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Archive for August, 2011

[blog under construction]

The more I read about apostasy in today’s evangelical denominations, the more I believe we should separate from them. But what exactly does “separation” mean? And why does it have such a negative connotation among evangelicals?

In the following four YouTube audios, independent fundamentalist Baptist David Cloud explains Bible separation as practiced by fundamentalist Baptists:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

And here are two articles by Bro. Cloud about biblical separation:

Dialogue or Separation, by David Cloud (updated 8/25/08)

In Essentials Unity, by David Cloud (updated 12/07/10)

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(revised 05/12/14)

Some members of the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI) have felt that my agenda for this blogsite is to create division in the EFCI. I did in fact state the following in a previous blog:

It is my prayer for the EFC-ER to separate itself from the EFC-NA, returning to the state it was prior to 1965 and the formation of the EFA [Evangelical Friends Alliance], as a separate entity.

Here is my reason for saying the above: prior to 1965, the EFC-ER (formerly called the Ohio Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite) was the only Friends/Quaker Yearly Meeting in the United States that – in my opinion – still held strongly to the biblically sound beliefs of Wesleyan Holiness Friends/Gurneyite Friends. I believe that, if it had remained its own entity, there would have been a chance for Ohio Yearly Meeting to hold on to their unique beliefs and keep them from being lost. Here is the key: to me, this separation would have included keeping out all traces of Spiritual Formation and postmodern (Emerging/Emergent/Emergence) teachings.

Now, over 45 years later, the EFC-ER shows no signs of separating from the EFCI. Nor does it appear that Spiritual Formation and postmodern teachings will disappear from the EFC-ER. How tragic!

Bottom line – I’m just trying to blog my feelings, some way, somehow, that in my mind the “pure” faith and practices of of Holiness Friends/Gurneyite Friends have died out. Or, that they are very close to dying out, as “the older generation” passes on. And as earnestly and as passionately as I can say this, I truly mourn this passing.

In his memoir, Sixty Years of Gospel Ministry, Edward Mott decades ago stated, “The attempt to fellowship and work with unbelievers [non-evangelical Quaker denominations] spells death. Any conclusion to the contrary is ruinous to all concerned.” Although Mott was referring to non-evangelical Quaker denominations, today there are many Evangelical Friends in yearly meetings/regions other than the EFC-ER whom I believe are, in reality, unbelievers.

As I have stated elsewhere, I am not the only Wesleyan Holiness Friend/Gurneyite Friend that has felt this way. I believe there is a great cloud of witnesses, including many of my deceased Friends pastor relatives and missionary relatives, who would have agreed with me that the Ohio Yearly Meeting in essence “died” when it joined the EFA in 1965, then opened the door to Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings. [Perhaps I should cut people some slack here. It is very possible that Ohio Yearly Meeting still would have become involved in Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings, even if it had not joined the EFA in 1965.]

As I look back on the recent passing of my father, a wonderful Holiness Friends/Gurneyite Friends pastor, I can’t help but think of what we have lost since 1965. Wonderful church services, the King James Version (call me old fashioned), those wonderful old gospel hymns and  choruses, testimony time, frequent salvation messages with altar calls, Sunday evening services, Wednesday night prayer meetings – all those wonderful “old fashioned” things. (I thank the Lord there are many churches – albeit outside of Quakerism – that have managed to hang on to all these church practices. These are primarily Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches.)

I have been hoping – perhaps hoping beyond hope – that Evangelical Friends would be able to converse. That Evangelical Friends would be able to follow the Quaker tradition of being a people of truth. That we would be able to openly dialogue and/or debate about these issues. I have had Evangelical Friends contact me in private, stating their disappointment and frustration that they have not been able to present their concerns openly on these very issues. Some have been afraid of offending other Evangelical Friends.  Others have been afraid of reprisal or ostracism. When did the EFCI reach this state? Why can’t the EFCI just be open and honest, telling EFC-ER members clearly how Emerging/Emergent the denomination is becoming?

And so I have created this blogsite. If it creates strife, so be it – EFC-ER members need to know what changes are transpiring in the EFCI. (I’m used to strife over theological issues – anyone who has attended seminary will know what I mean, LOL.)

