A Church In Crisis? Or A Church In Christ?

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. James 3:1​

In her message at the General Assembly last week, Dr. Nina Gunter, General Superintendent Emeritus, made the following statement:

“The church is not in crisis; the church is in Christ!”

Is Dr. Gunter speaking of the universal Christian church in general, or is she specifically speaking of the Church of the Nazarene?  If it is about the church in general, then I would have to agree.  The true church of Jesus Christ, in spite of outward persecution or even internal strife, will always remain in Christ.  But if she is speaking of the Church of the Nazarene, then we must ask, what evidence does she base her claim that the COTN is NOT in crisis?

According to Merriam-Webster, a crisis is “an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending” or “a situation that has reached a critical phase”.  So based on this definition, is the COTN in a crisis situation or not?

In 2007, Dr. Gunter spoke at the M7 Conference of the Church of the Nazarene.  She made a statement that addressed three major challenges that she saw was facing the church:

“The intensity of change… and all of the challenges that are out there.  There are always challenges.  Some of the more recent ones are these… Calvinism invading the minds of students; the emergent church; Reformed Theology invading Arminian Theology.  The church is facing some of the biggest challenges in 60 years… and we must respond!”

Well, that is pretty serious, to say that the church is facing some of the biggest challenges in 60 years.  I would say that based on this statement, she seems to have at least considered the church to be in a state of crisis at that time.  So if according to Dr. Gunter the church was in a crisis then, including one brought on by the emergent church movement, what has happened in six years since then to change that?

Has there been a great revival that has awakened the church to the dangers of the emergent church? Have the General Superintendents, college presidents and other leaders responded by removing the dangerous elements of the emergent church movement, restoring biblical authority in the churches and the universities?  If so, Dr. Gunter did not specifically say so, and did not allude to her message from six years ago when she had urgently stated that a response was needed.

As I ponder this statement by her, and look at all the evidence from the last five years or so, I must come to the conclusion that Dr. Gunter (and the current General Board members) are living in a kind of parallel universe of sorts if they believe that the church is NOT in crisis.  If they truly agree with this statement, that there is no crisis, it is only if they consider that the false teachings of the emergent church that have gotten a grip on the denomination are acceptable to them and are of no consequence.  If there is a conscious awareness by these leaders of these problems, and I know there is, then the Church of the Nazarene is in crisis.

After six days at the General Assembly, multiple events and decisions there reinforced what I already knew.  The Church of the Nazarene is like a hit and run victim who is in critical condition at the ER, and the victim is either close to being on life support, or is already there. As I will write in my General Assembly final report, there are indications that it is getting worse for the church, with even newer problems on the horizon that were not as obvious four years ago.

I had considered listing here many of the things that have been happening in the last four years that are an indication of the crisis situation.  But we have been warning for four years now, the General Superintendents have received many emails and letters of concern, and they know exactly what is going on.  What have we gotten in return?  Nothing but form letters assuring us that the church is solid, and is continuing on its mission to “make Christ-like disciples in the nations.”

In the meantime, we have had the infiltration of contemplative mysticism into all the universities and seminaries; teaching of open theism, process theology and evolution; Roman Catholic practices and rituals; prayer labyrinths; allowing pro-homosexual groups to bring their ideologies onto campuses; at least one college chaplain worshiping with openly gay pastors and their congregations; LGBT groups setup in at least three colleges; an openly homosexual college student chaplain; a seminary allowing the teaching of occultic Celtic spirituality; a Nazarene pastor and a national Nazarene youth leader leading the way at the blasphemous Wildgoose Festival; theology programs using books by multiple heretics for their degree programs; social justice programs replacing the preaching of the Gospel; and sadly, General Superintendents who cannot even affirm the inerrancy of Gods word, and look the other way as teachers are indoctrinating the minds of students with the idea that the Bible has error, and that Genesis is merely allegory.

With all these things happening (and more), Dr. Gunter states that the Church of the Nazarene as a whole is in Christ!  Really?

