BJU posts "Findings of the Committee that Reviewed BJU’s Sexual Abuse Policy and Its Application"

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DavidO's picture

I don't see any findings in there. I see some recommendations.

I'm curious about what they include in God-ordained institutions.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's pretty easy to infer the "findings" based on the "recommendations."

On God-ordained.... Well they clearly include themselves, and that's kind of the important thing in this case, right?

Quote:
At the time Dr. Jones commented that no God-ordained institution, organization or individual—not even Christian families, churches, Christian schools or Christian young people—is immune to sexual abuse and its effects. As a university committed to Christlikeness, we bear responsibility to support victims who are under our care, to handle instances of sexual abuse biblically and legally, and to train our faculty, staff and students to better understand this issue and to respond appropriately.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Dan Frank's picture

As a frequent critic of BJU, here is what I like (and on which I sincerely hope they'll follow through):

Quote:
*Strengthening the statement of the University’s zero tolerance policy with regard to abuse

*Expanding the policy to address all forms of abuse

*Victims of abuse are not to be blamed for being the object of abuse.

*In cases of suspected abuse, the interests of the victim will be placed first.

Here is what I don't like or have questions/concerns on:

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*Clarifying that the University will provide encouragement to someone over 18 in making a report to authorities

Why only over 18? What about underage BJA students?

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*Enhancing policies regarding investigation of incidents and maintaining confidentiality

I hope the number 1 thing they add to this enhanced policy is that LAW ENFORCEMENT and CHILD SERVICES and not BJU should be the ones doing the investigation!

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*Hire a full-time, mature counselor to work with students who have been abused

They really should add "state-certified" to this. They have plenty of "full-time, mature" counselors at BJU who are the very ones attributed with the bungling of sexual abuse allegations. They need trained, certified counselors. They should use the Julie Valentine center or hire someone that is trained/certified similarly as their counselors.

Finally, if they are able to find an ombudsman who is truly independent of the University, this is a very good step.

JG's picture

Dan Frank wrote:

Why only over 18? What about underage BJA students?

Underage victims trigger mandatory reporting in SC. Those over 18 do not. You don't encourage underage victims to report, you report. This is talking about encouraging adults, who make their own decision on reporting.
Dan Frank wrote:

....LAW ENFORCEMENT and CHILD SERVICES and not BJU should be the ones doing the investigation!

Law enforcement investigates criminality. The institution should investigate whether policy / procedural failures contributed to or permitted the problem, whether policies / procedures should be changed, whether further training on procedures is needed, etc. There are also spiritual matters which may need to be addressed which the legal investigation won't touch. Often, an institution can and should take action even if there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution. There is a lot for the university to investigate if something happens on campus.

An institutional investigation does not preclude and must be done in a way that it does not hinder a legal investigation. Different focus, different purposes.

Dan Frank wrote:

Quote:
*Hire a full-time, mature counselor to work with students who have been abused

They really should add "state-certified" to this. They have plenty of "full-time, mature" counselors at BJU who are the very ones attributed with the bungling of sexual abuse allegations. They need trained, certified counselors. They should use the Julie Valentine center or hire someone that is trained/certified similarly as their counselors.

I think everyone would agree you need the right person, but state certification is no better guarantee than the ability to quote all of "Quieting a Noisy Soul". Smile

Jay's picture

Dan Frank wrote:
Quote:
*Hire a full-time, mature counselor to work with students who have been abused

They really should add "state-certified" to this. They have plenty of "full-time, mature" counselors at BJU who are the very ones attributed with the bungling of sexual abuse allegations. They need trained, certified counselors. They should use the Julie Valentine center or hire someone that is trained/certified similarly as their counselors.

I don't know what the SC qualifications for a counselor are, but having 'state certified' anything doesn't necessarily mean they'll have any idea about what they are doing and it certainly doesn't mean that they'll have any grasp of Biblical counseling procedures. Ideally, yes, the person should be state certified. I would be surprised if they hired someone who wasn't, and I do think that would reflect poorly on BJU if they didn't do that.

Dan Frank wrote:
Finally, if they are able to find an ombudsman who is truly independent of the University, this is a very good step.

I think the whole thing is a very good first step (and maybe a second). I don't know enough about their procedures, but I'm glad that BJU is making this kind of effort to improve.

