Homosexuality At Point Loma Nazarene University

The following is an eyewitness account of what transpired on Sunday, March 20, 2011, at the San Diego First Church of the Nazarene, located on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University.  It is longer than the usual post, but extremely important, and I ask you to please read it all.  Especially to those parents, friends, and alumni of Point Loma, please forward this to as many as possible who may need to know.
I will follow with some comments next week, but let me just repeat what I have been saying (many others also) for over two years: the Nazarene denomination is in crisis with the invasion of the emerging church movement and other apostate movements.

Homosexuality at Point Loma Nazarene University

“THANKS BE TO GOD THAT HE MADE ME GAY… THIS IS MY PROCLAMATION: I AM GAY.  I AM CHRISTIAN. AND I WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THAT MANNER.”

These words, spoken by Todd Clayton, the current 2010-2011 ASB Director of Spiritual Life (also called the “student chaplain”) at Point Loma Nazarene University, ended a talk given at a meeting of All God’s Children held at San Diego First Church of the Nazarene on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University on March 20, 2011. Over two hundred PLNU students sat in rapt silence as this well-spoken, respectful, wounded young man shared the pain of coming to terms with his same-sex attraction and his decision to “come out” four months ago. He then openly stated his intention to date same-sex partners, attend Princeton Divinity School and become a pastor after graduation. NO ONE in attendance, including some PLNU faculty members and Reverend Dee Kelley, who serves as the current lead pastor of the Nazarene church where the meeting was held, sought to clarify the issue of homosexual activity from a biblical perspective or to promote and defend the position of the Church of the Nazarene as stated in the manual:

“Homosexuality is one means by which human sexuality is perverted. We recognize the depth of the perversion that leads to homosexual acts but affirm the biblical position that such acts are sinful and subject to the wrath of god. We believe the grace of god sufficient to overcome the practice of homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). We deplore any action or statement that would seem to imply compatibility between Christian morality and the practice of homosexuality. We urge clear preaching and teaching concerning Bible standards of sexual morality. (1 Timothy 1:8-10) — 2005-2009 manual of the Church of the Nazarene

According to Dr. Phil Bowles, PLNU Professor of Literature, he and his wife, Sharon, began All God’s Children meetings in 2007 as a way to foster an “open dialogue about discussion of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) issues and faith.” However, it is widely known that the only views represented by All God’s Children leaders at these meetings are those which promote a “gay is good” stance.

THE DVD, “FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO”

The group has repeatedly viewed a DVD during meetings called “For the Bible Tells Me So,” which seeks to reconcile the biblical passages regarding homosexuality with living a gay lifestyle. Here is one Christian writer’s review of this DVD, from ChristianAnswers.net:

For the Bible Tells Me So
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Reviewed by: Jennifer Constantine
CONTRIBUTOR
When I submitted a request to review this movie, I did so primarily because I have a dear friend that no longer speaks to me because he identifies himself as a homosexual and knows that I identify myself as a Bible-believing Christian who views homosexual activity as sinful. I wanted to see this movie because I know that, as a whole, there is an entire community that we as the Church have failed to love as Jesus does. There are exceptions, of course, but we have largely treated this group with, at best, painful uncomfortability, and at worst, well, hate.
I don’t think that I am alone in my reasons for wanting to watch this movie, but, having seen it, I want to warn well-meaning Christians to use extreme discernment and pray about whether God wants you to watch. It is a subversive movie that attempts to distort Scripture to say something it doesn’t. I had to go back into Scripture and reaffirm what I believed, after seeing this movie, because it is VERY effective at manipulating emotions and quoting Scripture out of context.
This movie is marketed as a “must see for everyone,” so it targets our youth as well as adults. I don’t recommend it for anyone.
This documentary follows a few families that have a homosexual member and shows how the families have shown various degrees of acceptance, most notably the Robinsons, who’s son was recently ordained by the Episcopal church as the first openly gay bishop, and politician Richard Gephardt, whose daughter Chrissy identifies herself as a lesbian.
But, this movie doesn’t just present a defense of homosexuality; it goes on the offensive to attack Dr. James Dobson as a dangerous hate-monger, as well as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as capitalists. It also states that most people who break free from the chains of homosexuality are only changed outwardly and experience only a temporary victory. (To know the REAL truth, go to exodus-international.org and Cross Ministry).
The makers of the documentary then go on to interview doctors and psychologists who give us their “scientific” view on homosexuality. But they can’t have it both ways—first they misquote Scripture as the justification for homosexuality, then they want science to be the basis for justification. Which one is it?
The music used in the documentary should also give us a clue as to what influences are being subtly inserted in the background: in the opening we hear Enya, a New Age musician, and later lyrics from a song that says that just because something is in the Bible it “ain’t necessarily so.”
On a final note, besides showing how the Church has fallen short of loving homosexuals, the documentary makes another great point: many Christians don’t know why they believe homosexuality is wrong. They can quote a few Scriptures but can’t go beyond that. Here is a direct quote from the film: “Most Christians haven’t read the Bible, so do they really know what it says and what the true intent is? Probably not. So how do they know? What do they base their Bible beliefs on? Someone else tells them.”
While I think that quote is an exaggeration, it is not too far off the mark. We as Christians need to know why we believe what we believe. It is imperative, for Paul says we will be swept away with “every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:14).

Another review of “For the Bible Tells Me So” found at http://ex-gaytruth.com/for-the-bible-tells-me-so-critical-movie-review/ states, “Besides the deception and lies presented as truths, the gay theology espoused in the film claiming that the Bible does not condemn homosexual behavior is considered by many a self-serving concoction…”

INVOLVEMENT OF SOME PLNU PROFESSORS

In 2009, Dr. Michael Lodahl, PLNU Professor of Theology and World Religions, spoke to All God’s Children attendees. Here is one father’s story regarding that particular meeting:

“I gained familiarity with SSA (same-sex attraction) in January 2009 when our daughter informed my wife and I that she was in a same-sex relationship.  She told us that while attending Point Loma she nurtured her SSA ideas, which culminated after she graduated. She wanted us to meet the theology professors who helped her scripturally understand why her SSA was acceptable.  She invited us to a group (All God’s Children) she had been attending at the Point Loma campus Nazarene church, to give us a chance to be enlightened.

In February 2009 we drove to San Diego for this Sunday afternoon meeting at the campus church.  During the presentation I heard no balance and only predetermined pro-gay conclusions presented.  The session was 2 hours, including a variety of discussion, with my comments being the only non-pro gay advocacy.  At the conclusion of the presentation I talked to Lodahl and told him it was amazing how the course of a vehicle can be guided if you loosen the lug nuts sufficiently.  His dismissive arrogance was oozing and my anger was seething.  I could not believe this was happening!  The knowledge of our daughter is a month old, and now crumbling before my eyes is the highly trusted educational institution of our family.  It felt like I got hit in the face with a baseball bat, a second time!  This can’t be happening.  The religious institution I thought would be there, to whom we entrusted the spiritual development of our children, was a co-conspirator for confusion and deception.

