False Prophet Tony Campolo Promotes Doctrines of Demons To ENC Students

1 Tim 4: 1-2 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

2 Pet. 2:1-3 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

Bear with me, this one’s a little long again, but this has gotten to the point of absolute outrage, and I need to tell you why.  Perhaps this is the last time some of you will want to hear from me, but what you will hear is the truth.  There needs to be another Reformation in the Church of the Nazarene, instead of a return to Rome as it appears to be heading, destroying everything that the reformers did so many years ago- destroying the very reasons why we call ourselves Protestants.  Are there any Martin Luthers out there who are willing to do what he did so long ago?  How long will the people of God sleep while the wolves keep devouring the sheep in the pen?  It is clear to me that the sheep pen doors are broken, the watchmen and the people of God have fallen asleep, and the ravening wolves have come inside the church.  And it is no surprise, because the greatest threat to the church has always been from within, not from without.  The shepherds of the church of God are abdicating their responsibility. (Acts 20:28-31)

First, a challenge:  If any ordained elder in the Nazarene church, and especially those who were at the chapel service on Friday, can show me through scripture that the practices promoted by Tony Campolo are biblical, I will recant my position on Tony Campolo and accept these practices myself.  Anyone responding to this challenge would need to send me a copy and allow their work to be posted publicly for all to read.  (I will not accept explanations using Psalm 46:10.  See the following for an explanation: Does Psalm 46:10 teaches Contemplative?).


This is the angriest I have been since I stepped into this mess called the emergent church movement.  I have been researching books and articles by and about emergent church leaders and mystics for the past two years; I have watched some of their videos and gotten upset at the false teachings and the disrespect of scripture.  But there is something about hearing this stuff firsthand, something about being there in person.  And that is probably why my blood is boiling even more now.  To hear a tool of satan trying to peddle his demonic doctrines to students at a holiness based Protestant school was just too much for me.  And to know that the leaders of that school are complicit in giving this man a platform is doubly maddening.  Yes, a tool and servant of satan was given a warm welcome at Eastern Nazarene College Friday morning.

As I pondered on Reformation weekend, which is a time to celebrate and think on what Martin Luther and others sacrificed for the sake of preserving the sole authority of scripture and true biblical doctrine, I thought of the perverse way that Tony Campolo used the reference to the Reformation to introduce his mystical practices whose source is not of God, but from satan.  What an insult to the memory of those who died for the sake of printing the Bible in defiance of Rome and its unbiblical papal authority that tried to deny the people the word of God in their own hands.  And now, it seems as if we are in need of yet another reformation, as apparently ENC and other Nazarene universities are returning to Rome and everything that the reformers fought against so many years ago.

So a pretending evangelical “Christian” pastor comes to a Christian chapel service for students, again, with the blessing of the leadership- which I had met with and warned!  They excused him as someone who has a lot of good things to offer, and perhaps if he had stuck with his beginning script, my outrage would be at a lower level.  And they had reassured me that they typically allow the opportunity later in some kind of session or other, for questions and debate.  If so, not this time!  I was told that Dr. Campolo was going to be too busy for questions.  So my question is this: when will there be an opportunity to correct the lies that he promulgated last Friday, and set the record straight with the students at ENC? Will the leadership extend an invitation to me or someone else, if we promise to only preach on the word of God alone, and nothing else?  Sola scriptura is one of the five great statements that came out of the Reformation, and that I can guarantee the President of ENC is what I will speak on, the word of God.  I offer to them now, the only chance for them to correct the big mistake that happened on Friday, to set the record straight on the mysticism that Campolo promoted that day.  If not me, then someone else.  If not someone else, then they are just as guilty in spreading his falsehoods as if they did it themselves!  And any discerning Christian who was there and recognized his falsehoods, and decide to stay silent, will have blood on their hands for not saying a word.  (Ezekiel 33) As I have written before, I’ll take that millstone and hang it around my neck, than be silent and let one of these young kids be deceived by satan and his servants.

Here are my final thoughts before I give you the details of what happened:

  1. Tony Campolo is still a false prophet, and the most dangerous kind: a very good and effective false prophet who is apparently fooling ordained elders in the church.
  2. Tony Campolo was allowed, unchallenged, to promote his doctrines of demons to several hundred students in a chapel service at a Christian school.
  3. The leadership at ENC, and perhaps the board of trustees, needs to answer and explain as to why he and others like him should be allowed to speak there, or to explain why he should never appear there again.
  4. To any Christian parents considering sending your child to ENC in the near future: please do not do it at this time, because you might be risking your child’s eternal destiny by doing so.  (The same goes for Northwest Nazarene, Trevecca, Point Loma, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and Nazarene Bible College.  These are just the ones I personally have documented as being in crisis).
  5. If you are a strong Bible believer opposed to unbiblical doctrines, do not send a dime to any of these schools until there is a return to biblically sound leadership that uses discernment in selecting its teachers and speakers.
  6. Are there any “Martin Luthers”  out there, who are willing to go to the leadership of each of these schools, and “nail another 95 Theses” to their door?
  7. If it becomes clear that the leadership of any of these schools persists in allowing unbiblical teachings to continue, I will urge all Bible believing Christians to begin daily prayer for that school to be shut down, for the safety of our students.

That is my opinion.  Campolo gave his Friday morning, and so did the leaders at my alma mater.  Will anyone else stand for truth, speak out, and challenge the leadership?

My Report on Friday’s Chapel Service

I attended the student chapel, along with my brother John, to hear Campolo speak. He was there promoting his Compassion Ministry and encouraged everyone to sponsor a child in need.  His main scriptural theme was based on Matthew 13 and the parable of the seeds.  He spoke eloquently about the tragedy of what happened in Haiti, and how so many children need our help. He challenged the students to do more than be a believer, but also be a believer who can respond to needs such as this.  He was impressive, and obviously is a passionate and accomplished speaker.

David Cloud (Way of Life) says of Campolo:

“Campolo is a master entertainer. No doubt about it. Of course, that is the kind of speaker who is popular in this confused, carnal hour. Campolo is dynamic, interesting, and personable. He appeals to the young and to the old. He can make you laugh, and he can make you cry. He is full of zeal. He can move people. But Campolo is a dangerous man because of his aberrant theology.”

So here’s the problem, in spite of the good words said, and the random quoting of scripture.  Tony Campolo is still a false prophet. A false prophet who managed to get our ire up about five times greater than it was before we heard him speak. Ironically, there we were, a few days before Reformation Sunday, and I thought that right there, in a Protestant Bible believing church building, it was going to be a very safe message.  And he sure sprinkled enough scripture in there that day!  But I remind you that satan  used scripture as he tried to offer an easy life to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do you know that the mark of a good false teacher is the leaven he inserts in the middle of all that good sounding message he seems to be bringing?  Are you one of those who can only recognize the Benny Hinns of the world, because they are so obvious, yet cannot recognize the real professional spiritual shysters and PHd’s in con artistry such as Tony Campolo?

And so Tony Campolo could not help himself on Friday, and managed to sow some seeds of his own.  Funny, I said to myself- at least he does not hide what he believes!  Not so those who I have confronted for the last two years and did not have the courage to admit what they truly believe, but instead couched their words in mystery so you never know what they profess for sure.  Unfortunately, some of the seeds he sowed are not the kind of seed that Jesus Christ and His apostles ever sowed.

Let’s get to what he said that disturbed me, and ought to disturb every Bible believing Christian reading this. What is most upsetting is not Campolo speaking at ENC, but the leadership allowing him to speak, and letting the students and even some adults there walk away singing his praises, oblivious to the heresy he just spewed out.  Was there any discernment amongst those who were “mature” Christians?  I saw a good number of pastors there, and I am amazed how some of them did not think that anything wrong was said that morning!  I know, because some of them have told me they don’t agree with me on the same issues that Campolo brought up.

Campolo quoted St. Francis of Assisi early on.  He stated also that the best Christian songs often come from Broadway shows, such as Les Misérables! An example he said was “The Impossible Dream.”  (We thought that was a bit silly, but he did get a couple of approving chuckes from the listeners).  He talked about being a ‘red letter’ Christian.   However, these supposed red letter Christians end up picking and choosing which words of Jesus they wish to obey, and which to ignore- particularly the hard words about sin, repentance, Jesus being the only way, future judgment, and hell.  They overlook certain red letters, because they are hypocrites fashioning their own man made gospel and picking only the scriptures that make them feel good about themselves.

He called himself a “follower of Jesus.” That’s code for “I hate the word ‘Christian’, and saying that I’m a ‘follower of Jesus’ shows that I am part of the hip, post-modern culture that whispers to everyone… “you can follow Jesus, but not necessarily be a Christian”.  That’s exactly what some of these people believe when they use that phrase.  A Buddhist or a Hindu can be a follower of Jesus, and stay in their religion, as Brian McLaren has said.

The Reformation was Good… And Bad

So now he’s got them where he wants them, soon after tugging at their hearts about the kids who lost their limbs in Haiti.  So now he mentions the Reformation, how we can thank the Reformation for weeding out many horrible doctrines that were taught in that day.  But…. here comes the but….. he also says that we also “lost a lot of good things from the Reformation.” Like the following, which he shamelessly promoted and encouraged everyone to practice:

  1. Centering Prayer (or contemplative prayer)
  2. Lectio Divina
  3. The Jesus Prayer  (a mantra, a repetitive use of a word, usually Jesus, over and over).
  4. The Prayer of Examen (St. Ignatius)  “I’m into St. Ignatius these days”

(This excerpt from the Emerging Church DVD, by Ray Yungen, explains centering prayer, mantras, and more)

He said “I say the name of Jesus over and over again”, and suggested that we try it, that we should do it for 15 minutes, until this ritual “drives away the dark forces around us.” Magical formula?  A “Christian” incantation to drive away the demons?  Pastors, do you practice this, or would you allow Tony Campolo to teach this to your congregation?  Any pastors out there who can testify to the effectiveness and biblical soundness of this kind of prayer?  Is this one of those “non-essentials” that we can disagree on?

