Rob Bell Leaves No Doubt: He Is A Heretic And An Enemy Of God

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  Matt. 18:6

Rob Bell is still causing great harm to many, and it would be good for him to heed the above passage.  After I listened to a recent interview on Premier Christian Radio (and all I needed really was to listen to the first minute) a few things came to mind.  First, what were they thinking when the leadership of the Church of the Nazarene came up with the “brilliant idea” of having Rob Bell as the main speaker at a pastor’s retreat at Point Loma Nazarene University?  See this post-retreat report on Bell’s visit, written by a PLNU alumnus.  You would think they had enough information about Mr. Bell and would have summarily rejected any thought of having him speak to Nazarene pastors.  Welcoming false teachers seems to be a continuing trend at Nazarene schools, as PLNU had Donald Miller for the pastor’s retreat this year (see slide show).

What good can a heretic bring to the table at a pastor’s seminar?  And why do some of Bell’s books turn up as resource materials in theology courses (1)?  Why is Rob Bell considered a good source within a denomination that says it believes in holiness?  What he teaches is far from holiness.  What is the attraction by  “mature” college theology teachers and church pastors to this man’s obvious heretical ramblings?

Rob Bell, who is no longer a pastor, has been a toxic influence for quite a few years now, in the Church of the Nazarene and in practically every evangelical denomination.  His error filled NOOMA video series has been popular with pastors who have used them for Sunday School classes, and during weekly “Bible studies.”  What gets into the minds of these leaders who are constantly turning to the most popular books and using them for “Bible study”, and setting aside the Bible, only to use an occasional reference to a scripture passage?  In any case, why do they continue to insist that Rob Bell is a good resource for Christians in learning how to grow and walk in the Lord?

Rob Bell, I suppose to his credit, is now openly declaring his affirmation of the gay lifestyle, that gay marriage is good, and in this interview, he even gets a bit hot about it and uses a cuss word to express his outrage against Christians who continue to hold the line and preach the word of God as it is written- not as Bell wants it to mean, or as Rob Bell seems to think that Scripture is no longer relevant in the area of homosexuality.  Have you noticed that some pastors dance around the issue and seem to be very afraid of stating their position on this, whether they are for or against gay marriage, or that they cannot answer a question as to whether homosexuality is a sin?  I urge you to ask your pastor where he stands on this matter of homosexuality, gay marriage and sin.  It may not be as obvious as you think.

According to Rob Bell, it is more important to stay attuned to the cultural shifts in society and go with the flow, rather than be a hardliner about what Holy Scripture speaks to us concerning human sexual relations and sin.  To Bell, the Bible is just no longer relevant in this day and age, and so he chooses to ignore its plain teaching in favor of what he prefers, what he feels seems right.

This is the same Rob Bell we have know for years believes the following also, so there is no excuse:

-       The Bible is a human product, not a product of divine fiat

-       Bell is really a universalist, who believes that eventually all will go to heaven

-       He rejects the doctrine of original sin

-       Rejects the notion of penal substitution

-       Rejects the idea that Scripture alone will answer all questions

-       Rejects Scriptural teaching of the reality of heaven for the saved, and hell as an eternal place of punishment for the unrepentant.

-       Questions the virgin birth

-       Bell also promotes contemplative spirituality

-       Bell endorses heretics such as Marcus Borg, who denies the atonement and the doctrine of the cross

Rob Bell misses so many points in the Bible that are so easily understood, it’s a wonder he was a pastor for so long.  Now he is trying to make his mark in Hollywood, and has charged $500 for small groups of people to meet with him for two days of … teaching and discussion.  But we already know what Rob Bell is teaching, and for $500 why would any reasonable Christian want to spend two days with Bell just to get error filled theology?  All he is preaching is the religion of man.

I feel sorry for Rob Bell, and he needs to come to repentance for what he is doing and teaching to countless many people.  I also feel sorry for those who are still using his materials, especially undiscerning pastors who have been deceived by all this emergent church garbage.  Rob Bell has probably caused more damage to the Nazarene and other denominations that we will ever know, and we know that God reserves a bit of extra judgment on those who are charged with the responsibility of teaching others.

