Christ’s Birth, And Foundational Truths

From Stand For Truth Ministries, a word of thanks: I am grateful to God for the many brothers and sisters in Christ who I have met in the last three years.  Grateful for the prayer warriors.  Grateful for those who contributed so I can send out more resource materials to many folks last year.  I have never been so encouraged by seeing such great faithfulness to the word of God throughout this country and across the world, Nazarenes and non-Nazarenes alike.  So many who have said that they will not compromise an inch when it comes to the word of God, at the risk of losing everything.  Each one of you who have impacted my life, I hope to send a personal thank you in the next month or so, but in the meantime, know that I have appreciated your word of encouragement, and what you do in the name of Jesus.
My prayer is that those who are weak in the faith and unsure of what to do when faced with challenges in this apostate time, that they will not compromise the undiluted gospel of repentance that Jesus Christ and the apostles preached.  Please share the true word of God and the real meaning of Christmas with as many as possible.   I share with you the following from a brother in the Lord. Duke, who sent this to me today.  Merry Christmas to you all.
Manny

Christ’s Birth, And Foundational Truths

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”  Matthew 1:20-25

As we celebrate this Christmas season, these are eternal things that will never change in the above verses:

-Mary was a virgin, with the baby Jesus that was conceived by the Holy Ghost.

-Biblical prophesy is always fulfilled!
Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

-Jesus Christ is the only One who can save people from their sins!
No religion of man has the ability to do this.  We cannot mix man’s religion with God’s Word, Light has nothing to do with darkness, and salt water cannot be mixed with Fresh.

-Until Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had no marital relations. (“knew her not”)

-Mary is not a “perpetual virgin” or a “Co-Redeemer” as stated by the RCC.
After Jesus was born she and Joseph went on to have children.
Matthew 13:55-56  Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

-Mary being obedient to the O/T law in Leviticus chapter 12, went on to offer an atonement sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves.
Luke 2:19-24 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

There are many pastors and teachers today that do not believe in these foundational Truths of God.  Run from them.
Support the few who do still believe that the Word of God is wholly true.  If one is not available in your area, have church at home.
Pray and read the Word of God with your family.  There are “house churches” in the Bible.

1Co 16:19  The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
Phm 1:2  And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

As many denominations intermingle with the world and it’s ways, may we who are in the Body of Christ come together as one in these final days.

1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Jesus Christ came into this world as a baby.  He is coming back as a Lion.
Those not found entered in “The Book of Life” through Jesus Christ are “cast into the lake of fire” for all of eternity…
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Our Christian stand should be “Either all of the Bible is True, or none of it is.”

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Duke

First: An Unwavering Commitment To Biblical Truth

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.  2 Cor. 6:14-17

To The General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene,

You recently put out a statement regarding the Nazarene Theological Seminary and Nazarene Bible College, following a meeting you had with the presidents of the two schools.  I noted this statement:

 “The Board of General Superintendents is deeply and unwaveringly committed to NTS and NBC. They are worthy of the confidence of the entire denomination.”  (Online source)

Does your unwavering commitment to these two schools include unwavering endorsement of the following?

1.     The teaching of Celtic Spirituality at NTS.  Celtic spirituality involves to some extent communication with departed spirits, and the attainment of what is called the “thin place.”  It is shamanism and occultism frankly.  The Celtic way is one of mysticism and pagan practices.  Is this course within the bounds of “Wesleyan” theology, and more importantly, does this course fit within the bounds of Scripture?

2.      The promotion of contemplative spirituality to adults and even to pre-teens.  Specifically, NTS promoted the use of prayer ropes and “silence” to pre-teens, and sponsored a spiritual formation retreat at a Roman Catholic site that emphasized contemplative prayer practices.  Nazarene Bible College uses an instruction book by a Roman Catholic Benedictine monk to teach lectio divina.  How does this type of instruction align with Biblical instruction on prayer?  Where is silence as a form of prayer taught in Holy Scripture?

