How Progressives (Liberals) Revise History And Blame Biblical Christians For Ruining The Church of the Nazarene

“True unity is not reckless diversity in doctrine; true unity is unity in the Spirit, and unity in what God’s word says.”

Recently, a post was written by a pastor in the United Methodist Church, Ric Shewell, in which he decried what he sees as a sad situation in the Church of the Nazarene. Rev. Shewell is also a former Nazarene pastor, who left the denomination and says that he was driven out, although I do not know why, since he seems to fit in nicely with the current philosophy. He is also a major supporter of Tom Oord. Both denominations share a similar heritage, including the connection with John Wesley and his holiness message, and hence an understandable concern for a sister denomination. In his article, pastor Shewell laments that due to the intolerance of conservatives within the Nazarene denomination, it has led to the dismissal or demotion of such Nazarene notables as Dr. Oord, a professor at Northwest Nazarene University who rejects the Genesis account of creation and embraces evolution, who does not believe Adam and Eve existed, who teaches the heresy that God cannot know the future, and that God is not perfect and actually learns from His mistakes.

He gives other examples such as in 2007, when a college professor was dismissed for his views in favor of evolution; the dismissal of the Nazarene Publishing House president; and the demotion of a college chaplain for his views on wars based on Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. His point in using these examples is that the Church of the Nazarene is losing out in the area of diversity in thought and leadership. His conclusion is essentially this: that traditionalists (conservatives, or Bible-believers) are the ones to blame for a so-called uniformity of thought which is squeezing out the progressives and leading to a serious division in the church, and that soon the United Methodist Church will suffer the same fate if something is not done about it.

Pastor Shewell is correct in several ways. Yes, the Church of the Nazarene is being fractured, and uniformity of thought is being promoted heavily. Yes, there are many in the church today that are being intolerant of certain views and as a result are alienating those folks who have those views. (Intolerance is good in some instances, as in when faithfulness to God’s word demands intolerance of false teaching). What is totally incorrect in his conclusions is that he has it reversed, as to who is responsible for this so-called division and drive for uniformity of thought. It is clear from all the evidence over the last decade, that this “uniformity of thought” is being driven by the progressives, and it is clear also that they will not tolerate any thought or belief that opposes their views. By the way, those who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture also believe in uniformity of thought, as long as it is driven and supported by God’s word. True unity is not reckless diversity in doctrine; true unity is unity in the Spirit, and unity in what God’s word says. We will always accept that kind of uniformity of thought.

You can read his entire post here, as well as this post by my friend Dave Mosher which he wrote three years ago about the United Methodist pastor who hosts the website which posted Rev. Shewell’s article. In the meantime, here is my response to the article, with a few added thoughts to extend the comments on his view.

This idea that progressives are being kicked out by conservatives in the Church of the Nazarene is, with all due respect, nonsense! It is the other way around- and can be evidenced by the many biblical Nazarenes who have been forced to leave a denomination that is becoming more and more apostate as time goes by. It will soon be even more “progressive”, and eventually will embrace “homosexual Christians” as being part of the body of Christ. Is there any evidence of progressive persecution of traditional Christians in the church? Yes there is.

-The rejection of the divinely inspired word of God as actually being God’s word in full, is evidence also. This is the central source of the entire problem in any denomination that has strayed from the truth.

-The denial of ordination of a pastor in New England because he testified to his belief in the inerrancy of scripture is evidence.
-The revoking of a pastor’s credentials and throwing his family out of their parsonage for preaching against the evils of the emergent church movement is evidence.
-The embrace of Roman Catholics as “brothers and sisters” in Christ, notwithstanding the RCC’s heretical teachings, is evidence.
-The welcoming of contemplative mysticism into the church is evidence of its new progressivism.
-The emphasis on the social gospel or the environmental gospel taking on almost equal importance with the true Gospel.
-The shunning of traditional Nazarenes in their churches if they do not accept these new progressive ideas is evidence.
-The rejection of biblical inerrancy as written by a Holiness Today editor is evidence.
The absolute silence by the General Superintendents as all this nonsense is occurring is evidence.

There is much, much more evidence, and you can read it on my blog if you wish.

This is no longer the denomination of my father, who was a true holiness preacher/pastor and would have had his heart broken if he had known of what is going on now. My late father-in-law also was a Nazarene holiness preacher and pastor, and he testified to me of all these bizarre, unholy practices that the Nazarenes are bringing in with a total lack of discernment amongst district leaders and pastors.

These folks, like Tom Oord, are outlyers in this story. Apparently even he and a few others were just too much for those leaders who are normally very compromising in allowing just about any heretical practice in the church. Why? Who knows? Perhaps they went to such an extreme that even Nazarenes who don’t like to “rock the boat” were getting upset about these heretical views.

Perhaps this progressivism is to get as many people into the “tent” as possible. That is what they say, isn’t it? We have a big tent, they say, in the Church of the Nazarene, and we welcome “diverse views”. But heaven forbid if you believe in the literal Genesis account of creation, or if you believe in the inerrancy of scripture, or if you believe in evangelizing Catholics instead of pandering to them. Heaven forbid if you believe that it is wrong to pander to the LGBT crowd and their progressive agenda of full acceptance in the church. No, in that case, you are forced out, or told to get with the program and shut up.