Now for the good news – if any is to been seen in such a mournful situation (or angering situation, depending on which side of the fence you stand concerning my blogsite). Blogging is certainly not the most diplomatic way to get a conversation going, but a conversation has begun nonetheless. So far the conversation has been very encouraging. I’ve received more compliments than complaints from readers. A number of readers have thanked me for my research, and for opening their eyes to what is going on in the EFCI and EFC-ER.

To locate my other blogs on this denomination, simply search on my blogsite for Quakers, Friends, EFCI, EFC-ER, etc.

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(revised 01/30/15)

I stumbled across the folllowing blog which addresses a number of issues I have written about. Namely, Quaker George Fox’s “Inner Light” heresy, universalism, Spiritual Formation, the Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible, etc.

I am providing excerpts from the blog below. Click here [broken link] for the entire original text of this blog. As of 01/30/15  I found this blogsite run by Tom Lessing, but could not find his 2009 article presented below. I am emphasizing certain points by bolding, and inserting comments in [brackets]. I have also corrected the grammar in a few places to make the excerpts more readable.

The Unholiness of the Renovaré Brotherhood’s “Holiness”

Posted by Tom Lessing on July 9, 2009

Adherents to the Emergent Church have an uncanny ability to tell their congregants what to do without explaining what they really have in mind. They have the knack to use biblical terminology very skillfully and expertly but often fail to elucidate the biblical meaning of the words they hit to and fro like a little ping-pong ball. “Holiness” is one of these words. I encountered this again in one of Stephan Joubert’s regular contributions on e-church under the title “No Steroids for Holiness.”Although it may be a very clever post-modernish title it wreaks of heresy from the very outset, especially when one takes into account who it was who coined the witty little maxim. But allow me to use Stephan’s own words:

You can’t cheat your way to holiness. Or can you? Presently, I am at the Renovare Conference in San Antonio, Texas where the theme is “The Jesus Way.” Yesterday evening I listened to one of my spiritual heroes, Eugene Peterson. In his fine presentation he stressed that there are no spiritual steroids for holiness. You have to live a holy life, one day at a time (emphasis added).

Have you noticed the little ink spots in Stephan’s declaration of holiness?

[The Spiritual Formation definition of  “holiness” is quite different from the born again, biblical Christian definition. For those in Spiritual Formation, “holiness” basically means proficiency in practicing the spiritual disciplines, particularly occultish contemplative prayer/contemplative spirituality. And one usually learns these contemplative techniques from a Spiritual Director who sympathizes with Catholicism in some way. The Spiritual Director, in my mind, acts as sort of a “guru”, a “master teacher”, an “expert” in Spiritual Formation.

Conversely, for the born again, biblically sound Christian, “holiness” means “personal holiness” – obeying the commandments of God’s Word the Bible (the 66 books of the Canon), dying to sin, living for Christ in purity, etc. One passage that describes this is Romans 12:1-2:1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”]

What is Renovare?

Here are a few facts about “Renovaré”:

Renovaré is a movement within the Emergent church that was started in 1988 by Richard Foster, a Quaker theologian. [Although Foster has been  an Evangelical Friend, preaching and teaching in the EFCI, his writings betray him as a nonchristian with positions akin to  those of nonchristian, non-evangelical Quaker denominations.] The [nonchristian, non-evangelical] Quakers’ theology is based on the belief that everyone (believers and unbelievers) have an “inner light” which can lead them to truth while they wait and listen to its subjective leading, particularly with the assistance of contemplative practices such as “the silence” and “centering prayer.” Paul Lacout, in Quaker Faith and Practice, described a “silence which is active” causing the Inner Light to “glow.” Their complete reliance on the leading of the inner light has just about ousted the objectivity of God’s Word and its clear-cut doctrines. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Stephan Joubert pledges not to return to the Bible and the church but to advance forward to God (the inner light that guides all of mankind into the Truth).

As soon as you begin to tamper with biblical doctrine, heresy becomes your way and not as the Renovaré brotherhood claims “The Jesus Way.” The Quakers’ assertion that believers and unbelievers have an “inner light” substantiates their equally heretical belief in Universalism. George Fox and Robert Barclay as well as other respected leaders in the Quaker movement hold to the lie that all people are already saved from sin or will eventually be saved from it, the reason being that the Light is within everyone and nobody will therefore be cast into hell. Then there are those within the Quaker movement, such as the Quaker Universalist Group, who believe that it is unnecessary to have any faith in Jesus Christ. [According to Quaker Universalists] people of other faiths or no faith at all have no need of salvation because they already have Light within them… 

What does the Word of God teach us about the Light?

