Would You Believe… The Occult Coming To Nazarene Theological Seminary?

Nazarene Theological Seminary promotes occultism and Roman Catholic mysticism. I’ll say it again. Nazarene Theological Seminary promotes occultism and Roman Catholic mysticism.  At least that’s what it seems to me.  Maybe I’m wrong, but man, what can one say when it’s not even done secretly now?  Let me explain.

I nearly went apoplectic last night as I was wandering though the Nazarene Theological Seminary’s website and the various course offerings!  Now the pieces of the puzzle continue to be put together, and there is less doubt in my mind- if any- about where our Nazarene Theological Seminary is heading.  And there are many more course examples to give, including the many mystical books that are part of the required or suggested readings for the various pastoral degree programs.  To me, this is truly sad and so pathetic to see unfolding.

When I recently did several posts about Tony Campolo and his appearance at Eastern Nazarene College (False Prophet Tony Campolo Promotes Doctrines of Demons), I talked about his blatant promotion of contemplative prayer practices, and his reference to what the Celtics called that “thin place”, meaning the occultic Celtic spirituality that tries to equate it with true genuine Christian worship (Tony Campolo’s Thin Places: Occultic Christianity).  I said to myself, how can this man and his contemplative heresies be tolerated so much by a denomination that talks and preaches holiness?  Well, I think I know now.  Because it is tolerated and taught by our very own seminary that prepares the future pastors of a holiness denomination!

So, here is a course being offered for next spring by Professor Doug Hardy.  It’s called Celtic Spirituality,and this link will take you where you can download the entire syllabus (under the category The Ministry of the Christian Church-Spiritual Formation),  and view other course offerings that smack of contemplative spirituality.

Here is the course description:

Course Description, Narrative, & Rationale
The renewal of interest in and even fascination with all things Celtic in recent decades begs the question: What do so many find compelling about these peoples and their culture? Embedded within the more well-known expressions of Celtic art, music, dance, and story are references to lesser-known spiritual traditions, both pre- Christian and Christian. What characterizes Celtic spirituality and what is its relevance for Christian spirituality today? In this course, these and other questions will be explored from the perspective of the Christian Celtic tradition.

Knowing Doug Hardy’s background and what he is involved in, and what he recommends for good reading over at Windsor Hills Camp in New Hampshire, is enough to know that this is a bad thing- not a good thing.  This is not a question of studying false ideologies to get to know about them and refute them.  No, my friends, this is indoctrination of perhaps your future pastor with occultic practices.  This would be laughable, if not for the fact that souls are at stake here, and I stand by my statement from the Campolo article that this is nothing but doctrines of demons being taught.

To further prove that point that this is not a simple study of a false ideology, here are some of the goals of the course for the students:

Before even starting the course, students are required to: Incorporate into your prayer practice at least two offices (morning, midday, night) from the Fitzgerald Celtic Prayer Book, daily for a minimum of 5 of the 6 pre-module weeks.

The course will supposedly provide opportunities for the following:

1.    Practice prayer and meditation using Celtic Christian resources.
2.    Learn the basic history of Celtic peoples, places, and especially the saints.
3.    Articulate a Celtic-informed theology of creation, asceticism, and/or mission.
4.    Contextualize Celtic perspectives and practices into current life and ministry.

The required texts are:

Balzer, Tracy. Thin Places: An Evangelical Journey into Celtic Christianity.
Davies, Oliver (Trans. & Intro). Celtic Spirituality (Classics of Western Spirituality).
de Waal, Esther. Every Earthly Blessing: Rediscovering the Celtic Tradition.
Fitzgerald, William John. A Contemporary Celtic Prayer Book.
Newell, J. Philip. Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality.
Newell, J. Philip. Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation.

After Classes End, here are some requirements:

Read Balzer’s Thin Places and incorporate into your prayer practice the Celtic Blessing / Meditation / Reflection Questions

Write a Theology Paper (minimum 10 pages) articulating your Celtic-informed understanding of a specific topic in one or more of the following areas: theology of creation; theology of asceticism; theology or mission.

There is no doubt left in my mind that at the very least, the leadership at Nazarene Theological Seminary have no problem with doctrines of demons being taught to future pastors.  I will not insult their intelligence and assume they don’t know what’s going on.  I have already given you some serious connection problems that Professor Dean Blevins has with promoting contemplative spirituality via his support and involvement with YouthFront and Barefoot Ministries.  And Doug Hardy’s involvement with mystical practices (Mystics Who Are Being Promoted To Nazarenes) including his work with Spiritual Directors International, leads me to conclude that at the very least, NTS is negligently allowing false doctrines to be promoted and taught there.

This makes me sad to see, but then it also makes me angry, when the thought comes to mind that for every semester that goes by, for every year that a new class comes in, the deception of our future pastors is continuing.  When will it be stopped, and who really cares about this?  Or have I gone mad, and should I just get with the program?  Brothers and sisters, what will it take to stop this madness?  If I reported next week that Santeria was being practiced at NTS, and chickens heads were being cut off as offerings to God, would that raise an eyebrow?  What will it take for as many Nazarenes as possible to call or write our seminary, and our general Superintendents to say, enough is enough?  For the love of our students, and the love of God, please stop this and speak out now.

May God help us.  Please, be a watchman on the wall, and sound the alarm.


Are Nazarene Roads Leading Back To Rome?

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:  And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?  I will dwell in them And walk among them.  I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore   “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters,Says the LORD Almighty.”
2 Cor. 6:14-20

Years ago, in the Cape Verde Islands, my father was freed from the bondage of Roman Catholicism, when he found the real Jesus, and repented and became a born again Christian.  Shortly after his conversion, he knew God called him to preach the word of God.  One of the stories that he passed down to us, was the day he was traveling on a dusty road of one of the islands, seeking to preach to whomever would listen.  As he entered a village, he came upon a small Roman Catholic church, and he noticed a crowd of people in the church, just sitting there waiting.  He asked them, what are you waiting for?  They said they were waiting for the priest to arrive, but he was several hours late.  He asked them if he could speak to them, and on that day, practically the whole village heard my father preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to them.  People came to Christ for the first time that day.  I miss hearing those stories from him, and only regret I did not ask him to tell all of them to me before he went to be with the Lord.

Then there was the morning after a long night of prayer with Rev. Everette Howard.  Walking along the black sands of the beach on Santo Antao, they encountered a young man, a leper, who could not even walk, having to drag himself by the stomach to go from place to place.  They both witnessed to him as they told him of the love of Jesus and His love for lepers, and read scripture to him, and asked him if he wanted to pray.  He began reciting the only prayer he knew, a prayer to Mary.  But my dad said to him, “my friend, we will pray directly to Jesus Christ.”  He confessed his sins and repented, and asked Jesus to be his Savior.  To make a long story short, they also explained that this same Jesus could heal him.  His short simple prayer, “Jesus, will you please heal my disease?”, was answered.  Three days later, he walked into the mission, completely healed of leprosy, and after that served the Lord Jesus Christ for years.  He was healed by Jesus, not by Mary.  Not by anyone else, but the power of the real Jesus Christ.  He was free from the bondage of the false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, of the falsehood of praying to any other than Jesus, and realized the liberating freedom of the only One we ought to pray to.  All other is idolatry.

