A Call To Stand In The Gap

From Sue Butler at  sadnazarene.wordpress.com

Dear Nazarene Christians,

My name is Sue Butler and for the last 13 years I have been a member, along with my husband at Albany Grace Church of the Nazarene. I as a young child was bussed to a Nazarene Church in Valdosta, GA. Over the years, we have been very active in our local church.

Recently, we came across some terrible information when we researched some of the teachings that were showing up in our literature, as well as terms that were cropping up, that were similar to Catholic terms. Then, we discovered the “Emergent Church” folks and were alarmed at how our schools and seminaries have opened the doors to them and their heresies, especially in programs such as Youth Specialties, Youth front, etc., which have wholeheartedly gone the way of this “new conversation”.

Of particular interest, is the influence of Brian McLaren. After careful research, we were deeply appalled at his foundational beliefs.

Another alarming influence in our denomination is that of Jon Middendorf. He has adopted the “emergent” viewpoint from all the indications we have found. I spoke with Jon Middendorf about some of the teachings, which are not found in the Bible. Jon was very polite and kind, but we were not able to come to any agreement on Biblical Authority. Please check out the dialogue between him and Greg Horton. Other things being taught such as, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Prayer, Icons, Labyrinths, and the uplifting of Catholics such as Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, St. John of the Cross and “St. Ignatius of Loyola” which our own Nazarene Publishing House puts out a book for our youth promoting him as a great Christian! This man was part of the Counter Reformation. This literature is unacceptable.

The biggest heresy, in our opinion, is the praying method being called Contemplative Prayer / Centering Prayer (known as mysticism). Where is the scripture for such New Age stuff? When you research this type of prayer the alarm starts to go off.

Dr. Daniel Boone.” Says, in the Alumni spotlight. “I find myself deepening in the practices of spiritual formation that have shaped the saints of the ages, Lectio Divina, fasting, Sabbath observance, care for the poor, journaling, and contemplative prayer.” What exactly is contemplative prayer? If we go to Richard Foster, he will point us to Thomas Merton, which was known to be one of the greatest leaders in contemplative prayer/centering prayer (mysticism). Henri Nouwen is one of Dr. Daniel Boone’s spiritual guides; if we find out who Henri Nouwen looked to we will find Thomas Merton.

In an interview with Christianbook.com Dr. Daniel Boone states Henri Nouwen has served as a spiritual guide. Eugene Peterson has been a distant mentor through his writings and Bill Hybels is mentioned, along with Barbara Brown Taylor. The material we have included will help you to see their unbiblical practices. Concerned Nazarene’s have spoken with Dr. Daniel Boone; we would like him to openly help us understand these practices. When we went to our pastor with these concerns, they were dismissed at first. Then, it was admitted that he was already aware of these teachings in Seminary and seen nothing wrong with these teachings. We are truly brokenhearted over the danger facing our denomination. We want all to be awakened and join us as we fight to alert our brothers and sisters in Christ of the dangers of engaging in these mystical practices.

To that end, we are asking you, as people who love the LORD JESUS CHRIST to please examine what the claims that are being presented. If you also find it troubling, pray about what God would have you do. I hope that the solid people in leadership positions will take note and purge out the leaders who are taking us down the road to destruction. We are building a website to house information pertinent to this cause. Will you stand in the gap and be counted for the LORD?? If you disagree with us, I welcome your comments.

Please take the time to examine these claims. The Bible exhorts us to study for ourselves and also to examine ourselves, repeatedly. Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayers are that our denomination might once again glorify Jesus Christ in all we say and do. Sincerely, Sue Butler

1. Re: Dr. Daniel Boone- http://www.nts/edu/alumni-spotlight–dr-dan-boone-winter-2007/

Concerned Nazarenes.net

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15 responses to “A Call To Stand In The Gap

  1. all these letters seem bogus because they all read exactly the same way. They all quote the exact same sources and push the EXACT same thing.

    I think someone is generating these, or at least providing people a template.

    Who is “Sue Butler” and how can she be contacted?

  2. Who are you, Adam? Are you a Nazarene? Do you support the emerging church movement and its heresies? Have you taken the time to examine these claims, as Sue has asked people to do?

    As far as Sue Butler, there is a link at the top of the page to her blog where you can read the original letter.

  3. When you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger. If you notice, Manny…he didn’t refute any of the CONTENT of the letters. Just the lady sending it.

  4. An all too familiar tactic unfortunately. I ask all who are reading this in the next several days to pray for those who are standing firm, and are being attacked and denigrated for the sake of Jesus Christ and His true gospel.

  5. Be encouraged to continue speaking out and standing firm on truth. I am not Nazarene but am seeing the same in my Church (an association of Churches) and have recently left due to all of my concerns being met with disregard. The following are some of the things I’m seeing:
    – When the term “emergent” is used they will claim that you are putting them into a box and labeling them and that we shouldn’t use labels or names.
    – Not everything is black & white and there are many gray areas.
    – The Kingdom of God is the here and now and we are responsible for bringing it about. (social gospel, creation care, etc)
    – Old is new and we need to get back to the ancient ways (mysticism).

    There’s more. That’s just off the top of my head.

    My prayer is for people to wake up and to see Truth. Thank you being the Watchman on the wall.

