Honesty. Integrity. Transparency.

Some people talk a lot about such things. The cynic suspects that those who talk most about these topics give the least evidence of their internal presence. As if talking will substitute for the real thing.

For example, my most recent post highlighted a chapel speaker at Northland International University in recent days. It included a link to a recent worship service at the church where the speaker is the pastor. I encourage you to check out that link today.

  • A sample of the “worship” at this church.
    Today, April 27, 2013, this  is what you get when you click that link:
This is a private video. Do you have permission to watch it? If so please provide the correct password.

Honesty. Integrity. Transparency.

Yeah, you can get that in spades from NIU and its friends.

Below is the “Core Values” page of NIU (emphasis added):

Philosophy of Education

The goal of Northland International University is to provide an atmosphere of academic excellence and classroom discipleship to prepare servant-leaders for Great Commission living. True education produces individuals with “both hands of skill and hearts for God” (Psalm 78:72). The Northland International University faculty is committed to train individuals whose chief desire is to serve the Lord so that they will be motivated to serve others in their chosen field of ministry.

Northland rejects the idea of a value-free education and believes that truth is centered in Jesus Christ and that all knowledge should be related to Him. Northland believes that the Bible should be the philosophical foundation for all subject matter and that it is a faithful guide for all curricular and pedagogical decisions. By committing to carefully and purposefully delivering truth in the classroom, Northland seeks to produce future servant-leaders who can likewise communicate biblical truth with clarity and passion.

To accomplish this goal, Northland strives to offer courses that provide students with both academic theory and character development in a rich, hands-on learning environment. This emphasis allows Northland to equip students with the ability to confront the unforeseen challenges of the future while enabling them to have immediate success in a variety of ministry settings. In order to continue their education and to graduate, Northland students must demonstrate both academic competence and godly character consistent with the vision, values, and philosophy of the institution’s mission and ministry.

Purpose Statement

Preparing the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living

Mission Statement

The mission of Northland International University is to glorify God (1) by providing an educational environment for developing servant-leaders in honesty, obedience, wisdom, and service to love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, and mind and (2) by teaching students to live by the principles of God’s Word, to walk with God as His faithful laborers, and to serve in local churches for revival, world evangelization, and the discipling of future generations for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Statement of Practice

Northland International University stands firmly in the stream of Baptist faith and practice. We recognize the need for a Bible college to rekindle a fervor and zeal for the ministry both at home and abroad. Each major is saturated with Bible and doctrine courses as well as practical ministerial training courses, both of which are vital in preparing and training students for life and ministry.

Institutional Objectives

We aim to direct students to:

  • Grow in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to love Him with all their hearts, souls, and minds.
  • Develop hearts for God and conformity to Christ’s character in academics, attitudes, and actions.
  • Strike a biblical balance in their lives between holiness and love, the external and the internal.
  • Build and defend their faith.
  • Grasp the polemical (attacking the error) and the apologetical (stating the truth).
  • Grasp the exegetical (opening their minds to the Word in private) and the affirmational (opening their mouths to the world in public).
  • Gain confidence in holding their views and humility in expressing them.
  • Live in godliness and faithfulness by developing the following patterns: walking in the Spirit; learning and living the principles of God’s Word; establishing daily devotions, Scripture memorization, and an effective prayer life; and serving in the local church and reaching others for Christ.
  • Demonstrate the love of Christ by reaching the unsaved for Christ and by strengthening and discipling other Christians.
  • Have a burden for worldwide missions and to prepare laborers for worldwide evangelism.
  • Develop their academic potential to the fullest for the glory of God and the good of others.
The Seal

We have chosen the Northland International University logo to be a constant reminder of our mission and core values: the four missional lines from Acts 1:8 crossing our four core values of honesty, obedience, wisdom, and service.


