Ill-Informed Critics? Part 2

 

 

Update: On May 30, 2011, Rev. Felter’s post that I referenced here disappeared, but you can read it all at the end of my comments:

As I continue my response to David Felter’s latest blog post, which can be read at the end of my comments, I wonder if he realizes how many faithful Nazarenes he has maligned with the phrase “ill-informed critics.”  If I am one of those he considers “ill-informed”, then he has also included a lot of like-minded Nazarenes and other Christians in the same category.  He has a right to judge me and others of course, but I would at least like to know what he is judging us about- specifically.

In part one, I critiqued his assertion that the Nazarene denomination is not “turning from its roots and becoming more liberal”. By the way, I did not expand on the fact that Rev. Felter uses a strawman argument by trying to link most of the “ill-informed” to those who have come into the church with a Reformed or Calvinistic perspective.  It would take another post to refute this, so I will simply say that is not the case, and it is an argument that mirrors the NazNet diversionary playbook. However, I don’t know if Rev. Felter is a member of that group, which I have asserted is a breeding ground for emergent heresy.

Rev. Felter continues on with his second point, regarding the emerging/emergent church.   He begins with a somewhat mild criticism of the emergent church, questioning whether it is minimizing the role of evangelism.  He has never named the names of any false teachers in the emergent movement, as far as I know; and as far as I know, he has never openly rejected any of its false teachings, including contemplative spirituality, open theism, and theistic evolution, all of which are a part of this emergent movement.  He then proceeds to go back to his standard formula with the following:

“The rhetoric in some quarters has gotten out of hand with unfounded accusations flying everywhere, creating unnecessary dissension and division in the Body of Christ.”

Just what are these unfounded accusations that he never puts a finger on publicly?  Will Rev. Felter ever be specific?  Has he ever criticized the emergents in the Nazarene church for “unfounded accusations?”  No.  He seems to have a pattern of criticizing those who object to heresies in the church, and which are causing undue angst amongst our long time Nazarenes. Yet he is strangely silent in his criticism about the emergent church.

“Where there has been the substitution of human ideas for the clear teachings of Scripture and the time-honored, Spirit-inspired teachings of the Church, one must declare one’s allegiance to Christ and His teachings.”

I challenge Rev. Felter then to tell us please, and give us examples of those instances where “human ideas have substituted clear teaching of scripture.”  If we are to declare allegiance to Christ and His teachings, we must also be ready to refute without timidity all the practices and ideologies whose origins are satanic, regardless of who is teaching them!  I don’t care if the person has the title of “Most Reverend Doctor.” We are commanded in scripture to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph. 5:11.  This clearly means to call them out and stay away from them!

Sadly, in point number three, Rev. Felter makes some statements that mirror the heart of the problem we are having in our denomination, and that is a lack of complete trust in God’s written Word.  This is a problem that is literally destroying the faith of many of our college students!  It has led many longtime faithful Nazarenes to leave their church, because of pastors who reject the authority of scripture.  Here are some quotes:

“We do not receive the Bible as a textbook on science.”

True, it is not a science textbook, but it is God’s word, and whenever it speaks on anything related to science, it is always true and accurate and without error. Otherwise, how do we accept it as God’s word?  Yet, the emergent church does not agree that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant word of God.  Rev. Felter seems to be accepting the same premise.

“Some Nazarene scientists and educators recognize evolution as a methodology that explains the mechanics of creation, but not the reason for creation…”

This really simply means, they don’t believe the Genesis account!  Evolution is an ungodly interpretation of the plainly spoken creation process as described in Genesis, and a rejection of the testimony of Jesus Christ; so I guess Rev. Felter will accept the words of man over the words of Holy Scripture.  With his own words, I refute that premise:  “Where there has been the substitution of human ideas for the clear teachings of Scripture and the time-honored, Spirit-inspired teachings of the Church, one must declare one’s allegiance to Christ and His teachings.”

“The Bible is the word of God.  But it is not a proof text for science, geography, or any other discipline.”

