Mystical Nonsense In The Church of the Nazarene

“Like lambs led to the slaughter, the people are being blinded by blind leaders.”

In the good old days, Nazarenes focused on bringing the Gospel to the Roman Catholics and introducing them to the real Jesus. My dad, a former Roman Catholic, used to travel on muleback through the mountains of Cape Verde, to preach the Gospel to Catholics. Now, the Church of the Nazarene is focused on incorporating the practices, rituals and traditions of a false religion, and calling them our brothers and sisters to boot! It’s quite amazing to watch.

One of the many cancers afflicting the Church of the Nazarene is the fascination with Roman Catholic and Eastern mysticism practices. The denomination is getting so wrapped up in feel good and legalistic ritualism at the expense of focusing on biblical preaching and teaching, that in a great number of churches now you might think you are at a Catholic mass. And yet at times, a Nazarene church will even go beyond what most Catholic churches are doing.

The College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe KS, as an example of many, is doing just that. Breath prayers are now the order of the day, and it is the norm at many Nazarene churches now. What are breath prayers, you may ask? They are simply a type of many kinds of contemplative mystical practices, or what is also called Christianized transcendental meditation. Below is their announcement on their site. Note the detailed instructions on the right as to when to inhale and exhale and then repeat a specific phrase.

college church breath rayer 2

Rick Warren popularized breath prayers, in his book Purpose Driven Life, a book that ought to be thrown in the garbage heap of false teaching. It is a book that, I confess, roped me in for a while, but by the grace of God, he opened my eyes to all this nonsense. It was a book that was used for small group study, and I was one of the leaders in these groups, and the more I read it, the more I realized something was not right. And one of the things he promotes in the book is breath prayers.

As explained at Lighthouse Trails Research:

Breath Prayers and Rick Warren

Are “breath prayers” a method by which we can become best friends with God? To direct people on a spiritual journey for 40 days, Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. The best selling book has impacted millions of persons. Some of Pastor Warren’s purpose involves his recommendations for “Becoming Best Friends with God.” The author shares six secrets to become God’s friends, one of which is practicing God’s presence by being in “constant conversation” with him. After quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (“pray without ceasing”), Warren asks how a Christian can practice unceasing prayer to which he answers, “One way is to use ‘breath prayers’ throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated in one breath.”

Then after providing ten examples of prayers, short biblical phrases that could work as breath prayers, Warren advises “Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart.” In this context Warren also cites the book of Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, who advocated experiencing the presence of God in the most menial of circumstances, by praying short conversational prayers throughout the day. The Roman Catholic practice of praying the rosary is also akin to breath prayers.

Though breath praying is not found in the Bible, advocates of the practice recommend repeating a short phrase, the phrase can be biblical, in prayer throughout the day. For example, in the parable of The Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus portrayed a tax collector who in repentance and humility, cried out, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'” Out of this The Desert Fathers, a monastic group in Egypt during 3rd and 4th centuries, created the “Kyrie Eleison” (“Lord have mercy.”) prayer which later became known as the “Jesus Prayer.” The prayer became a favorite of these fathers who later expanded it to be, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
(For the entire article, read here).

Breath prayers are not biblical. But this is what College Church is doing now, and I am sure, many others as well. At first, my thought was that “they don’t even try to hide this stuff anymore.” But then I realized that they probably are not trying to hide it, because they see nothing wrong with it! The pastors of this church are certainly deceived and lack biblical discernment, and when they introduce this kind of nonsense to the congregation, they propagate the deception to many sheep in the pews who also lack biblical discernment. Fortunately, there have been some who have escaped this church, which is a sad example of a denomination that is becoming more and more apostate.

Joining the apostasy bandwagon of all this nonsense are many other denominations and organizations. The United Methodist Church teaches that you can “re-energize your life with a new practice.”  They say that “breath prayers are another way to become more aware of God’s presence.” Guideposts, the Christian magazine, promotes breath prayers. Breath prayers are just part of the Roman Catholic and contemplative spirituality practices that have swept the Nazarene denomination and most other mainline denominations. Prayer labyrinths, prayer stations, ashes to the forehead and the observance of Lent, the “Eucharist”, and practicing the silence are all part of the “Roman Catholization” of the Church of the Nazarene.

It is obvious that mysticism and Roman Catholic practices are acceptable to most of the denomination now, and certainly its leaders have no problem with it. There is a retreat planned just before General Assembly, to be held at a Roman Catholic site, the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center, and that is no coincidence. These types of retreats have been going on for years. This center promotes the use of “spiritual directors.” Doug Hardy, a “spiritual director” who teaches at Nazarene Theological Seminary, is also part of this retreat, and you can be assured he will promote his spiritual direction foolishness at this event, and the sheep will eat it up. No one seems to care one bit that Doug Hardy is one of the leading promoters of contemplative mysticism in the world, and yet he indoctrinates future Nazarene pastors at the seminary with this nonsense.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, the people are being blinded by blind leaders. This is nothing new. It has been going on for years, and part of the blame falls right in the laps of the General Superintendents, who have totally abdicated any responsibility as the designated spiritual leaders of the denomination. But it’s not too late to repent from their dereliction of duty. And perhaps it’s not too late for the Nazarenes to bring the church back from the precipice of apostasy.

