Bob Jones University Teacher John Matzko on the Rape of Tina Anderson at 15

If you haven’t kept up with the Trinity Baptist (NH) case, 15-year old Tina Anderson was raped by deacon Ernie Willis during a driving lesson. He later came to her house and raped her again. She discovered she was pregnant and told him. He offered her an abortion. The church leadership brought Ernie in front of the church as a repentant sinner for having engaged in extra marital sex. After that, Tina was brought before the church for sexual sin. She was made to apologize.

Though then pastor Chuck Phelps knew Ernie had raped her, he did not tell the church this. Tina was immediately withdrawn from the Christian school, kept under watch, and shuttled off to Colorado to be home schooled, where she was also kept away from her peers and forbidden to discuss what had happened. Ernie continued in the church for the next few years. When Tina had the baby, she was made to give her up for adoption.

Now, 13 years later, the story has come out. Willis has been arrested. Phelps is pastoring in Indiana. Brian Fuller, current pastor at Trinity, has defended and supported Phelps’ decisions. Phelps continues to blame the victim. Overall, many at Trinity blame the police. I was posting links on my facebook page, and I received these remarkable comments from Dr John Matzko, a teacher at Bob Jones University. I will not be surprised if he is told to remove them, so I am preserving them here.
=====================BEGIN=====================
MATZKO: Subtract the questionable public confessions before the church, and to me it looks mostly like a case of sloppy police work thirteen years ago.

Raped twice? So the girl’s raped and then goes back to see the same guy again in private. The prosecutor better have a convincing personality to get a conviction on that sort of testimony.

JERI: No John, Go read the account. The man came to her house when her mother was not home and raped her the second time.

And why should anybody subtract the “questionable public confessions” of the church when that is the heart of the moral matter? Oh wait, I forgot about Fundamentalists who will do ANYTHING, believe ANYTHING they are told to hold on to their man-centered religion. Now stop excusing the men who let a rapist come to church and kept his secret while they sent his victim off to coventry. And be ashamed of yourself if you have a conscience left. Gosh it’s tragic to see the children whose lives are ruined by unrestrained corruption in Fundamentalism. It’s even worse to see aged men whose souls have been destroyed by it. Don’t you have the sense to fear God? You knwo what Christ taught about the little ones.

MATZKO: Sorry, I’m not buying it. Neither will a jury, if it even gets that far.

JERI: No you’ve bought something else, and a long time ago, and that is tragic. And no amount of evidence is going to change your mind.

MATZKO: In New Hampshire, penetration committed on a minor younger than 16 is indeed statutory rape. But the statute of limitations runs only six years. If Phelps reported the incident, then the problem is–unless proved otherwise–with the police.

JERI: Sure John, and that means nobody sinned, you know, because it all got wiped out by American jurisprudence. Of course Phelps never did anything wrong, not by covering the rape by calling it consensual sex, not by covering the rapist by staging the “discipline” to make sure nobody thought Willis had engaged in sex with a minor member of the church, not by protecting Willis by getting that child out of there. No John, no wrong was done,m because by now I have learned the heart of Christian Fundamentalist morality: IF IT WAS DONE IN A CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALIST CHURCH, IT WAS RIGHT. Now everybody shut your eyes and keep going.

MATZKO: I’m sure if the police wanted to know where the girl was, Phelps would have told them. And legally it’s their responsibility to follow up.

Now, as to what a pastor’s ethical responsibility is in a nasty situation like this, I’m uncertain. I’m pretty sure that in the Old Testament economy, either the girl would have become a polygamous wife or both the guy and the girl would have met their ends surrounded by a lot of hefty rocks.

===================END================

It’s a study in moral bankruptcy. This is what that 15 year old girl faced at Trinity Baptist Church in Concord New Hampshire.

