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Archive for May, 2011

(revised 06/18/14)

The Emerging/Emergent Church movements began growing by leaps and bounds around 1995.  But their roots started much earlier, in the New Evangelical movement.

Check out the following article, which I have copied verbatim. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted  comments in [brackets]:

New Evangelical Movement

The Bible teaches that a Christian is to separate from the world, from false teachers, and from disobedient brothers.  New Evangelicalism is a philosophy in the church which promotes tolerance and love and speaks of separation in general terms, choosing not to name or denounce false teachers and false teaching.  While we are to promote love and tolerance in the church, we are also to speak the truth in love.  We are to warn against false teachers and denounce false teaching as the Lord Jesus did.  While we are to be patient with young believers, we are not to compromise the fundamentals of the faith.  We are always to point to Christ who shows us the way.

Evangelicals have historically held to the following beliefs:

  • The inerrancy of Scripture
  • The Scripture being the authority for all matters regarding faith and practice
  • The doctrine of the Trinity
  • The deity, incarnation, virgin birth of Jesus
  • The substitutionary atonement of Jesus, meaning that Jesus’ crucifixion is a saving act because his death substitutes for our own deserving death
  • The bodily resurrection of Jesus
  • The imminent second coming of Christ
  • The new birth through regeneration by the Holy Spirit
  • The resurrection of the saints to life eternal and the resurrection of the ungodly to final judgment and eternal death
  • The fellowship of the saints, who are the body of Christ.

However, New Evangelicals do not necessarily hold to these doctrines today. This is because within the New Evangelical movement, believers were not and are not encouraged to separate from ecclesiastical denials of these beliefs.  As a result many evangelicals have allowed compromises of the faith and doctrinal error, leading to apostasy.  Thus today we can speak of

  • Conservative Evangelicals (Fundamentalism) who affirm the historic faith and separate from all ecclesiastical denial of that faith, compromise with error, and apostasy from the Truth.
  • Evangelicals (New Evangelicalism) who affirm the historic faith but do not separate from ecclesiastical denials of that faith and instead, compromise with those in error.
  • Neo-Evangelical who do not affirm all the fundamentals of the faith.  This group cannot really be called evangelical.  However, over the past 50 years, evangelicals who do not separate from ecclesiastical denials of the faith have been influenced by non-evangelicals.  They have formed unions and alliances which has resulted in the present day situation where the evangelical community now embraces some groups who deny the historic faith.

While many New Evangelicals adhere to orthodox and Biblical teachings, many also do not.  What has caused many to stray from orthodoxy and the Bible is the doctrine of separation.  New Evangelicals refuse to separate from churches and systems that do not teach the gospel. Instead, they seek to form alliances with false systems in an effort to influence these systems to turn towards a Biblical position.  The problem with this is two-fold:  First, to not separate from false systems is direct disobedience to the Word of God; Second, false teachers and systems influence true believers with false doctrines and ideas enter into and pollute the church.

New Evangelicals believe doctrine is not important.  This is the logical outcome of their philosophy.  Many today believe that knowledge is not important.  Thus Bible study is not important.  Music, rituals, feelings and experiences have replaced the study of God’s Word.  As a result, many have no understanding of doctrine today.  Their understanding of God is based on experience and not on Scripture.  God’s Word has once again become a dark book.  Christians don’t need to live in the dark.  They do not need to turn to modern apostles and prophets or any other man.  They do not need to seek a new thing or learn to get in contact with spirits.  The more we understand the Word of God, the more we understand doctrine, the more we grow.  This is the way the Holy Spirit works in believers.  When believers ignore the Word of God, they are left to guess at how the Holy Spirit works and are easily seduced by false and lying spirits and men.  Doctrine is important.  What a person believes can be seen in their character and behavior.

FOR FURTHER READING

Christianity astray: Is “New Evangelicalism” really “Pseudo- Evangelicalism”?

Neo-Evangelicalism – Characteristics and Positions

http://www.wayoflife.org/files/84463003963fa3820947a682f9cb5d76-412.html

http://www.wayoflife.org/database/newevangelicalism.html
[search the above website for more articles by David Cloud]

http://www.seekgod.ca/newism.htm

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/newevan.htm

http://christianresearchnetwork.com/?p=14946
[provides leads to a number of articles in an online e-journal]

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/ca.htm

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-evangelicalism-new-world-order.html

http://www.biblebelievers.net/NeoEvangelicalism/kjcneoev.htm
[a list of articles]

You can also try a Google search on “New Evangelical”.

I hope to add more links on “New Evangelicalism” as I come across them.

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(revised 08/14/12)

I have been researching the Quaker heresy of the “Inner Light.”  Many believe George Fox came up with this mystic concept (although he used wording slightly different from the “Inner Light”). On the contrary, the concept existed in world religions and in philosophy long before Fox (I hope to write more on this in future blogs).

In another blog I critiqued the Inner Light beliefs of non-evangelical Quakers. The following little chorus helps presents a clear picture of heresy in the Inner Light teaching. Here is the pertinent YouTube video. The congregation seems to be entertained by the singer, yet I found the following excerpt from the lyrics to be almost blasphemous (click on “show more” below the video to view the lyrics):

I’m not a Christian but I’m a Quaker
I’ve got Christ’s inner light but he’s not my savior…
Now I’m a liberal Friend
That means F-G-C… [Friends General Conference]
[emphasis mine][The above phrases are sung not once, but three times during the song – shocking.]

