Resolutions For Watering Down Nazarene Doctrine At The General Assembly

In my last post, I covered what looks to be a troubling situation coming out of the Nazarene church leadership in Holland.  https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/sodom-and-gomorrah-and-the-church-of-the-nazarene-in-holland-is-there-any-difference/

A pastor admitting to blessing same sex relations, the belief that homosexuality is not a sin, and the intent by the Holland leadership to make serious changes at the General Assembly have been exposed. The five papers they have produced over the last several years clearly indicate the advancement of a position on homosexuality that is contradictory to Biblical teaching.  I hope to have all five documents translated for your review before the end of the General Assembly.  You will be able to make your own conclusions as to the direction of the Holland Nazarene churches, and what they plan to try to impose on the rest of the denomination.  (Document #1 (“Starting Over”) is available here as I have completed that translation.  I have highlighted some phrases in red for emphasis).  PART 1 Holland Nazarene paper_Starting Over

There are also a few troubling resolutions to the Nazarene Manual which, if passed, will further weaken the Church of the Nazarene and bring it a step further towards full acceptance of homosexual relations as being in line with Christian doctrine and the erosion of other doctrines.  One of them is from Holland, and another is from the New England District.  Both are very similar, and both are attempts to create a further gray area in the statement on human sexuality.  It is not so surprising from Holland, given the state of moral decline overall in that nation.  But apparently, the leadership of the New England District, and those who voted for this resolution’s submission, are aligned closely with Holland’s attitude towards homosexuality, and are determined to water down Scriptural authority.  New England has often been called a “dark place”, and this is further evidence of the lack of discernment in this district.

Holland’s Resolution
CA-701a

In Resolution CA-701a, the Holland District proposes to strike two paragraphs:

[Sexuality misses its purpose when treated as an end in itself or when cheapened by using another person to satisfy pornographic and perverted sexual interests. We view all forms of sexual intimacy that occur outside the covenant of heterosexual marriage as sinful distortions of the holiness and beauty God intended for it.

 [Homosexuality is one means by which human sexuality is perverted. We recognize the depth of the perversion that leads to homosexual acts but affirm the biblical position that such acts are sinful and subject to the wrath of God. We believe the grace of God sufficient to overcome the practice of homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). We deplore any action or statement that would seem to imply compatibility between Christian morality and the practice of homosexuality. We urge clear preaching and teaching concerning Bible standards of sexual morality.]

Their reasoning is similar to the New England District’s reasoning, plus some added excuses.  They say that “the complexity of homosexuality and the tension it causes in churches deserves more and careful attention than a concluding paragraph in a section article on human sexuality.”  This is all an attempt to water down biblical doctrine, and reflects their approach and false teaching in their five documents that are available on their websites.  It is clear that the Holland Nazarene District’s goal is to be allowed to have full acceptance of practicing homosexuals into the church.  I am afraid many of them are already in full acceptance, and if so, they all need to leave the denomination if they refuse to repent.  If this watering down resolution passes, it will be further evidence of the moral decline in the Church of the Nazarene.

New England District’s Watering Down
CA-701b

In Resolution CA-701b, the New England District proposes to strike one paragraph:

[Homosexuality is one means by which human sexuality is perverted. We recognize the depth of the perversion that leads to homosexual acts but affirm the biblical position that such acts are sinful and subject to the wrath of God. We believe the grace of God sufficient to overcome the practice of homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). We deplore any action or statement that would seem to imply compatibility between Christian morality and the practice of homosexuality. We urge clear preaching and teaching concerning Bible standards of sexual morality.]

Their reasoning is that it adds nothing to the previous passages in the current statement on human sexuality.  And yet, in an era where homosexuality is praised and accepted in so many church denominations today, one would think that a clear statement such as this is absolutely necessary to remain!  This is nothing but politics, and is a capitulation to the radical homosexuality movement.  It would be a grave error to water down any further the Nazarene statement. Instead, it ought to be reinforced and made as clear as possible where the church stands on homosexuality.  This proposal is weak, cowardly, and lacking in wisdom.

I don’t know if the two districts have collaborated on these resolutions, but they are almost certainly kindred spirits in their intent.  It has been an embarrassment to see the New England District in decline the last 10 years, and to see a district leadership weak and non-responsive to those members who have expressed concerns over the years.  Instead, church leaders are themselves promoting ungodly stances on serious doctrinal matters.  It is an indication that they are being very compliant with the goals of the radicals in the church, who have been promoting a changing view of biblical sexuality, which is in error.

Other Resolutions

Sanctity of Human Life: In Resolution CA-714, The Mid-Atlantic District is proposing the deletion of an entire statement on the sanctity of human life, replacing with a new version.  Reading it carefully, this resolution seems to be another attempt to water down the seriousness of the issue, and allow for a more liberal gray area regarding abortion.  I believe this is also a tragic mistake and another capitulation to those who are in favor of abortion.  You can make your own judgment on this as you read the resolution.
CA-714

Creation:
CA-719
In Resolution CA-719, the North Arkansas District is proposing that t be amended to include this critical statement:

“We are open to scientific explanations on the nature of creation”

This statement opens the door completely to allow the ungodly view that evolution is a mechanism that God used to create Adam and Eve, and everything else in the universe.  This again is an error that should not be allowed to be inserted, although the acceptance of evolution by prominent theologians and pastors in the Church of the Nazarene has been well accepted throughout the denomination.  It is truly sad when church leaders cannot accept the clear historical account of creation, because they themselves cannot understand everything fully.  Thus they turn to their own imaginations and rationale, all of which is based on a lie from Satan.

