No Other Option: Speak Out Clearly And Unambiguously

Ephesians 5:6-11 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Recently it was suggested to me (again) that perhaps I and others should not specifically mention the emergent church and other similar problems within the Nazarene denomination.  Why not just point out these things in a general way, for all Christian denominations, goes the suggestion.  The inference was that maybe I am not following sound biblical principles when I “attack” or “criticize” certain people or institutions within the Nazarene denomination.  Some have said that it is hurtful to many people, or that it is causing divisions in the denomination. I don’t like to bring this up again, but it seems that this idea continues on, and even among those whom I have clearly explained my position on this and backed it with scriptural authority.  Not my opinion, but scriptural authority.

First, the issue we are dealing with has to do with false teachers and false doctrines in the church, and I have never had a problem exposing false teaching in any denomination.  It has nothing to do with management style, or classroom teaching styles, or the color of the carpeting, or how many people should comprise a church board.  The issue is only one thing: are we uncompromisingly obeying Christ’s commands and what we are taught clearly in scripture. And we can all agree that there are things taught and practiced that are either from God, or from satan.  Scripture clearly teaches us that we are to expose false teachings and teachers, does it not?  The only question, of course, is… what is false, and what is good?

The Poison In The Drink

If I notice that someone is putting in a drop of liquid every day into my co-worker’s coffee, I might get concerned.  So perhaps I may do some investigation first to make sure that nothing is wrong.  I may find out that this liquid is harmless, and is actually part of something good that all parties were aware of.  But if I find out that this is being done surreptitiously, and that this liquid may cause harm to the person over a long period of time, what is my duty?  I should report this to my boss, right?  Now here’s the problem.  My boss thanks me for letting him know, and he assures me that he will deal with the problem, and take care of it.

But over the next few months, nothing is done.  My boss becomes annoyed with me, and gives me the run-around, and some new excuses.  So now I have a problem, and that is, because my boss seems to be totally uncaring about this problem, I need to make a decision.  I may risk my job and reputation, but for the life and safety of that person and others at the company, I start notifying as many employees that I can, and let them know what’s going on.  Perhaps I might get fired, but frankly, I would be glad if even one or two lives were saved, because I spoke out, even when my boss told me all was well and in control.

I’m sure you might know by now where I am going with this.  So the question is, what should a Christian do when he finds out that there are false teachings coming into a church or an entire denomination?  In my case, I tried to go through “proper channels.”  I tried to warn leadership within my own local church, but was inevitably met with resistance time and time again.  A heavy price was paid for speaking up, but that goes with the territory, as we are so clearly told in scripture of the consequences.  So I moved on.  I and many others have tried to warn other leadership in the denomination, but to no avail.  It did not seem to be of much concern, and at the same time, we have never been given any biblical justification for the teachings and practices we have been concerned about.

There Are Only Two Choices

Now, here we are.  I am writing or posting more and more articles on the dangers of the emergent church, both within the Nazarene denomination, AND  other evangelical denominations.  My concern has been for all Christians, but I’m sure most people will understand that I have a vested interest as a lifetime Nazarene.  It’s akin to the denomination being my closest relatives in a large family of other Christians.  My choice was clear to me.  Being a lifelong Nazarene was not going to hinder me in any way in my attempts to save even one soul from being lost, or at least from being terribly compromised and damaged in their Christian life, because of false teaching.

The reputation of the Nazarene denomination is frankly, of little concern to me, when I am faced with this kind of choice.  Ignore false teaching that could damage many Christians?  That to me is the “safe decision.”  You will keep your friends with that decision.  You will  most likely preserve your position at your church, be it as a pastor, board member, or other leadership position.  You will not be labeled a troublemaker and a divider.  You will be admired by many for your ability to unify others regardless of any differences.  The downside of that “safe decision” is this.  If you knowingly close your eyes to false teaching, in order to “protect” yourself, or your denomination, you have just decided to betray the One who sacrificed His life in order that you may be saved, and that you could serve Him in complete obedience to His word.

My question is this: how can anyone be completely obedient to Christ, when he or she makes a deliberate decision to shut his eyes to false teachings, in order to maintain favor or good relations with friends, family, and church?  The answer is, it’s impossible to do that without betraying the Lord Jesus Christ.

