrote some ambiguous statements at the beginning to see where the flow would go, and perhaps I should not have done it. Some may consider my statements or even my questions to be dismissive of MBBC. They are meant to criticize them, their ideas and output, but they are not the result of some cursory examination of this one video. (And I understand that those on the "pro" or "neutral" end of things--if neutral is possible--are not coming to it without some thought. But, some of them, in positions of regency here, treated those who were critical of the video as if they were______________, [read the comments and fill in the blank. ] Too, it is very likely I engaged in fallacious logic in typing this dumb little missive--so, tell me, or dismiss me, or... I cannot speak to what motivated the other critics to write what they did. But, I attempt to use the following remarks from a brilliant, godly man to temper my thoughts--especially on matters of media, culture, and methodology. (Waiver: I do not for a second assume he would be a stalwart with me in my arguments here--but I have tried to learn from him.) Listen if you like:

Three lectures: http://seminary.wcts1030.com/resources/mp3-audio?start=10 especially: "How We Lost Our Good Name"--re: the law of unintended consequences,etc.

Three lectures: http://www.ibfna.org/IBFNA/2007_conference.htm

SamH

JG's picture

We'd have a bigger church if I had. We'll put together a video just like this to get people to join our church. Wait. "Apply" doesn't work with a church. You don't apply, you get baptized and join. Ah, I've got it:

"I'm gunna get dunked!" Bleah

That should do. Fun, cool, cute, energetic, catchy. We can show people diving in the baptistry, hurdling over pews, etc. Appeals to the things people can relate to, the things you want to appeal to when trying to fill up the place. Not appealing to anything WRONG, after all. Of course it will be clean, no offensive music -- we're conservative, after all.

How many others think this would make a good church video? Seems ideal. It won't be our only video, of course.

SamH's picture

Brenda T wrote:

The conservative/Bible college market is a competitive one and those colleges can't exist without students. Tuition is not a "drop in the bucket" either, so potential students and their families are likely to closely scrutinize their options. People realize that only one thing from a college (such as a video, particular faculty member, article, etc.) does not in and of itself totally define that college. As in the sock analogy: the socks you put on today say something, but not everything about you. However, I'm guessing you did not put on those socks today in order to draw attention to yourself, attract more readers or advertisers to your blog, or increase attendance at your church. If you had done it for any of those reasons, we'd probably be discussing you right now. Smile

SamH

Greg Long's picture

JG wrote:
We'd have a bigger church if I had. We'll put together a video just like this to get people to join our church. Wait. "Apply" doesn't work with a church. You don't apply, you get baptized and join. Ah, I've got it:

"I'm gunna get dunked!" Bleah

That should do. Fun, cool, cute, energetic, catchy. We can show people diving in the baptistry, hurdling over pews, etc. Appeals to the things people can relate to, the things you want to appeal to when trying to fill up the place. Not appealing to anything WRONG, after all. Of course it will be clean, no offensive music -- we're conservative, after all.

How many others think this would make a good church video? Seems ideal. It won't be our only video, of course.


Yes, and if you were charging thousands of dollars in fees to join your church and marketing to young people who would be leaving home and living at your church to study for four years in order to prepare for a career in order to support their families, it would be exactly the same!

I'm just curious, JG, did you go to college? Did you stay in a dorm?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

JG's picture

Six years in dorms (I changed major from physics / chemistry to Bible half way through, so it took a long time). I never had any fun, though. I led a "military coup" (armed with water pistols) on the Student Union building to overthrow a "dictatorial" student government (made the front page of the student newspaper). Stole my friend's Lincoln, it stalled so I had campus police help me get it started again, and went and parked it in the center of the soccer field. Did a few other things, too. But I was always deadly serious about it all.

It's not about not having fun. We have fun at church, too. A lot of it -- in fact, probably too much sometimes.

So if fun is ok at church as well as at school, why would this not be ok for a church, Greg? Presuming, that is, that it is a school that wants to be known as a ministry, and wants to convince churches to support it and send their students there because it has the same spiritual motivations and Biblical principles as the church....

Of course, if it doesn't want to be known that way, if it merely wants to be an institution of higher learning with Bible as an educational option and with basic morality enforced, then this is great. It all depends on what the school wants to be, I guess.

But I always thought Maranatha wanted to be the former, not the latter.

Greg Long's picture

JG wrote:
Six years in dorms (I changed major from physics / chemistry to Bible half way through, so it took a long time). I never had any fun, though. I led a "military coup" (armed with water pistols) on the Student Union building to overthrow a "dictatorial" student government (made the front page of the student newspaper). Stole my friend's Lincoln, it stalled so I had campus police help me get it started again, and went and parked it in the center of the soccer field. Did a few other things, too. But I was always deadly serious about it all.

