Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, Rom 1:21-22
There has been a movement for quite some time now to serve up evolution as a viable alternative for Christians as to how God created man. That movement is trying to gain momentum in the Nazarene denomination, as part of a “big tent” philosophy. But if you accept evolution, you also must accept certain ideas that come with it. And in accepting them, you have no choice but to reject what Holy Scripture has to say about it. You cannot believe in the Bible, and also believe in evolution. It is an oxymoron.
Believing in evolution means you must accept that, among other things:
-Adam and Eve were not real historical figures as described in Genesis;
-Jesus was not truthful when he talked about Adam and Eve in a historical context;
-You reject God’s account in Genesis that He created everything in six days;
-You reject the truthfulness of the genealogical account of the Lord in Matthew, which includes Adam;
-The account of the first 11 chapters of Genesis is only allegory;
-You accept that death came into the world many years before any Adam and Eve, contradicting Romans 5:12 and its explanation of how sin and death came into the world;
-You pick and choose what you want to believe, instead of accepting God’s historical account at face value;
-You choose to use your own intellect and human reasoning and philosophy to validate the Bible, instead of letting the Bible validate itself;
-You reject the inerrancy and reliability of Scripture as the sole and final written authority for our faith and practice, and instead accept that the Bible has errors and is written deceptively.
We could list more things from the Bible that require someone to suspend belief in it, when they say they adhere to “theistic evolution.” These people in the end pick and choose what they want to believe, to satisfy their intellectual snobbery and their disbelief in God’s word. What is not literal about the following account, as one example?
Gen 2:7 “And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.”
They just cannot accept such accounts as fact. They twist the word of God, and insist that there is no way it could have happened that way, because “science” disproves it. Of course, we know how flawed science has been in the past, and evolution is a prime example. The entire concept of original sin falls apart if Adam and Eve were not created by God as is said in Genesis.
The fossil record actually shows an abrupt appearance of human life, and there is no evidence whatsoever of gradual evolution. And so, the evolutionists had to come up with something called “Punctuated Equilibrium” to explain away that problem. The fact is that Darwin’s theory (really a hypothesis) has been clearly refuted many times by the evidence of science, yet the deniers continue to insist on this fairy tale as being fact, when it is one of the biggest lies perpetrated on humankind.
The Leadership of The Evolution Movement In The Church
Nazarenes Exploring Evolution is composed of a group of Nazarene theologians, pastors and scientists. Here are two of the more familiar people (to me) who are on the leadership:
Tom Oord: open theist and professor of theology and philosophy at Northwest Nazarene, who rejected my biblical answer to him several years ago at a lecture where he seemed to miss the point of Romans 5:12 and its explanation of sin and death. He is first on the list of leadership of this group, and that is no surprise. He is probably the number one prime mover of this unbiblical agenda.
Scott Daniels: pastor of Pasadena First Church and dean of Azuza Pacific University’s School of Theology. In 2009 at General Assembly, Rev. Daniels teamed up with Jon Middendorf to hold a workshop where they promoted the emergent church, and such mystics as Richard Foster and Thomas Merton. Rev. Daniels has made the ridiculous claim, against all evidence, that not only is the emergent church movement dead, but that he is not a part of it as well.
Others on this team include: Bob Branson, graduate of Southern Nazarene and Nazarene Theological Seminary, who has written for several Sunday School handbooks; Jennifer Chase, another product of Northwest Nazarene University who specializes in biology; Kerry Fulcher from Point Loma Nazarene University, another school that along with Northwest promotes emergent ideology and contemplative mysticism; Mark Mann, also a teacher at Point Loma who is a contributor to The BioLogos Forum, which heavily promotes theistic evolution; Sherri Walker, another product of Northwest Nazarene; and Mark Winslow, who teaches at Southern Nazarene and whose interests include “understanding how college students accommodate evolution and religious beliefs.”
Then there are the various article contributors, which includes some from the extremely liberal and emergent-embracing NazNet blog, an “unofficial” Nazarene site for conversations amongst Nazarenes. Most notable of these contributors is Dr. Karl Giberson, formerly a science professor at Eastern Nazarene College, author of the book Saving Darwin, and I cannot think of any other science teacher who has caused more damage to students with his open theism and evolution teaching. The “toxic-ness” is compounded by the utter arrogance of this man, who has been known to rip into the reputation and character of anyone who dares to disagree with his ungodly teachings. I do not hate him, but I do hate what he has done, and continues to do. Sadly, his colleague Dr. Randall Stephens is carrying on the same philosophy to the detriment of more ENC students.
Far From Loving And Humble
The final paragraph of their statement describing this project says “In a loving, constructive, and humble endeavor, the Nazarenes Exploring Evolution project seeks to help the Church of the Nazarene consider how evolution can complement rather than contradict Wesleyan-holiness theology.” This is quite laughable, because it is not believable, when you read the way some of these hold a disdain for those who dare to believe God’s word instead of theirs! In fact, in the words preceding that statement, the less than charitable Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University, says this:
“Will I engage a young generation in an open-minded biblical conversation that welcomes scientific discovery, reasoned philosophy, and careful logic? Or will I ignore all of these in favor of an interpretation of creation that is barely one hundred years old and rooted in the fear of science?”
