Testimony Of A False Teacher In The Nazarene Denomination

Here is Thomas Oord’s “Testimony” from when he was a PhD Candidate.

Dr. Oord is a former professor of religion at NNU who is pushing for same-sex marriage in the Church of the Nazarene.
He was “investigated” sometime around january 2022 by District leaders, but nothing came of it, in spite of his many heresies and particularly his blatant support for homsoexuality and same-sex marriage. It is apparently very difficult to remove credentials from an ordained Nazarene elder in the Church of the Nazarene.

An Adventure in Christian Faith
Tom Oord Ph.D. Candidate in the Philosophy of Religion and Theology program at Claremont Graduate University. …

My journey to process thought has come by way of process theology. It is a journey energized by my faith adventure—an adventure that has mirrored some of the dominant theological movements of the 20th century.

When I attempt to ascertain what process thought means to me, I inevitably refer to my faith adventure. I grew up in a small, rural church that was a part of the American Holiness movement. It was in this setting that my first religious intuitions were fashioned. Like many who also grew up in this tradition, my initial theological conceptions revolved around moral codes and ethical standards. I remember as a second grader not participating in my class dance because it was “against my religion.”

Although Holiness theology need not evolve into Fundamentalism, I would characterize my teenage years as a period when I was a Fundamentalist. Some of these tendencies undoubtedly arose out of the lessons I was taught in Sunday school and some emerged in my bid to establish a solid basis upon which to argue against Mormon friends. I was passionate about my faith and an inerrant Bible was my double-edged sword for battle. Perhaps due to frustrations about failing to convert the Mormons, I went to college and chose to study psychology and social work.

My intent was to serve God by doing practical, compassionate ministry. It was in this field that I first read texts from liberation theologians such as Gustavo Gutierrez. From this exposure, I resolved to actively seek to address the concerns of the poor and disenfranchised. My desire to argue effectively for my faith did not die during those early college years. In fact, it increased. I felt compelled to trudge door to door sharing my faith in nearby neighborhoods. On weekends, I persuaded others to join me. We witnessed often in the streets and drinking establishments of a neighboring city.

Using “The Four Spiritual Laws” and beginning conversations with “If you were to die tonight…” I acted upon my feeling of obligation to preach the gospel “in season and out of season.” I found others who shared this obligation at a Campus Crusade for Christ group. I liked the group’s evangelistic passion and ecumenical posture.

Eventually, not having experienced the results I expected when sharing my faith and not agreeing with the tendency toward Calvinism I found in Campus Crusade, I turned to the Charismatic movement to find the power I seemed to lack. I appreciated how easily Charismatics identified the activity of God in their community and enjoyed the feeling of freedom I found in their worship. I actively sought to cultivate my spiritual gifts and found I was able to speak in tongues. Although I did not always agree that it was God alone who aroused these ecstatic demonstrations, it was refreshing to be in a community of Christians who were animated by their religious experiences.

The conversations I had with the variety of people I encountered while in the church, street, bar, or classroom led me to realize that issues of faith were more complex than I’d previously imagined. Through Bible study and in the years I spent studying New Testament Greek, I came to realize that Scripture could legitimately be interpreted to express different ideas.

My dogmatic tendencies, grounded in my belief that the Bible was inerrant, began to dissipate. I found myself moving toward espousing a more tolerant theology. After discovering how powerfully one’s experience shapes world-views, I found myself attracted to liberal theology in the form of Harry Emerson Fosdick. I liked the way Fosdick appealed to both the experience and rationality of his listeners. I also liked the way he could approach the Bible seriously—without slipping into inerrancy.

The biggest shock to my religious sensibilities, however, came in a philosophy of religion class my final year of college. Until then, I’d never really heard thoughtful argumentation by atheists, agnostics, and nonChristians. Finding myself pushed to decide which of my beliefs were essential and which were not, I turned to natural theology for help. Natural theology seemed a logical fit; after all, I had already spent much of my life trying to articulate my faith convincingly and had only recently been exposed to liberal theology.

