New Statement On Emergent Church By The General Superintendents

“If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?”  Psalm 11:3

A disclaimer of sorts first: today’s opinion may not be well received by some, perhaps even by some of my best friends.  Maybe some of you will ask me to remove your name from my mailing list, but my goal is not the largest mailing list possible, but to seek the truth at all times.  So I can no longer let some kind of polite etiquette hinder me from expressing my thoughts on what many believe to be perhaps the most serious crisis the Church of the Nazarene is facing.

I am not a bigshot; I don’t pretend to be a powerful influential authority, just because I have a blog.  Some of you are much more intellectual than me and know more Bible verses than I do.  All I am is a concerned Nazarene.   In fact, I am really first and foremost a concerned Christian.  This emergent church problem is affecting practically all evangelical denominations, and I do not have any less concern for non-Nazarenes who may be affected by this problem.  So today I am going to give my unvarnished opinion, for what it’s worth, and to whoever will listen to me with prayerful consideration, about the latest statement by the Board of General Superintendents, which they just recently posted on the main Nazarene website.  At the end is a link to the full statement, so you can read the entirety of it in context.

As I eagerly went to the link on the Nazarene website to read the new statement, I did not have a clue as to what would be said. I knew that most likely, I would have two reactions: either one of disappointment, or one of hope or cautious hope.  And so when I finally read it, my reaction at the end was fairly quick: disappointment.  Let me tell you why, and give a few comments (in bold italics) on selected parts of the statement.

I have been fighting the emergent church movement for nearly two years now.  I am not alone, because I have joined many others in this fight all across the country, and even around the world.  In that time, I have seen much that has been truly heartbreaking, as well as frightening.  Much of what I have seen leads me to believe that we are truly seeing the great apostasy that the scriptures have prophesied.

First, the most difficult things for me to handle are not necessarily the factual information about such heretics and false teachers as Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Richard Foster, and Leonard Sweet.  Certainly that is disturbing to see these men being allowed to wield such influence in a holiness denomination.  These are all men who practically spit on God’s word, in one way or another, albeit sometimes with a kind smile as they do it.  Why they are allowed a forum in the Nazarene denomination is one question I would like to ask the leadership.

But there are two difficult things I am having trouble with, and the second one being more troubling.  First, I am very troubled by the many emails I have received over the last year or two.  many, but not all, were from Nazarenes telling me stories of how they were practically run out of their church, because they were questioning why such strange practices were being introduced to the congregation.  Or they simply gave up and left the denomination because there was no longer a Nazarene church within close driving distance that really preached God’s word.  Or churches that “divorced” themselves from the denomination.  Or stories of churches losing hundreds of members in some cases, because of emergent ideology.  Or churches close to closing because of, again, almost everyone leaving.  Or several other churches that have split, with a group of people separating and starting their own congregation.  That has been very difficult for me to process, although I welcome getting these stories, because I actually have been able to help some of them because of what happened to me, and knowing what to advise them.  The second and most difficult thing I have had to wrestle with, will be mentioned at the end of my comments.

So when I read this statement by the Generals, I said to myself, is that all there is?  With so many people’s future in the balance, and more importantly, souls in the balance, this is it?  Have they not received a message from enough concerned Nazarenes to understand that something is terribly wrong?  When they found out that 6,000 DVDs were passed out at General Assembly, and they each received their own copy, did they not have some idea of trouble brewing in our churches and universities?   (I assume they received the DVDs because it was promised by the General Secretary that they would get them).  Did they view the DVDs, and if so, what did they think of the information?  Have they had enough time in one year to assess what is going on in our universities, and if so, what do each of them think about it?  Have they prayerfully considered the content of the DVDs, and the implications of such things if they are truly going on in the denomination?  (Believe me, it is happening).   One would think they have processed enough information coming from not only concerned laypeople, but pastors, evangelists, and district superintendents.  In relation to scripture only, what are their specific thoughts on: open theism, process theology, prayer labyrinths, contemplative prayer, lectio divina, bringing in pagan practices into our churches, secular music played in worship services, trips to monasteries to fellowship and practice the silence with monks, and the big one for me: the infallibility, authority, and sufficiency of scripture, or denial of scripture as the word of God?  There’s more, but I would like some answers to these questions.

Here are a few of their selected comments and my thoughts:

“There are several issues related to “the emergent church.” Some are helpful and positive; others are problematic and troubling.”

Problem #1: They did not specify what is helpful and what is not- again!  This has been the same kind of response in past statements.  So with this statement, we are once again kept in the dark as to what is good, and what is perhaps bad.  I would like to believe that our leaders are responsible for giving us guidance, yet how can they give us guidance, when they do not give specific answers?  How can so many Nazarenes continue walking down a dark road, possibly stepping on harmful things, unless that road has been lit up in front of them?  In other words, this statement does nothing at all but maintain the confusion and uncertainty as to where our top leadership stands.

“There are authors with a significant readership who readily identify themselves as “emergent church leaders.” They are aware of the Church’s need to increase its engagement with society. Some are completely orthodox in their theology and views of Scripture, but others embrace positions that the Church of the Nazarene would view as unorthodox and therefore unacceptable.”

This is the same as problem #1!  Again, I ask, who are the completely orthodox authors, and who are the unorthodox and unacceptable!  Are we left to fend for ourselves for a time again, until the next statement comes out?  In the meantime, many are unsure what is good and what is bad.  Many continue to wonder if  Thomas Merton or Henri Nouwen (two heretics) are acceptable in their theology and views of scripture, or not.
And does the church primarily need to engage with society, or is it not clearer to say: “the church’s need to bring the gospel to the lost in society?”

“The Board of General Superintendents neither endorses nor affirms “emergent churches” or leaders who are not orthodox in their theology.”

Again, who is orthodox or not?  Is Leonard Sweet orthodox, and why?  And if not, will they be banned from continuing to spread their false teachings?

“Issues involved in discussions such as these are often complex. The communication is sometimes at inappropriate volume levels.”

First of all, there are some issues that are not complex, such as the use of pagan prayer labyrinths.  Is that compatible with a holiness denomination? And I’m sure folks like me may have sometimes raised the volume a bit higher, but there is a good reason for that, as I will state at the end.

“The Board of General Superintendents is engaged in study and conversations with numerous Nazarene scholars, pastors, districts superintendents and laity on this subject. Each general superintendent continues in prayer and in a careful search for what is true and best in all things related to Scripture and mission.”

With all due respect, how long will this take? So many Nazarenes have made their decision to leave the denomination, because they had the biblical discernment to know what is right or wrong, and could not accept false teachings to harm them or their children.  How long will we wait until our leadership will give us definitive answers?  To me, this is the most important question.  Which leads me to explain what bothers me the most.

While we dance with these issues, and continue in a “conversation”, what happens to some of our students at the universities?  Perhaps it might be one of yours that I’m talking about.  While we wait until some definitive answers come from leadership, perhaps your very own child will walk away from the Lord. That is my biggest concern.  Perhaps a really positive decision will come in two or three years time, but if one child walks away from the faith, what consolation is that, for that child, and also for the parents of that child, who trusted the university to keep them from bad influences.  Who will answer to that?

I believe that much of the evangelical world is watching as we deal with this.

We need specific answers from our leaders, and we need them fast.  Too much is at stake, including the future of the Church of the Nazarene.

Please pray for our leadership that something will be done very soon.

Manny Silva

Concerned Christian

Following is the full statement by the General Superintendents, and the link to the website:

http://www.nazarene.org/ministries/superintendents/statements/emergent/display.aspx


A Statement on the Emergent Church
As a denomination of 2 million members in 156 world areas, there are conversations on a variety of topics taking place within the Church of the Nazarene.

One discussion centers on “emergent” or “emerging” churches. This subject creates confusion and conflict in some circles. There are several issues related to “the emergent church.” Some are helpful and positive; others are problematic and troubling. This is compounded because those who self-identify as “emerging” reflect a wide array of positions and perspectives and differ among themselves.

There are authors with a significant readership who readily identify themselves as “emergent church leaders.” They are aware of the Church’s need to increase its engagement with society. Some are completely orthodox in their theology and views of Scripture, but others embrace positions that the Church of the Nazarene would view as unorthodox and therefore unacceptable.

Some of our pastors, superintendents and lay members believe that there is a certain segment within the Church of the Nazarene who is embracing a new “movement” filled with risks to our theological coherence as a denomination. They fear this direction will only serve to undermine the Church of the Nazarene with heresy.

Their concerns are seemingly reinforced by a few “emergent” leaders who have made statements that to them are troubling. These comments reflect theological positions denying several of the basic tenets of Scripture and orthodox Christianity as held by the Church of the Nazarene in our Articles of Faith.

There are others within our denomination, including pastors, superintendents and scholars, who view the concept of an “emerging” church as a positive and hopeful expression of what it means to be the Church. They are seeking to genuinely come to terms with ministry in a complex and rapidly-changing culture. Their goal is to demonstrate the relevance of biblical truth through incarnational and transformational living.

This latter group is deeply committed to the authority and infallibility of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives, communities, and nations. They are often engaged with the brokenness in society through active, compassionate ministries working diligently to bring renewal, conversion, and transformation.

