Biblical Inerrancy: Only In Matters Of Salvation?

2 Peter 1:21 “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

I have been emphasizing lately that we can trace most of the problems going on in the evangelical church today, including my denomination, to the lessening of the authority of Holy Scripture, and more emphasis on subjective reasoning and/or mystical means of “experiencing” God.

There is the tendency of man to decide what is or is not believable or essential in scripture; and the belief that the Bible is not fully inerrant, but only CONTAINS the word of God, but is not necessarily THE word of God in its entirety.  Going clearly against the plain words of scripture, false teachers such as Rob Bell twist God’s word and re-define the meaning of hell, or whether anyone will be consigned there eternally.

To begin with, in order to avoid confusion as to what I mean regarding “biblical inerrancy”, I take the definition from The International Conference on Biblical Inerrancy):

 Inerrancy means that when all facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they affirm, whether that has to do with doctrine or morality, or with the social, physical, or life sciences (“The Meaning of Inerrancy,” in Inerrancy, produced by The International Conference on Biblical Inerrancy)

Having clarified the definition as I believe most inerrantists understand it, “only in matters of salvation” has bothered me a lot in the last few years. It was the phrase my former pastor said to me, as I made my case to him for the full inerrancy of God’s word. It has been thrown back at me by many emergent church proponents who argue that full inerrancy of scripture is not the position of the Church of the Nazarene, which is probably true.  Suddenly, it was like a lightbulb turning on in my head, as I said, “now I get it!”  Now I see the big loophole that you can drive a truck through.  This is one of the loopholes theistic evolutionists use to justify rejecting the literal scriptural account of creation.

Jeremiah 23:26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?”

 The Nazarene manual states this in Article 4:  “”We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scripture, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.”

There is the loophole, which I highlighted in bold.  It really reflects a view that the scriptures are not fully inerrant, and become inerrant only in matters of salvation (however that is determined).  For example, what Jesus said in John 3:16 would be inerrant because it pertains to salvation; the Genesis account of creation is not necessarily as it is written, because it “supposedly” does not pertain to salvation. (Ignore the “minor” fact that Jesus our Lord himself attested to the historicity of Adam and Eve, for instance).

So…. who, or how is it determined what parts of scripture pertain to salvation or not, and therefore what is not fact, but simply allegory, or story, that illustrates a truth, but should not be taken literally?  If anyone believe that evolution was a way that God created us, and that we should not take Genesis literally, then I submit the following to those who are smarter than me.  I would like to know which of these accounts I should believe is fact and historically true, and which ones are just allegory or parable?

Gen. 2:21-23

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

IS THIS FACT, OR ALLEGORY?

 Judges 15:16

Then Samson said:   “With the jawbone of a donkey, Heaps upon heaps,  With the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men!”

IS THIS FACT, OR ALLEGORY?


Matt. 27:51-52

Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

IS THIS FACT, OR ALLEGORY?

 

Methuselah lived 967 years. IS THIS FACT, OR ALLEGORY?

 

Jonah was swallowed up by a large fish and lived for three days inside the fish.

IS THIS FACT, OR ALLEGORY?

 

Balaam’s donkey spoke to him and rebuked Balaam.

IS THIS FACT, OR ALLEGORY?

 

Paul wrote that sin came into the world through one man, Adam. IS THIS FACT, OR ALLEGORY?  OR, DID PAUL THE APOSTLE LIE?

There are many more examples I could give, and thus challenge those who do not believe in the full inerrancy of scripture: So… how do you know?

The bottom line is this: it is a dangerous thing when man dares to start judging scripture by his standards, instead of allowing scripture to judge itself, and instead of trusting what God has spoken through the prophets, through Jesus, and through the apostles.

For further study, Dr. Vic Reasoner addressed the Nazarene inerrancy issue in this short article at the Fundamental Wesleyan Society website: http://www.fwponline.cc/v16n2/v16n2reasonera.html

Leonard Sweet And His Continuing Emergent Influence

“The most effective deception is the counterfeit that looks like the real thing.  The only effective weapon against it is biblically grounded discernment.”

