Ray Yungen will be speaking at Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, B.C. Canada, this August 15th-17th. Also speaking at this conference will be Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries and Eric Barger. (See SCHEDULE.) Why is this ironic?
CBC is an inter-Mennonite Bible Institute that was established to actively promote and teach a strong evangelical Anabaptist/Mennonite theology. The college is affiliated with the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches and Mennonite Church British Columbia, their confessions of faith having been adopted by the college. Their denominational links include:
*Mennonite Brethren Conference Canada www.mbconf.ca
*B.C. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches www.bcmb.org
*Mennonite Church Canada mennonitechurch.ca
*Mennonite Church B.C. mcbc.ca
Columbia Bible College’s President’s message says:
Through the power of Jesus living in us, we are aiming to live out the Great Commandment: “to love God with heart, soul, mind and strength,” and “to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.” This requires a holistic understanding of life that integrates spiritual formation, biblical studies, mission engagement, leadership development with our general studies courses to develop a biblical understanding of life and mission.
Part of their mission has recently included influencing students in Roman Catholic spiritual direction and ancient mysticism.
For example, on their faculty is a teacher who has been trained in the ways of Franciscan priest Richard Rohr’s male spirituality, an ecumenical and inter-religious spirituality program for men that “transcends the boundaries of race, nation, culture, gender, economics/class, politics, sexual orientation and religious differences.” Too find out more, read More Rohr Influence – this time at Inter-Mennonite Bible College.
Another teacher of spirituality at Columbia Bible College is the spiritual director and pastor at the contemplative Imago Dei Community (affiliated with the BC MB Conference of Churches). For more information read Another article in the MB Herald that opens the door to contemplative spirituality.
One teacher of biblical studies at Columbia Bible College is married to the lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church who recently wrote a book on spiritual disciplines. Read about this here: Pausing to Examine ‘Sacred Pauses.’
A required first year course at Columbia Bible College is Spiritual Formation where students read through Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. CBC also offers a Worship Arts BA program where third and fourth year students learn worship ideas from the contemplative communities in Europe.(1)
“The students spend a semester in Europe studying worship practices, art, architecture and church history. They spend time at Taizé, L’Abri, new congregations in Germany, and either Iona or Northumbria Community in order to learn about living in Christian community.”
– Andrew Dyck (mar 12 at 9:31 a.m.), In Europe, touching history moves faith deeper
Taize is an ecumenical community in France that combines forms of contemplative worship, mystical practices and interspiritual beliefs. Northumbria(2) and Iona(3) are similar ecumenical communities in Scotland.
All these factors together reveal how influential the ecumenical spiritual formation movement has been in this and many other colleges in North America. Therefore, it’s ironic that ALL of the speakers at this August’s free conference at Columbia Bible College teach very strongly, based on the Word of God, against the very things that are making their way in through the doors of this Bible college. Will this conference be attended by any Mennonites who are departing from God’s Word by incorporating Roman Catholic spiritual formation into Columbia Bible College programs? If so, their ears may not like what they hear, but God often speaks lovingly to his children that way when they are straying from the truth.
1) See CBC Worship Arts BA program here:
2) Northumbria practices “a way of living centred in our Rule of Life of Availability and Vulnerability. The Rule, along with our Daily Office (Celtic Daily Prayer), reflects the influence of the monastic tradition in the development of Community ethos.”(http://www.northumbriacommunity.org/)
3) Iona: (http://iona.org.uk/)
Note: See Jacob Prasch’s Itinerary here.