An ex-fundy responds to the question, “How could anyone attend BJU”?

11saddegreeRecently (via such posts as A Christianity to Make Satan Proud, Pastor Marc Monte: Satan Called. Loves Your Work, and The Fundamentally Toxic Christianity)  we’ve been discussing Independent Fundamental Baptists (or, for short, the IFB). One of the questions raised in the comments to those posts is how or why anyone would attend an unaccredited IFB “college” such as Bob Jones University.

I recently received a letter about that very question from a woman who attended BJU (har!—but c’mon: grow up); she graduated, in fact, in the same class as Marc Monte, about whom she also had some thoughts. I thought that (with her permission, of course) I would here share her letter, because I think it sheds some light on an aspect of the IFB not often understood by people outside of that fear-based and dangerously isolated world.

Dear John,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but lately, it’s become painful, as I am a graduate of BJU, though I don’t often admit to it. (In fact, I graduated in the class of 1989, along with “Dr.” Mark Monte and Bobby Jones IV.)

You and your readers may wonder, “Why on earth would anyone go to a school like BJU?” It’s a question I’ve been asked many times. Here’s how it works. BJU graduates hundreds of “preacher-boys” each year. These boys then become pastors at IFB churches. Many of those churches have, or are closely affiliated with, schools. Kids who go to these schools are brainwashed every day from the time they are very young with Fundy propaganda. (I will not go into detail, because I will throw up.)

By the time these kids get to be seniors in high school, they’ve already been talked to by college reps from BJU and other “lesser” fundy colleges like Pensacola Christian College. Kids who are really “liberals” at heart might get to go to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. (At our church Falwell was never considered to be anywhere near conservative enough. I used to think that was a matter of doctrine; now I know it was just competition.)

Personally, I had never heard of any other Christian colleges besides these Fundamentalist ones, and to go to a non-Christian school was just out of the question. When you grow up in a fundamentalist church, you are highly discouraged from associating with “the world,” so you don’t make friends outside of the church. We didn’t have a TV. In 1989 there was no Internet. So I had no way of knowing about other colleges. And you sure don’t “rebel” against the church or your parents unless you want to make your whole family miserable and probably go to hell—or worse, have to get up and confess your sin in front of the whole church.

So, I picked BJU.  It was far away, it was big, and it had some majors and classes that looked interesting. It was held up to me as a beautiful utopia. I knew nothing about BJU’s history of racism. They told me that an unaccredited degree would not be a problem for me. And any sort of abuse going on at the college was then  unheard of.

Well, of course it was all a pack of lies. I’ve had no end of trouble about that unaccredited degree. Although I was never physically abused and was never aware of any going on, I have no doubt that some people were, because the entire system is abusive. You’re constantly navigating mind games and power plays and invisible boundaries. You can get demerits for anything: your guilt is assumed the moment you’re accused. But far, far worse is the constant theological abuse: you are always sinning, you must always “get right with God”: you must always fear hell and the devil and the rapture in which you will be left behind. It is a toxic environment, full of unwritten codes, swift and bizarre judgments, shunning, chauvinism, legalism, denial—and all under the name of God, all a part of “God’s plan for your life.” God does not love, God judges. God does not forgive and restore, God punishes. They quote Romans 3:23 (“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”), but never Romans 3:24 (“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”)

Everyone who graduates from BJU has been abused in this way. And that’s why I think that instead of condemning and vilifying “Dr.” Monte, we should pity him and pray for him. He also was brainwashed and propagandized, he also was sucked helpless into the system and spewed out in the image of “Dr.” Bob. Yes, now he is a grown up, and old enough to know better. Except how can he know better? The only people he knows are just like him! His mentors applaud him! Even the Bible praises him for being persecuted for Jesus’ sake. And suppose Dr. Monte does come to his senses and reject Fundamentalism? What happens if he tries to leave? He loses his only livelihood. And he’s got a bum degree—so what on earth can he do to support his family? He probably lives in a parsonage, so he will lose his home, and since (in Christ’s name) he has been underpaid , it’s unlikely he has any savings. In addition, as the church shuns him, he, his wife and his children will lose all their friends.

