An Open Letter to the Nazarene Church And A Call To Repentance

In presenting the following open letter by a current member of the Church of the Nazarene, it will mark the first article I have posted in months. This slowdown in writing my articles in no way reflects a change for the better within this “professing” holiness denomination. Would that it were so. I say this because it is not enough to proclaim holiness; you must also live it by action and example. The status quo has not changed, and it seems most of the denominational leaders including the General Superintendents are at best turning a blind eye to the truth of what is happening; at worst, some of them are aiding and abetting a slow but steady walk down a path to apostasy.

The General Superintendents, college presidents and other leaders in the church have pretty much written off folks like me. But they also have refused to listen (really listen) to many others in the Church of the Nazarene, no matter who they are. The demonization of “faithful to God’s word” Nazarenes and former Nazarenes is not working, and the truth will come out in full mode sooner or later, and there will be hell to pay for those who are helping to fundamentally change and in effect destroy the Nazarene denomination, thereby bringing it from holiness to heresy. Continuing on the path it is on now will result in the same thing that recently happened to the United Methodist Church, and it was not a good thing.

Please distribute this letter to as many Nazarenes as you can. It is worth listening to words that are representative of all Bible-believing Nazarenes.

Open Letter to the Nazarene Church:

Because of the Nazarene Church, I learned what “Holiness Unto the Lord” is. By the early 1970’s, during my teen years, I was struggling to make the choice to surrender my life fully to the Lord Jesus Christ. The preached messages of the Gospel that I heard service to service both assured me that there is a Holy God who loves me and desires that I will come to Him; that I will come to Him in repentance and be cleansed from my sins and forgiven so that I will live my life in a personal and holy relationship with the LORD.

Several things happened which caused me to believe the Gospel and surrender my life fully to God. One of these was a Nazarene missionary from Swaziland who visited and preached at the local First Church of the Nazarene. During his message, he suddenly stopped and left the platform to walk the aisle and as he approached me, he asked, “Will you come?” I knew he was inviting me to the altar. And just then he reached out his other hand to my Methodist boyfriend who happened to be visiting that night. The missionary also asked him, “Will you come?” As we were both led to the altar the missionary said that God had a plan for our lives. We prayed there that night, two 16 year old kids, asking God to save us and to help us live for Him. During this period of my life, I also had a Nazarene friend in teen group who was an effective Christian witness to me.

The message of the Nazarene Church at that time was the call to salvation and “Holiness Unto the Lord”. We were taught that God is holy and that God desires us to be holy. I’m wondering what has changed? I know that the current message reads, “The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations.” And I understand that what is taught is, “The essence of holiness is Christlikeness.” However, I do not see this being “practiced” by many leaders who call themselves, “Nazarene”.  For example, there are many pastors in the Nazarene Church who let it be known that there is no standard holiness message.

Some pastors are “Progressive Christians or (Liberal Christians)” and some of them wear clerical collars and practice  liturgical worship services. Some refer to God or The Holy Spirit as “She” or “Her”. Then there are some leaders who are for LGBTQ+ affirmation and inclusion, and some follow, advertise and promote heretics and false teachers such as Richard Rohr, Rachel Held Evans, Jen Hatmaker, and other misleading voices who have caused many to stray from the true Christian faith.

The Nazarene Church also has some professors and some ordained Nazarene pastors and others in leadership who act as “change agents” within the Nazarene Church to attempt to make the Nazarene Church an affirming church —affirming of what the Holy Scriptures identify as “sin”.

There is currently confusion and chaos in the Nazarene Church that I do not see being addressed by leadership. What I do see is the Manual or “Book of Discipline” of the Nazarene Church. Yet there are those who willingly defy the Bible and the Manual. And these do not keep their defiance secret as they broadcast their intentions on social media. These are influential Nazarenes – those in positions of leadership; ones who have become role models to many young people. They seek to make the Manual even more affirming and inclusive — all in the name of love and holiness and Christlikeness. Yet this is a counterfeit Christianity, a counterfeit holiness — a deep lie of Satan which seduces the church to sin.

There was a day when the Nazarene Church called me to repentance. Today I call the Nazarene Church to repentance.

Will you come?

