Archive for the ‘Mount Vernon Nazarene University’ Category

The following is a list of some of the speakers that have been welcomed onto the campus and/or chapel pulpit of MVNU.

These speakers promote differing elements of emergent, liberal, and contemplative,  eastern/new age, or Catholic philosophies and practices to students.  
Welcoming these speakers to MVNU’s campus in an undebated or biased format is the same as endorsing and giving validity to their views and to the speaker’s published books to the students.

You will need to research these people for yourself.  One research tool is Lighthouse Trails Research located on the sidebar. 


2003  Chapel Schedule

October 8 – 9th  –  Brennan Manning  

2004 Chapel Schedule

October 27  –  Tony Campolo

March 29 – 30th  –  Prayer Labyrinth set up on campus

2005 Chapel Schedule

October 3 – 13th  –  Prayer Walk set up on campus

April 4 – 12th  –  Prayer Labyrinth set up on campus

2006 Chapel Schedule

October 8 – 18th  –  Prayer Walk set up on campus

October 11th  –  Tony Campolo

2008  Chapel Schedule

February 13th  –  Shane Claiborne  http://www.mvnu.edu/news/PressReleases/0708/claiborne.asp

November 19 – 21st  –  Brennan Manning scheduled, but cancelled due to illness

2008 Lecture/Artist Series

September  –  Dr. Christian Scharen

October  –  Dr. Eddie Gibbs

May 4th  –  Walter Brueggemann  http://www.mvnu.edu/news/PressReleases/0708/brueggemann.asp

2008 Youth Pastors/Directors Workshop  

May 6th –  Jon Middendorf     http://www.mvnu.edu/news/PressReleases/0708/youthleap.asp

2009 LEAP Seminar

May 7th  –  J.P. Moreland                  http://www.mvnu.edu/churchrelations/LEAP/moreland.asp


Prayer Walks and Prayer Labyrinths are somewhat similar in that they have 11 stations in which the participant engages in some form of experiential activity to make them feel a spiritual experience.   These practices come from Roman Catholicism.  I personally viewed the Prayer Walk at MVNU in 2006.  These forms of prayer practices are not found in the Bible, but teach a piestic, works-based method of encountering God.

For a good understanding of what a Prayer Labyrinth and Prayer Walks are typically like, go to this link and view it.  Listen carefully to how Scripture is used out of context and distorted.     http://www.yfc.co.uk/labyrinth/online.html


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There is a movement that has taken hold in the Nazarene denomination calling on people (mostly the young) to embrace an Ancient-Future worship style.  The movement draws its adherents to look to the past, or early church fathers for a new direction for the future of worship. 

This movement embraces the pietism of early monastic life, and of practices of the early Roman Catholic Church; it points devotees to the Desert Fathers.  Because Ancient-Future worship practices are considered ancient, these practices are touted as being biblical and authentic.   Are they biblical?  Does God define the ways we come to Him, or does man?  Are these ancient mystical practices found in scripture?  Did the early believers in Acts practice these worship methods?  How did some of these ancient mystical methods of prayer and worship develop? 

This appeal for mysticism and experiential-feelings type worship is a result of:

  •  Dead churches not training,  equipping, and exhorting congregations to put their faith to action and witness to those who are lost with the life-changing gospel and to then help the hopeless.
  • Legalism – adding rules and standards that are extra-biblical and not contained in scripture. 
  • Lack of  Biblical exegetical preaching and teaching so that those weak in the faith are swayed by every new fad that saunters down the pike.      
  • Churches that embrace pragmatic church growth, seeker-sensitive, market-driven programs that water-down preaching  and teaching to appeal to the world.  

These ancient practices that are being embraced in some churches today through youth pastors, and some New Start nazarene emergent churches and universities include:  prayer labyrinths, prayer walks or stations, lectio divina, lenten practices, Ash Wednesday observances, practicing monastism, taking retreats to monastaries, praying the rosary or prayer beads, centering prayer.  Ecumenism and unity with other faiths is being embraced.  There is a strong appeal for Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.  All this under the guise and appeal of Ancient-Future worship.

