General Assembly Update: June 22

Dear friends,

Not as much to report on today as I did yesterday.  To my non-Nazarene friends, I realize you do not have a vested interest specifically in the Church of the Nazarene.  However, always keep in mind that what is happening in the COTN, is most likely happening in any other denomination.  Take warning, and do not go to sleep!

Today I spent about six hours at the convention center with my friends Charlie and Sharon, who I am staying with- thank you, I appreciate your hospitality, friendship and fellowship!  Spoke with a few people here and there.  Met some friends from back East, as well as emergent folks who I have clashed with.  No blood was drawn, conversations were cordial!

I attended the last part of a presentation by Dr. Thomas Noble, who is considered to be one of the main theologians in the church.  His topic was “The Authority of the Bible In the Church.”  I will have more to say about this session, but I was a bit troubled with what seemed to be an emphasis that much of the Bible is allegory- and one of my friends asked him to clarify allegory as it relates to Jonah’s story.  He answered her, but there was no answer as to whether Jonah was allegorical or true.  More to come as we look at how these professors think about things such as genesis 1-11 and whether it is true of myth.

​ I went into the Prayer Room again this year.  More on that later on.  As I did four years ago, I left a message on the prayer table where you can sign and leave a note.

Prayer room message

I will be attending Sunday services at my friend’s church.  They finally left the denomination this past year, and they have been a great host for me.  I appreciate their kindness, and also their stand for the truth, which prompted them to leave their Nazarene church.  This trend is most likely to continue as more Nazarenes get tired of all the foolish things going on.

Final thought: Evolution will become more center stage in the Nazarene church.  I have written about Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, led by such Nazarene leaders as Tom Oord, Scott Daniels, and Dan Boone, as they help to lead the denomination into more heretical teachings.  The following article was written by Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis.  He has written extensive articles refuting the godless teachings of Nazarene evolutionists, and I almost consider him an honorary Nazarene.  He has contributed greatly to exposing these false teachers promoting evolution.

Until next update.

Manny

Nazarenes Defending Evolution, by Ken Ham

Blatant compromise in the church today sadly continues to be encouraged by many Nazarene university professors. Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, has been the headquarters for BioLogos (probably the leading group promoting compromise on Genesis in the USA). The former president of BioLogos, Dr. Darrel Falk, is a professor of biology at Point Loma.

Well, Point Loma Nazarene University is hosting a conference next year called “Nazarenes Exploring Evolution.” On the conference website, the description states, “The Nazarenes Exploring Evolution conference will explore the compatibility or incompatibility of evolution and Christian theology in the Wesleyan tradition.” But are the conference speakers really interested in looking at the obvious incompatibility of evolution, millions of years, and the Bible? Well, judge for yourself—I’ve found and included quotes from each of the speakers (at least, the ones who have been announced so far) on their view of evolutionary ideas.

Mark Mann, associate professor of theology at Point Loma, writes in an essay that he accepts evolution—and that other Christians should too:

I believe that this is the case with evolution—that the time has come for Christians to come to see that their opposition to evolutionary theory is based upon an incorrect reading of Scripture. . . . Nevertheless, what I think is clear is that evolutionary theory not only can be demonstrated to be commensurate with Scripture, but can also give us deeper insight to what Scripture has to say about how God is at work within creation. (Mark Mann, “Creation, Incarnation, and Evolution,” Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, exploringevolution.com/essays/2013/02/20/creation-incarnation-and-evolution.)

Thomas Oord, professor of theology and philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University, writes about evolution and the Bible on his blog. In one post, titled “Evangelicals Accept Evolution,” he exhorts evangelical Christians to do just that—accept evolution:

We Evangelicals are adamant that we seek truth. Simply put, the general theory of evolution best accounts for the biological evidence we find in our world. Not accepting evolution means not accepting the best overall theory available to account for the data we find. . . . But Evangelicals can and should believe that God works through various evolutionary mechanisms as the initial and ongoing Creator of all things. There is no scientific reason to reject that God creates through evolution. I believe God works through or alongside natural selection, genetic mutation, self-organization, and other evolutionary mechanisms. . . . The key to seeing the Bible as consonant with evolution, therefore, is to ask about the purpose of Scripture. Evangelicals regard the Bible as reliable for revealing God’s will concerning salvation. They should not consider the Bible a scientific textbook against which contemporary science—including evolution—be judged. (Thomas Oord, “Evangelicals Accept Evolution,” For the Love of Wisdom, thomasjayoord.com/index.php/blog/archives/evangelicals_accept_evolution.)