Born again Christians vary in their views of George Fox and the early Quakers. Some (such as fundamentalist evangelical Quaker Edward Mott – one of my favorites) hold a positive view. Namely they feel that up until the late 1700s, the Quakers were wonderful, born again Christian evangelists, and that Fox’s “Inner Light” teaching was secondary to their biblically sound beliefs. Others believe these Quakers were unsaved, heretical mystics from the get-go, and that the Inner Light teaching was primary, causing huge doctrinal problems in the Quaker movement immediately. Obviously, all we have to go on are the original writings of George Fox, William Barclay, etc. And these writings are interpreted in different ways by writers, theologians, etc.  –  often depending on their personal doctrinal beliefs.

Of the two contrasting views above, I take the view that Fox’s teaching was heretical and demonic from the get-go. The fact that Fox even came up with the Inner Light teaching shows his incredibly gross misinterpretation of Scriptures such as John 1:9 (see below). Nowhere does the Bible state specifically that there is “that of God in every man” – i.e. that God is in every man and woman.

It is significant that Fox believed we need neither preachers nor God’s Word the Bible , but that  we can receive revelation from God directly. This flies in the face of God’s Word itself, which states:

14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God18) But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. (Rom. 10:14-18, KJV)

Why did Fox so eagerly grasp at straws in claiming John 1:9 referred to an “Inner Light” (see below) – yet ignore the clearly stated verses above? There should be no question as the meaning of Rom. 10:14-18.

Fox laments that, in essence, he heard no preachers present the true Word of God. But was this the case? Was Fox not exposed to any born again, bibical preachers with the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ (John Chapter 3)? I am researching this.

It would be interesting to find out if Fox was influenced by other teachers and writers of his time period. (I read somewhere that there were contemporaries of Fox who were teaching similar heresies.)

I have located various Christian articles criticizing the “Inner Light” concept as taught by George Fox.  I am providing this Wikipedia article, not because I agree with non-evangelical Quaker positions on the Inner Light. I am providing this Wikipedia info merely for born again Christians to research the non-evangelical positions on this.

I found this Wikipedia article on the “Inner Light” to be very interesting. The article is not without its errors, however (click on the “Discussion” tab above the article to see some of the errors in the article). Also, looking at the article footnotes, you will see that the sources are non-evangelical, thus the article is one-sided.

Following you will find the Wikipedia article, copied almost verbatim. Note, in case you are wondering – I checked Wikipedia’s copyright rules – Wikipedia allows users to copy content. I have emphasized certain points by bolding and [bracketing]:

Inner Light
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Inner Light is a concept which many Quakers, members of the Religious Society of Friends, use to express their conscience, faith and beliefs. Each Quaker has a different idea of what they mean by “inner light”, and this also varies internationally between Yearly Meetings, but the idea is often taken to refer to God’s presence within a person, and to a direct and personal experience of God. [Non-evangelical] Quakers believe that God speaks to everyone, and that in order to hear God’s voice, it helps to be still and actively listen for it.

This is often done in meeting for worship; Pierre Lacout, in Quaker Faith and Practice, described a “silence which is active” causing the Inner Light to “glow”.[1]

They believe not only that individuals can be guided by this Inner Light, but that Friends might meet together and receive collective guidance from God by sharing the concerns and leadings that he gives to individuals.[2] In a Friends meeting it is usually called “ministry” when a person shares aloud what the Inner Light is saying to him or her.

Related terms for Inner Light include Light of God, Light of Christ, Christ within, Spirit of God within us, and Light within. These are often used interchangeably by modern and arguably early Friends. Some people also identify it with the expression “that of God in everyone,” which was first used by one of the co-founders of the Society of Friends, George Fox.

The related term Inward Light appears in older Quaker writings, but is not used as often now. Originally, Inward Light was used much more often than Inner Light.[3] This term evokes an image of people being illuminated by the light of God or Christ, rather than having a light of their own inside them. The terms are now often used interchangeably.

Basis

Quaker belief in the Inner Light extends back to founder George Fox.

The Quaker belief that an Inner Light resides in each person is based in part on a passage from the New Testament, namely John 1:9, which says, “That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” [Non-evangelical] Friends [incorrectly] emphasize the part of the verse that [supposedly] indicates that every person is born with the Light within him or her. [I cannot emphasize enough here – the Inner Light is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells born again believers only – not every man and woman that is born.] Early Friends took this verse as one of their mottoes and often referred to themselves as “Children of the Light.”

The principal founder of what became the Religious Society of Friends, George Fox, claimed that he had a direct experience of God. Having explored various sects and listened to an assortment of preachers, he finally concluded that none of them were adequate to be his ultimate guide. At that point he reported hearing a voice that told him, “There is one, even Jesus Christ, that can speak to thy condition.” He felt that God wanted him to teach others that they need not depend on human teachers or guides either, because each one of them could experience God directly and hear his voice within. [I’m wondering, did George Fox hear a voice telling him every person could experience God directly? If so, this would seem to me to be a demonic message to George Fox. The Bible says to avoid “doctrines of demons.” Looking at the incredible damage the Inner Light teaching has caused to Christendom, this certainly could be considered a “doctrine of demons.”]  He wrote in his journal, “I was glad that I was commanded to turn people to that inward light, spirit, and grace, by which all might know their salvation, and their way to God; even that divine Spirit which would lead them into all Truth, and which I infallibly knew would never deceive any.”[4] Fox taught: that Christ, the Light, had come to teach his people himself; that “people had no need of any teacher but the Light that was in all men and women” (the anointing they had received);[4] if people would be silent, waiting on God, the Light would teach them how to conduct their lives, teach them about Christ, show them the condition of their hearts; they loving the Light, it would rid them of the “cause of sin”; and soon after, Christ would return in his glory to establish his Kingdom in their hearts. Fox called the Light destroying sin within as the Cross of Christ, the Power of God.