And this past Saturday, at a potluck supper to raise money for missions, with several churches represented, we had a time of giving thanks, and I heard a testimony after the dinner.  An elderly lady from one of the churches testified how she had spent 40 years in a convent, captive to the false doctrines of the Roman Catholic church, until she heard the true gospel, and Jesus freed her from the bondage of a works based gospel.  It was a wonderful testimony to how Jesus can free anyone from the shackles of relying on your own deeds for salvation, when salvation is by grace alone, one of the prominent affirmations that came out of the Reformation.

Yet, the evidence is mounting ever so daily that indicates that the Nazarene denomination is being led down the road to Rome. Why are some Nazarene pastors being disobedient to God, and thumbing their noses to the biblical doctrine of separation, and leading their congregations astray? The Catholization of the Nazarene church and its universities is happening, and the big question is, which Nazarenes are going to resist this movement and hold to the holiness doctrines of the church, and to the principles that were established as a result of the Reformation.  There is no question in my mind, because of the evidence that seems be be getting less subtle, and a more “in your face”, take it or leave boldness.  There is no one to argue this anymore, not because I or others are claiming any superior intelligence or knowledge.  It is simply because no one is able to refute the evidence that is right there in front of their very eyes.  They are either in denial or are shamefully playing a game of “keep the peace”, or they have embraced it all, or they simply don’t know what’s going on.

I call it the Romanization of the evangelical church, in partnership with the emergents, who are thrilled to see this ecumenism unfolding.  The signs are all there, but the people are “sleeping in their pews.”  These trends I have seen are all helping to contribute toward the coming of the one world religion prophesied in scripture.  Here are a few of the trends that are happening:

• Nazarene churches holding ecumenical services at Roman Catholic or other liberal mainline churches.

• The use of Catholic terminology (Eucharist instead of communion).

• The ritualization and observance of Lent and Advent seasons in Roman Catholic style, and other traditionally Catholic observances such as Maundy Thursday.

• Prayer labyrinths in churches and universities.

• Contemplative prayer rituals promoted in youth books, theology classes, and Bible studies.

• Books from Nazarene Publishing House and Barefoot Ministries promoting Roman Catholic rituals.

• Our Bible colleges with professors promoting Catholic mysticism and interspiritual organizations.

• The promotion of Roman Catholic churches and bibles at Nazarene universities.

• College trips to Roman Catholic monasteries, and spiritual formation retreats.

• Use of textbooks in theology courses as good resources, written by heretical mystics and modern day mystics as well.

It’s all there, and it’s obvious, so let’s not keep fooling ourselves, and let’s confess at least to what is happening, and be totally upfront about it.  If these are not signs, along with many others, that we may be already in the middle of the “great falling away”, then I shudder to think what that will look like when it comes.

I stopped thinking a little while ago, “am I fooling myself, thinking that these are just little aberrations in small pockets of our denomination?”  I know many Nazarene pastors thoroughly reject all these things that are happening, and a few are even preaching against this and the emergent church.  A few.  But I no longer think that I can keep hoping that this will pass quickly.  Instead, I have come to the conclusion that not only will this continue for a while, barring a miracle from God and a revival that sweeps our churches; but that too many in leadership are either turning a blind eye to this and the emergent church heresies coming in, or they themselves have accepted a complete change in a once great holiness denomination.  This has become like the proverbial “frog in the slowly boiling pot.”  I’m afraid the temperature perhaps has gotten critical, and it may be impossible to reverse the effects. The universities particularly are infected with this problem, and I cannot see it turning around short of a miracle from God moving Christians to speak  out.

I confess that I can no longer see this denomination in the same light that I saw it years ago when my father was still alive and preaching.  I have no doubt he would be in tears now, knowing that this holiness denomination seems to be heading down the path back before the very Reformation which eventually gave birth to denominations such as ours.  It seems we are doing a reverse-Reformation back to the dark ages.  All that many of us are asking for now is for some intellectual honesty, some straight answers from our leaders to all Nazarenes as to what is happening, what is acceptable, and whether they consider these things “non-essentials.”  Let every Nazarene make up his mind, but with the full facts of what is happening.

An ecumenical spirit (small “s”) is gathering steam in the denomination.  A complete rejection of the doctrine of separation is “emerging.”  Instead of following the directives of the apostle Paul to “not be conformed to the world”, we are seeing attempts in various fronts to emulate the world, to be “like the world”, in order to win the world.  We are rejecting that which is “good and pleasing to the Lord”, in exchange for the admiring approval of any apostate group that calls itself Christian and proclaims by mouth the name of Jesus, but by their fruits are totally lacking in obedience to Christ.  If we are to accept the Roman Catholic Church, and the liberal Episcopal church, with its acceptance of openly homosexual bishops, as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, then let’s go all the way.  It would be wrong to do that, and then not welcome the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Mormon church, and even those who practice Santeria.  After all, they all proclaim the name of Jesus, do they not?

So what’s the difference?  As you prepare for that ecumenical service this week, ask yourself these questions if you will.  Why am I going, and what is the biblical justification?  Am I going mainly to show everyone in my community how I can get along with everyone, regardless of doctrinal differences?  On what basis will I draw the line with whom I should fellowship with, if not the Roman Catholic Church?  Will I draw the line with Mormons, and if so, why them, and not the RCC, and what is the biblical basis?  Am I being obedient to God’s directives to reject those who preach another gospel, whom the apostle Paul says are to be “accursed” if he or even an angel did that very thing.

As I have been asking, sometimes pleading, if I or anyone else that is speaking out against this are wrong, where is your Christian responsibility to take me figuratively “to the woodshed”, and correct an erring brother in Christ?  I will be more than glad to be corrected and repent of that which I am saying is wrong, and accept it myself.

Brothers and sisters, test everything by the word of God.


1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’  Ezekiel 33:1-6 (NKJV)

Related Article: Emergent Church: Leading Protestants Back To Rome (posted by Mike Gendron, Proclaiming The Gospel Ministries)

Point Loma’s Mystical Renovare Experience

In a recent post, I suggested the potential of an unholy alliance between Renovare, YouthFront, and Barefoot Ministries, based on Mike King’s post from his blog.  I had also reported on the retreat that was scheduled for July at Point Loma Nazarene University, sponsored by Renovaré.  They also had a strange event called Nurturing The Prophetic Imagination, as reported by Pastor Peter Migner on his blog.  For some reason, Point Loma has apparently removed that info from their site.

This is a followup to highlight what was on the agenda for the that Renovaré Retreat at Point Loma in July.

HERE IS THEIR PROGRAM DESCRIPTION which is still on the website: (the bold highlight is mine for emphasis)

The Renovaré Covenant Retreat is uniquely designed to encourage your faith and renew your thinking, as well as give you the flexibility to spend time with God in your own special ways.

Wind your way through the Experiential Prayer Room, encounter Jesus through the Stations of the Cross, envelop yourself in nature at the On-the-Beach Prayer Experience, or simply take time in solitude.

These other activities will also be available to draw you into the presence of God:
• Taizé Services
• Prayer Labyrinth and other prayer walks
• Small Group and Personal Spiritual Direction*
• Formation Conversations
Lectio Divina
• Compline
• Daily Guidance Meditations
• Daily Time of Silence
• Guided Reflection Experiences
• Community Gatherings
• Adult, College, Youth and Children’s Spiritual Formation Tracks*
* After submitting your registration we will send the Primary Registrant more information on these options

Let’s look at a few of these items that were on the agenda for our Nazarene students:

Taizé Services: Taize worship is most exemplified by the Taizé community in France.  It is an interspiritual, ecumenical system that welcomes any and all religions to participate in spirituality practices and “commune” with God.  In  his bio on the Point Loma website, chaplain Mark Carter says that Brother Roger, who founded Taizé, is one of his heroes!  You can read my post on Point Loma and it’s contemplative involvement here.