  6. Susan, you hit the nail on the head with those points. I grieve with you that you had to leave your church, but faithfulness to God and His Word trumps loyalty to any denomination or leader. The courage of people like Sue is incredibly encouraging in the midst of what seems to be a great apostasy sweeping the Nazarene church, and almost all other evangelical churches across the country.
    Unfortunately, many who have read this story are already closing their eyes, and not looking to verify what she has testified to. An attitude of “let’s all try to get along” instead of “let’s all stand for the truth, no matter what the cost”.
    I pray that you are in, or soon will be in, a church of solid Bible believers who trust completely in the Word of God.
    Blessings,
    Manny

  7. Manny,

    As a fellow Nazarene, I’m saddened to say that the emergent movement is even greater then I thought within the Nazarene denomination. My discussion of Rob Bell materials with a Nazarene pastor was quite alarming with the take that Rob Bell creates deeper thinking about Christianity. I watched the “SHE” DVD by Bell and was floored by it. Also, Velvet Elvis leaves you with a pit in your stomach. The young pastor I talked with recommends this reading and I was just completely shocked in hearing this.

    I think Rob Bell should read Proverbs 16:2 (KJV)
    All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes: but the LORD weighth the spirits.

    Good news though, I was able to find a strong Bible teaching church, but I had to leave the denomination to find it.

    We all have to become stronger Bereans then the ones during the time of Paul if we’re going to cut off this emergent church movement.

  8. All to much I am hearing this every week, Brad. How long will it take for people in our denomination, including our leaders, to wake up and see the apostasy that is spreading like cancer.

    I am glad you have found a strong Bible believing church. That is good news. That is far more important than to continue allegiance to a church which has lost it’s way.

  9. Thank you Manny, for your encouragement. There is a small group of us that, after many attempts over the past year in confronting and speaking truth to the mega-church we were a part of, have left and have started our own Church. We have been meeting since Feb. 1st and have about 50-60 people.

    Today we started a series on Galatians. Paul certainly didn’t promote the notion “can’t we all get along” in regard to truth. Galations 1:8-9

  10. A church of 50 healthy, Bible based Christians is far better off than a mega-church of 1000 being deceived. May God bless your new fellowship. The Galatians reference is one of my favorites, in terms of showing people how serious Paul was about defending the true gospel.

    Often I am told “let’s just love one another”, or “let’s just live like Jesus, and let our actions show who we are”. Well! An atheist could seemingly live like Jesus in their actions, but how will the people know the gospel unless we speak it to them!

    Reminds me also of a famous saying by St. Francis of Assissi: “Preach the gospel at all times — If necessary, use words.”
    A completely ridiculous statement from the Christian perspective, and really not biblical, I’m sorry to say, because the gospel is only preached by either speaking, or by the written word. How many countless people will be lost of someone follows this advice?

    Blessings to you, and thanks for the encouraging news from you.
    Manny

  11. Manny,

    Again, I want to thank you for the job you are doing on bringing the dangers of the emergent church to light within the Nazarene denomination. I have discovered that the teaching materials that were listed on the Nazarene Church website I visited have been removed.
    It included Rob Bell and Dallas Willard.

    I’m still in shock that a pastor would ask me to think of God with feminine gender traits. This is what’s promoted in the Rob Bell DVD “SHE”. Bell even misquotes the book of Job. I feel that I have done my homework and checked scriptures and I can’t find anything stating God has female gender traits.

    Psalm 23:1-3 (NASB)

    1 The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want.
    HE makes me lie down in green pastures; HE
    leads me beside quiet wasters.
    HE restores my soul; HE guides me in the paths of
    righteousness for HIS name’s sake.

    Matthew 6:9 (NASB)

    9 Pray then, in this way: Our FATHER who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

    Please don’t take this as bashing women because i’m not, I love my wife as Christ loves the church.

    The times we live in fit with 1 Timothy 4:1 (NASB)

    1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.

    I don’t know about you, but I believe in the rapture and feel that we are that generation. We don’t know the day or time, but we know the season. And I feel this season is the same as the time of Noah before the flood, or the time of Lot at Sodom.

    It’s a time for us to be looking up for our blessed hope.

    I will continue to pray for you and the work you are doing and for others who are in the middle of this batlle of apostasy against the emergent church movement.

  12. Manny and others,

    God bless and strengthen you as you resist the lies and deceit of the enemy. I find the statement, “Preach the gospel at all times — If necessary, use words” by St francis just as ridiculous.

    The Gospel is a message that must be taught and preached. There is no other way of getting it across to people.

    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

  13. Manny you are doing a great job in trying to alert the Nazarenes as well as all Christians of this heresy, that is
    no doubt apart of the great deception that Jesus speaks
    of in Matt.24:4-5. “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name.”
    The Emergents speaks of Jesus, but those of us that examine their doctrine in the light of God’s word, find another jesus, another gospel, another spirit.
    If we ever overcome as a denomination we must purge
    this heresy from among us, and the professors that are
    propagating it. The Spiritual Formation Classes and their
    love afair with Roman Catholicism has to be done away
    with or ICHABOD will be the inscription over our Church
    doors.
    Blessing on you and those who have shared in this great
    concern.
    Beverly

  14. Did any one even bother to inform this Sue Butler, that the Catholic church is the center and basis of all religions. Did she ever stop once to think-that doctrine as she knows it may be wrong. Maybe she should do some serious reading and -USE THE REASONING ABILITY GOD GAVE HER!- It is just funny how right foot and left foot believers can agree to disagree.. Just leave if you don’t agree with others opinions. Sounds self conceited to me…

  15. Hello, No Way Out,
    Is this your only way of defending heretical Roman Catholic practices?
    This is a typical response from people who cannot defend these things with the Word of God- I again let your comment in mainly to illustrate the emptiness of your arguments.
    That’s the problem with folks who think like you- let’s use reasoning above the Word of God- and then decide that our own reasoning is above the scriptures, because it fits in well with what you want, not what God wants.
    Jesus Christ is the center of the only TRUE religion, and the many heretical teachings of the RCC are condemned by the scritures, not by me or anyone else.
    I welcome you to defend the many RCC heretical teachings with scripture, not with your own reasoning.

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