Another reason why I am an independent Baptist! https://open.substack.com/pub/thedissenter/p/sbc-pastor-who-writes-for-wapo-suggests-597?r=pbjs4&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
2Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
‘It is a harsh but undeniable truth that the majority of what calls itself the Church in the modern world is nothing more than a shallow facade, a shell of its former self. Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest theologians and preachers of the past, had the foresight to recognize this disturbing trend even in his own lifetime. He famously declared, “A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats!”
Tragically, Spurgeon’s prediction has become a reality. As one looks out at the landscape of the contemporary Church, it is nearly impossible to find any semblance of genuine faith or spiritual depth. Instead, one is confronted with an endless parade of superficial and shallow antics, designed to titillate the senses and distract from the emptiness within.
A recent spectacle at the Center for Hope, a United Methodist church in Wintersville, Ohio, where a couple sang a trite and manipulative cover of “Eye of the Tiger,” is just one example of the degradation and degeneration that plagues the modern Church. It is a damning indictment of our spiritual state that we have become so enamored with cheap thrills and vacuous entertainment rather than seeking the nourishment of the soul and the timeless wisdom of the divine through His word.
Below are some of the altered lyrics the couple sang that were overly cheesy and focused on charismatic self-help themes:
Before I was a Christian, Something was missin,
felt a little distant, dark resistant,
made a decision, got a new vision,
wrote my goals yeah wrote my mission,
BC I was aimlessly walkin
then one day I heard the voice of God talkin,
rise up child to the enemy mockin’,
prayer is your weapon pray without stoppin’‘https://disntr.com/2023/01/05/church-performs-cringworthy-rap-edition-of-eye-of-the-tiger/
History has shown that Denominationalism leads to liberalism! That’s exactly where the Southern Baptist Convention finds itself again! History has also shown that when liberalism gets a foot hold in a denomination the only thing to do is SEPARATE! However, the not so woke in the SBC say ‘We, concerned Southern Baptists of differing geographical, theological and vocational perspectives, in one voice nominate Pastor Tom Ascol for President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and SBC Missionary Voddie Baucham for President of the SBC Pastors’ Conference.
The Southern Baptist Convention plays a vital role in global Christianity, with the world’s largest missionary force and 11% of America’s churches. But perhaps even more importantly, through our six seminaries, we educate one third of America’s seminary students. Our institutions affect vastly more than just ourselves.
But the Southern Baptist Convention badly needs a change of direction. While baptisms and evangelism continue their freefall, a small group of leaders steers our institutions ever closer to the culture, from radical feminism masked as “soft complementarianism” to the false gospel of Critical Theory and Intersectionality. In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, there is no slave or free, we are all made one in Him. But this “Race Marxism” divides everyone by their most superficial features, in a never-ending cycle of recrimination and hate.
We reject these worldly dogmas. We stand together on the Baptist Faith and Message. We proclaim the sufficiency of Scripture. And we know the vast majority of Southern Baptists do too.
At this critical juncture, we need men to serve who can unite our convention around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe there are no two better men to lead us in this vital task than Tom Ascol and Voddie Baucham.
For many years, Tom Ascol has been a faithful conservative voice in the SBC. The grandson of a Syrian Muslim immigrant who was murdered in the South in the 1920s, Tom Ascol has seen the grace of God at work in his family, and savingly in his own life. He believes the Gospel is the sole answer to the challenges we currently face as Southern Baptists.
Likewise, Voddie Baucham is one of the most faithful expositors of our day, a day in which sound preaching is more important than ever. He will give the exact kind of leadership needed for the SBC Pastors’ Conference, an event which in recent years has shifted radically from one of the high points of the entire year into what many have termed “Woke Fest”. The importance of restoring that pivotal event cannot be overstated.
We’ve been told “the world is watching”, and so it is, demanding that the church conform. But we believe that God is watching, that He alone defines our terms and sets our agenda.
‘Earlier we documented Bob Jones University (BJU) stepping into ecumenical compromise with Franklin Graham. See BJU Embraces Franklin Graham’s Ecumenical Movement. That was the latest among many excursions, engineered by BJU president Steve Pettit, into non-separatist evangelicallism and the ecumenical movement. From Dr. David Beale’s new book Christian Fundamentalism in America I included a brief excerpt in the BJU/Graham article above and in the BJU: Compromised Spiritual Sanctification for Secular Pragmatism article. Dr. David Beale has written an article to expand on and bolster his argument. That article follows.
