Does Nazarene Theological Seminary Support The Interfaith Movement?

Buddhists, Muslims, Native American religions, Hindu, Sufi, Unitarian Universalists, Taoism, Confucianism, Wiccans, and Zoroastrians. 

Would you or your church be comfortable with working closely with these religions as part of an interfaith group whose goal is unity with all religions?  Well, the center for Religious Experience And Study (CRES) is based in Kansas City, KS, states the following on their website:

“Beyond superstition, narcissism, sef-righteousness and violence, we uplift the wisdom of the world’s faiths to heal the three great crises of our desacralized culture- in the environment, in personhood, in society.…  “CRES envisions the greater Kansas City area as a model community honoring interfaith relationships
•  where interfaith relationships are honored as a way of deepening one’s own tradition and spirituality, and
•  where the wisdom of the many religions successfully addresses the • environmental, • personal, and • social crises of our often fragmented, desacralized world.

When you read through much of the website, you will see it is a love fest in ecumenicalism and interreligious and pluralistic cooperation, with the idea that only working together with other religions can we bring healing to the world’s problems.  One would think any Bible believing Christian school or denomination would stay far away from associating with this kind of thinking and philosophy.  We are commanded in Scripture:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”  (2 Cor. 6:14).  And we are also told to: “… have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph. 5:11

We are not told anywhere in Scripture to come together and hold hands and “dialogue” with other religions, and rightly so, because all other religions are lies, and thus their origin is from Satan, the father of lies.  Yet here on this list of recommended groups and universities is Nazarene Theological Seminary.  I also noted that the site goes out of its way to make sure we know that Midwestern
Baptist Theological Seminary is to be avoided… “as its approach to non-Christian faiths is unreliable and hostile.”  As I suspected, after looking at what MBTS stands for, it seems that it might be the only Christian school worthy of recommending to Bible believers in that area.  I was particularly impressed by their clear, unambiguous statement that the school will reflect AND teach the core biblical principles of their sponsoring denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, including teaching biblical inerrancy.  Would that our schools could only be so bold to do the same!

The question now we ask is, why?  Why is Nazarene Theological Seminary listed as part of a group of approved organizations that CRES has on their website?  That is a question I asked Dr. David Busic last month, in an email to him dated Nov 18.  He is the newly installed President of the seminary, and I thought surely he will correct this error and ask CRES to remove NTS from the approved list.  Furthermore, I would hope that not only would he ask for NTS to be removed from the list, but also that he would clearly distance the seminary from any kind of association and promotion of interfaith or ecumenical gatherings, in accordance with God’s standards as written in Holy Scripture.  I have yet to hear from Dr. Busic, and because of the history of NTS in recent years, I am concerned, and perhaps you should be too.  Perhaps the email got lost, or perhaps he is working on this now.  Perhaps you can send him an alert regarding what could be a misunderstanding.  That is why I am re-sending this to him, in hopes of getting an answer.

I am also concerned about NTS because of what it has promoted in the past.  The previous NTS president, Dr. Ron Benefiel, is directly connected with a group that promotes ecumenical “dialogue.”  The Christian Research/Voice Institute states: “While representing a particular theological tradition (Wesleyan), the goal of CRI/Voice is ecumenical and global.”  The Executive Director is Professor Dennis Bratcher, formerly from Point Loma Nazarene University and a proponent of Open Theism and Process Theology.  Dr. Benefiel is now at Point Loma and head of the Theology School.  Dr. Roger Hahn, a theology professor at NTS, is also on the board of this ecumenical group.

In a recent post (Phyllis Tickle and The New Seminary President), I pointed out how Dr. Busic referred to extensive material from Phyllis Tickle of emergence Christianity fame, in part of his inauguration message.  It is very troubling when you read about her ideology, and when you listen to her in this dialogue with false teacher Tony Jones at Fuller Theological Seminary.  (She starts at around the 27:00 minute mark).
Then there is the seminary’s promotion of contemplative spirituality and ecumenism, not only to adults (pre-General Assembly retreat) but also to young children of middle school age.  Then there is the occultic course being taught by Doug Hardy (Celtic Spirituality), and Dr. Hardy also is heavily involved with another interfaith group, Spiritual Directors International, where he is listed as a “spiritual director”, and is on the editorial board of the Presence Journal.  His bio says that Doug’s fundamental calling is to come alongside others to help facilitate their alignment with God.”  Not to preach the gospel, but alignment with God, whatever that means.
(Note also that the first person on the list is Lauren Artress, who was instrumental in popularizing prayer labyrinths in the United States.)  Oh, but who really cares about all this?