By graduation, I’d become keenly aware that my faith adventure had taken me away from the Evangelical mainstream to which I belonged. The issues with which I struggled seemed of little or no consequence to my friends in the pews next to me. Feeling uneasy about this and also wanting a chance to get my hands dirty tackling everyday problems outside academia, I chose to postpone further formal education and became an associate pastor.

For four years I served a mid-size, conservative, Evangelical congregation. My experience there was similar to Karl Barth’s, since I too found a different set of issues in the parish than in the classroom. The optimism I’d discovered in Fosdick and liberalism did not fit here. Furthermore, the congregation was not wrestling with the problem of evil or hammering out arguments for the existence of God.

In my attempt to find intellectually sound solutions to the problems I found in the parish, I turned to the contemporary Catholic theologian Hans Küng. He offered helpful language with which to articulate responsible answers to these concrete questions. It was in this setting that I determined to set a course for my life by which I could receive training to help others asking similar faith questions. So, off to an Evangelical seminary I went.

My pastoral background proved helpful while in seminary by keeping me attuned to both practical and theoretical issues. Though my inclination was still toward classes in philosophy of religion, I continued to minister as an associate pastor in a young church. It was at the Masters level that I became thoroughly exposed to the ideas of those labeled “Neo-orthodox.” I read nearly all the influential texts, but Paul Tillich particularly impressed me. His attempts to correlate the gospel with the concerns of the culture, his creative use of symbols, the categories he used to explain human existence, and his systematic use of relevant philosophical categories were all inspiring. I especially appreciated his insistence that doubt can be an element of faith. However, it was the philosophy of being upon which his approach to theology was based that eventually led me to turn toward process thought.

I can still remember the excitement I felt when I first read John Cobb and David Griffin’s Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition. Although the technical language was difficult at the time, so many of the ideas I encountered seemed to fit. Many of the positions I had come to take with regard to theology I found in this book—and yet they offered more than I’d imagined.

Not long after, I read Daniel Day Williams’ The Spirit and the Forms of Love and my interest in process theology deepened. Here was a philosophical theology of love from which I could find so much help. Marjorie Suchocki’s God-ChristChurch was helpful as well. I found myself gobbling up all the process oriented books I could find and scouring their indices to discover other process resources.

In my final year of seminary I was introduced to Deconstruction through the writings of Jacques Derrida and Mark C. Taylor. I found Deconstruction wanting and my reading of Derrida only solidified my interest in process thought. The work of David Griffin was influential here as I probed deeper into the insights I had previously overlooked in Whitehead’s philosophy. Perhaps the most helpful aspect of my voyage into Deconstructive Postmodernism was to discover the speculative side of process thought.

Since my religious experiences have been so diverse, I have a great appreciation for Whitehead’s attempt to take all experience into account when developing a metaphysic. The process model allows me to acknowledge specific elements in each theological tradition as helpful and then appropriate them. For instance, I can hold fast to the erotic/passion I felt as a Fundamentalist without buying into an exclusivistic, narrow worldview. I can value the emphasis upon the Holy Spirit evident in the Charismatic movement without identifying all ecstatic manifestations as determined by God. I can treasure the Bible as the result of divine inspiration without asserting its inerrancy.

I can genuinely hope for the possibility of a better world in the future without succumbing to liberal, romantic optimism. Traditional notions of the omnipotence, omniscience, benevolence and omnipresence of God now make sense—though these attributes have been defined in new ways. And, of course, the black clouds that hung over my head with the words “problem of evil” etched on them have evaporated.

In sum, process thought has given me a framework out of which I can selectively appropriate my past without embracing those elements I find objectionable. In light of my adventure in faith, I am grateful for this.

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The Removal Of A Dangerous Teacher Must Be Supported

If your pastor stood up at the pulpit and said to you that “God cannot know the future,” what would you think?

