The New Face Of The Church of the Nazarene

21I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.  23Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.  24But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.  25Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? 26But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.   Amos 5:21-26

Ash Wednesday And Lent

Ash Wednesday is actually of pagan origin and was admitted into the church beliefs of the Catholic Church a few hundred years after Christ. This was the era when Constantine was attempting to weld pagans and Christians into a unit within the Roman kingdom.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.  Roman Catholic churches of the Latin Rite use this service to prepare themselves for the passion and resurrection of Christ through self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, and self-denial. Ashes from the burned palms of the preceding year’s Palm Sunday are blessed. With these ashes, the priest marks a cross on the foreheads of those who come forward and kneel, saying, “Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.” (Genesis 3:19 KJV)

1. Putting ashes on the forehead is not hinted at in the Bible. Jesus and the apostles never thought of such a thing: it was adopted from paganism. African and Indian pagan rites have involved ashes on the forehead. This man made tradition of the Catholics makes the worship of God of no effect and adds to the commandments of Jesus Christ (Matt 15:7-9; 28:18-20).

2. God’s people sat in ashes or covered themselves with ashes to show deep grief and repentance before God. They did not make a little mark on their forehead to pretend grief and repentance. The marking of a cross on the forehead merely shows pagan superstition and man made tradition (Esther 4:1,3; Job 2:8; Is 58:5; Jer 6:26; Dan 9:3; Jonah 3:6; Luke 10:13).

3. Why is the forehead chosen for ashes? Why not the left elbow? Why not the right knee? Jesus condemned publicly disfiguring your face to indicate you were fasting (Matt 6:16-18). Catholics defy the teaching of Jesus Christ in their self-righteous show of religion. And their practices are as repulsive to God as were those of the Jews (Is 1:10-15; Matt 23:1-39).

4. Why is the forehead chosen for ashes? The only Bible reference to men marking their foreheads, other than Pharisee tradition with phylacteries, is the mark of the antichrist beast (Matt 23:5; Rev 13:6; 20:4). God-fearing persons would not want to follow Rome with a mark on their forehead!

5. Why is the forehead chosen for ashes? Because it has the third eye chakra of the Hindus. Surely you have seen Hindu women marked between their eyes. Tilaka is the mark of auspiciousness of Hindus, which may be done by marking the forehead with sacred ashes. Ash Wednesday did not come from the Bible, and it appears by similarity to have come from Hinduism.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.   Matt. 6:16-18

What About Lent?

Paul warned us to beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. (Col. 2:8-10). Jesus never commanded his apostles to observe Lent, but to observe the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Lent’s Ancient Roots

Coming from the Anglo-Saxon Lencten, meaning “spring,” Lent originated in the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. “The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess…Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz” (The Two Babylons).

Tammuz was the false Messiah of the Babylonians—a satanic counterfeit of Jesus Christ!

The Feast of Tammuz was usually celebrated in June (also called the “month of Tammuz”). Lent was held 40 days before the feast, “celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing.” This is why Lent means “spring”; it took place from spring to early summer.

The Bible records ancient Judah worshipping this false Messiah: “Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek 8:14-15). This was a great abomination in God’s eyes!

 

(Source: Unknown author, excerpted from Christine Willard’s website)

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6 responses to “The New Face Of The Church of the Nazarene

  1. Good article that should challenge any pastor to dig deeper into this pagan practice that was adopted by the Catholic Church to appease pagan worship so they could be counted as converts in the RCC. My question to any pastor who uses the “Ashes to Fire” means of worship, “What do you hope to gain from it; how will it benefit your Church; will it make your parishioners more spiritual; how many will be deceived spiritually by this, and be led to believe a lie? Why some pastors feel they must participate in a religious activity no matter how bizarre its act or seem spiritual is beyond sound reason. Some Churches more and more are doing off the wall stuff and are calling it worship. Giving the direction that some have taken I wonder how long it will be before the church will offer absolution.

    Peter puts ones outer spiritual life compared to his inner life in proper perspective so as not to draw attention to self or to elevate his office. 1 Peter [3:4] “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” “Hidden” here means that which is not to be shown off before others as to act spiritual. Jesus condemned the hypocrites for doing this very thing in Matthew [6:5, 23:5]. The truth lies within and pertains to the affection of the soul toward God. It appears the more things they can get their people to do the more spiritual they will become or at least this seems to be the direction they are going by what they are allowing.

