Olivet Nazarene Lets False Teacher Campolo Speak In Chapel

2 Tim 4: 1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

I was very disappointed that Olivet Nazarene University has apparently followed through on its scheduled appearance of false teacher Tony Campolo at student chapel services, which happened Wednesday and today.  It reminded me of the same type of situation with Eastern Nazarene College in 2009, when my wife and I met with the school president, chaplain, and provost, and made our case that Dr. Campolo was not an appropriate speaker for a Christian school.  That was to no avail, as we were told that they had no problem with Tony Campolo, and he continued on to speak to the students a few months later.  As I sat in that chapel service, he promoted his Celtic spirituality and mantra prayer style as some Nazarene pastors also listened, either ignorant of his heretical ideology, or complicit in the same beliefs, or perhaps even afraid of saying anything.


In the past few months, I had several good emails back and forth with Dr. Carl Leth, head of theology at ONU, and also CC’d the information to President Bowling and Dr. Webb in Student Development.  I sent a mountain of information documenting the heresies that Tony Campolo has been promoting in his books and in his speaking engagements.  Anyone with even a modest knowledge of scripture should have the discernment to almost instantly recognize that this man is a heretic who is spreading lies to thousands of Christians!  I thought again I had made a good case, but somehow it was not good enough to be a game changer, and now he has twice spoken at another Christian school.


If Tony Campolo:


  1. Has NOT repented from the practices of contemplative mysticism,
  2. Has NOT repented of his promotion of panentheistic Celtic spirituality,
  3. Has NOT repented of suggesting the god of Islam is the same as the God of Christianity,
  4. Has NOT repented of his rejection of God’s word as inerrantly inspired,
  5. Has NOT repented of his compromising ecumenical philosophy,
  6. Has NOT repented of his claims that man has an “inner divinity”,
  7. Has NOT repented of his claim that non-Christians might go to heaven,
  8. Has NOT repented of his view that homosexuals can be ordained without renouncing homosexuality,
  9. Has never even testified of a true born-again experience of salvation, but instead says he became a Christian through a gradual process through the use of centering prayer, and says that being born again is not the only way to become a Christian…


Why in the world was he allowed to speak in a chapel service at a Christian school?


I have ruled out total ignorance, because that is not possible any longer.  Two other possibilities are left.


One possibility is that Olivet Nazarene and other Christian universities that invite Tony Campolo do not agree with his belief system, but accept him because he has some good things to offer, and he is very popular and well known, and so that is okay with them, in spite of the poison he brings.  For convenience, they ignore principle and they compromise.


The other possibility is that these schools, or at least the leadership that allows him to come speak, have bought into his mysticism, his ecumenism, and his repudiation of the inerrancy of scripture, and are totally comfortable with it.  I hope I am wrong here.  But what other possibilities are there other than these two I mentioned?


Which is worst?  Either choice is not good news for Bible believing Christians and parents who are sending or thinking of sending their children to these schools.  It should be very disturbing news to those Bible believing Christians, including alumni, who send financial support to schools that are either showing a reckless lack of discernment and judgment, or have bought into the heresies that these speakers promote.


As I suggested regarding Dr. Campolo, as well as Dr Tom Oord who spoke at ENC in 2009, I suggest here.  I suggest that parents, alumni, and any other Bible believing Christian who is concerned about folks like Dr. Campolo speaking at our Christian college campuses, start asking some questions to the leaders at this school and all the others, and give them no rest until they give a clear answer.  In my opinion, Christian schools that are exhibiting a blatantly obvious lack of discernment and sound judgment do not deserve to receive automatic financial support.


Tony Campolo may be a nice guy personally, but nice guys do not necessarily preach sound doctrine.  It is clear in this case, is it not?  Or can any Nazarene pastor or theology professor tell me that these things I mentioned, if true, are perfectly fine  with them also.  I don’t believe they will, or can do that, but if they do, I will gladly publish their biblically sound defense of Tony Campolo’s teachings.  And so, if Tony Campolo is teaching unsound doctrines, why are our Christian schools ignoring the biblical instruction to avoid such teachers as he?


I believe that instead of accepting him and welcoming him with open arms, Tony Campolo is to be exposed as a spiritual predator who is looking for his next gig to indoctrinate perhaps your child or grandchild with heretical views that are nothing but doctrines of demons.