If your pastor stated also that “God makes mistakes and that He learns from those mistakes,” what would you think?

If your pastor said that Adam and Eve were simply allegorical tales, and that they were not really historical figures as written in the Bible, what would you think?

If your pastor stated to the congregation that Genesis 1-11 is not fact, and that we were really created through a wildly random process of “evolution,” what would you think?

I would hope that most Christians would be outraged, and would most likely call for the resignation of that pastor.  These are all unbiblical beliefs which should not be tolerate of any ordained minister in the church.

Well, Dr. Tom Oord, who is also an ordained elder in the Nazarene church, has been terminated from his position as a theology professor at Northwest Nazarene University.  I will be following up with another post regarding this outcome, but for now, I want to encourage every Christian on this list and who reads my blog, to go to the following link and express your support for the termination of this professor.  This is not a time to gloat or celebrate the loss of anyone’s job; yet this is also a time to feel some relief, that at least one more professor will not be allowed to teach heretical views to so many students at a Christian school.

I was there at ENC several years ago, when after a lecture by Dr. Oord, and after I quoted relevant scripture to him, he politely disagreed with my position on the origin of sin and death, and solidified my conclusion that he is a false teacher.  He is not alone, and I will expound on that next time.  But for now, I urge you to go to the change.org website and express your support of his termination.  Although the official reason stated was regarding budgetary reasons, I hope and pray that the proper reason that should have been said, was that he was let go because of his anti-biblical views.

If you agree, please go to the site and support Dr. Alexander’s removal of a dangerous teacher:

https://www.change.org/p/dr-david-alexander-we-support-your-removal-of-dr-tom-oord?recruiter=36611337&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

For further information on Tom Oord’s (and others) false teachings:

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/open-theism-and-christian-evolution-at-eastern-nazarene-college/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/mocking-and-rejecting-god-and-his-word/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/nazarene-scholars-continue-to-undermine-belief-in-gods-word-with-evolutions-lie/

Nazarene Scholars Continue To Undermine Belief In God’s Word With Evolution’s Lie

“Theistic evolution is a concept being taught in many “evangelical” seminaries and colleges today. It is an idea that comes straight from the pit of hell. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Bible contains lies and myths, and that Adam and Eve were allegorical figures. If you teach and promote theistic evolution, you are calling God a liar. There is no middle ground here.”

This is my first article in almost two months, but I’m afraid things are just as bad as it was since my last post; the status quo in most of the evangelical denominations has not changed; and the Nazarene church is still in bad shape, notwithstanding any rosy reports from the General Superintendents or other leadership. Compromise seems to be the underlying principal for these religious leaders for quite some time now. Independent thought and true leadership is a thing of the past, as these General Superintendents continue to speak with one voice, or not speak at all, regardless of the truth.

In fact, the reluctance of the Generals to inform tithe-paying members about any details of the developing Nazarene Publishing House scandal, is a scandal and a moral and ethical failure in and of itself. I await further information before writing fully on this situation, but I can tell you that even those at NazNet (a Nazarene discussion site) who oppose us and disagree that there is a rebellion against God’s word within the church, are concerned and outraged at the continuing secrecy within the General Board regarding the financial debacle at the Publishing House. This link will take you to a discussion on NazNet that has broken all viewing records at that website, for any topic previously.

But let me alert you (again) to a further scandalous debacle that has been going on for a while now, and that is the promotion of theistic evolution in the church as an acceptable view of how we were created by God. The promotion of evolution by theology professors and other scholars, as well as by college and seminary presidents and district superintendents, goes to the heart of the problem in the Church of the Nazarene today. What is that problem? It is simply this: that men in the church are now standing on a foundation built on their wisdom and knowledge, rather than on the foundation of the teaching of God as written in His word. Selective belief in some scripture, while rejecting other parts, is the philosophy of these so-called “learned men and women”, even if they don’t state it overtly.