Prayer Labyrinth: This is a pagan practice that comes straight out of pagan and occultic practices.

Stations of the Cross, Lectio Divina: These ritualized practices are part of the whole collection of contemplative spirituality*, which is a Christianized way of emptying the mind.

Compline: This is another of the Roman Catholic rituals that are derived from the early monastic days.  It’s described as the final church service (or Office) of the day in the  Christian tradition of canonical hours. It’s origin seems to be most attributed to St. Benedict, famous for his Rule of Benedict.  Here you can see in this video how it is performed. In many monasteries it is the custom to begin the “Great Silence” after Compline, during which the whole community, including guests, observes silence throughout the night until the morning service the next day. (from Wikipedia).  Another ritual that has no basis in scripture, and draws attention to our efforts.

Daily time of silence: They schedule during the day an activity, a time for the discipline of silence.  Is that scriptural?  How many disciplines are there, and what basis in scripture do each have?  Praying to God, I would agree, is a spiritual discipline, and fasting also.  But silence?  And this type of silence that these people promote is the kind that leads to the emptying of the mind, which then becomes open to demonic influence.

Other titles, such as daily guidance meditations, and guided reflection experiences seem to be  reflective of activities that are consistent with the contemplative spirituality movement.  It’s all about experience.  Note how they emphasize that doing these practices are ways that you can draw closer to God.  The spiritual formation tracks were not provided unless you are registered, but I can only imagine its more of the same from Renovaré.  I wonder how much time, if any, was devoted to teaching or discussing the benefits of reading the Bible for the understanding of God’s clear message (without the use of mantras).

Here below are four of their featured speakers, and their bios, followed by my comments:

Chris Webb: an Anglican Vicar from Wales, UK, and President of Renovaré USA, has been greatly influence by St. Francis of Assisi as well as the great spiritual classics.

Oh, to hear someone once again say, they have been greatly influenced by the Lord Jesus Christ, who forgave them and rescued them from the bondage of sin.  Instead, there is rarely any mention of that with some of these people, and instead, they quote heretical monks and mystics from the dark ages.  Some of them (I don’t know about Webb) you cannot even find a testimony anywhere of their salvation by repentance from sin and turning to Christ in faith.  Instead, he quotes St. Francis who is known for that highly unscriptural quote, “Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words.”

Chris Simpson: has been involved in spiritual formation for many years through Contemplative Outreach, and has a passion to see various faith communities learn and grow together in Christ.

Contemplative Outreach is one of the most dangerous organizations in the world in terms of promoting contemplative spirituality practices, which knows no religious bounds.  It is for everyone!  View the following carefully, and do not fall for this false spiritual system: Reaching Out To The World. And which “various faith communities” is he talking about, I wonder?  Is it anyone who “claims” the name of Jesus?  Would he also include communities outside of Christianity?

Richard Foster: speaks throughout the world on Christian spirituality, and will be leading several conversation on his book and the theme for the 2010 Covenant Retreat, Longing for God.

Foster is the founder of Renovaré and probably the most prominent modern day promoter of contemplative mysticism and spiritual formation**.  Renovaré is particularly dangerous, because on its site, you will find much that is absolutely right on- such as their posting of The Apostle’s Creed.  Mixing the good with a little of the bad, as all brilliant false teachers do.
But Foster himself has said that contemplative prayer can be used by anyone (not just Christians) to reach God, and that it can be like a portable sanctuary.  He has also given warnings to us that it is a dangerous practice that can possibly invite the wrong spirits into our minds!  And… that it is a practice not to be tried by novices!  Yet, as I pointed out before, his book (Prayer: Finding The Heart’s True Home)  was featured prominently in a prayer room at the Nazarene General Assembly last year!  Why?  Where is the discernment, my friends?  Did the General Superintendents approve that, and if not, who did?  Richard Foster and his organization is one of the most dangerous threats to biblical Christianity today, but few are taking notice!

Jeff Johnson: unites musical meditations of chant, songs, hymns and instrumental pieces, creating unique Contemporary Celtic worship experiences.

Do you remember my post about Tony Campolo, and the “thin places” he referred to?  I guess Jeff Johnson is into these occultic practices also.  And so he has had the opportunity to poison the minds of dozens, perhaps hundreds of students and adults- and young children!  Perhaps this trend explains why some students at Point Loma tried this dangerous and unscriptural practice: http://blogs.pointloma.edu/thepointweekly/2010/11/01/a-slumber-party-with-madame-tingley/
Is there any mature, adult, Christian guidance going on at Point Loma?  Why is someone being allowed to teach practices that are clearly occult in nature?
There were others that I am not very familiar with: Mickey Cox, Paula Frost.  But I question their discernment at the very least, for being involved with these pushers of false Christian spirituality.

So there you have it.  Contemplative spirituality run amuck at Point Loma.  is there any doubt but that Point Loma is welcoming Catholic contemplative spirituality and monastic mysticism? How ironic that Point Loma’s campus is located right on the site of what used to be a place for occultic practices called the Theosophical Society, founded by occultic spiritualist Madame Blavatsky.  Frankly, I don’t think the irony would be lost on satan, who most likely is delighted that so many are falling for this deception- at a holiness university!

Is this an example reflective of the holiness teachings from the Church of the Nazarene?  It is my suspicion that not one professor at Point Loma;  not one pastor in the Nazarene church, not one person in leadership position today, not even one NazNet pastor, can biblically defend what happened at Point Loma Nazarene University.  If so, please do so, and I will publish your defense for all the world to see.  And if I am wrong about this, I will apologize to all.

I ask the question again to my fellow Nazarenes, and especially for those in leadership positions: Is this what you want for your children’s future?

*Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all). Common terms used for this movement are “spiritual formation,” “the silence,” “the stillness,” “ancient-wisdom,” “spiritual disciplines,” and many others.

**Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.
(From Lighthouse Trails Research)

Barefoot Ministries, YouthFront, And Renovare: Evil Alliance In The Making?

“Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked. He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber,  Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.”  (II Chron. 20:35-37)

I’m not normally a weepy kind of person.  My wife displays her emotions more often than I do, as she sometimes recalls what had been before the last two years, and no longer is, since we got into this battle against false teachings.  It’s especially sad when we ponder what some people’s actions have led to where my son  still feels sad at times, wondering why did things have to happen like they did?  (It’s tough giving answers to an eight year old.  However, he is learning sound biblical truth from godly teachers at school, and sound Bible teaching at his new church).  As I prepared this post, and as I thought about the Bible story of Jehoshaphat as it relates to it, I admit I got a little weepy this time.  I fought back a tear or two, because of what this story says in relation to what is happening now in the Nazarene denomination.

