We Are Still Very Concerned

UPDATE June 21, 2009
Brothers and sisters, I will be at General Assembly this week until Monday the 29th.  I will be doing daily updates, please check the General Assembly Diary page above.

For those who are opposed to the dangerous movement infiltrating the Nazarene denomination, please pray for God’s Holy Spirit to move on the people there, especially the leadership, that they will come out and stand strong against this false movement.  Pray that the Concerned Nazarenes and others going there will make a great impact with their testimony; pray for Eric Barger as he speaks twice a day, for three days, at the Residence Inn; pray for all denominations and the body of Christ, that people will not be deceived.  May the Lord give discernment and wisdom to all during this time.

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  • Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  Jude 1:3

Concerned Nazarenes have been waiting for a long time for this moment.  We believe that we are in a critical period of the Church of the Nazarene.  What happens at the General Assembly June 23 to July 3 could very well make this the most important Assembly in a very long time, and perhaps ever.  The Nazarene church has gone through crises in the past, and much change at times, and mostly for the good.  But there are many changes going on right now in our universities, and in the denomination, that are not looking good.  I and many others who are concerned, have written on this, and posted information, regarding the emergent church movement and it’s incorporation of contemplative spirituality practices which are not biblical, and much of it is heretical.

The leaders of this movement (like Brian McLaren, Rob bell, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo) have been consistently trying to undermine the authority of scripture and supplant it with “experiences”; they have been trying to re-write the history of great men such as John Wesley and H. Orton Wiley to suit their twisted theology; they are deceiving many with their false doctrines, and if the denomination’s leaders takes us down that road, it will be a grave mistake.  There will be much “carnage”, as some have told me, but it will be caused by those who are taking us down a wide road that looks nice and accommodates a lot of people, but it leads straight to a pit that is hard to climb out of.

Along the way, as we have been fighting this, those who oppose this movement have encountered much vilification.  There have been families whose long time membership at their churches have ended, because they dared to speak up and ask questions.  They have been told to shut up or leave.  There is very little room for debate, or discussion, or honest presentation of facts with emergents.  These emergents call themselves the understanding, tolerant ones, but in reality, they only tolerate you if you go along to get along. Dare to speak and say that something is absolutely true, and watch the daggers come out.  They even accuse us of… gasp!  being more like Baptists such as John MacArthur and RC Sproul!  This is one Nazarene who stands firmly with MacArthur and Sproul in their stance on the inerrancy of scripture, just as Wesley and Wiley did.  (Why, I even have a John MacArthur study Bible).

But there is a body of Nazarenes who will not tolerate the intolerance.  We have yet to meet many of them, but they are out there. They will not stand by silently while unbiblical, contemplative prayer practices originating from pagan religions, are incorporated into our churches.  Sadly, some have already left the denomination altogether, disgusted at what is happening to their churches, and they ask, why?  Where is the discernment?  Will the leadership speak on this problem in Orlando, and if so, what will they say?  Will there be warnings, or will there be an embrace of that which is not scriptural, all for the sake of some kind of unity and ecumenicism?  Will we slowly become a social oriented, environmentally friendly, ecumenical denomination, to the detriment of preaching the gospel, the true gospel.

The answer for many of us is this: we will fight on to keep as many as possible away from this deception that is occurring.  There will remain many pockets of resistance, even if this “agenda” is codified at the Assembly.  There will be many Nazarene churches, along with their pastors, who will “stand in the gap” and resist the infiltration of emergent heresy.  I will join them in this fight and will continue until it is not possible.  I pray that it will not happen, but let me remind you of our Nazarene history, that years ago, one of our great founders, Phineas Bresee, left his denomination because of the slippery slope it had gone down on, and founded the Nazarene denomination. May God help us all see what we need to see, and turn to the authority of His Word, and not man’s word.

Below is a preview of the DVD which we will pass out to thousands at the General Assembly.  May God use it to open the eyes of many to this apostasy that is occurring.  I urge all who are as concerned to pray and fast as you can, and turn to the Lord for guidance and wisdom.

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41 responses to “We Are Still Very Concerned

  1. I have read accounts of pastors that say that their ministry is being questioned and harmed because they have publicly signed internet documents that have an association with some form of emergent theology.

    They cry ‘foul’ and say that those who point out such things on the internet are wrong and hurtful.

    THEY need to consider the havoc that the emergent-liberalism has caused to the flock.

    People who have been in the church for decades, who hold to a conservative, inerrant view of scripture, and who reject the ‘new’ (actually there is nothing new about it) view of emergent theology are marginilized.

    They have left the denomination completely.
    Families are being split and friendships are being disconnected all because of this ‘new’ emerging influence. Many from the flock have been harmed or hurt.

    The flock IS being scattered. People are finding themselves without a good shepherd. However, this should be no surprise because scripture predicted this in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

    I read where a Naz pastor said that we are a group that is disgruntled because WE don’t get the answers WE want to hear when we bring up concerns and he thinks we haven’t followed the proper channels.

