With Richard Foster’s Renovaré Conference, Point Loma Continues On A Downward Slide

With Richard Foster’s Renovaré Conference, Point Loma Continues On A Downward Slide

Here we go again.  I love San Diego, and the last time I was there, I visited the campus at Point Loma Nazarene University.  A beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.  Well designed campus buildings.  Watched a nice soccer game that was going on at the time.  It all looked so beautiful and nice on the surface.  But as we know, looks can be deceptive, and often masks the ugliness within.  And so with Point Loma, as it all does not seem well on the inside.  Something is horribly wrong at this university which carries the name of Nazarene, supposedly reflecting Nazarene teaching and tradition.

Just recently it was a conference in March called Nurturing The Prophetic Imagination.  At a recent conference called Christless Christianity, Dr.  Peter Jones makes reference to it.  His lecture, A Gnostic Gospel, is a good one, and if you go to the 43 minute mark, you will hear his description of some of what this was about.  It’s not good.
In a recent post on my blog that was written by Rev. Peter Migner, I quote:

This past week I discovered that Point Loma Nazarene University is hosting some bizarre conference about Prophetic Imagination and among the featured guest speakers are: An Environmental Activist, a Monk, a Priest, a Black Activist and then it is Emceed by the President of NTS. Among the workshops is a Muslim Imam, a Catholic Priest and professors from ENC, NNU, PNU and TNU. This is not the Holiness Church I was led to as a young man from my Roman Catholic heritage. Some of the topics at this conference are just outright strange and Emergent in nature such as Sophia and Phronesis: A ‘What If’’ Question about Theology, and  Feminist Pedagogy as Acts of Prophetic Imagination.  (download schedule here)

And in an April, 2009 article, Lighthouse Trails Research documents the apparent slide into contemplative spirituality and emergent ideology that Point Loma has embarked on (Point Loma Nazarene University Welcomes Brian McLaren and Embraces Contemplative Spirituality).

Now it’s Richard Foster.  Forgive me for being cynical sounding, but is there something in the theological drinking water at Point Loma?  What has changed in ten years?  Or perhaps, was that change already taking place when I was already walking around the campus grounds, not knowing what was being taught and welcomed there.  Has there been a tragic loss of biblical discernment at Point Loma, by both the students, and particularly, by the theology and religion department, as well as the leadership? When it comes to theology and religion, and sound biblical doctrine, what does Richard Foster have to do with that?

So who is drinking the mystical and emergent coolaide at Point Loma?  Richard Foster is not just coming to speak, but to host an entire conference, the 2010 Renovaré Covenant Retreat.  From all that I know of him, his organization, and his writings, I have come to the conclusion that this man is a false teacher.  And if that is true, then I am following the biblical directive to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them”  (Eph. 5:11).

Let’s look at what his Renovaré organization stands for.  On their home page, it says:

We seek to resource, fuel, model, and advocate more intentional living and spiritual formation among Christians and those wanting a deeper connection with God. A foundational presence in the spiritual formation movement for over 20 years, Renovaré is Christian in commitment, ecumenical in breadth, and international in scope.

Richard Foster is probably the most influential person in the last 30 years or so, in the area of spiritual formation.  However, the problem with this is that spiritual formation means, to those who follow the Renovaré way, delving into what I can describe only as another term for contemplative spirituality, or mysticism, or even the occult.  Spiritual formation the Foster way is far from biblical, and others far more knowledgeable than me on this subject have written extensive and accurate exposés on this “new spirituality” which is fast sweeping the evangelical world, perhaps in preparation for the coming “man of sin”, or the anti-christ.  Please see the critical links that I have at the end of this post, including a recent post at the Psalm 11:3 blog.

This ecumenical spirit that is fostered (no pun intended) by so many evangelicals today is stunning, shocking, and should make most Bible believing Christians take some serious heed to what I and others are practically shouting out.  The desire to “hold hands” with anyone who declares that they are Christian, regardless of doctrines that they espouse, is unbiblical.  We are commanded in Romans 12  “do not be conformed to the world.”  So why should we care whether we get the approval of some other organization or group of people that is blatantly disregarding biblical instruction?  Are we seeking to stay within the socially approved circles of the religious elite, not wanting to be shunned and excluded from their worldly fellowship?  Do we really think that working cooperatively with any other professing “Christian” group, for a common good, under the banner of Christian unity, helps further the cause of the gospel?  Inevitably, it leads to us overlooking serious doctrinal differences between the groups, in order to keep a “spirit of unity.”  That will then lead to serious compromise of God’s word and His commands to obey all that He teaches us.

So what is it about Richard Foster that folks at Point Loma are willing to overlook, for the sake of listening to perhaps a few good things he might have to say?  What about the bad stuff?  What about the unbiblical baggage he carries with him?  Is Point Loma leadership saying, “don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.”  Perhaps they are, or the only other conclusion is that they are completely oblivious to his heretical teachings.  Perhaps someone who has a child there, or plans to send one soon, or perhaps is sending money to the school, might want to ask the university president and theology department if there is a biblical sound, rational reason to host Renovaré at the school.

I won’t go into detail about Foster here.  I have posted various posts on him, so please read them carefully.  Others have written extensively, exposing his erroneous teachings, and promotion of heretical mystic monks.  Pastors Bob Dewaay, Ken Silva, David Cloud, and others, have done some really good work on Foster, as well as Lighthouse Trails Research, and many other hard working online discernment ministries who are taking the heat from the apostates who pretend to be Christian.

I will remind you of an amazing comment he made in his book (popular with many pastors), Prayer; Finding The Heart’s True Home.  In regards to going into contemplative prayer, he issued this warning:

At the outset I need to give a word of warning,… Contemplative Prayer is not for the novice. I do not say this about any other form of prayer… Contemplative prayer is for those who have exercised their spiritual muscles a bit and know something about the landscape of the spirit. In fact, those who work in the area of spiritual direction always look for signs of a maturing faith before encouraging individuals into Contemplative Prayer…

I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.

I and others have asked before, why would a Christian need to pray a prayer of protection, before doing something that is supposed to be good for them?  And why can’t a novice Christian participate in contemplative prayer without fear?  Would God give us something that might be spiritually dangerous to us?  As Paul warns in scripture, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”  Tolerating a little bit of false teaching will corrupt the church.

So I pray for some answers from the Point Loma University leadership.  If your child is going there now, or is considering going there, I would encourage you to ask them hard questions, if you are convinced that Richard Foster is nothing but bad news.  It looks to me as if the answer might be already evident: Point Loma, as well as other Nazarene universities, and its seminary, may have already been deceived by Richard Foster and his contemplative spirituality replacement for the true gospel.

If you are even a bit suspicious of Richard Foster now, here are some additional resources to find out more about him.  I pray you will be a Berean and put his teachings up to the light of scripture, and not with the reasoning of man.

Acts 20:28-31 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

Articles on Richard Foster and Mysticism:

Richard Foster To Speak At Point Loma, Renovaré Link (Psalm 11:3, Tim Wirth)

Contemplative Prayer, or Terror? (Roger Oakland, Understanding The Times)

Richard Foster, Celebration of Deception (Bob Dewaay, Critical Issues Commentary)

Mysticism (Gary Gilley, Southern View Chapel) (Parts 1 to 5)

Richard Foster A Reliable Source For Proper Christian Spirituality? (Ken Silva, Apprising Ministries)

Richard Foster, The Prayer Room, And Discernment (reformednazarene)

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75 responses to “With Richard Foster’s Renovaré Conference, Point Loma Continues On A Downward Slide

  1. Manny,
    It appears that Point Loma is the flagship of the Nazarene higher educational system navy in regard to false teachings and heresy. It is somewhat like they say, “as California goes so goes the nation”. Wait a minute, Point Loma IS in California. Hmmm…

  2. As a parent of two PLNU graduates, I wrote the university president in 2009 of my concerns of emergent chapel speakers, spiritual formation retreats and a new testament class which had a textbook written by an agnostic scholar in textual criticism of the bible. My concerns were dismissed with a very lengthy letter stating that the professor who used the textbook was a visiting professor not associated with the university, the retreat is no longer available, and the speaker has not been back. He did not show concerns for any of these situations and I suppose just thought me to be an intrusive parent paying them 30k per year for my students. I am grateful my kids were not “theology” majors and are now graduates back in solid biblical fellowships. I believe the university president is disconnected to these issues and not interested in educating himself.

  3. As one who prays the Lord’s Prayer in worship each week, which includes “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” I’m not sure what’s so outlandish about the suggestion that people pray for protection. Not everything that is good for us is risk-free, and of course we all know that God doesn’t call us to lives free of challenge and danger. Jesus himself prayed in John 17 that God would protect his followers from the evil one, so it appears that, yes, God calls us to a life that contains real spiritual dangers.

    I say this as one who does not practice “contemplative prayer.” The closest I come is relatively brief pauses while praying, usually after I’ve asked a question. Just giving God the chance to answer. :)

    Evidently the leaders of PLNU disagree with your assessment of Richard Foster. If anyone contacts them about Foster or the upcoming Renovare conference, I’d be interested to read their reply.

  4. Having done my own homework and research, I align with all you are sayng regarding Foster. Around 20 years ago Renovare was brought to Pasadena Nazarene; I knew then it was unbiblical as did others. But as usual, most looked the other way – including the pastor – when it was brought to their attentiion. Lo and behold I have of late sadly had to leave that church after many months of attempting to convince the present pastor of his inclusion of the emergent church. Keep up the good work. Lorraine

  5. Rich,
    It does not appear that you understand what Foster was saying. What he said was dangerous stuff.

  6. Foster is saying the contemplative form of prayer is, in and of itself, dangerous. His warning admits there is a serious chance of encountering demonic forces. Foster is not so blunt, he only refers to uncooperative spiritual beings, but what else would spirits not in allegiance to God be besides demons?

