John Wesley Was A Fundamentalist: A Rebuttal To Dr. Truesdale’s Argument

John Wesley was a fundamentalist.  He believed the Bible is inerrant and infallible in all that it teaches.  Let’s set the record straight.

“Wesleyans aren’t fundamentalists because that would require them to exchange a high doctrine of Scripture for a low one.”… “We shouldn’t ask the Church of the Nazarene, which is a Wesleyan denomination, to exchange its high doctrine of Scripture for a lesser one.”  (Al Truesdale)

These words by Dr. Al Truesdale in his article from Holiness Today (Why Wesleyans Aren’t Fundamentalists) sums up the thinking of some modern day Nazarene theologians who seem to be revising Nazarene history, as well as revising the history of John Wesley.  In this article, Dr. Truesdale flips things upside down and makes the incredible assertion that those who believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God in ALL that it teaches and affirms, have a low doctrine of Scripture.  For him, and other theologians in the Church of the Nazarene such as Thomas Oord, those who reject biblical inerrancy are the ones who have a higher view and doctrine of Scripture!

Dr. Truesdale was my Greek New Testament professor at Eastern Nazarene College in three classes. Greek New Testament was my favorite subject at ENC, and he was an excellent teacher whom I greatly respected.  But I am afraid he is wrong in much of what he asserts here.  As I spent some time thinking on what approach I would respond, of which there were several, I received the following from my friend Allen Marsh.  It addresses one of the approaches I was contemplating for a rebuttal, which would deal with the historical aspects of the views of Wesley and fundamentalists.  Another approach would also be to deal with the question of whether the Bible is fully inerrant in ALL that it teaches.  Allen’s approach in his writing was solely to address historical accuracy, and here is what he wrote:

(by Allen Marsh)

 “Why Wesleyans Aren’t Fundamentalists” has much good information.  It also contains errors.

The very first sentence is opposite of fact—that fundamentalists have a low view of Scripture (inerrancy) and Wesleyans (certainly not all) have a high view (the Bible has errors).  To believe the Bible IS the Word of God is a high view while to believe the Bible only CONTAINS or BECOMES in certain situations the Word of God but contains errors is a low view.

According to the article, John Wesley, early Methodists, and the early Nazarenes had a low view of Scripture.  I will here argue for historical accuracy, not to prove inerrancy.

Wesley wrote:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (consequently, all Scripture is infallibly true).”

“We know, ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,’ and is therefore true and right concerning all things.”

“[I]f there be any mistakes in the Bible there may as well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth.”

“Will not the allowing there is any error in Scripture shake the authority of the whole?”

Here are two examples from Methodism:

Adam Clarke stated:

“Men may err, but the Scriptures cannot; for it is the Word of God himself, who can neither mistake, deceive, nor be deceived.”

Richard Watson (1781-1833), the first systematic theologian of Methodism, stated that the authority of scripture “secures the Scriptures from all error both as to the subjects spoken and the manner of expressing them.”

Following are a few examples regarding early Nazarenes and inerrancy:

Many of the early Nazarene leaders came out of the Methodist Church during the conflict in the early 1900’s referenced in the article. They stood unequivocally for biblical inerrancy.  E. P. Ellyson, in his Theological Compend, wrote, “The Holy Spirit knows all the truths of nature, and would not inspire an untruth.”  “Logically and morally we are as much bound by the geological writings of Moses as by the theological writings of Saint Paul.”

 

As late as 1948 Ross Price wrote in the Herald of Holiness, “Our Lord…assumed the absolute truth of the Scripture…. The Bible is correct astronomically, geologically, historically, medically, botanically, zoologically, meterologically, prophetically, and spiritually.” (29 Nov. 1948).

Not until the 1960’s did soteriological inerrancy become the Nazarene view in academic circles although it was first suggested in the 1930’s.  That view is taught in academic circles but not to the general public.  The adult Sunday school lessons for the Fall of 2010 taught Genesis 1-11 as historical, not fictional.  Try teaching soteriological inerrancy to the tribes of third-world countries.

For one thorough study of this, see “Eighty Years of Changing Definitions in the Church of the Nazarene” by Dr. Daryl McCarthy.

The above information reveals the fallacy of most of the article’s other arguments, but I want to speak to one more.

The author says, “God himself, not information about him, is the primary content of revelation.”  He says fundamentalists are concerned with facts about God while Wesleyans are concerned with relationship with God.  How can you know a person without knowing information about him?  You can’t.  The more you know about the person, the better you know him.

The author said that “not everything in the Bible is essential to God’s self-disclosure.”  But it is.  The Bible says He created the heavens—He is greater than that.  It discloses God’s power, wisdom, holiness, love, mercy, justice, creativity, organization, attention to detail, etc.  God is truth.  His written word is “God-breathed,” true in its entirety when understood as it was written. There are problems with translations and there are problems with interpretations, but that the Bible is inerrant is the historic Wesleyan and Nazarene position.

Dr. Gleason L. Archer said that “almost every problem in Scripture that has been discovered by man, from ancient times until now, has been dealt with in a completely satisfactory manner by the biblical text itself.”  And Dr. John Warwick Montgomery said, “I myself have never encountered an alleged contradiction in the Bible which could not be cleared up by the use of the original language of the Scriptures and/or by the use of accepted principles of literary and historical interpretation.” 

To be honest, those promoting soteriological inerrancy only should say they have changed from what our founders believed.

Additional Resources:

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/biblical-inerrancy/

http://www.fwponline.cc/v16n2/v16n2reasonera.html

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/inerrancy-and-wesleyanism/

http://www.fwponline.cc/arm_extend/Inerrancy_01.pdf

 

Dan Boone Goes After Bible Believers Again

[Dan Boone likens Bible believing Christians to Islamic fundamental “jihadists”; Dan Boone believes that parts of the Psalms were borrowed from the Pagans; Dan Boone promotes pagan prayer labyrinths, contemplative mysticism and false teachers; Dan Boone is an ecumenist who compromises with a false religion.]

Dan Boone: “Religious fundamentalism is one of the hot topics in the world today and this website has given me the best model, other than Islamic fundamentalism, to demonstrate to students how religious fundamentalism works.”

Dan Boone: “I only argued with them in the first place because they were making false claims about Trevecca, and to expose them for who they really are—religious fundamentalists.   But you can’t have discussions with people whose minds are already made up… Rational conversation with them is not possible”

Dan Boone “Hinduism. I even reminded the writer that God’s people have often taken elements of other religions and sanctified them for Christian use—Canaanite songs became Jewish psalms, pagan feasts became Christian meals, and so on.” (email to a concerned Nazarene)

Dan Boone: “Now, I must confess a sin. I did not listen to some friends who told me that I would not find a rational conversation here. I am most likely viewing these websites for the last time and would urge all thinking Christians to join me in the exit. Maybe we can stun them with our silence.

Dan Boone: “My concern is that we have diminished God by elevating the Bible.” 

Dan Boone: “I believe that God is pained over the tenor of the discussion between the literalists of seven-day creation theories and the evolutionists of the slow creative-process theories. To prove either one correct is not a saving act. God is not wringing his hands hoping we defend the literal interpretation of Gen. 1.”

Dan Boone: “What I find more exciting and authoritative is the thought that the people of God were exiled in the pagan land of Babylon, listening to pagan stories about the origin of the universe, and the breath of God spoke through a prophet giving them a different understanding. They hijacked the Babylonian tale of creation and declared God to be the one who, in the beginning, created creation and came to take up residence with us in the cosmic temple. Now that’s authority” (from letter to area pastors in response to Sue and Don Butler’s article)

Somewhere in his Christian journey, I believe Dan Boone (and the many Nazarenes who believe the way he does) took a detour down the wrong path.  It is evident in his writings, and it is evident in what he believes, practices and defends.  Although we must continue to expose the lies of the emergent church, we must also pray for those who have been deceived by satan into believing the lies, such as Dr. Boone.  Remember that their primary goal in relation to us is not to educate us, but to shut us up.

When it comes to folks who challenge the things he teaches and believes, there is nothing charitable about Dan Boone.  In spite of suggesting a few years ago that people like me should be “stunned with our silence”, he just could not resist again.  President Boone of Trevecca Nazarene University wrote a book a few years ago called A Charitable Discourse, although the content is far from charitable.  Who can take the book seriously when the author suggests that fundamental Bible believing Christians are no better than fundamental Islamic jihadists?

 Now he has written an article in Holiness Today entitled The Screwtape Letters Meets A Charitable Discourse.  If you are not familiar with the fictional book by C.S. Lewis, it is a series of 31 letters written from the perspective of a senior demon, Screwtape, addressed to one of his underlings.  In the letters, Screwtape acts as a mentor to Wormwood, his nephew, giving advice and counsel on how best to lead to damnation a man referred to as “The Patient.”  It is a cleverly written series of letters which among other things, suggests that even intellectuals are susceptible to demonic enticement and trickery.

The article seems somewhat clever, and it never mentions anyone in particular, but to those of us that it is directed at, we understand.   In my opinion, it has no business being published in a magazine whose purpose was originally to write on holiness and other uplifting topics.  I wonder if the editor of HT would give equal time for someone to respond to yet another attack piece on Bible believers (remember Rev. Kevin Ulmet’s article?).