    That is the very arrogant and dismissive attitude that those who are concerned frequently receive.

    It’s fascinating to see our country slip into AND embrace liberalism and Socialist politics and it’s alarming to see liberalism and forms of socialism embraced by the church at large.

    We truly are galloping towards that one world political, monetary, and religious system that God warned us about.

    But of course, if you are emergent, then you don’t have anything to worry about, because THAT part of scripture isn’t to be taken literally…..you have better things to do such as, bring in the Kingdom of God by your OWN power and bringing unity to the world through contemplative prayer practices, and syncrenizing the ‘gospel story’ to other faiths.

    “Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.”

  2. I am one of the Nazarenes that has left the denomination. I finally found an independent fundamental Baptist church that doesn’t stray away from the teachings of the Bible. It was a welcome feeling to finally hear a pastor mention the rapture and second coming of Jesus Christ again. I remember as a boy growing up in a Nashville Nazarene church that taught on this subject at times. This was 35+ years ago, but I’ve not heard this subject mentioned by a Nazarene pastor in some years. We all know how the emergent church feels about this subject matter, but I for one was not going to sit back and be in an environment that welcomed the teachings of Rob Bell and others. I pray and hope that the general assembly meeting will bring this denomination back to it’s roots. For those who are in attendence next week in Orlando, my prayers are with you as you stand for the truth against the emergent church teachings being introduced into the great Nazarene denomination.

    C. William Fisher would be totally disgusted with what has become this denomination if he were alive today. I even wonder if anyone remembers this old time Nazarene pastor.

  3. Brad, good to hear from you again, and thank you very much for your prayers. I pray that you are doing well, and glad to hear you are worshipping in a strong, Bible believing church. We are praying that God’s Holy Spirit will move upon many, including the leadership, at the General Assembly.

    I did not know much about C. William Fisher, but I found a few sermons by him on the internet.

    So for anyone who wants to know who he was, here is a sermon by him that is readily needed today, even though it was preached in 1950:
    it’s called “The Time Is Now”, and includes a call to be different from the world. How true!

    http://www.raptureready.com/resource/fisher/S1C1.html

  4. Praying Yungen’s film makes a good impact. Some claim emergent is dying…even in the emergent village. I say it’s just likely shifting…or it never was the point but contemplative was???

  5. Manny,

    My grandmother loved the sermons of Pastor Fisher. She is now in Heaven, but I know she would be totally disappointed if she saw what was being introduced into the Nazarene denomination. Both sides of my family are Nazarenes, but I’m really not sure how aware they are to the emergent church movement into the denomination or universities.

    My wife and I had to visit several different churches before we were comfortable that there was no emergent church philosophy being introduced. I have become quite vocal about the dangers that are slipping into the different Christian denominations these days. I’m just floored at the attitude of Christians who do not see the emergent/friendly seeker church movements as a dangerous intrusion within the Church of Jesus Christ.

  6. The entire premise of that preview is ultimately laughable.

    Associating yoga with the Emergent Church and flashing clip art images of everything “bad” isn’t effective and is just plain wrong.

    Concerned Nazarenes can be just as so about the “Emerging Church,” however after watching this preview and reading the premise of this “group,” then I might just call myself a concerned Nazarene for entirely different reasons then what is mentioned on this site.

  7. Andrew, yoga is taught by some emergent churches, including Doug Pagitt’s church, so that is a reality for sure in the emergent list of accepted practices.

    I would urge you and everyone else who has formulated some kind of opinion on this DVD, based on a preview, to wait until you seen the entire DVD. Keep an open mind, as many emergents tell me. It is solidly researched, and best of all, biblically grounded and sound.

  8. All I can say is that I hope our denomination makes the right decision.

    Wiley wrote against the inerrancy of the Scriptures in his Christian Theology Vol. 1 and his Theology was the required text for the course of study for a long time.

    Our denomination has never believed in the fundamentalist version of Inerrancy.

    I hope it never will. We will cause many people to lose their faith if we accept such a view of the Bible. The belief of inerrancy is the best tool the devil has, because when people find out it doesn’t live up to the expectation, they lose all their faith because it was built on a false premise.

  9. ExNazarene,

    I don’t mean this condescendingly, but I do need to say that some of your post is misplaced.

    The idea of a one world government, monetary system, etc, as being found in Revelation/Daniel didn’t find it’s way into the church until about 1830.

    Did you know that Preterism, an idea I’m sure you’re against (as I am as well), is actually older and a bit more historic than the “one world gov’t” premilennial dispensationalism that you just spoke of.

    Sadly there’s nothing conservative about such a view of Revelation, it’s very liberal. Even the large majority (more than 90%) of conservative scholars would disagree with such an interpretation of Revelation.

