Dear brothers and sisters,
Disturbing trends continue to develop in our denomination. Recently, I sent out a prayer request for a pastor and his church that decided to leave the Nazarene denomination, rather than stay and bow to emergent ideology and priorities. Soon, I will be posting some information regarding those who have been forced to leave their churches (“Divorced From The Church”). More and more Bible believing Nazarenes are finding themselves ostracized and are even being labeled as cult members, hateful, dividers, “used by the devil”…etc. On and on it goes, with no biblical justification! Students are subject to ridicule or harassment for standing up against unbiblical teachings at their universities.
The following story is also another scenario, that of a pastor being fired for daring to speak out against a movement which has not even been officially welcomed into the Nazarene denomination. Please understand that it is the desire of this pastor not to target leadership, but to make you aware of the magnitude of this problem. Hopefully, some of you will begin to look at this, and not be overcome by it.
Below is a statement written by a Christian journalist who has actively supported the work of Lighthouse Ministries on the border. We would like to thank you all for your faithful support!
As many of you know, Pastor Joe Staniforth joined Concerned Nazarenes – a group of Nazarenes troubled by false teachings in our academic institutions and many of our churches in the Western world. These teachings can be summed up as “emergent ideology.”
For more information on the emergent church movement and the mission of Concerned Nazarenes, please visit www.concernednazarenes.org or one of the websites listed below.
In September 2008, Pastor Joe and his wife Claudia answered God’s call to work as missionaries, evangelists and church planters on the Texas-Mexico border. Although they’ve witnessed the Lord at work – especially in ministries in Matamoros, Mexico – Pastor Joe became increasingly concerned about emergent teachings in the Nazarene denomination. In obedience to the Lord’s leading, he began preaching against the ideology and practices of the emergent movement (click here).
As a result of his stand, Pastor Joe met heavy opposition. He was rebuked by Nazarene pastors who promote emergent teachings, had certain preaching dates cancelled, and was cautioned not to speak out against the emergent church.
In September 2009, the district leadership of the Church of the Nazarene removed Pastor Joe from his missionary position because of his stance, but allowed him to remain as pastor of the new church plant in Brownsville, Texas.
Although he knew his pastoral position was on the line, Pastor Joe still strongly sensed God’s leading to speak out against the emergent movement. He sent information to local pastors, warning them of the dangers of the emergent church. Three days before Christmas, the Nazarene district leadership dismissed him from his pastoral position on the grounds of “insubordination.”
Pastor Joe says: “The Lord placed a passage on my heart before I met with certain authorities. It was about Balaam’s insubordinate donkey. Remember? Balaam’s donkey was considered insubordinate by his owner, because he would not budge. However, his donkey could see the danger ahead (Numbers 22:22-40). I’m just a vessel that the Lord has chosen to speak through. But He has shown me there is great danger ahead for this denomination, if we continue on the emergent path.”
Pastor Joe would be happy to send you one of two excellent books – “Faith Undone” (also available in Spanish) and “A Time of Departing.” We’d also be happy to send you a free copy of “The Emerging Church” DVD produced by Concerned Nazarenes.
If you would like Pastor Joe to share his heart with your church, he would be happy to do so. He remains an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and an evangelist, and is eager to help people and churches learn more about the emergent movement so they can make informed decisions. Also, he is available for revivals. Please contact us if you are interested in having Pastor Joe speak at your church.
Finally, Pastor Joe and Claudia believe this is a time to rejoice. We rejoice because our Lord has brought us into the light. The Lord is gathering His remnant! (Psalm 14:7).
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to discuss the emergent matter with us.
May our Lord guard your hearts and minds in these testing times.
“Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.”
– Psalm 14:7 –
Here is Eric Barger’s recommendation on dealing with emergent ideology in your church:
WHAT TO DO IF EMERGENT IS IN YOUR CHURCH
* Prayer (conduct spiritual warfare!)
* Dialog (ask questions)
* Confront (Matthew 18)
* Warn others!
* Flee! (when all else fails)
List of websites:
“Errors of the Emergent Church” by Eric Barger (for info. on how to order and preview click here)
“How to Spot the Emergent Church: Is the ‘New’ Liberalism Affecting Your Congregation?” by Eric Barger (this free pamphlet is available only in English and is a great introduction)