​Eastern Nazarene College Rejects The Bible, Moves Towards Affirmation Of Homosexuality​

Quite the headline, isn’t it?  If you still want to continue sending your children to Eastern Nazarene College, you do so at their peril.  If you know all of what I have been reporting to you in the last few years, and still want to send them there, I question your level of discernment and interest in instilling biblical values for your children.

I’m typing this up rather quickly.  When I was notified of this story, I had mixed reactions.  One was of mental fatigue from seeing nothing but bad news about the state of the Nazarene denomination.  I’m afraid we will be going from worse to worse, and more bad stories will come to light.​

​I don’t have much interest in writing a long piece on this, I will just let the original article enlighten you as to the depths that the leaders at my old school have gone, and continue to do so apparently.  This fits other pieces of the puzzle well anyway, so I am not surprised.  In this chapel message from last year, listen as ENC chaplain Corey McPherson talks about Homosexuality: What Does God Think?  Dr. McPherson speaks more like a confused college student, rather than a spiritual leader who is supposed to give biblical guidance to the students.  But I am certain all the leaders including President McGee are on board with this kind of thinking.  No surprise, since the Nazarene denomination embraces Rob Bell, and Brian McLaren, both who support gay marriage and homosexual “Christians.”

They all need to resign or need to be fired.​

As I write this, I am borrowing a paragraph that a friend posted earlier tonight, which expresses my exact sentiments:

“I do not need to say anything about this except to say they have gone way too far here. I will not waste time debating these compromisers of scriptural truth. It is time for a separation and they must be the ones to go, not true Nazarenes. We must have the fortitude to demand that they vacate the premises of our churches and institutions. As long as we remain timid, they will wax worse and worse because we are too fearful or too blindly loyal to a memory that has faded into the past to any longer stand for the truth. Oh, the judgment God will bring upon us if we let this go unchallenged. There is no longer a place for being neutral. Doing nothing is the same as supporting it.”

Here is the article:

Evangelical Colleges Inching Toward Affirmation of Homosexuality

​(source)
A recent article on the CNN Belief Blog highlighted the trend of Evangelical colleges inching toward culturally acceptable views of homosexuality. The article highlighted Wheaton College, which in February established an official group for “students to explore questions of gender identity and sexual orientation.” Although Wheaton College receives the most attention because of its prominence, other Evangelical schools are making similar moves.

Last week at Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) student group called ‘Love of God Bringing Triumph,’ announced the college administration approved an LGBT support group through the school’s counseling and health services center. Although the administration denied the group’s initial request for an official club because of concerns about breaches in confidentiality, the new “support group” through the counseling center will ensure the privacy of all students involved.

The new group will only be open to those who identify as “members of the LGBT community, and will walk alongside them as they wrestle through issues that are common to being LGBT.” Some students complained that facilitating the group through the school’s counseling center implies homosexuality is a problem requiring counseling, rather than a legitimate orientation to be affirmed. One student told the college newspaper “I don’t want this to be an excuse for those kids to be put into counseling, because that’s not what they need, they need our support as a community.”

Dr. Vernon Wesley, vice president for Student Development at ENC acknowledged “The questions of ‘affirming’ and ‘condoning’ as a Christian college continue to hover over us.” Athena Horton, a senior who submitted the initial proposal for an official LGBT club said “By even allowing a group to happen in this format, ENC’s administration is saying to the student body that they care about the wellbeing of all of its students—not just the straight ones.” Further, she is “grateful that we have this group, and that we are beginning a journey that is moving in a positive direction when it comes to the LGBT among us.”

In another article for the student newspaper, Horton said “Being LGBT in society today is difficult enough with the stigmas associated with it, but being a part of a Christian community whose denominational stance is that ‘Homosexuality is one means by which human sexuality is perverted … and subject to the wrath of God’ (as stated in the Church of the Nazarene Manual ’09-’13) is even more difficult.’”