In describing Centering Prayer, he said “it takes only 15 minutes to be inwardly still.” He asked, “when was the last time you were still for 20 minutes- so that you can come alive in Christ?” Which chapters and verses, Tony, are you referring to, that teach us this mindless way of “coming alive in Christ?”  Perhaps some of the pastors who attended can explain this one to me, since no question and answer session was on the schedule for the day.

Where is the biblical justification for any of this?  And if there is none at all, why do so many tolerate this?  Campolo also said, “be still, and let the spirit of God teach you.” This man is promoting mindless, Christianized transcendental meditation- and nobody cares??  It is NOT Christian!  And the only thing I may have done wrong, was perhaps I should have stood up and challenged this messenger of satan’s lies, right in front of all those students and pastors in that chapel.

Finally, he talked about doing these practices so that we can find ourselves in that “thin place” that the Celtic Christians used to talk about”. This alone, if nothing else was said, made me want to jump up and interrupt him- and perhaps I should have.  What’s a thin place, you ask?  You won’t find it in scripture, because its roots are from the occult, and its described as: “In simple terms a ‘thin place’ is a place where the veil between this world and the Other world is thin, the Other world is more near.  This meaning assumes the perceiver senses the existence of a world beyond  what we know through our five senses.

Here is what he says from one of his books:

“The constant repetition of his name clears my head of everything but the awareness of his presence. By driving back all other concerns, I am able to create what the ancient Celtic Christians called ‘THE THIN PLACE.’ The thin place is that spiritual condition wherein the separation between the self and God becomes so thin that God is able to break through and envelop the soul. … Like most Catholic mystics, [Loyola] developed an intense desire to experience A ‘ONENESS’ WITH GOD” (Letters to a Young Evangelical, pp. 26, 30).

Roger Oakland explains in his book about this terminology:

“This term ‘thin place’ originated with Celtic spirituality (i.e., contemplative) and is in line with panentheism. … Thin places imply that God is in all things, and the gap between God, evil, man, everything thins out and ultimately disappears in mediation” (Faith Undone, pp. 114, 115).

So Tony Campolo is recommending to students at a holiness based college, with Nazarene pastors sitting right there listening to him, to practice occultic, mantra-like rituals and pagan contemplative prayer, which has nothing- nothing to do with the Bible.  As I looked around at the pastors who were there, I wondered to myself: do they have any idea that this man is spouting heresies to hundreds of students?  Do they care?  Or worst still, do they agree with him?  Would there be one pastor who was there that day, who will now speak to the leadership at ENC and ask, what are you exposing our students to?

Several times, as I listened to this man speak, I prayed as I looked around at these young people, all young enough to be my children.  I prayed to God that not one would remember what he suggested for them to try and do; that not one would fall under the spell of this deceiver; that not one would soon start sitting in a circle with his friends, and practice mind-emptying silence in an expectation of “coming alive in Christ.”  If I could weep tears on the outside, they would have flowed nonstop that morning.  I wanted to stand up and yell, “this is wrong!”  I even pictured myself running down the aisle to confront this man in front of everyone.  I wept inside, as I asked myself, what is the Nazarene denomination doing to itself?  Where has the obedience to God’s word gone, that leaders will put up with anyone and anything now?  Why are the people of God sitting idly by, while our leaders are throwing our students to the wolves?

As my brother and I stood outside sometime after it was all over, a friend we knew came up to us and said: “wasn’t that a powerful message?”  I hesitated for a second, and then I had to tell this person the truth.  I told her the truth about Tony Campolo, and I spoke the truth about our denomination, and what happened to me as I counted the cost of standing for truth.  Clearly when this friend left us, she was a bit uncomfortable, not having expected to hear the kind of response I gave her.  I pray that she will start looking into these things herself.  A young man also asked us how we liked the service, and I had to tell him the truth, giving him a card and asking him to go my blog to read what I am writing now.  It was not a comfortable time for him as he heard my opinion about Tony Campolo, but I had to tell the truth.  I pray that he will keep an open mind to what I have to say.

Maybe for some of you, it’s not a confortable time right now as you read this.  Did I make you uncomfortable?  Did I make you dislike me, or think of me as a hater, a divider, a troublemaker?  Do you think Jesus or the apostles would tolerate for one minute what Tony Campolo promoted Friday?  If not, then why should you or I tolerate it?  And why would you be angry at me, if I spoke the truth?  Or maybe I am I telling lies.  How do you discern who is telling the truth, and who is telling lies?  You look to the word of God, not your feelings, not not personal loyalties, nothing but the word of God.

