Is Segregation Scriptural? A Radio Address From Bob Jones On Easter Of 1960

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JNoël's picture

Aaron,

Judging by the bulk of the comments here, one might say you yourself were baiting when you posted it! Many of the comments are not on topic.

Justin Taylor's article is practically anachronistic. If he had, instead, done a series titled only "IS SEGREGATION SCRIPTURAL?" and then explored the topic from a historic perspective, there would be little argument.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Joeb's picture

J Noel I'm defending BJU which from me that's almost a miracle.  Believe me I find plenty of fault with them but they are sticking to their guns and You have to respect that. The article discussed is just bringing up a dead body so everyone can kick it which your right is not necessary but what is the Fundementalist  relationship now with are African American Brothers in Christ.  The point is to discuss it and as Bert says there  is plenty of blame all the way around ie everyone was sinning against our black brothers and sisters in  in Christ.  Some groups don't like their dirty laundry aired but once aired hopefully we learn from it by the grace of our Lord and move on.  I was only trying to show the few Bob Jones bashers that others were in the same league but operating under the radar.  The truth may hurt if your a punch drinker for your church but that does not mean it's not true.  Saying don't talk about or don't discuss it because it is not to the glory of our Lord whatever is just what people are accusing the Fundamentalist of doing in regarding sex predators amongst them. 

JNoël's picture

Joeb,

I think you may miss my point. Aaron's post questioned why a post was published specifically calling out Bob Jones on the issue of segregation, as if it is some new revelation. Any other conversation in the thread is off topic. It isn't necessarily bad conversation, but it is off topic.

I'm interested in hearing more about why Justin Taylor / TGC posted it and what their motivations may have been.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Mark_Smith's picture

Who cares is a post is "off topic"? I certainly don't.

 

Besides, Aaron's post was a response to the original posting by Jim. Aaron's comment does not restrict the content of this thread.

JohnMatzko's picture

Jim wrote:

From the article "Many thanks to historian John Matzko—a professor at Bob Jones University who is authoring the first scholarly biography of Bob Jones Sr."

I wouldn't want to be in Matzko's shoes

Church history - especially of the scholarly type! - should include warts and all so Christians know where we've been. Segregation is an ugly part of fundamentalism's past. 

A couple of points:

1. I'm happy to be in John Matzko's shoes.  I don't intend my biography of Dr. Jones Sr. to be either hagiography or exposé.  Bob Jones Sr. was a good man with human failings; affirming the former does not mean concealing the latter. 

2. I never read Dr. Bob's segregation sermon when I was a student.  Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but I don't think reading it was required in the mid-'60s--something I told Justin Taylor before he posted the blog article.

Don Johnson's picture

JohnMatzko wrote:

2. I never read Dr. Bob's segregation sermon when I was a student.  Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but I don't think reading it was required in the mid-'60s--something I told Justin Taylor before he posted the blog article.

Exactly. I'm not sure what motivated him, but he seems to have bought Camille's line hook line and sinker. Which goes to my complaint about the alleged scholarship of his piece.

I'm looking forward to your book, John, I'll be ordering it as soon as it comes out.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Larry's picture

Moderator

To me, it is not an issue of whether other people were guilty too. My question is why BJU was a last holdout. Why were they so late to the party, one of the last schools in the south to enroll African Americans, long after it was mandated for public schools, and close to three decades after their archenemy Billy Graham was encouraging desegregation in his crusades? That does not seem like being the light of the world to me. BJU should have been the first to desegregate, not the last

Okay.

Now what?

Bert Perry's picture

I do think that if indeed we have multiple BJU grads on this forum who were NOT required to read or listen to this talk, that deserves a correction on the part of Justin Taylor.  I encourage y'all to get together---send private messages here, and then send a note to him.  If he doesn't issue a retraction, then you go to others running the site.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

There are plenty of BJU grads on this forum (I am also one), and I can also say that I had never heard of that sermon, nor was it required reading in the 80's (my time there is a subset of Don's, 81-85).  While I remember disagreeing with BJU's policies on dating at the time, outside of that, students of every race mixed in class, society, activities, etc, i.e. everything except dating.  I would agree with Don that it's pretty easy to set aside this article knowing the source the author used.  And while BJU was an unfortunate holdout on the issue of admitting black students, when they should have led on that issue, it's not like they were decades or generations behind the other schools in SC either.

Dave Barnhart

Larry Nelson's picture

 

1. At Spring Commencement in 1964, BJU awarded an honorary doctorate to George Wallace:

"At graduation exercises in the spring of 1964 at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, Wallace received an honorary doctorate.[25] At the commencement, Bob Jones, Jr., read the following citation as a tribute to Wallace:

“ Men who have fought for truth and righteousness have always been slandered, maligned, and misrepresented. The American press in its attacks upon Governor Wallace has demonstrated that it is no longer free, American, or honest. But you, Mr. Governor, have demonstrated not only by the overwhelming victories in the recent elections in your own state of Alabama but also in the showing which you have made in states long dominated by cheap demagogues and selfish radicals that there is still in America love for freedom, hard common sense, and at least some hope for the preservation of our constitutional liberties.[26]" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wallace

The year before, at his inauguration as Alabama's governor, Wallace had declared: "In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

Bob Jones, Jr. reportedly praised Wallace as "David, warring against the giant, Tyranny."