I did get out, and came by degrees to know a God of unconditional love and grace. I received healing long ago. But how agonizing to read these stories of abuse! And to see some who were good friends from college days now preaching at BJU, or on its faculty or staff—or, worst of all, sending their own children to BJU … O Lord, they do not know what they are doing.

Thank you, John, for sharing your brand of sanity. It’s an antidote to those of us who were brought up in the clutches of the IFB.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Adam

    I can affirm and confirm every point in this letter. It is eerily accurate to the first 30 years of my life. Thanks God I’m out.

  • James

    Definitely food for thought. Thanks so much for sharing this letter, John. I still have great difficulty feeling compassion for folks like “doctor” Monte who use their version of faith as a billy club in an attempt to beat people into alignment with their beliefs. I do understand, though, that their inventory of responses to these situations is limited (to an extent).

    Still, I’m perplexed and dismayed by people who just never add any more tools to their toolbox. My own father is one and it puzzles me how I (who never cease finding situations in life I’m unprepared for and, thus, never cease acquiring or inventing more coping tools) came from this man. I can’t see this as anything other than a childish refusal to continue growing. They’re perpetually stuck in the second half of the Jonah story, bemoaning the death of their precious vine.

    • Jill

      I’m right there with you, James. I don’t feel that there are sides here, for or against, but we all make some choices of our own accord at certain points in life.

      I truly empathize in my own way with the Letter Writer, and I also had to make a choice to leave. It was like ripping an arm off because I believed their rhetoric. But I did it, with only the support of a grossly underpaid counselor.

      Perhaps people in this category know not what they do, like Mr. Monte, and yet that does not give free pass to continue injuring others with their ignorance.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

        That walking away from the faith you’ve grown up, in mycase a different and odd branch of Christianity, does rather feel like ripping an arm off. (great analogy Jill). I know I spent a fair amount of time second guessing myself, dealing with guilt over practices and rituals I’d given up, as well as knew ones I’d decided to pick up, wondering if God was punish me for failing to follow his will.

        My parents stuck with it, despite schisms, scandals and serious upheavels in their denomination, settling finally on a splinter sect once the dust settled. My dad still has tapes, magazines and articles dating back to my childhood published by that church. my one grandmother and my dad are the only two left in my family in that group. Most of the people I grew up with have left as well.

        In our case it was an unsustainable religion, built on lies, charisma, propaganda and the congregants encouraged to not ask questions. For people in IFB and other denominational groups, their foundations are somewhat similar, yet much stronger. I left mine because the house of cards was starting to collapse, and I saw a way out as did many others. Little of the original church remains.

        For many of the churches affiliated with BJU, they’ve spent more time building the walls, filling the moat and manning the ramparts. The fear of God is alive and well, so staying inside that castle will keep one safe from anything that God hates, and he has quite the list of “i hates”.

        • Jill

          What you said just struck me sd, and that is how many of us still try again. In our own way, in our own time, and appropriately reticent to go full force like we once did, but so many of us go another round.

          I’m not just talking about finding a new religion or church, because there are great humanists and atheists that have been burned and still they rebuild hope and kindness out of the rubble. Maybe the true cynics, the real fearmongers are buried so deep in the fundy church because, like you said, it feels so much safer than navigating the world with its uncertainty. I think those are the people that have really given up, lost real connection to hope.

          What a testament to the spark of life in all of us that we don’t give up all hope in spite of all the reasons why we could. That we even find the door to get out and start again.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            Maybe some stay, even after not much is left, because they’ve invested so much…too much, and backing out now could be an admittance of a wasted life, a wasted faith.

            I’m going to have to turn in my resentment card over to John on this one. I deeply resent what that church stole from me., including my mother, who died when I was six. They preached the “doctors are ebil, trust in god, trusting in doctors means you don’t trust in god” She died of complications of a ruptured appendix.

            That’s just one of many issues I have with them. I know I shouldn’t. I am so thankful I ended up where I did. It’s been quite the journey…ok the trip ain’t over yet, but I”m loving life, loving what God has blessed me with, and loving what the future holds.

          • Jill

            Really thank you for saying this, I mean– there is so much collateral damage here that these holier-than-thou groups create. I’m not going into the blame space, but I am acknowledging we have spent so much energy spinning ultimately ineffectual, and very hurtful, wheels trying to be “good Christians”.

