This is my first quick summary report of General Assembly 2013 of the Church of the Nazarene. We will do a more complete assessment at the end of the convention. For now, here is what essentially I saw on the first day I was there:
Attended A Workshop: Scripture As Spiritual Formation. It was led by Mark Maddix of Northwest Nazarene University and Richard Thompson.
Shortly after it started, I think we knew where it was going. Professor Maddix later promoted lectio divina, one of the contemplative spirituality rituals. He later ended the session by encouraging people to investigate more into learning about spiritual formation. At the end, I was the last person to ask a question, and I asked Mr. Maddix:
“My father was rescued from the bondage of the Roman Catholic church years ago as a young man, and became a Christian. He preached for years as a Nazarene pastor until he died. So why is it that the Nazarene denomination is welcoming and promoting mystical practices that come straight out of Roman Catholicism, which is a false religion?”
Mark Maddix strongly disagreed with me. Mr. Maddix unequivocally stated that the Roman Catholics are our brothers and sisters in Christ. He does not believe it is a false religion, even though it is clear that the RCC preaches works-based salvation. Mr. Maddix does not know what he is talking about regarding the history of the Roman Catholic Church. He made an erroneous claim that we got the Bible from the RCC, which is dead wrong.
A man then came up to me- and said he was grieved at my comments and my “attack” against Roman Catholics, because he has many friends who are Catholic. I said so did I, and what does that have to do with telling the truth that it is a false religion. I asked if he would be willing to show me through Scripture that I was wrong, but he walked away. I sensed much disapproval after I asked my question, and when Bev Turner followed up with pointing out the teachings that are being promoted in the universities, a man across the room yelled at here disrespectfully, asking if she had read those books. She responded yes, I did. Telling the truth to these people touches a real never with them, but I thanked the Lord I had the chance to witness to the truth. A young lady approached me after and thanked me for stating something and this issue, which was troubling her also. It made it all worth it.
If we can reach one person in these sessions by voicing our biblical objection to what is going on, then I give praise to God for obediently following His command to “bring light into the darkness.” I firmly believe that Mark Maddix, and a whole lot of other leadership in the church, have bought into these lies and have been deceived. I believe if the question was asked of some of our General Superintendents, they might be forced to admit the same belief Mark Maddix expressed.
The church is embracing the rituals and beliefs of a false religion. It is embracing a religion that actually teaches that we ourselves are lost, unless we come back to the “mother church!” We are told in Scripture to come out, to be separate, not to join them. As I think of my dad, and how he returned to preach to the very people who were lost as Roman Catholics, I continue to think how ironic that this has turned around this way. It was a sad moment I experienced as I attended my first workshop at GA.
Attended A Workshop: Making Christlike Disciples in the LGBT Community
Led by Andy McGee, pastor of a LGBT Nazarene church. Much was said how they reach out to the LGBT community, and about their “methods of reaching them, making them feel at home, or feeling comfortable and not threatened. Much was said, but not once was the word sin used. I asked a question at the end:
“Is there any instance at your church where some of these folks have actually given a testimony as to how they were forgiven and freed from the bondage of their homosexuality, as with all other sins?” I honestly cannot remember the details of the answer, but it dot not really answer the question. Rev. McGee characterized what I said as being the “Exodus International” approach- right after which I interjected that no… this was my biblical approach.
Later on another man asked “what about what Romans chapter 1 says about this? How do you answer that question?” Again, I don’t believe the answers very biblical. I hope to be able to provide you with audio, because they said it was being recorded. At the end, he and his folks received a loud, sanding ovation- probably on a par with the kind of ovation a General Superintendent gets when newly elected. I thought the entire presentation was very strange, and left many questions unanswered. Yet, this was received very warmly, and my impression was that, except for a few here and there, no one really cared to hear my question about being saved from sin.
I believe something like this church is a first step towards gay affirmation. In fact, Rev. McGee erroneously said that people are born with homosexuality and cannot help that. He actually used statement by the General Superintendents to support that view- and sadly, it may be true that they believe this as well.
There are other examples of this kind of softening of the biblical message to appease sinners. The acceptance of homosexuality will probably be very complete by the time the next General Assembly happens. This does not bode well for the Church of the Nazarene.
This program, which is the same as the G-12 movement, is inflicting great harm to the church. At least five pastors have sent me reports on this problem in the last few years. Their churches have been damaged, and parts of this seem very cult like. One of the big movers of this thing spoke Friday, and my friend Charlie was not impressed with the presentation by Rev. Craig Rench, apparently one of the experts on the Master Plan. To find more about this movement, please read this recent blog post by a Nazarene who has seen and experienced this:
Signs And Wonders In the Church
This seems to be another phenomenon which is catching on in the church with greater popularity, spurred on by the teachings and preachings of Rob McCorkle and Dan Bohi. Sine Tim Wirth was there with me, he wrote some notes on this which I will share, but there will be further indepth reporting on “Fire Schools” which are being promoted at one of the General Assembly booths.
IHOP IS HERE, and so is the NAR, Kansas City Prophets, Rick Joyner. For those unfamiliar with the terms and the people, I will be posting articles on all these topics as a follow up to my Fire School article. The false signs and wonders are here folks. I will post articles on the other false revivals such as Lakeland with Todd Bentley, Toronto, Brownsville, etc… I will also do an article on impartation and the false pretense these folk use. Trust me the Holy Spirit is not limited to what man desires to conjure up and He is not at man’s beck and call to do our bidding. He is God and He goes and does at is His good pleasure, not ours. The Holy Spirit does not need to get a piggy back ride to your church through impartation. But a familiar spirit often does.
A Conversation With A Fire School Enthusiast
The following description by Tim of an encounter we had at the Fire Sachool booth, I believe, is a sad indication of how someone can be deceived so easily.
This was the big Fire School/Bohi promotion. Manny and I had a very interesting conversation with a young lady, and Rob McCorkle had left before we had a chance to speak with him. I’m going to write a more detailed article on this Saturday. The gist of it was I tried to ask this young lady where she found these manifestations in scripture. She said people fell forward. I said exactly. Only Jesus’s enemies fell backward when they came to arrest Him. This girl was really trying to control the conversation often cutting us off, trying to not let us speak. Manny bought up that no preacher is above scrutiny. Then on that point I went into what Dan preached giving exact quotes and I asked her if she thought the teaching matched up to scripture. I also pointed out where Dan actually stated he didn’t like the definition of faith expressed in the book of Hebrews and than gave his own definition of faith outside of scripture (by way of revelation knowledge perhaps?). She stated she knows the Holy Spirit and almost implied I wasn’t saved. She said she fell to her knees and her arms were so heavy she could not move her arms.
We questioned her experience and Manny asked her if it was possible that she could be deceived. She stated no way because she knows the way the Holy Spirit moves. I asked her where is this found in scripture? She could not answer.
Than an older lady came by and stated she never believed in the stuff either until she went and was bought to her knees, feeling a heaviness and was actually paralyzed and could not move either. I asked again where is this experience in scripture? I asked the young lady again about Dan’s teaching and how the Nazarene founder distanced himself from Azuza street and its manifestations. She than informed us we are not to “touch the anointed”. I explained to her that if you are saved you are anointed by the Holy Spirit for service. She than stated “I’m done here and I want you both to leave this area right now”. Even though her young man counterpart wanted to talk more. I apologized to her for upsetting her. She said “leave now”. We left.
Tim will be reporting more on this soon. I will try to update tomorrow night as needed. Please pray for the COTN, it is really in deep trouble.
Friday, June 21, 2013