Rev. Felter affirms that the Bible is the word of God, then refutes it by making exceptions, which if he concurs with many others, also believes that it is not a proof text for historical events!  Many of our Nazarene pastors and professors from our universities, do not affirm that the Bible gives an accurate historical account of creation, and instead claim that they are most likely allegory and myth.

“The Bible is to be read, studied, and its teachings to be incorporated, but it is not to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped. That belongs to God alone.”

This reminds me of the argument emergents use, which is similar to a quote by Brennan Manning, who called those who hold the Bible in high regard as “bibliolaters.”  It’s just another red herring argument that does not hold water.  Of course we do not idolize the Bible, but we do recognize it as God’s inerrant, infallible revelation to us, and the only true authority for our faith and practice.  These people will never affirm this statement I just made, because they do not trust the word of God completely, and instead they want to uphold other sources of authority equal to Scripture, namely man’s “wisdom.”

“It is unfortunate that so many other believers have rushed to condemn those who have sought to resurrect ancient methods of worship, reflection, prayer, and meditation.”

That is because these ancient methods are based in mysticism and pagan religions, and therefore their source is not from God, but from satan.  Practicing the silence, prayer labyrinths, repetitively praying the Jesus Prayer; these things are ancient methods- BUT they are not scriptural!  So, what is unfortunate is the inability, or refusal, or fear, to speak out against these false teachings.  It could be a lack of biblical discernment, but how can that be?

 “Numerous voices are extant today that are full of criticism, censoriousness, and confusion. Satan would like to confuse the people of God. Clearly, the Church of the Nazarene is not perfect. It is, however, a vine of God’s planting.  It is committed to the message of Scriptural holiness.  I encourage you to take heart and be faithful, for God is still working with His people.”

Here, Rev. Felter concludes with more non-specific attacks against  many God-fearing Nazarenes and Christians who are just trying to be faithful to God’s word, and ironically, are trying to pursue Scriptural holiness.  We do not subscribe to the teaching that “practicing the silence” will get us any closer to God.  We do not believe that our future pastors should be learning occultic practices at our very own seminary.  We do not believe that placing ashes to the forehead anywhere near resembles our great holiness heritage.  And, we do not believe in picking and choosing what parts of the Bible are inerrant, because all of it is.

I am not saying that the problem lies here solely with the editor of Holiness Today.  He is only one of many who are defending what is going on in our schools, and in many of our churches.  Where is the Board of General Superintendents to speak on these specific matters, and give clear guidance and direction?  I have yet to get one clear answer from the letters I have received, and I’m sure others have had the same result.

Rev. Felter is correct, satan is trying to confuse the people of God, but he’s doing it through the emergent church, and through other ungodly movements such as social justice, environmental justice, and all sorts of other man created programs that often change like the wind and are discarded after failing, other than increasing numbers in the church.  Is that our goal, and is that a reflection of God’s favor on us?  Or is it simply obedience to God, whether a church grows, or shrinks in size?

Yes, God is still working with His people.  But God’s judgment will come as well, if His people continue on a path of disobedience to His word.  The emergent church movement is doing nothing but harm to the Church of the Nazarene, and it really needs to go.

Rev. Felter, please prayerfully consider my words here.  It’s nothing personal against you, but I am clearly against what you seem to be supporting, and I will continue to fight and expose it.  I pray that God will open your eyes, and awaken many more Nazarenes to the false teachings that have come into our denomination.

 

DAVID FELTER’S ORIGINAL POST:

What about those Nazarenes?

As General Editor of the Church of the Nazarene, I frequently get the same questions about the status of the church. These undoubtedly come from well-meaning, sincere people who have picked up bits and pieces along with rumors from here and there that trouble them. Additionally, there are voices on the sidelines seriously critical of just about everything the church does; from conferences on spiritual formation to NYC.

I have combined the queries into two main questions, making them representative of the spectrum of concerns that I receive on a fairly regular basis. In this response, I have posted my perspective and am speaking as a member of the Church of the Nazarene who loves the church and grieves over the rending of its fabric by ill-informed critics.