“After being the premier fundamentalist academic institution for eighty-seven years, BJU elected Dr. Steve Pettit in 2014, as the president who steered the University out of separatist Fundamentalism into the inclusive, Broad Evangelical movement,” David Beale, Christian Fundamentalism in America (Maitland, FL: Xulon, 2021), 179, 530.
• Dr. Andy Naselli, in his 2006 BJU dissertation, scorns independent, Fundamental Baptists for giving invitations to “surrender oneself to God.” Naselli criticizes the practice and calls it a “second blessing.” Naselli unsuccessfully tried to identify the Fundamentalist movement with Keswick extremes on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Naselli then identified with Broad Evangelicalism. He now serves on the faculty of John Piper’s College and Seminary, which are Reformed Charismatic schools urging every Christian to seek all NT gifts, including tongues and healing. Piper claims that “Signs and wonders” and all spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 are valid for today and must be “earnestly desired.” Piper says, “Prophecy and tongues will continue until Jesus comes.”1 Naselli is a pastor of Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Naselli seeks to transform Fundamentalists into Evangelicalism. In 2019, Dr. Pettit brought Naselli back to BJU to present the lectures for the annual Steward Custer Lecture Series. Naselli’s books were promoted. The late Dr. Custer all his life had been a stalwart Fundamentalist. Naselli represents Broad Evangelicalism. The bond between BJU and Evangelicalism has been clear since the beginning of Pettit’s administration.
• Dr. Sam Horn was executive vice president for enrollment and ministerial advancement at Bob Jones University when, on 2-7-2020, Dr. Pettit announced to all, “Dr. Horn is greatly honored today, and BJU is honored to have one of its own become the next president of The Master’s University and Seminary.” Horn succeeded Dr. John Stead. Dr. John MacArthur, a leading Evangelical, had led The Master’s University and Seminary as president from 1984 to 2018. Dr. Pettit preached for John MacArthur in a conference that year (2020). John Street, Chair of Biblical Counseling at The Master’s University, spoke at BJU’s CoRE Conference March 9–10, 2020. Street is an adjunct professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. By claiming that the word Fundamentalism can have no single definition,2 BJU leaders claim the label separatist but practice non-separatism (inclusivism). With such a notion, BJU attempts to sit on both sides of the fence—Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism—at the same time.
• Under Dr. Pettit’s administration, BJU students are permitted to bond with churches of denominations harboring apostasy.3 The following churches (underscored below) are among those approved for BJU students to attend.
• Covenant Community (Taylors, SC): An Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). On one of their website videos, the pastor poured water on a little child’s head and said, “This is like Abraham’s ‘baptizing his whole house’” (Genesis 17). The pastor substituted the word baptism for the word circumcision and called it regeneration. Augustine and Roman Catholicism devised and standardized this doctrine, which assumes an OT circumcisional regeneration for Jewish males.4 Romanism transformed that doctrine into NT water baptismal regeneration to elect infants. Forms of that doctrine passed into Reformed theology. John Calvin insisted that OT circumcision engrafted the Jewish infant into the covenant [elect] family of God; thus, NT baptism engrafts a newborn child into the body of Christ.5 Reformed doctrine leads many to believe the seed of regeneration is implanted at infant baptism, though salvation might occur later.6
• Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church (Simpsonville, SC), PCA church.
• Second Presbyterian Church (Greenville, SC): A Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). This church’s senior pastor is Dr. Richard Phillips, adjunct professor and member of the Board of Trustees at Westminster Theological Seminary, which enforces no dress codes and allows the use of alcoholic beverages.7
➢ Richard Phillips is also on the Board of Directors of (1) the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals; (2) the Council of The Gospel Coalition, and (3) the Council of the Gospel Reformation Network.8
➢ On October 12, 2019, at Phillips’ Second Presbyterian Church, Dr. Pettit participated in a Conference on Reformed Theology.
• To begin chapel on February 5, 2018, Dr. Pettit announced, “We are honored this morning to have as our guest Dr. Gene Fant,” president of North Greenville University, a Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) school. Prior to preaching the chapel message, Fant was welcomed with a standing ovation.9 The so-called “SBC Conservative Resurgence” has now spiraled into a deadening mix.10
• Calvary First Baptist Church (Greenville, SC): SBC church.
