How Progressives (Liberals) Revise History And Blame Biblical Christians For Ruining The Church of the Nazarene

“True unity is not reckless diversity in doctrine; true unity is unity in the Spirit, and unity in what God’s word says.”

Recently, a post was written by a pastor in the United Methodist Church, Ric Shewell, in which he decried what he sees as a sad situation in the Church of the Nazarene. Rev. Shewell is also a former Nazarene pastor, who left the denomination and says that he was driven out, although I do not know why, since he seems to fit in nicely with the current philosophy. He is also a major supporter of Tom Oord. Both denominations share a similar heritage, including the connection with John Wesley and his holiness message, and hence an understandable concern for a sister denomination. In his article, pastor Shewell laments that due to the intolerance of conservatives within the Nazarene denomination, it has led to the dismissal or demotion of such Nazarene notables as Dr. Oord, a professor at Northwest Nazarene University who rejects the Genesis account of creation and embraces evolution, who does not believe Adam and Eve existed, who teaches the heresy that God cannot know the future, and that God is not perfect and actually learns from His mistakes.

He gives other examples such as in 2007, when a college professor was dismissed for his views in favor of evolution; the dismissal of the Nazarene Publishing House president; and the demotion of a college chaplain for his views on wars based on Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. His point in using these examples is that the Church of the Nazarene is losing out in the area of diversity in thought and leadership. His conclusion is essentially this: that traditionalists (conservatives, or Bible-believers) are the ones to blame for a so-called uniformity of thought which is squeezing out the progressives and leading to a serious division in the church, and that soon the United Methodist Church will suffer the same fate if something is not done about it.

Pastor Shewell is correct in several ways. Yes, the Church of the Nazarene is being fractured, and uniformity of thought is being promoted heavily. Yes, there are many in the church today that are being intolerant of certain views and as a result are alienating those folks who have those views. (Intolerance is good in some instances, as in when faithfulness to God’s word demands intolerance of false teaching). What is totally incorrect in his conclusions is that he has it reversed, as to who is responsible for this so-called division and drive for uniformity of thought. It is clear from all the evidence over the last decade, that this “uniformity of thought” is being driven by the progressives, and it is clear also that they will not tolerate any thought or belief that opposes their views. By the way, those who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture also believe in uniformity of thought, as long as it is driven and supported by God’s word. True unity is not reckless diversity in doctrine; true unity is unity in the Spirit, and unity in what God’s word says. We will always accept that kind of uniformity of thought.

You can read his entire post here, as well as this post by my friend Dave Mosher which he wrote three years ago about the United Methodist pastor who hosts the website which posted Rev. Shewell’s article. In the meantime, here is my response to the article, with a few added thoughts to extend the comments on his view.

This idea that progressives are being kicked out by conservatives in the Church of the Nazarene is, with all due respect, nonsense! It is the other way around- and can be evidenced by the many biblical Nazarenes who have been forced to leave a denomination that is becoming more and more apostate as time goes by. It will soon be even more “progressive”, and eventually will embrace “homosexual Christians” as being part of the body of Christ. Is there any evidence of progressive persecution of traditional Christians in the church? Yes there is.

-The rejection of the divinely inspired word of God as actually being God’s word in full, is evidence also. This is the central source of the entire problem in any denomination that has strayed from the truth.

-The denial of ordination of a pastor in New England because he testified to his belief in the inerrancy of scripture is evidence.
-The revoking of a pastor’s credentials and throwing his family out of their parsonage for preaching against the evils of the emergent church movement is evidence.
-The embrace of Roman Catholics as “brothers and sisters” in Christ, notwithstanding the RCC’s heretical teachings, is evidence.
-The welcoming of contemplative mysticism into the church is evidence of its new progressivism.
-The emphasis on the social gospel or the environmental gospel taking on almost equal importance with the true Gospel.
-The shunning of traditional Nazarenes in their churches if they do not accept these new progressive ideas is evidence.
-The rejection of biblical inerrancy as written by a Holiness Today editor is evidence.
The absolute silence by the General Superintendents as all this nonsense is occurring is evidence.

There is much, much more evidence, and you can read it on my blog if you wish.

This is no longer the denomination of my father, who was a true holiness preacher/pastor and would have had his heart broken if he had known of what is going on now. My late father-in-law also was a Nazarene holiness preacher and pastor, and he testified to me of all these bizarre, unholy practices that the Nazarenes are bringing in with a total lack of discernment amongst district leaders and pastors.

