American Council of Christian Churches Serious About Its Abuse Resolution? What About Bob Jones University’s Board Appointment of Chuck Phelps?

At the end of October 2011, the American Council of Christian Churches passed a resolution decrying “instances of abuse in professed fundamentalism.”

Chancellor of Bob Jones University, Dr. Bob Jones, III spoke at this conference.  Dr. Jones is also a voting member.  Since he is a voting member, Dr. Jones, III would have presumably voted on this resolution with full knowledge that Chuck Phelps had been on the Board of Bob Jones University even after Phelps less than truthfulness was exposed by his sworn under oath testimony during the trial.

Chuckles has made a few calls about this.  The one who did speak to me stated, “We disagree as to whether Chuck did anything wrong.” I guess, Chuck Phelps is his friend too since he was quick to refer to him by his first name.

Chuckles was unable to reach Dr. Ralph Colas, Executive Director as Dr. Colas was out of town at the time.

The others?  Chuckles has only heard crickets chirping, which in this case sounds a lot like a tone after he was hung up on.

Rotten Fruit

Dan Frank posted the following opening post on Sharper Iron.

“This surprised me. Chuck Phelps’ name is listed as part of the board at BJU in the 2011 Seminary bulletin. It seems like fundamentalism is growing in its awareness of the problem of sexual abuse in its circles. Yet, Phelps has never articulated any repentance or regret for how he personally handled the situation between rapist and underage teenage rape victim in his church. I know that the standard “above reproach” is subjective at best. Yet, whatever that term means, Chuck Phelps could hardly be “above reproach” on this issue. Does this concern anyone else?”

Jim Peet is quick to jump in, deflecting from the problem by mentioning that the real problem is actually Dan Frank’s “obsession with BJU.”

Later Jim Peet claims, “I really don’t care who’s on the board of BJU.”  In the next post Peet states, “Why take up space on Sharper Iron.”

It was fine however for Sharper Iron to talk about such important topics such as whether bicycle shorts are modest, argue about whether Reformed Theology leads to Contemporary Christian Music in churches.  Those remotely familiar with Sharper Iron recognize that the tenor of most of the posts and comments on that site, tend to lean toward either outrightly defending BJU, or are very favorable to BJU.

The same for Phelps.

It comes as no surprise that commenters such as Jim Peet, (and he’s by no means the only person who has done so on Sharper Iron) claim to not care if Bob Jones University has chosen Phelps to be on its board.

Should Christians care about the testimony of a man who is chosen to lead young both lay and pastoral studies students?

Only a few weeks ago Phelps was on campus and taught the “preacher boys class” for a week.

Is it the best choice to select a man who as Senior pastor when he became aware of the situation, decided to put Tina and Ernie before the congregation to be disciplined as completely separate issues. Ernie apologized for being unfaithful to his wife; Tina for being pregnant after “allowing a compromising situation to occur”.  The congregation were not told Ernie Willis a then 38 year old man was the father of Tina’s baby.

Phelps then insisted for months that Tina was lying, even went as far as to set up his own website where it appears Mr. Willis’ attorney’s took much of their defense.

Phelps, through his attorney, David Gibbs, III fought hard to keep the “copious notes” to not be read into the trial record.

Once Phelps was forced to testify, and refer to the “copious notes” it was revealed that he knew from the beginning that Willis had admitted that he was the “aggressor” not once as Phelps had insisted, but twice!

All the while, Ernie was allowed to stay in the church, live free while Tina was sent to Colorado where she gave birth and gave her baby up for adoption.

Phelps continues to refuse to admit publicly that he did anything wrong.  The website Phelps put up after 20/20 is still up.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Psalm 28:13

Phelps has not shown repentance.  No apology to Tina. No private repentance nor public repentance.

I find it further appalling that Bob Jones III preached and was present when the American Council of Christian Churches adopted the resolution on abuse.  Bob Jones III did this knowing that Phelps was on Bob Jones University’s 2011 board.

Dr. Bob III and other fundamentalist leaders have not exposed his sin.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.      Galations 6:1

Bob Jones III preached this message at a ACCC conference.  Listen to it, by his own words Phelps isn’t qualified to be on the board and should be separated from.

There continues to be no response from Bob Jones University about Phelps being on their board.