The Board of General Superintendents neither endorses nor affirms “emergent churches” or leaders who are not orthodox in their theology. “We Believe,” the statement issued by the BGS, clearly articulates the position of the Board regarding the Articles of Faith, the values, and the mission stated in the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene, encouraging Nazarenes everywhere to join them in embracing these vital truths. (See “Official Statements” on the nazarene.org website.)

The involvement of many Nazarenes in this conversation reveals a sincere desire to embrace our missional objectives. They are attempting to reach the emerging cultures around us while clearly articulating an orthodox interpretation of Scripture and theology.

John Wesley, founder of Methodism and a firm believer in the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify and cleanse the heart of all unrighteousness, was intentionally and forcefully engaged in the social needs around him. In that same tradition, P. F. Bresee established the first “Church of the Nazarene” with a focus on both the physical and spiritual needs of people while calling men and women to make a total commitment to Christ and to the fullness of the Spirit in cleansing and heart purity.

This is the objective toward which Nazarenes, including those engaged in ministry to emerging cultures, are committed.

Any conversation of this nature carries with it the risk of being misunderstood or being classified with positions that are not healthy or appropriate. Issues involved in discussions such as these are often complex. The communication is sometimes at inappropriate volume levels.

Nonetheless, it is our hope and prayer that those in the Church of the Nazarene who are engaged in this conversation will do so with grace and humility. We believe it is possible to move beyond mischaracterizations, embrace what is legitimate, and reject any unorthodox positions without hesitation.

The Board of General Superintendents is engaged in study and conversations with numerous Nazarene scholars, pastors, districts superintendents and laity on this subject. Each general superintendent continues in prayer and in a careful search for what is true and best in all things related to Scripture and mission.

While the Board does not embrace anything that is heretical it does encourage healthy conversations among Nazarenes who are part of a holiness and Great Commission church.

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ who lived, died, and was resurrected to save the lost and broken of the whole world. He is coming again, to set to right all things. The mission He gave to His Church was to announce and embody the Kingdom, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and to visit the sick and imprisoned. His mission is our mission as well.

Board of General Superintendents
August 2010
bgs@nazarene.org

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92 responses to “New Statement On Emergent Church By The General Superintendents

  1. While they don’t answer questions about specific authors, beliefs, or practices, they do point us toward what they mean by “orthodoxy.”

    First, they say in the fifth paragraph, “These comments reflect theological positions denying several of the basic tenets of Scripture and orthodox Christianity as held by the Church of the Nazarene in our Articles of Faith.”

    Second, they say in the eighth paragraph, “The Board of General Superintendents neither endorses nor affirms “emergent churches” or leaders who are not orthodox in their theology. “We Believe,” the statement issued by the BGS, clearly articulates the position of the Board regarding the Articles of Faith, the values, and the mission stated in the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene, encouraging Nazarenes everywhere to join them in embracing these vital truths. (See “Official Statements” on the nazarene.org website.)”

    In other words, what we Nazarenes consider to be orthodox theology is expressed in our Articles of Faith and in the earlier “We Believe” statement by the Generals. These are “basic tenets of Scripture and orthodox Christianity” and should be embraced as “vital truths.”

    Yes, it would be nice if they would go ahead and express their opinion on things like prayer labyrinths, etc. But until then, it sounds like it will be up to all of us to engage in this conversation “with grace and humility.”

  2. Rich,

    You are absolutely wrong in your assessment, and if others comment in the same way, I won’t even approve it. It’s a waste of time, and this blog is going to help people, not facilitate further comments that ignore everything I said, and dance around the real problem.

    The solution, Rich, is NOT “to engage in this conversation “with grace and humility.” There’s no more time for that.
    The solution IS to get rid of all false teachers now, and for the leadership to step up to the plate- and tell us what they believe is orthodox or heretical! Did you read my last few comments about our children walking away from the faith? Perhaps you have a child who might walk away from the faith someday because of this heresy plaguing our denomination. THAT IS WHAT IS AT STAKE. It is too costly to allow questions to go unanswered.

    At least some Nazarenes can walk away with dignity if the Generals approve of false teachings and false teachers, or perhaps better still, the emergents should walk away and start their own false denomination, all by themselves.

    (Can you tell I’m fed up with all this “conversation” stuff?)

    Enough is enough.

  3. Yes, I can tell you’re fed up with the “conversation stuff.” :) I was just quoting what the Generals said in their statement about moving forward “with grace and humility.” If you’re frustrated with them, that’s fine. Please don’t take it out on me. :)

    You had expressed frustration about them not defining what they mean by orthodoxy. I was just trying to say that I think they did define it… or at least they tried to.

    Like you, I hope that they will publish something that goes into the details on the various questions and concerns you’ve raised. It would be very helpful for them to say about each one, “Yes, that’s acceptable,” or “No, that’s not acceptable,” or “There’s room in our church for people to either accept or reject that one.”

  4. I sincerely pray that your children will NEVER go to any of these schools that are teaching heresy, unless they change dramatically and get rid of all the heresies and false teachers at these schools. Their souls could be at stake.

  5. My wife and I don’t have kids yet. But when we do, as long as they teach them the same things they taught me when I went through Olivet and NTS, I won’t worry. My faith in God and my walk with Christ are stronger now than they were prior to my experiences there.

    (From what I’ve heard, Olivet’s religion department has become more conservative in the 13 years since I was there.)

    As for the other schools, I have cousins who went through Point Loma (one’s now a math professor at ONU, the other is an associate pastor in KC) and a good friend from high school who went through Mount Vernon (now a youth pastor). They’re all still solid Christians.

  6. And what of those who have walked away from the faith? I have first hand accounts from at least one parent- is that not enough?

    Point Loma and NNU are hotbeds of heresy, as any discerning Christian can see, and I pray that if they don’t correct themselves soon, that it would be better that they close down completely.

  7. I’m sorry to hear of anyone walking away from faith in Christ. But the folks who have shared their stories with you haven’t shared them with me. I can only share the stories I know, and those are the ones I mentioned above (along with my own, my wife’s, and those of friends from Olivet).

  8. Consider their stories to be a sober warning to any who would take a chance and send their kids to these schools. It’s like playing Russian roulette, but with their souls.

  9. Rich, there has been a quantum Biblical – spiritual shift in the last 10 years in the Nazarene church. I realize you don’t understand, you are young. God Bless.

  10. “The mission He gave to His Church was to announce and embody the Kingdom, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and to visit the sick and imprisoned. His mission is our mission as well.”

    The mission of Jesus was to seek and save the lost.
    The great commission is seekign the lost, declaring the gospel and discipling them. Our first priority must be the soul. This statement wreaks of social justice..Man I am so glad I walked away from this sect.

  11. Consider these four paragraphs from the general’s statement.

    Some of our pastors, superintendents and lay members believe that there is a certain segment within the Church of the Nazarene who is embracing a new “movement” filled with risks to our theological coherence as a denomination. They fear this direction will only serve to undermine the Church of the Nazarene with heresy.

    Their concerns are seemingly reinforced by a few “emergent” leaders who have made statements that to them are troubling. These comments reflect theological positions denying several of the basic tenets of Scripture and orthodox Christianity as held by the Church of the Nazarene in our Articles of Faith.

    There are others within our denomination, including pastors, superintendents and scholars, who view the concept of an “emerging” church as a positive and hopeful expression of what it means to be the Church. They are seeking to genuinely come to terms with ministry in a complex and rapidly-changing culture. Their goal is to demonstrate the relevance of biblical truth through incarnational and transformational living.

    This latter group is deeply committed to the authority and infallibility of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives, communities, and nations. They are often engaged with the brokenness in society through active, compassionate ministries working diligently to bring renewal, conversion, and transformation.

    1) Some pastors, DS’s, and layity believe there is a problem.
    2) Their “concerns” are “seemingly” reinforced.
    3) Some pastors, DS’s, and “scholars” disagree.
    4) This last group is deeply committed to …

    Am I to conclude the first group has no scholars and is not committed to an infallible Word of God, and that the second group has no laity and consequently, the laity is not committed?

    Am I to conclude the real issue is the concerned trouble makers?

    Actually, I believe the generals have varying opinions on the matter themselves and thus this less than satisfactory response. Let us hope for better when the DS’s get together to consider the situation next month.

    On a related note to some of the previous comments in this thread, I have a relative who withdrew from seminary after realizing he was being directed to study one book after another in depth, except one … the Bible.

    That pretty much sums up my take on this. We are looking at the culture to set our direction instead of the Bible. Okay, things and lifestyles are different. God and human nature remain the same.

    The message has always been foolishness or a stumbling block to most. So why are we looking to produce something the culture will approve en masse? Doesn’t that alone point to something unapproved by Scripture?