Appointment Of A New President at ENC: Symptom of A Major Problem In The Nazarene Church

Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University, was recently selected as the new president of Eastern Nazarene College, which is also being discussed as a possible merger with Trevecca. He will step in sometime after Dr. Corlis McGee leaves her current position later in the summer. The “leaders” of the denomination are cheering, no doubt. They have always been complicit, or at the very least willfully ignorant, with everything that has been destroying the Nazarene denomination spiritually.

I am not surprised at this choice. Dr. Boone and Dr. McGee share some views that make this selection understandable. To many of us who have voiced our concerns about the denomination for years, it further indicates full steam ahead towards a practical marriage between Nazarenes and Roman Catholics. The only major item that will be missing soon is to have pope Francis as the keynote speaker at a future General Assembly. And why not? The prayer stations are already in place, the Roman Catholic practice of Lent and ashes to the forehead is everywhere, and the Roman Catholic retreat is scheduled for a pre-Assembly event this summer.

If you believe in the Bible- truly believe in it, not just parts of it as Dan Boone does- then I could not warn you any more than I do now. You are placing your child in danger by sending them to Eastern Nazarene College, and frankly, there is hardly a Nazarene college now that has a strong biblical foundation anymore.

So here is why Dr. Boone’s appointment bodes very badly, especially for those who have children of college age.

Ecumenicists Promoting Roman Catholicism

Dr. Boone and Dr. McGee are both ecumenicists. Dr. McGee has expressed to me in a past meeting with her and the ENC provost that Roman Catholics are our brothers and sisters in Christ. On the ENC website, you will find Roman Catholic churches on the list of available churches to attend in the community. In the ENC bookstore (last time I visited), you would also find Roman Catholic related books, including a Roman Catholic bible, along with many books by authors that promote an ecumenical belief system.

Dr. Boone, as Trevecca president, has long promoted yearly trips for students to the Gethsemani Monastery in Kentucky, a site that was the spiritual home of the Roman Catholic mystic, Thomas Merton. Here at this retreat, students from ENC have the opportunity to “practice the silence”, which is nothing more than Catholic mysticism that has no roots in biblical teaching. The “spiritual discipline” of silence is a doctrine of demons. This retreat is scheduled for this year again: https://www.trevecca.edu/community-life/faith-service/spiritual-formation-retreat

Dr. Boone also has promoted the use of prayer labyrinths, and has had one there for years at Trevecca. After I exposed this more fully, he made excuses about it, and later re-named the labyrinth and called it something else. It is not just Trevecca doing this: https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/labyrinths-prayer-stations-yoga-in-the-nazarene-church/

An Uneasy Accommodation To The LGBT Community

At Eastern Nazarene College, an LGBT support group was allowed to be established at Munro Hall. I sent a letter to Dr. McGee wondering how Bertha Munro would have felt, knowing an LGBT group was meeting in a building named in her honor. I received a reply their from former chaplain, with an excuse that the school does not necessarily sponsor the group, which was a lame excuse because all they had to do was say no to a group whose basic premise goes against Biblical values. And this same chaplain spoke in a chapel service several years ago, all but promoting a relaxation of biblical standards regarding homosexuality.

For Dr. Boone, all those things at ENC fit right in with his track record. He is known for accommodating the LGBT agenda at Trevecca, having allowed an extreme LGBT group to come on campus to have “a dialog.” https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-response-to-dan-boones-report-on-soulforce/

And lest we forget, at the last General Assembly, Dr. Boone was one of those most instrumental in arguing for postponing an attempt to strengthen the Church statement on homosexuality. It will be interesting to see what the arguments for this will be this year. I working on evidence that indicates that the denomination is in for a very difficult time regarding the homosexuality issue, which will lead to further division in the Church.

Hostility Towards Bible Believers

Dr. Boone has an utter disdain for Bible believing Christians, as shown in this article I wrote a few years ago. He has compared Bible Believing Christians to Islamic fundamentalists. He says that our appetites have been whetted “by religious blood in the water.” (https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/dan-boone-goes-after-bible-believers-again/)

Promoting False Teachers

Dr. Boone is certainly no Bible traditionalist. He has very bad theology, he promotes false teachers, and he does not believe in the creation as told in Genesis. He was a prominent member of the group, Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, before it’s website suddenly closed down for no apparent reason. Until it closed down, folks like Dr. Boone were heartily endorsing the idea that God used evolution to create us. He was not alone in that group, and was joined by many well-respected pastors, professors and national leaders. Very frightening indeed.

In an older profile at Nazarene Theological Seminary, which is no longer posted, he said the following:

“…I am deepening in the mystical forms of prayer.”

Dr. Boone promotes one of the leading teachers of contemplative mysticism, false teacher Richard Foster. As an example, Foster makes the amazing claim that non-believers can also practice the Christian spiritual disciplines: “We need not be well advanced in matters of theology to practice the Disciplines. Recent converts–for that matter people who have yet to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ–can and should practice them” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 2).

Dr. Boone has called Thomas Merton and Ignatius of Loyola spiritual giants.
Merton was not a spiritual giant- he was a monk who said that he was “deeply impregnated with Sufism” because he believed that Eastern mysticism was compatible with and could be incorporated into Christianity.  He placed Mary high on a level equal to Jesus, he prayed to many catholic saints.  He was influenced by Aldous Huxley, who found enlightenment through hallucinogenic drugs.

Ignatius of Loyola was no wiser, and as the founder of the Jesuits he brutally persecuted Christians and swore complete submission to the pope.  As most Roman Catholics do, he venerated Mary.  He practiced extreme asceticism, living in a cave for a year and never bathing.  He also promoted and taught visualization prayers, breath prayers, and other unbiblical practices (Source: Way of Life).  Yet, Dan Boone calls him a spiritual giant.