I could go on, but there seems to be a troubling trend at our top Nazarene seminary of promoting interfaith dialogue, ecumenism, emergent church ideology, and contemplative mysticism.  Is this the new face of the main seminary which is training perhaps your future pastor?  How will that bode for you and your congregation?  And what do our General Superintendents (our denomination’s spiritual leaders and interpreters of our doctrine) say about these issues?  Well, in a recent meeting on Dec. 8 with the leaders of NTS and Nazarene Bible College, I quote the article: “in the meeting, the general superintendents expressed their confidence in [Presidents] Busic and Graves and assured them of their unwavering support for the schools.”  The Generals also made the following statement:

“The Board of General Superintendents is deeply and unwaveringly committed to NTS and NBC. They are worthy of the confidence of the entire denomination.”

Unwavering?  Worthy of confidence?  Was this statement made with the knowledge of all these things going on at NTS?  Do the Generals support interfaith dialogue, and contemplative mysticism, and the teaching of occultism?  They have clearly have been informed of these troubling trends at both seminaries and are silent at this point.  One can make a strong case that the Board of General Superintendents may be supporting the very things I mentioned which run contrary to God’s word.  I pray that they will prove me (and others) wrong, but at this point, neither of these seminaries are worthy of the confidence of the entire denomination, that’s for sure.

Manny Silva



Below is my email to Dr. Busic.  It seems he has a lot on his hands.  Does Dr. Busic accept or tolerate these things?  Either view would be wrong.  I will FOLLOWUP as these trends develop, and let you know if NTS continues to be listed on the CRES website.  So far, it is not encouraging to see the road that this Nazarene seminary is going down, and I do not at this time recommend future pastors going to the seminary, nor do I recommend any church to consider for pastor anyone graduating from NTS unless they are thoroughly scrutinized and questioned as to their ideology.


Dear Dr. Busic,

Congratulations on your appointment as President of NTS.  It is my prayer that God will guide you in leading NTS in upholding biblical truth at the school.  I and other Nazarenes have had concerns in the past regarding some things sponsored by, promoted by, or taught at the seminary.

I was concerned about something I ran into the other day, and wondering if you were aware of it.
At the CRES website, the Seminary is listed favorably as a recommended institution friendly to the CRES organization.  My concern is that it is an interfaith group that works closely with practically any kind of religion in the world.

Here is the link to the site where it mentions NTS favorably:

Just an observation, I thought that it was really strange that they said this about another school: “We cannot recommend Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as its approach to non-Christian faiths is unreliable and hostile.”  Funny, I went to their website and so far have not seen anything about this Baptist school which would be over the top, unless they have a very consistent biblical approach that CRES cannot accept.  I am not Baptist, but certainly do agree with the core values as stated by that school, so I wonder why CRES would not recommend them.  I’ll have to ask CRES of course, not you.

On their vision statement page, they say this:
CRES values the contribution of each distinctive faith in healing the crises of our age — and finds it important to honor and preserve their distinctions. “  These faiths include: Buddhists, Muslims, Native American religions, Hindu, Sufi, Unitarian Universalists, Taoism, Confucianism, Wiccans, and Zoroastrians!

They also say: “CRES envisions the greater Kansas City area as a model community honoring interfaith relationships
•  where interfaith relationships are honored as a way of deepening one’s own tradition and spirituality, and
•  where the wisdom of the many religions successfully addresses the • environmental, • personal, and • social crises of our often fragmented, desacralized world.

Does NTS have any kind of real connection with CRES?  If so, on what basis?  And if not, would it not be prudent to ask this group to remove any reference to NTS as a good resource?  If this is not the type of group NTS wants to associate with, that would certainly remove any appearance of an endorsement of this organization.  If this is the kind of group that NTS wants to associate with, then I humbly will say that it would be a serious problem that all Nazarenes should be aware of.

Looking forward to your response.  I have CC’d this to a few close friends so they are aware of the same issue regarding CRES and the reference to NTS.

Sincerely in Christ,

Manny Silva

Phylis Tickle and The New Seminary President

Phyllis Tickle is one of the well known leaders in the emergent church movement.  She is particularly known for coining or popularizing the phrase “Emergence Christianity.”  She wrote a book called The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing And Why, in which her main point is that great changes always occur in the church every 500 years, and that we are in the midst of such a time again.  She compares this time to such other movements as the Protestant Reformation, among other movements in history.  According to Tickle. the emerging church is now playing a pivotal role in yet again redefining the future of Christianity.  Her premise is that a new and “more vital” form of Christianity is emerging.  If this is true, we in trouble.