This is simply another old attempt to send a message to Bible believing Christians that we are the problem in the church, and that satan is using us to divide the body of Christ.  Perhaps Dan Boone has never given one thought to the possibility that satan is using him and others to divide the body of Christ, not us.  Keep in mind that the difference between many of us and the Dan Boones of the church is that we always point out the specific teaching or practice, and let the word of God condemn it or uphold it.  The strategy of folks such as Dan is to employ personal attack and unsupported accusations. This is their only viable weapon.

Here are a few excerpts from the article, which should be online now:

“By enticing them with the wonders of electronic media, you have whetted their appetites for religious blood in the water.”

The tactics of Dan, as well as that of Rev. Kevin Ulmet in his “loving” article in Holiness Today a few months ago, are exactly the same.  They practice the very “jihadist attacks” Dan mentions in his book, while at the same time promoting a “holy conversation.”  In his book, he talks about “speaking truthfully without fear of reprisal.”  Yet he compares Bible believers who dare to speak truthfully as nothing more than equivalent to “jihadists.”  I have now seen that this is the only reliable defense they have.

“As the dominant conversation of their gathering centers on the trivial…”

Perhaps Dr. Boone is complaining that focusing on such things as his promotion of prayer labyrinths, mysticism, and re-writing of plain Scriptural teachings, will reveal the falsehoods that he so tenaciously clings to in spite of clear Biblical teaching to the contrary.  But if anyone thinks I am picking on just Dan Boone, let me be clear.  He is just one of the upfront spokesmen for a movement which many church leaders, pastors, and district leaders have wholeheartedly bought into.  He speaks for them, and so what is written here is just as much about them as it is about Dan Boone.

Let’s take a look at some of his beliefs again:

Dan Boone believes that parts of the Psalms were borrowed from the Pagans

Dr. Boone believes that the Psalms were just different renderings of Babylonian myths, and that parts of the Bible were just the Israelites copying what they heard the pagans say.  Here is what he sent in an email to a concerned Nazarene:

“The Hebrew creation account is a re-telling of the Babylonian tale. Their Hebrew feast days are re-interpretations of the Canaanite days. The Royal Psalms in the collection of Psalms were once Canaanite songs.”

If that is the case, then Dr. Boone clearly does not believe that the scriptures are wholly inspired by God, but that some parts come from pagan traditions!  Who else believes this stuff?  Has Dan Boone ever shown us through the word of God that what he says here is true?

Dan Boone promotes pagan prayer labyrinths, contemplative mysticism and false teachers

Trevecca Nazarene University has had a prayer labyrinth on campus for years.  After we brought that to light, he changed the name of it to “prayer walk.”  It’s still a pagan practice, yet Dan Boone and others think that Christians can “redeem” these pagan practices for their own use.  Trevecca also allowed the advertising of a yoga class on their campus, and part of Dr. Boone’s response to me was that he had no opinion about yoga.

Dr. Boone promotes one of the leading teachers of contemplative mysticism, false teacher Richard Foster (see the attached letter to pastors).  See also the article Richard Foster: Evangelicalism’s Mystical Sparkplug, and decide if his teachings reflect sound Biblical doctrine.  Foster, for instance, makes the amazing claim that non-believers can also practice the Christian spiritual disciplines: “We need not be well advanced in matters of theology to practice the Disciplines. Recent converts–for that matter people who have yet to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ–can and should practice them” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 2).

In the same letter,  he called both Thomas Merton and Ignatius of Loyola spiritual giants.  Merton was not a spiritual giant- he was a monk who said that he was “deeply impregnated with Sufism” because he believed that Eastern mysticism was compatible with and could be incorporated into Christianity.  He placed Mary high on a level equal to Jesus, he prayed to many catholic saints.  He was influenced by Aldous Huxley, who found enlightenment through hallucinogenic drugs.  Quote: “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity. The future of Zen is in the West. I INTEND TO BECOME AS GOOD A BUDDHIST AS I CAN” (Source: Way of LifeYet, Dan Boone calls him a spiritual giant.

Ignatius of Loyola was no wiser, and as the founder of the Jesuits he brutally persecuted Christians and swore complete submission to the pope.  As most Roman Catholics do, he venerated Mary.  He practiced extreme asceticism, living in a cave for a year and never bathing.  He also promoted and taught visualization prayers, breath prayers, and other unbiblical practices (Source: Way of Life).  Yet, Dan Boone calls him a spiritual giant.

Also, in his profile at Nazarene Theological Seminary, which is no longer posted, he said the following:

“…I am deepening in the mystical forms of prayer..”

Can anyone point me to any Biblical instruction on the mystical forms of prayer?

Dan Boone is an Ecumenist Who Compromises With A False Religion

In a Letter to Pastors he wrote in 2009  he not only erroneously claimed that the Roman Catholic church was the only church for 1500 years after Christ, but he also exposed more error along with his ecumenical get along with everyone philosophy.  How is it that we can “be one” with the Roman Catholic Church?

“While Nazarenes are different from Catholics in very significant ways, we believe that we will share eternity with them in the presence of the Christ who prayed that we might be one.”  

And for years Trevecca has sponsored a trip for students to the Abby of Gethsemani, a monastery in Kentucky which was home to Thomas Merton.  They openly promote practicing the silence, which Dr. Boone has erroneously justified by twisting the meaning of Psalm 46:10 totally out of context.  (Read article here)

So could it be that Dan Boone and his intellectual friends have succumbed to demonic enticement and trickery, to the point that they are blinded to the truth and now believe a lie?  Has he been duped by another Wormwood into believing a lie?  Or is it that myself and other Christians who are opposed to his ideology and the practices he promotes, are the ones who have succumbed to demonic lies?  For you see, it is either the one, or the other.  Dan Boone cannot be right, and at the same time, we who oppose his philosophy cannot also be right.  Truth is truth, and the rest is doctrines of demons.

I just ask again for anyone to contrast with Scripture, and make up your mind.

Related Articles:

 

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/conversation-with-a-university-president/

http://sadnazarene.wordpress.com/category/dan-boone/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/a-charitable-discourse-or-compromise/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-response-to-dan-boones-report-on-soulforce/

Dan Boone sermons at College Church of the Nazarene:

Gods That Must Be Carried (9/18/2012)

Revival Chapel (9/18/2012)

The Neighbors (9/19/2012)

Overwhelmed (9/19/2012)

Overprotected (9/20/2012)

Responding To A Nazarene Pastor’s Attempt To Discredit Bible Believers

Rev. Ulmet,

This letter is in response to your article (“I Am A ConcernedNazarene”) in the March/April edition of Holiness Today, the premier publication of the Church of the Nazarene which reaches Nazarenes across the world, in print and on the internet.  After reading it several times, I hardly knew where to begin to respond.  I do not especially like to correct a pastor who is in error.  It is not the first time I have had to do this, and it is never enjoyable.  A pastor is charged with the responsibility to lead and teach his flock as an undershepherd of the Great Shepherd.  But undershepherds are not perfect, they are susceptible to error like anyone else, and must be corrected when necessary, even by a layman without a theology degree.  (I recall the Bereans who were commended by Paul for making sure he was in line with Scripture, even though from the viewpoint of men, he was of greater stature then they).

You posted your article publicly, therefore this response must be public.  Please understand that this is intended for the purpose of correction, for reproof, to help you see the errors of what you have written to many Christians.  I have no animosity towards you, but many Nazarenes believe that what you and other pastors and college professors are promoting is very dangerous and unbiblical.  You have only succeeded in attacking and questioning the integrity and sincerity of many more than you know, but you have not succeeded in destroying their integrity.

There is no Matthew 18 imperative here to confront you in private.  When serious error is put forth publicly to Christians, it must be refuted publicly for the benefit of all, and for reproof and correction of the one who is in error.  Paul the apostle saw the need to correct Peter in public, because Peter had been promulgating incorrect teaching to other Christians.  Paul did not concern himself with Peter’s credentials as an original apostle of Jesus Christ; he did not worry about what others would say about him criticizing such a great man as Peter; he was only concerned with the truth, and correcting any false teaching, no matter who it came from.  And as I recall, Peter humbly took this public rebuke, and learned from it.  I pray that you do the same.

You said that you are a fourth generation Nazarene born into a Nazarene pastor’s family, the son of a district superintendent, and you have a BS and MS from Nazarene institutions.  I’m a second generation son of a Nazarene pastor who was rescued from the bondage of the Roman Catholic Church and who preached holiness for 50 years, and I have a BS and MS from non-Nazarene institutions.  But it really does not matter, does it, our heritage or educational pedigree?  Whatever credentials or background you or I have are irrelevant to any of these issues; let’s judge them only by the word of God.

There are a few areas I wish to address:

1. The Personal Nature of Your Attacks Against Many Nazarenes

This was I believe the most irresponsible thing you did, and for a pastor who is charged with greater responsibilities, it was doubly shameful.   What was worse was that not one of these words you used had one ounce of substantiation and had no documented information and proof.  Here are just some of the words you used to characterize a lot of Nazarenes:

“driven by categorization, guilt-by-association”;  “gotcha” tactics that more represent radical politics than anything remotely biblical, Christian, or certainly holiness”;  “Internet rumormongers”; “Salem-witch-hunt”; “Inquisition-type atmosphere”; “Our presidents…  are under direct and often slanderous attacks from various sources”;  “full of self-righteous piety”; “great derision and mistrust in the scurrilous E-mail exchanges”; “mistrust and gossip”; “no regard whatsoever to biblical conflict resolution principles”; “inflaming the emotions of the faithful”; “unjustly and manipulatively ratcheted up by the fully-aware bloggers”; “special-interest-political-action-group thinking”.