• Roper Mountain Baptist Church (Greenville): SBC church.
• Rock Springs Baptist Church (Easley, SC): SBC church. Dr. Pettit, BJU President, spoke here October 6, 2019.
• White Oak Baptist Church (Greenville, SC): Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, and the Greenville Baptist Association. Their lead pastor is Lonnie Polson, BJU Division Chair of Communication of the School of Fine Arts. Their music director is Jeff Stegall, BJU Associate Professor in the Theatre Arts Department.
• For the article, “Bob Jones University Embraces Franklin Graham’s Ecumenical Movement: HaveYou Finally Seen Enough?” click the following link: BJU Embraces Franklin Graham….
• Dr. Steve Pettit permits dress style, music, and entertainment of the world’s style. For the Artist Series of January 27, 2015, he brought in the music group, “Cantus,” which includes beer drinkers and known homosexuals.11
• The following letter was sent to me on 10-14-2021 from a concerned grandfather who has grandchildren at BJU:
In 2021, at Bob Jones University, the first of the fall semester’s artist series was conducted on October 7 in the FMA. The program was titled “Symphonic Hollywood: Featuring the Music of Lee Holdridge.” The guest conductor was Richard Kaufman. The featured selections were beautifully done, and each was announced by Kaufman, interspersed with lavish praise on BJU and its leadership. Kaufman mentioned his background which included his participation with a Los Angeles orchestra in which he played violin for the recording of music for “Animal House,” a raunchy R-rated movie. He expressed no regret for its production. On the contrary, he mentioned that his contribution helped launch his career as a conductor. Not once did he mention any conflict between Christian beliefs and the moral cesspool of Hollywood. Nor did he give any confirmation of Christian belief. Yet he gave the impression that a believer could function contentedly in such an environment. Toward the end of the program, Jay Matthews and another representative, on behalf of the University, awarded Kaufman with a certificate and plaque granting him lifetime membership as an honorary alumnus of BJU. In the program notes on Kaufman, the bio states that “his wife Gayle is a former dancer and actress in film, television, and on Broadway, and his daughter, Whitney, is a highly successful singer and actress.”
All of this conveys to BJU students that a vocation in the worldly Hollywood scene is perfectly acceptable and, indeed highly commendable. The artist series productions have in recent years included more Broadway-type productions, mingled with the brilliant work of such Christian artists as Dan Forrest. “Broadway” sums up the philosophy of the new Bob Jones University— broad and inclusive.
Students are not learning to distinguish the true from the false kinds of entertainment, evangelicalism, and life-styes. This is lamentable and tragic. There was a day when Bob Jones University could be trusted to instill in its students the virtues of a separated godly lifestyle. Now the University simply wants to “fit into” the culture, to accommodate and even imitate its behavior.
Believers identified with the SBC, PCA, OPC, etc. are lending credibility to false teachers and false gospels. The believer who willingly does such is living in sin. People all over the country know that BJU is Evangelical. It is old news. Evangelicals often say, “Identification is a non-essential.” That mindset constitutes the difference between Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism! Indifference is dangerous! It is a path God forbids! “For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John verse 11). One’s personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ determines his church identification! “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (2 John vs. 8). We must never entangle the message of the gospel with man-made organizations and institutions that harbor false gospels.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers…. After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also, of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:28–30).
Every moment of our lives, we are building our ministries upon either the foundation of gold, silver, and precious stones, or upon a foundation of wood, hay, and stubble. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:11–13). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:10–11a). “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” (First John 2:28). In Romans 1:1, Paul introduces himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”
Charles H. Spurgeon promised his church, “That I might not stultify [invalidate] my testimony, I have cut myself clear of those who err from the faith, and even from those who associate with them. What more can I do to be honest with you?”12
Dr. Bob Jones Sr. so often cried, “Earnestly contend for the faith. Stand up and fight.”
David Beale (Enlarged 12-8-21)
David Beale taught courses on Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism for some thirty years at Bob Jones University and Seminary. He is a prolific writer and historian. Since Dr. Beale retired in 2010 he has taught and preached in schools and churches.
1) John Piper, Signs and Wonders: Then and Now.
2) Letter from a BJU leader to David Beale (2021).
