- Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, was founded as a "whites-only" Bible College in College Point, Florida (near Panama City) in 1927 by "fundamental evangelist" Bob Jones Sr. (In 1960, Bob Sr. claimed that "God is the author of [racial] segregation," and that if you are against it, "then you are against God Almighty" [4/17/60 radio address, Is Segregation Scriptural?].) Over 70,000 students have sat under the teaching of BJU's faculty over its 70-plus years of existence. Today, BJU has an undergraduate and graduate student body of more than 5,000 from all 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries and territories. It has a faculty and staff of 1,500. (The College was moved to Cleveland, Tennessee in 1933, and to Greenville's 200-plus acre campus in 1947, at which time it was renamed Bob Jones University.) In 1947, Dr. Bob Jones Jr. took over as president of BJU at the age of 36; he was chancellor until his death in late-1997, and his son, Dr. Bob Jones III, is BJU's president. [The whites-only policy was maintained until 1975, after the I.R.S.'s suit refusing BJU tax-exempt status for violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Later, Bob III claimed that the school had never been opposed to admitting blacks, but only opposed to interracial dating/marriage. (The facts bear out a different conclusion. See the 1982 booklet by Jon Zens, Segregation or Scripture? The Missing Issue in the Case of the I.R.S. vs. B.J.U.) Now the school has also dropped its interracial dating ban (see later in this report).]
BJU's undergraduate program is composed of six academic schools: the College of Arts and Sciences (12 majors), the School of Religion , the School of Fine Arts (12 majors), the School of Education, the School of Business Administration (Commerce), and the School of Applied Studies (including majors in Aeronautics). There are currently more than 100 academic majors from which undergraduates can choose (with another 50 majors for graduate students). [Other "businesses" conducted by Bob Jones University include "Christian" film production through Unusual Films; the BJU Press with its "Christian" school textbook, music, and video divisions; and LINC, the Live Interactive Network Classroom, which broadcasts from the campus five days each week to traditional and home schools throughout the nation.]
- BJU has long promoted itself as a bastion of Bible Christianity. (BJU dubs itself "the 'Opportunity Place ... God's special place for you.' While the University has grown, our educational philosophy and religious beliefs have not changed. Bob Jones University is determined that no school shall excel it in the thoroughness of its scholastic work; and God helping it, in the thoroughness if its Christian training. We believe that 'whatever the Bible says is so.'") Many of its 34,000 graduates fill the pulpits of literally thousands of professing fundamental, evangelical, Bible-believing churches throughout the United States, or serve on the mission field around the world. However, due to the more worldly nature of the curriculum at BJU, the majority of those now earning undergraduate degrees shun the "ministerial professions" to go into the fields of business, education, law, medicine, music, speech, art, cinema, radio and television, and home economics. (To maintain the face of a "Christian" institution, BJU does require its undergraduate students to take at least one course per semester in the Department of Bible.)
Dr. Bob Jones III has frequently repeated the adage
that BJU is a bastion of Bible Christianity/Fundamentalism. Now he apparently
doesn't even like the term fundamentalist anymore. He recently wrote a
brief column in the Spring 2002 issue of the BJU Review in which he calls
upon Biblical fundamentalists to consider abandoning the term fundamentalist.
He wrote: "The term is beginning to carry an onerous connotation with the
world at large because of the media's penchant for lumping Christian
Fundamentalists in the same heap as Islamic Fundamentalists." He added,
"The term now carries overtones of radicalism and terrorism" and said
it "evokes fear, suspicion, and other repulsive connotations in its current
usage." Dr. Jones said he feels it is now time "to find an new label
that will define us more positively and appropriately." It is sad that
Jones not only proposed this move, but also provided inaccurate historical
information as a basis for his proposal. We do not need a new label that will
define us more "positively" or "appropriately." Jones says
he prefers we take on the name "preservationist," but we ask:
"Who would not claim to be a preservationist?" The liberals believe
they are preserving their unorthodox beliefs that have been take and
"perverted" by today's conservatives. (Source: March-April 2002, Foundation
magazine, pp. 39 & 41.)
- BJU claims that, "The student who comes to BJU can be certain that every aspect of University life has Jesus Christ at its center, and the Bible as its foundation." To the contrary, creeping neo-evangelicalism at BJU under its founder has become a compromising gallop under his grandson, thereby requiring any true fundamentalist to separate from Bob Jones University. Yet, to say anything against BJU and its practices often leads to severe personal attacks or stony silence from its defenders. The remainder of this report details the evidence of BJU's compromise with the world, all the while claiming to be fundamentalist separatists (or now merely, "Preservationists"):
(1) Karate Teams: On the cover of the Spring 1992 issue of the BJU Review is a picture of black belt karate master and senior at BJU, Jim Pitts, in full karate garb, Bible open, giving the "invitation," while the rest of the members of BJU's "Champions for Christ karate team" are kneeling in prayer by their cinder-block bricks. On the inside cover is a picture of Mr. Pitts breaking four bricks with his right arm, while the other team members are watching, with Bibles open. The editor of the Review declares that "Champions for Christ is one of many different extension groups that go out from the University each week, bringing the Gospel to needy people throughout the Southeast. These extension ministries give all students the chance to sharpen their soulwinning skills, be an encouragement to others, and use their skills to glorify God." (Emphasis added.)
Should a Christian's "soulwinning skills" include karate, and can that "skill" be used "to glorify God"? And what has karate to do with the reality of "God's power" in a teenager's life? Even though it is difficult to see how the so-called "skill" of karate could or would be used by the Holy Spirit to draw the lost to Christ, the overriding question must be: Is there a philosophy antithetical to Christianity that is at the root of karate exhibitions? Since karate has its roots in Zen Buddhism, and since the same Zen techniques are practiced by karate-loving "Christians" today, only dressed-up in Christian terminology, it is obvious that no Christian should have anything to do with it. (See BDM's report on Karate for more details.)
(2) The Four Temperaments: The BJU Press Testing and Evaluation Service markets the Personality Profile Assessment test in order to "reveal to parents and teachers the personalities or temperaments of children; ... to provide a basis on which to discuss with children the strengths and weaknesses of their temperaments; ... results reveal one of four temperaments (DISC Model) as dominant; suggests relative to the dominant and combined types disclosed, several ways to motivate, better understand, and deal with the needs of the young person."
The "four temperaments" is a long-discredited personality theory
evolved from the ancient Greek belief that the physical realm was composed of
four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Empedocles related these to four
pagan deities, while Hippocrates tied them to what were considered at that time
to be the four bodily humors: blood (sanguine), phlegm (phlegmatic), yellow bile
(choleric), and black bile (melancholy). These characteristics were also
connected to the signs of the zodiac. Nevertheless, testing companies claim
their wares are scientific, reliable means of finding out about people. But
research does not support their claims! Temperament tests and inventories
generally have extremely poor validity. In other words, they cannot be trusted
to do what they are created to do. Therefore, BJU is wasting time, money, and
people through using personality types and tests. The four temperaments
represent, at the very least, an invalid psychological system and, at worst, an
occult system. [BJU also offers a "Tests and Measurements" course
(which teaches the use of personality tests) through its Psychology Department.
And Dr. Bob Jones III states that none of his colleagues at BJU has "a
problem with the four temperaments," since "most of us agree that
there are definite identifiable personality types" (personal letter on
file). Christians desiring more detailed information on this topic should read
the Bobgans' book Four
Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing; BDM
also has a report on the subject.]