1. The Church Of The Nazarene is slowly turning away from its roots so to speak and becoming more liberal.

The Church of the Nazarene has consistently affirmed its 16 Articles of Faith and its Agreed Statement of Belief. These documents form the very foundation upon which rests the theological and doctrinal trajectory of the denomination. Additionally, nothing has happened officially, within the decision-making of the General Assembly, to change these documents. If anything, we have strengthened our commitment to these foundational truths. We reference them in relationship to every book we print and every message we send because they represent our DNA.

The challenge behind this accusation is unfounded. Individual members of the Church of the Nazarene may have altered their perspectives and such alterations by individual members may have been mistakenly perceived as wholesale changes endorsed or adopted by the denomination. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Additionally, another challenge has arisen from the influx of new members over time who have come to the Church of the Nazarene from differing theological traditions. Some have come from Reformed, Calvinist, or charismatic traditions and when they discover the significant differences between our Wesleyan-holiness theological tradition, they may perceive such differences as liberalizing. This is especially true for those whose former religious experiences were in fundamentalist, Reformed, and Calvinist traditions. Wesleyan-theological traditions view many elements of Christian theology through ancient lenses stretching back to our roots in the 18th century Methodist revival under the ministries of John and Charles Wesley who were Anglican priests and remained such until their deaths. Our historic theological positions rest on ancient premises, supported by Early Church Fathers.

Reformed churches developed strains of Augustine’s predestinarian perspectives (God’s divine decrees), especially through the work of the towering theological giant, John Calvin. Presently, there are Bible Churches, Baptist Churches, and many Evangelical churches whose theological base is informed by these insights. Doctrines like eternal security and male-only ministry do not find their way into their way into the Nazarene theology because our roots return to the tap root of the ancient, apostolic fathers, mediated by the Church of Rome, the Church of England, the Reformation, the Wesleyan Revival, the American Holiness Movement, right up until now. Consequently, some Nazarenes hear our theological message and sense differences but perceive it incorrectly as a liberalizing trend. Nothing could be further from the truth.

2. The Emerging/Emergent church.

The discussions surrounding the Emerging/Emergent Church have been rather confusing because there is no one, single, all-encompassing definition of the Emergent Church. Some would say it is the church practicing hospitality, openness, and embracing all regardless of their knowledge or understanding of Grace. Others would say that it refers to a theological position staked out by popular authors and church leaders like Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, et al. In truth, much of what is occurring in the so-called “emerging church” is driven by the changes in society as a whole. This is why one rarely if ever hears of “emergent churches” in global areas outside North America.

There are facets of the emergent movement that are truly troubling in that they seem to minimalize the role of evangelism, preferring instead the compassionate ministry approach of listening, serving, and representing the heart of Jesus in their world. While there is something eminently beautiful about selfless service to others on behalf of, and in the name of Jesus, there is also the reality that the Church cannot neglect the proclamation of the Gospel. Many young people are rejecting the heavy-handed approaches of another era, preferring instead “conversations” and solidarity with the world in Christ’s name. Clearly the jury is still out on this, but in my mind, any local church that ignores the responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel in decisive terms, misses its God-appointed mandate given by the Son in Matthew 28. Moreover the words of General Superintendent J. K. Warrick help us in his reference to those who espouse the teachings of the Emergent/emerging church: “When they drift into heresy we draw lines and hold the line firm.”

The rhetoric in some quarters has gotten out of hand with unfounded accusations flying everywhere, creating unnecessary dissension and division in the Body of Christ. Many of us who are older are having a difficult time adjusting to the changes we see and hear in the local church; from worship styles to the way the local church perceives its place in the mission of God. The reality is the church is always changing. No methodology is sacrosanct. Everything we do in the Body of Christ must acknowledge our human limitations, relying fully on the grace and power of Christ for the furtherance of His mission.

Where there has been the substitution of human ideas for the clear teachings of Scripture and the time-honored, Spirit-inspired teachings of the Church, one must declare one’s allegiance to Christ and His teachings. Where the message that is proclaimed no longer affirms or is enriched by faithfulness to the Articles of Faith, then that congregation is slipping away from its theological moorings.

