Irresponsible Christian College Leaders Allowing Normalization of Homosexuality

It would be no surprise to find examples of the normalization and even glorification of homosexuality (a sin like any other sin) at almost any secular college campus today.  It would also not be in our place as Christians, in some ways, to criticize the leaders at these schools and call them irresponsible, from a Christian worldview.  That’s because they don’t operate from a Christian worldview, and we cannot expect them to hold to biblical standards.  However, that is a much different matter when it comes to universities that call themselves “Christian.”  We are responsible as Christians to hold accountable those who profess to be Christians who are going astray and watering down the Gospel message.  We are to judge those in the church.  “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?” 1 Cor. 5:12

Southern Nazarene University

The first example of what I call “biblical negligence and malpractice” from Christian leadership is at Southern Nazarene University.  An article in the student newsletter, called “Reevaluation is needed for SNU and Church policies on Homosexuality, spoke favorably of the new view of homosexuality which is so popular in the secular world now, and is now permeating the Christian world.  Here are some sample quotes from the article, which can be read at their website (http://echo.snu.edu/?p=719), or downloaded as well:

“The SNU lifestyle covenant states that students will “abstain from pornography, premarital or extramarital sex, immortal heterosexual activity and homosexual behavior.”….  This leaves homosexual students here, and in the larger Christian community, two choices: to act on their sexual orientation and hide those actions from SNU, or to remain, for all intents and purposes, asexual.”

“The idea of encouraging gay students at SNU to live without those relational intimacies makes me very sad. When I imagine a life in which I would have to deny, hide, or feel ashamed about the loving relationship I share with my fiancé, I can’t help but feel dismal, to say the least. Needless to say, forcing homosexual students to abstain from intimate relationships not only seems unnatural, but also cruel and morbid.”

“However, many Christians are beginning to change their beliefs that homosexuality is indeed a sin….. One professor has told me that she has no problem with homosexual relationships, so long as they abide by the same commitments to marriage, monogamy, and respect as other Christian relationships do.”

Christian circles are too quick to call homosexuality a sin, without ever having talked to someone who identifies as gay.”
Below is a comment from a friend who is in leadership at a Christian university:

 

“This is so predictable but yet so sad.  The problem starts with a total disregard for the authority of the Scripture.

The author could never come to his/her conclusions without first setting aside the accuracy of the Bible as a pretext.  This is why I make such a big deal about holding fast to inerrancy!! And what terrible logic to claim that abstaining from sexual activity is akin to being “asexual!” Should we assume that everyone who refrains from premarital sex is “asexual?”

The fact that they let this be printed in their student newspaper is also evidence of the bigger problem.

Would they let an article be printed about every other aberrant behavior?  One about pedophilia?  One about incest?  How about polygamy? Bestiality?

If denying one’s biological urges concerning homosexuality makes one asexual then wouldn’t the same logic hold true for these other behaviors??   If the Bible does not speak accurately and definitively on the matter of homosexuality then how can the Church or SNU claim it speaks with authority on ANY sexual behavior?

I would never permit this stuff to be printed on our campus.  And if I ever found a professor agreeing with or encouraging this moral drivel they would be gone immediately.  When the Nazarene schools started inviting McLaren, Pagitt, Jones, and Campolo to speak on their campuses they set the stage for this stuff.”

I agree with this assessment, and it certainly pertains as well to Point Loma in their latest poor decision.

Point Loma Does It Again

The SNU example brings back memories of the debacle that occurred at Point Loma Nazarene University last year, and at San Diego First Church of the Nazarene, which is on the campus grounds.  You can read about that here in this eyewitness account (Homosexuality At Point Loma Nazarene University).  Now the student newspaper has put out an article with an interview of Todd Clayton: (Q@A With Todd Clayton).  Todd is now an alumnus and former ASB Director of Spiritual Life at Point Loma, and the main subject matter of that eyewitness account of the goings on at the school and the local church.  It was a example of how worldly acceptance of homosexuality has permeated the church and resulted in re-defining the seriousness of sin.