John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God (emphasis added).

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (emphasis added).

Richard Foster, the author of the Renovaré study Bible, endorses many Universalists and pantheists. Here are some of the revealing things they have said in their books:

“The Inner Light, the Inward Christ, is no mere doctrine, belonging peculiarly to a small religious fellowship, to be accepted or rejected as a mere belief. It is the living Center of Reference for all Christian souls and Christian groups – yes, and of non-Christian groups as well” Thomas Kelly:A Testament of Devotion.

“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are …. If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other … At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth … This little point… is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody. Thomas Merton: Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Asia, Zen, Islam, etc., all these things come together in my life. It would be madness for me to attempt to create a monastic life for myself by excluding all these. I would be less a monk. Rob Baker & Gray Henry: Merton and Sufism.

The common denominator between Merton’s brand of Christianity and other religions is mysticism, in particular Buddhism. Stephan Joubert’s spiritual excursion to the Renovaré Conference in San Antonio, Texas is consequently no coincidence. He is merely strengthening his affiliation with his brothers and sisters who are extending a hand of brotherly affection to religions such as Buddhism, and affirming his agreement with Rob Bell who said that truth may also be found in other religions such as Buddhism. When Merton could no longer resist the mystic appeal, he intended to turn his back on Christianity. Guess who advised him to remain a Christian? No! You’re wrong. It was not a concerned Christian but a Hindu swami named Dr. Bramachari. He assured Merton that he could find the very same mysticism within the ranks of the Christian mystics. (Henri J M Nouwen: Contemplative Critic). Dr. Bramachari seems to be far better informed than most Christians of Paul’s warning in II Corinthians and seems to know that Merton can do more damage within the ranks of Christianity if he remains therein stead of becoming a converted Buddhist or Hindu.

II Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Merton affirmed that he could incorporate these mystical traditions into his own Christian tradition if he practiced tolerance of and an openness to Buddhism, Hinduism and other Asian mystical religions. Richard Foster’s entire philosophy is based on Merton’s and others’ contemplative spirituality and their efforts to bridge the gap between Western and Far Eastern spiritualities. Why would someone like Foster who claims to follow The Jesus Way endorse and follow Merton’s heresies? The underlying reason is to forge a new Christianity which gullibly utilizes Christian terminology, such as The Jesus Way and holiness, and gathers together every conceivable religious persuasion under a single umbrella called mysticism, simply because “everyone has the Inner Light.” Roger Oakland asks a similar question in his book Faith Undone:

Why would someone who claims to be a Christian as Foster does, after reading and understanding Merton’s position on East­ern religion, promote his ideas? Foster knows the kind of prayer Merton stood for was different from biblical prayer. He admits that Merton’s prayer lined up with that of Zen masters and Bud­dhist monks. And yet he said, “Merton continues to inspire count­less men and women.” [i]

Stephan Joubert  is obviously one of the countless men and women who have been inspired to follow in the Jesus Way of spurious disciples such as Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson and Thomas Merton. The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Study Bible which was released in 2005 has impacted many people to strive for a [so-called] renewal in the church. Besides Foster, editors included Dallas Willard, Walter Brueggemann, and Eugene Peterson…

[Blogger Tom Lessing then lists a number of heresies in the Renovaré  Spiritual Formation Bible, mostly dealing with prophecy. To read his excellent critique of the Renovaré  Spiritual Formation Bible, click here [broken link] for the entire original blog. Now for the rest of Tom Lessing’s blog…]

So, what is holiness anyway?

Holiness, in a nutshell, is to be like your Creator and Saviour.

I Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

In practice it means that God’s children should talk, think and act completely different from what our world system expects its citizens to do. It comes down to separateness, severance, apartness from the world system and everything it advocates and stands for. The idea of separateness is seen throughout the Bible. Let’s ponder the following verses from Scripture.

Mark 10:34-36 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

II Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

If you proclaim to be a Christian who follows The Jesus Way you dare not associate with false teachers and preachers. Holiness also means to separate yourself from them. It is impossible to plead holiness (without steroids) while you associate with people whose false teaching God hates, to such an extent that He said through the mouth of His disciple Paul:

Galatians 1: 8 and 9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Here are a few verses that warn us not to associate with false teachers and preachers.