Conservative Christian colleges have become a battleground for the LGBT movement’s goal to gain universal acceptance and affirmation. Traditional Christian teachings on sexuality are an affront to their goals, so groups like Soulforce have aggressively targeted Christian campuses to further their agenda. ENC’s group is not the result of Soulforce activity, but illustrates the continued trend of students, alumni, faculty and staff of Christian colleges shifting toward a progressive approach to sexuality. Despite this shift, for LGBT activists establishing a student group within a counseling center is insufficient and even offensive because it indicates homosexual practice is aberrant behavior. Consequently, activists view such groups as a mere first step toward unqualified affirmation.

Soulforce was established in 1998 “to end the religious and political oppression of LGBTQ people” and they specifically target young Christian students through their “Equality Rides” to “hostile” campuses across the country. These “Rides” have “catalyzed conversations and dialogue at these otherwise silent institutions. Soulforce has witnessed real change in practices and policies.” They complain counseling given to students who openly identify as LGBT is “harmful,” “ex-gay,” or “‘reparative’ therapy.”

Through Equality Ride’s seven year history, 14 Christian colleges they visited have relaxed policies on homosexuality. In the same time, “Twenty-five schools and counting have some form of supportive student group, and at least 20 have LGBTQ alumni organizations [not necessarily Christian schools].”

Soulforce knows they will sway young Evangelicals by starting seemingly innocuous “conversations and dialogue,” because many students are unsure what they believe about homosexuality. “Equality Rides” include sessions on scriptural interpretation, intended to dismiss biblical prohibitions of homosexuality.

Without receiving clear instruction on traditional Christian and scriptural teachings about sexuality, often these young believers are ill equipped to defend a faithful perspective on homosexual practice. They are bombarded with messages about “equality,” “tolerance,” and are called “bigots” if they don’t affirm a homosexual lifestyle. When they don’t know how to respond to reinterpretations of scripture, some ultimately conclude there is no legitimate reason to view homosexuality as sinful; that such a belief has no place among their tolerant, nonjudgmental generation.

Christian institutions will have to clearly address homosexuality as the culture increasingly affirms it and more people within the Church openly struggle with same-sex attraction. It is understandable that administrators at these schools recognize the challenges Christian students experiencing same-sex attraction face and want to help and disciple them. At the same time, historically faithful Christian academic institutions should recognize that the ultimate goal of establishing groups expressly for students who identify as LGBT is to legitimize the idea that one’s “sexual orientation” is an inherent and defining characteristic of his personhood.

Christian colleges are communities of young people who are figuring out who they are and what direction their lives will take. They are made up of broken, human people struggling with innumerable sins, all needing discipleship, mentorship, and guidance. Homosexuality is one among many issues students face, and should be addressed with genuine Christian love. Our culture is confused about what it means to be human, and uniquely a man or woman and the Church ought to be a light of clarity amid the chaos. Although a campus is not a church, these institutions play a key role in shaping their students’ lives and they are responsible to clearly teach and equip Christian students to follow God’s design for their lives, including their sexuality.

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2013/April08/087.html#.UWRaAhlp62x

 

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7 responses to “​Eastern Nazarene College Rejects The Bible, Moves Towards Affirmation Of Homosexuality​

  1. The ‘homosexual issue,’ for lack of a better term, is one of several with the potential to tear the Nazarene Denomination apart. The question that governs our approach on this matter as we enter a new quadrennium is not whether homosexual practice is sinful or acceptable. That question has been asked and answered. The question is not even how should local churches address the issue. The question is, How will the Church of the Nazarene reach out for, minister to, share the love of God with, and win people of the GLBT life to Christ?

    I commend Dr. MacPherson for the transparency, vulnerability and courage he displayed in not only addressing this highly charged, controversial topic but I also commend him for the way in which he addressed it.

