The following was written by guest writer John Henderson. I agree fully with his comments.
Message About a Nazarene Heresy
(See also below)
I make no apologies for what I say here about the above site. I only regret that my email list is not in the thousands—but I will post this on Facebook as well.
This is a Nazarene site in the Kansas City, MO area. That is where the Nazarene international headquarters are located. This bunch is listed on the Kansas City District. This is open heterodoxy by any definition. Sadly, it is not an isolated thing. It has reached epidemic proportions in our denomination. I could ask all sorts of questions that I, as a Nazarene elder, have every right to ask. I suspect, however, they would be ignored, disregarded, unheeded, discounted, snubbed, scorned, spurned, or flouted. I will speak up anyhow even if I am a doddering old foggy.
The leaders at this “church” are as slick as slime. They know the terminology we like and it will blindside the unsuspecting. They say everything so nicely but never speak of redemption, repentance, living holy lives, being separate from the world-order, etc. They stop just before going there with their multicultural and ecumenical nonsense. They are more willing to make homosexuals feel all warm and cozy as homosexuals than to really love their souls and tell them how Jesus can save them from their sinful “orientation” as well as their sinful behaviors. Dan Boone’s published sermon wherein he said that homosexual orientation was not sinful while homosexual behavior was sinful may have given them the idea.
Folks, that Baptist evangelist made me squirm in 1952 under the acute awareness of the coming judgment of God on my sins until my knees nearly buckled under me. But that squirming drove me to my knees in tearful prayer until the burden of sin was completely lifted and I became a new creature in Christ. Jesus didn’t coddle and reform the old man in me so I could be religiously tainted. He created a completely new one so that I became a new creature in Christ. Old things passed away (died) and all things became new (life) in Jesus Christ. I have regretted many things about my life over the years but never once have I been ashamed of having turned my life over to Jesus or of telling someone else that He saves from the gutter-most to the uttermost.
This is so serious that I will no longer regard anonymity as automatic. Anyone who writes or speaks anything either way on this matter has no right to personal confidentiality concerning it. That includes me. We should all be identified with whatever we say about it. It is the right of those who are impacted by it to know who is impacting them. I will never knowingly quote anyone out of context nor will I quote what I do not have on record, but neither will I let this nonsense just slide on by unchallenged and be respectably hidden in anonymity anymore. We shall be judged by our words and it is best that we deal with them now so we might correct them if we are wrong.
I am a Nazarene elder and gave my word at my ordination that I would uphold the church and her doctrines. I cannot—I shall not—hunker down while wolves disguised as Christians slink among the sheep of God slaughtering at will. I am limited, but God is not. I am expendable but His Word endures forever. I have no power but God is omnipotent even if some “Nazarenes” think He is limited. I cannot see the future, but He holds the future. My time is short but He is from everlasting to everlasting.
I do not have time, energy, or inclination to go about fighting wimpy Nazarene leaders over this. If they are unwilling to do anything to correct it, or are complicit in this, there isn’t much I can do to make them line up without being involved in depriving them of their money and power, maybe getting them replaced. If they want to be that spineless about it, they are not worth the effort. I will bypass them and go directly to the many Nazarenes who are not caught up in this heresy and warn them, perhaps rescuing some who are taken in by it. I am convinced that a Nazarene “tea party” is very likely in the making. That is the sort of thing that happens when leadership fails, as we all know so well from the political scene. When the trunk starts to decay, the roots will sprout another trunk.
The bottom line is this: If we do not have a genuine old-fashioned revival really soon—the sort that old-fashioned Nazarenes know so well—this denomination will be more of a way into Hell than it will be a beacon for Christ. If we neglect to have a sweeping revival (for God is not the one holding back) there are enough Nazarenes who are fed up with this madness that we will see an unprecedented split where the differences between sacrilege and truth will be obvious and the profane side will be the big losers. I do not want that to have to happen but I would not be able to stop it—and am sure if I would not even try. They can walk their labyrinths, do the spiritual formation and “centering prayer” nonsense, have “conversations” with non-Christians, apologize for telling people of their sins, and Kumbaya all the way into the Inferno if that what they prefer. Meanwhile, the rest of us are keeping oil in our lamps, winning the lost, and looking for the return of Christ. The old-fashioned way still works best.
