Stand For Truth, Or Stand On The Sidelines

My friends, the only way we can really make a real difference in this world is to stand for the truth! Last week, Sue Butler reported on how she and her husband have come a long way in their fight for the truth. I’m sure they have suffered much personally. Only they know how much, but they are willing to risk everything for the truth. Question: how many of you have taken the time to investigate her claims? Or has she been dismissed as someone who is making up these things. If so, for what purpose? So she and her family can suffer ridicule, as if that is something we all desire? Do you think I have a desire to be ridiculed, or insulted, or deemed a liar, by intentionally posting something that I don’t believe to be true?  Well… I only welcome ridicule or insult in the following respect:

  • James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

We must be committed to the truth without compromise! I am committed to speak the truth regardless of the consequences. You can only be one of two things: you can be in the world and mixing with it, or you can be among it but not of the world, and only serving God.

  • James 4:6-8 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

I was watching a John MacArthur podcast titled Authoritative Nature of Truth, Part 1, and he said “the truth of God is completely outside of us, individually or collectively”. In other words, God does not dwell in us, as many New Age types teach, and which many emergents imply in some of their teachings.  The truth resides solely in, and is from God alone.  The truth does not reside in us, because we are all born liars, totally incapable of the truth on our own.

So in making decisions or judgments,we can do it based on our subjective feelings, or on the objective truth of the Bible. How many times have you heard several different people in a class or Bible study say, “well, this passage means this to me”, and you end up with several different meanings stated, of which none may be the actual meaning of the passage. The question should be, “what is God saying to all of us in this passage?” God is not a God of confusion, and it is ridiculous to think that John 3:16 or most any other plain spoken passage can possibly mean different things to different people, and in different contexts or cultural situations. That, however, is the theological framework of the emergent church movement!
(I realize that there are many difficult passages which can be problematic in understanding them completely, such as in the prophesies of Revelation; however, I speak about those many passages which are twisted beyond reason by many emergents).

The typical emergent church type, does not believe in objective truth. If I want to get more comments than usual on a blog posting, I only need to say some of the following types of statements:

  • • “The Bible is the authoritative Word of God”
    • “The Bible is the only infallible, completely reliable source of God’s truth”
    • “We can use reasoning, opinion, tradition, and history as a way to get to the truth, but all these things must fall under the authority of the Bible, and if it does not square up with the scriptures, you must throw it out.”

I could go on with a few more, but you can see from these statements what I mean. In most of my blog “conversations” with emergents, you will see a certain pattern over and over that is predictable. One, they use language and terminology that is not only sometimes strange, but sometimes seems like it has been copied and pasted from the same few sources. I have to admit, I had never heard the word “praxis” used so many times as I have in the last year. Also, key words used by emergents include “conversation”, “authentic relationships”, “community”, “missional”, “journey”, “ancient-future”, “liturgy”, “social justice”, “spiritual”, “spiritual formation”, and more.

Two, they rarely use scripture to back up their belief system, if they actually have one. You see, most emergents I have interacted with refuse to be pinned down on truthful statements. I have asked some of them to tell me where they stand on issues such as homosexual behavior and the doctrine of original sin, to name a few. Many emergents will not give an answer to these questions, but will dance around it, or ask you a question to deflect it.

If I ask them to back that up their statements with scripture, it is rare that they do. When they do, it is often out of context. For instance, many will justify contemplative prayer techniques by referring to Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God”. It is embarrassing to see them do this, because that passage in full context is not talking about meditating and being still the way they think it is so. Yet, they insist on using it as the main verse to justify their unbiblical contemplative spirituality practices. Don’t take my word for it, read that complete passage, and you will see what I mean.

For instance, where in the Bible is there any justification for using prayer labyrinths? Yet, sadly, these are being used in Nazarene churches and universities across our country, as well as many other denominations. How can that be? Is not the Bible the sole source of truth for us? And it is also infallible and inerrant, I may add, which also gets emergents very angry!

