I was seriously considering revising this blog, so it would not be as hurtful to my many friends in the EFCI. However, I have decided against toning down the blog; I want to show the exact wording to which a high official in the EFCI responded. (See his comments and my responses at the bottom of this blog.) Note – since then I have added additional statements to my original blog.
Click here for a detailed critique of the EFC-ER and EFCI. And click here for a detailed history of the EFC-ER.
J. Walter Malone [click here for a brief bio] was the founder of Cleveland Bible Institute, which today is Malone University. Yet today Malone University is being drawn down the same slippery path as many other colleges, seminaries and churches in the EFCI (Evangelical Friends Church International) denomination. All these institutions are being drawn deeper into Spiritual Formation, the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence movements, and ecumenical Quakerism, and other heretical, liberal teachings. Surely J. Walter Malone and other like minded Ohio Evangelical Friends of his era would “roll over in their graves.” (By the way, J. Walter Malone was a contemporary of one of my favorite born again, biblically sound Ohio Evangelical Friends – Edward Mott – whom I have written about in other blogs.)
Consider these excerpts from the book entitled The Quakers in America, by Thomas D. Hamm (pp. 58-59):
Not all Gurneyite Friends approved of [liberal Quaker Rufus] Jones or his vision. By 1900, many of the surviving leaders of the Great Revival… were strong critics. They perceived Jones and his sympathizers as unenthusiastic about revivalism and prone to overintellectualizing religion… The most important opponent of Jones, however, was of his generation: J. Walter Malone.
Malone was born into an old Quaker family in southwestern Ohio in 1857 and moved to Cleveland as a young man, where he achieved considerable success in business. He and his wife Emma had become converts to holiness Quakerism, and in 1892 decided to use their wealth to found [Cleveland Bible College], a Bible college or “training school for Christian workers,” as they called it, which eventually became the Friends Bible Institute… The Malones and all of the teachers at Cleveland were deeply suspicious of Quaker modernism. [I wonder if this “deep suspicion” applied to all teachers through the time of the school’s relocation/renaming in 1957.] By questioning the inerrancy of Scripture,[Quaker modernism] threatened the authority of the Bible. By emphasizing the Inner Light, it seemed to minimize the need for definite experiences of conversion and sanctification. By stressing social service and reform, it seemed to suggest that humans could save the world, rather than looking to the Second Coming of Christ. And by dwelling on the mercy and love of God, it seemed to ignore His judgment [emphasis mine; notice how similar the modernist Quaker teachings are to the Emergent Church teachings of today]. In 1902, Malone began publishing a journal, the Soul Winner, to advance his views. In 1905 he changed its name to the Evangelical Friend, which became increasingly outspoken in its attacks on Jones and other modernist Quakers.
Malone and his coadjutors were consciously part of the larger movement in American Protestantism that [in later years] would become known as fundamentalism.
For the next two decades, modernists and holiness Friends struggled for the control of the Five Years Meeting and its yearly meetings. The battle had at least three fronts. One was the personnel of the Five Years Meeting – its central office staff and its missionaries. Central to this struggle was the American Friend, the official organ [edited by Rufus Jones until 1912, then edited by like minded liberal Quakers]. The second front was the Quaker colleges. [Sound familiar? Colleges and seminaries today are one of the main venues in which Spiritual Formation and the Emerging/Emergent Church movements are brainwashing today’s Evangelical Friends youth.] Holiness Friends did their best to exclude modernist teachings from schools like Earlham in Indiana, Whittier in California, Pacific in Oregon, Friends in Kansas, and Penn in Iowa. The results were uneven… [Several following pages are unavailable online – I am hoping to locate this book in a Quaker archive.]
I find it disconcerting that one of J. Walter Malone’s own family seems to have attempted revising history, to paint a different picture of what J. Walter Malone was all about. Specifically Malone’s son-in-law, Dr. Byron L. Osborne (The Malone Story, 1970 edition, p. 223). In years past I have personally had deep respect and admiration for Dr. Osborne, who for a time was President of Malone College/University). I have recently learned that, apparently, Dr. Osborne revised J. Walter Malone’s story to be a feel-good, non-offensive history (non-offensive to non-evangelical Quakers, that is).
Over the years, assorted Ohio Evangelical Friends have tended to leave out or reinterpret the parts of history in which fundamentalist Gurneyite Quakers battled modernists, including non-evangelical Quakers. They have portrayed all Quakers as “equally Christian” in God’s eyes, whether they were evangelical or non-evangelical. Dr. Osborne seems to have followed this trend. His repainting of his own father-in-law J. Walter Malone seems to have contributed to a conciliatory effort to unite with non-evangelical Quakers in Quaker ecumenism. He has downplayed and/or denied the argumentative, anti-modernist side of J. Walter Malone. In The Malone Story (1970 edition, pp. 21-24), Dr. Osborne presents a few short quotes trying to prove that J. Walter Malone “was not a controversialist.” He includes a quote from liberal “social gospel” Quaker Rufus Jones implying Jones and J. Walter Malone were on good speaking terms. Yet Dr. Osborne fails to mention the reams of articles in J. Walter Malone’s The Soulwinner and The Evangelical Friend [both periodicals are housed in the Malone University Friends Archives] in which Malone passionately and incessantly condemned non-evangelical Quakers including Rufus Jones.
