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

Dan Boone Goes After Bible Believers Again

[Dan Boone likens Bible believing Christians to Islamic fundamental “jihadists”; Dan Boone believes that parts of the Psalms were borrowed from the Pagans; Dan Boone promotes pagan prayer labyrinths, contemplative mysticism and false teachers; Dan Boone is an ecumenist who compromises with a false religion.]

Dan Boone: “Religious fundamentalism is one of the hot topics in the world today and this website has given me the best model, other than Islamic fundamentalism, to demonstrate to students how religious fundamentalism works.”

Dan Boone: “I only argued with them in the first place because they were making false claims about Trevecca, and to expose them for who they really are—religious fundamentalists.   But you can’t have discussions with people whose minds are already made up… Rational conversation with them is not possible”

Dan Boone “Hinduism. I even reminded the writer that God’s people have often taken elements of other religions and sanctified them for Christian use—Canaanite songs became Jewish psalms, pagan feasts became Christian meals, and so on.” (email to a concerned Nazarene)

Dan Boone: “Now, I must confess a sin. I did not listen to some friends who told me that I would not find a rational conversation here. I am most likely viewing these websites for the last time and would urge all thinking Christians to join me in the exit. Maybe we can stun them with our silence.

Dan Boone: “My concern is that we have diminished God by elevating the Bible.” 

Dan Boone: “I believe that God is pained over the tenor of the discussion between the literalists of seven-day creation theories and the evolutionists of the slow creative-process theories. To prove either one correct is not a saving act. God is not wringing his hands hoping we defend the literal interpretation of Gen. 1.”

Dan Boone: “What I find more exciting and authoritative is the thought that the people of God were exiled in the pagan land of Babylon, listening to pagan stories about the origin of the universe, and the breath of God spoke through a prophet giving them a different understanding. They hijacked the Babylonian tale of creation and declared God to be the one who, in the beginning, created creation and came to take up residence with us in the cosmic temple. Now that’s authority” (from letter to area pastors in response to Sue and Don Butler’s article)

Somewhere in his Christian journey, I believe Dan Boone (and the many Nazarenes who believe the way he does) took a detour down the wrong path.  It is evident in his writings, and it is evident in what he believes, practices and defends.  Although we must continue to expose the lies of the emergent church, we must also pray for those who have been deceived by satan into believing the lies, such as Dr. Boone.  Remember that their primary goal in relation to us is not to educate us, but to shut us up.

When it comes to folks who challenge the things he teaches and believes, there is nothing charitable about Dan Boone.  In spite of suggesting a few years ago that people like me should be “stunned with our silence”, he just could not resist again.  President Boone of Trevecca Nazarene University wrote a book a few years ago called A Charitable Discourse, although the content is far from charitable.  Who can take the book seriously when the author suggests that fundamental Bible believing Christians are no better than fundamental Islamic jihadists?

 Now he has written an article in Holiness Today entitled The Screwtape Letters Meets A Charitable Discourse.  If you are not familiar with the fictional book by C.S. Lewis, it is a series of 31 letters written from the perspective of a senior demon, Screwtape, addressed to one of his underlings.  In the letters, Screwtape acts as a mentor to Wormwood, his nephew, giving advice and counsel on how best to lead to damnation a man referred to as “The Patient.”  It is a cleverly written series of letters which among other things, suggests that even intellectuals are susceptible to demonic enticement and trickery.

The article seems somewhat clever, and it never mentions anyone in particular, but to those of us that it is directed at, we understand.   In my opinion, it has no business being published in a magazine whose purpose was originally to write on holiness and other uplifting topics.  I wonder if the editor of HT would give equal time for someone to respond to yet another attack piece on Bible believers (remember Rev. Kevin Ulmet’s article?).

This is simply another old attempt to send a message to Bible believing Christians that we are the problem in the church, and that satan is using us to divide the body of Christ.  Perhaps Dan Boone has never given one thought to the possibility that satan is using him and others to divide the body of Christ, not us.  Keep in mind that the difference between many of us and the Dan Boones of the church is that we always point out the specific teaching or practice, and let the word of God condemn it or uphold it.  The strategy of folks such as Dan is to employ personal attack and unsupported accusations. This is their only viable weapon.

Here are a few excerpts from the article, which should be online now:

“By enticing them with the wonders of electronic media, you have whetted their appetites for religious blood in the water.”

The tactics of Dan, as well as that of Rev. Kevin Ulmet in his “loving” article in Holiness Today a few months ago, are exactly the same.  They practice the very “jihadist attacks” Dan mentions in his book, while at the same time promoting a “holy conversation.”  In his book, he talks about “speaking truthfully without fear of reprisal.”  Yet he compares Bible believers who dare to speak truthfully as nothing more than equivalent to “jihadists.”  I have now seen that this is the only reliable defense they have.

“As the dominant conversation of their gathering centers on the trivial…”

Perhaps Dr. Boone is complaining that focusing on such things as his promotion of prayer labyrinths, mysticism, and re-writing of plain Scriptural teachings, will reveal the falsehoods that he so tenaciously clings to in spite of clear Biblical teaching to the contrary.  But if anyone thinks I am picking on just Dan Boone, let me be clear.  He is just one of the upfront spokesmen for a movement which many church leaders, pastors, and district leaders have wholeheartedly bought into.  He speaks for them, and so what is written here is just as much about them as it is about Dan Boone.

Let’s take a look at some of his beliefs again:

Dan Boone believes that parts of the Psalms were borrowed from the Pagans

Dr. Boone believes that the Psalms were just different renderings of Babylonian myths, and that parts of the Bible were just the Israelites copying what they heard the pagans say.  Here is what he sent in an email to a concerned Nazarene:

“The Hebrew creation account is a re-telling of the Babylonian tale. Their Hebrew feast days are re-interpretations of the Canaanite days. The Royal Psalms in the collection of Psalms were once Canaanite songs.”

If that is the case, then Dr. Boone clearly does not believe that the scriptures are wholly inspired by God, but that some parts come from pagan traditions!  Who else believes this stuff?  Has Dan Boone ever shown us through the word of God that what he says here is true?

Dan Boone promotes pagan prayer labyrinths, contemplative mysticism and false teachers

Trevecca Nazarene University has had a prayer labyrinth on campus for years.  After we brought that to light, he changed the name of it to “prayer walk.”  It’s still a pagan practice, yet Dan Boone and others think that Christians can “redeem” these pagan practices for their own use.  Trevecca also allowed the advertising of a yoga class on their campus, and part of Dr. Boone’s response to me was that he had no opinion about yoga.