This is all tragic for the Church of the Nazarene.  It is encouraging that the Southwest Indiana District has submitted a resolution that strengthens the statement on marriage, and there are several other strong resolutions. But these that I have mentioned will further weaken the church, and bring it even closer in line with the other denominations that have fallen into apostasy.

Sodom And Gomorrah, And The Church of the Nazarene in Holland: Is There Any Difference?

Surely it is the case that any church denomination that goes astray, falls into apostasy and away from biblical truth, that as they believe that they are walking in the light and growing spiritually, they are actually walking into ever-growing darkness.  I have written almost 400 articles on my blog since 2009, warning the Church of the Nazarene and its leaders about its falling away from biblical truth, and the voices of many Nazarenes including myself have fallen on deaf ears it seems. The response from leaders was either to ignore us, or respond with answers that reflect an “everything is okay” attitude.  But it is not okay, and this post could be the most significant one yet that shows the end result of years of church error and compromise.

What would you say if an active Nazarene pastor said to you: “I myself have blessed some homosexual marriages?”

This statement is from an email exchange between a concerned Christian and a pastor in seeking clarification on the church’s position on homosexuality. The email reflects the same thinking that comes from leaders in the Holland churches as written in five official documents they have written publicly, so the problem is far beyond one person.  I commend this Christian for alerting me to this escalating problem in the church. He is not a Nazarene, but had been looking into the Church of the Nazarene’s doctrine. He found it to be biblically sound on paper, but found it very short of the mark in practice. Understandably, he has no interest in attending or joining a Nazarene church, yet his concern for the welfare of the believers is what motivated him to alert me.

At the end of this post is the entire email exchange as translated from Dutch (albeit imperfectly), and then the original email in the Dutch language. The implications of the email conversation go far beyond the theology of one or two individual pastors.  Instead, it reflects the theological shift of a significant group of churches that goes away from the official Nazarene stance on homosexuality. Names were changed to both protect the concerned Christian, and to keep this from being about one pastor, rather than about an entire church district.  However, I have sent a separate email to the General Superintendents (see below) with the name of this pastor and those connected with him, so they will know who to speak with about this violation of biblical and Nazarene Church standards.  One would think that the church leaders would address this issue with any Nazarene pastor or district that is going against church doctrine.

You might have thought that such a statement would come from within the presbyterian Church USA, or from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, or the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, Reformed Judaism, or the Quakers. (All these denominations sanction same sex unions or marriages).  Instead, this statement came directly from the pastor of a Church of the Nazarene in Holland.  This pastor is an influential leader in the Holland Nazarene district.  What is also disturbing is that this earthquake-like theological shift has been building since at least 2005, as documented in five writings by the leaders in Holland.

Here is my summary, based on the email and the five major writings I obtained:

  1. A significant number of Nazarene churches in Holland accept and welcome homosexual relations as a normal Christian lifestyle.
  2. Same sex relationships are being blessed, just short of actual marriage ceremonies.
  3. A significant number of leaders of the Holland Nazarene churches reject the official Church of the Nazarene position on homosexuality.
  4. The leadership of the Holland churches warns their constituency about the official position of the General Church of the Nazarene regarding homosexuality.
  5. The leadership of the Holland churches intends to bring a major motion for change in the official position of the Church of the Nazarene as pertains to homosexuality.
  6. Pastor X states in the email that the leadership in the USA already are aware of their pro-gay theology.
  7. Pastor X denies in the email that his theology is pro-gay, but that denial is refuted by his own statement that he has blessed same sex relationships, and that homosexuality is not a sin.

Excerpts of Pastor X’s Statements:

  1. “I myself have blessed some homosexual marriages.”
  2. “I see homosexuality as a natural tendency; I see it as one of the biochemical defects that have affected the human system. It is not a chosen sin, as Wesley says.”
  3. “we warn our people about the theology of our American brothers.”
  4. “Personally, I am ashamed of the church in America.”
  5. “The church in the US has deviated from her Wesleyan heritage.”
  6. “Our district will make a motion on these issues in the Netherlands during the international meeting”


Is This The Coming Storm?

A few years ago I said that it was simply a matter of when, not if, the Church of the Nazarene would compromise beyond what it already has, and accept practicing homosexuals into the “big tent” of the church. My friend Lige Jeter wrote a post on my blog called “A Storm Coming:The Church of the Nazarene’s Steps Towards Embracing Homosexuality”, where he addressed the homosexuality problem. This may very well be that storm.

In seeing what was coming, we needed no prophetic vision, just common sense from what we saw happening in the denomination.  (I recall the last General Assembly, when after some debate and opposition to strengthening the official statement, the Assembly voted to postpone any changes for another four years on the homosexuality question.  This opposition was led by some very influential Nazarenes, including Dr. Dan Boone.  A few years ago, Dr. Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene College, allowed a militant pro-LGBT group to come onto the campus and promote their agenda.

