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Position Statements

Bob Jones University believes the account of origins in Genesis is a factual narrative of historical events; that is, God created the universe, including all original kinds of living organisms (including man) in six literal days.

We believe the genealogies recorded in Genesis 5 and 11 indicate a date for the creation week less than ten thousand years ago.

We believe the fall of man into sin and the consequent curse of God recorded in Genesis 3 had profoundly negative consequences for all of creation including the introduction of death (I Corinthians 15:21).

We believe the flood described in Genesis 6–8 was a historical event of approximately a year’s duration, which was global in extent and biologically and geologically catastrophic in effect.

We believe God made humans in His image as rational creatures who are charged with investigating and maximizing the usefulness of God’s creation (Genesis 1).

God values human life. After narrating God’s creation of a world teeming with life, the Bible’s first chapter climaxes with God’s first recorded words. God proclaims His intention to create a final creature “in our image” and “after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). The crowning act of creation follows. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27). The chapter concludes with God’s verdict on His creation. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).

The theme of God valuing human life is found throughout the Bible. He values human life at its beginning. He values human life at its end. And God demonstrates that He values human life in the humanity of His Son.

God values human life at its beginning.

God’s first command to humans was to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). But the Bible does not view procreation as occurring independently of God’s ongoing creative work. Psalm 139:13-16 asserts that God creates human life in the womb. “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb. …Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written…the days that were formed for me.”1 David’s use of personal pronouns implies his humanness and personhood as a fetus. Psalm 139:15 metaphorically compares a mother’s womb to the “depths of the earth” where, says David, “I was being made in secret, intricately woven.” The metaphor points to the creation account where God breathed into the dust of the earth a “living soul” (Gen. 2:7).

The prophet Jeremiah speaks of God forming, knowing, and sanctifying him in his mother’s womb. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee” (Jer. 1:5). The prophet also indicates that death in the womb is possible, implying that his fetus was a living person. “Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave” (Jer. 20:17).

The Mosaic Law treats the human fetus as a viable person with legal rights. If a man strikes a pregnant woman causing premature delivery and the consequent death of the child, he must pay with his own life according the law of lex talionis (Ex. 21:22-25). Likewise, the account of Samson’s birth assumes the personhood of his fetus. The angel of the LORD twice instructed his mother to keep the Nazarite vow of abstinence from “wine or strong drink” and “the unclean thing” lest she defile the person in her womb to whom the vow actually applied (Jud. 13:3-5, 13-14). Numerous other texts assume the personhood of unborn children (Gen. 25:23-26; 38:27-30; Job 31:15-18; Ps. 22:9-10; Isa. 44:2).

Developments in modern biology consistently uphold the biblical model of the personhood of the unborn. A person’s entire genome (full complement of chromosomes) exists in the zygote—the single cell formed by the union of the male sperm and female ovum. The zygote is a unique combination of genetic information from both the father and the mother. Further, the zygote contains the entire genetic information necessary to navigate the entire process of intrauterine development, growth, birth, puberty, and adult maturation. When human embryos are implanted into surrogate mothers’ wombs, they receive no new genetic information from the surrogate mother. After conception the only physical requirements necessary to sustain fetal life are the same requirements necessary to sustain adult life—nutrition, water, and oxygen.

God values human life at its end.

The Bible depicts human life as inviolable not only in its origins, but also in its termination. Death is a wretched and abnormal condition resulting from man’s rebellion against his Creator. The Bible consistently views death as the worst possible suffering and the greatest curse upon the human condition. Death is inevitable, but not desirable.

The Bible teaches that God determines the limits of human life. The book of Job states, “[Man’s] days are determined, the number of his months are with Thee, Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass” (Job 14:5). Solomon affirms that for each person, God determines “a time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecc. 3:2). Hebrews 9:27 speaks of God’s appointing man’s death and subsequent judgment. The Bible denies man the prerogative to terminate life apart from God’s intent. Exodus 20:13 declares, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Since the fall, humans have usurped God’s sovereignty over the limits of human life. Humanity’s eldest son became a murderer when Cain killed his brother Abel. In a graphic metaphor Genesis 4:10 speaks of the blood-soaked earth—from which man was formed—crying out to God for justice in the premature termination of Abel’s life. In only three specific cases does God permit humans to terminate the lives of other humans; in cases of capital punishment, in war, and in self-defense (Gen. 9:6; Deu. 7:1-2; Ex. 22:2-3).

