by Martin Bobgan
[The 301-page GRACE Final Report is available at:
I urge readers who believe as I do that there has been a great
miscarriage of justice in GRACE’s recommendation regarding Dr. Jones III
to email Chancellor@bju.edu.]
GRACE discusses BJU’s use of discipline, counseling, and counseling
records. They say, “GRACE observed that the conflation [combination] of
discipline and counseling records means that the confidentiality of some
counseling records is compromised.”2
In addition there existed combined roles of counseling and discipline
The error in BJU’s former system is that neither prospective students
nor parents were informed of the implications of the counseling,
discipline, and record keeping practices at BJU prior to enrollment. If
they had known, I doubt they would have objected to it.
I believe a poll of parents would reveal a preference for the former
system once it is explained.
How serious is this “conflation” of discipline and counseling?
First and most importantly, the alleged sexual abuse/assault victims
were penalized, but never penalized or falsely accused for what they did
not do. If they had, that would be serious, but it never happened! The
demerits or suspension were what the alleged sexual abuse/assault
victims knew about in advance and for which they had signed a covenant.
They rightfully deserved the demerits and/or suspensions that they
rightly received, which is the most important part of how the alleged
sexual abuse/assault victims were treated. Being a sexual abuse/assault
victim is tragic, but for GRACE to equate that awfulness in any way to
the conflated counseling/discipline that occurred at BJU is compounding
the tragedy by adding another layer of victimhood and thus
re-victimizing the sexual abuse/assault victims!
Reference 777 is the prime cause célèbre3
of the GRACE report and is their boiler-plate view of all the other
cases. Before discussing the details of Reference 777, I begin with the
following verses, which all speak of mercy and truth: Old Testament:
Psalms 25:10; Psalms 85:10: Proverbs 3:3-4: Proverbs 16:6: New
Testament: John 1:14-17: John 8:31-32.
Dissociating mercy from truth is an incomplete picture of God’s love and
distorts biblical teachings. GRACE has accepted and adopted this
psychologically distorted biblical message because GRACE is
integrationist, i.e., GRACE believes in the Bible plus the psychological
wisdom of man where God has already spoken in His Word.
The case of 777 is that of a female student, about whom GRACE reports:
In the mid-2000s, a disclosure of a rules violation to Student Life
staff resulted in a victim’s “withdrawal at the request of the
administration.” In this instance, 777 disclosed to her Assistant Prayer
Captain, the Resident Counselor, and her Resident Supervisor that she
“had been abused by her pastor since she was 15 years old and was
expecting a child in January.” 777’s pastor, who was married with
children, came to Greenville on several different occasions while she
attended BJU. During these occasions, she said they went to Spartanburg
and stayed in a hotel together. During one of the pastor’s visits when
she was 20 years of age, she became pregnant….
Please note that GRACE says that they “stayed in a hotel together”
rather than “fornicated.” GRACE goes on to say:
Due to these dynamics, 777 told GRACE, “I had to break rules to go off
I didn’t feel like I had a choice in the matter.”
According to administrative officials, 777 was asked to withdraw at the
request of the administration for lying on the overnight passes….
Several months after 777 left BJU, she called Dr. Berg to ask if she
could be allowed to take her final exams since she had been very near
the end of the semester. This request was denied. 777 stated that in the
letter to her prayer group that she “loved
being loved and needed”
and “[the pastor] said he wouldn’t make it if I walked away and he would
walk out on his family and the church if I left. So, I stayed and kept
my mouth shut.” 777 also stated that Dr. Berg said, “it was some sort of
consensual relationship,” so he would not allow her to take her finals
(pp. 153-154, bold added).
GRACE says, “777’s rules violation needed to be put in its context. She
was the victim of a large scale campaign of abuse by a shepherd who
preyed on his sheep. She needed compassion and grace but received
neither” (p. 160). I agree with GRACE that “777’s rules violation needed
to be put in its context,” which is exactly what I will do. Let the
reader decide whether 777 should have been given only “compassion and
grace” or whether the required withdrawal was justified.
