BJU faulted for response to GRACE report

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Bert Perry's picture

Ugh.  From Jay's link, here's a link about what Jesse Matthew, the killer Joe B. referred to about 50 posts ago as having played football for Liberty, was accused of.  Not quite sure what to make of "charges were never filed".  The timeline indicates that at both schools, the man was quickly expelled, and this source indicates his victim at Liberty had a hospital report that for some reason did not result in  criminal charges.  Not quite sure how you document injuries and perhaps even complete a rape kit without getting enough information to file charges for something, but apparently it's possible.  When arrested for the Hannah Graham murder, he was apparently working as a football coach for a Christian school.  

Not that this lets BJU off the hook, but clearly other colleges, including secular ones, are really, really dropping the ball in cases like this.   Just as clearly, I think employers need to take background checks seriously.

And even worse, the doctrine of affirmative consent seems tailor-made to punish innocent missteps and kill romance while leaving real transgressions unpunished.  What a worst of all worlds policy.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

mmartin's picture

Jim, I like your Far Side style humor.  Keep it up!  :-)!

Jay, I agree about BJIII and the Board being accountable as well and BJU not being prepared to appropriately handle their counseling.  BJIII and the board were the forces behind BJU's historical insular, inbred, and heavy-handed culture.  You take BJIII and Berg out of the GRACE report, the report would've been about 20% of the length it was.  Would two other people have taken BJIII and Berg's place?  Yes.  Might have the culture and counseling then been softer and more gracious?  Who knows.  Maybe, maybe not.  In my opinion a president outside of the Family and Bubble would've been a healthy change long, long ago.  From my personal observation while at BJU I think BJIII had a certain attitude about The U that wasn't necessarily good.  That is why I think if it wasn't for BJIII and Berg the GRACE report never would've happened.  BJIII (& the board) set the tone and the culture and Berg was the day-to-day face of that culture regarding counseling.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Actually, I'm much more interested in what Ben Howard did not say in his post above.  He said that he does a lot of counseling in his role as a chaplain, and that he has gone away from the model BJU (and to a lesser extent Southern Seminary) taught during his education.  What was unstated, and might be useful in a discussion of what BJU should do in the future, was what approach he now uses.  I'm assuming, of course, that he is still attempting to be faithful to the scriptures in his approach.

After all, if BJU's changes are insufficient, it might be nice to actually discuss valid approaches other than "outsource to one organization" about which there are questions.

Dave Barnhart

Ben Howard's picture

To answer Dave Barnhart, I wish I had a great certain method! LOL!  For the last 10 years, to be honest, I feel that I have been flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to a lot of counseling.  Some, like marriage counseling, I have been blessed to have been provided some decent training in resources by the Navy that even had Christian components to them, read other books (including some recommended at BJU and Southeastern that were really helpful), and made a great psychologist friend who certified me in Prepare and Enrich which is my starting point and basis for pretty much all my marriage counseling.  For other issues, suicidal thoughts, depression etc., I spend a lot of time listening and if they are Christians pointing them to Scripture and whether they are Christians or not, giving them practical exercises.  I have yet to have anyone turn me down for prayer, religious or not.

For these type of issues as well as Operational Stress/PTSD, I do view my role strictly as a pastoral counselor, and highly encourage them to also be involved with a mental health professional.  Ultimately, I do view counseling as a process of discipleship, if the person is not a Christian, I want to give them something, even practical and non-spiritual that will meet the immediate need and hopefully provide me an opportunity at the right time to share the gospel or move them a step closer to Christ.  If the person is a Christian, I want them to use whatever they are experiencing in their life to grow closer to Christ, but that is not always or even mostly related to sin in their lives.  Many, many times (and it may just be the demographic I am dealing with), it is really bad life and relationship skills that come from really bad family histories.  Of course, within that, there are usually spiritual issues but not everything boils down to memorize verses, have devotions and attend church. (I know that is a really bad oversimplification)