So the answer is clear to me: we must point out errors in the church, and we must point out which denomination is spreading those errors.  If we do not, then those in that denomination will not have a clear warning about what is happening, and that could cost souls, maybe your own child or grandchild.  Therefore to answer the suggestion that I should not be naming denominations, the answer is, you are sadly mistaken.  We must point out error as commanded in scripture. We must be specific as commanded in scripture, so that others know who and what to avoid within that denomination.  We must be willing to stand for the truth, no matter what the cost.  We have no other option.  I encourage you to boldly speak out against false teachings, and do not be swayed by fine sounding arguments from anyone.  Not even those who are “more learned” than you.  (Remember Psalm 119:99).

  • Titus 1:9  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.  

  • Acts 20:28-31 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
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16 responses to “No Other Option: Speak Out Clearly And Unambiguously

  1. Well if we didnt mention Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, Brian Mclaren, Tony Jones, Tony Campolo,Len Sweet, Richard Foster, Trevecca’s own Dan Boone and his ridiculous Chicken Little fairy tale book, Jon Middendorf, Joel Osteen, Todd Bently, Paul and Jan Crouch, the Elijah list, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Marylin Hickey, Sally Morganthaler, Naz Net, Mike Murdoch, Jesse Duplatis,Scott Daniels, Brennan Manning, Thomas Merton, M Scott Peck,Henri Nouwen,Jay Bakker, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, Paula White,Dan Kimbal, Beth Moore,Robert Schuller, Ken and Gloria Copeland , TD Jakes,Kenneth Hagin, Eddie Long,Robert Tilton, Joyce Meyer,Juanita Bynum,Kim Clement,John Crowder.

    How would people know who’s teaching and or endorsements to avoid?

  2. Manny,

    What do these folks say about Christ’s “unChristlikeness” in Matthew chapter 23 where He, speaking to the multitude and the disciples, lambasts the scribes and Pharisees, who are PUBLIC teachers of the law. Besides teaching and correcting their errors, He calls them things like “hypocrites”, “blind guides”, “fools and blind”, and “serpents, brood of vipers”. He also says these words against them:

    “But all their works they do to be seen of men.”

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”

    “Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.”

    “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.”

    “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

    “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

    “How can you you escape the condemnation of hell?”

    And those are only a sample of the passage. Also, it was this same Jesus speaking who gives us the instructions found in Matt. 18:15-17. Hmmm….

  3. Hmm…

    What about when Paul when he said to Elymas: ““O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” By the way, the previous verse says that Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Or when Paul called out Peter PUBLICALLY in front of many people, in Galatians chapter 2.

    Were they unloving? It goes on and on, and I know a lot of people don’t like Paul, but, hey, he wrote half the New Testament, did he not?

  4. “I know a lot of people don’t like Paul”

    Red-letter Christians for example? But even if they get rid of Paul, Peter, Jude etc., they still have to deal with what Jesus said (red letters) and did, as I noted above. Well, maybe they can pick and choose which red letters.

  5. Dear Manny,
    I Just read your post, and wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work. I just sent my credentials in today. I was relieved of my Church (Coalgate Church of the Nazarene) December 14 by Dr Rowland of the Oklahoma district because I had been warning my people about the Emergent teachings in the Church of the Nazarene. I have been praying about if I should include a statement of protest but decided against it, I do not believe it would have made any difference, the leadership is not going to change course. Once Satan gets control he will not give up.Keep up the good work
    Grady Roundtree

  6. Grady,
    Thank you for your courage in speaking the truth. We need more men like you- and there are not too many it seems these days.

    If you ever want to, send me your story and I will be glad to post it. It could be helpful in showing folks what happens to people like you and Pastor Joe in Texas, and the few who are willing to stand for truth at any cost. If the Lord leads you to do that, of course.

    May God bless you,

    manny

  7. In reference to Grady Roundtree being relieved of his church…….

    Seems there is No Room at the Table for those who stand in opposition to the philosophies and agenda of the emergent church is there??

    (I’m referencing the infamous white paper written by Nazarene emergents called: Is There Room at the Table?)

