Daniel Patz starts Friends of Northland site: "support the healthy direction we have observed over the last several years"

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Brenda T's picture

So, the letter and petition are directed to the Board. Yet, when you compare the list of Board members with some of the names on the petition and the name of the person initiating this petition, you notice that they are petitioning their own family members. Also, Matt Olson is listed as a board member. Did he fire himself?

As I've said earlier, I'm basically clueless with all things Northland, but this seems really odd.

 

 

Jim's picture

WilliamD wrote:

Someone signed "John Calvin from Geneva Switzerland and Jack Hyles from Hammond Indiana" on the list as friends of Northland. They'll need to keep an eye on who's yankin' their chain. 

 

 

mmartin's picture

How many that signed the list either have college age kids of their own they could send to NIU or are in a position to influence others to go to NIU?

It is one thing to sign a petition to send to NIU's board and another to be able to back it up with the income NIU needs to continue to operate.

Don Sailer's picture

Thank you cousin Daniel for a fine letter. I'm praying for you that God will use you in a mighty way to influence the future direction of NIU.

Blessings!

Don

Brenda T's picture

So, do I have this correct?

Don is petitioning his own mother and uncles and Dan is petitioning his own father and uncle and aunt and they've already persuaded a couple hundred other people to join them in this petition.

Don Sailer's picture

Brenda T wrote:

So, do I have this correct?

Don is petitioning his own mother and uncles and Dan is petitioning his own father and uncle and aunt and they've already persuaded a couple hundred other people to join them in this petition.

 

Correct. We believe that our parents are supportive of the changes at NIU under Olson. We are pleading with them to understand that there are hundreds of people who also support the healthy changes that have taken place at NIU over the past three years.

Mark_Smith's picture

Don Sailor mentioned that the changes are healthy. Other posters on other threads here at SI have said the same thing. Let me state I know next to nothing about NIU other than that they used to be BJUs "sister" institution, kind of BJU North.

Let me ask then, how was NIU unhealthy before?

Bob Nutzhorn's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Don Sailor mentioned that the changes are healthy. Other posters on other threads here at SI have said the same thing. Let me state I know next to nothing about NIU other than that they used to be BJUs "sister" institution, kind of BJU North.

Let me ask then, how was NIU unhealthy before?

I have always disagreed with the BJU North idea. The attitudes of the campuses are much different. I am not going to comment on the particulars of this situation, but I would argue that just because it was said that the change was healthy does not mean it was unhealthy prior to the change. A child makes a tremendous amount of change (growth) through their childhood, but it was not because they were unhealthy, just that they were maturing. The same is true of a business. Most business start small and continue to grow and even change their purpose or methods. That does not mean the beginning business was unhealthy. As an institution or church, we should constantly be examining what we are doing to make sure that we are doing the best that we can right now. It is not to try to offend those from the past - or to call them unhealthy, but instead to do our best right now. I do wonder if that is some of the struggle within fundamentalism. There are some who sincerely believe that any change whatsoever carries with it a condemnation for the past. Sometimes those trying to make changes do imply that and are overly critical of the past. That is not the right spirit. Instead, we need to see cooperation and appreciation for the past as well as an understanding that not all change is accusing the past as being "unhealthy."

Mark_Smith's picture

It is what you change to that can be bad, though. Other than music, what changes have occurred on campus? I read they left behind a demerit system in favor of a mentor system. I have no problem with that in principle.

Bob Nutzhorn, you wanted to avoid saying unhealthy by changing it to maturity. Well that implies that the new is better, and the old was immature.

 

Bob Nutzhorn's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Bob Nutzhorn, you wanted to avoid saying unhealthy by changing it to maturity. Well that implies that the new is better, and the old was immature.

My argument was that a healthy change does not necessitate what was being changed from was unhealthy. It is possible to make a healthy change from something that was also healthy. You could argue why you would make the change, which is fine to argue that, but that was not your original statement. Another example: I could eat a really healthy vegetarian diet, but then decide I wanted to change that diet to include a bit of fish and chicken. That is change from healthy to healthy. For me, I would do better on the second diet because it would make me miss red meat a little bit less than if I had not meat at all. Healthy diet changed to what most agree is also a healthy diet. No need to call either one unhealthy or immature.