Corrective, constructive criticism can be offered without disconnecting one’s self from the Body. Prayer, fellowship, and involvement can bridge gaps between those whose knowledge of Scripture and proper, correct theological doctrine is insufficiently developed.

3. The Church of the Nazarene, Evolution, Legalism, and the Word of God

There is much debate in the evangelical world about these three issues. Some of it stems from widely differing positions on the nature of Scripture. The Church of the Nazarene is not, and never has been a fundamentalist denomination. Our view of Scripture rests on the solid foundations of the Early Church Father’s positions, and has been affirmed by the “holy, catholic Church” (the Church universal) down through the ages. Here are some quick associations between that perspective and some common issues.

    • We do not receive the Bible as a textbook on science. Instead we receive the Bible as a library of 66 books, authored by human authors writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to reveal and disclose the love, grace, and salvation of God.
    • Science is in the business of positing theories based on research. Our foundational understanding of Scripture is not disturbed when science suggests methodologies associated with the study of natural and human origins. All we insist is that all theories must recognize the eternal God who is behind all that exists; or as Gen. 1 says, “In the beginning, God!”
    • Some Nazarene scientists and educators recognize evolution as a methodology that explains the mechanics of creation, but not the reason for creation, and thus they emphasize the faithfulness of God who sovereignly reigns supreme and has disclosed Himself in the person and work of Jesus to bring us to Himself in reconciliation and redemption.
    • The Church of the Nazarene rightly respects the conscience of its membership. Where moral and ethical issues are in play, the Church of the Nazarene recognizes the value of stating beliefs and values in light of the church’s “collective conscience.” Hence, in our Manual you will read statements regarding human sexuality, abortion, homosexuality, and the value of a Scripturally-informed, Spiritually-sensitive conscience when it comes to participation in entertainment venues, both personal and collective.
    • The Church of the Nazarene rejects legalism and affirms the role of the Holy Spirit, Scripture, and the collective conscience of the Church to inform its membership with principles whereby they can navigate the issues of life. Alcoholism and drug abuse with their attendant wreckage in tow, challenge to Church to prescribe a position of total abstinence; not because it can be proved from Scripture, but because it represents the way of compassionate love for others, and for Christ.
    • The Bible is the word of God. But it is not a proof text for science, geography, or any other discipline. The Bible is not the domain of literalists who disfigure the Scriptures to support untenable positions like forbidding women to be ordained as elders in the church of God. The Bible is to be read, studied, and its teachings to be incorporated, but it is not to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped. That belongs to God alone.

Some Conclusions:

A new generation, weary of modernist assurances based on empiricism alone, have sought fresh wells from which to drink of the living water offered by our Lord (John 7:37-38). Many Christians have searched the ‘memory’ of the earlier generations of believers, in different times and locations, and have found rich treasures that offer simple, fresh ways to experience the transcendence and holiness of God in worship, praise, prayer, and community.

It is unfortunate that so many other believers have rushed to condemn those who have sought to resurrect ancient methods of worship, reflection, prayer, and meditation. It is always possible that someone will take something too far, idealizing it and in turn actually creating the inverse of what they thought they were finding by making their discovery an end in itself. Clearly some conferences or gatherings in universities have pushed the limits and have, or are, learning from their experiences. The criticism they experienced as a result served as a corrective.

Take the issue of homosexuality; the Board of General Superintendents has affirmed our traditional stand found in the Manual through their pastoral letter. They also reminded the church that as Wesleyan’s we view sin as any willful, voluntary breaking of a known law of God. They have reminded the church that there is a difference between a tendency or temptation, and acted out behavior. The latter separates an individual from fellowship with God, while the former offers the Spirit opportunity to perform the work of transformation and recovery.

Our institutions like Pt. Loma and others are intersections where critical issues will surface from time to time. They offer an environment where the fine line of love for the person and commitment to law of God are balanced to provide an opportunity for discussion, clarification, and redemption.