II John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

II Timothy 3:5-14 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (emphasis added).

I have pleaded with you many times before, Stephan, and I want to do so here again: Repent of your disastrous way which is clearly NOT The Jesus Way and definitely NOT the way of holiness. It is the way that leads to destruction. You are misleading many people in South Africa. Please stop playing with fire and repent!


[i] Richard Foster, Devotional Classics, op. cit., p. 61.

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(revised 09/21/14)

I am very proud to belong to the Facebook Group entitled “Concerned Nazarenes.” This Facebook Group was formed to fight against postmodern (Emerging/Emergent) heresies infiltrating the Church of the Nazarene (CotN) denomination.

The growth of Concerned Nazarenes is a great encouragement to me, although I am not a member of the CotN. I am attempting to fight Emerging/Emergent heresies primarily in the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI). Like Richard Foster (click here and here), I grew up in the EFCI (before Foster and others helped hijack it from its strongly  born again, separatist fundamentalist “Gurneyite” Quaker tradition).

“Progressive evangelical” EFCI institutions, particularly George Fox University and George Fox Evangelical Seminary, have been inviting Emerging/ Emergent heretics Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, Jason Clark, Todd Hunter, Dan Kimball, Brennan Manning, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet,  Dallas Willard, and many others to teach and/or speak on various occasions. (Also, click here for a Lighthouse Trails list of Emerging/Emergent names at George Fox University and George Fox Evangelical Seminary.)

To complicate matters further, pastors and professors are increasingly shared between the EFCI and non-evangelical Quaker denominations (nonchristian Quaker denominations that profess Christ as Lord and Teacher but not as Lord and Saviour). The non-evangelical Quaker denomination with the most ties to the EFCI is Friends United Meeting (FUM) – which has many Quaker universalists.

Also, the EFCI has joined various ecumenical Quaker organizations. For example, years ago colleges in the EFCI joined the Friends Association for Higher Education, along with non-evangelical Quaker institutions. My question is, why?

Apparently the EFCI has “become blind” doctrinally. The EFCI continues to increasingly reach out to nonchristian, non-evangelical Quaker pastors and professors with open arms. The thing that counts, to many in the EFCI, is that “they are Quakers”. For these EFCI individuals, it does not seem to matter whether their fellow Quakers (in these other Quaker branches) are born again, professing Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Amazingly, in spite of these accommodations by the EFCI of non-evangelical Quakers and Emerging/Emergent leaders, I have located very few EFCI members who are confronting their denomination regarding these heresies. Concerned EFCI readers, please don’t remain silent! (I have a feeling many concerned EFCI members have already quietly left the denomination and moved on to more biblically sound denominations.)

My point is this. Compared to the Church of the Nazarene, which is being strongly confronted by the Concerned Nazarenes Facebook Group and various individuals, the EFCI is being confronted by very few individuals. I realize there is a size difference in the denominations (approx. 2.1 million for the CotN as compared to approx. 140,000 worldwide for the EFCI). Yet, for such a small denomination, the EFCI has caused great harm to evangelicalism.  I pray that that members of the EFCI (and ex-members like myself) will speak out against its accommodation of non-evangelical Quakers and Emerging/Emergent teachings. (The EFCI is not alone – very few evangelical denominations today have any members who are actively protesting their slide into Emerging/Emergent and other heretical teachings.)

The Concerned Nazarenes Facebook Group serves as a great model for all individuals who are attempting to fight Emerging/Emergents in their quickly disintegrating denominations.

Now on to Manny Silva’s article about the Concerned Nazarenes Facebook Group. Click here for the original article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets]:

Who are Concerned Nazarenes? (posted by Manny Silva as a Doc in Facebook Group “Concerned Nazarenes” 08/09/11)

In August, 2008, Tim Wirth, a former drummer in several rock bands, helped coordinate an event featuring author Ray Yungen (“A Time of Departing, and “For Many Shall Come In My Name”), at the Piqua Church of the Nazarene in Ohio. Since joining the church, he’d become deeply concerned about emerging church philosophy that had crept into the Nazarene denomination – and wanted to alert others to the emergent movement.  Tim met Don and Sue Butler, long-time Nazarenes, who shared the same concerns – and Concerned Nazarenes was launched.

