After watching Bob Jones University’s President Stephen Jones give BJU’s reasons for terminating GRACE from further abuse investigations I wrote the following.
Bob Jones University (BJU) was once considered by many to be the flagship of Bible Fundamentalism. Having this reputation as a fundamentalist organization did not keep BJU from various accusations such as sexual abuse. Because of these accusations BJU appointed the organization Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) “to review past instances in which it was alleged that the University may have underserved a student who reported they had been abused at some point in their lives.”1 GRACE began their investigation the 10th of January, 2013 and submitted updates in March, May, August and November of 2013.
GRACE says they were in the process of conducting the last of their interviews with the intention of “drafting the final report scheduled for publication in March.” However, the 27th of January, 2014 BJU surprised GRACE by terminating them and therefore ceasing any further investigation. BJU has also requested that GRACE keep all documents, information and interviews confidential. In other words nothing is to be exposed to the PUBLIC!
Now remember, the final report of GRACE would have been made in March, 2014 and that report would have eventually been made public. Does this termination just a few months from completion have anything to do with BJU seeking to keep something secret!?
Of course BJU gave their reasons for the termination of GRACE just as the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) gave theirs when GRACE was conducting an investigation into sexual abuse within ABWE. That GRACE investigation cost ABWE their president. It is interesting that Michael Loftis resigned as ABWE’s President before ABWE terminated GRACE but Loftis’ resignation was certainly a result of GRACE’s investigation. Now in December, 2013 BJU’s president, forty-three year old Stephen Jones, told the BJU board of trustees that he would officially be retiring in May, 2014 due to health! Coincidence!? You decide.
As for me (and this is only my personal opinion) there is something rotten at both ABWE and BJU. Both organizations seem to be suitable places for manipulation and abuse. An uneducated guess is that the resignations along with the termination of GRACE by both ABWE and BJU are similar. The similarity is that by doing these two things, along with the final GRACE report being put to rest, just maybe the smell of the rotten garbage that has been buried for so many years at both institutions will not rise to the surface for all those outside the walls of these two institutions to smell.
Both BJU and ABWE rely heavily on local churches for their support. May the Lord awaken the churches that support these two institutions to their responsibility to the Lord. If nothing is done by the churches to hurt the pockets of these two institutions (again this is my personal opinion) the garbage will continue to pile up and eventually when the rotten smell surfaces it may be too late!