Bob Jones III Apology: Evangelist Sorry For Saying Homosexuals Should Be Stoned

March 24, 2015 | By TheSpreadit More

Bob Jones III, former Bob Jones University President, has issued an apology for anti-gay comments he made in 1980 to the Associated Press at the White House. The conservative Christian school in South Carolina that his grandfather, Bob Jones, Sr., founded in 1927, faced a lot of scrutiny in recent weeks, after the 35-year-old comments resurfaced.

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Bob Jones III, 75, a prominent figure in conservative circles, is asking for forgiveness after making some shocking comments about homosexuality 35 years ago.

Jones, who played a key role in Republican presidential politics from the 1980s to the early 2000s, made the remarks in 1980 as he was campaigning against extending provisions of the Civil Rights Act to members of the gay community. The college chancellor and former Bob Jones University President, said at the time:

“I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted. But it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.”

In 1980, Jones and a group of ministers, who had endorsed then-candidate Ronald Regan for president, went to the White House to present a petition with 70, 000 signatures, demanding that President Jimmy Carter not extend protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to homosexuals.

Jones issued the apology on Saturday, via the college, his grandfather founded. It read:

“I take personal ownership of this inflammatory rhetoric. This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago. It is antithetical to my theology and my 50 years of preaching a redeeming Christ Who came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Upon now reading these long-forgotten words, they seem to me as words belonging to a total stranger—were my name not attached.

I cannot erase them, but wish I could, because they do not represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching. Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners.

The Bible I love, preach, and try to practice, does not present today the stoning of sinners as God’s way. Its message is the good news that Christ Jesus was condemned on behalf of sinners to rescue all of us from condemnation and judgment by His willing sacrifice, for He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

I apologize for the reflection those remarks bring upon Jesus Christ, Whom I love; Bob Jones University, which I have loved and served; and my own personal testimony.”

Bob Jones University has accepted the apology and put out their own statement on the matter. It shared:

“We are grateful that Bob Jones III has taken responsibility for these words; words that have caused deep harm for many more people than any of us knows. This means a lot to us because it represents the beginning of a change in the rhetoric and conversation.”

A petition started in 2012 by BJ Unity, a group supporting LGBTQ causes at the school, garnered over 1,900 signatures in three years. It stated:

Thousands of young people have attended the Bob Jones family of schools in Greenville, SC under the leadership of a man who wishes some of them dead. For their sake and the sake of students yet to attend, many of whom will have difficulty accepting their sexual orientation because of Dr. Jones and his attitudes, it is time Bob Jones University and its leadership, including Dr. Jones, are made aware of the harm they have caused. Apologizing for this statement is one small step in the right direction.

After spending years demanding an apology, the nonprofit organization was able to claim victory over the weekend. Change and progress have been slow at the Christian school, interracial dating, for example, was banned until 2000. Here is how Bob Jones III justified the policy:

“God has separated people for His own purpose.”

In 2011, the controversial clergyman made news by questioning President Barack Obama‘s Christianity. He said:

“Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be…. I say, ‘Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?'”

What are your thoughts on Bob Jones III’s apology?

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