The truth must be told, whether anyone likes to hear it or not, and the light must be shone on these false teachers so they can be exposed to the whole world.  And let the truth be clearly understood: the real dividers in the church are those who are allowing false doctrines to creep in through false prophets like Campolo and the others.  Not Manny Silva.  Not Concerned Nazarenes.  Not any discernment ministry out there today.  And if there is to be any division, let it be a division of those who obey the word of God, from those who do not.  Tony Campolo used the parable of the seeds for his message.  Ironically, here is the parable that follows:

Mat. 13:24-30 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

The enemy used Tony Campolo to sow the seeds of apostasy on Friday morning, Oct. 29, at Eastern Nazarene College.  It is time to separate the tares from the wheat, just as Jesus commanded.  It is time for repentance.  It is time for the sleeping Christians to wake up.


41 responses to “False Prophet Tony Campolo Promotes Doctrines of Demons To ENC Students

  1. Manny,
    Great article, well written. You are right when you say that scripture is our only defense against false teacher’s and their teaching. One would be wise not to try and build a doctrine on one Scripture to support their false ideology of worship as the false teachers are doing.

    Satan used this same tatic when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. In Matthew [4: 6-7] Satan quotes a passage from Psalms [91: 11-12]. Naturally he misquoted it, but he hoped it would serve his purpose. Jesus used Scripture to defeat him which should serve as an example for all of us.

    Another example would be when Dr. Campolo used his example of “The Jesus Prayer” as a form of worship using repetitive words. He obliviously tried to blame the Reformation for going too far when leaving this practice behind. Anyone who has read “Faith Alone” A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther, edited by James C. Galvin would know that Martin Luther despised repetition as a means of worship to merit God’s grace. In fact he mentioned in different devotionals how this practice left him empty and void.

    A greater against “The Jesus prayer” (as a means of repetitive worship) is found in Matthew [6: 7-8] Jesus said, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetition as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Jesus said this prior to teaching the model prayer which was without repetition.

    For those who place their salvation on saving the world needs to read what Jesus had to say about doing your charitable deeds before men to be seen of them found in Matthew [6:1-4] especially v.3-4. “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Jesus applied the same rule to prayer as well.

    None of the above supports Dr. Campolo’s teachings and should be taken serious giving what is at stake as Manny points out.

  2. Thanks for the scriptural clarifications, that was great.
    As I said in the post, Lige, to be there physically was so much more of an impact on us- I was glad I went- although I was sad to hear him spouting this stuff to our kids.

  3. Dear Manny,

    Their are many points in your entry that are concerning and unsettling to me, but there is one that stands out above all the others.

    How is it wrong to meditate on and speak out loud the name of Jesus? Since when is this a prayer to be avoided? Aren’t we getting a little too caught up in doctrine if we begin believing that meditation on and the repetition of Jesus’ name is wrong? Isn’t this the name we joyfully sing and repeat during worship in every church service?

    As I read your blog, I was reminded of Philippians 2:10-11 “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The name of Jesus is “above all others”.

    Great power resides in our Saviors name. Meditating on his name, and who He is, can only draw one closer to Christ. I am challenged by Tony Campolo’s words, because they speak truth (he is not a tool of Satan) and remind us of the power we have in our Savior, Jesus.

  4. It’s weird knowing that you were praying for the students hearts to turn cold during chapel because during that time I was praying God would soften your heart. Students are still talking about the power of Tony’s message and the committments they’ve made to Christ (not Tony) and your heart is still hard. God must have bigger plans than either of us expected.

  5. Lauren,
    I hope you just did not try to twist my words- or perhaps yo u did not read carefully. I won’t “repeat” myself- but Lige’s previous comments made the same points I have made before, and many other Christians have done. Please read his comments, my previous comments also.

    Just to clarify- one more time- and please let me know if you understand it:
    1. I am not against meditation- EXCEPT for the kind that seeks to empty the mind, waiting for God to fill the void. that is unbilical.
    2. I speak the name of Jesus out loud often- in prayer, in thanksgiving, in confession- but never in a repetitive, formula-like mantra that Tony Campolo does.

    Do you understand twhere I am coming from now? I though I had made it clear in my post.
    Thirdly, what do you say of “the thin place” that Campolo referenced. Is that also biblical?

  6. Did you actually read my post carefully, StilNazarene? Or did you deliberately twist my words? I did not pray for the students’ hearts to turn cold.

    Please read it again. I won’t allow any more comments from you if you don’t carefully read things. Just to clarify for you- once more-
    I hoped that the students would forget what Campolo said- nothing about hearts turning cold. If they forgot his heretical words or were not paying attention, then that would be a victory for them if if not knowing it. Tony’s message may have been powerful, but it was interjected with lies for about 10 minutes when he promoted his mystical and unbiblical teachings.

  7. I have been doing a lot of research about contemplative prayer. It is a practiced that was borrowed from Hinduism and Buddhism in the fourth century by the Desert Fathers, a group of monks that lived in Egypt. It was brought to the masses in the 1970s by another group of monks/Roman Catholic priests and has been slowly infiltrating Evangelical churches along with the rise of the Emergent Church movement since the 1990s. This practice is anything but biblical.