Will Rob Bell continue to appear at pastor’s seminars?  Has the leadership in the Church of the Nazarene come to their senses yet?  What about other gay affirming emergent church heretics like Brian McLaren, whose books you will find in various theology course lists at Nazarene universities.  What about gay affirming chaplains in the Nazarene universities?  Why are they being enabled to preach this new concept of “homosexual Christians.”

A final word for Rob Bell and all others in his camp, including pastors who are affirming that homosexuality is okay, and who are having fellowship with sinners as if they were not sinners, and who are not preaching the whole counsel of God on this matter.  Take warning:

“Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:2-3

Additional Resources:

Review of Love Wins, by Matt Slick

 

Video: Rob Bell Promotes Homosexual Marriage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLC-EdQvSgo

 

Rob Bell and His “Christian Universalism”

 

 

(1) Northwest Nazarene University
PRTH6980 Topics in Spiritual Formation  (MDivSF, MASF)

  • Bell, Rob.  *Velvet Elvis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005. (ISBN 978-0310263456)
  • Chalke, Steve. *The Lost Message of Jesus.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (ISBN 978-0310248828)
  • McLaren, Brian D. *A Generous Orthodoxy:  Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative . . . Unfinished Christian.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (ISBN 978-0310257479)
  • Miller, Donald. *A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009. (ISBN 978-0785213062)
  • Willard, Dallas. *The Divine Conspiracy.  San Francisco: HarperOne, 1998. (ISBN 978-0060693336)

    Also: Nazarene Theological Seminary

    Bell, Rob.  *Velvet Elvis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005. (ISBN 978-0310263456)

 

 

Why Can’t They See It? Demonic Activity In Nazarene Schools and Churches

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  James 4:4

An Alarm That Needs to Be Sounded But Will Largely Be Ignored
(John Henderson)

http://youtu.be/Nk_I3fNCWxQ   ENC Harlem Shake
http://youtu.be/iExjofik6wg  Unmasked Version of Harlem Shake
http://youtu.be/9dxWxv376xM  “Original Version” at Mid America
http://youtu.be/Tm23MxS6xz8  Olivet Nazarene University
http://youtu.be/yNCP7YOM3Pk  Olivet Coaches
http://youtu.be/4kHaOnOSGNc  Point Loma Nazarene University
http://www.treveccalive.com/angelotate/harlem-holiness-shake/  Trevecca “Holiness” Shake
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9gh-XlOMvm0#!  Northwest Nazarene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpUABrTCfY  Southern Nazarene

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dtn1Fp5e8A Africa Nazarene University

The above You Tubes clearly demonstrate there is something wrong in our Church of the Nazarene.  Except possibly for the second one (and there were others so vile I could not share them here), they are all at Nazarene Universities.  The one at Olivet is set up by who is apparently the chaplain.

I might say that this is the ultimate emergent heresy unabashed and out of control.  I would be right.  I might say it is just a cousin to the demonic kundalini and I would be right because it is demonic through and through.  People who are demon possessed are not born again because God’s saved cannot be demon possessed.  They can be harassed but not possessed of demons.  These people are demon possessed.

What I do say is a serious question:  Where on God’s green earth are the university presidents, administration, and faculty?  Where, in the precious name of Jesus are the university board members?  Where are the general superintendents, department heads, district superintendents, and major pastors in the Church of the Nazarene?  Why is no one calling a halt to this?

It is ironic that we Nazarenes who stand for the truth of the Scriptures are snubbed, insulted, and demeaned because we raise a voice against this stuff from hell!  It is ironic that pastors are bemoaning the exodus of people and offerings from their churches while they “hee-hee” this filth and continue to offer up cultic substitutes for worship and prayer.  It is ironic that we wring our hands at the consequences of the lawsuit out of the Bethany sex scandal that now forces every Nazarene church to conduct a “background” check on everyone who has direct contact with its children.

Isn’t it high time that we Nazarenes start being Nazarenes?  I tell people that I am a traditional Nazarene, that I am not an emergent Nazarene, a postmodern Nazarene, a new age Nazarene, a progressive Nazarene, and so on.  I take the Bible at its word—God’s Word to be precise.  I believe the creation was a real event.  I believe that God is omnipotent, omni-present, and omniscient—that He knows the future just as if it was today.  I believe that sin is awful and damning and that if anyone is not fully trusting Christ as Savior that person is lost and has only Hell to anticipate and dread.  I believe the Bible is totally true and accurate by divine action.

