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?