This type of rhetoric is typical of Dr. Boone and others. First, they elevate philosophy and human reasoning to a level that is so important that man must turn to it first, in order to then confirm what the Bible says. Then he throws up a red herring, and paints Bible believers as “fearful of science,” instead of just admitting that we vigorously disagree with what these people promote. This is the same old way they talk amongst themselves, congratulating themselves for their intellect, and parading their degrees in front of us. Just read their Leadership page and you will understand what I mean by how much they are so impressed with themselves. It is, to paraphrase a friend’s comment, more like a mutual admiration society.
Follow The Money
In funding evolution, it takes money to push forth anti-biblical views. So, what group or person is behind all this? Enter the John Templeton Foundation. And what does it have to do with Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, you ask? First, here is a quote from one of John Templeton’s writings:
“No one should say that God can be reached by only one path” (The Humble Approach pp. 46,55). Templeton writes in his book Discovering the Laws of Life: “[T]he basic principles for leading a ‘sublime life’… may be derived from any religious tradition, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and others, as well as Christian”
(Discovering the Laws of Life pp. 6-7). Source: http://www.letusreason.org/Curren40.htm
Then, there is the BioLogos Foundation, which was/is heavily funded by the John Templeton Foundation.http://www.templeton.org/what-we-fund/grants/the-language-of-god-biologos-website-and-workshop
And now, the connection. The Biologos Foundation has recently granted a significant amount of money to Tom Oord to push forth John Templeton’s philosophical (anti-biblical) views further into the Nazarene denomination via a new website:
And now, enter: NAZARENES EXPLORING EVOLUTION http://exploringevolution.com/
By the way, this word “exploring” is very deceptive. They are not exploring evolution; they are promoting it, plain and simple. There is no other agenda.
At his own blog, Dr. Oord introduces the birth of this new website:
So, you just need to follow the money BEHIND these people and their projects to understand how and why these philosophies are being implemented. It takes money and well networked groups to assault the basic tenets of scripture. And as always, the best place to start is with the youth in the schools. This follows happily along with the Brian McClaren philosophy of getting to the children and grandchildren first.
Most parents have no idea how the foundations that they thought they have established with their children will be under assault by a well-funded liberal machine.
Here is another quote:
“Our vision is derived from the late Sir John Templeton’s optimism about the possibility of acquiring “new spiritual information” and from his commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship.” (end of quote)
New spiritual information??? A new revelation from God? Does not the Nazarene denomination believe in the closed canon of Scripture, and that what God has revealed in His word is our only authority, not some so-called new spiritual information?
It’s no coincidence that Answers In Genesis, run by Ken Ham, has come under attack by groups that hate the biblical account of creation. This ministry serves to equip our youth and to stand strong against the wiles of the devil who goes about like a roaring lion seeking to devour and tear down the foundations of our faith. http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/. Dr. Ham has been at the forefront of fighting back and refuting Karl Giberson and others who are promoting the Bible denying man’s religion called evolution, and he is not even a Nazarene.
The Real Force Behind The Movement
In commenting on an article from Dr. Oord’s blog, a good friend and pastor described it well:
“Just reading this article by Oord – An Alternative Doctrine of Creation.
It’s interesting how he labels his own view of creation, “my alternative doctrine.” That’s exactly what it is! These people have become their own god! It’s the deception of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “You shall be as God”, with your own alternative doctrine.”
He is exactly right. These people have been blinded to the truth, and satan is using them for his ends. These people cannot see that if Adam and Eve were not literal, then we could not have been born in sin, and the Lord Jesus died for nothing. The message of evolution opposes the message of the Bible. You cannot believe in both.
Every ungodly movement has its leader, sitting in the back unnoticed. That leader is satan, and he is using men and women like these to deceive countless Christians.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Col. 2:8
(By Manny Silva and contributors)
For further reference:
Articles by Ken Ham Refuting Karl Giberson and Others:
Nazarene Professor Misrepresents-Again
New Book By Nazarene Scholars Slams Biblical Creationists
What Are Nazarene Students Being Taught?
Exposing The Anointed (review of book by Goberson and Randall Stephens)
It Is Not “Religion” Versus “Science”
What the Bible Says About the Origin of Death and Suffering (Answers in Genesis)
Evolution of Darwin: His Life (video, Answers in Genesis)
Well put, Manny. I don’t think that most Christians who embrace this stuff realize that theistic evolution is a step in the direction of undermining the entirety of Christianity. Whenever you start taking the Word of God and saying “Well it REALLY doesn’t mean that” (when the text does not allow for it), you are heading in the direction of heterodoxy and ultimately faithlessness, no matter how small the perceived deviation may appear.