In a Letter to Pastors he wrote in 2009, Dr. Boone not only erroneously claimed that the Roman Catholic church was the only church for 1500 years after Christ, but he also exposed more error along with his ecumenical get along with everyone philosophy.  How is it that we can “be one” with the Roman Catholic Church?

“While Nazarenes are different from Catholics in very significant ways, we believe that we will share eternity with them in the presence of the Christ who prayed that we might be one.”

His philosophy seems to be, anyone who claims the name of Jesus, no matter their belief otherwise, will spend eternity with Christ. This is contrary to Jesus’s teaching, and indicates Dr. Boone’s dangerous and ignorant thinking as he misleads others.

A Symptom Of A Bigger Problem

I am sure Dan Boone is a nice guy. But how long will the denomination continue to tolerate nice guys who teach bad theology, who do not believe in the creation account in Scripture, and who promote Roman Catholic mysticism? Sadly, the appointment of Dan Boone is merely a symptom of a much bigger problem in the Church of the Nazarene. Dan Boone is not going anywhere else because I wrote this article. I have no illusions of that.

It is going to take a huge cataclysmic event of spiritually challenging proportions to generate any kind of major opposition to the apostasy in the church. By then it might be too late. Will people only wake up at the next General Assembly if some earth shattering amendment is made regarding homosexuality, the next frontier in the Church? Will same sex relations be blessed in the church? Is it happening already, and you just don’t know it? Will homosexual “Christians” be a part of the accepted conversation?

Or perhaps, most of the sheep in the pews will they continue on pretending that all is well in a holiness denomination that only mouths the words, but does not live them anymore.

Holiness is becoming heresy right before our eyes.

Additional Documentation:

Dan Boone’s Involvement with Promoting Evolution
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/nazarene-scholars-continue-to-undermine-belief-in-gods-word-with-evolutions-lie/

Dan Boone’s Dislike of Bible Believers
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/dan-boone-goes-after-bible-believers-again/

Dan Boone’s Involvement with SoulForce (LGBT advocates)
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-response-to-dan-boones-report-on-soulforce/

My Conversation with Dan Boone:
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/conversation-with-a-university-president/

A Charitable Discourse?
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/a-charitable-discourse-or-compromise/

Labyrinths and Prayer Stations
https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/emergent-church-what-is-it/trevecca-labyrinth/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/labyrinths-prayer-stations-yoga-in-the-nazarene-church/

 

Christians Falling For “The Shack” Must Get Back To The Word Of God

I was warning Nazarenes and other Christians several years ago about The Shack. I passed out hundreds of copies of Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon, which is linked here. I watched in amazement as Dr. Josie Owens, a former District Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, recommended the novel as a great resource for pastors- at a District Assembly! I wonder to this day of any pastor at that assembly dared to confront her for her lack of discernment. I saw Sunday School teachers mindlessly quoting ideas from the book. Some would try to argue with me how this book is so, so good, and I marveled a their lack of biblical discernment.

Now, the novel will be in movie form. It is mind boggling the level of deception I have seen as a result of this book. I have read the book from start to finish, and it is compelling in many ways; it tugs at your heart and emotions. Yet, it is evil; I recognized it as evil; but why are so many Christians praising this book? Why are many saying it is better than the Bible? Why is there such a lack of discernment today?

I believe it is a direct result of a growing phenomenon, in which Christians are seeking to tickle their ears with whatever makes them feel good. Emotion is not necessarily bad, but when emotions take control of a Christian’s mind, while setting aside sound doctrine and biblical teaching, then that is a bad thing. And that is what is happening today. Many Christians go crazy over the latest “Christian” movie, not seeing the false teaching in it, and instead loving the “spirituality” and the “fuzzy, warn feelings it brings. They follow after their pastor’s recommendation for anything, without being like the Bereans, who themselves tested what the apostle Paul himself preached! They praise the music of the latest “Christian” artist, not testing the words of their songs or the doctrine of that popular artist.

1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

I am afraid that many of you out there who are singing the praises of The Shack; who are falling for every word your pastor may preach; who are jumping on the bandwagon of the latest “cool” Christian song; you are being deceived, and you need to get back to the word of God. It is the only thing that will keep you from apostasy, and from damaging your own Christian life. Heed the warnings. I know some of you who are friends who love The Shack. Will you heed the warnings?

Manny Silva

A Summary of Dr. Youssef’s 13 Heresies in The Shack:

  1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.

    Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

    2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.

    The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

    3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.

    Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

    4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.

    Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

    5. God will never judge people for their sins.

    The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

    6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.

    The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

    7. God submits to human wishes and choices.

    Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

    8. Justice will never take place because of love.

    The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

    9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.

    Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

    10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

    11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.

    Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

    12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.

    Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

    13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.

    The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read “We Preach Christ” (2 Timothy 3:16).

shack-deception

The Political Radicalization of the Church of the Nazarene

It’s been a while since a new post. All that has been posted is still in effect in the Church of the Nazarene. The denominational leaders continue to keep their heads in the sand as false teaching is abounding in the church. The seminaries continue to use material and resources that are written by Roman Catholics, mystics, and other false sources. A perceptible softening of views on homosexuality is evident in many churches. Yet, voices remain mostly silent. The church is learning very few lessons, and continues down the road to apostasy. But now we venture further into ill-advised decisions and pronouncements from the denomination’s General Superintendents.

