A Church in Crisis

by Lige Jeter, 4/9/2014

It has been awhile since I visited the NazNet web site. A recent article there caught my attention, especially since its topic [seems to] always be in the news. It is just a matter of time before churches are forced to accept its agenda or no doubt will be punished for taking a stand against such immoral behavior. After reading the post, I wonder what the Nazarene Church will do regarding homosexuality.

I read a recent post on www.naznet.comtitled Homosexuality — where I stand and why” , by Marsha Lynn, March 31, 2014. Without being judgmental, based upon many of the responses, it raises the question, “Where will the church stand when mandated by the law to perform same sex marriages,” which has prompted me to write this article. Although the site has no official connection to the denomination, it expresses the assessments of the subject, provided by its members and friends expressing their views on the topic. Many of their interpretations of Biblical truths are alarming and are an insight to their lack of spiritual understanding.

Marsha begins her thread with the following introduction.

I have been asked several times to provide biblical support for my position on homosexuality and gay marriage. This post is intended to address that issue.”

After the introduction, she states

“First, I need to clearly state my position on the matter: I believe that the question of sexual ethics for Christians experiencing exclusively same-sex attraction can be answered only from within the community of those experiencing such attraction. Second, having exposed myself to the words of those living in this tension, I am seeing a rising number of Christian gays concluding that God can and does bless committed, monogamous, loving, same-gender relationships – marriage.”

And here is her most alarming statement:

But, people ask, what about the Bible? Are we to set aside clear biblical teaching that homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord simply because some people who obviously are unable to take an objective viewpoint are willing to do so? Yes. We already set aside clear biblical teaching.”

Apparently, the social values pressed upon society as socially acceptable are forcing its way into the church with the goal to accept its practice as morally acceptable. We are not the first to fall under the spell of this kind of false accepted wisdom regardless how presented.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Church warned against those who passed themselves off as the enlightened ones with special wisdom, knowledge or consciousness. It has been said that in Corinth you could meet self-taught sagacious men who mimicked their favorite philosopher by echoing philosophic discussions on any number of topics. They often portrayed themselves as learned or leading authorities in their field of study. I believe we are seeing a resurrection of such in these days spreading their false ideology, both in the church and society. Many today still seek recognition at any cost! Do not be fooled by their clever way of twisting the truth.

This newfound recognition has no doubt immersed itself into today’s beliefs, and touted by many as “experts” in their field of academics. I do not wish to imply that people with a higher education are not godly or wise; however, there is a tendency to trust one’s own judgment and learning rather than to trust in God’s wisdom. I am often reminded that the Bible teaches that the “foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

For me this separates reality from deception, keeping a proper perspective relating to things that are valid. In greater detail this is found in I Corinthians [1: 18-25] “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this Age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For the Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Have we reached a point in our society where man’s teaching has now become superior to God’s and is being touted as the truth, while God’s truth has now become suspect or inferior to man’s? It has become easier for many to accept the myth that God’s word is no longer indisputable and open to challenge or useful regarding one’s moral behavior. When will humankind recognize that God is supreme and that our existence depends upon Him, and not in the reverse.

Could it be that many church leaders are in the pastorate today as a vocation, and do not qualify as the spiritual leader chosen by God? Are they serving by “election” {God selected them} or by “self will” {they chose themselves}. This may account for their apathy concerning their beliefs about morality. Jesus warns His disciples about false teachers. Our Lord describes those in His day as serving God only to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. They loved to be highly thought of by men enjoying recognition as men of God. Jesus charged them with blocking the truth from others, thus keeping them from entering in. Matthew [23: 5 - 7, 13 - 15].

In lock step with Christ’s condemnation of false teachers, I say this in writing this warning. There are no easy ways to say this without being falsely misunderstood. That said, I hope my remarks in the spirit of a loving warning will be received. There is no “clergyman or church” that can truthfully boast as being more compassionate, loving, more forgiving, or merciful than God. I repeat there is none, and yet this is happening in churches all across our land today.