Regarding this, Fox wrote, “Now ye that know the power of God and are come to it—which is the Cross of Christ, that crucifies you to the state that Adam and Eve were in in the fall, and so to the world—by this power of God ye come to see the state they were in before they fell, which power of God is the Cross, in which stands the everlasting glory; which brings up into the righteousness, holiness and image of God, and crucifies to the unrighteousness, unholiness and image of Satan.” The Cross is no “dead fact stranded on the shore of the oblivious years,” but is to be a living experience deep in the heart of the believer, and changing his whole life. “You that know the power and feel the power, you feel the Cross of Christ, you feel the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” All real experience of the Cross must lead, he thought, to the same way of life that brought the Master there— to the way of humility and non-resistance, of overcoming evil by the sole force of love and goodness. To Fox it seemed that a high profession of Christianity often went with a way of life in flagrant opposition to this. He writes to the persecutors: “Your fruits have manifested that you are not of this (wisdom from above); and so out of the power of God which is the Cross of Christ; for you are found in the world, out of the power of God, out of the Cross of Christ, persecuting.”[5]

Later, Robert Barclay, an apologist for the Society of Friends, wrote: “This most certain doctrine being then received, that there is an evangelical and saving Light and grace in all, the universality of the love and mercy of God towards mankind, both in the death of his beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the manifestation of the Light in the heart, is established and confirmed, against all the objections of such as deny it.” As the quotations demonstrate, both Barclay and Fox connected the Light not only with an experiential knowledge of God but with the grace and mercy that leads to salvation from sin and acceptance by God.

Universalism

Based on the teachings of Fox, Barclay, and other respected leaders, the liberal branches of the Society of Friends subscribe, in one form or another, to Universalism. Some Friends today subscribe to Christian Universalism, which is the belief that all people are already saved from sin, or eventually will be saved from it, through the death of Jesus and the presence of His Spirit within. In other words, because the Light is within everyone, nobody will end up condemned to hell. Other Friends, such as the Quaker Universalist Group, go further and believe in Universalism in the broader sense. They believe that people need not acknowledge Jesus Christ at all – that people of any faith or even no faith are indwelt by the Light and therefore do not need to be saved. A third segment of the Society of Friends, Evangelical Friends, are not universalists. They believe that all people have the Light within them and have the possibility of being saved, but that only those who avail themselves of the Light and accept the salvation provided by Jesus Christ actually are saved. [As a birthright member of the  Ohio Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite), I can say this is not what evangelical Friends have traditionally believed.  The Ohio Yearly Meeting, which now belongs to  today’s  EFCI denomination, condemned the Inner Light teaching in 1877-1879. Unfortunately, today the EFCI seems to be placating non-evangelical Quaker denominations with which it has ecumenical ties. Specifically, the EFCI has relegated this very serious Inner Light controversy to the place of a non-issue.]

Contrast with other inner sources

It is important to note that many Friends consider this divine guidance (or “promptings” or “leadings of the Spirit“) distinct both from impulses originating within oneself and from generally agreed-on moral guidelines. In fact, as Marianne McMullen pointed out, a person can be prompted to say something in meeting that is contrary to what he or she thinks.[6] In other words, Friends do not usually consider the Inner Light the conscience or moral sensibility but something higher and deeper that informs and sometimes corrects these aspects of human nature.

Contrast with rules and creeds

Historically, Friends have been suspicious of formal creeds or religious philosophy that is not grounded in one’s own experience. Instead one must be guided by the Inward Teacher, the Inner Light. This is not, however, a release for Friends to decide and do whatever they want; it is incumbent upon Friends to consider the wisdom of other Friends, as one must listen for the Inner Light of others as well as their own. Friends have various established procedures for collectively discerning and following the Spirit while making decisions.

Friends procedure is to collect together their best advice in a book of “Faith and Practice,” which is revised gradually over time. Many or most books of Faith and Practice contain the following, which was originally attached to a list of “Advices” published in 1656, and illustrates Friends’ emphasis on the Inner Light:

Dearly beloved Friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by, but that all, with the measure of light which is pure and holy, may be guided: and so in the light walking and abiding, these may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not from the letter, for the letter [the Bible?] killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.[7]

In the Bible

Friends are not in complete agreement on the importance of the Inner Light in relation to the Bible. Most Friends, especially in the past, have looked to the Bible as a source of wisdom and guidance [I would not say this is necessarily true – over the last few centuries, some Quaker denominations have consistently revered and respected the Bible less than others]. Many, if not most of them, have considered the Bible a book inspired by God. [Again, I would not say most considered the Bible as inspired.] But [non-evangelical] Quakers have generally tended to regard present, personal direction from God more authoritative than the text of the Bible. [Those studying Spiritual Formation should see a similarity between Contemplative Prayer/Contemplative Spirituality and the Inner Light. Both are extra-biblical. In both, one can receive direction revelation of so-called “Truth” from God, apart from God’s Word the Bible.] Early Quakers, like George Fox and Robert Barclay, did not believe that promptings which were truly from the Spirit within would contradict the Bible. They did, however, believe that to correctly understand the Bible, one needed the Inner Light  to clarify it and guide one in applying its teachings to current situations [if this statement is referring to the Inner Light as anything other than the Holy Spirit here, it is heretical]. In the United States [starting] in the nineteenth century some Friends concluded that others of their faith were using the concept of the Inner Light to justify unbiblical views. These “Orthodox” Friends held that the Bible was more authoritative than the Inner Light and should be used to test personal leadings [this is the branch of Quakers I grew up in – the Evangelical Friends, now the EFCI denomination]. Friends remain formally, but usually respectfully, divided on the matter.