    The object of contemplative prayer is to empty one’s mind until an altered state of consciousness is reached. Thinking is discouraged. The practitioner’s posture is important. The back must be kept straight. For an explanation of why a straight back is necessary, google “kundalini”. The Bible never encourages anyone to try to empty the mind of all thought. That is a tool of eastern mysticism.

    It is evident from some of the previous comments above that the church needs to do a better job of educating people – including the leadership – about which practices are biblical and are therefore acceptable for Christians and which are not.

    Thank you, Manny, for your article and your diligence in helping to educate those who will listen.

  8. Lige;

    I agree with your mention of Matthew 6:7, but there are those who don’t. Barefoot Ministries has an ancient faith series. One of the series, sacred life (published 2008), is particularly bad. It promotes ignatius examen, prayer beads, lectio divina, the Jesus prayer, and other rot.

    The chapter on the Jesus prayer, claims Matthew 6:7 spoke of Gentiles who repeated their prayers to multiple gods, hoping at least one of them was the right one. The author, a youth pastor, also says the name of Jesus holds mysterious power.

    The author, Kleinfeld, cites Paul’s pray without ceasing and Jesus’ twice repeated prayer in the garden as grounds for repetitive prayer (to the point of using a prayer rope to keep track of how many times you have prayed, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”)

    This is a youth pastor, leading kids off the cliff while they are young and lacking discernment.

    There is power in the name of Jesus, but not used as pixie dust. The seven Jewish exorcists found that out in Acts 19.

    Praying without ceasing is not about praying the same thing without ceasing. Jesus praying the same thing three times is persistent prayer, but hardly the heaping up of words Jesus, HIMSELF is speaking against in Matthew 6:7.
    More likely this is a reminder to not be like the Baal worshipers in I Kings 18. How did that work out for them?

    The name Jesus being used in power requires obediently serving Him as Lord. Not a thing I see being expressed by formulaic repetition.

    Speaking of Lord, one of my frustrations is the number of people who rave about the Message. It in no way promotes Lordship of any of the deity. The NASB, KJV, NKJV, ESV, RSV, NIV, AMP, NLT, CEV, NCV, GWT, and KJV 21st Century use Lord 5912 times to 8744 times with a very tight cluster around the average of about 6700 times. The Message uses Lord 71 times, just a hair over 1% of the average.

    -other thoughts-
    Leonard Ravenhill thought only 5% of people claiming to be Christian were correctly making that claim with real maturity, knowledge and discernment of what they were professing. That was in 1958. Wonder what he would think now?

    Barefoot Ministries is Nazarene, this is not an outside effort like Campolo.

    Manny. thanks for staying faithful.

  9. I would ask still nazarene if they watched the Ray Yungen video on contemplative prayer.
    This person has a very distorted view of true biblical discernment.
    Hard hearts on our side?
    Always pray for soft hearts not soft heads though

  10. Tim,
    I do hope StillNazarene responds on that question, I would like to know if he/she has seen it also, and what they think about it.

  11. Manny and Others,

    I thought you might be interested in seeing this. My daughter sent it to me. It is an article in the current Point Weekly – a student run newspaper. The article was written by a staff writer and the features editor. My daughter, a junior at PLNU, said, “This is scary, and it is NOT OK. What can be done?” I think we need to get the word out about this.


    A Slumber Party With Madame Tingley

    “…We decided to hold a meeting with the spirits of the house during the wee hours of the morning to introduce ourselves; traditional ghost hunters call this a “reaching out,” where an attempt is made at making contact with spirits. We situated ourselves in one of the dark rooms as the lights of passing cars shot over the ceiling.
    “We come here to honor you more than anything, out of curiosity of your existence.
    “Madame Tingley, or any other spirits of the Theosophical Society, if you would like to make yourself known to us, you can move the fan in any way…”

  12. Sondra,
    I agree. I will try to look into this, and anyone interested I encourage you to also check it out, perhaps ask questions of the university people.

    Thanks Sondra. I don’ blame your daughter one bit that she is concerned.

  13. I listened to the message again, and Tony Campolo convicts himself with his own words again.

    I don’t know if any ordained pastor in the Nazarene church is going to justify all the practices he promoted, as I challenged them to. If they cannot, then they need to admit their error in supporting this man at all.

    He may have said some really nice things that day, but that does not excuse him from what he said in error. I could preach a great sermon, but in the middle, recommend that ouija boards are good for getting filled with God’s Holy Spirit. I would think I should get thrown out on my ears for that, regardless of the rest of my message.

  14. Sondra – did you save a copy of the webpage? This stuff disappears faster than anything. The only thing I found was a basic cached page of the article, because the original link is now gone. (If it was “good” then why remove it? What are they trying to hide?)

    Whatever you find, make sure you save a copy of the webpage.


  15. First words of Tony’s sermon from Matthew – FALSE. The seeds are not a calling. Jesus said in his own words – the seed is the WORD OF GOD. The following illustrations are the different people and what they do with that Word!

  16. Betty,
    You are right. There were other things in this message that twist of God’s word that need to be exposed.
    It could have been a much longer post- but I do appreciate that the put the message up for all to hear- and make up their minds.