I believe that God expects us to live above the world in attitude, conduct, speech, and even our outward appearances—we are to live beyond the world-order in holiness of heart, mind, body, and soul.  We are not of the world so we are not to take on its identity in any form.

This world cannot teach us a thing.  We are on a divine mission to win and teach them.  There is to be no compromise or accommodation on our part.  We have a clear message that has often been summarized accurately in three words—repent or perish.

It is so pitiful that we have received a call to intercessory prayer by our denominational leaders leading up to the 2013 general assembly.  It is clear that we need to do that.

A Failure Of The Shepherds To Exercise Leadership In The Church Leads To Such As This
(Manny Silva)

The worldwide phenomenal popularity of a new dance video craze called the Harlem Shake is clearly obvious.  YouTube videos with well over 40 million hits collectively prove that.  It is yet another fad that soon will die out as many other fads do.  Briefly explained, as described in an article by Stand Up For The Truth:

First you see a subdued, well-behaved group or crowd. Suddenly you hear music audio declaring, “Con Los Terroristas!” A sole individual is then seen dancing while wearing a helmet or mask, while the others seem oblivious to the gyrations in their midst. When the song breaks into “Do the Harlem Shake!” the video cuts and shows the room filled with people in costumes dancing wildly and seductively. It is reminiscent of the Golden Calf scene in the Ten Commandments movie.

By the way, Con Los Terroristas  means “with the terrorists.” When you see one of these from a Christian viewpoint, it is clearly a worldly performance that most of the time looks demonic.  Much of it is sensual, oftentimes bordering on the pornographic, with many of the participants often scantily clad, dressed in devilish costumes, and making extremely vulgar gestures.  Certainly not something any professing born again Christian would do, right?

Wrong.

It is now a craze that is sweeping evangelical Christian schools and even church youth groups.  In the Stand Up For The Truth article, they document how Christian organizations such as Liberty University, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Youth Ministry, Kentucky Christian University, Cedarville University, and others, have jumped onto this bandwagon and brought this phenomenon into their chapels and churches!  In one of the videos from a church in San Antonio, Texas, you even see this being performed in the middle of a sermon, with the pastor joining in enthusiastically.  And in a blasphemous performance, a C3 church in Australia did it while re-enacting Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

But… what about Nazarenes?  After all, we are a holiness denomination, are we not?  Surely not us!

Out of curiosity, I did some research.  Why am I not surprised?  The first one I found was actually from my alma mater, Eastern Nazarene College. Probably the many years of a liberal “kids will be kids” attitude, coupled with an ecumenical philosophy and the emergent rejection of doctrine in favor of being like the world, has poisoned the minds of our youth.  And this is the result.  Worldliness in a Nazarene school, or a Nazarene church, and many of the youth and many of the adults have no problem with this at all.  More likely, they think this is cute and so much fun, and think that the world will love how we like to have a good time.

Such is the state of the church, and how it continues to go deeper and deeper into worldliness until it will no longer have any kind of distinction from the non-believers.  (At the end, you will find a full list of what I have found (so far) at our Nazarene universities, churches and youth group meetings).

And will anyone in Nazarene leadership say a word?  Why should they?  They have not taken a serious stand on all the apostasy that has started to destroy the Nazarene denomination, so clearly I do not expect any of our General Superintendents, or our District Superintendents, or any of our college presidents, to say a peep about this.

But if I’m wrong, I guess I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

You make your own judgment about this, but I agree with my friends who have said that this is nothing but demonic activity, and it is truly sad how our university and church leaders have contributed so poorly to the spiritual development of our youth.  The result is this and much more that we have already sounded the alarm about.  And the majority of the sheep sit quietly in the pews, meekly listening to feel good sermons and bragging about how they are proud to be Nazarene.  Well, for the first time in my life, I am no longer proud to be a Nazarene.

As Scripture clearly teaches us, those who are in such positions as supposed shepherds in the church will have much to answer to the Lord someday.