    People want to follow Foster’s lead because, why???

  7. After Tim’s last comment, I thought about why I’d posted what I did earlier. I think it’s because, Manny, you asked three questions after sharing the quote from Foster’s book. You said that you and others have asked these questions before, which sounded to me like you’ve never received answers to them, or at least not satisfactory ones. So I responded, in part, in answer to your questions, even though it doesn’t really impact me directly, as contemplative prayer is not something that I practice.

    So, to address the questions more directly:

    1. “…why would a Christian need to pray a prayer of protection, before doing something that is supposed to be good for them?”

    Perhaps because there are real dangers that can affect us while we are doing the good we are called to do. Jesus called his disciples to a life of obedience knowing that there would be dangers ahead for them if they obeyed. So he prayed to his Father to protect them.

    To use a very different example: talking to people about Jesus is good for us (and others!), but it carries with it very real spiritual dangers. I might be tempted to become argumentative and prideful while talking to someone who stubbornly rejects Christ. Or the devil may tempt me more greatly in some area of personal weakness, trying to get me to stumble and feel like too much of a hypocrite to talk to someone about Jesus.

    Praying for protection should not seem strange or unusual to us.

    In this case, it appears that Foster is saying, “If you tune out the noise in your heart to listen to God, be aware that God isn’t the only one speaking! You may hear the voice of your enemy, too, so be careful! Ask God to protect you as you begin this task.”

    2. “And why can’t a novice Christian participate in contemplative prayer without fear?”

    I don’t think he mentions fear, exactly… but he is warning people to be cautious. As for differentiating between those with more experience or maturity and those with less, Foster uses the same metaphor that the apostle Paul uses. Foster says, “A baby is given milk rather than steak because steak will do the baby no good. An apprentice electrician is not allowed to do the tasks of a journeyman because he is not ready for those tasks, and for him to undertake them could, in fact, be dangerous.” The apostle Paul says in 1 Cor. 3, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” Foster (and those from whom he has learned) view contemplative prayer as something that requires maturity and experience. For those less mature or experienced, he says, “All are welcome, regardless of proficiency or expertise, to enter freely into adoration and meditation and intercession and a host of other approaches to prayer.”

    3. “Would God give us something that might be spiritually dangerous to us?”

    I think this goes back to my answer to the first question. Life with Christ is spiritually dangerous. It is not a safe life. It includes risk, temptation, and the possibility of shipwrecking our faith and being worse off than we were before we ever heard of Christ. Fortunately, God is faithful, and he hears and answers our cries for help. He strengthens and sustains us for the spiritual challenges we face.

    Manny, if I’m misunderstanding your questions or what Foster is saying, please help. I’ve tried to follow the Bereans’ example for as long as I can remember, and that’s what I’m doing with this, too.

    And just FYI for everyone: if you find this book on Amazon.com, you can use the “look inside this book” feature to search for “word of warning” and find the relevant section of the book (pages 155-158). That’s what I did, and it’s where I got the quote about milk I shared above.

  8. By the way, Manny, it appears the the second paragraph of your quote from Foster’s book has gotten mangled a little bit. Here’s how it appears on page 157 in the book (according to the scan at Amazon.com):

    “I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as supernatural guidance that is not divine guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on the nature of the spiritual world, we do know enough to recognize that there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way!”

    In the interest of accuracy, it might be good to correct the quote in your post.

  9. Rich,
    You have not given any biblical justification or support for contemplative prayer- it is not there.

    As far as the quote, I’ll stick with it. I have read also that this quote no longer appears in some of the newer editions.

    There’s so much more on him, just do the homework. He’s a false teacher.

    From Renovare’s Perspective Newsletter:
    “Spend some time this week listening to contemplative music designed to quiet you, settle you, deepen you. (Compact discs and tapes from the Taize Community, John Michael Talbot, and the Monks of Weston Priory are especially helpful.)”

    Here are some of his thoughts on contemplatives:

    “Thomas Merton has ‘priceless wisdom’ for the
    spiritual life of the Christian.”
    “Thomas Merton has perhaps done more than any other twentieth-century figure to make the life of prayer widely known and understood … his interest in contemplation led him to investigate prayer forms in Eastern religion …[he is] a gifted teacher …” (Spiritual Classics – p.17)

    About John Main:
    “Dom John Main understood well the value of both silence and solitude …Main rediscovered meditation while living in the Far East.” (Spiritual Classics – p.155)

    About Meister Eckhart:
    “Today Eckhart is widely read and appreciated, not so much for his theological opinions as for his vision of God.” (Spiritual Classics – p. 206)

    About Thomas Merton:
    “Thomas Merton tried to awaken God’s people.”
    (Conversation with Ray Yungen)

    “[W]e must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation. In their writings, all of the masters of meditation strive to awaken us to the fact that the universe is much larger than we know, that there are vast unexplored inner regions that are just as real as the physical world we know so well. They tell us of exciting possibilities for new life and freedom. They call us to the adventure, to be pioneers in this frontier of the Spirit.” (Celebration of Discipline, 1980, p. 13.)

    “The wonderful thing about contemplative prayer is that it can be found everywhere, anywhere, anytime for anyone.”—from the Be Still DVD

    END OF QUOTES

    What does all this- and more- have anything to do with biblical Christianity? Why does he give such glowing recommendations and quotes of heretical mystics such as Merton?

  10. I must say I am glad my son has recently graduated from Point Loma and is no longer exposed to these false teachers in a enviorment where we as parents think our kids are being feed biblically sound doctrine. My prayer for my kids is alaways a passion for God’s word and maturity in Christ. I have younger children that will be college age soon and will likely steer them away from Nazarene universities. Richard Foster is clearly a false teaher and to read Rich and his comments leads me to believe that he has been decieved as well. I pray that the Holy Spirit would open his eyes up as well as our leaders in the Nazarene denomination. . Keep on contending for the faith Manny!

  11. Manny,

    I’m not trying to defend Richard Foster or contemplative prayer in general. I’m just responding to the specific questions you asked in that part of your post.

    As for the quote correction, I was just passing along what I read in the book (as scanned by Amazon.com), the only edition of the book that Amazon has available, printed in 1992. The 10th Anniversary Edition released in 2002 and the 2003 edition with the new cover are both unchanged on the inside (still have the 1992 copyright and “1st edition” on the copyright page). Those are the only “newer editions” I can find online, and from what searching bn.com and harpercollins.com allow of the text, it appears that the quote is still there, unchanged from what I shared above.

    What’s your source for the quote? Which edition of the book did you read it in? You strike me as someone who wants to be accurate, truthful, etc., which leads me to think you would want to quote people correctly, even people with whom you disagree, rather than “stick with” a quote that is incorrect.

    If you didn’t get the quote directly from the book, then perhaps you should reevaluate the accuracy and trustworthiness of whomever it was who passed the quote along to you.

  12. Rich,
    As I said, I heard that some editions have removed the quote. Don’t know for sure. Even if not, he is still a false teacher. In any case, I trust my sources and their documentation.

    I don’t need to go do more homework for you, with all due respect. If you can’t discern who Richard Foster is and what he teaches is evil, I will pray that someday your eyes will be opened.

    Perhaps you would like to comment on all these heretical associations he has, and approves, and recommends? Would you recommend these people also to your congregation, as good spiritual resources for Christians? Are we not to avoid all appearances of evil?

    There’s so much more on him, if you would only make the effort to find out for yourself. Otherwise, it seems as if you are defending him.

  13. I don’t recall asking you to do more homework, Manny. Certainly not for me. The only question I asked was what the source was for your quote, since it doesn’t quite match the book. If you’re trusting sources that turn out to be inaccurate, and sticking by them even when the inaccuracies are pointed out to you… well, that doesn’t seem like a wise choice (nor does it seem very “Berean”). But it’s your choice to make.

    Again, I’m not here to defend Foster. I was just responding to one part of your post in which you asked questions. If those questions were meant to be rhetorical, then I apologize for trying to answer them.

    Since I’m not currently reading anything by or connected to Richard Foster, I don’t feel confident commenting on him or his associations. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Merton or Eckhart or Main other than brief excerpts here and there. I tend not to recommend resources I haven’t already read myself, so I probably wouldn’t recommend any of them. I think the only book by Foster I’ve read was Celebration of Discipline, and that was over a decade ago.

    Perhaps at some point I’ll do some more research into him. But until then, it looks like the vast majority of my Christian brothers and sisters — including evangelicals and my own family of Nazarenes — have reached a conclusion about Foster that differs from your own. You can buy Foster’s Celebration of Discipline at nph.com. And while looking for my old copy in the basement, I found near it the NPH best seller “The Upward Call: Spiritual Formation and the Holy Life,” first published in 1994. Looking at the notes, I see that it quotes Richard Foster in a few places. So even if Foster doesn’t have my personal endorsement, he certainly seems to have the endorsement of our denominational leadership. But I think you already knew that.

  14. Did not know he has any specific endorsement, although obviously someone at Point Loma is okay with him.

    If the Generals themselves came out with a statement and said Richard Foster was good for the Nazarene church, I would love to see it. And if it were so, I would continue to call him out as a false teacher.
    I’m not looking for the approval of our leadership, and if you do, you are totally mistaken; I’m looking for approval based on what the Bible teaches.

    Don’t take too long Rich on doing the homework on this guy. He is really bad news for any Christian denomination.

    We won’t get anywhere on this it seems. When you are ready to present your case for him, or against him, in detail, with scriptural justification, I’ll be glad to post it for you.