I would have wanted to ask Dr. Gunter and the General Superintendents, what has happened in six years?  What has happened to these leaders who are charged with the responsibility of the doctrines of the church?  Why have none of them spoken up at all, and taken responsibility, and helped guide the church back to its theological roots of holiness preaching?  Why cannot one General affirm that the Holy Scriptures are completely and thoroughly God’s word, through and through?

Those words in my opinion are nothing but fairy tale words, evoked to make the unsuspecting Nazarenes feel good about the church, and to convince those who know better that everything is okay, when they know full well it is not.

The church is in crisis, and as it’s leaders continues in this state of denial, they will learn more and more how much deeper this crisis will get.  Perhaps judgment day is coming sooner than we think.


Additional Resource:

My Correspondence With The Generals

8 responses to “A Church In Crisis? Or A Church In Christ?

  1. Hi Manny,

    The COTN is meandering all over the place because it has rejected reform theology. Let me ask some questions and answer them.

    1. Did Jesus come to save the world? If He did, He was an abysmal failure, most of the world wont be saved. Truth is, He came to save the elect, check 1 Peter 1: 1-9, I can site other passages.

    2. Is Nazarene salvation works base? Yes, even though I was told to believe in Christ for salvation, I was later told I needed to be entirely sanctified to keep it. Entire sanctification is a man-made works based doctrine. It even creates two classes of Christians in contradiction of Ephe 4:1-6. i.e. The sanctified and the unsanctified. I cannot erase from my mind the attitude of the ES ones I first encountered when I joined the church.

    3. None of the passages the COTN site to authenticate the doctrine do so. I will refer to the 4 strongest.

    1. Matt 3: 11-12. Chaff there is not the sin nature but lost sinners.

    2. Acts 15: 8-9. Purification of the heart there has nothing to do with the sin nature. Nowhere in scripture can you find the Holy Spirit removing sin, the context there refers to salvation and the purifying refers to pardon granted through the blood of Christ corroborated by the same passage, Heb 10 and 1 John 1:5-10 ( In verse 7 of 1 john ‘all sin’ can also be translated ‘every sin’. In any case the passage shows we are still in possession of a sin nature even though we are declared righteous though the blood of Christ. That is why Paul affirms in Rom 8:10 ‘The body is dead because of sin’ even though we are saved.

    3. Romans 6: 1-14. All of the tenses there are past pointing back to what Christ did on the Cross. The body of sin is all we were judicially in Adam. When we come to Christ we are presently judicially liberated in Christ. Notice Paul admonishes

    Christians to now offer themselves to God indicating he was very aware the old nature will still crave to be satisfied.

    4. 1 Thess 5:23. This promise is in perfect harmony with the perfection that God offers to all saved persons at the resurrection, some corroborating scriptures: Romans 8: 23-25, 30. Philippians 3:12-21, Hebrews 10:39-40. Nowhere in scripture is

    perfection offered to anyone before the resurrection. The COTN offers perfect love, I was told William Greathouse once said, it is a sort of imperfect perfection. What an oxymoron.

    The Truth is, salvation is by faith alone as outline in Ephe 2:8-9. Works are an automatic result of God being on the inside of a Christian. True faith will always produce works pleasing to God and God will always bring His children to maturity in Christ. We all know in spite of this, none of us is perfect. Reform theology has been saying this for decades. We are more closely aligned with the Roman Catholic church, you should not be surprised that the COTN is going back home. I will quit for now but I would love to hear from you.


  2. . . . In the practice of medicine when a doctor says of the patient, “the crisis is past” – one of two things have taken place: (A.) The patient has fully recovered their previous state of health, or, (B.) the patient DIED!

  3. “The Truth is, salvation is by faith alone as outline in Ephe 2:8-9.” – REALLY? … You believe by this, you can invalidate JESUS’ COMMAND to REPENT?!

    Oh, How GRAND “sinning religion” is! – It IS the religion of end-time APOSTATE “Christians” and APOSTATE “Churches”! … * = “THE spirit of lawlessness” and disobedience as described in 2nd Thess. chapter 2.

    How many times did JESUS say: “… except you REPENT, you shall ALSO PERISH” ?


    — ’nuff said!