(See page 156): https://books.google.com/books?id=lX-D7fgaKnYC&pg=PA159&lpg=PA156&ots=lVz_tl-Jou&focus=viewport&dq=tyranny+bob+jones+jr+george+wallace#v=onepage&q=tyranny%20bob%20jones%20jr%20george%20wallace&f=false

1963 was also when Wallace made his "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door," [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_in_the_Schoolhouse_Door ] in opposition to the desegregation of the University of Alabama.

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2. Circa 1948, BJU awarded an honorary doctorate to Strom Thurmond, who at the time was famously making statements in speeches such as: "all the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, into our schools, our churches and our places of recreation and amusement" and "I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches."

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3. In 1969, BJU awarded an honorary doctorate to Georgia's Governor Lester Maddox, at the time a staunch segregationist known for things like this:

http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/misc/maddox10.htm

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Greg Barkman, you said you were at BJU in the 1960's: do you recall either # 1 or # 3 above?  The past is the past, but I'm wondering what the sentiment was on the campus then regarding such events.

Jim's picture

Worth reading

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

At Bob Jones University, Scripture is our final authority for faith and practice and it is our intent to have it govern all of our policies. It teaches that God created the human race as one race. History, reality and Scripture affirm that in that act of creation was the potential for great diversity, manifested today by the remarkable racial and cultural diversity of humanity. Scripture also teaches that this beautiful, God-caused and sustained diversity is divinely intended to incline mankind to seek the Lord and depend on Him for salvation from sin (Acts 17:24–28).

The true unity of humanity is found only through faith in Christ alone for salvation from sin—in contrast to the superficial unity found in humanistic philosophies or political points of view. For those made new in Christ, all sinful social, cultural and racial barriers are erased (Colossians 3:11), allowing the beauty of redeemed human unity in diversity to be demonstrated through the Church.

The Christian is set free by Christ’s redeeming grace to love God fully and to love his neighbor as himself, regardless of his neighbor’s race or culture. As believers, we demonstrate our love for others first by presenting Christ our Great Savior to every person, irrespective of race, culture, or national origin. This we do in obedience to Christ’s final command to proclaim the Gospel to all men (Matthew 28:19–20). As believers we are also committed to demonstrating the love of Christ daily in our relationships with others, disregarding the economic, cultural and racial divisions invented by sinful humanity (Luke 10:25–37; James 2:1–13).

Bob Jones University has existed since 1927 as a private Christian institution of higher learning for the purpose of helping young men and women cultivate a biblical worldview, represent Christ and His Gospel to others, and glorify God in every dimension of life.

BJU’s history has been chiefly characterized by striving to achieve those goals; but like any human institution, we have failures as well. For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the segregationist ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding race to be shaped more directly by that ethos than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures. We conformed to the culture rather than providing a clear Christian counterpoint to it.

In so doing, we failed to accurately represent the Lord and to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. For these failures we are profoundly sorry. Though no known antagonism toward minorities or expressions of racism on a personal level have ever been tolerated on our campus, we allowed institutional policies to remain in place that were racially hurtful.

On national television in March 2000, Bob Jones III, who was the university’s president until 2005, stated that BJU was wrong in not admitting African-American students before 1971, which sadly was a common practice of both public and private universities in the years prior to that time. On the same program, he announced the lifting of the University’s policy against interracial dating.

Our sincere desire is to exhibit a truly Christlike spirit and biblical position in these areas. Today, Bob Jones University enrolls students from all 50 states and nearly 50 countries, representing various ethnicities and cultures. Theadministration is committed to maintaining on the campus the racial and cultural diversity and harmony characteristic of the true Church of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Released in 2008.

Ron Bean's picture

My wife and I attended BJU from 73-82 and neither of us were required to the read the  booklet in question although we both remember it being available in the bookstore. It seemed to have disappeared around the time of the court case and copies were extremely difficult to find after that.

I think the thing that irritates a lot of people is that the dating rule wasn't as insignificant as Bob Jones III implied on Larry King.  BJU lost its Supreme Court case because they held that their dating rule was Biblically based. Students of mixed racial background had to declare their race before being admitted. (An expectation that cost them at least one good student who found it offensive.)

I thank God every day that BJU is a better place today.

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

JohnMatzko's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

 

JohnMatzko wrote:

 

2. I never read Dr. Bob's segregation sermon when I was a student.  Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but I don't think reading it was required in the mid-'60s--something I told Justin Taylor before he posted the blog article.

 

 

Exactly. I'm not sure what motivated him, but he seems to have bought Camille's line hook line and sinker. Which goes to my complaint about the alleged scholarship of his piece.

I'm looking forward to your book, John, I'll be ordering it as soon as it comes out.