Notes

  1. ^ Pierre Lacout (1969). “Quaker Faith and Practice; Chapter 2 – Silent Waiting”. Britain Yearly Meeting. Retrieved 2008-03-26. “In silence which is active, the Inner Light begins to glow – a tiny spark…”
  2. ^ Britain Yearly Meeting (1994). “Quaker Faith and Practice (Third edition) – Advices and Queries”. Britain Yearly Meeting. Retrieved 2008-03-26. “We can worship alone, but when we join with others in expectant waiting we may discover a deeper sense of God’s presence.”
  3. ^ Richard Vann. “Review of Rosemary Moore, The Light in Their Consciences: The Early Quakers in Britain 1646-1666,” H-Albion, H-Net Reviews, July, 2001.
  4. ^ a b Quotes by George Fox in his journal
  5. ^ Edward Grubb (1925). “Quaker Thought & History; Chapter 1 – George Fox and Christian Theology”. The MacMillan Company. Retrieved 2008-12-17. “Now ye that know the power of God and are come to it— which is the Cross of Christ…”
  6. ^ Margaret Hope Bacon, 1986
  7. ^ NY Yearly Meeting on FaithExternal links
Wikisource has the text of a 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article about Inner light.

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[blog under construction]

I stumbled across the following Internet article, that describes various Quaker denominations:

http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ear_01/ear_01_00091.html

Here is the info on my birthright denomination (now called EFCI), copied verbatim. [Click here for the official EFCI website.] I am not saying I currently approve of the goings-on in EFCI. I am not even saying I agree with all of the info provided here. (For example, I know many churches in EFCI are no longer as biblically sound (“fundamentalist evangelical”) as they are described here. I am just providing this info as a “baseline” for my various blogs about EFCI.

Also, I am making a few changes to the original info. For example, correcting EFI to EFCI. Also, I hope to add links for the Regions, schools, etc. as I locate them.

Note – For some reason, my source did not include all the Regions of the EFCI-NA. Click here for direct links to all six Regions.

Following is the info available from novelguide.com:

962
Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI)
5350 Broadmoor Cir. NW
Canton, OH 44709

The Evangelical Friends International came into being in 1990 when it superseded the former Evangelical Friends Alliance. The alliance had existed as an association of four autonomous Quaker groups, the Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region, the Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting of Friends, the Evangelical Friends Church-Mid-America Yearly Meeting, and the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends. These groups represented the most theologically conservative element in the Friends movement, much of it having been influenced by the holiness movement of the nineteenth century. The Evangelical Friends Alliance had been founded in 1965 but was restricted at the end of the 1980s in recognition that the four affiliated groups in fact had come to exist as a single denomination. The members of Evangelical Friends International attribute their change to the general evangelical renewal within Christianity, the new scholarly recognition of the evangelical nature of early Quakerism, and the cooperative work of the Evangelical Friends Alliance.

The Evangelical Friends Church, Eastern Region, which existed for many years as the Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends, was formed in 1813. As the work developed, members became attracted to the preaching of Joseph John Gurney, who had been deeply affected by Methodist holiness doctrines. Most active in promoting the holiness movement in Ohio were David Updegraff, Dougan Clark, Walter Malone, and Emma Malone. The Malones founded Cleveland Bible Institute (now Malone College) in 1892.

A generation after their movement into Ohio, Friends moved into Kansas and from there into Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, and Colorado. A Kansas Yearly Meeting now the Evangelical Friends Church-Mid-America Yearly Meeting was formed in 1872. In 1900 it affiliated with the Five Years Meeting but withdrew in 1937 as more conservative elements came to dominate the Meeting. In 1934 the Kansas Meeting established a mission in the Congo (now Burundi) and later founded Camp Quaker Haven at Arkansas, Kansas, for its youth.

The Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church dates to the movement of Friends into the Willamette Valley of Oregon in the late-nineteenth century. The first settlers had been from Iowa and they continued their affiliation with the Iowa Yearly Meeting, but by 1893 they had grown sufficiently so that an independent Oregon Yearly Meeting could be set apart. As work expanded into Washington and Idaho, the present name was assumed. From 1902 to 1936, the Oregon Yearly Meeting was affiliated with the Five Years Meeting but withdrew because of the growing conservative theological stance of Friends in the Northwest.

The Northwest Meeting sponsors four campground facilities, Friendship Manor (a retirement home), Barclay Press (a printing company), George Fox University, and several elementary and high schools.

The Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting was established in 1957 from congregations formerly affiliated with the Nebraska Yearly Meeting. The Nebraska Meeting was affiliated with the Friends United Meeting, and the Rocky Mountain Meeting did not continue that relationship. It sponsors a campground near Woodland Park, Colorado.

Now, the Evangelical Church-Southwest (formerly California Yearly Meeting) and Alaska Yearly Meeting have joined EFL, as well as with mission ministries in twenty-five countries, the worldwide attendance is 140,000 up from 105,000 just five years ago.

Membership: Not reported. In 1999 there were 300 congregations with 35,000 attendees.

Educational Facilities: Malone College, Canton, Ohio; Barclay College and Academy, Haviland, Kansas; Friends University, Wichita, Kansas; Houston Graduate School of Theology, Houston, Texas; George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon.

Periodicals: The Friends Voice, 5350 Broadmoor Cir. NW, Canton, OH 44709.

Sources:

Barrett, Paul W. Educating for Peace. Board of Publication, Kansas Yearly Meeting of Friends, n.d.

Choate, Ralph E. Dust of His Feet. The Author, 1965.

DeVol, Charles E. Focus on Friends. Canton, OH: Missionary Board of the Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Division, 1982.

Discipline. Kansas Yearly Meeting of Friends, 1966.

Faith and Practice of the Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting of Friends Church. Pueblo, CO: Riverside Printing Co., 1978.