So let’s look at II Chronicles chapter 20.  At the end of the chapter, we see that it certainly went bad for Jehosaphat in his later years.  But when you read the entire chapter, you really feel like weeping, because it was a different story at the beginning.  What a contrast, as the people came to Jehoshaphat and said, “what do we do?  Our enemy is strong, and a much larger army.”  And Jehoshaphat showed his great trust in God, as he led his people in worship, and prayer, and told them to trust the Lord their God.  Jahaziel son of Zechariah, had finished telling him, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” What an inspiration for the people as Jehoshaphat said to them, “Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” And so when you read the rest, you find that God truly did lead them to victory as He promised, when they trusted in Him only, and obeyed God.  But sadly, Jehoshaphat’s reign shortly after he made an unholy alliance with a wicked king.

Are we making more unholy alliances?

Mike King is the President of YouthFront, and as I read his blog the other day, that question came to mind.  Here is what he wrote:

“Back from five days in the Denver area.  The first couple of days Chris Folmsbee and I met with the leadership of Renovare about partnership possibilities between Barefoot, Renovare and Youthfront.  We had great and synergistic conversations.  The Renovare team is awesome and I look forward to working with them closer.  I think wonderful things will be coming from our ongoing dialogue and planning.  Stay tuned.  In addition to our time with Renovare it was life-giving to have extended time to scheme and dream with Folmsbee, we’ve always found it easy to generate ideas and new ways of thinking about ministry, resources, leadership development and formation.” (Mike King’s blog)

I agree completely with Mike King that he was scheming and dreaming.  Mike King is the president of YouthFront, and just recently received a Master’s Degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary, although I don’t know if he is actually a Nazarene.  YouthFront is a national youth ministry training organization based in Kansas City, and is known for promoting spiritual formation.  YouthFront has already partnered with NTS in at least one endeavor, as indicated in this NTS webpage ad from 2008 offering a youth spirituality course.  This is not a surprise for me anymore, but rather a painful expectation.

Chris Folmsbee is the director of Barefoot Ministries, a non-profit youth ministry training and publishing company located in Kansas City.  According to Chris’s website, “Barefoot exists to help youth workers guide students into Christian formation for the mission of God.”  I have written several articles on Barefoot ministries, and it is no secret that I and many other Nazarenes believe that this organization for youth is leading many youth down the wide path of spiritual destruction, not spiritual formation!

And the third part of this alliance is Renovare, an organization founded by Richard Foster, perhaps the most influential person today in leading many evangelicals directly to and over the cliffs, right into the abyss of spiritual formation (certainly a more palatable and innocent-sounding phrase than contemplative spirituality, or “Christianized transcendental meditation”, or maybe “occultic prayer practices.”  I have also documented much of Richard Foster’s unbiblical practices and ideology, and it is maddening that he has such an influence in a denomination that preaches holiness and faithfulness to God’s written word, and long ago ironically moved away from experiential-based spirituality in rejecting the hyper-charismatic movement.

So let me be clear here.  I am not writing here to warn Barefoot Ministries to be careful, and stay away from these other two.  Oh no, it is quite clear that Barefoot Ministries, an official arm of the Nazarene Publishing House, has drunk nearly every last drop of the contemplative spirituality Kool-Aide.  Therefore, I am writing this to warn Christian parents, concerned Nazarenes and other Christians, and youth especially, that you don’t need to get into these phony ritualistic practices that these three organizations are promoting.  It is amazing how hard it is to even find a decent reference to such things as an exhortation to read the word of God for what it teaches us.  Instead, we get the following nonsense which, to most undiscerning Christians “sounds good to me”, straight from Chris’s website:

Now, to the question at hand… Four thoughts come to my mind when asked the difference between reading Scripture and letting Scripture read us. The best way I know to answer this question is through my own life experience. These thoughts may not be true for you, but then again, they might be very true.

1. Accessibility or Authority. When I read the Scriptures, I go looking for something as if I am the authority on the text/subject. When I let the Scripture read me, I go into it with a soul that is open and accessible, able to be reached (for example, during the practice of lectio divina).

2. Practice or Principle. When I let Scripture read me, I am in search of a forming practice or a faith-shaping discipline that transforms me from the inside out. When I go to Scripture, I am often in search of a particular premise or principle. The former is much more difficult and requires more of my conscious effort.

3. Soak or Surface. When I let Scripture read me, it means that I am permeable, and I absorb the truth into my very being. Letting the truth soak into my soul opens up new dimensions of truth. Sometimes, when I read the Scriptures, I am simply searching for truth on the surface.

4. Mission or Myself. Usually when I read Scripture, I am tempted to read into the passage(s) what I need God to do for me or what God has done for me. A particular blessing, perhaps? On the other hand, when I let Scripture read me, I usually end up finding ways that God can use me for the sake of the world, as opposed to me using God.

It’s bad enough that Folmsbee recommends a book by Eugene Peterson, writer of the disastrous paraphrase of the Bible, The Message.  But this is nothing more than a promotion of contemplative spirituality (note lectio divina that he mentions), and for him to suggest that “scripture can read us” is ridiculous, unless I am missing something from scripture, which he certainly did not reference in any way.  Instead, we see that his focus is “my own life experience”, and then the pragmatic view of “These thoughts may not be true for you, but then again, they might be very true.”  And what are these new dimensions of truth that he is talking about?  Is not the truth found in Christ, and in scripture alone, guided by the Holy Spirit?  That’s what’s wrong with these ideas, can’t you see?  These new dimensions of truth are, I am almost certain, is a reference to the contemplative mind-emptying practices of the “new spirituality.”  These people are simply doing it “their way”, just like Cain did, as I recall from a recent sermon I heard.

So the idea of these three groups making an alliance makes perfect sense to me, because they are all on the same page.  From a Christian perspective, however, it is a destructive alliance that is a great danger to Christians and especially our youth, and one that should be avoided by all Bible-believing Christians.  Yet, we seem to be continuing down this road, making more and more alliances with organizations that have a veneer of truth. And so I ask again, since there is some truth there, does that make it okay to join with them?  Is there any more doubt as to where our denomination is heading, my friends?  Are we fooling ourselves and thinking that these are just minor aberrations in the whole scheme of things?

What does it say to you, then, that NTS, our main seminary for training pastors for the future, is clearly holding hands with these groups, and promoting them?  Remember NTS’s promotion of the Spiritual Formation Retreat just before General Assembly?  Remember the Prayer Room at General Assembly with the Richard Foster book?  Or the Richard Foster/Renovare event at Point Loma Nazarene University? Or Trevecca Nazarene University’s prayer labyrinth? Remember the promotion of contemplative practices on the NTS website, for pre-teens?  Remember Northwest Nazarene’s shocking lecture by universalist/ Dr. Jay McDaniel?  What about the books Barefoot Ministries promotes, as documented in this post, and in this one.  Either our leadership is totally in the dark about these (and many more that I have not mentioned), or they know of it, and are saying nothing specific to the questions many have put to them.

How many of you have come to realize what spiritual formation really means?  Is this the future you want for your children?  For those who might be skeptics (and I know that some of you reading this are skeptics), are you okay with this new way of spirituality for your children, or grandchildren?  If I have convinced you otherwise, from the past three years, as well as by others who have written on these subjects, what are you going to do about it?

For those who might want to say something and demand that the madness stops now for the sake of our youth, here is the phone number of Barefoot Ministries: 866-355-9933.

I agree with a sister in Christ, Beverly Turner, who has the same concern about this:

“I challenge you each to first do your home work about Richard Foster, Renovare and Mr. King. Then call and let your concerns be made both at 866-355-9933 (BareFoot Ministries) and also at the Office of the General Superintendents. This madness has to be stopped!

