Conversation With A University President

As they say on Fox News, “we report, you decide.”  I have been in a back and forth dialogue with the President of Trevecca Nazarene University, Dr. Dan Boone, since I posted my article, Trevecca Nazarene University Promoting Mysticism and Pagan Practices.  We have had a cordial conversation, in spite of the harsh criticism of Trevecca that I have given in my article.  In fact, this is the first real “conversation” of substance that I have had with anyone in Nazarene leadership in the past year and a half, and that is greatly appreciated, because dialogue is what concerned Nazarenes have been looking to have for a long time.  All we have been asking for is direct answers to the questions we have about some things that have been troubling us in the past several years.

So I am posting an exchange between Dr. Boone and me (he has given me permission to share them). Here are the emails, unedited and uncensored.  Dr. Boone’s words are in blue text, my original words are on black, and my added comments are in red).

Brothers and sisters, please read this carefully and judge for yourself but only in the light of scripture.

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From:            Boone, Dan
Sent:            Tue 2/02/10 10:04 PM

Dear Manny,

Greetings friend. I just got home from a campus revival service. Over 500 students gathered for great worship. The song Be Thou My Vision captivated us in worship and praise. The preacher has been walking us through the Lord’s Prayer. (Monday night) – Hallowed name = the sanctification of the name of God in his people remaking us in the image and likeness of God. (Tuesday morning) – Kingdom come/will be done = the deliverance from self-rule and self-sovereignty for a life of obedience to God and his mission in the world. (Tonight) Give us bread = to be human is to be needy before the provision of God and humble enough to receive it. About 100 were at the altar praying tonight.

Leading up to revival, we always create a prayer room where our students can prepare themselves for revival. There are 5 prayer stations. At the first one, students read and meditate on the Psalm, “search me and know my heart, try me and know my ways….” At the second station, they pray for the entire campus to be open to the preaching of the word. At the third station, they pray for lost friends on the campus to be saved during the meeting. At the fourth station, they pray for our chaplain, the musicians, and the evangelist. And at the fifth station, they pray for their family and church back home. Two years ago we called this a prayer labyrinth. This identification bothered some people because of the association with pagan labyrinths. So we stopped calling it that. But the Concerned Nazarenes have never explained what we were doing, nor stopped hammering us about being pagan/emergent/liberal/and any other bad names they can come up with. I have answered this hundreds of times. I wish they would stop taking one word, filling it with deceptive suggestion, and labeling us. It is beneath the dignity of holiness folk.

You’ve probably also seen the accusation that we force students to take yoga as a way of introducing them to Hindu spirituality. For the record, in 110 years, Trevecca has never had a yoga class. A campus visitor saw an ad for a yoga class on our intercampus TV network. It was sponsored by Trevecca Towers, an independent HUD housing project for the elderly. They have a yoga class to increase the mobility of their residents. Most of the folk in the class are over 65 and many of them are retired Nazarene pastors and missionaries. We haven’t lost any to Hinduism that I know of.

I regret the pain you have experienced in your church and I wish you God’s healing. I can assure you that those who are targeting Trevecca as anti-Christian will not bring you much peace. They are full of fear and anxiety. I pray for them and stand ready to forgive.

Blessings,

Dan Boone


From:   Boone, Dan
Sent:    Fri 2/05/10 11:38 AM

To:       Manny Silva

Good morning Manny. Please call me Dan.

It is a joy to reply to you. I’ve regretted that 98% of the concerned Nazarenes/reformed Nazarenes communication has felt like a drive-by shooting – with the exception of one email, no one except you has even called or written me.

I am thankful for your concerns that the church be rooted in the scriptures, and also that our Wesleyan heritage be valued. As a Wesleyan, I concur with the quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, experience, and reason. This has guided the holiness movement across centuries.

In your email below I have tried to respond to the objections you have raised. Also, please note my closing note to you at the end of your letter.

From: Manny Silva
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 7:53 AM

To: Boone, Dan

Dear Dr. Boone,

Thanks for getting in touch with me, although I should have sent the article to you right away. I appreciate the response, as many of us have been seeking answers from leadership to questions about the emerging/emergent church, contemplative spirituality practices, Roman Catholic works-based rituals, Open Theism, and other teachings that have caused us to be concerned, and not just simply a few of us who are “officially” connected to Concerned Nazarenes.  Please understand that I and others are equal opportunity critics, and have been also raising questions about practices and teachings at such schools as Northwest Nazarene, Point Loma, and Eastern Nazarene College, where I attended for several years.

Thank you for the thought regarding my experience at my church, but sadly, it is but one of many similar stories of faithful Nazarenes being forced out of their churches because of this emergent ideology.  It is not an isolated incident, and I keep receiving more and more of these stories from folks around the country.  Did you know that many people are leaving the Nazarene denomination, sometimes starting their own church instead of putting up with pastors who don’t completely trust the Bible?  Much of it is due to the contemplative spirituality, emergent philosophy, and introduction of Roman Catholic practices and rituals to students and churches.  Why are these things being welcomed into our holiness denomination?   To be holy is to be set apart, yet we seem to be going the other way.

Regarding the prayer stations you mentioned, I object to those and see them as inappropriate for Christians.  Nowhere is something like it found in the Bible, and they are simply a man made ritual originating from old Roman Catholic traditions similar to the Stations of the Cross.  The same goes for prayer labyrinths, of which the school prominently displays on the website.  Prayer labyrinths are in use now in Nazarene churches as well, and it is a practice borrowed from pagan religions which has absolutely no biblical justification for its use, and certainly is not part of our wonderful Nazarene heritage.  If I am wrong on both of these, I still wait for men much more learned than me, to justify the use of these with the scriptures.

Dan Boone: I think things like this actually are found in the Bible. The practice of the OT people of God in the temple includes Psalms of individual confession of sin, thanksgiving, offering up sacrifice, prayers for their nation and king. The practice of Jesus was to go into the mountains and pray with the Father. His followers were so moved by his practice that they asked to be taught to pray as he has prayed. In the Sermon on the Mount we are instructed to go into our prayer closet, close the door and pray to the Father in heaven. The epistles are full of instructions regarding the kind of prayers we are to pray. Please read these words from my earlier email as a model of this kind of praying – “Leading up to revival, we always create a prayer room where our students can prepare themselves for revival. There are 5 prayer stations. At the first one, students read and meditate on the Psalm, “search me and know my heart, try me and know my ways….” At the second station, they pray for the entire campus to be open to the preaching of the word. At the third station, they pray for lost friends on the campus to be saved during the meeting. At the fourth station, they pray for our chaplain, the musicians, and the evangelist. And at the fifth station, they pray for their family and church back home.” We learned to pray like this from the Bible. The fact that some of these forms were practiced by the Catholic Church is incidental. Given they were the only church for 1500 years after Christ, it would be expected that the church formed in the Protestant Reformation would do some of the same things they did.

I grew up in a church that had cottage prayer meetings, 48 hour continuous prayer at the church altar, and open altar times during the early morning. I learned this from people much older than me, not from emergent theologians or Catholics. And given the setting of a college campus, with 4 to 8 people living in a suite of rooms, it is hard for students to find space and place to pray alone. To set aside a room where they can pray is a very Biblical thing to do. For someone to grasp the word labyrinth and fill it with meaning that is pagan, and accuse us of those type practices, is either a gross misunderstanding or an intentional lie.

I also believe that the trip to the Abbey at Gethsemani is wrong and should not be allowed to happen.  Students all over the country seem to be getting introduced to Roman Catholic practices and monastic rituals on a regular basis, and I ask again, why?  Why are Nazarene students going to this monastery to “fellowship” with those whose basis for salvation is works based, and not by faith alone in Jesus alone.  Why is it that your university, along with others, is increasingly promoting these events, as well as promoting the use of books by such authors as Thomas Merton, a man who equated Buddhism with Christianity, and Henri Nouwen, who was a universalist.  Do you embrace the official teachings of Roman Catholicism as being  par with our Wesleyan heritage?  I have a love for Roman Catholics, but I want to present the true gospel to them, not fellowship with them and thereby give our tacit approval to their heretical teachings by associating with them in such a manner.  I have seen the agenda for this retreat, and it is disturbing.

Dan Boone: The trip to the Abbey started in the late 1960’s with Dr. Bill Strickland, one of our religion professors. We choose the Abbey for our silent retreat for several reasons. It is affordable room and board for our students. The monks there run a retreat business that is highly hospitable. It is a beautiful setting for a retreat. It also is designed for minimal distractions – no TV’s or radios in rooms, no lobby music blaring, no fast food restaurants up and down the street. Students today live in the middle of noise all the time. We think it is important to teach them to practice the command – “Be still and know that I am God”.

The monks neither teach nor participate in the retreat.

(* Clarification: The opening prayer is scheduled to be delivered by a monk, and the students are given options to participate in some of the regular hours of prayer that the monks participate in).

We show them common Christian courtesy by inviting them to welcome the group and tell us about the Abbey requirements, much as would happen on any camp ground being leased. To leap from renting a retreat facility to embracing the Catholic theology or the works of Thomas Merton is like saying that someone who stays in a Marriott Hotel is being Mormonized. A Mormon family, or maybe it’s a Latter Day Saints family, owns Marriott. I actually like to stay there because I get a good room rate and they are clean. I am not approving their teachings by renting a room from them. This retreat is a model of what Jesus did – leaving the crowds and the noise to go into the mountains to pray, to get alone with God, to listen to the Father. The occurrence of the words “hear”, “listen”, “what the Father says”, and other similar phrases are all over the Bible. Jesus got away, quieted himself, and listened to the Father.

Manny, I am shell-shocked that any Christian would attack us for teaching students to do this and providing the most affordable, hospitable, quiet place we could find that would be conducive to this experience. We’re raising up a new generation of praying college students. Being called pagan and Catholic and new age and heretical is just unreasonable. I still have a hard time understanding this type attack.

I was not really aware of the yoga story you mentioned, but (with all due respect) I question the discernment of Nazarene pastors and missionaries who would participate in yoga, of which there is nothing Christian about it.  It is again, the incorporation of a pagan religious practice, and that cannot be separated from it.

Dan Boone: I don’t even have a dog in this hunt.

Dr. Boone, there are many of us who will not let up in asking for answers and for accountability.

Dan Boone: have hereby accounted for what we are doing, defending it as Biblical, Wesleyan, reasonable, and rooted in a common Christian experience of generations of Nazarenes. I have also included Judge Charles Davis on the email as the Chair of our Board of Trustees, to whom I as President am accountable for my leadership of Trevecca. I also am fully aware that I stand accountable to the church and have included the two General Superintendents that you have been corresponding with, along with the GS in Jurisdiction of Trevecca. Above and beyond this, I am accountable to God and am fully at peace that we are following the ways of Jesus and seeking to live as holy servants.

All we are doing is really… to try to warn you about a serious danger to the church.  We love our denomination too much to ignore what is spreading throughout the Christian world like cancer. We are in no way hateful Nazarenes, or mean-spirited, although admitting we are not perfect.  I would disagree with one of your comments, and would say that it would be beneath our dignity, not to say anything and speak out.  We are dedicated to one thing right now, and that is to preserve the purity of the gospel, which was “once for all entrusted to the saints.”

May I also offer a warning? The doctrine of Holy Love, entire sanctification is being muddied by unfounded accusations, insinuations of evil intent where there is none; and all this (with the exception of you and one other) is being done on a public website rather than person to person. It is based on a word (labyrinth) and a retreat place (the Abbey). We no longer use the word because we seek not to offend you, and the practices associated with the word  never occurred. We’ll keep using the prayer retreat site because it is a good place for our students to get alone with God.

(*If the word labyrinth is not being used anymore, is the practice still happening?  Because it is the practice or ritual which we find wrong, not whatever it is called).

What we are seeking is answers to questions such as these, and perhaps you or someone from the theology department can answer these questions:

1. Is the use of prayer labyrinths justified by scripture?  If so, please show me.

Dan Boone: We’ve stopped using the word, please stop beating us over the head with it.

(* See: The Labyrinth: A Walk to Life or A Walk To Death?)

2. Are prayer stations biblically justified?

Dan Boone: I really don’t know. I actually don’t care whether you call the place you pray a prayer station, a prayer closet, an altar, a bedside, or a quiet retreat place. But I am absolutely certain that providing places to pray, confess, intercede for others is Biblically justified.

3. If it’s okay to fellowship with Roman Catholic monks at a monastery, is it also okay to fellowship with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, who also say they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior?

Dan Boone: If you believe all Catholics to be lost and unsaved (which I don’t), this would make them sinners. I recall that Jesus was accused of fellowshipping with sinners quite frequently. I guess I am guilty. I actually think God wants us to be with them.