Faith and Practice, the Book of Discipline. Canton, OH: Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Division, 1981.

The Story of Friends in the Northwest. Newberg, OR: Barclay Press, n.d.

25th Anniversary Committee. Friends Ministering Together. Pueblo, CO: Riverside Printing Co., 1982.

961
Evangelical Friends Church, Eastern Region (EFC-ER)
5350 Broadmoor Circle NW
Canton, OH 44709

Prior to 1971 known as the Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends, the Evangelical Friends Church is that branch of the Friends most influenced by the holiness movement. The Evangelical Friends have a programmed worship service with a minister who preaches. Formed in 1813, the Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends supported the Gurneyites, followers of Joseph John Gurney, a promoter of beliefs in the final authority of the Bible, atonement, justification, and sanctification. After the Civil War, the Ohio Yearly Meeting became open to the holiness movement through the activities of such workers as David Updegraff, Dougan Clark, Walter Malone and Emma Malone. The latter founded the Cleveland Bible Insititute (now the Malone College) in 1892, and it now serves an interdenominational holiness constituency.

The Evangelical Friends Church, never a member of the Five Years Meeting, has become a haven of conservative congregations who have withdrawn from the Friends United Meeting in both the United States and Canada. Mission work is sustained in Taiwan and India. The church participates in the Evangelical Friends Alliance.

Membership: In 1990 there were 8,610 members in 93 churches.

Educational Facilities: Malone College, Canton, Ohio.

Periodicals: The Facing Bench.

Sources:

DeVol, Charles E. Focus on Friends. Canton, OH: Missionary Board of the Evangelical Friends Church–Eastern Division, 1982.

Faith and Practice, the Book of Discipline. Canton, OH: Evangelical Friends Church–Eastern Region, 1981.

970
Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church
200 N. Maridian St.
Newberg, OR 97132-2714

Quaker settlers in the northwest first gathered in the fertile Willamette Valley in Oregon in the late nineteenth century. These early settlers were from Iowa and associated with the Iowa Yearly Meeting. In 1893 they were officially established as an independent yearly meeting by the Iowa Yearly Meeting with the name Oregon Yearly Meeting of Friends. Because some churches were located in Washington and Idaho, the name was changed to Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends. From 1902 to 1936, the Oregon Yearly Meeting was a part of the Five Years Meeting, but has in more recent years affiliated with the Evangelical Friends International.

The doctrine of the Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM) is biblically based with a central message of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The emphasis of salvation through the Lord coupled with a strong sense of social commitment have been the two dominant themes of the meeting.

NWYM maintains a relationship with four camping facilities, Friendsview Manor (a retirement home), Barclay Press (a publishing company), George Fox University, and several elementary and high schools. Missionary work is carried out in cooperation with the Evangelical Friends International. A joint mission program is supported in Mexico, Rwanda, Burundi, Taiwan, Peru, and Bolivia.

Membership: In 2001, NWYM reported 7,017 members, 51 churches, including six extension churches. Ten mission points/ church plants are under the care of the Board of Evangelism.

Educational Facilities: George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon.

Periodicals: The Friends Voice. Send orders to 2748 E. Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80909.

Sources:

This Story of the Friends in the Northwest. Newberg, OR: Barclay Press, n.d.

973
Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting
Beaver Park Friends Church
140 Illinois Ave.
Penrose, CO 81240

The Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting was established in 1957 by separation from the Nebraska Yearly Meeting and did not continue the latter’s affiliation with the Friends United Meeting. Worship is programmed. Mission work is carried out by the Navajo Indians at the Rough Rock Friends Mission near Chinle, Arizona and by other individuals through cooperation with Evangelical Friends Mission. Quaker Ridge Camp is maintained north of Woodland Park, Colorado.

Membership: Not reported. In 1997 the meeting reported 1,162 members in 20 congregations located in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Arizona. These include four Navajo in the Rough Rock area.

Educational Facilities: Barclay College, Haviland, Kansas.

Friends University, Wichita, Kansas.
George Fox College, Newberg, Oregon.

Periodicals: The Traveling Minute. • Friends Voice. Send orders to 600 E. 3rd St., Newberg, OR 97132.

Sources:

Faith and Practice of the Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting of Friends Church. Pueblo, CO: Riverside Printing Co., 1978.

25th Anniversary Committee. Friends Ministering Together. Pueblo, CO: Riverside Printing Co., 1982.

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[blog under construction]

I would have to say, despite its problems, Malone University (MU) is still the most biblically sound educational institution in the EFCI.

Case in point: in 2009 MU had Brian McLaren as a guest speaker.  This was a “big deal”, a shocker to many in the community.

For an mp3 file of the debate:

1) Go to the following URL:
http://podcasts.malone.edu/wvf/worldviewforum.xml

2) Search for the following text, then download the mp3 file of the debate:
World View Forum: Emerging or Diverging:  In What Direction if The Emerging Church Movement Headed?Monday, March 30, 2009 7:00 PMProponents: Brian McLaren and Dr. Bryan Hollon; Moderator: Dr. Suzanne Nicholson

Warning: the following four blogs are pro-Emergent and pro-McLaren. Nonetheless, this blogger did a thorough job of discussing the McLaren-Hollon debate:

Bob Robinson’s 03/31/09 blog –  The Inquisition of Brian McLaren?
Bob Robinson’s 04/01/09 blog – Brian McLaren: Six Stages of the Emerging Church Conversation
Bob Robinson’s 04/02/09 blog – Cage Match: Bryan Hollon vs. Brian McLaren (Well, Not Exactly)
Bob Robinson’s 04/03/09 blog – McLaren at Malone: My Musings on the Mêlée

More articles about the Malone debate (some are for McLaren, some are not):

1) http://www.thoughts.com/pastornar/my-thoughts-on-brian-mclaren-emerging-church-debat

2) http://joeldaniel.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/world-view-forum-reflections/

3) http://philosophyovercoffee.blogspot.com/2009/03/evening-with-brian-mclaren.html

 

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[blog under construction]

Update: I have made an attempt to “tone down” most of my blogs about Evangelical Friends/Quakers, to not be so hurtful to my many friends in the EFCI (and EFC-ER). Yet when I see what is going on, I still feel compelled to speak out. Read on.
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As you will see in the excerpts below, Richard Foster claims that his Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible expresses “Quaker theology.” But exactly what brand of Quaker theology?