These Generals have now spoken on the issue of President Trump’s directive for a temporary halt to immigration from seven countries that have been identified as dangerous, that are harboring or training terrorists that are bent on killing us. So, congratulations is in order! Their intended result seems to be to unite Christians and generate compassion, but they have succeeded in dividing and causing more rancor! They have managed to further divide a denomination which already has been divided for quite a while now.

What have they done now, you ask? They have decided, against what would be their better judgment, to turn yet again hard left on a political issue, instead of either keeping quiet about it, or at least remaining neutral. They chose NOT to remain neutral, nor to keep quiet as would have been the better option. They acted like they speak for all of us with the same view- and they DO NOT!

They have managed, in their statement, to give a hard slap in the face to many Nazarenes who are, like them, very concerned for the way this country has been going. Perhaps they assumed that we all will fall lock step with them. They are wrong, and they have made a terrible mistake in judgment-again.   Why did they give this statement? What was the motivation? Was it to gain favor in the world of the left, so they all can see how “compassionate and just” the Church of the Nazarene is? Was it to make sure the liberals of the world understand that the Nazarenes are not mean spirited or heartless?

Where was their concern over the last few years when Christians were being systematically wiped out by ISIS, and there was no effort by the Obama administration to help those refugees? Where were they, and where were their voices to demand that those refugees be helped at all? I don’t recall, do you? It seems to me a bit of hypocrisy here. Perhaps your calls for compassion should have started with the Christians who have been persecuted for years, and compassion for the safety of the people of our country.

We as Christians want everyone in the world to be as safe as possible, and to live a good life. But we also have a real concern for our families and our country first. These Generals don’t seem to understand at all that we are under a tremendous threat worldwide, that we don’t want to easily allow anyone to enter this country, because that person who slips through could very well be the next terrorist to kill dozens of our own people. They don’t get it, and instead they have made a statement that will bring great damage within the church.

The only way to fix this is for them to repent, apologize for putting out this very divisive statement, and turn their attention to what they have been neglecting for so long: false teachings in the church. Maybe then they will get some respect from me.

The following comment made by a long time Nazarene on their website post speaks for me, and probably many others:

“I’ve read your post with great interest and find myself baffled by this stand you have taken. This country has been marching toward disaster and Godlessness for the past 8 years at an accelerated pace. Finally we have a leader who wants to turn things around and go toward the right and this is the best you can do? Why couldn’t you come out and praise him for his support for Israel instead?
I see a great problem with welcoming all these people into this country without knowing much of anything about them. Have you and all these folks that are praising your stance forgotten 911? We can’t just let people into this country who want to destroy it. Our own liberal Americans are doing a fine job at that without any outside help. The church that I have been a member of for 67 years and the general superintendents who I hold in highest regard have disappointed me to the very core of my heart. I’m loving and compassionate and am all for “legal immigrants” coming into this country if they are truly seeking to be Americans and adapt American ways. I will say in conclusion, America, love it or leave it and America, love it or don’t come here in the first place and God bless America.”

 

Link to the Board of General Superintendent’s statement and comments:

http://www.nazarene.org/article/bgs-echoes-call-compassion-after-latest-refugee-rulings?fb_comment_id=1311335935599108_1312488622150506&comment_id=1311550485577653&reply_comment_id=1312488622150506#f2b3f2140d2a188

FULL STATEMENT HERE:

In light of recent executive orders issued in the United States and decisions by other world governments regarding the status of refugees, the Board of General Superintendents for the Church of the Nazarene urges governments everywhere to quickly put into place systems whereby eligible and legitimate refugees can find refuge and safety in our countries. Further, we urge the President of the United States, Congress, and other state departments to make this temporary order a matter of urgency so that the United States may continue to be known as a nation of compassion and hospitality to those who are oppressed, vulnerable, and marginalized.

We echo our statement from November 2015, when significant global immigration in many nations compelled us to speak clearly and biblically to this challenging topic, inviting all Nazarenes to express Christian love to immigrants who live among us:

The Hebrew word, gēr, and the Greek word, xenos, can be defined as “immigrant.”

 “If an immigrant dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The immigrant who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:33–34, NKJV). Our Lord quoted, “Love him as yourself,” as part of the Greatest Commandment!

Jesus said: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was an immigrant and you invited me in” (Matthew 25:35, NIV).

“Do not forget to show hospitality to immigrants, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels” (Hebrews 13:2, NIV).

While we recognize the complexity of immigration laws in various nations, the Board of General Superintendents calls on Nazarenes around the world:

  • To treat immigrants with love, respect, and mercy.
  • To participate sacrificially in local, national, and global compassionate ministry responses to assist refugees and immigrants.
  • To encourage their respective governments to approve equitable laws that will allow for family reunification, legal work permits for productive immigrants in the workforce, and pathways for undocumented immigrants to be able to obtain authorized immigrant status.
  • To follow the clear biblical mandate to love, welcome, assist, evangelize, and disciple the immigrants near us.

–Board of General Superintendents

Ravi, Please Do Not Go To Together 2016

I sent this letter to Ravi Zacharias today.  Please pray that he reverses his decision to speak at Together 2016.

 

Dear Ravi,

I have had great respect for you over the years. My small ministry is in apologetics and warning Christians about false teaching, and has included the use of many of your videos and writings as a resource.