(*Clarification from Manny: I do not believe all Catholics are lost.  I do believe the institution of the RCC does teach heretical doctrines, such as: praying to Mary or the saints; purgatory; the communion wafer and wine being the actual body and blood of Christ; works-base salvation. Therefore, creating a doctrine contrary to the gospel is in direct disobedience to Jesus Christ and His command to obey Him in everything).
** Further clarification: A Catholic who believes in the same heretical dooctrines as the RCC teaches, and believes in works-based salvation- well, that Catholic could not be saved, because that would be believing in another Jesus.  Same goes for Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.  These folks are not truly saved).

4. Is practicing the silence (as advertised for in the retreat) a spiritual discipline, and if so, where is that taught in the Bible?

Dan Boone: “Be still and know that I am God.” Numerous Psalms that speak of quieting the heart. All the commands to listen and hear. The practice of Jesus getting alone with the Father – mountains, Gethsemane.  John on the Island of Patmos, Paul praying in the prison. I can’t believe God wants us to do all the talking. I’m sure God prefers that we get silent and listen.

(* Note from Manny: See my post regarding Psalm 46:10, which is used as the main reason to practice contemplative prayer).

5. Is there such a thing as Christian yoga, and should Christians incorporate this into their lives as a good thing?

Dan Boone: I have no opinion on this. I do think exercise is good for the body. You are more than free to make your case against yoga. I just have other things that I see as more valuable to oppose – human trafficking, alcohol destruction, hunger, etc. I am not suggesting that you don’t care about things like this, but the websites I see attacking us don’t mention these kinds of issues – only yoga, labyrinths, Catholics, and other stuff.

6. So if I listen long enough, I can hear the voice of God?  How do I know that what I hear is really the voice of God?

Dan Boone: What God says is in keeping with the written word of God, it is aligned with the character of Jesus, it is faithful to the doctrine that has been handed down to us by our Wesleyan-holiness fathers and mothers, it is confirmed by the common experiences of other believers, and it is reasonable… being that God is a God of order.

I have so many other questions to all of the universities and even to our General Superintendents, for example: how can I trust God if I believe that God makes mistakes?  (Open Theism).  But that can be another day I guess.  There are many Nazarenes who truly believe that there has be a serious correction, a repentance, throughout our universities and churches, by those who are pushing the emergent/contemplative/Roman Catholic practices in the Nazarene denomination, or serious judgment will come because of a failure to recognize and respond to this crisis.  We love our church.  Why would we otherwise pay such a price that we have paid, for what we have stood for?  Either we are confused and are disobeying God, or it is the result of faithfulness to God, and an indication of what was promised in 1 Tim 3:12:  “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

I sincerely am praying that this event will be canceled.  I understand that many were at the altar praying at that revival, but I would rather see one contrite person who has responded to the true gospel, than see 100 people praying, of which some perhaps are putting their trust in man made practices and rituals that have no basis in scripture.

Sincerely in Christ,

Manny Silva

Dan Boone: I respect your right to question these practices. I hope my response has been helpful to your understanding of the truth. One of the things I try to do when I disagree with someone is to look for signals that God may be blessing what they are doing. The fruit of Godly living, Christian service, and holy witness being borne by the students and faculty of Trevecca is easy to see. Come visit us. I wish you continued healing in your life.

Blessings,

Dan

YOUR COMMENTS ARE  WELCOME.  PLEASE DEFEND YOUR POSITION BASED ON SCRIPTURE, NO MATTER WHICH POSITION YOU DEFEND.

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83 responses to “Conversation With A University President

  1. Thanks, Manny:There are two very different positions here.
    There are two very two different views of scripture here.
    Dan’s and biblical Christianity.
    And that’s not me or anyone else deciding what or how to define biblical Christianity.
    The Bible already does that for itself.
    People just need to decide for themselves where they stand and what camp they are in.
    There are two very different camps at work here-like it or not.
    That’s just the reality of the time we are in.
    Even though Biblical Christians are now being portrayed as hateful,mean and Pharaisitical, nothing could be further from the truth.
    It’s because of love we do this.
    Jesus never came to fix society.
    If He did He failed miserably.
    Of course our Lord never failed in anything He has set out to do.
    Jesus came to settle the sin problem.
    He did this at the cross once and for all.
    Discernment ministries will continue to expose false teaching
    Both Jesus and the apostles exposed false teachers and their teachings.
    (Matthew 7:15-23; 24:11-28). The apostles also had much to say about false prophets and teachers (Acts 20:28-35; 2 Corinthians 11:3–12:13; Galatians 1:6-9; Philippians 3:1-2; Colossians 2:8-15; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-12; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:14-26; 3:2-8, 13; 4:14-18; Titus 1:10-16; 3:9-11; 1 John 2:18-29; 3:2-12; 4:1-6; 2 John 7-11; 3 John 9-10; Jude). In the first three verses of chapter 2, Peter begins to describe the false teachers who will arise. We must look carefully at his words, for such “wolves” as these will arise among us as well.
    Of course Our Lord and His apostles did not expose false teachers and their teachings out of fear and anxiety.
    Those who do err in scripture will often play the fear and anxiety card.
    When you are standing on sand instead of the solid ground of scripture you must try to induce and ensue a sense of panic which often takes hold of those who’s opinions are not rooted and ground in Gods Word.
    Jesus wept over Jerusalem and the deception that had taken hold of His people.
    Discernment ministries (all of us) weep over the deception that has taken hold over a lot of professing believers.
    That’s why we do what we do.
    Its simply out of agape (love) that we do what we do.
    Well done.
    Sincerely in Christ
    Tim

  2. Thank you for actually posting Dan’s responses. This is perhaps the most helpful thing yet in even trying to sort out the debate that has been created.

    If someone is going to say Dan Boone’s Christianity is not one based in scripture, they’ve got some explaining to do. From what he says above, I would have to describe it as “Christ-like Christianity” if I had to differentiate.
    (And ultimately, Christianity is faith in Christ. Who is revealed in the scriptures. So yes, I would also say Dan’s is a biblical Christianity.)

    If Trevecca’s victim is scripture, I would imagine you would certainly have much to say in response when he contends that, “have hereby accounted for what we are doing, defending it as Biblical, Wesleyan, reasonable, and rooted in a common Christian experience of generations of Nazarenes”

    The way his argument is presented with numerous biblical examples (not least of which is Christ himself), as well as exhibiting sound understanding of correct interpretation, such as: “What God says is in keeping with the written word of God, it is aligned with the character of Jesus, it is faithful to the doctrine that has been handed down to us by our Wesleyan-holiness fathers and mothers, it is confirmed by the common experiences of other believers, and it is reasonable… being that God is a God of order.” leaves little room for error, and I would submit demands a serious answer if the debate is going to go forward, not the empty rhetoric of Tim Wirth.

    And with the use you’ve made of the chance to clarify your thoughts (the writing above in red), I am wondering why they were not used more effectively for your arguments.
    In your examples, you ask:

    “If the word labyrinth is not being used anymore, is the practice still happening?”
    When in the paragraph before, Dan clearly states, “the practices associated with the word never occurred.

    The second insert is to clarify that you don’t think all Catholics go to hell, just real Catholics who agree with Catholic doctrine,

    And the third, from what I gather, is to refute the use of a psalm while the vast majority of Dan’s justification goes unanswered.

    Even if it is not the place of this particular article to do so, I would say that if the group of Nazarenes with which you align yourself is to continue assaulting the activities of Trevecca and other Nazarene institutions, truth demands that his justifications be sufficiently answered. As of yet, they are not.

    Perhaps I am unable to sufficiently comprehend the differences in what we perceive as what we are reading: I look at Dan’s comments and see a Christ-like, biblical, Holy foundation for the University’s conduct. Some apparently do not.

    I also ask that you do not discount my opinion as jaded or dishonestly biased, as I am graduating this May from Trevecca as a religion major, and as a pastor holding my district license from SC. After all, we Trust the testimony of Biblical voices like John specifically because of his insight and proximity to Christ.

    Trevecca, I think, will not be praying for a specific event of yours to be cancelled, but rather for God’s truth to prevail in this time, and for the church to be a stronger family because of it. As Christ said, “Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me” John 18:37

    Patrick T.

  3. Thank you for the interview, I am new to these issues and new to the faith in a Nazarene church.

    Someone named Tim wrote, “Thanks, Manny:There are two very different positions here. There are two very two different views of scripture here. Dan’s and biblical Christianity.”

    After this Tim sited a lot of scripture in reference to their being false teachers and “wolves”. But he did not in anyway show how anything Dan said was false teaching by biblical standards?

    Do all we have to do to “DEFEND OUR POSITION BASED ON SCRIPTURE” is call someone a false teacher then list passages where the bible says their is such a thing as false teachers?

    I am not sure how Tim defended his position with the Bible, because I think we can all agree that false teachers exist. The question is if Dan Boone and Nazarene colleges hire them?

    From the interview I have not seen anything to be that concerned with or given any biblical reason I should be.

  4. “One of the things I try to do when I disagree with someone is to look for signals that God may be blessing what they are doing.” I love this statement. The end justifies the means I guess huh? The thought is rampant on our district. Do whatever you have to do (violate scripture, spit on wesley’s grave etc.) to get the desired result.
    “May I also offer a warning? The doctrine of Holy Love, entire sanctification is being muddied by unfounded accusations”…so let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya in the name of love…So Sanctification should deepen our desire to get along and promote acceptance of the scriptural deviants? Is that what it produced in the Apostle Paul?

  5. “Did you know that many people are leaving the Nazarene denomination, sometimes starting their own church instead of putting up with pastors who don’t completely trust the Bible?” God is birthing a new movement of holiness. God has settled it in my heart that it is time to walk away. Kevin, I pray that you will not be deceived by the smooth talking denominational leaders who are refusing to take a stand against the emergents. After all if Catholic adherents who worship Mary seek absolvement of sin from an earthly priest are saved maybe the hindus are on the right track too.

  6. Thanks to Manny for putting this dialogue out there, and for contacting Dr. Boone. A biblical way of handling things, I think. Thanks to Kevin and Patrick for pointing out that Dr. Boone’s responses were biblically founded. I see nothing in any of the posts written by Dr. Boone that would implicate him as a false teacher. I have sat in master’s classes under many of the professors in Trevecca’s school of religion, and my experience has been that these are teachers that have a high reverence for Scripture and a desire and an ability to divide it rightly. I would encourage Manny to take Dr. Boone up on his invitation to visit.

    The lengthy discussion about the Catholic church and Catholic spirituality brought this to mind. Next week at our church we are celebrating Ash Wednesday and inviting our people to consider how they might observe the season of Lent. In our service there will be scripture reading, the singing of hymns, and prayers. We may even recite a creed. We will also include a time where those who wish to may have ashes applied to their foreheads. For Lent we have mentioned fasting as an encouraged activity. Are these practices biblical? Some might say that they smack too much of Catholicism, and that they encourage a works-based righteousness. I disagree. Hymns, scripture and prayer are all valid and accepted elements of worship. The creeds of the early Church are not biblical per se, but they are concise statements of faith that have their foundation in Scripture. As for the ashes, the wearing of ashes was common in Biblical times to signify repentance.

    And as for fasting, our Lord himself practiced it and taught about it. Fasting during Lent is an opportunity to identify with the sufferings of Christ, something for which Paul prayed. Maybe I am rambling, but my thought is that if we are Nazarenes who are faithful to our Wesleyan heritage, then we confess that, while we understand Scripture as sufficient to communicate God’s will to us, we also confess that tradition, reason and experience are valid ways that God can use to communicate His will to us. They must answer to Scripture, but they are valid. The creeds are ours. The traditions of the early church are ours, and can be useful in teaching the faith and forming disciples. To make the jump from the apostles straight to John Wesley and then to Phineas Bresee deprives us of a rich heritage.

    And as for the “prayer labyrinth” and its supposedly pagan roots, aren’t there those who would ditch our celebrations of Easter and Christmas if similar logic were applied? In this prayer model (let’s call it that), people are being taught the value of prayer. They are praying to the same God, the same Christ, the same Holy Spirit to which we pray. They are praying for the same things I pray for, and they are even praying for me. I can’t see why anyone would have problems with it at all. I encourage you, Manny–don’t say anything else about it until you check it out. The invite is there–go.

    And I have to say this to my brother, RevRick. I am praying that God would bring about a new holiness movement in our day. You are seeing that, as indicated by your post. And God has given you a release to walk away from the COTN and into this new movement that you see. As a pastor I have had a handful of experiences where I have heard similar words from folks that have felt led to go somewhere else. It saddens me that you feel the way you do about a church that I dearly love. However, if that is where you are, there isn’t much that anyone else can say or do, is there? As I have told others, you’ve “played the God card”, and I don’t have anything that can trump that. If God has released you, then He has left no more room for discussion. I pray that God blesses you and your future as you follow Him.