(3) "New Age"-Oriented Recruiting Films: Starting around 1990, when BJU sent its "marketing" reps to churches to promote the college, a film was shown where high school students were posed looking into a computer screen to see into their future careers. The screen "glowed" like a scene right out of ET, and a laser beam swept them into the computer, which then became a "glowing light path" that transported them instantaneously to their destination. The goal of the cinematography and special effects was to captivate the audience, and in the process, the youths viewing the film were given a good dosage of a Stephen Spielberg/New Age type performance on the screen. The pitiful thing was that this was supposed to be a recruiting film for a Bible college.
(4) BJU's Psychological Orientation: The BJU Course Catalog lists 16 "courses of instruction" in its Psychology Department. One could substitute the name of any secular college in the country on the front of the Catalog, and the descriptions of the psychology courses would fit precisely. BJU justifies its psychology curriculum as challenging students "... to know what they believe and why. ... It's all part of the psychology of the Christian life" (Winter 1990, BJU Review, "Not Your Ordinary Shrink," pp. 12-13). Other psychological evidences at BJU:
(a) BJU Press's ShowForth video division has produced a highly psychological 2-hour video titled "Scriptural Principles for Counseling the Abused" (1994). The teacher on the video is Dr. Bob Wood, a BJU faculty member specializing in "training ministerial students as biblical counselors." Wood is also an executive vice president in administration at BJU. BJU claims that Dr. Wood's video "presents biblical solutions for helping those who are struggling to overcome the pain of their past" (2/95, Frontline advertisement; and the ShowForth video jacket). When I ordered the video (via BJU's toll free order number), the order-taker recommended I also order Mrs. Jones (Bob Jones III's wife, Beneth Peters Jones) latest book, Mount Up on Wounded Wings: For Women from Hurtful Home Backgrounds, which "might help your wife if she ministers to those from abusive childhoods." Both the video and the book reveal just how incredibly far BJU has gone down the path paved by the world's pop psychology/victimization teachings. (An excellent resource that exposes victimization teachings in the professing church would be Jim Owen's 1993 book, Christian Psychology's War on God's Word: The Victimization of the Believer; see also the BDM sub-reports for a more detailed review of both Mrs. Jones's book and Dr. Wood's video.)
(b) In 1996, BJU Press published Becoming an Effective Christian Counselor by Walter and Trudy Fremont. And since the Foreword is by Dr. Bob Wood (see above), there is little doubt that BJU endorses the book. One great weakness of the book is that the Fremonts, like many others, have various diagrams that they use as pictorial representations of their teachings and for which they give questionable Biblical justification. Some of the most questionable parts of the book are found on pages 32-49. The Fremonts make a distinction between the "conscious mind" and the "processing mind" (p. 34), which is similar to the Freudian conscious and unconscious. What sounds most like Freud is the statement that "what man thinks in his conscious mind is stored in his processing mind and automatically directs his life actions. Regardless of the environmental pressures, one can determine how he is going to respond in any situation" (pp. 35-36; bold added). One difference from Freud is that the Fremonts have man's will controlling what goes into the "processing mind," which then in turn directs the person. However, the person's conscious mind at the same time evidently controls what the person does (p. 36). Talk about confusion! They say, "What is put into this computer determines what eventually becomes one's life action. One can get out only what is put in" (p. 35; bold added). The Fremonts are, nevertheless, Freudian to the extent that the "processing mind" directs what a person does, even though the conscious mind supposedly controls it. [Another problem area in the book is that of dreams (p. 34). "Wish-fulfillment" is a term introduced by Freud and used by the Fremonts. The first paragraph of the "Dreams" section contains a very questionable belief of the Fremonts and a very questionable conclusion about the absence of universal dream symbols.]
(5) Worldliness Promoted: The cover of the Winter 1994 issue of the BJU Review pictures cheerleaders painted up royally -- mascara, bright red lipstick, rouge, eye shadow, holding their pom poms, and as the caption reads, "hamming it up for the camera." Another issue had a cover picturing BJU students dressed-up as Disney characters, while another featured a BJU dorm room photo with a nearly life-sized poster of former NBA star Magic Johnson -- hardly a portrayal of a Biblical life-style. (Johnson retired from professional basketball because of testing HIV-positive.) Again, one could substitute the name of any secular college in the country over these cover photographs, and it would fit precisely. [There are no fraternities or sororities on the BJU campus (presumably because the philosophy behind them is antithetical to Christianity), but there are 49 Greek-named "societies" (23 for men and 26 for women). Other than not having "society houses" (all unmarried BJU students live in dormitories), there appears to be little difference between a secular college fraternity or sorority and a BJU society -- both promote entertainment, dating, and member-only outings; elect officers; and have pagan Greek roots.]
The overall neo-evangelical drift of the BJU Review would shock BJU's founder, not only because it is so worldly, but also because it replaced BJU's excellent publication, FAITH for the Family. Reading through any issue of the BJU Review, the reader will find comments like, "Join us a week earlier for three 'performances' of Donizetti's Elixir of Love, a delightful comedy brought to life by the Bob Jones University Opera Association." An "Opera Association" in a Christian college? Why would BJU want its students to become learned in, and have appreciation for, the works of heathen composers who play on the lustful emotions and feelings of audiences, i.e., the flesh? Opera music itself may be beautiful and the attire fairly modest, but the activities depicted are worldly at best and immoral or blasphemous at worst. (And there lies the danger -- operas demonstrate how one may be deceived into dwelling on sinful behavior because the music is so appealing.)
BJU produces elaborate operas and plays in the name of "fine arts" that contain worldly and ungodly plots depicting behavior such as flirtation, adultery, drunkenness, lying, etc. (BJU has been performing "professional opera" since 1942, with faculty and students in supporting roles.) Donizetti's Elixir of Love mentioned above is an 1832 opera that depicts romantic foolishness unbecoming to God-fearing Christians, drunkenness (the "elixir" is really wine), and deception by a quack "doctor." Yet BJU has no problem in urging students and the public to participate in and attend such productions, which were considered off-limits by God-fearing believers at the time of their origination. Though it might be intellectually useful for God's people to be aware of musical and literary influences in our culture, can God be pleased by BJU's active participation involving a significant investment of time and finances?
The source of the worldliness at BJU was clearly the doing Dr. Bob Jones Jr. He established the Opera Association as well as BJU's on-campus film studio, Unusual Films Studios (UFS). UFS was organized in 1950 to "train cinema students and produce high quality Christian films." Bob Jones Jr. played leading roles in many of the films, as well as leading characters in the many Shakespearean plays performed by BJU's drama association. (Shakespearean dramas have been performed at BJU every year since 1947, with faculty and students casted in the roles.) In fact, while in college, Bob Jr. was offered "contracts both from the legitimate stage and Warner Brothers in Hollywood." He even considered a trip to England to further study Shakespeare. (Shakespeare was a humanist poet and playwright, not, as some have dubbed him, "the Bard [poet] of the Bible.") [An article in the Greenville News states: "A painted portrait of the chancellor (Bob Jones Jr.) hangs just outside his office. It shows Bob Jones dressed as a Shylock. There is a Bible in the painting, and a statute of the Bard (Shakespeare). His office is enormous, its opulence Edwardian." Since the Shylock in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice was the relentless moneylender, isn't it odd that Bob Jones Jr. was proud to display himself as that character!]
Instead of a professional career in world's theater and arts, Dr. Bob chose
to have his cake and eat it too -- he polluted the University with the cultural
perversions of the world, while at the same time, served as president of a
"fundamentalist, separatist" University. The outcome of all this
was inevitable -- the involvement of faculty and students in pursuing worldly
acclaim became acceptable because their leader encouraged it by his example.
But God is not mocked; He no more endorsed Bob Jones immersing himself in opera,
theater, and the fine arts (see below), than He would endorse any Christian
continuing in his sinful old ways after conversion.