So now we find what seems to be an entire group of Nazarene churches in Holland, embracing one of the most popular of social movements in the “Christian” community: acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle as perfectly normal and not a sin, contrary to Scripture’s plain teaching.  But not only embracing it, but most likely will be demanding that acceptance is across the board within the denomination.  Signs of that are evident in their General Assembly resolution number CA-701a.
CA-701a Netherlands

The question must also be asked: what do the General Superintendents know, when did they know it, and what have they done about it?  Pastor X stated that “they know in the U.S. that we have different opinions on this subject.”  If ‘they’ is the General Superintendents, then we have some really serious things to discuss.  If ‘they’ have known about this theological shift for several years, what have they done about it?  If ‘they’ have chosen to let this go on as it has been going on in Holland, what is their rationale for it?  These and more pointed questions must be answered by the leaders of the Church of the Nazarene, which is why I have also sent this to them.

Perhaps they will answer us fully at the coming General Assembly, and perhaps not. But this cannot be ignored, nor swept under the rug with excuses.  If they have been deliberately ignoring proper church discipline in dealing with an obvious violation of biblical standards, as well as the less-important Nazarene Manual, then their only recourse is to resign from any further responsibility as leaders of the Church of the Nazarene.  The current state of the church is this: it is weak and there is no real leadership. Let new leadership come in and start cleaning house, as a first step towards real revival in the church.  Otherwise, the Church of the Nazarene will irreversibly join the growing number of apostate churches that have thumbed their noses at God and said to Him, “not Your will, but mine.”

More to come regarding the five position papers written by the Holland Nazarene leadership. I encourage anyone who is concerned to write to the Generals.)

​Portuguese and S​panish versions of the article are attached.
Sodom and Gomorrah And Nazarenes- Spanish

Sodom and Gomorrah And Nazarenes- Portuguese

THE TRANSLATED EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN JOHN AND PASTOR X

March 7, 2017 18:56 (from John)

JOHN: Hello Ds. X.  Thank you for your response, I appreciate it enormously.  I downloaded the article about human sexuality from your website; there, your theology is stated in detail. It is clear that your theology agrees with a pro-gay theology.
My question to you is regarding someone whose sexual orientation is toward the same sex and may be baptized and member of the church:  is it true that you don’t consider their continuation of a homosexual relationship a sin? Ds. Y has already said a resounding “yes” that practicing homosexuals can be members.
PASTOR X:  Yes, that’s right. Our entire board has also emphasized this point recently. I, myself, have blessed some homosexual marriages.  However, I do not call it a marriage.

JOHN: Are there practicing homosexuals in your church that you know of?
PASTOR X:  Definitely, there are several. There is a homosexual couple that have been together for almost 50 years.

JOHN: Because those who are members of your church who are into a gay sexual relationship are not calling it a sin, it is clear to me that your church is preaching pro-gay theology. I read the articles on this issue and as evidence I downloaded them.
PASTOR X:  No, I do not hold to pro gay theology.

JOHN: Would you be able to tell me why the homosexual practices that go on in your church is not considered a sin? Just in a few words, please, I would like to hear it from you personally.
PASTOR X
: I see homosexuality as a natural tendency; I see it as one of the biochemical defects that have affected the human system. It is not a chosen sin, as Wesley says.

JOHN: In the meantime, I have contacted Nazarenes from America that warn us about your theology.
PASTOR X:
  Yes, we warn our people about the theology of our American brothers.

JOHN: Don’t you know that this is not in agreement with the official doctrine of the Nazarene church? To confirm this you only need to read the Manual.
PASTOR X:  They know in the US that we have different opinions on this subject. The Manual prohibits some things that we don’t have a problem with, such as drinking alcohol, going to the movies and dancing. Personally, I am ashamed of the church in America. For example, many Nazarenes have voted for Trump. The church in the US has deviated from her Wesleyan heritage, and (unfortunately) her unique message of Holiness.

Our district will make a motion on these issues in the Netherlands during the international meeting.

Blessings,
-End of email-

LETTER TO THE BOARD OF GENERAL SUPERINTENDENTS:

Dear General Superintendents,

I was forwarded an email several months ago that detailed a conversation between a man and a pastor of a Church of the Nazarene in Holland.  My post below reveals the conversation.  In my post to my blog and my email list, I have kept the pastor’s name out, mainly to keep him from being embarrassed publicly, and also because the issue involves more than just this pastor.

However, once you read the email, I believe you will be very concerned at what is going on with the Holland churches.  You certainly should be concerned with what this pastor, Ds. X of the church in _______ has admitted to the person he conversed with.  It would seem that proper church discipline ought to be conducted with him and any pastor in Holland who is disobeying church doctrine.

I have also obtained five major documents that various leaders in Holland have been writing since 2005, and it is clear after reading these documents that the Holland churches are pushing for acceptance of practicing homosexuals as full members of the church.  That has now been reinforced by the resolution they have submitted to the General Assembly.  That document, n spite of not going as far as I believed they would go, is essentially just the first step in achieving their goal.