I will say that I firmly believe that just as someone else pointed out the mental health community is not the ugly Christ hating monster that it was painted as by Berg and Mazak.  I have worked with many good mental health providers who while possibly not professing any faith were extremely respectful of each individuals personal beliefs and referred back and forth with me to try to help a person mentally, physically and spiritually.  There is no need for the average Pastor (or Chaplain either although some Chaplain colleagues of mine disagree) to get certified in EMDR, which is the latest research validated method of dealing with PTSD for almost any type of trauma.  To bash EMDR and other scientifically valid treatments as psychobabble is wrong and dangerous.  There is a lot of science for such treatments and hard core Biblical Counseling adherents completely miss the opportunity to recommend legitimate and (from talking to those who have gone through it) very helpful options to deal with and overcome symptoms of trauma.

Someone else up above asked about Mazak and Berg being veterans - no they were not.  Mazak does have an undergrad degree in Psychology, but his PhD is in Bible or New Testament (not sure which) from BJU.  He did an internship at the State mental hospital in South Carolina and basically attributes all severe mental health issues to demon possession or sin (worship disorders, he calls them).  I only had Mazak for General and Abnormal Psych on the undergrad level, but he did basically deny that anything found in the DSM was a true disease that had a basis in physiology.

I agree with Rob Fall that you don't need to have been a veteran (or for that matter have gone through a sexual assault) to help someone struggling with PTSD or was a victim of sexual trauma, but you can't be someone who doesn't even believe that such thing exists.  As long as that attitude is allowed, any help that is offered will be ineffective at best and hurtful to many.

Joeb's picture

dcbii it's is real easy, recognize that PTSD exists and it's not a sinful world phsyco voodoo and get the appropriate training to handle it.  Also drop the bitterness boloney  what insane Counsler  would even bring that up  in the first place. See I just resolved it.   Focus on the victim as a victim not on some imaginary sin that does not exist.  If the young lady is a victim of sexual abuse as a child or the victim of a sexual assault the last thing that should come up is her sin.   How hard can that be.  Anyone with any common sense and compassion would see this.  Anyone who is to focused on how tight her skirt or blouse is needs phsyco treatment more then the victim.  In the end if BJU does not use some commonsense then BJU will fold and Berg and everyone else will have to go out in the real world and make real living. 

Joeb's picture

Wow Ben your right on.  I'm one of the uncivil ones in this thread, but I find it hard to understand a person who professes to be Christian abuse young ladies who are victims and young men who have served our country. This is hard for me to wrap my head around especially Berg and Mazak.  Can anyone be so arrogant that they don't have the love of Christ in them and treat some tender young ladies so callously.  Anyway Ben if BJU wanted to resolve their Counseling program for the better they should offer you a 6 figure salary and let you run everything.  They can fund your salary by cutting Berg and Mazaks salary in half then maybe they will resign. Solution to all their problems. 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Joeb wrote:

dcbii it's is real easy, recognize that PTSD exists and it's not a sinful world phsyco voodoo and get the appropriate training to handle it.  

What is the appropriate training in your view, and what makes it appropriate?

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

Ben Howard's picture

Chip,

I've already mentioned one valid treatment that really does work and is currently being successfully used to relieve the symptoms associated with PTSD and that is EMDR.  It is a purely medical type therapy treatment and I don't think its necessary for a Pastoral/Christian counselor to learn it, but they should know about it and have a referral that can offer it to send people to.

Other than that, there are very good resources available, even VA sponsored classes for pastors that are given at VA hospitals so that Pastors can better deal with problems faced by returning veterans.  Their goal with that training is not to turn you into a therapist and stop being a Pastor, but to give solid medical information and referral sources so that when you give pastoral and spiritual counsel to someone dealing with those issues, you better understand the mental, emotional and physical reactions that they are experiencing.