May I suggest that if you have even read the things we all have been saying, that you have simply ignored the substance, and resorted to your only strategy available: demonize those who disagree!  You said all these words simply because we are speaking out against what we believe to be false teachings according to God’s word?   With these words and more, what you have done is not only vilified the obvious and more visible “Concerned Nazarenes”, but you have attacked the integrity, honesty, and sincerity of the many Nazarenes who you do not know, and who have sent me many testimonies.  “These people”, as you refer to them, have written to me many times to tell me of the heartbreak they have experienced as they have watched their denomination of many generations slowly being infiltrated from within with false teachings like a cancer.  Some have told me of being demonized, of being called the divisive ones, and forced to leave their churches of many years, simply for daring to be Bereans and questioning the “new” teachings of their pastors.  Others have left the denomination because they could not find another Bible believing Nazarene church to go to.  Some still struggle on in their church, hoping that they can still make a difference.

These are the very people you speak of when you use those words.  Some of these godly and saintly people have served the Lord faithfully long before you were born, and for you to paint them all like this is an insult to them and their faithful testimony.  Most of them have risked a lot more than I have risked, including pastors who have stood up for the truth.  You have no idea what kind of destruction has occurred because of those who promulgate a theology of emergent openness to everything under the sun, which is doing nothing but watering down the Gospel, and is destroying our churches and our Christian universities.  You owe these people a sincere apology for the false words that were uttered in your attack piece, and you need to repent to God for painting them all in this light.

I quote here a former Holiness Today editor, the late Rev. William McCumber, who wrote in his book This Jesus:

“… I am troubled by “emergent theory” that is moving toward an “emergent church.” Leaders of this “conversation” or “movement” call themselves “post-modern” and I guess if you need a tag that one is about as good as another. My concern about them springs from their distortions of Scripture and their diminishing of Jesus …. More disturbing to me is the fact that the Jesus they talk about is not the Jesus of Scripture … Only the Jesus disclosed to us in the New Testament is relevant to our times and adequate for our salvation. To diminish Him is to destroy ourselves.”

I could give you further examples and quotes from God-fearing, Jesus-loving men and women of God in the Nazarene denomination, as well as other denominations who have rejected the godless ideology of the emergent church.  Perhaps someday, with their permission, I will publish their testimonies, as a witness to those who are siding with God’s word, not man’s word.  I prefer to be on their side of the issue, not yours.  I ask you, who then has been led by the Holy Spirit, and who has not? It can’t be both, can it? (See point #3).

After some people read your article at the Holiness Today FaceBook site, I was amazed at what some of them said, in spite of the caustic words you used to describe so many Nazarenes.  I have attached a running dialogue of that Holiness Today Facebook Discussion. Here are some of their words:

Excellent, Kevin!”
It was such a well-thought out, even-handed look at the whole issue. If anything could bring about true and charitable conversation, it would be this.”

Thank you for this timely article.”

This article is a needed statement that has been long in coming. I commend the editors of Holiness Today for the courage to publish what they knew would be a controversial article. The way in which many in the church have had to suffer under unfounded attacks often based on second hand information or on ignorance has been heartbreaking. I know that on my own district one church was divided by these unfounded attacks and a young pastoral couple suffered greatly because of it.”

I agree with you, David, an article meant to reconcile and bring civility has brought out such animosity, anger and personal attacks.”

Best article I have ever read in H.T. Maybe there is hope!”

No longer only saddened, now I am outraged that good pastors are being subjected to attacks such as this. I don’t even have words to express my disgust. It’s not a defense of truth or correct doctrine, but an outright assault on those who do not kowtow to a narrow interpretation. Pastor Ulmet, HT, thank you for the article. I might otherwise have never known the vitriol many of our pastors and professors are facing. Pastor Brickley is correct in that we have a way to settle differences. This is not it.”

And finally, Rev. Ulmet.  These are your words:

“We can handle these challenges in biblical ways. We can sit down and reason together.” (K. Ulmet)

You call this diatribe that you wrote a biblical way of handling these challenges?  This is how you like to sit down and reason together?  Have you actually taken up anyone on their offer to sit down and discuss these issues with you, in front of others, and let them decide for themselves?  I know others have accepted your offer, so let me do the same.  I would travel to a venue of your choice, let you select whomever you wish to help you, and bring the same number of people with me.  Sure, let’s sit down and not necessarily just reason together, but compare our ideologies and let others decide which is biblical.  Would you accept this challenge from someone who has no theology degree?

There have been quite a few “Likes” for your article on the HT FaceBook page.   It was more than 100 the last time I looked.  (There have been over 2,000 on the Holiness Today website).  And yet, these folks who complimented you somehow looked past the vitriol that flowed from your pen, and complimented you on how kind and loving and wonderful your words were.  They thought that this was a great example for others to see.  Yet, they switched on the condemnation immediately upon any Nazarene who dares to say a word against the ungodly movement called the emergent church.  Is this where our denomination is heading, that discernment is thrown out the window, and the ones who are insisting that we stand for biblical truth, and believe in the Bible, have become the enemy of the church?

It is no wonder that I truly believe that we are in the last days, and that satan has already started sending a great delusion into the minds of many Christians.

2. The Sol Alinsky-Like Tactics Of Diversion From The Facts

That being said, I want to also point out that this is no surprise to us.  This is a tactic that my friend John Henderson spoke of in his response, which is the tactic of personalizing the issue against your opponent, much like Sol Alinsky promotes in his book Rules For Radicals.  If you have no substantive argument against your opponent, just go after him personally, and divert the attention of your readers from the core issues, like the facts of the matter, and how they hold up to scripture.  Rev. Ulmet, I believe you are guilty of that tactic, but it’s no surprise, because I have yet to see one person who promotes this emergent foolishness defend his positions and beliefs using Holy Scripture, which is the ONLY source of authority for our Christian faith.  Our infallible authority is not the Church Manual, nor a professors’ theological musings; it’s nothing else but the word of God, and if the Church Manual goes against God’s word; we ought to correct it, not hold allegiance to it.

This diversionary tactic I have no doubt will fail, because the truth of God’s word will overcome the false attacks against those who love God and respect His word.

3. You Said That The Holy Spirit Prompted You To Write Your Words

You said in a posting to your congregation:

“This article was prompted by the Holy Spirit some months ago after observing for some time the tactics and approaches of a few who are critical of our denomination, our pastors and leaders, our Universities and other entities.”

And now compare this quote:

“After the truth was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, and being prompted by the Holy Spirit to be in obedience to God’s word, I went out determined to refute the emergent church and its’ false teachers in our denomination, exposing their tactics and approaches to as many Nazarenes as I could, in order to keep many from being deceived.” (A concerned Nazarene)

Rev. Ulmet, the prompting of the Holy Spirit never leads a man to error, because the Holy Spirit always leads a trusting believer into truth, and will never contradict the Scriptures.  If it does lead to error, then it is not the Holy Spirit.  It is another spirit that leads a man to say two opposites in one breath: that the Bible is God’s inspired word, BUT that it is also only inerrant in “matters that pertain to salvation.”

The implication from your “Holy Spirit” statement is obvious: since the “Holy Spirit” guided you to write what you did, then everyone should accept that all those who do not agree with you are wrong.  If that is the case, we ought to all repent of what we are doing, and join your “side.”  But wait, how does one determine who is correct, when two people claim the Holy Spirit prompted them to opposite conclusions?  One must compare what they claim with the word of God.  I will leave it to informed readers to make up their minds as to which statement is Holy Spirit inspired.

4. Your Own Words Tell Us That You Do Not Trust All Of Scripture

Quotes:  “To those who would deny full inspiration of all 66 books or dispute inerrancy “in all things necessary to our salvation” we must lovingly but firmly respond with our deep conviction of this Word being God’s Word!”  and  “We subscribe to God as Creator, the Bible as the fully-inspired and with regard to all things salvific the inerrant Word of God.”

I find it incredible that you start out with an affirmation of the inspiration of Scripture and that it should be defended firmly; but then you weaken that very affirmation by qualifying inerrancy as being only in regards to those things necessary to our salvation!  First, I reject that revision of our official statement because it reveals your distrust in all of Holy Scripture.  Secondly, who or what has given you or anyone else the authority to declare that Scripture is inerrant ONLY in matters of salvation?  And thirdly, who or what is the arbiter of what is or is not necessary for salvation?

You also seem to have an unusually high esteem of the Church Manual, perhaps too high.  You said: “our precious Articles of Faith”, and “”we must boldly declare our allegiance to Article IV of the Articles of Faith of the Church of the Nazarene.”  Perhaps that is the problem today in our church.  We are almost holding up the Church Manual as equal to Holy Scripture, and that surely we must hold allegiance to it, in spite of the fact that we fallible Nazarenes seem to change the meaning of that very Manual every four years!  So our final allegiance should only be to one set of words, and that would be the Holy Bible, not the Church Manual.