To summarize, it seems that various Ohio Evangelical Friends have been complicit in reinterpreting or even denying the “negative” anti-modernist side of J. Walter Malone and of Gurneyite Quaker history. For this and other reasons (such as Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings – see below) I personally feel deeply betrayed by these complicit Evangelical Friends whom I once trusted and admired as my denominational leaders.
How pathetic and ironic, that non-evangelical writers have provided detailed information about the history of fundamentalist/anti-modernist Gurneyite Quakers, whereas Ohio Evangelical Friends/Gurneyite Quaker writers themselves have provided us very scant info and/or revisionist Quaker histories.
To put this in context, this “revision” of the fundamentalist, “controversialist” side of J. Walter Malone was typical of actions being taken in many other evangelical denominations in the twentieth century.
I would say evangelicals between 1900-1970 including the Ohio Evangelical Friends – represented by Dr. Byron Osborne and Dr. Everett L. Cattell among others – went through several steps toward apostasy:
1948 – The Ohio Evangelical Friends took a big step towards losing the fundamentalist-modernist battle when the National Association of Evangelicals was formed. (Although the Evangelical Friends did not join the NAE, they were affected by their teachings.)
1957 – The Ohio Evangelical Friends lost further ground in 1957, with the beginning of the Billy Graham Crusades.
1965 – Another tragic step toward apostasy occurred in 1965, when Ohio Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite) joined with more liberal Yearly Meetings to form what is today the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI) denomination.
1970 – The last nail in the coffin was the St. Louis Conference, in which Dr. Cattell insisted on the forming of an ecumenical alliance with non-evangelical Quakers (in spite of opposition from some Ohio Evangelical Friends who were present).
To backtrack a bit: I have had great respect and admiration for Dr. Cattell in years past. It was only recently that I learned Dr. Cattell had been hoping for Quaker ecumenism very early in his life – and strove throughout his life to make this dream come true. I have no doubt that Dr. Cattell and the other Ohio Evangelical Friends/Gurneyite Quakers mentioned here thought highly of the teachings of New Evangelicalism. As with Dr. Osborne, I have felt a deep sense of betrayal and of being deceived upon learning these things about Dr. Cattell.
Fast forward to today’s apostate situation. The Evangelical Friends denomination (EFCI), like many other evangelical denominations, is far different from the denomination of 100 years ago. The gospel message preached by fundamentalist Gurneyite “holiness Friends” such as J. Walter Malone seems to have been lost in the modern apostate sea of Spiritual Formation and the Emerging/Emergent Church movements. The EFCI appears to be condoning (or at least accommodating) not only the false teachings of other Quaker denominations. The EFCI also appears to be condoning the liberal leanings of all of its Regions. (The Regions outside of the EFC-ER have always tended to be more liberal/ progressive than the EFC-ER (Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region, formerly called Ohio Yearly Meeting).
How tragic! I’m sure there are many attenders of Evangelical Friends churches that are concerned about this. But, unlike the fundamentalist-modernist controversy of J. Walter Malone’s day, there are few if any modern Evangelical Friends leaders that have stood up and loudly protested. Referring to the lack of concerned and discerning church leaders throughout evangelicalism today, it has been said:
“Where are the watchmen on the wall?” (source unknown)
Just a note regarding Cleveland Bible College, and its replacement Malone College/Malone University. How ironic that J. Walter Malone and Dr. Everett Cattell were on opposite sides of the ecumenical Quakerism fence. J. Walter Malone strongly opposed ecumenical Quaker efforts, while Dr. Cattell pushed strongly for ecumenical Quakerism. The irony lies in the fact that J. Walter Malone founded Cleveland Bible College, which was relocated and renamed as Malone College in 1957 (and now is named Malone University); Dr. Cattell later became President of Malone College/University.
One final question to those who think I’m being a troublemaker, too critical of the EFCI leadership. If J. Walter Malone were alive today, do you think he would be protesting Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent Church teachings in the EFCI? Of course he would!
For further reading and research, go to the following URL:
You should see about 290 results. Click on “Preview available” on the left, and you should see about 75 results – resources readable online. Many of these online resources show bibliographies listing further resources.
Also, there are various Quaker libraries with archives. I hope to provide a list of these archives elsewhere (along with their websites), perhaps in a separate blog.
FOR FURTHER RESEARCH