Ben Howard's picture

From the Pastoral Care perspective and dealing with PTSD, which I also think can happen with abuse victims, our best support is in the moral injury category.  There are many dealing with PTSD that is exacerbated by the facts of what they had to do in war or during what they went through.  Who better to help them work through moral issues (which by their very nature are spiritual/Biblical in nature) than their Pastor or Christian counselor.  Any good training should help walk a person through sorting out feelings of guilt to decide if there was truly any sin or wrongdoing committed to deserve the guilt, and then how to deal with it - forgiveness or replacing patterns of thinking that lead to guilt with those that lead to acknowledging the horror but your innocence in the circumstances.  All of this can and should take place for the Christian within a framework of the Gospel and the truth of Scripture.  The danger comes in seeing all victims and all guilt as a sign of sin, and that being the default mode.  Even if the person is convinced of wrongdoing on their part, the focus should be on the forgiveness of God towards them.  I have talked to Marines (only a couple) who were firmly convinced that killing on their part in combat was sin, no matter what Scriptural argument I could make to the contrary, usually based on a Catholic upbringing.  My Scriptural advice to them even though I wouldn't consider that sin is confess it as sin and accept God's forgiveness.

 

Joeb's picture

Guys and Gals I know we want to be civil in this forum but I think there is a little bit of dancing around the main issue and little bit of not pointing out the obvious.  If it smells like a cow dung and feels like a cow dung then its cow dung.    So you know what I think of Berg and Mazek and neither one has sought any forgiveness even in  a general way which has been pointed out in this thread.   That being said enough people have offered me information in this thread that I believe  BJU and Pettit know this to and are handling their loose cannons.  Also,  I think Ben has offered some of  best insight and resolutions so far regarding the correct counseling.  He sat under the men in question and had clearly pointed out the real warped thinking of BJU counseling.  I think the suggestion made that Pastors write letters to BJU demanding the correct changes in the be made in the counseling at BJU or they will encourage their young people to go elsewhere is excellent. 

Bert Perry's picture

No, not trying to argue that it isn't Biblical, but just the opposite; if we do not have a Biblical basis for what we're saying about PTSD (and a number of other phenomena really involving the mind), we can rest assured that we will be ignored by BJU and others.  And, quite frankly, shouldn't they if they value the first fundamental, the inerrancy of Scripture?

So while other resources can be valuable for helping us, I think in the long term we've really got to upgrade our theology to be able to argue that the Scriptures allow for mental disorders (again, e.g. Dinah and Tamar, or Nabal's stroke, etc..) that are not the result of the person's sin.  I remember as a kid when I had some plastic surgery (removal of benign cysts from my skull) that I met a guy who was real combative--the surgeon told me that he'd been gentle as a lamb before his car accident.  But after his skull got thumped good--and whatever other mental things I just don't understand--something happened.

Sin?  Maybe.  Or maybe the thump triggered something in his head that he couldn't cope with.  It seems that if we can concede this point, we can make progress.  Perhaps even another tendency noted by the GRACE report--to blame the victim--has a lot of its roots there, though I'd still want to discard the notion that ladies can indeed "lead men astray" through clothing choices.  Not exactly Biblical, either.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

Well, if we want to know what PTSD is, we ought to learn about it.  Here's the first search hit on Bing, courtesy of the VA:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that happens to you, like:

  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attack
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, like a car wreck
  • Natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake

During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don't go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

How does PTSD develop?

Most people who go through a trauma have some symptoms at the beginning. Only some will develop PTSD over time. It isn't clear why some people develop PTSD and others don't.

Whether or not you get PTSD depends on many things:

  • How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted
  • If you were injured or lost someone important to you
  • How close you were to the event
  • How strong your reaction was
  • How much you felt in control of events
  • How much help and support you got after the event
  • What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

There are four types of symptoms of PTSD:

  • You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you're going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  • You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  • The way you think about yourself and others may change because of the trauma. You may feel fear, guilt, or shame. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories.
  • You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. Or, you may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. This is known as hyperarousal.
  • Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)

Can children have PTSD?