[Concerning so-called Christian actors, acting is a pagan art and it is impossible to be filled with the Holy Spirit and act at the same time. The Greek word hupokrites (an actor) and the Latin word hypocrita (a stage actor) is wherefrom we get the English word "hypocrite," and is translated so in the English Bible. Jesus used this word many times and always in a way that showed contempt for the sin of being a hypocrite. Instead, BJU would rationalize this concept and employ it to entertain nominal Christians. But true Christianity is not something that can be depicted as some form of entertainment. Drama and movies did not originate from the Holy Spirit, by whom Christians should be led, but rather from the spirit of this world, that is, the spirit of antichrist. And while BJU would defend so-called Christian movies or drama as a way to evangelize the lost, their rationale results from a lack of discernment. The Holy Spirit simply is not involved in this sort of thing. To pretend to pray or be converted before a camera or audience is a perverted form of insincerity that borders on blasphemy. (Adapted from Exhortations, Issue 31).]
in 2001, BJU had a guest piano artist who specializes in Broadway tunes, and
also put on a version of a Shakespeare play formatted to the "Roarin'
Twenties." How does participation in worldly culture (sophisticated
worldliness maybe) bring one closer to God or be better prepared to serve God's
people? Is there some Scriptural principle that I have missed? What should
be even more concerning for Bible believers is that teachers of the "Fine
Arts" present them as God-given and inherently beneficial. From the
Biblical Christian perspective, Shakespeare's context of the theatre was seen
his own time as antithetical to holiness by concerned Christians. (More evidence
of Satan himself posing as an angel of light!) This is not to deny that
creativity is a marvelous evidence of the spectacular wonder of our Creator.
However, fallen human nature loves to have the praise of man (John 5:44; 12:43).
Setting up situations whereby young people can be on a stage/platform and
receive applause is exceedingly prone to feeding and fueling our carnal
instincts. Mankind tends to hold human fashion as more up-to-date than God's
ways. Rehearsals, electronic effects, sound tracks, prepared scripts, etc.
reduce our sense of need to rely on the Holy Spirit. Manipulation of emotions
not only draws crowds, but may also minimize genuine conviction of sin as a work
of the Holy Spirit. (Adapted/excerpted from a 1/02 e-mail from a concerned
(6) The Fine Arts: BJU's Catholic Art Collection: The world's vernacular is a common-place thing at BJU. It's a part of BJU's "cultural refinement program" which, in addition to the performing arts, also includes the fine arts. In a 1994 BJU Review article ("A Work of Art," Winter 1994, pp. 14-16), BJU's then Chancellor, Dr. Bob Jones Jr., said this about the University Art Gallery and Museum on campus: "I thought we ought to have an art gallery because of our emphasis on the fine arts ... [the] museum is to help the students become acquainted with great painting ... It will enrich their lives." Where is the emphasis on the Bible? How is it possible for a Christian to have his life enriched by heathen art? Bob Jones and his fellow administrators fail to see that before their very eyes is a collection of costly religious idols.
Dr. Jones had even invited secular art critics to review his collection, which he labeled the GALLERY of SACRED ART (also known as the "University Collection of Sacred Art" and now the BJU Museum and Gallery#). Jones apparently did not realize that the over 400 paintings and artifacts in his gallery/museum, much like those in the Vatican Museum in Rome, are blasphemous idols that should all be destroyed according to the second commandment of God. Dr. Jones continued in the article, "Needless to say, the critics are impressed." They are quoted as saying, "The finest collection of religious art in America. No question, Bob Jones has the best Baroque art around. The splendor of Europe's palaces is recaptured here."
[# In 1998, BJU changed the name of The Gallery of Sacred Art to the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery. This name change coincided with BJU's successful effort to transform the Gallery from private status to a public, stand-alone, tax-exempt entity operating apart from the University. Previously, gifts to the Gallery were not tax-exempt, plus the Gallery was not eligible for public monies. BJU has now established an Annual Fund campaign to raise monies for the operating costs of the Gallery, and it has begun accepting public funds (in October, 1998, the Greenville County Council gave the BJU Museum $28,000 in hotel tax money to renovate its entrance; the Council cut aid to local arts to help the Museum). As noted later in this report, BJU's success in obtaining tax-exempt status for the Gallery has come at a price. Amazingly, for the potential of greater contributions and a meager $28,000 at the public trough, BJU has effectively "sold its birthright for a mess of pottage."]
BJU's art collection has works dating back as far as the 1200s, but the Museum and Gallery is much more than just a history exhibit. It's an idolatrous collection of Catholic paintings and artifacts that take visitors back through the development of the Roman Catholic Church across Europe from the 13th through the 19th centuries (i.e., the Gothic through Baroque periods). Every year the gallery draws thousands of visitors, including tourists from foreign countries.
Everything in the Gallery was acquired under the watchful eye of Dr. Bob Jones Jr., who started purchasing pieces on a shoestring budget in the late 1940s. BJU has since paid an average of $30,000 a year from 1951 to 1984 for the collection, amounting to almost one million dollars. (No information has been made available as to how much has been spent since 1984.) "An art gallery is like a library," Dr. Bob said. "It is one of the finest means of promotion that the University has." One wonders, however, how many gave their money to educate young people and prepare them to serve the Lord, only to find their talents hanging on the wall? (The present worth of the BJU art collection is valued in the millions of dollars, and this discounts the cost of the impressive building which houses it.)
The BJU Museum and Gallery contains 30 galleries (rooms),
including three authentic wood-paneled Gothic chambers, displaying more than 400
works by famous pagan artists such as Rembrandt, Ribera, Murillo, Cranach,
Veronese, Titian Tiepolo, Botticelli, Tintoretto, Van Dyck, Rubens, and
Sabastiano de Piombo. The collection's Baroque works are the most famous, but
the Gallery is well represented in other schools, such as the 15th and early
16th century Flemish and Dutch paintings, and early gold background Italian
altarpieces. The large painted crucifix is one of the prime examples in America
of this type painting of the period. Besides the paintings, the gallery/museum
houses collections of Greek and Russian Orthodox icons; Renaissance furniture,
altar pieces, famous busts, ancient coins, and period clothing of the life and
times contemporary with the paintings; sculpture; vestments made for the
Imperial Chapel in Vienna; and the Bowen Biblical Lands Museum (also known as
The Bowen Collection of Biblical Antiquities and Illustrative Material).
A columnist for the Washington Post once said in an article about BJU's Baroque art collection being found on a Christian university's campus: "If one did not know better, one might well regard this as a Roman Catholic show. Something strange is going on here" (Paul Richards, "Baroque, Bob Jones University Has the Best," 8/30/84, The Greenville News). (Bold added.) Even the Post writer, an admitted polytheist, recognized the blatant inconsistency of BJU's testimony of inclusivity to the world and its religions, while simultaneously giving lip service to exclusivity and strict Biblical separation.
Can it please our Lord that any BJU student would be directed by Dr. Bob to learn how to be "cultured" and "enrich" his life through the appreciation and study of Catholic art depicting false Catholic doctrine? (BJU-produced Christian primary and secondary school history textbooks also include pictures of paintings from its "Sacred Art" collection.) How can the Baroque art that has been collected and installed in a museum on a Christian college campus be called "great painting" and "sacred art" when it represents Roman Catholicism? Is there anything about the Roman Catholic system that is "great" or "sacred" in the eyes of our Lord? The collection does nothing but serve to influence many to venerate and value religious images that are actually idols! [The same Greenville News article says: "The Bob Jones Gallery, and its traveling exhibit, is full of Catholic paintings of the Counter-Reformation. Many of the best of them deride the various errors of Protestant rebellion while fighting for the dogmas of the Holy Roman Church" (Emphasis added.)]