In his article, Rev. Shewell says: “Maybe the UMC has gained an unpopular reputation for the fights we’re in, but we stay together, loving and serving for something greater than our differences.” Well, let’s see what that kind of thinking and “unity” has gotten the United Methodist Church over the years:

  • The UMC is not only a member of the radical World Council of Churches, but is its primary financial source.
  • UMC pastors constantly join hand in hand with Roman Catholics, Unitarians, other radical groups, and even interfaith groups (non-Christians). Clearly not a Wesleyan kind of worldview, and clearly opposite the view of the Methodist Articles of Faith developed by John Wesley.
  • A modernistic view of doctrine. Quote from the UMC Conference in 1976 frames the current UMC mindset: ““We do not believe … in rigid doctrinal concepts to hold us steady in a wavering world.”
  • At least 30 percent of UMC ministers do not believe Jesus Christ is God, and 82% say they do not believe the Bible is the perfect Word of God. As early as 1968 a widely publicized scientific survey by Jeffrey Hadden which was published by the Washington University showed that about 60% of the Methodist clergy did not believe in the virgin birth and at least 50% did not believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ.
  • The UMC, although officially against homosexuality as compatible with Christian teaching, is all over the map in this regard in practice. Homosexuals have been ordained in several states; and countless pastors and bishops have joined forces to proudly declare their support of same sex “marriage” and ordination of homosexuals.
  • The UMC has always been in support of abortion rights, calling for the legalization of abortion in 1972, and supporting the Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court.
    (source: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/denominations_today.html)

If Rev. Shewell feels comfortable with these positions (and others I have not mentioned), then perhaps he will someday return to the Church of the Nazarene, as it also is heading the way of the UMC and other apostate denominations. Although John Wesley himself is not the ultimate measure of what is right and wrong for a church, my comparisons to him are to point to the utter hypocrisy of these people who believe they are “Wesleyan” in doctrine. Most evident of their hypocrisy is that they reject the very testimony of John Wesley who believed in the full inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. But as most liberals tend to do, they don’t let the facts get in the way of their distortion of history and biblical truth.

So this blaming of Bible believing, conservative traditionalists for the woes of the Nazarene denomination is all nonsense. The Church of the Nazarene, of which I am still a member for now, has gone from holiness to heresy. And the progressives have led the way and still do. That is what is going on, although the deniers will continue to deny it, and will soon condemn people like me for speaking the truth and pointing out their hypocrisy.

Links:

Biblical Inerrancy:
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/inerrancy-and-wesleyanism/

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

Dave Mosher’s Commentary on Jeremy Smith:

https://davemosher.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/introducing-rev-jeremy-smith-a-heretical-postmodern-umc-blogger-hacking-christianity/

Ric Shewell’s article:

http://hackingchristianity.net/2015/04/the-nazarenes-are-running-off-their-progressives-is-the-umc-next.html

David Cloud’s article on Denominations:

http://www.wayoflife.org/database/denominations_today.html

 

 

 

 

God Cannot Know The Future: A Damnable Lie in The Nazarene Denomination

“God cannot know the future.”

This is Open Theism explained in it simplest terms.  In fact, a book on Open Theism just needs to have these five words in it, and no further explanation.  No need to spend additional wasted words in trying to explain this false idea.  Open Theism is a theological philosophy that at the end of the day contradicts what the Bible teaches. Scripture teaches that God is sovereign, that He knows what His plans are and He purposes to do all that He wishes.  Yet Open Theism continues to be an acceptable belief system that is allowed to be taught in all the Nazarene universities, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and the Bible college.  (It’s twin evil ideology is process theology, which teaches that God learns from his mistakes).

It would be very hard for a Nazarene pastor to openly tell this to his congregation, because Open Theism is a lie from the pit of hell.  If a pastor is possibly an open theist, ask him if he would be willing to speak plainly about this to his congregation, and to state that he believes these five simple words.  He probably would not be able to do it, at least without having some of his congregation walk out of the church in disgust.  My own former pastor believes in this lie, yet I do not believe that he would ever want to openly admit that to his congregation.  Who would dare preach a sermon called “God Cannot Know The Future?”

Thomas Oord has been for years the primary Nazarene spokesman for this damnable lie, yet the Church of the Nazarene is quite comfortable in letting him continue with his influence of many college students and others throughout the denomination.  It is no surprise, because many in leadership positions believe this lie too.  Oord is still is listed as Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University, although he is supposedly going to leave in a year or two.  He has written several books on the subject, and is considered one of the leading experts on Open Theism.

This is the same Tom Oord who disagreed with me that sin came into the world as a result of Adam’s sin.  This is the same Tom Oord who does not believe that Adam was a literally created human as described in Genesis.  He is the same Tom Oord who also believes that man came to existence through the process of evolution, another dammable lie which is sadly believed by many Nazarene theologians, college professors, and pastors today.

In his latest book, The Uncontrolling Love of God, Oord sums it up this way:

“Most people will say God is in control. I don’t think God is in control. I think God has uncontrolling love and that given the choice between saying God is in control or God is all-loving, which I think we end up having to do, I will go with all-loving. That’s going to make some people nervous, but the payoff, the benefits to that, in my mind, far exceed … the costs.”