4) Augustine, City of God, 6.26–27; Enchiridion: On Faith, Hope, and Love 43; cf. 93; Sermon 294; and On Forgiveness of Sins, and Baptism 1.27.
5) John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (4.15.1—22).
6) L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939), 632–42.
7) Letters from a recent graduate to David Beale (2021); see Paul M. Elliott, Christianity and Neo-Liberalism: The Spiritual Crisis in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Beyond (Unicoi, TN: Trinity Foundation, 2005).
10) George Houghton, “Are Conservative Southern Baptists Fundamentalists?” Faith Pulpit, January/February 2004 at: https://faith.edu/faith-news/are-conservative-southern-baptists fundamentalists/; J. Gerald Harris, The Rise and Fall of the Conservative Resurgence: The Southern Baptist Convention: 1979-2021 (Taos, NM: Trust House, 2021); and David Beale, “SBC Today,” in Baptist History in England and America: Personalities, Positions, and Practices (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2018), 581–83.
12) Charles H. Spurgeon, “No Compromise,” Sermon No. 2047, delivered on the Lord’s-Day morning, October 7, 1888.’https://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2021/12/facts-enlarged-discussion-by-dr-david.html
‘Beth Moore has announced she has left the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) although she is “still a Baptist.” Not sure if that means she now identifies with the churches of the New Testament that were totally independent—self-propagating, self-governing, and self-supporting.
Moore was shocked that so many SBC pastors supported Donald Trump and was highly critical of him (as was I) and saw only his grossness, not his greatness. She was seriously offended at the Billy Bush recording (as I was) where Trump boasted about grabbing women sexually.
Moore could not see the good that resulted from Trump’s policies—numerous babies saved from abortion, Blacks and Hispanics lifted out of poverty, religious freedoms protected, a strong economy that helped everyone, massive tax cuts, oppressive regulations removed, a wall built to keep out undesirable illegal aliens, etc.
Maybe Beth is blind in one eye and has a thick cataract on the other. Whatever, she does not see clearly.
Moore was also rightly concerned about 400 sex abuse charges in more than 20 years against SBC pastors. Of course, Moore knows that the convention does not license or ordain men; only a local church has that authority, so just a local church can pull credentials. While that is true, nothing keeps SBC leaders from putting accused pastors on probation until their churches look into the charges and resolve the issue. If not resolved, the SBC can remove offending churches from membership.
Moreover, a charge against a pastor does not equal guilt, contrary to mainline feminist leaders. We are told that we must believe any accusation made by a woman. Of course, that is insane. While every charge must be taken seriously, the allegation must be admitted or proved to be true. If a pastor is found guilty, he should be jailed. If a woman is proved to be a false accuser, she should be jailed. While sexual assault seriously impacts a woman’s life, personality, health, and the rest of her life, so does an assault on a man’s reputation affect his job, finances, his relationship with his wife and children, and his future.
I demand Equal Rights and Equal Responsibility, and Equal Accountability.
While I don’t ever want to be considered soft on pastoral sexual assault, it must be remembered that there are 47,000 SBC churches in the U.S. While one case of sexual assault is too many, 400 cases in 20 years out of 47,000 pastors (and almost that many associates) is comparable to the ratios in other denominations and non-church groups.
SBC critics speak of offending pastors (accused pastors) being moved to other locations when charges are made public; however, the SBC cannot move pastors to other places. To move to another church is a decision made by a local church and a potential pastor. That charge against the SBC is not legitimate.
One of Moore’s major supporters (who wanted to nominate her to be President of the SBC), Pastor Dwight McKissic recently left his state convention declaring, “We Are Getting Off the Bus,” meaning he has pulled his church out of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Moreover, he will pull his church out of the national SBC if he does not like how things go at their national convention.
He has a right to choose with whom to associate as a person and as a pastor.
The President of the SBC, J.D. Greear, said in a statement that he hoped the news of Moore’s departure would cause the denomination to “lament,” pray and “rededicate itself to its core values.” But the SBC, as an entity, left SBC “core values” a long time ago. It is now concerned with critical race theory, feminism, and all progressive issues that makes vice president what’s-her-name Harris stand up and cheer.
The SBC, if not dead, is dying; and the vultures flying over their corporate headquarters in Nashville are indicative of that. (For the metaphor-deficient readers, that is a symbolic comment since Nashville doesn’t have vultures—that fly.) Frankly, it is not a natural death, since the SBC is committing suicide.