    So to equate Emergent/liberal ideas (which are not one in the same) with not reading Revelation literally (and actually a literal interpretation of Revelation WILL NOT yield the interpretation you’ve put forward) is to miss the point.

    It’s just not a tenable interpretation of Revelation, liberal or conservative.

    In fact, it’s an entirely western, and largely American view. It began in New England and gained steam with the Baptists as American autonomy began to increase, and our economy began to grow through Capitalism.

    This view gained the most steam during the cold war era, when socialism was “on the march” and “fast encroaching.” It is largely a view which reads American situation, and economic philosophy into the text. It is strongest among those who are very patriotic and against anything that seems to threaten American autonomous sovereignty as our own nation, and threatens our economic system.

    Just some insights which might help you rethink, rephrase what you’ve said in better, more accurate terms.

  10. Tyler, please give me the references regarding Wiley’s opposition to inerrancy. I have plenty I can give you, as well as Wesley.

    The other comment you made, are you really serious? If you tell a non-believer that the Bible is truthful only in certain areas, THAT I what will turn people away from the gospel. Why should they believe anything in the Bible, when you make the case that some things in the Bible are not true?

    That’s all for now… busy in Florida already, getting ready to expose the false teachings of the emergent church to as many fellow Nazarenes as possible at the General Assembly. Perhaps someone else can respond this stuff, but I don’t have time right now.

    Always trusting and believing the ENTIRE Bible,
    Manny Silva

  11. Tyler,
    I have heard those arguments before regarding the end times. I am also painfully aware of the emergent view of Kingdom Now theology and the low view of end times eschotalogy. Those two views just can’t co-exist. One has got to be brushed off…..just like scripture predicted it would be.

    ….knowing this first that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3-4

    “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book UNTIL the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12:4

    Yes, it might be a recent view of end times eschatology, but, we were told in scripture that the signs wouldn’t be understood UNTIL the time of the end.

    So, this view might have gained much steam in recent history, but it is because the signs of what we are to look for all make sense now and can be understood.

  12. Tyler,

    Where do you get your information about the denomination not believing in the inerrancy of the Bible? Fundamental or not, Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. John 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    My grandparents were Nazarenes almost from the start of the denomination in the early 1900s. I always heard from them which they learned from their Nazarene pastors that the Bible is the Word of God. Inerrant in all it’s words.

  13. Brad,

    I never said that certain Nazarenes never believed that. I said the church as a denomination never has. I’m not saying that the church believing it is right or wrong, I’m just saying that’s how it is. I do believe it’s a good thing, but that’s not ultimately my point. My ultimate point is, the Nazarene denomination has never believed in the absolute inerrancy of the Scritptures.

    I also love your Bible passages. Thank you very much for quoting those. Those are some of the most important passages for setting up a Biblical view of not only authority, but also faith. Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever, not the Bible. Excellent verse!

    Also, Jesus is the Word. Not the Bible. Excellent verse! Our faith is to be in Jesus, whom the Bible inerrantly reveals, not the Bible itself. The Bible can inerrantly reveal Jesus without getting every issue in the whole thing correct. That’s just a fact. The “Logos” in John 1 has nothing to do with the Bible. It has to do with God’s action in the world… God’s action itself took on flesh and walked among us, so as to save us. AMEN! Thank you for quoting such a great passage.

    exnazarene,

    I don’t have a low view of end times. I just think THAT specific view is misplaced. It’s possible to have a very high view of end times prophecy (correctly interpreted) and still absolutely reject the view you spoke of. That view is highly indebted to American patriotism and philosophy, not Biblical Exegesis. That view doesn’t have much support. Only by lay-people. Even among pastors it’s not the majority, especially those who are scholars and such. Even very conservative ones.

    Both those passages you quoted are excellent passages. The first one dealing with the LORD Jesus Christ’s second coming. The second one dealing with Israel’s hopeful return of exile and restoration… leaving us with our future hope of our own restoration at the final resurrection. Excellent passages. Neither have anything to say about the version of eschatology you espoused. Thank you for your thoughts though. I agree, a high view of what God will do in the end of days is extremely important, but only if interpreted correctly.

    Manny,

    I never said Wesley didn’t believe in the inerrancy of Scriptures. That’s a tough subject. What was meant by that back then is largely different from what fundamentalists mean now, plus they didn’t know as much about History, anthropology, and biology as we do today. Some of those thoughts would have probably been reformed in light of knowledge. A professor at Calvin college recently published a book saying that if Calvin were alive today, he would believe in evolution, because he believed in taking the most accurate historical and scientifical truth in helping him come to a right knowledge of God. I think the same can be said of Wesley.

    I mentioned Wiley. I can get a quote for you if you like. But i don’t have the time right now. It’s widely accepted by everyone that Wiley rejected the absolute inerrancy of the Scriptures. No one thinks that he supported it. No one, so it’s a shame that you’d put that in your post, because it simply makes it sound like you haven’t done the proper research. It seems you’ve done good research on plenty of other issues, so it’s a shame not to have done so on that one.