In “his mind” Oord chooses to disregard such powerful testimony to God’s sovereign power and omniscience as the following:

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10 

“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11 

“The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.” Isaiah 14:24 

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:2

There is nothing that God does not know.  He would not be God if the opposite were true.  Nothing is out of God’s control, not a single thing.  If so, He would not be truly God, and we who are so insignificant would have little hope in Him.  Yet Tom Oord and others of his disbelieving kind choose to disregard the evidence in God’s word, and instead make the mistake of trying to explain everything that cannot be completely understood by his feeble mind.  They appeal to “academic freedom” as an excuse to teach anything they want, even if unscriptural.  It’s a mistake that many self-serving theologians make time and time again.

A Reasoned Response

The following partial quote is from the Facebook page of Fundamental Wesleyan Publishers.

“In my view, Open Theism has substituted the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God for a hybrid of Pelagianism and humanism; the end result makes man the prime actor and God merely the reactor; which in turn makes us God while making God secondary and subject to our will.

However, God can still be supreme love and supreme authority without any contradiction, because, as Scripture reveals, these are the two sides to His character. He is Holy love as defined by Scripture and not “love” as determined by human ideas about love.

Open Theism raises also the following questions: If God cannot know the future, was the atonement an afterthought? How does Open Theism understand Satan and the fallen angels in relation to God’s sovereignty? Is God also subject to the choices the devil makes as and when he makes them? If God is subject to our will, surely He must also be subject to the devil’s will. Does this situation not make God a victim of His own creation and of sin?

One of the most serious flaws in Open Theism is that it dispenses altogether with prevenient grace by elevating human freedom to the point of making us dictate to God; it relegates Him to a secondary player in His created universe and makes us our own God. None of which is anywhere close to what the NT defines as our faith; neither could this strange idea ever fly under the banner of “Wesleyanism.”

Open Theism has pushed the envelope of human freedom to the extent that it’s not possible to recognize in it a trace of “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.” This is because Open Theism is not “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints” and should therefore be rejected outright as an unvarnished attempt to substitute human ideas for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. Roy D Oosthuizen, an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in South Africa.​)​
END QUOTE

Conclusion

I do not know whether Rev. Oosthuizen agrees with everything I have written in exposing what is going on in the church.  But in this instance he has expressed a belief that Bible believing Nazarenes share, and that is that Open Theism is a theological viewpoint that has no place in the Church of the Nazarene or any other Christian denomination or independent church.

As I read from time to time the meaningless ramblings of the “learned ones” on NazNet, I see so many pastors who believe this lie, and so many pastors who do not believe that the Bible is God’s perfect word.  I see them as they verbally abuse those who would gently give their opinion that they do believe in all the Scriptures; that they do believe evolution is a false teaching and incompatible with Scripture; that they do believe Adam actually was real, as Scripture tells us plainly.

The beliefs of Tom Oord and his friends at Naznet are a microcosm of the disease that has spread through the Church of the Nazarene. These skeptics are no longer the exception. I see it all around.  I have heard it from the mouths of leaders from my New England District.  In the coming weeks and months, I will remind you of the compromising attitude among the leadership in the church that has led it to this point. I will continue to make the point that one the biggest factors in the failure of the Church of the Nazarene to maintain its holiness message, and its Bible-believing message, can be traced to the leadership failure at the top.  I will make the case that not a single one of the General Superintendents have stood up against the many false doctrines as well as the wolves that have infiltrated the church.  They have done nor said anything of substance.

Quoting a concerned friend and former Nazarene, Al, who wrote to me recently:

“Granted the “vocal headliners” of the emergent positions in the COTN seem to be in a quiet phase but they all are in the same positions of authority espousing their teachings and preachings.  I have no solutions, but I consider them to be comparable to terrorist sleeper cells – fermenting the students and laymen; today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.  I am appalled at the ignorance on these matters by the laity, the clergy, the church boards, the educational leaders and board members, the DSs and to even the GSs.  Where in the Bible does it teach discernment is to be shunned?   I am not talking a witch hunt, but this is the precise time for strong action to affirm to our theological leaders and those in charge from the top to the bottom that COTN’s Articles of Faith are to be embraced and those that are unable to enthusiastically agree need to be honest as a matter of personal integrity and quietly take appropriate action.  No more “soft” acceptance of and teaching of emergent theology or positions.”

Friends, Open Theism is just one of the many unbiblical teachings and practices plaguing the Church of the Nazarene today.  There is less holiness, and a lot more heresy now.  Unless something significant occurs to stem the tide, the day is coming when it will join the likes of the PCUSA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and many other apostate denominations.

It will then finally become as irrelevant as all the rest.

 

Pope Francis: The Evangelical’s Adulation of A False Religion’s Leader

Pope Francis has finally left, after a week long visit to the United States.  He is the so-called “vicar of Christ”, a title which gives him the same power and authority over the church that Christ has. This doctrine is clearly blasphemy.  But there is so much more about this man, and the false religion he represents. Those of us who know the real Gospel know better, but to those who are not walking in the light of God’s truth, his visit was a great blessing!  The praise of this man in all the media outlets, and from many evangelical leaders, was all consuming.  And also how sad to have noted some of my own Christian friends, who once knew better, expressing their admiration for a man and a religion that daily promotes a lie to many around the world.