BJU has even produced two promotional videos promoting its "Gallery of Sacred Art." Bob Jones Jr. is featured in one video peering through Gothic columns with a glittering crucifix above his head. It is truly eerie-looking, giving the impression that he is touring the altar site of a satanic cult shrine. Despite the superb technical mastery of many of the paintings, they are, for the most part, indecent "art" at best, and blasphemous at worst. Christ is mocked over and over in paintings that make Him out to be nothing more than a plastic, ugly, emaciated, long-haired, pitiful being -- even looking effeminate. In watching the videos, one could not help but be sickened and disgusted by their weirdness and unabashed nudity. In one painting, John the Baptist is portrayed in a skimpy leather garment standing amongst a large group of fully clothed 16th century dandies who are, for the most part, completely disinterested in what he is saying and looking like they are posing for a fashion show.
watching the video tapes of Bob Jones Jr. proudly explaining the symbolism of
the works of art in his gallery, I was very dismayed that he didn't reinforce
that the Roman Catholic superstition that pervades his collection is emblematic
of the ghastly spiritual darkness of the 16th and 17th centuries. He didn't call
to our attention that the wealth and power evidenced by the patrons of those
works of art helped to suppress Scripture truth among the general population.
The Council of Trent of the Catholic Church decreed in 1563, during the very time of BJU's favorite period -- the Baroque Period -- speaking for all Christendom of course, this law which has been carried forth to this day: "The images of Christ and the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be had and to be kept, especially in Churches, and due honor and veneration are to be given them" (Sess. 25). And in Canon 1188: "The practise of displaying sacred images in the churches for the veneration of the faithful is to remain in force." BJU appears to be following Roman Catholic decrees more religiously than do Roman Catholics themselves!
Should we hold in high esteem paintings produced by Roman Catholics (some of which were even sexual perverts) that clearly evidence superstition and paganism? It seems because these paintings are considered as "great works of art" by BJU, as well as by the world's art connoisseurs and by the Catholic Church, that Dr. Bob expects us as Christians to excuse their vileness and admire them as he did, even calling them "sacred." [Does not "sacred" mean holy and set apart unto God?] When Dr. Bob stated that he just "had to buy Catholic pictures, despite the falsehoods in them" (albeit only "unfortunate, naive errors" according to Dr. Jones), he clearly revealed his sinful involvement and the true value of the paintings. Nobody, certainly not the Lord, made Bob Jones buy them. In fact, God commanded that he not do so (Exo. 20:4-5). [BJU has sponsored conferences on campus designed to expose Catholic doctrine (e.g., a 2-day conference held at BJU from 6/13/95-6/17/95), as well as published articles against Catholicism ("Catholic Prejudice and Propaganda," 11/84 FAITH for the Family), yet it sees nothing wrong with blasphemous Catholic art, which depicts these same false doctrines!]
[Particularly disturbing is an advertisement that was run by BJU in Frontline magazine, heralding the BJU collection as a "masterpiece" which was "the only Bible most people could read" and "communicated religious themes to the common man." Whoever at BJU wrote those bylines is woefully ignorant of Roman Catholic suppression of truth for centuries. The implication is that the artists designed the art to Christianize the lost, yet even a superficial survey of the people and times shows that whatever piety the artists and their wealthy patrons expressed was a devilish perversion of New Testament Christianity. Whatever artistic beauty, craftsmanship, and clever symbolism may be incorporated in BJU's Catholic art collection cannot erase Rome's twisting of God's truth and introduction of strange superstitions. The documentation that these paintings give of the evolution of the Old Testament Cherubim to pagan cherubs is a fresh reminder of this art being instead a testimonial to the diabolical darkness perpetuated by Rome and its victims. (Personal letter on file.)]
- The newest approach to "witnessing" at BJU is the adaptation of its blasphemous art collection to a display of "Living Art." This is where BJU adapts the scenes from some of the Art Gallery paintings to an on-stage presentation with real people and music (under the direction of BJU's "department of dramatic productions"). BJU depicts the glory of its "sacred art" as almost commanding that "the scenes and subjects ... jump off the canvas and come to life." For example, at BJU's 4/10/98 inaugural production (titled "What Manner of Man?"-- featuring "seven live, reproduced works of art and an original play highlighting the life and ministry of Christ"), one such scene was a personified bronze statue of Jesus washing the feet of one of His disciple's -- rotating around in circles on stage, the characters being motionless. The person playing the part of "Jesus" had a cloth around his loins, and little else. Evidently, First Union Bank of Greenville didn't have a problem with it either, since they were the ones sponsoring the program (which cost more than $100,000 to produce). Since much of the art in BJU's Gallery has quite a bit of nakedness, it will be interesting to see exactly how much BJU decides to replicate in human form in front of their students for their spiritual enrichment and the spread of the Gospel. BJU plans a new Living Gallery production every year around the Easter season. (Sources: 4/2/98, BJU, THE COLLEGIAN; and the November/December, 1998 issue of The Angelus.)
- BJU continues their swift and unapologetic decline. A controversy began on February 2, 2000, when Texas Gov. George W. Bush kicked off his South Carolina presidential primary campaign at BJU. When he stayed silent on the school's interracial dating ban and its statements that have called the pope an agent of the anti-Christ, Bush's opponents, including the mainstream media, hammered Bush for not denouncing BJU's theology. So, on 3/3/00, Bob Jones III was a guest on Larry King Live in defense of his school. Jones publicly announced that BJU was dropping its long-standing policy against "interracial dating." Dr. Bob called interracial dating a non-issue, a matter unimportant and hardly worth all the bad publicity the school was getting. Jones also told King that the school had never had any Biblical reference to support its ban, but that it was merely "an insignificant part of the school's stance against a one-world order."
Jones's efforts to downplay BJU's emphasis on the rule prohibiting interracial dating were not completely honest, as shown by the fact that the University was willing to take its "most insignificant," "unimportant," "meaningless" rule to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983, where it was presented as "based on a genuine belief that the Bible forbids interracial dating and marriage" (statement in court document). It is a most disturbing revelation that Jones now admits that BJU's policy, which the school took to the Supreme Court, had no solid Biblical basis, yet they claimed it as a "religious freedom" issue at the time. How can a truly fundamentalist organization uphold a conviction for which it now says it never had any Biblical basis?
Moreover, in 1983, speaking to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that had just removed BJU's tax-exempt status because of its interracial dating ban, Bob Jones III then said, "... the policy that has gotten us into this difficulty is a Bible policy and we're going to hold onto it." Also in 1983, he said, "We won't change the policy." Now the policy is gone. In 1983, "We will pay the taxes we have to pay and trust the Lord to sustain the institution as long as He wants it sustained." In the 1977-78 BJU Bulletin, an excerpt from the University Charter reads, "This charter shall never be amended, modified, altered, or changed as to the provisions herein before set forth." Also, Dr. Bob Jones Sr. was once heard on a radio program talking about the University Charter; he stated, "that if the school ever departed from its original position the school was to be shut down, the property sold, and the money to be distributed according to the instructions therein." Does this all mean that God does not want BJU to continue any longer, and that the school's assets should be sold?
Gathered at the school's auditorium to watch Larry King's show, thousands of BJU students were surprised and bewildered by Jones' decision to end the ban, news reports said. "We didn't expect this at all," one student told the Associated Press. But for 73 years, BJU's policy had been considered important enough for the school to expel students guilty of violating it. Will the school now apologize for punishing these students over a non-issue?