  15. The Cross

    http://www.taize.fr/en_article342.html

    Can the sufferings of an innocent person save us?

    In fact, this incomprehension is rooted in a misunderstanding that needs to be brought clearly to light.

    For centuries, this misunderstanding has had devastating effects and has resulted in many people being unable to believe in Christ.

    It consists in the notion that Jesus’ suffering as such has salvific value. In other words, God the Father required this suffering, which implies that in him there is in some sense a complicity with the violence done to his only Son.

    It is almost enough to formulate this thesis clearly to realize that it is not only false, but a blasphemy.

    If God does not wish even the wicked to suffer and die (Ezekiel 33:11), how could he take pleasure in the destruction of his beloved Son, the most innocent of all?

    On the contrary, we need to repeat over and over again that suffering in itself has no value in God’s eyes. Still more, to the extent that they damage what is living,

    pain and distress are in flagrant contradiction with a good God who wants the fullness of life for all (John 10:10).

    Where does this misunderstanding come from, then? Among other things, from an overly superficial reading of biblical texts which are in fact shortcuts. This reading ignores the middle term, which is love.

    Only love can give life; only love can save us. If suffering has no value in itself, being more often than not destructive, there are times when, to keep on loving faithfully, we are led to accept incomprehensible suffering.

    The New Testament texts that seem to exalt suffering in reality celebrate the love of God which goes to the point of the total gift of self in favor of the loved one.

    Saint John reminds us of this in no uncertain terms when he writes, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for those one loves” (John 15:13).

  16. http://www.taize.fr/en_article2896.html

    Hell: Must a Christian believe in the existence of hell?

    There was a time when Christian preaching included an obligatory mention of hell to shake up lukewarm or incorrigible believers.

    In our day the very notion of such a place of punishment scandalizes people, so incompatible does it seem to be with faith in a God of love. Could Christ really consent to the definitive loss of someone for whom he gave his life to the end?

    Did Jesus speak about hell?

    Far from offering literal and objective descriptions of spiritual realities, the words of Jesus want to help us enter into the truth about God and about ourselves.

    Jesus speaks and acts to communicate the joyful news of what God is undertaking in the world, and to invite human beings to participate in it by a yes that commits their entire being to follow him.

    We have understood absolutely nothing, then, when we use the harsh words of Jesus to create fear in people, and use this fear to achieve our own ends, even spiritual ones.

    Anyone who acts in this way presents a caricature of God that turns others away from true faith, and ironically, the most severe words of Jesus were aimed precisely at such people (see Matthew 18:6).

    The fact that Jesus sometimes mentioned the possibility of being lost for ever is explained in reality by his burning desire to communicate the living water of the Spirit to every human being, by his conviction that authentic happiness is found only in a communion of love with his Father.

  17. Thanks Pam very much. Coincidentally, I have a contributing post coming up soon that addresses the very subject of hell- something emergents have a hard time dealing with.

  18. Manny, their websites are very clean of real information. You have to dig to get their real ideas. It seems like the “Historical Christianity” doesn’t look like what Christian believed during the last 2000 years of history.

    The church is now in the age of “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

    Rich, BTW what was you major at NTS? The degree is considered a Master’s in Theology isn’t it? Were you a good student? Were you a Berean then or now? In the previous blog post it seemed like you were patronizing us.

    Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

  19. Pam, I got my BA in Religion/Christian Ministry from Olivet, then an MA (Religion) from Olivet, then my M.Div. from NTS. In all, I think it was 97 credit hours of graduate studies. Three years full-time. I don’t remember my GPA, exactly, but I was pretty much a straight-A student all the way through school. I got the occasional A- or B, but you get the idea. Yes, I was a very good student, and I’ve been a Berean for as long as I can remember.

    To me, being a Berean means two things: (1) being a student of Scripture, eager to learn, and (2) not just taking someone’s word for it, but going to the source and investigating to see if they’re right. That’s why, for example, I looked up the quotes Manny shared to read some of the context, find out what was left out in the “…” portions, etc. That’s also why I did some digging into Scripture during the course of this conversation, some of which ended up in my comments.

    I’m not sure what in my comments here came across as patronizing to you… but I’m sorry if I gave that impression…

    Since you asked me, should I ask you the same questions, about your training in theology & biblical studies, etc?

  20. Point Loma Theology Courses

    http://www.pointloma.edu/UndergraduateCatalog/Courses/SchoolofTheologyChristianMinistry/TheologyCourses.htm

    Lower-Division

    THE 250 (3) FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY I
    An introduction to Christian theology, to research methods and to theological bibliography. Examination of the Christian doctrines of God, creation, sin, Christ and the atonement.
    Prerequisites: Philosophy 201 and either Bible 101 or 102.

    Upper-Division

    THE 300 (3) RELIGIONS OF THE WEST
    A study of non-Christian religions of the Western world, especially Judaism and Islam, and of important aspects of religion such as myth, ritual, belief, and law.
    Prerequisites: Bible 101, 102, and Philosophy 201.

    THE 306 (3) THE LIFE OF HOLINESS–GE
    A study of the biblical foundations of the Holiness message, Wesleyan theological perspectives set in the context of the history of the Church, and the classic disciplines of spiritual formation.
    Prerequisite: Bible 101 or 102.

    THE 310 (3) WOMEN IN CHRISTIANITY–WS
    A study of issues related to women in the Bible and Christianity, including women’s spiritual biographies, the use of gender-inclusive language, the ordination of women into ministry, women in the Wesleyan/holiness tradition, and feminist and liberation theologies.

    THE 350 (3) FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY II
    Examination of the Christian doctrines of the Holy Spirit, the Christian life, the church, and eschatology.
    Prerequisites: Philosophy 201, either Bible 101 or 102, and Theology 250.

    THE 450 (3) DOCTRINE OF HOLINESS
    Examination of the doctrine of Holiness in its biblical and historical development.
    Prerequisites: Philosophy 201, either Bible 101 or 102, and Theology 250.

    THE 490 (1-3) SPECIAL STUDIES IN THEOLOGY
    An examination of a topic in theology not otherwise studied in the curriculum. May be repeated to a total of six units.

    Prerequisite: Consent of the dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry.

  21. Rich, I have studied the Bible via several Ladies Bible studies on my own and have taught Nazarene Sunday School Curriculum in the Church of the Nazarene Children’s Sunday School.

  22. Books for THE 306 (3) THE LIFE OF HOLINESS–GE
    A study of the biblical foundations of the Holiness message, Wesleyan theological perspectives set in the context of the history of the Church, and the classic disciplines of spiritual formation.

    http://pointloma.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TBListView

    COMFORTING WHIRLWIND
    MCKIBBEN
    Edition:05
    Publisher:RLPG
    ISBN: 9781561012343

    If you get to pages 22 and 23 you will find info on Greenhouse gases and George Bush.

    ———-

    FOR BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

    BOUMA-PREDIGER

    Edition:REV 10
    Publisher:BAKER PUB
    ISBN: 9780801036958

    Chapter 3 Is Christianity to Blame? The Ecological Complaint against Christianity

    Chapter 4 What is the Connection between Scripture and Ecology? Biblical Wisdom and Ecological Vision

    —————————–

    GOD OF NATURE AND OF GRACE

    LODAHL

    Edition:04
    Publisher:ABINGDON
    ISBN: 9780687066667

    Too often Wesleyan theological tradition focuses almost exclusively on soteriology and anthropology, neglecting the larger context of the creation. In this book Michael Lodahl explores John Wesley’s preaching and ministry as resources for developing a robust theology of nature. This volume constructs a dialogue between Wesley’s theology of creation and the present pregnant cosmological models in astronomy and physics.

  23. Rich stated” I’m not trying to defend Richard Foster or contemplative prayer in general”

    And then you go on to defend Richard Foster and his methods.

    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    Praying a prayer of protection is different than to pray to God that He protects you.
    Your very confused Rich or self deluded-

    Praying a prayer of protection is similar to what Wiccans do when they pray a prayer of protection and ask their god to surround them with a white light.
    There are certain things God states in His Word to not involve ourselves in.

    Roger Oakland states it best
    Contemplative Terror

    As previously stated, the purpose of contemplative prayer is to become more in tune with God. Further, we have documented where the idea originated. While not found in the Bible, it can be found in the sacred writings of Eastern religions. Further, the idea has been adapted for modern day Christianity and it is becoming very popular.

    Now, there is one more thing about contemplative prayer that I would like to mention. Richard Foster, one of the most well known promoters of contemplative prayer, claims there is reason to be cautious. Quoting from his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home:

    I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as supernatural guidance that is not divine guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on the nature of the spiritual world, we do know… there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection… “All dark and evil spirits must now leave.” [9]
    I cannot find a single place in the Bible where we are instructed to pray a prayer of protection before we pray. The fact that Foster recognizes contemplative prayer can open the door to the fallen spirit world is very revealing.

    What is this – praying to the God of the Bible but instead contacting demons? Maybe contemplative prayer should be renamed “contemplative terror”.

    Even more suspect is the idea that contemplative prayer is only for a select group. Again, pay attention to what Richard Foster claims:

    At the onset I need to give a word of warning, a little like the warning labels on medicine bottles. Contemplative prayer is not for the novice. I do not say this about other forms of prayer. All are welcome, regardless of proficiency or expertise, to enter freely into adoration and meditation and intercession and a host of other approaches to prayer. But contemplation is different. While we are all precious in the eyes of God, we are all not equally ready to listen to “God’s speech in his wondrous, terrible, gentle, loving, all embracing silence.” [10]
    Did you get it? Foster promotes a form of prayer that is only for the mature, select, proficient, experts who are “ready to listen” to God.