We are told in Scripture that we are not to judge the world, but to judge those in the church.  And we are to judge righteously as well.  It is to those in the church who I wish to speak of, as we are commanded to do in Scripture.  The amazing display of adulation and respect shown this past week for the man most responsible for promoting the world’s most false, most wicked imitation of Christianity, is astonishing.  Yet, it ought to be no surprise to us, because it this spirit of ecumenicalism that has been unfolding for decades now in the evangelical church, amongst Protestants whose very founding was based on Martin Luther’s rejection of the false teachings of the church.

For years, the Church of the Nazarene and other evangelical denominations have been gradually embracing the Roman Catholic Church as an equal partner in faith.  The predominant refrain seems to be is that as long we all proclaim Christ as the Savior, all other differences can be overlooked.  (Should we accept Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses as authentic Christianity?)

But is this broad ecumenical view (as long as anyone proclaims Jesus as Savior) based on Scripture, or based on man’s desire for “unity?”  Does Roman Catholicism preach the same Gospel as we do in the Protestant tradition, or do they preach another gospel?  Why did the Reformation occur in the first place?  It was because Martin Luther saw that there were serious errors- heresies actually- that were being promulgated by the Roman church, and he tried as hard as he could to reform the church.  His nailing of the 95 Theses set the stage for a great change in the church, with a clean break being made from the Roman Catholic Church and the pope’s authority.  Have we forgotten history?  It seems many have now.

Here are the words of false evangelical pastor, Rick Warren:

“There’s still real differences—no doubt about that.  But the most important thing is, if you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”

And here is what TD Jakes, prosperity gospel preacher loved by many, said:

“A special thanks to President Obama for his VIP invitation to attend such a historical event.”

TD Jakes is on the record as believing that we have too much in common with Roman Catholicism to not work together.

And Joel Osteen, a motivational speaker who makes millions pretending to be a pastor, said the following:

“I like the pope. I like that he’s making the Catholic Church more open to bring people in and not exclude them.  He’s a man of the people. I like what he stands for: humility, reaching out to others and he’s not so formal that people can’t relate to him.”

Read some of the words of the general superintendent of the Wesleyan Church, Jo Anne Lyon, who received an invitation from President Obama to see the pope this week.

“The Wesleyan Church and the Roman Catholic Church differ in our doctrine but we worship the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

You can read the rest of her comments here: https://www.wesleyan.org/4164/welcoming-the-pope-to-america

I find it astounding that a leader of a Protestant denomination that emphasizes holiness would say such a thing.  This is a reflection of either complete and utter ignorance, or Dr. Lyon has sold out to the devil along with the others who have chosen to compromise biblical doctrine.  Does she not realize that we do not worship the same Jesus as the pope does, as she claims?  Does she not know that this “Jesus” of the Roman Catholic Church is a false jesus?  Does she also believe that we can go to heaven through our good works?  Or that the real body and blood of Jesus appears in every communion wafer and wine? Are these doctrines, and more, just minor differences?

Have these evangelicals ignored this command?

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

We have university presidents and ordained pastors talking about Roman Catholics as “our sisters and brothers in Christ.”  They promote retreats to Roman Catholic monasteries where they enthusiastically support contemplative mysticism.  There is even a Nazarene pastor prominently showing off a picture of himself taking confessional at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  We have theology professors like Mark Maddix of Northwest Nazarene University ignorantly promoting Roman Catholicism as being theologically sound.  Pastors have been routinely quoting Mother Teresa and Roman Catholic mystics now for years in their sermons.  And over at the NazNet website and Sacramental Nazarenes FaceBook page, as you read over and over the thoughts of pastors on these sites, you see a flippant and casual attitude towards all this.  You will not see a bit of condemnation of the heresies promoted by the false prophet known as pope Francis.

They are all buying into ecumenicalism.  The great compromise in the church will continue on and on, and will get worse.  The only faithful Christians remaining standing will be in small home churches, or independent churches who will stand firm and uphold the truth of God’s word, at any cost.

There are a few who are willing to speak out. Jordan Standridge, pastoral associate at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Virginia, wrote an article entitled “Why Evangelicals and Catholics Cannot Be Together.” He noted many problems coming from the 1995 “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” document.
(http://thecripplegate.com/why-evangelicals-and-catholics-cannot-be-together/)

 “Well-known evangelical pastors .. joined themselves with Catholic priests and philosophers in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries.  Now, he said, “The vast majority of Christians in America do not evangelize Catholics. Someone like me who has shed many tears over the deception of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as hateful.”

“I totally understand the desire to believe people are saved.  I also desperately want Roman Catholics to go to heaven, but we can’t let our desire for people to be saved or our desire to please men lead us to cheer them on as they run towards Hell. We must love them.”

For my friends who have been impressed with the pope, and believe his visit was a good thing, please consider my words.  Why do you believe that?  Can you give a solid biblical reason that Protestant Christians should unite with Rome?

Here is one good reason that we should not only have nothing to do with the pope and Rome’s teachings, but we should do our best to rescue as many as possible form the bondage of this false religion.  In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul gives us a very serious warning:

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-9)

The Roman Catholic Church preaches a false gospel.  That is reason enough to reject it, to refute it, and to lovingly witness to those are lost in bondage from this false religion.  My father was freed from that bondage as a young man in the Cape Verde Islands, and went on to become a holiness preacher and pastor.  My father in law also was freed from Romanism as a young man, and also became a holiness preacher.  It would break their hearts today to know that the pastors that are being sent out from the seminaries to shepherd new churches, are ignoring Paul’s admonition and holding hands with the purveyors of a false gospel.  Truly the last days are upon us.

