1. Nazarene Denomination Losing Its Way

I am writing this because I love the Nazarene church, yet I am deeply saddened at what is happening to it.  My roots in the Nazarene denomination go deep. My father was a Nazarene pastor for over 50 years. I grew up Nazarene, became a Christian at 18, and I still am a Nazarene.

The denomination was founded 100 years ago with the help of Phineas Bresee, who left the Methodist church when they disagreed with his vision of reaching out to the poor and downtrodden. The emphasis by the denomination on holiness and sanctification are probably its most visible identifying markers. “Holiness unto the Lord” is one of the most common phrases you will see inside the walls of a Nazarene church. Yet recently, the denomination seems to be accepting much of what is called the emergent church movement and its ideology, and many are asking why?

Those at the forefront of the emergent church movement will tell you that they are simply questioning whether our “old” ways of reaching out and evangelizing can be used to reach the young generation anymore. But in reality, what this movement is trying to do is to change or re-define almost everything that has been taught as orthodox Christianity for 2,000 years, and a common phrase they use is that they are in a “conversation”.  Unfortunately, that conversation will go on forever without ever getting to the truth. It is a deadly, dangerous movement that has practically infiltrated every single evangelical denomination, and is drawing away countless people from the true gospel and into mystical practices that have no scriptural basis, and denies the sole authority, inerrancy and infallibility of the word of God. Much of the emergent church is re-packaged liberalism, with an emphasis on tolerance of almost anything, non-judgmentalism and ecumenism, as well as an embrace of Roman Catholic rituals and pagan practices.

Now the questions are coming from many troubled Nazarenes across the country. Is the Nazarene denomination abandoning its solid biblically grounded theological roots based on the infallible word of God, and instead turning to the emergent church movement with all its errors as the solution that it needs going into the next century?  I believe I can make a case that the church is already well on its way to abandoning its holiness roots and sound Christian doctrine, and has been for some time.

One of the problems with writing about the emergent church movement is that even though this movement has come into practically all denominations, there are still many people and church leaders who never heard of this movement. In a way, that is good, because most likely, those churches that have not been affected are still grounded in solid Bible based theology and teaching. The bad news is that many congregations are slowly being fed this error filled ideology by their pastors or leadership in small doses, much like slowly heating up a frog in a pan of water. Combine that with a lack of discernment among many, a shallow knowledge of scripture, a reluctance to “judge”, a fear of controversy or “division”, and an unhealthy loyalty to the church or pastor, instead of first to Jesus Christ, and the resulting combination is deadly. So I urge every Christian, Nazarene or otherwise, to look into this movement if you don’t know anything about it. Eventually, you or someone you know will encounter it, and you need to be prepared for the onslaught of this deceptive “new reformation.”

Some of the Nazarene Problems

So the problems are real, and many. Contemplative spirituality practices, which are nothing more than “Christianized” transcendental meditation, are being taught in Nazarene universities, seminaries, and churches.  Professors such as Thomas Oord of Northwest Nazarene University are teaching Open Theism, the heresy that God does not know the future, among other heresies.  Professors such as Karl Giberson at Eastern Nazarene College are teaching that evolution is fully compatible with the Bible.  Trevecca Nazarene University has a prayer labyrinth on campus, and some Nazarene churches now use prayer labyrinths, which is a practice from pagan cultures that was invented and used thousands of years before Christ. There is nothing Christian about it, but now it is becoming more commonplace in the Nazarene church. Leaders at Point Loma Nazarene University and others are promoting contemplative spirituality practices.  Even Nazarene Theological Seminary is going “contemplative”, promoting a “spiritual formation” retreat at a Catholic retreat center a few days before General Assembly. These practices promote an unhealthy and unbiblical emphasis on experiences and teach methods that supposedly will help you get closer to God and hear His voice, rather than a reliance on what God has revealed in the scriptures to find His will and “hear His voice.” This is also called monastic mysticism, and it is not from the Bible.

Another area of concern has been Barefoot Ministries, the youth arm of the Nazarene Publishing House.  I recently wrote articles (Part 1, Part 2) criticizing two of their books, which promote the use of prayer ropes, prayer labyrinths, lectio divina and other contemplative prayer practices.  They also promote going on pilgrimages (which are not necessarily bad), but one of the recommended pilgrimages is to a prayer community in France called Taize, which is a hotbed of contemplative mysticism and interspirituality.  I was shocked to find out that Nazarene Theological Seminary recently promoted a preteen retreat, complete with teaching young kids how to use prayer stations, prayer beads, and other contemplative practices, custom designed and tailor made according to what “were meaningful for his or her own personality.”  Degrees are now available in spiritual formation (another phrase for contemplative spirituality), and you can now study to be a spiritual director, which is perhaps the evangelical equivalent now of a priest who does confessions in the Roman Catholic system.

The official publication of the denomination, Holiness Today, recently published an article titled “Are The Emerging Church Folks Stealing The Church?”  It was written by the Editor in Chief, Rev. David Felter.  I posted an opinion piece on his article, and my conclusion is that Holiness Today is all but putting its stamp of approval on this movement and its false teachings.  Rev. Felter’s comments were very approving towards those Nazarenes who are “emergent”, but at the same time, he never gave specifics on what he likes about the movement.  And he also criticized those who oppose the emergents with unexplained phrases such as “caricatures of exaggeration and “use of disingenuous rhetoric”.  I concluded that his criticisms were directed at folks like me and others who have been trying to raise awareness amongst Nazarenes for the past 12 months.  I have written a letter to Rev. Felter and I hope that he can clarify some of his statements so that we know exactly what he means.

This is all very alarming to those of us who are familiar with the emergent ideology, and I believe this article he wrote could be signaling an acceptance of this movement by more leaders in our denomination.  Our General Superintendents will eventually need to make a statement and clarify to the body of the church where they stand.  It is certainly much more than what I have given you here, but what I have said already, ought to cause any discerning Christian to take heed.

Brothers and sisters, Paul said in Galatians:

  • “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10

We need to be loyal to God above all else.  If practices and teachings that are coming into the Christian church are clearly unbiblical, it is our duty as Christians to oppose them, even if we have to oppose our leadership. We must not be silent on these matters, because it goes against scripture.  Leadership, pastors, church manuals are all imperfect; the word of God is not, and that should be always our guide and sole, final authority in all matters for our Christian living and practice.  Mystical experiences and the undermining of the authority of scripture have no place in the Christian church.

How did I and Others Get So Concerned?

Just about a year ago, I began doing some serious research into the movement, and quickly knew that this was not something of God, and if something is not of God, it can only be from Satan. I began sending out regular email reports to friends, including members of my local church and also non-Nazarenes, to educate them about the emergent church.  A few months later, I stumbled onto the main Nazarene website, in a section for missions, and got my first clues that this movement was possibly being welcomed into the church.  However I spent several more months researching, before realizing that this movement had all but overrun the denomination, it’s universities, and even it’s main seminary.

All the problems I have mentioned are very real and they are already in the denomination, like a cancer would be inside a body, but not completely noticed yet.  And like a slow growing cancer, unless it is eradicated quickly and treated properly, this movement threatens the very existence of the Nazarene denomination, and more seriously, the eternal souls of many.  Contemplative spirituality practices are running rampant throughout many of the universities.  The first university that caught my attention was Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, when I read about a three day seminar led by Brian McLaren, who is considered by most emergents to be the “godfather” and leader of the movement.