These folks, like Tom Oord, are outlyers in this story. Apparently even he and a few others were just too much for those leaders who are normally very compromising in allowing just about any heretical practice in the church. Why? Who knows? Perhaps they went to such an extreme that even Nazarenes who don’t like to “rock the boat” were getting upset about these heretical views.

Perhaps this progressivism is to get as many people into the “tent” as possible. That is what they say, isn’t it? We have a big tent, they say, in the Church of the Nazarene, and we welcome “diverse views”. But heaven forbid if you believe in the literal Genesis account of creation, or if you believe in the inerrancy of scripture, or if you believe in evangelizing Catholics instead of pandering to them. Heaven forbid if you believe that it is wrong to pander to the LGBT crowd and their progressive agenda of full acceptance in the church. No, in that case, you are forced out, or told to get with the program and shut up.

In his article, Rev. Shewell says: “Maybe the UMC has gained an unpopular reputation for the fights we’re in, but we stay together, loving and serving for something greater than our differences.” Well, let’s see what that kind of thinking and “unity” has gotten the United Methodist Church over the years:

  • The UMC is not only a member of the radical World Council of Churches, but is its primary financial source.
  • UMC pastors constantly join hand in hand with Roman Catholics, Unitarians, other radical groups, and even interfaith groups (non-Christians). Clearly not a Wesleyan kind of worldview, and clearly opposite the view of the Methodist Articles of Faith developed by John Wesley.
  • A modernistic view of doctrine. Quote from the UMC Conference in 1976 frames the current UMC mindset: ““We do not believe … in rigid doctrinal concepts to hold us steady in a wavering world.”
  • At least 30 percent of UMC ministers do not believe Jesus Christ is God, and 82% say they do not believe the Bible is the perfect Word of God. As early as 1968 a widely publicized scientific survey by Jeffrey Hadden which was published by the Washington University showed that about 60% of the Methodist clergy did not believe in the virgin birth and at least 50% did not believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ.
  • The UMC, although officially against homosexuality as compatible with Christian teaching, is all over the map in this regard in practice. Homosexuals have been ordained in several states; and countless pastors and bishops have joined forces to proudly declare their support of same sex “marriage” and ordination of homosexuals.
  • The UMC has always been in support of abortion rights, calling for the legalization of abortion in 1972, and supporting the Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court.
    (source: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/denominations_today.html)

If Rev. Shewell feels comfortable with these positions (and others I have not mentioned), then perhaps he will someday return to the Church of the Nazarene, as it also is heading the way of the UMC and other apostate denominations. Although John Wesley himself is not the ultimate measure of what is right and wrong for a church, my comparisons to him are to point to the utter hypocrisy of these people who believe they are “Wesleyan” in doctrine. Most evident of their hypocrisy is that they reject the very testimony of John Wesley who believed in the full inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. But as most liberals tend to do, they don’t let the facts get in the way of their distortion of history and biblical truth.

So this blaming of Bible believing, conservative traditionalists for the woes of the Nazarene denomination is all nonsense. The Church of the Nazarene, of which I am still a member for now, has gone from holiness to heresy. And the progressives have led the way and still do. That is what is going on, although the deniers will continue to deny it, and will soon condemn people like me for speaking the truth and pointing out their hypocrisy.

Links:

Biblical Inerrancy:
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/inerrancy-and-wesleyanism/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/biblical-inerrancy/

Dave Mosher’s Commentary on Jeremy Smith:

https://davemosher.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/introducing-rev-jeremy-smith-a-heretical-postmodern-umc-blogger-hacking-christianity/

Ric Shewell’s article:

http://hackingchristianity.net/2015/04/the-nazarenes-are-running-off-their-progressives-is-the-umc-next.html

David Cloud’s article on Denominations:

http://www.wayoflife.org/database/denominations_today.html

 

 

 

 

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9 responses to “How Progressives (Liberals) Revise History And Blame Biblical Christians For Ruining The Church of the Nazarene

  1. If there are so many of us Nazarenes who have had to cease gathering with and worshiping in the local church because of the explicit apostasy of nigh the entire leadership structure of our denomination, let us decide what’s to be done. For ‘such a thing ought not to be done in Israel!’. Shall we meet to form ‘the Reformed Church of the Nazarene’? I also stood for return to Biblical authority, especially in history and science, before the leadership locally and in the district, and the motion was voted down. The local board, and higher-up leadership, unabashedly stated that they believed in man’s evolutionary thinking instead of the Word of God. I’ve had to take my family and leave, abandoning the ministry track (I was a local minister). We’re now adrift, praying for the Lord’s direction. Do we know how many of us there are? Is there a desire to re-form a faithful Church of the Nazarene?