    Grace and peace to you.

  7. The more I thought about this dialogue between Manny and Dr. Boone, the more I was being overcome by anger and frustration. However, as I prayed about it, I realized this is nothing new and that it just serves as a reminder that being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is never easy. Indeed, it comes with the struggle of the Cross (Mt. 10:38). The Bible tells us that the Word will fall on shallow soil (Lk. 8:4-21), yet we are commanded to spread the seeds of Truth anyways, letting God curse those who bear no fruit (Mt. 21:19). Sometimes, our earthly life seems like a vale of tears (Ps. 23:4), but God will deliver us when we place our trust in Him (Dn. 6:16).

    I truly am sorry this email exchange was not more productive. God’s grace and justice will prevail, no doubt about that.

  8. Jimmy B.,

    Why don’t you just pour a whole bucket of ashes on your head and repent, for even considering putting a “spot on your forehead” which is an anti-Christ act of worship.

    Please read the following verses:

    But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

    Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

    If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.

    For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot;

    Job 11:15

    You’re probably thinking, why is that numskull making that “spot” literal? Well, Jimmy B., there is no logical reason for you to engage in such practices without following someone’s example.

    1. There is a literal mark coming on the forehead.
    2. The Bible differentiates between a “leopard” which cannot change his spots and a savior that had none.
    3. If you were going to compare an ash spot on the forehead to the OT practice, I hate to see what you’re going to fast from. You probably won’t loose any weight.
    4. The practice also has pagan roots.

    Where do you draw the line?

    Please reconsider participating in a “worship” that does not honor scripture or our savior.

    In Charity,
    Steve

    PS Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and Easter Bunnies and any other counterfeits should be biblically addressed in the church. Also Jesus was born in September, and He was not crucified on Friday.

  9. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    2Tim 3:6,7

  10. Just a quick response to Steve–
    No, I didn’t really think anything about a “numskull,” but I did wonder what I said that would invite such a response. I believe everything that we are planning for our Ash Wednesday service is supported biblically and traditionally. The fast that I was actually considering is drinking only water and fasting sweets. I have done that before and it has been a useful discipline from a spiritual and also a health standpoint. I have seen God use fasting as a time to get people’s attention (including mine). And as for the “spot,” in past Ash Wednesday services I have made the mark of the cross rather than just a spot on the foreheads of those who desired to participate. I see your attempt at connecting a spot of ash on one’s forehead with a future mark of the beast. I see no biblical or logical basis in your argument. Again I refer to my previous post–I am a Nazarene and I come from a Wesleyan perspective, which considers tradition as a valid way for God to communicate with us, and also considers us to be part of one holy catholic (small c–universal, not large C–Roman Catholic) and apostolic Church. This is who I am. Our use of ashes, our observance of Ash Wednesday, our reciting of creeds (we recited the Nicene Creed this past Sunday as a part of our communion service), the practice of fasting–I have no problem with any of them. I never said that I believed that any of them had salvific merit, or that such practices were of greater priority than Scripture. However, I do believe they can have merit from a discipleship standpoint. If you disagree, I invite you not to practice them.

    Grace and peace

  11. This upcoming weekend I am taking a small group of seniors from my youth group to visit dear old TNU who is working to serve the universal church today by equipping the Church of the Nazarene.

    Part of that work is “spreading scriptural holiness” throughout the land. Having received both a B.A. in religion and an M.A. in theology from Trevecca I feel I can speak to what kind of theology the Millard Reed School of Religion is producing. Doctors: Chuck Gates, Steve Hoskins, Dan Spross, Brent McMIllian, Tim Green, Henry Spaulding, Scott Daniels, Dean Blevins, H. Ray Dunning, Gary Ball, and the others I sat under had nothing but the upmost respect for the Bible. It was read as an act of devotion at the beginning of classes. I was assigned and encouraged to read it in both biblical, theological, and practical ministry classes. I was taught that scripture received more weight in the Wesleyan Quadrilateral than tradition, reason, and experience. In three different church where I have served as a Nazarene minister I have taught that scripture is the base and always has the first word in theology. During my time at Trevecca I taught a Bible Study that all on campus were invited to. For six straight semesters I taught on I Peter, I,II,III John, James, Hebrews, Philippians, and on the life of Elijiah. I had anywhere from two to twenty five students attend. Students during my time at TNU 2003-2006 wanted to study the Bible. I would like to point out that in addition to the healthy attitude toward scripture and bible study that the students and professors fostered in my spiritual life the professors prepared me greatly to combat false teachings.

    The academic prowess of Trevecca equipped me with scripture, reason, and a biblical theology that served me well during my time at Vanderbilt Divinity School where I obtained a Masters of Divinity (standard seminary degree). Vanderbilt Divinity School (VDS) is one of the most liberal non denominational divinity schools in the country. It was during my conversations and debates with Mormons, Baptists, Methodists, Jews, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, and Episcopalians that I realized just how well Trevecca had prepared me not only academically but spiritually for the abrasive winds of false doctrine. I was able to stand on a solid biblical world view and sound theology shaped and formed by scripture but drawing from tradition and experience. In classrooms where I was the only straight heterosexual and the only student who believed homosexuality was not in God’s plan according to scripture, I knew how to “contend for the faith” in love thanks to Trevecca. I write at great length not only out of love for Trevecca but to refute any claims that Trevecca is pulling away from scriptural or primitive Christianity.

    I believe that where the confusion comes into place is at the exact point the baton of the Christian faith is passed on -and pass it on we must. Tradition’s etymology teaches us that tradition comes from the Latin “tradere” = to pass on. The denomination is not in crisis. No, it is only at an awkward and serious part of the race in which one generation reaches out to another to grab hold of the baton. In relay races this can be an awkward moment. Both runners may have to run side by side for a while as the baton changes hands. One runner reaches to where they think the other runner is extending their hand. The two hands do not usually instantly meet. It is a serious part of the race and can cause anxiety to both runners and to all spectators. Of course the danger that the baton may be dropped always exists.

    The fear is that the new runner will drop the baton altogether or that the new runners want to change the baton. However, consider the direction of the runners. Are they both not running towards the same goal. Does not the Nazarene Church have her eyes set on the prize? Is this not evidenced by the work with the homeless, the revivals, the ministries to senior citizens (SAINTS) and to children (KING’S KIDS), and the servant leaders Trevecca is producing. It appears to me that the actions and fruit TNU is producing today are not very different from the work J.O. McClurkan and Co. were involved in? Is not all being done for God’s glory? The church’s quest for relevance and explorative changes need not be categorized as unbiblical. The resurgence and experiments in liturgy are nothing more than one runner’s attempt to find the hand of the previous runner. Retreats to monasteries, prayer stations, “spiritual formation”, “emerging” new life, green churches, lectio divina are more than experiments though. They are ancient techniques that other runnners have used before in passing on their batons. Now this argument and metaphor that both runners have their eyes set on the prize could be reduced to a poor teleological argument (the ends justify the means).

    However, for “concerned Nazarenes”, who are concerned with scripture. For those who would base our ethic and practice in deonotological framings. Those who would say we should only do what God has specifically and explicitly commanded consider this. Those who think that the means matter (and they really do I think)….consider this…. Part of the beauty of the Wesleyan Holiness Tradition is the broad language of love it teaches us to speak. So that those who would operate solely out of God’s command (deontological ethics) and those concerned with all sorts of practices from tradition that produce the end of love (virtue or telelogical ethics) might in the end and in the present lift up their voices to God in one accord.

    Richard Heitzenrater in his chapter: –THE IMITATIO CHRISTI AND THE GREAT COMMANDMENT: VIRTUE AND OBLIGATION IN WESLEY’S MINISTRY WITH THE POOR in Theodore Jennings’ book, WESLEY AND THE POOR writes,

    Virtues cannot be commanded, as we have noted, but must be elicited, or imitated, or implanted. Though the command to love has the form of an obligation ethic, love cannot truly be exercised by anyone who is not a loving person” -61

    We must be and not merely seem. Esse quam videre (to be rather than to seem) -TNU’s motto.

    I hope that as the conversations on this site continue we would all become loving persons who give and receive love.

    I have been so tremendously impressed with Dr. Boone’s loving responses to some pretty harsh accusations and to some pretty rash assumptions (in my humble opinion).

    And so, I can not wait to introduce some students to a place and to a people who truly are still becoming a loving people -a people, who according to the wonderful praise report by Dan Boone about the current revival, are experiencing an outpouring of the spirit of God. It may look like the baton is being dropped and it may look like the faith being passed on is one not based on the Word of God, but that is the beauty and thrill of the race. We are in the critical moments when one generation has to pass (tradere) the baton on. This is not a crisis, and although it may be a critical moment, there is precedence for it. (We may be living in “unprecedented times” in America but the search for liturgical identity (see Steve Hoskins WTS Journal article) that the COTN is going through is anything but unprecdented). It is a shaky transaction many runners have made before.

  12. I have serious concerns when the son-in-law (who is a minister and a graduate from Olivet) of a Nazarene University president promotes the heretical teachings of Rob Bell.

    Folks, the warning bells are going off and the signs of the times are plentiful. We’re trying to send the message out to everyone on what is happening in our universities and churches.

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 (I emphasize correction)

    Brad

  13. Can we get some scriptural backing for your position against prayer stations? The reason I ask is that Jesus advocated positioning oneself in prayer when he told us not to pray like the hypocrite but to go into an inner room and pray in secret. This would be the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. What biblical teaching would be against geographically locating yourself for the sake of personal prayer?

    In Christ,

    Andy Forsythe

  14. Andy,

    I don’t know who you are asking, but I believe that I read that they were too close in practice to the “stations of the cross” or of other methods of prayer forms of other religions to include paganism.

    You might enjoy your catholic faith big C or little c, I have no Idea. But as far as I am concerned and the author of this site, anything done that could be misconstrued is off limits. It is my conscience not yours.

    I personally will not light candles in my church, only because of the ex-catholics and other issues. It is not debatable.

    There are a 1000+1 ways to pray but they do not all have the wrong appearance to some.

    You are just going to have to accept that.

    My favorite way to pray is at night towards the North Star. However, I am uncomfortable raising my hands as I pray.

    1Ti 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands,

    Prayer is personal, as well as communal.

    But the devil seeks prayer and worship, and the more the emergent church grows so does these “old” forms that ought to be questioned.

    Nobody has ever said that there must be a bible verse for everything. But the bible does say try the spirits.

    1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    That is a test all of its own.

    Steve

  15. I think it would be wise to start another blogroll thing for how scripture is used in Roman Catholicism. The posts on mysticism at Trevecca and the post displaying conversations with Dr. Boone via email seem to be a discussion about the place of scripture and tradition in the COTN. Although Roman Catholics may certainly join such a conversation and be of great help since they have explored scripture and tradition long before the Church of the Nazarene was even a twinkle in the American Holiness Movement’s eye.

    Nazarenes DO in fact hold up scripture to uncover theology more than Roman Catholics do. This is because Nazarenes claim the scriptures as an authority. Experience, Reason, and Tradition are judged by scripture. It seems the unasked question that confused Nazarenes do not ask but struggle with is……does experience, reason, or tradition ever judge scripture. If scripture is our base, if it is truly canon (rule), and if we claim to stand in the Wesleyan tradition then the answer is by no means. Experience, tradition, and reason do not judge scripture.

    What concerns me greatly in this debate concerning TNU specifically is the failure to distinguish between the use of tradition and of holding tradition as an authority. I personally was greatly upset when I went to the prayer chapel in McClurkan one day and found a prayer labryinth or stations or whatever set up. The pews and altar were gone and so was the bible. In their place was enya music, incense, posters, and such. The change bothered me. However, the changes and throwbacks to ancient traditions did not really mean that scripture was being crowded out of Trevecca. Nor does holding a retreat at a Trappist monastery mean that TNU no longer holds scripture authoritatively.

    The true debate is whether some of these practices from tradition are unscriptural and here we must be careful. Some would say the Trinity is unscriptural and I believe the same logic is present when it is said that praying in practices championed my mystical traditions is unscriptural.

    I am willing to concede that if TNU started practicing all sorts of practices that were clearly unscriptural (not in my above definition of unscriptural) but in the sense that these practices clearly went against the scriptures we might could conclude that the COTN is wavering in its belief in the authority of scripture. So the real argument concerning what is scriptural and unscriptural should be a look at differences of degree rather than differences in kind. (in my humble opinion).