Foster has had ties for years with the Evangelical Friends (EFCI) denomination. So one might think his study Bible expresses born again Quaker theology (other terms are “Gurneyite”, “Holiness Friends”, and “fundamentalist evangelical”)(1). Nothing could be further from the truth. Unsaved, non-evangelical “Inner Light” Quakers gladly claim Richard Foster as one of their own in theology.

To me, it’s very obvious that Foster is at heart an unsaved, mainline/liberal Quaker to the nth degree. Amazingly, the EFCI has never condemned Foster nor his teachings. On the contrary, the EFCI has welcomed Foster with open arms, to preach and teach in its institutions. What an abomination!

Now on to The Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible, which has been renamed The Life with God Bible (NRSV).

I am providing excerpts from an article in which Foster states that his Spiritual Formation Study Bible expresses Quaker theology. Again, the truth is it expresses all Quaker teachings except fundamentalist evangelical Quaker theology. Click here for the entire original article.

I have emphasized certain points by bolding and [bracketing]:

Friends United Meeting
Quaker Life, June 2005

“The With God Life: An Interview with Richard Foster”
By Trish Edwards-Konic

During the month of May [2005], The Renovare Spiritual Formation [Study] Bible appeared in bookstores and began to be seen in the hands of people in churches and on the street. For Friends, it was a great month; for the first time a study Bible was released that reflected [“Inner Light” non-evangelical] Quaker theology.

There is a great deal of Quaker thinking in this Bible,” stated Richard Foster, Editor. “One of the great gifts Quakerism has is that its greatest treasures are focal and very foundational Quaker insights are found in the pages of this Bible.” Work began five years ago when Steve Hanselman, then Vice President and Publisher for Harper San Francisco approached Richard Foster and Renovare with the idea of working with them to publish a study Bible that looked at Scripture through the lens of spiritual formation. [By extension, it’s pretty obvious that the entire Spiritual Formation movement is saturated with “Inner Light” non-evangelical Quaker theology. Of course there are other major streams of heretical theology also, such as Catholic mysticism.] General Editors were selected: Gayle Beebe (Quaker)[which denomination?], Foster (Quaker)[EFCI], Lynda Graybeal (Renovare staff & nondenominational), Tom Oden (United Methodist) and Dallas Willard (Southern Baptist with many travels among Friends)[EFCI?].

Dallas Willard understands Quaker thinking about as well as anybody,” Foster acknowledged. “I had him do a study once on George Fox and his insights just blew me away.” [During one time period, Willard co-pastored a Friends Church in California with Foster;  I’m trying to locate info on whether this Friends church belonged to the EFCI.]

The other Quaker who worked on this Bible is Howard Macy, Professor at George Fox University [an EFCI university in Northwest Yearly Meeting]. Marva Dawn, although not a Friend, also teaches at George Fox. Other names well-known among Friends [what denomination of Friends?] are Eugene Peterson, Walter Brueggemann, David DeSilva, Emilie Griffin and James Earl Massey, plus 44 other contributors.

A helpful hint for research: to see the list of editors and contributors to this so-called bible (along with short bios), click on the book photo at Amazon.com and read through pages ix to xiv.

I am looking for more connections between Quakers (of various denominations) and the Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible. Following are additional Christian critiques:

(1) http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/renovarestudybible.htm

(2) http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/BookReviews/bible.htm

(3) http://whateverispure.org/app/download/1849655504/RenovareVersusScripture.pdf
– mentions Quaker connections of Foster and others

(4) http://www.thebereancall.org/files/aug2005.pdf
– you may have difficulty downloading this pdf file – I was only able to download part of it

ENDNOTES

(1) Tragically, most Regions of the EFCI have, for all intents and purposes, shifted from “fundamentalist evangelical” to “progressive evangelical.” This is due in large part to their acceptance of Spiritual Formation, Emerging/Emergent teachings, and Quaker ecumenism. There are holdouts (particularly the “older generation”), mostly in the EFC-ER, who still consider themselves “fundamentalist evangelical”. I am one of those holdouts.

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In 1965, various “conservative evangelical” Yearly Meetings of Friends (Gurneyite Quakers) united to form the Evangelical Friends Alliance (EFA). Eventually the  EFA became the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI).

Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM) of the EFCI is home to George Fox University (GFU) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (GFES). My question is, when and how did NYWM, GFU and GFES become so liberal? In other words, when and how did they go from “conservative evangelical” to “progressive evangelical”? The change is shocking. [I am using the terms “liberal” and “progressive evangelical” interchangeably.]

Malone University (MU), another school in the EFCI, in 2009 had Brian McLaren as a guest speaker, and this was a “big deal”, a shocker to many in the community. Why is it that GFU and GFES are so much more “progressive evangelical” than MU?

We do know that the Spiritual Formation movement took off among evangelicals in 1978, with the publication of Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline (Foster has had many ties with the EFCI over the years).  It should come as no surprise that Foster pastored in the liberal NWYM, as well as taught at the liberal George Fox College/University.

