Don’t Forget Our Students On The Front Lines

I believe the Lord sent a message to me today, from an unexpected source.  I believe it was a wakeup call to me, to not forget our most precious assets at our Christian schools: our students.  For quite a while now, I have been writing about the state of our Nazarene universities, and the false teaching that is rampant throughout many of them, to varying degrees.  I have expressed my outrage as Rob Bell has been welcomed with open arms, by pastors no less.  I have been outraged as Tony Campolo continues on with his campaign of indoctrinating Christian students with his unbibical social gospel and his mystical pagan practices.  I have been angry as those who are charged with preparing our Christian students with a biblical education, instead are showing a great lack of discernment, or are themselves complicit in spreading heresies in the schools.

Well, that outrage and anger is quite justified, and many of you feel the same way.  Many of you, like me, know very well that anger is appropriate in many situations, especially when it comes to when our students are being led down a wrong way.  But today, I received an email that woke me up to something else that I have been failing to do often enough, and perhaps you may feel the same as I do after reading it.  I received an email from a student who attends Northwest Nazarene University, and I asked for her forgiveness that I have not emphasized enough the prayers and support that is needed for such as her.

I have at times suggested that perhaps we stop sending money to our schools, unless they stop going down the road of apostasy.  But tonight, I ask you to pray for our students.  Particularly for tonight, because at 7 pm, at NNU, the author of The Shack novel will be speaking on the campus, and he will also speak in chapel tomorrow morning.  There will be some there tonight, led by Matt Slick, who will be standing outside and passing out information regarding this novel, and more importantly, to wake up some folks to the things at our schools that have gone the wrong way.

So I ask those who have been so concerned about what is being taught at our schools lately, such as open theism, contemplative mysticism, and so many more false teachings, that we also not forget to focus on the many brave students who are battling within their own schools to fight off the false teachings.  They love their school, and they don’t want to see their school go down.  They are battling to help other students realize that, yes, they can trust in God’s word completely, even if some professors tell them they can’t.  When I think about who is really putting things out on the line at great risk, it not someone like me.  I don’t have a job to lose because of what I write.  I don’t have professors putting pressure on me to parrot their ideology in an exam in order to get a better grade.  All I get is the occasional knuckleheaded comment on my blog by someone who cannot defend their twisted ideology.  That is nothing.

So please pray tonight, and continue praying, for all these students who are boldy speaking truth amongst a majority who don’t care, or don’t seem to care.  Pray for students who right now are standing up to pastors and professors who have failed to uphold biblical truth.  Pray that God will use someone tonight at NNU to open some eyes to the truth.  Pray for all the students in all our campuses who take a bold stand for biblical truth.

Below is the letter I received today.  May the Lord bless and protect every single one of our kids who desire to be faithful to Him in all things.


As a student at NNU, I agree with many of your comments about the school, it has been a continuing frustration for me. I would like to say, though, that there is hope. There is a portion of the student body that is aware of the lack of fear of God in the school. We battle the theology of professors in the classroom, chaplains in chapel, and other students in the cafeteria. We host Bible studies on truth, and pray for the rest of our campus. We help teach those that have no idea what is wrong with what they are being taught.

Today Mr. Young comes to my campus. He will be speaking to my peers, and many will hail his as a wise man. My roommates, the assistant editor of the school newspaper will be there, but she will be biting her tongue the entire time. Tonight I may possibly meet Mr. Young, but I won’t feel like it has been a great honor. Instead, I will weep inside because my college, a university that professes to be a Bible teaching, God believing institution, is proud to have this man on campus. I will be weeping inside because so many of my friends do not understand the danger their souls are in. I will be weeping because this man, who thinks he is wise, is leading thousands of people astray.

While I am also frustrated with Northwest Nazarene University and its teachings, more than a warning against sending students there, I believe that encouragement for those of us who are here is needed. We have a battle ahead of us. We need support and prayer. We need encouragement and love. It is more important than anything, I believe, that a change be made in the school. This change won’t be made if all Bible-believing Christians choose to send their students elsewhere.

Please, before you write the university off as a complete flop, remember those of us who are here and are on the front lines of this battle. We often feel alone, and we need your support and encouragement. We are young and foolish in the eyes of many of our professors. However, we are serving a God who calls the young and unskilled to lead. Please, join us in this task.

Karissa Koberg

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9 responses to “Don’t Forget Our Students On The Front Lines

  1. I am encouraged to see that we still have a young Joshua at NNU! We will be in prayer for you, Karissa, and those that are standing with you. There may be a cost, but it’ll be worth it in the end!

  2. We Bible believers are all feeling the sting of this great apostasy, from the young on the front lines in our schools to the seasoned on the front lines in our churches. I am awestruck over the commitment and courage of so many warriors defending the faith. I am so proud of everyone who is standing firm. Whoever you are, wherever you are, may you be strengthened in the name of our precious Lord Jesus.

  3. God Bless you Karissa. You and the many others will be in my prayers. Stand firm on the trurth of the Word of God. Some will listen and be open to the truth. I am convinced that many are ignorant to the deception and it is our duty to “Contend for the faith once delivered to the saint”. My heart is burdened like yours but you have encouraged me with your faith and willingness to stand up for the truth.

  4. Karissa,

    Your email is both challenging and encouraging. My prayers are with you and with all students, including my own two children, at Nazarene schools who are discerning and knowledgeable enough to see the errors being tacitly permitted, perpetrated and promoted by the very professors, administrators and denominational leaders who should be helping you to defend against them. Please continue to be strong. Speak out if and when you are led by God to do so. Many are behind you, supporting you in prayer!