    Search the Scriptures. Where do you find support for this idea? It seems to me that Foster and those who promote contemplative prayer should be assigned warning labels.

    Of course Jesus forewarned, teachings like this would be popular in the last days. [11] What is amazing to me is that many today would rather listen to men and the methods they promote rather than Jesus and His Word.

    Rich perhaps your congregation should start reading our blogs instead of listening to your misguided preaching?
    Just a thought
    Tim

  24. For anyone who’s interested, here’s the paragraph on page 157 in which Foster shares what he means by “prayers of protection”:


    We will discuss in considerable detail the spiritual warfare we wage in a later chapter. But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection. Here is the prayer that Luther used: “Shield us, Lord, with thy right arm. Save us from sin’s dreadful harm.” My own approach is to preface a time of contemplation by speaking this simple prayer: “By the authority of almighty God I surround myself with the light of Christ, I cover myself with the blood of Christ, and I seal myself with the cross of Christ. All dark and evil spirits must now leave. No influence is allowed to come near to me but that it is first filtered through the light of Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.” These, of course, are only suggestions–you are free to pray in whatever way is most comfortable to you.

    Tim, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t draw conclusions about my preaching when you’ve never heard me preach. I’ll show you the same courtesy. Thanks.

  25. Rich,

    We should be free to pray ONLY in the ways prescribed in scripture, not what makes us comfortable.

    It is clear to me, that you refuse to see the plain meaning of what Foster said about prayers of protection. Tim was right on in his explanation, that is how I read it when I first read it, because the context clearly says it.

    it should be clear to anyone that reads it with an open mind, and yet you try to defend Richard Foster. Have you read any of these exposés at all? They are strong articles that are biblically centered in their positions:

    http://www.wayoflife.org/files/4308c1c278b2882a1565f798a4a2262a-587.html

    That’s the last comment I’ll have on this to you. If you can’t see it now, maybe later by the grace of God, you will. Richard Foster is a false teacher and does not belong in the Nazarene or any denomination, if he claims to be Christian and holds on to these beliefs.

  26. Manny, you might want to re-read my comments in this thread. (I just did.) Not once have I defended Foster.

    I’ve responded to your questions (and Pam’s questions), I’ve asked one or two of my own, I’ve quoted a couple paragraphs from Foster’s book, and I’ve shared an observation of Foster’s apparent acceptance within the Church of the Nazarene (beyond PLNU).

    When Tim mentioned the prayers of protection thing, I thought it might be beneficial to share what Foster said about it, without commenting on it at all.

    Yes, I have read some of the articles you’ve linked to, including the wayoflife.org one when you linked to it previously.

  27. Rich-Prove that Luther said this number one. And number two even if Luther did for sure state this it was wrong and almost exactly proved my point in reducing prayer similar to witchcraft because this is almost verbatuim what the Wiccans do (only sans the Christian words).
    If Luther stated this he was in error as well as you dont see this method promoted in scripture anywhere period.
    As for your preaching I hear it all the time over here and at Naz Net so my statement stands.
    Also Rich you are lying about defending Foster.
    You are defending Foster and his methods as well.
    Just because you say you are not doesnt make it any less so.
    Your comments expose you
    Tim

  28. To those observing this its not about me and Manny being right and Rich being wrong or visa versa.
    Its about rightly dividing the Word of God which I think Rich does a very poor job doing.
    He constantly shows this by his lack of use of scripture to defend his points or just pretty much the way Rich fails to heed scripturally warnings plainly stated.
    Sad that Rich is a pastor over a flock but these are the times we are in folks.
    We need to constantly keep pastors like Rich in our prayers to be delivered from the deception they are in.
    Tim

  29. Tim, are you really saying that Luther’s short prayer (“Shield us, Lord, with thy right arm. Save us from sin’s dreadful harm”) is wrong, in error, and almost verbatim what the Wiccans do?

    As for the source of the quote, the endnote in Foster’s book says, “As quoted in Donald G. Bloesch, The Struggle of Prayer (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1980), p. 86.” Google wasn’t much help, but it doesn’t find a slightly longer version quoted by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, “Life Together,” attributed only to “Luther”:


    When our eyes with sleep are girt,
    Be our hearts to Thee alert;
    Shield us, Lord, with Thy right arm;
    Save us from sin’s dreadful harm.

    Tim, you’ve never heard me preach. All you’ve seen are conversations I’ve had online, mainly on hot-button issues. It would be comical if it weren’t so sad, the assumptions that people make based on seeing a slice of someone online. I have lots of people who know me well and have known me for years, in my role as pastor for the past 11 years and previously, who know my love for Christ and for God’s Word. Many of them are mature Christians who are older than myself, and some of them hear me preach almost every week. I’ll trust their positive evaluation of my life and preaching, along with the witness of God’s Spirit, over your limited observations.

  30. Rich, if you put a link to your sermons I’ll listen and let you know what I think. I will check your Bible references. :D

    Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

    BTW, I was deeply distressed with the 20,000 foot over view of PLNU’s theology class books. I thought classic Nazarene Holiness Theology fit this picture …….

    Isaiah 6

    1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.

    2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

    3 And they were calling to one another:
    “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

    4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

    5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

    If “biblical foundations of the Holiness message” at PLNU is accomplished with those study materials and mind set, then listening or discussing your sermons would not be productive. I don’t want to put you in that category but well….. it might not be pretty if your close in theology.

    I want to discuss Nazarene Theology not personalities or feelings. I think when you stand up as a Theology teacher with a PhD then your work should be reviewed, especially when the teacher is influencing so many. You need to understand that before you step into the ring because you may not like what you hear, so post a statement that you would like for honest assessments next to your link(s) and you will not cry foul play.

  31. If I ever get mp3′s of my messages up on our website, I’ll happy send you a link, Pam. :) It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now…

    Re: the books for that THE 306 class — Those do seem like really strange textbook choices for that class. Following your link to the online bookstore, it looks like there are two “sections” of the class, with totally different textbooks. And if you select the Spring 2010 semester of that course, the books are much more what you’d expect: a couple of books about John Wesley and his theology, “Holiness in the Gospels,” etc. So I don’t know what to make of it. Maybe two courses got their textbooks switched or something. Beats me.

  32. Rich Schmidt,

    Do you have a problem with …..

    “For centuries, this misunderstanding has had devastating effects and has resulted in many people being unable to believe in Christ.

    It consists in the notion that Jesus’ suffering as such has salvific value. In other words, God the Father required this suffering, which implies that in him there is in some sense a complicity with the violence done to his only Son.

    It is almost enough to formulate this thesis clearly to realize that it is not only false, but a blasphemy.”

    Do we get a “Beats me” from our resident Biblical Scholar on this?

    Hebrews 13:12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

    Acts 17:2-3 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” he said.

    Sounds like Jesus’ suffering had salvific value.

    salvific: having the intent or power to save or redeem
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/salvific

  33. Let me add this to the mix about false teachers.
    Its not always about someone’s preaching.
    You have to look at the whole package and what they really comment about doctrine.
    Ive heard both Benny Hinn and ken Copeland deliver excellent sermons.
    Benny’s was on the Blood of Christ and it was one of the best I have ever heard.
    Doesnt take away that Benny is a false teacher.
    Same with Copeland.
    Also you can see churchs that have great statments of faith posted on their church websites such as Saddleback.
    While Rick Warren preaches the false doctrine of Domionism at the same time.
    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
    False teachers are not always like Jim Jones and David Koresch.
    They can be very subtle,nice and at times deliver great sermons.
    They are pros at mixing truth and error.
    Thats why we constantly need to be in Gods Word and on our toes.
    And as my friend and brother in the Lord Bud Press would say “You aint seen nothing yet”.
    Tim

  34. Tim, I certainly agree with you that preaching is only one place where a person’s beliefs, teachings, influence, etc., are found. It looks like the issue of preaching came up in these comments only because you called mine “misguided” and said the congregation I serve should read your blogs instead of listening to it. You won’t get any argument from me about the need to evaluate more than just what a person says from the pulpit on Sunday mornings.

    Pam, in trying to answer your question, I followed your earlier link and read the rest of that article on the Taize website. I don’t know if you read it all, but if you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to. The author (whoever it is) agrees with you (and me) that Jesus’ death on the cross for us has salvific value. The author writes, “The New Testament, however, views the cross not as a failure or a condemnation, but as the instrument of our salvation (e.g. Galatians 6:14; Colossians 1:20).”

    What the author is saying is that the salvific value isn’t in the suffering itself, but in the fact that it was suffered out of love for us, that Christ was willing to give himself completely for you and for me. I don’t see the author belittling Christ’s suffering and death at all.

    It’s probably important to remember that many of those connected to Taize are Roman Catholic. Some in that church seem to think that suffering itself has religious/spiritual value, and so they bring suffering upon themselves unnecessarily (I’m thinking of people who “mortify the flesh” by whipping themselves, etc – remember the albino in The DaVinci Code?). Maybe those people needed to be reminded that suffering in itself is not the point. The point is love, and yes, sometimes love causes us to endure great suffering for someone else’s benefit.

    Those are my thoughts on it. Oh, and for anyone who’s interested, that short article at the Taize website made reference to 17 specific Bible passages. That doesn’t mean it’s right, but since some here have wanted to see specific biblical support for any arguments made, I thought I’d mention it.