Here are a few quotes from the interview:

“I don’t have to be worried that someone might see me on a date or at a bar and try to get me fired—or worse—tell the newspaper.”

After months of searching, however, I’ve landed back at a place of comfort in my Christian identity. It looks admittedly different than many at Loma, I’m sure: I don’t believe in hell, I don’t think Muslims are wrong, I don’t raise my hands in the air when I sing, I think we should be sexual before we’re married.””PW: What advice would you give to PLNU students who are coming to terms with their sexuality?
TC: You’re not alone. This is the shrewdest, loudest lie I remember fighting before I was out. (Hint: there are tons of gays at Loma). Be patient with yourself—and with the people you care about. Understanding an orientation that isn’t heterosexual can take time, and you’re not crazy if it does. Find people who will affirm and love you, and—when you’re ready—honestly share with them so you don’t have to journey by yourself. Know that being gay is fun. Go on dates. Don’t be afraid to kiss”


I can see no biblical rationale for the leaders at both of these schools to allow this kind of writing under the banner of the university.  It smacks of approval, it smacks of “tolerance” of anything that is written by the students, and it only leads one to believe that these leaders are okay with this new kind of “Christian” re-definition of sin.  At the very least, they seem to be okay with allowing the open view of homosexuality to be promoted, and that is clearly wrong.  This is their responsibility, and for what its worth, this post is being sent to the university presidents at both schools.  When “academic freedom”, or “freedom of expression”, is used as the basis for allowing the spreading of error filled views of what is or is not sin, then that becomes reckless and irresponsible, and the buck stops at the leadership’s desk.

I received a note on my blog from Todd Clayton, to go and see how he is progressing, as he has a blog now.  I declined to publicize it.  We must pray for Todd Clayton, and all the other students and alumni from Point Loma and Southern Nazarene, who have been misled to think that homosexuality is okay within a Christian context.  This is not so much about Todd Clayton, as it is about the reckless and irresponsible leadership at these schools, and they must be held accountable.  And believe me, the extent of this problem is not just at these two schools, and is a symptom of the overall apostasy occurring in our Nazarene and other Christian universities and seminaries today.

What do our General Superintendents think about this?  This is also being sent to them.  Frankly, I don’t expect a personal answer, but they have my email.  Maybe you can ask them all the same question.

 

Manny Silva

 

In Appreciation: Thanking A Pastor For His Service

A few weeks ago, New Bedford International Church lost its senior pastor through retirement.  Pastor JR Chavier had to step down due to health reasons.  I have known JR for many years, and my family attended the same church his dad pastored when we first came to the United States in 1961.  I have gotten to know Pastor JR in the past three years better than I have known him in the many years before that.

Not all who call themselves pastor are qualified to serve, because not all have been called by God.  The literal translation of the word for pastor in the New Testament means “shepherd.”  Our Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as a shepherd.  Thus the pastor of a church is an under shepherd of The Great Shepherd, with a desire to serve being one of the first qualifications.  A pastor is responsible for feeding the flock.  It is a spiritual gift to be called by God to be a pastor.

Other qualifications of a pastor is that he must be vigilant; be sober, just, holy, and temperate; be of good behavior; must not be given to much wine; be patient with others; must not be greedy or covetous; not be a novice; be blameless (although none are without faults); given to hospitality; have a good testimony among those who are outside; be the husband of one wife; must rule his house and be the spiritual leader of his family, having his children in submission and with all reverence.

And finally, pastors must also be apt to teach; they must hold fast the faithful word; and they must teach sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayers.
(See: 1 Tim 3:2-13; Tit. 1:7-9)

Those who know Pastor JR recognize that he has these qualifications.  These qualifications are not optional, so a faithful pastor will meet and follow all these items.  In my two plus years as a member of International Church, I have observed a consistency in these areas.  I particularly have been observant of the last three items I mentioned.