I have now made the thread public via screenshots:
“>Click Here

35 Responses to “Bob Jones University Teacher John Matzko on the Rape of Tina Anderson at 15”

  1. Don says:

    Damn truth keeps getting in their way… the call goes out, “Reverse the roles!” make the victim the evil subverter and make poor innocent victims of the grown men who were beguiled by her manipulation. What would such a warped, devious, demented mind dare to teach young adults regarding such things as ethics, morality and compassion… when they are so obviously void of these qualities themselves? The mission now is to protect one of their own. Save his reputation at all costs and destroy the lives and reputations of all who get in the way… cause that’s the way their god would do it.

  2. jeriwho says:

    Thank you for posting Don. I’m actually still pretty stunned to realize that John Matzko, a man I once said hello to every morning, is such a heartless and amoral man.

  3. nancy says:

    I am ashamed to be a BJ graduate!
    What of the passage in I Peter 2:13-17 where we as christians are to submit to our government and its laws? That is our responsiblity. these men’s responsiblity! We are not to use our christian freedom as a cover-up for evil. That is in the New Testament. We do not live in the Old testament age. Gentleman that think we do are living in an illusion not the real or biblical world.
    I had been in a similar situation years ago and things were swept under the rug. Extreme Fundamentalism at it’s usual. Does no one consider the damage this does to a child’s soul and emotions? Seems the men are more concerned with how they look to others. Where is the Christian compassion for the young and defenseless? How dare a grown man blame a child for his lack of control!

  4. Camille says:

    I have no words. But I’m glad you’re giving this the sunshine it needs. And . . . be prepared to be told to take it down, Jeri. I know you’ve got the cahones to stand your ground, but . . . just be prepared.

  5. jeriwho says:

    I knew this may cost me my last few friendships at BJU. But it’s not acceptable to stand by and let this cultural mandate to blame the victim and excuse pastors continue. As Nancy wrote above, the Bible is clear that our submission to the law is not to be a sham. Christ highly valued children, and yet they are nothing but fodder in Fundamentalism.

  6. David Shaffer says:

    I wonder if Matzko had Phelps as a student? Regardless, Phelps form of church disipline equates to child abuse. BJU needs an introspective look at their teaching curriculum in regards to church disipline, corruption of minors, and legal and ethical responsibilities to victims and authorities if such a situation demands it.

  7. Becca says:

    Sadly this is not an isolated case. I told of my own sexual abuse at the hands of my step father back in 1998. The pastor (who had only met my step father 2x’s…and drove me to and from church every sunday for 3yrs!) Called a church meeting of elders and accused me of lying told the youth group not to associate with me because I was a bad influence. I ended up in foster care and he went on to another church to damage other girls and women.

  8. jeriwho says:

    That is extremely sad, Becca. I am very sorry to hear it. But I have been documenting these abuses for over eight years now, and I know you are right. Indeed, Hephzibah House, one of the fundamentalist teen gulags for girls, is often a convenient dumping place for girls who start talking about what their dad, or uncle, or grandfather, or the preacher, is doing to them. And it’s all coated with a veneer of doing what’s best for the girl, and helping her with her “spiritual problem.” But the real aim is to get her out of public view. I am sorry that was done to you.

  9. Marius says:

    There is an Old Testament passage that I think applies here. We need look no further than Genesis 3:12 – loosely translated as “Blame the woman”. There is indeed nothing new under the sun. This whole story breaks my heart and all I can feel is compassion for the poor, helpless child who was cruelly assaulted. God have mercy on those who will not protect these precious little ones. And what does it say about our moral condition if we can brush aside a crime such as this? I shudder to think I was ever part of that movement.

  10. Don says:

    Lord Acton said this regarding the Pope in his day and it applies no less to the Fundy Popes running the Protestant/Baptist Churches today (and that includes the Landmark Baptist cult followers):

    “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

  11. godknows says:

    attn: “nancy”, “jeriwho” and anyone else who so badly needs to continue to talk about this when its none of your business. what do you think God would think of your blogging about this on the internet for everyone to see? you wanna talk trash get your story straight. you dont even have the facts. and whether you include scripture or not, blogging about rape and sex on the internet is what it is and i think you should be ashamed. i don’t need to convict you, if you’re a true christian then you are already.