  4. Manny,

    Find a perfect church and write about it will you! COTN is part of the entire body of Christ from His Global church. His church is beautiful and without spot or wrinkle. His church is healthy, growing and overcoming. You can write all day long about problems, but why? What good do “you” do His body by writing about how bad it is? Instead of finding 3 professors and 3 pastors who got issues or problem or whatever I could probably find 20 of each doing a great ministry and making an eternal difference. I just don’t get what you want or are after? Should we all attend G.A. next time to look for and point out what’s wrong or highlight or spotlight what God has done among us to give him glory? I know our church has areas it needs help and inpovement on, but that’s why we are called to pray and love each other to keep the unity.

  5. In Ephesians, Paul is talking to the wives and husbands and how they should treat each other, and compares it to how Christ loved the church:

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

    Note that it says that “He might present her to Himself” and also that she “SHOULD be holy and without blemish.”

    Unfortunately, the Nazarene church which I have been a member all my life, is far from being holy, far from being without blemish, far from being without spot or wrinkle.

    I am writing all day long about problems because I have been called to do that by God. We should listen to God when he calls us to His service. I assume you were called to serve Him; He has now called me to warn the brethren of the evils that have taken hold of the COTN. It is obvious to me and many others; why is it not obvious to you, Peter?

    Our church has more than simply a few “areas” to clean up. Our church is heading towards judgment; our church has become an apostate church, save for the few Bible believing local churches that are standing up against the apostasy. I pray for them, that they will fight even against the leadership if they have to.

    Finally, there is no unity. Longtime Christians have given up long before this year; they have been driven from their churches by apostate pastors who have no regard for God’s word; creationists and Bible believers are looked down upon by such “great” leaders as Dan Boone and Tom Oord; homosexuality as acceptable is on the rise, just look at ENC where you and I went.

    There is no unity. My purpose now is to give warning; its too late to fix the illness that has spread like a cancer.

    For those who have no more possibility of being in a solid local church that truly belives in the word of God, here is my advice:

    17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 2 Cor. 6:17

  6. Peter M.:

    “[The]COTN is part of the entire body of Christ from His Global church. His church is beautiful and without spot or wrinkle. His church is healthy, growing and overcoming. You can write all day long about problems, but why? What good do “you” do His body by writing about how bad it is? …”

    Peter: You apparently have not acquainted yourself with “the whole counsel of God”! Try this on for size: *(… It comes from St. John said this in the Book of Revelation, but he is quoting JESUS’ own words when he wrote:)

    “ … 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
    18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
    19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT!” – Revelation 3:19-19.

    JESUS does not perceive the worldwide church, the so-called ‘body of Christ’, to be as pure and holy, as you would like Him to!

    Jude described your “logic” perfectly!

    “13Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame …”

  7. The problem here is bigger than some would lead you to believe. The Nazarene denominations leadership has let in the false signs and wonders movement through Dan Bohi. A movement Mr Bresee moved the denomination when Azuza St broke out. Roman Catholic methodology is used we saw this first hand at GA. The road to Rome is certain as a result. The Emergent Church is so firmly entrenched fighting it is now an afterthought all thanks to the Middendorfs and others. What we see now hardly resembles the Nazarene denomination of old.
    We see pastors being removed or threatned if they choose not to play the game as well as some willingly handing in their credentials.
    We see some pastors who seem to ride the fence but in my opinion would throw any of the leadership under the bus if they withstood the apostasy. So they really are not on the fence at all they are namby pamby because it really is about the money and their salaries. Most don’t want to be tentmakers so they continue to play the game and look the other way when false teaching and false teachers come in because the bottom line is its salary over integrity. They mask themselves as faux peacemakers so they can appease those who control their money. They are hired hands not pastors. I feel sorry for their congregations. These guys like to bring out the grey paint when the scriptures are black and white. They are lukewarm and our Lord Jesus will spit them out with the little bit of filthy luchere they hang on to. As for our Calvinists friend please read Dave Hunt book What Love Is This. Yes I could show you in scripture where Jesus died for everyone but you would just proof text scripture to your own folly. Peace and Blessings Tim

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