NazNet- Hypocrisy, Ignoring Scripture, And Personal Attacks

2 Tim 4: 1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The purpose of this is to warn every Bible-believing Christian about a certain kind of “Christian leader and pastor”, who is always ready to vilify you at the slightest sign of dissension towards their unbiblical views. This is to warn you and prepare you to deal with these people, some who may be leading your church now. This is to show you what kind of men are being sent out from the seminaries, to pastor churches with the watered down social gospel and with messages that lack biblical conviction. These men are blind to the very poison coming from their mouths, which they accuse all discernment ministries of, and which they accuse Christians who dare challenge their belief system.

NazNet is a Nazarene discussion forum on the internet, of which I am a member (from which I received a one week suspension for “laughing” at two comments). It includes a mixed group with varying theological leanings, although it is predominately a haven for emergent church and social justice types. It also allows Bible believing members, although as you will read here, many NazNetters are highly intolerant of outspokenness from the likes of me and others. A good number of these liberals do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture. Many of them reject the facts of Genesis 1-11 as a true historical account of creation, and instead have bought into the ungodly theory of evolution. They have a disdain for those who believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible word, often labeling us as “bibliolaters.” These are the men I am talking about, and I will point out that very few on NazNet act like they do, so this is not a blanket indictment.

Last week, as I perused some NazNet topics, I came across one that dealt with the suicide of the son of Ergun Caner, a former administrator at Liberty Baptist University. Caner had claimed to have been a former Muslim terrorist turned Christian, and when the facts came out that it was a lie, he was let go by Liberty. He is now the president of another Christian college. When his son committed suicide this year, not too long after he was confronted online by a longtime critic of Dr. Caner, many were very upset over what looked like an unwarranted attack of this young man. I have read details of this encounter, and I agree that the verbal attacks by Baptist preacher J.D. Hall were unnecessary and reckless. But what followed on NazNet turned into a blanket condemnation of any Christian who calls out false teachers or Christian leaders who are in error.

So here is where I got in trouble on Naznet. The topic only had three comments. I read the first one which mentioned that tragic death, and the writer, David Pettigrew, a Nazarene pastor, ended with this:

This phenomena of “discernment ministries” – those who feel it is their divine calling to expose “error” – is doing real damage to real people. I am convinced it is psychologically driven. It becomes a compulsion for those with this “calling” to attack.”

I then read the next two comments, which said the following:

“I’m convinced it is some kind of mental disease. At least, let’s hope it is. For if these folks act with full mental powers, I would not want to stand in their shoes at judgement day.” (Hans Deventer, Nazarene licensed minister)

“IMO most “discernment ministries” are nothing more than bullying and most “discerners” are self-justifying bullies.”(Jon Bemis, Nazarene pastor)

 

I then clicked the “laugh button”, to imply that I thought that this was an absurd, blanket condemnation of all discernment ministries. Sometime later is when the attacks started, and the rest of the discussion is a perfect illustration of the complete hypocrisy of these people. Keep in mind that quite a few of them are ordained elders and pastors of churches; leaders who are supposed to be examples of Christ-like conduct. The following quotes are other examples of their “Christ-like” conduct and their truly hypocritical behavior and blindness to the very things they accuse me and others of.

“This is why they are called online discernment mafias. They operate in secret and have no accountability whatsoever.” (Bob Hunter)

“I’m increasingly convinced that when we spend time and energy on peripheral issues such as eschatology and witch-hunting in the name of the Lord, aka ‘discernment ministries’, we’re setting ourselves up for some real problems.” (John Kennedy)

“Self proclaimed holy wars never have a problem sacrificing life at the alter of “truth” (Cam Pence, Nazarene pastor)

“It’s the mean spirited, sarcastic, loveless, prayerless presentation, both online and in person, that causes the Concerned Nazarenes to not be taken seriously by anyone outside their facebook club. Nobody can hear your message because of your methods. This will be my only response to you, as I find exchanges with you are pointless.” (David Pettigrew, Nazarene pastor)

 

“I think the fundamental problem with discernment ministries is that those involved fail to see that they are not actually very discerning.” (Kevin Rector, Nazarene pastor)

You’re like Hamas, crying over the casualties they have created themselves by their tactics. Very sad for the casualties, but Hamas is the real cause of their suffering.” (Hans Deventer, Nazarene licensed minister)

 

I gave my argument for posting the laugh icons, noting that it was unfair to paint all discernment ministries this way. I argued using scripture, showing them how time and time again, we are commanded to expose false teaching, thus what we are doing is biblical and necessary in these times. I pointed out how I was criticized for using these laugh icons, yet the moderator did not scold anyone else about the comments they made that were, shall we say, over the top? (mental disease? bullies? discernment mafias? witch hunting? comparing me to the terrorist group Hamas?)