  35. Rich,
    I’m in agreement that the example of the cross is not about self-flagellation, but there is more at work than the call for sacrificial love. We are certainly called to love sacrificially, but the salvific effectiveness of the cross deals with only the death and resurrection of Christ being able to pay the price of our redemption as expressed in Galatians 3:13, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”.
    False teaching enters at the point of denying the need for a penal substitution. Encouraging someone to awaken and then follow their own intrinsic desire for morality will not result in salvation, regardless of how good, humanly speaking, they are. Following Christ as a good example, but not as Lord and savior doesn’t cut it.
    Unfortunately, that is the message being given frequently today, either explicitly of implicitly when the price of sin is left out by messengers who don’t believe it themselves or or afraid to openly avow it. I’ve seen a lot of this kind of message; it has truth, just not the whole truth.

  36. Rich Schmidt said, “The author (whoever it is) agrees with you (and me) that Jesus’ death on the cross for us has salvific value.”

    Wrong.

  37. Um… Pam, if they don’t believe that, then why did they say, “The New Testament, however, views the cross not as a failure or a condemnation, but as the instrument of our salvation (e.g. Galatians 6:14; Colossians 1:20).”

    Is there a difference in your mind between saying the cross of Christ “has salvific value” and saying it is “the instrument of our salvation”?

    Re: Jim – I agree that the Moral Influence theory of the atonement is inadequate. I’m not familiar enough with the Taize community to know if they would argue for that theory to the exclusion of all others.

    I did see that they have an article titled, “Death: What enables us to say that Jesus died ‘for us’?” In that article, they say, “We can say that Christ takes our place to live before God a human existence which responds perfectly to the love of his Father and that he faces in place of us the curse of death. … By his human birth, it is my life that he takes into himself in order to give me a share in his—in his earthly existence, lived in freedom and obedience; in his sorrowful and victorious Cross; in his eternal life.”

    BTW, I’m not trying to defend the Taize folks, either. :) I don’t know them or know that much about them.

    Oh, and another BTW, for those who seem to care: This past Sunday, my message was centered around 1 Corinthians 2:2 – “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

  38. Thanks for the link, Manny, but that page contains very little about Taize — basically two quotes. The one at the top is unattributed (from Taize? from a critic?), and the second one is from the introduction to their songbook.

    First quote: “Taize is an ecumenical sung and silent participatory prayer service designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song and silence.”

    Second quote: “Short chants, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character,” the brothers explain in a brief introduction printed in the paperback songbook. “Using just a few words, [the chants] express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being.”

    Taize’s own website – http://www.taize.fr/en – appears to offer quite a bit of information about who they are, what they believe & practice, how their community developed, etc. If I want to learn more about them than I already know, that’s probably where I’ll start.

  39. That was only a start- to give you something. I’ve done my research on them, including the site. So I’m convinced that it is not a Christian group. It was also recommended to Nazarene youth, as an appropriate place to go, in one of the books promoted by Barefoot Ministries. Outrageous in my opinion.

    If you do enough research as I have, you should come to the same conclusion. For one, I do not believe in ecumenical mixing of various belief systems with Christians, including Roman Catholic heretical practices. The Bible says to “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Eph. 5:11

    This organization is part of the fruitless deeds of darkness.

  40. Sorry, Rich,

    I’m not going to approve your last comment. You are slamming a well trusted source of information with no proof whatsoever. LHT is constantly slammed because they are diligent and very good at exposing false teachers and teachers. God bless them.

    You apparently are perfectly fine with Roman Catholicism and all its heretical teachings. Are you also going to call Mormons and JWs brothers and sisters in Christ? Arwe you planning to go on a trip to the Taize community and worship alongside Hindus and pagans?

    Why do you never call a single teaching of the Roman Catholic church heretical? Do you think it is heresy when they teach transubstantiation, or is that a “non-essential?”

    C’mon, is there anything that you as a pastor see as false teaching?
    Salvation by works? Is that false teaching, or a non-essential?
    Praying to the saints and Mary? Is that false teaching, or a non-essential?
    Salvation by baptism? Is that false teaching, or a non-essential?
    Lucifer was the brother of Christ? Is that false teaching, or a non-essential?
    We are all “little gods?” Is that false teaching, or a non-essential?

    A yes or no would be great to each of these questions, instead of not having any opinion, or simply saying you don’t agree with the RCC.

  41. Here’s something- not from Richard Foster- but from a writer that is used at several Nazarene schools as a good resource:

    “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God”

    Is this heresy?

  42. Manny, I wasn’t trying to “slam” LHT. I was just trying to help you understand why it doesn’t help your case to point people like me to that website. Feel free to edit out that part of my last comment and post the rest, if you’d like. Or not. Your choice. But thank you for letting me know why you didn’t approve it. I appreciate that.

    Now I’ll do my best to answer your questions. I’ll number them, just to help me keep them straight.

    1. No, I’m not “fine with Roman Catholicism and all its… teachings.” Like I said in my unapproved comment, we Nazarenes have areas of significant disagreement with them.

    2. No, I don’t consider Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses brothers and sisters in Christ. As I said in my unapproved comment, I’m in agreement with the broader Christian consensus (including that of our Nazarene leadership) about who is “in” and “out.” And the broader consensus is that Mormons and JW’s are decidedly unorthodox. From their origins, both groups abandoned core Christian beliefs and set themselves up as “the true church” over against all the rest of us.

    3. No, I have no plans to travel to France anytime soon. :)

    4. I don’t call their teachings heretical mainly because I don’t feel a need to. I preach Christ, and in classes and conversations (like the membership classes I’ve held the past two nights) discuss our own Nazarene beliefs and distinctives. In the course of conversation, our differences with Roman Catholicism usually come up, because many people have RC backgrounds.

    5. I don’t believe their idea of transubstantiation is a heresy, no. It’s just one theory of how it is that Christ is present in the Eucharist. I don’t believe it’s correct (and, in fact, it kind of seems like nonsense to me), but I don’t believe it’s heretical. We Nazarenes also believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, though we would usually speak of that presence in spiritual terms rather than physical ones.

    6. Yes, there are things that I as a pastor see as false teaching.

    7. Salvation by works is condemned repeatedly in Scripture. We are saved by grace, through faith, not by works, so that no one can boast. It’s a gift of God.

    8. I don’t believe we should pray to the saints or Mary. We have the privilege of praying directly to our Father in heaven, as Jesus taught us to. Technically, Roman Catholics aren’t praying to Mary or the saints but are asking them to pray for us, just like I might ask you to pray for me. They apparently believe that “the great cloud of witnesses” that Hebrews 12 says we’re surrounded by can hear us and are willing to intercede on our behalf. Having said all that, there’s no doubt that in the day-to-day practice of ordinary Roman Catholic believers there’s a whole lot of superstition and praying to Mary and the saints going on.

    9. Salvation by baptism… I can’t help but think of 1 Peter 3:21, which says, “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you — not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience — through the resurrection Jesus Christ…” That’s the NASB, but the KJV says the same thing: “…even baptism doth also now save us…”

    So… was Peter a false teacher?

    I’m oversimplifying, but then I think you are, too. There’s been a loooong debate over the role that baptism plays in the order of salvation, how the sacraments “work,” what their role is in relation to faith, etc., and lots of church groups and denominations have come down in different places on it. We Nazarenes have come down in a different place than Roman Catholics.

    10. Lucifer was the brother of Christ? No, that’s not what the Bible teaches, and the Roman Catholic church doesn’t teach it, either. Is that the JW’s? or the Mormons? Lucifer is a fallen angel, a created being. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, “very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father,” to use the words of the Nicene creed.

    11. We are all “little gods”? That sounds like the Mormon view again, that one day the faithful will get to be god of their own planet and populate it, etc. Unless you mean it somewhat metaphorically, as in Psalm 82:6, which Jesus quotes in John 10:34, saying “You are gods.” But, no, in the normal sense in which those words would be taken, we are not “little gods.” We are human beings, created by God, and loved by him.

    I hope those answers are clear enough for you, Manny.

  43. Rich,

    Let me respond by each point as well:

    1. So you’re not “fine” with RCC teachings, but cannot come to call even one of their teachings heretical? I don’t understand that at all.
    2. I have very little trust in consensus, unless that is confirmed by scripture. If 99% of Christians decided that practicing homosexuals can remain as Christians (which many believe now), that does not make it right. If we suddenly by concensus decided Mormons are orthodox and okay in their doctrine, the fact remains they are not. And so it goes for Roman Catholicism. I scratch my head when you say they are not fellow Christians, but that fully practicing Catholics are.
    3. You may not want to visit Taize, but I wonder if you care at all that a book for Nazarene youth suggests that they go on a pilgrimage to this den of false religions that mingle with Christians.” I know I’m concerned.
    4. You don’t feel the need to call their teachings heretical? Sorry, that’s not up to your feelings or judgment; it’s up to what is taught in scripture, and we are commanded in scripture to expose those who teach false teachings. Neglecting that duty is wrong and disobedient, and some of your congregation could be led astray by someone you did not call out as clearly heretical. Especially young Christians who could easily be fooled by false teachers, since the best false teachers are those who sound almost right, but are not. And almost right does not cut it with God and His word.
    5. You say transubstantiation is a theory, and that’s okay with you? Theories don’t count in Christianity; facts in scripture do, when it is clearly taught in scripture. (We may have theories of such things as what certain things in Revelation mean, but that’ something else). But the scriptures clearly teach that communion is a memorial in remembrance of what Christ did, nothing else. Even the teaching of Christ’s presence in spiritual terms- where is that taught in the bible? I never heard that preached in the Nazarene church, but maybe I’m missing something from the Bible?
    6. If you as a pastor do see some things as false teachings, then please review these beliefs from the Roman Catholic church and specify which ones are false:

    http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/roman-catholicism-and-its-heresies/

    7. I agree, salvation is by grace, through faith.

    8. I agree, which is why we are not saved by baptism!
    9. Praying to the saints, or talking to the saints or Mary. Either way, none of that is scriptural. I’m alive and you can talk to me; show me where scripture comes close to teaching us to pray or talk to Mary or the saints. Never once is that taught by Jesus or the apostles. The cloud of witnesses reason is lame and unsubstantiated by scripture.
    10. As you and others say, and correctly so, read the Bible in context, in relation to all of it. I repeat- if you think that someone can be saved by way of baptism, that is heresy. As you yourself said- we are saved by grace alone- through faith alone- in Christ alone. The act of baptism does not save anyone. Are you saying you believe that?
    11. I agree (the Mormons believe that Lucifer is a brother of Christ)
    12. I agree

  44. Manny just an observation.
    False teacher and preachers will never answer direct simple questions.
    Instead they will try to confuse the issue by back tracking or going on bunny trails or tangents.
    False teacher refuse to be pinned down in order to answer a direct comment or question.
    (where did you hide that darn Smiley face button Manny?)
    Tim

  45. I’m happy to provide straight answers, guys. :) But that doesn’t mean that every question has a simple answer. And it doesn’t mean that every question is the right question. “Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no? It’s a simple question!” :)

    BTW, Tim, I’d encourage you to look at how Jesus answered questions that people asked him. False teachers aren’t the only ones who “refuse to be pinned down.” :)

    Manny, I’ll try to answer your further questions, using your numbers to line up my answers with your questions/comments.

