I have appreciated that many of you have allowed me to keep sending you my posts, even if you have not agreed with everything I have written. For those who have remained open to what I write, I thank you for keeping an open mind to the information I send you every week. I felt compelled to write this note to you, in reaction to what is perhaps my most controversial article to date, which will be posted on Tuesday or Wednesday night. It will also be online at The Good News Today website. As some of you know, the print version of the article was distributed this past weekend to over 400 churches and 200 businesses in the Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts area. It is sure to reach many more people who have not heard of the emergent church movement before.
Already, since the paper came out Sunday, I have received some very disapproving comments regarding my article, including the suggestion that I should never have printed it in the first place. The title itself is not a “warm and fuzzy” kind of title: “Nazarene Denomination Losing It’s Way?” Some folks are clearly not happy. That was to be expected, and I respect the fact that many have and will disagree with what I have been saying for over a year now. A few have made it clear to me that they believe I am trying to ruin the Nazarene denomination. Some have told that me that what I am doing is going against scripture, and that I am leading people away from Christ. Others perhaps just think I’ve lost my mind. Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, and please remember, I am not forcing anyone to read what I write.
Let me be clear as to what my intentions have been since 13 months ago. I did not start my emails and my blog to win any popularity contest, that’s very evident now. It was also not my intention to write in such a way as to make you think I am intellectually and spiritually superior to any of you. I’m simply laying out the facts, with my opinion as to what I believe those facts mean, based on scripture only. The only reason for me to do what I have been doing for over a year now, along with many other Nazarenes doing the same thing, is for one thing only: to obey the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles, to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints”. That is all.
The new article was written in a way that will give a clear summary of what has been happening, to anyone who has never heard of this problem before. Some of you will already know what is in there, and it won’t be new to you. This was primarily intended to expand awareness amongst unaware Nazarenes, and other Christians, of what I and many others believe to be a serious threat to the body of Christ.
This is a serious time in the history of the Nazarene denomination. As I said, I am doing this out of love for our denomination. For those of you who disagree and think I am doing harm, I am sorry that you feel that way. Regardless, please try not to judge my heart- only God can do that. But I tell you honestly, that my motives are with the intention of warning fellow Christians of false teachings. I have clearly written many times with scriptural authority, explaining the duty of Christians to defend the faith and warn others of false teaching, so I will not rehash that lesson all over again. However, if you insist that I am wrong as a Christian to do this, send me a private message, and I will be glad to send you a scriptural lesson not only on why we need to warn others of false teachings, but also on our Christian obligation to judge others appropriately. You may not agree with the lesson, but it will be Bible based. It is a common misconception by so many Christians, that we cannot ever judge, at any time! How then can we “beware” of false prophets, as Christ commanded, if we cannot judge! That does not make sense, does it?
Finally, I would ask that if you still strongly feel that I and many others are totally wrong in what we are doing, then I invite you to do the following, in order to help correct me:
- Send a private message to me, laying out the scriptural reasons that exposing and naming false teachers, or judging others, is unscriptural. I would ask that you try to stay in context with whatever passages you use, and not to, as many do, “prooftext” and use one verse to negate what is being taught clearly in other areas of scripture. I will keep this completely between you and me.
- Or send me the same kind of message, but which you have no problem in allowing me to post it publicly, BUT without using your name.
- Finally, post the same message here publicly. Please understand that I will reserve the right to refute what you write, but I will give you the opportunity for any rebuttals needed.
The emergent church movement is real, and I believe it is a false movement in almost all that it asserts or teaches. There may be some good in it, but as the scriptures say, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” It is our duty as Christians to expose false teachings. I pray that this upcoming article will help make many more aware of this danger. It is absolutely unfair that so many Nazarenes are being kept in the dark about this problem, and all Nazarenes have a right to know the facts, and make up their minds as to whether this movement is of God, or if it is of Satan. It cannot be both.
As Paul wrote in Romans 16:17-18: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
And in Ephesians 5:11, he wrote, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
Sincerely in Christ,