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Jeremy Crooks

Jeremy grew up in Sydney Australia. He has tertiary qualifications in business, training, and Bible. With experience in both church ministry and corporate human resources, Jeremy has a strong interest in how faith is demonstrated in our homes and workplaces. You can contact Jeremy at jeremy@teaminfocus.com.au.

12 Comments

  1. avatar

    David Milson

    This is a nice follow up to the previous day’s blog. Do I detect a hint of “Fundamental Spring” in the air?

    Reply
    1. avatar

      Jeremy Crooks

      I think so. In many cases, in order to grow in God grace, people may need to grow out of fundamentalism.

  2. avatar

    Steven Mock

    Dear BJU, Please repent for not checking with Bob Bixby, Jason Harris, or Jeremy Crooks before you appoint any board members. You should know better to do anything without their prior consent or approval.

    Reply
  3. avatar

    Kez

    Thank you for this post, Jeremy. I think the more awareness we can raise in the IB circles that covering abuse of minors won’t be tolerated, the better. I agree that Phelps should be removed from his position at BJU. Even if he had the absolute best of intentions, he bungled the situation to an extreme and to refuse to acknowledge his mistakes and to side with him and defend him is deplorable at best. BJU has a responsibility to make it very clear that covering up and defending of abuse of children will not be tolerated. In my humble opinion…

    Reply
  4. avatar

    Jeremy Crooks

    Steve,

    BJU should know better and that is the point. It is sad that it has gotten to the stage where hundreds of BJU students are planning to protest. Integrity alone should be the reason BJU make the right decision.

    Reply
  5. avatar

    Kez

    @Steven, I don’t think BJU needed to consult with these guys (Bob, Jason and Jeremy) but I’m glad these men have the courage to stand up against blatant injustice and abuse of children. Perhaps BJU might need to consult with their Bibles. Jesus said that it was better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea than to offend a child. Chuck Phelps may have had the best intentions but he protected a rapist and punished the victim through an apology to the church, exile from family and friends and a failure to do all in his power to bring Wilson to justice and side with the pregnant rape victim. As such he empowered and protected an abuser and caused a great deal of damage (offense) to the victim which fits an abuser’s profile. I think he fits very well under the type of person Jesus said would be better if he were cast into the sea. For BJU to side with him and defend him with very little empathy for Tina, the rape victim, is a public statement from a prominent school that they value a mere man over God’s truth and that it is ok to defend an abuser and it serves as a (perhaps unintentional) warning to other victims to keep their mouths shut because we as a movement don’t want justice, mercy and truth. Perhaps if Phelps were repentant the situation for BJU might be different, but as it stands the situation should be painfully black and white to all who value truth and the glory of God.

    Reply
  6. avatar

    Matt L

    While I completely agree with Jeremy’s emphasis on the need to handle these situations in a Biblical and transparent manner, I was concerned about the strong opinions expressed about Dr Phelps and BJU by Jeremy and others.

    Dr Phelps’ daughter stayed with my family for a period a couple of years back, and they have maintained some contact since including regarding this matter. I’ve also watched the ABC 20/20 article in full and read Dr Phelps response material on his website.

    From my understanding Dr Phelps has expressed that he might do things a little differently if he had his time over, but he has been adament that he reported the situation to authorities and was gracious toward the victim.

    To call the 20/20 episode quality journalism would do a disservice to the millions of other reporters around the world. It was very clear that there were two sides to this story, and they were only interested in one, and just ignored facts that didn’t suit their angle.

    I just hope that such criticism of the parties involved is based on more than media reports because hanging someone out to dry, based on perceptions, is just going to the other extreme. Protecting the guilty is not right, but neither is executing the innocent.

    Reply
  7. avatar

    Robert Apps

    Does Dr Phelps get any credit for resigning?

    Reply
    1. avatar

      Jeremy Crooks

      I am certainly not defending 20/20 as quality journalism. However, my research and assessment of Mr Phelps, BJU and the various bloggers is based on more than just the ABC interview. Chuck Phelps was president of my alma mater, so I am not totally removed from his management style.

      Regarding BJU: I can’t fathom why Bob Jones III jumped into this scandal. It was relatively quiet in Greenville until he publicly criticized Penn State and declared ‘nothing similar would be tolerated at BJU’. The hypocrisy of his statement caused the ‘Phelps on the board’ issue to explode.

      There are no winners in this. It should never have gotten to this point where it took Phelps so long to resign. I will give Phelps credit when he apologizes for coercing a girl to ‘publicly apologize for being raped’.

      In the end, what is needed is a change of heart towards the victims rather than a resignation or apology because of PR pressure.

  8. avatar

    Robert Apps

    Jeremy, thanks for your response.

    In one of your earlier comments to this post you wrote:-

    ‘In many cases, in order to grow in God grace, people may need to grow out of fundamentalism.’

    Jeremy, have you grown out of fundamentalism or are you still in it?

    I think it is relevant to your post as you mentioned that the ‘culture of fundamentalism, gives them plenty of fuel for these conspiracies’.

    So I wonder how much of those concerns have influenced how you handled the Phelps issue generally.

    So I am asking if you identify with any particular group or movement.

    Obviously we can argue about definitions of biblical fundamentalism but you are of course free to define your terms.

    Thanks

    Reply
  9. avatar

    Jeremy Crooks

    Hi Robert,

    I grew up in fundamentalism until I was 25 – including graduating from an IFB college. I still have friends and family who remain in IFB churches. There still remain godly individuals and churches in IFB land.

    Whether I am still in fundamentalism probably depends on who you ask.

    Some may argue that because I hold to the fundamentals of the faith (e.g. virgin birth, diety of Christ, etc) that I am a still a fundamentalist.

    I would argue that fundamentalism has evolved to mean adherence to certain standards, a leadership style and a way of thinking. It is this definition that I have left. This blog describes how I ‘identify’ myself http://teaminfocus.com.au/labels-who-needs-them/

    While I personally think the fundamentalist term is now beyond redemption, others may not see it that – and that may be fine for them. It is like deciding whether to be a Puritan or a pilgrim.

    I have found my journey from IBMism to be refreshing as I have connected with faithful Christians in doctrine and practice outside of IFB circles. Does my position affect my assessment of the Phelps issue? Maybe, in so much as I am now free to view the world from another focal point.

    Reply

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