Leonard Sweet continues his influence on the Nazarene denomination.  This past January, he spoke at the Leadership Conference at European Nazarene College, along with major emergent church promoter and Nazarene pastor Jon Middendorf, and Gustavo Crocker, who is Eurasia Director for the Church of the Nazarene.  Sweet was a main speaker at the PALCON conference for pastors at Northwest Nazarene University last year (Leonard Sweet: A Good Choice For Pastors And Leaders Conference?)
Why this New Age sympathizer (Sweet) continues to speak at Nazarene seminars and churches is beyond me, folks.  He recently made an explanation on his website and said he was not into New Age or mysticism, but why does he still sell his books like “Quantum Spirituality?”  Why does he not renounce these things but instead stays silent about what he has written, and about those mystics that he has previously recommended?

Crocker, by the way, is linked with Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan website, and if you look at the five acronyms of the PEACE Plan, don’t look for anything that mentions preaching the exclusive gospel of Jesus Christ.  That would be too offensive for Rick Warren to proclaim on his ecumenically oriented website.  Warren has been connected with Sweet in the past, and collaborated with him on an audio project called Tides of Change.  Warren also endorsed Sweet’s book, Soul Tsunami.

Leonard Sweet Again.  Sweet has now been welcomed at Olivet Nazarene University.  Sweet just spent three days at Olivet this past week, including a scheduled chapel appearance today, April 21.  Anyone concerned with the state of our Christian universities may want to keep a close eye on Olivet, which seems to be one of the few conservative leaning schools in the Nazarene denomination.  We should never, however, take anything for granted.  As Ronald Reagan once said, “trust but verify.”  Here is a post by ExNazarene that mentions Olivet and its decision to remove a professor who was teaching that evolution is compatible with scripture.

It’s possible that many at Olivet, including leadership, are not aware of the strange New Age type writings in Sweet’s books.  He may very well have preached a solid message to the students today in chapel, but they may not be aware of what he promotes in his books.  If your interests are particularly connected with Olivet, especially parents, alumni, and students, I would recommend asking some of the leadership as their knowledge of what Sweet has written, and offer to give them evidence of his non so orthodox writings.  After all, Rob Bell claimed recently that he is an orthodox-type evangelical, but just saying it does not make it so, does it?

For a very thorough look at Leonard Sweet and his many unorthodox quotes compared with what scripture teaches, see the review by Sandy Simpson at his website, Deception In the Church.  Here is just one excerpt including Sandy’s response:

“In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, “The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.76)


True Christians are not mystics.  They need not be because they have the Holy Spirit and the Word to guide them.  They are empowered with spiritual gifts and they know God.  They don’t need to seek Him “mystically” because they already have Him.  But it is true that so-called Christians of tomorrow will be mystics if Sweet has anything to say about it and if the churches do not avoid him as the Scripture clearly tells us to do with false teachers. (Sandy Simpson)


Recommended book:
A Wonderful Deception, by Warren Smith.  Mr. Smith was formerly entangled in New Age occultism for years until he became a Christian.  In this book, he includes several well-documented chapters on Leonard Sweet and his “quantum spirituality”, “New Light” spirituality, “christ conciousness”, and other strange theology which is clearly not Bible based.

Related posts:

Leonard Sweet Tweet On How To Find God
New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet Influencing Nazarenes

Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola, and Mystic Meister Eckhart

God’s Word Is Our Authority, Not C.S. Lewis or Rob Bell

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Ps. 118:8

A contributing writer to Holiness Today has made several serious errors in a recent Holiness Today blog article entitled “God’s Sovereignty.”  It is a commentary  on Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins.  In his opening words, the author says this:

 “For some reason, even the announcement [regarding Bell’s book] ignited some pretty extreme reactions—all the way from some manner of agreement to downright rejection not only of the book, but of Bell himself.  I’ve been wondering why these reactions are so strong. Reading the book reveals that there is actually not that much new contained there.”