Dr. Boone promotes one of the leading teachers of contemplative mysticism, false teacher Richard Foster (see the attached letter to pastors).  See also the article Richard Foster: Evangelicalism’s Mystical Sparkplug, and decide if his teachings reflect sound Biblical doctrine.  Foster, for instance, makes the amazing claim that non-believers can also practice the Christian spiritual disciplines: “We need not be well advanced in matters of theology to practice the Disciplines. Recent converts–for that matter people who have yet to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ–can and should practice them” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 2).

In the same letter,  he called both Thomas Merton and Ignatius of Loyola spiritual giants.  Merton was not a spiritual giant- he was a monk who said that he was “deeply impregnated with Sufism” because he believed that Eastern mysticism was compatible with and could be incorporated into Christianity.  He placed Mary high on a level equal to Jesus, he prayed to many catholic saints.  He was influenced by Aldous Huxley, who found enlightenment through hallucinogenic drugs.  Quote: “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity. The future of Zen is in the West. I INTEND TO BECOME AS GOOD A BUDDHIST AS I CAN” (Source: Way of LifeYet, Dan Boone calls him a spiritual giant.

Ignatius of Loyola was no wiser, and as the founder of the Jesuits he brutally persecuted Christians and swore complete submission to the pope.  As most Roman Catholics do, he venerated Mary.  He practiced extreme asceticism, living in a cave for a year and never bathing.  He also promoted and taught visualization prayers, breath prayers, and other unbiblical practices (Source: Way of Life).  Yet, Dan Boone calls him a spiritual giant.

Also, in his profile at Nazarene Theological Seminary, which is no longer posted, he said the following:

“…I am deepening in the mystical forms of prayer..”

Can anyone point me to any Biblical instruction on the mystical forms of prayer?

Dan Boone is an Ecumenist Who Compromises With A False Religion

In a Letter to Pastors he wrote in 2009  he not only erroneously claimed that the Roman Catholic church was the only church for 1500 years after Christ, but he also exposed more error along with his ecumenical get along with everyone philosophy.  How is it that we can “be one” with the Roman Catholic Church?

“While Nazarenes are different from Catholics in very significant ways, we believe that we will share eternity with them in the presence of the Christ who prayed that we might be one.”  

And for years Trevecca has sponsored a trip for students to the Abby of Gethsemani, a monastery in Kentucky which was home to Thomas Merton.  They openly promote practicing the silence, which Dr. Boone has erroneously justified by twisting the meaning of Psalm 46:10 totally out of context.  (Read article here)

So could it be that Dan Boone and his intellectual friends have succumbed to demonic enticement and trickery, to the point that they are blinded to the truth and now believe a lie?  Has he been duped by another Wormwood into believing a lie?  Or is it that myself and other Christians who are opposed to his ideology and the practices he promotes, are the ones who have succumbed to demonic lies?  For you see, it is either the one, or the other.  Dan Boone cannot be right, and at the same time, we who oppose his philosophy cannot also be right.  Truth is truth, and the rest is doctrines of demons.

I just ask again for anyone to contrast with Scripture, and make up your mind.

Related Articles:

 

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/conversation-with-a-university-president/

http://sadnazarene.wordpress.com/category/dan-boone/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/a-charitable-discourse-or-compromise/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-response-to-dan-boones-report-on-soulforce/

Dan Boone sermons at College Church of the Nazarene:

Gods That Must Be Carried (9/18/2012)

Revival Chapel (9/18/2012)

The Neighbors (9/19/2012)

Overwhelmed (9/19/2012)

Overprotected (9/20/2012)

Beware: Spiritual Disciplines (aka contemplative mysticism) Still Infiltrating Evangelical Christian Colleges

The following is from Lighthouse Trails Research, documenting the continuing trend of many Christian universities that are rejecting Biblical Christianity in exchange for Eastern mysticism.  Among them in this report is Olivet Nazarene University, although practically all Nazarene universities and the seminaries are on the spiritual formation bandwagon (aka contemplative spirituality), which is fast becoming a requirement for Christian schools to be accredited, and for future pastors in order to graduate.  Many of you know of this, but I want you to continue to be aware of one of the most deadly trends in Christian higher education today that is polluting the minds of many of our young people today.  The General Superintendents in the Nazarene denomination and other leaders seem to have either bought into this or refuse to do anything about it at this time.

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook – Christian Organizations, Seminaries, and Ministry Leaders Incorporate This Mystical Primer into Christian Education (source, Lighthouse Trails Research)

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun is a primer on contemplative mysticism, bursting with contemplative meditation instruction along with references and quotes by some of the movement’s most prolific mystics on the scene today. It’s a book one might expect to find on the shelves of a Catholic monastery, a New Age bookstore, or in an emerging church coffee house; while it probably is in those types of places, the book has become a common textbook in many spiritual formation classes and has found a growing audience with evangelical pastors, seminary professors, and Christian ministry leaders. In fact, many of those in ministry are eagerly flocking to this book, and in so doing pointing potentially millions of Christians to the book’s message. While we have made mention of this book in several articles over the past decade, we feel it is time to present a more focused critique of Calhoun’s book and her message.

 

 

Who is promoting Calhoun’s handbook? First of all, a major advocate of the book for a number of years is Rick Warren. You can find the book on his resource website, where Saddleback gives a hearty recommendation for the book. Willow Creek also recommends the book in their Establishing Life Giving Rhythms class. In a course at Reformed Theological Seminary, the book is being used as “required reading.” In Olivet Nazarene University’s Spiritual Formation and Personal Development course, the book is listed in the “Suggested Reading” section. In Biola’s online course, Introduction to Spiritual Formation, the book is “Recommended Reading.” Assemblies of God Theological Seminary’s course, Renewing the Spiritual Leader includes Calhoun’s book in a list for required reading. Moody Bible Institute’s Midday Connection radio program had Calhoun as a guest speaker in November 2011, and Midday Connection host Anita Lustrea talks about Calhoun in her own book, What Women Tell Me. Lustrea, tells how she met Calhoun during a course called Growing Your Soul and how Calhoun taught her some of the contemplative “spiritual disciplines” (p. 125). On the Wesleyan denomination’s website, in a Spiritual Formation course, Calhoun’s book is listed in a Bibliography on Spiritual Formation. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) had Calhoun as one of the speakers at their 2011 MOPS International Convention. On the book’s publisher’s website (InterVarsity Press), you will find an endorsement for the book by the popular pastor Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian of NYC, who says of Calhoun’s handbook:

I have long profited from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun’s gifts in the field of spiritual development, and I am delighted that she has compiled her experience with spiritual disciplines into book form. I highly recommend it and I look forward to using it as a resource at our church.