The Emerging/Emergent Church movements started becoming popular around 1995. I would guess that GFU and GFES heartily endorsed and promulgated these movements as soon as they began.

Note – all Regions of the EFC-NA (which falls under the umbrella of the EFCI) are becoming progressive evangelical to some degree. Currently I would say NWYM is the most progressive. And I would say EFC-ER (which hosts Malone University) is the least progressive.

Back to the point. Following is a recent GFES web page listing various seminars. Notice the lengthy list of Emerging/Emergent speakers for past seminars:

Ministry in Contemporary Culture Series

A New Creation! - The Fusion of Ministry and Creative Arts

A one-day seminar with Dan Kimball and Maggi Dawn

Wednesday, February 9, 2011  |  9 a.m. to noon
George Fox Evangelical Seminary

Maggi Dawn and Dan Kimball

Join us as we explore the multifaceted ways in which art forms function as “theological media,” conveying spiritual realities in ways that words cannot. You will learn some of the principal ways that faithful Christ followers used these media throughout the ages … and discover fresh ways to use these media today!

Schedule

9 a.m.    Maggi’s session: The Intersection of Theology & the Arts in Historical Perspective
10:05 a.m.    Break
10:15 a.m.    Dan’s session: The Intersection of Theology& the Arts in Contemporary Ministry
11:20 a.m.    Break
11:30 a.m.    Pastor’s panel response

Bios

Dan Kimball is the author of several books on church leadership and culture. He is on staff at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., and on faculty at George Fox University. He enjoys comic art, Ford Mustangs and punk and rockabilly music. His passion is to see the church and Christians follow and represent Jesus with love, intelligence and creativity. His website and blog is at dankimball.com

Maggi Dawn is an author and theologian. She began her professional life as a singer-songwriter, but later after reading for a degree and a PhD in theology turned her creative talents to writing books. Maggi is currently based at the University of Cambridge (UK), where she is chaplain and Fellow in Theology at Robinson College, and is available for writing and consulting projects.

Her book, The Writing on the Wall (Hodder and Stoughton, 2010), explores some of the most influential stories and ideas from the Bible, and shows how they have been woven into Western culture. If you love art, music and literature, and want to understand the hidden layers of meaning that derive from the Bible, this book is essential reading.

Past Seminars

Margaret Feinberg, Understanding Megatrends: The Church’s Missional Witness in a Millenial Age
Dallas Willard,
Knowing Christ: The Hope of Moral Knowledge
Leonard Sweet, The Influence of Islam on the 21st Century Church
Dan Kimball, They like Jesus, but not the church; author of The Emerging Church, Emerging Worship and They Like Jesus, But Not the Church. He is pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., a newly planted missional church.
Joseph Myers, Organic community: the chemistry of belonging
Leighton Ford, From Crusade to Coffee House
Marva Dawn, Unfettered Hope, A call to Faithful Living in an Affluent Society
Tom and Christine Sine, Searching for Sanity in America’s Culture Wars
Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, The Christian Community in Israel and Their Role in Reconciliation
Brian McLaren, Beyond Pluralism: Living Faithfully in a Polarized World of Fundamentalism and Relativism
Tony Campolo, Being Compassionate and Prophetic in Ministry
Stephen Delamarter, Technology in Ministry
Leonard Sweet, Leadership and Evangelism in the Emerging Culture
Paul Lessard, Authentic Worship
Len Sweet, Dan Kimball, MaryKate Morse, Alan Hirsch, & Frank Viola, Recalibrating Concepts of Church
Richard Twiss, Robert Francis, Terry LeBlanc, and Randy Woodley, An American Theology of the Land
Joseph Myers, Technomadic: Mapping Our Way in an Unbounded World
Scot McKnight, In the Beginning was the Gospel

See also this more recent link:

http://www.georgefox.edu/seminary/news-events/ministry-contemporary-culture.html

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(revised 09/11/14)

Members of the EFCI may be shocked to find that, in 1993, there was talk  underway of possibly realigning the FUM. If that had taken place, it is very likely the FUM and EFCI would have merged.

Here is what’s so shocking to me about this “near-event.” Although they may describe themselves as evangelical, the FUM is not an evangelical denomination. The many differences between the FUM and the EFCI can be seen in a detailed history of the FUM.

Still, of all Quaker denominations, the FUM is probably the nearest in theology to EFCI.  In a nutshell, here is a listing of several Quaker denominations and their theologies:

EFCI – evangelical (I would say it is becoming “progressive evangelical”)
FUM – “middle-of-the-road”
FGC – liberal

Following are two more groups of North American Quakers:

Conservative
Independent

There are other Quaker denominations as well, but the above five are the major groups/denominations.

Back to my point: in 1993 the FUM apparently came very close to merging with the traditionally evangelical EFCI. Was the EFCI opposed to this? Or, on the contrary, was the EFCI open to this?

Following are some excerpts from an article describing the FUM “Realignment Controversy” in the early 1990s. The entire article can be viewed by clicking on the title of the following article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding and [bracketing]:

Realignment Among North American Friends?
by Bill Samuel
Originally published August 1, 2000 at Suite101.com

The Realignment Debate and FUM’s Direction

The 1990-93 Triennium of Friends United Meeting (FUM) was marked by an energetic debate over a possible “realignment” among Friends and the fallout from that debate. Stephen Main, FUM General Secretary, early in the Triennium began speaking out calling for such a realignment. Main saw a real problem in the lack of true unity in FUM on the centrality of Jesus Christ because of the many Friends in the united yearly meetings who didn’t share this understanding of the Quaker faith.