Jay's picture

I also think of it as going from 'healthy' to 'healthier'. 

When kids are little, we surround them with form and structure to keep them from hurting themselves or because we are trying to protect them from realities they cannot understand and manage yet.  But as they mature and become more skilled, some of those structures can be taken away - because, for example, we know they can go up and down stairs safely. 

If I had been able to listen to whatever I wanted to when I first arrived at Northland, I would not have learned to be discerning in my music nor what it means to not offend a brother by insisting on my preference.  Now I've learned that.

So it's not a matter of 'they were bad' as much as the Word has so informed my conscience that I don't have to do it with the styles that I grew up with and can 'expand' a little bit more, while keeping the Word as touchstone.

I'm thinking of these kinds of passages:

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? - 1 Cor. 3:1-3

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. - Heb. 5:12-14

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Dan Burrell's picture

[/quote]

I have always disagreed with the BJU North idea. The attitudes of the campuses are much different. I am not going to comment on the particulars of this situation, but I would argue that just because it was said that the change was healthy does not mean it was unhealthy prior to the change. A child makes a tremendous amount of change (growth) through their childhood, but it was not because they were unhealthy, just that they were maturing. The same is true of a business. Most business start small and continue to grow and even change their purpose or methods. That does not mean the beginning business was unhealthy. As an institution or church, we should constantly be examining what we are doing to make sure that we are doing the best that we can right now. It is not to try to offend those from the past - or to call them unhealthy, but instead to do our best right now. I do wonder if that is some of the struggle within fundamentalism. There are some who sincerely believe that any change whatsoever carries with it a condemnation for the past. Sometimes those trying to make changes do imply that and are overly critical of the past. That is not the right spirit. Instead, we need to see cooperation and appreciation for the past as well as an understanding that not all change is accusing the past as being "unhealthy."

[/quote]

 

I think this was one of the wisest things I've read on the whole NIU threads....

'Just wish I had written it. Biggrin

 

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

jcoleman's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Don Sailor mentioned that the changes are healthy. Other posters on other threads here at SI have said the same thing. Let me state I know next to nothing about NIU other than that they used to be BJUs "sister" institution, kind of BJU North.

Let me ask then, how was NIU unhealthy before?

 

I think that that misunderstanding is a big part of the problem. It never was BJU North. There has always been (affirmed even by students a while back) a fairly different model of ministry philosophy. Application of standards looked pretty similar, sure, but the way they got there was different.

Mark_Smith's picture

NIU used to be something else. Under Olson it changed. What are some examples of the old way and what is the new, and how is that better?

Andrew K.'s picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

NIU used to be something else. Under Olson it changed. What are some examples of the old way and what is the new, and how is that better?

Can't speak for everything, but here are a few points as I understand them:

1.
-old: demerit system
-new: emphasizes relationships/discipleship
-better how? because the demerit was largely ineffective, attempting to quantify things that, as matters of the heart, really couldn't properly be quantified, treating numerically all manner of unequal infractions arising from motives diverse as ignorance, lax discipline, and willful disobedience.

2.
-old: music standards based on cultural preferences, esoteric rules, and occasional arbitrary decisions
-new: music standards based on Biblical principles of deference and Christian liberty
-better how? (think I already answered this)

3.
-old: traditional model of higher education
-new: not really sure how it works, honestly
-better how? again, not sure; but the landscape of higher education is changing dramatically, and this step could prove either visionary, misguided, or simply ineffective. Time will tell.

Just a few things off the top of my head. Anyone on the more conversationally relevant side of the world have more?

神是爱

mmartin's picture

According to the statistics you cited, for 2010 they would need 2,700 to send in $1,000 each.

Brian Keith's picture

We alumni do need to do a better job of supporting the college.  My biggest hurdle is that I do not know any of the faculty any more - literally hardly anyone.  I believe the last couple professors that I would have known were just let go.  It is hard to give to a place where there has been so much turnover and lack of consistency.  Now, I'm all for many of the recent "changes" but those changes do make it hard to know to what or to whom you are giving.

