May 7, 2014

NIU’s Thursday Night Live: CCM & Red Hot Chili Peppers, It’s All the Same to Them

Many of you may not be familiar with NIU’s “Thursday Night Live” (TNL).  I, only recently, was made aware of this event. What we can learn from viewing one of these TNL events is that NIU has gone well beyond singing Contemporary Christian music to singing music in honor of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lorde, Bob Marley, and more. The group in this video goes by the name Lukie V & the Wisco Kids. 

Here is an example of one line of lyrics from the cover song above called “Tennis Court” by Lorde, How can I f*** with the fun again, when I’m known.” Of course during the live version on campus, they mumbled over the offensive lyric with “Yeah” to make it “acceptable.” Some of the other songs covered include:
  • Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • Porcelain” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
  • Is This Love” by Bob Marley
In addition to the TNL events NIU is hosting the June 2014 Harmony by the Bay1 concert, which will highlight CCM/RAP entertainers.  This is Flame, a Rapper, one of three bands performing for NIU.

Today, I am reminded how former NIU president Matt Olson insisted, “Our Music Philosophy: Philosophically, it is unchanged. Let me say it again... unchanged.”2

The Thursday Night Live event is another example, in a long list of examples3, that demonstrates just how far away NIU has drifted from its “music philosophy,” and abandoned its biblically balanced, conservative fundamental Baptist Bible college foundation. We are witnessing a modern day tragedy!

Recently, I was asked, “Where does it all stop?” Some folks may be under the impression that, with Daniel Patz in the president’s office, the direction NIU was taken under Matt Olson might be slowed or even reversed in part.  There is, however, mounting evidence that Daniel Patz has not only continued the same trajectory that Matt Olson set the school on, but has mashed down on the gas pedal.

So, to answer the question, “Where does it all stop?” There is little doubt left that NIU’s on-going slide musically, and into the New Evangelical orbit, will not stop until NIU folds.


Site Publisher’s Addendum:
In the TNL video there is a banner on the wall above and behind the students. That banner reads, “Nothing of Worth Comes Easily.” Some think that may be attributable to Les Ollila. It has become apparent that nothing of worth is coming from NIU any longer.


2) Open Letter to Friends in the Ministry, (Fall 2010). The Matt Olson article has since been removed from the NIU website.  The selection above appears here in its full context.
“Our Music Philosophy: Philosophically, it is unchanged. Let me say it again... unchanged. What we have always been trying to do, and will continue to do into the future, is to make sure Northland’s practice of music (as with every aspect of the Christian life) is built principally on clear teachings from the Bible.” 
Furthermore, NIU has/had their own In-house CCM/Rock band. Previously NIU officially participated with the Big Daddy Weave concert. There was the blasphemous rendition of "Jesus Loves Me" RAP students did at the home of an NIU faculty member. Northland Waltzing Toward Extinction.


  1. The farther down the gutter NIU goes the sicker I get. This gallop into oblivion can't end soon enough as far as I'm concerned. It has been my prayer that NIU will very soon close its doors and be laid to rest. There are far too many alumni and former faculty/staff who still serve the Lord they were trained to serve Biblically, sanely not so long ago at NIU that grieve at this catastrophe that is NIU currently. What we currently see at NIU is a grotesque image of what it once was.

    1. Brian: Over the past few years I have heard from many alumni, parents, pastors, former faculty/staff who share your feeling(s) about what has become of, been done to their beloved NBBC.

      Frankly, I feel sorry for the kids there that might actually believe they are being effectively prepared and equipped to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. I looked up the lyrics for these songs and at first wanted to post a sample, but soon realized these are fairly vulgar. It is one thing to want to sing CCM songs, but this is another level entirely.

    It isn't a matter of if NIU will close, but when. Would you as a Christian parent want to send your child to a place that doesn't seem to know who/what it is? Would you want to send thousands of your hard-earned dollars to a place that keeps changing & changing? How can you trust a place like that?

    I give NIU one more year to try to gain some traction and survive but I doubt that will happen. Between yet with another round of lay-offs, a shrinking academic program, serious questions that even NIU acknowledges regarding what kind of program they will have next year (according to D.Patz' recent announcement), and more news like this (and the female non-preacher) it will not survive on its own without a major infusion of cash from an outside source. What outside source is going to want to put their hard-earned money into - this?

    Clarity = consumer confidence. A lack of clarity = lack of consumer confidence. Forget for a second the issue of the music philosophy now vs. even four years ago. Even if you were in the new evanglical world like where NIU is at now, are the things you are hearing and seeing out of NIU giving you the kind of confidence you need to make the decision to send your child there? Right now in my opinion NIU is not projecting clarity, which is not good.

    But that is the path they chose and the bed they are making.

    At least, however, according to Chris Bruno, there is more hope for the gospel now than ever.

    1. Thanks for sharing your extended comments above. You wrote, "It is one thing to want to sing CCM songs, but this is another level entirely."

      It is, in part, because this kind of student performance went to "another level entirely," a new lower level that I decide to make it widely known.

      Because of Matt Olson steering the school into this direction, and Patz continuing with it- Northland will close. As I noted above this is a genuine tragedy.

  3. I graduated from NBBC in 2008 and am so thankful for how God used the people of that ministry to impact my life. It grieves me to see how quickly the "leadership" destroyed that place. NIU needs to close their doors.