Should the Bible rule or GRACE’s opinions?
This one case of 777 is the litmus test of the integrity of the GRACE
Report and its rash recommendation on Dr. Jones III!
First, all rules are made with the understanding that there may be
This is not a case where an exception is needed!
777 is a sad case of a woman who at age 15 was preyed upon by her
pastor. But, the story did not stop there. The relationship continued
until she was 20 years old, at which time she was impregnated by the
She admitted her part in the fornication/adultery when she said she
“loved being loved and needed.”
777 was for two years as an adult at BJU self-deceived and
conscienceless about, first and foremost, violating the Word of God
about the family, which is God’s plan for mankind. When taken in its
entire context, the case of 777 sounds like the Last Days of 2 Timothy
3: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For
men shall be lovers of their own selves” (vv. 1-2a).
777 said of her five-year relationship,
“I didn’t feel like I had a choice in the matter,”
but God has given each one of us a conscience and God will hold each one
of us responsible for our own lives! At BJU 777 was an adult with adult
responsibilities, including following rules regarding lying. GRACE’s
claim that for five years of being preyed upon by her pastor, she
deserves BJU to consider 777 as having a diminished capacity4
will not fly before the Bible, because that denies the spiritual
capacity of believers to overcome by the grace of God, the Word of God,
and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
GRACE’s view of those sexually abused individuals appears to be more
like the psychic determinism of Freud than the hope and power of the
Spirit found in the Bible! Instead of victimizing sexually abused
victims more by emphasizing their damaged condition, the fellowship of
godly brothers and sisters can minister faith, hope and love through the
Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. Note that GRACE’s antidote
for the alleged sexual abuse/assault victims is their highly recommended
Julie Valentine Center, i.e., psychological counseling, whereas BJU
eschews such worldly forms of counseling.
The measure of every word read in the GRACE Report about alleged sexual
abuse/assault victims and BJU should be: Who holds up the Bible and all
it contains to these individuals who have been sexually abused victims
and who re-victimizes them through having them revive the past and
refocus on their victimhood?
The Freudian-like psychological, fated-for-failure ideas that GRACE
seems to have reminds me of a book about the early lives of eminent
Cradles of Eminence.
The authors, Victor and Mildred Goertzel, report on the early environments
of over four hundred eminent men and women of the twentieth
century who had experienced a wide variety of trials and tribulations
during their childhood.5 It is
surprising and even shocking to discover the environmental handicaps
that have been overcome by individuals who should have been psychically
determined failures according to Freudian formulas. Instead of being
harmed by unfortunate early circumstances, they became outstanding in
many different fields of endeavor and contributed much to mankind. What
might have been environmental curses
seemed to act, rather, as catalysts to
spawn genius and creativity. This
book is not an argument for poor upbringing; it is an argument
against psychological determinism.
A person need not be trapped in any of life’s circumstances, for the
Bible offers a new way of life. Put off the old man; put on the new.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again,” and He said elsewhere
that new wine could not be put into old wineskins.
Jesus offers new life and new
beginnings. One who is born again has the spiritual capacity to
overcome old ways and develop new
ones through the Holy Spirit and the sanctification of the
believer. One wonders why so many have given up the hope of Christianity
for the hopelessness of psychological determinism.
777 signed a covenant; she knew the rules and signed knowing them. GRACE
wants to have her excused for repeated lying, as an adult, to go out to
a hotel to fornicate with her pastor several times, but that is not a
biblical view because it lacks the truth part of the Bible. 1
Corinthians 6:9-10 says:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor
covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit
the kingdom of God.
I counted at least a dozen ways from the
including drinking alcohol and doing drugs, that could have 777
suspended, but not according to GRACE standards. It appears from the
tenor of the report that, if the pastor additionally had 777 doing
alcohol or drugs or violating any of the other BJU standards for which
she signed a covenant, GRACE would want her to be excused because of her
However, if 777 had violated the law in any way, because of her
relationship with the pastor, the law would have held her liable, and
GRACE should know that!
In reading the
I find that Chapel service attendance is required Monday through
Thursday; Sunday service and Sunday School attendance at a local church
are also required. Thus, if 777 had attended BJU for two years she would
have heard over 400 Bible messages while there, plus whatever additional
Bible teachings occurred in class sessions. BJU is a fundamentalist
environment with the Bible as the center of the teaching and preaching.
Add to this that, over the five-year adulterous relationship with the
abusing pastor, 777 had a mother and/or father, perhaps some siblings,
friends at home and at BJU, and mature Christians to whom she could have
turned during that period of time, but did not! And, what about
deceiving her parents, who may have mortgaged their house to send her to
BJU for two years? 777 has violated Ephesians 6:2: “Honour thy father
and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may
be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
BJU, in holding her to the rules, did her more biblical good than GRACE.
777 rejected the wooing of the Holy Spirit and turned away from numerous
possibilities during her time at BJU and followed her flesh to the
detriment of the pastor’s wife and children and the deception of her
parents. However, according to GRACE, she deserved better than being
held to the rules at BJU. But her own parents and the pastor’s wife and
children deserve better than that and God enables much better than that
in His children when they seek Him.
GRACE says, “She needed compassion and grace but received neither.”
As I have shown, that is a false accusation against BJU, which is
unfortunately spread throughout the GRACE Report to other cases and a
major weapon of their fierce, but fallacious, attack on Dr. Jones III.
Let’s consider what could have happened under GRACE’s recommendation if
777 stayed at BJU and did not get pregnant at twenty, but continued
there for several more years working on an advanced degree. By GRACE’s
recommendation 777 would be free to fornicate absent any discipline
because she was, according to GRACE, deceived. Then during 777’s last
year, prior to receiving her advanced degree, she became pregnant,
having by then many years of an adulterous relationship with the same
pastor. GRACE’s recommendation would mean that she would not be asked to
withdraw from BJU. Even after, by that time, having heard over 1,000
Bible messages plus messages heard in her classes, she would still not
be considered responsible for her ongoing fornication/adultery due to
her being a preyed-upon sexual abuse victim, according to the GRACE
That is not a biblical view!
777 is a prime example of the issue and problem with GRACE, as their
psychological integrationist view controls their conclusions at times,
their contorted conclusions are what led to the indictment against Dr.
777 reveals the psychological integrationist gulf that existed from the
beginning between GRACE and BJU and resulted in the kangaroo-court-like
excoriating recommendation on Dr. Jones III.
“Case # 1” (On Campus)
The reader is told in the alleged sexual abuse/assault victim case that
“Witness #1 (the victim) reported to GRACE that she attended BJU in the
late 1980s and was sexually assaulted on campus while a student.” She
said she was assaulted in a practice studio by the perpetrator, a
“former student.” GRACE says, “After the assault, the victim stated that
the alleged perpetrator attempted to kidnap her, but the victim escaped
into a nearby campus building to hide as the alleged perpetrator drove
away” (p. 276). GRACE then reveals, “After the rape, the victim wrote a
letter to her boyfriend disclosing the incident.” The footnote indicates
that she did not reveal to her boyfriend “fully what happened” and that
“the letter describes with significant and disturbing details the manner
in which the alleged perpetrator came to campus, found her in the
practice studios, pinned her to the ground, straddled her, and touched
intimate areas of her body as she struggled to get away” (page 276).
This incident and its aftermath raise questions. We are expected to
believe that after being raped she got herself together and passed
others on campus as she “escaped into a nearby campus building to hide.”
Why didn’t she look shocked to others? Why didn’t she ask for help? Why
wouldn’t she divulge to someone the rape that was supposed to have just
happened in the violent way she described?