FOR REFERENCE:

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/roman-catholic-beliefs-practices-biblical/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/what-i-saw-at-general-assembly-%E2%80%8Bfri%E2%80%8Bday-june-2-1%E2%80%8B/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/the-roman-catholicization-of-the-church-of-the-nazarene/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/evangelicals-continue-in-error-by-promoting-roman-catholicism/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/the-popes-word-or-gods-word-one-of-them-is-lying/

Some of the Reasons I Have Lost Interest in Being Involved with the Church of the Nazarene

The following account is a very accurate picture of the state of mind within the Church of the Nazarene today. All Christians should take warning.

Some of the Reasons I Have Lost Interest in Being Involved with the Church of the Nazarene

My story goes back several years where I saw things that troubled me.  Among the first was the time I was challenged in a Sunday school lesson I taught at Nashville First.  The topic was biblical creation and the challengers were an Old Testament professor at Trevecca Nazarene College and a biology professor at Middle Tennessee State University, both members of the class.  They took the evolutionism side.  No one in the Nazarene system seemed to be all that concerned about it.

There were other instances, such as the snickering comments about those old fashioned Nazarenes of years gone by, and a growing interest in things I felt biblically uncomfortable about.

The time came when I encountered something called Emergent Nazarenes and the current pastor was telling me privately that after the upcoming general assembly I would not recognize the Church of the Nazarene.

I began to search for answers and came across much more than I ever expected.  I found out that the denomination and its leadership, publishing house, and academic institutions had all but plunged headlong into the emergent heresies.  It was everywhere and openly promoted.  That plummet continues to this day.

When that pastor resigned, I implored our church board to diligently avoid calling an emergent pastor and gave them abundant examples of what to avoid.  My concerns and warnings were disregarded and they brought in a classic emergent who has led that church downward into the emergent abyss since.  Where once the church flourished in attendance, spirit, and finances it now is losing and diminishing in every instance.

I had moved on to a smaller Nazarene church before the new pastor arrived and found there a remnant of true believers.  As I looked about, however, I found that they were a rare example of old-fashioned Nazarenes, including their pastor.  Even smaller churches were taking the emergent plunge and the [Nazarene] Publishing House was getting worse until it finally closed under the cloud of shame of misconduct and mismanagement.  Its efforts at recovery are not going well.

Within a matter of months, if that long, the new pastor from Chicago had started the church in a different direction that incorporated postmodern/new age worship styles, Catholic copies, studies in heresy publications such as Rob Bell’s books.  Within two or three years he was promoting social justice activities for community “outreach” and more recently promoted “interpretative dancing” with the children in the sanctuary.  This all replaced the mourner’s bench activities.

Even at the small church we attended, there was an emergent associate pastor who was spewing his bile of false doctrine among good people.  He was arrogant and defiant when my wife and I faced him with it and I had decided to go elsewhere.  I had made up my mind that, at the end of a particular Sunday morning service, I would pack up my musical equipment, and go elsewhere.

However, the pastor announced his resignation and I felt I might remain through that interim period until another pastor was called, hoping he could lead the little church to better things.  The associate had to eventually be fired because he refused to resign as he was required to do when the senior pastor resigns.

I helped in the search and came up with the name of a man I was convinced would be very suitable.  The district superintendent would not allow him to be interviewed because he had been at odds with his current superintendent over the emergent issues and refused to send in his church’s budget payments because of the superintendent’s support for emergent errors.

The Tennessee superintendent had already stated to one of the members that if our church ever stopped supporting itself (paying its budgets) that he would put up a for-sale sign in a heartbeat.  The property is valued at two or more million dollars.

I kept up with the minister the superintendent would not allow us to interview.  He accepted a call to a church in a neighboring district and is doing well there.  He has a fine group of young people (what he had promised to do for us) and is active in district functions.  I suppose he is paying his budget there.  All he ever wanted was to be allowed to be a Nazarene pastor without having the emergent stuff shoved down his throat.

Nazarene ministers across the country and in other parts of the world are eagerly following after the emergent compromise in large numbers.  They discuss among themselves the merits of “creation evolutionism,” homosexual orientation, and question whether they ever got it right on the doctrine of entire sanctification.  Many are vitriolic towards other Nazarenes who openly express support for biblical inerrancy and complete inspiration of all parts of the Bible.  They demean those who dare to say that friendship with the world is enmity against God.  The laity is generally indifferent and compliant.

There is now a group across the denomination that calls itself Sacramental Nazarenes*.  They promote Catholic-inspired approaches to “worship” instead of the traditional Nazarene approaches.

The problem is compounded in that this spiritual sickness is an epidemic across the entire Wesleyan holiness movement.  Not one major Wesleyan holiness denomination is untouched by these heresies.  Not one major denominational school remains true to its holiness heritage.  Not one publishing house of those denominations is legitimately holiness anymore.

The so-called splinter groups may hold to the doctrine but they are rotted on the inside with legalism by going to the opposite extreme.

There is a remnant but they are difficult to find because they are so few and scattered.  Even those still within the backslidden denominations are subject to takeover by the heretics, so they must always be walking on eggs.

That leaves a lot of displaced Nazarenes—those who have had to leave for the sake of conscience or who have spoken up and been forced to leave their churches.  Some have gone to other denominations (themselves plagued with postmodern and emergent heresies) and, in some cases, a few come together in small groups.