And now to show that it looks like the danger is worse than we thought. The group Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, lead by Tom Oord, professor of religion at Northwest Nazarene University, recently conducted an online survey. It involved the questioning of two demographics- a sampling of Nazarene laypeople, and a narrower sampling of Nazarene college scholars. Both results look pretty bad, and serves as a continued and even louder warning to parents who love their teenagers and want them to have a solid education that is grounded in truth. They will no longer be guaranteed to have that at any Nazarene university or college, including any of the seminaries.

Well known college presidents such as Dan Boone of Trevecca are fueling the advancement of the anti-biblical notion that man was created over millions of years of random evolutionary processes. Others pushing this godless idea which clearly contradicts the Biblical account include theological intellectuals like Al Truesdale, my former Greek New Testament professor; Scott Daniels, pastor of Pasadena First Church; retired professor Robert Branson; Kerry Fulcher and Mark Mann of Point Loma; Mark Winslow of Southern Nazarene; District Superintendent Stephen Borger; Carl Leth, Dean of Theology at Olivet Nazarene; Mark Maddix of Northwest Nazarene; Henry Spaulding, Mt. Vernon Nazarene President; theologian Rob Staples; and quite a few more “learned men and women”, who can be found at the Nazarenes Exploring Evolution site. **

** Update: The site has since been deleted, perhaps because of too much negative exposure.  However, searches on the wayback machine for “Nazarenes Exploring Evolution” will turn up many articles written by Dan Boone and others who support evolution. They span from 2013 to 2016. The following link will get you all the distinct web pages found when searching and will list each for you to check out: https://web.archive.org/web/*;type=text/exploringevolution.com/*
You have to be patient, sometimes searches are slow. You also need to understand how it works.  Resulting pages are usually documented in a calendar view, that shows you a specific date that an articles was entered.

Here is Thomas Oord’s project summation for Nazarenes Exploring Evolution; https://web.archive.org/web/20140517100539/http://exploringevolution.com/

These people are all responsible for helping indoctrinate countless students with theistic evolution, and their furtherance of this godless idea will lead to them being held accountable by God someday.  They need to repent, or they need to be removed from their positions of authority over our students.  Many of them have also been pushing the emergent church teachings. And do you wonder why so many young people are walking away from the church? Why wouldn’t they, when they are taught that they cannot trust God’s word?

In his article Poll Shows Nazarene Scholars Embracing Evolution, Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis summarizes the survey results:

Overwhelmingly, scholars at Nazarene institutions believe:

1) that the Bible does not require a belief in a young earth (nearly 95%)
2) that the Bible is compatible with evolutionary ideas (82%)
3) that science has established that the world is billions of years old (nearly 86%), 4) that human evolution is true (67%)
5) that the Nazarene church should consider theistic evolution as a valid alternative to biblical creation (87%).”

Those are very disturbing statistics, and the numbers for the first four questions, which were also posed to Nazarenes in general, were almost as ominous. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Bible contains lies and myths, and that Adam and Eve were allegorical figures. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Jesus was not truthful when he referred to Adam. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that sin and death did not come into the world through the disobedience of Adam, as written in Romans chapter 5.

So let’s be clear: if you teach and promote theistic evolution, you are calling God a liar. But it seems it will only get worse, and Bible-believing Christians will have to decide whether a secular college will be less dangerous to their children’s spiritual wellbeing than a “Christian” college or university. This whole bunch are some of the most dangerous people professing to be Christians today, and any parent sending their children to a Nazarene university or seminary today is literally gambling with their child’s spiritual health.

Dr. Ham, who has spoken out about and exposed these issues more than most Nazarenes have, went on to comment:

“This is clear evidence that a major denomination is teaching young people that they can’t trust the Bible when it comes to Genesis 1–11 and that fallible man can reinterpret God’s Word—thus man is the authority and not God.”