Yes, there is actually not that much new in the book.  The Bible says that “there is nothing new under the sun”.  It’s all the same kind of stuff from the very beginning, and in Rob Bell’s case, there is nothing new.  It is the same kind of deception that he has fostered upon so many undiscerning pastors and laypeople alike, and I’m afraid the writer is either undiscerning, or he agrees with Bell’s fuzzy gospel, or he has not read enough of Rob Bell to find out what he is all about.  In any case, regardless of the reason, this is his first serious error.  He has failed to recognize Rob Bell as one of those teachers described in 2 Timothy 4:3:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires”

Rob Bell is clearly one who teaches a form of the gospel that is not the true gospel, and it is a serious mistake to give him a pass in a magazine whose purpose, I assume, is to teach biblical truth to many Nazarenes around the world.  Bell teaches a “twisted gospel”, and he asks questions in such a way, that folks are left in a state of confusion as to whether he even knows the answer.  Is that the calling of a pastor, to ask confusing questions and then walk away, letting everyone else decide for themselves what the answer is, based on their feeling or reasoning, when the answer can be found in scripture?  Why not point people to the answers in scripture?

The second error the writer makes, along with the third, relates to the scripture in Psalm 118:8:  “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”  The writer justifies his support of Rob Bell’s book by citing, not Holy Scripture; not the writings of Jesus or the apostles; but he cites fiction, albeit written by a well known and respected Christian author, C.S. Lewis.

The writer says,

“Even more surprising, in the book The Last Battle from the Narnia series, Lewis has Aslan, the personification of Christ, say to a character who served Tash, an idol, all of his life: “Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.” I guess Lewis expected some surprises at the end.

And is that strange? Unbiblical? I would say, it is not.”

The last time I checked, C.S. Lewis’s books are not part of the canon of Holy Scripture.  What the writer has done here is done too often now.  He has elevated C.S. Lewis as an authoritative figure that cannot be challenged, as if Lewis wrote one of the inspired books of the Bible!  But some people reading this will fall for this, and since C.S. Lewis is a hero to many, will assume that, well, if C.S. Lewis said it, that makes sense.  I warn this writer that as a teacher, the scriptures say that those in his position will be held more accountable in the day of judgment for what they teach.

If the writer had gone on to show us that the illustration from the Narnia book could be backed up with supportive scriptural teaching, then that would be fine.  But he does not do that, which is his third error.  He erroneously says that this illustration is NOT unbiblical, that it’s fine.  He tells us what he thinks.  Not what Holy Scripture says, but what HE thinks.

But in truth, when compared with scripture, it is exactly that.  It is unbiblical, because what Aslan is saying to that character that served an idol all his life is this: “You served a false god all your life, you never knew me as your Savior and Lord, but… come on in anyway, it’s all good.”  This is universalism, folks.  And if that is what C.S. Lewis was teaching in that story, then he was wrong.  If that is what the writer is suggesting, then he is wrong. The writer has great hope that God will not really do what He says he will do regarding unrepentant sinners.

It does not matter who it is that is teaching something wrong and unbiblical.  Everything must be held up to the light of scripture, and no man- none at all- is above scrutiny in what he teaches.  Not C.S. Lewis, not John Wesley, not a General Superintendent, not the greatest preacher in the world today- not anyone else.  That is the danger that we face today folks.  Instead of looking to scripture for the answers, some are grasping for stories like Aslan’s to tickle their ears and make them feel better, that perhaps even those who reject Christ and worship false gods and idols, will somehow be redeemed in spite of their lost condition.

In the parable of the brides, Christ says that “many are called, but few are chosen.”  And those who try to come in and are not ready are thrown into “utter darkness”, in other words, hell.  Hell is one of the concepts that Bell has twisted around to mean something it is not.  It’s like making the claim that the unrepentant sinner, when he dies, will be annihilated completely instead of spending eternity in hell.  A comforting concept to some who do not want anyone to suffer eternally, but an unbiblical concept nonetheless, shown by scripture to be false.