Witness #1 says she was raped, but extraordinarily she did not report
the rape to anyone at BJU or elsewhere at the time. Instead she wrote a
“letter to her boyfriend disclosing [only part] of the incident.” How
long after the rape did she do this? How long before the boyfriend
received the letter? How long did it take the boyfriend to turn over
“Witness #1’s letter to a BJU Public Safety Officer,” who “did not
recall the incident” (page 276)? Rapes are not easily forgotten, even by
those to whom they are reported, and since rapes were unusual on the BJU
campus, one would think the officer would have remembered a rape, even
many years later.
GRACE describes the interchange between the Dean of Women and Witness
… the victim explained that though she did not explicitly disclose to
the Dean of Women having been raped, she said she expressed fear to the
Dean of Women that the attack may have caused her to become pregnant.
Witness #1 also told GRACE that the Dean of Women said she needed to
call her parents and “…said that it might be good if my parents made an
appearance.” Witness #1 said that the Dean of Women talked to them and
“the way she talked was that ‘we had a little incident on campus,
everything is fine now,’ and that she ‘just thought they should know’”
This report is startling, to say the least, and raises more questions.
Wouldn’t the Dean of Women conclude a rape had occurred from Witness #1
telling her that “the attack may have caused her to become pregnant”?
Did Witness #1 not tell her parents about her rape and fears? Would not
a normal parent be terribly upset, want something done, and find out why
something was not done immediately? The final responsibility to report
to the law or explain why it was not reported belongs outside the
chancellor or president’s office. If it should have been reported and
the Public Safety Officer did nothing about it, then he would be guilty,
but not Dr. Jones III. In fact, if the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
were in place at the time, the Public Safety Officer could have been
violating Witness #1’s rights by reporting the alleged rape to law
enforcement without her permission.
GRACE quotes Witness #1 saying, “I got a call slip to appear seven
minutes after chapel.” Question: Has Dr. Jones III ever requested to
meet with anyone 7 minutes, 9 minutes, 11 minutes after or before any
meeting?! Witness #1 continues:
I didn’t know how or why so many people knew…. The [T]hird was the one
talking to me. He told me that I had a choice to make that I could be
positive and trust in God or I could let the enemy take over my life. It
was a simplistic either/or.
There wasn’t compassion of how I was feeling right then.
I was glad he didn’t lecture me. I really thought I was going to be
(p. 277, bold added).
“[I]n trouble” for what? This last statement raises one more question
about this entire incident. In trouble for being raped?!
Witness #1’s remark, “There wasn’t compassion of how I was feeling right
then,” begs the question, “Can a woman always tell when a man is being
compassionate and do men always show their feelings?”6
This issue is interestingly covered in psychotherapy research, which
reveals that men do not normally express their emotions as women do. In
fact, the need for expressing emotions and talking about them generally
discourages men from seeking or participating in psychotherapy.
discusses this topic in an article titled “Man’s Last Stand: What Does
It Take to Get a Guy into Therapy?”7 According to the
article, men are being cajoled or cudgeled into the counselor’s office
in greater numbers than ever before, and in the process they are being
brainwashed to think womanly thoughts and to learn that, to save their
marriages and salvage their other relationships,
they “have to become a woman”8
According to GRACE:
Dr. Jones, III disclosed that he had
no memory of this particular situation or the chapel conversation with
Dr. Jones, III expressed, “…letting things drop that should be attended
to is just not my style. Nothing irks me more. I expected everybody to
follow-through on every report that they got to find out the veracity of
it and to deal with whatever the truth was and to get to the truth. That
is the way that we operate (p. 277, bold added).
When asked whether this case [#1] should have been reported to the local
law enforcement Dr. Jones, III replied, “I don’t know the case. I can’t
comment on it.” But he claimed, “our public safety people know the law
and work closely with our law enforcement, and we have a criminal
justice program. They know what they are supposed to do.” Dr. Jones, III
also stated, “[i]f they were supposed to report this, then they better
have reported it. And if they should have and didn’t, I would be the
first one to insist that they do. So, they’re delegated the authority
under [the] law to know what they are supposed to do, and if they were
supposed to do it, they would have done it (p. 278).