For any religious church leader either to condone or defend any abominable sin such as; {abortion, homosexual behavior ‘either sex’, or take part in performing same sex marriages, etc.}, they are hypocrites. In reality, they are saying they are more loving and merciful than God is even though the Creator condemns these sinful acts. I caution those who knowingly follow their example, avoid them at all cost.

Jesus describes them as setting out to “win one proselyte,” and when he is won, “you make him twice as much a son of hell.” As illustrated in the above scripture they circumvent the word of God pretending to be religious and accept only the parts that pleases them. The rest they ignore or discount as a myth or fable especially the truth pertaining to God’s judgments upon such behavior. It is dangerous to play god no matter who you are. Buyers beware of those who would offer you the easy way out that requires nothing on your part. There is the price of repentance to be paid. The non-repentant will go to hell in the end.

 

Related Articles:

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/no-resurrection-false-doctrines-no-big-deal-to-emergent-nazarenes/

General Assembly Update: June 24

Sorry for no update on the 23rd.  Here is what I have for today, given what I can do with the time I have.

Elections

Voting for General Superintendent went like this: All four non-retiring Generals were re-elected.  At the end of today’s voting, no one received the minimum 645 votes.  Gustavo Crocker got as high as 599 on one of the ballots.  Carla Sunberg was running mostly first position for a while, then second at the end with around 200 votes.  Voting to resume tomorrow.  I will not comment on these folks until the election is over, as far as what we know of their theology and where they may stand on issues, what they like or dislike.  I am happy to see that certain candidates are not in the running, because if elected, they would be a real disaster for the church.

Resolution on Homosexuality

This resolution was supposed to strengthen the statement on Christian Conduct regarding sexuality.  It was voted to hold it for another four year study.  I ask the question: why is such a simple biblical issue that can really make things clear about the sin of homosexuality, allowed to go another four years of “study.”  And some people wonder why I am making such a big to do about the state of the Nazarene denomination?  People really need to wake up and smell the coffee on these issues.  I fear that these actions are simply another indication that: the church does not really want to deal with this strongly; and, this just helps open the door a bit more towards the eventual affirmation of homosexuality in the church next time.

 

Dan Boone’s Defense of Process Theology

At the vote of one of the resolutions submitted for consideration today, there was a resolution about Process Theology.  It was submitted for the purpose of the church declaring that Process Theology is an ungodly teaching that does not belong in the Church of the Nazarene.  I was hoping it would pass, because process theology is an evil teaching that denies God’s power.  What is process theology?  Let me give you a brief explanation, given by Matt Slick of carm.org, then I will tell you what happened with that resolution.

Process theology is the philosophical and theological position that God is changing, as is the universe.  Therefore, our knowledge of God must be progressing as we learn more about him and it can never rest in any absolutes, which is why process theologians deny the absolutes of God’s immutability and truth.  Furthermore, this would mean that absolute knowledge of God would not be achievable, and a self-revelation of God (in the person of Jesus Christ and the Bible) would also not be possible.  This would open the door for humanistic philosophy and/or false theological systems to be “rationalized” by process theologians.

Logically speaking, if process theology maintains that God is progressing and changing, then given an infinite amount of time in the past, God may not have actually been God.  Also, it could be argued from this perspective that there is something outside of God that works upon him, bringing him into a greater knowledge and increased greatness.  This would be problematic because it would need to study what that “something” is.

In process theology, God does not know the future exhaustively.  He can guess at what may or may not happen, but absolute knowledge is not attainable until events actually occur.

Process theologians deny that Jesus Christ is God in flesh and therefore mankind has no need for salvation.  

Process theology denies the Scriptures which teach that God has always been God (Psalm 90:2) and that God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).  Of course, it denies and contradicts God’s word regarding the necessity of the Savior and the deity of Christ (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9).
(Original Source: http://carm.org/questions-process-theology)

And so, as the resolution was proposed, it was asked whether there were any comments for or against it. Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University, stepped to the mic, and argued that first of all, there are so many other ideologies that we could debate and put up for resolutions, that perhaps this is not the right place to do it.  Then he made an incredible second statement.  He said that Process Theology is dying or is a dead teaching, and is going away, so there is no need to waste time on this.  This was either a blatant lie, or Dan Boone, a university president and theologian, is ignorant of what is going on in the church.  When the vote was called, almost every single delegate voted down this resolution.

