Easter weekend, April 5th, 6th, and 7th Bob Jones University’s Living Gallery production is scheduled to take place.
Here’s the quote from the webpage:
You’re invited to attend the fifteenth annual Living Gallery. This year’s new drama, “Somewhere Forever,” follows the story of three lives touched by the Gospel: A man facing life as a widower at age 30. An abuse victim unable to find peace. A 20-something who wants to break away from his past. When conversations in a local coffee shop turn to matters of life and death, failure and hope, Tyler, Lizzie and Chris must decide what to do with the claims of Christ and His Resurrection. How will each respond to the fact that they will all live somewhere forever?
“An abuse victim unable to find peace?”
BJU, how about dealing with helping those who have been abused find justice? How about Bob Jones III live up to what he said in this chapel message Bob Jones III answered.
Sexual molestation–it will not be swept under the rug, it never has been. It’s not the way we operate. It’s always reported to the authorities…Nobody would be kept on the Board or on the faculty who did things like that, who swept things under the rug.
Please open your eyes and ears that God created. Look and listen to the 100’s of survivors pain with stories very similar to a anonymous survivor quoted at the end of this post. Just one who went to Jim Berg for help. Jim Berg who teaches others how to counsel those who have been abused in a video series. Churches buy this series.
Here’s how one church advertised Jim Bergs video course,
Bob Jones University offers the Biblical Counseling series to help pastors and Christian workers deal with the problems confronting Christians. Many feel unprepared and inadequate to deal with the problems of life that they face and that are faced by those to whom they minister. Consequently, the “cure of souls,” which used to be the domain of the pastor, has increasingly been delegated to “professional” counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists. BJU’s Biblical Counseling series consists of six video courses designed to help prepare the Christian worker to handle such problems as anger, depression, addiction, immorality, child abuse, and many more.
In particular, I’ve watched Jim Berg’s Crisis Counseling video. He spends a lot of time, talking about how many he has counseled. The homes they came from–missionary homes, pastors homes, christian school teachers homes, even deacons homes from his own church–but he never once teaches these people how to walk through someone with reporting abuse to law enforcement. Not ONE time, while teaching this series does Berg ever mention reporting. NOT ONCE.
Now for that one survivors statement. This is what Berg’s counseling did.
I just cannot keep silent. I am one of those “abuse victims” who “cannot find peace”, but the greatest part of my struggle is that when I went to BJU for help, they covered up the crime, shamed me and rewarded a sexual predator. I have now heard this story from so many others that it makes me physically ill. From all that I have seen and heard, BJU does not condemn rape. They do not condemn the rapists. They condemn only the victims. There are faculty members there who tell rape victims that it is their own fault, not the fault of the rapist. No matter the age of the victim or the circumstances, they state that it is solely due to the victim’s status as someone who is impure and their impurity “caused” the assault. The rapist bears no responsibility. He is to be forgiven. From BJU’s perspective, that means that the perpetrator should face no consequences – no legal consequences, no publicity, no shame. They can continue in their roles as teachers, pastors, etc. They are free to find more victims. The victims, on the other hand, have to endure BJU’s “counseling” which consists of forcing the victim to repeatedly recall every detail of the assault again and again while the “counselor” points out areas where the victim should have done something differently, in other words, they must carry the blame for any abuse endured. The victim is repeatedly shamed and humiliated. This is all done in God’s name, ensuring the victim will never see God as a possible source of hope, comfort, or refuge. As more and more find they aren’t alone and begin sharing their stories, it is shocking to find that our experiences seem almost common. How many are there of us? How many more were sexually assaulted because our abusers’ crimes were covered up? How many victims are there who know that someone could have helped, but refused to do so? Why is this?? BJU, if you read any of this, can you PLEASE explain why you didn’t help? HOW can you hear the pleas of victims begging for help and turn your back on them? How could you hear them beg you to help younger siblings and just ignore it? Is your heart that hard? that cold? that filled with hatred that you truly have no room for compassion? You have absolutely no right to put on a drama about abuse. You have turned your back on the abused. Your kindness has been reserved for the rapists and sex offenders. How can you now pretend that you care? You have dealt with us as if you enjoyed our shame.
Lest you assume this is written out of anger, bitterness or hatred, let me assure you that it is not. I do not hate you, but the hurt from the decisions you made is intense. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot comprehend why you turned your back on so many. I want it to end to spare future students from hurt, but I also want an explanation. Why? Is it disgust because we are no longer “pure”? Do you see us as damaged, defiled and worthless now so it just doesn’t matter how much further we are hurt?