I have been warning you, as have many other Nazarenes, of the apostasy that has gripped the denomination for the last eight years.  Countless Nazarenes have given up, and left their denomination.  Many have been forced out, for questioning the many false teachings that have infected the church.  And now, this revelation, although shocking, was expected.

I don’t know what it will take to wake up the church.  I don’t know what it will take to wake you up.  But I suggest you get on your knees and pray to Almighty God that he can give you the courage to seek His guidance.  Perhaps there is still time to right the ship, but it sure is getting further and further adrift into the most dangerous of waters.

What will you do?

Manny Silva
THE ORIGINAL DUTCH EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN JOHN AND Pastor X
(Black text = John;  Red text = Pastor X)

Op 7 mrt. 2017 om 18:56 heeft John <john@ > het volgende geschreven:

Hoi Ds. X,

Dank u voor uw bericht, waardeer ik enorm.

Ik heb de artikelen gedownload over menselijke sexualiteit van jullie website, hierin staat in detail jullie theologie.  In grote lijnen komt jullie theologie wel overeen met pro-gay theology.

Mijn vraag aan u: iemand die een sexuale geaardheid heeft tot dezelfde geslacht mag bij jullie gedoopt en lid worden, het klopt toch dat jullie zijn continuatie in een homosexuele relatie geen zonde noemt toch? Ds Y heeft al volmondig ‘ ja’ gezegd dat praktiserende homo’s lid Mogen worden.

>>> Ja, dat klopt. Onze hele bestuursraad heeft dit standpunt recent nog bekrachtigd. Ik heb zelf ook homohuwelijken ingezegend, hoewel ik het geen huwelijk noem.
Er zijn namelijk homo’s die praktiserend zijn in jullie kerk, dat zal u zelf het beste weten..

>>>Zeker, verschillende. Een homostel is al meer dan 50 jr bij elkaar.
De daad van homosex van hen die lid zijn en het geen zonde noemen, is naar mijn insziens pro-gay theology in de puurste zin, ik heb de artikelen gelezen over jullie standpunten. Als bewijs heb ik ze gedownload.

>>> Nee, toch niet. Ik herken mij niet in de pro gay positie….
Zou u mij persoonlijk hierop kunnen antwoorden waarom jullie dit geen zonde noemen van hen die met deze homosexuele praktijken doorgaan in jullie kerk? Gewoon in het kort alsjeblieft, ik zou het graag van u zelf willen horen.

>>> Ik zie homofilie, als aangeboren neiging, als een van de vele biochemische defecten die het menselijk systeem hebben aangetast. Geen gekozen zo nde dus, zoals Wesley zegt.

In de tussentijd heb ik al contact met Nazarenes uit Amerika die voor jullie theologie waarschuwen.

>>>Ja, wij waarschuwen mensen hier voor de theologie van onze amerikaanse broeders…
U weet toch ook wel dat het niet volgens de officiele doctrine behoort van Nazarene Church? Daarvoor hoeft u alleen maar de Manuel te lezen…

>>> Ze weten in de VS dat wij een andere mening hierover hebben. De manual veroordeelt wel meer dingen waar wij hier geen problemen mee hebben, zoals drinken van alcohol, bioscoopbezoek en dansen. Zelf schaam ik mij diep voor onze amerikaanse kerk. Vele nazareners hebben op Trump gestemd, bijv. De kerk in de VS is afgeweken van haar wesleyaanse erfenis, helaas, en haar unieke  heiligingsboodschap vergeten. Ons nederlansde district dient een motie overvdeze dingen in op de internationale vergadering.
Groet,

Zegen

 

Mystical Nonsense In The Church of the Nazarene

“Like lambs led to the slaughter, the people are being blinded by blind leaders.”

In the good old days, Nazarenes focused on bringing the Gospel to the Roman Catholics and introducing them to the real Jesus. My dad, a former Roman Catholic, used to travel on muleback through the mountains of Cape Verde, to preach the Gospel to Catholics. Now, the Church of the Nazarene is focused on incorporating the practices, rituals and traditions of a false religion, and calling them our brothers and sisters to boot! It’s quite amazing to watch.

One of the many cancers afflicting the Church of the Nazarene is the fascination with Roman Catholic and Eastern mysticism practices. The denomination is getting so wrapped up in feel good and legalistic ritualism at the expense of focusing on biblical preaching and teaching, that in a great number of churches now you might think you are at a Catholic mass. And yet at times, a Nazarene church will even go beyond what most Catholic churches are doing.

The College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe KS, as an example of many, is doing just that. Breath prayers are now the order of the day, and it is the norm at many Nazarene churches now. What are breath prayers, you may ask? They are simply a type of many kinds of contemplative mystical practices, or what is also called Christianized transcendental meditation. Below is their announcement on their site. Note the detailed instructions on the right as to when to inhale and exhale and then repeat a specific phrase.

college church breath rayer 2

Rick Warren popularized breath prayers, in his book Purpose Driven Life, a book that ought to be thrown in the garbage heap of false teaching. It is a book that, I confess, roped me in for a while, but by the grace of God, he opened my eyes to all this nonsense. It was a book that was used for small group study, and I was one of the leaders in these groups, and the more I read it, the more I realized something was not right. And one of the things he promotes in the book is breath prayers.