            I just cannot give enough encouragement and support to you and everyone that faces this stuff, this bag of resentments we are carrying because we’ve been so hurt, and still says “it’s ok to try again another day.” Giving up is an option for any of us, any time. I’ve done that purgatory already.

            I’m rambling, but my point is that something inside keeps calling to us, reminding us of what is real. Doesn’t mean all the rest of it just falls away. But something deeper makes me feel like I can surmount all the resentments I’m still sifting through. If I hang on and keep going, I will get there. In the meantime, I am ok. I am loved and cherished. We all are.

            That has to be the ultimate message we can confidently hold onto as we walk our path.

  • n.

    oh wow, this is nothing like the extremely conservative college i went to. all the lax doctrine and lack of dogmatic conformity that my family and i lamented at the time (especially those non-christian profs who “shouldn’t even have been working there” but were my favorites because they were more interesting people) actually sowed seeds of doubt for me to later consider other ways of thinking.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Pfft. Hippie.

      • n.

        i was raised by hippies but they went another kind of fundy and then practically teaparty for a while. i guess i am just going back to my roots.

  • Andrea

    Thank you for sharing this well-written letter, John, and thanks to the person who wrote it, too. I now understand perfectly why a young person would go to one of these so-called colleges, but what is less clear is why mature adults would choose to live such horror and perpetrate it against others. Not even the Amish are as sheltered as the writer describes “Dr.” Monte. Surely everyone reaches a point in his life where he questions what he has been taught. Why would anyone choose to go on living the way the fundies do? Why would they choose to attend a toxic church beyond age 30, 40, 50? And, most perplexing: why would anyone raise their children in that toxic environment? If it is out of fear for loss of livelihood, as she describes, fundies are a particularly cowardly and evil lot.

    • Bobbi

      After 22 years of indoctrination I can understand people continuing in the same manner. The thought that kept running through my head, as I read this letter and the questions in your comment, was a quote from Helen Keller “People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.” It is much more convient to follow blindly then to question.

    • Inwoodista

      If someone has been born and raised in such a hermetic toxic environment, raised with this abuse all their life (everyone else is treated the same way), and never exposed to anything different (healthy), how could they possibly even KNOW that they are being abused?

      If they figure it out and want to leave, how can they leave, since they don’t know anyone outside, don’t have any real education or information, and don’t have any skills to support themself, and know they would be excommunicated and never see any of their family or friends again?

      This is how these cults (and I use the word consciously) operate and keep the faithful inside the abusive fold.

    • Naomi

      Why? Because the circles are your friend and family, your entire social network and support. If you buck the system, you lose those people, almost immediately. Calling people who are in fear off losing their livelihood and family cowardly is really unfair. It’s very wrenching, very difficult, to take that step.

  • http://joeschilibarn@blogspot.com Joe Hayes

    I had a very similar experience to that of the author of this letter. I struggle with her points about giving grace to the people who did this to us. She’s absolutely correct, of course, but it’s a heavy lift, as it were…

    God bless her and those like us.

  • Mark

    One of the many lies of the Independent Fundamental Baptists is that they are independent churches. They are not. Most belong to a network (BJU, PCC) from which the draw their pastors, school teachers, textbooks, youth group materials, teen summer camps, etc…

    My niece’s Baptist school was in the PCC and she is going there to waste money and four years of her life to end up with less than minimum wage jobs. I could not talk sense to anyone in the fundie side of my family. What is worst, my liberal Christian family members also back the decision (I guess because I’m an atheist)

    There is another reason students go to BJU, they have no choice. I grow up with follow high school students at my fundie school that their parents gave them three choices, BJU, the military or get kicked out of the house. BJU (and Hyles-Anderson) no doubt taught its alumni to treat their children this way.

    • Christy

      What Mark said. BJU or get out is the “choice” offered to more than a few. Several of my IFB school friends were given such an ultimatum. When my friend got kicked out of BJU, he was on his own to figure out what came next. Families will disown you in this society for things other than being gay. It may help others understand why they will often disown their gay kids so readily. Any disobedience can merit this response.

      The simple formula is obedience and submission to godly authority is good. Expressions of self-determination and autonomy are evidence of a rebellious spirit and the devil working in your life to lure you away from what’s good.