    I hope that is not seen as an attack, just an assertion.

    (I used an old email address on the first posts to avoid putting my email out there, I’m warry about such things. If you tried to reach me via that route, and it failed, I apologize. I am now posting my current, active address. Thank you Manny).

  14. Brad,

    If someone were to write the most important, best researched history of the Roman Empire, but it happened to get a couple details and dates wrong along the way, would that mean you shouldn’t read it? Would that mean that overall it was untrue, or factually incorrect? No. It would simply mean that there are a couple of things which need to be viewed in light of better research on those specific issues. However, the bulk of the book would STILL need to be read and HIGHLY regarded, as it would give any student of the time period the most important discoveries in Roman History.

    The same can be said of the Bible. To put a requirement on the Bible that it be 100% true in everything in order for it to inerrantly reveal God or Christ or salvation is simply a false dichotomy. It stems more from a desire of what we want the Bible to be, and our own lust for certainty which we owe to modernity, not to God. God asks us to have faith in His Son, not certainty in the veracity of a book. The Bible is more than adequate to provide us faith in His Son. What it tells us about evolution is a different issue entirely.

    Manny,

    I apologize. I read both names you mentioned as “Wesley.” You wrote “Wiley” the first time and “Wesley” the second time. Thank you for your reply, I’ll have to find that quote later today.

    Also, as far as the Bible not being inerrant causing someone not to have faith: Let me address this issue.

    If someone were to decide NOT to believe in Christ, because there were some errors in the Bible in Genesis, Joshua, Samuel, Exodus, that’s not God’s fault, or the Bible’s fault. That’s their fault. Likewise, Paul addresses that issue in Romans 1:18-23.

    They wanted to have certainty in a book, not Faith in Christ. Their condemnation is deserved. So that view actually has nothing to do with people not having faith, their own lust for certainty is what causes it. A desire (lust) for certainty is the opposite of faith. Faith is what saves.

    The view of inerrancy however, COOPERATES with that lust, and when it is let down, it makes shipwreck of many people’s faith, young and old. When one desires certainty, instead of faith, and they are told they can have it in the Bible, a false sense of certainty is built, and a very weak foundation for faith.

    Therefore, when someone finds out that there are two passages in the Bible which speak of two different people killing Goliath, they wonder how it could be that the Bible isn’t inerrant, and then they wonder if they can trust what it says about Christ (which is, as I’ve shown previously, a false dichotomy), and they subsequently lose their faith.

    Inerrancy is doing a very good job on college campuses around the country of de-evangelizing young Christians. I have witnessed it first-hand many, many times.

    I don’t dislike inerrancy on the idea. I love the idea. I have just found it to not be true, and I have seen what an awful untruth it is. What destruction it wrecks everywhere it goes.

  15. Tyler, those who doubt the Word of God are in serious trouble.
    I choose to accept and trust God’s Word COMPLETELY.

    Your view of scripture is absolutely incorrect and misguided. I will just comment on one thing you wrote:

    “The Bible can inerrantly reveal Jesus without getting every issue in the whole thing correct. That’s just a fact. The “Logos” in John 1 has nothing to do with the Bible. It has to do with God’s action in the world… God’s action itself took on flesh and walked among us, so as to save us.”

    Who told you this? Where did you get this opinion? From the Bible? On what authority in the scriptures do you come to this conclusion? Where did you get this “fact”?

    Once again I tell, tell Bible is God’s Word… we do not worship a book, of course not… we worship Jesus, who is revealed to us through the Holy Scriptures. This argument is repeated over and over by emergents, and it is a false argument.

    I pray that you will someday come to realize that God’s Word can be completely trusted, my friend.
    I trust in Jesus alone, who is revealed in the infallible Word of God.
    AMEN

  16. Tyler,

    More support on the inerrancy of the Bible. (Also, the Bible is just not a book it’s God’s message to mankind)

    John 8:31-32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

    Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

    As for your comment on evoution, don’t go down that pathway because you will be surely disappointed if you believe in it.

    As usual, I hear the cafeteria style offering of selections from the emergent church when it comes to the truth about the Word of God.

  17. Tyler,

    This is from the Articles of Faith on the Nazarene website:

    IV. The Holy Scriptures
    4. We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.

    (Luke 24:44-47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

    I am tire of unknowing individuals who say this and that about the Nazarene denomination. If you want to make a claim Tyler, you better have the stuff to back it up. I’m third generation Nazarene and have a heritage rich in the activities of this denomination. I wouldn’t doubt if some distant relative of mine was at Pilot Point, Texas when the Nazarene denomination was mergered together with it’s Northern family.

  18. Manny,

    I apologize if I come across to strong or unchristian like in my replies. As you know from our communications, I have been in a long hard fought battle myself here at home against the emergent church encroachment and I’ve become very battle weary.