I agree. These men and women are a disgrace and not one of them should be in a position of authority that they are in, because they are misleading many.  The failure of the Nazarene General leadership in even attempting to right the ship makes them just as culpable, because they are allowing the erosion of Biblical standards by doing nothing- which seems to be all they are willing to do.

Addendum

What follows is the statistical report of both surveys, which are from the BioLogos website. (http://biologos.org/blog/nazarenes-on-evolution).   I found it very discouraging; you are free to make your own conclusions and decisions.

Poll of Nazarenes on Evolution

Question 1: Genesis and other biblical texts require Christians to believe the earth was created less than 15 thousand years ago.

Q1a

Question 2: The Bible can properly be interpreted as compatible with the theory of biological evolution.

Q2a

Question 3: Geology, astronomy, and physics have established that world is billions of years old.

Q3a

Question 4: Humans likely became a species as God worked with the biological evolutionary process.

Q4a

Among other things, this poll suggests that more Nazarenes today feel comfortable with evolution.

 

Nazarene Scholars on God Creating through Evolution

Question 1: Genesis and other biblical texts require Christians to believe the earth was created less than 15 thousand years ago.

q1

Question 2: The Bible can properly be interpreted as compatible with the theory of biological evolution.

q2

Question 3: Geology, astronomy, and physics have established that the world is billions of years old.

q3

Question 4: Humans likely became a species as God worked with the evolutionary process.

q4

Question 5: The Church of the Nazarene should allow the theory that God creates through evolution as one acceptable view of creation among others.

q5

Mocking and Rejecting God And His Word

“Professing to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:22

They twist God’s word for their own purposes.  We see them all around us now more than ever before, or so it seems.  Perhaps they are just simply less subtle and have been emboldened to be more plain about their heresies.  Complacency by both leadership and laiety alike further enables them to take a stronger foothold in our “Christian” universities, seminaries, and churches.  The sincere desire for “unity”, “love”, and setting aside “minor” differences has led to a watering down of God’s word and a reliance on man’s rationalizing to decide what is valid in Scripture.

Tom Oord of Northwest Nazarene University, a highly regarded professor of theology and philosophy, is perhaps the leading false teacher in the Church of the Nazarene.  He has been allowed to continue on and on with his poisonous agenda of evolution and open theism, and you would think he would be out by now, and teaching in a secular school instead.  Why he remains, as well as others, is either a matter of complacency, or fear, or the leadership sees no problem with his ideas.  He certainly is not there because he holds fast to biblical truth, because he has rejected biblical truth in place of his own.

In his latest article that caught my attention, he practically starts off with a falsehood:

“I take the Bible with utmost seriousness”

Anyone who does not believe Adam and Eve were real, or who believes that God cannot know the future, or who believes that God can learn from His mistakes, or that God could not have created all things in a brief period of days- does not take the Bible seriously!

He then starts slowly explaining how he came to his disbelief:

“Witnessing to God’s truth seemed to require that I believe the Bible was without error on all matters, including matters related to science.”

His love of man’s wisdom instead of God is shown in these words:

“Instead, I started reading the Bible carefully and the work of biblical scholars.”
“I also discovered discrepancies in the Bible.”
(so he says)

“My quest for better ways to think about the Bible prompted me to read theologians and Bible scholars from the past and present.”

His claim of “discrepancies” can be proven to be false, and that is another whole new article in itself.  He also rejects John Wesley’s own testimony that he believed in biblical inerrancy, conveniently dismissing it as being inconsistent at best.

He continues with his high regard for what “leading scholars” think:

“And I discovered through reading and conversations that those considered the leading biblical scholars and theologians today also reject absolute biblical inerrancy.”

“Perhaps even more important was my discovery that great theologians and biblical scholars of yesteryear believed the Bible’s basic purpose was to reveal God’s desire for our salvation.”

“The vast majority of Evangelical scholars with whom I talked also didn’t think the Bible has to be inerrant about scientific matters.”