If ever the Church needed to be the Church and stand against evil, it is today. Yet we find ourselves with heretics who have made their way in among us and no one seems to have any power to stop them. The Church is on the same course as our Government, as they both head toward the One World Government and the One World Religion that Revelation 13 speaks of.”

I’ll be calling and writing them soon.  Perhaps enough Christians doing this will get some attention.  If you wish to address this concern to our General Superintendents, here is their email address: bgs@nazarene.org.

Let’s pray that the Church of the Nazarene does not end up writing the same chapter that was written for Jehosaphat. And let’s pray that we will not continue the awful silence in our churches even as apostasy continues to creep into the church.

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Jude 3,4

Karl Giberson’s BioLogos Taken To Task

The following is a post by Dr. Albert Mohler in another “battle” with Nazarene evolutionists Kark Giberson and Darrel Falk, the main leaders at BioLogos, and proponents of “Christian evolution” and open theism. Another team member is Professor Lowell Hall, from Eastern Nazarene College as is Dr. Giberson.  Dr. Falk is from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Many of us continue to raise questions about professors such as Giberson and Falk, as they continue to push the biblically untenable position that we all came from apes, that science is superior over scripture, and that the biblical account of creation is a myth, and Adam and Eve were fables.  It’s nice to see theologians like Dr. Mohler defend scripture, but it would be great to see some Nazarene writers start to express their opinion as to whether they agree with Drs. Giberson, Falk, and other Nazarene rofessors promoting this as the only serious way to read the Bibles account of creation, or whether they trust the Bible’s account, as well as trust Jesus and the apostles themselves in their affirmation of creation and Adam and Eve.

Update: Some Nazarenes have spoken out!  This Nazarene pastor is concerned and has said some things regarding the evolution problem: http://nazarenesforbiblicalcreationism.blogspot.com/

No Pass From Theological Responsibility- The BioLogos Conundrum

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, Dr. Albert Mohler

BioLogos is a movement that asserts theological arguments in the public square in order to convince evangelical Christians to accept their proposals. They now have the audacity to ask for a pass from theological responsibility. That is the one thing they may not have.

Public debate is unpredictable by nature, but I have to admit that the approach undertaken by the folks at BioLogos continues to amaze me. The BioLogos movement is a straight-forward attempt to persuade evangelical Christians to embrace some form of evolutionary theory. Organized by a group that includes Dr. Francis Collins, now the Director of the National Institutes of Health, the movement seeks to marginalize objections to evolution among conservative Christians. It offers a very sophisticated website and an energetic communications strategy.

The BioLogos approach to the issue is now clear. They want to discredit evangelical objections to evolution and to convince the evangelical public that an acceptance of evolution is a means of furthering the gospel. They have leveled their guns at the Intelligent Design movement, at young earth creationism, and against virtually all resistance to the embrace of evolution. They claim that the embrace of evolution is necessary if evangelicalism is not to be intellectually marginalized in the larger culture. They have warned that a refusal to embrace evolution will doom evangelicalism to the status of an intellectual cult.

Furthermore, they have been breathtakingly honest about the theological implications of their arguments. Writers for BioLogos have repeatedly made the case that we must relinquish the inerrancy of the Bible and accept that the biblical writers worked from a defective understanding of the world and its origins. They have asserted, for example, that the Apostle Paul was simply wrong in assuming that Adam was an historical person from whom all humans are descended. They have been bold and honest in rejecting the biblical account of the Fall as historical. They have warned that an affirmation of biblical inerrancy has led evangelicalism into an “intellectual cul-de-sac.” A complete inventory of the doctrinal concessions they will demand is not yet in sight, but as I have affirmed before, they deserve credit for the honesty of their proposals.

They are also clear about their motive. In their view, the acceptance of evolution is necessary for evangelism. They are motivated, they insist, by a concern that a rejection of evolution puts Christians in a position of intellectual embarrassment. The rejection of evolution places Christians outside the intellectual pale, they assert, leading to the discrediting of the gospel. They believe that intellectuals, especially scientists, will not respect an evangelistic witness to the gospel from one who is intellectually discredited by rejecting evolution. They are embarrassed by the fact that a majority of evangelicals reject evolution, and they honestly believe that some people will not come to know Christ because they are so offended by our unwillingness to accept evolution. They have repeatedly asserted that the credibility and integrity of our Christian witness is at stake.

The writers for BioLogos have been unsparing in their criticism of evangelicals who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or are proponents of either Intelligent Design or creationism. They initiated a public debate by presenting their arguments in the public square. But now, it appears, they really do not want a public debate at all. They want a one-way conversation.

On November 8, an article appeared at the BioLogos site that was explicitly addressed to me. The author, Mark Sprinkle, had courteously informed me by e-mail on November 7 that the article would appear the next day. And so it did.

In his article, Dr. Sprinkle uses the account of Peter and Cornelius from Acts 10 to argue that “our theology is descriptive, not prescriptive; it is our collective and halting attempt to describe in coherent terms what we know of God by what we have seen of His acts and what we have read in His Word—and, above all else, by what we have seen in the acts of the Word, Jesus.” That argument points very clearly in the direction of minimizing theology and doctrine, but it is also false. Unless a church forfeits all doctrinal responsibility, at least some theology is always prescriptive.

But theology, he argues, “is put to the test not just by our logic, but by the witness of what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others around the world.” He then states this: “Evidence of the Spirit at work is the only true measure we have of our theology; all other measures, including whether it fits our carefully-reasoned arguments of who is in and who is out, are vanity.”

That is an interesting statement, but it is nonsensical unless there is some means of evaluating what is and is not authentic evidence of the Spirit at work. And that, of course, would mean some kind of biblical and theological test. The effort to escape theology gets us nowhere.

Dr. Sprinkle then turns to me specifically, charging that I regard those involved with BioLogos to be “confused Christians” at best. He claims that my criticism of the arguments made by figures associated with BioLogos amount to my effort to limit “God’s ability to redeem and transform whomever He so pleases, in whatever manner He so pleases.” I would greatly appreciate any reference to where I have ever addressed such an issue with reference to BioLogos. There is none. At the same time, Dr. Sprinkle’s unavoidable implication is that God’s Spirit moves in ways contrary to God’s Word — and that I do flatly and energetically reject.

Dr. Sprinkle writes with concern about “Dr. Mohler’s repeated implications and suggestions, if not outright pronouncements, that I and anyone else who does not reject evolutionary processes are, therefore, not Christian in any but a nominal or diminished way, not authentic followers of Jesus no matter what we say and despite the evidence of the Holy Spirit both in us and working through us.”

At this point, given the public nature of this statement, I have to ask the only question I know to ask. Can these people read? I defy anyone to locate a single sentence where I have ever questioned the salvation of anyone in any context where I have addressed anything related to BioLogos. I have never questioned their salvation, nor have I attempted to interrogate their hearts. I accept at face value that their ambitions and intentions in their own minds are worthy. I cannot read their souls.

I can read their words, however. Their theological arguments are published in the public arena. They are not shy about making their proposals, and they call for a radical reformulation of evangelical doctrine. Their assaults upon biblical inerrancy have not been made in private conversations, but in public discourse. Their argument that the Apostle Paul was wrong to believe in an historical Adam and an historical Fall was made in public, as was their denial of common descent through Adam.