  8. Grady;

    Your comment about Satan not letting go, and some of the comments in this thread remind me of Jesus to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”

    Same double team; active vipers and misled leaders. (My perspective, I’m not saying you called anyone a devil. Nor do I single out any denomination; this is across the board.)

    Thank you for being a true shepherd.

  9. Well In reference to Grady’s comments that’s Oklahoma. You really don’t think they are going to tolerate someone speaking against the Emergent church while Jesse Middendorfs son Jon spreads and endorses this false teaching?
    Oops I mentioned names, is that wrong?
    Don’t mean to make light of Gradys situation but neither am I surprised.
    The leadership in the Nazarene denomination has bought in to this false teaching.
    They will continue to endorse and spread it.
    I would suggest that Nazarenes that still believe in scripture make other plans.
    Tim

  10. The thing we need to really focus on when dealing with false teachers and those promoting them is these folks are not interested in truth.
    At least not ultimate truth as simply put within scripture.
    These folks are only interested in money, fame , keeping a denomination going (with whatever they think it takes) or whatever.
    the simple facts of scriptural truth evades them.
    Whether it be higher ups in Nazarene leadership or the little fishes like Rich or Bob Hunter.
    We need to realize that scripture talks about this time as the great falling away.
    And part of that is also a great delusion.

    2 Thess 2:3-13 states:
    3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[a] is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[b] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
    5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[c] who now restrains will do so until He[d] is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

    This is what we are dealing with now folks.
    And trust me these folks will not heed the warnings above nor the warnings Jesus Himself stated in scripture.
    After reading Dan Boone’s trip to Fantasy Island titled “Answers for Chicken Little-A No-Nonsense Look at the Book of Revelation (2006)”
    Now the title was very deceiving because the book was full of nothing but nonsense.
    I bought it used on Amazon for about .06 cents which was about right (if only I had free shipping).
    Again though we need to focus (and pray) for these folks because they are self deluded in my opinion.
    When I get back from vacation I will also be doing a article which will expose certain lies being spread about our group.
    Folks are even warning against us because they have stated there is a person who helped (or was in our DVD project) that is in jail.
    So if the truth doesn’t work against our group they will have to resort to lies and fabrications.
    O well this was also stated in scripture.
    When will this delusion be a point where there is no turning back?
    I’m not sure because scripture states its a final deal.
    We need to keep these misguided folks in prayer.
    And in spite what they throw at us continue to love them.
    Expose them?
    Yes of course but do it in love.
    Of course when darkness is exposed it curses the light so no matter how we do it they will continue to yell foul.
    Lets continue on for those folks who have not been handed over to great delusion.
    Sincerely
    Tim

  11. Dear Grady,
    Your story is very similar to our own. Tonight we have our prayer meeting. You will be in our prayers!
    In Christ,
    Pastor Joe Staniforth

  12. HI Manny,
    Excellent post. I have always believed that the Bible is The Lord’s standard. How is it that they say they believe in Jesus yet reject the standard of God the Father, Christ the Son and The Holy Spirit? I think we all know. It is by God’s standard that we will be judged. Be encouraged Manny et al you speak the Truth.
    God Bless you all
    Beth

  13. Brother Grady,
    Thank you for your courage. You are not alone!
    May God richly bless you in these times….

    Rick Headley
    Marietta, Ohio

  14. Beth;

    I just read The Christian Atheist. The context is not living up to Christian standards. The chapters are all “When you believe in God but…” Twelve chapters, but maybe the missing chapter could have explained the others.

    I would have added “When you believe in God but not in reading the Bible.” No wonder folks aren’t where they need to be if they reject or neglect the foundation. And with the attack on the inerrant authority of the Bible, I would reject the defense that reading the Bible is a given. (It should be, though.) BTW – the author is a pastor, and he neglects to highlight the need to read the Bible.

    If you have read the white paper mentioned earlier in the thread, if memory serves, it was 51 pages, had sixty some footnotes, and not a single one referred to Scripture.

    Jon Middendorf and others presented it to the Board of Generals prior to the last general assembly. The paper promoted the emergent church. No wonder it did not appeal to Scripture; there is no support for the emergent apostasy in Scripture.

    But if that’s what leadership wants to promote, or may as well promote by refusing to stand against it…

    Again, I agree, all this is made possible by the lack of proper respect for the Word.

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