“and with all the deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 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. 2:10-12
My last post talked about Jay McDaniel and his lecture at Northwest Nazarene University. This lecture took place in October, 2006, although only recently was it made public. Yet, it is still a relevant example of the extreme liberal ideology and emergent thinking that has permeated this and other Nazarene universities and is still going on, therefore its relevance. Brian McLaren was there in 2008 with his three day Everything Must Change tour. It seems the university has a penchant for inviting very liberal speakers to the campus, with little opportunity for debate from anyone with traditional Christian and/or Nazarene theology.
Now comes Sister Helen Prejean. She is scheduled to speak Wednesday night (1/27) on campus, and I wonder if there will be an equally opposing viewpoint presented in a significant way? Sister Helen is the Catholic nun on which the movie Dead Man Walking was based. She has since been shown to be at least very erroneous in many of her writings, or even purposely deceiving, in her work to oppose the death penalty by defending murderers who have clearly been found guilty of their heinous crimes. Her support for the gay lifestyle and ordination of gays is certainly not a standard Nazarene position, and she is a supporter of ecumenical interfaith movements.
Scheduled to be the headline speaker at the annual Wesley Center Conference in February is Philip Yancey, author of “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” Yancey is clearly not Wesleyan in his thinking, and he equivocates on or supports the gay lifestyle as well as ordination of gays. He also is an advocate for the contemplative spirituality movement. So the beat goes on to bring in speakers with aberrant views to NNU on a regular basis, to say whatever they want, and most likely, without anything but a token opposition by way of a weak disclaimer.
I encouraged everyone to view Dr. McDaniel’s lecture and see for themselves the kind of heresy that is being presented to our students at some of our Nazarene universities. I viewed it again and took notes, so here you can have the opportunity to learn of some of the more outrageous and unbiblical things that were said by Dr. McDaniel.
Many today are being led as sheep to the slaughter because of all the false teachers and preachers who are perverting the word of God. By the very words that he spoke in that lecture, I cannot see how Dr. McDaniel can even be called a Christian. Jesus said in Matthew:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
What is the fruit of Dr. McDaniel’s teachings, and of those who were complicit in allowing him to bring such false teachings to vulnerable, impressionable students who are not grounded in the word of God? Are we ourselves complicit in some way, if we don’t speak out? If you have a college bound child right now, ask yourself this: could he or she be in this precarious position someday, and will you regret sending them to a school such as this? Are you willing to take the chance that your child will be exposed to this kind of teaching in such a way as to have it passed off as truth to them? Perhaps it would be better that they go to a secular school instead. At least there, they would know that what they listen to must be judged carefully; whereas, how many students would even think to distrust any professor or lecturer at a Christian school?
One of the most painful things I heard from the lecture was not from Dr. McDaniel, but from a student, who asked him: “How do we merge our faith… how do we gather these truths and make it available to our congregations, to our people without making people nervous?” Let me translate what she is really asking, even though she may not realize it: “How can I bring this heresy you are passing off as truth, back to my church, without upsetting those who still believe that Jesus is the only way to God?”
If some think that Dr. McDaniel is bearing good fruit, let me give you some more detail of what is coming off his tree, and being presented to gullible students, much like what satan presented to Eve in the garden. In fact, it is the same thing, because either the fruit being produced in our lives is of God, or it is of satan. It can’t be both, because a lie cannot be mixed together with truth, and produce good fruit. Dr. McDaniel was clearly feeding lies to students at a Nazarene university. Who will be held responsible for this now, and more seriously, later on in front of God and His judgment? I pray that the blood of these students will not be on my hands or yours; instead, will you meet the challenge to be a watchman on the wall for the Lord?
Here are just a few of Dr. McDaniel’s “best” thoughts, and if you do watch the video, most of you will be very upset. During his lecture, I do not recall a single quote from scripture. I do recall repeated uses of the phrase “I think.” That is how it is with false teachers like this. They want to teach you what they think, rather than teaching you what God thinks, and what God clearly speaks through His word. In 2 Timothy, we are given a serious warning of these kinds of men:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Tim. 4:3-4
And instead of asking him, “but what do the scriptures say”, undiscerning students take it in as easily as a small child being given poisoned candy, without question. They instead praise his “wisdom.”
1. Here Dr. McDaniel is talking about his story, and some of the things he learned in life:
“So I went looking for writers who would give me an image of a more open kind of Christianity- and I turned to this writer named Thomas Merton. He’s a Catholic. And he was one of the first Christians who I encountered who I would say had deep roots in Christianity-and strong wings- he was open to truth wherever he found it.“
Dr. McDaniel tells us he has learned much from a man who was into mysticism, worshipped Mary, and believed all kinds of heresies, and who saw no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity- and who was accidentally electrocuted shortly after beginning a search for “wisdom” during a pilgrimage to several Eastern countries.
But truth is not found “wherever” you find it. Truth is found in only one source: God. And that truth is manifested in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, and also through the only written source of Truth, the Bible. Yet this professing Christian chooses to ignore the Source of truth, and declares that truth can be found in many places. And if you watch the lecture, you will be simply amazed at how he twists the meaning of John 14:6, and fails to answer the question: “Is Jesus the only way to God?”