In explaining to his congregation at Mars Hill what he believes, in the aftermath of the book controversy, Rob Bell said the following:

 “I believe in Jesus, I believe in heaven, I believe in hell, and I’m not a universalist… I believe in the Bible as the fresh inspired words of God…”

When you dig deep into what Bell really believes, it is a different Jesus, a different heaven and hell, it’s a different kind of “inspired book” than is what is taught in the Bible.  But many do not recognize this, because he is such a good deceiver.  That’s what makes an effective false prophet.  So to get to recognize a genuine teacher of God’s word, YOU need to be in God’s word so thoroughly, that you can recognize that which is fake.

I encourage those who write for Holiness Today, or approve the articles, to do the same.  Don’t look to other men’s writings, unless they are supported by THE BOOK.  Look to the only words that are infallible and the hold the absolute truth- the Holy Bible.

Suggested read: Rob Bell: “Evangelical and orthodox to the bone?” Hardly. (John MacArthur)

Nazarene Professor Giberson Says Jesus Is An Evolutionist

Note: Recently I was interviewed by Russ Jones of the OneNewsNow internet newspaper, of American Family Radio.  You can read a summary of the interview here: “Mysticism Infecting Nazarene Beliefs“.  May the Lord keep giving us additional avenues of disseminating the truth to as many Christians as possible.

Dr. Karl Giberson is more and more each day stepping out with thoughts that challenge the Bible’s authority and believability.  He apparently feels that he can say anything he wants to now, even if it goes against traditional biblical and Nazarene teachings.  I would ask the leadership at Eastern Nazarene College and board of directors, and I will, to what lengths will you go to ignore everything he says no matter what?  Will he or others ever cross a line that says to you that this cannot continue unchallenged?  Ken Ham, a non-Nazarene, and Dr. Albert Mohler, a non-Nazarene, have challenged this professor’s teachings that contradict scripture.  Will any Nazarenes do the same?  I agree with Ken Ham, Dr. Karl Giberson is clearly undermining the Bible with his words.  When will he stop?


Is Jesus An Evolutionist?
by Ken Ham, Answers In Genesis
4/11/2011

A Nazarene college professor believes He is! Karl Giberson, from Eastern Nazarene College (located on Boston’s south shore), wrote this on a CNN website. The Nazarene school’s website states, “Karl Giberson teaches science and religion, and directs the honors program at Eastern Nazarene College. He is one of the leading scholarly voices in America’s ongoing controversy over evolution.”

What has this academic scholar at a Nazarene college written lately? From the religion blog at the CNN website, he wrote an article entitled “Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you.”

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Giberson’s commentary—which in itself is an attack on the Word of God. And really, because Jesus is the Word (John 1:1–2), an attack on God’s Word is also an attack on the Son.

Giberson states the following:

When science began in the 17th century, Christians eagerly applied the new knowledge to alleviate suffering and improve living conditions.

First of all, “science” means knowledge. What he is referring to is modern empirical science—based on repeatable, observable facts. Such empirical science has enabled us to develop technology, medicines, etc. For this we are all grateful. Whether a scientist is an evolutionist or creationist, we can applaud them for the great technological advances because of operational (or observational) science. But Giberson then steps out of discussing observational science and steps into historical science (beliefs about the past).

But when it comes to the truth of evolution, many Christians feel compelled to look the other way.

From the context of the article, we see that by “evolution” he is referring to Darwinian evolution—molecules to ape-like creatures to man. This is not “truth.” It is a belief about the past. He then demeans Gods inspired (“God breathed,” 2 Timothy 3:16) Word by stating the following:

They hold on to a particular interpretation of an ancient story in Genesis that they have fashioned into a modern account of origins—a story that began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews thousands of years ago.