3.     Collaboration and association with interfaith and ecumenical groups.  I refer to the apparent association of NTS with an interfaith group in Kansas City, called CRES.  This group promotes interfaith dialog and cooperation with all sorts of false religions, and it was appalling and shameful to see NTS listed as a recommended organization.  So far I have received no answer from the president of NTS as to whether he is aware of this or not.
But that’s not all.  Professor Doug Hardy of NTS is a member of a highly ecumenical and interfaith group called Spiritual Directors International which promotes prayer labyrinths among other unbiblical ideas.  Dr. Dean Blevins of NTS is vice-president (and past-president) of the Religious Education Association, which is a member of the North American Interfaith Association!  If you look at all the groups associated with NAIN, it’s just as bad as the CRES group.  I’m beginning to see that it may not be an accident that NTS is listed on the CRES site, because Dr. Blevins, as vice-president of the REA and also an adjunct professor at NBC, also has no problem consorting with a group that includes all sorts of unbiblical religions.  And the REA clearly states that it promote ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.  Go to these sites, you’ll see it right there.  This is not made up information, this is not rumor or innuendo, this is not a witchhunt, this is fact; and all I would like to know is if you approve of this or not.    Nowhere on these sites will you find any kind of statements about evangelizing the lost and those who practice these false religions.  You won’t find that there because that is not their purpose!  No, instead they promote the idea that each and every false religion represented is an equal and valid expression of faith!  Are we not commanded in Scripture (2 Cor. 6:14-17)  to stay away from unbelievers, other than to evangelize them?


A Bad Dream?  I Wish It Were

Are we Nazarenes living in some kind of terrible nightmare that we will wake up to some day in a cold sweat and say, “wow, what a bad dream?”  No, this is happening for real; it’s happening right under your watch; and I’d like to know (as many, many other Nazarenes) what do you intend to do or say about this?
It is outrageous to have these things going on in any Christian university, and in our case, a holiness based school.  You have been entrusted with being the watchmen for this denomination, and if you are silent and let this continue, I would ask you to read the words of Ezekiel 33.  I believe his words apply today as seriously as they applied in his time.

I know hundreds of Nazarenes who will emphatically say that these schools DO NOT have their full confidence.   For every one of these people, I am sure they represent many other Nazarenes who believe that these schools are NOT worthy of our confidence.  Why?  We are called as a people of God to be separated from the corrupting influences of the world, and the world includes the false religions that comprise these interfaith groups.

I recall again what the church manual says regarding your responsibilities:


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…”

More importantly is the fact that you and I, and all other Christians, are under obligation before God for speaking the truth as Scripture teaches us.

• What is the point of these directives in the manual if we don’t seem to be getting leadership, guidance, and motivation regarding these unanswered questions?

• If somehow, you cannot or will not interpret the law and doctrine of the Church and give specific, definitive answers that we can understand, and take appropriate action to protect the flock, who will?  Is it being left up to us to determine what is acceptable based on what each of us likes?

• Why are those who are questioning the emergent (aka missional) church movement being portrayed by some of our “leaders” as divisive for daring to ask for answers, when the emergent church proponents rarely seem to be viewed as being divisive?  Of course, my contention is that depending on what is doing the “dividing”, that according to Scripture is a good thing.

There is clearly division, disruption in the church, but it is being caused by those who are attempting to bring false teachings in, and those who are cooperating with and having fellowship with the enemies of Christ.  And make no mistake about it, the members of these interfaith groups are the enemies of Christ.

I highly recommend that before an unwavering commitment to any of our schools, that first comes an unwavering commitment to biblical truth.

Manny Silva

Does Nazarene Theological Seminary Support The Interfaith Movement?

Buddhists, Muslims, Native American religions, Hindu, Sufi, Unitarian Universalists, Taoism, Confucianism, Wiccans, and Zoroastrians. 

Would you or your church be comfortable with working closely with these religions as part of an interfaith group whose goal is unity with all religions?  Well, the center for Religious Experience And Study (CRES) is based in Kansas City, KS, states the following on their website:

“Beyond superstition, narcissism, sef-righteousness and violence, we uplift the wisdom of the world’s faiths to heal the three great crises of our desacralized culture- in the environment, in personhood, in society.…  “CRES envisions the greater Kansas City area as a model community honoring interfaith relationships
•  where interfaith relationships are honored as a way of deepening one’s own tradition and spirituality, and
•  where the wisdom of the many religions successfully addresses the • environmental, • personal, and • social crises of our often fragmented, desacralized world.


