Are There Any Fundamentalist Nazarenes, And Are They Jihadists?

In the post Trevecca Nazarene University Promoting Mysticism and Pagan Practices, Dr. Dan Boone weighed in with some interesting comments.  By the way, this post generated the most hits on my blog since I started it last year, with over 1,000 hits for almost three days in a row.  I used to average about 250 hits a day, so that shows us the level of interest which I had not anticipated.  It certainly raised some ire, especially amongst some Trevecca students and some alumni as well, who objected to my “attacks” on the school.  My clarification was that I was attacking the unbiblical practices which are being promoted by Dr. Boone and the leadership at the school, and making an argument that these should not continue.  I also made the point that is not just Trevecca, but other schools as well, that are involved in contemplative spirituality, such as Northwest Nazarene, Point Loma Nazarene, and Mount Vernon Nazarene, and possibly others.

Following is Dr. Boone’s last comment, out of three which he made.  To see the entire string of all three comments, go here.  But we will focus on this third and what seems to be the most controversial.  let me say that I really appreciate the fact that Dr. Boone has jumped into the fray.  As one person commented recently, he was glad to see at least one leader with the guts to express his thoughts on these matters that we are concerned about.  It is very rare, and the norm in the past year or so has been absolute silence.  A thundering or deafening silence, if you will.  So loud is the silence, it hurts my ears. So my respect goes to Dr. Boone for that reason, that he is not afraid of duking it out in the public forum.  I wish more leaders would do that, because the give and take and the debate, is where we can see where people stand on these issues more clearly.  And I don’t believe Dr. Boone stands alone on this, rather I believe he definitely reflects the thinking of the majority of our university leaders today, which if true, is very alarming to me and others.

Here is the one which we will look at:

Dan Boone, on February 9th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

What an exchange! Wow! I am so thankful. As a university president, I love to find opportunities to teach our students about important issues. Religious fundamentalism is one of the hot topics in the world today and this website has given me the best model, other than Islamic fundamentalism, to demonstrate to students how religious fundamentalism works. Let me be clear, I think these folk are good American citizens and despise, as we all do, the terrorist attacks on America. But the strategies and tactics of religious fundamentalism are pretty consistent across the board. A small group of people declare themselves the authority in interpreting some ‘holy’ text, they create litmus tests of orthodoxy, they name the enemies who will not bow to their demands nor confess under their accusations, they seek the largest targets they can find to gain the greatest attention (like a university or denomination- or a Twin Towers if they are Islamic) , and then they attack. Because they bow to no authority, other than their own interpretation of God, they are inerrant. Because they themselves operate no church, denomination, university , or government, they can freely snipe at those who do.

This is wonderfully educational.

This is what happens when religions have no accountability. I am accountable at many layers for my walk, talk, and leadership as a minister in the Church of the Nazarene. The sponsors of this blog are free of accountability – other than “God”, I’m guessing they will say. But when your “God” already believes your opinions, is this really the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ or is it a god made in their own image? Friends, this is exactly how fundamentalism works.

Now, I must confess a sin. I did not listen to some friends who told me that I would not find a rational conversation here. I am most likely viewing these websites for the last time and would urge all thinking Christians to join me in the exit. Maybe we can stun them with our silence. In the meantime, I am working on a book called “A Charitable Discourse on the Things that Divide Us”. I’ll discuss Jihad in the church. Trevecca will soon post an open letter to the Reformed/Concerned Nazarenes.

I am proud of our university and wish to let everyone know that if your cup of tea is the kind of “Christianity” posted here, Trevecca probably isn’t for you. We won’t be trying to conform to these folk, nor soft-pedaling around them. But if you are looking for a Wesleyan-rooted, Biblical, hospitable, spiritual-formation teaching, servant-oriented, prayerful, serious-about-changing the world national research university of the highest calibre – check us out. We’re open for business and loving life on the hill.

Blessings to all, Dan Boone

==================================

Let’s look at some of the more interesting parts of this:

“Religious fundamentalism is one of the hot topics in the world today and this website has given me the best model, other than Islamic fundamentalism, to demonstrate to students how religious fundamentalism works. Let me be clear, I think these folk are good American citizens and despise, as we all do, the terrorist attacks on America. But the strategies and tactics of religious fundamentalism are pretty consistent across the board.”

I believe it was my brother in Christ, Brad White,  who pointed out that this was very similar to Rick Warren’s comment a few years ago.  Here is what the great compromiser Rick Warren said back then in 2006 in an interview:

“Today there really aren’t that many Fundamentalists left; I don’t know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America.”

‘Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’”

“Now the word “fundamentalist” actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity.”