    Unfortunately the expose of how certain practices are unscriptural are argued in terms of logic that is rather similar to the same kind of fundamentalism that Dr. Boone referenced in one of his exchanges. It bothers me that both one reformed blogger and one Catholic blogger have taken these remarks out of context and concluded that the concerned Nazarenes are being characterized as terrorists. Perhaps again a subtle difference of degree rather than of kind.

    On a side note I would like to thank the reformed Nazarenes for helping me to discover what is dangerous in the teaching of Rob Bell.

  16. Well well, an official of a Nazarene school has the guts to speak!!!! Circle today’s date! Read all the comments, some good, others I’ve got to digest a bit more.

    I grew up under Rev. Ponder Gilliland’s ministry in the 60′s and 70′s. The key in this discussion really boils down to obedience to what has God said. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Ponder directed our prayer times, he led us in the worship of praying. Our heavenly father wants us to leave this world behind. It has no place in the church. I can hear the bleating sheep already!!! But they won’t come, go, etc., if we don’t let or do this in our churches. He has called us and…. set us apart.

    How is going to a monestary, using unscriptural curriculum in our Sunday schools, prayer stations(didn’t want to use the “L ” word to keep from ruffling feathers) … ” following me” as Jesus said. These are evidences of the world in our churches and schools. Oh but we are doing it for the kingdom and isn’t our sacrifice going to be worthy in His sight. I sincerely think not.

    interesting example of the baton… one problem. We, with all our hearts want to pass the baton of holiness on, for that is our call. The new runners want to check out the baton, to see what applies, works, if it fits, and then when and if it meets the new runners conditions they will take hold of their new baton. News flash folks!!!!!!!!! The scriptures are not up for renegotiations.. The way is narrow, not wide. I’ve also found that the way to my MASTER SAVIOR LORD COMFORTER AND IMMANUEL IS ALWAYS IN A STRAIGHT LINE TO THE CROSS. Not by way of # 1, #2, etc. WE REALLY DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS. SOULS ARE IN THE BALANCE. Thank the Lord He said ‘I will build my church” because some of His children are using what seems to be any means of sacrifice to build his church, and his warning to us is a house divided will not stand. If our denomination keeps this up, HE will raise up another holiness church that wants to follow the call to obey rather than sacrifice.

    Most respectfully,

    Mark

  17. Oh my, I just received the following email from a friend who went to Trevecca (it seems that the word is spreading about this blog, praise the Lord!):

    “Chad, the problems with their arguments are that they think Jesus came to write a book, not die for our sins, that the apostles were called to be a bunch of editors, not builders of Christ’s Church, and that the Church was called to be a book club, not a means of grace to the world….”

    He goes on to say a few other things that are more insulting than supporting of his main point, so I will not print them here. Can some of you help me provide a biblical response to this? It seems so blasphemous, especially the part about the church being a “means of grace to the world.” I told him only the Bible is a means of grace to the world. But, beyond that I am stuck. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  18. Mark,
    I do not believe that scripture is to be negotiated at all. The struggle I refer to in my metaphor of the passing of the baton is concerned with which traditions we revive and which traditions we create. Certainly scripture must judge all tradition. It seems that TNU practices ancient Christian ways of being holy in the wold. This may be alarming to suggest experimenting with ways to live out our faith in the world but again this is a race and a journey that implies development and movement.

    Nazarenes are NOT fundamentalists and I do not see how one can subscribe to the Articles of Faith and be in tune with the tenor of the COTN and be a fundamentalist. Scripture is authoritative, traditions are to be judged especially when old traditions are being revived. Just because Christians used things like prayer stations in the past does not mean they are scriptural. The struggle to pass the baton on in my metaphor involves deciding what traditions will be passed on and what new traditions will begin. Traditions are necessary for our faith in Christ because it is how we pass on the faith. Nazarenes are not on a quest for primitive Christianity. We were once the Pentecostal COTN but we have never been the Primitive COTN.

    Andy,
    Jeff Whiting suggested that some on this blog were suggesting that the reformed/concerned Nazzies were akin to terrorists flying planes into building. Dr. Boone and my reference to Dr. Boone’s comments concerned the logic of fundamentalism and fanaticism. This does not imply that they will act out violently though.

    On a positive note, I see TNU students following Jesus by reaching out to the unloved. TNU has a large number of ministries that our scriptural and Christ-like as well as a large percentage of students that participate in them. I think the novel (and it is only novel for Nazarenes) use of new liturgies and “spiritual formation” practices and new ways of cultivating “works of piety” through practices associated with Roman Catholicism and mysticism (on this site at least) does not detract students following Jesus.

  19. How to subvert the truth and overthrow the faith of many.

    Part 1 of 2

    Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
    For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
    Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
    One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
    This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Titus 1:9-13

    These verses bear witness to:

    1. Sound doctrine is the correct method to exhort and convince.
    2. There are many deceivers.
    3. They are not the quiet ones; but teaching things they shouldn’t
    4. A sharp rebuke is not unscriptural but necessary. (sharp can be kin to harsh or pointed) Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Prov 27:6

    What I am about to write will not be popular and will incite much critism, but space will not allow me to qualify every comment. It is a little to the right of Manny and other concerned Christians. But the emergent folk including some Nazarene Pastors are products of the Nazarene Education structure that is terribly off course. I didn’t say that it didn’t contain good godly men serving the Lord. The bible says of Lot; (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations. Biblical education in the Nazarene church has taken a terrible liberal turn that has produced pastors that do not have faith in the written word.

    I couldn’t care less of the motive behind the men or women engaged in false teaching; It is the teaching and their mouths that must be stopped. So says the scripture of any false teacher. Tit 1:11

    The first thing that happens on the road to apostasy is the puffing up of education. The Bible says that Knowledge puffeth up. The Bible says that wisdom of words can make the cross of Christ of none effect.

    This also creates a learned class and an unlearned class in the figment of ones imagination. In reality it is the art of using big words.

    If I had my life to live over I would dedicate myself to rewriting text books in plain speech (vernacular) to some, and sell them for half price and give the common folks Master Degrees.

    The Bible is an open or closed book dictated by God, not the study of Greek and Hebrew. The bible is revealed to babes. The following verse is the only time written that Jesus rejoiced.

    Luk 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

    When it came to education and credentials there was none better than Paul, and his example is very clear. (Except in any version other than the Authorized Version in which one cannot find the command to “study” which has been changed to “do your best” Best at what? Feeding the poor? Praying? No, the true laborer, studies the word. 2 Tim 2:15)

    Three Bible verses for the learned:

    Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

    And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

    For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

    The education of our Pastors, Teachers and Evangelist must not be (to know) some educational secret of a mystical guild that the laymen are not privileged to without your kindness. It is good to remember that the least esteemed person should be able to judge matters in the church; to include the preacher’s so-called exegesis of scripture. Yes, a spirit filled saint can judge all things. 1 Cor 2:15

    1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

    I am really sorry if this hits a soft spot to all those who have $30,000.00 or more wrapped up in a piece of paper that truly only proves tenacity. “Jump through the hoops” as one pastor told me. This allows one to work in a bigger circus. Being trained for Jesus Christ is not “jumping through hoops” it is not insignificant! However, the secret guild requires it. It is simply a method of paying your dues for a good indoctrination into the organization. (Sorry, but I right in first, second, or third person and switch whenever the mood strikes me.)

    There is an immense difference in studying the scriptures as Paul did (and admonishes others to do as a “workman”) and the liberal studying of philosophies, juxtapositions, psychology, Greek, and a very dangerous subject of textual criticism, which should plainly be called the course of “correcting bible mistakes, in which there are none, so we should rename our class find something quick.” Our Universities really need a class called correcting the correctors, and shutting their mouths 101. And doctorates should only be given to those astute individuals that can reconcile difficult verses in the Bible, proving themselves as defenders of the faith, those that “needeth not to be ashamed.”

  20. Anonymous,

    Curious name, I reckon we got our reasons for keeping silent about our identities. Anyway, I think somebody may have thought that Jeffrey said Fundamentalists were like terrorists. I believe if you go back and read his post again you will find that Jeffrey was disagreeing with Dr. Boone.

    As far as the practice of new liturgies goes and that it is only novel in the Nazarene world is not true. You and I could have a two hour chat on silly Catholics who decide to hijack our liturgy and fill it full of meaningless nonsense. They improvise the prayers given to us by the Church and do things that absolutely make me cringe. For Catholics, to mess with the liturgy like that is to put yourself on a level of authority you never should. We believe our liturgy to be called Divine Liturgy. Mass is merely a common nickname that is a derivation from a Latin word.

    I have seen similar practices in Lutheran, non-denoms, Presbyterian, and Anglican communities. One need only to do a few google and youtube searches by typing in the words emergent ________(insert denomination). If you want to see the Catholic silliness just type in liturgical abuses into your search boolean. Some may say, “well, you Catholics can’t get it right either.” To which I reply, you’re right, we don’t always get it right in practice. Thanks be to God, however, when unfortunate liturgical events occur, we have the teaching authority of the Church and the local bishop to be able to step in and make things right again. That’s one of the beauties of understanding that we are God’s sheep and the local bishop is our assigned caretaker under Christ, the Good Shepherd.

    I hope this helps clarify some things for you.

    Andy

  21. Steve,

    If you are indeed a little more to the right of me, it must be a hair’s breadth! I cannot argue with anything you said, and I believe you said it well, and truthfully.

    One of the biggest problems I have with some pastors I know, is that they consistently talk about “love” and “reconciliation” and all those things, which are good, but they condemn any kind of “harshness” as unloving and un-Christlike, forgetting many examples of “tough love”, such as Paul in Acts, when right after being filled with the Holy Spirit, called Elymas a son of the devil, and asked when when would he stop perverting the Lord’s way? (paraphrasing)

    “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?

    He then proceeded to tell him he would be blind for a time.

    How’s that kind of love work for you? It was necessary, was it not, according to Paul? Or will some say that Paul was a mean, uncaring, hateful person?

    Manny

  22. Anonymous,

    I don’t buy what you said, that Nazarenes are not fundamentalists. I’d love to see Dr. Boone go into many Nazarene churches and insult fundamentalists like he did, and see the reaction.

    Have you taken a significant poll recently, that you would come to that conclusion? My father was a fundamentalist, and preached 50 years. Most of the pastors in my area that I know are fundamentalists, and don’t buy into this emergent/mystical ideology and practices.

    So there is no excuse for Dr. Boones comments. It was a drive by slam at many Nazarenes, and I think he has been reading too much of Rick Warren, who threw the same kind of insult at fundamentalists several years ago, also putting them in the same class as Muslim fundamentalists. Big difference.

    So explain his insult away, but that doe snot change the effect of it, and he should never have said it.

  23. This is probably the most hypocritical and nitpicky blog I have ever seen. Shouldn’t we Christians be working together in unity rather than blindly attacking each other over trivial issues? This is the kind of stuff turns non-Christians away in a heartbeat. Is this really what we need to be doing? Really?

    Yes, you’re right, yoga and prayer stations are not mentioned in the Bible. Do you drink coffee in the morning? I’m pretty sure that’s not mentioned in the Bible, are you sure that’s God-ordained? What about brushing your teeth? I don’t recall anyone in the Bible brushing their teeth. And the Internet—that’s definitely not in the Bible! Why are you using it?

    I am not a Nazarene. I wouldn’t really identify myself with any specific denomination. But I really just wanted to say that Dr. Boone’s responses to your criticism are extremely reasonable and backed up by scripture. I don’t think you have a leg to stand on here.

  24. unreformed,

    With all due respect, this is one of the silliest arguments I have ever heard. The sad thing is, I have heard it before in various forms, and it is totally without merit.

    You could try again and use the Bible as your reference if you really want to show that what I and others are doing is wrong. If you can, I will cease and desist immediately.

  25. I agree with Steve 100%. It seems the congregates in the pews know more of the errors within the Church then the Church knows the errors are being committed.

    I do not require a 4+ year degree in theology to know that something is very wrong within in the current state of the church and university systems of the Nazarene denomination. If a layman can figure it out, why can’t the leadership within the Nazarene church and unversity system?

    I firmly believe in Acts 17:11.

  26. It would be greatly beneficial to me if you could explain how your argument that prayer stations are not in the Bible and therefore should not be used is dissimilar from my (facetious) statement that the Internet is not in the Bible and therefore should not be used.

    I realize I am making a very simplistic argument, but I think you are making one as well.

  27. Jeffrey, I believe I have made it very clear in other posts, that I do NOT dislike Catholics. That is not fair to repeat when I have said it is what the RCC teaches that I oppose. I appreciate that you clarified it in the end, that it is the teachings, not the people I dislike.