When you read through much of the website, you will see it is a love fest in ecumenicalism and interreligious and pluralistic cooperation, with the idea that only working together with other religions can we bring healing to the world’s problems.  One would think any Bible believing Christian school or denomination would stay far away from associating with this kind of thinking and philosophy.  We are commanded in Scripture:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”  (2 Cor. 6:14).  And we are also told to: “… have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph. 5:11


We are not told anywhere in Scripture to come together and hold hands and “dialogue” with other religions, and rightly so, because all other religions are lies, and thus their origin is from Satan, the father of lies.  Yet here on this list of recommended groups and universities is Nazarene Theological Seminary.  I also noted that the site goes out of its way to make sure we know that Midwestern
Baptist Theological Seminary is to be avoided… “as its approach to non-Christian faiths is unreliable and hostile.”  As I suspected, after looking at what MBTS stands for, it seems that it might be the only Christian school worthy of recommending to Bible believers in that area.  I was particularly impressed by their clear, unambiguous statement that the school will reflect AND teach the core biblical principles of their sponsoring denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, including teaching biblical inerrancy.  Would that our schools could only be so bold to do the same!

The question now we ask is, why?  Why is Nazarene Theological Seminary listed as part of a group of approved organizations that CRES has on their website?  That is a question I asked Dr. David Busic last month, in an email to him dated Nov 18.  He is the newly installed President of the seminary, and I thought surely he will correct this error and ask CRES to remove NTS from the approved list.  Furthermore, I would hope that not only would he ask for NTS to be removed from the list, but also that he would clearly distance the seminary from any kind of association and promotion of interfaith or ecumenical gatherings, in accordance with God’s standards as written in Holy Scripture.  I have yet to hear from Dr. Busic, and because of the history of NTS in recent years, I am concerned, and perhaps you should be too.  Perhaps the email got lost, or perhaps he is working on this now.  Perhaps you can send him an alert regarding what could be a misunderstanding.  That is why I am re-sending this to him, in hopes of getting an answer.

I am also concerned about NTS because of what it has promoted in the past.  The previous NTS president, Dr. Ron Benefiel, is directly connected with a group that promotes ecumenical “dialogue.”  The Christian Research/Voice Institute states: “While representing a particular theological tradition (Wesleyan), the goal of CRI/Voice is ecumenical and global.”  The Executive Director is Professor Dennis Bratcher, formerly from Point Loma Nazarene University and a proponent of Open Theism and Process Theology.  Dr. Benefiel is now at Point Loma and head of the Theology School.  Dr. Roger Hahn, a theology professor at NTS, is also on the board of this ecumenical group.

In a recent post (Phyllis Tickle and The New Seminary President), I pointed out how Dr. Busic referred to extensive material from Phyllis Tickle of emergence Christianity fame, in part of his inauguration message.  It is very troubling when you read about her ideology, and when you listen to her in this dialogue with false teacher Tony Jones at Fuller Theological Seminary.  (She starts at around the 27:00 minute mark).
Then there is the seminary’s promotion of contemplative spirituality and ecumenism, not only to adults (pre-General Assembly retreat) but also to young children of middle school age.  Then there is the occultic course being taught by Doug Hardy (Celtic Spirituality), and Dr. Hardy also is heavily involved with another interfaith group, Spiritual Directors International, where he is listed as a “spiritual director”, and is on the editorial board of the Presence Journal.  His bio says that Doug’s fundamental calling is to come alongside others to help facilitate their alignment with God.”  Not to preach the gospel, but alignment with God, whatever that means.
(Note also that the first person on the list is Lauren Artress, who was instrumental in popularizing prayer labyrinths in the United States.)  Oh, but who really cares about all this?

I could go on, but there seems to be a troubling trend at our top Nazarene seminary of promoting interfaith dialogue, ecumenism, emergent church ideology, and contemplative mysticism.  Is this the new face of the main seminary which is training perhaps your future pastor?  How will that bode for you and your congregation?  And what do our General Superintendents (our denomination’s spiritual leaders and interpreters of our doctrine) say about these issues?  Well, in a recent meeting on Dec. 8 with the leaders of NTS and Nazarene Bible College, I quote the article: “in the meeting, the general superintendents expressed their confidence in [Presidents] Busic and Graves and assured them of their unwavering support for the schools.”  The Generals also made the following statement:


“The Board of General Superintendents is deeply and unwaveringly committed to NTS and NBC. They are worthy of the confidence of the entire denomination.”