I have dealt elsewhere with the convention’s divisive issues in which the denominational leaders have almost always made the progressive but wrong decision. The trend toward an extreme Calvinist position, education at the expense of evangelism, promoting social justice warriors, progressivism over tradition, and female leadership are the reasons crepe will hang on their corporate doors. They are doing it to themselves.
Those are the reasons Beth and others should have left the SBC convention. She made the right decision for the wrong reason.
While all the above hot issues are taking their toll, one of the most divisive is the role of women in the group and in local churches, of which Beth Moore is their main spokeswoman. Of course, that is a decision for a local church to make.
Leftist pastors in the SBC have promoted the possibility of Beth Moore being elected to be President of the SBC! Dwight McKissic, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, said, “If I thought Beth Moore would accept the nomination or be agreeable to being nominated,… I would nominate her for SBC president.”
He went on to say there was no Scripture to prohibit a female leader of the SBC since it is not a local church; however, there is the problem of having authority over men. He mentioned females who prophesied in the Bible, but that is not having authority over men. Moreover, to deny Beth or any woman a leadership position would be “sinful and shameful,” according to the good reverend.
Nevertheless, refusing Moore as president of the SBC would be Scriptural in my opinion.
Will the SBC make a break with its longstanding position of male leadership and thereby split the denomination? Probably so, and very soon. The SBC is complementarian. That is defined as “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” In opposition is egalitarianism, the unbiblical position that “men and women are equal in authority and responsibilities, including as pastors.”
A train wreck is about to happen.
As the late pastor Adrian Rogers wisely said, “As the West goes, so goes the world. As America goes, so goes the West. As Christianity goes, so goes America. As evangelicals go, so goes Christianity. As Southern Baptists go, so go evangelicals.”
If the SBC follows the path they are on and nominates any female, there will be a bloody battle on the convention floor resulting in the split heard around the world.
Beth Moore has already done her splitting—with more to follow. She made the right decision but for the wrong reason.’ http://donboys.cstnews.com/beth-moore-has-left-the-southern-baptist-convention-the-right-decision-but-the-wrong-reason
It is again worth quoting Dr. David Nettleton when he wrote ‘Today we are choosing between two alternatives: A LIMITED MESSAGE OR A LIMITED FELLOWSHIP. If we preach all of the Bible truths, there are many places where we will never be invited. If we join hands with the crowd, there will be the limiting of the message of the Bible.’
This limiting the message to expand the fellowship is a vast web which includes Baptists, Pentecostals, Protestants and others. A very popular and prominent Christian gathering today is Together for the Gospel T4G. The T4G web site says ‘Pastors and church leaders from over 25 denominations…gather at Together for the Gospel every other year. While we have many differences on issues like baptism and spiritual gifts we are committed to stand together for the main thing—the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ https://t4g.org/about/
Can you imagine 25 denominations that gather under the T4G banner for the sole purpose of upholding the Gospel of Jesus Christ and no other doctrine is mentioned! Other doctrines such as ‘baptism and spiritual gifts’ are not an issue at T4G or so they say.
If these ‘other’ doctrines are not important why does the Word of God mention them? Are there truly non-essentials when it comes to the Bible? Nevertheless, with this compromise being so prevalent today many Baptists have dropped the name Baptist along with other long held beliefs. This supposedly is more appealing to the unsaved and those Christians who desire not to be identified as sectarian. There is certainly a current infatuation with abandoning the name “Baptist” to be more accommodating to the wider community. This dropping the Baptist name along with other beliefs seems to be a contemporary effort to minimize doctrinal differences and in turn to hopefully magnify similarities with other Christians. This is compromise and disobedience to the Scriptures.
There is a saying today ‘Go woke, go broke’. There are many examples of Christian organizations going woke (contemporary compromise) and in turn going broke. One example of this is, Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar (NBBC), WI which at one time had an enrolment of eight hundred under the leadership of Dr. Les Ollila. Dr. Ollila was called to be president of NBBC in 1983 but in 2002 Dr. Ollila became chancellor and Dr. Matt Olson became president.
In 2010 Dr. Ollila wrote ‘For the past nine years, I have had the joy of helping him to carry out the vision and to implement the principles that have always been true at Northland.