Two years have gone by and my understanding is now deep, but the pain can still be on the surface.  What I want now is for there to be a balancing voice at Point Loma and the Nazarene church.  Let Lodahl and company spew their confusion, but also announce with a strong voice the loving truth of scripture that is core to the Nazarene beliefs.  And if the Nazarene church has abandoned the issue, that is understandable.  But say so.  Announce Point Loma has a non-position on Gay Theology.  Then it can be taken into account by parents when they are deciding where to send their children.  Know what you are going to get for your $40,000 yearly educational investment.”

Five weeks ago, on Feb. 7, Dr. Bettina Tate Pedersen, PLNU Professor of Literature, attended a meeting of All God’s Children where she spoke to the group, which, on that day, included another PLNU student who had decided to embrace a gay identity. Dr. Pedersen, like other PLNU faculty members before her, trotted out the litany of reasons as to why and how the scriptures condemning homosexual practice actually meant something different and that engaging in gay sexual activity could be completely compatible with being a Christian.

Although it meets on the campus of PLNU, All God’s Children is not sanctioned or sponsored by the university. It falls solely under the ministry umbrella of San Diego First Church of the Nazarene, Pastor Dee Kelley and Pastor Marc Otto, who frequently attend the meetings. PLNU administrators turned down Bowles’ request for permission to meet on campus. However, the group found safe haven at First Church, even though Bowles and his wife attend a United Methodist church elsewhere. The campus location enables the group to more easily indoctrinate students with their pro-gay message.

REACTIONS FROM GROUP MEMBERS AT THE MEETING

After yesterday’s meeting, jubilant group members celebrated Todd’s talk. One of them wrote this email to everyone listed as an All God’s Children Facebook “friend”:

Todd Clayton was great!

It is impossible to overstate the importance of today’s event. For PLNU to have had such a popular elected officer, student chaplain, for two years, and to come out of the closet, is stunning.
This will be felt throughout the Church of the Nazarene, and on all of their campuses.
Both of Todd’s parents are ordained Nazarene pastors. His mother is on the board of trustees of the university.
Keep Todd in your prayers. Pray also for Phil and Sharon Bowles, and for Pastor Dee Kelley of S.D. First Church of the Nazarene.
Oh, check out the school’s online paper, The Point Weekly, tomorrow morning. Tomorrow!http://www.pointweekly.com/
Ron Goetz

Here are some other quotes from the meeting:

Todd Clayton: “This question is ‘Why do you not choose celibacy?’ and this would go back to the way in which I read scripture…”

Audience Member: “What would you say to gay young people who have developed a deep fear of God’s wrath as a result of their sexuality, as a result of the church’s teachings and intolerance?”

Todd’s answer: “I would say that God is abundantly loving and that you are abundantly clean and that there is space for you in God’s gracious and large church.”

Phil Bowles (in response to a question about why All God’s Children doesn’t meet on campus): “I was in conversation with leaders on the campus five, six years ago asking for permission and did not receive permission to host the “conversation” on campus, so we started at another denomination, a church in Mission Valley, and after a semester moved here (1st Church) because the pastoral staff was amenable, and so far, even though there has been an unpleasant person now and then, so far we have been allowed to continue meeting here next to the university campus. This is not the university campus. So, you would have to ask maybe administrators why not. I keep asking them why not… I don’t really get an answer…”

Audience Member (regarding a man she knew who had struggled with same sex attraction but who had married and had children and grandchildren): “He never got to experience true love and true happiness. God is love, and everybody should be able to experience that!” (thunderous applause)

Todd Clayton: “I feel indebted to the student body because you elected me, and you deserve to know at least part of the story because you entrusted me with your voice, and my hope is that I continue to hold that trust and that I can witness to the fact that I still represent you…”

Phil Bowles: “I would like to thank Todd for his wonderful gift to us…

Pastor Dee Kelley: “Thank you, Todd, for sharing your story… and though you’ve heard it before, I simply want to say that one of the reasons this is happening is because we believe beside you that the church needs to be a safe place where we can engage in difficult conversations on difficult topics and engage our faith in that process… I so appreciate Todd’s comments that his journey in scripture and understanding of the voice of scripture in our lives is central to the discussion…There needs to be places where the scripture is engaged in conversation and where we dig into the passages to understand what has both been church history and biblical criticism and faith traditions and to do it in ways that move us closer to the reality of Christ in our lives… My prayer is for all of us that we have many more of these, and not just on this topic but the other difficult questions of sexuality and church polity and biblical questions of what it means to be a holiness witness in whatever place Christ sends us…”

Dee Kelley’s closing prayer: “Father, this has been set aside from those who have invested deeply in this local church body as sacred space. This particular room has been set aside as a sanctuary of worship. My prayer, Lord, is that somehow we leave this place challenged to worship through our conversations, through our search of The Word, through telling our story and being there as a listening ear when someone else desperately, desperately needs to tell their story…”

Audience Member to Todd Clayton: “You’ve really opened up a lot of doors, and I just want to, like, thank you and applaud you for your courage.” (applause)

WHAT NOW FOR BIBLE-BELIEVING CHRISTIANS?

If you have ever had any affiliation with PLNU and/or are a member of a Nazarene church we hope you will make your voice heard about All God’s Children. Why has this group, with their obvious agenda, been allowed to meet at a Nazarene church for over three years? Why have Phil Bowles, Dee Kelley, Michael Lodahl, Bettina Tate Pedersen and others been allowed to influence PLNU students in this manner and to this extent? What will be done by administrators and church leaders to rid Point Loma Nazarene University of these toxic influences and to inform students of the truth of God’s Word on this matter? Where is the outrage? Keep in mind, PLNU students being thus indoctrinated are our pastors and Nazarene leaders of the not-too-distant future. Just a couple of sentences from several concerned people can have a big impact. NOW is the time to speak out!

People to Contact:

District Superintendent, Rev. John Denney: JLDenneySoCal@aol.com

General Superintendent, Dr. J.K. Warrick: jkwarrick10@aol.com

PLNU President, Dr. Bob Brower: BobBrower@pointloma.edu

PLNU Vice President of Student Development, Dr. Caye Smith: CayeSmith@pointloma.edu

PLNU Provost, Dr. Kerry Fulcher: kerryfulcher@pointloma.edu

Dean of the School of Theology, Dr. Bob Smith: RobertSmith@pointloma.edu

Vice President for Spiritual Development, Dr. Mary Paul: mpaul@pointloma.edu

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54 responses to “Homosexuality At Point Loma Nazarene University

  1. This is just one step further, the don’t ask don’t tell policy that MVNC (now MVNU) had when my wife attended there in 1987. She had an openly homosexual student on her living witness singing group from the college…everybody knew…those who interviewed him before placing him on the group tailored the audition questions to fit his lifestyle….