What does the Lord expect?

He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8

Bob Jones Ignores and Deletes Questions

There were many alumni and others who questioned the appointment of Charles “Chuck” Phelps to Bob Jones University’s Cooperating Board on the Official Bob Jones University Facebook Page.

Bob Jones University Official Facebook Page

Bob Jones University Official Facebook Page Logo

More than 24 hours have gone by without answers to the questions.

Bob Jones couldn’t bring itself to answer any questions about this, but instead it appears that these questions. and comments are being deleted from the official Bob Jones University facebook page.

Chuckles has expected this would be their action.

Never fear.  Chuckles is here.

Chuckles saved them all.

Message to Bob Jones University!  Just because you refuse to answer questions don’t make the questions go away.
You all, it seems you would have learned that not answering and deleting questions just proves the following illustration of a snowball rolling down hill. What is occurring once again, Bob, is like the snowball rolling downhill, the more you ignore it, or put more snow in its way, causes it to pick up speed. Other snowflakes who were not interested before take notice and then begin asking questions and wondering why nothing is being done.  The same is true when you all make a deflection statement, then other snowflakes wonder what you are hiding, and more catch on.  Just a word of advice. Learn from your previous mistakes when you have done this in the past, don’t repeat the same old same old.

Now for those deleted comments and questions.

I see a red sky dawning!  Against it's alumni while choosing to retain a man who covered up a teen age girls rape, pregnancy, and forced adoption of her baby.

 

Chuck Phelps Returns To Board Of Bob Jones University

While the attention of the media, abuse survivors and others were on the trial of Ernie Willis for the rape and resultant pregnancy of Tina Anderson when she was 15, there was a sleight of hand going on.  While others were focusing on what was increasingly becoming known of the actions of Tina’s pastor, Chuck Phelps who made her stand before her congregation and apologize for putting herself in a compromising situation and getting raped, the cooperating board at Bob Jones University had quietly pulled a dirty trick.  While others were riveted on the fact that a 15 year old, under the direction of her pastor, the girls mother, sent her daughter to Colorado to live with friends of Pastor Phelps where she was home-schooled while the rapist paid for the plane ticket to Colorado, another move was in progress.  Tina Anderson’s story continued to gain momentum in the media and on April 8, 2011 Elizabeth Vargus correspondent with ABC News 20/20 aired “Shattered Faith.”  Pastor Phelps told a 20/20 producer that Tina had an ongoing dating relationship with a married man that had turned sexual in nature.

The next day or so, her former Pastor Chuck Phelps went live with a website stating Tina was untruthful.  Fundamentalist Pastors and laymen on Sharper Iron and elsewhere portrayed her as a little Lolita whose wily ways hooked an innocent man into her grasp. Pastor Phelps spoke to many pastors and individuals all over the country telling them that Tina was not being truthful and that she was pressing on with criminal charges against Ernie Willis to get money.

Never mind that criminal proceedings don’t pay a dime to the victim. Any civil judgement would be a separate issue.  At the time, Tina nor her husband had not filed any documents to do so.  It is not known now whether the Anderson’s have done so, although it is  certainly within their legal rights if they chose to.

Leaders in the IFB traveled and met every other month or so in different cities to “pray with Chuck Phelps.”

While this was going on, another magic trick was in progress in the Bob Jones University boardroom.

Then the trial rolled around.  David Gibbs, III who represented both Phelps and Tina’s mother Christine Leaf lost a last minute legal “hail Mary” ploy to keep Phelps’ copious notes out of being read into the record by trying to claim, “clergy-congregant privilege.”  The judge recognized that privilege belonged to the victim not the perpetrator. Furthermore any privilege that had applied died when Phelps spoke about it to all those third parties and anyone with access to the inter-web.

It was soon revealed that Tina had told the truth and Phelps had been more than dishonest from Phelps own sworn testimony in a court of law.  Willis was convicted and sentenced on five counts.  Because the statute of limitations is short for failure to report in New Hampshire, state prosecutors are unable to charge him.  It is a long-shot that federal charges could be brought against Phelps under the Mann Act.  It appears unlikely that federal authorities will be pursuing this route at this point.