In these days of increasing apostasy, the retirement of a senior pastor can be one of the most critical moments for a local church. In the last few years I have been at International Church, what I have heard is a pastor preaching the whole council of God: the good news as well as the bad news.  I have seen a consistent underlying theme that is at the foundation of Pastor JR’s teaching: that the Bible is God’s inerrant word, that is it our final authority in our faith and practice, and that we must never deviate from its clear teachings.  His father taught the same principle for many years.   This is one of the legacies that Pastor JR is leaving to the church, and I have no doubt it is a teaching that will be reinforced by Pastor Ramiro.

Pastor JR has taught the word of God without compromise.  He has not bowed down to the shifting “winds of doctrine” to catch on to the latest fad, even if doing so would gain favor, or gain more members.  He has recognized that a healthy church is not measured in attendance numbers, in membership, in finances, or how many times the church has fellowship gatherings.  The measure of the success of a church is by its fruits, resulting from obedience to the Lord and to His word.  In faithfully preaching the message of uncompromising obedience to God’s word, he has laid a foundation that is strong and can be built upon.  Being a pastor or teacher in the church is a serious responsibility which is taught in Scripture:

“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” James 3:1.

 Some of you know that three years ago was one of the most difficult times for me and my family.  I recall the night I attended an evening service in April 2009, and before service started, I asked Pastor JR if perhaps in the near future, we could get together and discuss my concerns about a movement called the emergent church.  Not only did he say yes, but he practically pulled me into his office after the service, along with Almeda, Clay, and Jim, and by the time we finished talking, I was scheduled to speak at the church a few months later about those concerns.  He did not care about anything else but to open more eyes to the dangers around them.

 I owe a lot more to Pastor JR than can be said here.  He has been a source of encouragement and sound advice, and I know there are many others who would echo the same words.  He did not choose the expedient things.  He chose to do the right thing, and the right thing is to be on the side of God and His word, not on the side of men and popularity.  Remember Luke 6:26: Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”  I have seen a man who has stood firm.  He has maintained a standard and set an example that other pastors should emulate.

 I have no doubt Pastor JR and Almeda will continue to serve the Lord in a new capacity.  It would be a shame if that foundation of biblical certitude were to disappear from this church.  I have no doubt it will remain with Pastor Ramiro.  But as the church takes steps in the coming months to find a senior pastor, I have a humble word of advice to my fellow members.

 It could be that this local church, a church which has stood strong in this community for years, may be at its most critical decision point in its history.  The Christian church is under attack more than ever before, and the most dangerous threat is from within.  One of the greatest acknowledgements we can give to Pastor JR, is to welcome a new senior pastor who reflects the same level of commitment to God’s word as he has demonstrated.  We must select a pastor who is not swayed by the shifting winds of doctrine, but who will make all his teachings and decisions based on the word of God, who will uphold the gospel even at the expense of paying a great price, even at the expense of losing members.  We must have a senior pastor whose focus is to faithfully preach the word of God, in season and out of season; who does not take from nor adds to the word; and who tirelessly defends the faith once delivered to the saints.  Nothing less will do.

 Thank you, Pastor JR, Almeda, Mrs. Chavier, and your children, for your faithful service to the Lord.  May God continue to use your gifts to build up the believers, and to bring the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are lost.  God bless you.


Manny Silva

The Road To Catholicism In The Nazarene Church: Mindless Retreats

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thess. 2:11-12

The following are descriptions of two upcoming retreats that emphasize “silence” (emptying the mind), which will probably become the norm throughout the Nazarene denomination.  Since our General Superintendents have never publicly spoken out against these types of retreats, we must conclude by default that they support it (and I have asked them about these issues).  We are becoming a mini- Roman Catholic Church within what claims to be a holiness church.  This is no longer the church of my father, who God rescued from the bondage of apostate Roman Catholic religion and became a missionary to the Catholics, NOT a partner with them.  Our leaders continue with their silence on these matters; it will be interesting to see for how long.  We are now only 17 months away from the next General Assembly.  It is clear to me that the denomination is splitting internally between the Bible believers, and those who are pushing or accepting the radical agendas of the emergent/missional/ecumenical movement.