  2. Sorry for the typos..It’s been a long day…Thanks Manny for your faithfulness to sound the alarm!

  3. Oh My Goodness …. get him out of his this position immediately! What a mess PLNU is creating. Send him home and call this what it is …. A bold face SIN!

  4. This is another sad example of how many Nazarenes in leadership are openly hostile to Christianity, the Gospel and God’s Word but want to be considered Christian.

  5. In the end, it’s putting man above God. It’s far easier and more comforting to justify a sin than it is to confront it. The problem is, if you rationalize homosexuality, then you could theoretically do the same with other sexual sins mentioned in Scripture. The bottom line is this: is or is not the Bible the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God? Those who do not believe so should be asked to leave the denomination and seek another one, period.

    BTW, not to derail the conversation, but I didn’t realize that Nazarenes ordained women pastors. That makes me a bit uncomfortable. Doesn’t Paul prohibit this in one of his letters to Timothy?

  6. We all need to pay close attention to this issue because it is not one that will go away anytime soon. We also all need to understand that the acceptance of a sinful lifestyle and endorsing it as compatible with the Bible can only occur when a denomination or group no longer accepts the Word of God as true in its entirety – the fully inerrent Word of God. Once you make the decision not to accept the truthfulness of God’s Word in its entirety it is easy to justify any sin and make it compatible with the Bible and Christianity.

    The Church of the Nazarene goes to great lengths to promote and teach that the Bible is not fully inerrant. This is done to foster a “Big Tent” theological environment where “all” theological positions are welcomed – unless of course you believe the Bible is without error.

    This is the first step in a process that ends with ordination. Look at the Episcopal Church:
    Step 1: Reject the full inerrancy of God’s Word
    Step 2: Foster a “Big Tent” theological environment
    Step 3: Acceptance of a sinful lifestyle and claim it is compatible with the Bible
    Step 4: Place those living in this sinful lifestyle in leadership positions
    Step 5: Vote to ordain Eugene Robinson (openly gay bishop)

    From this article it looks like the CotN is close if not already at Step 4.

  7. EnterTheVein,

    You are absolutely correct Paul did prohibit Timothy from ordaining women in the church at Ephasus, not becuase they were “women” but because they were other issues there that the Bible does not fully explain. This is a “descriptive” verse that describes what is happening in that specific church. In other places in the Bible we see that women were allowed to have these types of leadership positions.

    It is interesting because many people try to use that reasoning to say that homosexuality is no longer prohibited – it was prohibited but that was for then not now.

    We need to remember that NOWHERE in the Bible is homosexuality ever condoned it is always condemned. There is no “progressive revelation” that shows us this no longer applies like the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament, but rather it is first taught in the Old Testament and reinforced in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 6:9, Revelation 21:8) cover this pretty well.

    Grace and Peace.

  8. Manny

    Does not the word of God in Romans address those who twist the truth to suit their own sin. Paul in Romans [1: 22, 25] said that “Professing to be wise they became fools. who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.”

    How a person can be gay in practice and believe he is still a Christian and will go to heaven is beyond me, especially when the scripture is so clear on the subject. I suppose some will say I am narrow minded on the subject, but so be it.

    All we can do is pray that they will finally see the truth and that others will not fall for the devils trick.

  9. How is it that he wasn’t immediately removed from his position? How is it that the BGS can issue a statement that says that homosexuality “is rarely a choice”? How long will COTN members keep saying and thinking “that doesn’t affect me?” and keep filling the pews and coffers of the COTN treasury? God help them.

  10. Based on the last page of the BGS statement on Homosexuality – they are already comfortable with having them in leadership positions.

    “…. The reoriented or celibate single homosexual will be invited to full participation in the life and ministry of
    the church, leading ministries, serving on boards, and
    singing in choirs. We cannot expect a person to ‘go
    deal with this and come back when you have
    it settled.’ One of our best means of grace is
    the hospitality and character formation in the
    fellowship of the church. God grant our church
    grace to be such a community.” (You will need to read the full article to understand what ‘reoriented’ means.)

    – Step 4: Place those living in this sinful lifestyle in
    – leadership positions

    – From this article it looks like the CotN is close if not
    – already at Step 4.

  11. Manny,
    Thank you for bringing this to light. While I am not Nazarene, I see this as a growing trend. I believe Al Mohler brought an important point that while false teaching generally finds its way into the church inch by inch, it cannot be taken out in the same method but only by complete reform. Here is an outstanding satire piece from Justin Taylor’s blog: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2011/03/25/a-recently-discovered-letter-of-critique-written-to-the-apostle-paul/ . it does not really go with the original post so if you want to move it, feel free. Thanks again Manny.

  12. My response to the Emergent Church and Brian McLaren’s accusation that we are confident in the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

    I am a jar of clay whose purpose is to show the all-surpassing power of God that is not from me but God. I am pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

    It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.

    2 Corinthians 4 (New International Version, ©2011)
    1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
    7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

    13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

    16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

  13. I was a student of three of the four professors mentioned in this article and knew each one of them to be kind, compassionate, intelligent, and very Christian people. This article portrays them in a grossly unfair light. Can’t we, as Christians, have a dialogue without attacking each other?

  14. Hi Katie,
    The issue is not whether they are kind, compassionate, intelligent people- I’m sure they are. The question is, are they being faithful to scripture? According to the information here, they are clearly not being faithful to the clear teaching of scripture on the matter of homosexuality.

    At some point dialogue must end- when clear disobedience to the Bible is evidenced, and our youth are being taught to believe that living the homosexual lifestyle is compatible with Christianity. It is not.

  15. Hi reformednazarene,

    I appreciate your heart, but take issue with two of the points in your response.

    First, the grounds that you’re judging the faithfulness of these people to scripture “according to the information here.” That’s not only unfair, but it gives an inaccurate representation of them as part of the church. Dr. Lodahl, for instance, was, every day, a witness to the grace and love of Christ to me and the rest of the students on the PLNU campus. His published books also show a dedication to reading Scripture rightly and witnessing the truth to the world. These things shouldn’t be thrown out because some of us disagree with one of the quotations in a piece like this.

    I also can’t agree with the statement “At some point the dialogue must end.” Yikes. I certainly hope not. The church has been right and wrong over the centuries about many different “hot button” issues. If the “dialogue” had ended during segregation, for instance, we would have racially divided church bodies still. What has always been true is the Gospel message of Jesus’s love for a hurting world. On this, we agree, so as we continue the dialogue about how to live faithfully in the world, it would behoove us to remember that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

    I also have to believe that you encourage “dialogue” because of the nature of this website. Is it that you only encourage dialogue you agree with?