These are just a few instances of many more where evangelical Christians or organizations are turning to Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook for spiritual direction (see below this article for more who use the book). Now let us examine this book and see why it is so troubling to know it is being used in so many Christian venues.

As we stated above, Calhoun’s book is permeated with references of and quotes by some of the most prolific contemplative mystics today. But she doesn’t just quote and reference these mystics – in her book, she reveals that these teachers are her ”spiritual tutors.” She states:

I would be remiss not to mention the spiritual tutors that I know only through books: Dorothy Bass, Eugene Peterson, Gerald May, M. Basil Pennington, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle, Fredrick Buechner, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr, Jonathan Edwards [not a contemplative], Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius Loyola, St. Benedict, Julian of Norwich and many more. Their ideas, voices and examples have shaped my own words and experience of the disciplines. (Acknowledgment’s page)

For those who have spent time on the Lighthouse Trails website or read A Time of Departing and Faith Undone, most of these names above will be familiar to you. You will know that the late Gerald May was the co-founder of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation in Washington DC., and as Ray Yungen points out, May adhered to “Eastern metaphysical views,” which can be seen in many of his writings, including his book The Awakened Heart where he discusses the “cosmic presence” “pervading ourselves and all creation” (ATOD, p. 67). Yungen points out that “there can be no mistaking [May's] theological underpinnings” when May says:

It is revealed in the Hindu greetings jai bhagwan and namaste that reverence the divinity that both resides within and embraces us all. (The Awakened Heart, pp. 179-180)

Gerald May makes it very clear in that statement where he is coming from. This panentheistic, God-in-everybody view, which May embraced is the “fruit” of contemplative spirituality and is why we are so persistent in warning about this spiritual outlook that has entered the Christian church. Think about it, Adele Calhoun sees Gerald May as a spiritual tutor, and now she is presenting the beliefs of these tutors to untold numbers of Christians via her book. Let’s look at another tutor whom she turns to – Basil Pennington. In a book written by Pennington and Thomas Keating (who, by the way, Calhoun also recommends), the two Catholic monks write:

We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and “capture” it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible.

Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to find inner form and meaning to the resulting experiences. (Finding Grace at the Center, pp. 5-6)

Calhoun would agree with Pennington and Keating on their views of “Eastern techniques.” She talks about these kinds of practices in her book, such as in the chapter she titles “Centering Prayer” where she instructs readers to focus on a “sacred word,” or in the chapter she titles “Breath Prayer,” where she encourages “short repetitive prayer[s],” or in her chapter titled Devotional Reading, where she talks about lectio divina and picking out one word from a passage of Scripture, a word which becomes the focus for meditation, or in her chapter titled “The Labyrinth Prayer,” where one is taught how to walk through a labyrinth while doing contemplative meditation. She also tells readers to “Explore the practice of liturgical prayer through using the book The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle, or The Daily Office of the Catholic church” (Kindle Edition, Locations 2861-2862). For those of you who may not know who Phyllis Tickle is, she has been the darling and a favorite mentor of emerging church leaders. It is Tickle who likened atonement-rejector Brian McLaren to another Luther, saying he could be instrumental in bringing about a “new reformation.”

One can also see how Calhoun resonates with Pennington and Keating when she favorably says that “three Cistercian monks, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington and William Meninger, sought to revive this ancient form of meditative prayer.” (Kindle Edition, Locations 2460-2461). By the way, Calhoun recommends (Kindle Edition, Location 2498) Keating’s book, Open Mind, Open Heart, another ”textbook” on contemplative and centering prayer. In that book, Keating says this:

Centering prayer is a discipline designed to reduce the obstacles … choose a sacred word [to repeat] … Twenty to thirty minutes is the minimum amount of time necessary for most people to establish interior silence. (pp. 18, 21, 23 as quoted from Faith Undone, p. 81)

The repeating of a word or phrase is how contemplative prayer is practiced. This in turn begins to make the practitioner feel a oneness with God, humanity, creation, and with everything. This oneness is the whole crux of the matter. After awhile, the contemplative meditator begins to take on a different spiritual outlook. It’s what caused Thomas Merton (another mystic you will find in Calhoun’s book) to say “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” (from David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969). Or what caused Henri Nouwen (another Calhoun “tutor”) to say at the end of his life after years of meditating:

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.(From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen’s last book page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition)

In addition to the tutors Adele Calhoun lists in her Acknowledgements page, she also includes other names in the book that are important to point out here: David Steindl-Rast, Marjorie Thompson (author of Soul Feast), Brian C. Taylor, Kathleen Norris (a Catholic contemplative nun), Karen Mains, Tilden Edwards, Ruth Haley Barton, and Esther De Waal. Between her “tutors” and these other names along with the practices and ideas Calhoun espouses in Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, the heart of the contemplative prayer movement is clearly and no doubtedly manifested in her book.

The following quotes by some of the people in Calhoun’s book are the focal point of our concerns. These aren’t minor points we’re dealing with. The essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is at risk to those who are being exposed to this. The spirituality that Calhoun and her tutors embrace leads to interspirituality (i.e., all paths lead to God). “Christian mysticism” resonates with Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim mysticism, which means it’s not Christian at all; but practitioners become blinded to that – this is how Henri Nouwen came to call these mystical spiritual practices “treasures for the spiritual life of the Christian.” See now for yourself if you come to the same conclusions we have when you read these quotes:

The God he [Merton] knew in prayer was the same experience that Buddhists describe in their enlightenment. – Brian C. Taylor (Setting the Gospel Free, p. 76 -What Taylor means by this book title is getting rid of the biblical Gospel).