  19. Brad,

    I’m not doubting the sincerety of your beliefs, or of your relatives.

    I’m simply saying that if you read it, it says it inerrantly reveals the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to salvation.

    That has nothing to do with science. And nothing to do with history. It also doesn’t say it’s absolutely inerrant.

    Also, it’s not an emergent belief to deny the inerrancy of Scritpures. Nazarenes have been doing it for a VERY long time. So have many other churches. WAY before Emerging folks ever began to emerge. Please don’t confuse things.

    Manny,

    Who told you that the “word” in John 1 has anything to do with the Bible? Is it in the text there? No. The text only speaks of Jesus. Not the Bible at all. John was not talking about his gospel at all in that statement. So i’m not sure what you mean by the thought that somehow you’ve come to your conclusion on the basis of the Bible, because that conclusion is nowhere in the text.

    THank you for your response though.

    To both Brad and Manny,

    You have not responded to my comment about the book on Roman Empirical History. Please tell me. Should a student not trust this book for the most valuable historical research and discoveries in the most important areas of Roman history… even though it contains some minor errors which other scholars have found better information regarding?

    Manny,

    I agree the Bible is God’s message to mankind. Written by humans, in the form of a book.

    Regardless of WHAT it is… the nature of truth remains. Minor errors here and there do not distract or detract from truth itself. My point about the Roman book still holds water, and has still not been dealt with.

    Nor has my points about lack of faith and lust of certainty.

  20. Manny,

    also, a sidenote.

    I have a couple VERY good calvinist friends who believe in the absolute inerrancy of the Scripture. Both believe that John 1 helps support inerrancy. However, they were both willing to admit that it certainly does not come from the text, but from a philosophical rendering of what the Bible is in relation to Christ. I’m wondering if you’d be humble enough to be willing to admit the same? This would help the dialogue along, and would provide ground which we can meet on to discuss the issues, and actually discuss the text. Thank you very much sir.

  21. Brad, your seemingly “harsh” comments are understandable. I myself am a little tired of getting arguments that are based on man’s intellectual reasoning, instead of a faith and trust in the Word of God. Sometimes you have to call it like it is. Paul’s letter to the Galatians would not be well received by many Christians today!

    Tyler, again, I am working hard already down here and cannot respond as fully as I want to. I just simply want to repeat what I sadi before: I believe and trust the Bible completely.
    If you want to refer to some Calvinists, listen to the sermons on inerrancy from John MacArthur. Then let me know what you think. He preaches from the Word of God, and refutes every emergent argument from the scriptures. I pray for more clear, expository preaching in the Nazarene church as well. And believe me, there are many Godly preachers in the Nazarene church right now who are rejecting this emergent theology completely. They are not silent, and soon many Nazarenes will know if this attempt to undermine God”s Word, and they will not stand for it.

  22. Manny,

    I would counter and say that you should listen to Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright and some of his sermons. He doesn’t believe the Bible is absolutely inerrant, he’s EXTREMELY conservative, relies on the Bible just as much as MacArthur, and is far more knowledgable and a far better scholar.

  23. Tyler,

    Tyler, your example on the book of Roman History is invalid. Your reference to the history book is based on man writing the book and we all know that man makes mistakes. You don’t seem to be able to separate the Bible as being written by direct inspiration from God.
    Meaning the spirit of God wrote the Bible through the use of man.

    And yes I did answer your question about inerrancy of the Word. If salvation is based on belief in Christ, then you believe in his word. If you believe in his word, then it is the inerrant word of God divinely given to man. And if you believe in the word then you believe he arose from the dead and that is something science can’t explain. Also, if you believe in the his word, then you believe in the history of his life that is written in the New Testament. I see that the Bible does deal with science and history.

  24. Manny,

    Where does the Bible say that the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible through man? I’m just curious. Don’t use Peter or Timothy, both of those passages do NOT say that.

    If you can show using a different scripture than those… then I’ll believe it. However, the Bible nowhere says that. Therefore I cannot believe it. Instead, the Bible says over and over that men wrote the Bible, inspired by God. Therefore, it is both divinely inspired, and humanly written. Therefore, it is possible to have errors in it.
    That’s a good thing. We should be grateful.

  25. Manny,

    I found some Bible verses and some scholarly quotes that makes sense about our discussions with Tyler.

    Jesus warned that man is a poor guide for those seeking truth. “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

    Johann Goethe, the 18th-century German novelist and scientist, wrote: “It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.”

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20).

    Jesus is the embodiment of truth, which is to say He is the origin of all things and there is no falseness in Him.

    I also read that post modern/emergents don’t believe in absolutes so there is another dividing part in this discussion. It always has to be subjective with them.

    I found a good analogy for this discuss.

    If God wrote the Bible, why do we give the human authors the credit?