Eric Barger of Take A Stand! Ministries attended that seminar, and documented three days of stunningly unbiblical teaching from McLaren, and frankly made me wonder where was the discernment in some of the leaders there who invited McLaren to speak, unchallenged. As an example of some of the goings on, at the last night of the seminar, Mr. McLaren invited people to come down and be re-baptized into the “new Christianity”, and stick their hands into a tub of dirt to feel what needs to be saved in the world!  This YouTube video shows what Eric said:

After starting my blog in January, others from around the country starting contacting me, sharing the same serious concerns about what was happening in the Nazarene denomination.  I started getting stories from Nazarenes, of either being ostracized and forced to leave their church, or telling of others who suffered the same fate.  Folks, it is heart breaking to think of all the emails I have gotten over the last year, from faithful Nazarenes who have been forced to leave their church of many years, all because they were not allowed to speak up and share their concerns of what was happening. The pattern seemed to be the same: either be quiet and get with the program, or leave.  It did not matter whether they were 40 year members, or members of only a few years.  The strategy was clear: follow the model of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church, “some people are going to have to die, or leave”.  Many have left the denomination disgusted and heartbroken, and have found a church home outside of their former Nazarene church, where the Bible is taught as the inerrant, infallible word of God.  It is amazing that this teaching is not the case anymore in so many Nazarene churches and universities!

The Concerned Nazarenes group became more formalized and started organizing a plan.  The original website was founded by a former rock and roll drummer for Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Tim Wirth.  At a Ray Yungen seminar at his church in 2008, Tim met Sue and Don Butler, which resulted in a collaboration to produce a DVD that exposed the Emergent Church movement.  As other pastors and laypeople joined us, we formulated a plan to distribute up to 10,000 DVDs at the General Assembly in Orlando in late June.  The General Assembly is where, every four years, about 25,000 Nazarenes from all around the world come to worship together, to learn, to elect new leadership, and to formulate plans for the future of the church.

As General Assembly approached, we prayed, fasted, and prayed some more.  We had a prayer line in place across the country, and sent out prayer requests as needed for the most urgent issues that came up.  Opposition from some emergent Nazarenes was fierce, including pastors.  The emergent Nazarenes were not about to lie down and allow us to spread the information about their movement unimpeded.  Their blogs began to show comment after comment depicting Concerned Nazarenes as radicals, hateful, judgmental, unloving, and extreme fundamentalists!  We were called out of touch and non-Wesleyan in our thinking.  Oddly enough, it is the emergents who are trying to re-write John Wesley’s history, in an attempt to paint him as someone who never believed that the Bible was inerrant, even though his writings prove otherwise.

General Assembly And Beyond

When we first arrived at General Assembly in Orlando, several of us took DVDs and brochures and ventured into the convention center, and passed out a few hundred in a matter of hours.  We were able to pass out over 6,000 DVDs that week and we very effectively communicated with many people. Eric Barger held twice a day workshops for three days. Many were alarmed and upset at the information we gave them.  Many asked for further information, or where they could go for information on this movement.  I spoke in my best Portuguese to Spanish speaking pastors, who wanted resources in their language.  Most people were receptive to the information, although we got into some interesting conversations with others who obviously supported the emergent agenda.

We were disappointed that the resolution to clarify the inerrancy of scripture was sent to the leadership for review over the next four years, rather than coming up for a vote, but we are hopeful that there will be good results at the next Assembly.  We are still awaiting a statement by the General Superintendents, which we were promised by one of the leaders would come out soon after the Assembly, which would address the emergent church problem. This could be the most critical statement by our leadership in decades, but they must speak on the subject.  How their statement comes out, will affect the future of many Nazarenes.  We await their answer with anticipation and prayerfulness, and that God will guide their decisions.

Conclusion

This is not just a Nazarene problem.  It is a cancer that is spreading everywhere. This could very well be a major turning point in the history of many denominations.  I believe we are seeing, in this emergent church movement, some of the influences that are misleading so many Christians around the world.  It is so pervasive that we are probably seeing the beginnings of the great apostasy which was predicted in the scriptures.  Christ will not return when there is great revival; the Bible prophesies that His return will come after there is a great falling away from the faith by countless millions.  We will be shocked at the well known leaders who will be fooled by the great deceiver, as is happening now.  Even now we see famous pastors like Rick Warren, who are defying scriptural commands to “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers”, who are foolishly working towards eradicating poverty and bringing “peace” to the world, not understanding or ignoring biblical prophesy and what it says about the end times, that only Christ can bring peace.

It is my prayer that faithful Christians be watchmen at this time, to guard themselves with the Word of God, so that they too will not be deceived by the one who comes often disguised as an angel of light.  Deception is on the rise, and we need to stay awake, watch, warn, and as needed, we should expose, rebuke and shun false teachers.

I am first of all a Christian.  Christians should not casually create serious problems in their churches because they did not agree with a certain policy, or they did not agree with the selected color for the walls in the fellowship hall.  However, when there is a serious problem in doctrinal matters, loyalty to any one person, persons, or denomination, should be secondary to loyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.

For those Nazarenes and other Christians who are reading this, may God bless you as you search for the truth.  I ask you not to stay silent if God opens your eyes to this.  I ask you to speak out and question those in authority and challenge them to justify these practices with scripture, not with their own human reasoning.  I ask you not to allow anything to get in the way of the truth. Don’t try to win the approval of men, but of God.  Rely only on the word of God, and not the intellectual reasoning and wisdom of men, which can lead you down a broad road which is only paved with destruction. Seek to defend the one true gospel with all that you have.  Eternity is at stake for many.

Galatians 1:6-10 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

(Preview of the free Emerging Church DVD)

For a free copy of the Emerging Church DVD, send an email to: reformednazarene@hotmail.com
Please also visit our main website, www.concernednazarenes.org

95 responses to “1. Nazarene Denomination Losing Its Way

  1. I have not had time to read your material thoroughly, but from what I see I agree with your concerns. I have two children at Trevecca Nazarene and I have been rather alarmed at the ideas that they are embracing. The college DOES encourage yoga classes, my children participate in them. Also, they are questioning the validity of Scripture, stating that only the words of Christ are valid. All other Scripture is to be questioned.

    I have been unhappy with the Nazarene denomination for quite some time, due to the falling away from Scripture into the abyss of the emergent church ideologies. I have left the Nazarene church and am attending a Presbyterian (PCA) church. My heart breaks to see this happening!.

  2. I have been a credentialed minister for 25 years & am an Ordained Bishop in the Church of God. For the past year I have seen a subtle infiltration of the Emerging Movement in our denomination. However now it is being openly promoted thru various conferences such as one upcoming in Georgia with Leonard Sweet as a keynote speaker.

    I never thought it could happen to a Pentecostal denomination but have since discovered that it has been in the Assembly of God ( thru it’s Bible colleges) for quite some time.

    Indeed we are in the last days & we must hold the Faith & be bold to proclaim the truth. Be the Watchman & be faithful.

  3. I, too, am very concerned about what is

    happening in the Church of the Nazarene of

    which I have been a member for many years.

  4. Glad I found your site. I’ve been on a quest to understand what a Nazarene is. I started with the manual and articles. Then I wanted to hear from actual Nazarenes. I went to NazNet and became quite confused until I was finally told that they do not represent anything close to a Nazarene. One young man just graduated from a Nazarene university and is on his way to another to obtain his masters in bible studies. I followed his postings and found that he does not believe the gospel of John should be in the bible, and that the majority of biblical stories did not actually happen. I was amazed. I soon realized that this is the emergent church and it is everywhere. Carry on.

  5. Thanks Jeremiah. I’ve been a Nazarene all my life, my dad was a Nazarene pastor for 50 years. This is not the Nazarene church I knew.

    We are doing our best to warn others.

    Blessings,

    Manny

  6. It is scary what is happening in our church. I am a longtime Nazarene who sees many errors occurring. I responded to a Holiness Today article quite some time ago as I questioned the church promoting women as senior pastors. It is not biblical & yet our church embraces this. I am not saying women don’t have very necessary roles to play in the church. I received a phone call & was asked if they could print my letter. I said yes. They never printed it. In the recent issue an emphasis is placed on the fact that both the male & female reverends are in the senior pastor positions. What ever happened to the pastor’s wife who was not in the senior pastor role? She was submissive to her husband while leading the women. Now the pastor’s wives are unable to do this as they have a job outside the church. Their excuse is that they need the money and there aren’t any young women who aren’t working so they’ve got to do something. I wish we could go back. How important it was to have a senior pastor’s wife leading the young women in our churches. I feel this is another aspect of the emerging church. When I was a young mom we had a pastor’s wife who led us. Myself & others miss those days as we see the church moving away from what helped to ground us in our roles as wives & mothers.