 5. Your High And Misguided View Of What Our Schools Should Teach Our Students

This I really had to address, because one of the major problems with our schools today, including our seminaries, is the reckless and careless teaching (all documented by the way) of unbiblical practices and ideas.  These are not taught as things to avoid, but as good things, and this is destroying the solid foundations these schools once had.  It is troubling what you said:

“But we must also remember that higher education requires exploration of many ideas and various traditions. Our professors must be supportive and encouraging of our theological and doctrinal positions, while also carefully leading students through a necessary and healthy process of critical evaluation, as well as personal growth and maturity.”

Unfortunately, the way you phrase this is not the way it is being done.  You and many of your colleagues instead promote and encourage an “anything goes philosophy under the guise of “we are a liberal arts institution.”  A Nazarene school should not be claiming to be a Nazarene school, if it does not reflect and teach its students the core values that the denomination says that it holds and teaches.  Under this excuse, our schools have introduced our students to dangerous teachings by Tony Campolo, Tom Oord, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and many others.  Instead of promoting the equipping of our students to combat and refute the false teachers, you promote the indoctrination of our students with these false teachings.

This pastor’s words reflect the same philosophy, which is what is coming out every year from our seminaries as they are being themselves indoctrinated with emergent (aka missional) ideology:

“A fine quality Christian Liberal Arts Education like the one you will find at Eastern Nazarene College, Northwest Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminaryoperate with an educational philosophy that equips the next generation of nurses, doctors, lawyers, ministers, business men and women, musicians etc. to engage our post-modern world as effective and exceptional young Christians.  The fact of the matter is that neither the world nor the church of the Nazarene operates under this closed system of thought that you have chosen for yourself and continue to promote with your e-mails and blog.  Some denominations and many bible colleges find it their purpose to operate within these strict confines and that is fine for them.  I believe they have a valuable place in God’s Kingdom.  But a liberal arts education and a missional church do not operate that that way”

That is exactly what is wrong today with many of our pastors and professors today, captivated by liberal post-modern thinking, in exchange for the simple truth of God’s word.


6. You Seem To Have An Aversion To “Test All Things, Prove That Which Is Right”

Quotes:
“Our ability to historically separate the biblical from the unbiblical-while at the same time loving the person and leaving the judgment to God…”
“Under the guise of protecting the church from ‘emergent ideas and concepts, whatever those are…”

“We can sit down and reason together.”

“Even when we disagree, we can do so agreeably without casting dispersion and eternal damnation on someone else.”

“discourage others from division…”

These are things that jumped out at me, so I ask you: as a pastor, do you not wish to preach the whole council of God?  I think we all know that at some point in time any Bible believing pastor is going to confront error filled beliefs or false teaching.  Are you saying that we should always just simply agree to disagree?  If so, you have an incorrect understanding of the many passages in Scripture that command us to reprove, rebuke, to even shun and cast out of the church, those who would cause divisions by their false teaching.  You see, the dividers are not those who are trying to keep God’s word pure.  The real dividers are the very people Concerned Nazarenes are fighting to either correct and lead to repentance, or if not, to make them leave the church so as not to cause any further harm to God’s people!

Another concerned Nazarene read your article and here is what he said about a few of your thoughts:

“Apparently the author considers “emergents” mavericks that God has raised up to be used by God for His Glory and the advancement of His kingdom.  Really?  It is my opinion that none of the emergent leaders are in the class of those the author cited and I cannot believe the author includes the “emergent” leaders in his reference to “God’s servants” that are responsible for the “explosion of new and creative ideas” today.”

I assume also that is what you meant in your reference to mavericks, and if so, I believe that the “mavericks” of today do not come close to being called God’s servants.  In fact, in most of these mavericks’ cases, you will find a real disdain for the Bible, and a pick and choose attitude as to what is relevant.  They all ignore many parts, and particularly the passages that warn of false teachers, which is no surprise.

If you refuse to obey the Scriptural commands to expose and refute false teaching, you would be just as guilty as those who promote false teaching.  The only question left is, are you simply in error, or are you purposely and knowingly promoting the false teachings of the emergent church?  And so, your plea for Christians to stop using words such as “heretic” and “unorthodox” and “emergent” and “threat” should be ignored by Bible believers in exposing the dangers to the church.  We will not accede to this request to keep silent, for we will be as guilty as the watchman on the wall who fails to blow his trumpet at the sign of danger.

You were so correct when you said “our Wesleyan-Arminian and Holiness Movement history that have guided us well for over a century are under attack. Not from those outside our Christian faith, but from those inside.”  How right you were, but little did you know that this “inside attack” is coming from folks who are redefining John Wesley in ways that fit their emergent ideas.  This attack comes from those of you who reject true holiness and invent one that is based on social good deeds.  This attack is from those who reject the Bible as fully God’s word, instead qualifying it as “containing” God’s word.

My prayer is that those who are reading this will have a better understanding of what we are fighting.  I am fighting your ideas, not you personally.  However, since you are promoting these ideas, I have a responsibility to respond when these ideas run contrary to Scripture.  If you truly want to help out in these situations, then I suggest that the next time you write something, please use specific quotes and specific documented information if you are going to accuse a bunch of Bible believing Christians of such things that you have.  It is only fair, because what we strive to do is document everything, state what the person is saying or teaching- and make our opinion known based on the Bible only.

I conclude with these quotes of Dave Hunt, which reflect solid biblical doctrine and teaching:

“The Bible allows for no compromise, no discussion, no dialogue with the world’s religions (emergent) in search for common ground. Remember, Christianity is not a religion but distinct from all of them.

Jesus didn’t say, “Go into all the world and dialogue about faith. He said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.

A reasonable and genuine faith must take very seriously what Jesus said – not what somebody says about what Jesus said, but His very words as recorded in the Bible.”
(Dave Hunt, The Berean Call)

Manny Silva

A Response To Holiness Today’s Attack On Scripture

” But the underlying issue in everything else he raises as a concern is the authority of Scripture. If all of Scripture is Divinely inspired and thereby inerrant as Article IV clearly and repeatedly states then each one of his concerns crumble like a house built on sand.”

by Nyk Edinger (Original source: The Black Horse Inn)

In the current issue of HT (Holiness Today, April/May 2012), the Church of the Nazarene’s only official magazine, is an article by Pastor Ulmet, the pastor of Nashville First Church of the Nazarene. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/ISsnnM

   This article must be responded to with force. There is so much in it that is really peripheral to the real issue that I cannot even begin the task of sorting it all out with any brevity. I would encourage you to read a more fully orbed response by one who is very close to Pastor Ulmet and the situation here: http://bit.ly/INkMw7

   I would like to focus on one specific item in this article; Pastor Ulmet’s butchering of Article IV of the Church of the Nazarene’s Articles of Faith.

   The absolute disdain for the truth that Pastor Ulmet demonstrates with his opening sentence under the heading “Doctrinal Heritage” is staggering. He dares turn to Scripture as the basis for our statements of doctrine as if he is writing this article to defend these articles and likewise Scripture itself when the undermining of the authority of Scripture is actually what he is espousing throughout. He calls the theological concept of the inerrancy of Scripture “insidious”. He then invokes the names of Wesley and Wiley and others as if they would side with him in this discussion. He is counting on the ignorance and laziness of the readers of HT to allow him to get away with such outlandish statements.

   In trying as delicately as he can to define Article IV of the Articles of faith of the Church of the Nazarene without letting on how he truly views Scripture he explains it as the “full inspiration of all 66 books…(inerrant) ‘in all things necessary to our salvation.” Of course that is not what it actually says and much less what it actually means.

   Here is how it actually reads: “We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.

   H. Orton Wiley, the architect of Article IV explains clearly what is meant by the phrase “plenary inspiration”.

   He writes: “By plenary inspiration, we mean that the whole and every part is divinely inspired…We conclude that the Scriptures were given by plenary inspiration, embracing throughout the elements of superintendence, elevation and suggestion, in that manner and to that degree that the Bible becomes the infallible Word of God

   He goes on: “Superintendence, by which is meant a belief that God so guides those chosen as the organs of revelation, that their writings are kept free from error. (Scripture is) infallibly preserved from all error.

   The theological definition of plenary inspiration is “that kind of inspiration which excludes all defect in the utterance of the inspired message.” That is the definition. “Excludes all defect” means inerrant.

   These quotes from Wiley, the first and foremost Nazarene Theologian explain in clear terms and leave no doubt that the Nazarene church, by stating our belief in plenary inspiration, believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the whole of Scripture, which is all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and everything contained therein.

   To reiterate: Wiley defines inspiration as having three elements; superintendence, elevation and suggestion. He says that superintendence must be present in ALL inspiration. And he defines superintendence as the fact that God guided the writers to such a degree that the writings were inerrant.

    All of that is contained in just the first six words of Article IV! But it does not stop there. It goes on to refer to the Bible as the “Holy Scriptures”. The word Holy in this context is no empty word. Going all the way back to the beginnings of the Lutheran Church this word was used in combination with Scripture to specifically denote that the scripture referred to as Holy was of divine origin and therefore reliable and inerrant. I do not think this point was lost on Wiley.

