Bob Jones III apologizes for "if homosexuals were stoned" statement

Bob Jones III apologizes for "if homosexuals were stoned" statement

The 1980 statement: "I'm sure this will be greatly misquoted but it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel's day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands."

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Jim's picture

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2015/03/21/bob-jones-ii...

Former BJU president Bob Jones III issued a public apology Saturday for anti-gay comments he made in 1980, in which he called for homosexuals to be stoned.

"I take personal ownership for this inflammatory rhetoric," Jones said in a statement. "This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago."

http://www.wspa.com/story/28579474/bob-jones-iii-apologizes-for-comments...

I take personal ownership of this inflammatory rhetoric. This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago. It is antithetical to my theology and my 50 years of preaching a redeeming Christ Who came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Upon now reading these long-forgotten words, they seem to me as words belonging to a total stranger—were my name not attached. 

I cannot erase them, but wish I could, because they do not represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching. Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners. 

The Bible I love, preach, and try to practice, does not present today the stoning of sinners as God's way. Its message is the good news that Christ Jesus was condemned on behalf of sinners to rescue all of us from condemnation and judgment by His willing sacrifice, for He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. 

I apologize for the reflection those remarks bring upon Jesus Christ, Whom I love; Bob Jones University, which I have loved and served; and my own personal testimony.”

http://www.wyff4.com/news/petition-prompts-apology-from-bob-jones-iii/31...

 

Mark_Smith's picture

Not one of those "I apologize if you interpreted it the wrong way" ones.

Bob Jones III instead said plainly "I apologize for the reflection those remarks bring upon Jesus Christ, Whom I love; Bob Jones University, which I have loved and served; and my own personal testimony."

Mark_Smith's picture

The servers are all overloaded.

In my naivete I ask, is it really that big of a deal that BJIII repented for an overstatement?

Homosexual behavior and thoughts is still sin, and so is murder and rape.

Ron Bean's picture

The Fonzie reference that Jim used earlier humorously points out why this is a big deal. For a lot of fundamentalists and for Bob Jones personally and BJU institutionally to publicly admit they were wrong is a rare occurrence. For those of us who are loyal, but not blindly loyal, alumni and have spent decades trying to explain statements and actions made by our alma mater and its leaders, this kind of action is welcomed.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Rob Fall's picture

to fall on his sword in apology, this is as abject an apology as you going to get.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Mark_Smith's picture

is that for these servers to be down every news media and LGBT org on the planet is trying to access the site. 

Jeremy Horn's picture

Jim wrote:

Bob Jones calling MacArthur a heretic 

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/blood.htm

You're going to be waiting awhile for that apology Jim. It was Dr. Bob Jr. who called MacArthur a heretic, not III. Phil Johnson's article clarifies that point.

Jeremy Horn's picture

I disagree with Dr. Bob Jr and the mystical blood teaching.

Ron Bean's picture

Jeremy Horn wrote:

I disagree with Dr. Bob Jr and the mystical blood teaching.

I remember being at the World Congress of Fundamentalists in 1986 when this view of the blood of Christ was accepted by a supposed unanimous vote. Those were interesting times.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Jim's picture

Petition seeks Bob Jones U. apology on anti-gay remarks

A 2,000-signature petition has been sent to Bob Jones University asking for anapology for school leaders' anti-gay comments, most notably one from Bob Jones III in 1980 calling for homosexuals to be stoned.

BJUnity, which offers support for past and present lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students at the nondenominational Christian university, mailed the petition Wednesday, said Jeffrey Hoffman, the executive director.

Mark_Smith's picture

BJIII also mentioned murderers and rapists?

Is it ok to stone them?

Oh wait, those two aren't the sin du jour...

Mark_Smith's picture

I never attended BJU or Academy

I read the USA today article Jim linked to above about Mr Hoffman, a BJUnity founder. He said he felt (and was taught) that homosexuality was the worst sin in the world. Is this regularly taught at BJU? That homosexuality is the WORST sin? Worse than heterosexual sins, rape, murder, theft, etc?

I need a clear eyed report. It might be. For example, I am sure Westboro Baptist teaches that...Does BJU?

bobbycook's picture

My recollection of the teaching at MBBC in the seventies was that Romans 1:18-32 was a description of the downward steps taken by a God-rejecting society. The last state was that of homosexuality, which left us thinking that a person who was homosexual was expressing ultimate rebellion towards God and was thus irredeemable.

Ron Bean's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

BJIII also mentioned murderers and rapists?

Is it ok to stone them?

Oh wait, those two aren't the sin du jour...

I don't seem to recall the same level of indignation being expressed over sins like divorce, adultery, or immorality as it is for intercourse between people of the same sex.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

josh p's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

BJIII also mentioned murderers and rapists?

Is it ok to stone them?

Oh wait, those two aren't the sin du jour...

