Surely it is the case that any church denomination that goes astray, falls into apostasy and away from biblical truth, that as they believe that they are walking in the light and growing spiritually, they are actually walking into ever-growing darkness. I have written almost 400 articles on my blog since 2009, warning the Church of the Nazarene and its leaders about its falling away from biblical truth, and the voices of many Nazarenes including myself have fallen on deaf ears it seems. The response from leaders was either to ignore us, or respond with answers that reflect an “everything is okay” attitude. But it is not okay, and this post could be the most significant one yet that shows the end result of years of church error and compromise.
What would you say if an active Nazarene pastor said to you: “I myself have blessed some homosexual marriages?”
This statement is from an email exchange between a concerned Christian and a pastor in seeking clarification on the church’s position on homosexuality. The email reflects the same thinking that comes from leaders in the Holland churches as written in five official documents they have written publicly, so the problem is far beyond one person. I commend this Christian for alerting me to this escalating problem in the church. He is not a Nazarene, but had been looking into the Church of the Nazarene’s doctrine. He found it to be biblically sound on paper, but found it very short of the mark in practice. Understandably, he has no interest in attending or joining a Nazarene church, yet his concern for the welfare of the believers is what motivated him to alert me.
At the end of this post is the entire email exchange as translated from Dutch (albeit imperfectly), and then the original email in the Dutch language. The implications of the email conversation go far beyond the theology of one or two individual pastors. Instead, it reflects the theological shift of a significant group of churches that goes away from the official Nazarene stance on homosexuality. Names were changed to both protect the concerned Christian, and to keep this from being about one pastor, rather than about an entire church district. However, I have sent a separate email to the General Superintendents (see below) with the name of this pastor and those connected with him, so they will know who to speak with about this violation of biblical and Nazarene Church standards. One would think that the church leaders would address this issue with any Nazarene pastor or district that is going against church doctrine.
You might have thought that such a statement would come from within the presbyterian Church USA, or from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, or the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, Reformed Judaism, or the Quakers. (All these denominations sanction same sex unions or marriages). Instead, this statement came directly from the pastor of a Church of the Nazarene in Holland. This pastor is an influential leader in the Holland Nazarene district. What is also disturbing is that this earthquake-like theological shift has been building since at least 2005, as documented in five writings by the leaders in Holland.
Here is my summary, based on the email and the five major writings I obtained:
- A significant number of Nazarene churches in Holland accept and welcome homosexual relations as a normal Christian lifestyle.
- Same sex relationships are being blessed, just short of actual marriage ceremonies.
- A significant number of leaders of the Holland Nazarene churches reject the official Church of the Nazarene position on homosexuality.
- The leadership of the Holland churches warns their constituency about the official position of the General Church of the Nazarene regarding homosexuality.
- The leadership of the Holland churches intends to bring a major motion for change in the official position of the Church of the Nazarene as pertains to homosexuality.
- Pastor X states in the email that the leadership in the USA already are aware of their pro-gay theology.
- Pastor X denies in the email that his theology is pro-gay, but that denial is refuted by his own statement that he has blessed same sex relationships, and that homosexuality is not a sin.
Excerpts of Pastor X’s Statements:
- “I myself have blessed some homosexual marriages.”
- “I see homosexuality as a natural tendency; I see it as one of the biochemical defects that have affected the human system. It is not a chosen sin, as Wesley says.”
- “we warn our people about the theology of our American brothers.”
- “Personally, I am ashamed of the church in America.”
- “The church in the US has deviated from her Wesleyan heritage.”
- “Our district will make a motion on these issues in the Netherlands during the international meeting”
Is This The Coming Storm?
A few years ago I said that it was simply a matter of when, not if, the Church of the Nazarene would compromise beyond what it already has, and accept practicing homosexuals into the “big tent” of the church. My friend Lige Jeter wrote a post on my blog called “A Storm Coming:The Church of the Nazarene’s Steps Towards Embracing Homosexuality”, where he addressed the homosexuality problem. This may very well be that storm.
In seeing what was coming, we needed no prophetic vision, just common sense from what we saw happening in the denomination. (I recall the last General Assembly, when after some debate and opposition to strengthening the official statement, the Assembly voted to postpone any changes for another four years on the homosexuality question. This opposition was led by some very influential Nazarenes, including Dr. Dan Boone. A few years ago, Dr. Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene College, allowed a militant pro-LGBT group to come onto the campus and promote their agenda.