Children can have PTSD too. They may have symptoms described above or other symptoms depending on how old they are. As children get older, their symptoms are more like those of adults. Here are some examples of PTSD symptoms in children:

  • Children age birth to 6 may get upset if their parents are not close by, have trouble sleeping, or suddenly have trouble with toilet training or going to the bathroom.
  • Children age 7 to 11 may act out the trauma through play, drawings, or stories. Some have nightmares or become more irritable or aggressive. They may also want to avoid school or have trouble with schoolwork or friends.
  • Children age 12 to 18 have symptoms more similar to adults: depression, anxiety, withdrawal, or reckless behavior like substance abuse or running away.
  • What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems, including divorce

In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these other problems, because they are often related. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related problems.

Will I get better?

"Getting better" means different things for different people, and not everyone who gets treatment will be "cured." Even if you continue to have symptoms, however, treatment can help you cope. Your symptoms don't have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships.

Judging from what this is describing, I can't see any way possible for PTSD to be fairly labelled as a sin issue.  Will there be temptations (hopelessness, fear, etc), but this is an involuntary response to a traumatic event.  To treat it as a sin issue would only compound the damage.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jay wrote:
Will I get better?

"Getting better" means different things for different people, and not everyone who gets treatment will be "cured." Even if you continue to have symptoms, however, treatment can help you cope. Your symptoms don't have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships.

Judging from what this is describing, I can't see any way possible for PTSD to be fairly labelled as a sin issue.  Will there be temptations (hopelessness, fear, etc), but this is an involuntary response to a traumatic event.  To treat it as a sin issue would only compound the damage.

Jay,

This part of the quote is at the crux of the issue. Modern psychology does not believe in "cures." In fact, the general consensus among the psychological community is that there is no such thing as being mentally healthy, there are only different levels of mentally disturbed for all of us. This quote you provided is founded in that philosophy. However, that is not a biblical approach. Scripture presents solutions, "cures" if you will, through God's intervention, not just eternal treatment and coping mechanisms. This is why I kept asking those of you denouncing BJ's approach to explain what competent counsel would look like to you. Modern psychology is not compatible with the Bible; they are diametrically opposed in their description of who man is and how man "works" which produces mutually exclusive solutions to man's problems.

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

Jay's picture

This part of the quote is at the crux of the issue. Modern psychology does not believe in "cures." In fact, the general consensus among the psychological community is that there is no such thing as being mentally healthy, there are only different levels of mentally disturbed for all of us. This quote you provided is founded in that philosophy. However, that is not a biblical approach. Scripture presents solutions, "cures" if you will, through God's intervention, not just eternal treatment and coping mechanisms. This is why I kept asking those of you denouncing BJ's approach to explain what competent counsel would look like to you. Modern psychology is not compatible with the Bible; they are diametrically opposed in their description of who man is and how man "works" which produces mutually exclusive solutions to man's problems.

'Competent' counsel understands that there is no 'cure' for victims of abuse, because the consequences of that abuse (or other trauma) will never be completely undone.  A person who has been battered or molested will deal in some way or another with that for the rest of their lives.  Will they need to forgive their assailant at some point, as they are able and as God gives them the grace too?  Absolutely.  But if you are going to argue that the victims of abuse should and can be restored to a state where they don't think about it ever again, then that strikes me as amazingly naive.

Chip, our choices are not binary.  The Bible is absolutely sufficient for dealing with every issue.  That doesn't mean that every issue's problem will be resolved with the application of Scripture alone.  The EMDR therapy that some have derided and that Ben mentioned appears to be a valuable tool that can come alongside to assist the counselor because it deals with the physical / mental trauma side of things as a Biblical counselor deals with the spiritual side.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

mmartin's picture

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

Mostly about BJU's response to the GRACE report:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2015/3/30/bob-jones-university-sexual-abuse.html

 

Among other tidbits:

"...at a recent talent show, [BJU] students performed the soft rock song "Oceans (Where Feet may Fail)" by the Christian band Hillsong United, and it was extremely well received."

 

As was mentioned above, this is the kind of continual media coverage and controversy that continues when you don't adequately deal with a situation.  Berg is referred to four times in this article.  I get it that al jazeera would already be biased against BJU; however, yet again we are seeing negative attention about BJU.  This is not to say that BJU should make their policy based on Katie Couric or al jazeera's feelings, but this makes BJU look like they they still don't understand the magnitude of the situation.

