Following are a few samples of comments from a recent discussion on the NazNet Forum, a website created by some Nazarenes for topics such as theology and Nazarene teachings. Yet, I still am amazed at some Christians who just cannot bring themselves to trust what the scriptures say. The topic was evolution.
(Names have been left out to minimize embarrassment).
One question: Can you be a pastor in our denomination and still believe in evolution? Here is one amazing answer.
“One theory that I rather like is that the species developed and evolved over millions of years and when it finally got to the point when there existed creatures that were basically physiologically, “human,” God stepped in with some kind of special creative act and transformed a pair of the human-like creatures (let’s call them Adam and Eve) into full humans by giving them “the image of God” (free-will, self-awareness, and/or whatever else that phrase means). The bloodlines of the rest of the then current existing species (Adam’s cousins, for example) all died off.”
It’s certainly not a theory I’m married to, but I like it.
This was written by a Nazarene pastor. (By the way, at least seven persons thought this was a useful post). This is amazing! So God allowed this gradual evolvement of almost human-like creatures over millions of years, and then at some point decided to make them fully human. I think it is really sad when so many Christians try to re-interpret Genesis to accommodate evolution theories, which really is more like a weak hypothesis and has very no credible evidence that supports it. The bottom line is this: God’s description of how we were created is incompatible with any kind of evolutionary theory, including the preposterous one submitted by the commentator above. But many Nazarenes and other Christians seem to succumb to pressure by evolutionists who try to ridicule creationists for believing the Bible. What a sad state of affairs when man cannot fully trust in God’s word, but instead decides that he will be the arbiter of what is fact or fiction in the Holy Scriptures.
Here’s another comment:
One of the reasons for disbelieving the creation account is that there is a lack of proof that it happened that way. But if we believe that God is a Being who is all-powerful and transcends all of creation, and what He does is done supernaturally, then why do we need any kind of proof before we can believe what He said in Genesis? The only explanation is that the religion of man takes over, and man has to somehow come up with “logical” explanations of how we came to be, instead of believing in God’s word. Oh yes, man’s religion, which includes the atheists who will try their best to discredit any and all explanations that defy “man’s wisdom.” But as the scriptures say, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:22 “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25
2. Another person responded to the question, Are they (our college professors) teaching any evidence of a great flood?
Plain reading of scripture: Gen. 7:18-23 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.h i 21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. (KJV)
There are also many more biblical references that show that the writers also believed in this global flood, and Jesus Himself referenced it. Why then is it so hard to believe that it was a global flood that covered the entire earth? Never mind the great amount of scientific evidence that points to a global flood, such as oceanic fossils found on mountaintops all over the world; great amounts of coal deposits that would have required a very rapid covering of vegetation; and much more evidence.
Some of these Nazarenes, some of them pastors, might even refuse to acknowledge that Adam and Eve were real. I recall challenging Dr. Thomas Oord last year at a lecture at Eastern Nazarene College, with my answer to the question of how death and sin came to the world. The answer was rather simple, and I referenced Romans 5:12-14, which says plainly: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.”
Even Jesus our Lord referenced Adam as a real historical figure, not an allegory. But Dr. Oord did not agree with “my” explanation, which was actually the biblical explanation.
How sad that we have Nazarene professors and pastors who not only cannot accept or doubt the biblical account, but who also promote an anti-biblical evolutionary theory, or do not believe God knows the future, or who teach that God is ever learning from man’s activities, and even makes mistakes! Eastern Nazarene College, my old school, has a professor who believes evolution is compatible with Christianity, and who is an Open Theist and Process theologist. But he is not the only one, and many others like Dennis Bratcher of Point Loma Nazarene University, are causing great damage by challenging the plain teachings of scripture.
What about your pastor or professor? Does he believe in the scriptural account of the creation? Is he grounded in the word of God, and believes in its infallibility in all that it teaches, without compromise? Does he leave open the possibility that man evolved over millions of years, thereby contradicting the biblical account of God’s creation? Does he “lord it over you” with his “learned ways” when you dare to oppose his belief that God does not know everything? If so, he may very well be a victim of the post-modern way of thinking, or the damaging liberal philosophies of the New Evangelicalism which has welcomed and held hands with just about any thought or ideology, all for the sake of “getting along.” Beware, for such are the “pied pipers’ of the emergent church and other “religions of men”, leading the gullible and spiritually immature down towards the cliff and into the deep waters of unbelief and distrust.
What about you? What do you believe: God’s account, or man’s “wisdom?”