  16. Katie,
    The information that I have here is trustworthy and reliable. If any of the folks who were quoted want to refute the testimony of this witness, they are free to do so. If shown to be false, I will correct anything here that is false. So, based on this information I have, these people were truly lacking in wisdom and discernment, and failed to correct the young man in his error. I would welcome any of those professors to respond and I will post here what they want to say about what they believe about homosexuality.

    Do you believe that the homosexual lifestyle is sin, and an abomination to God, as scripture teaches us it is? I am telling you that it is not an open topic for discussion, as far as whether it is right or wrong. The Bible is clear on that.

    As far as comments allowed here, I do give some leeway, but I often stop comments here when they are pointless and not biblically based. I don’t allow folks to continue on and on with their “opinions” without backing them up with the word of God. This site is primarily for helping those who are fighting the apostasy movement, to encourage and arm them with information.
    The Bible says, “Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33

    And 1 Tim 6: 20 also says: Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.

    Katie, Sometimes dialogue must end, and that is scripturally based also.
    Those who are teaching that the homosexual lifestyle is okay and you can be a Christian are perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ. If anyone at Point Loma is doing this, they need to be exposed, and they also need to repent of what they are doing.
    1 Tim 4: 1-2 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”

  17. Katie – dialogue? or discussion? man’s opinion? or God’s Word? It is as simple as that. If all we’re going to do is sit and discuss at a round table without opening the Word of God to see what HE says about matters, then that’s just chasing after the wind. We love the sinner, but despise the sin. We embrace the sinner, but LOVINGLY wash them in the Word of Truth. Jesus did that. He never compromised who he was nor his purpose (which was to testify to the Truth, by His own words) when he was in the company of sinners.

    Quite frankly, I have a full understanding now what Jesus meant when he said it is the “sick” who need a doctor. I’d rather be in the midst of sinners loving on them than with the elites, scholars, theologians who claim to know the scriptures, yet clearly are wise in their own eyes.

  18. Hi Manny,
    If I read the Genesis correctly The Lord created Adam and then Eve and we are their offspring after the Fall (original sin), He didn’t create more people after that did He? Therefore all disease, disobedience, law breaking (ten commandents), life style chocies, everything that is not of God or God’s perfection happened after the Fall. God does not create sin or sinful lives. When people try to argue that homosexuals don’t have a choice well neither do cancer patients

  19. Sorry Manny
    I didn’t finish. I wanted to say that scientists in China may have found a “cure” serotonin is being used on mice to change their brain chemistry and mating behavior. So then the question becomes if it is available will the homosexuals make the choice for a cure. I say not with out Christ they wont’t. Like any of us, not without Christ.
    In Christ
    Beth

  20. Betty, I’ll look in to the NIV translation issue in a few days. I mean no disrespect to Manny or other believers. My goal is only to translate God’s word as clearly as possible so fellow Christians know what God says. God Bless.

  21. I know, Pam. (Hugs) I only showed you the link in case you hadn’t heard about it yet. I’ve seen you post here and knew you were not using it purposely and were probably unaware. I only learned of it two weeks ago. Maybe Manny can do an update on some of the versions and their differences and let the “new” versions speak for themselves by pointing out some key verses.

  22. I was literally sick to my stomach after reading this. I hope that after reading this that some of my fellow Nazarenes(who continue to bury their heads in the sand, despite repeated warnings and information), finally realize that the Nazare…ne denomination is heading down a slippery slope! This is what happens when you start letting things in bit by bit, compromising, etc. Shame on the Leadership!(Generals) God have mercy on the Church of the Nazarene! I call on the faithful Nazarenes worldwide to stand up and defend the faith in their local churches. Chase out the emergent pastors and leaders. If you’re a Nazarene pastor who has not fallen for this emergent nonsense, speak out on your district-stop supporting your district with budgets if they support this emergent heresy. Stop supporting Nazarene colleges who invite heretic speakers to their campuses. Enough is enough! LET’S STOP PRETENDING FOLKS. OUR BELOVED NAZARENE DENOMINATION IS IN BIG TROUBLE!

  23. I have never been so sadden, I hope what I have read is not true, But apparently it is, We need to pray for the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit not only for are University’s but our world, their has been a great falling away from the truth of God’s word. I know for certain we our living in the last Day’s. May God help us stand solid on his Mighty Word. Standing Solid, Pastor, Keith

  24. Concerning katie’s comment and reformedNazarenes response about staying true to scripture: while I would not advocate the homosexual lifestyle, nor condone it as biblically legitimate, does scripture not say to love our enemies? It seems that these people listed are done in a menacing way; in a way as to demean their character, subvert their authority, and turn others against them. Now, biblically I find no rationale for this… I find no biblical rationale for hatred and violence against beliefs we find untrue.

    Perhaps a better (more biblical and administered by Jesus) response is that of a broken heart. Perhaps sentiments like these are fuel for the fire! Perhaps when scripture tells to love our enemies it really means it!! (see this Sunday’s lectionary passage in Romans. Christ died for us while we we’re yet sinners!) Perhaps our attitude should not e that of the Pharisee who thanked God that he wasn’t unclean, but like the man unwilling to look up to heaven because he was acutely aware of his sinful nature!

  25. Belmont University in Nashville (affiliated with the Southern Baptists until it broke away in 2007 but still considered a Christian school) dismissed a female soccer coach when it was discovered she was in a lesbian relationship. Belmont has now added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy. The university heard criticism from students and donors after the coach’s departure. That included a statement from the trustee emeritus who called on the school to rehire the coach and “act like Christians.” Some also criticized the school for not allowing Bridge Builders, a group with a mission to support gay students and explore the intersection of Christianity and homosexuality, to form as an official student group.

    I keep expecting Trevecca to hit the news someday with this same developing set of events.

  26. Love our enemies? Yes of course. This however is a matter of professing Christians compromising the truth, not unbelievers who do not know the truth!

    The names are listed because they are in positions of leadership, and we pray that many will contact them to see what their beliefs are in these matters. If it turns out they support the homosexual lifestyle as okay, or if they are deliberately compromising and turning a blind eye to the problem, then they ought to resign- for the sake of our students who might be misled.

    Jesus’s and the apostles response was clear when it came to teaching of another gospel- very harsh and uncompromising. Remember when Jesus cleaned out the temple? You don’t think that was done in love also? We are not to put up with this stuff, for the sake of the truth! We are commanded to expose the works of darkness- wherever we see it. This is not a popularity contest- this is a matter of the truth of God’s word. There is to be no compromise.

  27. I think everyone needs to read the Pastorial Statement of the GS’s that Betty and others have referred to. While I agree with some of what was written, much of it is quite disturbing. I would like to ask everyone if they have ever heard the following terms:

    “Christian adulterer”
    “Christian thief”
    “Christian liar”
    “Christian murderer”
    “Christian idolater”
    “Christian fornicator”
    “Christian drunkard”
    “Christian extortioner”
    “Christian homosexual”

    I have never heard of any of them except the last one, and it is used on page 10 of the statement, and it is commonly used throughout liberal Christianity. The term “homosexual brothers and sisters” is used on page 13.

