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Archive for the ‘Tony Campolo’ Category

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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