The Nazarene Theological Seminary is dying, if not already dead, and has been for a while, well before the recent event at the Preacher’s Conference.
Part One: Responsibility Of Nazarene Leaders
The responsibility has to be laid on President Jeren Rowell and other NTS leadership over the last 15 years or so for destroying a once biblical seminary. We must give some level of responsibility to the entire Board of General Superintendents during this period, who have failed to do anything of significance to stop a steady progression of post-modernism, mysticism, creation worship, and social justice; and now lately, it is woke ideology, LGBT and normalization of homosexuality, Critical Race Theory and blaming of white people for racism.
Regarding the General Board, the Nazarene Manual mentions in section 317.1 one of their duties: “Provide supervision, guidance, and motivation for the general church, with appropriate attention to leadership and theology for all districts, agencies, and ministries of the global Church of the Nazarene.” Section 306 also mentions their role to include: “propagating theological coherency.” I submit to you that they have failed to meet these specific duties and responsibilities. There is no theological coherency across the board in the denomination and the colleges and seminaries.
And the culpability does not stop there. There are district superintendents, college professors and chaplains, pastors, and local church leaders who are contributing to this mess. And sadly, there are many sitting in the pews who would rather stay silent and enjoy their monthly pot luck dinners rather than rock the boat. They know what’s going on is bad, but they put themselves in a state of denial and an unhealthy emotional allegiance to an organization. All this is contributing to the slow death of a holiness denomination.
Part Two: Commentary on the Seminary And Frank Thomas
My report concerns Dr. Frank A. Thomas, who spoke at Nazarene Theological Seminary on September 27. Mr. Thomas did not sneak into the seminary under false pretenses. He is not guilty of fooling the most learned leaders of the seminary by pretending to be aligned with stated Nazarene values. He did not trick them into believing he was teaching a Gospel-based message. If only it were so, because being fooled might be considered a little less serious than being knowing partners to a crime. Dr. Jeren Rowell and all the others who are aware of this man’s unbiblical ideology and hateful rhetoric are either very gullible and ignorant, or complicit. The evidence indicates that they are knowingly complicit in agreeing with and facilitating a false teacher’s agenda, and thus they allowed him to stand behind the sacred desk and preach his false ideas.
It would take a serious bit of work to save this seminary, requiring a wholesale replacement of leadership and heretical professors. This rarely happens. The only successful turnaround that I know of is that which was accomplished through the efforts of Dr. Al Mohler, who doggedly fought through every obstacle he encountered; fired dozens of professors who were teaching heretical ideas; and with little support except from God, was able to root out liberalism from the classrooms and chapel of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I know of no other effort that ever turned around a seminary from its march into the abyss of apostasy.
Dr. Thomas has earned the applause of men now, so he has his reward now. After warnings from various Nazarenes over the last several months, Dr. Rowell concluded that Frank A. Thomas is worthy of speaking at a seminary that purports to espouse holiness; purports to follow the Nazarene manual; and purports to follow biblical standards. Sorry, but “actions speak louder than stated loyalty to church polity.” What happened on September 27 was a travesty that should never have happened. Dr. Rowell and all who collaborated in arranging this travesty should be fired. They are active facilitators of a problem which keeps getting worse. But don’t forget to hold the General Superintendents accountable.
Frank A. Thomas is a false teacher. What is a false teacher? A false teacher is, in simple terms, someone who deceives by teaching things that should not be taught. What he teaches is contrary to God’s word, including the things that Jesus Christ taught, but also anything taught in the entire Bible. On that basis, Frank A. Thomas is a false teacher. And the leaders at the seminary should know better; they should cease to be leaders; and they should be removed from their positions of power and influence.
Frank Thomas advocates for racial division, blames societies problems on all white people, and promotes Critical Race Theory; he praises Jeremiah Wright who is one of the most racist pastors in America, and who also teaches Black Liberation Theology; he is pro-abortion; he supports the LGBTQ agenda; he vilifies Christians who are conservative in their theological and political views.
Below is the link to of Thomas’ first speech at the Preacher’s Conference. I follow up with a commentary on selected quotes from this mostly political lecture. I do not consider it a sermon.
Part Three: Commentary on Frank Thomas’ Speech on Sept. 27
Title: The Word of God For The People of God: “What About The Children?”
Video Timeline: 0:00 to 29:30- Thomas’ message. 30:00 to 1:03:15- Interview session.
Scripture Passages used: Exodus 1:15-17, Luke 18:1
In Opening Comments, Thomas Omits Abortion from a long list of Violence Against Children
Thomas’ speech focused on “the children.” This seems to be a “sermon” that he recycles often at different speaking engagements. Here are some highlights, with timelines:
02:30: Mr. Thomas asks… “What about the children?” (repeats this often)
He quotes Amy Lindeman Allen, a professor at Christian Theological Seminary, where he teaches. “Children are rarely the center of text and interpretation, and more often than not, are simply an appendage and an afterthought.” He quotes her also by saying that “while marginalized groups such as black people, women, minorities, LGBTQI, immigrants, Latinx, we don’t mention children.”