  12. I can tell you what the Nazarene politicians that are running the denomination are afraid of.
    Its all about the numbers!
    If they name name’s like Brian McLaren they have to make a statement on what is orthodox and what is heritical.
    In this emergent conversation (and Im for sure including Emergent pastor Rich Schmidt in this).
    People dont want to state what they think is heretical because it divides and rightly so.
    Sound doctrine always divides.
    It seperates sheep from goats.
    You will never see a concrete statement from this current board of Nazarene politicians because (and this is my opinion) it would also alienate Jon Middendorfs church which openly embraces emergent ideolgy and theology.
    And that is just not going to happen.
    Jon was one of the ones allowed to bring this junk in through venues like M7 and their is no way thats going to be part of the conversation.
    Its just not going to happen.
    The bigger problem is the generals seem to say that there is unorthodoxy within the emergent church and its teaching but they fail to say what that is.
    The biggest problem is they say there is a problem but fail to warn and guard the flock.
    (Again in my opinion I do not even believe the generals are writting these statements-its sounds more like a lawyer putting these statements together than men of God)
    But even though the leadership is weak and uncommitted to take a stand and guard the flock we can be sure of one thing.
    ! Peter 4:17
    17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
    I think long term the leadership is betting on this problem to go away (or all the older folk to die off)
    Just like the Emergent church is targeting all the next generation so is the so-called new Christianity which I believe the Nazarene leadership and teachers to be part of.
    But the new Christianity is actually not biblical Christianity at all but something comparable to what is shown and revealed in Rev 17.
    Anyway thats my take on things
    Tim

  13. “The Board of General Superintendents is engaged in study and conversations with numerous Nazarene scholars, pastors, districts superintendents and laity on this subject. Each general superintendent continues in prayer and in a careful search for what is true and best in all things related to Scripture and mission.”

    God’s people know who is a follower of Christ and who isn’t.

    John 10:1-5 1″I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

  14. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

    3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

    1 Samuel 3:8-21
    8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
    Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

    10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
    Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

    11 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ”

    15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
    Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

    17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

    19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

  15. Thanks Manny:

    I truly hope that our General’s are not biding their time for a more conveinent season or lack the courage to address this problem. Especially since (if I have my facts correct) a committee was suspose to have already looked into this and a statement was to be issued at our last GA (not sure why). Had this been done we would be better off today I’m confident of that.

    Their indecision reminds me of someone my wife worked for. Anytime their was a problem he would ignore it. His atitude was if we ignore it long enough it will go away. However, this is not the way to handle problems as I see it. Procrastination produces nothing more than more procrastination.

    I believe our General’s should re-read chapter 4 in the book of Acts, and take their boldness from Peter and John. All of you know this. Peter and John was arrested for healing a lame man, and when questioned (by the rulers, elders, scribes, high priest, etc.) by what power or name you do this. Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit did not hesitate to declare it was Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified.

    Later in that chapter they prayed for a boldness that they may speak His word, and the scripture confirms their prayer was heard and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

    My question to our General’s is why can’t you speak with boldness and confront the heresy that is going on within our campuses and in many of our churches? My last sentence is the most difficult to write and is written in the spirit of self examination without condemnation. If you can’t for personal reasons or simply not up to the task, then perhaps you should resign and not stand in the way.

  16. Manny- The Nazarene youth that I know of are steeped in ignorance already, and have no foundation for passing on anything holy to the next generation. Nazarene pastors went from having album smashing parties to handing them out. Now they want to teach sex in church. The GS’s only want to talk about it? Can you say wolfs in sheep’s clothing!

    Jim Scullin- You deserve the immaculate perception award. Thanks for that insight.

    Rich- Why are you always trying to see something that isn’t there? What if the lens in which you see these things are smeared with religious piety and scholastic error.

    Rev Rick- It gets sweeter as the days go by.

    Tim – Politicians, yes; Shepherds, not a chance.

    Pam – That story ends;
    1. With a blind general sitting on the wall who falls and breaks his neck. (Steve’s version)
    2. God’s people running for their lives and being slaughtered.
    3. A mother disregarding her own fruit.

    I once was a proud Nazarene because it meant something. The doctrine of holiness drew me to the church. I wanted out of the world out of my sin and filth. The Church was to be that place. I began work in a rescue mission and soon found that poor, indigent people were not accepted in my church. (Period) I went on to find the same thing everywhere I went.

    To hear these pious asses (Job 24:5) talk about these things is pure unadulterated hypocrisy and deception. Their concern is for their fat jobs.

    I recently had a fellow come to my church from an Emergent church called “the Bridge” who had seen my church folks and I out one Saturday preaching on the street. He said he asked his pastor if they could do that and he responded by saying “we are not that type of Church.” Of course not; they had just concluded a KISS concert.

    This same church put up billboards around town saying “Pure Sex” with two people in bed together. And the Generals want to engage in rhetoric, and uncommitted comments!

    I will spend the rest of my God given days to expose this stupidity! And pastors like Pettigrew, and Rich and all the rest. I read Scott Daniels stupid comments to my church. They laughed. As will God when it is all said and done.

    Even so come Lord Jesus!

  17. For once you actually pose a good question, Manny. “With all due respect, how long will this take?” My answer to that is “do not hold your breath.” While I certainly do not endorse your group or your tactics, I can understand why you would want to know the answer to such a question, because a lot of voices are asking, and not just concerned ones. I think our BGS intentionally don’t give specifics for one reason and one reason only: all the concerned nazarenes and emergent nazarenes are still nazarenes. From their view point, its better to have people in the denomination disagreeing and spreading hate than to actually leave the denomination. I think they know people will eventually leave one way or another, but they are trying to keep it together as long as they can. Most people are will hold out hope forever that the answers the generals give will line up with their answers, but once again i say to EVERYONE involved, concerned or not, do not hold your breath. Answers are the only thing that will cause action, therefore answers are the one thing we will not get. I think you probably know this on some level.

  18. Perhaps you are right, Marcus. My guess is that depending on how patient some are, many will leave sooner than later. Others might hold out longer as you said.

    In any case, my bigger concern is, as I stated, youth in our colleges walking away from the Lord. One is far too many, but I fear it will be a lot more than that.

    (I’m sure I’ve posed many good questions besides this one.)

  19. Must have spaced on that one. I meant to simply write “You actually pose a good question, Manny.” Apologies all around.

  20. Oh, no offense anyway, Marcus. If anyone thinks that was my only good question, I would not get upset.

  21. Steve,

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to. What am I trying to see that’s not there? Are you talking about how I read the statement by the GS’s and how they are defining orthodoxy? Or my perspective on the Nazarene schools, that I admit is limited? Please fill in the blanks for me so I can know what you’re referring to.

    As for exposing pastors like me…. Feel free to “expose” me all you want. I have nothing to hide and am happy to talk with anyone about any topic that concerns them.

  22. I would like to gently disagree with Pam’s comment to Rich. I don’t think the Church of the Nazarene has changed. It is my observation that it has always been this way.

    Don’t you think the point you are making about the indecisiveness of the church’s leaders, Manny, has been in the DNA of the Nazarene tradition from its inception? The church has rarely (if ever) – from PF Bresee on – been willing to make definitive statements on what many see as critical matters of faith?

    I think this is because rather than splitting from some tradition, you Nazarenes started by trying to merge a bunch of diverse groups together. You started, in some ways out of necessity, by making theological compromises.

    PF Bresee, for example, refused to take a stand on premillennialism and postmillennialism. AM Hills refused to advocate for a literal reading of Genesis only. From the mid 20th century on the Generals refused to make a distinction between those who were advocating a process view of sanctification and those who held to the traditional 19th century view. For decades and decades the church has had a somewhat mushy view of scripture trying to ride the fence between infallibility and inerrancy. I could go on and on…

    I just don’t see this as a new problem. I think it has been there all along and some are just now noticing it.

    I think you have a real historic problem because what you see as your church’s big weakness in this area, some in your denomination probably see as one of its strengths.

  23. John,
    It’s interesting that some of the examples you touched on are not even a real concern for many of us.

    Yet somehow you did not touch on any of the more serious matters that we have been questioning:

    1. Use of pagan prayer labyrinths
    2. Practicing the silence, and other contemplative prayer techniques
    3. Introduction of Roman Catholic practices
    4. Ecumenism with acceptance of Roman Catholicism as okay, in spite of its heretical teachings
    5. Acceptance of false teachers such as Richard Foster, Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren into the theology programs at the colleges
    6. Acceptance of many of these same false teachers as welcome speakers, unchallenged, at many of our colleges
    7. Promotion of the environmental gospel to the detriment of preaching the word.
    8. Promotion of the social gospel to the detriment of preaching the word.
    9. Questioning the reality of the first 11 chapters of Genesis, and instead saying that it is not fact, only allegory.
    10. Spiritual formation programs, which is really contemplative spirituality or mysticism in disguise
    11. Teaching of open theism and process theology.

    There’s more I could list. I am not interested in our denomination’s historic position so much as I am interested in stopping these false teachings from deceiving many students at our schools and kids in our churches, especially in future generations. Maybe the DNA of the COTN needs to be replaced.

    Funny how you seemed to address only those areas that seem safe to disagree on.

  24. John M, my opinion was not about indecisiveness.

    There has always been differing opinions on the implementation of each of our personal holiness. I have always loved the strong independent opinions and personalities in the church. These independent people always had a deep respect for God’s Word, Pastors, leaders and living so to not cause a brother or sister to stumble respect for others.