So now we find what seems to be an entire group of Nazarene churches in Holland, embracing one of the most popular of social movements in the “Christian” community: acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle as perfectly normal and not a sin, contrary to Scripture’s plain teaching. But not only embracing it, but most likely will be demanding that acceptance is across the board within the denomination. Signs of that are evident in their General Assembly resolution number CA-701a.
The question must also be asked: what do the General Superintendents know, when did they know it, and what have they done about it? Pastor X stated that “they know in the U.S. that we have different opinions on this subject.” If ‘they’ is the General Superintendents, then we have some really serious things to discuss. If ‘they’ have known about this theological shift for several years, what have they done about it? If ‘they’ have chosen to let this go on as it has been going on in Holland, what is their rationale for it? These and more pointed questions must be answered by the leaders of the Church of the Nazarene, which is why I have also sent this to them.
Perhaps they will answer us fully at the coming General Assembly, and perhaps not. But this cannot be ignored, nor swept under the rug with excuses. If they have been deliberately ignoring proper church discipline in dealing with an obvious violation of biblical standards, as well as the less-important Nazarene Manual, then their only recourse is to resign from any further responsibility as leaders of the Church of the Nazarene. The current state of the church is this: it is weak and there is no real leadership. Let new leadership come in and start cleaning house, as a first step towards real revival in the church. Otherwise, the Church of the Nazarene will irreversibly join the growing number of apostate churches that have thumbed their noses at God and said to Him, “not Your will, but mine.”
More to come regarding the five position papers written by the Holland Nazarene leadership. I encourage anyone who is concerned to write to the Generals.)
Portuguese and Spanish versions of the article are attached.
Sodom and Gomorrah And Nazarenes- Spanish
THE TRANSLATED EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN JOHN AND PASTOR X
March 7, 2017 18:56 (from John)
JOHN: Hello Ds. X. Thank you for your response, I appreciate it enormously. I downloaded the article about human sexuality from your website; there, your theology is stated in detail. It is clear that your theology agrees with a pro-gay theology.
My question to you is regarding someone whose sexual orientation is toward the same sex and may be baptized and member of the church: is it true that you don’t consider their continuation of a homosexual relationship a sin? Ds. Y has already said a resounding “yes” that practicing homosexuals can be members.
PASTOR X: Yes, that’s right. Our entire board has also emphasized this point recently. I, myself, have blessed some homosexual marriages. However, I do not call it a marriage.
JOHN: Are there practicing homosexuals in your church that you know of?
PASTOR X: Definitely, there are several. There is a homosexual couple that have been together for almost 50 years.
JOHN: Because those who are members of your church who are into a gay sexual relationship are not calling it a sin, it is clear to me that your church is preaching pro-gay theology. I read the articles on this issue and as evidence I downloaded them.
PASTOR X: No, I do not hold to pro gay theology.
JOHN: Would you be able to tell me why the homosexual practices that go on in your church is not considered a sin? Just in a few words, please, I would like to hear it from you personally.
PASTOR X: I see homosexuality as a natural tendency; I see it as one of the biochemical defects that have affected the human system. It is not a chosen sin, as Wesley says.
JOHN: In the meantime, I have contacted Nazarenes from America that warn us about your theology.
PASTOR X: Yes, we warn our people about the theology of our American brothers.
JOHN: Don’t you know that this is not in agreement with the official doctrine of the Nazarene church? To confirm this you only need to read the Manual.
PASTOR X: They know in the US that we have different opinions on this subject. The Manual prohibits some things that we don’t have a problem with, such as drinking alcohol, going to the movies and dancing. Personally, I am ashamed of the church in America. For example, many Nazarenes have voted for Trump. The church in the US has deviated from her Wesleyan heritage, and (unfortunately) her unique message of Holiness.
Our district will make a motion on these issues in the Netherlands during the international meeting.
-End of email-
LETTER TO THE BOARD OF GENERAL SUPERINTENDENTS:
Dear General Superintendents,
I was forwarded an email several months ago that detailed a conversation between a man and a pastor of a Church of the Nazarene in Holland. My post below reveals the conversation. In my post to my blog and my email list, I have kept the pastor’s name out, mainly to keep him from being embarrassed publicly, and also because the issue involves more than just this pastor.