    So I oppose these things because Trevecca is sympathetic to Catholic practices WHICH are unbiblical; not all are. Any Catholic practice which is unbiblical, I will oppose. That does not translate to disliking Catholics. I also oppose certain doctrines of the JWs and the Mormons, who I believe are also an apostate church.

    I do appreciate you refuting the link between me and others, and jihadist terrorists.

  28. I will not thank anything about this, although what a stellar read to see Two Christians…err…Nazarenes going at it. I will side with President Boone. Manny, this is why people don’t want to be Christian. For you it is more about being Nazarene then it is being Christian. The real question is, do you believe in the Resurrection (I’m assuming I don’t have to spoon feed you the Scripture, you prob know of its whereabouts), and that Christ is the Son of God? Glad, good to hear it. I am assuming Boone and the majority of Trevecca does too. Get off his back and go start another Crusade. Sounds like you are about to anyway.

  29. All I am sorry I forgot to insert my name so the “anonymous” from Feb. 20th at 10:20am. was Hunter. Please do not confuse future “anonymous” with me as I will try to be careful to make sure I insert my name.

    Jeff,
    I still feel that Dr. Boone’s description of the logic of religious fundamentalism describes some of the arguments considering what is “scriptural” and what is not scriptural in these blogs. However, I do not think that reference implies that reformed=concerned nazarenes are terrorists. I think to expand the metaphor that Dr. Boone uses to get at the logic of the arguments quickly becomes inflammatory and completely uncharitable. So perhpas it was not the best metaphor since it can so easily be expanded into very harmful words.

    Reformed Nazarene,
    I assume our conversation is referring to fundamentalism in a broad sense and not the fundaemntalist movement of North American Church History. In a broad sense I understand fundamentalism as very closely following a closed set of narrowly defined principles. Nazarenes adhere to sixteen articles (some of which may be interepreted in slightly different ways). The fact that our official doctrine of the second coming of Christ consists of one sentence is evidence of this practice. I am not saying that Nazarenes can interpret the articles however they want. The polity of the COTN contains accountability that gives authority to women and men to interpet the scriptures. The oft quoted “founder” of the COTN refers to the old maxim: in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity. This has been the geist of the COTN. A true fundamentalist would probably be bothered by such a statement because for them ALL matters are matters that are “essentials”.

    Andy,
    I should have explained what i meant by novel. I am having these conversations while keeping thirty five seventh graders in check while subbing! I believe that the search of the COTN for a liturgical identity is played out first in the Nazarene instutions of learning and then in the local church. It is played out as students of religion change the liturgy of the former generation by introducing new liturgies and picking liturgies and elements of liturgies from other faith traditions and from the history of the church. Example: setting up prayer stations in most Nazarene churches would be novel in this sense. Unfortunately it is this novelty that seems to scare true fundamentalists because again the introduction of things that are not “essential”, and by essential they mean scriptural in a very narrow sense, is unfortunately unchristian to them.

    thanks for hearing my rambling thoughts while I sub. I am sure there are plenty of typos, poor grammar, and cloudy logic.

  30. Jordan,
    What was that about? If it was more of being Nazarene for me, I would walk lock step with everything the Nazarene church embraces. It IS about being Christian first, and not about allegiance to everything that comes in.

    Call it what you will, this is a fight against apostasy. People become Christians because God convicts them of sin, and they repent. Now, some people will use the excuse of “Christians fight each other too much”, to have a reason to reject God. That’s a problem they need to deal with.

    I don’t believe in Christians bickering over everything and every disagreement; but I don believe in fighting for the purity of the gospel.

    Do you?

    By the way, I do believe in the resurrection. I believe in the Five Fundamentals:

    The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ
    The Virgin Birth
    The Blood Atonement
    The Bodily Resurrection
    The Inerrancy of the Scriptures

    Do you believe in these five?

  31. Please explain what is a non-essential, and who determines that?

    Let me tell you what I believe is any essential: obeying all that Christ and the apostles commanded us to do; there is not an option in the Bible to decide that a certain teaching is non-essential, unless of course the apostles or Christ said it was optional- such as the preference to eat meat or not, or to worship on a different day.

    “In Essentials, Unity; in Non-essentials, Liberty; in All Things, Charity,”

    Well, I believe this saying is really not sound scripturally, because too many people are determining on their own, what is non-essential, when it really is an essential. Obedience in all that Jesus commanded IS essential.

    BLESSINGS,

    MANNY

  32. i think anonymous was saying “real nazarenes” cannot be fundamentalists. of course someone can go into a nazarene church, take on membership, and then promote fundamentalist ideas. the concerned nazarenes are proof of that. i believe he meant nazarenes as in people who are totally in agreement of our articles of faith regardless of what their parents may have told them growing up. the funny thing about all these debates is that that seems to be the only reason most of the concerned nazarenes wont leave the denomination is simply because they have been there for a long time. they would love it at a southern baptist church. they would meet lots of like minded people there who will call the same people heretics that the CN’s do. they will find more people who think scripture should be taken literally or as tim put it think “scripture interprets scripture”. even if the CN’s cannot get on board with the whole predestination thing, they will still be more in league with the thinking of the people there than in the COTN.

  33. This is where you are wrong also, unconcerned.

    The pastors I referenced before- they are long time Nazarenes who are long time fundamentalists.

    Emergents and many liberals, who do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture, just do not like the idea that many, if not most Nazarenes are fundamentalist, and would reject the emergent ideology, and especially the notion that the Bible is not infallible.

    I’m in that camp, and glad I am.

  34. When I allow comments here, it is usually because there is at least a fair amount of rationality and respectful dialogue without obviously nasty, personal comments. The ones that don’t go through are tusually not worth posting for that reason.

    I would also say this: They don’t upset me in the least, so they are a waste of time for those who think they are bothering me. Just a note for you, and you know who you are. I feel sad for people who post these things, and will pray for you.

  35. Chad D,

    I do not feel that you were given an adequate response from Manny. You cannot “simply” respond with “What you said does not make sense,” when, it makes very good sense and validates what many non-reformed Nazarenes on this blog are suggesting.

    When we cannot discuss the characterization of God’s logos, the Bible, and Jesus we hit a wall. I asked Manny multiple times to explain his perspective or understanding of this…he would not.

    “..the Church was called to be a book club, not a means of grace to the world….” This brings up a fascinating point. We should meditate on this statement.

  36. Tara,
    I’s simply because I don’t have time to respond extensively to everything written here. I have a life with a family, two boys, and I can’t make this a full time job.

    So for some statements (which was said by a friend of Chad) I will make it brief and say my opinion that way- it did not make sense to me.

    No disrespect intended; that’s my short opinion on that.

  37. I for one, would like to know what Chad’s friend meant about the bible being a book club. That’s truly a new one to me. I certainly never heard it during a priest’s sermon.

    Chad,
    Could you ask him to explain that? I’m wondering where he gets off on that train?

    AF

  38. I’ve been reading this discussion and I have to say I agree with Manny and Steve. These Roman Catholic (I’ll call them that because that’s what they are, Andy) practices are dangerous and have no place at a university built on the Bible and the holiness tradition. I have big doubts over whether defenders of the faith like J.O. McClurkan and Phineas Bresee (both of whom I’ve studied and read extensively, so don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about) would approve of things like “silent retreats” at a monastery. I seem to remember that God knew man needed a woman for companionship, so monasteries are suspect to me because the monks disavow women.

    One question I do have, though, for Manny and my other reformed brethren: When Jesus is talking to his disciples during the Last Supper he is telling them that the bread and wine (more like today’s grape juice) is his body and blood. Now, I agree that he’s obviously talking symbolically here but at the same time I believe that the Bible is inerrant in every single word and needs to be taken literally as such. Is the problem the translations we have? Because it seems like Jesus would have said it’s only a symbol. I definitely don’t agree with the Roman Catholic Church that communion has any holy aspects, but I want to understand the Bible literally too. I’d really appreciate any help on this issue.

    S.I.Y.H. (sincerely interested in young holiness),

    Josh

  39. Josh,

    There are many parts of the bible that are figurative. Jesus even calls Herod a “fox” well Herod was not a four legged animal (as far as I know) yet the Bible is still innerant, and Jesus knows what he is saying.

    There are a number of key verses that unlock other information, one of them is in Isa 28.

    Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
    Isa 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little;

    that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

    Josh, Many times Jesus would not just come right out and say what was going on. He was dealing with a perverse nation and once John the Baptist was beheaded things took a dramatic turn. To stammer means to “stop and go” or to “hesitate” or to “hem haw around” he was doing this at the last supper. It showed that the disciples believed and simply went along with whatever he said, themselves in confusion most of the time. The purpose was to snare the unbeliever. Read Isa 28:13 carefully. (read it like you were stuttering or stammering) The problem is that people do not take God literal, and think that he would never intentionally “snare” someone by “putting on” in his speech with intent and forethought. But He would and He did.

    Jesus does the same thing in John 6:55 and purposely offends and runs everyone off and then tells those who stay what he really meant.

    John 6:63 Jesus says that the “words” are spirit they are life.
    John 6:63 “the flesh profiteth nothing”
    John 6:55 “for my flesh is meat indeed”

    Well which is it Lord? The answer is that it is a spiritual truth that is literal.

    The “truth” is literally hard to swallow!

    Jesus is the word come down from heaven. When you piece meal it all together it simply teaches that as the manna came down from heaven they gathered their daily portion. Jesus came down from heaven to feed all, the word of God, which was himself. The written word when ingested into the heart is real substance and can even affect the physical appetite.

    Where the Catholics go wrong is that they miss the fact that the real bread is the “word” of God and they actually need a daily intake. When it comes to the blood it is said to be the “New Testament.” Again this is why Catholics live in the Old Testament. The reason that “Catholicism” as they say is the oldest religion is because the first priest that is called “father” is in Jdg 18:19 And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest:

    This priest called “father” kept the family statue.

    Jdg 18:20 And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the . . .graven image, and went in the midst of the people.

    You see Josh transubstantiation has Catholics starving for the word of God living under the wrong covenant, worshiping idols and images. There is nothing new under the sun. If you add other scripture you find out that someone also has been offering cakes to the “queen of heaven” for a long time. Jeremiah 44:19.

    Taking Jesus by mouth misses the heart by a few inches, and that is what separates the truth from a lie.

    Steve

    Ps
    Inerrant does not mean that there are not apparent contradictions. Jesus himself creates apparent contradictions. The Bible is a double edged sword. It must be “rightly divided” to bring unity. And it can cut in opposite directions at the same time. However it is never truly divided against itself, where ever that seems apparent, that is where a hidden truth exists. People that change verses and mess with the word thinking it is riddled with error are making a grave, and I say, grave mistake.

  40. And before all you catholics go yelling about idols. You better examine the eucharist. The magic of transubstantiation changes a dead substance into the living body of Christ. A dead image into a living image. And Catholics do bow to it.

    So save the rhetoric for another day.

  41. Since the words from Chad’s friend apparently ‘don’t make any sense’, allow me to elucidate on the point. First, a simple quotation that sums it up:

    ‘Islam is the religion of the book; Christianity is the religion of the Word Incarnate.’ -Thomas Howard

    At His Ascension, Jesus Christ our Lord spoke to a Church He had established and not to a book; He established a Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and not a canon. Of course, this Church did go on to establish a canon of Holy Scripture, and this Church does hold Holy Scripture to be centrally important to the Faith.

    But to assert Holy Scripture as more central or more binding than tradition – well, in the words of Manny and others here: ‘What you say does not make any sense.’ What exactly are we trying to say? This reminds me of the Nazarene assertion of belief in the ecumenical councils (which, by the by, contain quite juicy non-Nazarene beliefs) as well as the ‘truths revealed’ in the protestant Reformation. Well, okay – ‘what you say doesn’t make any sense’. What does all that mean? beyond linguistic waltzing in an attempt to hold together a denomination that is not rooted in the objective, ontological reality of apostolic authority?

    The problem with seeing Holy Scripture as the ‘tallest leg’ of a proposed Wesleyan Quadrilateral is that Holy Scripture didn’t fall out of the sky into our individual and denominational laps; it came as a product of God through men in a very particular history. But perhaps most importantly: a table with one leg too long will fall over or collapse, or at least have a horrible wobble from that direction.

  42. And I forgot the most important conclusion of all: Christianity (a funny and almost gnostic term, that) is a religion of the Word Incarnate; it is not Islam, which is a religion of the book. You have the capability of believing whatever it is that you want to believe about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but without a belief in the Real Presence, we are left with a holy book and an empty cross.

  43. R. Childress,

    Everyone knows where I stand on scripture. Your comments made me want to ask this question:

    What is your stance on scripture? Do you believe it is the infallible word of God? If not, how can you trust it?

