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.
- 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.