This sounds so close to what Dr. Boone stated, that I wonder if he spends a lot of time reading up on Rick Warren, and has found that Rick Warren’s views on fundamentalism resonates with his own.  They certainly seem to take the same tone, which is apparently a distaste for those who would call themselves… fundamentalists.  It almost seems like a dirty word to Rick Warren and Dr. Boone.

What does that document state as to what the Five Fundamentals are?  Warning to all emergents, this may not be to your liking:

* The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ

* The Virgin Birth

* The Blood Atonement

* The Bodily Resurrection

* The Inerrancy of the Scriptures

So to the “regular’ Nazarene or Christian, are you shocked?  Surprised? Outraged?  Is there any one of these statements that you would disavow and  NOT consider a fundamental of the faith?  If so, let me know.  Better yet, if you dare to call yourself a fundamentalist, please let me know.  If I need to keep your name anonymous, for fear of retribution, I will.  I am being a little sarcastic here, but in seriousness, both Dan Boone and Rick Warren went over the top, and with just a few words they managed to disparage a whole lot more Christians than they could imagine.  To Rick Warren, I would say, you got it wrong; there are plenty of fundamentalists left in this world, and we are keeping a good eye on you, sir, because we object to your compromising, hand holding with anybody you can to reach your unobtainable goal of peace in the world, no starving children, and no more poor people.  It is an impossible task for humanity, sir, and it goes against everything the Bible says about how peace will come to this world!

As far as Dr. Boone, I am disappointed, although grateful for him to enter into the “conversation.”  (Pun intended).  He goes on:

…”they create litmus tests of orthodoxy, they name the enemies who will not bow to their demands nor confess under their accusations, they seek the largest targets they can find to gain the greatest attention (like a university or denomination- or a Twin Towers if they are Islamic) , and then they attack.”

Well, here Dr. Boone, right after complimenting us for our good citizenship and patriotism, contradicts himself and puts us in the same category as Muslim terrorists.  The previous compliment does not negate the slam on fundamentalists following that, but I understand the tactic.  I have seen it in the political arena when liberals attack conservatives while smiling as they twist the knife ever so slowly, and it is the same here, when liberals/emergents attack those who are exposing the fallacies of emergent ideology and all its mystical trappings and “new” ways to “listen” to the voice of God.  As it says in Ecclesiastes , “there is nothing new under the sun.”  It is just done or said in a novel, different way, but its all the same.  Some of us call it rebelling against God.

Finally, one more comment deserving of attention:

“A small group of people declare themselves the authority in interpreting some ‘holy’ text,”

Some ‘holy’ text?  Dr. Boone, did you mean the Bible, by any chance?  I find it deplorable that you would reference God’s holy word in such a manner.  We don’t talk about some ‘holy’ text around here.  We call it the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, the inerrant, infallible word of God.  Not “some holy text”.  We do not declare ourselves the authority!  But we do declare that the Bible is THE AUTHORITY!  In fact, it is the ONLY authority that is infallible.  It would amaze you, I think, to find out that most likely, the vast majority of Nazarenes believe that it is the infallible, authoritative word of God.  And no, we do not accept the ridiculous argument from many emergents that folks like us are practicing “bibliolatry.”  It is not idolatrous to respect the very words that God has passed down to us, through the inspiration of men such as Paul, David, Jude, and all the authors of the 66 books of the Bible.  I praise God for giving us His holy, perfect word, and that gives me the confidence to trust in Him completely.

One final thought: you are accountable to God, as are all of us, Dr. Boone, as are all university presidents, and those students are directly under your responsibility.

Are Nazarenes Fundamentalists? Yes, I believe there are many of them.

Are they jihadists, comparable to Muslim terrorists? Only someone bent on smearing fundamentalists would believe that.

Fundamentalists, please don’t be shy or embarrassed to admit you are one, in spite of how the emergents try to paint you.  Do not move an inch for them. There’s a whole lot more of us than they would like to admit, and I believe that is their worse nightmare.

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Psalm 62:6-7

About these ads

43 responses to “Are There Any Fundamentalist Nazarenes, And Are They Jihadists?

  1. Thanks for bringing Dr. Boone’s response to the spotlight on the main blog page. I think he said some strong things that need to be taken into consideration.

    Also, I saw on NazNet that Dr. Oord was called a pedophile on this site. Where was that?! I wouldn’t want to go to any school with pedophile teachers, and I am horrified at the thought of a Nazarene university allowing pedophiles on their campuses.

  2. I saw that reference, and I believe Dr. Oord should have clarified the context of that statement that he himself referenced. I felt it was unfair the way he used the comment, although I have not posted anything there objecting to it. Yet.

    He was NEVER called a pedophile in the context of the statement he referenced. No one believes that he is. I do not agree with Tom Oord on much, but I like him and I believe he is a sincere man- although of course, sincerely wrong, especially with Open Theism.

