“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Gal. 4:16
The following are testimonies from “real” Nazarenes. They are either current members, or are former members who decided that they had no choice but to leave the church. For too long, those of us who have tried to sound the alarm, and raise awareness of the crisis in our denomination, have been called “unloving”, “hateful”, “dividers”, “un-Christlike”, “uninformed”, enemies of the church, ignorant of the scriptures, and not “real” Nazarenes. We are not the enemy. We are real Nazarenes. In spite of what the emergent crowd says, or those who have decided to stay on the sidelines and pretend it’s all okay, we do love the Church of the Nazarene. Here are some of their testimonies. We will be posting more in the near future.
1. I’m a member of the Body of Christ still in good standing with God because of what Jesus did for me at Calvary. Those are my credentials. But I did go to a Nazarene church until my pastor’s kid convinced him Rob Bell is ok. Funny thing was this was the Nazarene church that the whole Concerned Nazarene movement started. My ex pastor allowed me to bring in Ray Yungen for a conference. I then met Don and Sue Butler and the rest is history. That’s how Concerned Nazarenes started. Three people who were concerned with what was going on in the Nazarene denomination.
2. This is how real a Nazarene I am.
My Great-grandfather donated the land for the little Nazarene Church in Montrose, Iowa.
My Grandfather was a Sunday School teacher and treasurer of this same church for years.
My father was an ordained elder on the Central Ohio District. He was the Sunday School Church Board Chairman for years, and when the District split to create the North Central Ohio Dist. Dad was the Church Board chairman there as well. He was also a Trustee for MVNU/C in the early 80′s.
My Mother was the VP for the Dist. Miss. Society for years.
I was ordained on the Central Ohio Dist., in 1993.
My Nazarene lineage goes back to almost the beginning of the Denomination. And if that is all I have going for me spiritually, — I will still go the Hell! This is not about being a Nazarene, this is about salvation through Jesus alone and the absolute truth of the Bible! That I have to write the above shows how pathetic the situation is.
Robert Bruce Fruehling
3. I am a “real Nazarene” having joined the church as a third generation Nazarene in 1967, and currently a member in good standing at the New Hope Community Church of the Nazarene, Lakewood, WA. I wanted to attend a Nazarene College, but a degree in my field (Electrical Engineering) was not offered at the time.
I”m not sure what else is required to become real. Perhaps a leader who accuses us of being so ill-pedigreed can explain the requirements to be “real”.
Cindy Hurrelbrink Peak
4. I’m a real Nazarene. My dad was a Roman Catholic years ago in the Cape Verde Islands. He became a Christian at 20 years old and joined the Nazarene church, going to seminary in the islands. Dad preached from town to town, sometimes on horseback or mule, over mountains from village to village. He preached holiness, and worked hard at bringing the true gospel to the Roman Catholics, NOT to incorporate their mystical practices. A bit of history about him here:
He came to the States in 1961, pastored in New Bedford, then was called to East Providence, RI, where he took a small church of Cape Verdeans, Americans, and Portuguese people, and built a new church that grew over the years.
I became a Christian at 18 years of age, at a revival service in Wollaston Church at ENC in Quincy.
I have been involved with Sunday School teaching, missions, and sound system and technology at my old church. I had to leave my church because of emergent ideology, but I am now a member in good standing at New Bedford International Church, which REJECTS the emergent nonsense and trusts in the Bible. If not for that, I may have left the denomination. I stay now to warn others of the apostasy that is threatening our children in our universities and many of our fellow Christians.
5. Am I a real Nazarene? I guess it depends on the definition of real. I am a Christian first and foremost. So if following the manual before the Scriptures makes me real, I guess I’m not because Scripture will always come first for me. If being a real Nazarene means I am a member in good standing in a Nazarene church, then I guess I’m a real Nazarene.
6. I came to the Nazarene denomination on Easter Sunday, 1996 at the age of 40. I walked in darkness for 22 years after leaving the Lutheran denomination at age 18. The Holy Spirit drew me there, but what kept me there has been the preaching of holiness. The church that I attend in Salisbury, Md. is still preaching the Word. If there ever comes a day when it does not then that will be the day I depart. My husband, who was a non-practicing Muslim and all three of my children came to know the Lord in that church. I came upon the revelations of the emergent church about three years ago. I would just like to testify that the people that I have met on Concerned Nazarenes have impressed upon me to be people who love the Lord and are heartbroken about the infiltrations of practices that have been seeping into the Nazarene denomination. If at times there have been a flaring of emotions I know that it stems from their frustration in feeling that their concerns are falling on deaf ears. I have met some wonderful “REAL NAZARENES” that I thank God for everyday. I pray that those who are questioning their authenticity and their genuine love for their brothers and sisters, first in Christ, and then in the Nazarene denomination would truly take the time to see their hearts.
7. I am certainly “credentialed” in the CotN, but found out I was “Nazarene” in my beliefs decades before actually becoming one on paper. I was raised in the Presbyterian Church until coming to know Christ personally (age 11), then predominantly attended Baptist, Church of God (Anderson), and AoG churches throughout most of my Air Force career.
18 years ago, I attended my first Nazarene church in SW Texas, and fell in love with a bunch of good, godly and holy Nazarenes. They were the ones who affirmed my calling into full-time pastoral ministry. Since then, I’ve never found a denomination I could or would more readily align myself with–no other denomination, in my experience, more clearly advances Wesleyan-Arminian holiness the way the CotN does.
My heartbreak comes when I see so many leaders within the denomination I so dearly love so eagerly “abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1) And even worse, they are leading others down that same path of destruction. There are times I feel like a very small fish in the pond, but I will remain faithful to the people God has called me to lead and serve–they will know and will hear God’s Word.
8. Member in good standing of Nazarene churches for 20 years (Texas and Oklahoma – husband’s company transferred us a couple of times.) Raised our kids in the Nazarene church. Have served as Church board member, Children’s Quizzing director, Music Ministry coordinator, choir member, pianist, vocalist, VBS director, SS teacher, etc. I assume the label “real Nazarene” refers more to whether we are/were active and involved church members in the Nazarene church and not outsiders or pew warmers that don’t know/love the Nazarene church and what it used to stand for. Labeling us as hateful and divisive because we are concerned about the current direction of our beloved Nazarene churches is just wrong and untrue!
Annette Trimble Williams
9. I was raised Catholic, but always searching and seeking after God. Mainly through Christian radio, I finally heard some good Bible teaching and repented of my sins and understood what the salvation offered by God through His Son was all about. Became part of a Nazarene church in 1983, raised a family in the church.
Having been an art major in college, I studied eastern art and religion, and I was all too aware of the influence of eastern religion and Catholicism that was beginning to seep its way into the denomination. I didn’t know what the name for it all was at the time, but, being one who always questions and digs for information, I soon discovered what was taking place and began to try to show others. This was around 2005.
My husband and I were very active members in our church. We sent 2 children to the Nazarene colleges and invested about $160K in that effort. One of our adult children is still actively involved in the Nazarene denomination which means that we might have potential grandchildren being raised in the Nazarene denomination.
So, though we have left (2007), we invested years of heartfelt service, invested hard earned income in two of the universities, and still have loved ones in the Nazarene church.
Brenda Brockman Diefenbacher
10. One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was to leave the Church of the Nazarene. I had been a Nazarene all my life (57 years), and was myself a fourth generation Nazarene. Although I am no longer a “real” Nazarene, I still love the church that helped shape my spiritual values, and I pray they come back to their own beliefs. In my heart, a part of me will always be a Nazarene.
Glenda Edson Scullin