    And if I made any errors in my reporting, I’ll be the first to correct them.

  17. The link for the article on the slumber party doesn’t work and neither does googling for the article. Apparently the servers are down at PLNU.

    Did anyone save a copy of it?

  18. I just submitted a comment on the cached site, and it took it- but it is awaiting moderation.

    i simply asked: “What does this have to do with good biblical discernment?”

  19. Manny,

    I listened to Dr. Campolo’s chapel service provided by Rev. Corey. Here is how it came across to me. For the first approximately Seventeen minutes he uses Matthew [13:] as his text, and almost immediately he began talking down to the student body to put them on a guilt trip similar to the same technique used by false evangelist so you will give into their coffers.

    He used the sowing of seed to illustrate their lack of commitment about their relationship with the Lord by neglecting the poor using Haiti as an example. However, he took time to boast about himself as that example. He actually accused them of neglecting their call to discipleship, and pratically de-Christianized those who do not follow his teaching.

    After chastising them, he attacks their prayer life and tells them that they do not know how to pray. He them begins to instruct them in “Centering Prayer, The Thin Place, The Prayer of Examen, and Lectio Divina,” those of which you have already covered in the body of your text.

    I can see no spiritual value in what Dr. Campolo is teaching. He articulates well and uses Scripture loosely to support his claims for ways to worship which are false. I wonder if he imposes upon himself what he imposes on others especially in material things.


  20. I just listened to Tony Campolo’s talk. It was shocking to hear him promote a practice to our Nazarene university students that is the same as transcendental meditation. (See http://www.tm.org/) There is a very good article about this on http://www.catholic.com
    “The Danger of Centering Prayer” By John D. Dreher
    It starts like this:
    “CENTERING (CONTEMPLATIVE) PRAYER is essentially a form of self-hypnosis. It makes use of a ‘mantra’, a word repeated over and over to focus the mind…The effects are a hypnotic-like state…”

    Do those in leadership not know how dangerous this is? Inviting Tony Campolo to speak was, at best, extremely irresponsible on their part.

  21. Corey,

    So here is a group of conservatives that say in essence, “We are not happy or approving of these type of liberal compromising speakers in our budget supported denominational Colleges.

    Will you allow for suggestions of future conservative speakers for chapel from those of us who are deeply troubled over this recent high profile speaker? If so, what is your criteria for what qualifies for a ENC chapel speaker? Popularity, doctrinal position, book author or other?

    Let’s balance the scale and have a speaker from a more conservative side of the aisle and maybe some reconciliation can occur.

    Grace & Peace

    Peter Migner, Pastor

  22. Rev. MacPherson:

    Thank you for posting the link so that we were able to listen for ourselves. Although I didn’t find the overall sermon topic disturbing, I was bothered by a couple of things.

    I disagree with Mr. Campolo where he urges a priority on the red letters, he is suggesting a very biased hermeneutic whereby we look directly upon Jesus words using our cultural context. This gives a biased interpretation of Jesus message. His message is best understood in the context of the whole counsel of scripture, as Wesleyan’s we should reject Mr. Campolo’s view as insufficient, the quad teaches us otherwise. I sincerely hope that ENC teaches against this view, it is not holding with our faith tradition.

    I was concerned with his tactics. Compassion International is a good organization, our family sponsors a child who is this year graduating from their program, we are looking forward to another opportunity. But I am rethinking this after listening to Mr. Campolo’s diatribe of guilt peddling. To actually suggest that unmarried couples should enter into joint financial commitments together? He goes over the line here. To suggest that college students, many of which are not self supporting, should feel guilty and then give to his cause? This is the first time that I have heard a spokesperson for this organization using these tactics, please leave this link intact, I will forward it to Compassion International with a plea that they rein in this individual.

    What really disturbed me were the references to witchcraft and mysticism. To speak of the “thin place” where ones consciousness is altered. To promote the repetition of mantras in order to get oneself into a special spiritual state. This is dangerous practice, Jesus instructed us how to pray, he encouraged plain conversation. Paul tells us to test the spirits to see if they are from God. Mr. Campolo’s method clearly rules out the “testing” that Paul envisions, one must remain cognitive to “test” such things. Please tell me that ENC offers teaching to counteract this dangerous practice. We do not serve a God of wood or stone, our God is alive and he is not reached in a trance like state. One of his gifts to us is that of a sound mind.

    Like Manny is, I am praying for your students. And I pray that you will search for Godly speakers for your chapel services.

  23. Jim, et al: What deeply concerns me is that Tony misinterpreted scripture for his own desires (and his and others “itching ears”). The seeds are not “callings” – Jesus gives a very clear definition to his disciples following the parable: the seed is the Word! Those on the path, the rock, in the weeds, and in the good soil are referring to those who hear the Word and what they do with it. Campolo’s very subtle twisting of God’s Word immediately sets the stage for his fast slide down the slippery slope of what followed as dangerous false teaching (thin line, mysticism, foolish prayer, etc.). Unless we are learning for *ourselves* and then teaching our students the Truth of God’s Word then we will never know to discern a false teacher from one who is preaching what is real and true.