    The brazen kick the sheep to the curb attitude in the last 10 years so we can win the world to Jesus, leaves me speechless.

  25. Manny, regarding your response to John M, give me a break –

    And I quote: “A. M. Hills refused to advocate for a literal reading of Genesis only.” – John M.

    You’re really, honestly trying to say this hasn’t been one of your group’s hobby horse issues?

    John’s point was that there have always been issues that some little group in the Church of the Nazarene has thought essential to salvation, and our leadership has more often than not chosen to leave our essentials alone. Schisms have taken place in the 1920s (the Pilgrim Holiness group), the 1950s (the Bible Missionary Union, later Bible Missionary Church) and the 1970s (The Bible Fellowship group). You know what all these groups have in common? They all amounted to just about nothing. Only one of them still exists (barely).

    So, if you’re waiting for a statement on prayer labyrinths (your most passionate objection since you mention it in every single post and nearly every comment), you’re not ever going to get one.

  26. Pam, with this I agree. Far too much has been done in the name of church growth, leaving thousands of spiritual refugees. The last church where I served as youth pastor lost 70 people because the new pastor wanted to upgrade. This is tragic.

    It seems to me the CNs have put the church growth folks and the EC folks in the same camp, when, in fact, the two groups could not be more opposite.

  27. So I am supposed to go along with A.M. Hill now, David, just because he said an opinion contrary to mine? Is he the final authority? So he reused to advocate a literal reading of genesis- so what? If true, then he apparently does not accept it.

    I know John mentioned A.M. Hills and his stance- that was definitely something I disagree with- where did I say ALL of what he said was okay with me?

    I mention prayer labyrinths more often for a reason, they are very visual and obvious. So if a Christian, Nazarene or otherwise, cannot see that prayer labyrinths are from Satan, not God, then may the Lord help them in discerning other matters that are more subtle. That’s why I use that often- but as you can see, I spelled out a lot more in my last comment that is derived from Satan- not scripture.

    Let me know which you think are okay biblically- not using any Nazarene manual statement- but do these practices or ideologies conform with biblical teachings.

    I’ll make the challenge easy- are prayer labyrinths a practice that conforms to biblical standards? And if so, show us all how you came to that conclusion.

  28. I didn’t mean it necessarily in a good way. I’m not a Nazarene but I was part of a sister denomination and I know enough about Holiness history to know that churches like the CoN have tended to try and take centrist positions on many things.

    So I think it may be a good thing for you to ask about prayer labyrinths, silence, meditation, prayer stations, etc., but it doesn’t surprise me that the leaders would essentially respond in a way that agrees that people should pray and that they should pray to the one God in Christ’s name, but then allow latitude on how people pray.

    I don’t think you are asking bad questions. I’m just saying, given what I understand about the denomination’s history, you are asking the leaders to take stands that they wouldn’t normally take.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    So you may be right

  29. David said, “It seems to me the CNs have put the church growth folks and the EC folks in the same camp, when, in fact, the two groups could not be more opposite.”

    I’m not anti church growth, I’m pro-Jesus and pro-Bible. I’m not a concerned Nazarene, I’m a grieving Nazarene.

    I can’t teach Adam and Eve in Naz SS and see Naz Universities and NTS not believe in Adam and Eve. I can’t do it anymore David. Neither am I’m not doing a flannel graph lesson with apes or primordial goo.

  30. Manny, I don’t care whether or not you go along with AM Hills. You miss my point –

    John – “A. M. Hills refused to advocate for a literal reading of Genesis only.”

    Manny – “Funny how you seemed to address ONLY those areas that seem safe to disagree on.” (emphasis mine)

    So, were you mistaken and too hard on John (whose not even disagreeing with you, as far as I can tell), or is a literal reading of Genesis not an area of disagreement? Which is it?

    Walking in a circle and praying is not found in the Bible. So what? Neither is kneeling at a wooden bench.

    Here’s a question for you –

    How much time do you spend each day in prayer? How do you pray? How do you justify it biblically?

  31. Pam, it’s a good thing there aren’t any Nazarene universities that don’t “believe” in Adam and Eve. Having a deeper understanding of them is not the same as not believing in them.

  32. David,
    I already corrected myself about the reading of Genesis that John mentioned. It was the only thing I would have issues with someone, and not the others he mentioned.

    Sorry that you apparently approve of pagan practices such as prayer labyrinths as being okay for Christians to do- or at least you don’t condemn it outright. The only other reason is that you just don’t know for sure that they are pagan and should not be incorporated by Christians.

    I suggest you read some of the posts linked here that give clear biblical refutation of practices like prayer labyrinths. otherwise, I don’t intend to start an argument again about it.

  33. Please disregard this post if you have already answered my questions, as due to moderation sometimes the conversation here overlaps.

    I’m still very interested in hearing about your prayer life.

    You are a person very interested in cut-to-the-chase/black and white answers, so I’d be interested in hearing a few of your own, rather than what you think about what other people are doing.

    Someone who appoints themselves as judge and jury over what goes on in my prayer closet (a privilege that is God’s alone) should have no problem explaining their own prayer routine.

    Someone who demands biblical justification for the ways I spend time with God should easily provide such information about their own practices.

    How much time do you spend daily in prayer? Scripture reading?

    You’re all bothered about how pastors like me might be leading our people in prayer. Tell me about your own church’s prayer meeting. How much time does the church you attend spend in corporate prayer? When do they get together specifically for the purpose of prayer, and please don’t forget to include scripture references to justify what happens during those times.

    You are very concerned about Nazarene young people losing their ever-loving souls at one of our colleges. How many souls have you yourself won to the Lord in the last year, and how are you disciplining them? How many professions of faith did your local church report at the last district assembly?

    I’d be happy to provide you with my own answers to these questions if you will do the same.

    I’m not scared of your answers, nor will I have any way of verifying them. I hope you put me to shame and shut me up!

    I would just like everyone who (hopefully) reads this to think about these questions for themselves.

  34. Pam,

    I admit I chortled on flannelgraph of apes and goo! Oh, how I remember those flannelgraph and “Nu-Vu” Bible stories! I wonder if they still use those in Sunday school?

  35. I aasume you are asking me, Daivd.

    When did I ever demand details from you or anyone about your own personal practice? So I don’t think I need to answer your questions.

    And when did I demand “biblical justification for the ways YOU spend time with God?” Your skirting the questions I think. I am asking people to justify the use of PAGAN practices in a Christian’s life. If that’s what you mean, then answer the question. Otherwise, I am not sticking my nose into your personal life, but if you support pagan practices being used by Christians, and do it publicly, I will most certainly question it.

    And what if I said “I pray 4 hours every morning at 4 am, then at night I read the Bible 3 hours… oh, and I fast 7 days a week.”
    What would that say about me, other than I would be bragging or something? I have no desire to put anyone “to shame” with the amount of prayer or Bible reading I do. That’s between me and God.

    So, when did I appoint myself “judge and jury over what goes on in YOUR prayer closet?” Could you point that out in anything I wrote?

    You know very well what I am trying to do with this blog, and there is no purpose in this blog to go after people’s private prayer life or anything like that. So, I won’t be answering those questions because it will also sidetrack me, and I don’t spend 24 hours on the web answering everyone’s questions.

  36. So, in other words, you’re not willing to put the burden on yourself that you would put on others?

    You would have “Christians” justify their use of ancient tools and methods in their prayer life. “Christians” is not some nameless, faceless crowd – they are real live individuals like myself. Therefore, when you say the use of such practices is “pagan”, you’re talking about me.

    Why are you afraid to answer my very simple questions?

  37. I’ve answered why I don’t need to answer those questions. Go back and read what I wrote.
    But okay, let me see (I don’t intend to keep talking about this for too long):

    For example, if a Christian always cuts a chicken’s throat and lets the blood out into a glass of wine, then drinks it- as part of their prayer time- I should not question the practice?? I see.

    So, you’re saying to me and everyone else… NEVER, EVER question HOW any Christian practices their prayer life, no matter what they do, no matter if it even seems to go against biblical teaching. I see.

    (If you use prayer labyrinths, yes, I am taking about you then, I suppose. And if so, you are going against scripture by doing this. Just like anyone at Trevecca that is using a prayer labyrinth.

  38. Well, I don’t believe speaking in tongues is a valid way to pray. I don’t pray that way. However, I’ve met many wonderful godly people who do, and I don’t question their heart.

    No, I’m not saying we should NEVER, EVER question HOW any Christian practices their prayer life. We should be KNOWN BY OUR FRUITS! If someone walks in a circle when they pray, and they display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, and they are making disciples, I say let them walk on their hands and do double back flips for all I care.

    However, if someone engages in old fashioned extemporaneous hanky-wavin’ shouting, crying prayer sessions around an old fashioned altar, and they have not love, it’s meaningless.

    God judges the heart, but we judge the fruit.

    I maintain my questions to you are valid. You have stated your refusal to answer twice now, so no sense going any further. I’ll give you the final word.

