BJU Responds to Al Jazeera America Report

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

William,

I would encourage you to evaluate Berg's materials on their own merits. While I certainly have concerns about what has been reported, even if it is true, it will not cause me to toss the valuable materials produced previously by Jim Berg. I have used Changed into His Image on various occasions as part of my teaching repertoire and will continue to do so (even though I may not be in complete agreement on every detail). All truth is still God's truth, even when fallible men make mistakes with some parts of it. 

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

Mark_Smith's picture

Changed Into His Image is a good book. 

 

 

Bert Perry's picture

The allegations about BJU--and I confess I haven't really looked that much into their counseling materials and all that--sound a lot like some of the stuff I've seen from Bill Gothard, more or less suggesting that a young lady might set the stage for her own victimization by various factors.  Ick.

 

Regarding the response, it seems a bit....terse.  I would have hoped to see a little bit of discussion about the case at hand, whether their investigation found the allegations to be true, and some specifics about what changes are being made in their counseling materials and why they may not have gotten it right the first time.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Sigh...

When I first saw this post a few days ago, I thought, "Finally, a statement that nobody can complain about."  How wrong I was!  When it comes to BJU, claws automatically come out whenever the name is mentioned.

I thought the statement was excellent.  Why would anyone expect details of individual cases in a statement like this?  It was thorough, clear, and contained not one word of self justification.  It simply stated their position on sexual abuse, and various steps they had taken and were taking to deal with it as thoroughly as possible.

Bravo!   As an alumnus of BJU, I'm thankful for this post, and applaud the humility and clarity it communicates.  I am not an automatic supporter of everything BJU.  I have publicly critiqued the school unfavorably at times, and supported it at others.  But I hate to see what appears to be unjustified BJU bashing.  As Christians, let us treat one another with love, respect, and the benefit of the doubt.  Is that asking too much?  Isn't that what Scripture requires?

G. N. Barkman

Bert Perry's picture

G.N., the trick is not that I'm trying to bash BJU, but rather that the note clearly implies that the former guidelines for counseling were wrong.  This, in turn, indicates that at least portions of the student's story are correct.  However, the statement neither apologizes  to the student, nor makes clear what was deficient in the former guidelines.    In other words, it's implicitly an apology, but does not the Scripture make clear that we ought to make some of these things explicit?  Especially in light of the fact that other Christian colleges are probably following BJU's current or former guidelines for counsel in this regard?

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

The allegations about BJU--and I confess I haven't really looked that much into their counseling materials and all that--sound a lot like some of the stuff I've seen from Bill Gothard, more or less suggesting that a young lady might set the stage for her own victimization by various factors.  Ick.

I have often wondered how much of this thinking is driven from the whole misaligned focus on modesty within some Fundamentalist circles?  Where if a young lady wears pants, she is just inviting men to have bad thoughts.  The whole idea that what women wear impacts the thoughts of men that around them.  I am all for modesty, but I think everyone knows the thinking that I am talking about and definitely what was taught when I was younger.  And so when an upstanding man of God does something like this to a woman, there must have really been a reason to drive this man to this action.

I will be interested in what Grace has to say.  I am less interested in the past, and more interested in the current stance today, and how they ensure they don't slip into any shortcomings that have been made in the past.  Nothing boils my blood than when someone accuses a minor of having a part in their victimization and violation of their body.  With that said, there are many sins in the past, such as racism, that were unfortunately a part of how people thought.

Jim's picture

I wonder about the significance (if any) of Al Jazeera America breaking the BJU articles?

Options as I see it:

  • Hungrier for the news (vs CNN, etc)?
  • Happenstance b/c they have a journalist there?
  • An Islamic persecution bent? Goes like this ... "Al Jazeera Media Network is a Middle Eastern multinational multimedia corporation funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar, and is the parent company of Al Jazeera and its related networks. "

Thoughts?

[I accept the possibility that their reporting may be accurate]

Bert Perry's picture

Regarding whether it's accurate, BJU has all but admitted that there is some truth to the allegations, no?  Otherwise they would flat out deny the allegations instead of dealing with their policy.  I can go with partially true here, and that BJU wouldn't fight everything simply because of how difficult it would be to win the fight, but I can't go with totally false.

And why did AJ break the story?  Could be decent journalism, and might be mixed with a bit of animus towards Christians.  That said, regarding the latter, it's weird that CNN and MSNBC didn't pick it up.   They're not exactly friendly towards BJU, after all.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.