    This is how God works. I see it like a mother making cookies. Her young child so badly wants to help. So, even though Mom could do it much more quickly and with much less mess if she worked alone, she gladly accepts her child’s help. Then when the cookies are done and Daddy comes home from work, Mom proudly displays the cookies and says, “Look at what little Susie made for you today,” taking none of the credit for herself.

    God uses His people to carry out His tasks—not because He needs us, not because we do such a great job—because He knows that we are blessed by being used by Him. It is clear that none of the writers of Scripture could have conjured up the writings without God’s inspiring them.

    “And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:18-21).

  26. Brad,

    I’m not an emergent. I’m not post-modern. I do believe in absolute truth. I believe we’ve been quite arrogant in our claims to totally know it, but I believe it’s there, I believe we can speak meaningfully about it, and can know a great deal of it to a good extent. That’s not postmodern. That’s a rejection of both Modern arrogance and Postmodern subjection. It’s realistic. It’s an observation of reality, and our attempts at learning or knowing absolute truth.

    So please don’t call me postmodern, as it’s not true. And please don’t call me emergent, as that’s not true. I’m a Nazarene. 3 Generations of Nazarenes. Our family has always believed what the Manual says, and what the Bible says, that the Bible is good for teaching doctrine and practice. It is good for knowing God’s saving plan, God’s person, and His Son Jesus Christ. Why do we need it to be so much more?

    Again, that verse in 2 Peter doesn’t say God wrote the Bible. The only part of Scripture that passage talks about is Prophecy. So if you want to say that all prophecy in the Bible is written DIRECTLY by God… that’s fine. I won’t argue there.

    That’s a very small percentage of the Bible. And it doesn’t include Joshua, Samuel, or Genesis.

    That’s all I’m saying. Let’s talk honestly about the text, and what it actually says.

    Let’s not call names. I’m not postmodern. I’m not emergent. So learning about both those things won’t help your conversation with me. I haven’t called you all names yet. I haven’t falsely accused you of being something you aren’t. Please give me the same respect and don’t do so to me.

    The Bible nowhere says it was all written by God through man. It confirms over and over again the human hands that wrote it. The human minds behind the words. It says they were inspired directly by God.

    I believe that with all my heart. However, any man inspired by God may do MANY MANY powerful things for the kingdom, and still make insignificant errors along the way. We witness that sort of thing all the time. Now, I admit, the inspiration of the Scriptures is a FAR greater level. But it doesn’t override the humanity of the authors. God doesn’t do that. God works through humans. He’s not the God of Calvinism.

    Sadly, only a Calvinist could TRULY believe that God took control of the authors and made them write verbatim what he wanted. I don’t think either of you are calvinists. So i find it strange that you would take such a view considering:

    1) It’s found nowhere in the Bible.
    2) You’re not calvinists
    3) The Bible itself confirms my position

    2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

    That is what the Bible is. That is what we need it to be. That is what the Church of the Nazarene has always believed it was.

    Neither Jewish History, or Biological science, or origins of the universe are mentioned here. That’s my point.

  27. Brad,

    Also, who says those verses are about me? Who says they aren’t about you?

    The standard mentioned was “you shall know them by their fruits.” You don’t know anything about my fruits. Therefore you have no right to say that verse has anything to say about me. What if I am bearing the fruits of the Spirit as Paul requires? You have no grounds on which to base any opinion.

    Keep in mind Brad. I’m not talking about subjective truth. i’m talking about absolute truth. It is absolutely, objectively true, to both you and i, that the Bible was written by man, inspired by God, and does so contain some errors in areas of Jewish History, origins of the universe, and biological science. It is absolutely the Word of God for the Salvation of Men.

    That’s an absolute truth claim that I’m making.

    Who says Jesus’ first quote you put up didn’t have to do with you? Who says you’re not the blind one leading men into a ditch, while I’m speaking the truth?

    Do you see the way that your use of those scriptures assumes a meaning which

    1) is not in the text (it’s not talking about you or I).

    and

    2) assumes you’re correct. If I’m correct, that verse could be speaking about you. So you didn’t really say anything or prove anything iwth that verse. You might have simply indicted yourself.

    Keep in mind here. I’m claiming absolute truth. Objective truth. Not subjective truth.

    Please stop falsely accusing me. Again, I have not done so to you. Please give me the same respect.

  28. Tyler said:

    Again, that verse in 2 Peter doesn’t say God wrote the Bible. The only part of Scripture that passage talks about is Prophecy. So if you want to say that all prophecy in the Bible is written DIRECTLY by God… that’s fine. I won’t argue there.

    That’s a very small percentage of the Bible. And it doesn’t include Joshua, Samuel, or Genesis.

    The Bible is at least 1/3 prophecy and that is no small portion.

    I never said, “Tyler you’re an emergent or post modern”. I used the term to explain my conversations and dealings on this subject in the same manner as I have in the past. You’re claiming I used these verses directly at you which again is untrue.