    Do the GS’s believe in the delivering power of God to radically change a person as shown in scripture?:

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:9-11 (NKJV)

    As it says “And such WERE some of you. But you were WASHED……….”

    Also, is everyone ready to let their children and grandchildren be ministered to by anyone whom they aren’t sure have been delivered from their sin, such as homosexuality, pedophilia, drug addiction, or others that might pose a special danger to their children/grandchildren?

    Can anyone give some insight on this sentence in the statement?:

    “Christian singles will purchase large houses and
    become havens of belonging and character formation for men and women living in God-honoring community.”

    Sounds like an opportunity for the flesh to me.

  28. Mike:

    I too read the article “Pastoral Perspectives” on Homosexuality. I was somewhat taken back by their plea that “Christian singles will purchase large houses, etc.”

    At a time when we need clairty on the subject, seeing we are reaching Sodom and Gomorrah proportions in our country, I did not find it. Not to sound harsh or judgmental I paralled much of it with fence straddling. Needless to say, to me, the article was confusing at times and was sending mixed messages. I wish they would have more clear on the subject.

    Example, on page 9 under the portion “What about the person who wrestles with an orientation they did not choose?” They make the statement that “sexual orientation is not usually a willful choice.” To this I disagree. I do not by into the lie that it was a trick of nature. Who forces who to do what they do, they have free choice.

    Years ago I worked with a man who admitted that he began looking upon men at about the age of 12, with the same desire as many men look upon women. He told me that later he gave into that lust and that is how it all began with him. I believe people do have a choice, and he made the wrong choice.

  29. ONUalum

    I believe there is a grave misunderstanding today on what Jesus referred to when He said; “Love your enemies” found in Matthew and Luke and how it is used by many today.

    The Jews believed they were to love their neighbor and hate their enemy which was the easier to do. Jesus now comes along and tells them that they must do the harder of the two and love your enemy as well.

    This passage has apparently become a catch-all to silence truth anytime their is a disagreement between light and darkness, or point out false teachings that are invading our church and leading people astray.

    The enemy here described by Jesus is not professing Christians but is the one who pursues you with hatred and malice with repeated acts of enmity against you. In this illustration Jesus is teaching that we are to give our enemy every proof that we love them by doing the oposite to them that they have done to you so that we might win them to Christ.

    To use this Scripture to defend the guilty or silence the truth especially since we have been given a charge to defend the gospel is setting a dangerous code to live by and can only allow false teaching to flourish unchecked and God’s word to diminish in the church and souls be lost.

    I do not think that you want this to happen or support this.

  30. Jesus DID say we are to be loving. Jesus always demonstrated love to all, especially to sinners. But He also told them to “go and sin no more.” Concerning love He also said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
    I am appalled to think that we are being asked to accept an unBiblical lifestyle, a lifestyle on which God sent and pronounced judgment, in the name of love. Yes, we are to love the sinner and seek for a transformation of the life, while we condemn and hate the depth of the sin.
    I cannot understand how ANY leader in the Church of the Nazarene can continue in his/her position who condones the practice of homosexuality–whether it be pastor, faculty member, or student leader on a Nazarene college campus.
    We need to PRAY and seek for God’s redemption in this matter!

  31. Katie said, “I was a student of three of the four professors mentioned in this article and knew each one of them to be kind, compassionate, intelligent, and very Christian people. This article portrays them in a grossly unfair light. Can’t we, as Christians, have a dialogue without attacking each other?”

    Katie, Christian people and especially Christian leaders in the Church submit themselves to the wisdom, truth and authority of scripture and Godly humble and wise church leadership.

    If they can’t submit themselves to scriptures, statements of faith they have signed or Godly humble church leadership then they need to seek Godly humble people to pray and hold them up so they can submit to scriptures. No one is saying Christians are perfect but they resist temptation or call others to pray and hold them up while they resist Satan’s schemes.

    Exodus 17:1-7 Testing God

    1And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.

    2Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

    3And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

    4And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

    5And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.

    6Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

    7And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

    Praying during spiritual battle Exodus 17:8-16

    8Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

    9And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.

    10So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

    11And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

    12But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

    13And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

    14And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

    15And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

    16For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

  32. Onualum,
    Thanks for your response. I think in order to have any chance to properly discuss the issue of “loving our enemies”, we have to properly define what that looks like. It seems like in the church in general, there has been this idea fostered the only way you can “love” someone is to never tell them that they are wrong. In fact I see no one chomping on the bit to try and explain how this faulty way of viewing “love” correlates with ANY of the Scriptures which tell us we are to rebuke false teachings. It seems, rather, to be swept under the rug in the name of “tolerance”. Here is where you and I seem to differ. You seem to be saying that, while Manny can disagree with any of the people he blogs about, he cannot go anywhere beyond that toward pointing out what it dangerous about these things going on. At that point, he is being “unloving” and “intolerant”. I am sorry but I do not see this form of “love” and “tolerance” to be anywhere near compatible with Jesus’ ministry. I like D.A. Carsons view of tolerance. In order for me to “tolerate” something, I have to disagree with it. Otherwise we are trying to completely change the basic definition of “tolerance”. What we have here is blatant and unrepentant sin. I am sure Todd Clayton is a nice and intelligent young man. I am sure that he honestly does believe that his active homosexual lifestyle is compatible with Christianity, but he has been deceived. No matter how much we try to force God into our selfish flawed ideas and standards for “love”, it does not change the fact that he hates sin. You cannot have a little darkness mixed in the light. They do not coexist. (John 1:5) If Manny were writing to condemn this young man, that would be one thing, however I have not seen anything in this post that would lead me to believe that Manny does not love him and would not pray for him to not be a slave to this sin in his life. One of the most unloving things we can do for people is enable them to remain a slave to there sin, especially when we try to mask it as “love”.

  33. Just wondering why my post with actual input from PLNU and the pastor hasn’t been posted?

  34. Someone has not been reading their Bible on a daily basis; someone has not been praying on a daily basis; someone is not attending worship when the doors are open; someone needs a revival.

    Well, the Nazarene church we are members of would not put up with this. Therefore, I can safely invite the lost to attend without embarrassment.

    2 preachers retired

  35. Tim, it’s too long of a post, and I would prefer if they themselves came here to comment.

  36. This whole topic and what’s becoming of the Nazarene Church has Episcopalian written all over it. it started out pretty conservative (albeit Catholic roots) then slowly moved further and further from the truth. There was a time when most Nazarenes would have considered the Episcopal church pretty worldly, but now it seems like many of them would embrace it. I have left he Naz church in May 2010, but hope to be able to return someday when it gets its act together or possibly splits.
    I’d like to see the emergents break off, but I have a feeling the concerned may have to. The Nazarenes are getting a bad reputation as a whole due to these type of things (above). Friends who once held the Naz church in high regard are asking me what is going on in the Naz churches today. It’s becoming obvious to those outside our denomination that something is going wrong inside ours. Makes me very sad and teary at times….