 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”  James 3:1

APPENDIX: (Viewer discretion advised.  As John said, some of these are pretty vile in their content)

Mid-America Nazarene University:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dxWxv376xM

Wenatchee Nazarene Student Ministries:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSwhbacXGz0

Muncie First Church:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MZViVviAgE

Point Loma Nazarene University:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laryefkPsTY

Olivet Nazarene University:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhK6pfgo72U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iExjofik6wg

Bethany First Church Youth Ministry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25UqkFylwHY

Chicago First Church, Edge Student Ministry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe1iI8Y-iEQ

Maysville Nazarene Church:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG-YBKawRkg

Southern Nazarene Univ. student bus:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpUABrTCfY

Eastern Nazarene College:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk_I3fNCWxQ

ENC’s Facebook page brags about it:  http://www.facebook.com/EasternNazarene

Trevecca Nazarene University:
http://www.treveccalive.com/angelotate/harlem-holiness-shake/

Northwest Nazarene University:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9gh-XlOMvm0#!

A Nazarene church in MN:
http://www.ffnaz.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=555:harlem-shake-youth-ministry-style&catid=22:youth-ministry&Itemid=132

Roman Catholic Ritualism Corrupting Nazarene Schools and Churches

The Lenten season is upon us once again. As I have reported before, spiritual formation is one of the key avenues of the demonic influences coming into evangelical churches and universities.  Where spiritual formation is mentioned (another red flag is spiritual disciplines), it is more likely than not that it is an unhealthy emphasis on things other than what God has prescribed for our growth in spiritual maturity.  Christian spiritual formation would be that which is supported by Scripture and follows the model and examples given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles.  The problem is that today’s spiritual formation strays far from God’s word and incorporates inventions of man that goes back as far as the Desert Fathers, who introduced unscriptural methods of “getting closer to God.”  This is being taught at every Nazarene university and seminary.

The following, which I received  last week from an alumnus of Point Loma Nazarene University, is a reflection of the sad decline of the Church of the Nazarene.  We are moving away from a biblically based tradition, to a mystical, ritualistic and experience-based tradition based on man’s inventions.

“So this evening at Point Loma Nazarene University and most likely in other so called Christian universities they will have a “Traditional Ash Wednesday” chapel service.

Today’s chapel service speaker said that “Lent was needed.  The practice of Lent and the ritual of Ash Wednesday is the invitation for God’s spirit to come to you.”

Where does it say that in scripture!?!  He then said that this was a practice to “undo unholiness” a “seasonal affection time”. Really!?!

God does not ask us for a season, but if I recall scripture says DAILY…

And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:22)

Yes! I’m going to say it! If you are at Point Loma , any university, or any church service that is offering you a “Traditional Ash Wednesday” service, DON’T GO! The Word of God does NOT require this ritual or practice of you! God keep us in His TRUTH!!!  END QUOTE

In listening to that chapel service (Wednesday Feb. 13) with speaker Jamie Smith, I could barely finish it without hearing in almost every other sentence a promotion of Lenten practices that I had never before seen in my dad’s ministry or in any other Nazarene pastor’s ministry, nor during my years at Eastern Nazarene College.  Although the speaker mentioned Psalm 51, he used it erroneously to justify the practices of “spiritual disciplines” during a prescribed Lenten season, as if they are biblically mandated and necessary for spiritual growth.  I can smell this stuff a mile away it seems, because these people consistently have the same goal: move away from clear doctrine in Scripture, and embrace a lifestyle of experientialism and ritualism.  The result is a rejection of clear instruction from God, and a welcoming of your own personal “experience” of God, and a formulaic, unbiblical way of “doing” things to get an outcome.

Consider more of what Jamie Smith said in light of Scripture:

“So the church… is a peculiar people who are sort of stretched… which is why we keep time differently.  One of the ways the church has tried to embrace this peculiarity, this difference, is by inhabiting different calendars, different rhythms and seasons, with feasts and fasts, which are all meant to regulate and circle us back to the life of Jesus Christ.

“And so, around the world today, Christians will observe what we know as Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the season of Lent.  It’s a season of disciplined denial and focused confession.”