Yet, I am greatly concerned that you have joined the lineup of speakers at the Together 2016 gathering at the National Mall this weekend. I sincerely urge you to pull out of this event before its too late. Although I am not a theologian or a pastor with the greatest grasp of Scripture, I do know that according to the Bible, this is not the kind of event that a Bible believing Christian would be attending. We are commanded clearly in Scripture to stay away from those who teach a false gospel- and this is exactly the kind of gathering it has become. Most troubling is the fact that Pope Francis, leader of the false religion of Roman Catholicism, has given his blessing to this event, and will be addressing the people remotely.

Also troubling is the great amount of music artists and speakers who have a history of compromise with, and promoting Roman Catholic ideas and even its mystical practices. Again, Scripture clearly teaches us to avoid such people, not fellowship with them.

Finally, there are clearly false teachers in this group who teach things that are outside of Scripture. There is Ann Voskamp, who claims to have intimate encounters with God, much of it with an erotic like twist to it. There is Mark Batterson, who wrote a book that basically promotes a form of Christian witchcraft. I could name others as well.

Your presence at this event will only lead to more confusion, and will further contribute to your loss of credibility among those who believe in the authority of Scripture, and who desire to obey rather than compromise God’s word. You made a mistake once before, when you attended and spoke at a Mormon assembly, failing to address to difference between the Mormon religion, and true Christianity. Please do not make the same mistake again, and heed the words of Scripture. If not, I am afraid you will be yet another once-solid apologist for Christ, and you will be known as an apologist for the coming one world religion.

I pray that you will repent of this decision, and that you will also call out this gathering for what it really is: a false unity consisting of people who are not being faithful to the real Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Eph. 5:11

Sincerely in Christ,

Manny Silva

Stand For Truth Ministries

Together 2016: False Unity Amongst False Teachers And Compromisers

TOGETHER 2016 IS NOT A MOVEMENT OF GOD. This is a warning to all Christians who are considering attending or recommending Together 2016, which is coming to Washington, DC on July 16. It is yet another piece of wasted time and effort to organize another “Christian” event that does nothing to advance the TRUTH of God’s word. There will be many popular contemporary Christian artists, pastors and speakers in attendance.

And because of that, this report will hurt some feelings and upset some of you, and hopefully cause you to think carefully- because many of you love to hear some of these Christian music artists, and many of you love to listen to some of the speakers who will be there. And certainly it is true that much of what these people sing and say is very sound. But they must be called out for their deliberate disobedience of Holy Scripture. In these times of great apostasy, there is no good reason to shrink from telling the truth of what is going on, even if you lose some friends. This is very important to understand.

I have not seen a large Christian event in years that has reflected true Christian values and sound doctrine. Why is that? It is because of that word “unity.”

Unity among Christians is certainly important. But the line is drawn in Scripture, over and over again, by Jesus and the apostles, as to who we should fellowship with. When you look at who they are joining up with, the answer is yes. Many of these compromisers are joining with the false religion of Rome, in spite of the fact that Romanism teaches that you can be saved through works, besides many other false teachings. And so therefore we need to heed such Scriptural teachings as:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? 2 Corinthians 14-16

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Eph. 5:11

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. Romans 16:17

But instead of heeding God’s word, the “Christian” world is coming together towards that one world religion. This coming together often is through these large gatherings of famous speakers and popular contemporary Christian musicians, as a show of “unity” and “love.” The next one is coming on July 16, and it is a collection of heretics, mystics, false teachers, compromisers, and Roman Catholic sympathizers. And the pope will give his blessing to them all!

Those looking for a great revival in the church that will stop all this madness ought to consider the fact that it is not what Scripture says will happen in the last days. So even though we are constantly being bombarded by an endless parade of unbelievable and worsening apostasy, we should not be surprised. But we had better not ignore it! It is what will continue on until Christ returns and takes control of the situation. Paul writes about this in 2 Timothy 3:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

On July 16, at the National Mall in Washington, DC, there will be a gathering of famous names in Christianity. Their stated purpose is “…to come together around Jesus in unified prayer, worship, and a call for catalytic change. We’re coming together with as many people as possible who believe Jesus changes everything.” We hear this call all over the world now, don’t we? They say, “we need to be united in love.” “As long as we believe in Jesus, we can be one.” Roman Catholics must come together with evangelicals, they say, because after all, don’t we both believe that Jesus is the Savior? They have misused scripture such as John 17:21 as a reason for ecumenical hand holding. That scripture says: “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

Let’s be reminded of the criteria Jesus Christ our Lord sets for us, that illustrates true unity amongst Christians. What does Jesus really say about unity? Let’s look at the context of John 17:

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.

14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them by YOUR TRUTH. Your word is TRUTH. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified BY THE TRUTH.

True Christian unity cannot be demonstrated by bringing together sound doctrine with unsound doctrine. True unity is evidenced by speaking the TRUTH, and keeping Christ’s commandments. But that is exactly what the ecumenical movement is NOT. It is a movement based on man’s theology, not on sound doctrine as taught in Scripture. Those who live by sound doctrine are commanded in Scripture to avoid those who do not speak the TRUTH.

So now below is a list of those false teachers and compromisers, including the leader of the false Roman Catholic Church, who will be speaking to all these supposed Christian evangelicals. I must say that some of the names on this list used to be solid apologists with sound doctrine, but now they are becoming part of this rapidly apostasizing form of Christianity. Friends, I pray for sound judgment and discernment for all when they first see an announcement of the next gathering of famous artists and speakers. Most likely, it will be a gathering of apostates and false teachers and compromisers who have collected their 30 pieces of silver.