Numerous voices are extant today that are full of criticism, censoriousness, and confusion. Satan would like to confuse the people of God. Clearly, the Church of the Nazarene is not perfect. It is, however, a vine of God’s planting. It is committed to the message of Scriptural holiness. I encourage you to take heart and be faithful, for God is still working with His people.

Grace & Peace

David Felter

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20 responses to “Ill-Informed Critics? Part 2

  1. That Rev. Felter seems to have more of a problem with Calvinism than he does the emergent movement is very telling. Somebody should remind him that Wesley and Whitefield, for all their differences, nevertheless spoke highly of each other and regarded each other as solid Christians.

  2. Manny:
    I posted this comment regarding Rev. Felter’s article What about those Nazarenes.” My purpose was to re-emphasize what is at stake here and why so many are concerned about what is happening in our church.

    “What is a soul worth? Jesus answers the question with a question (v.36) and then asks one of the most important questions for a man to answer (v.37) found in Mark [8:36-37]. “For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul. Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul.”

    The Bible makes it clear that man will reside in one or two places “Heaven or Hell.” There is no in-between. The old saying; “While Rome burned Nero fiddled” is more than that. Nero took no blame for his role in it and blamed the Christians. I ask who is blaming who when precious souls are being lost? Have we as a church forgot about the finality of hell and that those who go their are never coming out despite the fact that some believe it is only temporary and seen as a place of purification and they will be delivered after a brief period and will go to heaven.

    After the final judgment referred to in Revelations [20:11-15] those names not found written in the “Book of life” are “cast into the lake of fire.” Those who go to heaven are those whose names are written in the “Lamb’s book of life” recorded in Revelations [21:22-27].

    John makes the distinction very clear about the finality of the two places. After the final judgment there is no mention of Christ ever visiting “Hell” or having anything to do with those who are tormented; they are sealed to eternal everlasting punishment. God is not going to lament throughout eternity over those who go to “Hell.” Why? Because He has provided a way of escape through Jesus Christ.

    Just as God is able to forget the sins of those who confess their sins before God and accept Christ, He will forget all those in “Hell.” What is interesting their is no mention that their names are recorded in any book as those names that are found in “The Lamb’s book.”

    Here is a truth that is hard to accept. They will be remembered no more and will be LEFT ALONE in their torment throughout eternity away from God and God’s people. All their cries and anguish, even being sorry, will not relinguish their suffering.

    All of us have loved ones who are lost and unless we as a church protect our heritage we may not see them saved because of the false teachings we are allowing to creep in.”

  3. I read that, Lige. I appreciate that you link your thoughts to actual biblical teaching. Many of those who approve of his article, I recognized from NazNet community. And then there was this disrespectful statement from a pastor no less- with not much else to his comments:

    “Great article. A few grumpy people on the comments,”

    It’s amazing as these folks continue to talk like this, and have no substance to their words. I assume he was referring to you, and perhaps one other person who commented.

    Again, no substance to what they say. Just vilify.

    And another comment went like this:

    “I am fully aware that there are items in God’s Word which are simply not for us, not for the church in any era or not for the church in this era. Of course the ‘church’ needs discernment and understanding on this. ”

    Not sure what that means, but does not sound good.

  4. John Wesley
    ON CORRUPTING THE WORD OF GOD
    The Wesley Center Online – NNU

    Was John Wesley a Calvinist?

    http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley-1872-edition/sermon-136-on-corrupting-the-word-of-god/