    My experience in the past is when I will not agree with someone’s point of view, the accusations start hurling in my direction. You have just demonstarted that in your reaction to my reply.

    Billy Graham once quoted he would rather live as though God existed and then died and discovered he didn’t exist instead of living as though God didn’t exist and then die and discover that he did exist.

    I personally want to live my life in the belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God cover to cover. I don’t push my personal beliefs on anyone and I just try to live according to His Word.

  29. Brad,

    I’m not sure where you get that 1/3 of the Bible is prophecy. If you mean 1/3 of the books are prophetic books, that is believable. However, not all of the text contained in the prophetic books is actually prophecy.

  30. Brad,

    I’m not sure where you get that at least 1/3 of the Bible is prophecy. If you mean 1/3 of the books are prophetic books, that is close, but still not true. However, not all of the text contained in the prophetic books is actually prophecy.

    And, also, 33% is a minority. Therefore, I think it can fairly be stated that it’s a “small amount.”

    I also made no accusations of you.

    “I found some Bible verses and some scholarly quotes that makes sense about our discussions with Tyler.”

    How would these make sense of my conversation with you, if they have nothing to do with me? Or my conversation with you?

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood, I just don’t see how that makes any sense.

  31. Tyler,

    To get around all the skeptical thinking, God blessed with us with the ultimate proof. I believe divine faith is what God uses to establish a relationship with man. Faith in God is a gift given to people who are willing to receive it. Faith does not have to compete with opposing theories; it is the purest form of truth.

    We are not talking about blind faith in a deity that you cannot prove or disprove. This type faith is the direct result of the working of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God gives several examples of how the Holy Spirit is a vital factor in leading people to the truth.

    “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things of the Spirit for they are foolish to him, and he cannot understand them for they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).

    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Tit. 3:5).

    “You are a new creature in Christ, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. There are two members warring against each other. The Spirit which is quickened, or alive, and your sinful nature. The Holy Spirit works within you, both to help you think the way God thinks and to overcome the power sin has in your flesh. Paul tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit that is at work within us” (Eph. 4:30).

    “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).

    With faith being given out freely to all who seek truth, Christians have no need to be in the business of mixing science with religion. With prayer, we have the ability to supernaturally win over even the most stubborn skeptics. I think trying to debate science and the Bible is harmful because it distracts from what is clearly a better way to win people to the Kingdom of God.

  32. This is my last comment on my discussion with Tyler and I put this subject to rest as far as I’m concerned.

    The Bible is not a book of science. It’s obvious from Scripture that God seems totally disinterested in explaining how He performs supernatural feats. The Great Creator occasionally provides us with a few minor insights into His handiwork that predate modern scientific discoveries. For example, in the Book of Job, the Bible tells us, “He stretches out the north over empty space, and hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26.7).

    Because so many unknowns are associated with early earth history, we’re limited in the amount of knowledge we can gain from studying this period of time. When we get to Heaven, an untold number of mysteries will be divulged to us. Until that day arrives, it’s best to concentrate on the more important salvation issues.

  33. Brad, thanks for taking most of the responses. We are swamped here at GA! Bless you, brother!

  34. Brad,

    I think those last few comments were well put. I agree there are more important issues, such as salvation issues. Also missional issues, justice issues, transformational issues, and holiness issues.

    This is why I get very frustrated with people who want to push inerrancy as somehow being important at all. Much less Biblical.

  35. Instead of arguing about the second coming or the inerrancy of what words Article 4 talks about, how about you guys going to the mission and serve a meal. Mow your neighbors yard. Visit a nursing home. Teach the 5th grade boys VBS class. . . oh, I could just go on and on but then I might be mistaken for this pointless blog. Heavenly minded….earthly useless.

  36. Kathleen, you have sadly missed the point totally. It’s about preaching the Word of God and bringing people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ! That is far, far more important than feeding someone, and certainly more important than mowing a yard. Sure, food is important, but what good is it, if that person eating the food, is heading straight to hell, because he believed in a false gospel, or never heard the gospel at all, because Kathleen or her friends were feeling good about having fed someone.

    Sorry to scold you like this, Kathleen, but please, re-evaluate your priorities, and start preaching the word of God and the saving power of believing in Jesus Christ.

  37. Kathleen,

    “For the body is not one member, but many” — I Corinthians 12:14.

    In the natural body, each part works in perfect unity. The eye guides the path and is working for the good and protection of the whole body. The ear is alert to any benefit it can impart to the other members. Surely not the most comely, the faithful feet tirelessly bear the weight of the whole body, without which it would be immobile. Not any Dart works against the other, but each does its best to shield the other members from harm. Can you imagine one foot working against the other to trip it up, or one hand striking the pencil from the other because it desires to do the writing? Rather, it gently holds the paper that it may remain firm under the hand that holds the pencil. If one part of the body is in pain, the whole body suffers and comes to the aid of the injured member.