    I listened to an online sermon recently by a renowned minister who was preaching on Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro. He made inferences to Moses feeling all proud and cocky because he was ‘the judge’ of the people – the Pastor even scoffed/laughed at the ‘boringness’ of Leviticus, Numbers, etc. Isn’t it ironic then that it is in NUMBERS where the Word says that Moses was the most humble man in all the earth? How could that pastor interpret Moses to be cocky with pride then?

    The same goes for Tony Campolo – he was flat out wrong of his interpretation of scripture.

    We need to get in the Word – from beginning to end (In the beginning was the Word and the Word became flesh John 1). Truth from Genesis to Revelation!

  24. I attended the chapel and was very moved by Tony’s message. I guess I just did not read so much into what Tony said. I am sure most students did not either. Instead I was challenged to “listen to God” instead of speaking to him, and to rid myself of things that might keep me from hearing God clearly. I believe that Tony made me believe that God is powerful and the Holy Spirit is powerful. Tony challenged me to not just listen to what my parents told me I should do, but what God, our Father and Creator, would rather have me do.

    Even if I agree with some of the what people are upset about in terms of Tony’s “guilt trip” and the “centering prayer” (i did not even know this was a thing….) it seems foolish to pray to “shut downt he college” or to “not give a dime.” Come on! I that is a bit extreme! If you have a problem with Tony then go ahead and continue your mission against him, but don’t bring down the schools. Would the students be better off hearing secular speakers at state schools? I just ask that you blog on this topic with Christian love and respect.

  25. Dear Just a Listener,
    I’m going to try to be patient with you, but straight to the point. And I will be honest with you, even if you might seem to think I am being rude.
    First- what kind of biblical discernment do you think you have? You admit you never heard of centering prayer. Well, now you do. And now you will perhaps know even more- I am posting a new post later today about what Tony Campolo meant about “thin places.” After you read that, could you come back and give a “biblically” grounded comment on thin places, whether this is good or bad?

    Secondly, how do you listen to God? Well, for me I listen to God by mainly reading His word, and understanding what His word says to me. His Holy Spirit guides me into truth, but it is always grounded and goes back to His word. I do not hear a little voice in my ear! I hope that’s not what you mean, and I hope that is not your justification for sitting still for 20 minutes to try to “listen” to God’s voice.

    Third- it is not extreme for me to pray that a college gets shut down – if that college (Christian) continues promoting and welcoming false teachers who spread the lies of satan, it deserves to be shut down, for the protection of innocent kids who trust their leaders there.

    Fourth- I would encourage you to look to the word of God, and not just take Tony’s words for it. He is a powerful speaker- and very good- but he said a lot more falsehoods there than I even had time to cover. He twisted scripture, and I guess you did not even notice. That is a dangerous place to be. For your sake, please, spend as much time as you can in God’s word, and learn it well, so that you are not deceived by people like Tony Campolo.

    I look forward to hearing what your thoughts are after my post on thin places later.

  26. I should start by saying I am not a Christian. That is because I have always found Christians to be very hard hearted and completely unloving to people who to them have the nerve to disagree with them. When ever anyone disputes this with me, I will simply send them here. Man oh man, you expect me to want to follow a God who wants us to treat people who disagree with us like that. I kind of feel bad for Just a Listener. How dare he question you! I just cannot find Christianity at all appealing when you can never find a single Christian who cares about anything other than getting people to agree with them. Thanks for the reminder that I am better off where I am.

  27. I don’t understand Thomas, how did I have any kind of mistreatment for Just A Listener? I was very respectful.
    As far as you not being a Christian, perhaps that is why you don’t understand all that a Christian needs to do. Above all, we are to be obedient to Christ. part of that is standing up against false teaching. So I’m sorry of that makes you feel that Christianity is bad for you, but my responsibility is to do all that Christ commands.
    We will all answer to God someday. Even if too many Christians are hypocritical, and do not live a life exemplifying what they should say they believe, does not excuse any of us for answering to God,and if you reject Him, you will answer to Him someday.
    I pray that you will find Him someday, regardless of any hypocrisy in this world by anyone who is a Christian, or professes to be a Christian. Heading down a road to eternal separation from God is not where you want to be.

  28. Thomas,

    I am just curious, but what about this site/blog would draw you as a unbeliever here in the first place? The purpose of this site is not to convince unbelievers to become followers, but rather for Nazarene Christians to defend biblical doctrines against the onslaught of those who are twisting Scripture?

    Do you know people who have posted here, did someone tell you about this site or did you search for something and run across this website? And since you noted you were not a Christian what religion or belief system do you adhere too?


  29. Peter,
    I have a Christian friend who keeps talking about this “emergent” thing so I hit up a search engine. This site eventually popped up in Yahoo so I came here. There is also an emergent nazarene blog I came across as well. I am catching on that reformed and emergent are different since you guys really seem to have a disdain for each other. I suppose if you called me anything, it might be agnostic. The truth is I have never really found a religion that actually cared about people more than acting a certain way or feeling right in general. However I am still open to something bigger than me out there.