After saying all that, we alumni do need to step up, but NIU needs to clearly articulate to whom and for what we are sending money.  People need a clear vision and a level of consistency.

DavidO's picture

The signees to hit up would be Brett Favre, PHD from Green Bay and Jim Morrison, prospective student from Paris, France (think The Doors).

 

Oh the pitfalls of online petitions. 

Jay's picture

Brian Keith wrote:

We alumni do need to do a better job of supporting the college.  My biggest hurdle is that I do not know any of the faculty any more - literally hardly anyone.  I believe the last couple professors that I would have known were just let go.  It is hard to give to a place where there has been so much turnover and lack of consistency.  Now, I'm all for many of the recent "changes" but those changes do make it hard to know to what or to whom you are giving.

After saying all that, we alumni do need to step up, but NIU needs to clearly articulate to whom and for what we are sending money.  People need a clear vision and a level of consistency.

This is true, but look at NIU's alumni - largely Christian schoolteachers, pastors and missionaries.  Not exactly a ton of money in those two occupations.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

mmartin's picture

Brian Keith wrote:

We alumni do need to do a better job of supporting the college.  My biggest hurdle is that I do not know any of the faculty any more - literally hardly anyone.  I believe the last couple professors that I would have known were just let go.  It is hard to give to a place where there has been so much turnover and lack of consistency.  Now, I'm all for many of the recent "changes" but those changes do make it hard to know to what or to whom you are giving.

After saying all that, we alumni do need to step up, but NIU needs to clearly articulate to whom and for what we are sending money.  People need a clear vision and a level of consistency.

 

Brian, I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the key point of NIU's situation.  While I disagree with the direction I do agree with you about the lack of consistency and poor communication about the future vision of the school.  NIU has opened the door and given legitimacy to two different support groups without really defining to either where it is going.  NIU seems to want to have both groups at the same time, something that cannot work.  One side or the other will "lose" when the new president arrives the future direction is declared.  Going down the middle won't work as well.  No matter what side you are on is not affected because as you said, "It is hard to give to a place where there has been so much turnover and lack of consistency."  Make no mistake, this will affect enrollment next year.

mmartin's picture

Per Daniel Patz' facebook wall, the Patz family is gathering tonight for a big meeting at 7pm.

Andrew K.'s picture

mmartin wrote:

I wonder how many people who are signing this list really understand what they are signing.

More than the protestors who really understand what they're protesting, I'd imagine.

I've heard, for example, that Northland now recruits only at charismatic churches, and that enrollment is down to 250.

神是爱

Steve Newman's picture

Is Northland recruiting at charismatic churches? Possibly. I'm certainly not in a position to know. But nobody has said they are or are not.

What is the attitude toward fundamentalism among the Northland students? I'm sure the things that have gone on have turned them against it.

As much as conservative evangelicals claim that fundamentalists are bitter, angry people, there is a lot of bile going the other direction related to NIU. While we haven't heard much of it, evangelicals taking potshots at fundamentalists has been a favored pastime for many years, and I'm not sure the NIU situation is going to be an exception.

DCade's picture

I admit I have been out of this loop for the past six years, and only came across this forum trying to find out anything about what will happen next at NIU.

 Our girls grew up on the mission field, and were homeschooled by my wife and me for much of their education. Our youngest daughter just finished her second year at a "Christian" university in our state, where she was taught Theistic evolution, Baptismal regeneration, and a mostly allegorical interpretation of Genesis. (All of which provided great dinner time discussions!)

She has recently decided to transfer to a Biblically conservative college, where her education will be far more encouraging for her faith. A friend of ours sent us the article written by Matt Olsen on April 19, and after reading it were convinced NIU would be a great option for her.( I figured there would be some fallout when I read the article, but honestly did not think he would resign just ten days later.)

She has received confirmation of her acceptance to NIU, and I hope and pray they make it through this tome of transition. I am very excited to see her go off to Dunbar, and wait to see what her Heavenly Father does to further conform her to the image of His Son!

They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."