For a previous article, Dr. Olson, “I Apologize to You for…” What? I emailed four questions* to Dr. Matt Olson and NIU’s Director of
Marketing Jonathan Bailie. I indicated that these questions are being asked for
the record and that an article on Dr. Olson’s remarks about NIU’s Day of
Prayer would be published. These four questions followed a series of questions I previously asked off the record. Later
that day Jonathan replied, but refused to
answer any of the questions. The nature of Jonathan’s reply will be clear as you read my response. Matt Olson never replied. I responded to Jonathan,** which I am sharing with you today.
A rumor is defined as “unverified information of uncertain origin” and gossip is a “trifling often groundless rumor, usually of a personal, sensational nature.” Publicizing that which is verifiable such as official NIU documents, pictures, audio recordings, first-hand accounts of current or former faculty and staff members may not sit well with those at NIU who say, “we have not changed,” while making tectonic shifts, but it is clearly not disseminating rumor or gossip. Frankly, I am offended at your accusation!
While I have sought to bring to light the reality of NIU’s changing practices (i.e. inviting a new breed of speakers, recruiting at CCM events, introducing Charismatic worship and music style, commending churches aligned with C. J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Movement, turning over faculty and staff who leave openly challenging NIU’s integrity, etc, etc.) the administration of NIU has continued to say, “we have not changed!” No thinking person can believe that.
Should the NIU administration choose to get honest and say that NIU is no longer aligned with its original foundational traditional fundamental positions on entertainment, music, worship, rejection of the “modern Charismatic movement,” denominational associations, alliances (including T4G, SGM, TGC, Desiring God, etc.), I would no longer sense any responsibility to involve myself in warning potential constituents (students, parents, pastors). But as long as NIU claims a position (fundamentalist) that it no longer practices, as long as NIU continues to act in contradiction to its published Articles of Faith and Handbooks – I will continue to seek to get the facts and print them.
Attacking the messenger(s) is a tactic taken by those who are afraid to be truthful. It is truth that sets us free. My counsel to the administrators at NIU is get honest about your position and truth tellers like me will have no need to verify things with NIU any longer.
Cc: Matt Olson
*1) Matt Olson apologized for a portion of the Day of Prayer that was not normal saying that something was done that “was not what we normally do.” Would you please clarify for us what it was that wasn’t “normal?” (Those who will be listening could come to any number of uncomfortable conclusions.)
2) There are those who are saying that some students walked out of a segment of the Day of Prayer because of the style of worship being introduced. Is that your impression of why they would walk out?
3) Dr. Olson said, “Some expressed to me concerns that you were not comfortable with that day. And I just want to say to you I apologize for that.” What exactly about the Day of Prayer made some students “uncomfortable,” and brought about Matt’s apology to them?
4) We understand that Jason Janz was recently invited to campus. His appearance on campus was noted at the NIU site. Was he part of the leadership or platform presence overseeing the Day of Prayer this year? What other role(s) did Jason Janz have with the student body in addition to and/or if not with the Day of Prayer?
**Slight revisions to the original.
The Real “Unchanged” NIU Comes Forward