I would like to thank Dan Boone for helping to preserve the ability of professors to continue to teach this ungodly ideology.

Did Phineas Bresee Encourage And Promote ‘Strange Fire?”

At the General Assembly in Indianapolis there is a booth promoting a conference called Fire School: Living In The Supernatural.  Speakers at this school will include Rob McCorkle and Dan Bohi.

In their advertisement of the conference, they include this quote from Phineas Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene:

“My last message to all my people, ministry and laity, is that they seek the conscious, abiding, manifesting experience that Jesus insists upon in word and deed (Spirit).”

Reading this quote, and not knowing anything else about Phineas Bresee, would lead most unsuspecting persons to believe that Bresee was a supporter of Pentecostalism and the signs and wonders that came with that movement.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and I believe those promoting Fire School really need to re-visit and understand what Bresee thought about these phenomena.

Let us now see what Bresee actually thought of the Azuza Street revival and the Pentecostalism at that time.  Quote, in an article he wrote concerning the Azuza Street revival and Pentecostalism:

“These are more or less people whose experience is unsatisfactory, who have never been sanctified wholly, or have lost the precious work out of their hearts, who will run after the hope of exceptional or marvelous things, to their own further undoing. People who have the precious, satisfactory experience of Christ revealed in the heart by the Holy Spirit, do not hanker after strange fire, nor run after every suppositional gift, nor are they blown about by every wind of doctrine. There is rest only in the old paths where the Holy Spirit Himself imparts to the soul directly the witness of His cleansing and indwelling.”

Phineas Bresee clearly rejected the Azuza Street movement and Pentecostalism.  That is why we removed the word from the church name.  Yet, even if Phineas Bresee supported this phenomenon, would that make it right?  He was a man, just like any other man.  The only reliable source for our Christian life is the Holy Scriptures, and to rely on unpredictable emotions and physical manifestations that may not be of the Holy Spirit, is treading on shaky and dangerous ground.

Miscellaneous: A Conversation I Had Today

I ran into two gentlemen today, and had an interesting conversation.  When one of them (I will call him John) asked what my main concerns have been, I talked about the emergent church, and the mysticism disguised as spiritual formation.  He was very incredulous at much of what I told him, and kept saying things like “you must have misunderstood”, or “you probably have not done all the homework”.  I just simply tried to encourage him to go the website and read for himself, and I also gave him a DVD.
Sadly, the conversation ended rather abruptly.  First, an emergent pastor stopped by, and we continued talking about evolution.  I felt that they were trying to confuse or distract me from my main point that evolution and the Bible cannot agree with each other, and so after I persisted on getting an answer to a simple question:

“If a person disagrees with something the Bible clearly teaches, is that person wrong?”

John got really flustered and looked upset, and he stormed away, never answering the question.  His pastor friend also went with him immediately.

This illustrates again: when they cannot debate with you using Scripture as the foundation of their debate, they refuse to answer simple questions, and they take off.  Those who support and believe in evolution are truly deceived by satan, and we need to pray for them.  There is no compatibility with evolution and the Scriptures, and either one is true, or the other.  Not both.

Final Thoughts

There are still Bible believing Nazarenes around who have conviction.  Two men standing with me during the Process Theology vote, stated their disdain for that ideology, as well as the ungodly evolution being pushed into the denomination.  I continued talking with one of them, who clearly made the point that he will do his best to protect his flock from these heresies.

Another pastor sat with me later, and we talked about Mark Maddix, who I had confronted with a question at his spiritual formation seminar.  He described how Maddix was the keynote speaker at his district assembly, and how after his speech, t least 50 people went up and voiced their strong disapproval of his ideas.  There is hope for some!  He also stated his strong opposition to the emergent church, and how NNU is clearly the worst school by far in the Nazarene denomination.  I agreed, although I felt that Point Loma is a close second.