Phelps left the Bob Jones University board in 2007 after he accepted the offer to become President of Maranatha Baptist Bible College. Phelps time at Maranatha was short, he was asked to leave May 2009.

Everyone’s attention was on the 20/20 report, the upcoming trial and then the trial testimony of Christine Leaf, Chuck Phelps, Ernie Willis and others.  After Willis was found guilty our attention turned to sentencing of Willis.  Tina was vindicated.  Phelps, however never apologized, he never removed his website, nor the lies he told.  Phelps even tried to take credit for Willis being convicted.

While all this was occurring elsewhere, Chuck Phelps was quietly put back on the 2011 Cooperating Board of Bob Jones Universityalong with others such as Ian Paisley,  Jerry Svinsky and John Vaughn. Chuck Phelps is on the board with the current Vice-President of Operations, Marshall Franklin.  Since the current president Dr. Stephen Jones is on medical leave it is widely known that Mr. Franklin oversee’s the day-to-day duties of President Stephen Jones. Mr. Franklin has been a long-term trusted friend of the Jones family, especially Stephen Jones. Chuck Phelps’ name is right there as plain as day between Evangelist Stephen Pettit of the Pettit Evangelistic Ministries and Fundamental Church Planter Robert Packer.

2011 Bob Jones University Cooperating Board Members listed in BJU Catalog Page 254

2011 Bob Jones University Cooperating Board Members listed in BJU Catalog Page 254

Chuck Phelps was on the board when 20/20 aired.  Chuck Phelps was on the board when Brian Fuller, who has openly stated that Phelps was his mentor, denied there was a network in the IFB.   Either Brian Fuller is a huge patsy, or he is as deceptive as the rest. 

Dr. Bob Jones, III was present when the American Council of Christian Churches passed its resolution on abuse at the ACCC Annual meeting October 19-21, 2011. Immediately upon finding this out this afternoon, Chuckles called a pastor who was present and claims he voted for the resolution to be passed and asked him if he knew about this.  The pastor said he did, but then remarked,

“We disagree on whether Chuck did anything wrong.”

Phelps spent months lying to many people’s faces, he  set up a website to commit libel against a victim of rape, verbally slandered the victim all over the country, lied to the media, both lied to and about the police. Apparently this kind of behavior is ok for a Cooperating Board member of Bob Jones University. It’s apparently fine for a board member to do so, but a student would be expelled for much less. 

This same man quickly added,

“Chuck didn’t do anything to hurt Ms. Anderson.”

No one has the right to say what she feels or not feel other than Tina. No one has the right to tell people how Tina should feel toward those who did hurt her. However doing so is typical fundamentalist trope. Leaders are adapt at telling others how they should feel about things, even how long a person should grieve, etc. Chuckles did remind this that man even Phelps has acknowledged his actions were hurtful during his testimony.

Leaders!

This is a perfect example of why many of us feel free to challenge your “genuineness.” Every time you are given a chance to prove yourselves, you once again prove that you are less than sincere.  You have once again proven you are deceptive.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  John 8:44

Hat Tip Dr. Camille K. Lewis, PHD.

11-27-2012 CLARIFICATION …

The blog first found out Phelps was reinstated around November 1, 2011.  His reinstatement dates back to 2010 and was reportedly kept “quiet” intentionally, presumably based on the upcoming trial that convited Tina’s rapist.  We apologize for any confusion this may have caused regarding the timeline.

Editorial Board of the Blog

Is the ACCC serious about the Abuse resolution? What About Ron Williams?

The American Council of Christian Churches adopted a resolution decrying abuse in what the ACCC termed, “professed fundamentalism.”  One of the member organizations is the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America (IBFNA).

The executive secretary of the ACCC is Dr. Ralph Colas.

The Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America (IBFNA) is a member of the American Council of Christian Churches.  Dr. Colas has been a member of both the IBFNA and ACCC since the IBFNA split from the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) in 1990.  This split occurred because they believed the GARBC was comprising in the area of separation.

June 20-22, 2000, Dr. Ralph Colas and two other men were recieved the “Watchman Reward”  at Bethel Baptist Church, Sellersville, Pa.

Dr. Colas and the two other men were given this reward, “in recognition of their steadfastness, courage, and boldness in guiding the IBFNA in its earliest stages, including its days as the “Regular Baptists For Revival”.

