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Posts Tagged ‘Olivet Nazarene University’

I  recently came upon a blog piece  from a former Nazarene pastor who left the Nazarene Church to assume the pastorate of a Unitarian Universalist Church. 

 

In his blog piece he states several reasons why he is leaving the Nazarene Church for a more liberal, Unitarian Universalist Church.   Of particular interest, take note of Reason #3:

3) I have come to see the Bible as many human-authored works, with its beautiful and horrible parts, rather than a divinely inspired mandate for life (which parts would I choose as patterns for my life? I certainly could not choose them all.). One cannot say both that God is love and that God once required the stoning of homosexuals and children who wouldn’t obey their parents. Our morals have evolved over time, and with them our concepts of who/what God is. This does not require outside intervention.

 

Now, be sure to read some of the comments, particularly, the comment from another Nazarene pastor, James Diggs.  Here is part of his response.

Point 3) I agree with you 100% about scripture! The scriptures are the work of human beings; and even if it is inspired by God it does not mean that it is “inerrant”. The Bible is NOT “the word of God”, Jesus Christ is the word of God, and he as he put it he came to make the written code “complete”. This implies that the written scripture is INCOMPLETE; it has limitations and is fallible.

 

This is what happens when the education institutions are given over to liberal professors.  The training up turns into a train wreck.  Students come out questioning their faith and questioning any trust in the Bible.   This is not to say that all theology professors are liberal.  It only takes a few to begin to dismantle the faith of some students, which later on, impacts the entire denomination. 

 

Just as Paul warned in Acts 20: 29-31

 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.   Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.   Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

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My friend Manny Silva wrote an excellent piece on his blog entitled:  Emergent Ideology is Here, What Will You Do?  I highly recommend it.

 

No longer can anyone sit and not be aware of the liberalism that has infiltrated the Nazarene denomination like a crimson tide.  The people sitting in the pews need to investigate what is at the core of emergent/liberal ideology.  It is NOT what it appears……a movement to engage the community and be like Jesus. 

 

It is liberalism.  It is a down-grading of trust in scripture.  It is a move towards universalism and ecumenism.  It is a works-based and mystically based religion.   It lowers God to the level of man and elevates man.  It questions God’s power and sovereignty from beginning to end.

 

This ideology and its accompanying mystical practices, have been introduced     s l o w l y  into  the Nazarene denomination mostly through the Nazarene schools.  Now pulpits all over the United States are paying the price from these influences.  The pulpits have been compromised with a new breed of shepherd.  These shepherds have been taught to bring these changes in  s l o w l y  into the sleepy congregations and it has worked.   Those who have questioned the changes have been marginalized as mean-spirited fundamentalists instead of Bereans.   Congregants that have approached their pastor about some of the concerns of those waving the red flag of warning, have been told to dismiss them as troublemakers looking to make a profit or garner attention. 

 

Now that it is here, what will YOUR stance be?  Accept it, or stand against it?  Research it, or ignore it?

 

Acts 20:31   Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

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A widely read internet news source, Bible Prophecy Today, has posted a story regarding the struggles within the Nazarene denomination regarding the emergent-liberalism that has seeped into the denomination.

 

http://bible-prophecy-today.blogspot.com/2009/06/concerned-nazarenes-to-confront.html

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The following clip is from a 1987 sermon warning the church about the influx of liberalism into the church.  It is about 10 minutes long, but is worth a listen. 

 

Liberalism in the form of emergent theology is taking hold in Nazarene universities, seminary, Publishing House, and in many churches.   There are some very faithful professors teaching solid doctrine, but there are some that have risen up from among the ranks that are steering students and ultimately the church in an emerging (liberal) direction, teaching things such as open theism.  The schools are also bringing into their chapels and workshops wolves from without who present emerging (liberal) doctrines to the students who have no choice but to follow school policy and attend chapel to listen to people like:  Shane Claiborne, Tony Jones, Tony Campolo, Doug Pagitt, Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, Donald Miller, etc, etc.

 

The emergents  argue that they are merely addressing the postmodern mindset and are attempting to reach young people today who think in a questioning, distrustful, postmodern way.  Therefore, the emergent method is to mirror postmodernism and not offer any propositional doctrines, but to open the doors to many ways of coming to God.

 

This is baloney.  What postmoderns need isn’t any different than what the world has needed for thousands of years, and that is TRUTH.  Truth presented in knowable, propositional terms.  The Gospel doesn’t need to be packaged in liberal wrappings; it needs to be presented in its whole counsel. 

  

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The following link will take you to Light House Trails Research.  They have recently published a report about Trevecca Nazarene University’s promotion of contemplative spirituality on campus.

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=618

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I admire the American Family Association for its efforts to hold advertisers accountable for the television shows that they sponsor.  The AFA has had many successes over the years calling for boycotts of businesses that support programs that devalue and  denigrate conservative, Biblical values.  There is no question that the smut that has been served up on a platter to society through television has had a negative effect on families and our nation.

Perhaps those who are involved in the Nazarene church today, but feel frustrated for not being heard regarding the liberal influences of the emergent church movement on the university campuses might consider the same tactics as AFA.

If churches refuse to pay their budgets to the universities assigned to their district because of the liberal speakers allowed in to chapel schedules, and liberal professors/speakers allowed in to teach in special workshops or lecture series,  chances are good that these churches will make an impact and get the attention of  those who are supposed to be guarding the gate.

I think back to the actions of a few who became a mighty voice when Olivet had on its staff a professor who was teaching that evolution was compatible with Scripture.  The President had him removed.  Below is an excerpt from The American Association of University Professors report dated Jan. 15, 2009.

The AAUP report on Olivet Nazarene focuses on its May 2007 decision to suspend Richard Colling, a tenured professor of biology, from his usual responsibility of teaching a general biology class for nonmajors. The report concludes that the university took Mr. Colling out of the classroom and prohibited a book he had written from being used on the campus in response to objections by members of the Church of the Nazarene to his efforts to argue that belief in evolution is compatible with belief in God as creator.

The report says the university administration “placed a higher value on what the president calls constituent relations’ than on the principles of academic freedom to which the university itself claims to subscribe.”

By the way, I’m all for academic freedom, but when a professor teaches material that does not align with the beliefs of the institution, then it’s time to part ways.  Academic freedom would allow for the opposing view to be presented, but not in lew of the institutions stated beliefs  and stance on the topic.  The institutions beliefs must be upheld, respected, and not undermined.  That’s why parents invest thousands of dollars in their child’s education because they believe their values and beliefs will be held in ‘trust’.

If as a congregant, your church is not willing to withhold paying its budget to the universities, then perhaps you can redirect your giving directly to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries or World Missions to support a missionary of your choosing.  You should let your pastor and board know that until you see that the university assigned to your district is no longer allowing liberal speakers to present their views unopposed, and you no longer see contemplative prayer techniques and practices promoted on campus, you will send your full financial giving and support directly to NCM  or World Missions in support of a missionary.

If we had decided to stay in the Nazarene church, this is what we would have done.  We had to think of our two youngest children though, and get them into a youth group that taught directly out of the Bible and held a high view of the diety of Christ.

I pray that the people who are concerned about the church will not be afraid to take a stand.  Now is the time to act, before budgets are paid.

 

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