Taizé: Interspiritual Worship Promoted At Northwest Nazarene University

Thanks to John Henderson who posted the following and saved me a bit of writing.  It is hard to keep up with all the apostasy going around in the evangelical churches and “Christian” universities of today, including my own Nazarene denomination.  He brings up the subject of “Taizé” worship.  As you read this, it is not the first time this has been mentioned on my blog or emails (see this story on Point Loma).  The chaplain at Point Loma Nazarene University has an affinity for Taizé, which is an interspiritual, multi-religious ecumenical worship center in France.  Mark Carter also likes Brother Roger, a founder of the Taizé community.  And in one of the books promoted by Barefoot Ministries, the Taizé center is recommended as a place to go for a pilgrimage.  And so we continue on with the bad news for you, but we have a duty as Christians to expose this stuff, so read on and find out what’s the fuss all about, and you decide.  I am forwarding this (as usual) to the Board of General Superintendents for their consideration and counsel on this matter.  Is this good, or bad?  It can’t be both.

What Next? How ‘Bout Taizé?

by John Hendersonon Thursday, November 17, 2011

It would be humorous if it were not so sadly pitiful and deadly to the soul.  The emergent church movement, like an addict, has more ways to get at the same tired deceptions.  It is different “approaches” and often different words and phrases, but it is still the same old evil.

Have you heard the term, “he doth protest too much,” indicating a desperate attempt to avoid discovery?  It is all over the place with this seduction of unsuspecting souls.

If Taizé has not come to a church or “Christian” college near you yet, it probably will in the near future—if Jesus tarries.  It is already in vogue at Northwest Nazarene University.  That is where Thomas Jay Oord, an advocate of open theism (God is limited, etc,), and postmodernism is a professor.  It comes under their Spiritual Formation program where they dedicate an entire Facebook page for such things.

http://www.facebook.com/nnuspiritualformation?mid=52

An October 27, 2011 entry says:  “Tomorrow in Chapel–Our first Taize service!!! Come and see what it is all about.”  I decided since I had missed the chapel service to find out what it is all about.  The Taizé people are shameless about any of it.  If you understand the emergent agenda, you will recognize it in what you are about to read.

From Wikipedia:

“The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is composed of about 100 brothers who come from Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic traditions. The brothers come from about 30 countries across the world. The monastic order has a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation. It was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz, a Protestant.

“The community has become one of the world’s most important sites of Christian pilgrimage. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work. Through the community’s ecumenical outlook, they are encouraged to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation.

“The Taizé Community attempts to send pilgrims back from youth meetings to their local churches, to their parishes, groups or communities, to undertake, with many others, a ‘Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth.’” (Official Taizé Community Website)

On that website are the following comments:

“As we continue the ‘pilgrimage of trust on earth’ that brings together young people from many countries, we understand more and more deeply this reality: all humanity forms a single family and God lives within every human being without exception. (Brother Alois, Letter from Kolkata)”

“The brothers wish to support the search for peace and reconciliation wherever it exists. In this way, the pilgrimage of trust appears to widen out more and more, “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1.8).”

IT IS HIPPIE-NESS WITH A RELIGIOUS FLARE and a misrepresentation of Acts 1:8, which says:  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” (NET). [A better rendering of “power” would be the power OF the Holy Spirit.]

Lighthouse Trails furnishes the following which I have excerpted:

“Taize is a form of contemplative worship that incorporates mystical practices and interspiritual beliefs [an odd term?  Probably means, “all roads lead to the same Heaven,” or something similar.]

’Short chants, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character,’ the brothers explain in a brief introduction printed in the paperback songbook. ’Using just a few words, [the chants] express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being.’”

The entire matter is “just another indication that contemplative spirituality is no respecter of denominations. Nearly all are affected and influenced.”

Taize Worshipers:  “Practicing the silence with icons, candles, incense and prayer stations, this very contemplative community is attracting young people from around the world.”

Photographs of Taizé meetings show monkish-style robed individuals sitting in circles with lighted candles in the area.

 

I find it enormously puzzling as to why Nazarenes, especially in a Nazarene university or a Nazarene church, would have so easily abandoned the simple faith in Christ for this satanic form of the worship of strange gods and evil spirits—and then call them by God’s names.  An even greater wonder is how they unabashedly resort to mauling the Word of God to force-fit those precious words of life to this spiritual sludge.  They seem to sense no shame in it but, rather, boast in it and lie that God is pleased with it.  It is worse than Sodom and Gomorrah and I fear that God’s judgment will not tarry much longer.  I had rather be in Heaven when it breaks open but He might keep me here to witness it and I just do not look forward to that.

Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church

Walked closely hand and heart,

And only the Master, who knoweth all,

Could tell the two apart.

 

Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,

“I am rich and my goods increase;

I have need of nothing, or aught to do,

But to laugh, and dance, and feast.”

The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,

And mockingly said, aside:

“The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;

And her shame is her boast and her pride.”

 

The angel drew near to the mercy seat,

And whispered in sighs her name;

Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,

And heads were covered with shame.

 

And a voice was heard at last by the Church

From Him who sat on the throne:

 

“I know thy works, and how thou hast said,

‘I am rich, and hast not known

That thou art naked, poor and blind,

And wretched before my face;’

Therefore from my presence cast I thee out,

And blot thy name from its place.”

[The last portion of the poem by Matilda C. Edwards, “The Church Walking With the World.”]

“…you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” Leviticus 20:26

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

      “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18


John Henderson

 

Don’t Forget Our Students On The Front Lines

I believe the Lord sent a message to me today, from an unexpected source.  I believe it was a wakeup call to me, to not forget our most precious assets at our Christian schools: our students.  For quite a while now, I have been writing about the state of our Nazarene universities, and the false teaching that is rampant throughout many of them, to varying degrees.  I have expressed my outrage as Rob Bell has been welcomed with open arms, by pastors no less.  I have been outraged as Tony Campolo continues on with his campaign of indoctrinating Christian students with his unbibical social gospel and his mystical pagan practices.  I have been angry as those who are charged with preparing our Christian students with a biblical education, instead are showing a great lack of discernment, or are themselves complicit in spreading heresies in the schools.

Well, that outrage and anger is quite justified, and many of you feel the same way.  Many of you, like me, know very well that anger is appropriate in many situations, especially when it comes to when our students are being led down a wrong way.  But today, I received an email that woke me up to something else that I have been failing to do often enough, and perhaps you may feel the same as I do after reading it.  I received an email from a student who attends Northwest Nazarene University, and I asked for her forgiveness that I have not emphasized enough the prayers and support that is needed for such as her.

I have at times suggested that perhaps we stop sending money to our schools, unless they stop going down the road of apostasy.  But tonight, I ask you to pray for our students.  Particularly for tonight, because at 7 pm, at NNU, the author of The Shack novel will be speaking on the campus, and he will also speak in chapel tomorrow morning.  There will be some there tonight, led by Matt Slick, who will be standing outside and passing out information regarding this novel, and more importantly, to wake up some folks to the things at our schools that have gone the wrong way.

So I ask those who have been so concerned about what is being taught at our schools lately, such as open theism, contemplative mysticism, and so many more false teachings, that we also not forget to focus on the many brave students who are battling within their own schools to fight off the false teachings.  They love their school, and they don’t want to see their school go down.  They are battling to help other students realize that, yes, they can trust in God’s word completely, even if some professors tell them they can’t.  When I think about who is really putting things out on the line at great risk, it not someone like me.  I don’t have a job to lose because of what I write.  I don’t have professors putting pressure on me to parrot their ideology in an exam in order to get a better grade.  All I get is the occasional knuckleheaded comment on my blog by someone who cannot defend their twisted ideology.  That is nothing.

So please pray tonight, and continue praying, for all these students who are boldy speaking truth amongst a majority who don’t care, or don’t seem to care.  Pray for students who right now are standing up to pastors and professors who have failed to uphold biblical truth.  Pray that God will use someone tonight at NNU to open some eyes to the truth.  Pray for all the students in all our campuses who take a bold stand for biblical truth.

Below is the letter I received today.  May the Lord bless and protect every single one of our kids who desire to be faithful to Him in all things.


As a student at NNU, I agree with many of your comments about the school, it has been a continuing frustration for me. I would like to say, though, that there is hope. There is a portion of the student body that is aware of the lack of fear of God in the school. We battle the theology of professors in the classroom, chaplains in chapel, and other students in the cafeteria. We host Bible studies on truth, and pray for the rest of our campus. We help teach those that have no idea what is wrong with what they are being taught.

Today Mr. Young comes to my campus. He will be speaking to my peers, and many will hail his as a wise man. My roommates, the assistant editor of the school newspaper will be there, but she will be biting her tongue the entire time. Tonight I may possibly meet Mr. Young, but I won’t feel like it has been a great honor. Instead, I will weep inside because my college, a university that professes to be a Bible teaching, God believing institution, is proud to have this man on campus. I will be weeping inside because so many of my friends do not understand the danger their souls are in. I will be weeping because this man, who thinks he is wise, is leading thousands of people astray.