These [Christian] contemplatives also recognize their soul mates in other traditions, as did Thomas Merton in his pilgrimage to Buddhist Asia. This is because they have passed beyond the confines of religion as a closed system to an open awareness of God-in-life. Brian C. Taylor, Setting the Gospel Free

The enlightenment you seek in our religions has been present in Christianity from the beginning – from the back cover of Richard Rohr’s book, The Naked Now

[New Ager] Ken Wilber is really the best teacher today . . . to give us an “integral spirituality.” Pick any book of his that fascinates you, and you will know why I, as a Christian, recommend him. – Richard Rohr, The Naked Now, p. 153 (Wilber’s “integral spirituality” include yoga, zen, TM, kabbalah, tantric sex, kundalini, and centering prayer.)

This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality. – Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend, p. 18

The practice of contemplative prayer might give a Christian ground for constructive dialogue with a meditating Buddhist. – Marjorie Thompson, Soul Feast, Prologue

Skeptics may say, well these quotes are not in Calhoun’s book. That’s true, but anyone can see that Calhoun is encouraging her readers to turn to these mystics by calling them her tutors, quoting from them extensively, and recommending their books.

If you want to know what the end result of practicing contemplative spirituality is, the following quote by David Steindl Rast (who is in Calhoun’s book) sums it up – drop the Cross of Christ! There’s no need for it once the world religions come together under the common denominator of mystical realms:

Unfortunately, over the course of the centuries, this [Christianity] has come to be presented in almost legal language, as if it were some sort of transaction, a deal with God; there was this gap between us and God, somebody had to make up for it—all that business. We can drop that. The legal metaphor seems to have helped other generations. Fine. Anything that helps is fine. But once it gets in the way, as it does today, we should drop it.David Steindl-Rast, talking to a Buddhist (Robert Aitken & Steindl Rast, The Ground We Share, p. 45, emphasis added)

We must choose one, dear Christian – contemplative spirituality or the Cross of Jesus Christ – we cannot have them both.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

Other Instances Where Spiritual Disciplines Handbook is Being Used:

Anaheim Vineyard – Pastoral Staff Recommends list

Rockbridge Seminary (where Rick Warren is an “advisor”) – Master of Divinity, Master of Ministry Leadership

Eastern Mennonite University“Highly recommended” list

Northpark Theological University - “Highly recommended” list

Nazarene Theological SeminaryBibliography used

LeTourneau University

Trevecca Nazarene University – Formational Resources

 

A Response to Dan Boone’s Report on SoulForce

by John Henderson

SOURCE: http://trevechoesonline.com/2012/03/15/trevecca-president-dan-boones-written-response-to-the-soulforce-visit/

The same thing is missing from Dr. Boone’s report that was missing from the MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) response as reported in Holiness Today.  There was no presenting the claims of Christ upon the lost, there was no use of the Scriptures with them (as indicated by this response) nor in the response itself except by an inapplicable reference to having been like Egypt, and there was no prayer for the wayward.

Be that as it may, I suppose Dan Boone’s remarks should receive an evangelical-Scriptural response..

I begin with the knowledge (based on a published sermon) that Dr. Boone considers homosexual behavior and homosexual orientation as not being the same in terms of sin.  He says that the behavior is sin and the orientation is not.  He has also publically expressed sympathy and support in the past for those who are “oriented” and are “struggling” with being ostracized, condemned, etc.  This is in line with the Board of General Superintendents’ published position on the same issue.

A simple answer on such matters is never comprehensive and sufficient, but I must settle for that.  My immediate response is that such a position is not in harmony with the Word of God.  It is nowhere taught or implied in the Scriptures that a propensity to any particular sin is unrelated to the act itself.  If anything, the Bible is crystal clear that sin comes out of the inclination.  It actually begins there and, as such, is always sin even in the incubation stages.  As an unborn baby is always a baby, unborn sin is just as much sin as when it emerges into action.  Charles Wesley penned the phrase, “Take away our bent to sinning,” and we Wesleyans should understand that this is exactly what he meant.  While the possibility to sin is always present, the “bent to sinning” (carnality) should not remain and is “crucified with Christ” at the moment of entire sanctification.  This may be explained differently according to various doctrinal opinions, but it all comes to this conclusion.  The former homosexual who is born again has the great privilege and call to holiness so that the “orientation” is no longer a problem.  If being filled the Holy Spirit does not free us from that, then we are preaching a false doctrine and should immediately abandon it and resign ourselves to our own personal rudiments of bondage.

I commend Dr. Boone for not banging the SoulForce people on the head.  That is what they were looking for so they could point accusing fingers at those homophobic Nazarenes.  He didn’t fall into that trap and that is good.  His answers to each issue were fine as far as they went.  However, they came up far short of the opportunity to win them to Christ according to the Scriptures.  It seems that he was content to settle for dialog, conversation, and understanding and let them depart feeling better about their position.  That is tragic because, as Uncle Pek (Richard Gunn) said in one of his poems:  “Out there in the dark, a soul is lost I might have won.”

It is not the calling of the Church to “offer a narrative of life that could be lived out in rich community.”  Getting along and being friendly with one’s fellow creatures is commendable but that is not the salvation mission.

I know of no evidence where any significant groups of Christians are engaged in “bullying” homosexuals.  No committed Christian I know of is engaged in diminishing the personal dignity of homosexuals.  I certainly did not as a practicing Christian psychotherapist in dealing with homosexuals.  I gave them clear and understandable guidelines from the Bible.

Are homosexuals (practicing and non-practicing) lost?  Yes!  There is no difference between the desire and the behavior in God’s sight.  Therefore, they need to be saved, not coddled.  One might as well throw a drowning man an anchor as to tell him he is okay and all he needs to do is talk about it.  He needs to repent, not hug the anchor.

There is one more comment by Dr. Boone I want to address.  It is: “As Christians, we are taught by our own story to care specifically for the marginalized, the forgotten, the minority. In the words of Deuteronomy…’because you were once such a people in Egypt’”.

That sounds really good—on the surface—but does not address the problem.  There is no legitimacy in equating the marginalized, the forgotten, and the minority with self-imposed conditions of the homosexual “community.”  They marginalized themselves and demand that we step over onto that margin and embrace them as mainstream by abandoning every value we have on the matter.  They are certainly not forgotten or overlooked.  Even the Word of God has clearly identified homosexuality as receiving the same judgment as all other rebellious sins against God and they are offered the same opportunity to repent, or else perish.. Also, they make sure we don’t forget they are there.  They might be a minority but that is only because the majority of us are repulsed by homosexuality in its various forms (orientation or behavior)—forms that they admittedly represent in SoulForce:  gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and “queer.”  By the way, in case no one noticed, Biblical Christianity is more of a minority in this world than they are.