  37. Manny,
    As far as the Bible is concerned and real love; You are not tough enough. These people who are always screaming love neither know the Bible nor the Author. Listed below are a few examples of scripture which have all been given in the past.

    The Church is not supposed to “bear” evil but reprove it. If the COTN does not repent the Lord can and will remove its candlestick out of his place.
    Thank God I got out!

    Jesus loves is when we do not put up with sin:

    Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil:

    We are commanded to rebuke SHARPLY:

    Tit 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

    “Without a cause” is removed from fake bibles. Sodomy is a good cause to be angry:

    Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:

    Names mentioned with love and the worst punishment sought. Paul our Christian example:

    1Ti 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

    Jesus Hates some things, imagine that!

    Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

    Jesus rebukes with a threat!

    Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

    These scriptures will not matter to the perverted reprobates but they will encourage the saints.

    The Bible is so refreshing!

  38. One issue that I find very disturbing in Dee kelley’s letter in response to the issue of homosexuality (he is pastor of S/Diego First Church) is that he never called homosexuality SIN. Of course, God can and will forgive all sins – if confessed and renounced – but this was not even suggested. Margerete

  39. This is very sad. I attended PLNU in the early 80s and was witness to the liberal teaching that existed in the Bible department (e.g., a New Testament prof saying that Jesus could still be the Savior even if he had been fathered by a Roman solider). I’m not a Nazarene, but it sounds like the denomination is now reaping the bad fruit of the unbiblical teaching that has been going on for years. The biology department also actively promotes evolution as fact. I’ve stopped giving to PLNU and have had myself removed from all of their mailing lists.

  40. Homosexuality is an abomination according to the holy Scriptures. It is not compatible with a Christian lifestyle nor is it compatible with being a Nazarene. Dr. Hatcliff’s comment really hits the mark.

  41. God created man in His image, male and female created He them, and homosexuality is a heinous assault on the image of God. Such wickness shall not go unpunished!~!

    Sodom and Gomorrah were examples of those who should live ungodly, but woe to them who twist the Holy Word of God to comply with the debauchery and depravity of homosexuality.

    Wicked teachers and complicit heretics are marked for destruction.

  42. I am not a member of the Nazarene denomination, but I will openly defend Manny Silva as a man of God, not ONE time have I ever read in any of his writings or articles even the slightest notion of unlovingness.

    It is unkind, and could even be considered hatred to see a man heading for the flames of Hell and to not warn him of the dangers ahead.

    Manny Silva and others like him love the wicked enough to warn him to repent of his abominations in hopes that he will repent and avert the wrath and judgement of God Almighty.

    The wrath of God is consistent with the love of God as is the holiness of God. Homosexuals CANNOT remake God in THEIR image without creating in their depraved minds a god that doesn’t even resemble the HOLY God of the Bible. Homosexuals need to repent of their abominations or get out of the church altogether and go and live as debauched heathens somewhere else. I for one WILL NOT “worship” God along side an unrepentant homosexual any more than I would worship God along side an unrepentant murderer or adulterer/ess. AND I don’t care if an unrepentant homosexual considers what I just said to be “unloving”. They need to know that I know their house is on fire and they are “asleep”, should I wake them up, or let the house burn? You be the judge.

  43. I don’t really know how we got to this point as I haven’t been able to follow all comments. However, the Church of the Nazarene has a clear stance against homosexual activity. The fact that a ministry tried to create a space for people struggling with this lifestyle to bring it into the open and receive help to change was a good and holy thing. A confused young man hijacked that process and tried to make it something else. Sometimes that happens in ministry. It’s a risk one takes to try to help those who need it. They don’t always get it and don’t always want to change. That’s not the fault of the leaders who tried to help him.
    We need to warn all sinners, including active homosexuals and heterosexuals who are outside of God’s plan for marriage. And we need to stand up and rebuke so-called saints who attack and judge the body of Christ relentlessly. The general statements about sin are not the issue with Manny. There’s not a single Nazarene leader who disagrees with what Scripture says about sin. The issue is how quickly Manny judges other leaders. In this case, it’s based on events he did not witness and a radical misinterpretation of those events. If you actually speak to Nazarene pastors and leaders, they are strong on this issue. What they are not big on is hearsay, backbiting, endless quarrels and disputes. You know, the kind of thing Paul warned Timothy not to allow in his congregation. In this way, Nazarene leaders also are standing for obedience to Scripture and holiness in the church.
    Stand with The Church of the Nazarene against the tide of evil in our culture. Don’t continually try to divide and criticize those who are on the front lines of ministry. Stop misjudging your brothers and sisters in Christ and submit to God. And on a personal level forgive people you think may have been mistaken in their judgment of handling these situations. Forgive as the Lord forgave you, especially if they apologize publicly which all the leaders in the original situation have. Jesus warned that the Father will NOT forgive us unless we forgive our brother from our heart. That’s a huge part of holiness. And a huge part of ever seeing heaven. We don’t always agree, but we do have to forgive. It’s not an option.
    So, as a Nazarene leader, I don’t disagree with your stand against homosexual lifestyle or activity. And I do forgive anyone who has attacked me unjustly. I don’t want to offend, but realize my words here may offend some. But the way this group has asked others to listen to their rebuke, surely they can take this message to heart. The Law of Love for God, brother, and neighbor is a very high standard. I echo Paul’s general message to the Romans: May the Law of the Spirit of Life set us all free from the Law of Sin and death through the blood of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    To God be the glory and praise forevermore. And may God be truly exalted in our churches. May we walk in holiness of heart and life as God empowers us. May all of God’s people find unity in the cross and resurrection. May sin be defeated in our culture and in our heart of hearts, by the overcoming Grace of the One who laid down his life for the sins of the world and was raised to new life! Let’s lift up Jesus TOGETHER and get on with building the Kingdom of God and defeating the true enemy of our souls. May sinners be saved. May saints be sanctified and go on to serve and reach more for Christ. This is our mission.

  44. Hi Tim,

    First of all, how we got to this point is simple: our denomination is being overrun by heresies that were never acceptable before. Or have you not been following what is happening? Our denomination is falling apart before our very own eyes- and don’t think it’s simply “Manny Silva” who is a lone wolf out here causing trouble. There are many, many Nazarenes who are rightly concerned with the state of our church today.

    You have missed the point of these articles that were printed in these Nazarene supported student newspapers. The leadership is irresponsible- that’s my point! They have given tacit approval for suggestions in these articles that the homosexual lifestyle, or even homosexual desires, is okay! I’m sorry you don’t see this, and you are a pastor in the Nazarene church. Would you allow this kind of article to be published in your church bulletin? If so, you would be just as guilty as the others in being reckless and irresponsible.