In chapter one of the book, she likens this supposed great new change to a rummage sale, where old things are cleaned out and discarded, and replaced with new fresh ideas and approaches to Christianity.  This is exactly what the emergent church is all about.  It’s really the same concept that false teacher Brian McLaren promotes, that of a “New Kind Of Christianity”, and as he states in the title of one of his books, “everything must change.”  And he really means it, and I’m sure Phyllis Tickle also agrees with him.

In his post Who Is Phyllis Tickle?, Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries points out that she receives high praise for her emergence concepts from false teacher and emergent church leader Doug Pagitt, who promotes “Christian yoga”, denies the concept of original sin, and seems to support a kind of “Christian universalism.”   Pastor Silva also brings out another association:

…at her website we read the following endorsement from an apostate Episcopal “Bishop and Primate”:

“Phyllis Tickle offers a creative and provocative overview of multiple social and cultural changes in our era, their relation to previous major paradigm shifts, and their particular impact on North American Christianity. This is an immensely important contribution to the current conversation about new and emerging forms of Christianity in a post-modern environment—and a delight to read!”
—The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church

Bishop Schori is clearly an apostate.  She has stated in a message to the Episcopal General Conference that individual salvation is the greatest heresy in the church today, and that there is only a collective salvation.

From Tickle’s website, her About section says that she:

is currently a Senior Fellow of Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral… A lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church.

 At the WNC website:

Washington National Cathedral is a church for national purposes called to embody God’s love and to welcome people of all faiths and perspectives. A unique blend of the spiritual and the civic, this Episcopal Cathedral is a voice for generous-spirited Christianity and a catalyst for reconciliation and interfaith dialogue to promote respect and understanding. We invite all people to share in our commitment to create a more hopeful and just world.

Ken then points out that she is on the board of advisors of the Mary Baker Eddy Library.  Eddy was the founder of the Christian Science cultic religion.

As you dig deeper, the Cathedral promotes contemplative prayer, including centering prayer and practicing the silence.  I suggest you read the full post by Pastor Silva in order to get an even better look at the very dubious associations that Tickle has with apostate groups and false religions.

You’ll hear her in this conversation with emergent proponent Peter Rollins as he “tickles her ears” while discussing emergence Christianity.  Tickle is also a proponent of mysticism, as is her friend Rob Bell.  From the Museum of Idolatry website, you can hear a clip of her speaking at Rob Bell’s church, where she was invited to speak about the ‘feminine attributes’ of the Holy Spirit.  At the 8:11 mark, she claims that when we take communion we are “FEEDING THE “GOD” WITHIN US”.

Finally, a dialogue at Fuller Theological Seminary with Tony Jones and Lauren Winner (who was a guest speaker at Eastern Nazarene College as well as Point Loma) will astound you.  I was amazed at the contempt for the Bible coming from Tickle and her two colleagues that day, and how they were so enthralled with each other.  Here is the video: Emerging Spiritualities In The American Church.  She is also proud of her affinity for large amounts of hard liquor.

Here is one quote from that dialogue at Fuller:

“Any good emergence Christian worth his or her salt will tell you that there is an incredible arrogance in thinking that we can reduce God Almighty to a set of words that we understand.  Yes the scripture is given to us, yes it is in words, but the scripture is written in a way that we can have it, but we cannot entirely understand it.  It is beyond us in every way.”

She goes on to talk about “where we exist as lovers of Jesus in the fullest and most erotic sense.”  There is quite a bit more nonsense in this three way dialogue, but I’ll let you be the judge, don’t take my word for it.

Her presentation starts at the 27 minute mark, if you wish to skip Lauren Winner.  But it is well worth listening to all three of these speakers truly tickle each other’s ears, to get a real good idea of the warped and twisted self loving humanism that comes from such folks as these in the emergent/emerging/emergence movement.

What’s The Connection With NTS?

What does this have to do with the new Seminary president?  Dr. David Busic recently gave his inaugural message as the newest president of Nazarene Theological Seminary.  Here is the transcript of the message: Inaugural Address President David Busic October 28 2011-1

Here is the video link:

In attendance was at least one General Superintendent.  I believe there are questions of discernment or perhaps at best a lack of understanding as to what Phyllis Tickle represents.

At the start of his references to Tickle, Dr. Busic says the following:  “While some have questioned the veracity of her reading of history, and certainly not all would agree with her assessment, few would argue that we are living in a time of rapid and disruptive change. And so for the sake of argument let’s hear what she has to say.”

He then continues to go into detail about her idea of every 500 years of a great change occurring in Christendom.   He later also wonders whether Tickle’s reading of history is correct, but I can’t help but believe that Dr. Busic likes what she has to say.  He clearly has nothing unfavorable to say about her, nor any warning whatsoever of her emergent ideology.   It is also interesting that he quotes the president of Fuller Theological Seminary, one of the top seminaries in the country, but which has gone down the road of apostasy with its promotion of contemplative spirituality, ecumenism, and downright rejection of God’s infallible word.

