Does Anyone Have A Match?

(By Lige Jeter)

The Church of the Nazarene was founded upon holiness, leading its followers into the experience of entire sanctification. Without being judgmental, given the laissez-faire direction many have chosen drifting away from moral living, the church can no longer ignore its spiritual state and continue on its current path. Unless we return to holiness, its teaching, and experience, as warned in (1 Samuel 4: 21) we may as well write “Ichabod” over our door “The glory has departed.”

If the church ever needed to return to its beginning heritage, it is now. When was the last time you saw someone redeemed from sin or sanctified at an altar of prayer? How long has it been since you heard a message concerning salvation or sanctification. Has the church lost its edge or have we “Misplaced it?” To misplace something simply means to leave it in the wrong place, or to lose it, temporarily forgetting where you placed it. The normal thing to assume is that it will still be there when and if we search for it.

Do not take this as one throwing stones or casting aspersions, nor slandering the church or saying anything false or malicious. Only to probe the question “Has the church lost its edge or have we misplaced it?” A large number of those professing a relationship with Christ upon leaving the church service conduct their lives on par with those in the world who do not profess anything. It is a sad day in Christendom when it becomes difficult to distinguish the church group by their behavior from the un-churched. The church is allowing customs that are pagan in nature and questionable teaching (as Manny has pointed out) in our Churches, Universities, and Seminary that weakens God’s word in truth and provide no spiritual benefit to those who practice or endorse them.

Holiness was and continues to be, the Biblical standard for living. The command to live a holy life is found in both the Old and New Testament. “Be holy for I am holy (Leviticus 11: 44) and (1 Peter 1: 16).” In the Old Testament, man was not only to worship God, but was to imitate Him in their lifestyle. Their lives were to be a carbon copy of their Creator reflecting His moral character. Nothing that suggested even the least corrupt can be associated with God. They believed because they were commanded to be holy, which carried a dual responsibility, one positive and the other negative. The positive is; they are to emulate God, and keep His laws and do the right things. The negative and most difficult to achieve was the withdrawal from things impure and loathsome, and not to do the things you should abstain.

It was the duty of every Israelite to strive as was attainable under the law, whether it was physical or spiritual. They were to avoid whatever would defile them and keep them from living holy lives. The intention of imitating God may have had its’ roots in the Old Testament, but it also found its way into the New Testament. Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and Philippians gives support to this. “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children (Ephesians 5: 1).” “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God (Philippians 2: 5 – 6).”

For moral reasons, correctly imitating God is in no way robbing God of what rightfully belongs to Him. To the contrary, we are ascribing to God what is His already. Jesus as our example while here upon earth was to glorify God through His life, and do the work that He was to accomplish. Our role is to emulate that of a servant, as Christ taught His disciples. Pointing out our Lord’s interest now becomes our interest.

Jesus asked the question in Matthew 6: “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” The light Jesus is talking about has a direct correlation to our conscience that regulates or controls our spiritual conduct. If our conscience is impaired, meaning not focused heavenward, it will become distorted and take on a different character determined by the amount of darkness that has crept into the church.

Lige Jeter

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5 responses to “Does Anyone Have A Match?

  1. I told my friend, it’s sad that it took leaving a Nazarene church for me to get sanctified. I went back, but I feel like it’s going in such a wrong direction. When I share things with the pastor, it seems to fall.on deaf ears.

  2. Jennifer, your comment and those who have experienced similar disappointment is one of many reasons that I wrote “Bread of Tears” based upon Psalms 80:5.

    I began writing the book in April 2000, and published on Kindle e-book December 7, 2014. It is also available on Amazon in paperback. In Part I “Holiness a Way of Life,” is the main thread of the book for individual or group study weaving both the OT and NT requirement for holy living. Part II “A Nation in Turmoil,” looks at what happens when God judge’s unfaithfulness based upon what is happening in America.

    Anyone interested in reading can go to Kindle books, click on “Bread of Tears” (click look inside) and preview before purchasing. There is a promotion for 0.99 from June 22 through June 29.