      It is a separatist society. And it’s built on all or nothing Dualist thinking: either you’re with them or you’re against them.

      Other friends went willingly to BJU and PCC and encountered the after graduation dilemma of trying to find a job. Their degree was a ticket to getting a job within the system – other IFB schools as teachers and coaches – but it was much more difficult to find relevant work in other areas.

  • Russell Mark

    John, thank you for sharing this letter. I too grew up in a Baptist Bubble…but nothing so severe as this writer describes. I am grateful that she has provided these insights so that we won’t be tempted to become smug or intolerant ourselves of those that are caught in this horrible whirlpool (cesspool?) of fear and judgment. We must remember that most abusers have been abused themselves. And for many, the abuser continues to be abused due to the abusive environment in which they exist. “Dr.” Monte is no exception and is, in fact, a poster-boy. So, while we loathe his theology and bed-side manner (rightfully so), what can you expect from someone who’s inner life is as though they have no access to unconditional love and who’s self-delusion is the only defense they have against an honest self-esteem that’s crap. Are there truly evil people in this pool? Sure, but like people who commit murder, only a tiny percentage are pathological. Should Monte (and his ilk) be held accountable for his spiritual murder? You bet. Should he be pitied and prayed for sincerely. Absolutely, for there but by the grace of God go I.

    • http://kingmaalbert@hotmail.com Al

      Thanks, Russell. That’s very broad-minded of you and, I think, true.

    • Christy

      What Russell Mark said.

  • Kathy in KC

    My pastor is fond of quoting (I don’t know from where) that the number one reason people leave the church or don’t go to a church is: “other Christians.” I believe it. 100%. Other Christians embarrass me more than any other group when it comes to religion. I want to run away, distance myself, deny that I have anything to do with a Christian church. Even though my particular church is liberal, welcoming to all, including LGBT people, immigrants and people of color. I’m personally what might be called an agnostic theist. There is something divine out there but I’m not sure what it is or that it really is what the Bible tells us it is. I’m trained as a scientist. That makes me a natural skeptic. But I’ve experienced some pretty awesomely weird stuff. I’ll leave it there. Those “other Christians” still embarrass me. I don’t want to admit any association with Christianity because of them. So I remain silent. No witnessing or evangelizing happening here.

    • Jill

      I love awesomely weird stuff.

      If you ever feel like sharing some of it…

  • Allie

    Thank you. I was one of those asking how anyone could go to BJU. This goes a long way towards helping me understand.

    I do have one comment, though. Many times, in response to letters like this, a lot of the comments say, basically, “But we can work within the system and make it better!” It seems, to me, as an outsider, that you can’t make a place like BJU better. No matter how much ketchup you put on that shit sandwich, you still should not eat it. BJU has NO FUNCTIONS which are desirable. It isolates people and it teaches nothing which is anything considered learning to the rest of the world, and what it does teach are dangerous lies.

    • LN

      Allie, I do agree BJU is a lost cause, and the only way to fix it is to make it go away. And I don’t want to defend them at all. As one who tried for many years to think of just one benefit from growing up IFB/BJU. And here it is: I really, REALLY know the Bible. It did take a while to disentangle what the Bible says from what BJU says the Bible says, but still, I have a huge amount of scriptural knowledge, and that, ultimately, is what helped me see that they were lying. God’s word got through. So, since I was one who DID have to eat the sh**, at least I have the ketchup!

      Also, I think it is possible to get a pretty decent college education at BJU, depending on what program you are in. Music teachers and students from BJU have won national awards, for example. And they do graduate state certified teachers, nurses, pilots, etc. On the other hand, I woudn’t think a science major would be worth much!

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

        I am curious how one can get teaching certification, or a nursing license if your diploma is not accredited? I suspect that many schools would not accept that degree for post graduate work, or for transfer. I do know both occupations have licensing tests they have to pass, which is a plus.

        • Naomi

          sdparris, years ago you could get licensed to teach in SC and in your home state. That’s no longer the case in 32 states, the last time I checked. My degree is considered worthless in my current state of residence, despite my former licensure or classroom experience. So education majors seek out jobs in Christian schools that do not require licensure. And on the cycle goes…

      • Allie

        See, I think one of the prerequisites for anyone calling themselves college educated is a basic understanding of what science is, and what it is not, and how to test premises and separate truth from lies. BJU not only doesn’t teach that (which an ordinary university expects you to get with your one or two token science classes even with a music degree) but it teaches the opposite.

