- UPDATE, May 20, 4pm: Introduction to the DVD Warning About The Emergent Church in the Nazarene Denomination, now can be seen at Psalm 11:3 blog
Also, a clip from Gary Gilley from the DVD is also here
Naz Net and the new Emerging Spirituality
From brother Tim over at Nazarene Psalm 11:3
Naz Net is an internet community for Nazarenes. Let me first say there are a lot of good folks there as in many web communities. I do not wish to attack the community at large but take to task some comments I found there on a thread I posted on.
But I have also found Naz Net to be a vehicle for Emergent heresy within the Nazarene community hence this warning.
I found this comment here by Dennis Bratcher, a professor from the liberal Point Loma Nazarene University.
Here is the comment:
“Third, I read nowhere in any of Scripture that anyone has been or will be cast into hell because they believed the wrong thing. That is a total rationalistic misconception of the nature of God and what grace is about. We are not saved, or condemned, based on what we believe. We are saved by grace, through Faith, and it is not dependent on our own doing, on what theory of the Atonement to which we subscribe, which theory of inspiration we hold, or to which denomination we belong. And for that, we are all thankful!”
The two following comments were follow ups to Dennis Bratcher’s post:
“Thanks for your clear concise post Dennis, praise God we are not saved by right belief, that is grace indeed. If we were there would a very empty heaven.”
“The world is totally fed up with Christians who have been arguing about doctrine for 2 millennia but have rarely shown the love of Christ. My suggestion is that for the next 2000 years, we do it differently. We rarely discuss doctrine and focus on living like Him. Let’s see what 2000 years of that will do.”
“Belief in Jesus, the Living Word of God. Not His gospel, not our doctrine, … not our understanding.” end quotes
My comments: Wow this, folk’s, is heresy. How you can you believe in Jesus but not believe in His gospel? The Good News of Jesus is the gospel and who so ever believes in Him will be saved. You cannot separate belief in Jesus apart from His gospel. Many would profess to believing in Jesus. Even the demons believe in Jesus and shudder. Many cults and false religions believe in Jesus but its a belief in a different Jesus and a different gospel which will save no one.
Right belief is essential to salvation or else that would lead to the belief that everyone is saved ie.. Universalism.
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in scripture is correct, while at the same time allowing people to not believe it. Faith requires that people have liberty not to believe.
And agreed, we are saved by faith, but faith comes by what?
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
- Romans 10:1717 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
So what Dennis is stating is that belief does not come into play because of faith.
That’s not what the scriptures teaches.
You need to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to be saved.
- 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
1 Thess 2:13
- 13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
- 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
- 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Belief and faith walk hand in hand. You need to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ which in itself is sound doctrine.
1 John 5:10
- 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
I could quote many other verses as well, too numerous to list.
Believing in sound doctrine is not some sort of gnostic or intellectual belief (as some in Naz Net would have you believe).
You are lead into sound doctrine and truth by the Holy Spirit.
- 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
- 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;
There is that word believe again.
Now whether you will heed the Holy Spirit or grieve Him and not believe is up to you.
Are we to be surprised at what is happening?
No of course not because the scriptures have already addressed folks like some at Naz Net here in scripture.
2 Tim 4:3-4
- 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
According to scripture we are to ignore people like Dennis and Hans among others who promote heresy.
- 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
I spent some time on reviewing the final cut of the DVD we will be distributing in June 2009. The thing that really made my jaw drop was Dennis Bratcher and others on Naz Net are sounding more like Ekhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey (even though they may deny this).
Their statements and views are running in lock step with the new age agenda of Oprah Winfrey and Elkhart Tolle.
We will go into this on the DVD.
I would not want to end this article without sharing the true gospel of Jesus Christ with all.
Believe in the gospel and have faith that what God wrote in scriptures is true and you will be saved.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is: admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior Romans 3:23-26 I believe that both belief and faith are at work here.
Believe in the actual facts of the gospel 1 Cor 15:1-8
Jesus died to pay for our sins Romans 5:6-8
Jesus rose from the dead to show that payment was accepted 2 Cor 5:21
Then trusting on Gods provision Romans 10:9-11
Can Dennis and his comrades even see their error anymore?
I really hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will wake these folks up.
We also need to consider what the scriptures state that there is a time that God will send a great delusion.
2 Thess 2:11-12
- “11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
What Oprah and Tolle are teaching and preaching are very much in agreement with what The Emergent Church teaches and practices, Brian McLaren, and a lot of what is being promoted at the Naz Net community. All these folks are a lot closer in belief than perhaps they would tend to acknowledge.
The point here is they are very far apart from biblical Christianity that agrees with what the scriptures teach.