How Far Will We Go?

Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.  Rom. 1:25

“How far will we go?”  This is what one pastor asked upon viewing the video excerpt below from an Easter Sunday morning service presented at Beavercreek Church of the Nazarene in Beavercreek, Ohio.  The video shows a young woman dancing to a song by an artist called Gungor.  The original video was about three minutes long,  I describe the dance as very seductive in form, with the dancer at times displaying less than modest poses.  I have tried to show less “revealing” parts of the full video.  To celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ is something we ought to do every day, but of course Easter Sunday is particularly a day where all Christian churches can collectively celebrate and rejoice that Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross, but three days later, showed that He was God, and was resurrected from the dead.  So how did you celebrate?  How did you worship that day?  What is true worship, and what is not?

When you view the video, I would suggest that the first 30 seconds should be enough.  How far will the Church of the Nazarene go?  I don’t think we have seen the worst yet.  Believe me, there is much more to report later on that will astound some of you; but sadly, this report will not bother many of you in the least.  Perhaps some of you have become so comfortable sitting in a pew that might even have your family name on it, that absolutely nothing will move you anymore to tears of repentance and sorrow for a church that is hurtling down the road to Rome and is probably in first place in the league of disobedient evangelical denominations.

* Update: I have added a short 30 second clip of the video, without the music, under the Fair Use Act:

I was reminded by a friend who first alerted me to this “worship” performance, of the words from a FaceBook post on the General Superintendent’s page from this past February:

“If by chance some churches are waiting for “permission” to reach out in different ways, then you have “permission” and encouragement from the general superintendents to do so.” (D. Graves, 2012 General Board Report)

Well, no need to lay all the blame on this particular church, is there?  They were probably taking some advice from our leadership and running with it.  And by the way, there are other churches that for quite a while have been doing performances during Christmas and Easter and other special days, that would rival a secular vaudeville act. Actually that’s what they were!   Christmas plays that had nothing to do with the real Christmas story, but done for the purpose of entertaining the community.  Dance performances that end up being nothing but self worship, not God worship.  Yet, how can we blame them?  Perhaps this philosophy of  trying anything to reach the world is not such a bad thing.  Perhaps this performance would have brought even more people back to this church if it had been embellished with a few more worldly things.  This performance reminded me of the pagan style services that you might find in a PCUSA General Assembly.

This is just a symptom of a long running problem in the Church of the Nazarene, it is not THE problem.  You are in denial if you have been reading my blog and emails and still think all is well.  If you are in denial, how long will it take, and how much more decadent, pagan, and downright worldly (to put it mildly) will it get before you admit that there is a serious problem?  It’s been gradually creeping up on us since 40-50 years ago when the leaders in our churches and universities starting denying little by little, the full authority and power of God’s word.  It continued when the power of the Holy Spirit to convict people of sin was not enough, and we decided we needed more and more special, innovative programs to bring the people to church.  It continued when we let in the wolves of the emergent church infiltrate our seminaries and prepare Bible rejecting pastors, powered not by the Holy Spirit, but by another spirit.

Among various responses to the General Superntendent’s “permission” statement, the very first comment says it all:

“Reach out in different ways as in non holiness/Wesleyan? Why don’t we just remove ourselves right now from being a Holiness Denomination?”
We have abandoned practically all vestiges of holiness teaching and preaching while pretending that is what we are all about, in exchange for the lies of the emergent church, social justice and creation care programs, and mysticism.  This video, this church performance, is again, just a small symbol of the cancer that eats from within, the cancer of apostasy.  It has been promoted by, as the late Walter Martin called them,

“the corrupt and apostate shepherds who infest our theological seminaries and our colleges, and fill our pulpits throughout the United States and Canada, and who know not God…”
Church of the Nazarene, you’d better wake up.  You will continue to bleed yourselves of Bible believing Christians, even while you happily increase your numbers- maybe- with those who will listen to anything that tickles their ears, even as they sit sleeping in their pews, and one day wake up in an eternal situation that will be too hot for them.  Because of your inaction and lack of leadership (yes, you the leaders),this emergent garbage will continue to rip apart and divide families.  You, the leadership, seem to be doing nothing while this gets worse and worse, and you say nothing is wrong.