    “If you are a student here at ENC who is gay, bi-sexual or questioning your sexual orientation there are two things I’d like to share with you. Please know that you are loved, cared for and highly valued by this community. We are thankful for you and that you are a part of our community. We recognize that we still have much to learn on how to best demonstrate and express our love for you and everyone else. Please know that it is our hearts desire and prayer to love you as Christ loved the church and for he gave his life for the church. And we trust that God will lead us to a deeper and better understanding on how to love one another. … Because of my love for you I cannot affirm or disciple you in a direction I do not believe of God. … We can still have a deep loving friendship and relationship if you wish to do so. Second and most importantly, know that you are loved and deeply valued by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we all live with this Christlike redemptive focus and never forget these two truths.” – Dr. Cory MacPherson 4-13-2012, Homosexuality: What Does God Think.

    I understand that by using the Brickley Center to provide support, guidance, care and counsel for students struggling with issues relating to sexual identity ENC has intentionally set to answer the question: How will our college reach out for, minister to, share the love of God with, and win people of the GLBT life to Christ? I would much rather our students have a support of committed Christian people to, “walk alongside them as they wrestle through issues that are common to being LGBT” than be abandoned, feeling rejected, undervalued, and left to find their own way in this hostile world. (For source see, ENC News article, President’s Cabinet Approves LGBT Support Group in Biickly, by Cody Shepherd, Editor-In-Chief, March 2013.)

    Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him – 1 John 3:18-19

    I do not believe, as some do, that affirming a student’s personhood and their value to God and the community is the same as condoning their sinful behavior. In the same way I do not believe that simply because ENC has sought to provide loving, Christian support to their students of the GLTB life they have taken the position that homosexual behavior is consistent with the Christian life. The Chapel message by Dr. MacPherson and the article in the campus news lead me to believe just the opposite. As an Alum of ENC I applaud the college for her willingness to set herself to the difficult task of loving and supporting all the students entrusted to her care.
    – rumfordrev

  2. Paul in his letter to the Romans addresses the problem of homosexuality as being so bad there is no sin, which so powerfully shows the depravity of man as this. Romans [1: 24-28] Paul never brought any condemnation against heathen sinful practices as being unfounded rather it was painfully clear. Here he equates the shameful practice to that of Sodom. Those who practiced such sinful behavior in Paul’s day not only practiced it, but also gloried in it. Its boundary was not limited to any specific class of people; it reached across all classes of society. What is shocking among the Cretians there was a law encouraging that sort of behavior. In Rome, boys, were trained to take part in this detestable behavior.

    The church has a responsibility not to fall prey to the cunning rhetoric of groups like Soulforce. Their agenda is to advance the LGBT movement. Their goal is to convert the church to their side, not the other way around. They want stop until they get laws passed like those in Paul’s day so there will be wide acceptance of such practices and enslave people to take part. Their burning lust makes conversion near impossible as Paul points out. Do not underestimate the stronghold Satan has on those who practice such acts. This is, seen in God giving them over to their debased mind because they no longer wanted to retain God in their thoughts. Just as in Paul’s time, there are parallels of this happening here in our own backyard. Our nation is following down the same path as Rome.

    There are probably not too many families who do not have a relative who has chosen an alternate life style. Yes, we all need to pray for their conversion, as we would do for any other sinner. However, we cannot embrace, or endorse their lifestyle in any fashion as to give the impression of endorsement as it appears.

  3. rumfordrev,

    Apparently you skipped mentioning other things Dr. McPherson said.

    I will be doing a full report on that message. Those words you quoted, which were early on in his message, were about the best you could get out of it.

    Here are some other things he said:

    “Though I was attending Nazarene seminary at the time I was still moving more and more and more in the direction of affirming him in his lifestyle and homosexuality in general… just because I was attending Nazarene seminary did not mean I would become a Nazarene pastor. For if I was not in agreement with such a foundational point to Christian living…I knew I should not be a pastor in the Nazarene church.”