  7. I’m glad to have found your site. I was raised in the Nazarene church and attended a Nazarene college when the undiluted word of God was still preached.

    For some time I have told my husband that another major split is coming in the Nazarene denomination. Those that seek the meat of God’s word and those that long for spiritual mush or cultism such as Rick Warren offers.

    We no longer attend a Nazarene church. We have found a non-denominational church that preaches from God’s word, verse by verse and chapter by chapter. I doubt that we will ever return to the Nazarene denomination. All that is left to do is to ask to have our memberships removed from the church records.

  8. i came from a catholic background but after receiving Christ 25 years ago i attended an assembly of god church. i now attend a nazarene church locally. this past week i asked the pastor about the emergent church. from what i understood him to say they are looking at certain parts of the word of god to reevaluate it. also that times have changed so it was time to look at those scriptures to see what they really say. i thought it said god was the same yesterday today and forever!

  9. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for sharing. As Matt 10:16 says: “so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” You are correct, Gos id the same yesterday today and tomorrow- UNLESS you share the emergent philosophy- then he apparently can change like the wind.

    It sounds like you may have gotten an answer that was designed to deflect any more questions. I don’t know if your pastor is not very familiar with the emergent church, or if he is totally into it and is not telling everything.

    If you start asking more questions, watch the reactions. If you persist on detailed answers, you may start getting a different tone in the responses.

    What I’m saying is, be careful in how you approach this, if at all, and if you need advice on this, feel free to get in touch with me. I’ve been through it all, and the basic approach that the “true believing emergent pastors” use is: shunning, or demonizing the person asking questions, or forcing them to leave if they don’t like it.

    Blessings,
    Manny
    reformednazarene@hotmail.com

  10. 3rd generation Nazarene…left the church 6 months ago…things weren’t right but I couldn’t put my finger on “it”….then a friend tells me about this emergent movement and I start investigating…that’s what’s happening in the church I was attending!!! Please tell me this isn’t an issue in the Wesleyan church where I now attend!

  11. Hi Shirley,

    I have heard that there are or were talks of a Wesleyan-Nazarene merging, but I believe a serious stumbling block could be a weaker Nazarene church statement on inerrancy of scripture that may be preventing a possible merger. I don’t know any details however, but in all my research, it seems that the Wesleyan denomination is holding out strong. I recently recommended the Oklahoma Wesleyan University as an excellent possibility, to a young man who had rejected several other schools because of their embrace of contemplative mysticism.

    Perhaps there may be a church here or there whose pastor is embracing the ideology, but I am encouraged that the Wesleyan church seems to be standing strong on the word of God.

    Hope this encourages you as well, but be alert at all times!

    Blessings,

    Manny

  12. The Nazarene-Wesleyan merger is old “news” and I doubt it will ever be considered again. What about Olivet Nazarene, I haven’t seen anything concerning, do I need to be concerned?

  13. Hi Shirley,
    From what I know, Olivet is one of the few that seems to be fighting off, or is at least not being influenced, by the emergent movement. I do pray that it is so, and continues to be.

  14. I think many are beginning to lump every “boogeyman” under the umbrella of “the emergent church.” There has been a trend away from inerrancy, creationism, preaching about sin, and more, for at least twice as long as the “emergent church movement” has existed. Let us realize we are fighting, as we always have, against cultural trends that have always blown the Church (with a big C” into corruption. Let us pray there will always be a remant still seaking the correct Way… and that YOU are one of them. Let us stay on guard, seeking Christ with all our hearts. But let us also avoid living in fear, for perfect love casts out all fear.

  15. My family had attended a First Baptist Church for over 74 years. We had a new Pastor arrive, who had been raised as a Nazarene. He started embracing some of these ideas, having us read books by Erwin McManus, visiting McManus’ “church” in Los Angeles (the Mayan bar) and encouraging bible studies with questionable practices. When I asked him if he was leaning toward emergent ideas, he got very upset with me. I was the worship leader and a leader in the women’s bible study. The last study I participated in was by Priscilla Shirer, “Discerning The Voice Of God”. It concerned me because of the people she quoted in her study were contemplative authors and there were more quotes of those people than scripture. I questioned the pastor and was told “you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. One day after voicing my concern, which I just requested that a word of warning be given about the study, a disclaimer, I was removed from leadership in the study. Two months later I was removed as worship leader. We have now left that church and are in a good, solid church teaching just the Word. Be prepared when you come up against this. You will be treated as though you are lepers. I was told I was being used by Satan to be divisive in the church.

  16. Susan,
    An all too familiar story- wish it was not. I have received emails similar to yours, and I know very well what that’s all about.

    May God bless you in your new church and that it will remain faithful to Him in all it preaches and teaches.
    Manny

  17. Manny – Your information is what I have been looking for. I am praying mightily for the Church of the Nazarene and do not want to see it fall apart. But we must stand for truth. Why not “name names” of pastors and leaders and churches involved in this heresy? We should know. Margerete

  18. Hi Margarete,
    One of the biggest promoters of the movement is Jon Middendorf, son of G.S. Jesse Middendorf. He is featured on the Emergent Church DVD we passed out at Assembly last year. He and Rev. Scott Daniels of Pasadena First Church presented an emergent session there, where some of us tried to get answers from them He tries to avoid the emergent label, but he is promoting this stuff unashamedly.

    The problem has been a lack of response from leadership. We still don’t really know what is going on behind the scenes, although many of us have tried to get information to them. So it has been very frustrating. Probably some politics going on- and Dr. Middendorf clearly is supportive of Jon and his agenda. He was also there at the seminar last year, and in response to our question whether we would be also able to have a voice there, he replied “that’s not likely.”

    I can try to get you more info- I have your email, and if you want a free copy of the DVD, you can send me your mailing address as well, to:
    standfortruthministries@gmail.com

    Blessings to you,
    Manny Silva

  19. Manny – How I appreciate what you are doing! I have also been in touch with Dr. Orville Jenkins, Jr. several times, via e-mail, and he is certainly a Godly, gracious leader. I have also voiced my opinions on several occasions to our General Superintendents, not to be confrontational, but because of my concerns. No responses have been forthcoming. I was raised in a strong holiness Nazarene church, and am committed to holiness and purity, both in theology and PRACTICE. God bless you. Margerete Gilroy

  20. Stop…….just stop this. Whoever founded this blog needs to stop it. You continue to drive wedges in the hearts of those that are needing to meet Jesus.

    If there was half the effort invested in this spewing actually put in to loving the Lord and His people, instead of feeling the unGodly need to call people on the carpet constantly, then HE would be glorified. As is, you are doing nothing but teaching people to be divisive, and God is NOT glorified by this.

    My heart is broken by websites like this.

  21. Billy,
    If you don’t mind answering a question or two?

    1. Are you a Nazarene?
    2. This blog, which I founded, is mainly for the purpose of warning Christians- Nazarene or otherwise. Is there anything unbiblical about doing that?
    3. Are you familiar with what is going on in the Nazarene church?
    4. If so, what are you doing about it? Are you defending emergent ideology, or are you warning others of this terrible thing that is driving so many from their churches, and is deceiving many students in the Christian colleges. Is that a concern for you, and what is your strategy if mine is wrong?

    Manny

  22. Manny – How wide-spread is this “movement”. I understand that if the heresies in our universities are not stopped, more and more young people will be seduced into unbiblical practices and philosophies. Two of my grandsons recently graduated from Olivet – my Alma Mater; also my husband’s, and three adult children’s. The grandsoms seem to be fine. Are “Christian” universities of other denominations being affected? How divided are we as a denomination? Lots of questions! Margerete

  23. This movement has affected many of our universities.
    But make no mistake, this is a worldwide problem, and practically all denominations have been effected, including their universities.