  39. When an elderly woman cannot attend her church any longer (only goes to Sunday school because she can still get some biblical teaching) and weeps for her church something is wrong. She was a faithful attender of a Nazarene church in NE. She has attended the church for over 60 years (maybe more) and has seen children and grandchildren marry there. Her family attends there NO LONGER. Her husband has Parkinson’s, and this hipper church doesn’t come by and offer to help her. No, they leave this woman alone…and wouldn’t listen to her and others when the changes came and they didn’t like it. Much of her family left, wrote those higher up to try to start another church but were told no. The attitude is “forget the old people.” The woman’s family who could leave did so, but who knows if they could find something suitable. She has no options. She has no time.

  40. David,

    Let me just say it this way: First, I believe in following right doctrine, as commanded by Jesus and the apostles. We are to obey Christ’s commands, and the teachings of the apostles- all of it. We don’t have an option to add or subtract from the scriptures.
    We ought to always make sure all our practices are in line with right scriptural doctrine.

    I did not get an answer from you whether you think prayer labyrinths are biblical or not.
    That’s fine, I’ll assume you just don’t know what to think about them yet- although it is clear to me.

    My answer is: NO. And the reason is, that not only are they not mentioned in the Bible, but they conflict with some biblical principles of worship and praying.

    Prayer is not be ritualistic, for one. (Matthew 6:5-8) Dr. Lauren Artress, who popularized them in the U.S., once said that “ritual feeds the soul.” Remember the Pharisees? They were most obsessed with ritual- and look what that got them! Look what Jesus thought about that. (Mark 7:6-13)

    We don’t need anything else to get us closer to God, other than simply calling out to Him as we are instructed in the Bible. Prayer labyrinths will not do anything more to get us closer to God! It’s an insult to the sufficiency of Christ and our relationship with Him, and what He did for us. (John 14:6; Psalm 145:18; Acts 17:17)

    Also, labyrinths come from a history of use that involved a seeking of the mystical; a search for special insight, or new revelations. We don’t need that! We have the mind of Christ! (1 Cor. 2:16)

    Finally, the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:15-17) It is sufficient for us, as it says, to make us holy, wise, and give us all we need for our work in this world as Christians. No special rituals are needed, no special formulas that are extra-biblical.

    And then, I need to look it up exactly, but the Bible also warns us not to bring in the practices of the heathen into our Christian life. Certainly prayer labyrinths fit that description. When I find the references, I will insert them here.

    Well, I thought I would not have to do this again, but here it is for all its worth. If you or anyone else believe that prayer labyrinths are biblically justified, that’s your problem, not mine. I have given a biblical case against them to you.

    As far as your questions, my prayer life hopefully is pleasing to God, although I know that there is always room for improvement. But I would never tell people in public how much or how little I pray or read the Bible, that would not help me improve any better as a Christian. I can say that I pray every day, and I read the Bible every day- barring any unforeseen things that do sometimes cause me to miss out.

  41. Manny,
    Thanks for the very honest answer to Davids question.

    Steve Sumner,
    I wish you would get saved. Spewing out hate, which you always do on this blog and on your evil website is what is truely disgraceful, no matter how much you hold up the Bible for defense. Even if its the KJV… which obviously is the only translation that is not evil….what a joke! Manny, since you can moderate the comments, I do not see what good you possibly think can come from this mans hateful comments. Would you let Fred Phelps spread his hate here? I see no different between them.

  42. Marcus,
    The reason I okayed Steve’s comment- which I admit I think was a bit harsh (as I sometimes am myself!) is that I got his point about believing what Jesus Himself said- or not.

    Can a person be a real Christian and at the same time, disbelieve what Jesus Christ Himself says is fact? Can we be a Christian, yet disagree with what our Creator Himself teaches us?

    I could have not approved it I suppose, but I think Steve is big enough to defend himself. I knew it would possibly get someone upset, but then again, I’ve done that many times- knowing someone would not like what I would say.

    I do understand why you asked the question.

  43. 1Co 14:37 If any man think himself to be …spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

    Such as:
    1Ti 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

    1Co 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

  44. Okay,
    David, Steve, before it gets into a big huge battle here, which I don’t want to see,
    I’ll re-start that part about Adam and Eve this way to clear up any confusion as to what each of us believes:

    Manny Silva believes that Adam and Eve were real, historical figures, as attested to by Jesus Himself..
    Manny therefore believes the literal account of Genesis creation story- all of it, and that it is NOT allegory or myth.

    Now then, who agrees or disagrees with those two statements of mine?
    And I think a yes or no can be achieved without any obfuscation.

    By the way, any other NazNetter or other Nazarene pastor can feel free to answer- with a simple yes or no.

  45. Adam and Eve were actual people the Genesis account was real. And yes satan was the snake.
    If Adam and Eve were not real people and the enemy did not tempt them to sin what would be the point of Jesus coming to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins taking the punishment we deserved?
    When these kind of debates go on I just want to roll my eyes.
    Its so simple even the style the book of Genesis was written in.
    We make it so complicated.
    Jesus testified to this as well.
    And yes satan was the serpent
    Satan is called a serpent, not once but three times in the book of Revelation (Revelation 12:9, 12:15, 20:2). When combined with Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 11:3, the identification of the serpent in Genesis 3 with Satan is unmistakable. Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
    But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).
    We see an obvious parallel here with Genesis 3. Revelation 12:9 says that Satan is called “that serpent of old,” that he was punished (cast out), and that he presently deceives the whole world (remember that Adam and Eve were even the “whole world” of humanity at the time of the Fall). Revelation 20:2–3 also calls Satan a serpent and speaks of his punishment again. This time he will be bound and thrown into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years, so that he will not be able to deceive the nations. Satan’s work of deception began in the Garden of Eden and has continued worldwide ever since then. Only Christians can escape Satan’s deceptions by simple and pure devotion to Christ (i.e., trusting and obeying His Word by His Spirit).
    Tim

  46. PS the bigger problem here is that this doesnt work with people who alreadt dont believe in Gods Word. It really doesnt work with the social justice agenda because these folks would like to believe Jesus came down to solve the social and culture problem instead of the sin problem.
    Plus with Emergent unbelievers they dont want to think of God who would require a blood sacrifice to appease the sin problem.
    But then the Emergents would have to throw out the whole Bible which they dont believe anyway..
    Well I think I made my point.
    Sincerely in Christ
    Tim

  47. Thanks, I wish I had thought of this earlier- so we could cut to the chase and just find out, one way or another, what people believe.

    I hope some of the emergent NazNetters reading this will come on and give a simple yes or no also. Or give a good biblical response as Tim did. Either way. Biblical only!

  48. This could be a great survey- especially of Nazarenes, Nazarene pastors- Nazarene NazNetters, Nazarene emergents, etc.

    Let me know- especially NazNetters. Yes or no.

  49. Waiting for a NazNetter to respond to the question. Please if you can also identify yourself, including whether you are a pastor.

  50. David,
    Does that mean a Yes- you do believe that they were real historical people? And that Genesis is a true account, and not allegory or myth?

  51. I believe God created Adam and Eve, real people who really lived. Asked and answered.

    Their story is not in the Bible to give us a history lesson. We aren’t to study them like we do, say, Abraham Lincoln. They are part of salvation history. The culture that the first five books of the Bible were written in and written to weren’t interested in the origin of species. They were interested in origin of covenant. Adam and Eve are there so we might understand Christ.

    I’m not sure how this somehow devalues them.

    I do not believe that six days means literally six 24 hour days. God is not limited to human time frames. I don’t believe there were dinosaurs on the ark.

    Now, Manny I can’t think of a question you’ve asked of me that I haven’t answered. You have not answered mine (I asked for solid numbers, you gave a vague, general response).

    You have, however, allowed someone to say I was not a Christian and that I was a disgrace. When I questioned that person’s stability, you wouldn’t allow my comment. So, I guess it’s ok to be insulting as long as the person doing the insulting agrees with you, and the person being insulted doesn’t. Real fair.

    So, let me ask you one more question, Manny – YES or NO. Do you believe I am a Christian? In fact, let’s just take a poll – everybody answer! Oh, Steve, you already voted, and once voted always voted.

  52. Christianlady, Jesus sees it all. You are not alone.

    David Pettigrew, please…. I’m not going to play “what the meaning of is is…” regarding Adam and Eve.

    I don’t know the secret things of your heart only Jesus does. Some of your posts sounded like you are a weary Christian looking for answers and others mock people of faith. I think a spiritual battle is being fought for you, your ministry and the CoN. My vote is to be determined.

  53. Well David it was six literal days because the word yom was used with day and evening.

    Im glad you think Adam and Eve were actual people though.

    The first occurrence of “day” means “time” in a general sense. The second “day,” where a number is used, refers to an ordinary day, and the third refers to the daylight portion of the 24-hour period. The point is that words can have more than one meaning, depending on the context.
    To understand the meaning of “day” in Genesis 1, we need to determine how the Hebrew word for “day,” yom, is used in the context of Scripture. Consider the following:
    A typical concordance will illustrate that yom can have a range of meanings: a period of light as contrasted to night, a 24-hour period, time, a specific point of time, or a year.

    A Hebrew-English lexicon has seven headings and many subheadings for the meaning of yom—but it defines the creation days of Genesis 1 as ordinary days under the heading “day as defined by evening and morning.”