After several meetings and conversations with the Butlers, it was evident that the Holy Spirit had impressed upon their hearts to alert Nazarenes around the world to the emergent agenda.  Shortly after this, Nazarene evangelist Beverly Turner joined Concerned Nazarenes and gave the movement a voice.  Beverly shared the verse that would become the Concerned Nazarenes’ anthem:  “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

Concerned Nazarenes has grown to include Nazarene pastors and evangelists across the United States – each grieved by the spiritual demise of our much-loved denomination under the influence of the emergent movement.  Concerned Nazarenes is a grassroots movement that serves to give voice to all those in the church that share our dismay at the direction in which the emergent movement is striving to guide Nazarene beliefs and practices.  In 2009, more than 500 Nazarenes across the United States delivered a petition to our General Superintendents, seeking clarification of their stance on the Emergent Church movement. Our fervent hope and prayer is that the General Superintendents will respond by purging our denomination of the emergent cancer before it is too late.

When will the Concerned Nazarene DVD be available?

The DVD, “The Emerging Church”, is now available. By the grace of God and the generosity of dedicated Nazarenes, this insightful DVD is being distributed free of charge.  When we consider that heresy cost our dear Savior His life, what is the price of one DVD?  To get a free copy, send a request to: standfortruthministries@gmail.com

Why are we so concerned?

Below, we list the specific concerns of our group, and on our web site we provide articles and links that give more depth to our concerns. Please read these carefully and prayerfully, as the future of the Nazarene Church is at stake.

1.  We are concerned about the authority of God’s Word being undermined.  We consider His Word to be inerrant (without error) in all matters.  The emerging church and a number of scholars within our academic institutions have a lower view of Scripture – often called “soteriological inerrancy*” – which we consider unacceptable.  We do not believe that this is the historical stance of the Church of the Nazarene. We are in full agreement with a resolution for our Article of Faith, “The Holy Scriptures,” that will be presented by the Southwest Indiana District at the General Assembly.  The resolution states that the “Old and New Testaments” are “inerrant throughout and the supreme authority on everything the scriptures teach.” In the words of the Psalmist, David: “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:89).

2.  We are concerned about the teaching of Open Theism within our academic institutions. Open Theism basically teaches, among other heresies, that God cannot know the future if man is to have freedom of choice. The Apostle John wrote: “…God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (I John 3:20). Furthermore, we are concerned about the teaching of evolution in our academic institutions, and the historic account of God’s creation being taught as allegorical.

3.  We are concerned about the invitations extended to emergent  teachers, such as Brian McLaren, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt, to speak at our universities and colleges. Their stance on the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, such as sin, judgment and salvation, are a gross distortion of the truth. Because of required chapel attendance, emergent speakers have a captive audience and, as a result, students are forced to listen to emergent speakers or pay a fine if they choose to miss chapel. We are concerned for those who give financially and sacrificially to our academic institutions, expecting the values upon which our denomination was birthed to be upheld – not dismantled by emergent philosophy.

 4. We are concerned about experiential works-based techniques for prayer being promoted on and through our academic campuses. These practices – totally alien to our Wesleyan tradition – include prayer labyrinths, prayer stations and retreats to Roman Catholic monasteries. Most of these contemplative prayer practices are promoted under Spiritual Formation.

5.  We are concerned about the emergent ideology that our academic institutions and General Church within the United States are promoting. We ask a simple question: “Why are we giving a platform to those who would fabricate this falsehood, when the Gospel of Jesus Christ was and is and always will be the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16) for all mankind, and for every generation?” The emergent ideology is a perversion of the Word of God and the doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene.

6. We are concerned that the “Jesus” that the emergent movement is preaching is “another Jesus” (II Corinthians 11:4).  In the introduction to his book, “This Jesus,” Nazarene pastor W. E. McCumber writes:

“Let me tell you why I wrote this little book.  First of all, I love Jesus and I welcome any means of telling others about Him.  Second, I am troubled by “emergent theory” that is moving toward an “emergent church.”  Leaders of this “conversation” or “movement” call themselves “post-modern” and I guess if you need a tag that one is about as good as another. My concern about them springs from their distortions of Scripture and their diminishing of Jesus …. More disturbing to me is the fact that the Jesus they talk about is not the Jesus of Scripture …  Only the Jesus disclosed to us in the New Testament is relevant to our times and adequate for our salvation. To diminish Him is to destroy ourselves.”

We are in full agreement with Rev. McCumber and pray that you share our concerns.  If you do, please join us!