While I am also frustrated with Northwest Nazarene University and its teachings, more than a warning against sending students there, I believe that encouragement for those of us who are here is needed. We have a battle ahead of us. We need support and prayer. We need encouragement and love. It is more important than anything, I believe, that a change be made in the school. This change won’t be made if all Bible-believing Christians choose to send their students elsewhere.

Please, before you write the university off as a complete flop, remember those of us who are here and are on the front lines of this battle. We often feel alone, and we need your support and encouragement. We are young and foolish in the eyes of many of our professors. However, we are serving a God who calls the young and unskilled to lead. Please, join us in this task.

Karissa Koberg

Author Of Heretical Book “Proudly” Welcomed At Northwest Nazarene

The press release reads at the beginning like this:

“Northwest Nazarene University Alumni Association is proud to welcome William Paul Young, author of The Shack, to campus Sept. 22, 2011. The Shack is one of the top 70 New York Bestsellers of all time.”

This school continues on a path of reckless invitations to just about anyone who claims that they are Christian.  A few years ago, it was universalist and panentheist Dr. Jay McDaniel promoting his version of the gospel, to the apparent delight of NNU professors and leaders.  (False Teaching In A Christian University: A Shocking Example).

There have been other very dubious speakers at the school.  Brennan Manning was a guest speaker on the college campus church. He was quoted favorably at a chapel service in 2008 by the college president.  Manning promotes contemplative mysticism, practicing “the silence”, mantras, centering prayer and other forms of New Age occultism and Eastern meditation.  In his book Abba’s Child, he refutes the Cross of Christ as the only way to salvation.  He mocks Bible-believers and calls them bibliolaters.  He believes that homosexuality is acceptable.  He is ecumenical and embraces other religions as valid.

Another false teacher welcomed in 2008 was Brian McLaren in his famous “Everything Must Change” tour.  McLaren and his friends wants to change EVERYTHING about Christianity, because in his wisdom, we have not learned a thing right in 2,000 years.  He is free to make that judgment, but then turns around says he has no clue if homosexuality is a sin.  In this video, Eric Barger describes some of the bizarre goings on at that conference at NNU with McLaren.

You can read more on the school’s bad decisions in this article I posted, Northwest Nazarene University: Symbol Of What’s Wrong In Our Christian Schools.

Will Northwest Nazarene leadership ever learn anything about proper discernment?  The Shack is one of the most heretical novels ever plied to Christians, yet so many have shown lack of biblical discernment with this novel.  If you have a pastor who promotes this book, he has a serious lack of discernment.

It promotes the most heretical concepts of God and His nature, and is blasphemous just on the basis of depicting God (called Papa) is depicted as a tall African-American woman, the Holy Spirit (Sarayu) as a small Asian woman, and Jesus as a Jewish carpenter.   It promotes the modalistic view of the Trinity that is taught by TD Jakes and other.  Modalism is the belief that God manifest Himself in three different ways, instead of what scripture teaches, that God is One, but three Persons in one.

The God of The Shack is also absolutely non-judgmental, which fits in with the ideology of the emergent church, of the ecumenical movement, of the New Evangelicals, and other aberrant movements that hold holds with just about anything.

In the novel, Jesus also tells Mack that he is “the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” The best way, NOT the only way.

Papa also says to Mack, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”
That is wrong.  God is a holy judge, and He will clearly punish us for our sin against Him.

In his review of the book, David Cloud notes:

In “The Shack,” Young presents traditional Bible-believing Christianity as hypocritical and hurtful. The book’s main character grew up under “rigorous rules,” and his father, who was an elder in the church, was “a closet drinker” and treated his family with cruelty when drunk (p. 7).

Young’s god is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, puts no obligations on people, doesn’t like traditional Bible churches, does not accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and does not mind if the early chapters of the Bible are interpreted as “myth.

Another foundational problem with “The Shack” is its denial of the Bible as the absolute and sole authority. Note the following quote:

“In seminary he [the book’s main figure, Mack] had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. … Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” (pp. 65, 66).

Not only is “The Shack’s” god suspiciously similar to the one described in the books of the more liberal branch of the emerging church (e.g., Rob Bell, Donald Miller, Brian McLaren), it also has a strong kinship to the New Age god promoted by John Lennon and Oprah Winfrey.

Additional quotes from the book:

“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. … I have no desire to make them Christian” (p. 182).