    A number and the phrase “evening and morning” are used with each of the six days of creation (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).

    Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 359 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.9 Why would Genesis 1 be the exception?10
    Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word “evening” or “morning”11 23 times. “Evening” and “morning” appear in association, but without yom, 38 times. All 61 times the text refers to an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception?

    In Genesis 1:5, yom occurs in context with the word “night.” Outside of Genesis 1, “night” is used with yom 53 times, and each time it means an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception? Even the usage of the word “light” with yom in this passage determines the meaning as ordinary day.

    The plural of yom, which does not appear in Genesis 1, can be used to communicate a longer time period, such as “in those days.”14 Adding a number here would be nonsensical. Clearly, in Exodus 20:11, where a number is used with “days,” it unambiguously refers to six earth-rotation days.

    There are words in biblical Hebrew (such as olam or qedem) that are very suitable for communicating long periods of time, or indefinite time, but none of these words are used in Genesis 1.15 Alternatively, the days or years could have been compared with grains of sand if long periods were meant.
    Tim

  54. David,
    I probably allowed too much to be said and it got a bit more uncomfortable than I liked, which is why I halted some of the comments from going further. I think I let things stray too much from the original post topic. And I was reminded of the many times that I and some of my friends were viciously attacked by learned men and pastors, that makes Steve’s comment about your Christianity pale in comparison. So the folks who might comment here, including me, are not perfect and sometimes are a little bit harsh, but at least we are trying to bring the truth of the emergent church false teachings to light- and they are false teachings that are harming many. In contrast, I doubt of some of the NazNetters who so boldly proclaim their distrust of the Bible, would be able to identify themselves here and tell us what they truly believe.

    In fact, ponder on the real life words that ChristianLady just mentioned- that is the reality that occurs way too often now, because of the emergent mess that has been brought in by many of your friends. I know it very well, and many others have given me their story of the same things happening. That’s the worst reality we are dealing with, and I want to go back to addressing that concern to our leaders. People’s lives have been disrupted horribly by emergents who deny the truth of God’s plain written word! Who are trying to bring in false Roman Catholic ideas that were rejected in the Reformation! Is this too harsh for me to say?

    That being said, thanks for your answer- although I still don’t know if you believe whether Genesis is allegorical, or is it historical fact as it is written. You partially answered it I guess by not believing that 6 days means six days. How did you arrive at that conclusion? Where does God give you any clue that it was not 6 days?? What else will you deny even thought the scripture clearly says so? I know that quite a few NazNetters go even further and don’t believe Genesis 1-11, or even the rest of it is. That’s is very sad, in my opinion.

    On the Christian question, I can only answer for myself. I don’t know if you truly are, even though you claim it. I would have to accept your word for it, but if I knew you long enough, and you demonstrated otherwise by the way you live or your belief system, I might question whether you are a Christian. However, I would find it hard to believe someone is a Christian who also denies the very truths that Jesus plainly teaches to us. So that’s my best answer for you.

    On that note, I want everyone to return and focus on the concerns of this post that I originally wrote. That is why I wrote this article, to raise the concern that we need much more clarity from our leadership about the many things that so many Nazarenes are disturbed genuinely about. Not just me or a few other- many Nazarenes.

    Have a good day. I think I’m done with my comments on this, and will return to focus on the more important questions raised in this post. The Nazarene denomination is in big trouble, and I hope more and more Nazarenes will pray about this.

  55. Tim,
    Thanks for the lesson. You always explain this very well, and yet some folks just ignore the meanings of the original words, and continue with their denial.

  56. Agreed Manny: But it was still good to revisit Genesis because thats where it all starts.
    Again about the statement-some are applauding this?
    I dont see how it was any different from the first statement the politicians put out to quiet the masses.
    It seems pretty cookie cutter to me.
    Just now everyone seems to have signed off on it.
    Which was a smart political move on the part of Jesse Middendorf (and Porter) because then it does not alienate them.
    Plus the fact that Jon Middendorf (Jesse’s son) helped bring Emergent into the Nazarene denomination through false fronts like M-7.
    This perhaps will take some focus off Jesse.
    Thats my opinion.
    Still very sad though that these guys in one side of there mouth confess that there are some unorthodox methods in the Emergent Church

    “but others embrace positions that the Church of the Nazarene would view as unorthodox and therefore unacceptable.”

    But they refuse to name names therefore guarding the flock.
    Its all about keeping the numbers I think but they forsake truth.

    Every GS should hang there head in shame after issuing this statment that says nothing.

    Thats just my opinion though
    Tim

  57. Judges 21:25 b every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

    If we are going to live through a period of the Judges where everyone does what is right in their own mind in the CoN, then I’m going to have to take a pass on the Church.

    This is my response to the General’s letter and David’s statements. I want to worship in a Holiness church that believes in Salvation, Sanctification and that the Bible is true. I want a Pastor that loves and respects God’s word. I want a Pastor with a Biblical Word view. If every conversation breaks down into a “it depends on what the meaning of is.. is” then I’ve grown weary of the CoN’s rebellious leaders because their words have no meaning to for me or my family.

    I want to teach children’s SS in the church I attend and I don’t want the Pastor or other teaching leaders to mock God’s word.

    Matthew 12:25
    Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”

    Zechariah 12:5
    Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.’

  58. Agreed also Tim. I love the lessons on Genesis- it is so clear in God’s word- and so why do so many have to doubt it?

    And I am fully in agreement with Pam’s thoughts as well. I have a pastor now who unashamedly believes in the word of God- and if he ever taught otherwise, I would be gone. I don’t need this wishy washy stuff that comes from some of these pastors who cannot trust God’s word fully. It’s an embarrassment and a slap in the face to the Lord when they don;’t trust what He says.

  59. Hi Manny,
    Great post. Great and truthful comments by the faithful believers of the Word. Perhaps Pastor Jeter would be willing to explain to the other “pastors” what it means to be entirely sanctified. Pastor Jeter’s spirit testifies to mine that his sanctification is genuine. He has Christ’s authority to testify. According to William B.Godbey, “The Bible is it’s own expositor”. That is why even the most unlearned person is able to understand the Bible, it needs no prior knowledge or further commentary, it is The Holy Spirit which gives us the understanding. I was a free methodist and until the church growth, seeker-sensitive, emergent ideology came along our church always took care of the poor and disenfranchised. The emergents are claiming the Holiness churches are legalistic and uncaring. The emergents are wrong. They are only after their own gain. Pastors of what still claim to be Holiness churches two decades ago made very little to pastor a flock now they make more than doctors. It all about power and money, not the Lord’s work. A total lack of humility. Sinful.
    In Christ,
    Beth

  60. Tomorrow is the Lord’s Day. I challenge everyone that is fighting the good fight to boldly proclaim the Gospel and God’s Word tomorrow. I never hear God speak so loudly and act so decisively as I do when I am worshiping with the saints and giving Jesus all honor, praise and glory in my heart during the worship service.

    Acts 28:31
    Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Exodus 9:16
    But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

    Psalm 40:9
    I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD.

    Psalm 71:16
    I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.

    Romans 9:17
    For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

  61. Manny – I, too, had read the official statement issued by the General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene. Very disappointing. How politically correct can they get? Wonder which G.S.’s really consider this a serious problem?? I am frustrated and disappointed. However, where do we go from here? Leaving the Nazarene denomination for what?? –

    (I completely understand that in some Nazarene churches it is absolutely necessary.) I have continued my “research” and am appalled at the extent to which it has “infected” virtually ALL denominations – including Southern Baptist and Wesleyan. JoAnn Lyon, a General Sup’t in the Wesleyan Church widely quotes (in a positive sense) Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen and other contemplatives in her writings. And SO MANY “Christian” colleges of many denominations have embraced formative/contemplative spirituality, along with other elements of the E/C movement. (Some are very surprising!!) So where do we go from here? I pray EVERY day – numerous times – earnestly for the church of my heritage (Church of the Nazarene) and for all who are being deceived. …… Another thought – is this part of the end-times deception of which Jesus spoke.? Are people being conditioned for the one-world church? …..Even so, come Lord Jesus. Margerete

  62. @Beth, I have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to holiness pastors making more than doctors. I pastor a Nazarene church, and I make less than a third of what my wife makes as the director of elementary education for our public school district. I certainly hope no doctors make less money than I do! :)

    Perhaps you’ve bumped into one or two pastors of holiness churches who are greedy and making tons of money. Please don’t make sweeping generalizations based on them. Please.

    @Pam, since you call on us to boldly proclaim the Gospel and God’s Word, I thought you might be interested in knowing that our church will be reading through the entire Bible together in 2011, from Genesis to Revelation. The Sunday sermons, small group Bible studies, daily reading plan, etc., will all be moving together through the Bible. I’m excited about it, and so are the few in our church that I’ve told. The Good News of Jesus Christ is preached at our church.