Main saw [FUM] Friends as being basically in two camps. One camp was strongly centered in Jesus Christ and committed to spreading the Christian gospel. The other camp was “universalist” in approach, and accepting of other spiritual paths as being equally valid as the Christian path. Main felt that each camp could be most effective if it was united in working from its perspective, and not trying to bridge the gap between the two perspectives. He saw the presence of universalist Friends from the united yearly meetings in the basically Christ-centered FUM as being divisive and eroding FUM’s effectiveness. [Interesting. In a supposedly non-evangelical Quaker denomination, a Secretary was taking a biblical stance and opposing universalists!]

Structurally, the realignment position suggested the joining together of Evangelical Friends International (EFI) and Christ-centered FUM Friends into one association. Universalist Friends would not fit into this association, potentially resulting in splits within some of the yearly meetings affiliated with FUM. Only one FUM yearly meeting minuted support for realignment, and a number of yearly meetings expressed strong opposition. Main wound up resigning before the end of his three-year term. [Hmmm, interesting – and sad. It sounds almost as if Main was a “lone ranger” in standing up for biblical Truth.]

Although the idea of realignment did not obtain widespread support within FUM at that time, the issue did prompt major attention to examining the purpose of FUM. The resulting discernment process led to FUM adopting the following purpose statement in 1993:

Friends United Meeting commits itself to energize and equip Friends through the power of the Holy Spirit to gather people into fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as Teacher and Lord.

[Warning – the FUM phrase “Teacher and Lord” is a phrase used by non-born again, non-evangelical Quakers. It should throw up a big red flag. Among EFCI Quakers who still proudly proclaim themselves as born again, the phrase “Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord” would be usedSaviour being the key word. In my lifetime, I have never heard anyone in the EFC-ER (my Region of the EFCI) refer to Jesus Christ as “Teacher and Lord”.

Also note: an FUM realignment would have resulted in part of the FUM perhaps merging with the evangelical EFCI, and the other part likely becoming more “Quaker universalist”. Instead, the entire FUM remained intact. By rejecting any realignment, the entire FUM in essence chose to remain staunchly non-born again/non-evangelical.]

The Picture Since FUM’s 1993 Purpose Statement

The FUM General Secretary appointed after Main’s resignation, Johan Maurer, resigned that position this year to join the pastoral team at an EFI church [interesting – and scary – the FUM emphasizes the Inner Light over being born again, yet Maurer joined the pastor team of a “born again” EFI church]. In a closing message to the FUM community, Maurer noted, “Eventually it will make sense for Friends United Meeting and Evangelical Friends International to merge…” (Quaker Life, July/August 2000, page 4) While he did not use the term realignment and did not address the broader issues raised by such a possible merger, it seems to me his assessment brings back to the public arena the concerns raised by his predecessor.

The approach taken by FUM was to be unambiguously Christ-centered and evangelical [evangelical? – I don’t think so], while allowing room for the united yearly meetings which don’t themselves take that stance to remain active in FUM. Those yearly meetings have remained in FUM, and do not appear to have done anything overtly to challenge the stance of FUM. But beyond that, how successful has FUM been with this approach?

In its World Ministries work, the work outside North America, this approach has had some success. FUM has greatly increased the number of field staff abroad, whose support largely comes from earmarked contributions. After many years of fairly steady-state operations, this is noteworthy. But FUM still is not opening up new areas for planting churches like Evangelical Friends Mission (the missions arm of EFI) has done.

In its work in North America, the picture has been somewhat grim. FUM has had serious problems raising money for its regular budget, out of which most of this work is funded. It has faced a series of budget and staff reductions. Directly related to the newly declared purpose, FUM tried to start a program to help people plant new meetings/churches. But that fell victim to resource problems. Now FUM tells people that they must look to local or yearly meetings for this support. But the united yearly meetings generally aren’t involved, and are unlikely to become involved, in starting the kinds of meetings/churches described in FUM’s purpose statement. FUM now takes an approach focused on networking among constituent yearly meetings rather than FUM programs themselves in its North American work. This means that the extent to which FUM’s purpose statement actually translates to activity varies enormously in areas where FUM-affiliated yearly meetings operate.

The Future of North American Friends

There are real obstacles to organizational realignment that, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has yet come up with good ways to overcome. Most notably, we have the issue of the united yearly meetings which generally lean more to the universalist end of the spectrum, but which contain individuals and sometimes meetings which are oriented towards FUM’s purpose. How do we avoid leaving those Christ-centered Friends hanging out there, without solid ties to a larger grouping that shares their vision? [Interesting – it appears there are various “concerned” Quakers who I could network with to various degrees in forming “confessing ministries.”] I agree with the implication in Maurer’s statement that organizational realignment will not come quickly. But I think leaders among Friends need to keep this question in their minds so that some way forward may emerge. And I also think that the movement, while not very visible as well as being tender and small, towards independent worship groups and meetings centered on Christ within the geographical confines of the united yearly meetings may wind up playing a significant role in how this all works out in the next couple of decades.
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These events occurred 18 years ago. What are the associations, the conferences, the transfer of pastors now between the EFC-ER, the other EFCI Regions, and all the non-evangelical Quaker denominations?
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Click here for a history of FUM crises between 1988-2008.

Fortunately, the FUM and EFCI did not merge. But that is not the end of the story. The FUM and EFCI still maintain many close ties. For example, representatives (denominational leaders, and pastors) from the EFCI meet at various gatherings with representatives from other Quaker denominations on a regular basis (annually, triannually, etc.). To me this is unacceptable. Why does the EFCI, a supposedly evangelical denomination, meet at all with non-evangelical Quaker denominations? It seems that the bond with other Quakers (no matter what their theology) is more important to the EFCI than the bond of fellowship between born again believers.

I will provide more details on intra-Quaker associations as I locate them. I believe this is something born again members of the EFCI should keep a close eye on and be very concerned about.

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