Robert Webber (now deceased), Richard Foster, and Dallas Willard are the main authors of this movement.  They have written books that are used on the college campuses to promote the ancient-future practices as a “new way” for re-inventing Christianity. 

Here is a link to Robert Webber’s site.  He sent out a written document called The Call for  people to read and sign; if they agreed with The Call they signed it.  Here is the link.  You need to scroll down the page to read The Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future.



Here is a list of Nazarene signers to The Call (as of November 17, 2006):

  • Rev. Ken Balch, Mission Director, Mid-Atlantic COTN, Crofton MD
  • Sam S. Barber, Senior Pastor, Troy COTN, Troy, OH
  • Dan Boone, President, Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN
  • Daron B. Brown, Pastor, COTN, Waverly, TN
  • Rev. James B. Chapman, Sonlight COTN, Minneapolis, MN
  • Eric Frey, Toronto First COTN, Toronto, OH
  • Timothy Green
  • Dr. Sam Green, Associate Professor of Music, Chair of the Division of Music, Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN
  • Chad A. Harvey, Pastor, Little Sandy COTN, Bruceton Mills, WV
  • Rich Mark, Pastor to Families with Children, Nashville First COTN, TN
  • Scott Marshall, Pastor of Fellowship & Discipleship, Southside COTN, Chesterfield, VA
  • Rev. Harlan Moore, Minister of Worship Arts, Bethany First COTN, Bethany, OK
  • Brian M. Niece, Pastor, Grace Community COTN, Brusnwick, GA
  • Dr. Charles Nienkirchen, Prof. of Christian History & Spirituality, Alliance University College/Nazarene University College, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Rev. Brent Peterson, Pastor, Chicago Northside COTN, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. Brian K. Postlewait, Spiritual Director, Community of Hope, Inc., Washington D.C.
  • John D. Prichard II, Lead Pastor, Butler COTN, Butler, MO
  • Dr. Keith Schwanz, Assistant Dean, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO
  • Rev. Todd A. Stepp, O.S.L., Pastor, COTN, Greencastle, IN
  • Rev. A. Blake Teston, Lead Pastor, Blackwell First COTN, Blackwell, OK
  • Rev. Brian R. Thomas, Sr. Pastor, Wasilla Lake COTN, Wasilla, AK
  • Rev. Greg Voiles, COTN, Elder, Ph.D. Preparation Historical Theology & Christian Spirituality (Fall 2007), Allardt, TN
  • Michael Wiebe, Minister of Worship & Music, First COTN, Nampa ID

Here is the link to check the signers: http://www.ancientfutureworship.com/afw_callsigners2.html


The Nazarene Publishing House is also promoting ancient-future materials to Nazarene youth through the following selections:



This is why we left the Nazarene Church.  We did not feel that it was safe to allow our two youngest children to go through our Nazarene church’s youth group.  This material was being introduced along with Rob Bell’s Nooma video’s….and we saw that Ancient-Future practices were also well entrenched at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and Trevecca Nazarene University.

There is an agenda coming together of unity with other religions, with mysticism as the cement that binds the faiths together.   There is a drawing away of people taking place (especially the young) from solid propositional truth-teaching from the Bible to the false fire created by man to offer to God experiences and feelings over what is written in His Word.  There is a move towards the Catholic Church.


Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.      Acts 20: 28-31


For further research on Ancient-Future worship go to these links:

 Evangelical Mysticism?   http://www.thebereancall.org/node/6433

Ancient-Future Heresies      http://www.thebereancall.org/node/6535

Why Evangelicals Are Returning to Rome     http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue105.htm

Here’s a post from the Emergent Nazarenes blog discussing Ancient-Future   http://emergentnazarenes.blogspot.com/2006/09/dialogue-with-our-modern-nazarene.html

Lighthouse Trails Research article on Ancient-Future   http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1391&c=1

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In  the fall of 2006 I traveled to Mount Vernon Nazarene University to visit my daughter and to check on some concerns on the campus.