    [3.] A Third sort of those who corrupt the Word of God, though in a lower degree than either of the former, are those who do so, not by adding to it, but taking from it; who take either of the spirit or substance of it away, while they study to prophesy only smooth things, and therefore palliate and colour what they preach, to reconcile it to the taste of the hearers. And that they may do this the better, they commonly let those parts go that will admit of no colouring. They wash their hands of those stubborn texts that will not bend to their purpose, or that too plainly touch on the reigning vices of the place where they are. These they exchange for those more soft and tractable ones, that are not so apt to give offence. Not one word must be said of the tribulation and anguish denounced against sinners in general; much less of the unquenchable fire, which, if God be true, awaits several of those particular offences that have fallen within their own notice. These tender parts are not to be touched without danger by them who study to recommend themselves to men; or, if they are, it must be with the utmost caution, and a nice evasion in reserve. But they safely may thunder against those who are out of their reach, and against those sins which they suppose none that hear them are guilty of. No one takes it to heart, to hear those practices laid open which he is not concerned in himself. But when the stroke comes home, when it reaches his own case, then is he, if not convinced, displeased, or angry, and out of patience.

  5. Sermon 136 – On Corrupting The Word Of God
    The Sermons of John Wesley – NNU

    http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley-1872-edition/sermon-136-on-corrupting-the-word-of-god/

    Was John Wesley a Calvinist?

    [4.] Lastly. They who speak in sincerity, and as in the sight of Him who deputes them, show that they do so, by the manner in which they speak. They speak with plainness and boldness, and are not concerned to palliate their doctrine, to reconcile it to the tastes of men. They endeavour to set it always in a true light, whether it be a pleasing one or not. They will not, they dare not, soften a threatening, so as to prejudice its strength, neither represent sin in such mild colours as to impair its native blackness. Not that they do not choose mildness, when it is likely to be effectual. Though they know “the terrors of the Lord,” they desire rather to “persuade men.” This method they use, and love to use it, with such as are capable of persuasion. With such as are not, they are obliged, if they will be faithful, to take the severer course. Let the revilers look to that; it harms not them: and if they are blamed or reviled for so doing, let the revilers look to that: Let the hearers accommodate themselves to the word; the word is not, in this sense, to be accommodated to the hearers. The Preacher of it would be no less in fault, in a slavish obsequiousness on one side, than in an unrelenting sternness on the other.

  6. Pam,

    I’m a bit lost as to why you have the “Was John Wesley a Calvinist?” question included. This issue isn’t about Calvinism vs. Arminianism. This is about fidelity to essential scriptural doctrine in its entirety, agreed upon by both Calvinists and Arminians.

  7. This is about Rev Felter’s post the Bible “Reformed” or “Calvinists” and it’s implication that those who care about scripture are one of the above or both.

    This shows that John Wesley cared deeply and did not mince words about sin and hard parts of the Bible. So therefore, was he a Calvinist?

    “Let the hearers accommodate themselves to the word; the word is not, in this sense, to be accommodated to the hearers.”

    This sound exactly what Manny and others have been saying for some time and he is ignored or chided for “Calvinism”. So therefore I think that is the question that we need to ask ourselves.

    They use the word “Calvinist” in broad terms to describe those who love God’s word. So if that is the definition then was John Wesley a Calvinist?

    You see I think a lot of the vagueness of the discussion surround the vagueness in terms such as Missional, Wesleyan, Calvinism, Historical, Heritage, Ancient, Loving, Sin and Grace. I’m not sure where many of the Nazarene Theologians are going to or coming from when they use these terms. That is the point. I used to know.

  8. Pam, I think the the distinction that is being drawn is that theologians or believers who hold that Scripture is inerrant and infallible are typically using “reformed theology” in their approach. Calvinism is a main example of reformed theology, so the tie is there.

    Wesleyans, and the Church of the Nazarene, on the other hand, hold that Scripture is inspired (though not infallible) and inerrant specifically on matters of salvation.

    So what Rev. Felter is saying is that Nazarenes who hold that Scripture is inerrant and infallible are actually using theological methods which are outside the Wesleyan tradition.

    I don’t mean to patronize, if it seems that way. Just trying to help seek some clarity.

  9. “So what Rev. Felter is saying is that Nazarenes who hold that Scripture is inerrant and infallible are actually using theological methods which are outside the Wesleyan tradition.”

    This is simply not true. This is the view of those who have revised our Wesleyan tradition, and called their revision “fact.” They teach these “facts” in our beloved institutions, to a generation who don’t know any better, as historical. These pastors, in turn, repeat what they have heard from their pulpits.