It should be noted that SoulForce has not distinguished orientation from behavior.  That distinction has been ours.  I am fully convinced that whenever a homosexual gloms onto the term orientation it is only to distract and intimidate you and me into submission to their way of thinking.  They don’t actually see a difference but demand that we “see” it by turning a blind eye to clear Scriptures on the matter.

If I may be plain, it is past time that we stop fiddling with this thing and go Scriptural.  It is the gospel they need—desperately need—and we are handing them devilish drivel.

 

John Henderson

The Road To Catholicism In The Nazarene Church: Mindless Retreats

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thess. 2:11-12

The following are descriptions of two upcoming retreats that emphasize “silence” (emptying the mind), which will probably become the norm throughout the Nazarene denomination.  Since our General Superintendents have never publicly spoken out against these types of retreats, we must conclude by default that they support it (and I have asked them about these issues).  We are becoming a mini- Roman Catholic Church within what claims to be a holiness church.  This is no longer the church of my father, who God rescued from the bondage of apostate Roman Catholic religion and became a missionary to the Catholics, NOT a partner with them.  Our leaders continue with their silence on these matters; it will be interesting to see for how long.  We are now only 17 months away from the next General Assembly.  It is clear to me that the denomination is splitting internally between the Bible believers, and those who are pushing or accepting the radical agendas of the emergent/missional/ecumenical movement.

Richard Bennett, former RCC priest, says about these types of activities:

“Communion with God is a participation in eternal life by grace through faith. Such communion is not achieved by imagination, visualizations, solitude, or mystical formulas. Christ Jesus the Lord warned that, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” The present day Emerging Church movement is full of deceitful, contemplative practices. Only by taking heed to the counsel of the Lord can His followers escape ruin. The danger of the Emerging Church’s type of spirituality is that it replaces the certainty of the written Word with subjective experiences. True coming to God is by trusting on the perfect life and sacrifice of Christ that includes repentance and forsaking of sin.” (Emergent Church Indoctrinates With Catholic Style Eastern Mysticism, Richard Bennett)

Retreat #1: St. Gertrude’s Monastery

Northwest Nazarene University is sponsoring a women’s retreat at St. Gertrude’s: http://www.stgertrudes.org/
Title
: A Place to Satisfy Your Hunger For God: A Monastic Immersion Experience
The contact for this retreat is NNU professor, Julene Tegerstrand, at jtegerstrand@nnu.edu

What is the vision of St. Gertrude’s? 
“We are monastic women who follow the ancient Rule of Benedict.”

What is the Rule of Benedict?  This Rule teaches salvation and sanctification through asceticism.  This system, created by St. Benedict, directed every aspect of a monk’s life: his clothing, relationships, travel, duties, schedule, meals, worship, reading, habitat, sleep. (1)  This is legalism, in other words.  This is works based salvation, which now many of our Nazarene leaders are promoting and our General Superintendents are apparently doing nothing about, thus giving it their stamp of approval by default.

What is a monastic immersion experience?   It includes experiencing monastic prayer (i.e. contemplative spirituality, centering prayer, silence).  It’s open to women of all faith backgrounds as well.  Interspirituality in other words, or interfaith, which is another growing trend.  Right at the start of their YouTube video, they urge us to “come and listen with us”, the typical wording that describes practicing the silence, a contemplative mystical experience whose goal is to empty the mind.

So those who attend this retreat sponsored by NNU will learn new (unscriptural)  things which we as Bible believing Christians have rejected for years.  Now it appears to be acceptable, and not only that, appears to be what these people want the church to look like!  The wolves have entered the sheep pen already, don’t you think?  And the shepherds are still sleeping.  You must ask yourself: why are Nazarenes and other evangelical denominations encouraging others to incorporate Roman Catholic practices into their lives, when these practices are false, legalistic, works-based?  In other words, this is teaching another gospel, another Jesus, and negates what Christ has done on the Cross once and for all.

Retreat #2: Spiritual Formation

Trevecca Nazarene University is sponsoring a spiritual formation retreat at the Loretto MotherHouse in KY
Title
: Silence And Listening For The Voice of God
The contact for this retreat is Brent Tallman (btallman@trevecca.edu)

I have previously written about this retreat (Trevecca Leaders Continue Indoctrination of Heresy).  Here are some quotes from the website (bold emphasis is mine):

So the goal of this retreat will be to help us minimize distractions and noise, so that we might gain a better understanding of how to be silent and how to truly listen for the voice of God.

 

“Union with Godin prayer requires us to learn to quiet ourselves–yes, from the noises which surround us, but also from inward noises (restlessness, fears, our agenda’s, etc.)It is this stillness and emptiness which allows us to be open to hearing the voice of God.”

There will be no agendas, no meetings, and no requirements–just being quiet before God and listening for His voice.

Upon looking at their agenda, the attendees will be doing the following:
1. Arriving at the site on Friday in immediate silence.
2. Then, going to dinner in total silence.
3. Having breakfast and lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday every day in total silence.
4. Practicing silence throughout the day.
5. Going through an (optional) tour of the Motherhouse- and Meet at the Church following Mass!
6. On Sunday night, they will finally have a service with testimonies and reflections on a “Wesley Covenant renewal”.  I have no idea what that has to do with anything else here.
7. And… they are encouraged to join the sisters daily in their “hours of prayers”, Roman Catholic style.

I have warned President Dan Boone of this many times, to which his responses have not reflected what the title of one of his books implies, “a charitable discourse.”  He is promoting false practices to young people, and he is responsible, thus I fear for his soul.  God’s word say that  “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Heb. 10:31  This  is why I cannot recommend Trevecca for any Bible believer to send their children.  Neither can I recommend NNU anymore as well.  They are both schools which are promoting contemplative mysticism, which is unbiblical.

Conclusion: The lines are being blurred, and yet the worst delusions are yet to come, and soon, it will all look the same, it will all look good, and discernment will be gone from even more Christians. 
By that time, many will have fallen for this blending of good with bad, and their hearts will be hardened even more.  It will then be to late for them.