As explained at Lighthouse Trails Research:

Breath Prayers and Rick Warren

Are “breath prayers” a method by which we can become best friends with God? To direct people on a spiritual journey for 40 days, Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. The best selling book has impacted millions of persons. Some of Pastor Warren’s purpose involves his recommendations for “Becoming Best Friends with God.” The author shares six secrets to become God’s friends, one of which is practicing God’s presence by being in “constant conversation” with him. After quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (“pray without ceasing”), Warren asks how a Christian can practice unceasing prayer to which he answers, “One way is to use ‘breath prayers’ throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated in one breath.”

Then after providing ten examples of prayers, short biblical phrases that could work as breath prayers, Warren advises “Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart.” In this context Warren also cites the book of Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, who advocated experiencing the presence of God in the most menial of circumstances, by praying short conversational prayers throughout the day. The Roman Catholic practice of praying the rosary is also akin to breath prayers.

Though breath praying is not found in the Bible, advocates of the practice recommend repeating a short phrase, the phrase can be biblical, in prayer throughout the day. For example, in the parable of The Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus portrayed a tax collector who in repentance and humility, cried out, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'” Out of this The Desert Fathers, a monastic group in Egypt during 3rd and 4th centuries, created the “Kyrie Eleison” (“Lord have mercy.”) prayer which later became known as the “Jesus Prayer.” The prayer became a favorite of these fathers who later expanded it to be, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
(For the entire article, read here).

Breath prayers are not biblical. But this is what College Church is doing now, and I am sure, many others as well. At first, my thought was that “they don’t even try to hide this stuff anymore.” But then I realized that they probably are not trying to hide it, because they see nothing wrong with it! The pastors of this church are certainly deceived and lack biblical discernment, and when they introduce this kind of nonsense to the congregation, they propagate the deception to many sheep in the pews who also lack biblical discernment. Fortunately, there have been some who have escaped this church, which is a sad example of a denomination that is becoming more and more apostate.

Joining the apostasy bandwagon of all this nonsense are many other denominations and organizations. The United Methodist Church teaches that you can “re-energize your life with a new practice.”  They say that “breath prayers are another way to become more aware of God’s presence.” Guideposts, the Christian magazine, promotes breath prayers. Breath prayers are just part of the Roman Catholic and contemplative spirituality practices that have swept the Nazarene denomination and most other mainline denominations. Prayer labyrinths, prayer stations, ashes to the forehead and the observance of Lent, the “Eucharist”, and practicing the silence are all part of the “Roman Catholization” of the Church of the Nazarene.

It is obvious that mysticism and Roman Catholic practices are acceptable to most of the denomination now, and certainly its leaders have no problem with it. There is a retreat planned just before General Assembly, to be held at a Roman Catholic site, the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center, and that is no coincidence. These types of retreats have been going on for years. This center promotes the use of “spiritual directors.” Doug Hardy, a “spiritual director” who teaches at Nazarene Theological Seminary, is also part of this retreat, and you can be assured he will promote his spiritual direction foolishness at this event, and the sheep will eat it up. No one seems to care one bit that Doug Hardy is one of the leading promoters of contemplative mysticism in the world, and yet he indoctrinates future Nazarene pastors at the seminary with this nonsense.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, the people are being blinded by blind leaders. This is nothing new. It has been going on for years, and part of the blame falls right in the laps of the General Superintendents, who have totally abdicated any responsibility as the designated spiritual leaders of the denomination. But it’s not too late to repent from their dereliction of duty. And perhaps it’s not too late for the Nazarenes to bring the church back from the precipice of apostasy.

Appointment Of A New President at ENC: Symptom of A Major Problem In The Nazarene Church

Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University, was recently selected as the new president of Eastern Nazarene College, which is also being discussed as a possible merger with Trevecca. He will step in sometime after Dr. Corlis McGee leaves her current position later in the summer. The “leaders” of the denomination are cheering, no doubt. They have always been complicit, or at the very least willfully ignorant, with everything that has been destroying the Nazarene denomination spiritually.

I am not surprised at this choice. Dr. Boone and Dr. McGee share some views that make this selection understandable. To many of us who have voiced our concerns about the denomination for years, it further indicates full steam ahead towards a practical marriage between Nazarenes and Roman Catholics. The only major item that will be missing soon is to have pope Francis as the keynote speaker at a future General Assembly. And why not? The prayer stations are already in place, the Roman Catholic practice of Lent and ashes to the forehead is everywhere, and the Roman Catholic retreat is scheduled for a pre-Assembly event this summer.

If you believe in the Bible- truly believe in it, not just parts of it as Dan Boone does- then I could not warn you any more than I do now. You are placing your child in danger by sending them to Eastern Nazarene College, and frankly, there is hardly a Nazarene college now that has a strong biblical foundation anymore.

So here is why Dr. Boone’s appointment bodes very badly, especially for those who have children of college age.

Ecumenicists Promoting Roman Catholicism

Dr. Boone and Dr. McGee are both ecumenicists. Dr. McGee has expressed to me in a past meeting with her and the ENC provost that Roman Catholics are our brothers and sisters in Christ. On the ENC website, you will find Roman Catholic churches on the list of available churches to attend in the community. In the ENC bookstore (last time I visited), you would also find Roman Catholic related books, including a Roman Catholic bible, along with many books by authors that promote an ecumenical belief system.