Being transparent with God and others


Doing what I should do, when I should do it, how I should do it, and with the right heart attitude and spirit toward the authority asking me to do it


Skill, ability, and insight gained from God’s Word for the purpose of living a life that honors and glorifies God


Investing my life (personal relationships, personal plans or priorities, and personal possessions or pleasures) in ministry for the good of others rather than for the pleasure or advancement of self.

Our desire is that Northland will encourage others to experience “an extraordinary life.” May God be glorified throughout all His creation, and may the good news of Jesus Christ be preached to the ends of the earth!

Code of Conduct

To preserve the integrity and philosophy of ministry at Northland, we have established the following standards of biblical conduct, as further explained throughout our policies and procedures.

  • Dedication to God: an unreserved, life time commitment to God (Romans 12:1–2)
  • Devotion to Others: an unselfish, sacrificial love for others (1 Corinthians 13; Mark 10:44)
  • Disciplined Living: a sustained, daily effort to be controlled and directed by the Holy Spirit (1Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:25–27)
  • Dependable Spirit: doing what I ought to do (1 Corinthians 4:2; Proverbs 25:19)
  • Discerning Mind: the ability to see people and circumstances as they really are (Hebrews 5:14; 1 Corinthians 2:14)
  • Discreet Lifestyle: the ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes that are not pleasing to God (Psalm 112:5; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:29–30)
  • Discipleship Ministry: transferring convictions to others (Matthew 28:19–20; 2 Timothy 2:2)



  1. That really is odd.

    Of course, there are all sorts of possible reasons why the video (which was public on Thursday of this week) went private sometime between then and the time of this post, and we can only guess at the motive. We obviously can’t *prove* motives in this case.

    But it truly does nothing to alleviate people’s concerns, and smells like poorly implemented PR damage control.

    I hope the real reason truly is something more innocent.

    • You’re right, of course. I certainly hope there is a good reason for the change. Hard to imagine what it might be, I don’t think having a video on Vimeo costs anything, no matter how many people download it. What other reason could there be?

      And it does seem to follow a pattern.

      I am heartily sick of the whole mess.

      See you next week.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

      • Just a note, to whom it may concern: I just trashed a comment by someone who gave a first name but a false e-mail address. We don’t post anonymous comments here. Have the integrity and courage to use your real name. Please offer substantive comments as well. If you want to use name-calling and specious arguments, they will be posted, but they will also be pointed out.

        Don Johnson
        Jer 33.3

  2. My goodness. How many things are going to be removed / blocked / whatever?

    If your conscience is clear, if you really think you are doing the right thing, you don’t have to pull stuff. You be right up front with what you are doing and let the Lord deal with the fallout.

    You don’t even WANT support from those who don’t agree with you. Those are the ones who you MOST want to know all the details of what you are doing, because if they feel like you brought them in on false pretenses, you’ll have conflict division, feelings of betrayal, etc.

    That’s how you behave when your conscience is clear about what you are doing.

  3. Mark Smith says:

    Any chance the problem is their copyright license? Churches that sing CCM must buy an annual copyright license to use the lyrics and music of CCM music. Included in the cost is the size of the church and the size of the audience that will hear it. It is one thing to have a license for your congregation, it is another to broadcast on the internet. Most churches that live stream their services do not live stream the worship for this very reason.

    Just a thought on why they might have hid the video.

    • Thanks for the comment, Mark.

      Yes, that would be a possibility. It could also be easily explained, correct? In any case there are many similar videos from this church available on the web. It is not like what they are doing is a big secret.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  4. Mark Smith says:

    Don (aka ox),
    I went to Guy Conn’s church website and found some Easter service music performances. It was full blown rock band with lights off in the sanctuary, flashing lights on stage, smoke, etc, with a choir added in. I must be naive but that isn’t what I think of when I think “fundamentalist”….but apparently I missed the memo changing things up!

    This style is what EVERY charismatic and seeker-sensitive church in the country (that can afford it at least) does for their music time.

    • Mark, I agree. I saw your comments on SI today. I think those over there who are moving this direction are kidding themselves. As they say, “Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.”

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3