“I want to encourage you to see the spiritual disciplines associated with Lent as the answer to the prayer of Psalm 51.  The spiritual disciplines of denial are the answers to prayer in Psalm 51.”

“So the Psalmist’s prayer “create in me a clean heart”… that prayer now is answered in the gifts that God gives us, of bodily tactile disciplines, the visceral ritual of Ash Wednesday, and the ascetic practices of denial that accompany Lent.”

“Friends, I encourage you to receive in a way the ritual of Ash Wednesday and the disciplines of Lent as yet another way that our gracious God meets us right where we are.”

“This is how the Spirit of God creates in us a clean heart,  by meeting us in the practices and disciplines that are invitations into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. God actually knows that the way to our hearts is through our bodies.”

“And there is something tangible and bodily and visceral about the practices of denial, and the rituals of Ash Wednesday that are a way of God marking His love on our hearts.”

“We tend to assume that we will think our way into holiness.  We assume that we will get some information that will finally trigger a way for us to follow Jesus in the way that we’re supposed to do.” 

“We don’t think our way into holiness…. But what primarily drives our behavior… our actions… what moves us in the world is not for the most part the outcome of some logical conscience deliberative choices we make, it’s in fact governed by the power of habits we’ve acquired.” 

“It’s a season in which the Holy Spirit wants to tap into your affections and order them to the Kingdom of God.”

“…to see these rhythms and rituals as the conduits of the Spirit’s power is because I really think we need a paradigm shift in the way we think about sanctification.”

Very little of this is Scripturally sound, if any.  But I was not surprised by any of this, considering that Jamie Smith wrote a book called Desiring The Kingdom.  In the book, he makes the premise that ritual, or liturgy, is that which comes first, before someone’s Christian worldview or theology is formed.  In other words, he believes that “doing things” first, will then formulate what you believe inwardly.  This I straight out of works based Roman Catholic theology.

There is nothing Scriptural about Ash Wednesday rituals, or ashes to the forehead, or giving up something for Lent.  There is nothing “traditional” about it, other than it being man’s tradition, not God’s.  Yet, the Nazarene denomination and its leaders are defying God’s word and are shamelessly going forward with another year of Ashes to Fire, Lent, and the various mysticism based practices we have been warning about.  I have warned many times that the Nazarene leadership seems to be complicit with efforts to mix Roman Catholicism and mystical practices into a denomination that claims to preach holiness.  Should not the leaders, whose duty it is to interpret church doctrine, either explain how these practices are Scriptural, or if not, speak out against them?

Some Nazarene churches last week had Ash Wednesday services complete with the ritual of ashes being placed on the forehead.  There is no doubt it is happening, the only question is, what is the motive?  And what of those Nazarenes sitting in the pews who felt a bit awkward as others got up to receive their ashes?   Did they feel less pious for not going up?  And did the recipients feel good about a practice which never existed before in a denomination that preaches “holiness unto the Lord?”  Is this a way of attracting those of the Roman Catholic faith, by saying, “look at us, see, we are just like you.”

A Church Now Focusing On Experience, Instead of Doctrine

All these things are part of the “experience” that comes with the contemplative mysticism being introduced, and even some charismatic based revival. It’s prayer stations, and prayer labyrinths, and lectio divina, etc, etc. Do this ritual, or do that ritual, follow these steps, and you will get closer to God. We are exchanging a real experience with God through knowing His word and through prayer, for activities that are not prescribed by the Lord. Instead, the focus is taken away from Jesus, and becomes a focus on ourselves, and what WE do, not what He has done for us.

As many Nazarenes now focus on that magical goal of 40 days of Lent, what then after that?  How is your life after this specified time period going to look like?  Is this like the Super Bowl experience, where the hype builds up over time until the big event, and then we go back to “normal” until the next time around?  Do you really think that this is a “special” time God has set aside for you to grow spiritually, or is not God’s desire that we grow spiritually every day, without any gimmicks?

The bottom line is that no ritual can make our hearts become right with God, and instead, we may end up being only filled with personal, sinful pride for thinking “look at me, I’m better because I did this, and you did not.”