Rather than facilitating the death of the elderly, the Bible instructs the younger to value their wisdom and discretion (Lev. 19:32; Prov. 16:31). This instruction applies especially to children respecting their parents. “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old” (Prov. 23:22). The Scripture does not recognize as legitimate several contemporary justifications for euthanasia, including the right to die with dignity, the relief of financial strains on the family, the relief of burdensomeness to society, or the relief of suffering. We may not understand why God permits indefinite suffering on the part of the dying, or why he allows the elderly to become enduring burdens to their families. But we are certain that God permits trials for the sake of perfecting the Christian’s faith (James 1:2-4). Job suffered severely, but he recognized that his suffering was appointed for him by God, and Job did not arbitrarily terminate his life (Job 23:10, 14).

God values human life in the humanity of His Son.

The Old Testament begins with the creation of man in God’s image. The New Testament begins with the birth of God in man’s image. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ, his experience of human sorrow and suffering, his vicarious atonement, and his sacrificial death on a cruel instrument of torture compellingly demonstrate that God values human life. But God’s love for humanity is not merely temporal, it is eternal. In the resurrected body of Jesus Christ, God permanently assumed the human condition.

Christ’s bodily resurrection emphatically reiterates God’s original assessment of His creation. “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the first act in God’s restoration of the whole creation to its original pre-fallen condition (Isa. 65:17; Romans 8:22-23; Rev. 21:1-5). Creation fell in the first Adam; in the second Adam (Jesus) creation is restored (Romans 5:12-17). Christ’s death reversed the verdict of death that fell upon the human race subsequent to Adam’s sin. Christ’s resurrection offers resurrection life to all who believe (1 Cor. 15:3-4, 12-23).

The Bible is a book about life and death. God values all created life. God especially values human life. And God offers eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Applications

We believe that followers of Jesus Christ who are governed by the authority of the Bible are ethically obligated to preserve, promote, and defend the sanctity of human life.

We believe that when dealing with areas of uncertainty and ethical dilemmas we should take the safest possible course and promote life. Jesus teaches this principle of carefulness in the Sermon on the Mount when He instructs His followers not only to avoid killing, but to cease from any activity or passion that increases one’s proclivity toward murder (Matt. 5:21-22).

We believe that the Bible consistently depicts fetal life as both personal and human. And we believe that our thinking about issues related to contraception, the harvesting of embryonic stem cells, and aborticides should be governed accordingly.

We oppose suicide on the grounds that God owns human life. (The Bible nowhere depicts suicide as a commendable personal choice [1 Sam. 31:4; 2 Sam. 17:23; 1 Kings 16:18-20; Matt. 27:5; Acts 1:18].)

We oppose all forms of euthanasia, since God reserves the right to determine life’s end (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Job 14:5).

We recognize that scientific advances have raised significant ethical questions concerning the indefinite prolongation of life through medical support systems. These questions have to be handled individually by the family of those suffering. But in general, we believe that although Christians should sustain life wherever possible, we are not obligated to prolong the process of dying.

We reserve the right to make institutional decisions consistent with these positions for employment, hiring, retention, student admissions, discipline and all other matters.

1 Quoting the ESV for clarity. The KJV reads, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. …My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

The institution of marriage has been valued by every culture and society throughout human history. Bob Jones University believes marriage is an institution ordained by God and prescribed by Scripture to be a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman physically created in these respective genders by God. We believe God intended heterosexual marriage to be an enduring covenanted relationship established before Himself and man to propagate the human race, lovingly express healthy relational and sexual intimacy, and picture the covenant relationship He has with all genuine believers.