  44. Steve Sumner said,
    1.”The reason that “Catholicism” as they say is the oldest religion is because the first priest that is called “father” is in Jdg 18:19 And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest”

    2.”the magic of transubstantiation changes a dead substance into the living body of Christ. A dead image into a living image.”

    1. This is not the Scripture that Catholics use to defend our position as the Church founded by Jesus Christ upon his Apostles. He gave Peter binding and loosing power and the keys to the kingdom. In popular culture, this is why Peter is often included in “died and went to heaven” jokes as the gatekeeper. The oldest religion in the world, according to the fundamentalist (I wouldn’t necessarily disagree) is Judaism.

    2. Steve, that is correct, save the magic term (that’s a little odd, I never heard of a priest who claimed to possess magic powers). Jesus and the Apostles raised dead bodies (dead substance) to life? Are we to understand this as merely a symbol? You have asserted the action of Christ at the Last supper to be a symbol. Okay, if that’s the case, then what say we of the action of Christ on the cross? What say we of the action of Christ on the resurrection morning, as you have stated is not Sunday because you don’t believe he died on a Friday? Tell us, Steve, what specific principle are we supposed to use to tell us when Christ is speaking metaphor or when he says rise and be healed and the lame walk.

    I am serious, please answer that specific question. I don’t know how to tell the difference. It seems that you do. Also, when you answer, I suspect you will include lots of Scripture. When you do post the Scripture you will be using, will you be so kind as to explain those individual verses for me by that guiding principle that you use?

    In Christ,

    Andy Forsythe

  45. If someone tells you that you can be saved by putting your faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus, you can be certain he is not a spokesman for God.

    Galatians 1:8 KJV But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    Think of these concerns we have like a sinking ship, and the waters fill with people about to drown. Two ships come to rescue people in danger, but one of the rescue ships carries a load of dynamite, and for some reason you know that that ship will explode before it reaches port, and everyone on it will be killed. The most loving thing you could do is help everyone to get on the right rescue ship (this is our attempt by questioning current practices within our universities and denomination). Getting on the wrong rescue ship would seal your doom. I want to do everything right before God to warn people away from the wrong rescue ship!”

    Brad

  46. That’s a really great analogy, Brad. We can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these Roman Catholic practices at Trevecca will end up blowing up their faces and dooming people to Sheol (see Revalations 19:20 and 20:10 for what will happen to all false prophets) because the Bible says it will. I’ve read what the false leader of the Roman Catholic church teaches, and I’ve read what great defenders of the faith like McClurkan taught, and it’s obvious that the founders of the Nazarene church know what the Bible really says more than the pope does. Or maybe the pope is trying to mislead people on purpose? See 2 Kings 9 for what happens to people who’s communication is false.

    It seems to me like Trevecca needs to get back to sound Biblical teaching and fundamentalism instead of teaching impressionable young people false new age and Roman Catholic practices like silence and ritualistic prayer. Jesus never gave us a list of things to say during prayer, and neither did any of the disciples who wrote the Bible!

    S.I.Y.H.,

    Josh

    (Manny, a couple of my past comments are still awaiting moderation. Was it because I didn’t use the Bible enough to back up my points? I’m only trying to contribute as someone who’s very concerned about what’s going on at Trevecca and other Nazarene circles.)

  47. Brad writes:
    ‘If someone tells you that you can be saved by putting your faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus, you can be certain he is not a spokesman for God.’

    Oh, yes, you are so correct – since that is *precisely* what the Catholic Church teaches. Brad, Brad, Brad – I’m disappointed.

    Manny writes:
    ‘What is your stance on scripture? Do you believe it is the infallible word of God? If not, how can you trust it?’

    I assume that you are assuming that Catholic traditions are in contradiction to Holy Scripture and so need to be ‘turned down’. I always find this amusing, as a former Nazarene pastor who actually read the Bible and was converted to the Church by it. Do I believe Holy Scripture is infallible . . . as a bullet-proof vest? Well, no. As a flotation device? Well, no. As a primary way of God’s Revelation to humanity, teaching truth? Well, yes. I believe in its infallibility in that sense. In fact, I believe Holy Scripture to be so weighty that when I read, ‘Hail, most-favoured one / full of grace’ in St. Luke’s Gospel, I don’t have any quibbles with it. Nor do I have any quibbles with our Lord’s command to go forth and baptise. Nor with the Book of Revelation. Nor John 6. Nor the very physical/objective blessing of Jacob by Isaac that cannot be taken back even after the deception is discovered. This is to name but a few instances that I read in my Bible, with or without that dad-gummed ‘apocrypha’. On the other hand, how big is the Reformed Nazarene Bible, Manny? Do you hear many sermons on the Annunciation? or on the sacramental importance of Baptism as revealed in St. Philip’s hasty baptism of the eunuch in the Book of Acts?

    But I’m answering a simple question with a simple answer – obviously, the Catholic standpoint would be as complex as Holy Scripture itself. My stance on Scripture would be something like: ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.’ Then again, that’s from the Bible, so I suppose as a Catholic I should be opposed to that, right?

    Holy Scripture needs an interpreter – hence the thirty-two-.3 million protestant denominations who are all letting the ‘Holy Spirit alone’ direct them into all truth. Catholics aren’t frightened that Holy Scripture might contradict ‘tradition’; we’re just afraid of what Holy Scripture might have to say to us, how it might confront us, since we (unlike protestants) don’t have a very liberated hand in picking the Scripture readings for each church service.

  48. Ok, I just got a response from my friend. Thanks for the suggestions. He states:

    “Their brand of Christianity, which fundamentally must come out of any belief in sola scriptura, amounts to the idolatry of bibliolatry. One would think they found the real presence in the Bible as Catholics find it in communion. I joked by comparing their version of the Church as a book club, as if the Bible came with Oprah’s seal of approval on it (or maybe King James’ seal of approval), but what I was getting at is that they see the Church as made up of sinners who cannot be trusted and not as a Church made up of sinners guided by the Holy Spirit. That is why they place their trust solely in the Scriptures, as if God got those early Christians to obediently cooperate just long enough to pen the Bible, then let them go in their errant ways. Furthermore, they limit God to linguistic mediation alone through the printed words of Scripture, but balk at the notion of God’s mediation through other Christians who have personal relationships with Him, perhaps who have even been called by Him and have been consecrated for special purposes. No, no – they believe only their own personal relationships with God can be trusted.”

    He went on to some other points which I might bring up later, but I wanted to cover his comments on the discussion we have been having here first. There is something about his response that makes me uncomfortable. I told him I wish he would stop trashing the Bible like that. It is so sad that people like him do not put their faith in the Bible.

  49. Rich,

    For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1 Corinthians 11:18-19 KJV)

    Paul notes that divisions have formed in the body based on heresies, that is, false teachings and practices. Without that sort of division, it would be impossible for anyone to discern the truth from the falsehoods. If unity was placed above sound doctrine, the false teachings and practices would appear approved by God. Instead, the divisions had to form to demonstrate among the body that there was right and wrong in the doctrine and practice of the Christian faith. This wasn’t a division of saved verses unsaved. This was a division of correct verses incorrect.

    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV)

    [The Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 KJV)

    In other words, test everything, and hold fast to that which has stood up to the test of scripture.

    Brad

  50. Concerning Dan’s comment about Fundamentalist and Islamic extremist. Ya’ll need to learn the difference between an analogy and a metaphor. I believe Dan was speaking in Metaphor… Of course you guys are not evil terrorist. However, in the same way most of you answer to no one within a Ecclesiastical structure (none of you are pastors and some are not even Nazarenes) so you can say and do what you want in attempt to polarize the COTN is akin to Islamic extremist, answering to no specific government, terrorize the globe. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

    Since a Scripture reference is required in order for a post to be approved, please take note of an ancient Hebrew Proverb:

    “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

  51. I was raised in the COTN and am an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church. I understand the issues addressed here are complicated and not easily resolved.

    I attended Trevecca in the 70s and came back just a few years ago to further my education. The COTN is no longer the church I grew up in – things are in a state of change and that’s not all bad.

    I miss how things used to be but recognize that the “holiness movement” is a relatively recent movement in comparison with the totality of church history. Sometimes I long for the “good old days” but I also recognize they had their own problems with legalism.

    I agree that our holiness luminaries of old would probably be shocked at how ecumenical the holiness churches have become, but they were in a different day with different circumstances and a different society. I am concerned that if the holiness churches become just like everyone else, they will lose their reason to exist. I recognize the slippery slope we can find ourselves in with these changes but we face an overwhelmingly Biblically illiterate society and in many cases we must now meet them where they are, secure in what we believe.

    I haven’t always accepted as “law and gospel” everything I have heard in my TNU classes but evaluate them in my own experience. Whether I ulitmately agree or not, my knowledge is expanded by knowing that there are other ways of thinking about issues and good Christians can honestly disagree and remain friends.

    The United Methodist Church I attend now is nothing like the COTN that I grew up in. They don’t do things like we did in the COTN or in the Wesleyan Church, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong. I have been able to find some commonality and have recognized that God is working on them through me and working on me through them.

    I believe Trevecca is both scholarly and true to its mission in calling students to pursue both personal and social holiness. I believe it is more in the image of John Wesley than we would like to admit. I believe Dan Boone has a heart for holy living, a heart for students and a heart for God. I believe he is trying mightily to be true to his calling and that of the university and its founders.

  52. David, you’re “not saying, but your just saying”. You just employed the same tactics as Dr. Boone, equating us in the same league as Islamic terrorists. The fact of the matter is, you and Dr. Boone and all who support the heretical ideology of emergent church, would love for us to shut up, but the intimidation tactics of comparing us to extremists won’t and has not worked. How about refuting us with the true authority- the Bible?

    I thank you for the scripture reference, but how does that refute those who are trying to expose false teachings of the emergent church?

    ( don’t necessarily require scripture to be used for every post)

  53. James K., you want us to meet them where they are? Sorry to use such harsh language, but that’s preposterous! Did Jesus “meet people where they were”? No, he said people needed to come to where he was (Matthew 11:28 says “come to me, all you who are heavy laden” not “I’ll come to you, all you who are heavy laden”(.)(.) And different circumstances in the world around us should not change how we read the Bible! The writers of the Bible were not concerned with the world around them, they wrote words God told them to write so that people could get saved and know how to live a holy life.

    Heretical churches like the Roman Catholics and the Emergent Church like to say that the Bible was written with specific cultures in mind but I think that is a false teaching. The words of God are timeless! Trevecca and some other Nazarene churches are beginning to believe some of these heretical teachings, and I for one won’t be yoked with them because the Bible tells me not to be.

    David, I don’t have to be a Nazarene pastor to know what the Bible says. I don’t remember anything in there about a pastor having some higher authority from God, but I submit myself to them anyway because I believe God wants them to be teaching me. We can throw around verses from Proverbs all day, but when it comes down to it the question is still whether or not you believe what the Bible says.

    S.I.Y.H.,

    Josh

  54. I’m still here reading the posts, Manny. I am thoroughly enjoying the dialogue. I’m justing waiting on Steve Sumner, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church, to answer my serious question about how he has come to know how to interpret the Scripture.

    Andy Forsythe

  55. Manny, I am not Emergent. I agree with Dr. Nina Gunter when she said at the M7 conference that Emergent and Calvinist theology is evading our church.

    I have not read a lot of Brian McClaren’s stuff, honestly I don’t have the time right now, but what I have read I have issues with.

    Again, learn the difference between metaphor and analogy. Of course I don’t equate you to Islamic extremest. But, how you employ your methods does have some similarities.

    Again, I am not Emergent. Visit my church website and tell me if I am apart of an Emergent church?

  56. Reformed Nazarene,
    Sometimes the louder folks yell the less they are heard. I think the more reasonable and rational claims of concerned Nazarenes on this blog are vaild. It would do the COTN well to explore the theology behind the emerging movement that it draws from.

    I think David makes an excellent point in demonstrating the difference between analogy and metaphor. Such subtle differences as these seem to be lost when everything is taken literally. I also think David’s reference to scripture should be reiterated and I am glad it has nothing at all to do with any supposed “false teachers” at Trevecca; becuase although TNU is not perfect they are committed to being rather than seeming and they are producing servant leaders. Again here is a message for this blog:

    There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

    It has taken me a while to explore al ot of the blogs and posts on this site. I have now come to a conclusion. It seems the reformers seek not reform but a radical revolution in which the COTN is be hijacked by fundamentlists who are only concerned with a faith that dismisses tradition altogether. A faith in which experience can run wild without check by authority and in which reason is debased. Perhaps holiness demands experience, reason, and experience. We know that holiness on a personal level demands all. Maybe holiness at a theological level demands that we acknowledge the gifts God has given us (scripture, tradition, and reason) and submit them to be judged by the WORD (with captial W since it refers to a person).