Richard Bennett, former RCC priest, says about these types of activities:

“Communion with God is a participation in eternal life by grace through faith. Such communion is not achieved by imagination, visualizations, solitude, or mystical formulas. Christ Jesus the Lord warned that, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” The present day Emerging Church movement is full of deceitful, contemplative practices. Only by taking heed to the counsel of the Lord can His followers escape ruin. The danger of the Emerging Church’s type of spirituality is that it replaces the certainty of the written Word with subjective experiences. True coming to God is by trusting on the perfect life and sacrifice of Christ that includes repentance and forsaking of sin.” (Emergent Church Indoctrinates With Catholic Style Eastern Mysticism, Richard Bennett)

Retreat #1: St. Gertrude’s Monastery

Northwest Nazarene University is sponsoring a women’s retreat at St. Gertrude’s: http://www.stgertrudes.org/
Title
: A Place to Satisfy Your Hunger For God: A Monastic Immersion Experience
The contact for this retreat is NNU professor, Julene Tegerstrand, at jtegerstrand@nnu.edu

What is the vision of St. Gertrude’s? 
“We are monastic women who follow the ancient Rule of Benedict.”

What is the Rule of Benedict?  This Rule teaches salvation and sanctification through asceticism.  This system, created by St. Benedict, directed every aspect of a monk’s life: his clothing, relationships, travel, duties, schedule, meals, worship, reading, habitat, sleep. (1)  This is legalism, in other words.  This is works based salvation, which now many of our Nazarene leaders are promoting and our General Superintendents are apparently doing nothing about, thus giving it their stamp of approval by default.

What is a monastic immersion experience?   It includes experiencing monastic prayer (i.e. contemplative spirituality, centering prayer, silence).  It’s open to women of all faith backgrounds as well.  Interspirituality in other words, or interfaith, which is another growing trend.  Right at the start of their YouTube video, they urge us to “come and listen with us”, the typical wording that describes practicing the silence, a contemplative mystical experience whose goal is to empty the mind.

So those who attend this retreat sponsored by NNU will learn new (unscriptural)  things which we as Bible believing Christians have rejected for years.  Now it appears to be acceptable, and not only that, appears to be what these people want the church to look like!  The wolves have entered the sheep pen already, don’t you think?  And the shepherds are still sleeping.  You must ask yourself: why are Nazarenes and other evangelical denominations encouraging others to incorporate Roman Catholic practices into their lives, when these practices are false, legalistic, works-based?  In other words, this is teaching another gospel, another Jesus, and negates what Christ has done on the Cross once and for all.

Retreat #2: Spiritual Formation

Trevecca Nazarene University is sponsoring a spiritual formation retreat at the Loretto MotherHouse in KY
Title
: Silence And Listening For The Voice of God
The contact for this retreat is Brent Tallman (btallman@trevecca.edu)

I have previously written about this retreat (Trevecca Leaders Continue Indoctrination of Heresy).  Here are some quotes from the website (bold emphasis is mine):

So the goal of this retreat will be to help us minimize distractions and noise, so that we might gain a better understanding of how to be silent and how to truly listen for the voice of God.

 

“Union with Godin prayer requires us to learn to quiet ourselves–yes, from the noises which surround us, but also from inward noises (restlessness, fears, our agenda’s, etc.)It is this stillness and emptiness which allows us to be open to hearing the voice of God.”

There will be no agendas, no meetings, and no requirements–just being quiet before God and listening for His voice.

Upon looking at their agenda, the attendees will be doing the following:
1. Arriving at the site on Friday in immediate silence.
2. Then, going to dinner in total silence.
3. Having breakfast and lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday every day in total silence.
4. Practicing silence throughout the day.
5. Going through an (optional) tour of the Motherhouse- and Meet at the Church following Mass!
6. On Sunday night, they will finally have a service with testimonies and reflections on a “Wesley Covenant renewal”.  I have no idea what that has to do with anything else here.
7. And… they are encouraged to join the sisters daily in their “hours of prayers”, Roman Catholic style.