    Likewise is the spiritual Body of Christ. The eye cannot say it has no need of the hand (vs. 21). In this pure, sanctified Body which is the true Church, there is absolute, unmarred harmony. It is not confined to any certain group. Rather, it is an invisible Church and its members are here and there throughout the earth. From age to age it has been so. In this Body God has, and will bestow, the gifts of the Spirit. To one the word of wisdom, to another knowledge, to another discernment. He has set apostles, prophets, teachers; after that miracles, gifts of healing and many others. Neither are all teachers, nor are all bestowed with helps and governments. But God has tempered the Body together. Without schism, the members have the same care one for another as do the members of the natural body. In Ephesians, chapter 4, we read of that state of perfect love and unity of the Church. Rich in the gifts of the Spirit, the Church is perfected and edified unto a perfect man (II Timothy 3:17). It is in this blessed state that the Church will stand fast in one Spirit, and with one mind will strive together for the faith of the gospel (Hebrews 13:9). She stands even now in her beauty and purity and raiment of needlework.

  38. Wow! I have to agree with Manny and Brad on this Kathleen. What would make you think that those who care about the integrity and authority of God’s word are not helping others? I have spent time in public service, and I have been a member of a few charitable organizations along with contributing to and helping others when I can. I have done whatever good by and because of God’s Holy Spirit living within me, otherwise it would have been a total waste of time! Without God’s word to verify the spirits voice, we are adrift in the labyrinth of our own inadequate self. Our good works are worthless except to satisfy our own selfish need to feel good about ourselves.

  39. Manny,

    There is a three part study by Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon call Weaning Evangelicals Off the Word. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know the true dangers of the ECM (Emergent Church Movement) from the viewpoint of these two Bible scholars/defenders of the Faith.

    The link is posted below.

    http://www.thebereancall.org

  40. Manny,

    I have done some research to Tyler’s claim about the Bible having contradictions in some areas of the Old Testament. He makes reference to two different names given credit for slaying Goliath. One in I Samuel (David) and the other in 2 Samuel (Elhanon).

    These two replies are by Jack Kelley of GraceThruFaith.com in response to questions on Inerrancy of the Bible.

    1) Bible inerrancy is best viewed in the macro rather than micro sense. The only reason it’s an issue at all is that some want to decide for themselves which parts of the Bible to believe. By finding errors they feel justified in questioning the Bible’s overall accuracy.

    A better way to view the issue is to ask yourself if you believe the Bible is the Word of God, or does it merely contain the Word of God? If you choose the latter, then you’re giving yourself leeway to disregard parts of the Bible that conflict with your opinion.

    Copyists errors are often left in with notes because the original language is lost and anything they say would be conjecture. These errors are sometimes discovered when passages conflict with one another for no good reason. For example in 1 Samuel 17 it’s clear that David killed Goliath. But in 2 Samuel 21:19 some texts say that Elhanon killed Goliath. It’s thought that the 2 Samuel passage should say that Elhanon killed Goliath’s brother and 1 Chronicles 20:5 confirms this. But translators are often reluctant to change the wording of a passage, preferring to use a footnote.

    It’s important to remember that none of these so-called errors changes the overall message of the Bible, or causes confusion over exactly what God has done for man and what He asks in response.

    It’s just man’s way of trying to find loopholes in God’s Word.

    2) God’s word is inerrant, but unfortunately man’s translations are not always so. Usually all it takes is a little digging to clear up the apparent contradictions. Your example of Ahaziah’s age is a good one. According to 2 Chron. 21:20, if Ahaziah was 42 when he began to rule, he would have been older than his father who was 40 when he died and Ahaziah succeeded him. 22 is the correct age and 42 is an obvious translation error.

    Some commentators have disputed Israel’s population numbers simply because they don’t believe them, not because there’s legitimate reason to doubt. Though these numbers have been carefully cross checked and judged to be valid, they claim the total in Numbers 2:32 should be about 6000, not 600,000. They arrive at this conclusion by saying that in chapter 2 the word for thousands should be translated as if it were hundreds. Remember only God’s word is inspired, not the human comments that accompany it. Ask yourself these questions. How does anyone know what the population of the world was at the time? And would a Jewish fighting force as small as they like to make it have so threatened the most powerful nation on earth that they would have resorted to infanticide to control them? Remember, the Jews had 400 years to multiply, lived on average 3 times as long as the Egyptians, and were blessed by God with extraordinary fertility (Exodus 1:7).

    Like most things Bible inerrancy is a matter of the heart. (Many people who dispute inerrancy are really looking for a reason not to believe God’s word.) If you begin by trusting God and do a little homework when you find an apparent contradiction, you’ll find your belief confirmed. But if you begin by doubting Him and look for ways to support your doubts you can find them too. And you won’t have to do any homework.

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