    Northwest Nazarene, Point Loma, and Trevecca have pretty much gone contemplative and emergent and are in serious trouble, in mine and many other opinions. Others have some serious issues as well. My old school ENC has some problems, and I have addressed the leadership personally with concerns. It remains to be seen if they listen to me or anyone else soon. Mt. Vernon, Mid-America, perhaps are not far gone, but I don’t know as much about them. And sorry to say- our main (NTS) seminary has been infected by this emergent and contemplative spirituality disease, evidenced by what they use for textbooks, and their promotion of contemplative eprayer ans spiritual formation. It is ridiculous. One of their professors, Doug Hardy, is on
    the review panel of Spiritual Directors International’s magazine.

    http://www.sdiworld.org/index.pl/review_panel.html

    Right at the top of the list is Lauren Artress, a major influence in making prayer labyrinths popular in the U.S.

    It has infiltrated many Nazarene churches. Here in New England there are emergent pastors at work. It’s in every district, and if we don’t cut it off soon, the Nazarene denomination will be destroyed, or at least, there will be a split, and many will leave after discovering the truth of this false movement.

    I have many stories sent to me by Nazarenes, who were forced to leave because of this heresy, and who told stories of being vilified and made to be the bad ones.

    This is a grave situation, and I hope the Generals are reading this right now and taking heed. They are the shepherds of our church, are they not, under the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. They have a great responsibility, yet, where are they?

    The division is probably greater than it looks on the surface, and will grow as more Nazarenes find out about it. For those who know, we must keep speaking out and exposing these people who are destroying our church, destroying our youth. God help them, because they will have a lot to answer for what they are doing.

  24. I have seen a list of church leaders who have signed “The Call”. What is “The Call” and the dangers of it? Margerete

  25. Manny (and others who are diligently working in our church’s behalf): Have a blessed Sunday. You are in my prayers daily. Blessings, Margerete

  26. Where can you get a brief synopis of the emergent church theory/ theology/ philosophy. What I mean is where can you read a 10 minute articile that lays the basic ideas out for a layperson to understand?

  27. Hi Gary,
    I’m running out the door- but I’ll try to get you an answer later tonight.
    I know there are some good summaries available.

  28. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. It contains all truth necessary to our salvation. In Revelation 22, Apostle John wrote: “22:18 I testify to the one who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described36 in this book. 22:19 And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.” (NET Bible). Our Article of Faith IV. The Holy Scriptures clearly says that: “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.”
    (Luke 24:44-47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
    If people other believe otherwise, then they need to change their minds and believe or leave the church.
    On false teachings crippling into the church? Many. The General Superintendents and the General Assembly must act on this. Church of the Nazarene must share the Good news and the truth that is in Christ Jesus we must hold on as faithful stewards. I am not with the emergent church idea of just sharing the Good News without doctrinal soundness and their association with well known heretics of our age.

  29. I am curious to know on what grounds that you find “contemplative spirituality practices.” I am reading for grounds to your objections to emergent practices, yet I am struggling to find them. If they are there, would you please help me out by pointing to what I am missing. Thanks.

  30. I would suggest you keep reading, Robert. There is plenty of documentation here that is biblically supported.

  31. You seemed to be a HUGE fan of John MacArthur, this person is an ULTRA CALVINIST… I don’t know why you like him?

  32. I’m really not a HUGE fan of anyone. My favorite is probably Michael Youssef. Tony Costa preaches some great sermons. There are a lot of really solid preachers still around.
    Look, I’m not a Calvinist- but I’d rather hear a John MacArthur preaching on biblical inerrancy, than listen to a dozen Nazarene pastors who DON’T believe in the Bible!

  33. It is sad. I’m a second generation PK and a pastor myself. This is what happens if the power of the gospel is replaced by “personality of the good ones”, holiness message with “honorable means.” While we do recognize the presence of God’s grace in “other ways,” it is only doctrinally acceptable in view of evangelism and proclamation. The seemingly replacement of the simple faith and trust in God and the call to the reading and meditation of the Scripture with other mystical journey seems to indicate that believers have outgrown their responsibility to trust and obey. At the outset it appears that the soul of the believers have been crowded with all kinds of voices and noises that simple faith and trust had to coupled with a certain journey. A simple prayer walk and an open, obedient heart is there needs to be done. In similar vein, G12 is “on the road.” More and more Nazarene pastors are joining the bandwagon.

  34. Anonymous,

    John MacArthur is biblically orthodox, and Manny isn’t the first Arminian I’ve heard profess admiration for him. This isn’t about “Calvinism vs. Arminianism,” this is about orthodoxy vs. heterodoxy. It’s about sound doctrine vs. bad doctrine.

    I’m hardly a Nazarene, even though I attend a Nazarene church, but I’ll side with Manny and his stand for biblical truth any day. Yes, we would have disagreements on some issues, but they’re “in-house” debates. When it comes to ultimate doctrinal issues like the gospel, open theism, and the direction of the emergent church, there’s no disagreement; orthodox Christians-Arminian OR Calvinist-need to be standing against these things.

  35. Amen Bro.
    “Know the Truth and the TRUTH WILL set you free. ” Thankyou my Dear Bro, for hearlding the Call, “We are called unto Holiness”, “Without which , no man shall see the Lord”. Your prayers are with you in your calling.

  36. Olivet Nazarene is heading in the same direction, to answer the question from several posts ago. Tony Jones has been there to speak on at least one occasion that I know about. If you don’t know who Tony Jones is…..read up on him…..he is a heretic.

  37. I guess I should have said this in the previous post…….Olivet is big into the “spiritual formation” stuff, which is the contemplative trash that Manny has been talking about throughout this post and others. It is not biblical and very dangerous.

  38. Thanks Dave.
    I have been in touch with Olivet leadership about Tony Campolo’s upcoming appearance in September.
    Sent them lots of information about Campolo, including some things I wrote up about his time at ENC last year.
    Will followup on that in September. others have written to the college president and asked that Campolo be cancelled from his appearance.

  39. Simply stunning……what possible benefit is any student going to receive from hearing that man speak? I guess we can look at the bright side if he isn’t cancelled…….we can get cd’s of his talk and use it for the purpose of teaching discernment.

  40. FYI, when I was at ENC last year to hear him speak, he blatantly promoted his occultic “thin places” in front of students and pastors, including two of my former pastors. He’s very charismatic, for sure- but he sure promotes a lot of unbiblical ideas.
    He will probably do the same at Olivet- I had warned them months before he spoke- but they told me they had no problem with him.
    I have not had a final feedback from Olivet yet- but I doubt that he will be cancelled.

  41. I am Baptist rather than Nazarene, but it greatly saddens me that a once strong Bible-believing, gospel-preaching denomination is turning away from the redeeming historic Christian faith. Liberalism seems to be founded on the idea that people are basically good, not sinners who need to repent. It would be nice if this were true, but the idea that people are basically good is not very realistic. Bible-believing Christianity is realistic about humanity’s sinfulness and God’s unspeakable holiness. However, Christianity offers a sure basis for hope in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. I also appreciate the work of the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis in providing scientific evidence for creation according to the book of Genesis.

  42. I know a lot of Nazarenes in my city and I am concerned. My understanding is that Nazarenes do not believe in the security of the believer. This implies that there is something a saint can do to separate themselves from the love of Christ once saved.

    My understanding is that anyone who truly clings to this belief is not actually trusting Christ alone for salvation. So I wonder, should I be evangelizing Nazarene acquaintances, or should I be simply encouraging them as brothers in the Lord?

    What’s your opinion? And do all Nazarenes implicitly believe what I wrote above or am I misunderstanding their position?

  43. ran across this on a posting from face book. i am a nazarene pastor and have been a nazarene most of my life. I became aware of this movement several years ago but did not realize it had been given a name. i just called it heresy. it was my first response to leave the church, but then if we all left who would fight for truth in the church. speaking truth in today’s church is not a popular thing. i have ticked a few people off. But like you say we must obey God not man. Peter said that also in the bible. Keep the faith and fight the good fight. Dave C.