13 responses to “An Open Letter to the Nazarene Church And A Call To Repentance

  1. If I were you, I would leave. This denomination had it’s day, but it’s been dwindling in America for many years. In many areas, churches are closing at an alarming rate. We made the decision to leave in 1996. Never looked back after 46 years a Nazarene and being reared in a personage. Denominations have their place, but not for me. Too political. Sorry you’re heartbroken, but I promise it’s not the end of the world. Far from it.

  2. Timely post! As a Nazarene church member, I’ve also followed the happenings in the UMC & feared that us Nazarenes are heading in the same direction. While the Nazarene Church has good pastors to be grateful for, the Nazarene Church, as a denomination, needs prayer as not all leadership are faithful to God and the truth & authority the Bible. I pray that God will give the Nazarene Church more godly leaders who will submit themselves to God and to the authority of His written Word and not be swayed to conform to the world and the confused culture that we find ourselves in.

  3. We have attended the same Nazarene church for nearly 20 yrs. We are not members but have been very involved. Our pastor has begun to follow the liturgical sermons. We say the Lord’s prayer after every service. There is never an alter call. We never hear about sin, hell or redemption. I believe our pastor is a good and Godly man but for some reason his preaching has changed. I love him and his family. It is a very hard place to be

  4. Prophets continually called Israel to REPENT! –
    Most often Israel’s reply was an INCREASE in the number and severity of their transgressions.
    The likelihood of ICHABOD denominations like the PC-USA, Episcopal, UMC and the CotN actually returning & renouncing their sin, and espousing Biblical Holiness and Principles ranges from Zero to nil.
    “For the heart of this people is ac waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Acts 26:27.
    I would love to be proven wrong!
    My personal assessment, is that the Universal Church is in the same sinful, unrepentant condition as Israel was in the prophet Jeremiah’s time.
    Churches across the denominational spectrum and the American nation, have not had a modern SIN-DESTROYING REVIVAL.
    Do we expect a different consequence and outcome?
    – 1 Cor 10:11-12

  5. This appeared on Facebook that some readers may have already seen. The statement posted on the Coventry Estates Baptist Church billboard reads. “Gradually, The Unthinkable Becomes Tolerable Then Acceptable Then Legal Then Passed. “

    The statement illustrates a truth explaining the departure one takes leading to an entrapment initially never intended by the entrapped. James describes it this way in James 1: 14-15, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James clearly shows when one does what they know not to do yet do it anyway the outcome brings forth death.

    The COTN used to be a leader in the Holiness movement preaching Holiness as the standard for Christian living. Now it seems we have become a copycat church in many ways leading us away from Holiness so as not to appear to be different. Perhaps we need to return to our first love.

  6. A couple days ago a Nazarene Church member posted this blog post on Alabama North District Church of the Nazarene’s Facebook (public page). By the following morning, it was gone. I think it both ironic & hypocritical to remove it. Why? Because it’s the Nazarenes who are always preaching about love & loving your neighbor and invitations to the outsiders & sitting at the table & conversations. Furthermore this is an Open Letter to the Nazarene Church and A call to Repentance. Therefore whoever removed it did so without explanation… In my opinion, removing an Open Letter to the Nazarene Church is the equivalent of throwing away someone’s mail. Also none of us humans are above a call to Repentance.

    It seems to me that either the Nazarene Church hates the blog writer or they want to suppress the truth or both. At any rate, if the Nazarenes don’t want a conversation, stop asking for one…If Nazarenes want to love their neighbor, start showing it. And last but not least, our church leaders are there to serve the church; all the members of the church. Nazarene Church leaders are not in their positions to silence Nazarene members.

  7. 2019 edition. I was horrified at the cover. I don’t have a link. Bresee Hall in rainbow colors. This was NOT authorized by administration. They were caught entirely off guard. I love SNU. We need your prayers.

  8. Thanks Gail for the update. I will try to find a copy from someone. I certainly continue to pray for all the Nazarene colleges and seminary, and encourage all Bible believing Christians to do so as well. Thanks so much for your concern. God bless you.