Please let us know when you finally see that something is terribly wrong.  But by then, it will be too late for many.

“We have become enthralled by our own pleasure and we are obsessed by our own prosperity.  Many American churches have become shamefully man-centered.  When we ought to solemnly enter the church to worship the great and mighty God in fear and trembling, the One who spoke us into existence and has the power to snuff our lives out like a candle, instead, we enter the church focused on ourselves.  The church has become like a psychic smorgasbord for those who are experiencing difficulty or for those who feel the need for more satisfaction in life.  We want recreation for our kids, we want financial and emotion counseling for ourselves and we want the services of the church to focus more on man-centered entertainment rather than God-centered worship.”  (Source, Highest Branch)

Helpful Links:

No Lukewarm Christians In Heaven (Kevin Probst)

8 responses to “How Far Will We Go?

  1. It is a sad day in Christendom when we have to use a pagan style of worship displaying the sensual in an attempt to exalt Christ while entertaining the congregation. This type of worship cheapens the blood of Jesus, as if His death, burial, and resurrection means nothing. I wonder how many worshippers left that service feeling they really worshipped the Lord.

  2. This is a result of lack of leadership from the General Superintendents down to the district level. It shows how far the Emergent heresy has reached in Ohio Nazarene churches. It also shows what happens when you forsake sound doctrine for the sake of unity.

  3. I thank God for your boldness and clarity concerning this matter. And, I want to urge you to continue speaking the truth concerning these types of things in your denomination. So much of this foolishness and worldliness is the trickle-down of the pragmatism promoted for the last 30 years by men like Bill Hybels at Willow Creek, and others of his kind. Just recently our church disconnected with our fellowship (Harvest Bible Fellowship) because the leader decided to befriend, cooperate with, and support men who decided it is acceptable to play “Highway To Hell” by AC/DC in an Easter church service (Perry Noble at NewSpring Church in SC). The compromise is rampant and it is everywhere. I implore you to continue standing strong and be of good courage!

  4. The problem with trying to draw crowds by ministering in the flesh is that the next “stunt” has to be more sensual or grander in scale. So..maybe next year the “star” of the show will totally disrobe in honor of the risen Christ…Uncle Bud Robinson would roll over in his grave….

  5. What was that?? I saw the video – asked my husband if he saw it and warned him that he probably shouldn’t watch it at work. Really, I’m not surprised that this “dance” interpretation is accepted in the Church, regardless of the denomination.
    The whole thing was sensual and completely unrelated to anything resembling a “worship service”.

    In the words of A.W. Tozer, “The Early Church prayed – talked to God. When they sang, they talked to God and sang about God. Today we have programming, that awful, hateful word “programming”; but God is absent.”

  6. The way they have taken it off the internet…again and again… demonstrates their inner shame.

  7. That was a horrendous video, and you’re right, Manny: it’s a symptom. Dances and music sessions more akin to concerts than real worship are spilling in from the hyper-charismatic movement, and unfortunately it’s not just the Nazarene church succumbing to it. When it becomes about pragmatism (anything to draw a crowd), the Biblical rules for worship become nothing more than suggestions, and doctrine takes a backseat to emotionalism and entertainment.

    As old fashioned as it sounds, give me hymns with an organ any day over a twenty-piece orchestra or a garage band with shallow “praise” choruses. I’m to the point now where I’m tempted to turn and walk out if I see a drumset at the front of a church. The Easter service at the Nazarene church I attended this year was pitiful: we sang ONE hymn, and the rest of the songs were choruses that perhaps half the congregation didn’t recognize. I looked around and saw very few people singing in the service, and it didn’t help that the whole thing had a feel more akin to entertainment than worship.

    The church needs to quit trying to be “relevant.” It needs to quit trying to saddle up alongside the world as close as it can while trying to call itself a church. It needs to be looking to God via the Scriptures for how to worship, not emulating interpretive dancing or secular music.

    Let the words of Watts, Wesley, Toplady, Bliss, Doddridge, and other great hymnwriters fill our ears, rather than the current excuses that pass for worship among our congregations.

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