  44. Could someone explain to me if there is a connection directly with the Wesleyan Church Denom. Seems they are going or gone mostly in this same direction. Deciding now if and or what I should do about it. Praying hard.

  45. Jodie,
    I am in touch with a few leaders in the Wesleyan church, and I can tell you they are appalled with what is happening in the COTN with emergent ideology and allowing all these emergent speakers on the campuses, and the use of prayer labyrinths and other mystical stuff. I suspect that is one reason why a merger has never happened, and may not.
    The COTN stance on inerrancy of Scripture is also very weak, compared to a very strong statement by the Wesleyan Church.
    However, I’m sure as with any other denomination, some infiltration has occurred. However, I have seen some sings of infiltration into the Wesleyan Church, and perhaps you have seen more than I have, and maybe its getting worse than I thought.

  46. We need to pray for our Nazarene brother and sisters, and all who are who are hearing a different gospel.
    2 Timothy 3:16
    All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
    John 5:39
    You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.
    Mark 13:31
    Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

  47. When millions of dollars are being sent over seas and our small local churches are being ignored while struggling to just keep the lights on there is a problem.I am pastor of a small Nazarene Church that’s is dying a slow death,without funds we cant do outreach without outreach we will eventually die as a church.I have come to the conclusion that the denomination would rather send its money over seas so they can pat themselves on the back in competition with other denominations in who has done more overseas.Folks if our churches are dying off over here who is gonna send money over seas.I preach the message that God lays on my heart and sometimes it isn’t popular,yet if we read Jeremiah chapter 2 we realize that even the Israelite’s watered down and ignored God’s word and warning and I see that this is happening here in America in our own churches and in our leadership or there lack of,it wont be long before America is just a shell of itself because we as a people have changed the word of God to bring in people who will bring in money.if I have to water down the word of God to bring people to church then I am doing them an injustice and I will not commit Blasphemy by watering down the word of God,if the church closes then so be it God has something better.

  48. From the Mission Field: We recognize that the General church is pouring out money to the mission field but as we can tell it from here, it is being used to open new areas. We also recognize that aside from WEF and other mission givings, North American local churches and districts has poured out resources for Work and Witness teams as well as Jesus Film Ministry of the Church. We are thankful for that. Numbers of local Nazarene churches in the field are also without funds to do outreach and we are encouraged to to outreach each local church too. I think organized churches that are not that rich, are of the same page, take heart you are not alone. But we can pray to our Almighty God in the name of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord so that He will meet everything that we need in ministry. We need not water down our message of salvation, it is still by faith alone in the saving work of Jesus Christ.

  49. I am not sure where to add this comment but felt that I needed to say something about this website. To begin, I came across this website by accident. I was looking up someone’s name and I kniew he was a Nazarene and was intrigued by the title so started to take a look at what was being written.

    I was raised and educated as a Nazarene and come from a family that has been part of this church since the early 1900′s. For various personal and theological reasons I left the Nazarene church and Christianity for many years. As I have aged and am now a grandparent I have been seeking to move back to the faith of my youth and family. This has been a significant struggle in my life and I have spent countless hours in Biblical study and prayer.

    I should say that one of the main reasons I left the church those many years ago was that I saw individuals quoting scripture and talking about holiness of life but I saw no love or compassion in their relationships with others. This website certainly demonstrates to me that times have not changed. It was my understanding that a holy heart was a loving heart.

    I have spent a number of hours of reading the articles and comments and what I do see is “proof texting” (i.e. providing scripture verses out of context which are used to prove a point)l. I had hoped to see a reasoned debate about how one could live a holy life in modern society. Holiness should be about helping the poor (even immigrants), providing for the vulnerable, supporting the lost not nit picking over relatively minor issues in the grand scheme.

    This is the first (and probably last) comment I have ever made on a website. I am so discouraged by the tone and holy-than-thou attitude that is displayed. I guess time does change but the small mindnesses of people never do. Good luck in your battles as the (lost) world moves on without you.

    Discouraged ex-Nazarene

  50. Dear DisNaz,

    I am a lifelong Nazarene. My dad was a holiness pastor who was a great role model for me. I am still a Nazarene, but time will tell for how long.

    I appreciate your thoughts, and that you are seeking to get back to the faith of your early youth, and that you are praying and studying.

    But I am disappointed at the lack of specificity from you. You seem to imply that the things that are written here by me and others are proof of a “non-loving heart.” Yes, a holy heart is a loving heart, but a loving heart includes the necessity of speaking hard truths to our fellow Christians. The example of Jesus Himself, and the apostles, also demonstrates to us that love often means that we need to be tough and direct about the condition of the church.

    You spent a number of hours reading, and you claim that there is “proof texting” or using scripture out of context. Yet, you give not one example of that in order to help me see what errors I am making. If you have a serious love for your fellow Christian, don’t you think you ought to help us along by guiding us away from error, instead of simply accusing us of error?

    If you are looking for a “reasoned debate”, this is not the site for too much of that. This site focuses on a warning ministry. We are warning the Nazarene church of a great apostasy in our midst. We are warning of seminary professors teaching occultism and mysticism; we are warning of many pastors who now believe that most of the history in Genesis is fable. We do this not because we like to bring bad news, but because we have to bring bad news. And its because we love our fellow Christians enough to tell them the truth!

    My question to you is: what do YOU do when you see false teaching in front of you, or in your church week after week? I would like to get a scriptural response If possible as to what a Christian should do.

    I would also like to know what examples specifically would you call “nitpicking?” Again, very disappointing that you say something like that without any demonstration of what you mean. You say you have read this site for hours? And yet you are not alarmed at all by anything that has been factually pointed out here?

    Finally, you accuse us of having a “holier than thou” attitude, and then turn around and use “small minded” to describe us.

    I don’t know you at all, yet you seem to think you know me. I suggest strongly that you read the Bible a bit more carefully, and you will find that what is being done here is biblically correct and required of the Lord. We are not to sit back on the sidelines while apostasy deceives many Christians. You are free to do that, but I have chosen to obey God rather than men.

    Should you decide to comment again, I welcome your thoughts. But please, if you feel I am in error here, please show me specifically how, instead of throwing out general accusations.

    Sincerely,

    Manny

  51. Whenever you feel the need to quote scripture to a person you’ve never met face to face, it’s a pretty good bet that you are apostasizing (practicing religion). The Nazarene denomination may be in decline but so are most denominations. The point is not to maintain purity of thought, even biblical thought, the point is to maintain relationship. A good thought to always hold is that We are ALL wrong. It’s that simple. Logic and reason can take us far. Quoting our version of an interpretation of scripture only leads to conflict. Prayer changes people, but mostly our own perspectives. The guy seeking true holiness coated in compassion is right. It’s not here.

  52. How sad, anonymous, that you reflect the thinking of this age that rejects the absolute truth of God’s word. How sad that you reflect the godless thinking of the emergent church of today: that relationship is more important that doctrine, that relationship is more important than biblical truth. And you very first sentence does not make any sense at all biblically.

    How sad that you say we are ALL wrong, without pointing out that God is right, and that we can find what is RIGHT in His Holy word. You don’t even seem to believe that we can find clear, objective truth in Scripture; instead, you believe that we can never come to the truth by reading God’s word and trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal His ONE truth. Instead, you reflect the deadly pragmatism of the emergent church of today: that what Scripture means to you, can mean 10 different things to 10 other people.

    You show in your words what is exactly wrong with the “church” of today. I pray that the Holy word of God will open your eyes to the truth.

  53. Consider what this holiness preacher would say about all of this. The Nazarene preacher Lawrence B. Hicks is preaching this powerful message at the Cadle Tabernacle Campmeeting in Indianapolis, IN in 1959. This kind of old fashioned holiness preaching has become almost extinct in this “seeker sensitive” “emergent church” age.