It's not about not having fun. We have fun at church, too. A lot of it -- in fact, probably too much sometimes.

So if fun is ok at church as well as at school, why would this not be ok for a church, Greg? Presuming, that is, that it is a school that wants to be known as a ministry, and wants to convince churches to support it and send their students there because it has the same spiritual motivations and Biblical principles as the church....

Of course, if it doesn't want to be known that way, if it merely wants to be an institution of higher learning with Bible as an educational option and with basic morality enforced, then this is great. It all depends on what the school wants to be, I guess.

But I always thought Maranatha wanted to be the former, not the latter.

So this video conclusively proves MBBC is the latter? Wow. I guess we're just miles apart on this one.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

JG's picture

When you build a straw man, it does tend to move people miles apart. It is also frustrating. I didn't say it "conclusively proves" the school has changed its ethos. But it only takes a sentence to straw-man, and you have to then answer in detail, and someone else will pick at something else. But I'll answer anyway:

Excerpt from http://www.mbbc.edu/about/mission ]Mission statement :

Quote:
The mission of Maranatha Baptist Bible College is to develop leaders for ministry in the local church and the world “To the Praise of His Glory.”

I won't copy the whole thing. If anyone cares to understand my concerns, they can click through and read it. It's pretty solid stuff.

List of things the video gives as reasons for applying, as compiled by SamH above (if I remember correctly, this list is not complete but fairly representative):

Quote:
I seem to recall the following proffered as incentive for attending MBBC: “I’m the type of guy who likes success”(to be the Big Cheese as the desk sign said); “I wanna get a real degree”; “all of the new classes I’ll take”; “all the new friends I’ll make”; “while eating my Friday-night-steak”; “not to feel that I’ve been robbed, ‘cuz when I’m done I’ll get a real job”(and not be homeless by videographical inference); “and I’ll feel so satisfied”; and “maybe you’ll find that one to marry.”

These things are not in the mission statement they claim characterises their ministry.

Quote:
But, what of: God, Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit, slavehood, Lordship, grace, faith, the “Commission,” sunathleo, agonizomai,, to live is Christ, to die is gain—what of “the Faith?”

These things are in their mission statement, and are not in the video.

Someone in a key position at MBBC made a decision to release a video with an ethos significantly different from their mission statement. If you can't see the difference in ethos between the mission statement and the video, then we are indeed miles apart. If you can see the difference in ethos and think it doesn't matter, then we maybe aren't so far apart, but we aren't on the same page. But if you can see the difference, then perhaps dismissive comments about those who express concerns are out of line.

Usually decline begins not with great extreme error, but with small deviations from the stated ministry ethos. When we see those small deviations, that does not "conclusively prove" that the school has gone off the rails. It does raise concerns.

I won't even read this thread anymore unless someone contacts me and asks me something about it. I've expressed my concerns well enough that anyone should be able to understand them, it really doesn't matter that much to my life or my ministry if anyone agrees with them, and I have stuff that is a lot more pressing.

Greg Long's picture

JG wrote:
Someone in a key position at MBBC made a decision to release a video with an ethos significantly different from their mission statement. If you can't see the difference in ethos between the mission statement and the video, then we are indeed miles apart. If you can see the difference in ethos and think it doesn't matter, then we maybe aren't so far apart, but we aren't on the same page. But if you can see the difference, then perhaps dismissive comments about those who express concerns are out of line.
Speaking of dismissive comments, you're the one who said "even your son" could see the problem with the video and who expressed surprise that the rest of us here on SI weren't wise enough to see it your way.

Quote:
I won't even read this thread anymore unless someone contacts me and asks me something about it. I've expressed my concerns well enough that anyone should be able to understand them, it really doesn't matter that much to my life or my ministry if anyone agrees with them, and I have stuff that is a lot more pressing.
On that we can agree.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I'm curious. When you preach JG, do you cover everything you believe in each sermon you present?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

And now Davod Cloud has declared that Maranatha is "doomed" because of this video.

The only thing I see as "doomed" for the moment is the future of exercising humor in fundamentalism. :cry:

Here is th mentality that exists and even thrives in Fundamentalism - "Maranatha put out this video. They are gone brother." Most people see this mentality and scratch their heads at such over-reactions. And then we wonder why the young ones leave in droves?

