To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20
I received this yesterday from a friend in California in response to my last post:
I have no problem giving to a poor street person – whether he is spending it on drugs or whatever, as long as I do it in the name of the Lord.. I will tell him after giving him money, that I also want him/her to know about the ‘food that feeds the soul’. If he uses the money for drugs, it is not my business if I am giving in the name of the Lord; the power of the Gospel message not only saves but is able to free him from his bondages.
I appreciate what has been said here because it reflects accurately our Christian denominations of today, whether Nazarene or any other group. Instead of preaching the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, apostate “Christians” at festivals such as Wildgoose spend their time carousing and partying in “community” in their beer and wine tents. They invite anyone to come and share whatever they have, and they downplay doctrinal differences and embrace everything under the sun that is spiritual. Leaders look the other way in fear of criticizing their fellow colleagues, or perhaps because they approve of it all. Any kind of spirituality is good for them now, not whether beliefs and doctrine is soundly based on Scripture or not.
The emergent church emphasizes a defective and false gospel, focusing on such things as: community and relationships in place of doctrine, rejecting the fact that there are absolute truths that are found in absolutely clear doctrine as taught through God’s infallible word. But that is the key problem and what has led to this watering down of the gospel. These rebellious pseudo-Christians believe they are doing a good thing by embracing the “big-tent” philosophy. They open up soup kitchens and food pantries, feed and cloth the poor in the neighborhood, and at the same time never present a clear gospel message that those people are headed to hell on a full stomach. Oh, they may very well say to these people something like “God bless you” as they walk out the door, but that’s about it. And of course, there are community food pantries whose policy is to not even mention Jesus Christ, or which prevents Christians from witnessing to those to whom they serve food. Yet they do it the name of Jesus. How sad, but I guess it makes them feel good to feed someone.
We see General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene and presidents of major evangelical and holiness denominations holding hands with social justice advocates, thinking they are doing a wonderfully spiritual act that will please God. They stand up for the “rights” of illegal aliens, saying it is the Christian thing to do, while at the same time they step on the rights of those who, whether Christian or not, are waiting patiently to come into our country, or who are being deprived of jobs in favor of lawbreakers. Instead of proclaiming the real gospel, they get tangled up in social and environmental justice pursuits that do nothing to show the sinner what they really need.
We must continue to send out warnings to those who are perverting the gospel and spreading poison in our churches and universities. But it also needs to go out to those Christians, especially pastors and others in leadership positions, who are standing apathetically by while the church is being corrupted. Pastors, if you think that all you need to do is protect your little church by insulating your congregation from emergent ideology and never teaching them about what is going on, what will you do then after you leave, and your replacement is a wolf in sheep’s clothing? You’ll probably see your church end up being a social club that does a lot of community good, but does nothing to feed the people the real food: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By then, it may be too late, but you will still have to answer to God.
*Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words. (attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, this phrase sounds nice, but is contrary to what Scripture teaches)