There is so much more wrong with this book, and yet NNU is proud to have William Paul Young on campus.  This is just one of the many reasons I do NOT recommend anyone to send their child to this school.  You do so at their peril.

Additional References:

The Shack’s Cool God (David Cloud)

The Shack — The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment (Dr. Al Mohler)

A Look At The Shack (audio) Dr Al Mohler
Matt Slick interview the ‘Shack’ author Paul Young:
http://www.imcnews.org/dow​nloads/videos/MattSlickInt​erviewsTheShackBookAuthorP​aulYoung070908.wmv

Anthony Harper’s interview with the ‘Burning Down The Shack’ author Dr. James DeYoung – link below:
http://www.imcnews.org/dow​nloads/audio/IMCNH%2009-09​-10BurningDownTheShackAuth​orDrDeYoung.mp3

Rejecting The Bible’s Authority And Inerrancy

2 Peter 1:20-21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Although the Point Loma homosexuality controversy recently was a big story, I was afraid it would distract us from the fact that there is a bigger problem in the church, of which this is only one of the symptoms.  What has led many Christians to welcome and embrace the emerging church movement?  What has led our evangelical denominations to bring in mysticism, Roman Catholic and pagan practices?  What has led us to compromise the gospel message and create a new gospel of social justice mixed with environmentalism and ecumenicism?  What has led us to usher in secular music during worship, soaking prayer and word-faith phenomema?  What has led us to embrace the thinking that “it’s all about God’s love”, while losing sight of the fact that while He is a God of love, He is also a God of justice, and that the wrath of God will come down on all who walk in willful disobedience?  (Rom. 14:10-12) What has led so many, pastors included, to be blinded to the obvious heresies of Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo and others?  What has led Nazarene Theological Seminary to allow the teaching and practice of the occultic-based Celtic spirituality?  What has led us to be more concerned about membership rolls and financial health, than about preaching the gospel?

It is the rejection of the Bible as the inerrant, infallible word of God. It is the rejection of scripture as the only and sufficient authority for Christians.  It is the arrogance of some of our leaders in the church and our universities, to dare to tell us that they know better than what is written in God’s word.  It is the oft repeated belief that the common man who has no theology degree does not have the understanding to know what the Bible teaches, until the enlightened leaders tell us what it means.  These people forget that the power of God’s word is such that it does not need man’s help to reveal the sinner’s fallen nature, and bring him to his knees in repentance, and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

If the leadership in the church, and many of the professors at our Christian schools, actually held uncompromisingly to the inerrancy of scripture, we would not see heresies like open theism and process theology taught at some of the universities.  We would also not see the promotion of theistic evolution, which clearly contradicts scriptural revelation.  These teachings, when held up to scripture, fall like a deck of cards.  Yet why do so many fail to understand, and choose to reject what the Bible teaches, and instead invent their own explanations of what God’s word is really saying?

My recent post on Northwest Nazarene, which was published at Intermountain Christian News, was visited so much yesterday that it passed the previous high that was set when the Point Loma homosexuality story came out.  Many of these comments are never approved, because they repeat the same old accusations or imply facts that were not in the article.  Here is a sample:

“the author of this article is extraordinarily ill-informed”; “At best it is simply hearsay and unfortunately poor research; at worst, it is blatant fear-mongering.”

“an article like this one that lacks truth”

These folks rejected, but did not correct any facts that I wrote in the post.  And they apparently ignore the fact that there are NNU alums, parents and students alike, who share the same concerns I have.

Then:

“When it comes to the inerrant Word of God, you will not find a single professor in our religion department who will tell you that the Bible has errors when it comes to the Salvation story, but they will say that the Bible contains errors/contradictions on numbers (such as warriors for battle) or on timing issues (Jesus spoke to John and then Mark vs. Jesus spoke to Mark and then John) but I have never heard of an NNU professor saying that there are contradictions beyond these trivial things.”

There’s the problem.  And this person apparently is not familiar with Professor Tom Oord and his selective choosing of what is reliable.  Dr. Oord was the same professor who told me he disagreed about Adam as being the source of what brought on sin and death to man.  That is a rejection of what Romans 5:12 says, and what Jesus said also.  Professor Oord also is a big proponent of open theism and process theology, both heretical teachings.

What these people fail to do in their arguments with me and others, is to point out the specifics of the “errors” in our statements.  They cannot argue or reason from a biblical perspective, because they are rejecting that viewpoint.  They are probably arguing from a humanistic or ecumenical perspective, which says we should embrace or live happily with every kind of doctrine that comes down the pike!  If they could only believe the Bible completely, these problems would eventually go away.  But they choose to believe only what they want to believe, and only what tickles their ears.