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I came across this 2007 info on George Fox University and George Fox Evangelical Seminary. I am attempting to find out how far back these Evangelical Friends schools have had heretical faculty.

In a blog regarding Richard Foster, I mentioned that Richard Foster taught  in the 1970s at George Fox College (which later became George Fox University).

Back to the 2007 article. Click here for the source of this article, by Lighthouse Trails.

In this article, I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

CONFERENCE ALERT: Missional Matrix

March 22nd, 2007 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

The Missional Matrix conference [broken link] is being held this weekend at the Vineyard Community Church in Shoreline Washington. George Fox University (a strong proponent of contemplative spirituality) is sponsoring the event, and speakers include Scot McKnight (author of The Real Mary; see our related article below), and Todd Hunter, North American president of the Alpha Course and a proponent of the Emerging Church. The speakers are being asked “to share their view[s] from the road and help us make meaning out of the theological and very personal twists and turns we find ourselves navigating as leaders.”

Unfortunately, contemplative and Emerging Church leaders identify the meaning of these “twists and turns” in a most unscriptural manner. McKnight is a major catalyst for the current sway by evangelicals towards Catholicism while Hunter is a partner with Renovare (Richard Foster’s organization). In addition, George Fox University [as well as George Fox Evangelical Seminary] is a hub of contemplative/emerging activity with a list of adjunct professors [at GFES] that includes Dan Kimball and Leonard Sweet. In 2005, George Fox hired [broken link](1) Todd Hunter, Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren to teach certain classes, and chapel speakers at the university have included Richard Foster and Brennan Manning. Recommended and required reading for classes at George Fox include a wide assortment of staunch contemplatives/mystics like Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, and Thomas Merton.

ENDNOTES

(1) Although this link is broken, I did find the following info here:

Spring 2008
“Conniry named seminary dean: Former pastor helped develop seminary’s hybrid-learning programs

Chuck Conniry, director of the doctoral programs at George Fox Evangelical Seminary since 1998, has been named vice president and dean of the seminary.

Conniry, a former pastor who also has taught at Bethel Seminary in San Diego, helped pioneer the seminary’s hybrid classes that use both online and in-person interaction. The new format attracts students who live around the world.

“One thing that energizes me is the chance to be one of the architects of the present and future shape of theological education,” Conniry says. “I get the opportunity to work with top-quality faculty and be in dialogue with the influential leaders of the church. I look forward to seeing our students find all that God has called and gifted them to be.”

Conniry has been instrumental developing relationships between the seminary and those associated with the emerging church movement, including Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, and Jason Paul Clark.

Conniry earned a doctorate in systematic theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a master of divinity degree from Bethel Seminary. His areas of expertise include systematic theology, pastoral ministry, modern and postmodern philosophy, American religious history, and New Testament Greek.

Conniry’s appointment comes as he releases his second book, Soaring in the Spirit.

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[blog under construction]

I stumbled across the following article from Let Us Reason Ministries. As per the copyright notice below the article,  I am reproducing it in its entirety without any changes. Any thoughts I have on the article will be placed either before or after the article. Click here for the original source of the article.

Now, here is the article itself:

Is the gospel being preached in the emergent church movement?

We are to be keepers, protectors and proclaimers of the gospel, it is to be the same message that was given to the apostles nearly 2,000 years ago.

The gospel can be changed from applying new innovations. Even Brian McLaren admits the way that emerging church presents the message can be changing the gospel:

“It has been fashionable among the innovative [emerging] pastors I know to say, “We’re not changing the message; we’re only changing the medium.” This claim is probably less than honest … in the new church we must realize how medium and message are intertwined. When we change the medium, the message that’s received is changed, however subtly, as well. We might as well get beyond our naivete or denial about this.”

This is one of the rare times I can agree with him. Our method of presenting the Gospel can adopt change in its presentation when necessary; but the content of the message cannot, or we have another gospel. If we are not careful the message can be changed by the method. And the message HAS already changed for many inside these progressive type movements like the emergent church movement. Without the cross as central to our lives and our preaching, the Church becomes just another religion with wonderful teachings about a man named Jesus. Salvation does not come from just believing in God, but in Jesus Christ and his work on the cross- this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ One is to believe and follow. We all get saved the same way, by the message of gospel, not other way can be a substitute. Paul warned about another gospel being changed by preaching a different Jesus in Gal.1:6-9.