  54. I to have been concerned in recent years as to the level or standards that have been falling at our institutions. I have been a Nazarene for 36 years and have always enjoyed the fundamental teachings and positions of our church.
    I have never completely accepted the complete holiness teachings but have always appreciated the stance of our church as a beacon to the world for Christ. the Nazarene Church is all I have known and it concerns me as to heretical teachings and teachers allowed in.
    I will remain a Nazarene but I am concerned with the cancer that seems to be growing in all of our solid, grounded churches and schools.
    This seems to be an ever increasing inability of our leaderships to stand up for what the Bible teaches and instead compromise to the world.

  55. This has been going on for a lot longer than you are aware of, apparently. I attended what was then Northwest Nazarene College, from 1989 to 1991 and was amazed at what I found. I had been radically saved for one year when I arrived.

    From C.S. Cowles I learned that God did not ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, because HIS (Cowles’) God wouldn’t do that.

    From the chaplain who is still there, Gene Shandorff, I learned that God is a He/She. Gene referred to God as He/She when he replied to a comment card I filled out in chapel that was VERY critical of the heresy being taught there. Interestingly, at least in those days, chapel was forced on every student, so that the Pharisees in the Religion Department had a captive audience to lay their new and exciting heresies on week after week.

    And from Mike Lodahl, who was at NNC in those days, we all learned that God doesn’t know the future because He gave man free will. He was a hot tempered egomaniac then, very insecure and ready to erupt on any student in class who would dare challenge him. I don’t know what he is now, but I do remember when he and his Pharisee buddies first came up with their “God doesn’t know the future” heresy, and they pounded it into the student body for weeks on end.

    Jesus warned us, not of the Pharisees, but of the yeast of the Pharisees. We see in scripture that this yeast makes people spiritually blind, and blindness was the rule of the day 23 years ago at NNC. I see that it has gotten worse, not only there but all over.

    This is just the symptom of a much bigger problem in the Western Church. Phariseeism is alive and well today, and most of the church is leavened, especially the pastorate. The kingdom of God is not about words but about power, and the Western Church…including the Church of the Nazarene…is choked to death with words, having none of the power which characterized the blazing Church 20 centuries ago.

  56. Manny,

    Having stumbled across your blog today I would just like to say I agree with everything you say. I left the Nazarene Church almost 15 years ago for various reasons. I’ve been watching it’s continuing decline ever since. I currently attend a Baptist church (of which I’m not a member because of doctrine) which teaches more on holiness than my last Nazarene pastor. I am still a Nazarene in my doctrinal beliefs and have not swallowed the doctrine of “Carnal Security”. I know that the Lord has saved and sanctified me and I certainly believe that “without holiness no man shall see the Lord”.

    This being said, one of the main reasons I believe why the church has gone this way is because they’ve turned away from scriptural holiness (as taught by Wesley and many others), for the very leaders themselves don’t believe in it much less live it. So what else do they have that will bring people and money into the church except these satanic philosophies?

    I believe that those of us who read Wesley and Fletcher, and walk in the spirit will do so in whatever church God brings us to regardless of the denomination. Furthermore I don’t believe there is a holiness denomination out there anymore; They’ve all been corrupted by the world. I know there may be some individual churches here and there with real men of God in the pulpit preaching and living holiness, but they don’t all belong to the same denomination.

    Our only hope for the church is also the same for our country. To just get it started in the right direction we need a real Holy Ghost revival, of which we haven’t seen in since Asbury in the early 70′s.

  57. The trouble all started years ago when the Church of the Nazarne started teaching and preaching a second work of grace, “Sanctification.”
    Then they began marrying people who had been divorced, no matter how many times. Now the Nazarenes can do anything, go anywhere, dress like the world, or undress like the world , HAVE THEIR SUPER BOWL SUNDAYS WHERE THEY BRING THEIR SNACKS AND WATCH FOOTBALL INSTEAD OF HAVING CHURCH, bUY ON sUNDAY JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DAY ETC. It all started With my first statement, they no longer teach and believe in HOLINESS.

  58. We go to a Nazarene church that embraces NONE of the above. Our pastor preaches against all of these things, even if they’re not according to the “official line”. He preaches from the bible only not espousing homosexuality, emergent churches, or other heresies. He’s true to the word of God. That’s probably why we only average about 40 to 50, but it’s well worth it and doctrinally sound.

  59. I GO TO A NAZARENE CHURCH THAT PREACHES MOSTLY FLUFF MESSAGES NOTHING TOO HARD OR CONVICTING. OUR MUSIC IS NINETY FIVE PERCENT CONTEMPORARY , WE CELEBRATED LENT AND ASH WEDNESDAY THIS PAST MONTH. WE JUST GOT RID OF OUR LABYRANTH . BEING AN EX CATHOLIC THIS SENDS UP RED FLAGS. ITS A MESS!!! . .

  60. What about Mount Vernon Nazarene University? My husband I both graduated from MVNU and I was raised Nazarene (both parents Naz Pastors). We left the Nazarene church 3 years ago. I was wondering if MVNU is supporting this?

  61. Wow! I was browsing for commentaries and discovered this discussion. i am part of the International Churches of Christ and appreciate the open discussion. i do agree there is a contradictory strain from the liberal mind that has deep contempt for the “weak” which they call unloving and closed minded. They have seemed to have created a flood of “enlightened” thought that has divided your fellowship and de-valued scripture!
    The Gospel must remain distinct from cultural trends but i understand it’s an ongoing struggle to perpetually sort out wheat from chaff. My standard is now, after 25 years in our fellowship, taking full responsibility for one’s obedience to Christ. i believe the choice of one’s church must be based on a unity of belief and attending a church that you morally find distasteful distracts from your calling.

    We are not attenders we are the body.

    The ecclesia is a body of which you are part. Christ does not call us to stand outside of it and criticize it but to remain connected to it. If the church is no longer of Christ,
    it is no longer the church then it is Christ who calls us to leave. We don’t submit to ungodly shepherds. If the church is still at core a part of the body then you are called to remain in the humility that in all its dysfunction, you are part of the solution.

  62. Manny I have been a Nazarene pastor of over 35 years I believe in Second blessing Holiness and I can remember pastoring on the Dakota district when the wimber movement was trying to get into the Nazarene church even on our campus at Mid-America and I can remember about 8 pastors were duped into allowing that doctrine into their church how it tore up the churches –destroyed pastors with great potential –and I fought the movement and the more I fought the more determined they were to get into my church –but I never realized the scope of this movement until Rick Warren purpose driven church came along and now everyday even in the small church I pastor now the lay people that go to these churches and then try to bring the stuff back into my church and teach it to my people it is hard to keep the old ship zion sailing in the right direction of heart holiness –we are in battle and Old Peter knew it and He warned us that old satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour —I may be battle scared —but I hold High the banner of holiness and Hope we can get leaders back into the church with the Holiness doctrine

    Pastor Chleo

  63. I attended the General Assembly this year, in Indianapolis. One of the workshops I went to promoted “experiencing God” and lectio divina. The teachers were from Northwest in Nampa, Idaho. A gentleman stood to ask why the Nazarene Church is accepting these heresies and he was shouted down and made to be seen as a fool. I approached him later and thanked him for speaking up and he told me about this website. I will be using this site to keep me up-to-date on this subject and to reach out to others.

  64. I can’t believe it! ~ that was you, Manny!!! PTL for you!!! It was so incredible to meet you!!

  65. I was honored to meet you, dear sister, and for your testimony and encouragement. May the Lord bless you richly and keep you from all spiritual harm. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28
    Blessings,
    Manny

  66. Your last post reminds me of the magazine we used to see…The Other Sheep.
    now we have other-than-sheep among us.. My the Good Shepherd guard our way, and restore these lost lambs to the fold..