Beware, life as a Christian will most likely get more difficult, and the persecution and ostracizing will be far more serious from within, not without.  Your choice is either for the easy road, or the hard road.  I remind you that the hard road is the way of the genuine Christian believer, and it will be narrow as well.  At least our Lord said so, and who is to argue with Him?

Manny Silva

Footnotes:
(1) Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond, David Cloud, p. 328

For additional research:

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/trevecca-nazarene-university-promoting-mysticism-and-pagan-practices/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/false-teaching-in-a-christian-university-a-shocking-example/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/is-lectio-divina-and-mysticism-the-future-of-nazarene-theolog/

 

Trevecca Leaders Continue Indoctrination Of Heresy

2 Peter 3:17-18 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

We are under obligation by our Lord Jesus Christ to expose, as often as it happens, the errors of lawless men who continue to teach another gospel.  It matters not one bit how well liked or famous they are, how many degrees they have, and how many awards they receive every year.  The wolves that have crept into our Christian universities are leading countless youth down an attractively wide path of destruction, while they continue to receive the plaudits of their colleagues who are more interested in their academic freedom rather than the truth of God’s word.  Under the oft-used “we are a liberal arts school” excuse, they expose students to doctrines of demons.  At the very least, we must shine the light of truth on them, in order to rescue at least one student from their unbiblical ideology.

And so, under the leadership of President Dan Boone, Trevecca Nazarene University has continued in the same error filled ways.  Once again, they have scheduled a Spiritual Formation Retreat, in February 2012.  The only good news I see is that they are limiting the retreat to only 25 students.  This time it will not be at the Abbey of Gethsemani (spiritual home of the late Trappist monk Thomas Merton, one of the modern day fathers of contemplative spirituality who mixed Buddhism with Christianity).  (Here is the new retreat site: http://www.lorettocommunity.org/who-we-are/loretto-motherhouse/)    But the influence of Merton, Henri Nouwen and other mystics are just the same.  Moving the venue does not change a thing.  Here’s just a little bit about a monk who is very popular now amongst the emergent church crowd, and continues to influence Nazarene pastors and university leaders after his death.

In his description of Thomas Merton, David Cloud says:

Thomas Merton (1915-68), was a Roman Catholic Trappist monk whose writings are influential within Catholicism, the New Age movement, the peace movement, as well as the centering prayer movement that lies at the heart of the emerging church and that is permeating evangelicalism.

How influential was he?   Here’s what Ray Yungen says:

“What Martin Luther King was to the civil rights movement and what Henry Ford was to the automobile, Thomas Merton is to contemplative prayer. Although this prayer movement existed centuries before he came along, Merton took it out of its monastic setting and made it available to and popular with the masses” (A Time of Departing, p. 58).

From David Cloud’s article on Merton, we learn how he died.  He was in Bangkok, Thailand, participating in an interfaith dialogue of contemplatives. The conference began with a welcoming address from the Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism (Living with Wisdom, p. 235). In the final talk of his life, Merton said:

“I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own [Christian] traditions, because they have gone, from the natural point of view, so much deeper into this than we have. … Now I will disappear from view, and we can all go have a Coke or something” (Merton: A Film Biography, 1984).

He then went to his cottage and was electrocuted by a faulty fan switch.

Thomas Merton’s influence on Trevecca leadership continues.  The contact for the retreat is Brent Tallman, Director of Campus Spiritual Formation.  But he’s not the only one who has bought into the unbiblical practice of “the silence.”  Trevecca President Dan Boone is just as responsible for this, and all the others who are complicit in allowing this yearly retreat to occur.  Oh, but it’s so much more than simply another retreat that is the problem at Trevecca and other Nazarene schools.

Here is what Trevecca’s website says as it promotes what is basically a “Christianizing” of pagan practices, which Dan Boone believes is okay:

How does one learn about silence?  By being silent.
How does one hear the voice of God?  By listening.

Scripture says that, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Rom. 10:17

What is being promoted in this retreat is not a focus on hearing the voice of God through His word, but to become silent and somehow have God speak to you directly.  But if someone tells you that he heard God’s voice, how would you know if it was not actually a demonic voice?  They also say this:

So the goal of this retreat will be to help us minimize distractions and noise, so that we might gain a better understanding of how to be silent and how to truly listen for the voice of God.

So what they are saying here is, to truly listen to the voice of God, we must be silent.  Is this how we are taught to listen to God?  Where is the biblical basis for this?  Is this the technique Neal Donald Walsch used before he wrote his book, Conversations With God, in which he claims he actually had conversations with God?  How does one believe him, and not me, or someone else?


Union with God in prayer requires us to learn to quiet ourselves–yes, from the noises which surround us, but also from inward noises (restlessness, fears, our agenda’s, etc.)  It is this stillness and emptiness which allows us to be open to hearing the voice of God.

Union with God?  Stillness?  Emptiness?  Emptiness allows us to be open to the word of God??  Where is this remotely taught in scripture?  I can tell you, it is not.  Dan Boone and the emergent church people try justifying practicing the silence by quoting Psalm 46:10.  (“Be still, and know that I am God”).  He needs to read all of Psalm 46 in context, and he should know that it has nothing to do with practicing the silence.  Why do so many ordained elders in the Christian church today twist scripture for their own agenda?

This is a consistent promotion of not only mysticism and pagan prayer methods invented by man and not found anywhere in scripture, but also an encouragement of ecumenism and fellowship with those who practice a false works-based religion.  Instead of rescuing their students from the clutches of the false system of Rome, these leaders are recklessly sending our students directly back to what those from the Reformation were rejecting, year after year now.

In a response to one of my previous posts, Dr. Boone suggested to his followers that they should just “stun them with our silence” (that is, those Nazarenes who reject his ideology).  How ironic that he does not practice what he suggests, and instead rips into “fundamentalist Christians”, equating them with jihadists.  Dr. Boone also has claimed that we have made false statements about Trevecca, yet he has never substantiated that claim. In a Trevecca student blog post, Dr. Boone said:  “I only argued with them in the first place because they were making false claims about Trevecca, and to expose them for who they really are—religious fundamentalists,” Boone said. “But you can’t have discussions with people whose minds are already made up.”

Dr. Boone has never shown us what the false claims he purports we have made.  If only Dr. Boone and others would make their minds up instead of blowing around like the wind every which way and never “coming to the knowledge of the truth”.