Part 2: The Lineup At Together 2016

Pope Francis: The greatest compromiser perhaps at this event. I cannot even begin to speak here about the errors of this pope in his messages, as well as all other popes before him. Although he will be speaking only by remote video, the fact that the leader of a false religion is part of this event should make it easy for a true believer to stay away at all costs!

The pope
(http://www.piratechristian.com/berean-examiner/2016/6/the-pope-and-hillsong-will-unite-together-2016-in-washington-dc)

Denominational Leaders And Organizations Who Are Joining This Apostate Gathering:

George O. Wood: Assemblies of God Superintendent.
George Wood

Ronnie Floyd: President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Ronnie Floyd

The 700 Club: This organization has been lacking in discernment for quite some time.  They do not seem to have a representative scheduled, but they have endorsed this event.
(
http://www1.cbn.com/video/700clubinteractive/2016/06/8/700-club-interactive-together-2016-june-8-2016)

Pastors/Evangelists/Apologists:

Ravi Zacharias: A gifted speaker and apologist for Christianity for many years, this great debator has faltered in recent years. In 2014, the compromise showed clearly when he spoke at a gathering of the Mormon church in January. Never once did he distinguish between the real Gospel and the false gospel of the Mormon Church. Opportunity was lost that time, and frankly, opportunity is already lost this time as well- unless he clearly and boldly tell everyone there that fellowship with the Roman Catholic Church is not fellowship with Jesus. Please pray for Ravi Zacharias to repent from coming to this event, and for him to renounce any connections with this false group of ecumenists.
Ravi Zacharias

Nick Hall: founder and chief communicator of PULSE, Hall is the main organizer of this event.
Nick Hall

Luis Palau: This evangelist is very popular, and is heard often on K-Love radio and other venues. A gifted speaker, he nevertheless has been compromising for years, joining with the Roman Catholic church in many of his evangelist gatherings. To him, there is no distinction between Bible-believing Christians and those who believe the heresies of Rome. He has contributed greatly to this deception.
Luis Palau(http://www.sermonaudio.com/new_details3.asp?ID=17165)

Ann Voskamp: Voskamp is known to discerning Christians for her bad theology and how she romanticizes her relationship with God. One of her books is One Thousand Gifts, in which she wrote of her “experience” with God and shows her total lack of understanding of who God is. She relies more on “experiencing God” rather than giving attention to God’s word, which is no surprise. She is a false teacher.
Ann Voskamp
(http://www.solasisters.com/2014/05/ann-voskamps-one-thousand-gifts.html)

Josh McDowell: Once a great apologist for Christianity, McDowell now has turned to another gospel, the false gospel of ecumenicalism and unity with Rome.
Josh McDowel(http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/mcdowell/general.htm)

Francis Chan: This pastor is very popular and has done some good things. But he has been compromising also for years, joining up with those from the emergent church movement and with those who promote contemplative spirituality. He has joined with the false IHOP (International House of Prayer) and spoke at their convention, and endorsed their false teachers such as Mike Bickle.
Francis Chan(http://www.thepathoftruth.com/false-teachers/francis-chan.htm)
Lou Engle: An American Charismatic Christian leader, Founder of The Call. Engle is associated with the Dominionist movement. He was featured in the film “Jesus Camp”. He came out of the Kansas City Prophets and Latter Rain movement, and was a senior leader of IHOP (International House of Prayer). IHOP is an organization led by Mike Bickle and is one of the falsest movements around. Engle was at the Azuza Now event earlier in 2016, and he kissed the foot of Roman Catholic leader Calisi, shortly after the priest prostrated at his feet in an act of “reconciliation.”
Lou Engle
(http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/false-prophet-of-new-apostolic-reformation-lou-engle-bows-before-roman-priest-kisses-foot/)

Mark Batterson: Author of The Circle Maker, a book that essentially promotes “Christian witchcraft.” Should any Bible-believing Christian truly accept his teaching that we should be drawing circles on the ground and praying around it like some magic formula? It is utter nonsense, yet many Christians and churches have fallen for it. It is yet another sign of the apostasy coming into the church today.
Mark Batterson
(http://beginningandend.com/the-circle-maker-heresy-witchcraft-in-the-church/)

Tony Evans: Christian pastor and author who is connected with the ecumenical Promise Keepers organization also. His theology is not as sound as one may think, but he clearly has decided that joining with the Roman Catholic sympathizers is a good thing.
Tony Evans

Sammy Rodriguez: NBC/Telemundo called him “America’s most influential Latino Evangelical leader”. Sammy Rodriguez is just another influential leader who has jumped on the “kumbayah” bandwagon.
Samuel Rodriguez

Eric Mason: A pastor, author and church planter in the Southern Baptist Convention who has joined the ecumenical movement.
Eric Mason

Nabeel Quereshi: A global speaker with the Ravi Zacharias Ministries, Nabeel has followed his mentor’s steps and turned to the ecumenical road.
Nabeel Quereshi

The entire evolving lineup of pastors and Christian leaders is listed at the website: http://reset2016.com/confirmed/

 

Contemporary Christian Bands/Artists/Industry Leaders

So much of contemporary Christian music is more bad than good, that it would need another article to discuss that. However, the CCM artists attending this ecumenical love-fest have been joined at the hip with the Roman Catholic Church for years. They have been helping promote this false Christian unity, with no discernment whatsoever. This is the reason I do not buy their music, I refuse to go to their concerts, and I encourage people to save their money and instead spend more time in God’s word. I do not want to be responsible for suggesting that any of these groups and individuals are close to being a solid example of what a Christian testimony should be. So here is the list of “Christian” artists who are selling themselves out for thirty pieces of silver.