If the Bible is the sole source of truth for us, where is the rationale for using practices outside of the Bible, to get in touch with God? Does not the Bible have the proper instructions on how we should pray? Of course it does. But man in his “wisdom” has decided to bring in pagan practices into the Christian church to supposedly enhance our prayer life, and draw us closer to God! That is both arrogant and dangerous.  We connect to God through our relationship with the One who died for us in order that we may be reconciled with God.  There is no need for further man-made techniques or methods on how to get closer to God!  Jesus Christ is our mediator before God, and breath prayer techniques, and mantra prayers, and transcendental meditation disguised as “Christian” meditation, are futile and false attempts to experience God.  You think you are inviting God in by practicing these things, but you are in danger of inviting dangerous spirits to suggest things to you that are not from God.

If anyone out there can show me, based on the scriptures,  that using such a thing as a prayer labyrinth is okay for Christians, or practicing “the silence”, I will end this blog and pack it in. If you cannot do that, you better do some serious thinking and ask yourself, why do I condone this, or why do I turn a blind eye to this in my own denomination?

We are in a time of moral relativism, when Nazarene professors are teaching that God may not know the future- yes, it’s true, they are teaching this! It’s called Open Theism.  And it is plain heresy!
And can you believe that we have pastors and professors questioning the very authority of the scriptures?  Yes, that is true also.  What is coming out of our seminaries, brothers and sisters?

I’ve been reading “The Other Side of the River” by Kevin Reeves.  It’s his story of how mystical experiences and strange doctrines overtook his own church and almost destroyed him.  He talks about how for years, he sensed something was wrong, but was somehow gripped by fear and did not go further.  In it, he says,

  • “Many other Christians find themselves in this same predicament, especially those with a genuine heart for the truth.  When some doctrine foreign to biblical Christianity is introduced into the congregation, they want to inquire into its origin and validity, but fear holds them in check.” (pg. 20)

So maybe that’s the problem today in so many churches and universities across our denomination, as well as the Baptists, and a host of other denominations.  Fear.  Fear to stand up and say, “no, this is wrong.” Fear to fight the powers that be.

As Sue Butler’s blog says, the Nazarene church has lost it’s way.  Brothers and sisters, it’s time we stop sitting on the sidelines and stand up for truth. If we don’t, we will reap the reward that we deserve from doing nothing.

1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

P.S. As I was writing this since yesterday, I noted a comment from Brad attached to the last posting of Sue’s story.  I have not met Brad personally, but I do know him from emails back and forth.  Brad loves the Lord, and is a Nazarene.  He had to finally  make a decision and leave his Nazarene church, because it’s foundations were crumbling.  He is now in a strong Bible believing church.  It’s not Nazarene, but it does have a solid foundation.  I pray for Brad and his loved ones because it must have been hard to leave behind friends, perhaps even family.  But he had to do what’s right.  He had to stand for truth.

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4 responses to “Stand For Truth, Or Stand On The Sidelines

  1. More key words and phrases:
    Engaging the _____________ (fill in the blank)
    Suffering
    Unleash(ed)
    Unleashing the ____________ (fill in the blank)
    Join(ing) the Conversation
    God consciousness
    Christ Centered or Jesus-Follower instead of Christian
    Authentic
    Justice
    Transparent
    Rethinking/Remaking – Re ________ (fill in the blank)
    What does that look like to you?
    Visioning
    Getting “messy”
    Thinking globally
    *my* Jesus

  2. Thanks, Susan. Definitely familiar terminology. Perhaps there needs to be an Emergent Dictionary or handbook of terms, so that people just finding out about this movement, can follow along a little easier.

    Did I already add “a generous orthodoxy?”

    “Tribal” or “tribe”
    “meta-narrative”
    “kaleidoscope change”
    “voice”

  3. Somehow, wordpress is not working well, so here is Brad’s comment that I am pasting in here for him:

    FROM BRAD:
    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 battle of apostasy against the emergent church movement.

  4. Sometimes we are bothered by something as Christians, but give the leaders the benefit of the doubt.

    Standing up is hard and the structure of a lot of these churches is like a corporate organization. Therefore, you feel you have to go up the ranks before bringing issues up. You get several people talking you out of what you see by assuring you it’s just your perception. Claims that we made were serious in our former church, and we took time because we wanted to be claiming truth, and then wanted to do it in the right way. It’s hard when the only ones you can get advice from on such issues are in the church with problems. Most didn’t agree or see it.

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