We don’t need to “understand” our differences with the pagans. The Bible tells us plainly what they are. We need to preach the Word of God, to be instant in season and out of season with the clear message of the only two choices anyone has—to turn to Christ and live or to persist in sin and die in them with no hope beyond the grave.
I am old enough that I can survive one way or the other. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ Blood and righteousness.” Those coming after me are the ones that break my heart. They are so unsuspecting and they are being fed the devil’s poison in things like this. I have already objected to having “Love Wins” presented at our church but lost that debate very handily—unless I had been willing to cause a stir. Maybe I should have. Maybe that is what I am doing now, because I will no longer hold back when the emergent heresy (by any definition, or under any excuse, or by anyone of any status) ever shows its ugly face where my family and I are attending church.
I am fed up with the whitewash. I am fed up with the lies. I am fed up with the duplicity. I want the untarnished gospel of Jesus Christ and nothing else. I want the Bible held up and honored, not nit-picked apart and us lied to that it is not completely inspired. I want to know that my family will not be exposed to postmodern-new age-emergent cult counterfeits and deceptions. I am tired of the Rob Bells, Richard Fosters, Bill Hybels, Mike Kings, Tony Campolos, Rick Warrens, Leonard Sweets, Doug Pagitts, C. S. Cowles’s, Brian McLarens, and every other emergent teacher like them or even resembling them. I am weary of these people being on Nazarene campuses and being allowed to spew their lies into the faces of naïve Nazarene students while our Nazarene educators smirk approvingly. I am weary that they even stand in some our pulpits, where they have no right to be. I am disgusted with Thomas Jay Oord being allowed to keep his job in a Nazarene university after unabashedly advocating postmodernism and open theism in the name of Wesleyan theology. I am disturbed to hear of a sensitive Nazarene church member being told by a prospective pastor that she must have been abused when younger because she believes the Scriptures are inerrant in all things and having his DS back him up on the nonsense.
Even Scott Daniels’ making excuses for Emergent Nazarenes is unacceptable, although he did not keep it up. Jon Middendorf may tell his members that we should not throw out the baby with the bathwater in defense of the emergent heresy but he should realize that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. We are dealing with the bread of life, not bathwater. Those who promote that stuff are enemies of the Cross and are willing agents of destructive error. They are a plaque to holiness—not anywhere close to being like or complimentary to holiness or, as Scott Langford of our congregation wrote me about Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” book—that at the end of the day it “highlights the beauty and power of Wesleyan theology.” That is pure gobbledygook! Not so, unless by stark contrast. Darkness does not enhance light. It gives way to it. Who wants to eat meat full of maggots? Only buzzards do that.
The gospel is not about building nonjudgmental relationships and apologizing to those steeped in sin because they get their feelings hurt. We are not to befriend the world (friendship with the world is enmity with God). The gospel is about winning them to Jesus so He can save them and take away their sins and make them new creatures in Christ. If someone is drowning, we don’t make friends with them. We throw them a lifeline. Then we make friends with them. That is what it should mean to be a Nazarene. Or, am I seeing what an astute Nazarene pastor told me in early 2009, that, after the upcoming General Assembly, I would not recognize the Church of the Nazarene. How little I understood that then! I shudder that the emergents almost got away with it and am not really sure that they did not.
Well, I still know who Jesus is and He is not the counterfeit Jesus they come up with out of unproductive imagining. I still see that His Bible has not changed in spite of what C. S. Cowles and others may haughtily claim of its supposed errors. The Great Commission has not modified to accommodate postmodernists, new agers, and Emergent Nazarenes in their inane pursuits of contemplative prayer and group hugs.
They may want to huddle under a bunch of burning candles and sniff incense, but I prefer the open air where Jesus is still the Light that has come into the world and the darkness cannot overcome it. I prefer old-time Christianity where feeding and clothing the needy, caring for the widows and orphans, and visiting the imprisoned has the clear message of salvation in it and is nothing like the phony “social justice” of Marxism turned religious.
When I come to face Christ at the Judgment, I want a clear conscience. Anyone who persists in following after this stuff will be without excuse, but then, they may become so entangled in it that they will be caught by surprise on that Day. How tragic that will be for them! I hope not for their sakes, but they must make up their own minds about it while they have time on their side. In spite of what Rob Bell says in his books and television interviews, there are no postmortem conversions. The man lied to us about it in his books and in person. He was charming, but he still lied. The appointment has not been cancelled. It is still appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment.