Nazarene Social Justice and It’s Socialist Connections

4/29/2010- UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Since we posted this yesterday, some of the links directly connected with OKC 1st have mysteriously disappeared.  At the end of this post, I have a cached picture of the Social Holiness site with the Nazarene connection at the bottom.

This update is from my friend at exnazarene:

January 25, 2010 by exnazarene

*UPDATE*  April 25, 2010 – Apparently, OKC 1st  Church of the Nazarene has removed it’s link on their main church website that showed their affiliation with the Industrial Areas Foundation.  However, another point of reference with their involvement via their Minister of Social Justice, Lance Schmitz, can be found HERE at a Social Holiness website that claims it operates as a Ministry of Oklahoma First Church of the Nazarene.  (I suggest people make copies of these pages before they also disappear.)

In addition, here is another news article that associates Minister of Social Justice, Lance Schmitz, as a committee member of an interfaith community coalition called the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee, that is directly linked to the Industrial Areas Foundation.  The article can be accessed HERE.

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The radical liberal agenda has enjoyed success in secular schools and organizations for several decades, and to a mild degree in some of the liberal denominations from the turn of the last century.

It makes sense that the next stronghold to assault would be to infiltrate the ranks of the conservative Christian schools and conservative denominations.  But through what method?

Enter the Emergent Church Movement and its’ emphasis on “social justice”. Here’s the strategy:

  • Re-package the primary mission of Jesus coming on the earth from being one of redemption of souls, to one of setting things right for the poor and marginalized in society.  Paint those (conservatives) who hold to a salvation message of personal repentance of sin, and faith and trust in Jesus as the only Way, Truth and Life , and re-cast them as Pharisee’s and mean-spirited fundamentalists who know nothing of compassion for the down and out.
  • Promote the emergent church as the first to discover compassion for others and care about societal ills.   Do this under the catch phrase of “bringing in the kingdom” and/or being “missional” .
  • Take a low view of scripture and introduce doubts as to its’ authority and reliability.
  • Focus mainly on the “good works” of Jesus, while  avoiding  unpleasant topics such as sin, its consequences, personal responsibility, and above all else stay away from the subject of hell.

The following link will take you to an article from The Tulsa Beacon entitled The Wolves Are At the Door. The article was posted in April 2009.

In the article you will read the connection between the Industrial Areas Foundation , of which Oklahoma First Church of the Nazarene is a supporter, and Saul Alinsky , who was a Communist sympathizer and socialist , and the term “social justice”. Here is a quote from the article:

“Saul Alinsky used the poor to further a radical agenda, while ostensibly helping them. Although the IAF has disavowed some of Alinsky’s more extreme views, they still use his methods and seek to work within unsuspecting Catholic and Protestant congregations, and among other constituencies, to further a decidedly liberal agenda. From our research, you won’t ever see IAF working with its protégés to encourage conservative principles in public policy.”

Also of interest would be this interview given by the Minister of Social Justice of Oklahoma First Church of the Nazarene to Sojourner’s Magazine, which is a magazine with a radical liberal/progressive Leftist (chrisitan) agenda whose founder, Jim Wallis has ties to the Communist Party.

It is also of interest, that it is common to find a link to Sojourner’s at emergent nazarene blogs, such as this one and this one.

The people in the pews in the Nazarene Church need to wake up and start asking questions and demand answers from their leadership.  The only way to turn the Nazarene denomination around from this liberal agenda is for those in the pews to gather together and pray, repent from straying off course, fast, and create a grass roots movement of those that care about Biblical integrity and Biblical foundations that have been under assault from the Left.  The Nazarenes need to ask the question of the following from Psalm 11.

If the foundations are destroyed,  what can the righteous do? Psalm 11:3

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15 responses to “Nazarene Social Justice and It’s Socialist Connections

  1. How is what P.F.Bresee did different from this? C.B. Jernigan, of the more fundamentalist Holiness Church of Christ, did the same kind of work. This is an illuminating read: http://www.nazarene.org/files/docs/rpcd1.pdf

    (From the Phineas F. Bresee wiki)
    “In 1894 Bresee withdrew from the appointive ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church in order to serve as pastor to the Peniel Mission, an independent ministry to the homeless of Los Angeles. Over the next year, a rift opened between Bresee and the Peniel Mission’s founders, Rev Theodore Pollock Ferguson and his wife, Manie Payne Ferguson. Bresee became convinced that the best ministry for the urban poor was to create strong churches that ministered to entire families. The Fergusons, the mission founders, believed that the Peniel Mission should focus, instead, on the “down and outer.” In October 1895, Bresee and Dr. Joseph Pomeroy Widney, a leading Los Angeles physician and former president of the University of Southern California, joined with numerous lay men and women to form a new church. Widney suggested the name “Church of the Nazarene,” because he said it identified the ministry with the toiling masses of common people for whom Jesus lived and died.”

  2. First: GREAT work Manny. Our task of defending the Gospel and equipping the saints begins with an uncompromising, personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. Followed by preparing ourselves for this battle with prayer and with an understanding and information of the false teachings that threaten us. This is your apparent ministry to the Body. Thank you for your faithfullness to this calling.

    Secondly: I am not clear on the intent of the reply from Lin Wells, but I would like to add that one major difference between THE SOCIAL GOSPEL (which, by the way is akin to ‘liberation theology’, ‘socialism’, ‘emergent theology’, various forms of gnosticism, etc) is this:

    THE SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT OR THE SOCIAL GOSPEL MOVEMENT’S objective ENDS with DOING GOOD DEEDS. There is no more to their work except to control the rest of society to conform to their brand of religious humanism! Their reward is reflected in the pride in their own efforts whcih they openly exhibit. Their reward is man’s acclaim, and exclamation of “look how good we are” as they beat their breast in the marketplace and compell the rest of society, through the force of social pressues and legislation to behave as they behave OR PAY THE CONSEQENCES.

    But with THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, doing good deeds is JUST THE BEGINNING of our objective – which is to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    , . Jesus clearly teaches that we should INDIVIDUALLY do “good deeds” AS WE GO daily, and that we are not compelled by man to good works but we are compelled by our Love of Christ. Our behavior is a reflection of our objective not an end in and of itself.

    Jesus said “the poor shall always be with us” and that it is a greater thing to pay our homage to the risen Lord, first.

    As for the poor? Jesus was clear, Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
    Mt 6:3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,”

    When we seek FIRST God and His Kingdom, Jesus says, in Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, AND THE POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.
    6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”

    The church I served in as pastor of evangelsim hosted a state food bank for the ‘poor’ but rejected PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THEM. The ‘poor’ got food, got feed, got fat and came back for more. It NEVER changed anything about their cirmumstances now nor about their ultimate destination. But it gave ‘compassionate ministries’ a reason to be and brought some degree of fame to the church.

    I am certain that when we Christians return to our roots and allow the Holy Spirit to PERFORM THE WORD OF GOD through us, then the social gospel movement will ‘be driven away like the chaff in the winds’.

  3. Thanks Michael,
    Well said and explains the difference very well between the “social gospel”, and the real gospel.

    I have questioned a church board, to no avail, as to why we are trying to cooperate with any church in the area, to feed and clothe the poor, without a desire to evangelize at the same time.

    That’s a great tragedy, when a well fed homeless person remains lost, because no one fed him with the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is far more important than food or clothing.

  4. Nazarene Social Holiness Advocates,

    Is this “Roots for radicals: organizing for power, action, and justice” the new Missions theme in the Nazarene Church?

    Contact Us
    If you would like to get in touch with someone from Social Holiness, you may do so in one of the following ways:

    Email: socialholiness@gmail.com

    Address:
    4400 NW Expressway
    Oklahoma City, OK 73116

    Social Holiness is a ministry of Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene

    Lin Wells,

    Does this

    “the name “Church of the Nazarene,” because he said it identified the ministry with the toiling masses of common people for whom Jesus lived and died.”

    line up with “Roots for Radicals: organizing for power, action and justice”?

    Roots for Radicals: organizing for power, action and justice” Bottom on page 140 and top of 141:

    “The men, woman, and young people of this century must let go of the illusion of rugged individualism and embrace relational construct, making connection across differences of nation, culture and class.”

    “This can only begin locally, through the calculated organization of moderates, flexible conservatives, and liberals.”

    Bottom of page 142, Roots for Radicals

    “I’m calling for something radical here, systematic and ongoing organizing for collective fairness – all habits of the heart required for what we call frequently call the common good.”

    “We have professionals for this and professionals for that – why not thousands of professionally trained organizers paid by the people they work for to create these new political instruments in our global world?”