Perfectly said, but imperfectly understood by GRACE through naiveté and
not knowing the role and
responsibility of a college or university chancellor or president.
Witness #1’s testimony as provided by GRACE raises more questions than
Witness #1’s story is unbelievable and should have been realized as such
by GRACE. There is nothing in the Witness #1 case that would lead a
rational person to recommend “that the university impose personnel
action upon Dr. Jones III” (p. 231). However, Witness #1’s story does
raise the question of how many other unbelievable stories might have
been told and believed during the investigation.
Summary: GRACE Report Failures
The GRACE Final Report has failed in a number of ways which are
The first and greatest failure on the part of the GRACE Report is its
atrocious and outrageous recommendation on Dr. Jones III.
The GRACE Report on
BJU contains some of the same failings as occurred with ABWE
(Association of Baptists for World Evangelism).
GRACE and BJU are
theologically and functionally a mismatch, which influenced the
resulting evaluations and recommendations of the Report.
GRACE team’s lack of
having the same fundamentalist beliefs as BJU influenced their
evaluations and recommendations.
In contrast to BJU,
the GRACE team follows a psychological integrationist position, which
influenced its evaluations and recommendations.
Because of the
conflict of interest as it applies to Basyle (Boz) Tchividjian, the
“executive director of GRACE,” the Report should not have been made
The GRACE team lacked
a fair balance by not having a team-member who is in a role similar to
Dr. Jones III.
GRACE Questionnaire” permitted hearsay information from third parties,
which could have dramatically affected the questionnaire results.
GRACE failed to
provide BJU with the open-ended questions used in their interviews,
which may have contained leading questions.
GRACE may not have
segregated the witnesses they interviewed at the off-campus locations,
which could have tainted their testimonies, as occurred with ABWE.
scrambled the reference numbers so that it is possible that most of the
accusations could have come from just a few individuals.
did not reveal important witness data, which would not have revealed
identities of the witnesses, such as: (1) number of each gender, (2)
number of witnesses who were solely positive, (3) type of enrollment
(full-time, part-time, extension, or online), (4) number of academic
dropouts or suspensions, (5) length of time at BJU, (6) number of
GRACE failed to
provide the type and level of sexual abuse/assault reported by each
GRACE failed to
confirm whether or not the questionnaire-only completers and those who
did not sign a release form actually attended BJU/BJA or were ever
sexual abuse/assault victims.
GRACE should have
eliminated all LGBTQQI individuals from the Report, because they would
be openly antagonistic to BJU for what they regard as “homophobic
Referral to the Julie
Valentine Center showed either ignorance or great insensitivity of the
BJU stand on the Bible for ministry versus the psychological wisdom of
A number of
testimonies lacked authenticity, were therefore suspect, and thus should
not have been used as evidence in the GRACE Report.
Tchividjian needs to
describe his belief in “women’s rights” and “gay rights,” as these
beliefs could have influenced the acceptability of the volunteer
witnesses and the evaluations and recommendations made by GRACE.
Excerpted from the entire article by Martin Bobgan, “A Critical
Review of the ‘GRACE Final Report’ on Bob Jones University,”
GRACE Final Report: For the Investigatory Review of Sexual Abuse
Disclosures and Institutional Responses at Bob Jones University,
Hereafter page references to this report will be in parentheses within
the text. Also, all references to GRACE apply to the organization or
Cause célèbre: http://dictionarysearch.yahoo.com.
Victor and Mildred Goertzel.
Cradles of Eminence.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1962.
Conversely, can a man always know or understand a woman’s
feelings? See Louann
The Female Brain.
New York: Morgan Road Books, 2006.
Carl Sherman, “Man’s Last Stand: What Does It Take to Get a Guy
Vol. 37, No. 4, p. 71.
Steven Stosny, “Case Studies,”
Vol. 33, No. 2, p. 65.