  5. I am also a student at NNU with Karissa. Please, please, please pray for students like Karissa and myself who take stands that are in disagreement with the theology and positions taken by some at NNU. I say some, because there are many professors and staff at NNU who do not agree with some of what is taught: open theism, theistic evolution, attacks on the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture, etc.

    Karissa needs your very specific prayers right now. I posted a comment on this blog ONCE and was summoned to a meeting by a member of the administration, and admonished to not interact with this blog again, but rather to deal with disagreements internally. So much for freedom of speech or academic freedom.

    I would never put professors at risk, but I often find strong support for what I would consider to be more traditional Nazarene theology in other departments of the school. This is not a godless wasteland, there are students, staff and faculty who still believe in a creative God, who placed us here and gave us His Word to reveal himself to us.

  6. Question: if NNU is still a stronghold for orthodox Nazarene theology, then how come liberalism as such has been permitted to enter, and in such blatantly unscriptural terms?

    I frankly admit to knowing very little about the procedures of hiring and accountability among colleges, but I would think that a blatantly Christian college would immediately deal with anybody who pushed a heterodoxical point. If they were that quick to deal with Larry Nielsen (the previous poster) about posting here, why can’t they be as swift to call bad theology on the carpet?

    Remember Paul’s warning: a little leaven leavens the whole lump. It does not take a supermajority of false teachers to corrupt a church, a university, or even a denomination. It only takes a few unhindered rebels to put seeds of lies into enough heads. We saw this in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with Socinianism, Unitarianism, and Modernism. Those in power in traditionally Christian universities need to really think about how much they wish to consider fraternization with “brothers” who profess blatantly unscriptural points.

    As the great Charles Spurgeon said: Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin.

    As for those students like Karissa, they certainly do need our prayers, and will get them. It’s a difficult thing to have to put up with false teaching, especially in a place whose academic leaders should know better. But more than that, they need the open eyes of the Holy Spirit, and the empowerment of our Sovereign God to work in them that which glorifies Him.

  7. There may be a misunderstanding. I’m not claiming that “NNU is still a stronghold for orthodox Nazarene theology” in terms of saying that is most obvious position to be seen by the casual observer of NNU; quite the opposite from my perspective. I will tell you that there are definitely students, staff and faculty who hold that position. I interact with them, including discussion of these issues, on nearly a daily basis. The noisiest stances taken do seem to be from the more liberal members of the NNU community. I make that observation from an anecdotal, rather than statistical stance.

    Remember that at ANY university, Christian or otherwise, hiring is controlled to a great extent by the department doing the hiring. If we have mostly liberal theologians at NNU, then they are going to hire liberal theologians. From what I can observe this has been going on not only at Nazarene schools, but also at schools belonging to other “conservative” denominations for quite some time. It is easier for the school to bring me in for a cup of coffee and a chat than it is for the administration to impose hiring standards on a department.

    One additional note on the original blog post above. I was not able to observe the event last night where Young spoke because I have an evening class, but I have been listening to other students talk on campus today. Most lack the education and discernment to understand the issues that should be looked at in “The Shack”, so I’m not sure they would understand why anyone would protest. This is not an indictment of the students, these issues take some time to understand.

    The few that did interact with the “protesters” were actually confused why they would be protesting this book and this speaker coming to NNU. Though this will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers, I suspect they may have been confused because if the protest was indeed led by Matt Slick it is possible that the protest may have been as much against traditional Nazarene Theology (Wesleyan-Armenian) as against the heresies, perceived and real, in “The Shack”. Matt Slick is a local Christian Apologist, but in his own words: “Finally, in short, I am a five point calvinist, amillennial, post-trib rapture, peudobaptistic (not for salvation), non-cessationist, and covenantal.” It seems there may be some additional problems that might have been introduced.

    I’ve been too long-winded here, but let me ask again, please pray for the whole school. It’s starting to feel like this might be the year that something exciting happens here, hopefully for the better.

  8. Manny,
    Thanks for the post, as you indicated, we sometimes get so busy we neglect to pray for the students that face liberal professors every day. I thank God for those who stand-up for Christian principles even at the risk of being punished in the way of grades, etc. affecting their overall grade point average.

    The Holy Spirit has given me an interesting truth about Judas Iscariot, and having read the Scripture many times about our Lord’s last days on earth I previously failed to see it. After you read what the Holy Spirit shared with me I think that you will see how it fits our failed leadership or at least why they have failed to act in a positive manner.

    In Matthew [26:] We have the story of Jesus celebrating the Passover with his disciples. You recall that Jesus said that one of you will betray Me. And they all began to ask “Lord is it I.” Jesus identifies the disciple as the one who dipped his hand with Him in the dish. Here is the disdain for Christ shown by Judas when he asked, “Rabbi is it I.” I’ve often thought why would Judas ask such a question when he already knew the answer.

    In my opinion there are only two reasons why Judas asked the question. One, he was secretly hoping against doubt that he would not be found out. And second, if Jesus knew, and he did, then Judas was looking for a pass from our Lord. The pass that Judas was looking for might look something like this, now Judas its ok, I know that you are weak and could not help yourself. But the pass never came, and our Lord is not giving passes today for those who know to do right and not do it. Why is our leadership waiting, are they waiting for God to give them a pass so they won’t have to act upon what is going wrong in the church? If so I don’t think it will come.

  9. All I can say is that we are praying for all who are standing for Truth that they will remain strong and keep fighting and pressing on for our Lord, Jesus Christ! Don’t give up! God is with you!
    “The Lord is good, a refuge in the times of trouble. He cares for those who trust Him.” Nahum 1:7

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