IMMERSE is the latest publication to be introduced to the Nazarene youth masses by Chris Folmsbee of Barefoot Ministries. If you examine the fabric of this publication, you quickly see that it clearly promotes a leftist social gospel/contemplative/emergent agenda to those involved with youth.
Mike King of Youthfront was recently appointed as the executive editor of this publication. Here are a few paragraphs from the most recent publication of IMMERSE that Mike wrote in his editorial introduction.
For many youth workers, the end of summer provides a tiny respite to catch one’s breath for a few days between all the summer activities and the beginning of a new school year with all the new church programs and events launched in September. This summer we had nearly 5,000 young people attend Youthfront camps and our mission site in Croc, Mexico. I also had the opportunity to engage in youth ministry in New Zealand, France and the UK.
In New Zealand I spoke to more than 1,000 youth workers on the North and South Islands. I was blown away by the quality and passion of New Zealand youth workers. They seem to be engaged with the same challenges and issues that youth workers from North America are dealing with. Kiwis rule.
I made it back to Taize for the third time. If you want to expand your thinking about spiritual transformation, put Taize on your must visit list.
The Greenbelt Festival in England was also a highlight of the summer. More than 20,000 (mostly young) people gathered for great fun but were also significantly challenged by deep issues. There really is nothing like Greenbelt in the USA. Maybe someday…
Over the summer, the Barefoot team has been working diligently to bring fresh and innovative resources to youth workers. We are excited about revealing great tools for youth workers in the days and months ahead. We have also been developing great content for Immerse that we are excited for you to read and consider.
We have lots of great articles in this edition of Immerse. Kurt Rietema’s perspective on the issue of immigration is very timely, given the focus on this issue during the current election season. This is an important issue for youth workers to consider. I’ve known Kurt for several years now and have seen him develop into a thoughtful and capable leader. His article on immigration comes directly from a place of personal experience and deep passion for others. Kurt is the director of Youthfront’s missional initiatives in Croc, Mexico, and in the Argentine neighborhoods of Kansas City. Kurt is one of the key people in youth ministry today pushing all of us toward a more relevant and robust conversation on missional living. I am confident that his article will help you engage complex topics, such as immigration, at a different level.
Also in this issue, Andrew Zirschky deals thoughtfully with the role communication technology–especially social media–plays in the lives of adolescents who desire to maintain connections in a disconnected society. He examines the nature of their unique communications for the primary purpose of maintaining social and psychological contact.
In the article “Agape meets Eros,” Jim Hampton boldy engages the idea of the interplay between sexuality and spirituality, challenging youth workers to reincorporate our sexuality with our spiritual identities. While we must employ discernment in how to apply these ideas into our church communities, we can no longer ignore this issue.
Our hope is that Immerse will guide you into deep theological reflection on lots of important areas impacting the spiritual formation of young people and the life of the church.
May the Lord Jesus Christ immerse you in faith, hope and love. (signed) Mike King
Here are some things to consider after reading Mike King’s editorial from Immerse:
The contemplative practices are promoted via the Taize reference in his editorial, which he says we must put on our to do list! There is an unfortunate trend within the Nazarene church to draw the youth back to Roman Catholic practices and mysticism. Further down, Mike then writes glowingly of The Greenbelt Festival that he attended in England. Upon further examination of THAT event, you will quickly see the extremely liberal agenda, and bizarre contemplative worship practices that were offered to the attendees. Make sure you take some time clicking around on that site. Bizarre, indeed.
Topics included: Negative views on capitalism, Equating eating meat with murdering the planet, end of life issues, down with Israel & pro-Palastinian issues. Their About page states that the Festival is a family-friendly celebration, inclusive and accepting of all, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, background or belief.
Mike King hopes that someday……The Greenbelt Festival will make its way to the USA??
With the Nazarene Publishing House funding, publishing, and promoting these types of liberal and (emergent) resources, IS IT ANY WONDER THE CHURCH IS IN THE STATE IT IS IN??
Also note, Jim Hampton was one of the writers and signers of the emergent piece: IS THERE ANY ROOM AT THE TABLE?