Mike Novak, President and CEO of K-Love Radio: This radio station has long gone the way of lack of discernment as to what it plays, and as to what and who it promotes, so it is no surprise that their CEO will be at this gathering. He will fit right in.

(https://truedsicernment.com/2011/01/17/positively-discouraging-k-love

Hillsong United: If any group was to lead “worship” in the one world church, it would be Hillsong United. It is more a business venture to make money, than a venture to exalt God in worship. Just recent examples of their lack of wisdom and discernment should make every Christian throw away all their CDs, and refuse to use their songs in church anymore. It has been called a “breeding ground for false converts”, and rightly so. They preach and sing a false, empty gospel, and explains why it has attracted so many Hollywood types and sports stars over the years. Their churches are a “hip” place to go to, but it is full of a false gospel.

Hillsong has also linked up with Rome, another sign that it is an apostate organization.
Hillsong United(http://pulpitandpen.org/2015/07/30/hillsong-a-breeding-ground-for-false-converts-and-your-church-pays-for-it/)

Michael W. Smith: Has compromised for many years already by linking up with the Roman Catholic Church. On his website, it is typical of some any other ecumenical “Christians.” You will not find anything about his doctrinal beliefs. It is intentional, so that his music is appealing to all areas of Christianity, and so he does not want to offend anyone. That is textbook ecumenicalism, do not offend! He yokes together with Catholics, instead of following God’s clear instructions to “do not be unequally yoked.” His is a non-judgmental kind of Christianity.
Michael W smith(http://www.greatpreachers.org/mw_smith.html)

Crowder: Not only does he perform musically, Crowder is joined at the hip with the Roman Catholic Church as well, and he promotes contemplative mysticism.
Crowder(https://davemosher.wordpress.com/tag/david-crowder/)

 

Some of the Other Compromising “Christian” Artists: By imitating the unsaved world with their hip hop styles and their worldly sounding music and lyrics, many of these artists have naturally slipped into the same compromising positions with the world and with the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the songs are doctrinally sound, but many other songs are not, and could very easily be mistaken for songs performed for Top 40 radio and rock and roll stations. Here are some of the other compromisers, and the entire evolving lineup is listed at the website: http://reset2016.com/confirmed/

Compromisers

 

 

A Storm Coming: The Church of the Nazarene’s Steps Toward Embracing Homosexuality

By Lige Jeter and Manny Silva

The Church of the Nazarene seems to be heading towards full acceptance of homosexuality. With its compromising at the university and seminary levels, as well as in local churches and districts, the evidence is there. The desire to “be relevant”, or the need for being viewed as “kind” and “tolerant” Christians, is too strong apparently for the leadership in the church today. Acceptance of homosexuality in the Church of the Nazarene is coming, and is just a matter of when, not if. Perhaps it will take another five or 10 years, or perhaps it will happen at the next General Assembly in 2017

The groundwork for this has been laid down for a long time. It can all be traced to the persistent and obsessive put-down of the belief of Holy Scripture as the inerrant and infallible word of God. Ask most leaders in the Nazarene church today, and they will tell you that they do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Some have been denied ordination for believing such a thing. That is how all the heresies have started, when “men of god” ask the same question that Satan asked in the Garden of Eden: “Hath God really said.” This is seen within the emergent church movement, which has been embraced by Nazarenes throughout the denomination. It is a movement that has total disdain for the Bible’s authority and inerrancy.

Just in the last seven years or so we have many examples of how the Church of the Nazarene is bringing the world into the church. We find that there is an attraction to the idea of “welcoming” or “affirming” the LGBT radicals who believe that homosexuality is not a sin. Nazarene leaders want to get along with everyone, and show their “love” and “compassion” towards homosexuals. The focus on “understanding” homosexuality (a sin) is far and above any focus on any other particular sin. It is an obsession, perhaps an attempt to be “relevant” as a church.

Just a few of many examples:

  • Recently, at Oklahoma City Church of the Nazarene in February (the senior pastor is Jon Middendorf), an event was hosted called “With All Due Respect: Hospitality & the LGBT Community.” The panel included a professor, Dr. Timothy Crutcher, from Southern Nazarene University; a mother of a homosexual child; a theology major who labeled herself as an intersex person; and Andy McGee, a Nazarene pastor and executive director of Love Wins: LGBT in Kansas City. The absurdity of all this can be seen when you read the article about this event. (http://www.gayly.com/love-wins-conservative-church-shows-respect-lgbt-community. This is an example of meaningless and endless talk about something that is clear as day in Scripture. When the LGBT community heaps praise on a Nazarene church for what they did, it cannot be good news for biblical Christians.
  • Adam Hamilton and Mike Slaughter are pastors in the United Methodist Church who believe that homosexuality and same sex marriage are okay. A few years ago, Hamilton proposed a radical change to the bylaws of the United Methodist Church. See a rebuttal to these two men by a concerned Methodist in this post: http://goodnewsmag.org/2014/06/an-open-letter-to-revs-adam-hamilton-and-michael-slaughter/

These men clearly promote a way of life which the Bible teaches is sinful, and are under fire in their own denomination for what they are advocating. Yet, at Nazarene Bible College, and at the Nazarene Theological Seminary as well, their material and videos are used in Bible classes for future pastors. Why does a holiness Bible college and the seminary allow the use of material by those who promote acceptance of homosexuality and same sex marriage?