    PS. Rick, I liked your quote from Thomas Howard. Unfortunately lots of historians teach that Christianity is a religion of the book like our Jewish ancestors in the faith. Christianity is rather truly a religion of the word made flesh.

  57. Hunter,
    You said a lot here, but i don’t think you said much, frankly, of substance regarding what we are talking about here.

    You said that we have some rational claims, but you never mention which are those- why don’t you tell us what your specific concerns are about the Nazarene church.

    Are you concerned about the associations that Trevecca makes with a monastery and its links to Thomas Merton and his heretical teachings? What is your opinion of Thomas Merton and his teachings? And the teachings of the Roman Catholic church?
    Dr. Boone said they are simply renting the place, but that is not true, as seen on their schedule of events. They are directly involved with the monks at the abbey, and that is wrong.

    But you sure used that Proverbs wrote- and I believe David did also- to imply I guess that me and others have:
    “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

    How so? We have used scripture to point out the fallacies of contemplative spirituality; to make the connection between labyrinths and pagan practices, which the Lord detests.

    You use scripture to do what? Point out what lies we have come up with? How about being specific then if you are going to accuse me and the others of that?

    I suspect it is because you cannot, sir.

  58. Dan Boone has already played along with your proof text game and given you the scripture that supports the practice in which TNU fosters a deeper walk with Christ. But for every Scripture you countered with another Scripture or tried to tell a D.Min Preaching professor that he is unable to interpret the Scripture correctly… Now, you tell me who is haugthy?

  59. David,
    Please, be specific.

    First of all, Dan Boone failed miserably to validate the practices that they are doing there. He tried to use Psalm 46 ineffectively, because the context of that is clearly not referencing anything to do with practicing the silence. Would you like me to post the entire chapter for you to read in context?

    Again, that game of “how would you know more than a PHd? or a theology professor? There are people of the same background as Dr. Boone who have the same position as I do. What about them?

    And the other response is this:

    Psalm 119:99 have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

    In other words, “whoever submits himself only to God’s word will not only be safe against the practices of his enemies, but also learn more wisdom than they who profess it, and are men of experience.”
    (Quote from Parallel commentaries, Geneva Study Bible)

    That is an argument that fails all the time, because someone with a high degree does not always have the understanding that comes from God’s word. I am not saying I know more scripture than Dr. Boone, or theology, or anything else necessarily. That does not mean he can be wrong. That is what I guess we call a strawman argument.

  60. The definition of irony:

    “Please explain what is a non-essential, and who determines that?” – Manny

    On the flip side, who determines what is “essential”? Is it your list of “five fundamentals”? Because that’s not scriptural. No where in the bible does a list of “five fundamentals” appear, or anything like such a list. No where does Paul, Peter, or especially Jesus ever reference any list of “five fundamentals”?

    So who decided that was the litmus test of Christianity, that these were the “essentials”? It was the General Assembly of Presbyterian Church in 1910. So not only is your list not biblical (in that it nor anything like it appears in scripture), it’s not Nazarene (we predate it officially by 2 years), it’s not even Wesleyan, it’s Calvinist.

    So, forgive me Manny, but you’re going to have to explain to me again, why as Bible believing Nazarenes firmly rooted in the Wesleyan tradition we should adhere to your Presbyterian list of “five fundamentals.’ (which, incidentally, is inaccurate as the original list combined the virgin birth and deity of Jesus and included an affirmation of the authenticity of Jesus’ miracles)

    We still love you all as brothers and sisters in the faith, but you can’t ask multi-generational Nazarenes to suddenly become Presbyterian.

  61. Zack, this list of five was made to clarify some of the most critical fundamentals. If you want to add to it, feel free. Would you agree these five are all true? If not, delete some of them for yourself.

    Who said that was the litmus test? Well, test each of the five statements with scripture, and that is the way that is decided. Do you disagree with any of them?

    The list IS biblical, because the Bible affirms every item on that list, my friend. It is a Christian list- Nazarene or otherwise. Why are you so stuck on “Nazarene” standards- when the ultimate standard is the Bible. So your argument fails. If any Nazarene statement is contradictory to scripture, we ought to re-write it, should we not?

    I am not Presbyterian- I am a Christian first, who happens to be a Nazarene.

    What is a non-essential? Mainly, Paul spoke about such things as eating meat or not eating meat, and worshiping on different days.

    What is essential? Everything that is plainly commanded to us by Christ and the apostles- or do you wish to disobey anything that you choose that Christ or the apostles commanded, because it is not a “major” fundamental belief?

    Please try a better argument than that.

  62. 2 things, Manny, just as reminder so these Emergents and Roman Catholics don’t get more ammo on us good Bible-believing people: First, Paul wasn’t talking about eating meat vs. being a vegetarian, he was talking about eating (or not eating) meat that had been sacrificed to false idols. The argument wasn’t about whether or not to eat meat, Paul assumed people would be eating meat. This can be a good defense against the New Age practice of vegetarianism!

    Secondly, saying something like “everything plainly commanded to us by Christ and the apostles” might lead to some of the Roman Catholics on here claiming that the apostles commanded baptism as a form of salvation. That’s obviously not true, baptism is a symbol like the bread and juice is, but the Roman Catholics and Emergents here seem smart enough to try something like that. We must be vigilant!

    S.I.Y.H.,

    Josh

  63. Wow, I think we have a lot of Book of Job action going on here! [I'll clarify what I mean in response to Brad]

    Andy:
    Hm! I believe Rev. Josh would say it to Steve for you best, as in his signature: ‘S.I.Y.H.’ I too await to hear his magical formula[e] for interpreting Holy Scripture.

    Hunter:
    Yes, Thomas Howard has some excellent quotables, no matter where you’re coming from.

    Brad:
    Whether or not you consider yourself a sacramentalist, you, my good sir, have just demonstrated the reality of sacramental theology: your response – ostensibly a response to my words – embodies the very essence of the general dysfunction in this thread and the problem with the Reformed Nazarene lense toward reality (whatever that lense might ultimately look like, since we don’t know, only having various and developing proof-texts to piece together). If, as it is jokingly said, we must quote/reference Scripture to get our comments approved by Manny, then here’s mine: Your response is so Eliphaz-to-Job.

    Again, you’re ostensibly replying to me – ostensibly. But beyond not responding to me, you have also proved nothing. I could just as easily write your words to make any point I would like to make about the protestant schisms. To be generous, however, I will at least respond to what you’ve written.

    ‘. . . Paul notes that divisions have formed in the body based on heresies, that is, false teachings and practices. Without that sort of division, it would be impossible for anyone to discern the truth from the falsehoods.’

    Okay, sure. And this is called the First Council of Niceae, to name but one example. In spite of the fact that the vast majority of the Church leaned toward Arianism, the Church established orthodoxy and ultimately the Nicene Creed.

    ‘. . . If unity was placed above sound doctrine, the false teachings and practices would appear approved by God.’

    Well, sure, unity *above* sound doctrine is not good. But here we go again with the classic protestant complaint against other protestants or against the Church. Pray tell, what is ‘sound doctrine’? How do you define this? Later, you attempt to answer this question but fail to answer it – we’ll get there.

    Also, as an aside, I would also like to quote John 17:

    ‘And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.’ (Verse 11, KJV)

    ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (Verses 20-23, KJV)

    It seems our Lord Jesus Christ might have had an itty-bitty bit of desire of unity. Now, onward:

    ‘. . . Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV) . . . ‘

    Again, okay, sure – but what is that which is good? Here is where we get to the conclusion of your ostensible response:

    ‘ . . . [The Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 KJV)

    In other words, test everything, and hold fast to that which has stood up to the test of scripture.’

    First of all: I mostly agree with your statement in regard to testing all things (as St. Paul says elsewhere, ‘test the spirits’), but I find your exegetical method a bit of a broad paint-job, minimalising all sorts of important details and arguing from silence in order to come up with a simplistic formula. Your conclusion from this verse is that, because the Jews at the Berean synagogue were more noble/noble-minded than those at Thessalonica and actually sought to test the words of Paul and Silas against Jewish Scriptures, therefore we ourselves must do the exact same thing. I have no problem with testing things against Holy Scripture; Holy Scripture is a central means of God’s Revelation. However, we are not first-century Jews, and we have 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy/tradition to guide us as well. In other words, we have many opportunities and safeguards in our religious tradition. Your argument all but implies that we must be first-century Jews – which, again, returns us to the quote about Christianity being a religion of the Word Incarnate, not (as in Judaism or Islam) a religion of the Book *alone*.

    Secondly: If you were responding to my response at all (I’m only taking a wild guess at this point), it appears that you might have been further arguing from silence that there is something in the Catholic Church that goes against Scripture. You may even be assuming (it would not be strange if you did) that because something isn’t explicitly stated in the Bible, therefore it should not be a part of doctrine. The Bible as we know it isn’t mentioned in the Bible either, but let’s not get into that . . .

    At this point, I would challenge you, Brad, to name a Catholic doctrine – something the Catholic Church teaches – that literally goes against something taught in Holy Scripture. Since this is the classic protestant catch-all and fire-escape, I’ll go ahead and open it up for honest discussion. I’m certainly not desiring to derail the main conversation here, but . . . well, it seems like the larger conversation will continue running the same course anyway – I’m specifically asking Brad so that he can continue his train of thought that I’m so very fascinated to see completed. I can think of a few Catholic doctrines that need some careful explaining (and that happen to fly in the face of protestant traditions that tell protestants how to interpret certain proof-texts). However, given the fact that you offered ‘believing in Mary for salvation’ as an implied example Catholic heresy, my eyebrow is raised as to whether the 2,000-year-old institution needs to tremble in its moccasins just yet.

    In Christ,
    rick

  64. Dear reformednazarene, et.al.,

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are truly “concerned” for the Nazarene denomination. In fact, I agree with some of what you say.

    However, the title of your blog “Trevecca Nazarene University Promoting Mysticism and Pagan Practices” is sensationalist, misleading, and totally untrue, and your treatment of Trevecca’s president is appalling.

    The students who visit the abbey are not required to attend prayer services. If they do, it is totally voluntary. Are you saying that we as Nazarenes should have nothing to do with Catholics, or Baptists, or Lutherans, or fellow Nazarenes for that matter, if they are not in total agreement with you and all of your “rules”?
    1 Corinthians 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

    As a Trevecca parent, I am not concerned with prayer labyrinths, or prayer stations, or prayer rooms. What I am concerned about, and am very happy about, is that Trevecca encourages PRAYER, as well as Bible study, chapel services, and service to the community. My child is a strong Christian and a devoted Nazarene, and years at Trevecca have done nothing but reinforce that. Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    Just curious…Have you ever had a personal chat with Dr. Boone? I have and find him to be one of the finest men I’ve ever met. Have you ever spent time on Trevecca campus? My child says the Holy Spirit is alive and well there and ever present. How in the world can you and your friends be praying for Dr. Boone to step down “for the good of the church” and for Trevecca to close?

    Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  65. Rick,

    These quotes tell it all. I need not go any further to support the truth.

    “All those who seek Mary’s protection will be saved for all eternity.”
    Pope Benedict XV

    “Mary, not one of your devout servants has ever perished: may I, too, Be saved!”
    Pope Benedict XV

    “Sinners receive pardon by the intercession of Mary alone.”
    St. John Chrysostom

    Brad

  66. Rick and Jeff, Brad has said it best with those quotes. We say Roman Catholics worship Mary because that’s one of the central tennants of your false faith! It’s taught from Catholic school all the way up into adult age: pray to Mary and be saved because she is holy and perfect and can save you! And that’s a totally false teaching. The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that Mary is anything other than a normal human being. If Mary considered herself to be holy, why would she have said she was God’s servant (she calls herself “his handmaiden”) and said God was her salvation in Luke 1? If Mary can give salvation, why would she need God to be her salvation? She could save herself (the only one that could save himself was Christ, which is why some at the cross wanted him to do that)!

    Trevecca Parent, you ask if we are saying that we shouldn’t associate with those who don’t believe like we do. That’s exactly what we’re saying! The Bible tells us to be not yoked with unbelievers, and as far as I’m concerned if they teach false Roman Catholic ideas or don’t hold to the inerrancy of the Holy Bible they are unbelievers! As we’ve said before, we will not associate ourselves with believers in false teachings, because they do not have a Biblical basis like we do. We are only trying to sound the alarm and warn people that they are headed to Sheol if things keep going this way.