    I choose Jesus’ way:

    Acts 2:42-47
    42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising GOD and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.

    Jesus’ way:
    1. Praising GOD and enjoying the favor of all people
    2. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.

  5. Looks like the links to the Social Holiness website that showed the involvement of Lance Schmitz, Minister of Social Justice, and Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene’s involvement with the Industrial Areas Foundation have mysteriously disappeared from the internet.

    These things seem to happen once they are exposed publicly.

    I hope people made copies of those pages. I did.

    OKC 1st seems to have a penchant for disappearing links once they are exposed for what they are. I still remember the Kaleo emergent church website from 2006 (the emergent church operating within OKC 1st church) that had links to all sorts of strange spiritual formation links such as Taize…..and all the less than dignified monikers that graced the names of the ministers involved.

    As I recall, Greg Horton was listed as a minister/leader of that group. His moniker was Guy In Monkey Hat, Jon Middendorf’s moniker was Lead Insominac, Steve Green’s moniker was Head Guru.

    Yes, after this website was exposed publicly, it also disappeared, but I still have a copy of it.

  6. I’ll be glad to put up a copy of that site as well. I guess you predicted it happening, and it did. Shoudn’t someone be proud of the things they do if they are going to put it up on the web?

  7. None of the disappearing websites and links surprise me. It was the same when we did articles on Saddleback Church and Rick Warren. They have people doing damage control all the time. The sad think is you don’t see any repentance or any statements saying “Oops we may have made a mistake”. Instead they just make the evidence go away.
    Nothing the Middendorfs do take me by surprise there is certainly an agenda at work here.
    And it’s not biblical.
    I had heard the nicknames before funny thing about Jon’s nickname.
    Wonder why he couldn’t sleep?

  8. Us Nazarenes are not the only ones of course getting into this social justice thing. Got this from David Cloud’s ministry, Way of Life, today. His point is made very clearly here:

    SOCIAL JUSTICE REPLACES GOSPEL PREACHING IN UNITED METHODIST CAMPAIGN (Friday Church News Notes, April 30, 2010, http://www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) –

    The United Methodist Church conducted a Change the World campaign last weekend, with the objective of changing society rather than preaching the gospel. It is part of its “Rethink Church” program, which purports to “recover the message and mission of Jesus,” but which in fact covers His Mission (e.g., Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8) with a humanistic, short-sighted social-justice campaign. One of the objectives of Rethink Church is for Christians to “unite globally to eliminate” malaria. The ecumenical agenda aside, this is commendable as far as it goes, but it is far more important to preach the gospel. Even if malaria and cancer and heart disease were eliminated, every individual will still die physically and those without Christ will suffer the second death in the lake of fire.

    Thus, gospel preaching far exceeds social-justice work in importance and consequence, and since the work of gospel preaching always exceeds the number of workers and resources, it must have the pre-eminence in the heart and objective of the churches. The kingdom of God will not come to this sin-drunken world until the Prince of Peace returns and establishes it with His omnipotent power and omniscient wisdom.

  9. Guys, you may be ex-Nazarene, but you certainly aren’t Nazarene, reformed or otherwise. If you were Nazarene in any form, you would have acknowledged the excellent (and entirely appropriate) Bresee quote offered by Lin Wells in the very first post. Instead, you have completely ignored the words of the man who founded the Church of the Nazarene upon Scripture, God’s inerrant word, particularly the Gospels, which attest to the life and ministry of Jesus, a ministry that includes the socially marginalized and is summed up in Matthew 25:31-46, which is so familiar, it is possible to become de-sensitized to it.

    Looking for how social justice, Jesus’s life as recorded in God’s inerrant word, sin, consequences, and hell are all connected?

    Here it is. If this doesn’t scare you, then you are not reading it well.
    (from the NIV)

    31″When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  10. truenazarene,
    i could be wrong but i don’t think that manny is saying that as christians, we should not help people (the least of these). i think his concern is helping people and not sharing the gospel while we do it. if i am wrong about that however, feel free to correct.

  11. Ash,
    Yes, that is about right. What good is it if we feed a bunch of people, or clean their neighborhood every week, and never give them the gospel.
    As a friend commented recently, something to the effect, they will feel real good about their clean sidewalks as they continue down the road to hell, because no one gave them the gospel.

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