    “The issue of homosexuality and what does God think took on a whole new perspective for me. And I could not help but continue to think… what if I’m wrong? What if what the church has been teaching me, has been wrong?”

    Talks about how some “seminaries are now supporting and affirming a homosexual lifestyle, meaning they would say it is not a sin to live a sexually active gay lifestyle in a committed loving monogamous relationship.”

    “And we soon began meeting people and having gay friends who were in committed and long term monogamous relationships. I couldn’t help but think, what if we’re wrong?”…

    “You can’t help but put on a whole new perspective when someone you love is gay. I was gradually coming to the point where I was affirming the gay and lesbian lifestyle. By affirming I mean encouraging him and I mean believing that an active gay lifestyle in a committed monogamous relationship is acceptable by God.”

    It wasn’t the Bible that led me to this as much as my experience with these friends and loved ones.”

    Does not sound like a pastor who can rightly divide the word of truth.

    Manny Silva

  4. Manny,
    The quote is actually from the ending of the sermon not the begining as you supose. Listening to the entire message from beginig to end one finds couched between the graceful words of love I quoted (because the message begins and ends on a very similure note) a personal journey of discovery. The quotes you share discribe the difficulty Cory was having, and the struggle involved as The Lord led him to the place he is now which is reflective in the quote I shared. The quotes you share are descriptive of the struggle he went through to arive at the point of his message which was stated and restated at both the begining and the end. If all someone heard of the message were the thinks you quoted than the conclussion you draw would be approprate. However, context (understanding the message as a whole) leads one to conclude that Cory gracefully divided theword of truth with faithfunessand honor.

    The key question at hand for me on this issue is larger than this. If ENC is moving in the wrong direction by establishing support, guidence, and care to her GLBT students through the Brickley center than how shoud the college reach for, minister to and share the love of God with those students?

    Thank you,
    rumfordrev

  5. So when Dr. McPherson relates how his church shared a worship service with a church pastored by a homosexual pastor, where in his account does he tell of how he preached against the sin of homosexuality? Its not’s there. Because he did not. He apparently is okay that a church is pastored by a man fooling himself that he is a Christian. That is certainly the impression he left for all the students to understand. Shameful.

    He says it was a “wonderful evening of worship.” So he focused on “what unites us in Christ, not what separates us”. But as you should know, sin cannot unite any two people in Christ. He later equates the two different groups as Christians. But that’s not true, is it? One cannot be a homosexual and Christian, can he? He later makes it clear that he held communion for this church for homosexuals. Would you do the same thing? Would you have joint worship services also with a church pastored by a homosexual pastor?

    Quote: “…two groups that have often been seen as incompatible set aside their differences to focus on similarities that make each of them Christian.”

    Quote: “I’m still wrestling, I’m still trying to understand.” Understand what?

    Quote: “I have no agenda with my gay friends and loved ones… other than to love them.” What he does not say is how he loves them, and if he does not share the Gospel with them, and tells them they are in sin, and heading towards hell in their sin as Scripture says…. he really does not love them.

    Instead of using the clear guidance of Scripture, he quotes William Webb in stating how we should deal with this issue. He then refers to homosexuals as brothers and sisters. Does he mean in Christ? If so, he is wrong.

    It seems to me you agree with Corey that he and the homosexual pastor he spoke about, are both Christians. That is not possible, according to God’s word. But I am not surprised, because there is much that you support and defend that is wrong, including many in the emergent church movement who affirm homosexuality as being compatible with Christianity. There is a big divide between you and me, and only one of us can be on the right track.

    But as I said again, Corey does not know how to divide the word of God rightly- and apparently neither do many of the leadership at ENC. He left the students with a confusing message that lacked the clear message of the power of Jesus Christ, who can free anyone from ANY sin- not just the sin of homosexuality. He never gave that message. Was he afraid to tell the truth and perhaps help convict someone of their sin? Instead, he enabled some that day to remain mired in their confused state. He failed to teach the word of God clearly, because he either does not understand it, or he rejects its clear message. Which is why he ought to resign from his position.