 

Up next at BJU, Big Daddy Weave & Skillet.  Whoo-hooo!

 

Joeb's picture

Chip I was not going down a rabbit trail for nothing unless you are just pointing out the position BJU will take.  If not, Jay  hit the nail on the head.   You don't believe in PTSD or as you said before just phsyco babble.  You have to admit though Jays position sounds very stable both biblically and from the pure commonsense point.  Like I said Ben could run the whole counseling at BJU and resolve the problems almost overnight.  Chip if your  a true believer in Bergs counseling just say so.  Since it was the counseling that caused all the  problems at BJU along with the non reporting.  This whole thread has brought a lot of good discussions and hopefully you pastors out their will use it to help BJU be pushed in the right direction.  I assume that is one of the key purposes of this site.  

Mark_Smith's picture

My hunch is most who support BJU stopped reading this thread about 2 pages ago.

 

Maybe not...

T Howard's picture

Bert Perry wrote:
Perhaps even another tendency noted by the GRACE report--to blame the victim--has a lot of its roots there, though I'd still want to discard the notion that ladies can indeed "lead men astray" through clothing choices.  Not exactly Biblical, either.

Not to start another rabbit trail, but the Bible does actually address the issue of using clothing to allure / seduce:

  • Tamar - Gen 38:14-15
  • The adulteress - Prov 7:10

So, yes, women can and do use clothing to attract attention to themselves and suggest their availability to men. That being said, I'm not suggesting that these abuse victims were doing that. Nor am I suggesting that dressing provocatively excuses the crime / sin of rape or sexual abuse.

Bert Perry's picture

T Howard wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

Perhaps even another tendency noted by the GRACE report--to blame the victim--has a lot of its roots there, though I'd still want to discard the notion that ladies can indeed "lead men astray" through clothing choices.  Not exactly Biblical, either.

 

Not to start another rabbit trail, but the Bible does actually address the issue of using clothing to allure / seduce:

  • Tamar - Gen 38:14-15
  • The adulteress - Prov 7:10

So, yes, women can and do use clothing to attract attention to themselves and suggest their availability to men. That being said, I'm not suggesting that these abuse victims were doing that. Nor am I suggesting that dressing provocatively excuses the crime / sin of rape or sexual abuse.

Agreed wholeheartedly that attire can suggest availability and draw attention.  The trick is that the testimony of those in the GRACE report is that the victims were being blamed because of their attire--and an interesting corollary point to that is that we're talking about BJU students, and I'd have to assume that those who choose to attend BJU are more modest than average.  Per my earlier comments about "review those counseling materials closely", they need to make sure that the point they're making is that it can invite attention and suggest availability, but avoid saying ladies please don't lead men astray through your clothing choices.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

I might ask them for a date, but rape them? That's quite a leap.

The 2 verses you sight are about prostitutes. Are you saying that BJU students dress in a way to suggest they will take money for sexual services? Even if they did, that still is not rape.

Bert Perry's picture

Regarding (thank you Jay) the picture of PTSD.  Again, I'd like to point us to the fact that Jeremiah draws a tremendously bleak picture of the terror that those who had experienced the destruction of Jerusalem would remember.  If we remember God's warnings in Deuteronomy, the prophets, and elsewhere, I've got to suggest an intriguing possibility:

God wanted Israel to have flashbacks to the end of the siege of Jerusalem and to the horrors that followed.

Think about it a minute--look at Psalm 137 as well.  Whether those who remembered the destruction of Jerusalem were themselves involved in the idolatry and other gross sins that led to the fall of Judah, they were going to be exposed to the trauma of that early Tisha B'Av.  Including Jeremiah, named the "weeping prophet" because of his response to this reality.

Now let's counsel Jeremiah here--he's having trouble coping with this, as we might expect.  What do we do?  Remember that if we tell him that his sanctification level is partly indicated by his ability to "get over" the destruction of Jerusalem,  and he does, we eliminate the book of Lamentations and a good part of the book of Jeremiah from the Scriptures.