Additional Resources:

(Dr. Campolo’s chapel messages are already online and can be watched here.  Perhaps they were safe messages and you might think he’s okay, but that does not change anything as far as the bad influence he will have on many students.)

False Prophet Tony Campolo Promotes Doctrines of Demons To ENC Youth

Tony Campolo’s ‘Thin Places’: Occultic Christianity

Beware Of Tony Campolo (David Cloud)

News: Eric Barger’s Take A Stand! Ministries will debut as a regular radio program this Saturday on the Christian Satellite Radio Network and selected local stations, such as KAWZ in Scituate, MA.  There are many other stations nationwide, for a listing go here: http://www.csnradio.com/stations/.
Eric will be speaking at the Olive Tree Ministries – Understanding The Times Conference in Minnesota on Oct. 7-8.  Eric is also the keynote speaker at the NEATC Conference on Oct. 14-15 in Ashford, CT.  Click here for a special preview of Eric’s radio program.

9 responses to “Olivet Nazarene Lets False Teacher Campolo Speak In Chapel

  1. The response you received from the president of the university does not surprise me as I also received similar disregard from PLNU president, Bob Brower concerning Rob Bell, Brian McClaren and others as chapel speakers along with the offering of a “spiritual formation” retreat on campus. It is a sign of the times we live in and fulfillment of scripture as post modern liberal theology makes its way through our seminaries and universities with an agenda to embrace man’s philosophies over the Word of God and spoil our students faith. Col. 2:8

  2. “Has NOT repented of his rejection of God’s word as inerrantly inspired” Even the Nazarene Manual doesn’t affirm that God’s word is “inerrantly inspired.”

    Was there anything in the actual messages you disagreed with?

  3. Uh, Bradley… the Nazarene manual does not trump the Bible. It seems you put more importance on that. That’s very sad, and that’s one of the things that is very wrong today with our denomination. Too many rely on the Manual to tell them what the Bible teaches.

    As far as the messages… I have not listened yet- but I will, and will most likely critique them if necessary. What does that have to do with his heretical beliefs that I stated in the article?

  4. Bradly,
    If you can make an effort to respond with some biblical authority, I would post further comments. I’ve heard all the things you said in the latest comment I did not approve, and they are meaningless and do not address the heresies this man teaches. Therefore, I have to assume, you are defending the false teachings of Tony Campolo. I pray that God will open your spiritual eyes to the the truth.

  5. I had an opportunity to listen to Tony Campolo’s chapel messages held on September 7th and 8th, 2011 at Olivet. Neither time nor space will allow me to fully critique both messages. However, I would like to point out something Tony said in the beginning of his first message that undermines the true purpose of Christ’s coming. Tony said; “The purpose of Jesus coming into the world was not to get us ready for the next world instead to equip us to do his work and his will in this world.”
    To support this he then goes on and misquotes some verses found in Isaiah chapter 65. His message to me appealed to socialism, not salvation, as the core function of the church.

    The second thing that caught me by surprise was his coarse jokes. Many obviously found it funny, because you could hear their laughter. Why he thought this was necessary is beyond me. You may say, “well that’s just Tony, he did not mean anything by it.” Then I would say, “It was un-Christ like and has no place. He got a laugh from his first joke so the story he told involving sex the second time was more coarse than the first one. You be the judge.

  6. I have not finished watching his talks yet- but I heard the first joke already. This is part of his style- and apparently everyone there seemed to be okay with it. Sad.

  7. Well, brother Manny, I see that your warning to the powers that be at ONU went in one ear and out the other concerning Tony Campolo. So, so, so incredibly sad ( and maddening at the same time ) that the trash these emergent people spew out of their mouths is allowed to be spewed upon our kids. Makes me angry…..it really does. How can this stuff not be seen for what it is…..heresy?! I do not understand how people who have been educated, who are teaching and in positions of leadership at a Christian school, who are supposedly Christian, who have supposedly been born again, who I am sure have access to a Bible, who should be able to read and interpret said Bible can allow this type of non-biblical, heretical nonsense through the door………flabbergasting.

    I must be an idiot or something because I do not get it. But, then again, our Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 24:11-12, “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” (ESV)

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