Skip ahead until 2011.  In the February 2011 the IBFNA Review (pages 4-8) published an interview with the Director of Hephzibah House, Ron Williams. Much like the Sword of the Lord’s famous “phone interview” with Chuck Phelps,(Sword Phelps interview pages one, two, three) The Review interview with Williams is completely one sided. None of the students of Hephzibah House were interviewed.

Since the alleged abuses at Hephzibah House have been taking place for nearly four decades, one has to wonder if the ACCC has rethought its position on Hephzibah House?  One has to wonder if they will once again turn a deaf ear to these women?  Chuckles wonders if Ralph Colas, other leaders of both the ACCC, and IBFNA would interview several former Hephzibah House ladies?

Is the ACCC serious about its resolution on abuse? Is the resolution just a paper dragon? Are leaders of the ACCC going to speak with the IBFNA and encourage them to really speak and really listen to former students of Hephzibah House?  It shouldn’t be too hard for Colas to do so since he has many personal friends who are leaders of the IBFNA.

Roar!

Roar!

American Council of Christian Churches Approves Resolution on Abuse

The American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC) was founded under the leadership of the controversial and militant minister Dr. Carl McIntire in 1941. It was started as Fundamental Separatist Church group by Carl McIntire, and remains a Fundamental Separatist group today. Prospective members must be in agreement with the doctrinal statement, and be admitted with a 3/4 vote by current members.  Membership is denied those who have any affiliation with the World Council of Churches (WCC), National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), anyone associated “Ecumenicism” or the Charismatic Movement.

Current Member Churches and Organizations:

  • Association of Ministers of the Reformed Faith (AMRF)
  • Bible Presbyterian Church
  • Evangelical Methodist Church of America
  • Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches
  • Free Presbyterian Church of North America
  • Fundamental Methodist Church
  • Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America
  • Independent Churches Affiliated

The ACCC 70th Annual Convention took place in Lancaster Pennsylvania October 18-20th.  The ACCC passed six resolutions, including one on the issue of abuse in what the ACCC termed “professed fundamentalism.”

At first glance it is encouraging that a fundamentalist Church organization such as the ACCC is at long last recognizing that physical and sexual abuse is a problem within fundamentalism, however there are some problems with this resolution.

The first glaring problem, is that no matter where one stands on homosexuality, it should not be put on the same level as Pedophilia, Rape of Minors, and incest.  Homosexuality takes place between two consenting adults, where the latter three do not.  Furthermore, whether they like it or not, homosexuality is not illegal, the latter three most definitely are illegal.

Second, there are many adults who have been victims of sexual assault and rape.  Most are women, not all.  Why are these overlooked?

Third problem is the wording of this part of the resolution:

“The glorious heritage of Christ’s Church is badly stained when such abuse occurs, and more so when those who deal with the abuse fail to address it. The result is that those who reject our message feel free to challenge our genuineness. But for worse, these scandals reproach the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, giving His enemies an opportunity to blaspheme. (2 Samuel 12:14)”

It appears to me, that they are still trying to blame those who where abused in fundamentalism, and/or those who advocate for those who are abused because many of those people have questioned the genuineness of fundamentalist leaders.  Most fundamentalist leaders have turned a deaf ear to the plight of those who were abused. As I see it, they should not refer to those who question these fundamentalist leaders genuineness and imply those who do reject the message, and may be enemies who blaspheme against Jesus.

For example Dr. Bob Jones III spoke on October 19, 2011 at the ACCC 70th Annual Convention.  The title of Dr. Jones’ message wasKeep Your Eyes Open and the Doors Shut.  Would it be wrong to question the genuineness of Dr. Bob Jones stand against child abuse when he endorsed a book written by a man who is still incarcerated in a Texas State Prison for holding down an 11 year old Hispanic boy while his brother (and co-pastor) beat the boy with two sticks until the little boy went into kidney failure and nearly died? The testimony from Caleb Thompson’s appeal is even worse than all the newspaper articles. There is enough information for an objective, third party to understand the gruesome details of the case and the need for the sentence which was handed down. If Bob Jones, III is truly interested in the facts then he should be willing to read this Appeal and rescind his endorsement.

“Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth.” Galations 4:16 (KJV)