    1. I can have serious disagreements with people without thinking that they are heretics. Just because I think the RC’s are wrong about something (and there are a great many things we Nazarenes think they’re wrong about) doesn’t mean they are SO wrong about it that they’ve crossed the line separating orthodox from unorthodox/heresy.

    2. The consensus of the church isn’t everything, but it is important. It’s one reason we believe in the Trinity. Of course, I agree with you that it has to agree with Scripture… not forgetting that it was the consensus of the church (led by the Holy Spirit, of course) that decided which books and letters we would use as Scripture and which we would set aside. When the whole church says, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us,” (Acts 15) then that carries some weight.

    As for Mormons being outside of orthodoxy while Roman Catholics are inside it… I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand. The RC church is like the big trunk of the tree that we Protestants branched off from. The Mormons are a recent invention when Joseph Smith rejected all existing churches as apostate and started his own, claiming to have received revelations from angels that involved gold plates written in “reformed Egyptian” that required him to wear special glasses to read them, while someone on the other side of a curtain wrote down what he read… and what he read was a story about Jesus visiting America that doesn’t line up with any historical or geographical evidence! It’s almost as zany as Scientology….

    4. If heretical teachings arise within the congregation for which I’m responsible, I will most certainly confront them. If I discover that someone in my congregation or within my sphere of influence is reading or listening to someone dangerous, I will most certainly talk to them about it. I guard my flock. But I don’t believe it is part of my responsibility as a pastor to compile lists of heretics. Perhaps you should point those Scriptures out to me. I’ve just read 1 Timothy again tonight, and that didn’t seem to be among Paul’s instructions to Timothy — and he did address how to respond to those teaching false doctrines. (Just FYI, I do preach on the centrality and exclusivity of Christ, the authority of Scripture, etc. It was just this past June that I did a message on the question of people who follow other religions.)

    5. Jesus took the bread and cup and said, “This is my body” and “This is my blood.” Christians have come up with several theories on what he meant by these words. Transubstantiation is one of those theories. Consubstantiation is another. Spiritual presence is another. Memorial is another. Wikipedia lists them all and goes into great detail, if you don’t already have books on the subject. If Scripture was as clear on the subject as you think it is, many of those theories wouldn’t exist.

    6. I’ll be happy to follow that link and come back with comments.

    10. So what do you do with 1 Peter 3:21, Manny? Was Peter wrong?

    John Wesley taught that a sacrament is “an outward sign of inward grace, and a means whereby we receive the same.” So we are saved by God’s grace, and “the means of grace” are “the ordinary channels” by which God gives us that grace. Besides the sacraments, he also includes Scripture reading and prayer as means of grace. You can find this in Wesley’s sermon “The Means of Grace.” Here’s one place it can be found online: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/16/

    This is how I understand what Peter is saying in that verse. Baptism is the ordinary channel that God uses to convey that grace to us. Of course, God often works in extraordinary ways!

    That’s not to say that the act of getting wet in church saves a person. Of course not. But maybe I should let Wesley have the final word in that regard:

    “Settle this in your heart, that the opus operatum, the mere work done, profiteth nothing; that there is no power to save, but in the Spirit of God, no merit, but in the blood of Christ; that, consequently, even what God ordains, conveys no grace to the soul, if you trust not in Him alone.”

  46. Manny, I’d skipped your comment about Taize and Hindus because I’m not familiar with who gathers to worship there. From reading their website, it seems pretty clear that they are committed to faith in Jesus Christ, not in some mushy interfaith thing. For example, there’s the article, “Dialogue: Religions and the Gospel” – http://www.taize.fr/en_article1864.html – in which they make clear that we can’t deny the differences among religions, and that “at the center of our faith there is Jesus Christ, ‘the unique mediator between God and human beings.’”

    And then this page describes what groups do when they come to Taize for a week: http://www.taize.fr/en_article5337.html Other pages in that section go into more detail, including reminding everyone to bring a Bible, because reflection on passages of Scripture is a major part of each day.

    Perhaps you could point me toward something that says Hindus and pagans regularly worship with the folks at Taize. I can’t seem to find it. The only references I can find to Hindus worshiping with them is a page on their site talking about a set of meetings held in India in which the Christians brought their Muslim and Hindu friends with them to hear about Jesus!

    I did find an interesting note on the webpage of a “Unity Church” that embraces all religions, in describing their Taize service: “While ecumenical in nature, the roots of the Taize service are decidedly Christian. We have adapted some of the elements of the traditional Taize service at Unity to provide a more interfaith and non-denominational experience.” In other words, the Taize materials were too Christian for them! :) They had to edit them to make them palatable to an interfaith gathering! The website is here: http://www.unitycville.org/activities/activities.htm

  47. Rich,

    First, we almost forgot about Richard Foster- the main topic of this post. Let me just say a few more things about Taize, and that’s it.

    The Taize community is an ecumenical community. They believe in the HERESY of transubstantiation. Brother Roger Schutz, founder and ironically a Protestant, once told a bunch (100,000) of youth in Paris: “We have come here to search, or to go on searching through silence and prayer, to get in touch with our inner life.” (Ironically, he was murdered during a Taize service, stabbed to death by a deranged woman).

    Their kind of Christianity is driven by mysticism. They use lots of candles, icons, and incense that creates a strange atmosphere- mystical I suppose, and to perhaps bring the worshipper into a meditative state. Folks from many pagan religions come on pilgrimages there. There is apparently no preaching.

    So they practice the Catholic false doctrine of the Eucharist. False doctrine, Rich. They are, according to their doctrine, literally eating the body and blood of Christ. And you think that’s within the pale of orthodox Christian teaching, and you are a Nazarene? I’d love to hear a General Superintendent tell us that. If that would be an official explanation from the Nazarene church, I’ll run fast away from it. The only comment that should be given on that, is that it is a false doctrine, period.

    Those who believe or hold to the possibility of transubstantiation, a question: if the wine and bread are really turned into Christ’s actual body and blood, what do you do with the remaining elements. You throw away the rest of His body and blood? How can you do that then? No Rich, it is nowhere taught in the scriptures, it is heresy!
    Oh, and the other heresy is that baptism is necessary for salvation. Do you believe that baptism is NECESSARY for salvation? It’s a lie. If you don’t realize that these two doctrines alone are straight out of the pit of hell, then I have nothing further to say to you to convince you on this.

    Let me know if you see any plan of salvation on their website also. I have not found it. These people call themselves Christian, but they leave much out. Roman Catholicism as it is practiced faithfully is on the same level as Mormon and JW: false. However, since Romanism is a big part of the emergent church movement, I can see your reluctance to condemn its practices. I suspect at the least, you do not want to offend your emergent friends who embrace Romanism, including prayer labyrinths, centering prayer, lectio divina, ecumenical services, and on and on.

    The Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” This community claims to be Christian, but it does not make it so. The Bible pleads with us to “come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord.” Don’t you get it? We are not to associate with everyone who calls themselves Christian, but with those who profess Christ AND obey His commandments and follow the doctrines as taught by Christ and the apostles.
    They support the interfaith movement, and the way they pray with vain repetitions is anti-biblical.

    I’m wasting my time with you on this. You seem to clearly believe that the Roman Catholic teachings are within the pale of orthodoxy; you cannot come to even say one teaching is false, and so I will not hold my breath that when you read that list of official teachings, that you will condemn even one teaching. Not just “disagree”, but condemn, and specifically say, “this is heresy.”

    I am not surprised. When I go to the NazNet site also, none of the “hardcore emergents” have ever come down hard on RCC teachings, and others have even believed in some of their teachings as within orthodoxy. There are apparently many deceived Nazarenes over at that site, including pastors.

    I do not plan to go on a prolonged discussion on some of the other questions, I’ve been there before on some of them, and that;s not my main goal on this blog. I will simply say that I pray that you will open your eyes to the heresies of the RCC and the emergent church movement, and condemn them as is our duty as Christians. Do your research since i can’t do everything for everyone, and come to your conclusions. I pray the Holy Spirit will show you that the RCC teachings are false, and need to be exposed as such.