  12. jeriwho says:

    Run, Joanna. The truth is coming hard on the heels of your loathsome church. I know you think it’s better to hide a rape no matter what the cost is to a 15 year old child, and to shield the rapist to prevent scandal in the church, but that’s how all sociopaths think. Of course it’s your opinion that this is none of our business. All wicked people think they have a right to privacy in depriving their inferiors of those happinesses that would threaten the in crowd, the elite, whatever you want to call them. We’re all your inferiors. And maybe your right. Or maybe you’re a bunch of Pharisees. And maybe your time has come to face what you are. But if I were you, I wouldn’t engage in open battle. Every time you guys open your mouths you add to the growing evidence of your moral and spiritual bankruptcy.

  13. Joanna Rice Himes-Murphy says:

    It’s so horrifying to read people defending evil and rape. I can’t believe there are people who have turned their back on God and his righteousness so far as to defend rape and child abuse. That poor, poor child.
    And it is a sign of the evil of our times that people defend such wickedness, and criticize others who bring sin to the light of day. The Bible says very clearly that evil hides and does not want its behavior to be exposed to the honest light of day. Anyone who defends rape is obviously not a Christian.

  14. somebody says:

    I’m not defending anybody – what happened was wrong – but I agree with “godknows” above. Are we to continue the wrong by continuing to discuss what we know nothing, honestly, about? I haven’t been following it like it seems you have, “jeriwho”, so I’m sorry if my words offend you, but the only ones that really know the heart of the matter are the young girl, the abuser, and the pastors. Maybe the pastors (though we all think they were wrong), handled it in the way they felt was appropriate. Again, I’m not saying they’re right – but isn’t this a matter between them and the Lord. We claim to call ourselves Christians and sit here and point fingers at them…and yet all we’re doing is slandering and gossiping about them….which I believe you’ll find verses on in the Bible.

    Again, I’m not saying any of what happened is right, AT ALL, but I think you should just let the matter be handled personally instead of posting things like this.

    That’s all I’m sayin’.

  15. jeriwho says:

    You know, this Fundamentalist outlook (part of the legacy of Jack Hyles) that you can never actually know what happened in a situation, and therefore must never discuss it because somehow, (even though 13 years have passed without the right thing being done, and a great many wrongs having been done in this siutation) is just one more demonstration of how ignorant Fundamentalists are of the Bible, how disobedient they are to the small portion they do know, and how truly sociopathic their outlook is in terms of mercy on those who have no voice.

    Let’s go to the Bible and turn away from the heartless outlook of Fundamentalist reasoning. First, the Bible lays out that witnesses in a situation are to be questioned and they are to give their account in public. This is to avoid precisely what Fundamentalists advocate: silence about an unjust matter. Everybody is to know what happened. Hushing up a matter is what is wrong. Believers are to be transparent, not secretive.

    Second, decisions of judgment are to be reviewed and appeals are to be allowed in judgment. In the New Testament, believers could take matters from their local or “state” assembly to the Council at Jerusalem to be heard. We see in Acts that the Council at Jerusalem heard matters that were going on outside of Jerusalem, and the Council made decisions.

    Paul, not being in Corinth, wrote, ‘It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.’ So Paul was getting reports from people who were talking about the situation, yet he never rebukes them for talking. Indeed, flying in the face of incorrect Fundamentalist views on local church autonomy, Paul directs, over the heads of the local church leadership, that the young man be excommunicated. In his next book, he again goes right over the head of local church leadership and directs the young man’s reinstatement: all based on what people have told him about the situation.

    John candidly discusses in a public letter the misdeeds of Diotrophese. There’s no silence about the matter. Paul again in Galatians openly declares what the Galatians themselves had been discussing, that Peter was following the practices of the Judaizers, and Paul lays down his decision: censure of Peter.

    So witnesses and victims are to speak, in public, and the church at large is to know, and reasoning and judicial findings of church leadership are to be public and are to be put under review for appeal. That is Christian practice. The secrecy and silence of Fundamentalism is just one more part of their sociopathic counterfeit of Christianity.