 

In reading through the topic, I noticed the same things that they do on a regular basis:

 

  1. Taking Scripture out of context. They select certain scripture passages in order to reprimand me, but ignore the very scripture I showed which validated my position. They refused to address that at all. These people are purposely ignorant of the truth, and often use what they accuse us of- cherry picking scripture, or proof-texting. They are guilty of that tactic, over and over. In another proof-text, pastor Kevin Rector quotes Heb. 13:17 to emphasize that we should obey our spiritual leaders and do what they say (touch not mine anointed, perhaps?). Yet he apparently conveniently ignores any scripture which warns us to watch out for the wolves amongst us, such as Gal. 1:6-10.
  2. They use personal attacks. I understand why they do this, because they have no other basis to argue with. They lack the scriptural understanding (or perhaps ignore it) that would allow them to correct those who expose their false teachings. They are desperate to protect their territory, and will try to destroy your character in order to do it. They hypocritically judge a pastor’s mean use of words that led to the suicide of a young man, yet they have no problem using mean words on others. How ironic!
  3. They employ emotional tactics to get sympathy, such as telling a touching story. When David Pettigrew gave an example of what he says was the devastation caused by a discernment ministry to a pastor and his family, I returned the favor by giving an example that I knew of, of a pastor who caused great harm to a family. Instead of acknowledging this story as legitimate also, he scolded me for telling it, perhaps unable to admit that there have been a lot of people from “his side” who have brought damage to many Christians also.
  4. Their insincerity. Take for example, Bob Hunter, one of my most vicious attackers over the last few years. He followed up later with this: “I pray for you. I pray your family is well and your life is blessed. I really do.” This is the same Bob who had no problem labeling discernment ministries as mafia types, and who has called me some of the worst things over the last few years. Why would someone pray for my life to be blessed, when I am supposed to be someone who is tearing apart the church, according to many of them?

 

  1. Their dependence on the “Church manual” more than scripture. As an example, here is what Kevin Rector said:“if it creates division in the body of Christ over non-essentials then it is of Satan and not of God (By the way, the church decides what is “essential“, not the individual – for example, you and I don’t have the spiritual authority given by God to define that which is essential for the Church of the Nazarene – that is done by the General Assembly).”

    So Kevin Rector and others apparently believe that if the General Assembly declares something, we should accept it without question, because it is “the church” that decides! To these people, it is the denomination that decides what is essential, not the Bible! This is outrageous, but this view is perhaps the norm now in the Church of the Nazarene.
  2. They don’t understand scripture. Bob Hunter misuses Matt. 18 when he said this: “Yes, the online discernment ministries have earned a bad reputation among reputable Christian leaders. They have a track record of being ruthless, unsympathetic, and mean. They never follow Matt. 18 and privately conduct matters.” Bob apparently has
    never read such passages as Gal 2:14 that describes Paul scolding Peter publically for teaching a false doctrine. These people constantly misapply the principles of Matthew 18. Again, no correction by using scripture at all; just giving opinions unsupported by God’s word.
  3. Their hypocrisy. They scold me for using the laugh button, eventually delete my laughs, and then suspend me for a week, for violating NazNet laws. Not rules, but laws! Yet, they never scold their own publically (or very rarely). They tend to look the other way unless it is an extremely outrageous comment, and make the excuse that since they did not use my name, it is not a problem with what they said. Quote Kevin Rector: “You did not say that what they said was “funny” you said it was “laughable”. That is a put-down, not a compliment.” Apparently, to them, it is not a put-down to compare me to Hamas, or to imply I have a mental disease, accuse me of being on a witch-hunt, or that I am loveless, hateful, and just plain mean. Don’t correct us with scripture; just call us names.