    @Manny, to answer your question about Adam & Eve being historical figures: Sure, why not? I try to remain “scientifically agnostic” when it comes to how God got us here. Every time in the past that the church has wed its biblical interpretation to specific scientific theories, it has ended in failure. (Galileo is an easy example.) So if God did it all in 6 24-hour periods, that’s great! If it turns out that Genesis really isn’t interested in relating a descriptive history as we think of it, and God used some kind of long evolutionary process to get us to where we are today, then so be it. I’m not going to argue with reality. And the core reality is that we serve an all-powerful God who created all that is, who loves us in spite of our sin, and who has rescued us from sin through his Son Jesus Christ.

  63. Rich the reality in the book of Genesis can easily be proven through Gods own written word.
    I think your agnostic alright shame you pastor a church. And your smug attitude makes me sick.
    Evolution is easily disproved and takes more faith to believe in than faith in Christ.
    You say you love Jesus all the while you scream in a loud voice you hate Gods Word.
    (You say this through your posts and statements)
    Very sad.
    Maybe you should consider stepping down as pastor and sending in your papers
    Tim

  64. Beth, according to “the Bible”, it is its own expositor.

    2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    Why not one might ask? The verse that follows explains:

    “the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:”

    If man would have written it, then he would be free to exhaust the spirit of man to understand it. However, because it came by the Holy Ghost, this leaves the natural man out.

    The Bible has a built in dictionary for the natural man to understand enough to get saved, and then the Holy Spirit will lead him or her into all truth. With all due respect to Tim Wirth the knowledge Hebrew or the yom, although a second witness, is not necessary. I teach people how to read, and believe. The Genesis account defines the day for any one interested. It simply says that it is an “evening and morning.” Therefore we do not need to lead people back to scholars but to the text itself to understand. Although I am not knocking all scholarship most people just need the faith to believe.

    Rich,

    Peter mentions the voice that he heard from heaven when he was on the mount of transfiguration. 2 Peter 1:18

    Then he says in the next verse:

    “We have also a more sure word” and clarifies what he is talking about in verse 20 the scriptures.

    It is quite amazing here that Peter who learned the hard way that what the Bible says is indeed what is going to happen. Proclaims to us that the Bible is “more sure” than his own eyes and ears. I used to believe just like you, but until God reveals through biblical revelation, why not adhere to a child-like faith. It may just matter to God. Once you take the liberty with scripture without a verse or two to back it up, brother, I believe you are standing on sinking sand!

    And I don’t want that for you, or anyone else.

    Steve

  65. @Tim, I’m afraid you’re getting sick for nothing, because I don’t have a smug attitude about this. (I used to, back in high school, but I’ve shared that testimony already.) I’m not sure where you’re hearing it in my comments, either.

    @Steve, I’m afraid your KJV-only-ness may be tripping you up when it comes to 2 Peter 1:19. Every other translation (including the NKJV) translates that “more sure” as “confirmed,” as in, what Peter saw and heard with his own eyes and ears confirmed what the prophets had said.

    Still, the end result is that we are to pay close attention to Scripture, and with that I fully agree! And I’m not in favor of “private interpretations” of Scripture, as if we’re each just making it up as we go along. I’m in favor of doing the work of Scripture study and interpretation together as the church, led by the Spirit, in conversation with Christians around the world and throughout time. (That’s one of the valuable things about the education that students receive at our universities and seminary, by the way — getting to hear more of that conversation, how Christians in other traditions and in other eras of history have understood the Bible.)

  66. Steve I was not leading people back to scholars for sure you misrepresent my post.

    I was merely pointing out that the Hebrew word yom when followed by evening and morning simply means a 24 hour period as you point out.

    Keep in mind that the scripture was not originally written in King James English. Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek.
    I do not believe that you need to spend a great deal of time studying Greek and Hebrew in order to study God’s Word because its the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth.
    It also doesn’t hurt to understand some of the Greek and Hebrew as well.
    I’ve heard many good pastors break down the language to preach and teach a good sermon.
    John MacArthur and others do this all the time.

    Tim

  67. Tim,

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, my post was a little wanting. I was trying to respond and encourage Beth. She stated,

    “That is why even the most unlearned person is able to understand the Bible, it needs no prior knowledge or further commentary, it is The Holy Spirit which gives us the understanding.”

    I was not accusing you of leading anyone, anywhere. I was simply trying to be thoughtful of those who have no knowledge of Hebrew. The truth comes out the same in every language!

    Rich,

    Everybody always says that all the versions say the same thing. Thanks for distinguishing the truth of the matter. It is very convenient to change the word in new translations to confirmed because our modern critiques do not believe that there is anything more sure than themselves.

    I’ll stick with the Old Paths. If I didn’t believe the bible any better than you come across, I would find me another profession.

    Steve

  68. Beth:
    If my explaination is not too long, and Manny will allow me to post, I will be brief and hope I do not do injustice to its teaching or confust the issue. If this doesn’t help get me your e-mail address through Manny (if he doesn’t mind) and I will send you something I wrote on holiness which goes into more detail.

    Holiness is the very essence of God’s Divine Nature. God breathing (life) His Spirit into mankind He made man to partake of His Divine Nature, and endowed His Creation with the power to attain holiness. This was lost when Adam and Eve sinned and could only be regained by embracing God’s full plan of salvation that included holiness.

    This advent is re-enacted again (at least symbolically) in the book of John, after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He was with His disciples commissioning them before departing earth to go back to heaven when He said, [John 20: 21-22] “Peace to you! as the Father has sent Me, I also send you,’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.”

    In doing this Jesus was confirming to His disciples that all power was His in heaven and in earth, and that He would recreate in them what He had originally done in their first creation with the exception of immortality. He endowed them with the grace to receive the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit had not come at that point, but would be sent upon Christ leaving earth. The Apostles were under His Divine protection until the Day of Pentecost provided they tarry in Jerusalem as instructed.

    Between being saved and untii sanctified in the life of the believer there remains a life of spiritual conflict between the carnal nature and the desire to be spiritual as Paul points out in Romans [6: &7:]

    Probably one of the most quoted Scriptures relating to holiness is found in Romans [12: 1-2] Where we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. To better understand what Paul is talking about we need to look at one outstanding event in the life of Abraham which the Jews believe was his tenth and greatest trial. This has to do with God commanding Abraham to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. According to Jewish teaching a test is never employed for the purpose of harm, but to ascertain “The power of resistance.” When Abraham lifted the knife, Abraham passed the test, meaning he withheld nothing from God (a prerequisite for holiness).

    Some believe that you grow into sanctification or it is completed in a single work of grace. Without being judgmental, it has been my observation they are ever striving and never achieving. First of all the sinner does not know the depth of his sin problem when he comes to Jesus to be saved.

    The problem is not with God, but with man. God inHis full redemptive process accommodates man according to his ability to understand complex revelations and receive God’s grace as man’s will and faith in God allows. Most importantly His word clearly teaches that God does justify and sanctify the sinner in two distinct works of grace, Acts [8: 14-17] and [19:2-6]
    are examples.

    Only after the saved puts everything on the altar as Abraham did can God sanctify them. I’m afraid this falls short but hope it helps.
    Lige

  69. Thank you Pastor Jeter and Amen. I certainly hopes that it helps us all. Regeneration takes us out of the world and Sanctification takes the world out of us. Thank you again.
    Steve that’s exactly what the quote is saying that the Bible explains the truth no matter the language as the gift of our Heavenly Father to us. We do not need to attend a university or hold an advanced degree to receive the truth and salvation. That’s all I was saying. Thanks.
    In Christ,
    Beth

  70. Beth,

    Had I made the statement that you made I would have be attacked for being so naively stupid.

    Personally, I never really began to learn the Bible until I; left the professors, put up my commentaries, all my original language helps, all my study helps and just began to read without any other voice save the scriptures. After much frustration the Lord began to link things together for me. Now I cannot stomach the commentaries they are very shallow. This is why I believe that so many Pastors including the Free Methodist Church (I have seen with my own eyes) get so irate when someone simple who has been spending time with God in the bible and in prayer can discern things are not right.

    But they will forever resent being challenged by such unlearned folks.
    Universities have created an educational hierarchy similar to the priestly hierarchy in the Catholic Church.

    We need a wave of Christians that will get back to the Bible. Tim Wirth mentioned John MaCarther, I have heard the name, however, I honestly do not know who that is. I do know the teachings of God through Peter, James, John, Paul, Isaiah, Moses, David and the rest, and am glad to know you put no confidence in the flesh.

    Pastor Jeter,

    If we could only get back to Acts 4 what witness we might ourselves be able to give of the power of the resurrection. We have everything they had except for one thing:

    They were “with one accord” Act 4:24

    They were “of one heart and of one soul:” V.32

    We were given simple faith, and simple instructions: What in the world has gone wrong?

    It is turning out in the Nazarene church just as I figured; now the denomination itself is becoming fragmented with all sorts of nonsense coming home to roost. I suppose in the end there will be those who are trusting Jesus and believing the book and those who won’t.

    God Bless,

    Steve

  71. I agree, Steve. In the end, there will be some who are serving each other in love, loving their neighbors as themselves, and there will be some who keep on biting and devouring each other, eventually consuming each other.