So there are pastors who will stand up against the ideas that are destroying people’s lives and particularly their faith.  Are you a pastor who will stand strong, and speak out, or will you keep quiet in order to keep your job secure?

The Assembly will end soon.  The future of the Church of the Nazarene is very dubious to me right now.

Manny

Rob Bell Leaves No Doubt: He Is A Heretic And An Enemy Of God

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  Matt. 18:6

Rob Bell is still causing great harm to many, and it would be good for him to heed the above passage.  After I listened to a recent interview on Premier Christian Radio (and all I needed really was to listen to the first minute) a few things came to mind.  First, what were they thinking when the leadership of the Church of the Nazarene came up with the “brilliant idea” of having Rob Bell as the main speaker at a pastor’s retreat at Point Loma Nazarene University?  See this post-retreat report on Bell’s visit, written by a PLNU alumnus.  You would think they had enough information about Mr. Bell and would have summarily rejected any thought of having him speak to Nazarene pastors.  Welcoming false teachers seems to be a continuing trend at Nazarene schools, as PLNU had Donald Miller for the pastor’s retreat this year (see slide show).

What good can a heretic bring to the table at a pastor’s seminar?  And why do some of Bell’s books turn up as resource materials in theology courses (1)?  Why is Rob Bell considered a good source within a denomination that says it believes in holiness?  What he teaches is far from holiness.  What is the attraction by  “mature” college theology teachers and church pastors to this man’s obvious heretical ramblings?

Rob Bell, who is no longer a pastor, has been a toxic influence for quite a few years now, in the Church of the Nazarene and in practically every evangelical denomination.  His error filled NOOMA video series has been popular with pastors who have used them for Sunday School classes, and during weekly “Bible studies.”  What gets into the minds of these leaders who are constantly turning to the most popular books and using them for “Bible study”, and setting aside the Bible, only to use an occasional reference to a scripture passage?  In any case, why do they continue to insist that Rob Bell is a good resource for Christians in learning how to grow and walk in the Lord?

Rob Bell, I suppose to his credit, is now openly declaring his affirmation of the gay lifestyle, that gay marriage is good, and in this interview, he even gets a bit hot about it and uses a cuss word to express his outrage against Christians who continue to hold the line and preach the word of God as it is written- not as Bell wants it to mean, or as Rob Bell seems to think that Scripture is no longer relevant in the area of homosexuality.  Have you noticed that some pastors dance around the issue and seem to be very afraid of stating their position on this, whether they are for or against gay marriage, or that they cannot answer a question as to whether homosexuality is a sin?  I urge you to ask your pastor where he stands on this matter of homosexuality, gay marriage and sin.  It may not be as obvious as you think.

According to Rob Bell, it is more important to stay attuned to the cultural shifts in society and go with the flow, rather than be a hardliner about what Holy Scripture speaks to us concerning human sexual relations and sin.  To Bell, the Bible is just no longer relevant in this day and age, and so he chooses to ignore its plain teaching in favor of what he prefers, what he feels seems right.

This is the same Rob Bell we have know for years believes the following also, so there is no excuse:

-       The Bible is a human product, not a product of divine fiat

-       Bell is really a universalist, who believes that eventually all will go to heaven

-       He rejects the doctrine of original sin

-       Rejects the notion of penal substitution

-       Rejects the idea that Scripture alone will answer all questions

-       Rejects Scriptural teaching of the reality of heaven for the saved, and hell as an eternal place of punishment for the unrepentant.

-       Questions the virgin birth

-       Bell also promotes contemplative spirituality

-       Bell endorses heretics such as Marcus Borg, who denies the atonement and the doctrine of the cross

Rob Bell misses so many points in the Bible that are so easily understood, it’s a wonder he was a pastor for so long.  Now he is trying to make his mark in Hollywood, and has charged $500 for small groups of people to meet with him for two days of … teaching and discussion.  But we already know what Rob Bell is teaching, and for $500 why would any reasonable Christian want to spend two days with Bell just to get error filled theology?  All he is preaching is the religion of man.