2. He talked about a Buddhist friend, and he says that he once asked his friend the following:
“What do you know that I don’t? And his Buddhist friend answered, “I know that I am you, and you are me too, but you don’t know that.”
This comment is a reflection of what this man believes in: panentheism, the teaching that God is in all, and that really means ALL; all people, all trees, all rocks, everything. He believes this, as shown in this link to a piece he wrote: In Pan-entheism, God Exists in Beings Everywhere. So that would include satan I suppose, because he is a being, and that would include those who reject God outright. But this is simply a lie, and God is not IN all things, but rather when we repent and turn to faith in Christ, he gives us the Holy Spirit, which guides us into all truth.
He goes on to say, “maybe my Buddhist friend can help me think about God in a fresh way.” Really? Let’s have a Nazarene pastor say this during a sermon, and let’s see how many discerning Christians will buy into this foolishness. Remember again, he claims to be a Christian. But so did Thomas Merton, who blended his Roman Catholic beliefs with Eastern religions. If this is good for Northwest Nazarene University, hey, let’s bring it to all of our schools and seminaries and churches.
“And so the simple point I am explaining to you is, I, to this day, feel grateful to a Buddhist for helping me understand my own faith more deeply. He knew something I needed to know.”
Where does it come close in the scriptures where it teaches us such nonsense? We can understand our faith better from the teachings and life experience of a Buddhist, or perhaps a Daoist, Hindu, or Muslim? Can you see why I and some others who viewed this lecture struggled with watching it in one sitting? This lecture started going down the wrong road in the first five minutes when he was being introduced.
He goes on:
” And can our receptivity- indeed even our vulnerability- You have something to teach me…..can that be a part of our good news to the world? Can our good news to the world be that… we will listen, with a willingness to be touched. With a willingness to be moved? With a willingness to be in a way, converted into deeper forms of love, with their help?”
This man is a universalist, or at least sympathizes with that ideology, as will be evident if you listen to all that he says. Later on, he answers the question: “Who goes to heaven? Is Christ still the only way to get to heaven? Does John 14:6 still apply?”
I can tell you that he never answered a straight yes or no. But read one part of his three part answer here:
“I think my Hindu friend can be open to Christ, without confessing Jesus. And if she is saved… in a way she is saved through Christ, even if that does not mean that she believes in Jesus. I don’t know who goes to heaven. And I don’t think it’s important to know that. I don’t think its important to be able to say to yourself or to the world…I know who goes to heaven, and I know who doesn’t.
Again, a universalistic philosophy is being taught here by a professed evangelical Christian, to students at a Nazarene university. And I’m afraid, some of them are soaking it up as truth! Because that is clearly what he is espousing here. But that’s okay, because after all, it’s a liberal arts school, right? And because it is, that gives us the excuse of throwing every kind of false teaching at our students, and even if some are being led to the slaughter… well, at least we made them think, right?
4. Here is another quote as part of his answer to that question:
“And I know that God meets me through Jesus…but not only through Jesus. God meets me through the hills and the rivers and the trees and the stars. God meets me through my family. God meets me through John Coltrane (he’s a jazz musician). God meets me through music. I’m not going to restrict the ways God meets me- to Jesus. And I don’t think Jesus would want me to. But who goes to heaven… let’s just wait and see.”
5. Finally, from a report by the editors at Lighthouse Trails Research: McDaniel stated that if Jesus had meant to say that He himself was the way, the truth, and the life, it would have been egocentric and arrogant of Jesus – He only meant to point people in the right direction – letting go of ego and grasping love. McDaniel stated also that Buddhist mindfulness (eastern meditation) is just as truth filled as doctrine and theology. He said there was an overemphasis in the church on doctrine calling it bibliolatry (idol worship of the Bible).
Perhaps from this, more Christians will become aware of just one example of the evil being fed our students at some of these Nazarene universities. Got a child close to college age? Beware, you had better do your homework, if you are of the same mind as me, that this is dangerous stuff, and it does not belong in our Christian universities. If you don’t have a child going to school soon, you ought to still be concerned. These kids are either our brothers and sisters in Christ, or they are unbelieving students who will be led to believe in another Jesus, another gospel, which will lead them straight to the gates of hell. But we ought to care about all of them, not only those we know personally.
Sorry if my directness and bluntness might disturb anyone, especially folks at NNU, but this is the truth of what is happening almost everywhere, in all denominations, and this is a deadly, serious game that we cannot afford to allow to continue unchallenged. To those who believe we should speak the truth in love, this is what exactly what some of us are doing. When it comes to false teachers, remember what the scriptures say:
Ephesians 5:6-11 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
I pray that more of us will wake up to this, and voice their strong concerns to our leadership and to those who are inviting these wolves in sheep’s clothing into our schools, where so many vulnerable sheep are awaiting for real truth to be spoken to them, but may instead buy into a lie. Those who are responsible for bringing these speakers and professors to our universities should be held accountable, and perhaps the way to start doing that is by using the power of the checkbook- and withholding it!