In his article Spiritual Formation at Worship, Dr. Gary Gilley states:

 “Deliberate asceticism, harsh treatment of the body and abstinence from acceptable activities, actions and food, may have the appearance of spiritual activity but have no effect on our souls, nor do they enhance our spiritual development. Lent is a hold-over from ascetic practices of the past that have no direct spiritual value.”

The danger of participating in these practices is that the Nazarene church will also eventually tell you, as the RCC does now, that these “new” liturgical practices are required for our “spiritual formation,” thus resulting in the practices of man once again casting aside the teachings of Holy Scripture.

I close with a word from Colossians 2:20-23 which I believe speaks to these issues:

“If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

 

Recommended Resources:

 Spiritual Formation at Worship, by Dr. Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel

Point Loma Summer Retreat Encourages Interfaith Worship With Unbelievers

Spiritual formation in the Nazarene churches, universities and seminaries is NOT a biblical endeavor.  It is merely a nice sounding way of introducing contemplative mysticism to the masses without using terminology that might scare some people.  It is a cancer on the church that will continue to cause great damage unless it is cleaned up.  Yet, you will find spiritual formation, including occultism, being taught at Nazarene Theological Seminary and practically all the Nazarene universities.  Lessons are not being learned; warnings are not being heeded; administrators have bought into it; and national leaders continue ignoring the many signs of spiritual decay.

We have seen it trickle in by way of seemingly harmless practices and rituals that used to be solely the purview of Roman Catholic tradition.  It sneaks in under the umbrella of celebrating the Lenten season; it sneaks in through the use of Sunday School quarterlies and such programs as Ashes To Fire.  It is evident through the programs being used for the youth, primarily promoted through the extremely dangerous Barefoot Ministries as well as Nazarene Publishing House.  But the warnings fall on mainly deaf ears, and most likely the following issue will also.  It all points to the severe compromise of church leaders today.

What am I talking about?  Point Loma Nazarene University, along with San Diego First Church of the Nazarene, is encouraging mysticism, ecumenicalism and interfaith worship with unbelievers to its college students.

A summer retreat called Taize 2013 is being offered to students.  The website states the following:

A unique trip is being offered through San Diego First Church  (the church on campus) during the summer of 2013.  A cross-generational group will be taking a pilgrimage to Taizé, France to spend a week in community, in worship and in spiritual reflection.  This will be followed by a week of service in a nearby location.

Students will be spending a week Taize (pronounced Ta-zay), a monastery in France, and the stated purpose is that it is a

“spiritual formation trip, aimed at those seeking intentional devotional time, Sabbath, fellowship, and space to seek and listen for God in a cross‐cultural setting.  Taize is a community made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations.  From its beginning the community has been inspired by two aims: to live in communion with God through prayer and to be a leaven of peace and trust in the midst of the human family. A stay at Taizé is an opportunity to seek communion with God in prayer, singing, silence and reflection.”

I have previously written about Point Loma’s fascination with Taize, and Northwest Nazarene University’s embrace of Taize worship.  Their explanation at best waters down what Taize stands for, although please note that there is no emphasis mentioned about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That’s because Taize does not stand for, and never has stood for, the spreading of the Gospel.  Not the true Gospel anyway.

The following is excerpted from LightHouse Trails Research:

“Taize is a form of contemplative worship that incorporates mystical practices and interspiritual beliefs [an odd term?  Probably means, “all roads lead to the same Heaven,” or something similar.]

’Short chants, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character,’ the brothers explain in a brief introduction printed in the paperback songbook. ’Using just a few words, [the chants] express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being.’”

The entire matter is “just another indication that contemplative spirituality is no respecter of denominations. Nearly all are affected and influenced.”

Taize Worshipers:  “Practicing the silence with icons, candles, incense and prayer stations, this very contemplative community is attracting young people from around the world.”

In John Henderson’s post on my blog on Nov. 11, 2011, he states the following to which I am in agreement:

“I find it enormously puzzling as to why Nazarenes, especially in a Nazarene university or a Nazarene church, would have so easily abandoned the simple faith in Christ for this satanic form of the worship of strange gods and evil spirits—and then call them by God’s names.  An even greater wonder is how they unabashedly resort to mauling the Word of God to force-fit those precious words of life to this spiritual sludge.  They seem to sense no shame in it but, rather, boast in it and lie that God is pleased with it.  It is worse than Sodom and Gomorrah and I fear that God’s judgment will not tarry much longer.  I had rather be in Heaven when it breaks open but He might keep me here to witness it and I just do not look forward to that.”