   If we yet have any doubts Article IV continues on by specifically stating that it was “given by Divine inspiration”. This is the third time within Article IV that it makes the point that Scripture is inspired, Divinely so, and therefore inerrant. And twice it makes clear that this belief is applied to ALL of Scripture. First by the use of the word plenary which means “fully” and second when the Holy Scripture is defined as the “66 books of the Old and New Testaments.”

   This brings us to the phrase which Pastor Ulmet and countless others like him in our Denomination have seized upon to undermine everything the Article IV has just laid out so emphatically; “inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation.

   This statement simply is meant to further emphasize, in case there were any doubt, that contained within Scripture is everything we need to know concerning our salvation and that it is inerrantly revealed. This is of utmost importance because our salvation is the purpose for the entirety of Scripture. This is it’s core message and the writers of this article wanted to make absolutely sure that future generations would understand that.

   Nowhere in Article IV does it even suggest that we believe that Scripture is ONLY inerrant in “things necessary to our salvation” as Pastor Ulmet states.

   The very next phrase puts into context what is said about “all things necessary to our salvation”. It is this: “so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.”

   What this means is we need not look to anything outside of Scripture in regards to our salvation. Everything we need is found in Scripture and inerrant in its revelation. This of course doesn’t mean that everything else found in Scripture is errant. But that is what Pastor Ulmet would want you to believe or at the very least that it has the possibility of being errant. Article IV tells us three times that all of Scripture is inerrant and we see that by Wiley’s own written explanation of the terms and then for added emphasis tells us that not only are the Scripture inerrant but also its message and we need not look anywhere else but to Scripture for our salvation.

   All of this is very convincing but let’s take a look at the actual Scriptures cited as foundational to Article IV. Let’s go to the source that Pastor Ulmet so rightly pointed out our Articles of Faith are based upon.

 Luke 24:44-47 (HCSB) 
 44 Then He told them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Here Jesus is speaking and referring to the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms as Scripture. This of course comprises nearly the entire Old Testament, including Genesis which would be the first book that Pastor Ulmet would exclude from inerrancy. Yet Jesus says it is Scripture. Scripture that He fulfilled. If it were a fable that He fulfilled, what exactly would that make Him?

 John 10:35 (HCSB)
 35 If He called those whom the word of God came to ‘gods’—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 

The poignant phrase here is the statement of fact by Jesus that Scripture cannot be broken. In other words, it is true. In other words, it is not in error.

 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (HCSB) 
 3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 

Here Paul is verifying that the Gospel he preached to them is indeed found in Scripture. This only matters of course if Scripture is reliable. And it is only reliable if it is true.

 1 Peter 1:10-12 (HCSB) 
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. 11 They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things. 

Here again we have an affirmation that the prophesies found in Scripture regarding Jesus and our salvation were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is interesting here that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was not simply what to write but who they were writing it for. This is quite a revelation! If the Holy Spirit is willing and able to provide this kind of detailed information to the writers of the Old Testament, I suspect He could handle getting accounts of the Creation and the Flood correct. After all, He was there.

 2 Peter 1:20-21 (HCSB)
 20 First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 

This one is fairly self explanatory.

 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (HCSB) 
 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God[a] and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 

I left this one for last because it contains everything. Scripture is efficacious for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, all of Scripture is inspired by God, (and remember that Wiley, the architect of Article IV, says that inspiration is synonymous with inerrant) and that Scripture is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. It cannot be profitable if it is not true. It is also interesting that not one of the things that this verse says Scripture is profitable for is pertaining to our salvation, they would all be things that would take place after or apart from our salvation. So from the Scriptures (the ones that Article IV cites as the foundation for the Article itself) we see that all Scripture is indeed inspired by God through the Holy Spirit directly and is without error.

   But Pastor Ulmet believes something completely different. He says in this article “the Bible as the fully-inspired and with regard to all things salvific the inerrant Word of God.” Do you see the clever word play? According to Pastor Ulmet the Bible is only inerrant with regard to all things salvific. That is very different from what Wiley wrote and what Article IV states.

   This isn’t a new idea though. There were those in Wesley’s day that put forth this exact idea concerning Scripture and this is how Welsey responded to one of them: “Nay, if there be any mistakes in the Bible, there may as well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth.”

   In fact, Wesley wonders aloud if this person might actually be an atheist. So maybe Welsey and Wiley would not view those who support the authority of Scripture as being insidious as Pastor Ulmet contends. In fact, it is clear they would not.

  He then again misrepresents what those who stand by the Church of the Nazarene’s belief in the authority of Scripture by saying that they want the Bible’s primary purpose to “define all science and research.” I would challenge Pastor Ulmet to produce proof of this accusation.

   He then tells a bold faced lie. “We have never, for example, taken an official position on a certain view of Creation or a certain timeline of other events. Never in our history!

   In the very Articles of Faith that he previously referred to as “precious” the affirmation of the Genesis story of Creation is seen over and over again. In Articles 1, 5, 5.1, 6 and 7, the Genesis story of Creation is taken as literal and foundational to our very salvation or the need of it. Wiley, himself, makes a special point of stating that the truths and facts of the Creation and the antediluvian times had to be inspired. And in his view, inspired and inerrant are synonymous.

  So we DO have an official statement on Creation and that is, it happened the way the Scripture says it happened and not only that but the Genesis account of Creation is foundational to our salvation and our need of it. If that wasn’t our official statement on Creation then four of our Articles of Faith would be baseless.

   Pastor Ulmet brings up many things he is concerned about and some of them such as his position on what I call the “worship wars” are included as a means of distraction even though I actually agree with him on that issue. But the underlying issue in everything else he raises as a concern is the authority of Scripture. If all of Scripture is Divinely inspired and thereby inerrant as Article IV clearly and repeatedly states then each one of his concerns crumble like a house built on sand.

   Pastor Ulmet and many others like him want to recreate a church built on human wisdom, not Scripture and if we sit idly by in our seats in our churches and let them do this then we only have ourselves to blame for the inevitable destruction of our Denomination. As Nazarenes, we are not there yet but the battle is raging on the hill and this is one hill to die upon.

Nik Edinger

A Response To “I Am A Concerned Nazarene” Article in Holiness Today

The following is by John Henderson in response to an article posted by Rev. Kevin Ulmet in the March/April edition of Holiness Today.  Here is the link to the online version of the article by Rev. Ulmet: “I Am A Concerned Nazarene.

I have added several headers in bold blue text for navigation purposes.
– – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – — – – -

Dear Pastor Ulmet:

I have read your article, “I Am a Concerned Nazarene,” at least twice.  I will have referenced it a few times more before completing this letter to you.  Please understand that, in view of your published comments in Holiness Today, a Nazarene magazine, this is an open letter and will be shared with others.  Many will likely redistribute to their addressees and some will publish this on websites.  I am responding only to your article and will neither say nor imply anything personal.  I have asked several people to go over this very carefully and tell me if I have observed the following guidelines for myself:

1.      Did I demonstrate an accurate understanding of the contents of the article that I referenced and responded to?

2.      Were my responses dispassionate and unbiased, and did they accurately address the questions I brought up?

3.      Was I respectful towards Dr. Ulmet concerning his character, position, and personhood?

4.      Did I reference the Scriptures appropriately to the questions and issues being addressed?

5.      Did I misrepresent anything?

Also understand this:  I am always open to questions, corrections, and positive criticisms.  I take those things seriously and respectfully from the one who directs them to me. 

I assume many of your references are fed by your perception of the frequent counter-emergent articles I have written and the material I have forwarded to you as a recipient on my email list.  I also know that you have relatives who have posted on Concerned Nazarenes Facebook and expect that they have kept you informed—if indeed you have not done so yourself.  I have no issue with that.  You and they are more than welcome to do just that.  You should know what the other Concerned Nazarenes are thinking in their own words. In fact much of what I present is borrowed from several others who have shared their own research and thoughts with me, so this is essentially a composite of several opinions.

It has been important to me that I acknowledge the spirit in which I write and send this.  I cannot send it from a spirit of resentment and bitterness because I have seen my friends unfairly maligned.  I have no such feelings about it.  There are no “gotchas” in this.  That goes against my grain.  I don’t need to win an argument.  Clear facts are enough for me no matter who happens to “win”.  I don’t need to correct your misunderstanding and misapplication of facts.  You appear to be running on a different wave length than I and there is possibly no base of reasoning that we share on these issues.  I don’t feel I need to convince you of anything.  You have convinced yourself of these matters and I not asking you to be willing to reconsider your own decisions.  The only thing I think I need to do is just set the record straight for the sake of those who will read your article and my response.  If they also read my response, it will still be up to them as to how they will judge this matter.

I should emphasize that “Concerned Nazarenes” is not an organization.  It is no more than a network of like-minded Nazarenes, Wesleyans, Evangelical Friends, other Wesleyan types, and anyone who shares the same concerns about the influences of the postmodern emergent movement in our denominations.  They come together on the Concerned Nazarenes Facebook and other similar sites.  Some post on other sites that exist solely to publish online.  There are Baptist and independent groups as well and there is congenial dialog among them and the Wesleyan groups.  It is all best described as a volunteer alliance or network of Christians who have a problem with the tenets of the Emergent Church Movement and its influences on traditional churches and Christians in general.  They have no significant power over others or within their denominations.  They function only to inform and encourage a return to the evangelical traditions of their churches. 

