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

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12 responses to “Open Letter #2 To The General Superintendents

  1. I am a 3rd and 4th generation Nazarene on both side of my family. My Great Grandmother moved her family to Nampa, ID so that her children could attend NNC, now NNU. My parents met at NNC and I attended NNU. I am a 30 year old woman who has had to leave my beloved church family. The reason that I left is because open theism has infiltrated my home church and there is no confidence in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. What is being taught now is not what I was taught growing up. I am saddened and sickened by what has become the Nazarene Church. I stand with Manny in asking for a clear answer on the direction of the church.

  2. A very good letter Manny, I pray that the Generals will respond with answers that will provide direction.

    While we are decidedly not a reformed church, you make very good points regarding our departure from personal holiness. Answers should be given, it is important that we know which direction the church is headed, so that folks can make decisions that are informed and appropriate

  3. As a non-Nazarene I attend a small Nazarene Church that has “Thank God”, not been corrupted as of yet. Can anyone give me guidance as to my responsibility when it comes to tithing. Even though I am not a member of the denomination because of the heresy and the willingness of the leadership to engage in and accept this apostasy, 13% of my tithe goes to support the very sinful activity that I oppose. Am I offering 13% of my tithe to Baal? Where do I stand biblicly?

  4. Thanks for the letter. I began in the Nazarene church in the seventies, but then became swallowed up in the world in the mid eighties, I was away from the church until 2010. I have been amazed at the difference I see in the leadership and the colleges with their false teachers speaking on the campuses.

    My own church in Allentown, still has exclusionary leadership, but I was told the church has done some of the Rick Warren programs. I see Warren as an apostle of Bell and I would not trust anything he says. I will oppose any more of his works being explored at my church.

    We would like to think the Nazarene church will be unaffected by the Rapture, but it like all denominations will succumb to the Emergent church of Laodicea. It is part of God’s plan to allow the world to believe a great lie. Still it is our duty to impede the progress of emergence as long as possible.

  5. Thank you, Rollin,
    May the Lord give you wisdom and discernment in this time. I pray that others with discernment will join with you and encourage each other.

  6. A great example of prayer and an example of a true Christian warrior character was Uncle Bud Robinson. His Daily Prayer was;

    “O Lord, give me a back bone as big as a saw log,
    And ribs like the sleepers under the church floor.
    Put iron shoes on me and galvanized breeches,
    And give me a rhinoceros hide for skin;
    And hang a wagon load of determination up in the gable end of my soul.
    And help me to sign the contract to fight the Devil as long as I have got a fist, and bite him as long as I’ve got a tooth, and then gum him till I die.
    All this I ask, for Christ’s sake.” Amen

    Perhaps some of our leaders will develop some of his courage.

  7. Great article I have been in the church of the nazarene for over 30 years, my dad has been a pastor for the church of the nazarene for 0ver 35 yrs my two brother are ordain minister in the church of the nazarene, just recently when I was doing my interview for my district license someone mention what this article is talking about, it’s time the church get’s up and preaches the true word and not be scare. We have not yet seen down here in south florida the open theism since our main culture is spanish but this is a eye opener.

  8. Yes, I have, Dan. I am considering posting a letter I sent to them several months ago, as well as their response, and my followup to their response.

  9. We have discovered our church leadership does not intend to fight this cancer that is leading people right into hell. People do not want to hear about these problems and look at you like you have already swallowed the koolaid. Pray that God softens the hearts of people. In Christ’s name charlotte

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