It’s more than Taize that is going on here, in spite of the school’s recent rejection of an on campus LGBTQ group, which most likely they had no choice.  This school is being corrupted daily and is rotting from the inside out, taking students with it down the road of apostasy.  And once again, while “Rome burns”, our irresponsible leaders at all levels do nothing.

A Host of Problems

It is the promotion of contemplative spirituality by way of other retreats, such as the Jesus Prayer Retreat at Point Loma Nazarene University, conducted by Frederica Matthewes-Greene of the Orthodox Church.  What Matthewes-Greene promotes is nothing more than Roman Catholic style mysticism, including praying to icons, as I noted in the post Blind Guides.  She also spoke at a student chapel the week of the retreat, where she promoted these false teachings, with the approval of college leaders.

In a post on May 9, 2011 entitled Would Jesus Attend PLNU?, problems were addressed such as: false teacher Brian McLaren speaking in a chapel service; universalist Rob Bell speaking at a pastor’s retreat; a biology professor promoting Darwinism and evolution; the failure to immediately as a gay activist student chaplain to step down from his position; the retreat sponsored by Richard Foster’s Renovare organization, which promotes mysticism.

And in his article on spiritual formation, Dr. Gary Gilley concludes:

“The “face” of the Spiritual Formation Movement, as well as contemplative spirituality and emergent Christianity, is often first noticed within evangelical churches by the incorporation of traditional Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox practices and liturgies. Many of these practices are being introduced at special events and eventually find their way into the regular services of the church. Worshippers are often confused by what they are experiencing and do not understand what is taking place. It should be understood that when traditions borrowed from errant groups such as Catholics and Orthodoxy are taken into evangelical worship and life, and are done so without a careful examination of Scripture, what is being adopted is more than just methods. There is a comprehensive, and in many ways wrong, theology upon which these practices rest. Methods do matter, and we are naïve to think that we can take techniques from false religions and not eventually embrace their theology.”

I cannot explain to you exactly why all this is happening.  I do know that these things are not of God, and yet it is being condoned over and over again by our supposedly mature spiritual leaders.

I will conclude with a few admonishments from Holy Scripture that address the problem with Taize worship and this upcoming summer retreat:

James 4:4-5 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Amos 3:3  Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

 

Resources:

Spiritual Formation (Dr. Gary Gilley) http://www.svchapel.org/resources/articles/133-spiritual-formation-movement/783-spiritual-formation-at-worship

Petition To Support A PLNU Decision

There is much criticism to be said about Point Loma Nazarene University, and I certainly have in the past.  Point Loma has much to do in order to restore a strong biblical foundation to the university.

But today is not my day to criticize them in their shortcomings, but to support a decision they have recently made.  So, when such a decision is made by them that abides by God’s word, in the face of public pressure, they need to be commended and encouraged to stand their ground.  So today I am asking you to go to the following website and add your name in support of that decision.  For details on this, see related articles at the end of this post.

PETITION DETAILS:
I just signed the petition “Point Loma Nazarene University: I love students who struggle with same gender attraction, but I support your decision not to allow an LGBTQ club!” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 1,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

https://www.change.org/petitions/point-loma-nazarene-university-i-love-students-who-struggle-with-same-gender-attraction-but-i-support-your-decision-not-to-allow-an-lgbtq-club

Please pray for the students at Point Loma who have been deceived into thinking that homosexuality is compatible with Christianity.  Much of this confusion has been brought about by those in the emergent church movement, such as Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and Tony Jones.  This fallacy is leading many towards hell.

Related articles:

http://www.10news.com/news/gay-themed-group-denied-charter-at-point-loma-nazarene-university-121112http://www.10news.com/news/gay-themed-group-denied-charter-at-point-loma-nazarene-university-121112

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDBpf5WVA1o

 http://www.bridgepointloma.com/hear-these-words-of-mine/