Giberson is actually applying his belief in evolutionary history to the Bible. He assumes that people in the past were not as intellectual or as intelligent as people today. Giberson has a very different view of inspiration than that of orthodox Christians. He obviously does not see the record of Genesis as “God breathed.” Yet in the New Testament (Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, to name just a couple of references), the apostle Paul referred to events in Genesis as real history—foundational to the gospel. Jesus, in Matthew 19, quoted from Genesis 1 and 2 as real history—as the foundation for the doctrine of marriage.

Jesus is the Truth. He is the Word. To claim that Genesis is just an ancient story that “began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews” is to attack the Word of God, and thus it is an attack on the Son of God, who is the Word.

He continues.

This is the view on display in a $27 million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky. It inspired the Institute for Creation Research, which purports to offer scientific support for creationism.

Those who have actually been to the Creation Museum know it is a place the honors God’s Word and proclaims the gospel.

Later in the article, Giberson states the following:

For more than two centuries, careful scientific research, much of it done by Christians, has demonstrated clearly that the earth is billions years old, not mere thousands, as many creationists argue. We now know that the human race began millions of years ago in Africa—not thousands of years ago in the Middle East, as the story in Genesis suggests.

So Paul was wrong in 1 Corinthians 11 about the origins of humans when he twice stated that the woman is of the man? Paul said that the woman (the first woman, Eve), came from the man (a reference to God creating Eve from Adam’s side in Genesis 2). To believe in evolution as Giberson does, one must believe that woman came from an ape-woman and man from and ape-man.

The Bible makes it clear that man was made from dust and woman from his side. Jesus, in Matthew 19, quoted from Genesis 2:24 regarding the “one flesh,” thus clearly stating that the Genesis 2 account is literal history. So if Giberson is right, Jesus didn’t tell the truth, and Paul was wrong. So what is the Bible really? If it is fallible, who determines which bits are fallible?

Giberson goes on to again state that evolution is fact.

And all life forms are related to each other though evolution. These are important truths that science has discovered through careful research. They are not “opinions” that can be set aside if you don’t like them. Anyone who values truth must take these ideas seriously, for they have been established as true beyond any reasonable doubt.

Well, there is one verse of Scripture that comes to mind.

Let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

Giberson then discusses supposed evidence for evolution. This evidence is all countered and answered clearly in various articles on answersingenesis.org.

Later in the article, he states the following:

Christians must come to welcome—rather than fear—the ideas of evolution. Truths about Nature are sacred, for they speak of our Creator. Such truths constitute “God’s second book” for Christians to read alongside the Bible. . . . To understand how the heavens go we must read the book of Nature, not the Bible.

This is a similar concept to one taught by Hugh Ross, that nature is the 67th book of the Bible. However, nature is cursed! It is affected by sin. And nature doesn’t “say” anything. Fallible man has to interpret nature. The only way to ensure one has the right basis to interpret it correctly, is to build one’s thinking on the history revealed in Scripture.

When this is done, we understand that nature is suffering from the affects of the Fall. The whole creation groans because of sin (Romans 8:22). One doesn’t look at the creation and see billions of years. That is an interpretation made by fallible man, and that interpretation is incorrect.

The written Word of God makes it clear that thorns came after the curse, yet there are fossil thorns in rocks said to be supposedly millions of years old. The Bible makes it clear that death, disease, and suffering are the result of sin; but death, disease, and evidence of violence and suffering abounds in the fossil record. This record had to come after sin—not millions of years before man.

Giberson continues.

The Book of nature reveals the truth that God created the world through gradual processes over billions of years, rather than over the course of six days, as many creationists believe.

Actually, the Bible does state that God created in six days (Exodus 20:11). Read the account for yourself. Where does it state billions of years? It doesn’t. And where do you read in “the book of nature” that the world is billions of years old and that life evolved? You read this in man’s fallible books, as fallible man who “suppresses the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1), as Giberson is doing, then imposes this story (and that’s what it is, a made-up story) on nature.