  48. Rich there is a big difference between Jesus answering or not answering questions that were being used to trap Him and false teachers who refuse to defend their (or even state) their position.
    As well as false teachers not answering because it would expose them.
    Im sorry you missed the point of my comment and in a way proved what I was stating at the same time.
    As a former Roman Catholic I can tell you that some (and I mean some not all) do indeed pray to Mary and raise her up to a almost god like level.
    Maybe not so much here in the states but I have observed this in my travels in third world countries and this is very much evident in Mexico.
    Jesus is rarely in the mix here.
    You really dont know what you are talking about concerning the Roman Catholic faith and what they believe
    “There is no mediator between God and man except for Christ Jesus” puts much of the RC practice down.

    As far as your statement here You stated
    “I don’t believe their idea of transubstantiation is a heresy, no. It’s just one theory of how it is that Christ is present in the Eucharist.”
    This is not a theory but a belief of the Roman Catholic church-stop trying to distort the facts Rich.
    If you dont know the truth about this belief you should probably get your nose into the book of Hebrews as far as seeing what Roman Catholics really believe about transubstantiation.
    If these very simple biblical truths seem to evade you how can you possibly preach truth from the scriptures to your congregation.
    I would really rethink your position as pastor Rich.
    If truth evades you what do you think you are really teaching your congregation?
    All the little smiley faces in the world will not make deceit any less deceitful.

    Tim

  49. I want to point out here my complaint is not just against Rich here its a very good reflection of the poor and unbiblical training up and coming pastors are getting in our Christian colleges and universities.
    This is also not just a Nazarene problem but reflects a very direct and calculated move by our enemy satan to infiltrate schools with people in teaching positions that just don’t believe in scripture and the way God is portrayed in scripture.
    In my opinion Tom Oord is a prime example of this.
    The enemy keeps putting guys like Richard Foster, Len Sweet, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren etc.. in our schools to mislead the next generation of pastors.
    Thats what this post is all about.
    You think its bad now wait until the next generation is in the pulpit.
    Jesus Himself stated in Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
    John Wesley commented 18:8 ”

    Yet when the Son of man cometh, will he find faith upon earth – Yet notwithstanding all the instances both of his long suffering and of his justice, whenever he shall remarkably appear, against their enemies in this age or in after ages, how few true believers will be found upon earth!

    This stage is being set even now by pastors in pulpits across the world are not able to rightly divide the Word of God.
    Pastors who are say “Did God really say that”.

    We havent seen anything yet.
    Tim

  50. Just a couple of responses to the questions you asked there, Manny.

    First, you asked, concerning transubstantiation: “And you think that’s within the pale of orthodox Christian teaching, and you are a Nazarene? I’d love to hear a General Superintendent tell us that. If that would be an official explanation from the Nazarene church, I’ll run fast away from it.”

    Clearly, transubstantiation is not our Nazarene view of the Eucharist/communion/the Lord’s Supper. We think they’re wrong about that. But that doesn’t mean it’s unorthodox. You seem to think that this is one of those areas where there’s only one possible answer or explanation, when Scripture is not really as clear on it as you think it is, and there are several different theories or ideas on this subject within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy. I believe our Nazarene view on this is the best… and actually, there’s some room for differing opinions even within the Church of the Nazarene on this one (kind of like there is on infant baptism). Transubstantiation wouldn’t fit within that wiggle room, though, in the Nazarene church.

    As for what they do with the “leftover” bread and wine after communion: Those who believe in transubstantiation do NOT throw it in the trash or down a drain. It must be consumed.

    Is baptism necessary for salvation? No, it is not. Many do not have the opportunity to be baptized. The thief crucified with Christ is an easy example. Like I said in my last comment, God often works in extraordinary ways — but baptism is presented in Scripture as the ordinary way in which this grace is received. (BTW, you still haven’t told me what you do with that verse from 1 Peter.)

    Thank you, Manny, for your prayers on my behalf. I will also pray for you, asking God, “the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God” (Eph. 1:17) and that you may “have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully” (Eph. 3:18-19).

  51. You have proved my point, Rich. You refuse to recognize heresy and call it out for what it is. Transubstantiation is clearly unorthodox and a false teaching.

    “Our Nazarene view” of communion and what it means is not the point, because our Nazarene view is correct biblically. Transubstantiation is heresy- and you cannot bring yourself to admit that, and probably not even one of the many RCC heresies will you acknowledge.

    Tim is correct, our schools are welcoming false teachers to help raise a generation of absolutely misguided pastors who are willing to lead their flock down the wide road of spiritual destruction.

    May God help the Church of the Nazarene and its people to wake up and stop turning away from what is happening.

  52. Rich said, “Um… Pam, if they don’t believe that, then why did they say, “The New Testament, however, views the cross not as a failure or a condemnation, but as the instrument of our salvation (e.g. Galatians 6:14; Colossians 1:20).”

    Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    God the Father turned Jesus’ penal death into a glorious event. It required Jesus to suffer and die in my place. It is not a either or but a both. Emergents like the “Happy Verses”. You can’t get to Easter Morning with Good Friday. If you can’t or won’t believe in Hell then Salvation the theology tumbles.

    It’s about my thoughts on “Greasy Cheap Grace. I’m not against the happy victory verses, but I’m against happy verses in isolation of the hard verses. It changes Biblical Salvation.

    ———————————–
    Rich said, “Is there a difference in your mind between saying the cross of Christ “has salvific value” and saying it is “the instrument of our salvation”?

    No that is not what it is about, it’s about removing a part of the plan of Salvation.

    Luke 9:22
    And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
    —————————————————-

    As a Bible Theologian it seemed that these would be no brainers Rich. The author from the website makes it about self mutilation. I’m not suggesting or agreeing with that.

    The author said “It consists in the notion that Jesus’ suffering as such has salvific value. In other words, God the Father required this suffering, which implies that in him there is in some sense a complicity with the violence done to his only Son.

    It is almost enough to formulate this thesis clearly to realize that it is not only false, but a blasphemy.”

    I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that you can’t say the last line is wrong because God the Father DID required the suffering and death as payment for sin. Do you see “must suffer” in the following verse?

    Luke 9:22
    And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

  53. Rich stated “First, you asked, concerning transubstantiation: “And you think that’s within the pale of orthodox Christian teaching, and you are a Nazarene? I’d love to hear a General Superintendent tell us that. If that would be an official explanation from the Nazarene church, I’ll run fast away from it.”
    end comment
    So the GS’s are your authority instead of what scripture clearly teaches.
    So if the GS’s embrace the Emergent Church (key word being if) its ok then?
    Wow Rich so much for the individual reading the Bible for themselves.
    Its interesting to note many Roman Catholics will often only believe what their priest or the Magesterium teach (whether its in error or not)
    The similarities are very interesting to say the least
    Tim

  54. 1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
    1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    Water Baptism does not save us. We are saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    The verse plainly says that water baptism is a “like figure”. God even put it in Parenthesis.
    (NOT THE PUTTING AWAY OF THE FILTH OF THE FLESH)

    If in doubt see verse 20 we know that the ARK saved the eight people not the water.

    This is one of the clearest verses in the bible to refute water baptism as a means of salvation.

    Water Baptism is a figure of our salvation!

    And sprinkling babies is not the correct figure.

  55. Manny, there’s a difference between “refusing to recognize heresy” and disagreeing with you about what is heresy.

    Pam, yes, I see “must suffer” in Luke 9:22. And I agree that we don’t get Easter without the Cross.

    Tim, are you really chiding me for something Manny said? Manny is the one who brought up GS’s. You seem to be responding to his quote, not anything I said.

    Steve (and everyone), you might want to read the short Wikipedia article on Baptismal Regeneration to see a quick intro to this view of baptism being necessary for salvation. Not even the Roman Catholics believe that it’s absolutely necessary (which seems to be why Manny brought it up in the first place). But it is not a view without Scriptural support.

    As for 1 Peter 3, I agree that the ONLY sense in which baptism saves us is that in baptism we are united with Christ — “buried with him in baptism and raised with him” (Col. 2:12) — so that “baptism doth also now save us… by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” And, yes, Peter clearly says that baptism is not about clean bodies but clean consciences.

    I find it somewhat interesting that this is one of those issues where Reformed churches stand on one side and John Wesley stands on the other… and I’m getting in trouble for supporting Wesley.

  56. Okay, Rich, are you able to name at least one or two heresies taught by the Roman Catholic Church? That’s what I would like to know.

    It’s not a question of you and I disagreeing on what WE think is heresy; it’s comparing the teachings to scripture, and clearly seeing the contradictions.

  57. Ha… I’m trying, Manny! I really am! :) I was about to say that the move to name Mary Coredemptrix and Mediatrix, while not yet official Roman Catholic dogma, would be heresy…. but then I Googled it and read the Wikipedia entries on those ideas, and they’re careful to define what they mean by those terms in ways that don’t cross into heresy (they don’t make Mary equal to Christ, her role was unique but still that of a human being, she herself needed to be redeemed by Christ, etc). And I thought those would be slam dunks!

    And, Manny, between you and me, or between you and any other member of the Church of the Nazarene, it’s always going to come down to different interpretations of Scripture, because you and I and the rest of the Church of the Nazarene are committed to Scripture as inspired and authoritative. None of us are ignoring Scripture, denying Scripture, etc. It’s that we differ on how to interpret those Scriptures.

  58. Rich,
    You’re dancing around the question. And that is the liberal or emergent view- we can’t ever know what is heresy or not- because we each “interpret” the Bible differently. The Bible teaches very plainly in almost all places, other than some areas like parts of Revelation.

    I reject that thinking, and so do most Bible believing Christians. It is not a mystery, it is not hard to understand, and the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit will guide us into truth, if we are willing to submit to God’s word.