I am now even more worried about the future of  Nazarene Theological Seminary.  Why would Dr. Busic use material attributed to a promoter of contemplative spirituality, and someone who promotes the emergent church movement and all its heresies?  That is a question others besides me will have to ask Dr. Busic over the coming months.  I have other concerns that have been addressed to Dr. Busic in an email I sent a few weeks ago, and I hope to get an answer to those questions.  Yet at this point I am troubled, because under the previous president, Dr. Ron Benefiel, there was a whole lot of error being promoted and allowed to be taught at what is the flagship seminary of a denomination that proclaims and preaches holiness.  Will there be significant and promising changes under Dr. Busic, or will it be the same old thing continuing on?

For me, these are just some of the  lingering questions:
– Will Doug Hardy stop teaching an occultic Celtic Spirituality course?  Will he renounce his involvement with the highly ecumenical and interfaith group at Spiritual Directors International?
– Will NTS stop promoting contemplative spirituality, to both its students and even to middle school age children?
– Will NTS stop promoting Roman Catholic practices?
– Will NTS cancel any plans for another Spiritual Formation Retreat at the next General Assembly?
– Will Mike King stop promoting contemplative spirituality to youth, and stop being involved with heretical youth festivals such as Wildgoose?
– What will Dr. David Busic do as leader of NTS to stop some of the ungodly trends at the major seminary of the Nazarene denomnation.

I believe we will have a good idea of the future direction of this seminary very soon, one way or the other.



Here are a few previous posts about Nazarene Theological Seminary and its errors


Promotion of a retreat at Roman Catholic center and teaching of contemplative spirituality:


Promotion of a spiritual formation retreat with Alden Sproul and Doug Hardy:

Promotion of contemplative spirituality and ecumenism:


Teaching of occultic Celtic spirituality by Dr. Doug Hardy:


Mike King, a professor at NTS, and  national Nazarene youth leader speaks at heretical festival:


 Doug Hardy’s book recommendations for Windsor Hills Camp in New Hampshire.  Most of the books were written by or about Roman Catholic mystics or promoters of contemplative mysticism:

National Youth Leaders Are Lacking In Sound Biblical Judgment And Discernment

“There is a sad lack of serious and strong biblical leadership from those who are supposed to lead the flock as undershepherds of the Great Shepherd.”

(See Acts 20:17-38; 1 Peter 5:1-4, 2 Timothy 4:1-5)

My intent last week was not to single out House Studio as a unique aberration occurring within an otherwise strong denomination.  Rather, it was to show that it is yet another symbol of the many institutions within the Nazarene denomination whose leaders are failing miserably in their responsibility to maintain a strong biblical basis for what they do.  Whether it is Nazarene Publishing House, Barefoot Ministries, YouthFront, Nazarene Theological Seminary, or some other Nazarene universities, districts and churches around the country, there has been a serious breakdown of leadership, and those in leadership will be held more accountable by God than those who are not.  There also seems to be a total reluctance to name false teachers no matter who they are, and when some of us do call them out, we are labeled as “hateful”, “unloving”, “unChristlike.”  But worst, there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing right within our own walls; they are masquerading as angels of light; and they will be exposed by the light of truth.  The only other possibility is that these leaders, in spite of their Master’s degrees in theology, are utterly bankrupt in their biblical understanding and need to get into the word of God.

In my last post, I answered Chris Folmsbee’s question, “So, tell me, why should I care about this controversy?”  The controversy he was referring to was regarding the new book by Rob Bell, Love Wins, and I posted my entire response on his blog.  Since then, after 42 comments from various people, both for and against the new book, the blog moderator decided it was time to terminate the “conversation”, which of course he has a right to do.  He/she said:

“Looks like we’ve passed any potential for this to continue being a constructive discussion. Thanks all for participating!”

Well okay, House Studio.  End the conversation that you and your emergent friends always proudly state is what you seek to have all the time.  It is disappointing once again, to see another group that promotes emergent ideology and mysticism back off when we ask questions that are looking for specific answers that are not shaded in mystery.  We have exposed your agenda in the past, and we will continue to expose it to as many Christians as possible.  After all, you are playing around with the minds of youth, and that is a heavy responsibility.  My suggestion for resignation is still something Mr. Folmsbee ought to consider.