    How do you know I have “quickly” judged our leaders? Aren’t you judging me now? I have been in touch with our leaders for over two years now, and the best I get from them is politically correct letters. Not a single question has ever been definitively answered! Do you call that leadership?

    May I ask if you DON’T believe in ANY kind of division? You criticize me for continually trying to divide. Well, I agree, we should divide- when there are those who are in so called leadership positions causing the division! They are the ones dividing us, not me, Tim. But you don’t understand that, do you? We MUST have unity as believers, Tim, but NEVER at the cost of compromising the Gospel of Christ. And if our own leaders compromise, we MUST rebuke them for that. The Bible even commands us to walk away from them if we need to.

    You said this: “May we walk in holiness of heart and life as God empowers us. May all of God’s people find unity in the cross and resurrection.”

    Well, what about those who are NOT walking in holiness, but are promoting heresies and unbiblical things such as contemplative mysticism, practicing the silence, prayer beads for our kids, prayer labyrinths, denial that God knows everything, denial of the inerrancy of God’s word, etc. Are you in favor of that? And if not, have you spoken out even once on those things? Have you even once warned your congregation about the dangers of people like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell? Have you rebuked those who are holding hands with the Roman Catholic Church? When was the last time you told your people that we are to shun the appearance of evil, and that includes staying away from alliances with interfaith groups that are comprised of false religions?

    I think I’ve made my point. The next time you make a comment, I would love to know where you stand on the emergent church and all this it has brought into the denomination. But please be specific, and be prepared to defend biblically what you support.

    I stand by everything I do here, unless you can refute what I am doing by the word of God. The question for you is, are you following God first, and men second, including your own leaders.

  45. Manny, I appreciate where you are coming from in your reply, but I still sense the anger and frustration. I’m willing to take your words to heart. What I’m asking in my post is if you are willing to reconsider anything. You say that if I can refute your comments by Scripture you will listen. I think I did that in the previous post.
    I just disagree that our leadership is causing division. And perhaps its not fair to single you out, but you’ve probably been the most vocal. I can understand if you’ve asked very specific questions and only received general or generic answers that this would be frustrating. I have definitely spoken up on issues over the years and at times challenged leaders. I’m definitely seeking to follow God first. All of my comments were attempting to apply the relevant Scriptures for how we seek to walk together as the Body of Christ. I definitely do believe that we have to stand for truth. But if we come to a major conviction about the Gospel or mission and our leaders simply don’t agree, I think the best course of action is to join with another group unless we can co-exist with respect while working for change.
    I don’t share your view that any one leader (Bell, McLaren, etc…) are totally wrong or evil in their approach. Neither of them are in active pastoral ministry anymore, by the way. I don’t reject nor accept any “movement” or “label” as either accurate, bad or good. I try to sift through every trend comparing it to Scripture. If I find resources there which help declare the Gospel more clearly, I’ll use them. In Scripture, Paul quoted even pagan philosophers, sometimes critically, sometimes supportive, where they agreed with the Gospel.
    As for holding hands with Catholics, I sit down from time-to-time with a Catholic leader at our community ministerial fellowship. He’s very active on pro-life, pro-marriage, anti-homosexual agenda stuff along with us.
    If you’re talking about forms of worship and spiritual formation that are more ancient that 1908, then yes I use ancient forms of prayer at times. I use the Psalms as a guide to worship and devotion. I’m heavily influenced by John Wesley in worship forms. I really think you’re off base on criticizing the contemplative prayer stuff. It’s simply doing what the Psalmist and Paul wrote about: meditating on the Scriptures to let the Word of God dwell in you richly. But you have really attacked people on this. I don’t see the Spirit of Christ in how you’ve done that, even if I could understand some of your concerns. If it produces the fruit of the Spirit and is in line with Psalm 119, Colossians, Ephesians, etc… then why try to say it’s invalid? It’s way older than New Age stuff and totally grounded in praying the Scriptures. Not bad just because Catholics do it, too.
    On the other hand I have been critical of the Catholic Church at times when I’ve seen things I don’t understand in light of Scripture. And so more recently haven’t been as active in this community group. So wherever we can agree on the mission based on Scripture, I can join hands in ministry. But I don’t require that everyone involved believe exactly as I do in all matters. And I don’t attack them. Yet, when the topic comes up I don’t fail to share what I see as the truth, especially with members of my own congregation. But relationship and conversation has to be more than just an argument or quarrel.
    And I’ve paid a bit of a price for not compromising on the gospel in my congregation. People have variously wanted me to put recovery ministry or children’s ministry or a certain way of doing church in the driver’s seat of the mission and priorities in the church. I’ve had to battle at times to keep discipleship and evangelism at the forefront with these other ministries serving that larger cause. Some people left the church over it eventually. But others have joined in that mission. So I have been willing to take a stand more than once over the years.
    The Church is always in process and change is inevitable. But I have faith that God is leading our denomination through challenging times. I have enough faith in the leadership to continue supporting them. This is based on how they have applied the Scriptures in the major decisions. I’m sorry we see that differently, but it’s not because I fear man above God.
    So while I understand your frustrations, perhaps with people like me, I still think you need to respect the image of God in each person in considering your responses. And as long as you’re a member of the CotN to be more respectful of her leaders, even when they are wrong, knowing you are free to join with another group if you can no longer have respect for them.

  46. Thank you for your sincere reply, Tim. However, you sense wrongly here. And, you did not refute anything that I said scripturally. I will re-consider anything if God’s word shows me that I am wrong. Otherwise, nothing else will do.

    The only anger I feel is a righteous anger against the false teachings that have infected us like a cancer in the church. Based on what you said here, I could never be a member of your church. For starters, I could not fellowship with the Roman Catholic church because they believe and teach so many heresies. They believe we must earn our way to heaven, and that the one time sacrifice by Jesus is not enough. Instead, Jesus has to be re-sacrificed over and over again in the service of the Mass. So why do you associate with an apostate religion? We are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. His work was finished on the Cross, yet you fellowship with a priest who believes otherwise.

    Sorry, as far as simply walking away if I don’t agree. Some have had to walk away because they had no choice. But I won’t for now, at least not without a fight, and without warning as many fellow Nazarenes about the danger they are in. It’s not about me getting my way, Tim. It’s about TRUTH! And the leaders have let us down, and are either promoting untruths, or are turning a blind eye to the truth. That cannot be allowed to go on without them being exposed. I respect God above any of our leaders, and if they are being negligent, we will expose them for that.