He then states the following:

Evolution does not contradict the Bible unless you force an unreasonable interpretation on that ancient book.

What he is saying is that evolution doesn’t contradict the Bible, unless you take the Bible as written. As long as you reinterpret God’s Word—thus undermining its authority—you can make God’s Word mean anything you want to make it to mean.

Giberson ends the article with the following:

To these questions we should add “What would Jesus believe about origins?” And the answer? Jesus would believe evolution, of course. He cares for the Truth.

Here are the words of Jesus (He is the Word—so any quote of Scripture is to quote Jesus).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

The entirety of Your word is truth. (Psalms 119:160)

Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:45–47)

You can read Giberson’s entire Bible-undermining commentary at the following link:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/10/my-take-jesus-would-believe-in-evolution-and-so-should-you/

Already Compromised

On May 1, our new book Already Compromised will be released. It details the compromise teaching (like this commentary above) that is permeating our Christian colleges. This book is both revealing and shocking. You can pre-order Already Compromised now.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

Open Letter #2 To The General Superintendents

This is my second open letter that I am writing to you, and my third letter overall.  I pray all is well with you.

I am writing this in a spirit of great concern and love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  I believe, with all humility, that I speak on behalf of a good number of Nazarenes as well.

 

The Church of the Nazarene manual states that your duties include:

 

317.1.1  “To provide supervision of the international Church of the Nazarene. The Board of General Superintendents shall provide appropriate attention to leadership, guidance, motivation…”

318. “The Board of General Superintendents shall be the authority for the interpretation of the law and doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene…”

 

Many are still seeking guidance and clear answers in these very troubling times within the church.  The influence of the emerging church movement is growing, and is causing an ever widening theological rift, as many Nazarenes see it as an apostate movement.  It has torn apart fellowship and brought chaos to many church families, including mine. It has resulted in the departure from the Nazarene denomination by many who have been watching a holiness church turn to teachings and traditions that years ago would have been unthinkable; teachings and practices that were rejected by the very people who started the Reformation.  We are reverting back to pre-Reformation behavior, and incorporating teachings and practices that were rejected by Martin Luther, and those who gave their very lives in defense of the true gospel.  We have lost more than 10,000 Nazarenes in the last four years in the U.S. and Canada.  Although I cannot tell you how much of that is due to emergent ideology or the embrace of Romanism and mysticism, I do have personal stories from dozens of people who have related to me that these movements have been the cause of their departure, or the cause of their current state of distress in their own church.

 

There are many things going on that are dividing our denomination and creating chaos among the believers, who are either unsure or afraid of the direction we are headed.  Many have become anxious because our leaders have not provided them with clear and unambiguous explanations of various concerns.  We believe that the main problem that is unfolding is a great separation between Bible believing Christians, and those who do not believe in the full authority and inerrancy of God’s word. If this continues, there will be many more permanently separating from the church, who will not abide with a continuing further erosion in trusting all of the Bible’s teachings.

 

I would like to submit just a few questions to you and ask for some absolute clarity as to what you as a governing board believe about the following issues, because unless we get complete clarity on where our leaders stand, the bleeding will continue anyway, and you will see more and more Nazarenes leaving.  Sure, some will leave no matter how you answer, but at least you will fulfill the mandate that the church manual has given to you, to be the authority for the interpretation of the law and doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene. Here are my questions:

 

  1. Celtic Spirituality class taught at Nazarene Theological Seminary
    For the life of me, I cannot understand why this course is being taught at a Christian seminary! If you have no information on this subject, I wrote a post.  Is this teaching appropriate and within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy?  If yes, please explain it, because this is occultism being taught here, and we are very concerned with this kind of teaching to those who are going to be our future pastors.  I have attached a syllabus from the class, and it is not just a study of the topic- it is for future pastors to fully participatein this pagan discipline. 
     
  2. The teaching of Open Theism and Process Theology at our Christian colleges.
    Is it scripturally sound to teach that God does not know the future?  Is it within the bounds of orthodox Christianity and Nazarene doctrine to teach that God makes mistakes and learns from them?  Is this the new Nazarene teaching about the nature of God? 
     
  3. Is the use of pagan prayer labyrinths, the placing of ashes to the forehead and other Roman Catholic ritualsin Nazarene churches now acceptable and within the bounds of orthodox Christianity and Nazarene doctrine, in your opinion?  
  4. Finally, what do each of you believe regarding the inerrancy of scripture? With all the troubles within the Nazarene denomination, I believe it can be traced to the lessening of the authority and infallibility of God’s word.  My question is simple and straight for each of you: do you believe that the Bible- all of it- is fully inspired by God, and IS actually God’s word? Furthermore, do you agree or disagree with those who are promoting the teaching that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are not necessarily true, and that much of the Bible is not necessarily true?  Do you believe Christians can actually reject the literal account of creation, and accept the idea that man evolved, including Adam and Eve?
    If so, what is the biblical justification to arrive at these conclusions, and how can we trust the Bible if parts of it are not true?  Does that not make God a liar?  This is the most important area I wish to get clarification on, and I pray that you will take the time to write a clear response, not just for me, but for many Nazarenes who are wondering about this.

 

That last question, by the way, is important for many reasons.  One was the astounding fact that a licensed minister in the New England District was told last year that he would probably not be approved for ordination.  For what reason, you may ask?  Was it for incompetence?  Did they tell him he just did not seem to have a genuine calling from God?  Did he have some kind of serious moral failure that discredited him?

No, it was none of that.  They simply told him that his view on the Bible- that it is the inspired and inerrant word of God- was not acceptable.  To his credit and courage, he has told the licensing board that he would not seek renewal of a District license, because of the lack of confidence within the denomination in the very word of God.  How shameful is it that this kind of thing can happen?  How many more young pastors will be rejected unless they fit into the mold that is being formed, a mold that apparently rejects scripture as fully divinely inspired.  Instead, pastors are being ordained if they believe in open theism, process theology, or that we came from apes.  Does that sound like the Christian world turned upside down to you?  And let me remind you of the pastors who have been faithful to God’s word, but have been summarily dismissed for preaching against the emergent church movement.

 

It is my prayer that you will provide clear answers to these questions and finally help many Nazarenes understand where our leadership stands on these issues. The church looks to you for guidance, yet those of us who see the scriptures as the only true authority for our faith and practice, must be Bereans and even hold you up to the standard of scripture.  It is not personal, it is only obedience to the Lord’s teachings that compels us to ask these questions.

 

May God bless you and I look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Manny Silva

Rejecting The Bible’s Authority And Inerrancy

2 Peter 1:20-21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Although the Point Loma homosexuality controversy recently was a big story, I was afraid it would distract us from the fact that there is a bigger problem in the church, of which this is only one of the symptoms.  What has led many Christians to welcome and embrace the emerging church movement?  What has led our evangelical denominations to bring in mysticism, Roman Catholic and pagan practices?  What has led us to compromise the gospel message and create a new gospel of social justice mixed with environmentalism and ecumenicism?  What has led us to usher in secular music during worship, soaking prayer and word-faith phenomema?  What has led us to embrace the thinking that “it’s all about God’s love”, while losing sight of the fact that while He is a God of love, He is also a God of justice, and that the wrath of God will come down on all who walk in willful disobedience?  (Rom. 14:10-12) What has led so many, pastors included, to be blinded to the obvious heresies of Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo and others?  What has led Nazarene Theological Seminary to allow the teaching and practice of the occultic-based Celtic spirituality?  What has led us to be more concerned about membership rolls and financial health, than about preaching the gospel?