    (I was not the one who made that comment, but in its context, it was very fair. Don’t recall exactly where to find it right now)

  3. If my memory serves me well, I always heard pastors say, “Please stand in reverence for the reading of God’s Word”.

    Have we as Christians digressed to the point now that we will hear spoken, “here are a few words from that holy text”?

    Psalm 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

  4. Brad,
    We Catholics stand when the Gospel is read every Mass. Before that (on Sundays) we have three readings from the Bible before the Gospel. The first is typically from the Old Testament (save during Easter, which is 50 days until Pentecost, not just one Sunday), the second comes from the Psalms, the third will come from the Epistles.

    I find homiletics that do not rely on scripture deplorable. I was reaffirmed in this belief recently when our Pastor scolded us for skipping the menu and going straight to the meal (Eucharist) when it came to our knowledge of what was going on. I recall a professor of mine at NTC expressing his concern for Nazarene sermon writers forgetting that scripture was the basis for a good sermon. I completely concur. If you want to hear how to make everybody happy at the office, go sit down and listen to Joel Osteen. I’ll take the Gospel.

    Andy Forsythe

  5. you may add my name to the roll honored to serve.it is mark smith. he might think we are just a few, and think he stands tall in his view. #1 so did goliath. #2 trust ,the LORD, the hills are filled with the righteous that he cannot see. mr boones comment are far below the office he holds. to make such huge overgeneralizations and put fundamentalist to the level of terrorist that take life is nothing but a school yard bullying tactic. way way below his official professional standards. i found it rather funny when he said ,this is what happens when religions have no accountability. we ,the fundamentalist in the naz. church have begged for this, or these issues to be addressed by our g.s.’s. for @ 2years. i honestly thought we had a chance to have a civil open discussion. oops !!!! I WAS WRONG! when a minister of the holy word of God says, we are declaring ourselves the authority of what His word says, we have a big big problem. we haven’t declared any authority, just used the inerant scripture to back our viewpoint. i find it most troubling that mr. boone would rather rely on mans’ way of reason than on the solid rock of truth. one wonders of his qualifications to lead students ,and staff if he doesn’t want to follow and obey the scriptures. the expression, cleaned up a bit, is either lead , follow, or get out of the way! well either lead by way of the ONLY WAY , follow HIS WORD, or have the guts to get out of the way. i’m sure there is another willing to be true to the high calling of holiness. there are to many students now and to come to let this charade go on. remember , THE TRUTH will expose everything. our obidience to GOD and not ourselves is of utmost importance. respectfully,mark

  6. You listed:
    * The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ

    * The Virgin Birth

    * The Blood Atonement

    * The Bodily Resurrection

    * The Inerrancy of the Scriptures

    Looks like we’ve found some common ground…This is what I believe and from what I have read from Dan Boone I believe this is what he believes. The Nazarene Manual is very clear on the beliefs you have listed… so what’s the issue?

    Brad White must be “Emergent,” he stands during the reading of the Scriptures…a Catholic practice. Brad, why do participate in “pagan” practices such as standing during the reading of the Scriptures… if the Catholics do it then it must be pagan right?

  7. Manny,

    I am not here to try to argue theological points with you, I just have a simple question for my own curiosity.

    Hopefully, you and your friends would concede that the official teaching of the Church of the Nazarene, i.e. the manual, does not line up, at least as it pertains to scripture, with what you believe. Nor does the leadership of the denomination seem to be interested in submitting to your demands any time soon, i.e. the General Assemblies’ rejection of the Southwest Indiana’s proposal on the Article on Scripture, Dr. Boone’s response to you, etc.

    So, and I can’t stress enough that I am not being sarcastic or combative here, why not simply join the Southern Baptist Convention, or perhaps a Primitive Baptist church? Both of these traditions are full of good Christian people and would welcome you all with open arms. Your cause isn’t one that you have to fight for, there are other traditions out there that are completely on board with what you have to say. Why not join them?

    Again, not trying to be combative, just sincerely interested in your answer.

  8. David,
    The problem is Dr. Boone is adding to the scriptures… not a good thing to do.

    It’s also interesting that most emergents snicker at #5: inerrancy.
    We who believe in inerrancy are just wacko fundamentalists.

  9. Zack,
    Why not simply quit and run? No sir, it won’t be that easy for those who are perverting the gospel within the Nazarene denomination, to see us leave so quickly.

    There are plenty of Nazarenes who are sticking around long enough to warn as many as possible. Sorry if that disappoints you.

  10. Manny,
    Yes, Emergents may snicker #5, but Dan Boone and other Nazarenes do not. I believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures as it pertains to Salvation. That being said, I’m not sure why Dan, TNU and others are being lumped in the same cart as Brian McClaren.

    I really don’t believe the Bible spells out Liturgy or ways of worship…this has always been something that has relied on a combination of Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience.