However, once you read the email, I believe you will be very concerned at what is going on with the Holland churches. You certainly should be concerned with what this pastor, Ds. X of the church in _______ has admitted to the person he conversed with. It would seem that proper church discipline ought to be conducted with him and any pastor in Holland who is disobeying church doctrine.
I have also obtained five major documents that various leaders in Holland have been writing since 2005, and it is clear after reading these documents that the Holland churches are pushing for acceptance of practicing homosexuals as full members of the church. That has now been reinforced by the resolution they have submitted to the General Assembly. That document, n spite of not going as far as I believed they would go, is essentially just the first step in achieving their goal.
I have been warning you, as have many other Nazarenes, of the apostasy that has gripped the denomination for the last eight years. Countless Nazarenes have given up, and left their denomination. Many have been forced out, for questioning the many false teachings that have infected the church. And now, this revelation, although shocking, was expected.
I don’t know what it will take to wake up the church. I don’t know what it will take to wake you up. But I suggest you get on your knees and pray to Almighty God that he can give you the courage to seek His guidance. Perhaps there is still time to right the ship, but it sure is getting further and further adrift into the most dangerous of waters.
What will you do?
THE ORIGINAL DUTCH EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN JOHN AND Pastor X
(Black text = John; Red text = Pastor X)
Op 7 mrt. 2017 om 18:56 heeft John <john@ > het volgende geschreven:
Hoi Ds. X,
Dank u voor uw bericht, waardeer ik enorm.
Ik heb de artikelen gedownload over menselijke sexualiteit van jullie website, hierin staat in detail jullie theologie. In grote lijnen komt jullie theologie wel overeen met pro-gay theology.
Mijn vraag aan u: iemand die een sexuale geaardheid heeft tot dezelfde geslacht mag bij jullie gedoopt en lid worden, het klopt toch dat jullie zijn continuatie in een homosexuele relatie geen zonde noemt toch? Ds Y heeft al volmondig ‘ ja’ gezegd dat praktiserende homo’s lid Mogen worden.
>>> Ja, dat klopt. Onze hele bestuursraad heeft dit standpunt recent nog bekrachtigd. Ik heb zelf ook homohuwelijken ingezegend, hoewel ik het geen huwelijk noem.
Er zijn namelijk homo’s die praktiserend zijn in jullie kerk, dat zal u zelf het beste weten..
>>>Zeker, verschillende. Een homostel is al meer dan 50 jr bij elkaar.
De daad van homosex van hen die lid zijn en het geen zonde noemen, is naar mijn insziens pro-gay theology in de puurste zin, ik heb de artikelen gelezen over jullie standpunten. Als bewijs heb ik ze gedownload.
>>> Nee, toch niet. Ik herken mij niet in de pro gay positie….
Zou u mij persoonlijk hierop kunnen antwoorden waarom jullie dit geen zonde noemen van hen die met deze homosexuele praktijken doorgaan in jullie kerk? Gewoon in het kort alsjeblieft, ik zou het graag van u zelf willen horen.
>>> Ik zie homofilie, als aangeboren neiging, als een van de vele biochemische defecten die het menselijk systeem hebben aangetast. Geen gekozen zo nde dus, zoals Wesley zegt.
In de tussentijd heb ik al contact met Nazarenes uit Amerika die voor jullie theologie waarschuwen.
>>>Ja, wij waarschuwen mensen hier voor de theologie van onze amerikaanse broeders…
U weet toch ook wel dat het niet volgens de officiele doctrine behoort van Nazarene Church? Daarvoor hoeft u alleen maar de Manuel te lezen…
>>> Ze weten in de VS dat wij een andere mening hierover hebben. De manual veroordeelt wel meer dingen waar wij hier geen problemen mee hebben, zoals drinken van alcohol, bioscoopbezoek en dansen. Zelf schaam ik mij diep voor onze amerikaanse kerk. Vele nazareners hebben op Trump gestemd, bijv. De kerk in de VS is afgeweken van haar wesleyaanse erfenis, helaas, en haar unieke heiligingsboodschap vergeten. Ons nederlansde district dient een motie overvdeze dingen in op de internationale vergadering.