Besides all of that, there are a host of Nazarenes; including elected leaders, pastors, and members; and other Christians who are not a part of Concerned Nazarenes or any other similar network who nonetheless grieve in spirit over the direction our denomination has set upon.  Some of them say something from time to time and many just keep to themselves and make private remarks or say nothing at all.  I am aware of a handful of those folks from across the country whose opinions reach me privately from time to time.  I am also aware that many of that kind sit in First Church and other pews every week. Concerned Nazarenes is only a segment of that massive network.

Allow me to say in that regard that there are a lot of people who post on Concerned Nazarenes Facebook, and the number is growing.  I would say that most are pretty solidly traditional Wesleyan-Arminian; a few are shallow and driven by unreasonable biases and prejudices, inadequate information, and lack of research—they are extremely nerve-wracking; and some are emergent infiltrators.  Tares grow with wheat and it is hard to distinguish between them most of the time.

(Regarding NazNet and Other Emergent Groups)

In all fairness, have you read the many comments coming out of NazNet that fit your list of objectionable behaviors and attitudes every bit as well as you say about Concerned Nazarenes?  I am not prepared to generalize and say that everyone who posts on NazNet is vitriolic just because there are numerous responses on that site that are crotchety, snappish, sarcastic, impertinent, and irreverent in tone and manner towards those who object to the Emergent Nazarene movement.  Those who post like that on NazNet against “fundamental” or Concerned Nazarenes do not usually hold their punches.  Some are more reasonable. 

Of course, there may still be the Emergent Nazarene site and others that follows that same pattern.  They are also a network that appears to be committed to putting Concerned Nazarenes in their proper place by whatever means possible—just as you essentially did in your closing remarks by your invitation to others to join you in the effort you espouse, wherein you principally invite people to a fight, not anything that actually resembles compassionate discourse.  Is that discourse reserved only for the postmodern pagans that our leadership often seems eager to cozy up to?   A Nazarene in Ohio who has read your article believes that you are confused as to who the enemy within is and referenced your appeal to Martin Luther by discussing the widespread record of his public battles, implying (my interpretation) that Luther more resembled Concerned Nazarenes than any sort of established entity, referring specifically to his use of the printing press (a precursor to the Internet).

Now permit me to address your article.  My comments are only what I intend as a dispassionate response to those things you have written.  Actually, I have included thoughts from a number of Concerned Nazarenes that have been shared with me after they read your article.  Nothing I received from them was subjective.  They dealt only with factual matters, as I hope to do here.

(The General Nature Of Your Article)

I view the general nature of your article as being a frontal attack on counter-emergent Nazarenes.  That is indicated by your frequent characterizations of those with whom you are disagreeing. You frequently used derisive descriptions of them (stubborn, Internet rumormongers, involved in “a Salem witch-hunt or Inquisition-type atmospheres,” narrowly and selfishly defining worship, slanderous, rumor-spreaders, “full of righteous self-piety,” judgmental, critical attitude of mistrust and gossip, unjustly manipulative, involved in special interest-political-action-group thinking and their tactics, and having divisive and disruptive behaviors.  I think that covers all of the adjectives of your opinion about what typifies Concerned Nazarenes.  Some calls your list the “Dirty Dozen” because there are twelve of them.)  In fact, the quantity and quality of negativism towards those whom you say are attacking the Church of the Nazarene from within sets the tone for your article.  It puts me in mind of Saul Alinsky’s 13th rule for radicals in using conflict tactics:

“13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.  In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’… any target can always say, “Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?” When you “freeze the target”’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the “others” come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” (pps.127-134).

It is interesting that you refer to counter-emergents as being more in the mode of political activism than of holiness.  It is the view of many Nazarenes and others that the emergent church movement is precisely that—the religious arm of Marxist progressivism and carrying out the political designs of the Marxist agenda by infiltrating the churches.  It is blatantly apparent to many Nazarenes, including Nazarenes in leadership, not just those few of us who rant on the Internet.

I certainly give you credit for not intending to directly adhere to a Marxist rule of Alinsky’s.  Nevertheless, it comes across clearly as being just that sort of conflict tactic against those other Concerned Nazarenes who do not see things as you choose to see them.  Your inference, just the same, is that the angels are on your side and the devils are on their side.  I might go so far as to say that you appear to be assuming that God is on your side and opposes those whom you seem to believe dishonor the Holy Spirit by not letting Him do the work He wants to do and by their not seeking the Spirit’s direction.  How you happen to know that escapes me.  That sort of statement leads me to assume that you already presume to know what that direction is.

I must immediately ask, therefore:  How do you know that?  I assume, from the frequent references you make on nFocus and elsewhere as to your being led by the Holy Spirit and your references to the Holy Spirit in the article, that you see yourself as being led by the Holy Spirit.  You certainly said so in a recent nFocus as to why you wrote the article in the first place:

The March/April issue of our denomination’s official magazine features an article I wrote entitled ‘I Am A Concerned Nazarene.’  This article was prompted by the Holy Spirit some months ago after observing for some time the tactics and approaches of a few who are critical of our denomination, our pastors and leaders, our Universities and other entities.” 

A New England reader of your article observed that someone else made that very claim of being led by the Holy Spirit to be a part of Concerned Nazarenes in order to oppose the postmodern influences among Nazarenes.  He went on to say that you both cannot be right on the same matter.  I guess our respective readers must decide that for themselves.  I would suggest, however, that the best way to determine if someone is actually being led by the Holy Spirit is to look at the fruit of their activities from a biblical viewpoint and to be alert as to whether or not there is genuine evidence of the power of the Spirit in their lives.  In addition, the Holy Spirit never speaks outside of His written Word, i.e., everything He says to the heart is verified in the Scriptures.

I should insert here that your section on music is peripheral to the issue at hand as I understand it, so will not address that.  The portion on “heritage of worship” could, however, be a reference to your support of what you allow and take part in at First Church.  You call it ancient/future worship.  But you do not specify that so I cannot respond to it in that context.

Following our two-hour meeting shortly after your arrival in Nashville, I went home with one of the clearest memories in my lifetime of any meeting.  I had not audio-recorded the meeting, as I normally would have with your permission, so had to rely on memory.  I wrote the exchange in accurate detail for my own record immediately upon my arrival home. 

Some of the things you say in the article reminded me of what you said in that meeting.  You convinced me then, as you do now, that you are in full support of the concepts of theistic evolution, limited inspiration of the Scriptures, and Catholic mysticism and other matters emergent.  You as much as say so in your article and actually reference “full” inspiration of Scriptures as “in all things necessary to our salvation” and “a certain view of creation” in making your point.  

In a short few months, you also have established a known record of frequently incorporating at First Church practices directly from the “ancient church fathers” (post-A.D. 200) and 20th Century emergent innovators and other activities that clearly identify postmodern emergent doctrines and practices, both in fact and in the minds of many First Church Nazarenes. After all, as one NFCN member recently stated in complaining about all the “new” things going on there: “singing an invitation hymn, being moved by the Holy Spirit to repent, accept Christ’s free gift of salvation, and go forward to confess Him before men is so old fashioned,” but it still works best.

(Your View of The Manual And Of Scripture)

One might surmise from the article that you put preeminence on statements from the Manual as though the Scriptures are amenable to the Manual statements and not the other way around. You may claim that those things you talk about are traditionally Nazarene, but I say unequivocally that they are heretical, postmodern, unorthodox, emergent, new age, and a clear affront to revelational truth.  I can prove my claim from the Scriptures because the Scriptures are my final—no, only—authority. 

How do you justify your support of these things?  I make a distinction between exegetical interpretation of the irrevocable authority of all Scripture (all of it being relevant to our salvation wherein it speaks on any subject) and the weak philosophy-based theologies. What equal or superior authority do you claim outside of the Scriptures, and why would you?  Philosophical theology will let you down, if that is where you go for understanding.  You suggest we stop using “emergent”, “unorthodox”, “heretic”, and similar terms.  I see no need to do so because a stinkweed that is called a rose is still a stinkweed by nature.  We did not come up with the term “emergent” anyhow.  They were chosen by that crowd to identify themselves. Their doctrines, when examined in the light of Scriptures, show them as unorthodox and heretical.  How else should we define them when the Bible is the authority?

(Fundamentalism And its Meaning In The Church)

You say the Church of the Nazarene was never fundamentalist.  I understand how people define “fundamentalist” as Calvinistic—as you do in the article—and that much is true to a point.  However, being fundamentalist did actually characterize the Church of the Nazarene, at least in R. T. Williams’ mind in 1928 at the 7th General Assembly.  The term was later abandoned to draw a distinction between Nazarenes and Calvinism.   We had also dropped “Pentecostal” from the church name for similar reasons. That didn’t make us less Pentecostal in the New Testament sense.  I think both actions were a surrender of important terms of identification.

The term is not actually the point, but you might want to consider my footnote #1 to get a more accurate perspective of fundamentalism.[1]  What is fundamental to the truth of the inspired Scriptures is and has always been the concern in these times of uncertainty about where our denomination is going.  No one among the Concerned Nazarenes I know favor having the Church of the Nazarene become Calvinistic in theology.  If they and the Calvinists happen to agree on basic truths such as the unqualified full inspiration of the Scriptures, just as they do on many biblical truths, that does not mean that Concerned Nazarenes are advancing the notion of becoming Reformed in doctrine.  They are very content to remain Arminian and Wesleyan. They just want to also remain truly biblical and evangelistic.  Calvinists do not have the exclusive right on defining inspiration as absolutely full inspiration.