And then there are the examples of what some students have come to believe:

“Love with no judgments, means….. not only can you not tell someone they are wrong in their faith, but to even believe it, is a judgment. Which is absolutely opposite of what Jesus taught.”

“Over the years it has become apparent to me that the fullness of God was expressed through Christ and not through the Bible.”

“Just because the bible is written whereas “god” is referred to as he, you can’t assume god is male.”

“No one has any divine revelation here. We decide either by reason or emotion.”

So to all who have posted recently amid the furor over Point Loma, and Northwest Nazarene, I am sorry, but your comments will not be accepted, unless you can actually correct the “errors” and refute what has been said about your school.  It’s all there right in front of you.  You just refuse to see it, because most likely, you do not respect the word of God.  You do not believe that God’s word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is completey trustworthy in all that it teaches.

Thus, as our attitude towards God’s Holy word goes, so goes the church.

Additional Resources on Scriptural Authority and Inerrancy:

Inerrancy and Wesleyanism (Pastor Joe Staniforth)
Do Not Reject God’s Infallible Word (Grant Swank)
Biblical Inerrancy (Dr. Darryl McArthy)

[1: Sign the Petition, Nazarene Desiring a Return to Solid Biblical Publications of NPH, Barefoot and The House Studio]

[2: Support and pray for publishers like Dr. Anthony Harper and Lawrence Lepore, who do not compromise their biblical principles for money]

Northwest Nazarene University: Symbol Of What’s Wrong In Our Christian Schools

Note: This post is also on the latest issue of Intermountain Christian News, serving Colorado, southern Idaho, Montana, northern Nevada, eastern Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.  You can subscribe to the monthly newsletter (tax-deductible) either vie e-newsletter or printed copy.  Dr. Anthony Harper is the publisher of this voice of Christian truth on vital issues in our time.

In the last several years, there has been a growing body of members in the Church of the Nazarene who are very concerned about the direction of the denomination. In the United States and Canada, 10,000 Nazarenes have left the denomination in the last four years.  Our research in the past few years has shown that the influence of the emergent church and other unbiblical ideologies is widespread, with its various forms including Roman Catholic monastic mysticism, liberal social justice and environmental programs, and post-modern philosophy promoted by emergent leaders such as Brian McLaren.  All this, with a very low view of scripture and denial of biblical inerrancy has brought a once great holiness church into crisis, right alongside most evangelical denominations today.  And this crisis includes universities such as Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

One of the warning signs about NNU was in early 2008 when Brian McLaren was at the school for his “Everything Must Change” Tour. In a video excerpt of Christian apologist Eric Barger’s visit to the three day event, Eric describes some of the thinking of McLaren that goes against the teachings of orthodox Christianity. One of his basic premises is that after 2,000 years, we just have not gotten it right, and we need to re-discover Christianity all over again.  McLaren truly means it when he says, “everything must change.”  He decries those of a fundamentalist persuasion and believes they are intolerant.  He wavers on the issue of homosexuality, and has likened the Cross to “false advertising for God.”  He supports the contemplative spirituality movement, and recently joined his Muslim friends to participate in Ramadan with them. Yet NNU and other Nazarene schools have celebrated this man as a visionary in Christian teaching.  Instead of solid Bible based teachers, Nazarene universities like NNU are bringing more and more emergent teachers who reject the authority of God’s word and deny its inerrancy.

The school has at least one professor who teaches or promotes open theism and process theology.  Open theism says that God cannot know the future, thereby rejecting biblical prophesy as something we can trust.  Process theology teaches that God makes mistakes and learns from them, refuting what scripture teaches about God’s nature. The theistic evolutionist believes in: (a) an old Earth; (b) wholly natural processes responsible for life as we see it, once the initial matter was brought into existence by God, and; (c) a figurative (non-literal) interpretation of the Genesis account of creation.  But do these ideas fall in line with what scripture teaches about the nature of God?

There have been other very dubious speakers at the school.  Brennan Manning was a guest speaker on the college campus church. He was quoted favorably at a chapel service in 2008 by the college president.  Yet he is a big promoter of contemplative mysticism, practicing “the silence”, mantras, centering prayer and other forms of New Age occultism and Eastern meditation.  In his book Abba’s Child, he refutes the Cross of Christ as the only way to salvation.  He mocks Bible-believers and calls them bibliolaters.  He believes that homosexuality is acceptable.  He is ecumenical and embraces other religions as valid.  So why would a Christian school invite such a speaker who promotes unbiblical practices?