Unwavering?  Worthy of confidence?  Was this statement made with the knowledge of all these things going on at NTS?  Do the Generals support interfaith dialogue, and contemplative mysticism, and the teaching of occultism?  They have clearly have been informed of these troubling trends at both seminaries and are silent at this point.  One can make a strong case that the Board of General Superintendents may be supporting the very things I mentioned which run contrary to God’s word.  I pray that they will prove me (and others) wrong, but at this point, neither of these seminaries are worthy of the confidence of the entire denomination, that’s for sure.

Manny Silva


——–


Addendum: 
EMAIL TO DR. DAVID BUSIC, PRESIDENT OF NAZARENE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY:

Below is my email to Dr. Busic.  It seems he has a lot on his hands.  Does Dr. Busic accept or tolerate these things?  Either view would be wrong.  I will FOLLOWUP as these trends develop, and let you know if NTS continues to be listed on the CRES website.  So far, it is not encouraging to see the road that this Nazarene seminary is going down, and I do not at this time recommend future pastors going to the seminary, nor do I recommend any church to consider for pastor anyone graduating from NTS unless they are thoroughly scrutinized and questioned as to their ideology.


11/18/2011

Dear Dr. Busic,

Congratulations on your appointment as President of NTS.  It is my prayer that God will guide you in leading NTS in upholding biblical truth at the school.  I and other Nazarenes have had concerns in the past regarding some things sponsored by, promoted by, or taught at the seminary.

I was concerned about something I ran into the other day, and wondering if you were aware of it.
At the CRES website, the Seminary is listed favorably as a recommended institution friendly to the CRES organization.  My concern is that it is an interfaith group that works closely with practically any kind of religion in the world.

Here is the link to the site where it mentions NTS favorably:  http://www.cres.org/pubs/KCInterfaithOps.htm

Just an observation, I thought that it was really strange that they said this about another school: “We cannot recommend Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as its approach to non-Christian faiths is unreliable and hostile.”  Funny, I went to their website and so far have not seen anything about this Baptist school which would be over the top, unless they have a very consistent biblical approach that CRES cannot accept.  I am not Baptist, but certainly do agree with the core values as stated by that school, so I wonder why CRES would not recommend them.  I’ll have to ask CRES of course, not you.

On their vision statement page, they say this:
CRES values the contribution of each distinctive faith in healing the crises of our age — and finds it important to honor and preserve their distinctions. “  These faiths include: Buddhists, Muslims, Native American religions, Hindu, Sufi, Unitarian Universalists, Taoism, Confucianism, Wiccans, and Zoroastrians!

They also say: “CRES envisions the greater Kansas City area as a model community honoring interfaith relationships
•  where interfaith relationships are honored as a way of deepening one’s own tradition and spirituality, and
•  where the wisdom of the many religions successfully addresses the • environmental, • personal, and • social crises of our often fragmented, desacralized world.

Does NTS have any kind of real connection with CRES?  If so, on what basis?  And if not, would it not be prudent to ask this group to remove any reference to NTS as a good resource?  If this is not the type of group NTS wants to associate with, that would certainly remove any appearance of an endorsement of this organization.  If this is the kind of group that NTS wants to associate with, then I humbly will say that it would be a serious problem that all Nazarenes should be aware of.

Looking forward to your response.  I have CC’d this to a few close friends so they are aware of the same issue regarding CRES and the reference to NTS.

Sincerely in Christ,

Manny Silva

No Resurrection? False Doctrines? No Big Deal To Emergent Nazarenes

The following are a few excerpts from a recent thread on NazNet, a Nazarene website for theology discussions.  There are quite a few pastors as well as professors there.  The founder of the site, Dave McClung, is chairman of the Commission on the Nazarene Future, and a former president of Eastern Nazarene College.  It seems he has no problem allowing just about anything to be promoted on this site.  I found much of what I was reading to be unbelievable, so here are some of their thoughts on several subjects. If they are proud of what they write, I’m happy to help the rest of the Nazarene community know it more widely and let them make up their minds about these teachers.   The first topic was a discussion about theologian and writer Marcus Borg. 

 

Part 1: From the Marcus Borg discussion:

Dennis Bratcher, professor of theology at Point Loma Nazarene University:


“What is really irksome about people like Marcus Borg (TIC), is that correct belief is not a condition of being Christian. Of course they ought to be more “orthodox” (generally meaning that they believe like I do). We just have a hard time getting past the idea that someone who does not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus can still be a recipient of God’s redeeming grace and live in relationship with God. It’s a good thing, too, I think, since I have heard at least two prominent Nazarene theologians say basically the same thing as Marcus Borg, as well as a couple of pastors.”