  67. A friend of mine attended the General Assembly and texted me a picture of a list of classes you could take. One was titled, “Making Christlike Disciples in the LGBT Community”. The description- This workshop is designed to help local congregations make Christlike disciples in the LGBT community, with the presenter being Andy McGee.
    What on earth is going on in the Nazarene denomination? I was also told the Nazarene church now has a Gay/Lesbian church with the Nazarene name?!?!?!

  68. Manny,

    Came across your blog while trying to look up the resolutions from the 2013 GA. I grew up in the CotN, but my family left my junior year of high school. I have three uncles that pastor (one is DS here in Ohio) and one of our family friends is JK Warrick (GS). Having been out of the church for 18 years now (we left when inerrency was officially rejected), it has been a grief to see the continued decline of the truth. After leaving the CotN, the Lord graciously led me to study for the ministry at Bob Jones University. I went all the way through seminary and am so thankful for a university based on a strong doctrinal stand, but non-denominational. My friends were anywhere from a more Weslyan tradition to strong Reformed Presbyterian. But, the one thing we all had in common was a commitment to uphold the truth of God’s Word. Now, many of my friends are planting independent churches around the world that are committed to being biblically faithful in doctrine, ecclesiology, and lifestyle. God is doing amazing things through a growing network of independent churches like this around the country. The exciting thing is that we can focus on expositing the Scripture, discipling our people, and reproducing church plants without the conflicts of a denomination drifting to apostasy (if not there for a large part).

    While I still have a strong respect for my holiness heritage (my grandfather also pastored in the CotN) and I love and have a good relationship with my uncles and cousins (many of whom graduated from MVNC), I am thankful for God’s leading away from the CotN. At the same time, I appreciate very much those of you still in the church and willing to take a stand for righteousness. If the time comes and you are looking for a biblically faithful local church, please feel free to contact me. I have a number of connections with men across the country and would be glad to help in any way.

    History is full of these rises and falls. And the way God leads each individual pursuing the truth is different. It truly is encouraging to see the stand being taken and heartbreaking to hear of the opposition to truth within the denomination. How thankful I am to know that God is entirely in control and sees all. Ultimately, everyone is responsible to Him for what they do with the perfect revelation of Himself and His Son, our Savior, in the Word. For some, that makes me shudder and pray that they will repent. For others, I rejoice in the stand for truth.

    May the Lord continue to bless and lead you as you pursue Him!

    Blessings in Christ,
    Nathaniel
    Pastor, Eastside Community Bible Church
    Milford, OH
    http://www.ecbiblechurch.org

  69. Thanks for this info. I am looking for a new church home in Marysville WA and have gone to the Nazerene Church twice now. I sensed something might not be quite right, but couldn’t tell if it was liberal chistianity(a religion other than true Christianity). What you have confirmed, rings true. The Nazarenes are transitioning to the one world religion and have saved me a lot of time that it would have taken me to figure this out, on my own. Thank you.

  70. Thank you for writing this blog. I was very concerned that my own non-denominational church has its pastors, nationally, attending Rick Warren conferences now. So we left. When I investigated I found out that ALL the denominations in our county and probably so cal and maybe nationally or internationally are infiltrated by this garbage. If you go to the websites for the national associations of every denomination and look up what their next pastors conference is you’ll see the speakers names. Look up the speakers names and you’ll get an idea who they are. Usually they are emergent. If you search their name online with Rick Warren’s or the word “emergent” you’ll get an even broader picture of how bad the problem has become. I narrowed it down to probably really only the Presbyterians that are more conservative, and maybe some of the more fundamental independent King James only Baptist churches, and those affiliated with John MacArther are the least likely to be associating with anything emergent or purpose driven.

    Also, if you go to the individual website of the church and it has rock and roll worship or a book centered Bible Study, rather than a Bible centered Bible Study, or a “journaling” dialogue study, chances are the church is emergent or “purpose driven.”

    After much research our family concluded that this is all globalist designed as is the Chrislam movement Rick Warren signed on with. The idea of the globalists, as they rid nations of their sovereignty, is to make the church one world religion. That is why the Catholic Pope recently said Atheists can go to heaven, even if they don’t receive Jesus, as long as they do good works and he also re-established the old “Protestant Christians are Anathema” stand they used to take after the reformation. The globalists want the one world religion to be made up of fake protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Atheists, and all the cults, while the real Christians have to go underground to fellowship. But all of this is a fulfillment of prophecy. So while it is disturbing, we ought to be grateful God has enlightened us to see it clearly, for many of the brethren are entangled in all of this. Which is why I looked this blog up.

    My sister and her husband have been attending Assemblies of God and now attend a church of Nazarene. My sister has a twisted theology that discerning someone probably does not know Christ, and witnessing to them, and praying for them is being “judgmental.” She also implied I was judgmental and “unsupportive” because I refused to attend the same sex wedding of our brother. Her religious views are not by any stretch of the imagination lining up with the Christian orthodoxy believers have known for the last 2,000 years. Pretty weird, and now I see why.

  71. Scott,
    I am glad my information saved you some heartache. I pray you will be in a sound Bible believing church.
    we are now in rescue mode, and have resigned to the fact that the COTN is beyond repair. We are now committed to warning others and helping them transition.

  72. Oh please I just heard about the changes of removing the theme`Holiness unto the Lord,allowing pastors to ordain gay marriages among others today at church and it saddens me greatly.I am a second generation Nazarene and am quite disheartened and confused right now.I pray that the Holy Spirit will open our leader eyes to this.
    Amen

  73. Hi Manny,

    Firstly, I feel I should confess I had never heard of the Nazarene denomination until recently (perhaps I had just heard it referred to as the ‘holiness movement’?). My apologies. :-) What a blessing to find your site. I have now linked it to mine as a resource for others to access.

    I am adding my ‘Aussie’ voice here (sorry, I don’t say “g’day mate”) to testify that the grave concerns you have about false teachings and ungodly practices poisoning your denomination (and the broader corruption of the visible church). Your concerns are well founded, grounded in a solid understanding of the Scriptures, and relate to the whole of the Body of Christ. I see the same doctrinal corruption happening at breakneck speed here in Australia (and around the world), in every denomination. Praise the Lord for providing us with faithful servants such as yourself, who risk reputation and relationships to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and warn others of the deception in the church.

    There certainly is great evidence of the Lord’s powerful and transforming work in the world. Through my research I have seen unity in the Gospel, godly preachers and churches, courageous faith and genuine revival happening in some of the most unlikely places in the world. Christians are using the internet to encourage, warn and share God’s word with each other. It is exciting to see the one true Holy Spirit at work in the lives of believers all over the world, and to see our Saviour drawing his elect to himself.

    Having said that, what I have also found is exactly what your blog addresses. The poison of false doctrine is spreading through all denominations across the world. It is this deadly syncretism of the many different false religions that is causing disunity, not the remnant of faithful believers in each denomination dogmatically holding tightly to God’s truth and the defending the inerrancy of Scripture. Sadly many believers (myself included) are like the ancient Israelites…we have tasted from the banquet of false religions (humanistic psychology was one of mine) and have almost been destroyed by our spiritual adultery. It is time to return to our first love, exclusively and with a great desire to honour the great and glorious name of the Almighty God in every aspect of our lives.

    When I look at the denominational mix of pastors, teachers, authors and watchmen I have learned so much from, I am regularly compelled to boldly proclaim the unity that is found in the Gospel of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It has been wonderful to find unity in the gospel with true believers across all denominations, contrary to the false cries of a ‘spirit of denominationalism’ we hear so often. Yet again, God’s truth trumps man’s delusions. Unity in Christ is a reality, so for those who are not experiencing it, I urge you to look at the teachings in your church and compare them to the Scriptures. I have witnessed a great deal of unity where the Gospel message has remained pure! Not perfect, by any means, but beautiful to behold none the less.

    May the Lord keep you on his narrow path. Blessings to you, dear Nazarene brother-in-Christ. Sherryn

  74. God bless you, Sherryn. Appreciate the words. I saw your blog and I appreciate knowing some folks are fighting false teachings and exposing the works of darkness in Australia!