    S.I.Y.H.,

    Josh

  67. Brad,
    Can I get a source for the Chrysostom quote other than at an anti-Catholic website? I can’t find it over at NewAdvent.org where most Church Fathers and Doctors are archived.

    As for the two Benedict XVI quotes:

    quote 1. It is not documented on any official Church website or on newadvent.org, only on Anti-Catholic sites.

    quote 2. Again, I can’t find any official documentation of this other than a prayer on a private site and again, Anti-Catholic sites. This particular quote has the possibility of being qualified and justified if given the full context.

    Please allow me to make a suggestion to all of you looking for Anti-Catholic or Protestant Apologetic ammo to hurl at us. The internet is not that great of a source for it. I recently read a tract published by the “Church of Canada” (can a commonwealth be that?) that had some arguments in it that took more time for me to explain than just a few quick internet searches. I don’t recall the author and it is very old and famous. If I can find it, I will gladly give you the name of it. C’mon Brad, dig in and dialogue.

    Andy Forsythe

  68. Dear Trevecca Parent,

    It really bothers me to see letters like yours, as well as letters from students, because I can understand that it might upset you.

    We are dealing here with what some people think is okay, and what we believe is wrong. If we believe it is wrong biblically, we have a duty to expose the false teaching and seek to inform others about it.

    You say you are not concerned with prayer labyrinths and prayer stations. Frankly, we are, because they are based on pagan practices which God forbids. Is that not enough to be concerned? If you are happy with PRAYER being encouraged, so am I. But when that prayer is being done in a fashion that detracts from God, and focuses on what we have to do, and in what manner, it becomes a ritual that dishonors the Lord. Jesus taught us how to pray, and prayer stations and labyrinths are not the way.

    I have had email exchanges with Dr. Boone, but not on the phone. I suspect he and I would have a very good conversation, even though we might not agree. And I have not spent time on the campus at all. With all due respect, that is not relevant to the issues we have brought up, because we know what they are, and they are being practiced at Trevecca, and we believe they are unbiblical. No need to visit the campus to verify that.

    In the end, it will not be up to me or a few others whether Trevecca closes or not, or whether some folks there are asked to step down. That will be up to those whose interests in Trevecca are highest, especially parents. But I pray that if students continue to be led down the wrong path, and it is a dangerously wide one, it would be better for the school to close, than let students put their eternal souls in jeopardy.

    It seems you quoted Matthew 7 as if we should never judge. That passage is a different context. In this context, we are using judgment as the Lord commands us to, to expose false teachings.

    I ask that you consider all that we are trying to say, and prayerfully look at these practices, and compare them to the light of scripture. Then make a decision on that alone.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Manny Silva

  69. Okay Manny, I’m beginning to assume a conspiracy here. First, Tim Wirth drops out of the conversation. Second, Steve Sumner, Pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church, drops out. And now, Brad White can’t give me any information. Have I said something wrong?

    To the above mentioned (Tim, Steve, and Brad),
    I apologize if I have upset you. I hope you can join the conversation again soon.

    Andy Forsythe

  70. What’s wrong with walking around a room praying to God Almighty, The Creator of the Heavens and Earth? That is all that a “prayer labyrinth” is; would praying to the Father in this way be wrong had it been labeled as something other than a “prayer labyrinth”? Manny if you actually knew anything about this you would know that. So do you think God really cares whether I sit, stand, walk, or maybe even run when I pray to Him? Does wanting to talk to My Savior and Creator make me less of a Christian?

    Ben

  71. Andy,

    There is no apology needed. It is called work and life that prevents a regular dialogue at times.

    Brad

  72. Yes, work and life.

    And the other thing is this… I have had to repeat myself so many times, that the same types of questions end up re-surfacing. I am not here to primarily continue a long “conversation”. I am many others are here to state what we believe, and we may dialogue for a while, but at some point, its over.

    That’s why I am moderating here, as well as for the lack of time to talk.
    I have family and work as well.

    You can continue to believe what you believe, and frankly, I will continue on to give information, and pray that more are not deceived.

    Manny

  73. O hey Andy: No apology needed here either.
    Was never mad at you.
    It was just time to end the conversation.
    I think you are confused about the Roman Catholic/Catholic church.
    But hey thats ok with me.
    I don’t have the time to sit in front of my computor to debate.
    I dont even allow comments on my three websites and blogs.
    No conversation is needed really.
    I put out the information and people can accept it or reject it.
    I have a wife and four kids they are my first and most important ministry.
    Plus I have church and writing to do.
    Plus I work.
    Plus Im still very active in the music world.
    Dont really care to get in their and try (or need) to prove my point.
    Again accept or reject the information or comments I put out.
    I have Gods Word from scripture to back me up.
    Thats where I stand.
    Dont mean to sound arrogant but dialog over the internet is not a very good way to communicate.
    You cant hear the tone or nuance of the voice or the the smiling face.
    People who have met me are sometimes quite suprised Im not this angry individual.
    Im really not.
    Passionate yes.
    Angry?
    Sometimes.
    Loving?
    Always really.
    But again I have nothing to prove and am not seeking anyones approval for what I do except the Lord Jesus.
    And He has blessed my life in ways you can never imagine.
    Plus He saved me at the cross.
    People think what we do here is not loving.
    They couldnt be more deceived or mislead.
    We all have other things we could be doing.
    We do this out of love for Gods Word and His truth in His Word.
    We will always be there vto give a answer and speak the truth in love.
    Its simply agape
    Tim

  74. How to subvert the truth and overthrow the faith of many. Part 2

    My former post had to do with part one of apostasy; it had to do with forsaking the fountain of living waters. This forsaking is accomplished today by the puffing up of the “new source” the gods of higher learning, debate, sciences falsely so-called, knowledge, education, and degrees. That is what makes this particular forum great. The “big shots” have to duck and run quick and most will never pipe because they are out classed by common folks who know scripture. If they are saved they will surely need a remedial bible class when they get to heaven so they will know where they are at, since everyone will be praising the Lord and not have need of their autographs, arrogance, and ignorance. I can see it now, little miss Nazarene who read her bible every night teaching Ralph Earl the original languages, and the satanic influences of the NIV. And Pastor faithful of 20 folks educating him on the dangers of sitting in committee with a hard core Calvinist, Edwin Palmer Editor of the NIV.

    The whole truth is forth coming! Folks the Emergents are a product of 100 years of liberal nonsense. They are being bred in classrooms all across this country, in all denominations alike by traitors of the faith right under your nose. Save your church; train in house. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth not universities!

    For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Jer 2:13

    I will now demonstrate a self made cistern.

    (I cannot conclude a person lost or saved, I cannot judge intent, or motive, but I can judge stupidity!) I suppose there are some who intend to help God, while others are seeking harm.
    A person that studies the bible with any effort will eventually run into biblical evidence or the lack of it, and doubt or questions can arise about certain biblical texts (without any help from professors.) How we deal with these issues determine our faith of the written word, and your system will either hold water or it won’t. The Bible itself comes from God but in a very frail package much like Jesus Christ, they are said to be the same. It is for this reason they said of Jesus “save your self.” Those Jews could not explain how the Son of God could be subject to spitting and beating any more than the scribes of today can rip verse after verse away from the written word. God in His wisdom to save the Jew and Gentile made a way for the Church to repeat the sin of the Jews so that they could be cut off and the natural branch replaced. A brilliant plan! But what would one do to stop the educated destruction of the word of God. The Jews seek after a sign “save yourself” the Greeks seek after wisdom “a better translation would be.”

    This subtle attack has been taking place in Bible colleges around the country. The Nazarenes are not alone. I do not believe that it is all deliberate, though ignorant. There are some that know what they are doing and others being led by peer pressure, pride, and filthy lucre.

    In is Book on Holiness Dr. Ray Dunning destroys the foundation of the word of God deliberately, or ignorantly I cannot tell.

    Let me give you the subtlety and the method of corruption that has created Bible critics, and heretics in the pulpits of America.

    On page 65 of H. Ray Dunning Book entitled “Grace Faith & Holiness” we find the following:

    The Fact of Inspiration
    The idea of the “inspiredness” of Scripture is a biblical truth. Two passages (2 Tim. 3:16-17 and 2 Pet. 1:20-21) refer explicitly to it. However, it is somewhat anachronistic to use these passages to refer to the Bible as a whole, since they clearly have explicit reference only to the Old Testament Scriptures.

    Now let’s examine a man made cistern that will leave every one high and dry:

    First, the heading is “The Fact of Inspiration” nobody sitting under this teacher would come away thinking that the Bible is not inspired. The Faithful Christian student is evermore hungry to learn the facts of inspiration to glorify God.

    Dunnings’ first comment is a bold statement of truth and not just his opinion but “biblical” truth. With two witness that refer explicitly (clearly) to this.

    The problem: Dunning is getting ready to teach that not “all” of the bible is inspired even though he just said it was. This is the standard method and I in no way am singling out Dunning, his teacher did the same thing to him. And I hope he reads this and realizes the error of his teaching.

    Secondly, the infamous word “however” is used so that one can speak from the other hand. Not that you would think that it would be sinister seeing how emphatic he is about inspiration. But now with the shift of hand, it is the time to spring a big word “anachronistic” and a transitional word “somewhat” this creates a basic allusion that the teacher is smart. And with that outstanding ability he is going to let you in on a little secret. This secret will not bash the bible but introduce an educated problem. This detracts and sells the anti-thesis without awareness. The student is simply in awe, unconsciously or consciously trusting the wealth of knowledge of the teacher without realizing that if the teacher would have spoke plain, the trick would not be as convincing. Anachronistic simply means “out of date, archaic, old fashion, or not timely applicable”

    In other words, the statement that “Inspiration is a Biblical truth.” Has magically evolved into “somewhat” true due to some fancy word that simply means “not timely applicable.” Go back and read it for your self.

    Now, some of you don’t like what I am pointing out because it is critical. Yes it is, and Dunning is getting ready to be extremely critical of God’s word and that does not bother you at all.

    Now all you intellectuals please put on your thinking caps. Dunning stated that he had two scriptural references that explicitly referred to “Inspiration” of the Bible. Then backpedals thinking he has uncovered a problem that these references could only refer to the Old Testament.

    Now, his proof text, are they inspired?

    Not according to his own conclusions! The verses he uses to prove a biblical truth are not inspired according to himself. Talk about being in the boat with one oar. How do you make a statement you don’t mean and then make a statement that you disqualify in the same sentence? Professing themselves wise. . .

    Dunning then has a way to immaculately extrapolate the NT at his convenience; the scholar becomes God’s helper! And the student is forever indebted for him saving the day!

    On page 66 of H. Ray Dunning Book entitled “Grace Faith & Holiness” he states:

    “Out of this context it is quite possible that Paul was simply intending. . .”

    “So 2 Tim 3:16-17 has been translated: “Every inspired scripture. . .” (NEB)

    Dunning, like every other false teacher, builds faulty foundations that nobody catches because they are trained to criticize the bible not the teacher. And the “quite possible” card is played that will miraculously turn the wrong into “infallible truth.” It is more “quite possible” that the NT is inspired for the verses that Dunning could not find.

    This is a science falsely so-called See 1 Tim 6:20 In the educational politically correct world we would never call this bible correcting 101. No, it is called “the science of textual criticism” and is the alibi of those who pretend to search for the archaic truth and get into the minds of the writers. Don’t worry the word “science” has been changed in all new versions to hide the revelation of their phony science of rewriting and reinventing the past. Now Dunning is a god because he can correct and write the word of God!

    Next, Dunning explains that “all” scripture as given in a KJV is wrong and should be “Every inspired scripture”

    You say words don’t change meanings, you better look again. That verse was changed to coincide with a corrupt teaching that those verses do not refer to the bible as a “whole” therefore “all” is considered incorrect by Dunning.

    And just like that, your bible is stolen from you. Preachers then pretend to believe something that they don’t.

    I’ll bet that most Nazarenes do not even know what is being taught in these schools, much less what secrets the pastors have to hide because the “uneducated” are not privileged to know these secrets.

    The pastor is now set up to continue the faithful work of helping God out, by correcting the Bible, by retranslating, or exegeting himself into ignorance.

    Dunning cannot resist the opportunity to kick the Authorized Version on page 66, he sites in the footnote Alan Richardson, that explains the liberation from this “divine afflatus” (another name for “divine gas.”) In other words the trusted King James Bible was a lot of “hot air” in the church.

    The Church of the Nazarene has established a corrupt foundation that is much deeper than prayer labyrinths. It is total contempt for the word of God, the principals of translation, preservation, and use. Therefore, it won’t be long, we reap what we sow. Sow corruption reap corruption.

    You may not like what I’ve said but it is true, get the book a read. Look around, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

    Steve

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