That will work to a point but there will need to be leadership at some point.  Since Nazarene leadership has essentially jumped ship that means that holiness leadership has to come from among those groups.  It is the New Testament Church all over again.  Maybe that is a good thing.

​ *Members of Sacramental Nazarenes includes the president of the seminary, a former general Superintendent, and other leaders in the church.​

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/sacramental-nazarenes-blaspheming-the-lord-now

What Will happen Now That Same Sex Marriage Has Been Approved Nationwide?

One of the books in my fairly small library is written by the late Robert Bork, a former federal judge, lawyer and conservative scholar with a brilliant mind whose nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 was de-railed by the liberal left in his confirmation hearings. Having read many of his writings, I can see that if he had been appointed to the highest court, that we would have today one of the most outstanding constitutional minds ever to be on the Supreme Court. In his book called Slouching Towards Gomorrah, he offers us a view of a culture in decline; a nation whose very foundation is crumbling due to the serious moral crisis that it is going through. The will to resist the path that liberalism and egalitarianism is taking us is our only hope, according to an afterword he wrote in his last edition. How prophetic was he?

On Friday, June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, wrote more law, instead of performing their constitutional duty of interpreting the law and leaving such matters to the states. Never mind that they also ignored God’s natural law and decided to become the supreme arbiters of what is moral. Today, another step towards the eventual and complete moral destruction of the nation was taken. It also is a further step closer to God’s judgment on this country. The decision declares that homosexuals are free to “marry” in any of the 50 states, including the 14 which now forbid homosexual marriage. This result was not surprising. I am certain Robert Bork would never have voted yes for this ruling.

Also not surprising was a statement by the professing Christian president of the United States, Barack Obama, who said in an eight minute speech that this decision “will strengthen all our communities” and “is a victory for America.” This is the same Obama whose belief (while running for office) was that he believed that marriage was strictly between a man and a woman. This man who professes to be a Christian, has now once again rejected God’s law in favor of man’s law. But we have more to be concerned about than just one man’s unbiblical thinking, although he has tremendous influence whenever he speaks.

This is the path to Sodom and Gomorrah American-style. I had some thoughts about this decision when I first heard it. I asked myself, what will this lead to? Many share the same thoughts that I do, that this will lead not only to further moral decline, but also to increasing persecution of Christians, simply for speaking the truth or for trying to live their lives by their Christian conscience. We are already targets of the radicals and liberals who want to force not only acceptance, but they also seek complete and blanket approval, and even celebration, of their perverted and sinful behavior. We will now become even bigger targets, perhaps even at the risk of losing our jobs or businesses, because it does not stop with this. The “right” to marry will not be enough for the “tolerant ones.”

Not only that, but we will see further collapse of the Christian evangelical churches as they cross the line from biblical truth, to compromise and affirmation of homosexual “Christians.” It will come. This will be even worse than persecution from the outside. For a more complete treatise on some of the things that will most likely happen, see David Cloud’s article (What Rights Will Others Lose When Homosexuals Gain Their Rights?).

Mr. Obama also said today that “shifts in hearts and minds is possible.” That’s the problem, you see, in the Christian church. Many Christians are wrongly shifting their hearts and minds towards a rejection of God’s law, sometimes just because their child or grandchild has declared to be homosexual! We cannot shift away from the unchanging word of God! Yet, out of sympathy perhaps for the homosexual and their “loving and committed relationships”, many Christians have become “gay-affirming”, and have lost the desire to plainly show a sinner that sin, no matter what kind, will lead a person to hell.

Finally, it has been a long time since I gave any kind of positive comment regarding the Nazarene Board of General Superintendents. If they are reading this, then I say thank you for quickly making a statement that is unambiguous and biblically solid. It will draw severe criticism from the radicals who want full acceptance and approval by the church, but it had to be said. Their statement can be read here. That being said, they still have much to do to stop the influx of emergent ideology and other false teachings in the church, including the infiltration of the homosexual agenda in our own churches and colleges.

So I posed my question on both the Concerned Nazarenes Facebook page, and Concerned Christians as well. Below are responses from several Christians (Names withheld because the group is a closed group). Hopefully these thoughts will make some of us ponder what is to come down the road. May God help us to stand firm in our faith, to not compromise in any way what He has clearly taught in Scripture.

 

Question: What will this Lead To Now?

“One by one, the moral lines in our nation have been crossed, or will soon be crossed. The relativism and lack of moral accountability espoused, taught by our educational institutions, and increasingly embraced by the current generation means that there is no basis for truth or retaining moral boundaries. What’s worse is the tolerance demanded by godless society, is increasingly not extended or granted to those who follow Christ. Christians are the only ones who it is acceptable to harass, marginalize, and discriminate against. It will be increasingly so. The persecution of Christians is just beginning and we know it will get worse. We should not be surprised, as the Bible talks of the last days as being increasingly wicked, and “as in the days of Noah”. Yet, we are not to fear! Hold fast to God’s Word in your hearts, “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Be bold and courageous for the Lord while he gives you breath, and fear no man. Our future is in Heaven!”

“Those who oppose will be labeled as hate-mongers and bigots. They will be let go from jobs, churches will be forced to recognize same-sex marriages or they will lose their 501C-3. Pastors who preach the Bible will be charged with hate speech and will serve prison time.”