  30. Thomas.

    The disdain you are witnessing may be the making of the stages of what leads to so many different denominations. At one time the Nazarene Christians were on the same page theologically and now we are witnessing a great divide over how to progress and what that looks like. To be honest I am not sure the value of sites like this other than making those who are unaware aware of the divide among us. before they might become captive to twisted truth that Jesus warned would happen in the last of days. Sorry this site gave you a bad taste, but meeting people in person or hearing their hearts I am sure would convey a much different picture than just reading a bunch of words on a website. I would encourage you to seek to study the Life and claims of Jesus. If you want I would be glad to speak with you on the phone sometime. Just email me and I will send you my contact info.


  31. My ? is do you love Tony do you pray for him would you die on a cross for him. When is the last time you just went out and shared Christ with the lost?

  32. Yes, Dave, I pray for Tony, as well as others such as Brian McLaren. Of course, I pray even harder for those students that he is trying to con into practicing a false gospel. They are more of a concern to me than he is, but yes, I do pray for him.
    But he is a false teacher who needs to come back to the real Jesus and give up his mystical, pagan practices that have nothing to do with Christianity. So I am following biblical instructions to expose those who do what he is doing. You disagree with exposing the wolves who come into the church?

  33. greetings. i stumbled on to this page looking for tony campolo quotes and find it very interesting. just a few quick thoughts…

    1) about centering prayer: i suppose it depends upon what the person in prayer is centering upon. prayers offered to the universe, mother nature, false gods, etc. could range anywhere from merely useless to outright damaging. however, i have faith that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are more than able to speak to their followers in any number of ways.

    2) the thin place: i’ve been places where great evil has been done and there is a sort of spiritual residue left behind. a discerning believer can “feel” the darkness sometimes. on the other hand, most of us have also felt God’s presence linger in a holy place as well. this is how i understand the “thin place.” there is another world, a spiritual world. it is not the spiritual world of new age philosophers or occult mages, but good and evil spirits (angels and demons) do exist and God’s Spirit in us can often make us aware of their presence.

    3) i know that these things (and many other topic you pointed out from tony’s message) are not found in the Bible. however, while the Bible tells us everything essential to know God and have a relationship with Him, it does not tell us everything there is to know about Him. there would not be enough room in all the world to hold such a library that would tell us EVERYTHING. to that end, i find it reliable that unless scripture clearly forbids such and such a practice we are free to love God and love each other in any way we see fit.

  34. Thanks Kiranfai,
    1. It depends on whether centering prayer is biblical or not. Centering prayer is an attempt to empty the mind, to actually not think about or focus on learning from scripture in the normal sense, but to focus on maybe on phrase or word, but ultimately to “be still”, to enter “the silence”, which is unbibiblical in its form.
    2. The “thin place’ is straight out of the occult. We are warned in scripture not to delve into this kind of stuff. We are warned against practicing divination or seeking to contact the dead. There is another world, and we are not to flirt with it in any way.
    3. Scripture does not specifically forbid many things, but the way they are done in general is forbidden. Scriptures does not mention that the Jesus Prayer is wrong; but it does say that praying in vain repetitions is wrong; i.e. the Jesus Prayer is wrong, although not specifically mentioned in scripture. Thus the many practices of contemplative prayer are wrong, because we are taught how to properly pray in the Bible, and CP does not pass the test of scripture.

  35. Only God knows the true intentions of a mans heart. He does not judge us by our appearances to man but the inner works of our hearts. I would not worry so much about what others may be doing, but I would be more concerned about what those actions have on my own being.You can be dead against abortion, but if the passion leads you to killing an abortionist, then you have been poisoned by your own self righteousness. We will be judged one day on the words and actions of our short lives.

  36. Sam, You apparently are giving Campolo a free pass, therefore I assume you approve of all these things I have pointed out.

    If you are a discerning Christian, you SHOULD be concerned by what others are doing, if it does not line up with Scripture. Sam, you forget, or do not know, or are ignoring deliberately what scripture says…” by their fruits you shall know them.” Jesus says that at the judgment, there will be those who will say “Lord, Lord”, but they will be told by Jesus that He never knew them. Jesus also teaches that the one who loves Him is the one who keeps His commandments. Paul says that “all scripture is inspired by God and and is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Reproof and correction can be unpleasant things to hear, but we are commanded in scripture to point out those who pervert the gospel, and Tony Campolo is perverting the gospel.

    With your misunderstanding of scripture, you are saying then that… if Tony Campolo is promoting doctrines of demons, that as long as his intentions are good, then I cannot questions his teaching of doctrines and demons? That is not biblical, and therefore makes no sense. We as Christians have every right, and a duty, to question unbiblical doctrines. I’ll leave it up to God to judge the intent of the heart- but Campolo’s TEACHINGS can be judged by rightly diving the word of God.

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