    The use of a organ is not layed out in Scripture. Is the use of an organ during worship a pagan practice? Did the church in Philippi have a communion table? I wonder if the Galatian church had an alter for sinners to come and repent of their sins? Was it the church in Ephesus that began the practice of putting flowers on top of the communion table? I’m not trying to be funny, I’m really not, just trying to explain that the Bible does not spell out every detail on the “how” of worship. More importantly, the Scriptures spell out in great detail WHO to worship and WHY.

  11. David,

    I’m just a humble sinner in need of a Saviour which I receive by accepting the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

    I couldn’t be an Emergent because I know how they treat Bible prophecy and if you’re not familiar with that treatment just give Rich Warren, or Brian McLaren a call and you’ll get a earful. Have they changed their ways that would make me qualify? I’d probably be thrown out of that club.

    I assume standing during prayer, while singing, or reading of God’s Word makes us all Emergents doesn’t it?

    Guess I’ll have to run to the church manual and find out.

    Brad

  12. David,

    A few things just about the labyrinth, which is okay with Dr. Boone. And there is plenty of documentation here about why it’s wrong, I suggest you read it.

    But to quickly summarize, first, prayer is not to become ritualistic:

    Matthew 6:5-8 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.[a] 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
    8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

    Those who walk the labyrinth seem to be doing it to receive some kind of special insight, but we don’t really need that. We have Jesus Christ and Hid word. We live by faith, not by sight. We worship God in spirit and in truth, and we do not need these sensuous ways or mechanical ritualistic ways of trying to get closer to Him.

    Psalm 145:18 says: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

    We don’t need a labyrinth or any or kind of ritual like this to get close to God. We don’t have to walk in circles. Frankly, we don’t really need to kneel at an altar to worship God. That altar is certainly quite different than the ritualistic, repetitive process people go through with a prayer labyrinth.

    The Bible is all we need to help us grow closer to God; we do not need any other ritual, or mysticism. It is a slap in the face of God to add these things to our lives. His word is sufficient for us.

    And also, the Bible forbids us to use and bring in practices from pagan religions, to employ as Christian worship practice. The labyrinth fits that criteria, that is undeniable.

    2 Tim. 3:15-17 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    Finally, you said:

    “I believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures as it pertains to Salvation. That being said, I’m not sure why Dan, TNU and others are being lumped in the same cart as Brian McClaren.”

    That’s the problem right there, that’s the “out” for you: “as it pertains to Salvation.” You do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture, you believe in the inerrancy of scripture as it suits you, and you reject the parts you don’t like. That’s the same thinking of Brian McLaren, which is why emergents like him so much. Remember one of his most notable sayings: “The cross is almost like false advertising”. Oh, and I could go on and on, but’ that’s all documented here too.

    My belief: in the inerrancy of ALL scripture.

  13. I believe that pedophile statement was a part of one of my original posts. Mr. Oord apparently chose to ignore the context of my statement. I stand behind the statement that there are some things that I will not to subject my kids to. Is being a pedophile worse that being an open emergent in God’s sight?

    I am appalled and saddened at Dan Boone’s comment. I think its time we as Pastors turn in our credentials and lead our people away from the burning building before they are consumed by the heresy within.

  14. Any sane person would have understood the context of the pedophile statement. Dr. Oord seems to be getting a little more nervous lately and not being very clear in his statements.

    At least he gave a link to the post which had Rick’s comments, so that anyone with a rational mind would see the full context. It was a little disappointing to see a few of the names on NazNet who approved his comment- actually, very disappointing. I know them personally.

  15. Quit and run away from what? A denomination who’s theology you are not in line with? That is not cutting and running, that is switching denominations to one whose theology you agree with and promote. I understand it is easier to try and distort who John Wesley was than to accept his theology for what it was, but come on. If you are going to keep talking about this thing in terms of war, I wish you guys would realize that you have waged a self proclaimed holy war based your wanting everyone to take a literalist view of the bible. Make no mistake God is nowhere in what you are doing.

  16. Unconcerned and others still have the notion that:

    1. Wesley was emergent in his thinking, when he was not, and he believed in inerrancy of scripture.
    2. And that most Nazarenes, when they find out about it, will embrace emergent ideology. If so, we are in very serious trouble.

    The fact is that emergents are working this stuff in real slowly and deceptively, for to announce all that they believe in at once, would expose them immediately for what they are. Instead, they use the stealth approach (“a little leaven”), and indoctrinate young seminary students who are spoon fed this mystical contemplative spirituality as Biblically sound, when it is far from being sound. Then they go to their new churches and introduce heresy to more and more biblically illiterate Christians, who are trained to “never judge” anyone or anything, opening the way to unquestioned leadership leading them down a wide road that ends in a ditch, where they will inevitably fall in. That’s why we “fight” you day and night and will never cease.