Well, now it seems Mr. Folmsbee’s colleague, Mike King, President of YouthFront, has weighed in regarding the Rob Bell “controversy.”  Apparently, Mr. King cannot spot a false teacher as well, and would not want to call them out if he did.  Here are his words from his latest blog post:

IS Jesus Christ Lord? Love Wins…

Without wading into the Love Wins conversation too deeply (a conversation that has been going on for two thousand years, by the way) I will add a thought about the context of what I see.

I have watched with a sense of sadness at the labeling and demonization of each other around this issue.  I was sitting in church yesterday thinking about what is going on.  If one confesses “Jesus Christ is Lord” we (those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord) should, despite our differences in theology and doctrine, at least acknowledge each other as sisters and brothers.  Yes, let us have disagreements, but please do it without labeling, dismissing and demonizing the other.

To me this feels like two fans of the Kansas City Chiefs hating each other because one fan believes the offense is the key to a future Super Bowl Championship and the other fan believes that the defense is the key.  To declare the other “not a true fan of the Chiefs” would be absurd.

Of course, I am not saying these issues being discussed around “Love Wins” are trivial and don’t really matter.  They matter immensely, but let us learn how to seek first to understand before being understood.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.



This is utterly ridiculous.  I understand Mr. King is an adjunct professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary and a graduate.  Is this the best biblical analysis he can do, that one only needs to proclaim that Jesus is Lord, and everything else is fair game?  So I can therefore say “Jesus is Lord”, but go on doing anything I want, even if it is in direct contradiction to Jesus and the apostles’ doctrine?  I am amazed he would say that, and surely he does not really mean it, does he?  This is the typical disdain for scripture and doctrine that the emergent church crowd has, and instead, they love the touchy feely, emotion driven, let’s all get along theology that has no origins in scripture, but from somewhere else, and from someone else.

It’s also interesting that he uses a football analogy, because he simply looked into that old worn out emergent playbook, and all he could come up with is a play that is frankly getting rather old, useless, and predictable.  It only plays well to the choir which I’m sure is cheering and posting congratulations on Mr. King’s blog, but it does not play well with Bible believing Christians.

The playbook’s favorite moves go something like this:

  1. Use emotion and accuse those who expose false teachers of being hateful, or demonizing, or unChristlike,
  2. Twist scripture out of context to lecture us that we should be “loving”, or going about the business of “the Kingdom”,
  3. And finally, don’t use scripture to back up your argument, but instead tell us how you “feel” about it, or give us your own intellectual reasoning that has no basis in the Bible, but in the new spirituality.

For Mr. King and Mr. Folmsbee, and even many of the leadership at Nazarene Theological Seminary, to apparently not see what is going on, is very sad.  They are clearly promoting contemplative spirituality in their alliance with Barefoot Ministries.  NTS has even promoted CS to middle grade students.  This all is happening with the blessing of the president of the school, Professor Dean Blevins, and others, unless they do not know, although that does not seem possible.  Dean Blevins happens to be the Chairman of the Board of YouthFront, how would he not know?  He is also President of the highly ecumenical Religious Education Association. President of NTS Dr. Ron Benefiel must know what they are doing in promoting this contemplative spirituality.   Why, even a class this Spring that teaches future pastors on the practice of Celtic Spirituality, which is rooted in occultism, is acceptable!

It is clear that these leaders are promoting this new spirituality which has no basis in Nazarene Wesleyan theology, and most importantly, no basis in scripture.  It is even ironic, yet not a surprise, that the prayer Mike King quoted is one that is ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi.  St. Francis was well liked by many, but he taught and practiced many heresies, spent much time in solitude and contemplative practices, and the veneration of Mary.  And did you know that he received the blessing of Pope Innocent III to head up the Inquisition, which as we know led to the brutal persecution and murders of many Bible believing Christians?  Yet, Mike King cannot quote anyone else but a Roman Catholic who had no respect for religious freedom?  But it makes sense because the emergent church is bringing in Roman Catholicism to the Nazarene church, including the latest offering of a book that promotes the ritual of ashes to the forehead.

Mr. King, and Mr. Folmsbee, please turn away from these false teachings you are promoting.  If not, please resign your positions, and let someone else take over YouthFront and Barefoot Ministries, someone who will have the Bible as the foundation for all of its activities and programs, not man’s religion.

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.

Symptoms Of A Great Apostasy In Our Christian Schools And Seminaries

Acts 20:28-31 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

There are still some good Christian colleges out there, you just need to search hard, find them, and verify what they profess to stand for.  You cannot simply trust the fact that a school labels itself Christian anymore.  This has been obvious to me in my last two years of investigation, and the facts are appalling and shameful.  We need to stop being a little less polite or politically corrent, and be more honest and upfront about the dangers facing our youth today.  Souls are at risk!