        I know the Bible pretty well, because my NT class was taught by a Jewish scholar. I recommend this to anyone. He had no dog in the fight, so he could be honest about the context of the passages.

      • Laura Lewandowski

        I’m a nurse. For a short time several years ago I worked in a large medical center in Greenville, SC, where BJU is. As you would think, there were lots of BJU educated nurses. I had no use for their IFB theology, but I tell you,their work was top-notch. They weren’t my best friends but were awesome co-workers.

  • Brenda
    • Aggie

      Great link, thanks for sharing.

  • Christy

    What the letter writer said. She speaks the truth. All of it.

    Liberty and Falwell were too liberal. And that’s the word they used. Liberal. (Let that sink in for a moment.)

    IFB kids are groomed to go to these two schools: BJU and PCC. Anything else is “compromising one’s faith.” Parents are manipulated too: “Well, Mr. Shore we sure hope (insert your kid’s name here) doesn’t end up running with the world sending her to a college like that. If she does, you’ll know why. Do you really want to have to carry the burden of knowing her soul will spend eternity in hell because you set her on the wrong path?” << (That's the IFB version of "pastoral care.")

    Also: When as a young girl you are groomed to have a limited career path…it seems less important where you go to college. It was clear in our IFB school that the pinnacle of achievement for the Christian educated young woman, if it was the Lord's will to be called to such a high and lofty position, would be to achieve the role of Pastor's Wife. Other lesser choices were also available: missionary wife, Sunday school teacher, pianist, organist, children's choir leader (can't have women in charge of men in an adult choir – that would be "unbiblical" and irreparably damage the "testimony of the church" [not to mention the tender egos of all those poor choir-singin' men]) and Christian school teacher. Nurse was a newly permissible option in our circle.

    But she is also right about the fact that they can't teach what they don't know. It is intentionally isolationist for this reason. People, listen. They don't read books or go to movies or watch mainstream television. They don't read books! <<< They don't "fill their mind with the world and worldliness and godlessness and secular humanism." Or anything that doesn't fit their worldview. In the world of all or nothing, you can't trust anyone that is "wrong" in one area. It means it contaminates the entire person and body of work. So "Trust No One" is a mantra. Trust no one different than your inner group and people like you. But don't trust yourself because the mind is a dangerous place.

    See.

    A society not based in reality can't help but produce people not based in reality. And you cannot remove by logic ideas that were not first placed there. They can't help it. They know nothing else. And it's like being oil in a world of water…and they were taught to be the oil. Unlearning everything you knew and once trusted to be true, especially when it included that the sky is green and the grass is blue, is a very difficult path.

    • Christy

      * And you cannot remove by logic ideas that were not first placed there…* by logic.

      • Jill

        And yet you got out. Christy, does that ever surprise you that you had the fortitude to find your way out of that darkness? Did you have any help? (If you don’t mind me asking.)

        • Christy

          It’s a long story, still unfolding. But a few saving graces included an altered family dynamic from the typically patriarchal one since I had a strong-willed, authoritarian mother and a tender-hearted, passive father. I was lucky enough to have been born brainy and curious with a desire for higher education in the medical field to parents who highly valued a legitimate, good education (though they were not college educated themselves). That was my ticket out the door of my IFB school, not that I was looking for it. It just happened that way.

          It was also serendipitous that my father, as a deacon, had been privy to the inner sanctum of the church and school leadership long enough to know all the unsavory things that were going on and had been awakened to the untruthfulness and manipulation. This peeked his doubt about what they were telling the church about Bob Jones University and their Supreme Court case regarding their discriminatory past enough for him to get independent information directly from BJU that confirmed they had indeed had a policy of not admitting people of color. This lie, among others, led to us leaving that church. That was the second big step.

          The third was attending a top twenty-five mainstream secular university in a scientific field of study…and the rest fell into place over time. Marriage, living internationally, travel.

          But I still carried all the fundy worldview baggage until I had children, and that’s when the walls began to crumble. A direct experience with God introduced me to the loving God I never new and sent me on a quest of infinite, quenchless searching. No question was off limits. That is the path I am on still and has brought my journey here.