    Satan knows how to make evil look really beautiful and he is using the emergent church movement to entice many Christians into man-centered worship, instead of staying focused on Jesus Christ. He is using the emergent church to lead many away from the real Christ.

    I’ll stay on the narrow road, thank you.

  17. Manny, I accept all Scripture as the living, breathing word of God…I never said I didn’t. What happens when we get to Heaven and we find out that the five smooth stones that David got from the brook when he killed Goliath was actually 4 rough stones? This is a simply analogy, but I believe it drives home my point. I don’t care how many stones David took out of the brook or if they were smooth or rough…I care that the God I serve, the God of Abraham, was Faithful to his people in delivering them from the hands of the Phillistines and I have a binding assurance that my God will be just as Faithful in 2010. Do you believe the Bible is a history book or a book about God and His people and how God created a plan for the atonement of His people?

    How does it make you feel that your words and influence are being used to rip apart churches all across the US? Even in the most traditional of churches people are leaving because of your words. Here’s the difference between me and you. I would welcome you with open arms into my church and could worship our LORD side-by-side with you even within our differences in theology, but I don’t feel I would be given the same welcome.

    You referenced Matthew 6… you know prayer stations and prayer retreats usually result in praying alone in silence behind closed doors (verse 6), but yet you are against that. I wish you would not pervert the Scriptures into your agenda. Is God concerned about the words of our prayers or is he concerned about our attitude and approach to prayer? I believe it is the latter.

  18. David,

    I believe I made my case and I stand on that, regarding labyrinths and prayer stations. I’ll let people decide.

    Regarding people leaving churches, I have received many emails in the past year of Nazarenes forced to leave their churches because of emergent ideology- not because of the lack of it.

    Third, if the Bible says it was 5 smooth stones, why should I doubt that it was? Is this your way of saying that, who cares how God created man, even if He stated how it was done in Genesis? Who is perverting the scriptures?

    Finally, as far as worshipping together- we are commanded as Christians not to fellowship with those who pervert the gospel and preach another Jesus, and who invent new ways of worship that are unscriptural, or who doubt God’s sovereignty by teaching that He does not know the future.

    So as Christians, we need to be discerning, and not worship alongside everyone as if we all follow the same Jesus. What is God concerned about? I would think it is that He wants those who believe in Him to obey Him in all that He teaches, not just “the five fundamentals.”

  19. The topic of this blog asks if Nazarenes are fundamentalist. I say NO and here is why…

    I assume our conversation is referring to fundamentalism in a broad sense and not the fundaemntalist movement of North American Church History. (the virgin birth, the inerrancy of scripture, etc.) Nazarenes can subscribe to these five points. However we are long past the early 20th century and the terms “fundamentalism” and ‘”fundamentalist” exist in different contexts today. 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”.

    This maxim is completely biblical if you consider Jesus discussions on the law, the Apostle Paul’s letters to early churches struggling with how Christianity will be defined in the face of judaizers, and especially if the whole point of the bible (the caritas of God) is properly understood.

    If God fundamentally demanded worship and our faith to be based solely off of words of a page why did the Word become flesh and pick, train, equip, and commission apostles telling them to take authority. It is very scriptural to note that the disciples were an authority long before the bible was written.

    The fundamentalist of the early 20th century were reacting against the gross liberal theology of their day. The theology of Karl Barth attacks this gross liberalism in another constructive way by making theology Christo-centric instead of bible (word) or table centered.

    peace out!

  20. Hunter,
    As I said in another post, the phrase “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity”, is in my opinion, not very strong biblically. Too many people use it as an excuse to rationalize disobeying plain commands of scripture. We ought to obey all of Christ;’s commands and that of the apostles and what they taught.

    Because of that, we are obeying the commands to expose false teachers; to test the spirits to see if they are of God. There are false teachings coming into the Nazarene church, and we are exposing them.

  21. Hunter, great points man, for me you have ended this conversation when you quotes Bresee.

    Manny, this is our point. The COTN has always held to the practice of “unity in essentials, liberty in doubtful matters and in all things charity.” This is nothing new in the COTN. Why do you think the section on end times is so short in the Manual? This is so those who believe in dispensationalism and those who do not can worship and function together. I would argue that over half of my congregation are dispensationalist (I am not), but that does not mean we cannot function together as one Body of Christ. The COTN is not concerned with who is pre-trib, post-trip, pre-millenial or post-millenial, I believe it is more concerned in the Great Commission. Personally, I’m a pan-millenialst. :)

    Manny, how did your relationship with the COTN begin, did you grow up in the COTN?

  22. I would think a conversation can best be ended effectively when scripture is used properly- Phineas Bresee’s words are not the final authority for us- only God’s word.