On the same program, Dr. Bob, seeking to describe the love of God to Larry
King, expressed that God loves homosexuals and even the Pope. Such an
anti-Scriptural message gives sinners comfort to remain as they are -- after
all, if God loves them just the way they are, then why should they bother to
change? Yet, contrary to Dr. Bob, David prayed, "Do not I hate them, O
LORD, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies" (Psalm 139
21-22). But Dr. Bob was not desirous of making enemies; he was seeking, as
Jehoshaphat, to make friends with the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord
(2 Chron. 19:2). When Dr. Bob had the opportunity to preach the righteousness of
God against evil men, he appealed to a love
about which God knows nothing. Had
Dr. Bob quoted Psalm 5:5-6 -- "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:
thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing:
the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man" -- it would not have been
in politically correct character for a man evidently seeking the praise of
liberals. (Sources: 3/00, The Perilous Times; Jan-Mar 2000, The
Angelus; 3/13/00, Christian News.) [Further evidence of Jones's
compromise: As of March 4, 2000, one day after the Larry King
interview, BJU had dropped from its web site
statements from Dr. Bob calling Catholicism and
Mormonism cults. Removed
was the statement: "The
diminution of evangelistic enterprise to cults which call themselves Christian,
including Catholicism and
Mormonism, is frightening."]
- A 10/24/98 Associated Press story relates a BJU decision to deny access to its campus to a BJU graduate who is an admitted homosexual. The story details how BJU skirts the federal anti-discrimination laws because it is a private institution, having lost its tax-exempt status in 1970 for racial discrimination (and upheld in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1983). BJU vows to have the banned homosexual arrested for trespassing if he tries to enter its fenced-in, 200-acre campus. Yet, homosexuals are not banned from BJU's blasphemous Museum and Gallery. Why? Because the art museum IS tax-exempt, and any so-called discrimination in the Museum's admittance policies would cause BJU to not only suffer a hefty annual federal, state, and local tax burden, but also cut off BJU's access to local funding (i.e., the Greenville County Council had recently approved $28,000 in hotel tax monies to improve the entrance to the art museum).
So, the message is clear: BJU will stand against unrepentant homosexual alumni, but only if it doesn't cost BJU any money. Apparently, if BJU's taxes would be increased, or if BJU would lose taxpayer funding, then no principle is that important.
The following observation of a BJU student on Sunday, November 29, 1998, reveals the fruit of BJU's new homosexual admittance policy (reported in the November/December, 1998 issue of The Angelus):
"More than two dozen sodomites took their first steps into a Bob Jones University facility today. Just after two-thirty this afternoon, a group of at least thirty sodomites began a tour of the BJU art gallery. As they walked into the gallery rotunda, several of the queer couples embraced, others held hands. As if perverse behavior, pink ribbons, and rainbow emblems were not enough identification, several members of the group wore ... pro-sodomy clothing. Some of the slogans sported by the queers read: 'I love my son;' 'End racism'; and 'Hate is not a family value.'"
- The Jones family also had no problem with the possible heir-apparent to the presidency of BJU attending a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning -- Bob Jones III's son, Bob Jones IV, was a doctoral student in history at the (Roman Catholic) University of Notre Dame (ND). Many have questioned Bob III on the appropriateness of a professing fundamentalist attending a Catholic institution of higher learning. BDM obtained a copy of a 12/96 personal letter from Bob III, in response to someone who had shown him a copy of a BDM Letter article that touched on the matter of Bob IV's enrollment at ND. In the letter, Bob III had this to say about The BDM Letter and its editor:
"The BDM Letter was written by a man who hates BJU, finds fault with everything, including the art gallery. His whole purpose in life seems to be to turn people against the school, and he is full of venom and loves to sow seeds of discord among the brethren. He is totally irresponsible with the facts, and if what he writes about BJU were true, I wouldn't like the school either."
The material in this report about BJU IS TRUE and is thoroughly documented. Bob III goes on to say that he and Bob IV's grandfather (Bob Jr.) encouraged Bob IV to go to Notre Dame, because Notre Dame "happens to be very conservative." Wait a minute -- I thought Notre Dame is a Roman Catholic University? Not any more, according to Bob III: "Notre Dame today is like any other college that had a religious heritage that has become a secular institution ... the fact that it [Notre Dame] had a former Catholic heritage is in no way a religious compromise for him [Bob IV] or for the University [BJU]." (Emphasis added.) (See note below.)
Bob III then goes on to make the comparison that Bob IV going to ND is no different than Bob III doing his graduate work at Northwestern and NYU, and Bob Jr. doing graduate work at the University of Chicago and Pittsburgh. Bob III then quotes Bob IV to explain "in his own words" why he chose ND:
"I feel absolutely certain that the Lord has ... called me to pursue my Ph.D. at Notre Dame. Out of more than a hundred applicants, I was one of only eight students accepted into the graduate history department. This despite the fact that I have no academic background in history and that I came from an institution that does not belong to an accrediting association. Furthermore, the department offered me a full tuition waiver for as long as it takes me to complete the Ph.D. program. Even more miraculously perhaps, every other door swung firmly shut, just as I had prayed."
Look at the lengths to which ND went to hook and reel in this "fundamentalist" fish to its Catholic University, all admitted to by Bob IV!: (1) Bob IV was totally unqualified to enter the graduate history program at ND ("no academic background in history" and a graduate of a non-accredited institution); and (2) He received a free ride for life (a "full tuition waiver" worth more than $20,000 per year "for as long as it takes"). Yet he attributes his good fortune to the miraculous hand of God! Are Bob IV and his father so spiritually blind that they cannot see that ND pulled out all the stops to be able to brag that the great grandson of the founder of Bob Jones University has no problem with Catholicism and identifying with the University of Notre Dame? (See note below.)
Bob IV then expands on his father's claim that Notre Dame is not really Catholic anymore: "Notre Dame is a University of Catholic heritage, not Catholic hegemony. ... it has long since lost its religious distinctiveness. ... [Moreover] The graduate department of history is well known throughout the University as a bastion of evangelical Christianity." He then goes on to "prove" this by citing the fact that "outspoken evangelicals" George Marsden and Nathan Hatch are "endowed chair" and "dean" of the school, respectively. What he fails to say is that Marsden and Hatch are rank Catholic-sympathizers and neo-evangelical to the core. (Their colleague and frequent co-author at Wheaton College, Mark Noll, was a signatory to the Evangelical and Catholics Together [ECT] Accord; Hatch also signed the ECT.)
For BJU aficionados, not to fear -- Bob III closes his letter with a personal testimony concerning the heart of the potential next president of Bob Jones University: "He [Bob IV] is a true-hearted Fundamentalist and desires to give himself as a servant of the Lord to help keep the University [BJU] a bastion of Bible Christianity." (Bold added.)
[5/97 Note: A well-known Christian researcher and author called ND in South Bend, Indiana and spoke with the undergraduate admissions office and the graduate admissions office. Both individuals said "yes" to the following question: "Is Notre Dame a Roman Catholic University?" The graduate admissions person added, "While there are students of other faiths here, the students are predominantly Roman Catholic." In addition, in speaking with ND's provost, regarding faculty hiring, it was stated that at least 60% of the faculty are Roman Catholics. The provost was asked if ND required a statement of faith to be signed by faculty before being hired, such as at Protestant institutions like Liberty University and BJU. The response was that ND did not. The provost then proudly remarked that Bob Jones IV is a student at Notre Dame. Also, a spokesperson in the ND History Department divulged the following information: (1) It is VERY difficult to get into the Ph.D. program. It is extremely competitive; (2) However, all students who are accepted are given a full tuition waiver. In addition, some are given up to $4,000 per year in grant money. The full-tuition waiver is only for the first four years of the program; (3) The average Ph.D. candidate takes at least six years to complete the program. There is a ten-year limit on the Ph.D. program.