It suggests a new approach to the trauma experienced by those who are victimized, in my opinion.  I'm not quite sure of all the conclusions, but it would be wonderful if Christian counselors would explore this more.  In some mysterious way, it seems that God can use this for His glory.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

The flip side of what you are saying, Bert, is I think found in Haggai 2:2-5

“Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.

I find it really interesting that instead of allowing the people to wallow in their fear and sadness, God commands them to be strong and to follow him - and then He promises that He did not forsake the covenant that He swore to their fathers.  He doesn't tell them to stop thinking about it or to move on - He tells them to continue doing what they have been doing and to be encouraged.  He roots a current attitude of hopefulness to a time even before the city fell to Babylon in 586 BC.

There's also this, from the book of Ezra 3:10-13:

And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the directions of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,

“For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

There was much rejoicing, but there was also a lot of sorrow, and I think that's the godly sorrow that leads to repentance (to borrow from the NT).

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jim's picture

We had an interesting discussion recently in our AFB (context Psalm 51). Was Bathsheba complicit in David's sin?

  • Was her bathing (presuming she was somewhat to nearly unclothed) intended to be viewed by David? The text says " From the roof he saw a woman bathing"
  • Did she have a choice to reject David's invitation? Text: "Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her."

We had a bit of a back and forth about this. Our able teacher took that it was their sin. My counter is that:

  • David alone was blamed. I am not aware of a reference to Bathsheba's sin.
  • She very probably did not have an option to NOT obey the King
Jim Welch's picture

I guess I don't get it.  Joeb and others want to hang Berg for not being competent.  Joeb even wants Ben to take over BJU's counseling and declares that Ben would fix it "over night".  But Ben himself says, "To answer Dave Barnhart, I wish I had a great certain method! LOL!  For the last 10 years, to be honest, I feel that I have been flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to a lot of counseling"

So, I need someone (maybe Joeb) to expalin to me how is that someone wno does not have a counseling method and is learning by the seat of his pants going to fix the problems of someone who did have a counseling method and admitted to learning by the seat of his pants.

Note to Ben:  I do not have a quarrel with you or your post.  My point is that some would use you as an example of a solution to BJU's problems. 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Joeb wrote:

Chip I was not going down a rabbit trail for nothing unless you are just pointing out the position BJU will take.  If not, Jay  hit the nail on the head.   You don't believe in PTSD or as you said before just phsyco babble.  You have to admit though Jays position sounds very stable both biblically and from the pure commonsense point.  Like I said Ben could run the whole counseling at BJU and resolve the problems almost overnight.  Chip if your  a true believer in Bergs counseling just say so.  Since it was the counseling that caused all the  problems at BJU along with the non reporting.  This whole thread has brought a lot of good discussions and hopefully you pastors out their will use it to help BJU be pushed in the right direction.  I assume that is one of the key purposes of this site.  

Joeb,

You continue to mischaracterize and cast unfounded aspersions on those who disagree with you rather than dealing with the content of their conversation. I have not denied the reality of PTSD nor have I advocated as a believer in Berg. I am on record elsewhere as advocating nouthetic counseling of the stripe taught by Jay Addams and Donn Arms. I cannot say where exactly Berg falls on the counseling spectrum, because I am only casually familiar with his work. However, when I asked Arms about Berg's materials, he supported them. That does say a lot to me. Nouthetic counselors are commonly mischaracterized in just the way I have been suggesting you might be doing to Berg in this thread. A nouthetic counselor would never blame the victim for his/her abuse. That would be saying it is the victim's fault rather than the abuser's fault. On the other hand, a nouthetic counselor would counsel a victim that they alone are responsible for their response to the abuse (as well as for any sinful action they committed prior to the abuse without being responsible for the abuse itself). Just as the victim cannot be blamed for the sins of the abuser, the abuser cannot be blamed for the victim's response as a "the Devil made me do it" kind of defense (Ezek 18:20). That is a primary difference between psychology and true biblical counseling. Psychology seeks to treat rather than cure; the victim remains the victim forever. Scripture teaches a different path whereby God's grace is sufficient to heal our wounds and offer all the succor we need in times of need. He is still El Shaddai and Jehovah Rophe. It is this biblical truth which is being turned on its head by the mischaracterization that the biblical counselor is blaming the victim for their abuse, a mischaracterization which I am suggesting could be (and I think likely is) going on here with the Grace report and your refusal to investigate beyond what you are being spoon-fed by one side of the discussion. 