Dr. Boone and those in leadership who are with him on this ought to be ashamed of what they are doing, and I call on them to repent.  If not, the board of trustees of Trevecca ought to dismiss Dr. Boone and all who are supporting this nonsense.  If not, then is there any reason for continued financial support of this school, and others as well?  To continue peddling false doctrines to the youth at Trevecca and expect our money is wrong.  Dr. Boone has said that Henri Nouwen is a spiritual guide for him.  Henri Nouwen was a universalist who also mixed Eastern religion with Christianity.  And who did Henri Nouwen look to for guidance?  Thomas Merton.

In his alumni spotlight page at Nazarene Theological Seminary (which for some reason has vanished), Dr Boone said: “I find myself deepening in the practices of spiritual formation that have shaped the saints of the ages, Lectio Divina, fasting, Sabbath observance, care for the poor, journaling, and contemplative prayer.”  Perhaps Dr. Boone never thought anyone would ever make such a fuss about all this.

Years ago, it would have been unthinkable  to me that a Nazarene university would be led by such blind guides into such apostasy!  Dr. Boone and all those who are supporting this heresy need to repent.  And yes, I know, he does not answer to me.  However, I know that there is One that he will answer to someday.


Additional Notes:

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/conversation-with-a-university-president/

http://sadnazarene.wordpress.com/category/dan-boone/

http://trevechoesonline.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/controversy-causes-massive-mess-under-one-denomination/

Dan Boone on Sexual Orientation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDBoBhIqfwQ&feature=player_embedded

Thomas Merton:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=217sRJ3QFEE&feature=related

A Charitable Discourse, Or Compromise?

[Updated Aug.31, 8:30 pm, added comments in red, contributed by John Henderson]

There is a pastor’s conference scheduled for September to be held at Trevecca Nazarene University.  Upon reading the agenda for the conference, and being familiar with some of the views of Dr. Dan Boone, I thought I might help some pastors who are considering attending.  I believe I can save them some money at the same time, and save time away from family and congregation. Instead of spending $150, plus travel and hotel and other expenses, I will provide the answers to the questions listed below, and I suggest a donation of $10 to Stand For Truth Ministries, which will go towards the production and distribution of resource DVDs to Christians who are standing against and exposing false teachings.  Below is a portion of the press release, followed by my answers to these questions:

Trevecca offers new conference for pastors

Trevecca Nazarene University offers pastors an opportunity to discuss with TNU President Dan Boone those “thorny” issues that can divide congregations at its September conference.

During “A Charitable Discourse: Forming Mature Congregations in a Contentious Culture” September 19-21 pastors can grapple with the issues that can divide congregations…

Boone will define what is at stake in these issues and will provide resources to help pastors guide their own charitable discourses with congregants and communities.

Below are some of the questions they will “grapple” with, and my answers which do not require a one hour discussion:

1.  How does a pastor preach the gospel to a congregation with deeply-held, diverse opinions?

Answer: Boldly, uncompromisingly, without regard for who will like him, or which side he should take, or how many he can retain in his congregation, or whose feelings he might hurt, or whether the world will be pleased with him.  The truth is all that matters, not diverse opinions.

Further Questions:  Define “deeply-held, diverse opinions.”  In terms of what:  biblical vs. non-biblical? biblical prayer vs. mysticism-based prayer? Scriptural inerrancy vs. “inerrant as it relates only to salvation”

2.  How are believers formed in a church of differing political persuasions?

Answer: Through the preaching of the gospel without any personal and extra-biblical views inserted, such as the liberal and social gospel views of the post-modern church of today.  Just “preach the gospel once delivered to the saints.”  That is sufficient.

Further questions:  What do political persuasions matter?  Do those who listen to Rush have different religious opinions than those who listen to Obama?  If so, what are they?  Also, what examples do you have that political opinions do or ever have impacted on Christians together in the same church?  Has there ever been a church split between Democrats and Republicans?  Have they not more likely been over what color of carpet to install?
3. How does a pastor survive the pressure of competing demands from opposite ends of the creation debate?

Answer: “Survival” is not the concern.  A pastor must boldly and clearly teach that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God, and therefore there is no need for debate as to whether God spoke the truth when He inspired Moses to write down the creation account.  The only pressure a pastor should feel is the pressure to be 100% faithful to God’s word, without concern for the pressures of man’s opinion.  Even so, it should not even be “pressure”; it ought to be a love for God’s truth that motivates him.

Further Questions:  What opposite ends of the creation debate?  The Church of the Nazarenes and other evangelical/fundamental churches have traditionally held to a literal creation as described in Genesis and restated throughout the entire Bible.  The only “debate” has been whether the six days were literally 24-hours each or some other longer period, but never about whether it was literal.  Evolutionism never had a chance in that discussion.

4. How will the church respond to homosexuality?

Answer: Like any other sin.  Homosexuality is disobedience to God, and the scriptures teach that those who deliberately rebel against God, regardless of the sin, are choosing a path of destruction.  The church should not condone any sin including homosexuality, and should not water down sin, by differentiating between “orientation” and the actual practice of homosexuality.  If a man has desires for another woman, yet does not sleep with her, is that okay?  Why then treat homosexuality any different or more special than any other sin, whether of thought, or of deed?  There is no “conversation” needed here, the question is settled.

Further Questions:  What do the Scriptures say about homosexuality every time it is mentioned or referenced?  Should that not be as far as you go with it?  If the official statement of a denomination contradicts the Scriptures, which is to be believed?

Those of us who are determined to stay the course and advance uncompromising biblical truth believe that what is at stake in these issues (as Dr. Boone plans to define at the conference) is simply the following:

The true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is at stake, and souls are at stake.

It would also seem that Dr. Boone believes the following:

A. That those who disagree with him are religious jihadists.

B. That unless you support a strictly liberal progressive ticket (which he did publically despite declaring he voted otherwise), you are on the wrong side of the issues.

C. That the “scientific” data on the side of evolution is more accurate than the fable of creation in Genesis.

D. That we should apologize to homosexuals for the hard time they have had getting accepted as homosexuals and that as long as they think it (orientation) and don’t do it (you can imagine that for yourself), they are without guilt or sin.  Never mind those pesky Bible passages that say things like, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

I realize Dr. Boone and many others in Nazarene higher education have more educational and religious credentials than I and others have.  Does that make them automatically more qualified to discern truth and error than us?  Of course not!  Do their credentials allow them to promote open theism, process theology, limited scriptural inerrancy, and evolution without being challenged?  No, since other men of equal credentials have already challenged them on these and other positions.  I wonder, does he consider them extreme fundamentalists?