I wonder if Dr. Bratcher would care to name names?  If that is true, these theologians have no business being theologians, and they would also be heretics on a par with Marcus Borg.  And if Dr. Bratcher agrees with them, he has no business being a theology professor at a Christian school.  And those couple of pastors should also give up their credentials.  I find it amusing yet also sad that statements such as this are always given a pass, but if an ordination candidate makes the claim that he believes in scriptural inerrancy (such as at least one in my New England District) he is told he would not be ordained).  The world is turned upside down yet again.

Bratcher again:

“And before we are too quick to quote 1 Cor 15:14 as the final proof, perhaps we should also think of other passages like John 20:31, 1 John 5:1, and dozens of other passages that point to Jesus himself as the object of saving Faith, not to a set of propositions no matter how true.

Now, let me be clear. I think Marcus Borg is wrong about a lot of things. But as Wesley pointed out, most of us are just as guilty of believing faulty notions. That is why, even though we strive to grow and mature in the Faith, correctness of belief cannot be the judge of salvation no matter where we set the bar or how important the doctrines are that we define as essential. Salvation is by grace through faith, and the object of that Faith is Jesus who is the Christ. That is much different than drawing the boundaries of Christianity, as important as that is. Of course we must define Christianity theologically. But we cannot use those definitions as arbiters of people’s relationship with God. If we do, we all might have a lot about which to be concerned.”

A typical thing that these folks do is to say, “well, I don’t agree with much of what he teaches…”, but they rarely give examples.   Dennis Bratcher knows that Marcus Borg does not believe in the physical resurrection of our Lord Jesus, but he seems to think that this is not important.  He rejects the clear statement of 1 Cor 15:14, apparently.  The next step in unbelief perhaps is to then not believe Jesus existed other than in the minds of the early Christians.  Perhaps Jesus is just a metaphor, as Marcus Borg often uses this kind of argument regarding historical accounts in scripture regarding the resurrection and the events around it.


But, “just believe in Jesus, and don’t worry about obedience to Him, don’t worry about doctrine”, is their mantra.  These false teachers make the standard argument over and over: all you have to do is say you believe in Jesus.   Don’t worry about right doctrine.  It’s not important!  That way, they can make up their own theology and their own doctrine!  Talk about freedom.

Mr. Bratcher should be reminded that even the demons believe, and yet they tremble.  (James 2:19).  He claims to believe, and then says, in effect, doctrine means nothing.

Another NazNetter, also an ordained elder, says:


“Borg is a world class scholar, and Wright – though vocal about his disagreements with him – will say over and over again that he has the utmost respect for Borg as a scholar. Same with Dom Crossan… Personally, I absolutely love Borg. I also think that his work with the Resurrection as myth is better than any other…”

Who is Dom Crossan?  John Dominick Crossan is a member of the infamous Jesus Seminar, as is Borg, and he believes that our Lord Jesus Christ was probably eaten by wild dogs and buried in a shallow grave.  For an ordained Nazarene elder to admire a heretic like Marcus Borg who was part of a disgraceful bunch of unbelievers as the Jesus Seminar, instead of warning about him and exhorting others to stay away from him, is also shameful.

For more on Marcus Borg and The Jesus Seminar:
Marcus Borg Attacks the Inerrancy, Historicity and Inspiration of the Bible

Marcus Borg: A Critique

Who Does The Jesus Seminar Really Speak For?

 

Part 2: From the Roman Catholicism Discussion:

In this discussion, the initial commentator mentions problems he sees with some of the Roman Catholic Church beliefs, and he asks: “How do we see their theology, can there be any sort of coming together doctrinally?”

Some responses from other NazNetters follow, keep in mind again many of them are ordained elders in the COTN.  Some who are very familiar with the Roman Catholic Church and its history, have also pointed out to me how these NazNetters do not even have an accurate understanding of RCC history, and it makes me wonder if they are deliberately lying about the factual statements that some made in contradicting their claims that the RCC can be considered a Christian group.


“As long as Catholics affirm the historic creeds of the church, I think we would have a hard time saying they aren’t Christian.”

“Penance is one of the seven sacraments, a means of grace, preparing for receiving the Eucharist.”

 “Scripture is tradition. Therefore, I would say the RCC is right – tradition and scripture are equal. Also, Scripture is contradictory. Why should that be a problem in the tradition?”