They will have to take responsibility for these arguments. They should expect no less than a spirited debate over their proposals, and it is nothing short of bewildering that they now ask, in effect, for a pass from all theological scrutiny. They accuse conservative evangelicals of driving evangelicalism into an “intellectual cul-de-sac” and into the status of an intellectual “cult,” and then they have the audacity to complain of the “tone” of those who argue that their proposals amount to a theological disaster.

Virtually every form of theological liberalism arises from an attempt to rescue Christian theology from what is perceived to be an intellectual embarrassment — whether the virgin conception of Christ, the historicity of the miracles recorded in the Bible, or, in our immediate context, the inerrancy of Scripture and the Bible’s account of creation.

Dr. Sprinkle kindly invites me “to come and see what I see in the hearts and lives of people in the BioLogos community.” I am willing and eager to enter into any conversation that serves the cause of the gospel. But a conversation that serves the cause of the gospel cannot avoid talking about what the gospel is — and that requires theology.

BioLogos is a movement that asserts theological arguments in the public square in order to convince evangelical Christians to accept their proposals. They now have the audacity to ask for a pass from theological responsibility. That is the one thing they may not have.

95 Theses To The Modern Evangelical Church

I thought I would share this with you today.  It was posted by Greg Gordon, founder of sermonindex.net

Greg Gordon

I have revised many of these and also all of them are of a size that will fit on twitter and facebook easily to re-post. Pray about sharing these with others and sharing each theses individually. I believe many need to hear these truths and they are shared in the humility of my weakness and lack in my own Christian Life. May God in His mercy come and revive North American Christianity for His glory alone. “May the Lamb of God receive the reward of His sufferings in our lives today!”  – Greg Gordon (founder of SermonIndex.net)

1. The “church” at large has forgotten that the chief end of man is to glorify God. (Rom 16:27; 1Cor 6:20; Mt 6:9; 1Cor 10:31)

2. Christians ignore most of the methods, practices and principles found in the book of Acts. (Acts 2:42,44; Acts 2:46; Acts 2:38)

3. Many treat “church” like any other social club or sports event that they might attend. (Acts 2:46; Heb 10:25; Acts 1:14)

4. We’ve made Christianity about the individual rather than the community of believers. (Rom 12:5; 1Cor 12:12; 2Tim 4:16)

5. In most “churches” the priesthood of all believers isn’t acknowledged as the role of pastor is abused. (1Pt 2:9; 1Cor 12:12; Eph 4:11-13)

6. The “church” as a whole has lost the concept of their being grafted into the promises given to Israel. (Rom 11:15, 17-18, 20, 25)

7. There needs to be a recovery of teaching the whole counsel of God, especially in expository form. (Acts 20:27; 1Tim 4:6, 2Tim 2:15)

8. We take it too lightly, the blessing and honor of having God’s Scriptures in our possession. (Ps 119:16; Acts 13:44; Neh 8:9)

9. There has never been more access to the Word of God, yet so little reading of it. (1Tim 4:13; Neh 8:1-3; Ps 119:59)

10. Some read the Scriptures to attain knowledge, but do not practice what they read. (Jam 1:22; Mt 7:21; 3Jn 4)

11. Worship has become an idol in many “churches”. The music often resembles the world. (Amos 5:23; Phil 4:8; 1Jn 5:21)

12. The world is shaping the views of the “church” more than the “church” shaping the world. (Rom 12:2; Mt 5:13; 1Cor 1:22-23)

13. The “church” spends more money on dog food than on missions. (2Cor 9:6; Lk 21:2; Acts 4:34-35)

14. We take lightly the cost of discipleship laid out by Jesus Christ and do not deny our lives. (Lk 14:33; Lk 14:26-27; Mt 8:19-20)

15. There is a lack of true discipleship and making others to be obedient disciples. (Mt 28:20; 2Tim 2:2; 2Tim 2:14)

16. Many subscribe to the error that parts of life are to be spiritual while others are to be secular. (1Pt 4:2; Col 3:3; 1Jn 2:6)

17. Modern Christians often find Jesus’ command to sacrifice and serve abhorrent. (Phil 2:21; Jam 3:16; Rom 12:1-2)

18. Self disciplines in the Christian life such as fasting and praying are considered legalistic. (2Tim 2:21; 2Tim 1:8; Mt 6:17)

19. Little thought and contemplation is put towards the lostness of men, the seriousness of the Gospel. (Phil 3:8; Gal 2:20; Heb 10:34)

20. We are living with an epidemic of cheap grace with flippant confession and shallow consecration. (Lk 14:28-30; Lk 14:26; Jam 4:8)

21. Since the inception of the Church, the Gospel had the requirements of repentance and discipleship. (Acts 2:38; Lk 14:26; Jn 8:31)

22. Now forgiveness is offered without repentance, discipleship without obedience, salvation without sanctity. (Heb 10:29; 4:11; Lk 13:24)

23. Introspection, counting the cost, godly sorrow over sin, are all foreign to many in the “church”. (Acts 2:37; Ps 119:9; Heb 6:1-2)

24. The modern church loves itself more than its neighbor. (1Cor 3:3; Gal 5:13; Phil 2:3)

25. The church must repent of its idolization of personality, and business principles. (2Cor 2:17; 1Cor 3:5; 1Cor 12:23)

26. Many elders and pastors of the “church” sadly are fleecing the flock to supply their own wants. (Jn 10:12-13; 1Pt 5:2-3; Rev 2:15)

27. The qualities most in demand in today’s pastorate are frequently foreign to the Scriptures. (1Tim 3:2-3; 1Tim 3:5; 1Tim 1:5-7)

28. The professionalization of the pastorate is a sin and needs to be repented of. (2Cor 11:13; Gal 3:1; Gal 2:6)

29. There must be repentance for the ambitious desire and idolization of the celebrity pastorate. (3Jn 9; Jer 17:5; 1Cor 12:22)

30. Pastors must trust the Spirit, not statistics. (2Sam 24:1; 1Cor 1:25; Rom 8:14)

31. Modern day prophets are being stoned by criticism and neglect. (2Tim 4:3-4; Gal 1:10; Jer 1:7-8)

32. God’s prophets are ill-treated and shunned by most “christians” considered too harsh or extreme. (Jer 6:10; Isa 6:9-10; Gal 4:16)

33. The prophets prophesy falsely, priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so. (Mt 24:4, 11-12; 1Cor 1:19, Jude 8 )

34. There are many false gospels being preached from pulpits in our day. (2Cor 11:4; Gal 1:8-9; Jude 16)

35. There is an epidemic of a “mock” salvation message. It is correct in doctrine, but false in reality. (2Cor 3:6; 1Jn 5:11-12; Rom 8:9)

36. A salvation that does not make men holy is trusted in by a deceived many. (Jude 4; Rom 8:1; Rom 6:17-18)

37. There is a needed perseverance in the truths of the Gospel without unbelief. (Eph 1:1; Heb 6:11-12; Heb 10:26-27)

38. A great need is to see “christians” become saints in actual experience. (1Jn 2:29; Col 3:5-8; Tit 3:8)

39. Many professors of religion are forbidding people to be a part of the holy body of Christ. (Mt 23:13; Ps 119:1-2; 2Pt 1:3-4)

40. Preaching has become all about the happiness of man and not the glory of God. (Jn 6:26; Rom 4:20; 1Pt 4:11)

41. Preachers give smooth words to entice men, yet very few give any words of correction or rebuke. (Jer 6:14; Pro 1:23; 1Tim 5:20)