I have warned President Dan Boone of this many times, to which his responses have not reflected what the title of one of his books implies, “a charitable discourse.”  He is promoting false practices to young people, and he is responsible, thus I fear for his soul.  God’s word say that  “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Heb. 10:31  This  is why I cannot recommend Trevecca for any Bible believer to send their children.  Neither can I recommend NNU anymore as well.  They are both schools which are promoting contemplative mysticism, which is unbiblical.

Conclusion: The lines are being blurred, and yet the worst delusions are yet to come, and soon, it will all look the same, it will all look good, and discernment will be gone from even more Christians. 
By that time, many will have fallen for this blending of good with bad, and their hearts will be hardened even more.  It will then be to late for them.

Beware, life as a Christian will most likely get more difficult, and the persecution and ostracizing will be far more serious from within, not without.  Your choice is either for the easy road, or the hard road.  I remind you that the hard road is the way of the genuine Christian believer, and it will be narrow as well.  At least our Lord said so, and who is to argue with Him?

Manny Silva

Footnotes:
(1) Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond, David Cloud, p. 328

For additional research:

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/trevecca-nazarene-university-promoting-mysticism-and-pagan-practices/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/false-teaching-in-a-christian-university-a-shocking-example/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/is-lectio-divina-and-mysticism-the-future-of-nazarene-theolog/

 

Three Years Later: Nazarene Foundations Still Crumbling

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”  Psalm 11:3

The Church of the Nazarene is caught in a serious crisis, even though those in leadership may not think so.  The foundations are slowly being destroyed, and many leaders are ignoring the warnings; some are part of the problem; and only a few are sounding the alarm.  I often see reports and updates that tell us that the church is healthy.  Surely in some places things are going well, but there is a cancer slowly running through the church and eating away at its spiritual health, and that is being ignored too much.  How foolish if a sick patient ignores the warning signs of a deadly disease!  The following items of apostasy have been welcomed into our universities (in varying degrees of severity depending on the school) and many of our churches and districts:

Emergent church ideology (now more often dressed up as “missional”); contemplative spirituality or mysticism; spiritual formation; ecumenicalism and interfaith collaborations; Roman Catholic practices; environmental movement; social justice “gospel”; open theism; process theology; theistic evolution; and finally, what has led to all these things, which is the rejection of the inerrancy and authority of God’s word.

I believe that the Church of the Nazarene is moving in a direction that will at some point, perhaps in the not too distant future, put it on the same level as apostate mainline denominations such as the ELCA, the Episcopal Church, and the PCUSA.  Those denominations have shared, amongst other meltdowns, an affinity for watering down the biblical message against homosexual sin, and accepting the LGBT lifestyle as a normal part of Christian living.  We already are seeing signs of this viewpoint coming into some of our universities such as Point Loma and Southern Nazarene University, and even some weakness in official denomination papers (Pastoral Perspective on Homosexuality). 


For those who are new to much of this, in December of 2008 I made my first contact with Tim Wirth.  Tim and his friends Sue and Don Butler were instrumental in putting together the Emergent Church DVD, which was passed out to over 6,000 people at General Assembly 2009 in Orlando.  Sometime during the early months of 2009, I had met other Nazarenes or former Nazarenes who were concerned about the direction the denomination was going due to the influence of the emerging church movement and unbiblical teachings in our universities.  We organized ourselves and “invaded” the General Assembly to warn our fellow Nazarenes.  It has been a real battle as we have been joined by many other Nazarenes, and even non-Nazarene friends, in sounding the warning and educating others to the dangers we all are facing throughout all denominations.

I believe that now after almost three years there has come a new turning point, from what I have seen, and what I am planning as far as my ministry goes.  I may not necessarily be speaking for all concerned Nazarenes, and will not be presumptuous to think so.  Most of what I will say here is shared by many others, although I do not claim to be “the voice” of the Concerned Nazarenes.  And I also am taking the risk of losing more friends with what needs to be said today.  I accept that risk, as long as I am being truthful in my assessment.  From all I have seen, the Church of the Nazarene is near or at the forefront of all other traditionally orthodox denominations in bringing emergent ideology and other unbiblical practices and teachings to its people.

