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Standing WITH Apology!

I’m so thankful. Can you believe it?

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.


12 thoughts on “Standing WITH Apology!

  1. Sorry, but . . . there’s a conscious sidestepping of substance within this article. It’s as if they want to make a statement without actually admitting that a previously held principal interpretation was incorrect. The idea is presented that all are created equal. This opposes the Babel interpretation that I personally heard presented at Bob Jones. The reader is left to assume that policy and not scriptural application was at fault. The argument is then made that the culture created an environment where it was easy to have discriminatory policy. That may be true, but in this case, the public position was that it was a Biblical mandate and not society which required specific dating rules. Unfortunately, I think that this was an apology of convenience.

    1. I too heard the same “Scriptural” defense, and at the time–as an underclassman–thought it a poor argument. Nonetheless, it would not be the first time Christians–of all stripes–have used the Scripture to support their personal opinions that were largely cultural in origin. Such wrongs are easy to commit and hard to see within oneself.

      I commend the University and its leadership for the action they’ve taken. To admit to such a wrong requires a dollup of humility, especially for an institution so conservative, in the classical sense of the term. To call this “an apology of convenience” is a decidedly uncharitable characterization. To assume to know their motives seems to be lacking some of the humility that Stephen Jones has shown in this situation.

      Though institutionally and individually far from perfect, I have great appreciation for BJU and its faculty and staff who in general sacrifice much for the benefit of me and my like; and I am convinced that most of them do so out of a genuine desire to bring glory to God and to serve His people.

      I pray that God will continue to work within the administration, faculty, staff, and students of BJU, untill they all come “to the measure of the statuture of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:13).

  2. I am having a party over here!!! 😀 This is amazing! It’s not perfect, but it’s such. a. HUGE. step!

    I can hardly believe my eyes. I keep going back to read it just to be sure that it’s actually there. 🙂

  3. I never thought we’d see “profoundly” and “sorry” in the same sentence. Keith may have a point; but the clarity and directness of the statement regarding our unity in Christ is a delight to read. Praise the Lord!

  4. after about 45 minutes of slack jaw, yes, I have a thought: w00t!

    Whaddya know–God really *is* able to do exceedingly above all we ask or think! But why am I so surprised?

    This is a HUGE thing for the school to concede.

  5. My “thots” are hard to express. I am deeply humbled by the well thought out, written statement. And I’m very thankful. I think in some way this goes so much farther than a step in the right direction. It seems like a leap into uncharted territory. But on the other hand, it is totally consistent with the desire for Godliness. – Just a few initial “thots” :-)while I dry my eyes.

  6. I am pleased with the character that Stephen has shown to apologize for policies and actions that were not even his own originally. He is not perfect, but he is trying to lead the university family toward a more godly life.

    I wish that those who speak of reconciliation would really show this in their reaction to BJU’s efforts. When I am truly concerned about race reconciliation and receive an apology, I do not question the sincerity and motives so much. I am thankful for God’s working and am going to progress by thanking BJU for being humble enough to apologize publicly…even if it was requested by the alumni family. God gives resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. We should give some grace too.

  7. Refreshing in its uncharacteristic humility. Now, if they were just get regionally accredited.

  8. I have some friends who would disagree if they saw the statement,”Though no known antagonism toward minorities or expressions of racism on a personal level have ever been tolerated on our campus…”

    I am very glad, however, that BJU is turning a corner on the race issue.

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