Dr. Boone, as Trevecca president, has long promoted yearly trips for students to the Gethsemani Monastery in Kentucky, a site that was the spiritual home of the Roman Catholic mystic, Thomas Merton. Here at this retreat, students from ENC have the opportunity to “practice the silence”, which is nothing more than Catholic mysticism that has no roots in biblical teaching. The “spiritual discipline” of silence is a doctrine of demons. This retreat is scheduled for this year again: https://www.trevecca.edu/community-life/faith-service/spiritual-formation-retreat

Dr. Boone also has promoted the use of prayer labyrinths, and has had one there for years at Trevecca. After I exposed this more fully, he made excuses about it, and later re-named the labyrinth and called it something else. It is not just Trevecca doing this: https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/labyrinths-prayer-stations-yoga-in-the-nazarene-church/

An Uneasy Accommodation To The LGBT Community

At Eastern Nazarene College, an LGBT support group was allowed to be established at Munro Hall. I sent a letter to Dr. McGee wondering how Bertha Munro would have felt, knowing an LGBT group was meeting in a building named in her honor. I received a reply their from former chaplain, with an excuse that the school does not necessarily sponsor the group, which was a lame excuse because all they had to do was say no to a group whose basic premise goes against Biblical values. And this same chaplain spoke in a chapel service several years ago, all but promoting a relaxation of biblical standards regarding homosexuality.

For Dr. Boone, all those things at ENC fit right in with his track record. He is known for accommodating the LGBT agenda at Trevecca, having allowed an extreme LGBT group to come on campus to have “a dialog.” https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-response-to-dan-boones-report-on-soulforce/

And lest we forget, at the last General Assembly, Dr. Boone was one of those most instrumental in arguing for postponing an attempt to strengthen the Church statement on homosexuality. It will be interesting to see what the arguments for this will be this year. I working on evidence that indicates that the denomination is in for a very difficult time regarding the homosexuality issue, which will lead to further division in the Church.

Hostility Towards Bible Believers

Dr. Boone has an utter disdain for Bible believing Christians, as shown in this article I wrote a few years ago. He has compared Bible Believing Christians to Islamic fundamentalists. He says that our appetites have been whetted “by religious blood in the water.” (https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/dan-boone-goes-after-bible-believers-again/)

Promoting False Teachers

Dr. Boone is certainly no Bible traditionalist. He has very bad theology, he promotes false teachers, and he does not believe in the creation as told in Genesis. He was a prominent member of the group, Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, before it’s website suddenly closed down for no apparent reason. Until it closed down, folks like Dr. Boone were heartily endorsing the idea that God used evolution to create us. He was not alone in that group, and was joined by many well-respected pastors, professors and national leaders. Very frightening indeed.

In an older profile at Nazarene Theological Seminary, which is no longer posted, he said the following:

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

Dr. Boone promotes one of the leading teachers of contemplative mysticism, false teacher Richard Foster. As an example, Foster makes the amazing claim that non-believers can also practice the Christian spiritual disciplines: “We need not be well advanced in matters of theology to practice the Disciplines. Recent converts–for that matter people who have yet to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ–can and should practice them” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 2).

Dr. Boone has called Thomas Merton and Ignatius of Loyola spiritual giants.
Merton was not a spiritual giant- he was a monk who said that he was “deeply impregnated with Sufism” because he believed that Eastern mysticism was compatible with and could be incorporated into Christianity.  He placed Mary high on a level equal to Jesus, he prayed to many catholic saints.  He was influenced by Aldous Huxley, who found enlightenment through hallucinogenic drugs.

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

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

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

His philosophy seems to be, anyone who claims the name of Jesus, no matter their belief otherwise, will spend eternity with Christ. This is contrary to Jesus’s teaching, and indicates Dr. Boone’s dangerous and ignorant thinking as he misleads others.

A Symptom Of A Bigger Problem

I am sure Dan Boone is a nice guy. But how long will the denomination continue to tolerate nice guys who teach bad theology, who do not believe in the creation account in Scripture, and who promote Roman Catholic mysticism? Sadly, the appointment of Dan Boone is merely a symptom of a much bigger problem in the Church of the Nazarene. Dan Boone is not going anywhere else because I wrote this article. I have no illusions of that.

It is going to take a huge cataclysmic event of spiritually challenging proportions to generate any kind of major opposition to the apostasy in the church. By then it might be too late. Will people only wake up at the next General Assembly if some earth shattering amendment is made regarding homosexuality, the next frontier in the Church? Will same sex relations be blessed in the church? Is it happening already, and you just don’t know it? Will homosexual “Christians” be a part of the accepted conversation?

Or perhaps, most of the sheep in the pews will they continue on pretending that all is well in a holiness denomination that only mouths the words, but does not live them anymore.

Holiness is becoming heresy right before our eyes.

