Bob Jones Blasphemous Fashion Show

BJU Fashion Show 2021

On December 4, 2021, the Bob Jones University Fashion Department held a public event to showcase the talents of design seniors. The event was not prepared and presented in a secret closet. It was weeks, if not months, in preparation and involved the participation of BJU teachers, students, staff, graduates, and friends, including those from other departments. I have never been a strong supporter of Bob Jones University, but the school did stand for many Biblical things in time (long) past. The most striking of the fashion designs was a takeoff on Christ’s passion, supposedly. It consists of a scarlet “robe” that is clearly effeminate, a crown of thorns, and a scarf of some sort with a graphic photo or painting of someone modeling Christ on the cross. On Jan. 12, 2022, more than five weeks after the event, BJU President Steve Pettit issued an apology. He called the scarlet coat “clearly sacrilegious and blasphemous” and said it “dishonored the Lord Jesus Christ.” He called the event “egregious” and “an offense to the Lord.” He said they are “establishing clear policies and procedures to prevent a similar instance in the future.” He does not explain how such a thing could possibly happen in a supposed fundamentalist Christian school. If teachers and students and associates are participating in and supporting sacrilegious, blasphemous, egregious offenses to the Lord, does that not mean that they are unregenerate, or at best incredibly carnal? “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). Pettit is throwing the fashion department under the bus, but this is burying the dead canary in the coal mine and pretending the problem is solved. We have been saying for decades that a good way to lose your child to compromise is to send him or her to BJU. We have seen students lose their zeal for the Lord and passion for truth at BJU. There is a big need for serious education about biblical modesty and practical biblical fashions, but BJU has been departing from these things incrementally for decades. (For more about this, see “Bob Jones University Past and Present” at This is an excerpt from the book The History and Heritage of Fundamentalism and Fundamental Baptists.)

(Friday Church News Notes, January 21, 2022,,, 866-295-4143)