Compare the above with Bob Jones IV's statement that "the department offered me a full tuition waiver for as long as it takes." Notre Dame obviously made an exceptional exception to bring in Bob Jones IV and to make sure he succeeded. Apparently, this unqualified student was accepted into an "extremely competitive" and hard-to-get-into program, given full tuition waiver, "for as long as it takes," and probably given a $4,000 grant on top of it. Is this a miracle of God or has the Jones' family made an unbiblical, disgraceful compromise? It appears that the Jones' family has once again compromised the doctrine of separation, this time for the price of tuition, possible grant money, and an almost guaranteed Ph.D. (Bob Jones IV received his Ph.D. in 2000.)
Official ND brochures and catalogues were also procured. The following quotes from these documents overwhelmingly contradict the claims of the Joneses that ND is no longer a Roman Catholic institution: (Emphases added.)
(1) "In keeping with the vision of its founders, ND has continued to affirm the necessity of not only transmitting accumulated academic knowledge, but also being a Catholic community, in the very best sense of the term" (Undergraduate Programs 1996-1997: Bulletin of Information; p. 10).
(2) "From its founding in 1842 until the present ND has self-consciously and proudly proclaimed itself to be a Catholic university. ... This reference to Catholicity builds on a historical connection to the Roman Catholic Church and its cultivation of the great transcendental values of truth, beauty and goodness. It presupposes that a life given over to learning and scholarship can be a valid route to God" (Undergraduate Programs 1996-1997: Bulletin of Information; p. 7).
(3) "As a Catholic research university ... ND has a pivotal role to play as a Catholic center of learning" (University of Notre Dame Graduate Studies 1996-1998; p. 1).
(4) "ND is a Catholic university where we take our religious heritage seriously, but where other religious traditions are respected and represented as well. ... Here, religion serves as a topic for academic inquiry as well as for individual reflection" (Notre Dame Admissions brochure -- over the signature of ND president, Edward A. Malloy). (The brochure goes on to quote Pope John Paul II on what he describes as the "ideal Catholic university," which ND applies to itself.)]
- A Frontline magazine (Vol. 6, No. 4) with the cover theme, "The Christian and the Arts," carried a lead article titled, "The God of All Beauty." The article is very disturbing because it lists so many Scripture references [out of context/misapplied], but the author's rationalizations fail to give due consideration to Pauline Epistle truths for this Church Age and the warnings about this world/age. Two other articles in this Frontline issue are by Donna Lynn Hess of BJU, one on fantasy and the other on selecting reading material for children. The first article refers favorably to C.S. Lewis, a devotee and author of occult fantasy with unbiblical metaphors; yet Hess claims that this kind of fantasy is useful in helping children "develop valuable literary skills" and in developing an understanding of "similar literary elements used in Scripture." In the second article by Hess, she states: "As Christian parents, we recognize the need for choosing books in which the theme is morally sound. But it is just as important to be sure that this theme is artfully expressed"; she also says that it's okay to expose children to stories with themes "antithetical to Christian beliefs" in order to "help inoculate them against the false ideas, attitudes and behaviors these writers promote."
BJU's ShowForth video division ("The video source you can trust.") also markets three productions of C.S. Lewis' fiction and a documentary biography of Lewis himself. ShowForth's catalog layout (p. 7) under "Inspirational" lists C.S. Lewis as one of the "Warriors of the Word" along with C.H. Spurgeon. Considering Lewis's many theological errors, it is dangerously deceptive to place him in such august company. A pastor knowledgeable in the unbiblical teachings of Lewis wrote to BJU documenting Lewis's errors. BJU responded with an involved, articulate, but off-the-mark defense for using "fantasy" as a teaching tool. [See the BDM report on the writings of C.S. Lewis.]
In the articles in Frontline, as well in articles sent out by ShowForth, Hess gives an unusually broad description to the term "fantasy," and does not give adequate consideration to the whole counsel of God. "Fantasy" should not be used to describe the figures of speech and literary techniques found in God's Word. Instead, more serious study ought be made of the nature of God, the condemnation of all forms of spiritism throughout Scripture, the recurring theme of sober/sound mind (especially in the New Testament), and the disassociation in the Epistles with "fables" (myths) in presenting God's message.
- In these times we live in, pastors and parents must exercise extreme caution regarding the literary use of fantasy. But this caution is apparently not important to BJU; BJU Press has published Medallion, a popular fantasy reader for elementary age home-schoolers. There are strange similarities between Medallion and two explicitly pagan books -- one a sixth-grade reader for public schools called The Dark is Rising, and a Wiccan manual by Starhawk called The Spiral Dance. In response to a review of Medallion by Berit Kjos, BJU trivializes the similarities, and states, "It appears that what this critique requires of Medallion rules out all fantasy for the Christian. We hold that no story can mix fantasy with the supernatural facts of Scripture without dangerously trivializing Biblical truth by associating scriptural realities with a dream world." [Couldn't have stated the truth more clearly if we had tried!] Contrary to the scholarly opinion of BJU's Literature and Language departments, "Christian" fantasy parallels the occultic literature for children, using similar images, story-lines, symbols, and characters. Literary fantasy, rather than being neutral, has occultic roots. (Excerpted and/or adapted from the 10/96, The Christian Conscience, pp. 40-42; see page 41 for a detailed comparison of Medallion and The Dark is Rising.) (See BDM's report on "Christian" Fantasy.)
- In late-November of 1996, BJU sent out a promotional brochure and letter from Bob Jones III hyping BJU's new affiliation with the Dominion Satellite Network and its Sky Angel project. BJU signed-on with the Dominion DBS (Direct Broadcast Satellite) system "to develop and air a full range of educational programming." The system initially carried BJU home-school programming as well as BJU's FM radio programming, making Dominion DBS the official electronic delivery system for BJU's home-schooling channels. On 12/10/96, BJU began airing a single channel on Dominion, which has since become a full-blown K5-12 curriculum. In early-1998, BJU began broadcasting several channels for home-schoolers all day, five days per week.
BJU describes Dominion as "... the only Christian-oriented organization in the world to own and operate a DBS system. ... DBS ... provides multiple channels of programming in a 'family values' context without all the filth that is typically on television." And since BJU now has its home-schooling programming on Dominion (albeit at an additional charge for certain curricula), BJU encourages its supporters to sign-up with Dominion (i.e., "... contact the folks at Dominion right away"). (The cost for the basic system is $849, which includes the dish, installation, and a one-time $195 "sponsorship gift" to the Dominion Foundation.)
But shouldn't Christians also be concerned about the other so-called "Christian" programming coming into their homes via the Dominion system? Who would want anyone in their family nurtured on the teachings of John Osteen, Jack Hayford, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Oral & Richard Roberts, Dwight Thompson, Tim LaHaye, Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Chuck Smith, Jerry Falwell, Tony Evans, Marilyn Hickey, Kay Arthur, James Robison, Fred K.C. Price, Bill Bright, Robert Schuller, John & Ann Gimenez, David Mains, Josh McDowell, Steve Arterburn, Frank Minirth & Paul Meier, James Dobson, Tony Campolo, Jack Van Impe, J.R. Church, Luis Palau, Greg Laurie, and a host of other DBS program providers? Or how about the "melodies" of Carman, Bill Gaither, ZMUSIC (Youth-Contemporary), THE BEAT (CCM), and SOLID ROCK V.D.O. ("Christian" rock-n-roll Music Videos)? To top it all off, Dominion allocated several programming time slots to two Catholic priests and a Catholic nun!
