Dr. Joseph Jones,
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Andrea Jost Dobbins I attended Fresno Pacific when it was still a college and had not yet risen to university status. I had the joy of following in my father’s footsteps (David Jost) along with my aunt, uncle and brother by attending and graduating from this educational institution. I spent three years (1992-1995) attending classes, making lifelong friends and gaining a Christian world view. My entire family, I am third generation, has supported the mission of Fresno Pacific in providing students with a Christ-centered education. My grandparents, Chester and Clella Jost, were active donors and their legacy was to continue to assist in creating an educational environment that is faith based and Christ centered.
I am deeply concerned with the direction that the university appears to be taking. A recent report in the local news said that students were trying to organize a LGBTQ+ club which caused me to look further into what is going on at my beloved alma mater. When I was accepted to attend FPC in 1992, I signed a contract that agreed to a moral code I would adhere to while a student. This agreement stated I would not participate in drinking alcohol, taking drugs, having sex outside of marriage and a handful of other activities that are in direct conflict to what Scripture tells us is a godly life. I knew exactly what I was agreeing to and the consequences if I did not live accordingly. Are students today asked to adhere to the same godly standards? I hope they are but if not, then why?
In 2018, I’m sure you are aware of the demotion of the seminary president and removal of Greg Boyd for teaching open theism and other heretical theologies. I’m concerned it took years for this heretical teaching to be addressed and eliminated. As I read through the FPU website, I am deeply concerned with some of the catch phrases that seem to have crept into existence, namely “inclusion, social justice, diversity” etc. The definition of “Social Justice”, according to Wikipedia, “is justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within a society.” This sounds uncomfortably like Marxism. Voddie Baucham, Thaddeus Williams and Scott David Allen have written books that outline the destructive nature of social justice on the church and the anti-biblical foundation therein. The Bible does not teach social justice. Zacchaeus is one example. He confessed. He repented. He paid back the community for the wrong he did.
The fact that the university has an entire department devoted to “diversity and inclusion” is deeply troubling. The university’s website is promoting and supporting undocumented people in the community; when did this become an action item? The university is concerned about the Hispanic community and undocumented residents, yet I have personal testimony of how my friend’s daughter was shamed for being white and having a perspective contrary to what was being taught. Unfortunately, after a very difficult year at FPU she transferred to another university. In my friends own words (she was also a graduate of FPC a few years after me):
“In one of her classes they brought in a Muslim guest speaker who told the students to apologize for their whiteness. She took a class that analyzed Star Wars from a literary perspective. They were supposed to write papers explaining how George Lucas is homophobic, xenophobic, racist and comes from a marginalized area in the United States that cannot understand a globalized perspective. (Our daughter) was the president of a club on campus. The diversity and inclusion group harassed a guest speaker. She (our daughter) asked the economics professor to come and talk about economics. The economics professor was told that Turning Point is a racist, hateful group and that it would not be wise for him to be the guest speaker. After being intimidated, he stepped down.
In her religion class, the professor made everything about race. The supplemental texts were about race. The exam was about race. Unfortunately, some of the questions on the exam had nothing but false answers to choose from. (Our daughter) sent a 2,000-word email to her professor explaining that she believes the Bible should be looked at through an exegetical hermeneutic (the author’s original intent should be supported at all times). The professor told her she was supposed to choose standpoint epistemology (any one person’s personal beliefs should dictate what the text truly means). Race, culture, and disability needed to be the central focus of Scripture at all times. During Zoom classes, her professors would mute (our daughter), and she was told that she was only allowed to discuss particular questions in the breakout groups. It was an entire year of Marxist indoctrination, and it was horrific.”
Dr. Jones, I cannot fathom a student having this kind of an experience not just once but throughout the entire year and in all the FPU courses she attended. As an educator, are you familiar with Dr. Sharroky Hollie? Do you support his educational philosophy? The FPU website seems to reflect ideologies eerily similar to Dr. Hollie. Galatians 3:28 tells us “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As a higher learning institution that claims to have a Christ-centered focus, why is there so much focus on race, ethnicity and skin color?
Tabor College has been known as our “sister college” for as long as I can remember. Perusing the Tabor College website is a stark contrast to the Fresno Pacific website and that should be a grave concern for all faculty, students, alumni and donors. Matthew 18:15-20 gives instruction on discipline and how to approach it with a fellow believer. I implore you to examine what is being promoted within the walls of your educational institution. Is it accurately promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ? If it is not, then maybe it is time for different leadership. I look forward to your response. The goal of this letter is to bring restoration and reconciliation of the university’s ideologies and what scripture says.
2 Peter 2:1-2 warns us of false prophets and false teachers, “…they will secretly introduce destructive heresies even denying the sovereign Lord…” My hope and prayer for this institution is that it aligns 100 percent with Scripture. I pray your staff is standing on a firm foundation and accurately teaching the gospel. We know that the Bible is authoritative. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness.”
My prayer is that you submit to and seek God first as you lead your staff and subsequently the students, who need to be trained up in the ways of the Lord. I urge you to evaluate the priorities of the school and see how it aligns with scripture. May it not be dictated by the secular world we live in but by the Godly and eternal priorities given to us in the Holy, Infallible and Inerrant Word of God.
Andrea Jost Dobbins
This article has been posted by Christian Leader staff. The Christian Leader is the magazine of U.S. Mennonite Brethren.