  6. Manny,
    I realize that this is your website and you are free to govern it as you wish but If we could just put aside the personal attack long enough to have constructive dialogue we might be able to get one question answered at a time which I would consider a big step in the right direction (even if in the end we don’t answer them the same way).

    As I said in my first post I am not asking the question: is homosexual behavior a sin. As far as I am concerned that question has been asked (ad nauseam) and answered. Let me state this another way: I am not seeking an answer to the question: Is homosexual behavior a sin? What I want to know is: How do we reach out most redemptively to minister to members of the GLBT people in our culture? I want to know, ‘what’s the plan here? How do we connect them to the Gospel story and welcome them into the church in meaningful, transformative ways so that God can do his redemptive work in their lives?’ I seek answers to those kind of questions.

    As far as I can tell Chaplin MacPherson and Eastern Nazarene College has set out in an intentional way, with an intentional plan, to answer those kinds of questions for her community. Now I understand that this may not be the plan you would choose, it may not be the plan that I would chose. It may succeed to bring redemption to many, a few or none at all. God forbid it serve to drive students further away from the loving, redeeming God we have in Christ (which I think is one of your fears with this). I see ENC taking a risk here because the love of God compels them, being convinced that Christ died for all – and I commend her for that.

    If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. – 2 Corinthians 5:13-15

    I am not responding to weather one can or can not be homosexual and christian at the same time. I am responding to the point of your article which I assume is reflected in the title. Please forgive me if I assumed too much. I do not see in any of the information we are discussing where ENC is affirming the practice of homosexuality. I do see them stepping out in a risky endeavor to work redemptivly in the lives of the GLBT students under her care and influence.

    Thanks for listening,
    rumfordrev

  7. I have observed that a lot of “evangelicals” such as Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, and others, are gay affirming and have also approved of same sex marriage, and believe that homosexuals can live monogamous lives with other homosexuals AND be Christian. Brian Mclaren officiated at his son’s same sex marriage this year. Was that something a Christian should do? I wonder if you agree with them or not?

    I have also observed that a lot of people cannot answer questions with a clear answer, or don’t answer at all- but come back with accusations of “personal attacks”, without ever saying what it was that was said. There were no “personal attacks” in anything I wrote. Just the truth.

    And I also observed that while you went out of your way to point out my “mistake” of saying that Dr. McPherson said his comments at the end and not the beginning of his message, yet you have neglected, refused or are unwilling to comment clearly on amore weithy matters I mentioned in my last comments: Corey having worship and fellowship with a homosexual pastor and his church; the equating of “homosexual Christians” as fellow brothers and sisters, and giving them communion; or to whether you agree or not that a homosexual cannot be a Christian at the same time. You said the question has been answered ad nauseum, but have you answered it? Would you ever do these kinds of things in your church, that Dr. McPherson did? I think my answer is clear.

    You even ignored my answer to your question of “how can we reach out most redemptively to them” I gave you the answer, and you overlooked it completely! The answer is to lovingly give them the biblical truth, whether it angers them or not! They must be told as lovingly as possible, that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God, as all others who defiantly reject God’s wisdom and truth for their own wisdom and truth. But we must never compromise or water down the Gospel message in order to make friends with the world.

    Here is the truth:
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    There is NO love in being kind, and gentle, and welcoming, and “affirming”, or “standing with them”, (whatever that might mean), if you DO NOT preach the Gospel plain and simple. It is the opposite of love; it is cruel and wrong and unbiblical.

    You said: “I am not responding to weather one can or can not be homosexual and christian at the same time.”

    You seem to be another pastor who cannot or will not answer this question in a straight forward, biblically based way. I don’t know why, and I don’t know if you will ever give a clear answer, as many others will not also.

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