Another recent speaker was Dr. Jay McDaniel, an ordained Methodist who is a self professing panentheist (God is in all).  In his one hour presentation to students and faculty, he promoted a universalistic gospel, making the argument that his Buddhist friend would be welcome in heaven without ever accepting Jesus Christ, and that Christians can learn and apply truth from other religions.  He was well received by the faculty who were present.  I have listened to the entire presentation, and was shocked at the kind of heretical teaching that was being allowed to go unchallenged.

Another popular leader in the post-modern movement is Leonard Sweet, and he was a featured speaker at the PALCON (pastors’ conference) in 2010.  He has been described as a New Age sympathizer and written several books that heavily promotes that kind of thinking, and endorses authors who promote contemplative spirituality.  Although he has recently denied his New Age leanings, his book Quantum Spirituality still remains available on his website.  He continues his influence, appearing at a leadership conference in January at European Nazarene College.

Northwest Nazarene has been on a path of emergent ideology, contemplative spirituality and secularization for some time now.  In June of 2009, along with Nazarene Theological Seminary, the school sponsored a spiritual formation retreat at the Nazarene General Assembly in Orlando.  This term sounds nice enough to the unawares, but it is the catchall term used today that now means the teaching of contemplative spirituality practices.  And recently, the Wesleyan (The Bible Tells Me So) conference was just held at NNU, resulting in the end with very weak statements on scriptural authority.

In NNU’s theology courses, you will find emergent leaders, Roman Catholic mystics, and modern day mystics such as Richard Foster in the textbooks used.  The Master’s in Spiritual Formation program uses books by Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Donald Miller, Rob Bell, Steve Chalke, Brother Lawrence, Eugene Peterson, Brian McLaren, and Dallas Willard.  There are two Nazarenes on the list, but they both support open theism, process theology, and do not believe in biblical inerrancy.  The M.A. in Missional Leadership, and M.A. in Pastoral Leadership, also are stacked with books from the same kind of writers.  It makes one wonder, is there a severe shortage of textbooks by Bible believing teachers?  Even the M.A. in Christian Education is filled with textbooks from emergent authors such as McLaren, Sweet, and Phylis Tickle.

But not all professors or students at the school are happy with what is going on, and NNU is not the only school in trouble.  The school is just one example of the retreat from biblical principles that many of our Nazarenes schools have taken.  Our very own seminary, Nazarene Theological Seminary, has a course this Spring called Celtic Spirituality, which is giving pastors-to-be the opportunity to practice what amounts to an occultic type of Christianity that is not based on scripture.  Point Loma Nazarene University has been going the way of contemplative spirituality for quite a while, and also has brought false teachers consistently to the school, most recently an appearance by Rob Bell, where he spoke on Pastor’s Day.  Trevecca Nazarene University still has a prayer labyrinth on campus, and sends its students on retreats to a monastery to practice the silence.  Even Nazarene Bible College has brought in spiritual formation.  And Eastern Nazarene College has a prominent professor who believes in evolution and open theism, and the school is helping to introduce Roman Catholic ideology to the students.

We have only scratched the surface here.  At some of these schools you will find professors teaching a view of God as being gender neutral, or even describing God as having a feminine side.  You will find more and more emphasis on environmentalism, and social activism or social justice, to the exclusion of strong, biblically sound preparation of students. You will even see the “psycho-babble” that is prevalent at so many Christian schools and churches, where licensing with secular agencies is encouraged in their counselor education programs (unholy alliances) and given more weight and importance than solid Christian counseling for those who want to go into counseling ministries.

All this amounts to what is a serious problem that is resulting in schools losing students, as more and more parents and students are turning to biblically sound schools, instead of the slowly deteriorating schools in the Nazarene denomination.  Will even more than 10,000 leave the denomination in the next four years?  Will there be more and more pastors graduating from seminary who do not believe and trust all of scripture?  Will the denomination recover from this damaging trend away from Biblical soundness?  Will the leadership in the church speak out boldly, clearly, without ambiguity?

Only time will answer these questions.  True revival- and the fruits that bear witness of true revival- will only come through much prayer, and the work of God’s Holy Spirit to move the hearts and minds of leaders at the schools and in the churches.

** If an official representative of any of these schools I mentioned would like to post a rebuttal or defense of any of the facts written here, I am willing to post their response.