Response From Our National Leadership Has Failed

This to me has been the biggest red flag and the most troublesome indicator that the Nazarene denomination is headed for even more difficult times.  And when I speak of difficult times, I only speak of one thing: that of spiritual matters.  It has nothing to do with membership, or finances, or status in the world.  Therefore, I have come to two main conclusions at this time regarding the Board of General Superintendents:

1. General Superintendent Dr. Jesse Middendorf is an active perhaps the most influential supporter of the emergent church agenda within the denomination.  His son Jon Middendorf has also been a big influence, with his embrace of emergent ideology and ecumenical fellowship with the Roman Catholic church.  From his support of Jon’s presentation at the 2009 General Assembly, to his collaboration with emergent church leaders such as New Age sympathesizer Leonard Sweet, it is clear that Dr. Middendorf has been one of the major catalysts in fostering the growth of emergent ideology, contemplative spirituality, and acceptance of Roman Catholic practices within the denomination.  Some university leaders I have communicated with are also helping to usher in Roman Catholic practices, mysticism, and emergent ideology.  Their oftentimes ambiguous or evasive answers, and their staunch defense of false teachers such as Tony Campolo and Mike King, reveals that they have little discernment and have been deceived, and even worse are now spreading that deception to others.

2. The Other General Superintendents.  I do not have hard evidence of any of the other Generals being directly involved in promoting the emergent agenda, because they do not reveal much in their answers to me and others.  However, there is another indicator, which is the apparent lack of leadership from them, and lack of meaningful, clear answers to specific questions.  There are two possibilities, neither of which are good: the current leadership is either complicit with the emergent movement as Dr. Middendorf is, or at best they are aware of the problems and have made a conscious decision to ignore these serious threats to our church for the sake of, perhaps… staying united in one voice?  If so, that does not match up with biblical principles, because staying united as leaders at the expense of ignoring biblical truth, and at the expense of shirking their responsibility to lead the church and give guidance and direction, is unacceptable.

Throughout the past two years, the Generals have written several official statements, including The Emergent Church.  I have personally received responses from them.  Others have received individual responses.  All the words in these statements at best translate to a very generic, “we are against false teachings” position, but lacking substantive comments on anything or anyone specifically.  The current editor of Holiness Today also has shown signs of being sympathetic to the emergent movement, and is known for having attacked Concerned Nazarenes more than once, but like the others, never being specific in his accusations (Ill Informed Critics? Part 1, and Part 2.  So in effect, both the “silent” treatment tactic, and the attempts to attack our motives instead of biblically correcting us, seems to be the primary strategy of not only the leadership, but of those at the universities, as well as many at the District level.  I have had personal disappointments with some of the top leaders in my district, who have not even so much as responded to my emails seeking to have a meeting to discuss my concerns.  In my opinion, they too have shirked their responsibilities as leaders.  There were promises to meet with me, but never followed up.  Yet this “ignore them and they’ll go away” strategy simply exacerbates the situation, not just for me, but for others who at best have received polite form letters that are empty in substance.

The Universities Are Falling Apart

Some university presidents are either fully involved in spreading emergent heresy, or like some of the Generals, are not willing or are powerless to take serious action or speak out.  Universities that have been severely compromised include:


Northwest Nazarene University
, led by the open theism of Dr. Tom Oord (see also Open Theism and Christian Evolution at ENC), as well as its welcoming of heretical speakers such as Brian McLaren and Jay McDaniel, and the embracing of The Shack author William Paul Young recently.

Point Loma Nazarene University
, with its promotion of contemplative spirituality and Richard Foster’s Renovaré seminars, compromising the biblical view of homosexuality (Homosexuality At Point Loma); inviting an Eastern Orthodox speaker to teach praying to icons, and welcoming false teachers such as Rob Bell to speak on campus and to pastors;

Trevecca Nazarene University , which has been promoting prayer labyrinths and contemplative mysticism for years, as well as retreats to a Roman Catholic monastery to teach contemplative mysticism to students.  Their president, Dan Boone, changed the name of prayer labyrinth to prayer walk when this was exposed, but it does not matter.  It is still an unbiblical practice.  (See Are There Fundamentalist Nazarenes, And Are They Jihadists?, and Conversation With University President).