    The emergent church folks are denying the authority of scripture, they deny that it is inerrant and infallible, and you know that is true. That’s why I don’t comment much on NazNet anymore, because of Nazarene pastors who disrespect the word of God. It is well documented right on NazNet as I have posted about before.

    I’ll leave it at that, no point continuing on this. You continue to defend RCC heresies that are plentiful.

  59. Manny, I’m genuinely not trying to dance around anything. I’m trying to be extremely clear.

    I’m NOT saying every interpretation of Scripture is acceptable. I’m certainly NOT saying “we can’t ever know what is heresy or not.” I reject that thinking, too! There are some interpretations of Scripture which are clearly heretical. Anyone who denies the full divinity of Christ is a heretic — whether they can point to verses in the Bible that seem to support their view or not. Denial of his full humanity — same thing. Denial of the doctrine of the Trinity is heresy — even though the doctrine of the Trinity was spelled out over a period of hundreds of years after the NT was written. We’ve already talked about (and agreed about) a couple of the Mormons’ heretical beliefs. And the list could go on.

    I do NOT know that emergent Nazarenes are denying the authority of Scripture. You know as well as I do that the Nazarenes over on NazNet (emergent-leaning and otherwise) argue for Scripture’s functional inerrancy as described by our Nazarene Article of Faith (that the Bible is “inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation”). That is not the same thing as denying Scripture’s authority or infallibility.

    (You might take a quick look at the following webpage – http://atkinslightquest.com/Documents/Religion/Fundamentalism/Variations-of-Inerrancy.htm – to see some of the variety of ways inerrancy has been defined and understood. I know nothing about the person hosting the page, but he claims the list was put together by a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.)

    I agree that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and that we must submit to Scripture! I’ve believed that for as long as I can remember — from the time I was a small child. And for years I thought as you do that Scripture spoke clearly and simply on almost every matter, and that those who disagreed with my conclusions just weren’t thinking clearly. Then I went to college and began studying the Bible more thoroughly and more closely than I ever had before. I discovered that what the Bible said didn’t fit into the nice, neat categories I’d always thought it did. I saw tensions and ambiguities that I’d overlooked before and discovered that many of the differences between denominations and traditions were because we resolved those tensions and ambiguities in different ways. I discovered that there is room for faithful, Bible-believing Christians to disagree — on more than just some parts of Revelation.

    I love your passion for God and for the Scriptures, Manny. I share it myself, whether you believe it or not.

  60. Ahh Rich your right and I apoligize for not taking you in context.
    As for your knowledge of what the Catholic Church teaches Rich you should really give it a rest until you know what the church at large (and the Magesterium ) teaches.
    To Rich’s defence a great deal of Catholics do not understand what their own church teaches because they blindly follow their leadership without reading the Bible for themselves.
    As for what Wiki states you cannot put any merit in that.
    That is indeed a fools argument.
    You will need to check what the Magesterium teaches because they are the official teaching arm of the church.
    Mary as Co Redemtrix is heresy many also have names Mary as Queen of Heaven which is a whole other deal.
    Yes the saints and Mary are honored with veneration and adoration.
    The RCC tries to make the distinction between woshipping God and veneration and adoration but the lines on this are blurred in the RCC.
    Worship is a interchangable term with veneration and adoration because it shows where a persons focus is.
    Show me where praying to the dead is allowed or encouraged in scripture.
    Its not there.
    Instead scripture clearly teaches “5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,”
    A verse all believing Catholics totally ignore.

    Rich you do not understand Mariology it would be a mistake to continue to comment it before you studied the offical teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

    This is my opinion of why the Nazarene denomination is in the mess its in.
    I think the leadership was concerned about their numbers and what they were going to do once the older folks (who still read their bibles) passed on.
    What do they do to retain their following?
    Well then comes undeiscerning pastor Jon Middendorf who brings in the Emergent Church at M7 with dads permission.
    The whole downfall of this as well as all church politics is that truth is forsaken to keep the numbers and faux unity going.
    Now the stage was already set for this in the denomination since schools like Trevcca have been sending their students to Thomas Mertons old abbey on feild trips.
    This has been going on for a long time folks not just since our DVD exposing this came out.
    The main problem is that they bought into the lie (from the very pit of hell itself) that we have to entertain or appeal to the post moderns.
    This is the exact same mistake seeker sensitive made.
    That some how we needed to appeal to unbelievers.
    What total nonsense!
    The Gospel of Jesus Christ preached accuratly from the scriptures still works no matter what culture or generation we are in.
    Dont believe the appeal to postmodern lie that would mean we had something to do with someones salvation.
    And we do not.
    Its the Holy Spirit that convicts when the gospel is preached.
    Its not by our clever words or music or entertainment.
    Its all about the Holy Spirit convicting an individual of their sin and bringing them to repentance that cause a person to be saved.
    We have zero to do with that other than preaching the gospel as the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth through Gods Word.
    Its the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin not our clever pimp my church van methods or latest Christian fad.
    Why is it that we think God needs our help saving people?
    Yes we do need to be faithful to Gods Word in scripture and preach and share the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
    But its God that does the saving.
    It doesnt have anything to do with us lest we could boast.
    Why these facts avoid people blows my mind.
    We dont have to dumb down the gospel or entertain the goats.
    What a huge insult to Gods saving grace and work of the Holy Spirit.
    Sincerely in Christ
    Tim

  61. Rich,
    I await the day that you let me know which RCC teachings that are clear heresy.

    One other thing- any teaching- no matter how small, which is contrary to scripture- is HERESY. It does not have be simply a denial of Christ’s divinity.

    Emergents deny the infallibility and inerrancy of scripture. That is a fact based on what they themselves say. Why, some of them on NazNet have said I practice bibliolatry, just for stating that I believe in the authority and infallibility of scripture!

    So yes, they do not trust the Bible in ALL it teaches- they only trust what they want to trust, as it suits their unbiblical ideology.

  62. Manny, I didn’t say those (denial of Christ’s full divinity or full humanity) are the ONLY possible heresies. I was just trying to point out that I do NOT believe that all interpretations are equal/acceptable, NOR do I believe that we can never know what’s heresy and what’s not — both of which you seemed to be accusing me of.

    Reading your last paragraph about trusting the Bible in ALL it teaches, I’m curious if you yourself live up to the standard you’re holding everyone else to. Do you support the ordination of women as pastors/preachers? This is another one of those areas where Christians disagree, with those on all sides believing they are being faithful to Scripture. If you’ve already dealt with this issue elsewhere on your blog, feel free to point me toward it…

  63. Rich stated “I’ve believed that for as long as I can remember — from the time I was a small child. And for years I thought as you do that Scripture spoke clearly and simply on almost every matter, and that those who disagreed with my conclusions just weren’t thinking clearly. Then I went to college and began studying the Bible more thoroughly and more closely than I ever had before. I discovered that what the Bible said didn’t fit into the nice, neat categories I’d always thought it did. I saw tensions and ambiguities that I’d overlooked before and discovered that many of the differences between denominations and traditions were because we resolved those tensions and ambiguities in different ways.”
    end comment

    Well so much for the child like faith.
    Another victim of our poor and unbiblical colleges and universities.
    As Ive stated before wait until you see the next generation who have had their faith ship wrecked on the cliffs of our Christian schools and places of higher (lower) learning.
    When I see these kinds of things happening I am reminded of
    Rev 2:24-25 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come.”
    Tim

  64. When pastors speak praises and support regarding the false doctrines of Catholicism and call it “Christian”, it makes me second-guess what they say and shake my head in disbelief.

    And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (Matthew 24:4 KJV)

    Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV)

    While churches that were formerly Bible-believing are speaking kindly of the Catholic Church, the Catholics are aggressively reaching for the world. No one can doubt that they want and intend to be the spokesman for Christianity.

    “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men”. (Acts 5:29 KJV)

  65. Tim, what you see as losing my childlike faith, I see as growing “in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” I see it as leaving behind milk for solid food, ceasing to talk, think, and reason like a child, “leaving childish ways behind me” as I became a man.

    Perhaps you missed the part of my story where I said that this growth came as I “studied the Bible more closely and more thoroughly than I ever had before.” The fact that this happened at our Nazarene institutions of higher education should come as no surprise, as they led me to study the Bible more deeply and value the Bible more highly than I had previously.

  66. Rich stated “Perhaps you missed the part of my story where I said that this growth came as I “studied the Bible more closely and more thoroughly than I ever had before.” The fact that this happened at our Nazarene institutions of higher education should come as no surprise, as they led me to study the Bible more deeply and value the Bible more highly than I had previously.”

    Yes Rich we are for sure seeing the fruit of that education
    Tim

  67. I’m sorry but the Bible knowledge coming out of the Nazarene Universities, (so-called) Bible Colleges and Cemeteries is based on subverting the authority of the Bible.
    Jesuit Priests have succeeded in infiltrating these man-made institutions creating RCC sympathizers with smooth polished rhetoric, vain babblings and theological debates to demonstrate what they believe to be fallibility of scripture. And suckers have fallen for it; Thinking that they are getting educated.

    They are, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

    I have been away from the Nazarene Church now for fifteen years (Thank God) and the changes that I have seen are grossly wicked. I have had seven Nazarene folks come by my church, this year, (one a month) looking for Biblical Christianity. They were all messed up in the head; somebody will pay.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus!

  68. Rich said, “I do NOT know that emergent Nazarenes are denying the authority of Scripture. You know as well as I do that the Nazarenes over on NazNet (emergent-leaning and otherwise) argue for Scripture’s functional inerrancy as described by our Nazarene Article of Faith (that the Bible is “inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation”). That is not the same thing as denying Scripture’s authority or infallibility.”

    How did you get here?????? Systematic Theology?????

    It looks “Off Road Theology” to me.

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