  2. I am 75; was taken by my parents to their Nazarene church when I was two week old; went to all the camps for kids and teens; was the NYPS president at our church; went to a Nazarene College; was married in a Nazarene church, baptized my five children in the Nazarene church, went to the Nazarene church in our city for 35 years (so long that I finally became a pillar); moved in retirement to another city; found a wonderful solid church home and have attended and given faithfully for almost 11 years.
    Several years ago, the youth pastor created “The Gathering” in the youth ministry room. Much lateer I found it to be a prayer walk. I did not go – whatever, it was a teen thing and I was involved in other things. Our church had a Maundy Thursday service and I went. My feeling was, well, that was different. Then there was the Wednesday soup dinner and Lent service. A couple of years later or so, the pastor initiated the oil and ashes cross on the forehead ritual. If the pastor likes it and recommends it, I will try it, but it did not seem quite right and it certainly did not do anything for me spiritually. I refused to go forward for the oil and ashes the next year. Since then, I have not gone. I am old fashioned as when the pastor begin to refer to the source of his sermon texts as the lectionary, I thought where is the Holy Spirit in the leading of what sermons should be preached to the congregation? The pastor preached good sermons on the allotted topic, but to me, it was not the same. Then came Lecto Diva on Sunday nights. At Christmas time, Stations of the Cross. In the young adult room was a quote from Shane Claiborne. A young adult Sunday School class started up named Creation Care. Several months ago, at one of the monthly communions, the pastor had a small loaf of bread and a globlet of juice on the communion table along with about 28 candles. The two side tables had 7 candles on them as our congregation has communion by coming forward to get the elements and returning to our pews to take communion together. But, before the congregation is invited to come forward, the pastor had the associate pastor offer the bread to him first. He broke it and dipped it in the goblet and partook. The pastor then reciprocated and offered communion to the associate pastor. After they had taken communion, the congregation was invited forward. I did not like that. All of my life, the pastor has taken communion with the congregation. It seemed to me that the pastor was setting himself apart from the congregation and maybe a little above the congregation? I have since refused to take communion at our church.
    I can’t feel free to invite new people to my church knowning all of this. I don’t want them involved and some of our closest friends are obivious to it all and who would be really hurt by our leaving.
    We are really involved in 7 ministries at our church and are called on to fill in when needed. We love our people and all of our activities that we enjoy. Our contacts are many. We have talked about all of these things, but we do not want to leave. We know of at least 6 couples that have left. I am really torn. I dread talking to the pastor. I don;t feel that a letter is appropriate. There are many influences in his life and I know there will not be any changes.
    So, I believe there will be a time that is right for dealing with these things in the right way and the Holy Spirit will provide the right place. I will continue to pray and ask for guidance as well as pray for the pastor and staff. On occasion, I have been able to speak gently with a person who has asked a question on one of my concerns.
    The bottom line truth is that I would like to flee, but do not feel fully released.
    I am not alone. I am sure others could express these thoughts as their own. I have wanted to write about this before but It seemed right for me to offer them tonight.
    Thank you Manny and to all the other people who express themselves here. You are all encouraging. Blessings to you all.

  3. Thank you for your testimony here and your kind words. Those are tough things to go through, many of us have seen the same things creeping in, and it is very sad. Especially in churches we have been members of all our lives.
    I pray God will give you wisdom and help you in whatever decisions you need to make. You are right, many of your thoughts here are so similar to mine, to so many others who have experienced these things. As we trust and lean on God for guidance, there will be a recognizing of when to do certain things, or say things to certain people. I was too impatient sometimes in dealing with all that, but God has taught me to wait on Him. Just plant the seeds, and water the ground, and let God do the rest. God bless you.

  4. Candid1960: First and foremost, be encouraged and know that you are loved and most certainly not alone. Fleeing evil is not an easy thing, but God’s Word is sufficient and it never contradicts itself. Not only is God’s Word sufficient, but God alone is sufficient. Do you believe that God is sovereign? Do you believe that God’s Will will be accomplished with or without you? If you think that those programs can’t go on without you, then perhaps that’s idolatry of self and your staying is only enabling the program to continue the charade. Or maybe your leaving will be the thing that causes those friends to question and give you the platform to preach the gospel. If they forsake you, you still follow Christ and die to self. How can I possibly ask you this? Because I was doing it myself. I thought I could invoke change and that I had the power to do something and that I would be a light and that I, I, I…. I ….. i. No – God, and He alone is worthy to be praised. He alone must be obeyed. There is no gray and the Truth is sharper than any two-edged sword.

  5. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. I assure you and am absolutely convinced that in all things, God’s purposes are being served and in all aspects of life’s expriences, that is what we pray for. It is a big pill to swallow with what is happening, but His Word will prevail and will not return void. It is my belief that all of life is spiritual. One of the most memerable sermons I recall was entitled, “I don’t have to survive.” My job is to remain sensitive to the prompting of His Holy Spirit and obey as in “DO IT!” What encourages me is that, as the song writer wrote, “God knows my name.” I am His child. He knows what is ahead and He loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to fail. So in the tough times, it is not “why me,” but “what do you want to teach me – what do I need to learn?” It is like the song writer wrote, “Don’t let this storm go to waste.” Even so, I am really sad about all of the issues and my heart is heavy for the people that are so unaware of what is happening primarily because people of high regard are espousing and leading the way. The congregation is just accepting it all without question. As has been said, it is a little bit of leaven here and there and once you accept the first bit, the next bit is more easily swallowed. I will keep on keeping one for now.
    Thanks again. Blessings to all.

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