Unfortunately, my Alma Mater, Bob Jones University, has been going through a scandal involving sexual assault, the biggest issue dealing with a failure to report sexual assaults to the authorities. I believe that there is enough evidence to suggest that BJU has exercised a major failure in judgment in the way these matters were administered and I am encouraged that they have rehired GRACE to correct their response. But this brings to mind the number of Christian institutions that have had issues involving sexual assault that have been brought public in recent years, and allegations by atheists and others who claim that Christianity is somehow responsible. I want to argue that, while tragic, the existence of sexual assault cases does not invalidate the faith.
• At most, if we accept everything the atheists say, sexual predators who claim to be Christians are inconsistent monsters. To put it another way, the very act of sexual assault by a Christian is an act of hypocrisy (since the Bible clearly states that sexual assault is immoral, and in the Old Testament required the death penalty). For more on inconsistent monsters, see the articles written on our more technical site on the moral argument from atrocities here: http://apologiafides.wordpress.com. (Deut 22:25-27)
• The Bible itself does not present the assumption that, just because someone claims to be a Christian, he actually is a Christian. Jesus noted that the Kingdom of God (which I believe includes the Church) is like a field of wheat that is infested with tares – a weed that looks like wheat during certain stages of the wheat’s development. (Matt 13:24-30) There are similar indications elsewhere. Not everyone who claims to be a believer is necessarily a believer. Sometimes people join churches for the wrong reasons. For example, there are businessmen who join churches because they believe it might be beneficial for their images, and not because of a heartfelt conversion. Others call themselves Christians because they grew up in Christian homes, and this is simply “what they know”, but there is no direct evidence of actual belief in Christ.
• One thing we have learned in recent years about sexual predators is that they are extremely deceptive and adept at manipulating those around them, particularly their victims. The fact that sexual predators are adept at deception means that their claims of accepting Christian beliefs should be treated with extreme skepticism.
Given the above, these tragedies need to be answered. Like many grads, I believe my Alma Mater needs to perform better than they have in the past. But these tragedies do not invalidate the Christian faith. To the victims: we are praying for your healing.