A new post from my friend at exnazarene reminds us of the ever-increasing embrace of Roman Catholic practices within the Nazarene denomination, in our universities and churches. The use of Stations of the Cross (or, for a softer emphasis, prayer stations) is becoming more common. Of course, don’t forget all the others, such as prayer labyrinths and teaching our youth how to use prayer beads ( a softer way of saying praying the rosary?).
In addition to these is the ever-increasing use of books written by heretical Catholic mystics (Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton for example) for devotionals, spiritual growth, and resources for pastoral studies. I’m not kidding, although one would think that we should have more than enough books and resources by not only Nazarenes but also from those of the Wesleyan tradition. Don’t we have more than enough Nazarene resources (John Wesley for one!) and giants of the Christian faith, than to turn to these sources?
So what is going on with this trend, that we need to borrow from a religion that espouses so much false teaching? See: Roman Catholicism And It’s Heresies.
Is this part of the road to Rome that other denominations are delving into also? Is this a reflection of the new Nazarene holiness tradition? Will we soon borrow from the traditions of the Mormons, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Just asking, and I would love to get some answers from our leadership on these questions, so I hope that you will seriously take the time to do that.
Nazarene Churches Emulate Catholic Tradition
March 31, 2010 by exnazarene
To answer the siren call for an ever hungry, insatiable appetite of feelings-based spirituality, Lake Houston Church of the Nazarene, and Flushing Community Church of the Nazarene (amid other Nazarene churches) have turned to the Catholic tradition of the Stations of the Cross.
Who needs to spend time and study in God’s Word when the new spiritual crack of ‘me-focused’ spiritual experiences can give one an euphoric feeling of being close to God instead? Who better to turn to for these mystical experiences than the traditions of the Catholics? Makes one wonder what could be next? Nazarene nuns? Trevecca has had the Abbey of Gethsemani monastery booked for retreats for the purpose of student spiritual formation for the past 40 years. With the acceptance and endorsement of other Catholic traditions into the Nazarene denomination, it could happen.
For more in-depth reading on the dangers of Spiritual Disciplines and offering them as routine practices inside of the church, read and print off the following articles:
Stations of the Cross