However, BJU does give the following wishy-washy "warning": "While we could not endorse all of its participants, [we are] very glad to be a part of the Dominion network ..." Why? Because BJU wants "to help provide programming that will promote the truths of Scripture and wholesome family values. ... Wholesome, Christ-honoring music and programming." Thus, BJU deems it okay to bring the teachings of the hyper-charismatics, the psychologizers, the neo-evangelicals, the "Christian" rockers, and even the Roman Catholic Church into Christian homes, because it's part of the overall good that will come from BJU being able to broadcast its so-called Christ-honoring home-schooling curriculum. But with BJU's association with, and recommendation of, the Dominion network, along with its non-warning warning, one has to wonder how many thousands of undiscerning believers will ultimately fall under the influence of some of the most seriously wicked false teaching ever to pollute the airwaves! Lack of a clear warning message or rating system of all the other programs on the Dominion DBS system leaves the impression that all programs are acceptable and are, therefore, valid viewing options for those who bought into the system because of the BJU programs and the BJU recommendation.
- The following is a letter BDM received from a BJU student; it further depicts the worldliness condoned at BJU:
"The date is 4/19/97, at the BJU Academy Junior/Senior Banquet. I was a freshman in the University at the time and was dating a Senior in the Academy. She was required to attend the event and so I did not want her to have to go alone. It appeared to me that as we walked into the dining hall at the Academy, that this was going to be a pagan fest -- the first thing I noticed was what appeared to be a huge 'king Tut head' on the stage at the end of the dining hall. It stood approximately five feet high and was made out of shiny gold material and a sky blue material with the two objects that king Tut was found holding. There was a pyramid, standing about three feet tall, on either side, made out of some sort of thin white paper. The pyramids were lit on the inside, giving a New Age, mystical look. Around the walls there were dispersed real 'poles' decorated like an Egyptian tomb. The walls were also decorated like the inside of an Egyptian tomb. On the two head tables there were what appeared to be pharaoh's heads made out of gold material and approximately eight inches in height. In the center of the dining hall was a platform stage, on which a play was conducted during the evening meal, as 'entertainment.'
"The play was your typical murder mystery plot, with a little audience participation thrown in. Throughout the play there was much unnecessary touching between the male and female actors. Approximately three quarters of the way through the play, there was a break in the action and an opportunity for the audience members to stand up and accuse characters in the play of having been the one who committed the murder. One of these audience members, who had been at the head table, was Bob Jones III. He stood up and gave an eloquent charge of accusation against a character of the play. This, to me, indicated his complete acceptance of the contents of the play, or else he would not have participated as such.
"I watched closely throughout the action of the play the facial expressions of Bob Jones III. My intention was to see if he was in approval of the action. Many times at which I would say were questionable events in the play, I would look over at Bob Jones III and see him smiling in pleasure.
"At the end of the evening, Bob Jones III gave a 'challenge.' It was a decent message, but it did not make amends for the indecency of the evening play. The evening was not geared to glorify God in the true Biblical sense of the meaning. Yes, they opened up in prayer and they ended with a challenge, but the evening did not glorify the Lord Jesus Christ! I guarantee that there were unsaved youth in that room. Was this a true testimony of what Christianity is all about?? Apparently, Bob Jones III thinks so, since he participated in the play! This makes me outraged! There were hundreds of young people, Juniors and Seniors. What a stumbling block to these young people! If this is Christianity (and it is not), this is hypocrisy! The evening events depicted compromise and corruption at best and hypocrisy at worst."
- During the course of an "act" that a visiting, secular, boys-choir was performing (Fall of 1998) on the same BJU chapel platform where the preaching is done, one of the boys gave a filthy gesture to another boy. The entire audience of about seven thousand students and visitors burst out into a murmur that could be heard throughout the place. Some students laughed, some were angry, others were in dismay. Almost immediately, the fire alarm went off, causing the evacuation of the building. Many of the students thought the alarm was set-off by the administration in protest of the visiting choir-boy's obscenity. Such was not the case, however, and shortly, all re-entered the building to conclude the program.
The next day, Dr. Bob Jones III informed one of the students that he was very angry that such a thing was done and that he would not invite the group back again, but that neither he nor anyone else in the administration had caused the building to be evacuated; the fire alarm was an accident. Dr. Bob never gave an apology to the students, nor a public reproof to the visiting sinners who sinned publicly, nor a regret or refund to the visitors. Evidently, BJU's brand of "fundamentalism" has fallen to the place where the members of a visiting performance company can make filthy gestures, receive no shame or rebuke, and BJU still makes money off of the whole thing! (Reported in the November/December, 1998 issue of The Angelus.)
- Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Promise Keepers has also decided to affiliate with the Dominion DBS Network, and even cites BJU as a fellow traveler -- Source: Promise Keepers 7/29/97 Press Release:
"DOMINION SKY ANGEL -- Thanks to a special arrangement between PK and Dominion Sky Angel Television, viewers may be able to watch this event [Stand in the Gap Washington Rally in 10/97] in their churches and homes. Dominion Sky Angel, a new 24-hour a day, multi-channel, direct broadcast satellite provider of Christian television and radio programming, will be airing SITG live. This arrangement also gives PK the future potential to establish a dedicated Promise Keepers' satellite channel which would enable it to do specialized broadcasts such as, live event coverage, chats with Coach McCartney, educational programs and small group seminars. The $394 one-time price, which includes the hardware and a lifetime Christian programming package from Sky Angel, makes this affordable for individuals and churches alike and plants the seeds for a virtual PK network. ... Sky Angel , which carries numerous television channels (The Worship Channel, 100-PLUS Ministries, The FamilyNet Channel, Home School Preview & Christian Television Network and numerous others) and radio signals (American Family Radio, Calvary Satellite Network, KTLW-FM Christian Music/Talk and Bob Jones Radio), will be expanding to approximately 50 channels over the next year. This will include more lifetime ministry channels for educational and specialty programming."
- Louis Sheldon, founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), is a 1960 graduate of the liberal Princeton Theological Seminary and is a former Presbyterian pastor, and in 1977 helped start the charismatic CBN University with Pat Robertson. The TVC has grown in ten years to include some 31,000 church congregations across the United States. In a TVC information paper it stated, "What makes TVC unique is its multiracial membership of churches made up of various denominations, races and socio-economic backgrounds." In an article in Human Events, dated 2/11/94, and titled "Conservative Spotlight," Sheldon stated, "We have been able to attract Catholics, Jews, Mormons and all sorts of Protestants to unite on behalf of the preservation of their deeply held sense ... This broad coalition of Americans has united around religion and this is a very good thing for our country."
In light of the documented evidence presented above, one would think that BJU and its graduates would want to have nothing to do with the TVC. To the contrary, in the Summer 1996 BJU Review, a two-thirds page article features the pictures and story of a BJU alumnus who is employed by the TVC (p. 5). The article favorably describes the TVC and the work the alumnus performs as a TVC staff member. The article concludes with a TVC phone number where individuals who wish to "get involved" with the organization can obtain further information. (Sheldon also spoke once in a BJU chapel service.)
The BJU endorsement is a clear reversal of a previous position regarding political coalitions with an ecumenical basis. When the Moral Majority (MM) appeared on the scene, just like the TVC, it contained some morally appealing positions. Yet BJU staunchly contested against the MM and its founder because of its ecumenical structure. The ecumenicist winds of 2000 A.D. are blowing strong. It appears this once mighty "bastion of the faith" no longer has the courage to resist the deceptive sweeping ecumenical tides (just as it has failed to resist the tides of psychology and other worldly philosophies). Despite anticipated protestations to the contrary that nothing has changed with regard to stance, the indications are that this "fortress of the faith" is gradually weakening. Gradualism is a slow but sure method of destroying the faith once delivered unto the saints. (Adapted from the 2/97, The Perilous Times, p. 5.)