    Regarding Mclaren and Bell. So what if they are not in ministry? They are held up as good examples for many Nazarenes, who are fed their books and their false teachings! You don’t care about that? Apparently, you either approve of their heretical teachings, or you are sorely negligent of what they believe. I wonder if you reject the belief that the Scriptures are inerrant in everything, since the Bible over and over attests to the fact that it IS God’s word- all of it! Thus, how can there be any error? Do you even believe Adam and Eve existed as Genesis tells us? Are you an open theist? These and more are what is poisoning our church, and now I can see why you are against what we are doing.

    We are obeying scripture by exposing the false wolves amongst us. You cannot argue against that mandate. It is for all Christians to learn to discern and expose those who would teach another gospel, another Jesus. Contemplative spirituality is from Satan, not from the Bible, There is no biblical support for emptying your mind and “listening” for the voice of God. None whatsoever. And John Wesley never promoted emptying the mind or practicing the silence; if you can show me that he did, well, so what? If so, he was wrong! I don’t follow Wesley; I follow God’s word.

    I pray that God will protect those in your church from these things. Turn away from contemplative mysticism; it is wrong and evil. We will continue to call out the leadership for their inaction, or for their direct promotion of the false gospel that has come in. We are clearly in the last days.

  47. Tim, let me just comment on a few things you sent me in your last post. I can’t let it all in, however. I will just highlight a few thoughts you made, and I believe they are in context.

    Contemplative prayer DOES lead to emptying of the mind, contrary to your claim that it does not. If you want to practice it, that’s your choice to disobey the word of God. We don’t need it to help us get close to God. Reading and understanding, and then applying the Scriptures in our lives is enough. There is no such thing as encouraging us to “listen” for the voice of God in the New Testament, not in the contemplative manner. Contemplative prayer, including the seemingly harmless lectio divina, leads to that. I don’t read the Scriptures “over and over” to “listen.” I read it to gain understanding of what God says in that scripture. Unfortunately, “Chistianity” has borrowed this from the pagans and has tried to make it Christian, but it is not. Interesting that this is now being introduced to us, when 20 or 30 years ago we did not even fathom using these practices that take away from the centrality of Christ and His words, and focuses on what “we” can do to get closer to God. Well, the way to get closer to God is to pray, and to read and understand what He commands us to do in the Bible. Contemplative prayer is NOT biblical.

    The fact that you believe Adam and Eve existed, and that open theism is wrong, should lead you to at some point speak out against those in our denomination, such as Tom Oord, who teach these falsehoods. These are heresies that our leaders seem to be ignoring, to the detriment of the people.

    I did not disparage your ministry. But if you promote contemplative prayer, I simply cannot in good conscience be a member of your church, because I believe you are doing wrong! That is not disparaging you; that is telling you that you are in error. As a fellow Christian, I am obligated to tell you that for your own good.

    You said, “better to let God be the ultimate judge on many things.” I disagree. It’s better to let God be the judge on things that we cannot understand from Scripture. However, promoting and teaching anything that goes against scripture is where we as the church must be willing to judge. It is not a matter of agreeing on five or six essentials; it is a matter of obedience to ALL that the Lord clearly instructs in Holy Scripture.

    So, we are judging, yes. That is what I and many others are doing, in accordance with what Christ commanded us. Again, you seem to try to make it all about Manny Silva. It’s not. There are many pastors, evangelists, DS’s, and other Nazarenes who reject some of what you promote, and who reject associating with an apostate church like the RCC.

    Why did you say this again? “If they ignore you, “come out from among them” and unite with another group.”
    I was clear in saying that I am staying in order to warn the believers of falsehoods! I care about them, Tim. I won’t walk away that quickly until the Lord leads me to.

    You said also, “I think you’re wrong on several matters of Doctrine. Really, really wrong. And stubbornly so.”

    Yet, you never specified where I am wrong on doctrine. You can’t do it, because I am right, or more accurately, I am rightly following what Scripture says on how to deal with false teachings and false prophets.

    You then said this about Paul:

    “Do you realize how many people Paul forgave and how many varieties of belief he tolerated? He debated them and demonstrated the validity of the Gospel. But he didn’t kick them out of the church for coming to different conclusions than he did. He just kept seeking to influence them toward the truth and trusted that if they didn’t agree God would eventually lead them to his side. The people he singled out for public criticism by name were the people who were acting unloving and divisively. This is true in many of his letters. I think its something for you to consider.”

    Since you spoke of Paul so much, you did not show the whole picture in your comments. Let me correct the record about him. Paul was at his “worst”, as some would think, when he faced false teachers. He gave them no room to maneuver, because of the seriousness of the matter. Neither did Jesus. Paul said to follow him, because he did as Christ did. Well, Paul dealt with false teachers harshly, and did not deal with them as you said. He called Elymas a son of the devil, because he was perverting the gospel; then he asked God to strike him blind for a period.

    In Galatians 1, he said that if anyone, even an angel, should preach another gospel, that they should be eternally condemned! I saw nothing gentle in his dealings with serious error. He even called Peter out publicly when he was perpetuating a false believe, and had no problem embarrassing him in public. He had to do it, because so many were being led into error by Peter, and that was the only right way to fix the problem, and that was for all to hear! So don’t try to tell me that Paul was so kind, and loving, and gentle in all things. He was not, and when he was not, it was always to address the serious compromise of the gospel by the believers. He even told us that we should “mark them” and “avoid them”, them being those who caused divisions in the church. He was not talking about me, but those who twist the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Tim, I’m sorry, but you are ignoring some things while only accentuating other things you would like to. I won’t be fooled. I look at the whole picture, and see an apostle who did not take these false teachers lightly. Neither will I.

    Now, if you can biblically defend contemplative prayer, and convince us otherwise, I’ll change my mind, otherwise we’ll have to leave it at that. I will pray that you will turn away from it.

    We will disagree for now, but I am not changing anything that I am doing, unless the Lord Himself rebukes me- through His word.

    One last thing, there is a warning against fellowship with unbelievers:

    2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness.

    You are doing just that. You ought to be evangelizing that priest with the true gospel, not being in fellowship with him as if you both are like-minded in the essentials. You are not, at least by what the Nazarene church teaches.

    2 Tim 4: 1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

    Titus 1:9-2:1 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. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. . . . Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

  48. Tim,

    I know you are sincere about it, but in your attempt to promote contemplative prayer here, I must tell you that I am cutting it off now. If you read my About page, you will understand that this is not a place for prolonged discussion, as if you will sway me to believe CP is biblical. It is not.

    You are of course free to promote CP on your blog, website, or at your church- but not here. I have been given the gift of discernment by the Lord, as have many others, and we have seen that CP is dangerous and unbiblical. Why then would God later on show us that it is in fact okay? God has shown us that it is wrong, and that will never change.

    I will be glad to respond to your other unapproved comments via email, if you wish to hear it. But I will not give you any more time here to promote something that is unbiblical. I pray that God will open your eyes to the dangers of CP and that you will repent of it, and also tell your congregation that it is wrong.

    Manny

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