 

 

I don't seem to recall the same level of indignation being expressed over sins like divorce, adultery, or immorality as it is for intercourse between people of the same sex.

I agree with you Ron however I would say part of the reason for that is that the other sins mentioned have not created a massive political movement which basically strong arms opponents into submission. I'm not saying it is a worse sin but it is certainly celebrated more

Joel Tetreau's picture

I'm thankful for Dr. Bob's apology.

Honestly, I'm not sure what else Dr. Bob should do here. He looks at the statement and concludes it doesn't reflect his heart or that of the ministry he has loved all of these years and so he apologies for something that he said over three decades ago. All I can say is I'm very thankful I don't have to live with the kind of scrutiny that Dr. Bob has had to live with all these years. I'm sure I'd have to be apologizing for things all the time from when I've spoken publicly and not thought about the ramifications of what I'm saying at the time.  

By the way - a commentary on Bob Jones University and it's leadership. I'm convinced these are Godly men who are humble and have desired to do right over the years and continue to desire to do right. Not many of us will live with the crucible leadership burden that these men have had to live with. I have no doubt that these men have missed some things over the years. I also know that any of us in ministry leadership over any amount of time have also missed important leadership stewardships. What is telling is that this institution and these leaders are transparent to review (both external and internal to the university itself). I pray that God will encourage the hearts of all who are in leadership at BJ and that God will give great clarity as to their mission and that they will be successful and encouraged as they seek to be faithful to that calling.

The University continues to have my confidence and friendship!

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

I never attended BJU or Academy

I read the USA today article Jim linked to above about Mr Hoffman, a BJUnity founder. He said he felt (and was taught) that homosexuality was the worst sin in the world. Is this regularly taught at BJU? That homosexuality is the WORST sin? Worse than heterosexual sins, rape, murder, theft, etc?

I need a clear eyed report. It might be. For example, I am sure Westboro Baptist teaches that...Does BJU?

I went to BJ.  I don't remember it ever being taught that it was the worst sin.  It was a very bad sin, especially since it was the result of someone consistently living in the sin.  But I don't ever remember it being singled out that it was the very worst sin.

With that said, in all fairness, this was quite some time ago and the way the church has reacted to the culture has changed dramatically over the last 100 years.  I believe that the church went from a situation where morality that reflected the practices of the church was certainly more accepted and enforced by society as a whole.  A situation that was surely a unique scenario over the last 10,000 years.  As society changed, the church reacted much more aggressively hoping to 1) steer society back and 2) attack something that they felt was going to plunge the entire world into sin and destruction.  It was a facade they were trying to protect and an illusion that seemed like reality because it was during their lifetime, but not in a reality over the history of the earth.  Many people said things that were not entirely reflective of how we should engage a society that would be more hostile to God and more reflective of the true world.  I don't think that what BJ III said was that far off most of fundamentalism at that time.  Even in the 40's and 50's most fundamentalist churches in the south felt that race integration was a severe sin.

I do think that BJ III addressed it the best that could be done.  And Bob Jones was not that much different from much of the church around them as they grappled with these changes going on in society.

Larry Nelson's picture

 

John 8 (ESV): 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

 

Bert Perry's picture

Matthew 18 has been on my heart recently, and it strikes me that the last thing we want is for BJ III (is that "Trey"?) to fall on his sword.  There are doubtless places where I disagree with him, but hey, I'm bound to Paul's prescriptions for leadership in 1 Timothy & Titus, not my own biases.

Looks like a well done apology, the kind that I'm called upon to make from time to time, by the way.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

I'm a grateful graduate of BJU and I'm thankful for DB III's apology for his intemperate remarks. I've begun to realize why it's possible that these 35 year old comments had been forgotten. One, in those days such remarks were not as easily publicized as today. More importantly, because of the tendency of a many to live within a limited circle of friends, such statements and actions weren't deemed significant. For some, however, who moved more than two tankfuls of gasoline away from BJU, socially and geographically, those statements affected our ministries; even more so with the advent of the internet. Personally, I've been encountering people who were minorities, bi-racial, or homosexual who were aware of BJU's history and comments for 30 years. I'm glad some of this is being addressed and cleaned up.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Larry Nelson's picture

 

2008: BJU apologizes for former racial policies:

"For these failures we are profoundly sorry."

http://www.bju.edu/about/what-we-believe/race-statement.php

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2014: BJU apologizes for past counseling practices:

"On behalf of Bob Jones University, I would like to sincerely and humbly apologize..."

http://www.bju.edu/news/2014-12-10-grace-report-statement.php

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2015: BJ III apologizes for his 1980 remarks calling for homosexuals to be stoned:

"I apologize for the reflection those remarks bring upon Jesus Christ, Whom I love; Bob Jones University, which I have loved and served; and my own personal testimony.”

http://blogs.bju.edu/pr/2015/03/21/former-bju-president-apologizes-1980-statement/

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