I have been spending countless hours in discussion and prayer with Dr. Olson and with Northland’s administrative team. I do want to make one thing clear to you: what you might perceive as “news” about Northland is actually not really news at all. In recent days some are questioning whether Northland has departed from the original vision and historic position that shaped us as an institution. Though this does not surprise me, frankly, it saddens me.
As we have attempted to responsibly adjust the way the vision and philosophy is applied in certain settings at our institution, the foundational principles and historic theological positions to which we have always been committed remain unchanged. These adjustments reflect our desire to be faithful to a vision and to truth in ways that keep vision and truth in front of a new generation facing new challenges in ministry.
What we see happening at Northland is the realization of many years of teaching and concerns that many of us have had throughout our years of ministry. Northland has always been a Bible college at its core. It has always been committed to the authority and all-sufficiency of Scripture. It was true for Northland when I served as president. I’m excited to say that it remains equally true under Dr. Olson’s leadership today.’ NOW, THIS IS NINE YEARS AFTER OLSON HAS TAKEN OVER THE REINS OF NBBC AND DR. OLLIA HASN’T DETECTED ANYTHING IN THOSE NINE YEARS THAT JUST MIGHT GIVE HIM CAUSE FOR CONCERN!
‘What God allowed my generation to see and teach, God has given Northland’s current leadership team the ability to put it into action in the lives of our faculty, staff, and students. Throughout Northland’s history we’ve tried to be as biblical as we knew how—given the light the Holy Spirit made available to us at the moment. Even so, we are human. We haven’t always done it perfectly, and we’ve made mistakes along the way. But when we’ve been wrong, we’ve made corrections. We will continue to do that as long as we keep maturing in the faith as a team. One thing has remained constant: since Northland’s beginning its leadership’s commitment to biblical Christianity has never wavered, and it’s not wavering now. If anything, it’s getting stronger—especially as we see an increasing number of our students passionate to “go where the Gospel isn’t.”
If you think that you are seeing a change in philosophy at Northland, I ask you to visit our campus and take a closer look. The philosophy that I, and others, have attempted to formulate and teach during years of service continues to be taught and implemented by the current Northland administration. They are making adjustments in application just as my generation had to do from time to time in our day. Should the Lord tarry, this process will continue for future generations. However, it is our passion and prayer that when we all stand together in Glory and look back on what God has wrought, we will look back to observe an unchanging commitment to the biblical principles and philosophy from administration to administration.
At Northland we have chosen to keep our focus on the highest concerns facing our generation while keeping Fundamentalism centered on the historic fundamentals of our faith that best articulate our core understanding of biblical truth.
I want to assure you that Northland’s emphasis has always been on building the inner man. From that emphasis, we know there will result a God-pleasing walk. Northland has been attempting to put a means into place that better prepares its students to follow the mind of Christ and to not be driven by the fear of man.
Some years ago, Dr. Doug McLachlan and I teamed together to reach out to a group of younger men who were growing increasingly disillusioned with Fundamentalism. We heard their frustrations first hand as we ministered around the country in pastors’ conferences and meetings. It was out of such experiences that Doug’s book Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalismwas born. God used that book to help encourage many young men to remain committed to the true and biblical essence of historic Fundamentalism. Over the years several hundred of them have come through our graduate program. When Doug published Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism, there were a few who expressed genuine, heartfelt concern. There were also critics who wrongly interpreted the intent of the book and, consequently, assumed Fundamentalism was being compromised. Almost two decades later, the results speak for themselves. Some may doubt those results, but I know of many young men who are now serving in churches or on mission fields or leading ministries—who might otherwise have departed for New Evangelicalism—in part because of what Dr. McLachlan had the courage to say. Though some warned that his book was a departure from historic Fundamentalism, it was in fact a refreshing and healthy corrective to the Fundamentalism of my day. It is my belief that the future will reveal the same to be true of some of the adjustments that Dr. Olson has had the courage to implement under his leadership. Time will prove this out.
In the meantime, I plead with those of you who care about the big picture of God’s work to keep in mind the main thing: we live for God’s glory, in response to the Gospel, directed by the Great Commission, and motivated by the Great Commandments. Pray that God would grant us wisdom as we seek to advance the cause of Christ.’ https://sharperiron.org/article/northland-changing-chancellors-perspective-from-dr-les-ollila