“This is definitely not the end, it is only the beginning of something even more evil. This is a great gateway for demons to be unleashed on the US, but I believe it is also a poke in the eye of conservative religiosity in order to stir them into a revolt so that the government can justify committing troops against it’s citizens.”

“It’s a sad day. We call good evil and evil good.”

“Instead of closet sins, they will be open in front of everyone. It would be illogical to assume that it hasn’t been going on. So now it will become something very public and in your face. The biggest issue to me is the freedom of speech.”

“The issue for “gay Marriage” has never been a right to sharing as partners, i.e medical insurance. They already had that right. The issue was to push their agenda to pervert marriage so that it no longer holds a sacred vow. A while back I read a book called “The Criminalization of Christianity.” This has been the homosexual agenda since the 1980’s. They have been setting people in places of importance to their cause and slowly infiltrating into the mainstream the idea that being gay is not a sin and is actually just another lifestyle. I do not see “gay marriages” lasting and as a matter of fact in the places where it was already legalized they are already seeing them in divorce courts. My heartache is for the innocent children that will be brought into this perverted life style. At this point, I believe that there is no turning back. The judgment of God is coming soon.”

I am wondering how this will affect the church. Will pastors be given the ultimatum to perform gay wedding ceremonies or have the doors to their churches shut?
I thought to myself-well, they could just make a rule that they will only do weddings for members, but technically, someone could come in single, join the church, then later ask the pastor to marry them to their gay partner. I am sure someone would do it just to spite the churches. It’s a scary day for sure. I also don’t think God is going to let this go unpunished.

There will definitely be a day of accountability – or God’s Word isn’t true (and we know it is!). We’re in for some rough days ahead. I HOPE and PRAY that sinners recognize the reasons for judgment. We, as Christians, will have to trust God to help and protect us, according to His will.

Today is a temporary victory for those who follow after their own belly, and stand in judgment over God. Psalm 2 …..comes to mind:

Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.

The humanists are celebrating their perceived victory over God’s Word..
Trim your lamps.”

 

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

So…God has told us in His word what is good concerning sodomy and what is evil concerning sodomy, and the United States of America has told God, once again, that He means nothing to us and we will not listen to His word. We have told Him we do not want Him in our schools. We have told Him we do not want Him in our wombs. 57 million dead babies will testify in heaven as to what a terrible decision that was. We have now told Him that we do not want Him in our marriages. We have dared Him to do something about it. We have, once again, decided to spit in His face. This time, though, we have done it by siding with a community (the sodomites) whose only goal in history has been to openly rebel against God with filthy and prideful displays of their sexual perversions (please see any PRIDE parade), and dominate and abuse any weaker people (see Genesis 19 and Judges 19 and ask any Christian cake bakers/photographers in our day and age). Please realize that as a Bible believing Christian, now that the US has approved this abomination, if you stand on the word of God and declare this as the wicked sin it is, you WILL be persecuted. They will come after the churches as well, pushing for full acceptance of their lifestyle by all of them, and I encourage you to get out of any church that compromises on this issue. Watch the public school systems as well. There will be a tremendous push for the children to be exposed to it more and more. It’s already happening.

The United States is gone. Welcome to the United Sodom of Gomorrica.

 

Does Anyone Have A Match?

(By Lige Jeter)

The Church of the Nazarene was founded upon holiness, leading its followers into the experience of entire sanctification. Without being judgmental, given the laissez-faire direction many have chosen drifting away from moral living, the church can no longer ignore its spiritual state and continue on its current path. Unless we return to holiness, its teaching, and experience, as warned in (1 Samuel 4: 21) we may as well write “Ichabod” over our door “The glory has departed.”

If the church ever needed to return to its beginning heritage, it is now. When was the last time you saw someone redeemed from sin or sanctified at an altar of prayer? How long has it been since you heard a message concerning salvation or sanctification. Has the church lost its edge or have we “Misplaced it?” To misplace something simply means to leave it in the wrong place, or to lose it, temporarily forgetting where you placed it. The normal thing to assume is that it will still be there when and if we search for it.

Do not take this as one throwing stones or casting aspersions, nor slandering the church or saying anything false or malicious. Only to probe the question “Has the church lost its edge or have we misplaced it?” A large number of those professing a relationship with Christ upon leaving the church service conduct their lives on par with those in the world who do not profess anything. It is a sad day in Christendom when it becomes difficult to distinguish the church group by their behavior from the un-churched. The church is allowing customs that are pagan in nature and questionable teaching (as Manny has pointed out) in our Churches, Universities, and Seminary that weakens God’s word in truth and provide no spiritual benefit to those who practice or endorse them.

Holiness was and continues to be, the Biblical standard for living. The command to live a holy life is found in both the Old and New Testament. “Be holy for I am holy (Leviticus 11: 44) and (1 Peter 1: 16).” In the Old Testament, man was not only to worship God, but was to imitate Him in their lifestyle. Their lives were to be a carbon copy of their Creator reflecting His moral character. Nothing that suggested even the least corrupt can be associated with God. They believed because they were commanded to be holy, which carried a dual responsibility, one positive and the other negative. The positive is; they are to emulate God, and keep His laws and do the right things. The negative and most difficult to achieve was the withdrawal from things impure and loathsome, and not to do the things you should abstain.