I arrived in time to join her in chapel.  The school had welcomed Tony Campolo to the pulpit.  He was a very entertaining and engaging speaker, however, the more he talked, the more my countenance changed.  One of the main points of his talk focused on raising the minimum wage.  He was  pressing the voting student body to vote for an increase  in the federal minimum wage because it would help solve or address the abortion issue in the inner city.  His reasoning was that poor women who find themselves pregnant choose abortion because they cannot afford to care for their children, so if we/they would vote to increase wages, then it would make a difference between women choosing life or death for their unborn children.

I was appalled at his logic.  I turned to my daughter and said, “Perhaps the abortion problem is more of a sin issue, and not a miniumum wage issue.  If we address the SIN issue and present the whole gospel, the full counsel of God, perhaps the behavior and hearts of men and women would change and there would be less out of wedlock pregnancies.  Raising the minimum wage never changed peoples lives for the good, but the gospel is life-changing!”

Never in his talk did he address presenting the gospel to the poor people he worked with as a way of changing their life, other than to say that during VBS they presented the gospel to the inner city children.  That’s what is so desparately needed today.  People do not understand sin and the tragic consequences it has on all of our lives!  People are not put under conviction anymore, having their hearts quickened, or troubled to the point where they clearly see that they have transgressed against God and deserve death.  If people understand this first, then they can fully appreciate and appropriate the grace that God offers for repentence of sin.  No one appreciates a free gift unless they understand the sacrifice first.

Tony went on to spew more liberal ideas to the student body.  He stated that he was neither democrat or republican, but I didn’t believe that statement, since on his website he had a link to the Democratic Party website (which is no longer there).  He promoted Eastern University in Pennsylvania and their program of doing good works in the inner city.  He challenged the students to take part in their social work programs (again sans the gospel).  He used guilt tactics to get them to sign up to sponsor a child for $30 a month through Compassion International.  Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with donating to help children, but he was talking to students, who for the most part, had no incomes yet.     My daughter’s fiance was taken in by feelings of guilt, so he signed up to sponsor and child, which he couldn’t afford, and later ended up bouncing a couple of checks. 

He ended his lecture by telling the students about centering prayer….something he says he does every morning before getting out of bed.   He told them they need to practice centering prayer.  He told them that in the morning he wakes up and before he gets up he says ,”Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”…..over and over again….like a mantra.  He says he just focuses on Jesus and that helps him stay centered all day.  Again appalled, I turned to my daughter and said, “That is not how Jesus taught or told us to pray.  He told us not to practice vain repetitions as the pagans did, repeating things over and over so that they might be heard. Jesus gave us a model for prayer through the structure of the Lord’s Prayer.  He also gave us his Words to read, think upon and keep in our hearts.”  

Unfortunately, Tony was permitted to come on campus and present his liberal ideas, social gospel, and present a  contemplative (new age) prayer technique unchallenged.  By allowing these type of speakers on the campuses, the Nazarene universities give their ideas a stamp of approval and endorsement.  Students walk away considering the liberal ideologies, read the speakers books, and soon begin to adapt those same philosopies. 

My advice to any parents who are looking at a Chrisitan university to send their student to is this: 

  •   Go to the school’s website and check out who they bring in as chapel  speakers.
  •   Also check to see who they bring in for special workshops and lecture series.
  •   Check out what books are recommended reading
  •   Check out what books are required reading for classes
  •   See if they have a Spiritual Formation Director (this is usually a red flag, run!) 
  •   See if they promote contemplative spiritual practices or retreats to monasteries.

Be careful where you decide to send your student.  When you invest your hard earned money at a higher place of learning, you want to make sure that there are people who will be faithful to guard the sheep gate.  Sadly, liberalism has come in under the radar and is well entrenched.

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