I just cannot see myself sending my son to a “Christian” university someday simply because it claims to be a Christian school.  Some folks say that they would rather send their child to any “Christian” school rather than a secular school. Imagine the horror, however, if your child goes to a “Christian” school, and after four years, comes home having learned and incorporated all sorts of pagan practices and unbiblical ideas into his life, or doubting the truthfulness of the Bible, after you entrusted him into the hands of supposedly solid Christian teachers and administrators.  My friends, many of these schools are all marching down the road of one-worldism, and ecumenical false unity, and an the incorporation of personal mystical experiences over the sufficiency of the word of God. And I have noticed over the last few years that many Christians are either not aware of, or just don’t care about, the signs of a great apostasy invading our Christian schools.

There is hardly a Christian university around anymore that can be trusted with your son or daughter’s spiritual well-being.  It is getting harder to recommend a school that you can be confident has a strong biblical foundation.  With the usual lame excuse of offering a “healthy liberal arts education”, this problem is showing up in all denominations, and in my particular denomination, the Nazarenes, it is a horrendous problem that I never dreamed would happen.  But it is, and it is a nightmare of “biblical proportions.”  And many Nazarenes are still stubbornly refusing to acknowledge this problem and deal with it according to scripture.  But deal with it we must.

One of the nightmares for instance is occurring at Point Loma Nazarene University.  I do not advise parents to send their children there at all. Point Loma proudly welcomed heretical emergent leader Brian McLaren- again- to speak there in February of 2009.  McLaren is a false teacher who considers the Cross like false advertising for God; who as a pastor does not understand what scripture clearly teaches about homosexuality; who cannot come to say that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.  Yet, Point Loma’s leaders either have no clue, or have bought into the lies and are deceived.  Students are being led like lambs to the slaughter, spiritually, at this school.  And having heard from alumni and concerned parents, these leaders have done nothing as of yet, as far as I know.

Point Loma has been promoting mysticism for a while now.  They have no problem bringing in Richard Foster to their school, to teach our young people the ways of occultic mysticism.  And they have shown their continued lack of discernment by hosting a bizarre conference called Nurturing The Prophetic Imagination.  Here, in this video, Dr. Peter Jones describes this conference as well as the school’s connection with Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, an occultic organization.  Dr. Jones also mentions how several feminist professors at Point Loma are promoting a radical blurring of male-female roles that is unbiblical, as well as the radical social justice that is plaguing many Nazarene colleges.  One of their professors, Dennis Bratcher, teaches process theology, a heresy that says that God learns from His mistakes.  And Professor Darrel Falk is a leading member of BioLogos and is a promoter of evolution as being compatible with the Bible.

Then there is Northwest Nazarene University, which is just about as bad as Point Loma. I would also strongly advise against sending your child to this school without investigating.  The classic example I have on my blog is the horrendously pagan lecture given by Dr. Jay McDaniel in front of NNU students, with the approval of leadership and faculty, including Dr. Tom Oord.  What a disturbing display of pagan and universalistic thinking that was indoctrinating our college Christian students, with not a word of protest from those who are teachers of our young people.  To this day, we have heard only excuses and pitiful explanations for this sad exhibition.  And there’s more of course, as NNU also hosted Brian McLaren and his ridiculous worship of mother earth and mis-translation of John 3:16 as meaning that Jesus came to save planet earth (see Eric Barger’s video).  Their theology curriculums are filled with books by mystics and emergent heretical authors.  Many (not all) of their teachers reject the Bible as the infallible word of God, and consider much of it as only myths.

Trevecca Nazarene University is in bad shape as well.  They have been going on field trips every year now to the Abby of Gethsemane, home to the late mystic Thomas Merton.  They have been indulging in the pagan practice of the prayer labyrinth, and when they were exposed, they changed the name of this practice to “prayer walk.”  They promote books by emergent church leaders, heretical mystics and contemplative spirituality proponents to their students.  In practice, this school is rejecting solid biblical principles by bringing in the ways of Roman Catholic monastic mysticism and emergent church heresy.