42. Run from gospels that focus on your success and prosperity in name of Jesus Christ. (Jn 2:16; Acts 20:33; Jer 6:13)

43. Run from gospels that focus on self-improvement. (1Tim 6:5; Heb 12:14; Jam 4:14)

44. Run from churches where men, and not Christ, are glorified. (Col 1:18; Jude 25; Jn 16:14)

45. Run from churches where there is no Bible, no cross, no mention of the blood of Christ. (1Pt 1:18-19; Eph 3:13; Rev 1:5)

46. Run from churches where the worship leaves you cold, where there’s no sense of God’s presence. (1Cor 5:4; Ps 80:14-15; Jer 12:11)

47. Run from churches where you’re comfortable in your sin. (1Cor 14:25; Heb 10:30-31; Heb 4:13)

48. Run from churches that use the pulpit of God for a personal agenda. (Jude 10-11,19; 3Jn 9)

49. Run from those who preach division between races and cultures. (Jam 2:4, Gal 3:28, Rev 5:9)

50. Run from ungodly, spasmodic movements and endless empty prophesying. (Jer 5:13; 1Cor 14:33, 1Jn 2:16)

51. Run from preachers who tell mostly stories and jokes. (Eph 5:4; Tit 1:8; 2:12)

52. Run from those that are only after money, who use one gimmick after another to get your money. (2Pt 2:3; 2Cor 12:14; 1Cor 9:18)

53. The phrase “accept Jesus as your personal Saviour” is not found in the Scriptures. (Rom 10:9-10; Col 1:13; Acts 26:20)

54. Evidence of true conversion does not seem important to modern day Christians. (1Jn 2:6; 1Jn 4:17; Mt 7:20)

55. Thousands of sinners think of God as having only one attribute: Love! But continue in sin. (Rom 1:18; Acts 5:11; Ps 2:12)

56. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” has hindered true evangelism. (Rom 3:19; Acts 26:18; Phil 3:18-21)

57. A Gospel of love and grace only, without the law of God being preached. This is a doctrine of Satan. (2Tim 4:3-4; Rom 2:4-5; 3:19)

58. There has clearly arisen a careless mixture of 20th century reasoning with God’s revelation. (Col 2:8; Rom 1:25; Gal 1:6)

59. Decisionism and the “sinner’s prayer” has been a major cause of false conversions in the “church”. (2Pt 2:1-2; Eph 2:4-5; 2Cor 5:17-18)

60. Many will be surprised to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you, depart from me.” (Mt 7:22-23; 1Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21)

61. Men have taken the place of the Holy Spirit in confirming men in their supposed salvation. (1Jn 2:3-5; 2Ths 1:8; Gal 6:12-15)

62. The doctrine of hell and eternal suffering is something little grasped by most professing “christians”. (Mt 13:42; Jam 5:1; Ps 9:17)

63. The judgment seat of Christ is perhaps one of the most neglected topics in the modern pulpit. (2Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10; 1Cor 3:13)

64. The second coming of Christ needs to be re-instated as the church’s general thrust and burden. (1Jn 3:2-3; Col 3:4-6; 1Ths 4:14-17)

65. The church has lost the fear of God and has over emphasized the love of God. (Heb 12:28-29; Lk 12:5; Heb 10:31)

66. The church has left evangelism to a few trained professionals. (Acts 8:1,4; Acts 4:29; Rom 10:14)

67. Repentance is considered a one-time act in modern evangelism rather than a way of life. (Rev 3:19; Heb 12:17; 2Pt 3:9)

68. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is something that is not taught in many pulpits. (Acts 2:36; 1Cor 12:3; Rom 6:18)

69. Many in “churches” are not open to correction, church discipline or rebuke. (1Cor 5:5; 1Cor 11:31-32; Heb 12:7-9)

70. Some preach salvation as a theory instead of persuading men to come to Christ. (Jn 5:40; Col 1:28; 2Cor 4:5)

71. There has been a loss of the fullness and majesty of the gospel. (1Tim 1:11; Jude 25; Rom 15:29)

72. There is little mention of sin or the depravity of man from “church” pulpits. (Jn 3:20; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5)

73. Covetousness, consumerism, and coddling of the world’s goods does not appear wrong. (Jer 22:17; 1Jn 2:15-16; 1Tim 3:3)

74. Little is made of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in churches or in evangelism. (1Cor 15:14-15; Acts 4:10, 33)

75. The “church” has relied more on technology than God. (Zech 4:6; 1Cor 1:21; 2:4)

76. The prayer meeting is considered one of the least important meetings in the “church”. (1Tim 2:1; Acts 4:31; Phil 4:6)

77. Pastors have never prayed less than they do in the “church” today. (Jer 10:21; Phil 2:21; Eph 6:18-19)

78. Very few are waiting on God for His direction and purpose for His Church. (Eph 1:11; Ps 37:7; Isa 40:31)

79. The “church” has many organizers, but few agonizers. (Phil 3:18-19; Rom 9:1-3; Jer 9:1)

80. We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the “church”. (2Tim 4:2; 1Cor 14:39; 1Cor 12:31)

81. A serious, sober, self-controlled Christianity is very seldom found or preached. (2Pt 3:11; 1Pt 4:7; Jude 3)

82. The “church” at large has forgotten how to pray. (1Jn 3:22; Acts 6:4; 1Ths 5:17)

83. Many “churches” are more dependent on tradition than the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Mk 7:13; Acts 16:6; Acts 13:2)

84. Multitudes of professors preach and teach: that you cannot be freed from sin. (Rom 16:18; Rom 6:1-2; 2Pt 2:1)

85. The Apostles and Christ always preached the possibility to walk free from sin. (Tit 2:11-12; 1Pt 1:14-16; Rom 6:19)

86. Sinners are not saved to sin, but rather, saved to holiness and good works. (Rom 6:13; Eph 2:10; 2Pt 3:14)

87. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. (2Tim 2:19; 1Pt 4:17-18; 2Tim 3:12)

88. A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need of our day. (1Tim 6:3; 2Ths 3:6; 2Ths 2:13)

89. Many are confused about obedience, and good works that are readily mentioned in the Scriptures. (Tit 3:8; Jn 10:32; Rev 3:15)

90. Little emphasis is put on the plan of God to make us like Jesus Christ in “churches”. (1Pt 1:14-16; 1Jn 2:6; 1Pt 4:1)

91. Christ did not die on the cross to obtain a worldly “church” but for a “glorious Church.” (Eph 5:27; Tit 2:14; Col 4:12)

92. Christ does not come into an unregenerate and impure heart as many contemporary theologians say. (2Cor 5:17; Mt 5:8; Eze 18:31)

93. A holy Church is God’s blessing to the world; an unholy “church” is God’s judgment upon the world. (Mt 5:14,16; Eph 4:1; 1Ths 2:12)

94. If Christianity is to make any headway in the present time, it must be proved to be more than a theory. (2Ths 3:6-7; 1Ths 4:1,11-12)

95. Unbelief has gagged and bound us as risen Lazarus, we need release in this final hour! (Heb 3:12-14; 1Cor 3:21-23; Heb 11:6)

Tony Campolo’s ‘Thin Places’: Occultic Christianity

“You, LORD, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob.  They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines  and embrace pagan customs.”  Isaiah 2:6

Nazarenes and all other Christians, welcome to the mystical world of the occult, when you welcome Tony Campolo.