I feel sorry for Rob Bell, and he needs to come to repentance for what he is doing and teaching to countless many people.  I also feel sorry for those who are still using his materials, especially undiscerning pastors who have been deceived by all this emergent church garbage.  Rob Bell has probably caused more damage to the Nazarene and other denominations that we will ever know, and we know that God reserves a bit of extra judgment on those who are charged with the responsibility of teaching others.

Will Rob Bell continue to appear at pastor’s seminars?  Has the leadership in the Church of the Nazarene come to their senses yet?  What about other gay affirming emergent church heretics like Brian McLaren, whose books you will find in various theology course lists at Nazarene universities.  What about gay affirming chaplains in the Nazarene universities?  Why are they being enabled to preach this new concept of “homosexual Christians.”

A final word for Rob Bell and all others in his camp, including pastors who are affirming that homosexuality is okay, and who are having fellowship with sinners as if they were not sinners, and who are not preaching the whole counsel of God on this matter.  Take warning:

“Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:2-3

Additional Resources:

Review of Love Wins, by Matt Slick

 

Video: Rob Bell Promotes Homosexual Marriage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLC-EdQvSgo

 

Rob Bell and His “Christian Universalism”

 

 

(1) Northwest Nazarene University
PRTH6980 Topics in Spiritual Formation  (MDivSF, MASF)

  • Bell, Rob.  *Velvet Elvis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005. (ISBN 978-0310263456)
  • Chalke, Steve. *The Lost Message of Jesus.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (ISBN 978-0310248828)
  • McLaren, Brian D. *A Generous Orthodoxy:  Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative . . . Unfinished Christian.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (ISBN 978-0310257479)
  • Miller, Donald. *A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009. (ISBN 978-0785213062)
  • Willard, Dallas. *The Divine Conspiracy.  San Francisco: HarperOne, 1998. (ISBN 978-0060693336)

    Also: Nazarene Theological Seminary

    Bell, Rob.  *Velvet Elvis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005. (ISBN 978-0310263456)

 

 

Compromise With the Radical Homosexual Agenda By Pastors

Pastors who cannot preach the simple message of the transforming power of the Gospel to free homosexuals from their sin, ought to resign from the pulpit before causing further damage.

Here is the truth:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:9-11

“There is NO love in being kind, and gentle, and welcoming, and “affirming”, or “standing with them”, (whatever that might mean), if you DO NOT preach the Gospel plain and simple. It is the opposite of love; it is cruel and wrong and unbiblical.”

Those were my words in response to “rumfordrev”, a pastor who left comments on my blog post Eastern Nazarene College Rejects The Bible, Moves Towards Affirmation of Homosexuality.  He responded in defense of chaplain Corey McPherson, who in April 2012 preached a message to the Eastern Nazarene College students titled “Homosexuality: What Does God Think?”  Listen to the entire message if you will and judge for yourself, especially those of you who have an investment in either your children, or youth from your church who are attending, or thinking of attending a Nazarene college.  I had characterized Dr. McPherson as one who “speaks more like a confused college student, rather than a spiritual leader who is supposed to give biblical guidance to the students.”  His unapologetic boasting of having shared communion and worship service with a homosexual pastor and his congregation is one of the many disturbing things I found in his message.

In his defense of Corey McPherson, (see comments at my blog) you will not find a clear defense of biblical teaching on this subject from rumfordrev, and that illustrates one of the problems in the Church of the Nazarene today.  Certainly, there are still pastors and chaplains who, without wavering and making excuses or condemning the church for its faults, will articulate what God clearly teaches about sin, whether it is homosexuality, or any other sin.  Yet today I find more and more examples of a kind of compromise, sometimes very subtle, that is trying to make some kind of distinction in defining homosexuality, and raising this sin to a special position that it does not warrant.