What kind of Jesus allows other religions teachings and practices to be taught in his church to those who are to supposed to be following him as the way the truth the life.

This is not to say that everyone in the Emergent church holds to the new views of the gospel but there are many of its leaders that do. Using humanistic concepts, other religious ways or just adjusting the gospel to reach the various cultures they avoid the real intent- exposing the darkness in all human hearts by Christ being preached “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

The changing of the gospel message and its application come in many forms Leonard Sweet explains it “Postmodern missions must have a geomantic imagination and geomantic design. What I am calling a geomantic style of evangelization will ensure harmonious habitation patterns as the gospel interconnects and interacts with all life-and landforms. (Quantum Spirituality p.168). This is changing the gospel to be relative to the environment. Earth based spirituality has nothing to do with the gospel that was preached by Paul and the apostles whose intent was to deal with sin (1 Cor.15:1-4).

Brian McLaren has endorsed Jones’ book, Reimagining Christianity: Reconnect Your Spirit without Disconnecting Your Mind. Brian McLaren: “Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.”

Alan Jones, like McLaren, rejects what is the Gospel message. Jones :

“The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.”( Alan Jones, Reimagining Christianity: Reconnect Your Spirit without Disconnecting Your Mind (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005) p. 132. Jones goes on to say, “Penal substitution was the name of this vile doctrine.” Alan Jones, p. 168

This is an intentional denial of Jesus himself, both his person and his work that showed the love of God. What we are seeing is an intellectual – philosophical movement that offers a baptism into a new spiritual openness. But without the preaching of the cross it neglects the true spiritual condition and need of mankind. This is not leading people to the truth of their sin by being confronted by the gospel for salvation but instead pursuing a spiritual experience outside the parameters given by Jesus. This is all integrated in the church to reach the post- modern generation that does not see any one way more valid than another. It is opening the door to thousands to go another way. All this leads to is interfaith- accompanied with universalism.

In an interview with Christianity Today McLaren said “I don’t think we’ve got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be ‘saved’? When I read the Bible, I don’t see it meaning, ‘I’m going to heaven after I die.’ Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner’s prayer.” “I don’t think the liberals have it right. But I don’t think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy.” (The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today Nov.2004)

McClaren questions nearly everything in the Bible so how can one preach the gospel of salvation if they do not know the truth of the gospel and exercise faith in it. The Bible says if we doubt, we are doubleminded and will receive nothing. This attitude is the opposite of faith. Then no one can really know if they are saved or anything for that matter, which is the very opposite of what John wrote in his first epistle. I Jn 5:13 “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” Having eternal life means going to heaven- Jesus said I give them eternal life, where I am they may be also.

Rom 10:16-17 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Obedience is believing the word, exercising faith unto salvation.

Rom. 16:25-26 Paul says the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, has now has been made manifest, by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith.

Paul wrote in 1 Thess. 2:4-5:“But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak”

1 Cor 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

Rom 1:16 tells us the gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes”

If McLaren does not have the gospel right, then he lacks the power of God which first and foremost brings salvation which gives us the ability to live the Christian life by faith. The whole Christian message is that mankind is sinful, God came to earth as a man to die for our sins- to bring us into a relationship with our maker.

So how is it he is so unsure of this? Its all very clearly written down. 1 Pet 1:25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

1 Cor 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you– unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”

The Gospel is focused on two specific areas: who Jesus is and what He has done. It is centered on the person and work of Christ for us. The person is the who- which the gospel is focused on-God who came in the flesh. Jesus said unless you believe I am you will dies in your sins”

Lk. 24:47 gives us the message of the gospel “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations.”

Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

We need to be able to explain God’s word to people because that is where the power resides, it is his words that are spirit. Help people understand their need for a savior because of their sin. Paul preached the simple gospel that confounds the wisdom of the world and God honored it with salvation to many who heard it.

Col 1:23 One day we will stand before the Lord holy and blameless “if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard

When you do not have a basic understanding of the gospel as it is presented in the emergent church then you are cannot be saved by it.

God spoke to Israel Isaiah 1:15-19 “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.”Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

God asks to discuss their sinful condition so he can give them the remedy, it is not just for Israel but a clarion call to the world for cleansing by the blood of the lamb.

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I have written various blogs about Richard Foster and his connection with the Evangelical Friends. It is obvious to me that Richard Foster is not a born again Christian.