  75. I have not heard yet of actual ordination of gay marriages- but I do know of pastors who are okay with attending gay marriages. However, we are moving towards all that, in my opinion.

  76. In doing a search for something else, I ran across this blog. I haven’t read through all the comments, but, fwiw, Karl Giberson claims he was forced out of ENC and no longer teaches there. He sounds bitter about it and many other things as well. His postings on Facebook lead me to understand that he takes a rather liberal view of life. I knew Karl at ENC when we were both students, and I’m afraid that I don’t really see any change in him over the years. That being said, I don’t know the circumstances behind his removal or when it happened, but it must have been within the last few years based upon your blog posting date. Yes, there is a great disturbance in the force, so to speak, and we must be vigilant to ensure that our own churches do not get infected. I’m afraid that contemplative spirituality seems to be a growing rage, and I believe Beth Moore is a practitioner. More’s the pity – she has a large following. We live in dire times. Get solid in the word and find like minds. This ain’t over until God says it is. Cheers and blessings.

  77. I came to this web site while googling “whats wrong with the nazerene church” i have relatives in the church openly talking about attending “mysticism”seminars..have you heard of the John crowder school?thanks.

  78. Yes I have. Pretty bad stuff. I don’t know if any Nazarenes are promoting attending his events. There are plenty other bad influences however- such as Bill Johnson, who has been working with churches in Ohio area and others as well, with his Fire tunnels and other strange things.

    Mysticism in various forms has taken over the Nazarene denomination for sure, with the blessing of the highest in leadership.

  79. Hello. I am a Nazarene. I have just returned from the mission field along with my family after serving (volunteering) for 8 years. Every week since we’ve been back, I head to church out of duty, not out of truly wanting to be there. Our daughter does not want to be in youth group and is content if there is something that keeps her from being there. We have always thought that the church was lacking something, but after being away, sense and feel it more so. We are concerned. Our older children were part of the new changes within the youth department (years ago) when Barefoot Student Ministries began. I now want to address this with them and get to the bottom of the teachings they may or (hopefully) may not have been under. I haven’t even finished reading all of your blog. I am in tears, but now perhaps understand why we are feeling what we are at our church.

  80. Thank you for your thoughts, Rudy. Barefoot Ministries is one of the most toxic programs in the Nazarene church, lead mainly by Mike King, a professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary. There are various under that category here on the blog if you want to research that. King and his friends at Barefoot have caused great damage to the church, with their promotion of contemplative spirituality. He is a main organizer of the paganistic festival called WildGoose Festival. Thank you for your concern and desire to help your children see the truth.

    If I can help in any way feel free to contact me at MannyRSilva@hotmail.com. Our Facebook group, Concerned Nazarenes, is also a good resource for information and support for many Nazarenes who feel as you do.

    Blessings.

    Manny

  81. My husband, myself and our children joined a Nazarene church a couple of years ago. At that time the church was in transition, and a new pastor took over. These were the most loving and accepting people I had known. It’s a long story but they showed us so much love. I was diagnosed with cancer a few months after joining the church, and my first strange feeling was when the pastor tried to discourage me from believing in the healing I had received from Christ Jesus. My husband and children loved the church so much that I agreed to disagree and claim my healing while continuing to attend the church. They were all so supportive and loving until after I finished my chemo and was told I may have a brain tumor. Then I got closer to my Savior and started seeing the truth. Even though I hadn’t shared my doubts about the church, they all seemed to look at me differently, and I felt out of place. I received healing again from Christ. My husband and I started having problems in our marriage and a lot seemed to stem from the church. The new assistant pastor started preaching “my way or the highway” , and then changed again to “we love everyone until they are better”. But, I believe now he meant “until they align their beliefs up with mine”.. He was very double minded. My husband and I had a problem with another member , and we were told to come to the pastor if this problem continued. It did continue and we did go to the Pastor’s. After that meeting the assistant pastor had a sermon basically kicking me out of the church. I had done nothing, but be grateful for what they had all done for me. The difference was I had gotten into the Word , and was seeing things through a new light, the light of Christ. My husband and I had prayed that God show us something prior to that sermon. My husband prayed God slap us in the face with what we should do, and if you could’ve heard that sermon you’d agree we got slapped. I love so many people there. Only one member has even slightly reached out to us since we haven’t been back. We now believe God was getting us out of there. I had no clue about this change happening , but I believe God gave me a discernment about the happenings. My husband and I have joked that this all felt like we were in the twilight zone because the people that we believed we righteous and loved us seemed to have turned out to be walking in darkness. Wow.

  82. I was brought up in a Holiness Church and believe in second blessing Holiness..My Mother attended the Pilgrim Holiness Church is where I first Learned about Jesus ut actually gave My life to him on the Deck of a Navy Destroyer some where in the South Pacific Got married and Joined the Maywood Church of the Nazarene in Southern California ..I accidently came upon this blog but was aware of the serious problems we have in our church from Rev David J Felter former Editor of Holiness today .I stay in touch With Stephen Manley who has a cross style minnestry out of Lebanon ,Tn.Have moved to Lebanon <Mo and still trying to find a church that is holding true to the scripture .The Rick Warren stuff is every where we are hungry for Holiness
    teachings and a walk with Jesus style of living.The Adam Hamilton influence is very heavy in the Methodist Church and His "Shades Of grey .The Nazarene Church in Lebanon went through a split and a large number of their members left and started thir own independent Church.

  83. I am concerned too prayerfully –
    I am a converted Nazarene since 1970 and I still cherish its solid teaching of the Word of God etc. all these years and continue thanking my Lord and Saviour from time to time for changing my life totally within the Church of the Nazarene.
    I came across this site by accident but I knew this problem already about the other movement when I was in the General Assembly 2009. I came back to Australia and started sharing this with my congregation and encouraged them to remain faithful in the Lord, be watchful and be prepared prayerfully, for any false teaching that is now in the church – the church I (we) love so dearly since I became a child of God through its true-touching message (passed by the missionaries who came to our little isolated island – Samoa).
    My faith in God is not shaken though tears sometimes before the Lord concerning what is happening …. but dear friends in Christ, no doubt we are all Christians knowing the Will of God for our lives … and understand that this denomination is not ours – it belongs to God’s universal Church. friends you are not alone with your concerns but continued in prayer and let God be God in this whole problem is our victory with our Risen- Living Lord. His Word speaks louder in our hearts: But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (1 John 4:4) &. “Romans 8:35 -

    35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    36Just as it is written,
    “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
    WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”

    37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    Friends, The truth is that – we are not easily shaken nor leaving the denomination I first saw the light in the loving-holy Eyes of my Risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, but am continued to be partnered with you all in prayers for our those who are led astray … so that our Wise Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus will cease their disturbed and misleading teachings etc. then turn and melt their hearts once again back to where they started with GOD HIMSELF …

    Prayer & Blessings

    Tali

  84. Dear Tali,
    Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging words, the Scriptures which so wonderfully give us hope in the middle of all the apostasy. May God bless you and your church and continue to give you protection from the evil one. I have sent materials and DVDs to other brothers and sisters in Australia, and if you need to have some to pass out to folks and warn and educate people, please let me know at my email address. (mannyrsilva@hotmail.com)
    We were also at general Assembly 2009 where we passed out over 6,000 DVDs to warn the believers. Our work continues, and we now have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/concernednazarenes/) where we connect to help each other, and encourage each other. Feel free to join if you wish.

    Blessings,

    Manny Silva

  85. Our church is getting ready to remodel our sanctuary from what I understand they are taking perfectly good pews out and replacing them with chairs. They are also turning it into a church in the round. There seems to be no reason for this other than to modernize or to make it more contemporary. We already have 90% contemporary music which no body knows the lyrics to. Oh and we are introducing a new form of service called “UNFILTERED WORSHIP” on Saturdays , please inform me on what in the world is UNFILTERED WORSHIP?

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