“Christ gives to the Church the power to forgive, and the authority to withhold forgiveness.”

“All Priests, RCC, EOC, Protestant, whatever… as representatives of Christ to the people of God have the authority and power to forgive, and likewise the authority to withhold forgiveness – to a certain degree – per John 20:23.”

“Thus when we pray our prayers of confession in each of our regular services, we as Ministers “acting in a priestly role” can offer a general absolution to the people based upon the assurance of Christ’s atonement and God’s subsequent forgiveness of the truly penitent.”

“The RCC is absolutely a blessing to the Body of Christ, as one of the largest parts of that Body. Genuine Christians should consider it a blessing to be a part of the RCC, just as they should in many other streams of our faith.”

The discussion on this topic has now been closed by the admin.  Perhaps there was just much too much opposition to Rome within their own group.

Naznet continues to be a breeding ground for emergent heresy and promotion of fellowship with an apostate church (the RCC). Sadly, leaders in our universities and pulpits are pushing for the same kinds of changes this group is generally advocating. And some folks wonder why many of us worry about all the Roman Catholic rituals and traditions continuing to come into the Church of the Nazarene now.  It’s no coincidence.

=========================================

Addendum:  Following is a list of beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church which are clearly against Scriptural teaching.  Perhaps any of the NazNetters will publicly profess that there are no problems with these lies.  It is from Jackie Alnor’s Apostasy Alert blog.

 

95 Specious Lies of Rome

 