          As Frost says, I took the road less traveled by… and that has made all the difference.

          Thanks for asking, Jill. You are a dear.

          • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

            This is SO encouraging. Thank you, Christy.

    • LN

      So true Christy, about raising women to not have a job or a career! It took me so long to figure out 1) that I needed to have a job, and 2) how to actually get one and get paid what I am worth! I’ll give a very sick example, too. In the 1970s, my mom & dad both taught in a Christian school. Dad got paid $100/week and mom got paid $40! (When they got paid, because they didn’t always.) They taught for about 5 years before, in my dad’s words, they were “starved out.”

      Also loved your “IFB version of pastoral care” comment!

    • Leslie

      When I read this I had an image of a circle, a very small circle. In it are all IFB people and the edges are built up like walls to keep people in, to keep people out. Then there are other churches, less fundamentalist but conservative nonetheless, that have a little bigger circle. They think they’re doing such a great job because, “hey, look at us. Look how big our circle is.” Then there’s us, John, UC and similar-minded people. We threw the damn circle away.

      • Christy

        “We threw the damn circle away.” I love that.

    • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

      They do read books, but they’re strictly limited to books that reinforce their worldview. Google “Elsie Dinsmore.”

  • LN

    I, too, cannot understand why people don’t add more tools to their toolbox. I see fear as the #1 reason. Also love of power for many of the men. And some have no imagination, education, or intellectual capacity to move on from their indoctrination. Some have no courage and no support. Some are maybe just not ready yet. But these factors are not just true of Fundies, are they? Why do people stay stuck in abusive relationships, in dead-end jobs, in addictions? But why do you and I keep struggling to adapt and grow? Is it personality? Nature or nurture? Grace of God? Interesting discussion topic.

  • Erin_D

    I used to think growing up Catholic was as rigid and brainwashy as an upbringing could be. Oh, em, gee…have I changed my tune since tuning in to John’s blog. These stories chill me to the bone. Thank God for the Internet and for your ministry, John! At least people who can use Google have the opportunity to learn about the world of God’s grace outside of these stifling upbringings.

    • Jill

      Amen, Erin.

  • Don Rappe

    What an excellent story this writer tells. How the cult develops around the false God of the IFB. The devastation that occurs when this idol falls and shatters. The necessity of avoiding contact with the realities of the heavens and earth created by the true God. They have eyes and don’t see, ears and don’t hear, so they don’t turn to their Creator and become healed. Preaching the heresy of Biblical inerrancy is no small sin.

  • JohnAGJ

    Interesting. I did some googling and BJU indeed lacks not only regional accreditation, but even DETC. Instead it is accredited by Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Never heard of this group and looking at their website TACCS appears to be something exclusively for certain religious schools. PCC on the other hand is now Hope international University and has RA accreditation via the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. At kids who attend HIU can later put their degrees to good use if they choose to leave. Those who attended BJU, not so much.

    Btw, for anyone who attended BJU and is looking for a quick and cheaper way of obtaining an RA degree for work, I highly recommend checking this out:

    http://degreeforum.wikia.com/wiki/Degree_Forum_Wiki

    You can attend any RA school of course, I’m just mentioning this as option that could help someone in need.

    • Ryan Garber

      Wrong “PCC”. The PCC the article mention is Pensacola Christian College. The PCC you refer to was Pacific Christian College.

  • John

    I went to BJU from 2007-2009. I give them credit for their library, bookstore, and academics. However legalism was ever present there and they often spoke bad about other churches whom disagreed with them in chapels. They also would not allow students to attend other sound churches that were not IFB. Lots of other hidden rules existed there, and people were looked at higher if they did not attend movies, drink alcohol, dance, nor listen to contemporary worship. I am against sinful activities, but one can’t say they are a better Christian just by what they do. So sad..

  • frankschaeffer

    Hi, in a few years, actually right now, more and more Gordon and Wheaton students will write letters like this. As the evangelical establishment slides to the right Bob Jones is where they are headed. Sad. Thanks for a good article!

    • AtalantaBethulia

      Thank you for contributing your insight, Frank and for all you’ve done and continue to do to expose the sins of Fundamentalism. Many blessings.


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