Basis of Authority for the Definition

As a distinctively Christian liberal arts university, BJU strives to live according to the doctrinal, moral, and ethical dictates of the Bible which serves as our final authority for all matters pertaining to doctrinal beliefs and moral and ethical practices. Our understanding of marriage and application of its meaning is grounded in more than established human tradition and existing cultural norms. As the authoritative, inspired, inerrant, and timelessly relevant Word of God, the Scriptures have binding authority for the doctrinal belief and moral practice of believers, churches, and Christian institutions (2 Sam. 7:28; Prov. 30:5; Matt. 4:4; 5:17-20; 24:35; 2 Tim. 3:15-16; 2 Pet. 1:16-21; 3:2). The Bible speaks clearly and authoritatively to the matters of marriage, consensual sexual activity and gender identity. Its clear teachings on these matters govern and are central to the beliefs and practices of BJU and serve as the final authoritative grounds for the content of this position statement.

The Scriptures teach that God created man and woman in His image (Gen. 1:27-28), brought them together in the life-long covenant relationship of marriage and blessed this union (Gen. 1:28). Furthermore, the Scriptures make plain that this first marriage was intended to be an authoritative pattern for all future human marriages as evidenced by the teachings of Moses (Gen. 2:18-24), the Wisdom books (Prov. 12:4; 18:22; 31:10; Eccles. 9:9), the Prophets (Mal. 2:13-16), the Apostles (1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:14-19; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7), and Jesus Himself (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:1-9).

Marriage is a covenantal life-long relationship between a woman and a man who were physically created and assigned these genders by God (Gen. 1:27; Ps. 139:13-16; Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6). We believe God intended heterosexual marriage for the propagation of the human race and the loving expression of healthy relational and sexual intimacy, and to picture the covenant relationship He has with all believers (Eph. 5:22-33).

Context for Human Sexuality

Human sexuality is part of God’s divine design for human beings (Gen. 1:28). However, the Bible restricts all forms of consensual sexual activity to within the boundaries of the marriage relationship (1 Cor. 7:1-5; Heb. 13:4). The Bible clearly prohibits not only non-consensual sexual misconduct (Deut. 22:25-27) but also any consensual sexual activity outside the boundaries of heterosexual marriage (1 Thess. 4:1-8). Furthermore the Bible specifically names as sinful and prohibits any form of sexual activity between persons of the same sex (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:10), polygamy (Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:11), incest (Lev. 18:6-18; 1 Cor. 5:1), bestiality (Exod. 22:19; Lev. 18:23; 20:15-16; Deut. 27:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5), adultery (Exod. 20:14; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; James 2:11), and fornication of any sort including pornography (1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Lev. 18:20).

Statement about Gender Identity

God created man and woman in His image as two distinct but equal genders which He intends to use for His glory (Gen. 1:26-27). Furthermore, individual gender is assigned by God and determined at conception (Ps. 139:13-16). Therefore we believe that to intentionally alter or change one’s physical gender or to live as a gender other than the one assigned at conception is to reject God’s right as Creator to assign gender to His creatures and is a personal rejection of His plan to glorify Himself through the original gender He assigned that individual (1 Cor. 10:31).

Expectations of BJU Employees and Students

Because the positions set forth in this statement are grounded in the biblical, moral and ethical commands clearly taught and demanded by Scripture, BJU expects all employees and students enrolled at BJU to agree with and abide by this statement on marriage, human sexuality, and gender identity.

Posture toward those who disagree with us

All of us are sinners. We live in a world broken by sin and are called to live out our biblical beliefs among those who may disagree with us. We desire to do so in ways that honor God and point them to Him (1 Pet. 1:11-12). We believe every person must be treated with respect and compassion and are committed to living out our commitments to these biblical standards with grace and humility. We also believe that we are called to speak God’s truth in love (Eph. 4:15) as we call all men to recognize that all human sinfulness is an offense to God (Rom. 3:10-11; Rom. 6:23a), that God has displayed immense grace and mercy toward all sinners (Eph. 2:1-10), and that He offers a full and free forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who repent and forsake their sin and turn in faith to Him (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 6:23; 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 John 1:8-9).

Bible-believing Christians of all generations face unique cultural and religious pressures. One of the most significant issues Christians wrestle with today is the growing use of beverage alcohol in Bible-believing circles. Christians, especially young people, are increasingly under the barrage of an evangelical culture that promotes the moderate use of alcohol.