“What about the children in this post-truth era, lies, fake news, conspiratorial facts?”
04:35 “Chief challenges facing children all over the globe: violence through indoctrination, poverty, life as refugees, lack of access to education, child neglect, child labor, child sexual rape and molestation, child abuse, child prostitution, child trafficking and slavery, military use of children, disease, hunger and climate change, to name a few.”
Note: he fails to mention the evil of abortion, which is a violence of the most reprehensible kind.
In Less Than 10 Minutes, We Hear His Racist View of Society
5:35 Mr. Thomas addresses issues affecting our children, and here he regurgitates his racist approach to all of life’s problems. Quote: “… in the issues affecting our children…what we would probably find is fear in adults. The fearful reality for some is that America is changing, and by 2040 Euro-Americans will not be the dominant group in the nation. There is massive fear in living in this kind of diversity when Euro-American people don’t control the levers of wealth and power, of voting and institutions.”
This is straight out of Critical Race Theory, a philosophy which Mr. Thomas embraces, and he shares with close colleagues like the very racist Dr. Jeremiah Wright. CRT teaches the basic racist idea that ALL white people are guilty of racism, even if they deny it. It also teaches that every institution in America is loaded with racism and functions to keep people of color down and inhibit their success in life.
This comment reflects the post-modern thinking of the Emergent Church
6:30 “I hate to admit this, but… I don’t like change either. But nothing stays the same. Everything must change.”
This is reminiscent of another false teacher who has made a very negative impact on the Nazarene denomination. “Everything Must Change” was a book written by Brian McLaren, whose post-modern philosophy included the idea that nothing remains the same. All ideas are in play (i.e. absolute truth, views on homosexuality, etc.). Even the standard of scripture is subject to change. EVERYTHING is subject to change, which is also a foundation of liberalism. This is a philosophy which seeks to facilitate the ability to move the goal posts of theology, and change the direction on a whim, based on societies opinions. It is totally opposite of the teaching of God’s word, which is steady and never-changing.
These comments exemplify the subtle attacks on conservative Christians
9:10 “In this fearful environment, all political leaders have to do is appeal to our fears…scapegoat minorities, women, LGBTQI persons, immigrants, blame other people…it’s the immigrants that are taking our jobs.”
10:06 “A God and a church to divinely sanction and offer cosmic validity to our fears.”
Using the Exodus 1 passage, Thomas betrays his hypocritical “care for the children”
10:55 “Allow me to bring the king of Egypt to the homiletical stage.”
It is ironic that Mr. Thomas uses a passage in scripture that describes a plan to kill babies en masse, but then he himself is a supporter of abortion. He describes the pharoah as responding “in fear…wielding massive levels of power and political machinery.” He says later… “Maybe for Shiphrah and Puah, children were the center of the world, and not adults. When asked about the children, they had an answer. Save the children at all costs…because if we cut off our children, we cut off our chance at redemption.” At 14:12 Talks about Fred Rogers and how he focused on children, “you are special just the way you are.” He continues on… “he loved and protected children.”
17:30 He builds up this monologue to what I knew he was going to do. His “sermon” again become a political attack, which he loves to do… “When I look at our public behavior… some of these politicians and these groups, I say are you going to act like this in front of the children? You gonna put these kids on buses as political pawns, ship them to sanctuary cities. Pawns as political games. You do that to children? What about the children? Adults dropping their fearful slime on children.”
19:36 Luke 18 text is now quoted, where the children come to see Jesus, and the disciples rebuke the people. He depicts the disciples complaining to Jesus this way…. “Can you get these kids out? Can you get these immigrant kids out of here?” Once again twisting scripture to make a political point, not a theological truth. He continues… “can you get the black kids out? We trying to build the kingdom.”
22:20 “Would I be dangerous to say that if you aborted a child, a child is already in the kingdom? To such belong the kingdom.” Of course, he does not talk about abortion as an evil thing, because he supports abortion. It is as if he approves of abortion, because the child will go to heaven anyway. Later, in the question period, he affirms his support for “choice.”
He continues on with more political speechmaking. You will need to listen to it all, I could not stomach much more of it.
23:25 “When are we going to have our Shiphrah and Puah moment…and tell the king, no!…Are there any Shiphrah and Puahs here today?”
The last five minutes he talks about Fred Rogers again, with a nice story about Rogers when he received an award for his programming. And he politicizes it also. This was not a sermon, this was a crass political message that twisted God’s word, as he always does in his public speeches.
The question and answer session was 30 minutes. Please watch it if you can. I have no time to do an extended commentary on it. It was all I could stomach to watch the “sermon.”
Conclusion: Frank A. Thomas, a confirmed racist, pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQI “pastor”, spoke at a seminary that supposedly aligns itself with the holiness principles of the Church of the Nazarene. It was a complete sham, and if people of integrity cannot rise up to stop this foolishness, this poison will spread into the denomination more, and the Nazarenes will go the way of the liberal mainstream denominations. The denomination will support woke ideology; it will support homosexuality; it will support blaming white people for the world’s troubles; it will worship creation instead of the created. It will do everything but uphold the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, while sending many people to hell who are buying into their lies.
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