- In summary, BJU's standards are eroding daily. Not only does BJU have a museum of idols, it also has placed its Catholic art on the walls of various classroom buildings, administrative offices, and in its War Memorial Chapel. Moreover, it boasts of its Opera Association, its Shakespearean drama, its karate team, its personality testing service, its psychology curriculum, its publishing of occult fantasy, its association with the Dominion Satellite Network, and the acumen of its liberal arts faculty. BJU has duplicated the programs of the world, only under a Christian guise. It has taken a steady downhill path, from being a Bible college, to a liberal arts college, to a university. It appears to be only a matter of time now before BJU becomes another BIOLA University (once the Bible Institute of Los Angeles).
- BJU promotes inclusiveness in a very sophisticated manner. While BJU's separatist stand is cast off to permit deeper involvement in worldly pursuits, it would seem that Bob Jones and his colleagues reason that the more prosperous, successful, and popular their institution can be in the eyes of the world, the more they can win the world over. Instead, the tragic reality is that the world has won them over. How prophetic BJU was of its own institution when in 1977 it wrote:
"Dr. Bob Jones III considers his chief work at Bob Jones University to be 'keeping the ship on a steady course when there are so many adverse winds blowing from all directions. From within fundamentalism there is a restructuring taking place which I feel is harmful to the cause. This departure is going to lead to doctrinal and directional errors for the Church of Jesus Christ, I believe, because it is a departure from Biblical fundamentalism. I think the pressures of the age -- the commercialism of the age -- are largely responsible for it. It is the idea that so long as soulwinning is taking place, then it doesn't really matter what methods we use to arrive at those ends and purposes. I'm afraid that this idea of the end justifies the means is going to destroy, if the Lord tarries, fundamentalism as we know it.'"
One wonders how the young people being taught at Bob Jones University are going to learn to trust God and rely on prayer, or function properly in the local church, when its leaders say one thing, yet act as though they are entitled to operate without regard for the Bible.
In late-September of 1996, I [Biblical Discernment Ministries of BDM] received in the mail a flier announcing a Bible conference at a supposedly fundamentalist, separatist association of churches. The speaker for the conference was scheduled to be Dr. Bob Jones Jr. The flier read like a BJU press release, boasting of BJU's "Collection of Sacred Art" and of Dr. Jones' role in its procurement. I wrote a letter of protest to the director of the association sponsoring the conference, challenging the association's official position on Biblical separation in light of Dr. Jones scheduled appearance. In October of 1996, I received a response from the association's director. Below are excerpts from that letter (numbered 1-4) with my response below each item. This is provided in order to demonstrate the illogical rationalizations professing separatists will make in order to accommodate their loyalties to schools and organizations:
1. "... you have taken Biblical separation to an unbiblical extreme. Separation has to do with parting from those in doctrinal error or those who are disobedient to the command of separation. To apply it to a man because he is a connoisseur of 15th century art is a perversion of the doctrine."
Response: The Catholic art in the BJU collection depicts idolatrous false doctrines. Moreover, BJU and Dr. Jones refer to this art as "SACRED"! Webster's Dictionary defines sacred: "to consecrate; to make sacred or declared holy; dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; worthy of religious veneration; entitled to reverence and respect; of or relating to religion: not secular or profane." Are not Bob Jones Jr. and BJU guilty of "doctrinal error" by their procurement of, devotion to, and display of these so-called "sacred art" pieces that depict the doctrines of a false religious system? Moreover, is it not abhorrent that these art pieces are foisted upon innocent students as "fine arts ... to help [them] become acquainted with great painting ... [to] enrich their lives" (quote from Bob Jones Jr.)? Are we not commanded in Scripture to separate from false doctrines regardless of the form in which they come to us? Is this position a "perversion of the doctrine" of separation? I think not.
2. "To appreciate the work of the men of the past in art, science or exploration is not to cooperate with them or aid them in their mistaken beliefs."
Response: We're not talking about mere "appreciation" here, as one would appreciate a model train collection. We're talking about art pieces that were specifically created to display and to promote the "mistaken [Roman Catholic] beliefs" of these artists. Do you think Michelangelo was commissioned by the papacy as a neutral artist, one who would have rather been painting landscapes than doctrinal art pieces? To then pass off this art (which was created to encourage worship in a false religious system) as neutral, with no doctrinal significance, is ludicrous.
3. "[Michelangelo, et al.] did outstanding things in the history of our world. If you followed your principle to the ultimate end you would reject a large part of history on the basis of 'Biblical separation.' That is a perversion of the scriptural doctrine."
Response: This is a false analogy. No way is the art specifically created for devotion and worship in a false religious system analogous to any medium that would depict secular history. What if I were a devotee of American Civil War art (which I am not), had spent millions of dollars on its procurement, built a building on a "Christian" College campus to house it and display it, and called it fine art essential to the students' education? You'd probably say I was nuts and that I had wasted the Lord's money. (You'd be right.) But at least it would not be sacrilegious -- there's no calling it "sacred" and there's no false doctrine depicted in it.
4. "I am concerned lest you lessen your usefulness by getting
deeply involved in things which are your personal taste rather than things which
have nothing to do with apostasy or new evangelicalism."
Response: If you classify the false doctrines of Roman Catholicism, dressed-up and foisted upon the undiscerning as "fine art," as mere "personal taste," then I suspect there is nothing BJU can do that would cause you to separate from them -- certainly not their "Christian" karate teams, their promotion of Four Temperament theory and Jungian-based personality typing, their performance of operas and dramas with licentious themes, nor their promotion of authors of false doctrine and occult fantasy (e.g., C.S. Lewis). Perhaps your eyes will be opened when the next generation of Joneses takes the helm at BJU, particularly if it happens to be the one educated at (the Roman Catholic) University of Notre Dame.
Note: Sometime later, I received the following letter from a pastor of an independent Baptist church. I think this letter speaks for itself -- does it not accurately depict the attitude of the association director referred to above?:
"I've been perplexed about the loyalty Baptists have for BJU for years. If I had the time, inclination, and resources, I would write a thesis entitled 'BJU: The Great Exception.' The idea is this: It seems that so many who are themselves 'Baptist Fundamentalists' have great conviction until it comes to BJU -- that's the EXCEPTION!
"By the way, why has no one written a critique of Cornbread and Caviar, by Bob Jones Jr. Frankly, I've never read anything quite like it. I have so many questions:
* Does he hate Baptists?
* It's supposedly an autobiography, yet no stories of growing up in Sunday School and church. Did he go?
* Where is his church membership? Is it a local Baptist church?
* Do the Joneses go to church? Do they go to Sunday School? Do [any of them] teach a class? ...
* I think Bob, Jr. calls himself an evangelist -- in what sense? Did he hold campaigns? In what churches?
* Did Bob, Jr. ever make a mistake? -- I couldn't find any in the book.
"I could go on and on! The fact is this: If I did not name Bob Jones Jr. or his son, but just described him anonymously to a fellow-Baptist preacher, and then recommended that this man preach at his Baptist church, my fellow-Baptist preacher would reject the recommendation immediately!"
* Some of the material in this and the accompanying report on BJU's art gallery has been adapted from three sources produced by Dick Wilton: (1) a 1/22/95 paper titled "Separation-Unity"; (2) a 4/15/95 personal letter (draft) to Dr. Bob Jones Jr. (final letter dtd. 5/2/95); and (3) a 5/2/95 paper titled "The Idolatry of Bob Jones Jr. and Bob Jones University: Their Gallery of Sacred Art." Also consulted were BJU's 50th Anniversary publication: "Bob Jones University -- Fifty Years Under God (1927-1977)"; a 1996, BJU-authorized historical biography by M.T. Dalhouse titled An Island in the Lake of Fire (Univ. of Georgia Press, 208 pp.); BJU's official Internet web site; and BJU's Catalog of Undergraduate Courses.