    Who’s talking about end times? I admit, I do not go after someone for their specific view on end times- we have never made that an issue.
    I repeat my statement- we should obey all the commands from our Lord that He has given us- not just any so-called essentials. Obedience to Christ in everything IS essential.

    I was born Nazarene. My father was a Nazarene pastor for over 50 years. He came from the Cape Verde Islands, where I was born- coincidentally from the same town and island as Rev. Eugenio Duarte.

  23. Awesome, sounds like we have a smiliar background. I am a pastor’s kid as well, my dad has been Nazarene pastor for over 35 years.

    I watched the election Eugenio Duarte online…what a moving moment in COTN history.

    I was using end times as an example of a “non-essential.” I believe there are some things in Scripture that remain, and always will remain, a mystery. The non-essentials that Bresee was talking about were those things that do not carry a salvitic purpose. When I get to heaven, whether it be before “the tribulation” or after, and I stand before God I don’t believe He is going to ask me, “What was your stance on end time prophecy.”

  24. David and Hunter,

    My family history within the Nazarene church dates back to my grandparent’s marriage which began in 1918. I have a rich family history within the denomination. My families in both Illinois and Oklahoma have a strong history actually. I just happen to be lucky to be born in Tennessee and grew up at First Church. I actually think Hunter was in my niece’s Sunday School classes when he was younger. Hunter I went to Sunday School with your Uncle Carl.

    I have seen how the denomination has changed over the years. It amazes me how the younger generations say the denomination was never this or never that. How do you actually know if you weren’t there? Everyone wants to run to the Nazarene manual and check it more then checking the Bible it seems.

    I might have a dispensational point of view, but in my heart I will always be a Nazarene. I grew up hearing stories from my mom about Nazarene revivals and how the preachers were fire and brimstone delievers of God’s Word. They did preach on how we as Christians should always be ready because we never know exactly when Christ is returning, but I do know he is returning. Granted, God will not care if you take a pre-trib or post-trib view when you’re before him, but he will care if you did or didn’t share with others the facts about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    When I have a Nazarene pastor tell me something completely incorrect about doctrine (related to the teachings of Rob Bell), that is the point in time when I have to become involved and make a stand for what is developing within the denomination.

    I’m just afraid some speak with a post-modern tone and feel the old must change to accommodate a new way of thinking.

    Hebrews 13:8 KJV
    Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

    Brad

  25. Unconcerned:
    C.H. Spurgeon faced some of the same dilemna after 35 years with the Bapitst Union. When the leaders of the Union continued to allow for the downgrading of the inerrancy of scripture Spurgeon
    said “It now becomes a serious question how far those who abide by the truth once delivered unto the saints should fraternize with those who have turned to another Gospel.” He walked away after 35 years with them. God is with us who stand with His Word and the eternal truths in it.
    My wife is a third generation Nazarene who was raised in a Nazarene parsonage. She tearfully stated recently “This is not the same Nazarene Church that my grandparents were saved and sanctified in.”
    I’m afraid that this emergent thing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the apostasy that has crept into our denomination. As pastors we have to annually sign a form which states that we are in agreement with the polity and doctrine of the denomination. How long can Bible believing Nazarene pastors ethically sign this form like nothing
    is wrong? We are mandated to pay all of our budgets including regional school budgets. How long can we ethically hold back our monetary support of colleges that peddle anti-holiness emergent stuff?
    First century Christians were fed to wild beasts because they refused to put a pinch of incense on the altar of a pagan god. How dedicated are you to doing the right thing?

  26. Someone in this discussion mentioned somewhere that the Church of the Nazarene accepts the early ecumenical creeds and that somehow these creeds included nonbiblical teaching. I pulled out my Manual of the Church of the Nazarene and looked it up, for it seemed so unbelievable to me that the Church of the Nazarene would adopt anything contrary to the Bible. Sure enough, on page 16 I found the following in the Church of the Nazarene’s Historical Statement:

    “It receives the ecumenical creeds of the first five Christian centuries as expressions of its own faith. While the Church of the Nazarene has responded to its special calling to proclaim the doctrine and experience of entire sanctification, it has taken care to retain and nurture identification with the historic church in its preaching of the Word, its administration of the sacraments, its concern to raise up and maintain a ministry that is truly apostolic in faith and practice, and its inculcating of disciplines for Christlike living and service to others.”

    Now, I think a good Nazarene had better figure out what those ecumenical creeds are, what they say, and whether or not they can be justified with the Bible alone. Also, why would the Church of the Nazarene allow up to five centuries and no more to be acceptable?

    I’ll be honest, this has shaken my belief that the Church of the Nazarene is truly sola scriptura. Is it, or is it not?

  27. Not only that, the apsotles creed was used as a guide line in finalizing what books would and would not be included in scripture.

    This takes nothing away from the authority of scripture, but certainly puts it in some historical context.