At the same time, I find it odd that you censure fundamentalists and Reformed believers as objectionable while embracing a “new thinking” of emergent principles and practices as somehow appropriate to traditional Nazarenedom.  If I should have to make a choice between the two, please give me Calvinism over emergent theology or anything “new thinking” in character.  At least the evangelical Calvinists are truly and thoroughly Christian and their doctrines are much more scriptural than anything coming out of the so-called “new thought” of postmodernism.  Despite Thomas Oord’s suggestion on his website, we Nazarenes have absolutely nothing to learn from postmodernism and everything to avoid with haste. 

One North Carolina Nazarene reviewer of this article and responding to your article said the following in an email to me:  “I would definitely stress that we are not Calvinist, even though it is definitely preferable to his ideologies which lean towards mysticism and Catholic rituals.  It does not have to be an either/or – holiness can stand on its own scriptural merits.”

I never dreamed I would ever be defending Calvinism against inaccurate accusations; whose major tenets on salvation, as defined by the T-U-L-I-P theory, I do not subscribe to!  At least, T-U-L-I-P is internally consistent.

(The Inspiration Of Scripture)

You make an issue of inspiration of Scriptures whereby you decry “Calvinist” ideas of inspiration in favor of a supposed extra-biblical[2] notion of partial inspiration (“in all things necessary to our salvation”).  I should say that every other idea of inspiration, verbal, literal, plenary, dictation, etc., are in total support of every word of the Bible coming under the definition of divine inspiration. Their only discussion is how inspiration came about and not what was and was not inspired. The inaccuracy of “pertaining to our salvation” is in the statement itself.  None of the Scriptures are specifically pertaining to our salvation.  They pertain to Christ (John 5:39) and our salvation is included (verse 40).  I know that the Nazarene statement has been essentially the same since 1908.  There was never a problem with is being understood as anything but one-hundred percent inspiration of Scriptures until modern liberals began to twist it to mean as it is often touted these days as limited inspiration—something the Nazarene Manual never says.

Your idea selectively eliminates any sections that you or anyone may not for any number of reasons deem as “necessary to our salvation” and therefore open to challenge.  In doing so, you are saying that what is called the Bible is a mixture of inspiration and error. Of course, the so-called “not necessary to our salvation” parts have never been definitively identified by anyone who makes that allegation, except those parts they want to question—like the creation account.    

Another Nazarene (not part of Concerned Nazarenes) views your line of reasoning as consisting of what is called an etymological fallacy.  That is, you are arguing that the present-day meaning of “fundamentalist” is necessarily identical to its historical meaning.  By that is implied that the present meaning of “fundamentalist” is based exclusively on its etymology. I have demonstrated that such is not the case.

(Middle of The Road)

You say that we are a middle-of-the road Wesleyan-Holiness tradition.  If I may insert a bit of humor here, someone said that if you stand in the middle of the road, you will get run over from both directions.  Put into a political context, I would say that a moderate is a liberal masquerading as a conservative.  In a biblical sense, however, there are no moderates in God’s kingdom.  The narrow way to His place of bliss has no room for moderation.  There is ample space, however, on that other broader road.  All kinds of riff-raff can be found there.

Your Reference To Christian Leaders Of The Past)

You referenced Christian leaders of the past for your support:  John Wesley, Phoebe Palmer, H. Orton Wiley, and William Greathouse, and said they would blanch in concern if they were aware of “the insidious theological and ecclesiastical battle going on through the Internet, driven by categorization, guilt-by-association, and ‘gotcha’ tactics that more represent radical politics tactics than anything remotely biblical, Christian, or certainly holiness.”  I knew one on that list, Greathouse, and he was pretty much solid, except in one matter when he and Dunning wrote that the Church is our mother if God is our Father.  He might have been more in agreement with you than the others because of that one remark but I doubt even that.  I can easily quote references from Wesley that would contradict your claim about him.  Wiley tended to be immensely profound but the substance of his writings that I have read would contradict your assertions about where he would stand.  Palmer would not agree with you either, and I do not subscribe to some of her positions on Wesleyanism.  Even those positions I disagree with do not support your claim.  I think that many of her contemporaries would call you on it.

You appealed to Martin Luther as being something of a “maverick” as you see yourself.  Martin Luther’s foibles are not related to what you are supporting.  He came from a different mindset and experiences that were basically opposing much of the Catholicism of his day, things that some emergent Nazarenes are attempting to turn to in an effort to change our denomination into what it never has been—more Middle Ages Catholic and less evangelical and fundamentally biblical.  Anyhow, not only would I object to his ripping the Epistle of James from the Scriptures, but I also disagree with him on transubstantiation, his callousness to the tragic death of Zwingli, and his acceptance of the possibility of “soul sleep.”  You might notice that when he translated the New Testament into German in 1522 that James was included and was still there when he translated the rest of the Bible two years later.

On the other hand, Luther held no resemblance to what you are propounding according to any records I have seen about him—and I have read a lot.  I am inclined to have great respect for him because his life was in almost constant jeopardy and because of the hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”  He fought battles you I and will never have to fight.  He never deviated from his theme that people are made right with God in his emphasis on Sola Gratia (“by grace alone”) – Sola Fide (‘by faith alone”) – and Sola Scriptura (“by the Bible alone”).  

Augustine said a lot of good things that are worth remembering.  Also, he made some highly outlandish assertions in his “new thinking,” as you call it, which must be rejected as unscriptural.  He is considered the father of Roman Catholic theology, not Protestant—certainly not Nazarene—theology.  It is possible that he, along with other so-called church fathers after AD 200, has been responsible for many of the Hindu mystical and unscriptural practices advanced by emergent church leaders today.  I prefer to go back prior to AD 200 for better guidance on understanding truth and proper Christian behavior.  That period of “distinguished” early church fathers was responsible for martyrdoms that dwarfed the Roman persecutions and spawned the eventual Reformation.

A Nazarene in Illinois had this to say about Augustine and Luther in an email to me:

“I know that Augustine published a list of retractions late in life. So when quoting Augustine, I think it important to know when in his walk that he stated whatever is being quoted and whether or not he later retracted it. From my limited understanding of Luther, the same is true, it is important to know when he did or said whatever you happen to be quoting. I surmise (given limited knowledge) that Ulmet’s Luther statement is well out of context.”

(Your Defense of Various Nazarenes In Leadership Positions)

You came to the defense of those fine Nazarene administrators, professors, and pastors who have entertained questionable speakers on campuses and pulpits and were criticized for doing so.  You didn’t say their guests were solidly Nazarene-like and seemed to agree they were often questionable.  You should understand that when people hold those doctrinal positions as you described, those who invite them must take the responsibility for the results of their own actions and decisions.  If they are caught off-guard, that is one thing.  To embrace them and support them (as a chaplain from one of our mid-western universities did in an email to me); that puts them in the same camp, even the same tent, as the objectionable guest.  My dad would have said they were in cahoots (they shared equally; become partners in the same thing).

When I raised the question in conversation with you that Rob Bell’s book had just been presented in a study at First Church just prior to your arrival, you didn’t even blink.  You did, however, bristle and passionately denied my request to present a counter-emergent, pro-Nazarene study in a similar format that others in the church had asked me to do.  You told me emphatically that it would add to the disruption already going on in the church that you had inherited.  Rob Bell, who openly advocates the false doctrine of post-mortem salvation, is okay but a Nazarene elder wanting to advise Nazarenes of the risks of following postmodern/new age heresies is disruptive?  Is that what you mean by people such as I am as being “full of self-righteous piety”?  Was I being “under the guise of protecting the church from ‘emergent’ ideas and concepts” or was I really being a Concerned Nazarene who genuinely cares about the direction towards Hell that our people are being lured?

(Critical Thinking)

You express support for what you call critical thinking.  You do not define it so I assume you refer to what is normally understood by “critical thinking” as coming from “Higher Criticism.”  While higher criticism was originally associated with the study of the literary structure of the various books of the Bible, and more especially of the Old Testament, it has degenerated into arrogant attacks upon the Bible and the supernatural character of the Holy Scriptures.  It fosters subjective conclusions and world-friendly opinions.  To say that Nazarene college students must study and learn to evaluate situations of life by that standard is absurd. Christians are not of this world and have no need to understand it and dialog with it other than to know that it is filled with lost souls that need the Savior.

(Textbooks In The Universities And Accountability)

My wife and I ran into that problem when we objected to an offensive textbook being used in one our daughter’s classes at Trevecca.  The excuse they gave us was like the one you offer—they needed to let students know what it was like out there in the real world.  What nonsense!  It doesn’t take a Christian college curriculum to inform kids of what is going on around them.  They already know more than we know about such things.  Anyhow, the real notion of “critical thinking” is not about teaching students the processes of logic and reasoning.  It teaches them what they should “reason” and the conclusions they are expected to reach in a compromise of biblical truths.   This kind of thinking is the antithesis of “Thus saith the Lord.”  It has nothing to do with intelligent awareness and everything to do with being rebellious to God’s truth. 

