I thought I had seen the worst in this emergent/extreme liberal/man-centered movement that is creeping into our denomination ever so quickly and quietly as each day goes by. But I have not yet, and I’m afraid there will be worst to come. The infiltration of emergent ideology and all its various cousins of New Age, universalism and pantheistic thought is just marching on, seemingly with nary a word from our leadership. One major concern is the influence on the universities, and the students that are being introduced to heretical teachings- but not with the intention of showing them what is wrong with these ideologies. Oh no, my friends, believe me, this is a trend which has been going on for a while, and these professors (some are guests, some are Nazarene professors) are being welcomed, and allowed to spread their poison, unchallenged, masquerading their teachings as if they should be accepted as part of normal Christian belief!
My friend Pastor Joe has posted a link on our FaceBook site to a video of a guest lecture by Dr. Jay McDaniel at Northwest Nazarene University. I have attached the video at the end of this post. Feel free to go there and read some of the dialogue and concerns amongst Nazarenes and other Christians, especially as each of them viewed the video and had difficulty getting through it all. I went back several times to Dr. McDaniel’s video, and have not yet finished it. In the introduction alone, I heard enough that turned my stomach, and I asked, what else is coming in the rest of the lecture, which lasts about an hour, plus some questions and answers after that.
Northwest Nazarene University has its own Dr. Tom Oord as a professor there. He is known for his support and advocacy of the twin heresies of Open Theism and Process Theology. At the lecture, you will see Dr. Oord later towards the end as he walks around with a microphone for questions for the audience. I had been to a lecture by Dr. Oord at Eastern Nazarene College, where he spoke as a guest speaker. I challenged him on some issues related to death and how it came into the world, and I recall that his response to me when I quoted Romans 5:12 as the reason why death came into the world, was that he disagreed with me on that answer. Dr. Oord also supports evolution and does not believe in the biblical account of creation. If I am wrong, I hope he can correct me on that. (Disclaimer: not all professors at NNU have bought into this emergent/contemplative ideology, but NNU is a hotbed of emergent and contemplative false teachings).
Here is the link to the lecture by Dr. McDaniel. It is 80 minutes long, including the Q&A, but I urge you to watch as much as possible, because this goes to yet another level that many of us would not have imagined as Nazarenes. This man is promoting heretical ideology to our students, unchallenged as far as I know, and I believe he is another false teacher, based on his very words. He is apparently a big admirer of Thomas Merton, a Roman Catholic monk who mixed Eastern religions with Christianity and was a panentheist, which is the belief that God is IN ALL THINGS.
From an excerpt of his writings, and the lecture, it seems Dr. McDaniel is an advocate of pantheism, the belief that God is in ALL. He apparently is also a universalist, based on listening to his lecture. Just for starters, here is a brief transcript of the introduction of Dr. McDaniel. This was disturbing enough, but you really need to see the entire lecture in order to see the impact of it:
Introduction: “….Theology of Reverence For Life, and Ghandi… See More’s Hope of Learning From Other Religions as a Path to Peace. While a student at a Methodist seminary many years ago he was influenced by the writing of the late Catholic monk, Thomas Merton, whose interest in other religions, especially Buddhism, began to shape his own life. At the same time, he was asked to be the English teacher for a Zen Buddhist monk from Japan and their friendship affected him deeply, as well. He began to believe that Christianity can be and is a way of living in the world that is open to truth wherever you find it, including other religions and including the felt presence of the Earth.”
Here are some additional transcripts which I had written down (my words in red):
“I was influenced by the Catholic writer, Thomas Merton who was a monk.”
“Thomas Merton was a wonderful writer”
“I was interested in Merton because I wanted to be a Christian with roots and wings.”
“I had fallen into a kind of Christianity that I would say had inflexible roots, but no wings. Now that is a metaphor for a way of being Christian that is so tied to a tradition or a set of beliefs that they become a box. And you can’t learn anything new. You can’t look outside the box.”
McDaniel admired Merton “because he was open to truth wherever he found it.”
He quotes a Buddhist who he spent some time teaching English “I know that you are me, and I am you too, but you don’t know that.”
“By the way, if one of my children happens to go to hell, I would like to go there with them.”
“Maybe my Buddhist friend can help me think about God in a fresh way.”
“I, to this day, feel grateful to a Buddhist for helping me understand my own faith more deeply. He knew something I needed to know.”
And so that made me begin to wonder: can we Christians be more open? Can we be more receptive to people of other religions, than we so often have historically?
Can that be part of our good news to the world?…can our good news to the world be that we will listen, with a willingness to be touched? With a willingness to be moved? With a willingness to be in a way, converted, into deeper forms of love, with their help?”
Finally, here is a link that shows you some of his clear affinity for panentheism, the belief that God is IN ALL:
These are just some short excerpts. The rest is very disturbing, and I believe a great majority of Nazarenes will be upset as well. Particularly if you have children who are going to, are will soon go to, a Nazarene university, you will want to, at the very least, ask some hard questions of the administrators at NNU and other colleges. If NNU and any other schools refuse to uphold Nazarene principles, then they ought to the Nazarene name from the school, and not call it Nazarene. I for one will not give a penny to NNU if they asked, until they repent from the direction they are going. How much more should we tolerate and allow to go on without raising our voices? What else can we expect our universities to bring in, in the name of “educational freedom?”
I have sent a link to this video to our General Superintendents, and I hope they will be able to see this. I have asked them if they could possibly sent me their thoughts on whether they believe this is acceptable or not at any Nazarene university or seminary.
May God open the eyes of many in our denomination, and bring them discernment. We are fighting heresy, plain and simple.
I urge all Nazarenes who are as concerned about this, to start asking more questions of our leadership, until we get answers.
“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent.” (Isaiah 62:6)