Anyone- yes, anyone- who supports this man as a legitimate Christian leader is complicit with his agenda to promote his doctrines of demons!  You are guilty of helping a false prophet possibly deceiving your very own children someday.  I am making this point clear to you because there are pastors out there- irresponsible pastors- who are recklessly or ignorantly promoting this man for what he said at ENC last week.

What Tony Campolo said last week resulted in my post from Monday which as I said, got my blood boiling for various reasons.  I would like to help you understand clearly what Dr. Campolo meant when he referenced “the thin place.”  After reading this, could anyone let me know if you still think it is wise to have such a man speak to any group of Christian students, or adults, or pastors?  If not, could you write a letter to the leadership of ENC or your school of interest, and ask that Tony Campolo and others like him never speak there?

Thin places are tied closely to and are a part of the new spirituality.  They are part of the whole repertoire of contemplative spirituality practices that are just a repackaged and “Christianized” form, of transcendental meditation.  TM is not taught in the Bible in any way, shape or form.  It’s no surprise that Marcus Borg (denies the uniqueness of Christ) has an affinity to thin places, as reported here.   False teacher Brian McLaren attests to having experienced thin places.  (“Yes, I have experienced both dimensions of what you describe: God’s presence flowing like a gentle current in simple human interaction, and God’s presence shining through what the old Celts called “thin places.”” )
Scot McKnight, a proponent of emergent church ideology, speaks favorably of thin places as a way of getting close to God.  So it all ties together, and I am sure this is a concept that no emergent/post-modern Christian will criticize, because that would undermine their philosophy of non-judgmentalism, and their house of cards would fall along with the rest of their false gospel.

What’s a thin place? According to Sylvia Maddox at the Explore Faith website:

“There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller. A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.”

Thin places are also well described on a website by Mindie Burgoyne (http://www.thinplaces.net/openingarticle.htm).  I don’t know if she is the foremost expert on this topic, but she certainly seems to have a good grasp of its history, philosophy, and practice.  Mindie says on her blog, Where This World Meets The Eternal World,  that she has a deep interest in the mystical.  No surprise there if you like thin places.  Here is a basic definition she gives:

“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.  Since the times of ancient civilization the fascination with the “Other world” has occupied human minds.  To some it is heaven, the kingdom, paradise.  To others it may be hell, an abyss, the unknown.  Whatever you perceive the Other world to be, a thin place is a place where connection to that world seems effortless, and ephemeral signs of its existence are almost palpable.”

And here she attests to Dr. Campolo’s reference to the Celtics as those who know of these thin places well:

“The Pre-Christian and Celtic people of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England had a keen sense for thin places.   The landscape is littered with monuments, markings and ruins that once boldly stated, “This is a thin place. This is holy ground.”  The very ground itself seems to call out, “Come here and be transformed.”  In a quiet moment, a visitor today can feel the connection with the people whose spirits first marked these spots, and all the pilgrims who have visited since.  They are vivid reminders that we are all joined inside and outside of time.”

Apparently there are also thin moments”, but I won’t get into that- she explains that too.  But she then says later:

“A thin place is simply that – a PLACE where the veil is thin.  The place itself calls you, draws you into itself, transports you into the presence of the world beyond this world.  The thinness of place moves you into the presence of the mysterious power.  There, all things you perceive through your senses are charged, electrified, illuminated with the presence of that power.”

She further explains thin places:

“This brings us to another characteristic of thin places.  They are often marked by human spirits that have gone before, felt the thinness and been changed by it.  Thin places not only transcend the senses, but transcend the boundaries of time and space.  While you’re there, time seems to stand still, and there is a communion with the human spirits that have walked there before and are yet to walk.”

Thin places apparently sharpen your senses:

“The more you experience thin places, the sharper your senses become.”

You can apparently meet the “Divine Presence” in thin places:

“Thin Places are ports in the storm of life, where the pilgrims can move closer to the God they seek,  where one leaves that which is familiar and journeys into the Divine Presence.”

And this is perhaps the “gospel message” of thin places:

“They probe to the core of the human heart and open the pathway that leads to satisfying the familiar hungers and yearnings common to all people on earth, the hunger to be connected, to be a part of something greater, to be loved, to find peace.”

In an article by Michael McMullen on the same site, he describes how thin places are like and where some of them are, such as Croagh Patrick mountain in Europe:

“Christian and pagan, this is a sacred mountain…  For on this high and remote place one is close to the gate of heaven, close to the early Christian spirit and perhaps close to ones best aspirations…   He (St. Patrick) imposed a new spirituality on and old spirituality and there is a continuum in the thought patterns between the pagan and the Christian mind. On many of the pagan symbols he and his followers cut the firm cross of Christ. Perhaps we could say that the ancient Irish possessed minds that were naturally Christian.”

If all of this is biblical in any way, I don’t know what else to tell you.  But this is what Tony Campolo meant when he told perhaps 300 students at a Christian school about a thin place.

My point in all this is not to put down Mindie Burgoyne or any other proponent of this stuff, because she is not being invited to our Christian schools-yet.   I do pray that she will wake up from this deception and find the true Christ of the Bible, otherwise her soul is lost.  She and others I quoted are an example I used to show you what this “thin place” is, and that Tony Campolo is connected to it, and he believes in it, and yet he is still speaking to Nazarene youth.

This is nothing but of the occult and the mysticism of today’s emergent church and their New Age friends! If anyone understands what they just read, they will clearly see this.  And for anyone to pretend that Tony Campolo has something good to offer, and deserves to speak at a Christian campus, then let us go on and invite others as well!  Based on that criteria, how about inviting also the following: Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Joyce Myers, Benny Hinn, Robert Schuler, Leonard Sweet (he’s already on the list apparently).  Let’s just bring in anyone- anyone at all- who has at least a few good things to say, who can dazzle the crowd with some well-placed scripture, and the undiscerning young person walks away thinking, “man that was a great message!  The spirit was really moving today!”  But all it was that day, was the spirit of the age, not the Spirit of God, and yet, so many are being deceived right before our eyes.

If some of you don’t understand yet why I am against this man and others speaking to Christian audiences, I pray that you will understand now.  I pray that God will reveal the truth to you about some of these predators who are only tools of satan.  That’s all they are, tools of satan.  If I am wrong, may God open my eyes and forgive me, but I cannot see that, when I clearly see what scripture speaks to us about them, and what they do to twist the word of God.  They are “hypocritical liars.”

I’m not a “Bible scholar.”  Some of you would embarrass me with your command of memorized scripture, or your ability to find a passage in the Bible quickly.  But… don’t you see it too?  If so, why are some of you mad at us for telling the truth?  All I am interested in doing with these posts is to help keep at least one person from going to hell based on a false gospel, a false Jesus.  But I am really afraid for some of you, (and some of you used to be my friends) because I truly believe the greatest deception is still to come.  And I’m afraid you may get swept into it, and the worst thing that you can do, is deny the real Jesus, and compromise, and join the crowd that is going down the wide road of “unity”, and ecumenism, and one-ism.  It’s a well-paved road, very comfortable, very accommodating, very understanding, that leads straight to everlasting punishment.

Nazarenes and other Christians, welcome to the mystical world of the occult, when you welcome Tony Campolo.