It was the duty of every Israelite to strive as was attainable under the law, whether it was physical or spiritual. They were to avoid whatever would defile them and keep them from living holy lives. The intention of imitating God may have had its’ roots in the Old Testament, but it also found its way into the New Testament. Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and Philippians gives support to this. “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children (Ephesians 5: 1).” “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God (Philippians 2: 5 – 6).”

For moral reasons, correctly imitating God is in no way robbing God of what rightfully belongs to Him. To the contrary, we are ascribing to God what is His already. Jesus as our example while here upon earth was to glorify God through His life, and do the work that He was to accomplish. Our role is to emulate that of a servant, as Christ taught His disciples. Pointing out our Lord’s interest now becomes our interest.

Jesus asked the question in Matthew 6: “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” The light Jesus is talking about has a direct correlation to our conscience that regulates or controls our spiritual conduct. If our conscience is impaired, meaning not focused heavenward, it will become distorted and take on a different character determined by the amount of darkness that has crept into the church.

Lige Jeter

Open Letter To Dr. McGee, Other Nazarene College Presidents, and General Superintendents, Regarding Tony Campolo

Dear Dr. McGee,

A few years ago in 2010, my wife and I visited your campus where we met with you, the college chaplain (Corey McPherson) and college provost (Tim Wooster). I have always appreciated your kindness in inviting us to express our concerns to you, and we were treated with respect by you, Tim, and Corey. In spite of our total disagreement on the issues we raised, we recognize the fact that few Nazarenes leaders have even been willing to give us, and many other concerned Nazarenes, the opportunity to share our deep concerns.

Our main reason for coming to the campus was to warn you regarding the agenda and theology of Tony Campolo. Our warnings were not heeded, and it was made clear to us at that meeting that the leadership of Eastern Nazarene College are perfectly fine with Tony Campolo speaking to the students in chapel.

Later in October, Dr. Campolo confirmed our fears, and went on to promote his false ideas of contemplative spirituality, promoting mantra prayers and mysticism to the students, while plugging shamelessly his “social justice” agenda to the students. In one of his comments to the students, he stated that “I say the name of Jesus over and over again”, and suggested that we try it, that we should do it for 15 minutes, until this ritual “drives away the dark forces around us.” He promoted centering prayer, an unbiblical practice that has no basis in Scripture. Quote: “it takes only 15 minutes to be inwardly still.” He asked, “when was the last time you were still for 20 minutes- so that you can come alive in Christ?” He continued on by promoting an occultic version of Christian called Celtic Spirituality, referring to “thin places”.

I remember looking around and wondering why any of these pastors are not standing up against this guy’s false ideology being pushed onto these young impressionable students?   I still recall when the wife of a pastor approached me and my brother outside after the service, gushing about how wonderful his message was. How shocked she was when I told her that Tony Campolo is a false teacher, and should never be allowed to speak at a Christian college. It is so sad to see the lack of discernment today in supposedly mature Christian adults, as well as pastors, who are charged with a heavier responsibility to protect the flock.

(His capitulation to political correctness and ecumenicalism is very evident in his writings, including his statement in the past implying that perhaps we worship the same God as do the Muslims). He does not even know whether Jesus only abides in Christians! Quote: “I am saying that there is no salvation apart from Jesus; that’s my evangelical mindset. However, I am not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians (National Liberty Journal, 8/99)

Quote: “…what can I say to an Islamic brother who has fed the hungry, and clothed the naked? You say, “But he hasn’t a personal relationship with Christ.” I would argue with that. And I would say from a Christian perspective, in as much as you did it to the least of these you did it unto Christ. You did have a personal relationship with Christ, you just didn’t know it.”

EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

Is This The Last Straw?

Now Dr. Campolo has finally gone to the next level, and has been totally deceived by Satan. He has capitulated to the gay and lesbian agenda. Here is his latest pronouncement on the issue:

“It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.”

You can read his entire statement from his website here:

http://tonycampolo.org/for-the-record-tony-campolo-releases-a-new-statement/#.VXmX06bkU1T

My question to you, to all the college presidents, to president Sunberg of Nazarene Theological Seminary, to the District leaders, and to the General Superintendents of the church, who are also charged with defending biblical doctrines of the church:

Are you going to continue allowing Tony Campolo to bring his unbiblical doctrines onto our college campuses, to freely espouse the heresies that he promotes? Has Tony Campolo now gone too far even for those of you who, up until now, have had no problem accepting him on campus?

And furthermore, will you go the extra mile and not just ban him from all college campuses, but you will do so publically at all Nazarene colleges and on the Nazarene website, and call for his repentance?

Or will you continue to stay silent as you have on so many critical issues in the past several years, and continue to allow the Church of the Nazarene to further degrade into its own version of the Laodicean church in Revelation.

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Rev. 3:14-16)

Sincerely asking on behalf of many Bible believing Christians and Nazarenes,

Manny Silva

Links for reference:

http://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/bryan-fischer/2015/06/10/tony-campolo-completes-his-surrender-to-big-gay

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/profiles-in-apostasy-tony-campolo/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/tony-campolos-thin-places-occultic-christianity/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/false-prophet-tony-campolo-promotes-doctrines-of-demons-to-enc-students/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/false-teacher-campolo-to-speak-at-southern-nazarene-university/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/olivet-nazarene-lets-false-teacher-campolo-speak-in-chapel/