    There is no reason to be anti- creed, especially as those creeds are ones that compliment scripture.

    I also find it odd that anyone would be shocked that the church of the Nazarene in not sola scriptura. The five sola’s are part of the basis for reformed theology and we are not of the reformed Calvinist tradition.

    I also think it is interesting that there is this stance against “creeds” while at the same time being upset that we are not a “sola” church.

    The five sola’s are a statement of belief that could be considered a creed. You may not recite them in worship, but they are used as a system of belief and lens to read the Bible through.

    I don’t really understand this blog because it is full of contradictions- even the name “reformed nazarene” is a contradicting term.

    I have great concerns about the emergent church but I am very sad that my concerns are being “championed” in ways like this blog does. I say this because reasonable arguments and concerns against the emergent church within our Wesleyan Holiness tradition are lost in the mire of arguments full of contradictions, wrong assumptions and misinformation.

  28. wait, my comment is being “moderated”? Does this mean the discussion is being controlled?

    This is even more reason to not like the way the way “concerned nazarenes” are handling our concerns against the emergent church. Even the threat of censorship reduces our credibility in having a fair and just argument.

    I am heart broken by the direction the church of the nazarene is going as I see it splitting in two- I don’t want to be part of either camp. I don’t want be “emergent”, but I don’t want to be a poor and misinformed version of the baptist church either.

  29. Chad,
    I think perhaps if we required more than two forty five minute classes before membership into the COTN more Nazarenes would be able to explore five centuries of creeds! I fear that you may be right. Perhaps some of those creeds may not be able to be justified by the Bible alone. Sanctified maybe, but not justified!

    I am so very very glad you went to the Manual and pointed that out for us. I think that reference from the manual turns a spotlight on the claim that Nazarnes are fundamentalists in any broad or narrow; positive or negative understanding of that word.

    Thanks Chad!

  30. No Will,

    the delay in approving your comment mean that I have a very busy life because of this now, but what comes first is the work I need to do, and family.

  31. I disagree with how you’ve handled this “conversation” with Dr. Boone. What you’ve done here and how you’ve re-arranged his words is why you always end up debating only among yourselves. After 2 years, you finally get someone legitimate to openly come chat with you, and then you run him off, just like all the others. You say you are looking for an open, honest conversation, but when the president of a Nazarene university comes here (to your own turf no less) to have an honest discussion, you take his latest 4 paragraph, 25+ sentence lengthy response, and only address 2 points of it, one of which isn’t even his point.

    To clarify, Dr. Boone is NOT Rick Warren. I googled “religious fundamentalism quotes”, and the first site that popped up gave me quotes from Joseph Ratzinger, Amos Oz, Pope Benedict XVI (gasp), Chaim Potok, Warren Mitchell, etc. – all pertaining to religious fundamentalism. I suppose you could have picked anyone who has ever talked about religious fundamentalism and claimed that surely Dr. Boone is an avid follower of them and their theology, and then proceed to rant about that person as if Dr. Boone had said the very words himself. That is absolutely ridiculous. Was there nothing else in his entire response that you could have talked about? Perhaps you could have atleast critiqued his OWN words, (he gave you plenty of them) instead of ranting about Rick Warren?

    Furthermore, his words about religious fundamentalism were very clear. He was speaking about it in general terms, and makes a very obvious point that within any given religion, the fundamentalists of that respective religion try to find a way to declare themselves the authority of whatever their respective holy texts are. (the Bible, the Koran, etc.) Absolutely in no way was Dr. Boone nonchalantly referring to the Bible when he used the words ‘holy texts’ in his general statement about all religious fundamentalism. That bit of common sense would have been blatantly obvious even if Dr. Boone hadn’t specifically said so. But he said so anyway in the preceding sentence that you so conveniently left out: He said, “But the strategies and tactics of religious fundamentalism are pretty consistent across the board.” I don’t think it could be any clearer, really.

    What’s more, is that I believe you also know this to be true. You knew exactly what Dr. Boone meant. But instead of engaging in a conversation, you nit-pick a phrase here or there and run with it. So you might not be a fundamentalist, but you certainly argue like one.

    I find it ironic and worth pointing out, that you have proved Dr. Boone’s point. He said that religious fundamentalists use strategy and tactics to declare themselves the authority of their holy texts. Well, in your case, here is how you (unknowingly perhaps) did exactly that:

    1. You misinterpreted a general blanket statement about religious fundamentalism from person A.
    2. You claimed that person A’s statement sounds similar to what person B has said years ago.
    3. You presume that person A is basically one and the same in thought and agreement with person B. You said, “[Person A's words] sound so close to what person B stated, that I wonder if he spends a lot of time reading up on person B, and has found that person B’s views on fundamentalism resonates with his own. They certainly seem to take the same tone…” etc. etc.
    4. You find an old quote from person B, in which he attacks the “Five Fundamentals of the Faith”.
    5. You claim the Five Fundamentals as your own, and naturally as that of any real Christian.
    6. You “dare” Christians to disagree with the Five Fundamentals of Faith, which obviously they would not. (fear tactic?)
    7. You ask them to join you in your war against anyone who disagrees with and/or attacks the Five Fundamentals.
    8. You interpret Scripture (Ecclesiastes) to mean that persons A & B are “rebelling against God”.