    1. I receive quite a few contacts from alumni, like you, who graduated prior to or before the Matt Olson wrecking ball had done the full extent of damage we see today.

      I also receive contacts from some current students who actually believe they are getting something out of NIU that is Christ-honoring. In view of what NIU has become, and that some students think God's blessing is upon it, is why I refer to students, of any age, as "impressionable." How very deceived some of these peope are.

      NIU needs to have their doors closed? Matt Olson and the current leadership have seen to that. It is going to happen whether they want to or not. And the sooner the better that this tragic final chapter of the Northland Baptist Bible College comes to a grinding halt.


  4. This is what happens when there is no one left on the faculty or staff who have enough moral integrity to stand up and say, "this is unrighteous"!

    1. Yes, indeed. And if it isn't a lack of "moral integrity," it's the lack of spiritual discernment to recognize unrighteousness.

  5. Did you check to see if these young people got in trouble for doing this or are you just assuming that this is the way it is? Just because something ends up online doesn't mean it is permitted.

    1. What you see in the video is on campus, and during a regular NIU approved weekly program. Fwiw, this is very tame compared to other student musical performances, most of which were done on campus and/or under faculty supervision. For example, go to footnote #3 above and click on "Jesus Loves me" RAP. That, other prior examples, and the video you see here (1 of 5) demonstrate that over several years that this is the way it is and has been at NIU.

      Thanks for asking,


  6. NIU to close unless Daniel Patz can get Al Mohler to take over the school. Paul Patz would be spinning in his grave if he knew that NIU would become a Calvinist Southern Baptist School. Daniel has until the end of May to make this happen.

    1. I see no advantage, no plus side for Mohler to bring NIU into the SBC/SBTS fold. Fwiw, NIU has for a good number of years been bent toward Calvinism. Apart from a vast infusion of cash, and new enrolling freshmen NIU will fold.

      The vast majority of Northland graduates are sickened at what has been done to their alma mater. They want to see it go away rather than see it continue its spiral into a dead New Evangelicalism. Beginning with Matt Olson and continuing with Dan Patz the school has become a disgrace. NIU’s closure will end what has been a genuine tragedy for the once fine Northland Baptist Bible College.

  7. One reason for the certainty that NIU will fold is simple business economics. In January 2013 I posted What's the Cost of Change? $2.7 Million Dollars

    This is an excerpt

    A $2.7 million loss in a single year for NIU is astounding. Those who would dismiss the obvious, redirect attention elsewhere are trying to give cover or plain ol’ foolish!

 How many times can these schools suffer losses of that magnitude and keep the lights on? It’s simple business economics: No entity can run on negative deficits indefinitely. Eventually bills must be brought up to date, creditors satisfied or else. In the meantime, cost cutting measures are made and typically across the board in terms of manpower (faculty/staff) and services. NIU is experiencing consequences of what Matt Olson has turned the former Northland Baptist Bible College into and away from. One commenter wrote, “Whatever may be said the history of the ‘old Fundamentalism’ built schools, churches, colleges, seminaries, mission agencies, etc...What are these men [Matt Olson, Kevin Bauder, Tim Jordan] building?” They are building an Epitaph for once fine Baptistic, biblically separatist schools, which they have buried.

    Ironically, seven months later Tim Jordan- the Calvary Baptist Seminary announced its closure. See,
    Closure of Calvary Baptist Seminary: Predictable & Repeatable

    Calvary joins Pillsbury Baptist Bible College and Tennessee Temple in their demise. I also believe we will see the closure of Northland International University (NIU) and Central Baptist Seminary (Minneapolis, MN). For drifting far from their original markers as fundamental Baptist separatist schools NIU and Central will not survive. NIU and Central will not survive having become non-separatist, evangelical schools. They will not survive having alienated their base and alumni! NIU and Central cannot compete for students with the star personalities of and/or high-profile schools in the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism. Northland and Central will not survive having abandoned their fundamental heritage, disdain for those who have gone before, and pursuing a path toward “conservative” evangelicalism.

  8. What is with the comments about Mohler taking on NIU? Is that speculation or based on anything substantive?

    NIU will close. Seems like every day I read about more and more faculty & staff leaving and yet they have that large, spread-out campus to care for.

    What kind of program will they offer next year? I doubt they even know. In April Daniel made a public announcement saying they had to make cuts so they could live within their means and stated five items of what they will do, i.e. "We will develop a plan for a narrower and a more streamlined group of degree programs at which we can be fiscally sustainable." We have yet to hear any new information regarding what they plan to do.

    The next school year is just around the corner. NOW is when families and students are making future plans and NOW is when we need to know what NIU will be next year.

    NIU will close.

    In fact, I would say there are serious questions whether or not it will be operational even in three months.

    Think about it, the next school year is three months away and no one knows what kind of program NIU will have next year. They should've made this announcement months ago so they could've defined their new program and tried to build some kind of excitement and momentum into the next shool year.

    It isn't dead, out of touch fundamentalism that caused this mess. It is a total failure to understand numerous basic business management principles.

    This is the mess they have made and they alone are to blame.

  9. Can everyone say, "Icabod," the glory of the Lord is departed. Using the emotion driven, worship leader CCM music in chapel with a female preacher tossed in will not bring His glory back.