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

Jim's picture

I'll bet his books are good. I looked them over on Amazon 

My guess is that he is an effective counselor ( but made some mistakes (haven't we all!))

The perceptions of the GRACE respondents are real but only represent a small percentage of those who had been counseled 

it probably is better for BJU if Berg moves on. 

Anne Sokol's picture

I will be the first to say that I, like each one of us in this place, have just the same nastiness of sin hanging on me. We may not be able to see or smell it, but our dear Savior does.

These men are just the ones in leadership, ones who have been vocal, and certain of their words have now been put under a microscope.

There's plenty of good to be put under the microscope, too, but that's not what makes the news now, does it.

The line between making right and vengeance is perhaps very thin.

Larry Nelson's picture

 

O.K., so this thread is quickly nearing 150 comments.  Throughout it, as with just about any thread on SI that relates to BJU, an element that seems to pervade is that on one side are the "supporters" of BJU, and on the other side are the "critics." (Not that those exact labels are used.)  I really want to call out & challenge that thinking.  Is the situation really that either/or?  I for one do not believe so.

I submit that a "supporter" can at the same time be a "critic."  Conversely, a "critic" can also be a "supporter."  The roles are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Using my relationships with my own alma maters as examples, I can quite easily see myself in both roles.  Since high school ("Go FBCS Warriors!") I count four institutions as alma maters, tallying two undergraduate degrees, four professional diplomas (in banking fields), and one graduate-level certificate.  The institution I would call my primary alma mater is the University of Minnesota, since I earned my B.A. there (and spent the most time on campus).

I am a life-member of the U. of M. Alumni Association.  I follow it in the news.  I visit the campus frequently.  I have a multitude of good memories of my time on campus, and I am grateful for the education which I received.  Am I also critical of some of its policies and decisions?  Absolutely!  I've felt free to voice my displeasure on more than one occasion to the office of the President.  (The current President, Eric Kaler, very graciously personally responded to me not too long ago in reply to a "complaint.")

So when it comes to my participation in threads relating to BJU, in what category do I fit?  Am I a supporter, or am I a critic?  I categorize myself as both.

I have no ill-will against BJU.  Some here know this, but while in my twenties I applied to & was accepted to BJU's Graduate School.  In the interim between my acceptance & the start of classes, I spent three days at the school.  I heard both BJ Jr. & BJ III speak, and I had a discussion with Jim Berg.  I never did actually begin classes at BJU (longer story than this...), but I have no axe to grind against the school.  Today, I know some fine graduates.  (No ill-will!)

Yet it seems that whenever I make any comment or observation that is perceived as being negative (in whatever way) in regards to BJU, I am branded as, let's say, a "non-supporter."  I really don't see it that way.  To my way of thinking, one can simultaneously be a supporter and a critic.  I don't think it does any favors to BJU to simply always "toe the party line."   

 

T Howard's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:
I might ask them for a date, but rape them? That's quite a leap.

The 2 verses you sight are about prostitutes. Are you saying that BJU students dress in a way to suggest they will take money for sexual services? Even if they did, that still is not rape.

Having gone to a competing conservative school for my undergrad, I can unequivocally state that some female students purposely dressed in a way to draw the attention and interest of guys on campus. Even when dating, some females would dress that way for their boyfriends. These women weren't prostitutes ... but they wanted and enjoyed the attention they received. As I said before, even if they dressed provocatively (according to IFB standards) that does not condone the sin / crime of rape or sexual assault. Nor should women be told that the reason they were raped or sexually assaulted was because of how they dressed.

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