Joel Shaffer's picture

Quote:
Usually decline begins not with great extreme error, but with small deviations from the stated ministry ethos. When we see those small deviations, that does not "conclusively prove" that the school has gone off the rails. It does raise concerns.

Ah, of course eventually the slippery slope fallacy rears its ugly head.........

Brent Marshall's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
I'm curious. When you preach JG, do you cover everything you believe in each sermon you present?

I am not JG, but covering everything one believes in one sermon is obviously impossible, so how does this contribute to the discussion?

Joel Shaffer wrote:
Quote:
Usually decline begins not with great extreme error, but with small deviations from the stated ministry ethos. When we see those small deviations, that does not "conclusively prove" that the school has gone off the rails. It does raise concerns.

Ah, of course eventually the slippery slope fallacy rears its ugly head.........


Ah, but JG is not making a slippery slope argument.

JG wrote:
Someone in a key position at MBBC made a decision to release a video with an ethos significantly different from their mission statement. If you can't see the difference in ethos between the mission statement and the video, then we are indeed miles apart. If you can see the difference in ethos and think it doesn't matter, then we maybe aren't so far apart, but we aren't on the same page. But if you can see the difference, then perhaps dismissive comments about those who express concerns are out of line.
This is well put. Many viewers seem not to be getting past the surface fun/humor to the deeper ethos, however.

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

SamH's picture

Let's agree for the moment that this video is not an indication that something undesirable is going on with the philosophy and practice of this school.

What precisely would be a bellwether of wrongheaded or even sinful change?

What in terms of the issue of worldliness, taste, or any other sign of sin would make you pause and wonder about the leadership and direction at a school?

I have not gone with the "slippery slope" thing at this point. (I already hold my own estimation of their place in relation to any kind of "slope" or a position on a spectrum.)

Delnay addresses this kind of thing in the lectures I posted above. How can we hope to avoid disastrous results in trying to consider "the law of unintended consequences" to use his language?

Maybe there will just be crickets. But, I do think this question should be answered with care.

SamH

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

In answer to Sam H...

1. Was there anything in the video that was disobedience to God? I do not believe there was.
2. Is this the only kind of video the school puts out? No. It is a simple attempt at having some fun. God allows for that.
3. Is putting out a fun video a sign that a ministry is drifting from God? Unfortunately, in current day fundamentalism, it is, and this is sad. It has not always been so. While I do not believe they produced a video - back in the old days, the kids at BJU sang about Big Juicy Collard Greens when it was Bob Jones College. They did not drift off into apostasy. Unfortunately, in fundamentalism, there is always an "assume the worst mentality" that erupts. Everything somebody does is a major crisis. It's overkill. It's wrong from my viewpoint.

I believe there is plenty of Scripture that would remind me not to think ill of Marantha for putting out this video. I also believe that Scritpure would caution me about assuming the worst of that ministry over putting out a harmless, funny video.

One of the most bothersome things for me in the people writing that the kids in this video are acting like punks. And we wonder why we are losing young people in fundamentalism? Get to know the youth of today and you will begin to understand that there is nothing punky in this video about those young men. While I do not know any of these young men personally, I do know some of the young men at Maranatha, and there seems to be a maturity there that was not present when I was in college. Most of the kids going to a place like Maranatha are going against the grain so to speak and are attending a college like this to prepare to go do something for God. Why would any of them want to graduate and serve God in a movement that calls them punks for having fund with a video?

Aaron Blumer's picture

One argument above seems to go along the lines of "if you wouldn't do it as part of your church's efforts, you shouldn't do it as part of a college effort"
This is an interesting premise but why would that be true?

On another note, it's true that MBBC advertises here, but FWIW, they've never communicated with me at all other than swapping info related to the ads... which happens once or twice a year.
A stronger factor in my bias (and we all have a bias) is probably that I have an uncle who works there. But nobody connected w/MBBC has ever pressured us one way or another on anything at SI. (People from several other institutions have, but usually not in a self-interested way. They have occasionally felt that we were misstepping in one way or other that caused confusion or hurt ourselves. I'm sure they've been right about that a few times, too.)

About the slippery slope fallacy idea...

It's only a fallacy when the analogy is poor. That is, there really are such things as slippery slopes. But it isn't valid to look at a single data point and project a decline. It isn't even valid to look at two data points, compare the trajectory to an arbitrary standard and declare that a slide is in progress.
To make the "slippery slope" argument valid you need two things:
(a) Enough data to project a course/trajectory
(b) A well supported standard to compare the trajectory to
If either one is lacking, it's slippery slope fallacy.