1. The Roman Catholic Church was founded by Jesus.

2. Mary is the mother of God.

3. There is a place sinners go after death called Purgatory.

4. The RCC has the Melchizedek priesthood.

5. Catholic priests are Christ as they offer mass.

6. The pope’s authority is from apostolic succession.

7. Bones, hair and fingernails of dead saints are worthy of veneration.

8. The pope is the Vicar of Christ and the head of Christ’s church.

9. The pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals.

10 Priests turn bread and wine into the body, blood, soul & divinity of Christ.

11 The communion elements are to be worshipped as God.

12 The RCC has the authority to determine what dead people are saints.

13 Saints are to be prayed to & sought after for miracles.

14 Access to Jesus is thru Mary.

15 Sins must be confessed to a priest for absolution.

16 Penance, not repentance, is required for forgiveness.

17 Indulgences to get dead ones a reduced sentence in Purgatory is still taught.

18 No person can know for sure they are saved; that’s the sin of presumption.

19 The higher the clerical position, the closer to God.

20 Making the sign of the cross has spiritual benefits.

21 Clerical vestments are holy.

22 Kissing the pope’s feet shows honor to Christ.

23 Priests should be addressed as Father.

24 The pope is the Holy Father.

25 The Commandment not to make any graven image is not in the RCC’s list.

26 Holy water is beneficial in sanctifying people and objects.

27 Statues of saints can be bowed to.

28 Self-flagellation is accepted by God for penance.

30 The host is to be adored as it passes in a bejeweled monstrance.

31 Priests must take a vow of celibacy and not to marry.

32 Some sins send you to hell, some to Purgatory – mortal & venial.

33 Catholics must refrain from eating meats during Fridays in Lent.

34 Mass cards can be bought to help spring loved ones from Purgatory.

35 Some hosts have miraculously turned into actual human flesh.

36 Some chalices of wine have miraculously turned into human blood.

37 Chanting the Rosary is a form of legitimate prayer.

38 Reciting the Hail Mary gives one grace with Mary.

39 Mary can hear all prayers just as God can.

40 Meditation by making a mind blank brings one closer to God.

41 Keeping the RCC sacraments is necessary to get to heaven.

42 All other Christian denominations are inferior and the separated brethren.

43 Ex-Catholics are lost until they come back to Rome

44 The scapular gives spiritual protection to the one who wears it.

45 The miraculous medal of Mary will spring the dead person out of purgatory.

46 Mary never died, but was transported to heaven alive in the Assumption.

47 Mary’s apparition has appeared and is appearing with miraculous signs.

48 Seminarians must obey those above them even if they ask them to sin.

49 Mary stayed perpetually a virgin and had no other children.

50 Joseph never consummated his marriage to Mary.

51 Mary was born without original sin and never sinned.

52 Dead saints, like pagan gods, rule over a particular life’s need or position.

53 The Roman Catholic Church is Christian.

54 The Reformers are heretics, worthy of the executions the RCC put on them.

55 The unity of all religions under Rome is a Catholic goal, i.e. Assisi.

56 The RCC has replaced Israel.

57 Rome has replaced Jerusalem as God’s holy city.

58 The RCC is the Mother Church.

59 God recognizes all annulled marriages as if they were never joined.

60 The RCC can change truth with the authority to bind on earth as it is in heaven.

61 The RCC has the right to cover up the sins of their pedophile priests.

62 Baptizing babies makes them part of Christ’s Church.

63 Drinking blood during the mass is A-OK.

64 The faithful received Christ into their stomachs, not their hearts.

65 Rats can eat God.

66 Unbaptized babies do not enter into heaven.

67 Church tradition is equal to the Bible in faith and practice.

68 Peter, a married man, was the first pope.

69 Levitation is a miracle that many saints have engaged in.

70 Grace is not unearned favor, but a special blessing one can earn thru works.

71 The archangel Michael is a saint.

72 To be a saint, miracles have to be attributed to the person after death.

73 Dead loved ones can be present among their families.

74 Exorcisms are performed with the use of the crucifix and holy water.

75 Eucharist adoration keeps Jesus company while he’s stranded in the tabernacle.

76 Jews have no biblical right to the Holy Land.

77 Communion cup forbidden to laity.

78 Jesus’ sacrifice needs to be reoffered daily in a bloodless manner.

79 Vows of silence earns grace with God.

80 The Magisterium holds the mysteries of Christ.

81 The Catholic Church gave us the Bible.

82 Mary is a co-mediatrix between God and man.

83 Jesus died so we can all become gods.

84 Incense and candles create a holy atmosphere.

85 Icons and religious art can be venerated.

86 Mary statues that cry or bleed are holy signs.

87 The stigmata wounds cause saints to suffer like Christ for the sins of others.

88 The infant Jesus is an entity that can be addressed in prayer.

89 Stoicism and deprivation of the needs of the body are acts of holiness.

90 Jesus cannot turn down requests from his mother.

91 OK to pray to body parts such as the sacred heart or immaculate heart.

92 The RCC is the guardian of salvation – they hold the keys to the kingdom.

93 Doctrine and truth evolve.

94 Christ’s payment for sin is insufficient; we must suffer for our own sins.

95 The Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church.

(Originally posted at http://rrrapostasyalert.blogspot.com/2011/11/95-specious-lies-of-rome.html)

Rules for( Radicals) Emergents

by John Henderson originally posted on Friday, November 25, 2011

            Most political conservatives and liberal progressives who pay attention to news very much are aware of and even familiar with Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals wherein he outlines and describes ways that radical liberals can take over and reduce the current society to a pile of socio-political ashes upon which they can dance unencumbered by morality, Christianity, laws, and all order that doesn’t suit them.   They remember the following remarks on his opening dedication page:

“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

In the short time I have had direct contact with those in the church who are either admitted emergents or express sympathy and support for its ideas, I have noticed certain behaviors that have become predictable.

Others I have discussed this observation with say they see the same things.  We are not into a discussion about emergent versus biblical truth very long when those behaviors present themselves.  It is as if they have some secret playbook for how they broach the subjects according to whom they are talking with.

Immature Behavior of Emergents

It is obvious that they talk among themselves just as we counter-emergents share back and forth.  I am sure we are the baneful topics of many of their conversations and that does not bother me at all because we Bible-thumpers want everything in the open and have nothing to hide.  The emergents and their friends seem to be the ones ducking behind big rocks so as to not be discovered.  I also know that we are frequently referred to in withering terms, i.e. “jihadists,” uninformed, uneducated, ignorant, disruptive, beguiling, disingenuous, insulting, troublesome, and even dangerous.

They never approach us on a matter objectively.  Their minds are made up and facts are only confusing.  They come at us very subjectively, manifestly expecting us to come to terms with them on their grounds.  They have it all figured out and neatly defined and packaged and we should not presume to mess with the plan.  In short, they begin with chips on their shoulders and are offended if we inadvertently bump them off with some reference to truth and Scriptural authority.

