“God cannot know the future.”
This is Open Theism explained in it simplest terms. In fact, a book on Open Theism just needs to have these five words in it, and no further explanation. No need to spend additional wasted words in trying to explain this false idea. Open Theism is a theological philosophy that at the end of the day contradicts what the Bible teaches. Scripture teaches that God is sovereign, that He knows what His plans are and He purposes to do all that He wishes. Yet Open Theism continues to be an acceptable belief system that is allowed to be taught in all the Nazarene universities, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and the Bible college. (It’s twin evil ideology is process theology, which teaches that God learns from his mistakes).
It would be very hard for a Nazarene pastor to openly tell this to his congregation, because Open Theism is a lie from the pit of hell. If a pastor is possibly an open theist, ask him if he would be willing to speak plainly about this to his congregation, and to state that he believes these five simple words. He probably would not be able to do it, at least without having some of his congregation walk out of the church in disgust. My own former pastor believes in this lie, yet I do not believe that he would ever want to openly admit that to his congregation. Who would dare preach a sermon called “God Cannot Know The Future?”
Thomas Oord has been for years the primary Nazarene spokesman for this damnable lie, yet the Church of the Nazarene is quite comfortable in letting him continue with his influence of many college students and others throughout the denomination. It is no surprise, because many in leadership positions believe this lie too. Oord is still is listed as Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University, although he is supposedly going to leave in a year or two. He has written several books on the subject, and is considered one of the leading experts on Open Theism.
This is the same Tom Oord who disagreed with me that sin came into the world as a result of Adam’s sin. This is the same Tom Oord who does not believe that Adam was a literally created human as described in Genesis. He is the same Tom Oord who also believes that man came to existence through the process of evolution, another dammable lie which is sadly believed by many Nazarene theologians, college professors, and pastors today.
In his latest book, The Uncontrolling Love of God, Oord sums it up this way:
“Most people will say God is in control. I don’t think God is in control. I think God has uncontrolling love and that given the choice between saying God is in control or God is all-loving, which I think we end up having to do, I will go with all-loving. That’s going to make some people nervous, but the payoff, the benefits to that, in my mind, far exceed … the costs.”
In “his mind” Oord chooses to disregard such powerful testimony to God’s sovereign power and omniscience as the following:
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10
“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11
“The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.” Isaiah 14:24
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:2
There is nothing that God does not know. He would not be God if the opposite were true. Nothing is out of God’s control, not a single thing. If so, He would not be truly God, and we who are so insignificant would have little hope in Him. Yet Tom Oord and others of his disbelieving kind choose to disregard the evidence in God’s word, and instead make the mistake of trying to explain everything that cannot be completely understood by his feeble mind. They appeal to “academic freedom” as an excuse to teach anything they want, even if unscriptural. It’s a mistake that many self-serving theologians make time and time again.
A Reasoned Response
The following partial quote is from the Facebook page of Fundamental Wesleyan Publishers.
“In my view, Open Theism has substituted the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God for a hybrid of Pelagianism and humanism; the end result makes man the prime actor and God merely the reactor; which in turn makes us God while making God secondary and subject to our will.
However, God can still be supreme love and supreme authority without any contradiction, because, as Scripture reveals, these are the two sides to His character. He is Holy love as defined by Scripture and not “love” as determined by human ideas about love.
Open Theism raises also the following questions: If God cannot know the future, was the atonement an afterthought? How does Open Theism understand Satan and the fallen angels in relation to God’s sovereignty? Is God also subject to the choices the devil makes as and when he makes them? If God is subject to our will, surely He must also be subject to the devil’s will. Does this situation not make God a victim of His own creation and of sin?
One of the most serious flaws in Open Theism is that it dispenses altogether with prevenient grace by elevating human freedom to the point of making us dictate to God; it relegates Him to a secondary player in His created universe and makes us our own God. None of which is anywhere close to what the NT defines as our faith; neither could this strange idea ever fly under the banner of “Wesleyanism.”
Open Theism has pushed the envelope of human freedom to the extent that it’s not possible to recognize in it a trace of “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.” This is because Open Theism is not “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints” and should therefore be rejected outright as an unvarnished attempt to substitute human ideas for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. Roy D Oosthuizen, an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in South Africa.)
I do not know whether Rev. Oosthuizen agrees with everything I have written in exposing what is going on in the church. But in this instance he has expressed a belief that Bible believing Nazarenes share, and that is that Open Theism is a theological viewpoint that has no place in the Church of the Nazarene or any other Christian denomination or independent church.
As I read from time to time the meaningless ramblings of the “learned ones” on NazNet, I see so many pastors who believe this lie, and so many pastors who do not believe that the Bible is God’s perfect word. I see them as they verbally abuse those who would gently give their opinion that they do believe in all the Scriptures; that they do believe evolution is a false teaching and incompatible with Scripture; that they do believe Adam actually was real, as Scripture tells us plainly.
The beliefs of Tom Oord and his friends at Naznet are a microcosm of the disease that has spread through the Church of the Nazarene. These skeptics are no longer the exception. I see it all around. I have heard it from the mouths of leaders from my New England District. In the coming weeks and months, I will remind you of the compromising attitude among the leadership in the church that has led it to this point. I will continue to make the point that one the biggest factors in the failure of the Church of the Nazarene to maintain its holiness message, and its Bible-believing message, can be traced to the leadership failure at the top. I will make the case that not a single one of the General Superintendents have stood up against the many false doctrines as well as the wolves that have infiltrated the church. They have done nor said anything of substance.
Quoting a concerned friend and former Nazarene, Al, who wrote to me recently:
“Granted the “vocal headliners” of the emergent positions in the COTN seem to be in a quiet phase but they all are in the same positions of authority espousing their teachings and preachings. I have no solutions, but I consider them to be comparable to terrorist sleeper cells – fermenting the students and laymen; today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. I am appalled at the ignorance on these matters by the laity, the clergy, the church boards, the educational leaders and board members, the DSs and to even the GSs. Where in the Bible does it teach discernment is to be shunned? I am not talking a witch hunt, but this is the precise time for strong action to affirm to our theological leaders and those in charge from the top to the bottom that COTN’s Articles of Faith are to be embraced and those that are unable to enthusiastically agree need to be honest as a matter of personal integrity and quietly take appropriate action. No more “soft” acceptance of and teaching of emergent theology or positions.”
Friends, Open Theism is just one of the many unbiblical teachings and practices plaguing the Church of the Nazarene today. There is less holiness, and a lot more heresy now. Unless something significant occurs to stem the tide, the day is coming when it will join the likes of the PCUSA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and many other apostate denominations.
It will then finally become as irrelevant as all the rest.