To read the rest of the article, go to this link:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2013/06/22/nazarenes-defending-evolution/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D-H3dGttx58

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4 responses to “General Assembly Update: June 22

  1. My name is Roger Bourland. I was raised as a Nazarene for 18 years. What I was taught in the forties and fiftys stays with me to this day. All of God’s Word that I put away for many years is now my best friend,giving me encouragement, and correction as I follow Jesus. I am 79 and my heart breaks as I read about the Church I was raised in. The Lord has blessed me by allowing me to be a part of a new and growing Bible believing Church here in Eugene, Oregon. We believe with all our hearts that all the Bible is God breathed. Our Church is filled with young folk living out the Great Commission. We are named Ekklesia.

    I learned a long time ago that pride is the enemies weapon against me as an individual and the Church as a whole. I what to thank you for allowing me to receive your information on the Church. My heart is sad. It is not easy to live in these last days and watch this happen. Talking to Jesus daily is my only way to stand in the face of those who either add too or take away from the truth. There are a lot of us x-Nazarene brothers and sisters praying for you and your effort to shine light into the darkness of biblical teaching.

  2. don’t believe all that theologians are saying especially when it goes against the Word of God. They are are only theologizing- that is mere theories. At the end of the day, God’s Word remains for ever but their ideas are just but a breath of waves written in the sand.

  3. I know you will likely never move beyond your current beliefs, but as a Nazarene pastor who personally knows several of the people you and Ken Ham so quickly dismiss as apostate, allow me to reassure you that they are men of deep faith in God wanting nothing more than to “draw near to Him” in spirit and in truth. Their attempts to make sense of current scientific theories in light of the Bible’s revelation are borne out of a sincere desire to know and worship God in His fullness and to help others to do the same.

    My heart breaks when I hear Concerned Nazarenes, Ken Ham, or others throw rocks at the Church of the Nazarene and other Christians and denominations. Whence all the hatred? Aren’t there enough other things we could be waging war against like corrupt government practices, sexual slavery, divorce, child abuse, pornography, gambling, consumerism, the politicization of the Church, and so on? Why spend time knocking down those who are seeking with all their heart to be faithful to the gospel?

    I think you would agree that human minds are limited and fallible, and that from time to time we get things wrong, even when our hearts are in the right place. Could you ever consider the possibility that Ken Ham is wrong? Is it possible that those in the Church who thought the earth was flat or that the earth was the center of the universe or that slavery should be encouraged or at least permitted by the Bible could have been wrong? (Indeed they were!) So then, is it possible that some of the current fundamentalists’ beliefs could be wrong or mistaken (even innocently) which stand against an “old earth” view of the planet’s age, or against an “intelligent Designer” model of creation billions of years in the making? At times I’m left confused or even amused at Ken Ham’s and others willingness to acknowledge the veracity of 95% of scientific knowledge, even to employ it in his magazine and website in defense of creationism, and then to dismiss the other 5% as total rubbish. How does he pick and choose which parts of science are correct and which aren’t? I believe he’s both a pragmatist and an ideologue–choosing and using only those theories and ideas which suit his ideology and his aim.

    I have no doubt that Concerned Nazarene, Ken Ham, and many others are sincere in their faith in Jesus Christ and in their desire to rightly know Him, His word, His truth, and His way of salvation. But so are those on the other side of the issue. Dr. Noble, whom you mentioned above, is a personal friend of mine (I was at that seminar you referenced, although on the 21st), and someone who has spent his entire life seeking the truth. So please be careful, kind, humble, and Christlike when you speak to or about them.

    In the end, I believe that God gave us the Scriptures to lead us to Him and to a relationship with Him. He never meant for the Bible to be a modern scientific treatise detailing intricate microbiological formations and reproduction, complex meteorological processes, or a universe, it’s nearly infinite bodies, and unimaginable laws and forces. Had God communicated in this way with the ancient Hebrews, who had neither the experience, nor the accumulated knowledge in mathematics, science, language, not to mention computer processing power that we have today, it would have been simply unintelligible–numbers and symbols and letters and theories as foreign to us as Arabic or Chinese or Martian is to Americans. Instead, God spoke to the ancient Hebrews and He still speaks to us today in the language we understand best–that of relationship, that of a need of salvation, a need to be reconciled, and need to understand where we come from and Who started it all and in Whom everything “lives and moves and has its being.”