    Sorry, but I was just reading Galatians 5…

    As for the verse from 2 Peter and your KJV-only-ness… I guess I wasn’t clear. What I meant was that your reliance on an English translation that is hundreds of years old has caused you to misunderstand the English of that verse. When the KJV says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy,” it doesn’t mean that the word of prophecy is “more sure” than what Peter himself witnessed. It means that the word of prophecy is “more sure” than it was previously, because it has been “confirmed” by what he himself has witnessed. He has greater confidence in the word of prophecy than he did before (he is “more sure” of it), because his own eyes and ears have confirmed it. That’s why the NIV translates it as “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain…”

    Now I’m not positive, because I haven’t dug into it yet, but I’m guessing that the Greek text of that verse probably doesn’t differ between the Textus Receptus and the critical Greek text used by most translations today. That’s why I specifically mentioned the NKJV, which relies on the same Greek texts as the KJV, and translates “more sure” as “confirmed.”

    But like I said also, the end result is much the same: We should heed the prophetic word as a light shining in the darkness! We should love and study Scripture, and I’m glad to hear that you are committed to that.

  72. Rich,

    You have missed the point. After you go back and forth with all this you will have proven factually, Nothing!

    You are bent on smearing my biblical position which you will not be able to accomplish in a million years.

    The fact of the matter is that we have a “more sure” word!

    How about this Rich, (CEV) “All of this makes us even more certain that what the prophets said is true. So you should pay close attention to their message”

    Is Rich going to pay close attention, knowing the bible is now more confirmed?

    His answer about Genesis:
    “I try to remain ‘scientifically agnostic’”
    “if it turns out. . . then so be it. I’m not going to argue with reality.”

    You will only set a trap for yourself which will become sin in your life. You cannot get away from the “private interpretation” of “day” in Genesis when God gives the interpretation “evening and morning.”

    And as for your belittling statement about KJV-only-ness, I wear that with honor! Thank You. However, you obviously know very little about my biblical position on the matter.

    Rich, you should spend your time investigating the claims of Manny about emergent ideologies. I’m not your enemy. But they will destroy you, your call, and your eternal rewards when Jesus comes back.

    Steve

  73. Steve, I’m not missing your point. I’m just not arguing with you about it. The only part of your earlier post I was addressing was your misunderstanding of the “more sure” phrase, when you said Peter was proclaiming “that the Bible is ‘more sure’ than his own eyes and ears.” Obviously, that’s not what he was saying, but it’s an understandable mistake when you’re relying on the KJV, since it uses a phrasing that we don’t use anymore.

    When I pointed this out, you initially thanked me for showing that the KJV and other translations differ here… but now you’re quoting other translations approvingly….

    As for knowing your position on KJV-only, I think I have a decent handle on it, even though I haven’t actually encountered anyone espousing this position since learning about it pretty thoroughly in seminary 12 years ago. I’ve been to your church website and read what you have to say there about it, and I’ve refreshed my memory by following the links you shared in earlier comments and others I found on my own. I know you wear the KJV-only badge with honor…. even though, in this case, I’m pretty sure it’s what led you to misunderstand Scripture.

    And to answer your question that was only indirectly aimed at me: Yes, I do pay close attention to Scripture. I have been for years, and I’m looking forward to leading our whole congregation through the whole book, Genesis to Revelation, in 2011. For many of them, it will be their first time reading through the whole Bible, and I’m excited for the ways we’re going to grow as we study it together.

  74. Rich,

    How can you make a statement that Steve is misunderstanding Scripture when the KJV has been the standard used for 400 years. So now are you making claim that Scripture was misapplied during the days of our Founding Fathers and only until now in our post modern world is man able to have a better understanding of Scripture?

    Brad

  75. Brad,

    No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying that English usage changes over time, which makes it increasingly likely that we’ll occasionally misunderstand an English text that’s 400 years old.

    I’m talking about one person misunderstanding one phrase on this one occasion.

  76. Rich,

    I answered you according to your folly. Prov 26:5
    and yes I risked prov. 26:4. “lest thou also be like unto him.”

    Peter changed the subject from his personal witness to the scriptures, I’m sorry you cannot see that. But as you again strain at the gnat you are going to swallow the Camel.

    I’m done talking to you about this.

    I do not post here to make the KJV an issue.

    But use it to correct your folly!

  77. Rich,

    So I’m supposed to take your opinion as fact? What makes you more proficient in the English language to make this claim about Steve? Are you such an expert that you can rightly divide the correct meaning of the English language 400 years ago / 200 years ago / today? I might as well put my trust in the Scriptures if translated using today’s street slang.

    Your use of the word “evolution” when applying it to Scripture disqualifies you in my eyes to be any sort of Bible teacher. Again, I feel you have taken Scripture out of context when saying Steve misunderstood the passage. Perhaps it’s you that is misunderstanding that passage.

    This is as reprehensible as the young Tennessee Nazarene pastor who tried to convince me that God has both male and female traits. Of course, he learned this from his “idol” Rob Bell.

    Brad

  78. Brad,

    You don’t have to take my opinion as fact. I hope you won’t. I’m basing my opinion the fact that every English translation from the past 100 years (that I’ve found) translates that “more sure” phrase in the sense of “the Scriptures are confirmed by Peter’s eyewitness testimony” rather than in the sense of “the Scriptures are more sure than Peter’s eyewitness testimony” that Steve used. I suppose that Steve could be correct and all of those Bible translators could be wrong…. but it seems more likely to me that Steve tripped over an older English turn of phrase that we don’t use anymore.

    Could you point me to where I used the word “evolution” in regard to Scripture? I said that “English usage changes over time.” And in an earlier comment I said that if God “used some kind of long evolutionary process to get us to where we are today,” that I would accept that reality, and it wouldn’t destroy my faith in God or my confidence in the Scriptures. Are you referring to one of those?

  79. Rich,

    I was referring to your comment on evolutionary process which to me is in direct conflict with Scripture.

    Also, not all modern translations use “confirmed” and it certainly isn’t to be translated as you think as “eyewitness testimony”.

    I am more sure of that…pun intended.

    Brad

  80. Brad,

    If you look back at verses 16-18, you’ll see the part about Peter’s eyewitness testimony.

    With that, I think we’ve probably all said everything we’re going to say about that passage already. :)

  81. I agree with Brad. You cannot believe in evolution, AND believe in the Genesis account in creation. I’ll trust the biblical account.

  82. Brad,

    Thanks for the input. Not that I care much for the scholarship of the ESV but Rich is not much of an investigator.

    2Pe 1:18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
    2Pe 1:19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, ESV

    It is amazing how far a person will go to avoid the truth.

    Hope all is well in TENN.

    Manny,

    Thanks for allowing me to post here. I take long siestas because the rhetoric will drain you spiritually, and I have other things to keep up with. I pray for you and your family. I know that I get you into things that you would rather not be in.

    I look forward to the day that the Lord Jesus straightens all this out. Un-moderated I might add.

    Steve

  83. Steve, I love to read your posts. I’m a NIV girl myself, but love the the detail and crispness that you bring to your posts. You definitely are not a Modern or Post Modern Bible Scholar (a compliment).

    The whole emergent issue in any church will come down to Genesis, Revelation and the Gospel for me. It seems that is where the battle is being fought over and over and over again.

  84. Ive said it once and I will say it a thousand times.
    It takes more faith to believe in evolution than to believe in the very acurate biblical account of creation.
    Evolution has actually been dis-proven by many scientists.
    Plus if evolution is fact what are the current apes on the planet evolving into now?
    Perhaps they are evolving into new Emergent church leaders and Nazarene scholars?
    Tim

  85. You’re right about the ESV, Steve. Interesting. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the underlying Greek is truly ambiguous about what comparison is being made (“more sure” than what?) and it can be taken either way.

    Sorry to contribute to a sidetrack from the main conversation…

  86. Rich,

    My last words on this matter are that “eyewitness” is part of Peter’s conversation, but that is related to v. 16-18 as you stated. Verse 19 though has nothing to do with confirming the “eyewitness”, but stating that we have something “more sure”, or greater than eye witnessing and that is the Word of God….i.e. the Scriptures as used in the context of v. 19-21.

    If you change context on a regular basis as I have witnessed, how do you know you’re not confusing your congregation?

    Brad

    The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility. (Pro. 15:33)

  87. First, to Steve:
    Thanks for posting here, I appreciate your knowledge and your insights on these issues.

    To everyone:

    I am going to leave Brad’s thoughts as the last word on this. However, I may be doing a post soon regarding evolution vs the creation account, and perhaps allow for a “good” debate here, more than I would allow under my new rules, as stated in my updated About page. That will be one of those exceptions that I will allow, as far as having longer debates on these issues. As my About notes state, this is site dedicated to warning and informing, and encouraging those who are fighting an evil movement, not for debating the proponents of that movement.

    So some things I will not allow long debates anymore, such as: contemplative spirituality practices, prayer labyrinths, practicing the silence, allowing false teachers such as Brian McLaren as speakers or their books as good resources; ecumenical joning of hands with the RCC; playing secular songs in the church; and more. Those are clearly wrong to any biblically discerning Christian.

    Of course, in my opinion, it is obvious to any biblically discerning Christian that evolution is a farce and contradicts scripture. But I may start a post anyway on that subject, and invite arguments from both sides.

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