Aaron Blumer's picture

FWIW, here's my guess at what's really going on:

  • Many fundamentalist institutions have been loosening up some for quite a while
  • Some (many?) are not, so we have increasing polarization
  • The main reason for the loosening up is that multiple generations now have been handed very weak cases against many items on the old no-no lists. (If I had a dime for every time a speaker who couldn't make his case said "Don't ask what's wrong with it; ask what's right with it"... )
  • Another strong reason is cross-pollination. Especially in educational institutions, faculty read and study more widely than in the past and this has resulted in the discovery that Those Other Guys are not monsters even though they differ from us on several points.

So changes have been in the wind for decades and some of them are showing up in somewhat intangible but surprising (to some) ways. It's really nothing more than that.
To me the burning question for fundamentalist institutions is this: Will we replace the inadequate ways of thinking about culture, entertainment, dress, language, etc. with better ones or will we replace them with mainstream evangelical sentimentalism/grace-distortions?
(I've met so many evangelicals who think like this:

  • Grace is the opposite of law.
  • Rules and standards are law.
  • Grace is Christian.
  • Therefore rules and standards are unChristian.

... this is as bad or worse than the kind of preaching against blue jeans I heard as a kid.)

JG's picture

He was correct.

Greg Long wrote:
Speaking of dismissive comments, you're the one who said "even your son" could see the problem with the video and who expressed surprise that the rest of us here on SI weren't wise enough to see it your way.

You are correct, Greg. Though it wasn't the first "dismissive" comment by any means, it added little to the discussion, and would have been better left unsaid. Please forgive me.
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
I'm curious. When you preach JG, do you cover everything you believe in each sermon you present?

Hi, Chip. I hope that the ethos of what I say when I preach is always consistent with the ethos of all I believe. I hope I don't ever have a sermon that majors on things not included in my doctrinal statement, and never suggest, even lightheartedly, reasons for following the Lord that are built on the world's values.

Finally, though this wasn't mentioned to me, I'll respond to it:
Slippery slope is only a fallacy if A) you "project a decline" as a certainty (which wasn't done here) AND Cool there is no strong causal link between the step in question and the perceived end result of that step.

I expressed concern over deviation from the school's mission statement. Here's a theoretical example: what if it were deviation from Scripture? What if a school came out with a statement that "we now believe that the traditional evangelical understanding of inerrancy has to be reconsidered in light of recent scientific discoveries"? We would all (hopefully) immediately say, "That way lies great peril." We wouldn't need more than one data point to be concerned. We wouldn't necessarily say they are going to be completely apostate in three years, but we would be watching for what comes next. It wouldn't be a "slippery slope fallacy" to say that statement is cause for concern. NOTE: I say this NOT to draw equivalence between this video and deviating from inerrancy, but to illustrate that the "slippery slope fallacy" argument has real limitations.

There are really only three points of view here:
1. Those who think this is a deviation from the school's historical position / mission statement and think that is a concern. People with this point of view probably have vastly differing views as to exactly how concerned they are. David Cloud has one level of concern, apparently (haven't read him, won't). I have a much lower level of concern.
2. Those who think it is a deviation but consider it minor and of little consequence, and perhaps even a positive thing.
3. Those who think it isn't a deviation at all.

Perhaps there is a fourth category, those who just think it is fun and so don't care whether or not it is consistent with the school's mission statement. I doubt that applies to SI members generally, but it probably does apply to a non-negligible portion of the video's target audience. And that is one of the most disappointing parts about it, to me. But I won't elaborate on it, because I've got better things to do.

And now, I really will depart this thread.

SamH's picture

Everyone and every ministry is constantly in a state of drifting from God, and returning to proper (and hopefully) greater obedience to Him. It is conceit to think we are not drifting. That is the "old" fundy conceit, and clearly for some it is the "new"/"young" fundy conceit.

Using your points, I will try again for the answer for which I was looking.

1. What would that disobedience need to look like--in terms of cultural language, style, genre, musical content/form, if at anyone views these categories as being the type that could come under sinful influence?

2. We get that--no one on the "con" side has said this is the only media vehicle they drive. (Although from the vimeo site, in the "promotional" type, it is one of few. So, when would this "fun" be of concern to you? What would be the threshold? Could we have a genre or form with crotch-grabbing and the like from Lib U's vid, and that would be ok? (DO NOT address the crotch-grabbing directly! Please catch my nuance here, and don't miss the point.)