As a Christian fundamentalist educational institution, Bob Jones University has taken a consistent stand for complete abstinence from the use of alcohol since our inception in 1927. Bob Jones University does not believe the Scripture condones the beverage use of alcohol by Bible-believing Christians. We will not retain a faculty or staff member or a student who uses alcohol or promotes its use.

Bob Jones University believes that the Christian is called to a life of growing conformity to the image of Christ and that the beverage use of alcohol hinders this conformity and growth in personal holiness. It is the University’s position that total abstinence is crucial to the believer’s unhindered and unobscured testimony—in the home, among fellow believers in the church, in the workplace and in society at large.

Music in the Mission of BJU

The mission of Bob Jones University is to grow Christlike character that is scripturally disciplined, others-serving, God-loving, Christ-proclaiming and focused above. We fulfill this mission using a variety of methods, tools and resources, including public proclamation of the Word in chapel services and special meetings, a biblically integrated curriculum, opportunities for Christian service, and a faculty and staff who endeavor to model Christ to our students.

What role does the music that we perform and listen to play in our mission? How can we use music to grow Christlike character in our students? How can music hinder or thwart our efforts? This document is an attempt to answer those questions succinctly.

Although the answers will be based on biblical teaching that is valid for all believers at all times, we recognize that these answers involve the application of those teachings to our specific context and institutional mission. Other institutions, congregations and individuals may apply them differently based upon their own earnest efforts to reflect scriptural principles within their respective contexts and in keeping with their unique institutional, congregational or personal missions.

While biblical truth is nonnegotiable, application in specific cultural and institutional contexts may differ. In particular, since music is such a dominant cultural force in the contemporary West—to a greater degree, apparently, than it has been throughout most of history—application of biblical principles in this area is likely to be controversial, touching strongly held opinions across a spectrum of choices.

Because we seek to apply biblical thinking and decision making to every issue, we must start with an examination of what the Bible says—or does not say—about music. From there, we will examine how those truths apply to BJU and our mission.

Biblical Principles in Music

Music reflects the beauty and goodness of God and is a gift from the Creator intended for our enjoyment and spiritual elevation. It is an important part of every believer’s life, both in his worship of God—his primary mission—and in his interaction with his culture(s) as he carries out Christ’s Great Commission. Because music resonates with the spirit of mankind in ways that make it a powerful influence on our thinking and behavior, our decisions about music often have significant consequences on our spiritual health—and consequently often have moral implications as well. The Bible has much to say about the use of music in worship. It also speaks often about the motives that should govern the believer’s broader lifestyle as he moves in the world.