"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

DavidO's picture

Is the Christian School a God-ordained institution?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

"God ordained" is sufficiently vague to fit any organization founded and operated by people who do so believing it to be the Lord's will. You could apply it in that sense to anything from a Christian day care ctr. to a camp ministry, to a university, to a mission board, to a publisher... on and on it goes.

As for the BJU policy, I don't at all share the pov that sees more government involvement in a problem as an inherently good thing. BJU does well to pursue sound policies and procedures while, at the same time, being cautious to avoid unnecessary entanglements with the state. There might be some good ways yet to increase third party accountability--but they're better off not using government agencies in those roles any more than the laws require.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

DavidO's picture

Noteworthy.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
"God ordained" is sufficiently vague to fit any organization founded and operated by people who do so believing it to be the Lord's will. You could apply it in that sense to anything from a Christian day care ctr. to a camp ministry, to a university, to a mission board, to a publisher... on and on it goes.

Jay's picture

David, wouldn't Romans 13 be applicable to any authority that is established? Seems to me that it would.

"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

Mike Durning's picture

Jay wrote:
David, wouldn't Romans 13 be applicable to any authority that is established? Seems to me that it would.

In the context of the article, "God-ordained" has little to do with the discussion at hand. Their point seems to be that government, churches, and family all have to deal with the issue.
It also suggests that they consider themselves "God-ordained", which is a bit of a stretch, depending on how you use the term.
Certainly, "Christian University" as we think about it was not a category of institution in the mind of Paul at the time of the writing of Romans. It does not fit into a Scriptural category easily -- only by extension.

If you use "God-ordained" in the broader sense -- that in the providence of God any institution that comes into existence is "God-ordained" -- then you run across the same problem that trapped people in Medieval times.
Since the authority exists, God must have intended it to exist. Therefore, it is due obedience. It was much of the basis for the divine right of kings. But it runs afoul of practical considerations.

Categories: cult-leader, Mafia don, gang leader, televangelist. Are all of these leaders due our allegiance if we find ourselves under their influence?
Names: Hitler. Chavez. In their country and era, must you follow their leadership?
How about the Confederate States of America, arguably in rebellion against their authority. Would their citizens be required to rebel and rejoin the Union? Or must they follow the Confederacy? Surely their view on state's rights would govern their answer.

My answer, then, is "no". Romans 13 could not possibly be applicable to any authority that is established. Because some authorities conflict with others. Sooner or later, who is right and who is wrong come into play.

Having said all that, I'm not sure what any of this has to do with the topic at hand. But maybe I missed something subtle here.

Jay's picture

Mike Durning wrote:
If you use "God-ordained" in the broader sense -- that in the providence of God any institution that comes into existence is "God-ordained" -- then you run across the same problem that trapped people in Medieval times.

No, it's not a real problem.

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Since the authority exists, God must have intended it to exist. Therefore, it is due obedience. It was much of the basis for the divine right of kings. But it runs afoul of practical considerations.

Maybe if you're a determinist, God must have intended for it to exist. Not in my theology - God can and does allow leaders to take power who are not necessarily whom he would have appointed (see I Sam. 8).

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Categories: cult-leader, Mafia don, gang leader, televangelist. Are all of these leaders due our allegiance if we find ourselves under their influence?
Names: Hitler. Chavez. In their country and era, must you follow their leadership?
How about the Confederate States of America, arguably in rebellion against their authority. Would their citizens be required to rebel and rejoin the Union? Or must they follow the Confederacy? Surely their view on state's rights would govern their answer.

In so far as we can show allegiance and support to the government - provided that it does not compel us to disobey God's Law, as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and others did - then we can and should obey, lest we incur the wrath of God (Romans 13:4-5)

Quote:
My answer, then, is "no". Romans 13 could not possibly be applicable to any authority that is established. Because some authorities conflict with others. Sooner or later, who is right and who is wrong come into play. Having said all that, I'm not sure what any of this has to do with the topic at hand. But maybe I missed something subtle here.

I would disagree with you, but we can talk about this some more if you want to start a thread. I'm reading Metaxas' book on Bonhoeffer now, so there's a lot of gears turning in my head on this subject - it might be nice to get a discussion going.

"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

Mike Durning's picture

Jay wrote:
I would disagree with you, but we can talk about this some more if you want to start a thread. I'm reading Metaxas' book on Bonhoeffer now, so there's a lot of gears turning in my head on this subject - it might be nice to get a discussion going.

Start the thread, and I'll be there!

Mike