Additional Documentation:

Dan Boone’s Involvement with Promoting Evolution
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/nazarene-scholars-continue-to-undermine-belief-in-gods-word-with-evolutions-lie/

Dan Boone’s Dislike of Bible Believers
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/dan-boone-goes-after-bible-believers-again/

Dan Boone’s Involvement with SoulForce (LGBT advocates)
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-response-to-dan-boones-report-on-soulforce/

My Conversation with Dan Boone:
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/conversation-with-a-university-president/

A Charitable Discourse?
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/a-charitable-discourse-or-compromise/

Labyrinths and Prayer Stations
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/emergent-church-what-is-it/trevecca-labyrinth/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/labyrinths-prayer-stations-yoga-in-the-nazarene-church/

 

Christians Falling For “The Shack” Must Get Back To The Word Of God

I was warning Nazarenes and other Christians several years ago about The Shack. I passed out hundreds of copies of Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon, which is linked here. I watched in amazement as Dr. Josie Owens, a former District Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, recommended the novel as a great resource for pastors- at a District Assembly! I wonder to this day of any pastor at that assembly dared to confront her for her lack of discernment. I saw Sunday School teachers mindlessly quoting ideas from the book. Some would try to argue with me how this book is so, so good, and I marveled a their lack of biblical discernment.

Now, the novel will be in movie form. It is mind boggling the level of deception I have seen as a result of this book. I have read the book from start to finish, and it is compelling in many ways; it tugs at your heart and emotions. Yet, it is evil; I recognized it as evil; but why are so many Christians praising this book? Why are many saying it is better than the Bible? Why is there such a lack of discernment today?

I believe it is a direct result of a growing phenomenon, in which Christians are seeking to tickle their ears with whatever makes them feel good. Emotion is not necessarily bad, but when emotions take control of a Christian’s mind, while setting aside sound doctrine and biblical teaching, then that is a bad thing. And that is what is happening today. Many Christians go crazy over the latest “Christian” movie, not seeing the false teaching in it, and instead loving the “spirituality” and the “fuzzy, warn feelings it brings. They follow after their pastor’s recommendation for anything, without being like the Bereans, who themselves tested what the apostle Paul himself preached! They praise the music of the latest “Christian” artist, not testing the words of their songs or the doctrine of that popular artist.

1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

I am afraid that many of you out there who are singing the praises of The Shack; who are falling for every word your pastor may preach; who are jumping on the bandwagon of the latest “cool” Christian song; you are being deceived, and you need to get back to the word of God. It is the only thing that will keep you from apostasy, and from damaging your own Christian life. Heed the warnings. I know some of you who are friends who love The Shack. Will you heed the warnings?

Manny Silva

A Summary of Dr. Youssef’s 13 Heresies in The Shack:

  1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.

    Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

    2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.

    The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

    3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.

    Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

    4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.

    Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

    5. God will never judge people for their sins.

    The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

    6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.

    The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

    7. God submits to human wishes and choices.

    Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

    8. Justice will never take place because of love.

    The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

    9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.

    Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

    10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

    11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.

    Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

    12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.

    Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

    13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.

    The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read “We Preach Christ” (2 Timothy 3:16).

shack-deception

The Political Radicalization of the Church of the Nazarene

It’s been a while since a new post. All that has been posted is still in effect in the Church of the Nazarene. The denominational leaders continue to keep their heads in the sand as false teaching is abounding in the church. The seminaries continue to use material and resources that are written by Roman Catholics, mystics, and other false sources. A perceptible softening of views on homosexuality is evident in many churches. Yet, voices remain mostly silent. The church is learning very few lessons, and continues down the road to apostasy. But now we venture further into ill-advised decisions and pronouncements from the denomination’s General Superintendents.

These Generals have now spoken on the issue of President Trump’s directive for a temporary halt to immigration from seven countries that have been identified as dangerous, that are harboring or training terrorists that are bent on killing us. So, congratulations is in order! Their intended result seems to be to unite Christians and generate compassion, but they have succeeded in dividing and causing more rancor! They have managed to further divide a denomination which already has been divided for quite a while now.

What have they done now, you ask? They have decided, against what would be their better judgment, to turn yet again hard left on a political issue, instead of either keeping quiet about it, or at least remaining neutral. They chose NOT to remain neutral, nor to keep quiet as would have been the better option. They acted like they speak for all of us with the same view- and they DO NOT!

They have managed, in their statement, to give a hard slap in the face to many Nazarenes who are, like them, very concerned for the way this country has been going. Perhaps they assumed that we all will fall lock step with them. They are wrong, and they have made a terrible mistake in judgment-again.   Why did they give this statement? What was the motivation? Was it to gain favor in the world of the left, so they all can see how “compassionate and just” the Church of the Nazarene is? Was it to make sure the liberals of the world understand that the Nazarenes are not mean spirited or heartless?

Where was their concern over the last few years when Christians were being systematically wiped out by ISIS, and there was no effort by the Obama administration to help those refugees? Where were they, and where were their voices to demand that those refugees be helped at all? I don’t recall, do you? It seems to me a bit of hypocrisy here. Perhaps your calls for compassion should have started with the Christians who have been persecuted for years, and compassion for the safety of the people of our country.

We as Christians want everyone in the world to be as safe as possible, and to live a good life. But we also have a real concern for our families and our country first. These Generals don’t seem to understand at all that we are under a tremendous threat worldwide, that we don’t want to easily allow anyone to enter this country, because that person who slips through could very well be the next terrorist to kill dozens of our own people. They don’t get it, and instead they have made a statement that will bring great damage within the church.