When folks tell me they're looking forward to reading the biography, I tell them that I am too. Smile

It's surreal to be defending Dr. Lewis (as she prefers--like chiropractors and people with honorary degrees--to be known), but both Justin Taylor and I are indebted to her for making a connection that I'd missed.  Although her general thesis, that BJU's opposition to Billy Graham's cooperative evangelism originated in the Joneses' racism, is wrong, she correctly noted the connection between a 1960 Graham press release and Bob Jones Sr.'s Easter message supporting segregation.  Graham's cautious statement, which he made near the beginning of the end of segregation in Greenville, appeared on the front page of the Greenville Piedmont on Good Friday; and two days later, Jones made his pro-segregation radio address on Easter.  When writing my draft I should have been more curious about why Jones chose Easter Sunday to make that statement.  (Even the Piedmont, which published a summary of Jones's address the following Monday, didn't suggest that it was made in response to Graham.)

Rob Fall's picture

how fast the society changed between 1955 and say 1965.  In more or less ten years, positions held for generations started to become untenable.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Jim's picture

Rob Fall wrote:

how fast the society changed between 1955 and say 1965.  In more or less ten years, positions held for generations started to become untenable.

We must be careful to avoid the thoughts "everyone was doing it [segregationalism] and so it was some how o.k."

See earlier post here that demonstrates that some evangelicals held to a Bibilically based view of race!

Rob Fall's picture

to use the "everyone's doing it" excuse.  Some folks made the change way earlier than others.  I'm just looking the transition that occurred.

Jim wrote:

 

Rob Fall wrote:

 

how fast the society changed between 1955 and say 1965.  In more or less ten years, positions held for generations started to become untenable.

 

 

We must be careful to avoid the thoughts "everyone was doing it [segregationalism] and so it was some how o.k."

See earlier post here that demonstrates that some evangelicals held to a Bibilically based view of race!

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Don Johnson's picture

JohnMatzko wrote:

Don Johnson wrote:

JohnMatzko wrote:

2. I never read Dr. Bob's segregation sermon when I was a student.  Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but I don't think reading it was required in the mid-'60s--something I told Justin Taylor before he posted the blog article.

Exactly. I'm not sure what motivated him, but he seems to have bought Camille's line hook line and sinker. Which goes to my complaint about the alleged scholarship of his piece.

I'm looking forward to your book, John, I'll be ordering it as soon as it comes out.

When folks tell me they're looking forward to reading the biography, I tell them that I am too.

It's surreal to be defending Dr. Lewis (as she prefers--like chiropractors and people with honorary degrees--to be known), but both Justin Taylor and I are indebted to her for making a connection that I'd missed.  Although her general thesis, that BJU's opposition to Billy Graham's cooperative evangelism originated in the Joneses' racism, is wrong, she correctly noted the connection between a 1960 Graham press release and Bob Jones Sr.'s Easter message supporting segregation. 

Oh, that doesn't bother me at all, to credit her with connecting those particular dots. However it is undeniable that she is an anti-BJU crusader (see her Twitter handle for crying out loud!). When I say Taylor bought her line, I mean taking the time to 1) write this article at all and 2) perpetuate the lie that the sermon was required reading.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Larry Nelson's picture

 

"In a 1958 sermon titled "Segregation or Integration: Which?", Falwell made the following comment about the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which outlawed public school segregation: "If Chief Justice (Earl) Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made."

Falwell said he didn't recall that sermon, but attributed it to being raised in segregated times.

"As a youngster growing up in the South, all the pastors I knew and all the people I knew were pretty well ingrained in the culture of the South," he said. "The spirit of God brought me out of that early in my ministry."

http://archive.naplesnews.com/community/jerry-falwell-marks-50-years-in-the-pulpit-ep-406161960-331426441.html 

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See quotation on Page 160:

https://books.google.com/books?id=c5TLAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA160&lpg=PA160&dq=jerry+falwell+segregation+or+integration:+which?&source=bl&ots=q2HAM62F7H&sig=7Jch5GymEvP9MzUhjMMt5l5UmEc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjg1qbY7qLOAhWq7YMKHUDTBwY4FBDoAQhIMAc#v=onepage&q=jerry%20falwell%20segregation%20or%20integration%3A%20which%3F&f=false

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Numerous other references to this sermon online.

JohnMatzko's picture

From my manuscript:

"Curiously, it was Nelson Bell’s Southern Presbyterian Journal that became the most prominent forum for religiously based support of segregation.  In 1955, Bell [Billy Graham's father-in-law]—only shortly thereafter Jones’s most vociferous opponent—maintained that Christians could in good conscience reject desegregation if they believed that it was 'un-Christian, unrealistic and utterly foolish to force those barriers of race which have been established by God and which when destroyed by man are destroyed to his own loss.'"[1] 

[1] “Christian Race Relations Must Be Natural, Not Forced,” Southern Presbyterian Journal, 14 (August 17, 1955), 4, quoted in Blackwelder, 335.  The organization’s Montreat Retreat Center determined that “Negro adults” could be entertained in the Fellowship Hall but not “Negro delegates in Young People’s Leadership School.”  Both black adults and youth were denied use of the lodging facilities.  On Bell’s tortured attempt to take a moderate segregationist position, see Chappell, Stone of Hope, 117-121.

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