Nazarene Theological Seminary openly promotes contemplative mysticism; has a required course for pastors called Celtic Spirituality, an occultic version of “Christianity”; apparently is unapologetically involved in the interfaith movement; has a professor, Mike King, who spoke at the blasphemous Wildgoose Festival (Mike King and Friends Leading Youth To Spiritual Death).  New president David Busic quoted heretical emergence Christianity proponent, Phylis Tickle, extensively in his inauguration message.  There is more, as I have documented, but this is the school responsible for preparing our future pastors!  This is shameful.

The other Nazarene schools have been compromised also in one way or another.  Nazarene Bible College is teaching lectio divina, which is apparently standard fare now with books on that practice at the Nazarene Publishing House, which is sorely lacking in discernment with its promotion of the Catholic ritual of ashes to the forehead.  At the very least they must be seriously scrutinized before sending your children there.  The ones that I have mentioned, I would strongly recommend to stay away from at the moment, and do not send money to them until they repent of what they are doing.

District Leaders

There have been district superintendents who have shown the same display of politically correct responses to letters from concerned Nazarenes, and pastors who simply want to talk about “love” and maintaining “unity.”   Yet, some of them could do something, they could speak out, and yet they choose to remain silent, some of it due to the fact that they have bought into the false teachings.  Yet I thank God for those few pastors (including my own) and district leaders who have boldly taken a stand and rejected these false movements, and have declared it publicly and to their congregations.  There are still pastors who are defending their flock at great cost at times and rejecting the emergent agenda of their districts.  Some have been persecuted and lost their job, because of speaking out against emergent heresy.

People Are Leaving- Because of The Emergent Church

The leaders at some point will have to decide to be on one side or the other- and not walk the fence.  Nazarenes are leaving the denomination because of its liberal attitude and welcoming embrace of emergent thinking and rejection of the Bible’s full authority.  Of course, many are being attracted to the church because of its new emergent, post-modern thought- but at what cost?  How many of those who have come into the church are truly born again?  You will not have types of Nazarenes for too long.  Make up your mind, state your position clearly, and let Nazarenes decided whether they will put up with the emergent (missional) church or not.  But stop leading people on and making them wonder where you stand.  The fact is, if you don’t speak against it, you ARE for it.  If you want us to look like the Roman Catholic Church, you’ll see more of this, which was posted today:

“I can’t do it anymore, I am going to have to leave my church, when the associate pastor and others condone the teachings of the Catholic church it is time to leave!!!  I just can’t take the associate pastor and others supporting the doctrine of the catholic church. How do I witness to a Catholic and then turn around and accept their false teaching?  Pray for us.”

No More Letters

At this point, I will no longer be sending letters to the General Superintendents pleading with them for an answer to serious questions.  Their “answers” from the past two years have been inadequate and cryptic at best, and now I see them as part of the problem unless proven otherwise, not part of any solution to the problems in the church.  If the Lord moves them to action, and the Holy Spirit convicts them, they will finally start showing the leadership that seems to be lacking now, and provide badly needed spiritual guidance to several million Nazarenes.   They have the potential to send a loud and clear message to the apostates that have taken over our churches, our universities, and that are deceiving so many young people today.  But the days of asking them questions are over, and from now on I will be exposing them for their silence until they give us a straight answer.  If they cannot do their job, perhaps they need to resign, and find another occupation with less responsibility.  Here’s some food for thought expressed recently by a Nazarene pastor:


“I wonder how much of the emergent church stuff in our leaders and local congregations comes from the fact that we have failed to “guard the doctrine” (study the Scriptures) and are living in a “fly by the seat of our pants” theology. How much of it is because we have innocently tried to be “all things to all people” and there is really a heart to win the lost for Christ, but we no longer know how to or feel comfortable with the mission because we’re not IN THE LIVING WORD. So all sorts of other avenues are presented to be an attraction to people. How many of our leaders have just been running a giant organization too long to even be aware of what is happening or willing to put a face on it and call it for what it is? Maybe they’re still reeling from the fact that satan has shoved his foot in the door right under their noses and they don’t want to scare people away by pointing him out.”