Many of us are seeing a trend in the Church of the Nazarene of a movement towards “affirmation” and acceptance of homosexuality as “okay” and normal.  I think it is just a matter of time, and perhaps some might be in for a shock after General Assembly.  Some of the previous examples of this trend were Point Loma Nazarene University and the gay student chaplain situation, in which he was allowed to continue in that position for a while; and the off campus gay support group hosted by the local Nazarene church in San Diego.  Then we have had compromise by Trevecca Nazarene University, allowing a radical homosexual group to come onto its campus for “dialogue.”  At Southern Nazarene University, the leadership’s bad judgment allowed a student newspaper to promote the “new view” of homosexuality; one quote said that “Christian circles are too quick to call homosexuality a sin, without ever having talked to someone who identifies as gay.”  Eastern Nazarene College leadership recently approved a new support group for GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning student), as reported at my blog post of April 9.

Rumfordrev pointed out a quote from Dr. McPherson as indicative of a Christ-like approach, but he failed to address the serious problems with much of what was said, including the issue of having communion with a homosexual pastor, or worshipping with a gay affirming congregation, and he did not affirm agreement with my biblical answer to his question.  What does this mean?  I’m not sure, but for someone to suggest to me that I made personal attacks without being specific about it, and yet not agree clearly with me about the sinfulness of having communion with a homosexual “Christian”,  and who himself stated “I am not responding to whether one can or can not be homosexual and Christian at the same time”, that leaves me asking: why would you not respond?

Affirming The Gay Lifestyle: What Does That Mean?

As examples of what Dr. McPherson said in his message, which I am working on transcribing, here are some disturbing quotes:

“You can’t help but put on a whole new perspective when someone you love is gay.  I was gradually coming to the point where I was affirming the gay and lesbian lifestyle. By affirming I mean encouraging him and I mean believing that an active gay lifestyle in a committed monogamous relationship is acceptable by God.”

“Many of you already know the passages of Scripture that address or seem to address the issue of homosexuality.  They are used as weapons to attack and abuse others even if the passage is quoted in the right text, it is done so in a manner that is demeaning and abusive.  So I would not look to these texts, in fact I will not quote them at all.”

I would say to Dr. McPherson that first of all, if one of my children declared someday that they were gay, that the only perspective I would have is that of a grieving dad who was just told by their child that they were rejecting God and were living a life of what they wish to do, and not what God wants them to do.  That’s all.  Our perspective in any other way should never change.  God’s word is applicable to all, whether they are related to you or not.  What your responsibility would be is to lovingly tell that loved one that they are in sin, and are headed towards eternity in hell without God for rebelling against him.

Secondly, his failure to properly give the biblical teaching on homosexuality, without any ambiguity to those who were listening, was unfair to them, and wrong.  Too many pastors now are talking about sexual orientation as a separate issue from homosexual acts.  I was astounded when I heard this sermon by Rev. Rick Power of College Church in Olathe, KS, when he said the following (my emphasis in bold):

“as a community that is called to reflect the grace and forgiveness and hospitality of our Savior, we must thoughtfully and carefully respond to the questions of homosexuality, and sexual purity, and divorce.  To say that marriage is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman …. doesn’t mean that we are slamming our doors or closing our hearts to gay and lesbian people. Not at all.   We have learned that for the vast majority of individuals sexual orientation is not a choice, and it cannot be changed.  If this is true then homosexual orientation in itself is not sinful.  It may be a sign of the brokenness and fallenness of our world, but if it does not involve personal choice, it is not in itself sinful, and we have to make this distinction between homosexual orientation and homosexual acts.”

Is this thinking coming out of the seminaries now?  Are these ideas being driven by the emergent church crowd, of which many like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren and others openly approve gay marriage, and believe now that you can be homosexual and remain Christian?  What is the fascination with a kind of coddling of those who identify with this particular sin, but not with those who are involved in other types of sin?  Where is the direct and clear, bold preaching that homosexuals can be freed from the bondage of their sin?  Instead, we see pastors stating that they “affirm” them, and “stand with them”, but to what end?  Is it to get more bodies into the church, and show everyone how “caring” you are?