In the following excerpt, David Cloud confirms that Richard Foster is not born again. Click here for the entire original text of Bro. Cloud’s article.  I have only copied and pasted the section dealing with Richard Foster’s view of salvation. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

RICHARD FOSTER: EVANGELICALISM’S MYSTICAL SPARKPLUG
October 8, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service)

Salvation Not Clear

One thing that is glaring in its absence from Foster’s books on spiritual living is a clear biblical testimony of salvation and a clear exhortation for his readers to be born again.

When he does mention salvation, he speaks of it in a confused manner.

He says, for example, that reconciliation has already been achieved in Christ:

“In some mysterious way, through shedding his blood Jesus took into himself all the evil and all the hostility of all the ages and redeemed it. He reconciled us to God, restoring the infinitely valuable personal relationship that had been shattered by sin” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p. 42).

This is not true. Though the redemption price has been paid, sinners are not reconciled until they individually put their faith in the gospel (John 3:16, 18, 36).

Foster also speaks of salvation as a process:

“One more thing is needed, namely, our response of repentance–not just once but again and again. Martin Luther declares that the life of the Christian should be one of daily repentance” (Prayer, p. 42).

We must understand that the previous statement is made in the context of a discussion of salvation. Foster makes no clear distinction between the one repentance for salvation (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9) and continual repentance for sanctification (2 Cor. 12:21). Foster’s statement describes either universalism or sacramentalism, but it is not the once-for-all new birth doctrine of the New Testament.

Further, Foster describes salvation in terms of an emotional experience and in association with baptism. In Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Foster tells of a non-Christian who attended one of his contemplative seminars. Part way through the course the following event transpired:

“Throughout the weekend the Spirit of God rested tenderly upon the entire group, so much so that on Sunday afternoon this same gentleman asked quietly, ‘Would you pray for me that I might know Jesus the way you know Jesus?’ What were we to do? None of the normal responses seemed appropriate. We waited in silence. Finally one young man stood up and gently placed his hands on the man’s shoulders. I have never forgotten his prayer. I felt like taking off my shoes–we were on holy ground. Strange as it may seem, he prayed a commercial. He described a popular advertisement of the day for NesTea in which different people, sweltering from the summer sun, would fall into a swimming pool with a thirst-quenching sense of ‘ahhh!’ on their faces. He then invited this man to fall into the arms of Jesus in the same way. The gentleman suddenly began to weep, heaving deep sighs of sorrow and grief. We watched in reverent wonder as he received the gift of saving faith. It was a tender, grace-filled moment. Later he shared with us how the prayer touched a deep center in his past relating to his baptism as a child” (pp. 48, 49).

While it is true that the Bible describes salvation in terms of drinking and eating of Jesus, the scene described by Foster is confusing at best. What was this man trusting? What was he receiving? He mentions his infant baptism. Had he come to believe that his baptism had brought him into a saving relationship with God that he was only now learning to enjoy? What Jesus was he trusting? What gospel? What was the nature of his faith? The Bible warns that the devils believe in God. Only a certain kind of faith is saving faith. Foster doesn’t clarify any of this. His doctrine of salvation is exceedingly murky at best. When the unbeliever asked the group to pray for him, why didn’t they share with him the gospel? They didn’t need to pray about what to say. They didn’t need to hesitate. Jesus has already commanded us to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Why did they preach a NesTea commercial rather than the gospel?

And while we are talking about Richard Foster and the gospel, if he believes the true gospel of the grace of Christ without works, why does he constantly and uninhibitedly promote Catholic mystics who hold to a sacramental gospel? If he doesn’t believe Rome’s gospel of process salvation, why does he never warn about it plainly?

Personal salvation is foundational to prayer and Christian living. It is criminal to write books on these subjects for broad public consumption and not make salvation absolutely clear.

I would also ask, why did the EFCI (Evangelical Friends) allow Richard Foster unfettered access to preach and teach in the first place?

Tragically, the EFCI now allows many such individuals to spread their false doctrines – including Tony Campolo, Leonard Sweet, etc. The EFCI, which once was rooted in born again, fundamentalist evangelical Quakerism (Gurneyite Quakerism), has now all but lost its way. Except for parts of the EFC-ER, it seems the EFCI is well on its way to turning away from born again, evangelical faith, replacing it with Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings. God help the EFCI!

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