  3. Keep your eyes on Jesus. In 2008 and 2009 I shared the concerns of what has become known as Concerned Nazarenes. But within a short period I realized this was not a group of people making an impact for the Kingdom, but rather the wounded who was striking back. There is no question there have been and still are many misguided leaders in churches who should not be in leadership. But that could be said for any church, denomination or network of churches anywhere. The COTN may have made some poor changes in polity along with the way, but in general we are still a conservative sect of orthodox Christianity. We still preach, teach and witness lives being changed , transformed with men and women called into ministry. Making public jabs at your heritage does no good to the lost , to the body or to the honor of the Father above. It’s an unfortunete thing that so many who write in to this site, write about others who are less then their expectations to the demise of the body of Christ. There is far more good going on in the COTN then bad, yet this site is where to find bad. I am so glad God called me to preach, pray and make disciples. The COTN had dead lined in North America for 50 years in church growth. In the last two years we have finally planted more new churches then those closed. In our church and on our district we are seeing people getting saved, sanctified and called into ministry. In these last days we are far better off working together against the wave of paganism then finding fault where ever we can and publishing it for the whole world. If I have a problem in my local church that is significant and problematic then I should deal with it locally. But to tell the whole world about it serves nobody any good and actually serves bad to those who are doing good. Let’s not give the devil a foot hold and keep publishing failures and problems. Deal With it locally and let it stay there.

  4. Peter,

    You suggest that we should not talk about these problems openly and publically? Just deal with it locally? Sorry, not me. I care about all Nazarenes, not just the ones who are in a local church.

    If I listened to your suggestion, then I suppose then I should drop my plans to warn all Nazarenes about one of the main speakers at Nazarene Youth Convention next month, Gabriel Salguerro. This Nazarene pastor does not exemplify the kind of values that I am sure you believe in. He has been a promoter of Wildgoose Festival for several years now, and if you know anything about that pagan event, it is anything but holiness oriented and Christian. It is an abomination, and to not warn all Nazarenes worldwide would be wrong.

    For me, Lige and many others, we choose to expose the darkness rather than let our fellow Nazarenes go on thinking that everything is just fine and dandy in the Church of the Nazarene.

    It is not fine, and we have chosen to continue to expose those who are severely damaging the church, and calling out our leaders who are doing absolutely nothing to stop the bleeding.

    I would suggest you re-think your position on this.

    Manny

  5. Peter, I am glad that you are getting people saved and sanctified in your church, keep the faith. You make two statements, and I believe both are true, but how would you deal with these if ignored when brought to light, what course of action would you take to remedy the situation? You said: “There is no question there have been and still are many misguided leaders in churches who should not be in leadership. If I have a problem in my local church that is significant and problematic then I should deal with it locally.” Ideally, it should be, but realistically action is seldom taken. That being true, a person deserves to be warned to avoid the danger of hypocrisy where it exists.

    Paul in his letter to the Corinthians warned against the dangers of keeping company with sinners as if their influences are not dangerous. (2Corinthians 6:14) “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

    Right and wrong cannot mix just as righteousness cannot have a spiritual union with unrighteousness, nor can light and darkness occupy the same space. Therefore, Christ can have no agreement with Satan nor can the believer have any with an unbeliever. How many times have you heard and seen a Christian who marries a non-Christian with the intent of converting the person. It has been my experience to see just the opposite occur. A man or woman who is truly pious, marrying with an unconverted will either draw back to perdition, or have a cross during life to bear. Such persons cannot say this petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation,” as if God sanctioned it, because they rushed into it of their own accord.

    The world to which Paul is referring was influenced by these paradigms, “Light vs Darkness.” Light being the symbol of truth, virtue, holiness. While darkness seen as the emblem of sin, corruption, and spiritual ignorance. The idea is, there is an entire separation between light and darkness in their nature–as they have nothing in common–so it is and should be between Christians and sinners.

    I do not believe Manny’s blog is finding fault as suggested, but rather exposing darkness. As Manny suggested maybe you should re-think your position.

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