The only way to fix this is for them to repent, apologize for putting out this very divisive statement, and turn their attention to what they have been neglecting for so long: false teachings in the church. Maybe then they will get some respect from me.

The following comment made by a long time Nazarene on their website post speaks for me, and probably many others:

“I’ve read your post with great interest and find myself baffled by this stand you have taken. This country has been marching toward disaster and Godlessness for the past 8 years at an accelerated pace. Finally we have a leader who wants to turn things around and go toward the right and this is the best you can do? Why couldn’t you come out and praise him for his support for Israel instead?
I see a great problem with welcoming all these people into this country without knowing much of anything about them. Have you and all these folks that are praising your stance forgotten 911? We can’t just let people into this country who want to destroy it. Our own liberal Americans are doing a fine job at that without any outside help. The church that I have been a member of for 67 years and the general superintendents who I hold in highest regard have disappointed me to the very core of my heart. I’m loving and compassionate and am all for “legal immigrants” coming into this country if they are truly seeking to be Americans and adapt American ways. I will say in conclusion, America, love it or leave it and America, love it or don’t come here in the first place and God bless America.”

 

Link to the Board of General Superintendent’s statement and comments:

http://www.nazarene.org/article/bgs-echoes-call-compassion-after-latest-refugee-rulings?fb_comment_id=1311335935599108_1312488622150506&comment_id=1311550485577653&reply_comment_id=1312488622150506#f2b3f2140d2a188

FULL STATEMENT HERE:

In light of recent executive orders issued in the United States and decisions by other world governments regarding the status of refugees, the Board of General Superintendents for the Church of the Nazarene urges governments everywhere to quickly put into place systems whereby eligible and legitimate refugees can find refuge and safety in our countries. Further, we urge the President of the United States, Congress, and other state departments to make this temporary order a matter of urgency so that the United States may continue to be known as a nation of compassion and hospitality to those who are oppressed, vulnerable, and marginalized.

We echo our statement from November 2015, when significant global immigration in many nations compelled us to speak clearly and biblically to this challenging topic, inviting all Nazarenes to express Christian love to immigrants who live among us:

The Hebrew word, gēr, and the Greek word, xenos, can be defined as “immigrant.”

 “If an immigrant dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The immigrant who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:33–34, NKJV). Our Lord quoted, “Love him as yourself,” as part of the Greatest Commandment!

Jesus said: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was an immigrant and you invited me in” (Matthew 25:35, NIV).

“Do not forget to show hospitality to immigrants, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels” (Hebrews 13:2, NIV).

While we recognize the complexity of immigration laws in various nations, the Board of General Superintendents calls on Nazarenes around the world:

  • To treat immigrants with love, respect, and mercy.
  • To participate sacrificially in local, national, and global compassionate ministry responses to assist refugees and immigrants.
  • To encourage their respective governments to approve equitable laws that will allow for family reunification, legal work permits for productive immigrants in the workforce, and pathways for undocumented immigrants to be able to obtain authorized immigrant status.
  • To follow the clear biblical mandate to love, welcome, assist, evangelize, and disciple the immigrants near us.

–Board of General Superintendents

Ravi, Please Do Not Go To Together 2016

I sent this letter to Ravi Zacharias today.  Please pray that he reverses his decision to speak at Together 2016.

 

Dear Ravi,

I have had great respect for you over the years. My small ministry is in apologetics and warning Christians about false teaching, and has included the use of many of your videos and writings as a resource.

Yet, I am greatly concerned that you have joined the lineup of speakers at the Together 2016 gathering at the National Mall this weekend. I sincerely urge you to pull out of this event before its too late. Although I am not a theologian or a pastor with the greatest grasp of Scripture, I do know that according to the Bible, this is not the kind of event that a Bible believing Christian would be attending. We are commanded clearly in Scripture to stay away from those who teach a false gospel- and this is exactly the kind of gathering it has become. Most troubling is the fact that Pope Francis, leader of the false religion of Roman Catholicism, has given his blessing to this event, and will be addressing the people remotely.

Also troubling is the great amount of music artists and speakers who have a history of compromise with, and promoting Roman Catholic ideas and even its mystical practices. Again, Scripture clearly teaches us to avoid such people, not fellowship with them.

Finally, there are clearly false teachers in this group who teach things that are outside of Scripture. There is Ann Voskamp, who claims to have intimate encounters with God, much of it with an erotic like twist to it. There is Mark Batterson, who wrote a book that basically promotes a form of Christian witchcraft. I could name others as well.

Your presence at this event will only lead to more confusion, and will further contribute to your loss of credibility among those who believe in the authority of Scripture, and who desire to obey rather than compromise God’s word. You made a mistake once before, when you attended and spoke at a Mormon assembly, failing to address to difference between the Mormon religion, and true Christianity. Please do not make the same mistake again, and heed the words of Scripture. If not, I am afraid you will be yet another once-solid apologist for Christ, and you will be known as an apologist for the coming one world religion.

I pray that you will repent of this decision, and that you will also call out this gathering for what it really is: a false unity consisting of people who are not being faithful to the real Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Eph. 5:11

Sincerely in Christ,

Manny Silva

Stand For Truth Ministries