Dr. Boone has a very popular following in the Nazarene schools today, but he is being challenged by some on his positions regarding many biblical issues today.  He has urged others to “stun them with our silence”, yet he continues on in his book “Charitable Discourse”, (which it is not) to be amazingly uncharitable towards those that he considers are “fundamental Christian Nazarenes.”

I am one of those who are challenging him and many other leaders today, as evidenced by our back and forth on several issues a couple of years ago.  I don’t believe Dr. Boone is qualified to lead this conference, based on statements he has made that are very suspect at best, and his beliefs.

Dr. Boone believes, for instance, that the Psalms were just different renderings of Babylonian myths, and that parts of the Bible were just the Israelites copying what they heard the pagans say.  If that is the case, then Dr. Boone clearly does not believe that the scriptures are wholly inspired by God, but that some parts come from pagan traditions!  Here is the quote I refer to, which he sent in an email to a concerned Nazarene:

“The Hebrew creation account is a re-telling of the Babylonian tale. Their Hebrew feast days are re-interpretations of the Canaanite days. The Royal Psalms in the collection of Psalms were once Canaanite songs.”

Dr. Boone has also referred to both Thomas Merton and Ignatius of Loyola as spiritual giants, so it is erroneous logic for him to state: “To leap from renting a retreat facility to embracing the Catholic theology or the works of Thomas Merton is like saying that someone who stays in a Marriott Hotel is being Mormonized.” (This was in response to my critique of sending students to the Abby of Gethsemani every year for retreats.  Included in the activities was participation in “practicing the silence”, and ecumenical activities with the monks.)

We find that statement to be absurd–you don’t get Gethsemani without getting Merton. It isn’t benign like staying in a hotel; keep in mind as well that he has referred to Thomas Merton as a spiritual giant.  Yet, Thomas Merton was a blatant universalist who mixed Eastern religions with Christianity!  But Dr. Boone calls him a spiritual giant?

I obtained a copy of a letter (from 2009)  to pastors warning them about certain concerned Nazarenes.  In it, Dr. Boone erroneously claimed that the Roman Catholic church was the only church for 1500 years after Christ.  That is clearly not the fact, although he continued to insist that it is accurate.  In the same letter, he states that “While Nazarenes are different from Catholics in very significant ways, we believe that we will share eternity with them in the presence of the Christ who prayed that we might be one.”   I wonder if Dr. Boone feels the same way about Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also claim to know Christ.  And does he not know that officially, the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize Nazarenes and other denominations as true Christians?  This is compromise with anyone who claims the name of Jesus, but that is not the kind of unity Jesus prayed for.

Dr. Boone has also allowed the practice of the prayer labyrinth at Trevecca, and when this was exposed, changed the name to prayer walk.  It’s still the same pagan practice, yet he believes apparently that we can take pagan practices and use them in a Christianized way to worship God.  And he shows his support for the contemplative mysticism he denies, by favorably quoting and reading such authors as Richard Foster, who is the leading contemporary promoter of contemplative mysticism.

He also has a very erroneous understanding of Psalm 46, which many use as an excuse to justify “practicing the silence”, which is nothing more than contemplative prayer, one of the Christianized versions of transcendental meditation.  Read Psalm 46, and you wonder how he and so many others get this passage wrong!  Dr. Boone is in denial that mystical practices are being encouraged at his school, while at the same time proving it with his approval of mystics such as Merton and Foster!

Dr. Boone also discusses jihad in the church, and apparently that is a reference to folks like us who dare to challenge his views that we believe are damaging the church.  Not very charitable, is that?  I quote him:

“Religious fundamentalism is one of the hot topics in the world today and this website has given me the best model, other than Islamic fundamentalism, to demonstrate to students how religious fundamentalism works.”

He goes on to qualify that, but that is a typical thing that is done: attack, then soften the statement, but the accusation sticks anyway.  Finally, he says also:

“Now, I must confess a sin. I did not listen to some friends who told me that I would not find a rational conversation here. I am most likely viewing these websites for the last time and would urge all thinking Christians to join me in the exit. Maybe we can stun them with our silence.”

Again, not very charitable.  Dr. Boone does not seem to practice what he preaches.

Dr. Boone is not an exception.  Our Nazarene schools have many leaders who are now allowing the promotion of just about anything without question, and that should not be so.  I have pointed them out many times, and will continue to do so.  Dr. Boone and others can call us jihadists or extreme fundamentalists all they want, but we will continue exposing their dangerous ideologies to Christians who do not believe that ANY man should go unquestioned, just because they have a bunch of degrees and honors.  I challenge Dr. Boone and all others to accept the word of God as what it is: inerrant and infallible, and the only authority for our faith and practice.

Some would say I am not being charitable in my words.  But we are to call out those who are in error, are we not?  Dr. Boone is no exception.  He is just one of many of our leaders who have been in error for a long time.  Popularity notwithstanding, I will continue to call them out.  I’ll conclude with quotes from his book.  You can make up your own mind:

From chapter 5:

“Hinduism. I even reminded the writer that God’s people have often taken elements of other religions and sanctified them for Christian use—Canaanite songs became Jewish psalms, pagan feasts became Christian meals, and so on.”

 

From chapter 6:

“My concern is that we have diminished God by elevating the Bible.”  (???)

“I believe that God is pained over the tenor of the discussion between the literalists of seven-day creation theories and the evolutionists of the slow creative-process theories. To prove either one correct is not a saving act. God is not wringing his hands hoping we defend the literal interpretation of Gen. 1.”

“What I find more exciting and authoritative is the thought that the people of God were exiled in the pagan land of Babylon, listening to pagan stories about the origin of the universe, and the breath of God spoke through a prophet giving them a different understanding. They hijacked the Babylonian tale of creation and declared God to be the one who, in the beginning, created creation and came to take up residence with us in the cosmic temple. Now that’s authority”

Links:

A Charitable (To People Who Think Like Me) Discourse:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/concernednazarenes/doc/10150247210044588/

 

Dan Boone’s Comments on Trevecca:

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/emergent-church-what-is-it/dr-boones-comments-on-trevecca/

Thomas Merton: http://www.facebook.com/groups/concernednazarenes/doc/10150260163134