    God’s not afraid of scientific evolution, the Big Bang Theory, old earth creationists, or any of the lot (He shouldn’t be–He’s the one who made it all), nor is He “on the side of” literal 7-day creationists, fundamentalists, or Calvinists. He’s on all of our side–He loves us all equally and calls all of us to “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”

    My encouragement to you, Ken Ham, Concerned Nazarenes, fundamentalists, and the like is to earnestly ask yourself and humbly wait for the answer to these questions: Am I pursuing God or am I pursuing an ideology? Am I worshiping God or am I worshiping the Bible? Do I love my brother- and sister-in-Christ or do I love my own ideas and those who agree with me more? Am I willing to admit that my intellect is fallen and fallible and prone to error or do I believe that I (and those who agree with me) alone have ultimately, unequivocally, and perfectly discerned the truth for all time, that I have not in any way, shape, or form possibly misinterpreted scripture (even though millions who have lived before me have, including Jesus’ own disciples)?

    I believe your answer to those questions will speak volumes to your heart, if you really listen to what God might say to you through them.

    Peace be with you.
    Andy Lauer, Lead Pastor
    South Bend First Church of the Nazarene

  4. Thank you for your response, Rev. Lauer. It was a fairly kind and considerate response, except for your erroneous accusation of “whence all the hatred?” There is no hatred in my heart, neither in the hearts of the countless Nazarenes who believe in what God has written plainly and simply to us about His creation. We are not throwing rocks at people; but we are exposing the false doctrines in the church, which is a command from the Lord! You should know that, being a pastor who should be familiar with the word of God on that subject. And to judge my heart and say I have hatred- well, I thought only God knew our deepest motives and intentions.

    1. First, you said that I will “never likely move beyond my beliefs.” Yes, I will… if my beliefs are in direct contradiction with God’s Holy word. Then and only then will I do that. My beliefs are not swayed by the opinions of men, but are formed by the Bible and what it teaches as true.
    2. It does not matter much to me who you personally know, and whether you think highly of them, or what I think of them for that matter. What matters is what are they teaching, and if it is in accord with God’s word. It matters not a hill of beans whether they have had many awards, or received the praises of 25,000 people at General Assembly. Are we not beware of the praises of men, and their flattery? Too many have fallen for that trap, and continue to heap praises on men who no longer “rightly divide the word of truth.”
    3. No, it is not possible that Ken Ham or I could be wrong- because Ken ham and many Nazarenes belief what the Bible says! It does not take a rocket scientist to know what God says in Genesis about how He created the world, and that He actually created a real- yes real- Adam and Eve- not allegories. So no, it is not possible we can be wrong when we take God’s word as He wrote it.
    4. Yes, our minds are limited and fallible. We cannot understand completely everything God has told us, but that does not mean that we cannot believe Him at His word. What we cannot fully comprehend, I will accept that, and if He so chooses someday in eternity, he will help us understand much of what we cannot fully grasp now.
    5. Yes, I am willing to admit that “my intellect is fallen and fallible and prone to error” as you ask. But when God says he did something a certain way, and we say it was not that way, or that Jonah was a myth, or Adam and Eve were allegory- those are perfect examples of being prone to error. Those are examples of man saying, “I know what God really meant to say, even though He plainly said it this way.” That is error, and those who believe in evolution, or believe that Genesis is mostly allegory and myth- they are greatly deceived. They have chosen to reject God’s plain truth.

    I hope this clears up any questions for you. I pray that you are not teaching your congregation this distrust of God’s word. It’s a slippery slope that you would be going down. They will soon learn to distrust even more. You have a heavy responsibility as a teacher, and God’s judgment is more severe on those who will mislead the flock.
    I pray that someday you also will accept God’s word for what it plainly teaches, instead of relying on man’s imagination, man’s religion, and man’s distrust of God’s inerrant word.

    Manny

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