3. As far as I can see, I am not seeing anyone warning of "apostasy" at this point (to paint with that brush is similar to the case in political discussions, and watching to see how fast "Hitler" comes in the conversation. IOW, the use of "Apostasy" on one foil's part at this point could easily be interpreted as a Red Herring.) Apostasy is a long way off God-willing. But let us not be so conceited as to think that MBBC, BJU, or any other educ. institution could not end up apostate. It is always the threat. Doctrinally, Fuller was "fundamental"--but today, not so much--how long did that take? To say that, is not to think unbiblical, but to be cautious.

So, to keep your answers on point, I return to my question: "how many "fun" marketing/selling/recruitment videos would MBBC need to produce percentage-wise to raise a flag in someone's mind?

What is clear--in many (not all) of the "pro" minds, there is really very little room for concern about MBBC and this type of video. In fact for some of the "pro"s, anyquestioning of it, from any aspect has elicited (from some on the "pro" side): very poorly argued condemnations, out and out logically fallacious proclamations and comparisons, and an apparent lack of concern for MBBC direction. COOL! Maybe some here have more in common with those "old" fundamentalists than they knew!

Is critique or asking questions about an institution necessarily "thinking ill" of MBBC, and thus unscriptural. Again, if it rounds up to that, well then, how different is that from some of our forebears who allowed no critique, no questioning, no public statement of dissatisfaction?

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
In answer to Sam H...

1. Was there anything in the video that was disobedience to God? I do not believe there was.
2. Is this the only kind of video the school puts out? No. It is a simple attempt at having some fun. God allows for that.
3. Is putting out a fun video a sign that a ministry is drifting from God? Unfortunately, in current day fundamentalism, it is, and this is sad. It has not always been so. While I do not believe they produced a video - back in the old days, the kids at BJU sang about Big Juicy Collard Greens when it was Bob Jones College. They did not drift off into apostasy. Unfortunately, in fundamentalism, there is always an "assume the worst mentality" that erupts. Everything somebody does is a major crisis. It's overkill. It's wrong from my viewpoint.

I believe there is plenty of Scripture that would remind me not to think ill of Marantha for putting out this video. I also believe that Scritpure would caution me about assuming the worst of that ministry over putting out a harmless, funny video.

One of the most bothersome things for me in the people writing that the kids in this video are acting like punks. And we wonder why we are losing young people in fundamentalism? Get to know the youth of today and you will begin to understand that there is nothing punky in this video about those young men. While I do not know any of these young men personally, I do know some of the young men at Maranatha, and there seems to be a maturity there that was not present when I was in college. Most of the kids going to a place like Maranatha are going against the grain so to speak and are attending a college like this to prepare to go do something for God. Why would any of them want to graduate and serve God in a movement that calls them punks for having fund with a video?

SamH

Greg Long's picture

JG wrote:
Greg Long wrote:
Speaking of dismissive comments, you're the one who said "even your son" could see the problem with the video and who expressed surprise that the rest of us here on SI weren't wise enough to see it your way.

You are correct, Greg. Though it wasn't the first "dismissive" comment by any means, it added little to the discussion, and would have been better left unsaid. Please forgive me.
I didn't take it as a offensive against me personally, but I do accept your apology. And you are correct that my comment that we are miles apart was dismissive and for that I apologize.

I respect your desire to see schools stay true to their mission and to the Word of God.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Dave Doran's picture

Just because it seems like the horse is still being kicked, I was reminded of this tidbit from John Piper's http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/biographies/evangelist-bill-... ]bio of his father:

Quote:
Does it not seem like a strange incongruity—perhaps not a real one—that the most fundamentalistic, separatistic, worldliness-renouncing school in America, Bob Jones University, where my father graduated in 1942, should have as part of the commencement celebration in those days a performance of “As You Like It” (1939) and “Romeo and Juliet” (1940) both written by William Shakespeare, who in his own day ridiculed the Puritans, and whose Globe Theater was demolished by the Puritans in 1644? Isn’t it a strange irony how three centuries can turn worldliness into “a delightful comedy”—as the BJU program said in 1939?

DMD

Caleb S's picture

post #53!

Aaron Blumer's picture

About the Bard... were the Puritans wrong then or is BJU wrong now? "... that is the question."
I'm inclined to think the Puritans were wrong (at the least ones who went after the Globe... were they really unified on this point?), but on the other hand, given that performances of artistic creations happen in a particular cultural context, and given that these contexts change, is it impossible that the Puritans were right and also BJU is right?

To connect it to the OP, is it impossible that those who say the MBBC vid doesn't communicate the right impression of the school are right but those who say it should not be taken very seriously are also right? (Not really realted to my "changing contexts" angle though since this is all in one context)

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