  2. We haven’t adopted the evolutionary thinking yet, but I’m sure many believe it, in fact I know our old assistant pastor did. I am running into the emergent movement more and more and any time I speak against a false teacher, or an errored teaching, I get people complaining to the pastor about what I posted. This just happened a few weeks ago and I got to talk to my pastor. I am only on our board for one more year. I’ve considered after that leaving the church, but where to go? I am reformed in doctrine (calvinist), but have appreciated the holiness style church and I fully stand on the full authority of scripture, it’s rarely taught anymore. The problem is all the mysticism is invading the ranks of the church. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I just don’t know about the church any more. I’ve felt lost for a few months with seeing what’s starting to grow more as a trend. Been talking to my wife about it also, but she doesn’t want to leave being as she grew up there. She sees the trends though too.

  3. Many of us, as you have here, have asked that question: where do I go? For us, we were life long Nazarenes (still are officially). Yet we have rarely attended our official church for five years, and have been at a small church where the pastor is faithful o the word of God, supports what we are doing, and preaches against these false teachings.
    All I can say is to pray about your situation and ask God to guide you in what you need to do. I have seen family members trapped in that same kind of thinking: I don’t want ot leave my friends. But sometimes you have to do that in the end. we did it to protect our kids mainly, but also did not want remain at a church whose pastor did not even believe that the Bible was completely God’s word.
    My prayers are with you.

  4. I believe Jesus in Matthew [15: 8] in quoting Isaiah [29: 13] as written in Mark said, ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.” This Scripture characterizes those today, whom like in Jesus’s day, no longer accept as true God’s word evidenced by what they believe and teach in the Church. They pretend to honor God with their devotion while their homily/opinions oppose Him and His word.

    A question yet to be answered, will the Church again seek holiness as its way of life, as did its founding fathers, or will it continue to drift from the truth. Jeremiah [6: 16] warns that in times of backsliding God calls us to return to the old paths. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. ’But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.” I pray Jeremiah’s opposing remarks of the people to his plea for them to ‘return to the old paths’ is not the Churches future.

  5. Is there an “about” section of this blog? Is it entirely anonymous? If it is, that concerns me because I have only read posts that are negative and dismissive of people/beliefs/organizations. In my opinion, it’s easy to complain about things one doesn’t like when one can remain anonymous. If it isn’t anonymous and I’m just not finding what I’m looking for, can I please be directed to such a link on this blog?

    I also couldn’t find a general place to ask this, so I just replied to the most recent post. Sorry if this isn’t the best place.

    Peace

  6. Hello Taylor,

    Jeremiah was a prophet who was given a difficult task by God, and that was to deliver a message to the people that was meant to convict them of their great sin. He did not want to do it, and was greatly depressed at times because of it, but it was necessary.

    I don’t like what I am doing, but it is needed. It is a call to warn the church of the apostasy within it. Much of what I write is negative news, but that is what the purpose is. It is a call to repentance for the leadership from their disobedient ways.

    My name is Manny Silva. I have never tried to hide myself behind anonymity. You can see my About here: https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/nazarene-denomination-losing-its-way/about/

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here on contact me at my email: standfortruthministries@gmail.com

  7. Manny, I recently made contact with with Dr. David Busic via Facebook Private Messaging. I had written a letter to the Board of General Superintendents about one year ago and did not receive a response from them. I had previously commented on one of Dr. Busic’s post “that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is therefore inerrant throughout.” Almost immediately I was given a link by a close associate of Dr. Busic, who posted a link that Nazarene’s had rejected strict inerrancy of the Bible. I asked Dr. Busic if he believed John Wesley held to strict inerancy of God’s word. He was polite in his response, but stated he did not believe Wesley viewed the Bible as being inerrant, as we moderns view inerancy of scripture. I sent him a copy of an article where John Wesley had written in his own words; “nay if there be one mistake in that book (the Bible) there might as well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book it did not come from the God of Truth- Wesley.