My own alma mater, Eastern Nazarene College, is exhibiting many signs of poor judgment.  The school is now also getting onto the social justice bandwagon.  They have a new social justice program with connections to a Marxist.  Can we also remember the hosting of Tony Campolo, in spite of my warnings to the leadership a few months before?  Campolo did not fail us in our expectations, as he promoted his occultic mysticism to a chapel full of young students, and perhaps more sadly, to also a good number of Nazarene pastors and leaders that day.  How sad that as far as I know, none have spoken out against this travesty. ENC is also home to Karl Giberson, a professor who does not believe the entire Bible, but insists that we came from evolutionary processes.  And he also promotes the heresy of open theism (God cannot know the future).  Their bookstore is full of books by heretical emergent leaders, and also promotes Roman Catholic bibles, including one with a prayer rosary inside.  In February, they will be hosting a speaker, Rachel Held Evans, who will be taking part in the Big Tent Christianity Conference and apparently has no problem associating with heretical speakers such as Marcus Borg and Brian McLaren.    A quote of her latest blog post gives us some insight into her thinking (emphasis mine) :  My tradition teaches that all non-Christians will be damned to hell for eternity, which can be supported with some interpretations of Scripture, but which violates every compassionate instinct God gave me as a human being and follower of Jesus.”

It seems that discernment has disappeared at my old school.  I would not recommend it at this time for any discerning parent to send their child.

Just because I did not mention the other Nazarene schools, does not necessarily mean they don’t have problems.  Nazarene Theological Seminary is frankly no better.  It is shamelessly promoting mysticism, including a Spring course taught by Dr. Doug Hardy called Celtic Spirituality, an occultic belief system that is nothing but paganism pretending to be Christian!  They have even promoted mystical and Roman Catholic practices to our young children of middle school age!  I dread to think of what future pastors will be preaching and promoting, as many of them buy into the unbiblical teachings that are being taught at our top seminary.

Oh, there are others schools besides Nazarene.  You will need to do some serious homework and ask some hard questions while demanding clear answers, before deciding where to send your child.  There are many universities once trusted for years, but no longer.  Fuller Theological Seminary is more aptly now called a cemetery.  Baylor University, Biola University (known for its apologetics!); Dallas Theological Seminary, George Fox University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and many more, are delving into contemplative spirituality, emergent church ideology, social justice tinged with Marxism, worship of the creation, and post-modern theological ramblings that go nowhere but to confuse already confused young people.

Am I crazy that I don’t want my son to go to a “Christian” school where the theology professors don’t even believe in the inerrant, infallible word of God?  Am I crazy that I don’t want my son to be taught that you can have “an experience” with God, unlike anything taught in the Bible?  Or that he is going to have a social justice ideology rammed down his throat at the expense of solid biblical foundations?  Or that he is being introduced to Roman Catholic mysticism, prayer beads, and mantra style prayer?

Apostasy is here in our Christian universities and seminaries.  Some of us just need to stop being in denial.

Don’t Show Them the Money: Maybe They Will Listen

Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16 (NKJV)

I watched a Charles Stanley sermon several months ago, entitled “What You Believe- Does It Matter?”  Here is a short excerpt towards the end in regards to sending your child to college:

“And I want to say it again to parents.  You owe it to your children to teach them the truth of the word of God….It’s your responsibility as a parent to find out what does that school teach.  Do you want to spend 60 to 100,000 dollars getting your child educated in things that destroy them, instead of educating them in things that build them up and strengthen them and make them godly? Where you send your kids to school is a very important thing….they want freedom to choose.  But freedom that is knowledgeable, freedom that is intelligible, freedom that knows the truth about a school, and about the president, and what they teach and what they don’t teach.”

This reminded me of what I had mentioned in a post last year, which was not well received by some, including a few pastors.  That article I wrote ended up leading to a major turning point for the future of me and my family.  It was a critique of Dr. Tom Oord and his lecture at Eastern Nazarene College.  Dr. Oord teaches the heresy (yes, heresy) of open theism, and as a Christian parent with a future college child or two, I did not take kindly to this ideology he is indoctrinating students with, nor to the fact that he was speaking at Eastern Nazarene, nor to the fact that the leadership at the school welcomed him and apparently agree with, or at least tolerate with, this heretical teaching.

I recall that I made some people very unhappy just for simply suggesting that they call or write, and ask questions of the ENC leadership, if they were concerned.  It continues to amaze me, how those who claim to be the “understanding ones”, the ones open to all ideas and beliefs, the so-called “Big Tent” people, are the very ones who try to silence or intimidate any Christian who has serious concerns about a school’s teachings and who ask questions and want straight answers!  These “understanding ones”, the post-modern types, are the very people who one minute promote an open dialog and an embrace of tolerance for all viewpoints, but then turn around and slander you!  But there is no doubt that these tolerant ones are really the intolerant ones.  And they are like that simply because they are trying to defend their biblically indefensible ideologies that they espouse at our Christian universities.  They know who they are, and I expect at least a few of them will get a little meaner and nastier if they manage to finish reading this.  I can understand it, however, because they have no other substantive defense for their ideology.