  16. Frank says:

    Could you point us to the full original source of the Matzko comments? I would like to read them in context to get a better understanding of what he was trying to say and seeing just part of them with a hostile reply could definitely taint what was said. Especially since I have seen my own words twisted by others.

    Thanks.

  17. jeriwho says:

    Good idea, especially since so many Fundamentalists love to declare that their opponents are lying. All I did was copy and paste the statements with my replies, but certainly, men who will accuse a rape victim will accuse me. Here’s the link:

    Click here to see the original dialog

    Text of link:
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1338783489&v=wall&story_fbid=107821685930255

  18. Peg says:

    I just want to say that I support Jeriwho in her desire to see this made public and to discuss it. No one knows how many other young girls this has happened to who are afraid to tell anyone. They need to understand that there are people outside their congregation who will support them, who won’t call them liars, and won’t make them beg for forgiveness for being violated.
    As a victim of sexual abuse, I had to wait 10 years before I could tell anyone and those ten years of living in the same house with my abusers damaged me to the point where a decade of therapy barely made a dent. This is not a case of, ye who is without sin. This is open arms for the victims to find help and support. The victim in this particular case has been very open because she wants other victims to know they are not alone. The very least we can do for her and other victims is to offer a counter to what they are being told by their elders.

  19. Lizzy F. says:

    Jeri,

    Is there another way we could get to the whole dialog? My lack of having a facebook account won’t let me see your wall.

  20. Curious says:

    Click here to see the original dialog

    It looks like the only way to see it is to friend you on Facebook.

  21. jeriwho says:

    Try this. It isn’t tidy, but it will show you screenshots:

    http://www.jeriwho.net/lambs/matzko.html

  22. Lizzy F. says:

    Thanks!

  23. Joanna Rice Himes-Murphy says:

    I feel the need to add, also, that the reason Jack Hyles was so adamant that no one knows what happens in a situation and no one else can judge was because he slept with his secretary for thirteen years and was very anxious that no one discuss that or confront him on his sin. And yes, I DID see the legal affadavits on THAT one. If it cannot be discussed honestly, openly, in front of witnesses, and bluntly, then there is almost always wicked sin involved.

  24. slc says:

    “Concord police also are weighing whether to bring obstruction-of-justice charges against anyone who may have concealed the girl’s location during the initial investigation, which authorities say they were forced to shelve when there was no victim to testify.” (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100528/ap_on_re_us/us_church_rape_case_3)

    How could this be the fault of the police? The church leaders exiled the victim and sequestered her far away from the arm of the law.

    This is one of the most saddening and sickening defenses of disgusting behavior I have ever seen. Jack Matzko–I stand appalled.

  25. Mrs. R says:

    slc says “the church leaders exiled victim and sequestered her far away from the arm of the law”… I don’t think this statement is right. Phelps turned Willis in. The girl was always under the guardianship of her mother. Is there any proof that Phelps obstructed the investigation? I think Matzko is right when he said that the police blew it and are now trying to cover their own mistakes. I hope Willis finally goes to jail. I also hope that this victim will find healing.

    The unfounded accusations and ruthlessness of some of the above comments are frightening.

  26. jeriwho says:

    For the umpteenth time, Phelps made a phone call to the police about Willis. He did not have Willis give a true account of his sin before the church. He had the girl take the blame. He shipped the girl off, out of the sight of the police. He never made Willis go turn himself in for having raped a 15 year old. Clearly, Phelps was protecting Willis. Phelps knew Willis was a rapist and yet kept him in his church, without the congregation even knowing that. I don’t know if the police blew it or not, but certainly, Phelps did not act to benefit Willis spiritually, to benefit Tina spiritually, or to obey the spirit and intent of the law. He acted to keep up the facade of middle class morality of the church.