It doesn’t take long for them to run out of substance and start to see their position crumbling in the face of Biblical authority.  That is when the personal attacks gain steam.  They boast of “conversation” but will not converse unless it is by their rules.  They seem to think that John 3:16-17 should be translated:  “God, as you understand him or as we define him for you, loves you so much that he sent Mr. Rogers to tell you that he loves you just the way you are.  You are not condemned, actually, because everyone is god’s child and that means you will go to heaven when you die.”

The Rules

There are many other immature behaviors they display, and it could be that they are frustrated, confused, and don’t know what they should say next.  I thought it would a help for them if they actually had a reference manual similar to Saul Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals so they could stay better focused.  Actually, they could adapt Alinsky’s rules rather easily to the emergent doctrines and agenda.  They can begin with the simple outline of Alinsky’s 13 rules:

1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.

2. Never go outside the experience of your people.

3. Whenever possible go outside the experience of your enemy.

4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

8. Keep the pressure on.

9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

11.  If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.

12.  The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

13.  Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Rule 5, Ridicule, is one of the most effective.  One writer stated:  “Ridicule in its most common guise, is expressed in clever but vitriolic ad hominem attacks.”  Emergents are very good at that one.  It helps get the focus away from the fact that they are unable to be rational and certainly do not have to deal with plain Biblical truth and the opponent is busied with defending against false accusations.

Rule 13 is also maximally effective for the emergent. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.  It actually goes hand in glove with rule 5.  Just like Alinsky, when a counter-emergent shows up and starts to cause much of a stir (of getting people to pause and reflect), they “pick” them as the target, “freeze” the target, get it into laser focus, and then give a face to the enemy, and hopefully a derogatory nickname as well, such as jihadist.

Once you get the counter-emergent polarized, you will weaken his influence with those you are trying to control and it will be easier to get others to look on the counter-emergent with suspicion and disdain without ever having to deal with the truth of the issues themselves.

Let us deal with only one more of those basic rules.  This is just a starter, so you should be able to easily adapt the other rules on your own.  That is Rule 1.  If you are a narcissist, this will come naturally to you.  What you actually are is not as important as what you want to make others think you are.  It is more convincing if you believe it yourself because they will see the sincerity in you expressions.  It is useful in your being disarmingly charming.

Find your way into prestigious positions:  teachers at universities, pastors and associate ministers in significant churches, or even denominational and educational leadership.  You will have to make yourself look like just one of the guys but still maintain yourself as a cut above them.  That should not be too difficult to pull off.  People love to admire their heroes.

You live in a society where all sorts of degrees are available just around any corner.  People are always impressed with academic degrees.  They are not as concerned as to where you got them as to the fact you have those letters after your name.  PhD always sounds impressive, but any letters will do pretty well if you work at it a little bit.

People don’t even care about what subjects you majored in, but if you tell them you majored in theology, they will never check to see what theology you are talking about.  You may have rubbed shoulders with others majoring in Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, etc. and picked up a lot of their ideas to mix with yours.  Never mind that your “theology” may not actually be Biblical.  Just call it Biblical, Wesleyan, Reformed, etc. anyhow and dare anyone to contradict you.  The whole point is to build yourself into somebody that others see as far more than what you actually are.  You are building an image, not reality.

This is open-ended so you can expand on this idea as far as you like.  Just keep in mind that you must work inside the system.  Do not attack it from without.  You will be repulsed in a hurry by doing that.  Dig your way under the walls, crawl through the windows, sneak past a crowd.  Just get inside first.

Remember what Alinsky wrote:  “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be.”  This is the “world you want to change, not because there is anything wrong with it, but so you will be the one in charge.  What you do after you are in charge is not important, either.  After all, you are the scrounger that only eats away at what is already there, but no one should ever see you as that.  You are not interested in change in a sense of making things better.  You only want change just to be different.  The consequences of your actions do not matter.  Ignore or deny the coming Judgment and you will feel better about it all.

Follow this idea to its fullest and you might possibly be able to put some of the counter-emergents on the run.  If you can’t do that, you can keep them off-balance so they have to keep regaining their balance and you have time to sick your real targets on them to strengthen your agenda.  If you allow them to keep demanding Biblical truth, you will eventually lose, so do everything you can to keep away from that.  If you do anything with the Bible at all either deny it as true, modify its meanings, or else come up with completely different meanings so you sound like a real evangelical.  You can do that with denominational doctrinal statements as well.  The point is not to be right but to change things into what you think they should be.

I cannot actually speak for emergents, but if I was one of them and was as disingenuous as they are, this is an approach I would consider taking.