    I would like to point the readers to the Arminian Magazine, a product of a Wesleyan fundementalist group, that holds to the true Wesleyan view of Holy Scripture. Here are a few articles:

    http://www.fwponline.cc/v16n2/v16n2reasonera.html

    http://www.fwponline.cc/v27n1/inerrancy.html

    Here is a great one on the Nazarene Church by Daryl McCarthy on this website. This is the best I have read to date.

    http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/biblical-inerrancy/

  10. Hello Ty,
    Just one thing I want to point, which is that apparently at least one Wesleyan denomination- The Wesleyan Church- believes in full inerrancy, according to their statement of faith:

    “We believe that the books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures. They are the inspired and infallibly written Word of God, fully inerrant in their original manuscripts and superior to all human authority, and have been transmitted to the present without corruption of any essential doctrine. ”

    If only the Nazarene church could adopt this as well. Most likely this is why a merger failed- or so far has failed- to happen between the two denominations. I will be posting soon another document (not mine) that shows the position of error that our denomination takes regarding scripture.

  11. Ty said, “…Scripture is inerrant and infallible are typically using “reformed theology” in their approach”

    Ty I agree that this is how it is perceived today, my point is that it wasn’t always so. This is why John Wesley is in good Company with Manny and friends.

    Ty can you show a historical regression – progression (as you would say) from primary source theologians or their documents that demonstrates what I quoted you on?

  12. Manny, I would like to read the Indiana Delegation’s proposal that was not passed at the last GA. Can you create a post on it so we can read it and discuss?

  13. Why beat around the bush! Calvin’s five point system is heretical teaching and a lot of hot air; not sound theology. It would do Wesley and anyone else for that matter good to stay away from it.

    The problem the Nazarenes have (although innumerable) is they cannot stand the word “Baptist.” However, this is where many are finding a remnant not bowing down to modernism and holding to the fundamentals of the faith, with true holiness and Bible conviction.
    In practice the Nazarenes are not at all what they were 50 years ago; music to long sleeve shirts. There is an effort to demonize the Independent Church particularly Baptist churches labeling them Reformed or Calvinist. By and large these are not large churches of themselves. These relatively small churches exemplify the hand of God in spirit and truth as they lead without magazines, corporate leaders, publishing houses and schools perverting the validity of scripture. Even Bob Jones University which was founded by a Methodist, today preys on Independent Baptist churches for enrollment of kids that have any form of Godliness in dress, speech, devotion, worldly separation etc.

    Despite the smokescreens what one is going to
    find is that the Church has a head and it is not a board of corrupt Generals or a coven of cardinals. Many of your faithful Bible preachers and teachers of today are still “Baptists” a word that does not, by-the-way, spell “Calvin.”
    Believing that salvation is eternal and cannot be lost is not only defensible but does not make one a Calvinist.
    As a former Licensed Nazarene minister I remember the importance that holiness and sanctification played in the lives of individuals. I would have to say that if one could fall from Grace and need to be birthed again (Gal 4:19) the Nazarene Church is not approaching but has arrived.
    As I have pointed out on this forum before until you pick which version of the Bible you are going to state is perfect without error you are like a dog running after your own tail.

    Manny quotes:
    “We believe that the books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures. They are the inspired and infallibly written Word of God, fully inerrant in their original manuscripts and superior to all human authority, and have been transmitted to the present without corruption of any essential doctrine. ”

    And states:
    If only the Nazarene church could adopt this as well. Most likely this is why a merger failed- or so far has failed- to happen between the two denominations. I will be posting soon another document (not mine) that shows the position of error that our denomination takes regarding scripture.