  27. Mrs. R says:

    I am not a Fundamentalist. I want to see justice as much as you. Heinous abuse within the church needs to come to light. But, just because you say it umpteen times, it doesn’t make it true. I have read all the reports and, unless you have an inside source, do not understand how you can make all your assumptions.

    Phelps has been declared guilty in the “blogosphere court” and I doubt too many will not change their mind no matter what factual evidence says.

  28. jeriwho says:

    The victim, her older brother, two church members who were there, and the police report all agree one, that she was raped (which was never told to the church, and she was disciplined as having sinned) and two, Phelps did not cooperate with the police in telling them where she was.

  29. One Year at BJ says:

    Is this man still employed at Bob Jones University? And if so, why? And why would anybody assault a rape victim on an internet comments page with half-truths? What a hate-filled and ugly man.

  30. Nadia says:

    Since the 20/20 story recently aired, I was following this story and came across these comments from Matzko. As a former student of his (and BJU grad) I am shocked and appalled at his callousness toward the victim in this situation. How in God’s name can he misinterpret the OT to believe a victimized child would become her abuser’s wife? Or that she would be stoned?

    Words fail…

  31. Christy says:

    Thank you for publishing this. Absolutely jaw dropping…..and yet sadly and completely predictable and familiar from fundamentalists and BJU.

    It’s a mindset. A patriarchal, misogynistic mindset in a group that can never admit any wrongdoing and is devoid of compassion. It is what lead Gandhi to say, “I like your Christ. It’s your Christians I don’t like. They are so unlike your Christ.”

    This is what ego does. It edges god out and it blocks compassion.

    I pray they are able to come to know the One, the Divine, the Compassionate, the Forgiving, the Comforter who loves us all unconditionally.

  32. Nate says:

    Since this has aired I have been enfuriated by the story. What has shocked me more than anything is that NOBODY, save Dr. has spoken out against this ridiculous action publicly. I attend an IFB, and I can promise you that our leadership is horrified as I have personally addressed this issue with them.

    But I remain disheartened by the refusal to publicly say ANYTHING to denounce any part of the 20/20 show. I have repeatedly told them that silence = acceptance… only to hear more silence.

    I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the leadership at my church would handle things much much differently with regard to discipline and the legal elements to something like this. BUT, I am stunned at the willingness of our movement to speak out loud and clear against many cultural issues that we see as dishonoring to God- but remain silent when its happening within our own doors, with people we went to school with and have seen at church camps.

    This has rocked my world- and frankly if Phelps and Olson would have simply TALKED and been up front- address things head on, they could have killed the issue by simply admitting the stupidity of how things were handled. In the absence of information, people will assume the worst.

    Not sure what to do now…

  33. Nate says:

    Dr Kevin Bauder…
    http://centralseminary.edu/resources/nick-of-time/324-responding-to-the-scanda

    The one voice I have heard from our circles…

  34. jeriwho says:

    I replied to Bauder’s article here:
    http://jeriwho.net/lillypad2/?p=6125

    Then a bunch of his IFB bully boys started calling me names, until I stopped permitting them to post.

    Bauder has not produced a response, for a response implies action, ie, doing something. He wrote words on a page. And has done nothing. In my opinion he has just found a more respectable way to do nothing than the guys who are remaining silent. In contrast, Tina Anderson has responded. Jocelyn Zichterman has responded. The people who showed up at court to support Tina have responded. Several web masters (with me among them) have responded in listing members and elements of the cover up and writing posts to explain the deception in light of Scripture.

    The IFB has done nothing and is still doing nothing. Bauder is simply doing nothing in a more polished way.

    I’m not trying to be rude, but if a bunch of women, who have no power whatsoever in the IFB, can take action in reponse to the wrongs done to a 15 year old girl, then IFB pastors and university instructors are absolutely without excuse, and their hand wringing (those who even bother to do that) is not an acceptable substitute for genuine measures to impose Biblical church government and accountability into the IFB.

  35. [...] of the school react if the report is wide-ranging and devastating? We’ve seen supporters defend BJU in dire situations before, but a report showing a long history of abuse mismanagement would likely [...]

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