  • Music should make me more like Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
    Christ’s character is perhaps best reflected in what He identified as the two greatest commandments: to love God completely and to love one’s neighbor as oneself (Matt. 22:34–40). The practical application of these broad principles appears in Paul’s summary of “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22–23). Like everything else he welcomes into his life, the believer’s music should promote truth, dignity, justice, purity and loveliness as well as be admirable to onlookers (Phil. 4:8).
  • Music should enrich my spirit in enjoyment of what God has created (1 Tim 6:17).
    The believer’s experiences need not be clearly religious in order to be spiritually profitable; God has indeed “given us richly all things to enjoy,” and there is a place for simple enjoyment of beauty and for enrichment by expanding one’s knowledge and experience. It is appropriate for the believer simply to listen to music for entertainment.
  • Music should edify my fellow believers (Eph. 4:11–16).
    The believer’s lifestyle choices are not made in a vacuum; he is a member of the larger body of Christ. Thus, his choices can affect his fellow believers. Paul warns that the believer must not encourage another believer to violate his conscience, even when that believer’s conscience is misinformed, and that the believer willingly and gladly gives up genuine rights and liberties for the sake of the health of other believers (1 Cor. 8:4–13). Similarly, even careless or thoughtless practices that create or accentuate differences between believers (e.g., 1 Cor. 11:17–22) violate the essential unity we all have in Christ (Gal. 3:28). Believers need to act with primary concern not for their own liberties but for the well-being of their fellow believers (Phil. 2:4). This is a legitimate test of our devotion to Christ’s two great commandments (Gal. 5:14).
  • Music should discourage in me the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19–21).
    By contrast, then, music that encourages contrary character qualities—sexual impurity, devotion to competing gods, division, short-temperedness, self-centeredness, carousing “and the like” (Gal. 5:21)—the believer should reject and avoid. Even beyond this, though, the believer’s music should positively empower him against these things.
  • Music should aid my testimony before the lost (Matt. 28:19–20) by demonstrating to them my devotion to God and distinctness from the elements of the world that are organized in opposition to God (1 John 2:5–17).
    There is much in the world system that signifies its rejection of God’s rightful sovereignty and will. The believer cannot appear to endorse those elements, even with the intention of building bridges for evangelism. Biblical examples of evangelism are empowered by the Spirit, not by psychological manipulation or deception (1 Thess. 2:3–6).
  • Sacred music should
    • focus on the attributes and acts of God (Ps. 150:2; Isa. 12:2).
      Worship is primarily addressed to God for praising His objectively revealed perfections rather than to the worshiper for connecting with his subjectively perceived needs or interests. The focus of worship in the Bible is the recounting of truths about God—primarily His attributes and His works—and the consequent response of the worshiper in praise.
    • cause me to rejoice thankfully in God (Ps. 33:1; 105:2–3; 108:1, 4), fulfilling the command to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength (Deut. 6:4–5; Matt. 22:37–38).
      As the worshiper meditates on God’s person and works—through prayer, song and the hearing of the Word—his Spirit-driven response will be gratitude and the consequent desire to trust, obey and serve God. His direction will be toward surrender to and thoughts of God rather than to his own needs and benefits. Love for God yields focus on His benefit, not our own.
    • be doctrinally sound (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:18–19), beautiful (Ps. 27:4, 29:2, 66:2, 96:6–9), reverent (Ps. 29:2), and fresh and vital (“a new song,” Ps. 40:3, 96:1, 98:1), not merely routine.
      Because God is holy—in a class by Himself, set apart—our worship of Him should not look like activities that are not worship or that are false worship. God forbade practices in Israel that merely resembled pagan worship practices (Lev. 19:27–28), and He expected worship to be distinct from everyday activities (e.g., Exod. 20:8–10; Ps. 29:2; and much elsewhere). Paul tells us that based on God’s great work in us, everything we do must not be “conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:1–2)—that is, the Christian is to live with the intentional aim of resisting the external pressure of the world to conform. Our sacred music, as well as all of our music and actions, must resist the natural pressure to recalibrate standards according to the musical trends of the unregenerate. Jesus frequently criticized the religious leaders of His day for their mindless, unfeeling practice of religious ritual (Matt. 6:7). When believers respond to God in worship, they will do so in ways that reflect the freshness and vitality of their experience. We can expect that every generation of believers will devote its creative effort to this end. At the same time, they will learn from God’s direction of those who have preceded them, honoring what is timeless in the rich history of God’s gift of music to His people.
    • involve the congregation as well as the platform leaders (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:18–19).
      While the New Testament provides for leadership positions in the church (Phil. 1:1; 1Tim. 3; Titus 1), it calls for participation in worship from all the members of Christ’s body. Believers are participants in, not observers of, worship. We are not opposed to choir numbers and special music which, when actively listened to, are scriptural forms of participation in worship (1 Chron. 16:7, 36; 2 Chron. 29:28; Ps. 40:3).
    • encourage the unity of the church (Eph. 4:1–6).
      All believers have identical individual standing and responsibility before God when it comes to debatable issues (Rom. 14:4, 10–12, 22). Our relationship to Christians who exercise their stewardship of this through the consecrated approach taught and called for in Romans 12:1–2 should be respectful enough to allow for differences between us that are the result of our respective earnest efforts to understand and consistently apply scriptural principles to this issue. This posture promotes unity and mutual edification in the truth (Eph. 4:15–16).

Music Policies at BJU

The following policies represent our earnest attempt to apply Biblical truth to our context as a liberal arts institution. The mission of BJU is furthered when the institution and each member of the university family use biblically-sound, God-glorifying music that promotes growth in Christlikeness. While enrolled at BJU, students are encouraged to develop spiritual and aesthetic discernment in their music choices. Because much of the music available today is instead antithetical to biblical principles, the use of such music would hinder our mission of growing Christlike character. In Christian music, truth can be presented with varying degrees of biblical accuracy and clarity. BJU acknowledges that there is a range of music acceptability that is separate from the world; BJU’s position is intentionally conservative within that range.