    Problem:
    1. Who cares if the original manuscripts even would have had a white and yellow glow emanating from them. Not one person on the face of the earth has ever seen them, nor ever will!
    2. This same church teaches that no translation can be inspired. Therefore nobody has the inspired word of God that they are pretending to talk about. If you do not believe me call and ask them.
    3. I could show you transmissions that corrupt essential doctrine in less than 5 seconds.
    4. If the Nazarene Church would adopt this flim-flam they would be exactly where they are today, Wrong! Working to and create scholars to retransmit the bible one more time, chasing a phoney theory of evolution.
    5. The Church of the Nazarenes in reality believes that the Scriptures are man breathed and therefore have very little regard for it these days.
    6. This is not an Armenian vs. Calvin issue.

    The only way for the Nazarene church to recover is to:
    1. Burn all the corrupt version of the Bible. If you have a bible where Acts 8:36 ends in a question mark but verse 37 is missing you know someone removed the answer.
    2. Remove the leadership and appoint the least esteemed to judge the modern movements.
    3. Act like you can lose your salvation. (although you can’t)
    4. Fire Felter and others like him and make them write a Thousand times “I will not mock God.”
    5. Offer someone a million dollar reward to reverse Rick Warrens Purpose driven church.
    6. Make every pastor apologize to and invite back the God fearing Bible conscious people.
    7. Stop demonizing the Baptists while promoting the Catholics.

    Get back to the old paths!

  14. Steve the mocking and testing of God are the points that really get me upset. It’s like Spiritual Chicken.

    Ty, you weren’t patronizing the topic is hard to discuss because of where we are today.

    I think the proverbial “they” in authority want us to just accept it and move along. That would be denying Christ and the power of his Salvation for me so it’s not just a mute theoretical theology exercise like the angels on the head of a pin debate that was used to sharpen debate and rhetoric skills.

  15. Manny;

    I would change one remark:
    This reminds me of the argument emergents use, which is similar to a quote by Brennan Manning, who called those who hold the Bible in high regard as “bibliolaters.” It’s just another red herring argument that does not hold water. Of course we do not idolize the Bible, but we do recognize it as God’s inerrant, infallible revelation to us, and the only true authority for our faith and practice. These people will never affirm this statement I just made, because they do not trust the word of God completely, and instead they want to uphold other sources of authority equal to Scripture, namely man’s “wisdom.”

    By rejecting the Biblical account as faithful and true, infallible and inerrant, those who do so actually hold man’s wisdom superior to Scripture, rather than merely equal in authority. They compound their sin by teaching others to embrace and further their own lack of respect and belief in God’s Holy Word. At best, calling proper respect for Scripture idolatry is delusional.

  16. Thanks for the entire post. A few things I noticed.

    Doctrines like eternal security and male-only ministry do not find their way into the Nazarene theology because our roots return to the tap root of the ancient, apostolic fathers, mediated by the Church of Rome, the Church of England, the Reformation, the Wesleyan Revival, the American Holiness Movement, right up until now.
     Just don’t base your beliefs on the Bible. Quote the manual or some ancient body or practice.

    The reality is the church is always changing. No methodology is sacrosanct.
     God never changes, the church may have new technologies, but its message better be the same.

    The Church of the Nazarene is not, and never has been a fundamentalist denomination.
     Like Rick Warren’s denial? Never fundamentalist? The early non-slandered definition of a fundamentalist was one who believed in the fundamental, non-negotiables of the faith and wasn’t afraid to say so; things like the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the blood atonement, the resurrection, inerrant and infallible Scripture. I disagree Nazarenes were never fundamentalists. Given the correct definition of fundamentalism, I dare say many still are.

    A new generation, weary of modernist assurances based on empiricism alone, have sought fresh wells from which to drink of the living water offered by our Lord
     Plain speech here, people don’t like claims of absolute truth, even (especially?) from the Bible. Draw from the newly built wells of poisoned relativistic water.


    This is where I really hurt. I don’t want to be an attack dog. Like Manny, I don’t want my comments to be seen as a personal attack, but false teaching must be withstood. I have been challenged to not only withstand the false teachers, but to earnestly pray for them. I will oppose what they say, but God must judge their hearts, and like Paul, those hearts may change. I have to remind myself of this from time to time.

    Stay true, my friends, and guard your hearts as well.

  17. Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

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