    And in the end, you have asserted that Dr. Boone stands opposed to the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, the Blood Atonement, the Bodily Resurrection, and the Inerrancy of the Scriptures.

    And you claim all of this by manipulating one general blanket statement about world religions.

    Well if that isn’t religious fundamentalism, I don’t know what is.

  32. Manny,

    I find the things that you and Tim Worth are doing and saying to be heartbreaking. Since you have made it very clear in your comments above that your only purpose in staying associated with the Church of the Nazarene is to fight, then my question for you is, when will enough be enough? Will it be enough when everyone agrees with you, or when you and your cohorts drive everyone out of the church that you (on your authority) have determined to be heretics? So at what price is all of this going to be accomplished? How many pastors and teachers are you going to attack and damage their reputations and threaten their careers until your “mission” is accomplished? How many churches are you and your friends going to divide before you feel like you have your victory? How many enemies do you have to conquer, and since when did our brothers and sisters in Christ become enemies. I believe this concern has become an obsession for you and I honestly believe you have lost all perspective. In a sense I am a concerned nazarene, but it is not the Church of the Nazarene I am concerned for, aside from the real damage that you and your partners are doing, but it is you that I am concerned for. I am very saddened but what I see in your blog and comments. I am praying for you.

    Blessings,

    Brokenheartednazarene

  33. Dear Brokenhearted,

    “What will be enough, you asked.” We don’t know; we just know that we must follow God’s commands to expose false teachings and false teachers wherever we find them. We are not out to harm or divide for division’s sake; that is being done by those who question God’s word. However, even Jesus came to divide, to separate the sheep from the goats. We are simply obeying His commands to expose the false prophets. We see their ftuits, and that’s how we know who they are.

    Now I have some questions for you, and I am truly serious about reading your answers:

    1. If you saw false teachings coming into your church, what would you do about it?

    2. And what are the biblical teachings of Jesus and the apostles on how to deal with false prophets and teachings?

    3. Do you have children in a Nazarene university? And if so, are you okay with them being taught that the word of God is not infallible, and that God does not know the future?

    4. Are you equally brokenhearted for the many who have had their lives disrupted by being forced out of their churches for even daring to ask questions about the emerging church?

    Blessings to you,

    manny

  34. Dear Brokenheartednazarene,
    I understand your heartbreak and pain. I do not believe that Manny or anyone responding to these articles are trying to divide the Nazarene church. It is not solely a Nazarene problem. The Free Methodist church has been ravaged by the false teaching of the liberal Gnostic/emergent ideology. The last straw was when the “praise band” played the Beatles ” I get by with a liitle help with my friends, I get high with a little help from my friends”. Now, I am 50 and in high school was alcoholic drug addited teen. I am eternally grateful for the salvation of my Lord. That song is all about the drug culture contray to what the emergent “church” people say. I could not belong to a church that “purposely” was so disobient to the Lord. This emergent ideology embraces the evil of the culture, carefully infiltrates the holiness denominations so that as the Bible writes “even the holy will be deceived”. I urge you to hold what is being taught in tha Nazarene churches and universities to the Scriptures, to the Lord’s standard. The are other websites that have a wealth of information on the emergent ideology. Check it out yourself, do not just dismiss what is being said here out of hand. We are heartbroken as well. We are trying to sound the alarm, because we know that Satan is still saying “Did God really say that you will surely die?” . Satan is still saying that that men can embrace the culture and the world and not die. Last I looked the Lord gave us the way to worship and teach His commandments. We do not need men to come up with new and improved ways to worship the Lord.
    In Christ,
    Beth Lockwood

  35. I’m sorry, Brokenhearted, I had to remove your last post because I did not read it carefully.

    I will not allow some of these things you said about pastor Joe to be published when it is not true. If you want to take up that argument, I’ll be glad to forward it to him. But I trust his account of what happened when he preached. He put himself on the line for the truth.

    As far as what to do when false teaching comes along, you suggested there is a proper way to do things, by applying Matthew 18.

    When a man very publicly states false teachings, or in his classroom lectures, over and over, and has already been approached by others especially, it is not up to me to go to him privately. I can respond to him publicly- your argument is weak, and I have heard that before.

    It does not apply to these situations.
    Thank you.

Comments are closed.