Some may say, you are not being fair, Manny.  Who are you to question leaders of such stature?  Perhaps they are working diligently “behind the scenes” to fix the problems.  But that’s not how strong leadership works.  Strong leadership will instill confidence and trust from the people.  The fruits of their actions, or perhaps “non-actions”, have borne nothing but more uncertainty for Bible believers, while allowing the apostates to continue solidifying their foothold on our institutions and many of our churches and districts around the world.  If the great apostle Paul demanded accountability and commended the Bereans for verifying his teachings, why should we not hold our General Superintendents, college presidents, district superintendents, and pastors to the same high biblical standards?

Follow Our Example

One of my biggest disappointments has been seeing so many longtime Christians, many of them close family and friends, ignore what is going on, as if it will go away.  It is time now for pastors and laypeople alike who are sitting on the sidelines and do not agree with the false teachings, to stand up and be counted.  I do not claim to come close to emulating the apostle Paul, yet I am compelled to ask many of you to now do something.  I ask that you do as I do, just as Paul asked many years ago, simply because what we are doing here is biblically justified and even mandated- no exceptions.  Admitting that we are imperfect, I ask those who have been on the sidelines to follow my example and that of many Nazarenes who have put themselves on the line, risking reputation and even years of friendships, all for the sake of Jesus Christ and the truth of His word.  Perhaps you can do some research and educate others.  Perhaps you can write or call your district superintendents and ask where they stand, and then continue to pressure them for answers.  Perhaps you will need to confront your own pastor, or a friend in your church.  Perhaps you as a pastor must teach your congregation to be better Bereans.  It will not be easy.  That’s what I had to do.  It cost us plenty, but honoring Christ is the only honest option for us.

Manny Silva

For those who are feeling the threat of false teachings coming into your church, you are not alone.  Need advice and support, a free DVD, or other resources?  Please contact me or join us at our Concerned Nazarene FaceBook page.)


Addendum: Things To Prayerfully Consider

1. Consider specifically assigning your tithe ONLY to certain local church expenses, so that there is less chance it will be sent to the General Church budget.

2. If you are in a church that is promoting emergent ideology, withhold your tithe in some type of escrow until leadership is removed or repentance comes about.

3. Write to one or more of the General Superintendents and express your concerns about the direction of the denomination.

4. Write or call your District Superintendent, and ask him as to where he stands on the emergent church movement.

5. Talk to your pastor and find out exactly what he believes, especially if you suspect he may be trying to bring in “strange” practices, or if his sermons sound different and “odd” lately.  You may want to start by asking if he believes in the full inerrancy of scripture, not “only in matters of salvation.”

6. If your pastor is firmly against the emergent church, give him your unwavering support; pray for him and his spouse; encourage the congregation to stand with him 100%.

7. Write to one or more of the universities or seminaries, especially if you are an alumnus, and express your concerns and ask for the leadership to explain where they stand.  Do not settle for generalities, but press for specific responses to specific issues.

8. If you donate regularly to one of our universities, consider stopping the sending of any money to them, and write and let them know they will no longer get any funds until they get their act together and clean house.

9. Pray daily, especially for the safety and protection of our students at the schools, who are being exposed to dangerous heretical teachings, or who are being ridiculed by theology professors for standing for biblical truth

10.  Consider the possibility that you may have to be divorced from your church.  But is there any price that cannot be paid for standing for God’s truth, and being faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ?

11.  Flee.  If all else fails, and you and your family are threatened by unbiblical teachings, you must protect them.  Leave, and find a good solid Bible believing Nazarene church, and if that fails, find a good Bible believing church.  Your allegiance is to Jesus Christ, not any denomination.

12.  Ultimately, you may have to leave the denomination.  That is your call, in your time, based on your circumstances, and only through prayerful consideration.

Manny Silva

(How Do We Discern?- Michael Youssef)