But I think we need to go a step further beyond just continually asking questions, which most likely will not be answered, or answered adequately.  I have concluded that the power of the checkbook is the only way to get some heads turning at these schools that are letting in all sorts of aberrant teachings whose source is clearly not God, but from satan.  They are apparently comfortable with the idea that it’s more important to expose our kids to false teachers and teachings, than to protect them from what might lead them away from the faith.  Hence  barely a word said about guest speakers like universalist Jay McDaniel (at Northwest Nazarene University) who claims to be a Christian.  Or Tony Campolo who is shamelessly embraced at ENC by Nazarene pastors and school leaders while he spouts his mysticism, his support for the homosexual lifestyle as compatible with Christianity, and his occultic doctrines of demons.  And our premier theological seminary, NTS, reflects the same occultic tendencies as Campolo does, by providing a course in Celtic spirituality, which is a system that is nothing but a perversion of true Christianity.  There is Point Loma Nazarene University, with its ill-advised support and promotion of Richard Foster and his contemplative mysticism; and Trevecca Nazarene University and its promotion of prayer labyrinths, Roman Catholic monastic mysticism, and practicing the silence.  I could go on and on, including the teaching of theistic evolution, which is totally incompatible with biblical teaching, and contradicts the words of Jesus Christ Himself!

For the Nazarenes who know what’s going on and support all this stuff, you cannot with a straight face tell me that some of what is happening is from our heritage of Nazarene holiness teaching, or even from a Wesleyan tradition, which you often reference, but which you often misquote and twist.  So perhaps more parents, alumni, and even churches and districts, may need to start sending a message, that their dollars will no longer go to these schools, until they straighten their act out.  I believe some have already done this.  I also have heard testimony that some individuals have paid a price for standing up against these practices and ideas.  So, if asking questions politely does not even merit a substantive response, perhaps politely but firmly telling them that enough is enough, and they won’t get a dime anymore, might work.

Perhaps some parents might want to demand a refund from these schools, because of false advertising.  “Prayer labyrinths, monastic mysticism, practicing the silence, evolution, open theism is not what I signed up my daughter or son to learn!  Please return my money.”

Unless you don’t see any problem with any of the things I and others have clearly reported on and documented, I believe it is Christian negligence and disobedience to God if you DO know there is a serious problem, and do absolutely nothing and turn a blind eye to this.  If someone knows that their child’s future or current Christian college is allowing or promoting false teachings, or allowing false teachers to come into the school unchallenged, to brainwash their children, they have a Christian obligation to say or do something about it.

And if you are willing to risk your child’s eternal salvation, just because it’s always been the school you supported, I think you need to pray about this.  If you are very worried about these things, ask God for the strength and the words to challenge the leadership, and the board of directors at these schools, until they start listening to you, until they do something about the heresies being welcomed and embraced.  If that does not work, perhaps we need to start asking the Lord to shut down these schools, for the sake of our children.

There is hope for some of these schools that have not gone too far off the deep end yet.  But some of these others that I have mentioned apparently have swallowed the poison cup of apostasy and are in critical condition, on spiritual life support.  And they will not care a bit no matter how much you complain, unless the threat of loss of money is hanging over their heads.  Oh, they may send you a nice form letter back, thanking you and stating that the school is committed to the ideals of our denomination and the “stated” mission of the school. Then they turn right around again and continue with the transformation of the school into something that is a breeding ground for future pastors that do not even believe in the entire word of God.  So I believe that the only practical weapon remaining is the power of the checkbook, in addition to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds.  Saying  “God is in control, don’t worry, let Him take care of it”, does not absolve us of our Christian responsibility to do and say something.

Each one of us- individually, not collectively- is accountable to God.  And one day, each and every one of us will answer to God in His presence, for all the things we did or DID NOT DO.  If anyone thinks that it is only the overt acts of a Christian that will be judged by God, heed the words of Ezekiel 33:7-9.

Some of you remember the movie with Tom Cruise and his famous line: “Show me the money.”  You see, the bottom line for him was the money.  Well, some of us have come to the conclusion that the bottom line for these universities and colleges is the money.  And what will assist in improving their hearing is a good old fashioned statement from a lot of parents, or from an entire church or district:

“Change your ways.  Enough is enough.  You will not get a dime from us until your school reflects the true values and doctrines of the denomination whose name you carry.  Otherwise, we will not show you the money, and we will not send our children to this school.”

“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.

You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent.” (Isaiah 62:6)

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Below is a 10 minute summary of Dr. Jay McDaniel speaking at Northwest Nazarene University in 2008.  Please watch it.  Contrary to objections that have been made, I saw no evidence that this lecture was for nothing else than to further indoctrinate students into a pluralist and universalistic type thinking, and this should be a sober reminder of what will continue to happen at our Christian universities, if we stay silent.