That drivel has brought us to the point that we now teach them that homosexuality is normal unless you act it out.  The next thing we will be telling them is that even the act is okay.  We already tolerate openly homosexual Nazarene “ministers” who boast of it.  The wedge is in the door and the homosexuals are pushing it open while we step aside and just let them walk right in without a murmur of objection.  Even the recent “invasion” by a homosexual advocacy group on some of our Nazarene campuses turned out to be squandered opportunity to share the gospel.  Our educational leaders pandered to them instead of witnessing to them.  Suppose that same group had been there as child-molester advocates.  What would have been out people’s response to that?  If your response would be what I think it would be, I say we should have done with the homosexuals what we would have done had they been advocating child molestation.

Why shouldn’t our college presidents and administrators be called to account over this absurd acquiescence along with their other compromises?  Why are they not being called on the carpet by those with oversight of them?  Why are people like Concerned Nazarenes demonized for bringing it up?  Could it be that we speak up because we are the only ones who really care about our church and harbor no vested self-interests?

(The Battle Is From Within)

You are right about one thing.  “Our greatest battles are from within—from those who name themselves among the people of God and the people called Holiness and Nazarene.”  You just have the finger pointed in the wrong direction.  Disruption, hurt, and damage is not from those of us who have been here all along and instinctively care deeply about holiness.  It comes from the infiltrators who pretend to be of us but whose hearts are far from us. It comes from the backsliders and compromisers among us, and from those who have never been born again but who have slithered into positions of power and prestige and presume to decide what we Nazarenes are expected to think and do.

A lady in the state of Washington wrote me the following: “I didn’t believe these things were happening before I investigated.  And I investigated because I wanted to prove these “concerned” ones wrong.  I found out they weren’t so wrong after all.  I’m a layperson.  If I were a minister or leader in the church, I’d be checking all the more.”

This following is information that you might not really care about.  Maybe you do.  The Church of the Nazarene is viewed largely by the Christian community as having lost its way as demonstrated by the preponderance of emergent-postmodern-new age teachings and practices among us.  They see our churches, pastors, universities, and publishers as willfully compliant in the emergent error and as having carelessly abandoned the faith that was once delivered through the gospel message that brought us into being in the first place.  That is from non-Nazarenes!

(Are You Willing To Have An Open Discussion?)

One reader of your article observed:  “In two locations in this article, the writer claims to make the offer of open discussion.”  He goes on to say that he has sought an open discussion with you but that you have systematically found ways to avoid it.  He views it as your not actually meaning what you say. 

May I make an alternative offer? Since you did say in the article, “We can handle these challenges in biblical ways.  We can sit down together and reason together,” I find that very appealing.  Therefore, I would gladly meet in an open (public) forum with you and any two or three people of your choosing, and I with any two or three people of my choosing.  The number is only a suggestion.  It can be any number as long as both sides are represented by the same number.  Both sides would, in my opinion, be free to say anything on their minds and hearts in the matter by following agreed-upon rules that suit both sides equally and moderated by a neutral party. I suggest it be open because it should not be secretive.  I would want it recorded as well.

I should thank you for submitting the article to Holiness Today and should thank Holiness Today for publishing it.  You have unintentionally done what Concerned Nazarenes would have never been permitted to do—to inform Nazarene readers to a greater extent beyond our meager resources and capabilities.  

It is possible that many Nazarenes who once never knew about the emergent problem will now do as I did less than two years ago and start searching for themselves.  I am eager for them to do that and will respect their final analysis as far as it concerns their own choices.  I prefer that they are enabled to make informed decisions one way or the other.  After all, that is all Concerned Nazarenes have ever wanted to accomplish. That could hardly be called hurtful and disruptive.  With that in mind, I share a thought from one of my sons in an email:

“Effectively, by allowing this article to be published in our only official magazine … Kevin’s article right now is the de-facto official opinion of the Church of the Nazarene. Some might claim it is not truly ‘official’, but since there is not a published counter-point to this article, this is the de-facto ‘standard’ for Nazarenes. I’m not sure our BoGS truly want this to be that authoritative. But, for now it is.”

The goals you express at the end of your article are, indeed, noble.  As stated, they are goals that anyone who eagerly pursues holiness of heart and life would happily agree to.  The only problem I see with them is the context you place them in and the implications you make of them. 

You have already raked Concerned Nazarenes over the coals—those counter-emergent ones that you claim are trying to drag the Church of the Nazarene into Calvinism; those Nazarenes who believe in the literalism of the creation account as reported in the Bible, who faithfully adhere to the total inerrancy of the entire Bible without reservation, and who reject the imposition of Eastern mysticism as replacement for a Biblically prescribed lifestyle of praying. 

By that appeal, you ask your readers to subscribe to what you have just written as true and join you in rejecting fundamental Nazarenes through a kind of “holiness” that sounds biblical but is actually counterfeit.  Why not invite them to evaluate your assertions by doing their own research?  Those who will read your article are grown-ups.  They can handle it.

(Conclusion: The Holy Spirit)

One more thought.  The Holy Spirit is never up to something new.  That is unscriptural.  God’s mercies are new (fresh) every morning but they are not different from day to day.  The Holy Spirit is consistently involved in the old-fashioned gospel that has always worked.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He has no need to be innovative so the gospel message can go forth.  Of course, we already know from the Scriptures that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  The “Holy Spirit” that is “up to something new” is an imposter.  The people who subscribe to that notion will find out they are heeding seducing spirits, not the Holy Spirit.  Gimmickry can never replace evangelization. Christianity is not a novelty.  It is a message of salvation to whosoever will accept Christ as Savior through faith alone.  Sin is old-fashioned and so is the remedy.

A Personal Note:  This is the only time I will be getting personal.  All that has gone before was not meant to be personal in any way.  It was only about the issues and nothing else.  Having said that, I still fully expect to be meticulously excoriated—personally and publically—for what I have written here, and that it will come largely from many who support a holiness denomination moving towards emergent postmodernism. But I have already considered that as something I may have to accept as inevitable. 

I want you to know that it is my deepest desire to get behind you in a ministry that will bring glory to God in every respect.  What I see at this point includes so much of postmodernism that I am hindered from giving you the full support I dearly want to give.  I challenge you, not because I want to get in the way, but because I care enough about you to tell you the truth as I understand it.  You are pastoring a church filled with wonderful people and it is my prayer on your behalf that you will more than meet the task in being faithful to their souls.  I do not want you to be hurt in any way because of me.  You and I will stand before the same Judge and neither can answer for anyone but themselves.

Because I care about you and your ministry, I will not indulge you and tell you things I know are not true.  I once told you that I can be your best friend.  I still mean that.  I trust that you do not feel you have arrived at the pinnacle of possibilities.  There is still a long way to go and there always will be that for anyone.  I pray for you but cannot ask God to bless you in doing the wrong things, but only in the right things.  I do not always know the difference but He does.  I pray for you and trust Him to sort it all out. 

You are headed in the wrong direction with what I call postmodern emergent error and maybe you just don’t realize it.  I am sure you understand that people who believe deeply as do Concerned Nazarenes and other counter-emergent evangelicals also feel deeply committed to biblical truth.  I have learned from our youngest son’s outlook about his ten years at war and life itself that if you don’t let opposition destroy you it will strengthen you.[3]  I sincerely do not believe God will bless you in the pursuit of “new things” and that you will eventually find that out if you continue in them.  I honestly wish God’s best for you.  May I offer a single consideration that is expressed well in an old gospel song that has expressed my life-long goal:

Let me lose myself and find it, Lord, in Thee.

May all self be slain, my friends see only Thee.

Though it costs me grief and pain, I will find my life again.

If I lose my self I’ll find it, Lord, in Thee.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20


“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14

Respectfully submitted,

John Henderson

April 11, 2012


[1] “Online Etymology Dictionary: 1920 in the religious sense (as is fundamentalism), from fundamental + -ist. Coined in American English to name a movement among Protestants c.1920-25 based on scriptural inerrancy, etc., ….Fundamentalism is a protest against that rationalistic interpretation of Christianity which seeks to discredit supernaturalism. This rationalism, when full grown, scorns the miracles of the Old Testament, sets aside the virgin birth of our Lord as a thing unbelievable, laughs at the credulity of those who accept many of the New Testament miracles, reduces the resurrection of our Lord to the fact that death did not end his existence, and sweeps away the promises of his second coming as an idle dream. It matters not by what name these modernists are known. The simple fact is that, in robbing Christianity of its supernatural content, they are undermining the very foundations of our holy religion. They boast that they are strengthening the foundations and making Christianity more rational and more acceptable to thoughtful people. Christianity is rooted and grounded in supernaturalism, and when robbed of supernaturalism it ceases to be a religion and becomes an exalted system of ethics. [Laws, "Herald &Presbyter," July 19, 1922]  The original opposition to fundamentalist (within the denominations) was modernist.

[2] Extra-biblical refers to teachings, concepts and practices claimed to be supported by or taught in the Bible, but which are based on incorrect interpretation. (www.apologeticsindex.org)

[3] “I definitely do need the struggles that I face these days. In fact, in spite of how impossible they may appear on the surface most times, I highly value them for the potential they will forge in me” (Karl Henderson, April, 2012).

Dr. Gran’pa
(John Henderson)
[NOTICE:  ANYTHING I write over this signature may be copied or shared with others
and is deemed as published material unless otherwise stated herein]