    I prayed over this issue, and being aware of the apostasy being promoted by professors in Nazarene Universities, the seminar and our Bible College, I kindly explained to Dr. Busic that I could not support our Nazarene institutes of higher education. I then explained to Dr.Busic that Open Theism and Process Theology does not square with an inerrant Bible. I have been battling with the false doctrines being promoted in the COTN for several years now. I informed Dr. Busic that I could not, in good faith, agree to sign a statement agreeing to support the Nazarene institutions of higher education in order to have my ministerial credentials reinstated, which I voluntarily surrendered years ago, when I became a Licensed Professional Counselor. Now that I’m sensing a fresh call from God to return to preaching the true Gospel. the only response I received from Dr. Busic was; “thank you for your kind words.” I’ll admit, I was very polite to Dr. Busic, but explained that I would be leaving the COTN and will affiliate with a fundamental Bible believing church.

    Let me tell you, I felt such a great sense of relief, since I separated from the COTN and afiliated with a Bible believing fundamental church. I’m convinced that our General Superintendents and many of our District leaders have caved in to heretical doctrines, taught by demons!! The church’s leaders have unfortunately been unwilling to speak out against these heresies, and as a result they appear to be deceived by Satan in these last days. Their silence on these issues is appalling and does not represent our true doctrinal heritage. I have no doubt now, that those who sit sit at the top of the hierarchy in the COTN want people like us who believe in an inerrant Bible to leave the denomination. This is so sad. Time is short and God is calling me to preach and evangelize. I don’t have time to argue or debate the heresy in the COTN, any longer. I have moved on and feel such a sense of relief, knowing that the Church I’m affiliated with has and is “earnestly contended for the faith once delivered to the saints.”

  8. Manny,
    I contacted you via email not long ago and sent you excerpts from both a facebook thread and private messages I recently had with a pastor on my district. Thank you for acknowledging it and for getting back with me about it.

    As I stated in that correspondence to you, I was shocked by what this pastor was saying in response to my disagreement with an article he posted. Essentially, he said God does not allow things to happen because God is love. As such, if he allows bad things or prevents other things then God is controlling and love never controls. This comes straight from Dr. Oord’s beliefs.

    I have been prayerfully struggling with what to do about this, as I am deeply disturbed that false doctrines are being bought into by even one of our pastors. Part of me is anxious because I fear I may soon learn of more and possibly even those in higher leadership positions on my district. The good news is, others were involved in the facebook conversation and are also disturbed and seeking guidance as to how to go about doing what we know has to be addressed.

    I have been warning our congregation of false teachings being taught in our universities and that some on our district are promoting them now since this encounter took place. Our Sunday School lessons over the past several weeks have been centered around false teachers and false beliefs about the Christ. Yesterdays lesson specifically focused on how we are not to receive such people into our homes or even greet them. 2 John 7-11 because to do so causes us to share in their “evil deeds”. Because of this, I have decided I am going to be even more open with our congregation on what is being said and by whom.

    During one of my electronic conversations with this pastor, who I also consider a friendly acquaintance, I told him I see the slippery slope that this kind of belief is leading people (Christian leaders in several denominations) to embrace and eroding very clearly defined Biblical truths. His defense was that he wasn’t defending the ideas on the blog that was started to support the Uncontrolling Love of God, but to defend academics and openness. This was laughably ironic as he was not very open in our discussion at all.

    I did not question his defense, however, I have continued to keep an eye on the blog he mentioned and find that he is, in fact, entertaining some of those slippery slope ideas. I have taken a screenshot of this latest, absolute heresy. Note that he tries to say it as if he doesn’t believe it to be true, but the very fact that a spiritual leader is even thinking of such things as a possibility is enough to anger me. This idea is undermines the whole of Christianity and denies the story that runs from Genesis to Revelation. Of course Jesus came to reveal the Father to us, but Jesus clearly states Himself in John 12:27-28 what His “primary mission” was, although He referred to it as “purpose”.

    I have attempted to share the screenshot, but it won’t let me, at least not any way that I am aware of; I know the Word much better than I do technology. Sorry. I have copied directly from the site and pasted it instead. May many be as outraged over this as I am!

    Copied from The Uncontrolling Love of God Book Discussion on facebook:
    Yes, if God did not want to be known, God would not have revealed himself in Jesus. Perhaps that was the primary mission of Jesus, and his death an unfortunate result of our limited understanding? Perhaps he did not HAVE to die to atone for our sins, but God’s ultimate creativity used his death to atone. I’m thinking out loud, and it’s probably heresy. 😳😈😜
    Like · Reply · 2 · July 4 at 12:23pm

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