Recently we have been considering Dr. Matt Olson, as NIU president, praising one of CJ Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministry churches, a Charismatic church and its pastor, Ian McConnell. This is major doctrinal concern that we will return to later this week. Today, however, we are going to hear from Pastor Steve Rogers on a related issue.
|Ps. Steve Rogers|
From his blog Bro. Dietrich details his current ties to both the continuationist Grace Bible Church and NIU simultaneously. Dietrich says he will put himself,
“under the care of the elders at Grace Bible Church…. I… [will] be able to keep my job at Northland…. I will continue to direct our online program…with the graduate school. I’ll be adding to my job...some recruiting and retention efforts.”1Currently, Greg Dietrich is giving credence to music that not too many years ago Dr. Les Ollila would have preached against and Northland would have banned from campus. Please note the link below to the NIU Staff member Greg Dietrich’s blog, 5Solas.2 Note how Greg heaps lavish praise on a new contemporary worship album. He says, “They have a very cool sound with a mix of rock, pop, and folk.” Then follow the link(s) to this new album for samples of “a very cool sound of rock, pop…” I found Greg’s blog while looking at the Grace Bible Church site. I wanted to see what articles were on Greg’s blog because they often will reveal ones true testimony. Now, we know the testimony of Greg and NIU. CCM’s rock music is tolerable and acceptable for NIU faculty, staff and students. After listening to the CCM/Rock Greg praises I believe many of us would like for Dr. Ollila and Matt Olson to explain:
Someone might say, “This is a matter of Greg’s personal preference and hardly a direct reflection on NIU.” Greg Dietrich is in an official leadership role at NIU. Even NIU’s new extremely watered down music policy says,Exactly how does Northland’s music remain... “unchanged?”
“When it comes to music, two people equally dedicated to the Lord may not have the same musical preferences. All we ask is that your music not be in direct conflict with God’s character….”3So, a current NIU department head is openly and publicly promoting music that the artists, as well as he himself, describe as “very cool with a mix of rock, pop, and folk.” Indeed, as Dr. Everson’s interview4 demonstrated, there are multiple changes coming to fruition at the new Northland. IMO, after reviewing Greg’s music choices, the amorality of music position is one of them. These questions should be asked and honestly answered by Matt Olson and Les Ollila:
1) Is NIU going to agree with their own leadership that “rock and pop” are NOT in “direct conflict with Gods character” and therefore acceptable forms of Biblical music by all staff and students of NIU? Or,
2) Is this, along with Olson’s praise of a Charismatic church, another example of NIU leadership claiming things remain “unchanged” while implementing such change in practice?I am certainly just one of many pastors who are really disappointed that Northland has been taken over by the new New Evangelical mindset. I want to encourage other pastors and parents to understand the glaring chasm between what the NIU administration is claiming (faith) and what they are implementing (practice). I used to at least be able to expect Christ honoring music from Northland, now even that is suspect.
I think any integrity question goes to the entire school, administration, faculty, and staff. They should ask, “Am I going to continue to support and propagate the idea that Northland remains unchanged when there is ample evidence to the contrary?” Should we support a school when its administration does not even see it necessary to explain in precise terms or repent from such glaring deviation from its historic roots and authentic Biblical separation? IMO, for the NIU administration to be honest they have to say, “We have moved away from the form of biblical separation we once practiced at NBBC, and beyond the Gospel just about everything else is a non-essential and areas of preference and liberty.”
Separatists need to be separatists and let God deal with the school. The longer NIU’s charade continues the virus of new wave New Evangelical compromise will spread. Students, then families, then churches that remain attached to NIU will exhibit the symptoms and sadly, even more of this generation could lose sight of or even be inoculated against the vital doctrine of Biblical separation.This blurring of lines and graying of absolutes needs to end!
Pastor Steve Rogers
Grace Baptist Church
1) Greg Dietrich: A Life and Family Update
3) What is Northland’s Music Policy
The new policy has done away with the heart of NBBC’s previous policy on music, which stated,
“We avoid music classified as ‘Contemporary Christian Music’- sacred music which is written or performed in a popular or worldly style. These styles include rock, Blues, Jazz, “big band,” rap, New Age, and other styles normally associated with worldly entertainment or dancing. We also avoid “pop” or rock arrangements. Some styles of secular music, such as classical music, marching band music, fun songs, or traditional folk songs may be appropriate for certain occasions. However, some styles, such as jazz, rock, rap, punk, dance band, or New Age are never considered appropriate.”4) Questions Answered on the Changes at NIU, Part Two
Is NIU “Unchanged?”
“Our Children Learn Not Only What We Teach Them But By What We Tolerate.”
“Dr. Les Ollila said that over and over to the student body. With the change in philosophy and methods at NIU a different kind of teaching and wide ranging tolerance is being learned by impressionable students.”Dr. Bob Jones, III: The Faith of the Gospel
“If it’s all just about the gospel then we’ve missed the whole point of the gospel. There is the saving gospel, which introduces us to the faith of the gospel. And if we embrace the philosophy that it’s just about the gospel we can put our arms around about every wrong, unbecoming Christian behavior in all the world.”