Please understand, these people have not hurt my feelings. I don’t lose sleep over their insults. I am not looking for sympathy, because I don’t need it. I confess I am not perfect and do not know everything. I am trying to follow scriptural commands which tell us to protect the flock from false teachings.   And if they are proud of what they write, I am glad to expose that to other Christians, and let folks decide if their behavior as pastors is Christ-like or not. In my opinion, they have disqualified themselves as pastors with their behavior.

 

So my purpose is to show you how sad the state of the Nazarene church is today, as well as most denominations, in regards to those who are supposed to be leaders. These men speak their words publically in front of hundreds of other Christians, therefore they are accountable for their words. I have no problem pointing out their hypocrisy, and the false teachings coming from them, when it is clearly seen. There is no Matthew 18 directive with their public comments; we are not to “go to each of them” as they often say we should; we are to expose them publically, because they have committed these wrongs publically.

 

I have no doubt that if you are a member of a church led by men such as these, that someday if you decide to question what they are doing, and what they are teaching, please be prepared for the worst. They will be gentle at first, even kind and understanding. But if you persist, they will go on to follow the same advice Rick Warren gives in the Purpose Driven Church book, and that is to get rid of those who don’t go along with the crowd. You will be painted a troublemaker, you will be ostracized, and you will need to leave. They will attack your character and try to smear your reputation. In the end, these kinds of people are only thinking about themselves and their agenda. It has nothing to do with following the will of God and obeying His word.

 

Pray for the repentance of some of these men, who are demonstrating they are a real danger to the church.

Addendum: The entire conversation thread at NazNet:
http://www.naznet.com/community/showthread.php/15788-quot-Discernment-Ministries-quot-and-the-suicide-of-Braxton-Caner/page1

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11 responses to “NazNet- Hypocrisy, Ignoring Scripture, And Personal Attacks

  1. Manny, they also never submit verifiable data to back up their assertions and often appear to step beyond their personal expertise, such as psychology, in diagnosing their opponents. I practiced psychotherapy and never made a diagnosis without using what was called a “decision tree,” a system on observing symptoms that led to other questions and ruled out others until a rational diagnosis was reached. Even then, it was tentative, remaining open to other discoveries of symptoms.

    Sent from my iPod

  2. I was raised in the Nazarene church and my husband and I attend a community church. I won’t darken the door of a Nazarene church because there is no fire and they are afraid to tackle issues affecting our world today.

  3. I am a ordained pastor, 40 years, member since 1959, saved @ 26 yrs. pastor since 1970. I now attend a King James, Bible preaching church on line. I know where the Nazarene church is going, and it’s not good. Romans 3:4″ Let God be true and every man a liar.” Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me(that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing……”. To many Christians live in the flesh.

  4. Here is one challenge for your pastor-critics, Nazarene or otherwise: “Please provide the date, location, text, and mp3 file for your most recent theologically-based sermon (if they don’t know what that means, tell them it is a sermon with Bible verses taken in proper hermeneutical context) on any of the following topics: Hell, false prophets, the evils of abortion, euthanasia, same-sex ‘marriage,’ and, especially, divorce.” Then, just sit back and listen. Do not reply, because the sound of crickets can be quite soothing to the soul. If you do get a reply, it will probably be self-justification in the form of “can’t do it, because of tax-exempt status.” (Which is completely false, BTW.) God bless, and thanks for writing this!

  5. Therefore, to ensure that the right kind of Gospel is preach, church leaders themselves need to begin a teaching process which will help to enhance what I would call sound doctrine. we need to teach and don’t depend on seminaries and Bible schools organized by others to prepare our who be pastors for our congregations. Rev. Alex Satiah

  6. Manny, as you have so carefully pointed out the Nazarene church is going through some rough times. The church world is in trouble because of the seductive powers in the world led by Satan. Jesus warned of this to His disciples when He said, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30). Jesus also made it clear in John 17: 14 & 18 though we are in the world we are not to be of the world nor embrace the morally wrong worldly ideology that many are doing today. The church is to keep its distance to avoid seen as corrupt.