I shudder to think that perhaps next month, the General Assembly might elect one, maybe even two, new General Superintendents who also believe in this unbiblical approach to dealing with homosexual sin.  If so, the spiraling downwards of the Church of the Nazarene will continue at an even faster pace than I thought would happen.  And the words of Rev. Power from his sermon makes me wonder: how many of his congregation that day were nodding their heads in approval, instead of standing up and objecting to his unbiblical view on homosexual sin?  That should be of concern as well.

Not All Are Compromising

I remind you of the pastors in Rhode Island who stood up against gay “marriage” and publicly signed a petition expressing the biblical view that condemns such things.  Not all evangelical pastors were on this list, and I wonder was it because they never saw the petition, or because they did not want to be identified as one who is against the radical political correctness of the day?  Sadly, gay “marriage” has been foisted upon Rhode Islanders, with much thanks to some legislators who caved in at the last minute.

And there is Pastor John Lindell of James River Assembly in Missouri, another example of those ministers of Christ who refuse to water down the Gospel, and who do it in a loving way, in spite of accusations by the radicals and the compromising “pastors” who objected to his biblical views.  Can you believe pastors objecting to a biblical assessment of homosexuality?  That’s exactly how he was treated, and I will report on this further.  In the meantime, his story can be read here, and the full context of his speech can be read here.

(On Wednesday, I will also post a response to the “sexual orientation” question, written by John Henderson, which addresses this fallacy being propagated by what seems to be a growing number of pastors).

 

Deceptive Confusion About Orientation

(John Henderson)

A simple dictionary definition of oriented is to be intellectually, emotionally, or functionally directed.  It is typically all three at once.  Intellectually means there is an intellectual agreement to something.  Emotionally means there is an emotional involvement with something.  Functionally, means there is an established and tooted commitment to something.  All of this without overt action.

If we speak of homosexual orientation, this is what must be meant by it.  Faux theologians make a false assumption by comparing homosexual orientation to temptation.  This is not scriptural by any definition.

It is true that fallen mankind is “bent” to sinning in any area and some in particular.  Wesleyans have traditionally called that the carnal nature and have not made excuses for the carnal nature but have preached that through entire sanctification this nature is crucified with Christ.  It is on His cross and is no longer any part of the Christian life.

The fundamental Wesleyan doctrine never declares that the carnal nature is eradicated in a sense that it ceases to exist.  In other words, “resurrection” is possible.  This is where temptation—something completely different—operates.  Those who equate temptation with orientation or any potential to sin are practicing unscriptural theology.  The faux Wesleyans who do that are trying to stretch a predetermined assumption over an unyielding concept of the Scriptures—they try to form the concept to look biblical when in fact it is error.

I find it interesting that there is such a focus on homosexual orientation versus homosexual behavior as though the two are distinct from one another.  No similar comparison is ever made about hatred or heterosexual lust.  But then we do have clear words from Jesus about those matters when He teaches that hating is the same as murder and lusting after a woman (the opposite sex) is the same as having actually committed adultery in one’s heart.  In other words, you have done it before you actually do it; or whether or not you follow through.  We may use other examples from the Lord, such as it is not what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes from the heart, etc.  All sin starts in the heart.  Like an unborn baby, it is a baby from conception, whether in the womb or out of the womb.

Shall we also consider James’ clear teaching about temptation?  “…But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. 1:15 Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15, NET).

By considering that homosexual orientation (or any other orientation) is something from the fallen nature we have two possible solutions:  that person is either hopelessly condemned to it or there is a rescue available.  Will a homosexual who comes to Christ be tempted to homosexuality?  The answer is yes but it is not a kind of yes that excuses his former life.  It is a kind of yes that says Christ is the answer.  “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emanuel’s veins.  And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

For Further Reference:

What Will Be Illegal When Homosexuality Is Legal (David Cloud, Way of Life)