It is the rejection of the Bible as the inerrant, infallible word of God. It is the rejection of scripture as the only and sufficient authority for Christians.  It is the arrogance of some of our leaders in the church and our universities, to dare to tell us that they know better than what is written in God’s word.  It is the oft repeated belief that the common man who has no theology degree does not have the understanding to know what the Bible teaches, until the enlightened leaders tell us what it means.  These people forget that the power of God’s word is such that it does not need man’s help to reveal the sinner’s fallen nature, and bring him to his knees in repentance, and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

If the leadership in the church, and many of the professors at our Christian schools, actually held uncompromisingly to the inerrancy of scripture, we would not see heresies like open theism and process theology taught at some of the universities.  We would also not see the promotion of theistic evolution, which clearly contradicts scriptural revelation.  These teachings, when held up to scripture, fall like a deck of cards.  Yet why do so many fail to understand, and choose to reject what the Bible teaches, and instead invent their own explanations of what God’s word is really saying?

My recent post on Northwest Nazarene, which was published at Intermountain Christian News, was visited so much yesterday that it passed the previous high that was set when the Point Loma homosexuality story came out.  Many of these comments are never approved, because they repeat the same old accusations or imply facts that were not in the article.  Here is a sample:

“the author of this article is extraordinarily ill-informed”; “At best it is simply hearsay and unfortunately poor research; at worst, it is blatant fear-mongering.”

“an article like this one that lacks truth”

These folks rejected, but did not correct any facts that I wrote in the post.  And they apparently ignore the fact that there are NNU alums, parents and students alike, who share the same concerns I have.

Then:

“When it comes to the inerrant Word of God, you will not find a single professor in our religion department who will tell you that the Bible has errors when it comes to the Salvation story, but they will say that the Bible contains errors/contradictions on numbers (such as warriors for battle) or on timing issues (Jesus spoke to John and then Mark vs. Jesus spoke to Mark and then John) but I have never heard of an NNU professor saying that there are contradictions beyond these trivial things.”

There’s the problem.  And this person apparently is not familiar with Professor Tom Oord and his selective choosing of what is reliable.  Dr. Oord was the same professor who told me he disagreed about Adam as being the source of what brought on sin and death to man.  That is a rejection of what Romans 5:12 says, and what Jesus said also.  Professor Oord also is a big proponent of open theism and process theology, both heretical teachings.

What these people fail to do in their arguments with me and others, is to point out the specifics of the “errors” in our statements.  They cannot argue or reason from a biblical perspective, because they are rejecting that viewpoint.  They are probably arguing from a humanistic or ecumenical perspective, which says we should embrace or live happily with every kind of doctrine that comes down the pike!  If they could only believe the Bible completely, these problems would eventually go away.  But they choose to believe only what they want to believe, and only what tickles their ears.

And then there are the examples of what some students have come to believe:

“Love with no judgments, means….. not only can you not tell someone they are wrong in their faith, but to even believe it, is a judgment. Which is absolutely opposite of what Jesus taught.”

“Over the years it has become apparent to me that the fullness of God was expressed through Christ and not through the Bible.”

“Just because the bible is written whereas “god” is referred to as he, you can’t assume god is male.”

“No one has any divine revelation here. We decide either by reason or emotion.”

So to all who have posted recently amid the furor over Point Loma, and Northwest Nazarene, I am sorry, but your comments will not be accepted, unless you can actually correct the “errors” and refute what has been said about your school.  It’s all there right in front of you.  You just refuse to see it, because most likely, you do not respect the word of God.  You do not believe that God’s word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is completey trustworthy in all that it teaches.

Thus, as our attitude towards God’s Holy word goes, so goes the church.

Additional Resources on Scriptural Authority and Inerrancy:

Inerrancy and Wesleyanism (Pastor Joe Staniforth)
Do Not Reject God’s Infallible Word (Grant Swank)
Biblical Inerrancy (Dr. Darryl McArthy)

[1: Sign the Petition, Nazarene Desiring a Return to Solid Biblical Publications of NPH, Barefoot and The House Studio]

[2: Support and pray for publishers like Dr. Anthony Harper and Lawrence Lepore, who do not compromise their biblical principles for money]