These statement are all indications that show he clearly does not come to his conclusions based on what the plain teaching of God’s word is, but rather on the wisdom of “great scholars and theologians.”  Throughout his writings you will see examples of what he “thinks” is, instead of taking God’s word for it, when God clearly speaks in a literal, not allegorical fashion.  But leave it to Tom Oord and other intellectuals to decide what’s best for us and convince us that only certain parts of Scripture are infallible; the rest are not trustworthy in what they say, because of a so-called conflict with “science” and man’s foolish and unproven theory of evolution.

Scripture instead asks “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  1 Cor. 1:20

And then he finishes with a flourish and an example of his superior intellect over what the Bible teaches:

“After my studies, I came to believe that the Bible tells us how to find abundant life. But it does not provide the science for how life became abundant.”

So Tom Oord’s premise is this: we cannot believe anything the Bible teaches us, even if evidently in a plain literal way, if it has to do with such things as geography, science, history, anthropology, or even politics.  No, to Tom Oord and others, we can believe in biblical inerrancy only in matters of salvation.  I don’t know who originally came up with this, but it is certainly not based on God’s word.  The Bible does not teach us this at all; it is man’s invention.  I believe the answer as to why he thinks this way, is that he has no trust in God’s word at all.  It is impossible to trust God’s word, and then at the same time say that parts of it are false.   And if he does not even trust God’s word, let me dare ask the question: is Tom Oord even saved?

How do we determine which parts of Scripture has to do with salvation, and which does not?

For instance, in Romans 5:12, it is written that “sin entered into the world” and thus “death” by sin.  Does Tom Oord reject the fact that the “man” that Paul is talking about is none other than Adam?  And if sin entered the world through Adam according to Scripture, followed by death, how is that compatible with the story (fable) of evolution, which logically says that death came into the world long before man existed?  Is Paul a liar, thus making God a liar, since what Paul wrote IS God’s word?  How then can Tom Oord or any other pastor or Christian leader tell us that this passage has nothing to do with “matters of salvation?”

Let me make it clear as far as what I believe.  If you are actively teaching others that evolution is compatible with the Bible, you are a false teacher.  If you believe this theory to be true, you are sadly deceived and need to re-visit the Bible and what it says.  You have been fed a lie, and if you think that a Christian can continue on in their Christian faith solidly believing in only part of God’s word, and not stumbling on account of that belief, you are sorely mistaken.

In part two of his series on BioLogos, Oord says the following:

I think, however, that the Bible can be trusted about what it says about salvation even though its statements about the natural world – when interpreted literally – may be wrong.”

What total arrogance!  His reliance on “biblical scholars once again brings him to this man-driven conclusion:

“After all, biblical scholars say we best interpret Genesis 1 and other Bible creation passages as hymns and theological poetry, not scientific treatises.”

And then the height of arrogance in the following:

“For instance, evolution tells us that it took millions of years for creatures to evolve into the complex forms we now see. But if God gives freedom and/or agency to all creatures and they act as created co-creators, it would make sense that creating complex creatures takes time.”

Yes, for Tom Oord, it does not make sense that God can create anything in a short amount of time.  For him and his colleagues, it only makes sense that God needs millions and millions of years to create life.  Perhaps Dr. Oord believes that God made some mistakes over those years, and had to try several times before He got it right. After all, that is what process theology teaches, does it not?

This is total foolishness, and this is only a small part of what is destroying the Church of the Nazarene from within.  Tom Oord is a lover of wisdom, not a lover of God’s holy and pure and inerrant word.  The doctrines which he conjures up are senseless and speculative, and in the general sense of how the word “fool” is used often in Scripture, it means void of understanding or any moral sense.  This aptly describes Dr. Oord and all those who are teaching this philosophy.  They are devoid of understanding of God’s word, notwithstanding all of their training and degrees.  They are corrupt shepherds leading the flock to destruction.

And the rest of the leaders in the church?  What about them?  Silent as usual.