American Baptist Churches in the USA
P.O. Box 851
Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851
To Whom It May Concern:
Until yesterday, I was a student at Linfield College, which is labeled as an American Baptist College. I had been planning on obtaining my BA in Religious Studies here at Linfield. I chose Linfield because it is supposedly an American Baptist college. I expected the religion department to at least be led by a Christian. Instead it is led by a heretical Gnostic. Hence, I do not feel that I would be comfortable finishing my education here at Linfield College. The lack of an adequate Religious Studies program has forced me to withdraw from Linfield. Following is some points that you may not know.
Gnostics make far-fetched assumptions that are supposed to back up their views. They adapt the canonized gospels to suit their slant (i.e.: John 10:30), and fully accept scriptures found in the Nag Hammadi Library, such as that of the Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of Thomas includes no narrative, which makes it so that we cannot tell who or even how many people wrote it. It includes such passages as "hate your father and mother" and other "scriptures" that completely go against the character of Jesus Christ. Such texts (The Complete Gospels) have even been edited by atheists as well as the Jesus Seminar.
Also, the Gnostics try to confine God in a box, saying what God can and cannot do. They must be insane! For I know God to be all powerful, all knowing, not bound by time, not bound by space, and not limited to our understanding of physics.
Please refer to the enclosed document from www.answers.org/bible/gospelofthomas.html which explains in greater detail the points that I have stated. I am also enclosing a copy of the syllabus for Dr. Millar's New Testament class
As such religion (UQ) classes are required for all students here at Linfield College, I would suspect that you would not want the director of the Religious Studies program emphasizing a non-Christian view in his classes. It can be very easy to pass off Gnostics as "no big deal" but I urge you to take a close look and see how damaging these teachings can be for those who are not yet strong in their walk with Jesus.
Brian D. Smith