  1. The following music conflicts with our mission and is therefore excluded from performance, personal listening, or use in student organizations, societies, student productions, or social media:
    • Any music which, in whole or in part, derives from the following broadly-defined genres or their sub-genres: Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, Electronic/Techno, Rap/Hip Hop, or the fusion of any of these genres.
    • Any music in which Christian lyrics or biblical texts are set to music which is, in whole or in part, derived from any of these genres or their sub-genres.
    • While we recognize that this policy excludes a few pieces that are acceptable (e.g., Rhapsody in Blue), for simplicity of policy, we have excluded the entire genres.
  2. In our chapel and other sacred services (including student-led), we use hymns, gospel songs, and anthems, both old and new, which are doctrinally orthodox, set to an appropriate tune and performed in a conservative style, and further our mission. We sparingly use sources of recently written music outside fundamentalism that meet these criteria.
  3. In our curriculum and in public performances, we use music that prepares students for their areas of service and that furthers our mission.
  4. In our bookstore, online, or at any other venue, we sell only music that furthers our mission.
  5. Students are responsible for their musical choices, and we hold them accountable by enforcing our policies.

Questions and Answers

Is music a matter of morality?

At one extreme, some view music as completely morally neutral; at the other extreme, some see morality intrinsic in specific chords or other building blocks of music. The question is easily oversimplified or misunderstood. Music, by God’s design, is a subjective experience; but its various aspects—words, sounds, imagery and associations—greatly affect us. The elements of music (pitch, rhythm, tone quality and dynamics) communicate broadly but only imprecisely.

Music—the combination of these elements—can be designed to elicit moral responses both right and wrong. Therefore, we reject the idea that music is morally neutral; and we evaluate music on several levels—the words and imagery themselves, the intent of the music maker, the effects on the listeners, and even the context of the experience.

How do associations affect our music choices?

It is possible to adapt recent songs by people with whom we would not fully agree and arrange them in a style that is above reproach. Hymnals have historically contained pieces written by authors with aberrant theology, yet the pieces we use from such authors have a strong biblical text and are set to excellent music—and the writer’s theological aberrations are usually known by only a few (e.g., “Lead On, O King Eternal”). With modern technology, however, associations may more easily have negative influence. The original source of music is never remote. The more recently a song has emerged and the more popular its source, the more influence it has. So BJU exercises great restraint in the choices of music we adapt, and we issue cautions about our concerns.

Of course, the mere use of any music has never implied endorsement of its original presentation or source. And avoiding certain music is not a blanket criticism of another’s ministry or motives. All of us are imperfect vessels, and Christ in His grace continues to work in and through us. Thankfully, being careful in music choices does not mean that our worship need be musically impoverished. We have an abundance of beautiful music, readily available today, that is completely edifying, soul-stirring and above reproach.

How do we define rock music?

When compared with the characteristics of other musical genres (e.g., folk music, patriotic music, classical concert music and traditional sacred music), the rock genre is distinguished by the combination of some or all of the following characteristics—sensual singing styles, dominating beat, heavy percussion, overwhelming volume and an overall atmosphere that counteracts self-control, especially when coupled in performance with elements such as a defiant demeanor, immodest attire, sexually suggestive dancing or crude gestures. Attempts to couple worldly vehicles like rock music (and other pop styles) with sacred lyrics and settings create a moral tension for the believer and contradict the Christian’s call to a consecrated approach to life (Rom. 12:1–2).

Although Bob Jones University does not hold to a King James Only position, we continue to hold the widely-used King James Version (KJV) as the campus standard in the classroom and in the chapel pulpit. The position of the University on the translation issue has not changed since the founding of the school in 1927.

We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible in the original manuscripts, and we believe that God has supernaturally preserved every one of His inspired words for us today. However, from the founder to the present administration, we have never taken the position that there can be only one good translation in the English language.