  9. Speaking as someone who feels completely helpless, I love the church of my youth. I grew up in the Church of the Nazarene, was educated in a Nazarene University and then went on to Nazarene Seminary. It was there that my eyes were first opened to the truth of what was happening at the higher levels. I had several prominent professors (who I will not name) who around 1990, I remember them explicitly saying that there is no hell. Hell is just a scapegoat for our own evil. This professor has written several books and been lauded among the leadership for years and asked to speak at many events including camp meetings etc. In other words, he has a far reaching arm due to his position.

    On another occasion I recall sitting in a theology class and hearing my professor (also a distinguished and published author in the church) say quite openly that the Genesis account of creation is just a myth, a simple story to relate complex information to simple-minded people. In other words, those of us who believe that God can do anything, including creating all the created order in a literal 6 day period of time complete with age built in, are actually simple-minded morons who should shut up and let the scientists lead us in another round of worship and determine our theology.

    I remember calling home to my mother (she was the stalwart person of faith in my life), who herself was a life-long Nazarene, and literally sobbing over the phone. Through tears I told her of the things that I was being taught and really, told to believe. She encouraged me to hold on to the things that I had been taught as a child, the first things. I have done that through the years as I have watched in horror how things have gone from bad to worse. Now my own child who attended a Nazarene University called me in absolute horror as she recounted one of her theology professors whom she really loved, said in class, “There is no such thing as the Devil.” I told her I had heard the same malarkey and was not surprised that she had now been encountered with it at the college level.

    I am a Nazarene elder (credentialed), but I am at a crossroads. Currently, I am not in the capacity of full time ministry as a pastor. My heart aches to minister again, but I feel almost bound by my credentials (not in a good way) to remain in the COTN despite what I see as a slippery slide into the wasteland of once great denominations. When I say, “bound,” I don’t mean that I can’t break away because the bond is too strong in my heart. What I mean is that the system is such that I either surrender my credentials, which then leaves me with no ordination credentials at all, or I am funneled back into a system which I believe is dying a slow agonizing death due to its willingness to compromise on what I see as the major issues, or rather one issue, namely: The Word of God. This is the foundational issue all the other beliefs must stand upon.

    It has been the article of faith concerning the Word of God that has been so damaging and so detrimental to so many in the faith. I ministered in another denomination for a short period of time. It became apparent to me that when I went to their equivalent of General Assembly and was met with a dose (a heavy dose) of LGTBQ tolerance and heard leaders from the platform refer to the Holy Spirit as “She” that I could no longer allow myself to be aligned with this denomination. It was also in this denomination that I was told by a mentor that we should not insist on 6 days of creation because the denomination allows that the Word of God is not explicit on this issue and the denomination has taken a stance that allows for the Christian to have a myriad of views. Ironically, this denomination is now embroiled in the whole homosexual, same sex, no gender controversy so prevalent today.

    Sounds eerily familiar to the stance the COTN has taken. “Infallibility” over “Inerrancy.” The COTN has taken the position that scripture is infallible only in matters concerning soteriology (salvation). Anything that falls outside of the realm of “what must I do to be saved?” is now up for grabs and called into question. How can anyone deny that this undermines the authority of scripture and (the Holy Spirit’s) ability to speak into our lives is beyond me. It is obvious to me that there will be a coming UMC-like battle to the COTN because of this weakness to ascribe ultimate authority to the scriptures rather than science and the latest spiritual fads.

    Here’s one thing that I would really like to say and I hope that it is heard: Over the years pastoring in the Nazarene denomination, as a pastor, I can say with great assurance that the rank and file, the membership as a whole (at least those not indoctrinated at the colleges, universities and the seminaries) do not know that the article of faith is a weak article of faith. They do not know the difference between infallibility and inerrancy. Most of them believe the scriptures to be 100% trustworthy in all things and in all areas of our lives. I don’t believe the rank and file, you know the ones that “fund the mission”, have the slightest idea of how their denomination’s article of faith has totally undermined their once great denomination and is leading them to be among those who will be found in apostasy when the Lord returns. Don’t even get me started on eschatology. Apparently, there’s a right and wrong way to believe about that too. One way if you’re highly educated (by Nazarene professors of course) and the wrong way, according to belief in the scriptures.

    At present, I feel stuck. I don’t know what to do. I am a mere peon without any teeth.

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