    One Scripture 1 Samuel 16: 7 especially the later portion has always been upsetting to me when used out of context when a pastor quotes “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” When quoted, usually has to do when trying to explain one’s conduct giving them a liberal pass as if we should not form an opinion regarding one’s conduct. This Scripture does not prohibit one to look upon the outward appearance as some may think as long as we confine ourselves to that and not take up the right of God in any matter. I contend that our outward appearance must conform to the inner man and reflect what he knows God sees. Men value men by what they see. Both should agree or how else will the church be able to make sound choices and safeguard itself from the world and worldly teachers?

  7. That is sad, Manny, but not surprising.

    Hold on tight, brother, and do not falter. Did our Lord not tell us that they will hate us, but remember, they hated Me first?

  8. If you seek to be made sick, read the current naznet thread regarding whether or not gays can serve in the church, as ushers etc.

  9. Naz Net hates you Manny because you believe the scriptures to be without error. People like Kevin Rector show their utter disdain for scripture in their replies and quotes. The leadership there under the guise of faux humility hate you and scripture as well. The bigger problem is they hate the fact that a grassroots group like Concerned Nazarenes made such a huge impact on the Nazarene denomination. This was through the dvd and other information that opened eyes but was done through God’s grace and mercy. Naz Net has no problem with being Concerned Nazarenes when it comes to money but with theology and doctrine they have been weighed and found lacking. And it still amazes me that they let a bartender with less than a clue(boy that college education sure paid off) take constant shots at you but yet when you stand up for scripture and defend yourself they would censor you. They took shots at Concerned Nazarene’s because we are a closed group. Thats true hypocrisy because Naz Net is every bit a closed group as we are. True they cant see our postings unless they are in the group. But what would be the point of that anyway even if they could see the posts. They already dont agree with us. So why would they want to torture themselves.

  10. This was posted on Naz Net from a NPH employee. I found it interesting.
    “NPH struggled for years because of a decline in the use of their products. I will point to a portion of the report that I posted on another thread.
    2007 ($1,007,762)
    2008 ($1,920,914)
    2009 ($4,063,693)
    2010 ($2,519,332)
    2011 ($2,728,339)
    2012 ($3,774,885)
    Total losses 2007-2012 ($16,014,925)
    Average annual loss 2006-2012 ($2,669,034)

    • These losses were the result of NPH sales declining more rapidly than expenses were
    reduced. Sales for NPH products and services had declined by 33% over the course of these
    six years, from US$22,275,524 in 2006 to US$14,975,338 in 2012. This clearly reflects an
    alarming decline in usage of NPH products and services by churches and individuals. It was
    and is very clear to the NPH Board that NPH operations must be transformed if NPH is to
    regain financial solvency and – more important – if NPH is to be able to effectively serve
    the mission of the Church of the Nazarene.

    Now, the leadership, prior to Gerald’s election at the end of 2012—including Mr. Weathers—are responsible for the decline in sale because the quality of the products were declining.”end quote.
    One other quote from the same post ” But ultimately they failed to develop products which presented the holiness tradition that Nazarenes espouse in a manner that interested and engaged the larger Christian community.” END QUOTE

    Can anyone say Barefoot Ministries which we helped to expose.
    This is from our Concerned Nazarene website. Our group was founded in 2008.

    In 2009, more than 500 Nazarenes across the United States delivered a petition to our General Superintendents, seeking clarification of their stance on the Emergent Church movement. Sadly, the apparent lack of action has enabled the false teachers and leaders to push the denomination further more down the road of apostasy for which there may be no turning back. We may be looking at a rescue mission to help many leave their apostate churches and districts, and there will also be many churches that are faithful to God’s word that will be pressured to compromise. end quote.
    Come to your own conclusion here

  11. Just a PS to the above post. Besides educating people about Barefoot Ministries our group has also passed out free of charge over 20 thousand dvd’s warning people about the new age and the Emergent church creeping into our church. Through God’s grace and mercy many people’s eyes have been opened and turned them back to scripture to test the spirits and see if what is being said in true people becoming like the noble Bereans. Naz Net wants to turn people away from scripture but embrace the culture which is deteriorating rapidly. It still amazes me that pastors like Kevin Rector among others within Naz Net show such utter disdain and rejects the truth of God’s word.

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