Bob Jones University and Racial Reconciliation

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queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
Wow. As a result of this grass-roots alumni effort, we got this yesterday:

Statement about Race at Bob Jones University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thots?
 

Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman

:up:

Public, thoughtful repentence shouldn't be taken lightly; love rejoices with the truth, does not insist own its on way, and doesn't keep a record of wrongs.

We should praise God for this statement from BJU!


:2cents:
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
I wondered if this would show up on here. I figured you might post it, Camille. I think it's absolutely wonderful. For the first time, BJU isn't "Standing Without Apology."
 

queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
I had heard the PCA did this a few years back. Anybody know? I know that the SBC did it. I'd like to compare them.

My Australian friends have mentioned one from their government. Hmmm. . . .

Praying for the Gospel to continue to shine here in Greenville!

C
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
queenknitter
I had heard the PCA did this a few years back. Anybody know?


We therefore confess our involvement in these sins. As a people, both we and our fathers, have failed to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the laws God has commanded. We therefore publicly repent of our pride, our complacency, and our complicity. Furthermore, we seek the forgiveness of our brothers and sisters for the reticence of our hearts that have constrained us from acting swiftly in this matter.

We will strive, in a manner consistent with the Gospel imperatives, for the encouragement of racial reconciliation, the establishment of urban and minority congregations, and the enhancement of existing ministries of mercy in our cities, among the poor, and across all social, racial, and economic boundaries, to the glory of God. Amen.

Note:
The Presbyterian Church in America participated in addressing the question of racial reconciliation as early as 1977, through her delegation to the NAPARC conference on race relations, and the resulting statement adopted.
That statement achieved a "consensus on a number of crucial issues" and it began by confessing serious inadequacies with respect to NAPARC member churches concerning race relations in the church:


We are convinced that we, as Reformed Christians, have failed to speak and act boldly in the area of race relations. Our denominational profiles reveal patterns of ethnic and racial homogeneity. We believe that this situation fails to give adequate expression to the saving purposes of our sovereign God, whose covenant extends to all peoples and races. We are convinced that our record in this crucial area is one of racial brokenness and disobedience. In such a situation the credibility of our Reformed witness, piety and doctrinal confession is at stake. We have not lived out the implications of that biblical and confessional heritage which we hold in common with each other, with its emphasis on the sovereignty and freedom of grace, on the absence of human merit in gaining salvation, and on the responsibility to subject all of life to the Lordship of Christ.

There's more here:
PCA Position Papers: Racial Reconciliation - M30GA (2002) 30-53, III, 14-16, pp. 262-270.
The PCA historical site has many good position papers. I've benefited from scrolling down through subjects that interest me and reading the various position papers.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
queenknitter
I had heard the PCA did this a few years back. Anybody know?


We therefore confess our involvement in these sins. As a people, both we and our fathers, have failed to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the laws God has commanded. We therefore publicly repent of our pride, our complacency, and our complicity. Furthermore, we seek the forgiveness of our brothers and sisters for the reticence of our hearts that have constrained us from acting swiftly in this matter.

We will strive, in a manner consistent with the Gospel imperatives, for the encouragement of racial reconciliation, the establishment of urban and minority congregations, and the enhancement of existing ministries of mercy in our cities, among the poor, and across all social, racial, and economic boundaries, to the glory of God. Amen.

Note:
The Presbyterian Church in America participated in addressing the question of racial reconciliation as early as 1977, through her delegation to the NAPARC conference on race relations, and the resulting statement adopted.
That statement achieved a "consensus on a number of crucial issues" and it began by confessing serious inadequacies with respect to NAPARC member churches concerning race relations in the church:


We are convinced that we, as Reformed Christians, have failed to speak and act boldly in the area of race relations. Our denominational profiles reveal patterns of ethnic and racial homogeneity. We believe that this situation fails to give adequate expression to the saving purposes of our sovereign God, whose covenant extends to all peoples and races. We are convinced that our record in this crucial area is one of racial brokenness and disobedience. In such a situation the credibility of our Reformed witness, piety and doctrinal confession is at stake. We have not lived out the implications of that biblical and confessional heritage which we hold in common with each other, with its emphasis on the sovereignty and freedom of grace, on the absence of human merit in gaining salvation, and on the responsibility to subject all of life to the Lordship of Christ.

There's more here:
PCA Position Papers: Racial Reconciliation - M30GA (2002) 30-53, III, 14-16, pp. 262-270.
The PCA historical site has many good position papers. I've benefited from scrolling down through subjects that interest me and reading the various position papers.

:agree:

I was thinking about this today. I can't tell you the number of very striking Providences lately where I'm musing about something and then I'm in the middle of a conversation about it.

I was talking to a Brother the other day who brought up slavery in the South and how he believed it would have died out just like in England even without a bloody war.

I thought, today, that this may have been the case but it is undeniable that many Christians still believed that Black men and women could not participate in the same Presbytery as White and, whatever else you might say, there was something seriously wrong.

I thought to myself: That's the problem with studies of history because our allegiances tend to want us to re-pristinate certain individuals and paint them only in a perfect light and not recognize that each of us is fallen and we struggle with sin. Hence, American falsely make people like Lincoln to be saintly in every regard or others try to make Southern theologians the same. Why can't we simply recognize our need to be ever reforming as Christians.

I can love the writings of Dabney. I recognize his shortcomings in one area but then recognize that he had far fewer shortcomings than I do in so many other areas. I can read what he wrote with great profit even as I wish he had been willing to be more like Girardeau with respect to seeing his fellow Black Christians as joint heirs.

I really don't wish to start an inevitable debate here as some will see this merely as picking on Southern luminaries. Neither the South nor the North had a great love for the Black man during that time. We need not give sainthood to either side on this issue or attempt to overlook it. Rather, let us rejoice that the Church has grown so that such racial divisions are no longer given Biblical credence and turn our attention to our neglect of other Biblical truths that we've allowed to atrophy. In so many other ways, Dabney was our spiritual better and we could learn a thing or two from him if we don't presume that because he was wrong in one area that he was wrong in all.
 
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