  • An LGBT support group started at Eastern Nazarene College and approved by the college leadership.
  • A message preached to students at Eastern Nazarene College by the now former chaplain, Corey McPherson, in which he talked proudly of having worshiped together with the members at a “Christian” homosexual church. His message, which is transcripted on my blog, was a complete compromise to biblical Christianity, yet this message was apparently acceptable to the college president and other leaders in the church.
  • A radical LGBT group, SoulForce, was once again allowed to come onto the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University and “dialog” with administrators and students from the school. This was the second visit by this group to Trevecca, which is led by Dan Boone, who has also permitted a variety of unbiblical practices, such as contemplative mysticism, to continue at the school for years now.

Why is all this happening now?

A Storm Is Coming

(Lige Jeter)

As a lifelong Floridian, I am familiar with hurricanes, and know the basics on how to prepare for the danger it presents. Every resident that has lived in Florida for any length of time is familiar with what to expect. New residents who have never weathered a storm need to follow some simple common sense rules to avoid the obvious dangers connected with them. Each needs to assess their own situations in light of the forecast and act accordingly for the best interest of their family. Having prepared to survive (building upon the rock) increases your chances of survival. To do nothing (building upon the sand) guarantees failure.

Past experiences have taught those who forecast storms that certain atmospheric conditions, such as water temperature, prevailing winds, and landfall location, play a vital part in the likely destruction the threat represents to those in its path. As in any storm, promptly acknowledging its initial disturbance regardless how small is crucial. It is important to monitor its movement and its primary direction of travel. Monitoring future parameters surrounding the disturbance that contribute to it eventually becoming a hurricane is necessary. This same analogy applied to the Church facing an imminent Spiritual storm can protect its membership; or lack of can cause irreparable damage causing great loss.

There are several organized forces invading the Christian community. Groups like Soulforce, LGBT groups, and individuals such as Nazarene Ally have an unrelenting determination for acceptance, and to change the Church’s stand against homosexual and lesbian behavior including same sex marriage. They have won favor and support on about every front except the Church, as a whole, which appears to be their next big target to conquer. Even though the Church of the Nazarene recently made it clear on its Biblical standing regarding deviant behavior, it is not exempt from groups like these who are applying pressure targeting its leadership to change their position. Soulforce recently visited Trevecca Nazarene University for the second time, March 15, 2016. The article of their visit is found here: http://www.soulforce.org/#!Hollering-into-the-Well/cb7u/56e8721f0cf2bc133ba11645

An approach for social acceptance in the Church suggested by Nazarene Ally peddled under the banner, “We Can Do Better;” they play the numbers game, comparing the number of LGBT presumed in the world (2 – 4 percent) to the corresponding members inferred by definition in the COTN. By using the lower estimated percentile associated with the world, the COTN would have 48,000 LGBT members based upon 2.4 million memberships. This number could double by applying the higher estimated percentile of 4 percent. The intent of sequence was to weaken the perceived impact they would have on the Church if accepted. This small number would thereby reduce the threat of any implied compromise.

They hint that “A Perfect Storm” is about to take place suggesting a series of events could occur leading a pastor to perform a same sex marriage based upon a longtime childhood friendship. Using persuasive logic, they will go to any length to win support for their side. We are seeing this today in our ranks, the pressure is mounting to cave-in, but the Church cannot become a partner to this foolishness. The Church cannot afford to compromise its convictions or give in under any circumstance. The article is located here, Gay Nazarenes | Nazarene Ally

In 2Kings, God gives a warning not-to-be-taken lightly. The Church, as with any nation, if not careful can reach the moral point-of-no-return as warned in 2 Kings 19:3 “And they said to him, ‘Thus says Hezekiah: This day is a day of trouble, and rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.” “For the children have come to the birth” represents the danger of perishing because the woman was so spent she had no strength to deliver the child.

Should our Church ever compromise its polity against wrongful behavior, we too will be as the woman and will have no strength or desire to deliver ourselves. The danger is the Church will become complacent in its new spiritual state and will not wish to return. Some Churches have already gone too far to turn back. For those who engage the LGBT lifestyle the Bible is clear to those who claim to be a Christian Homosexual or Christian Lesbian, or any other act of perversion is an oxymoron. Wicked men often think that which they suggest against revelation justify them in rejecting it.

Prepare for the storm in the next General Assembly 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links for Adam Hamilton:

 

In his own words:

 

http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/hamilton-church-homosexuality-law-needs-local-option

 

A critique of Adam Hamilton from a fellow Methodist:

http://goodnewsmag.org/2014/06/an-open-letter-to-revs-adam-hamilton-and-michael-slaughter/

 

 

Referenced material in course work at Nazarene Theological Seminary:

 

Course Name: Leading Strong, Healthy Churches
http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/861040/21092126/1354038431230/A+-+PTH790+LeadingStrongHealthyChurches_Module_SP13_Busic.pdf?token=Jwzl1oZuXyY%2F5ysiutyM%2BWunriY%3D

 

Course Name: Christian Preaching

http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/861040/19765461/1344436532093/A+-+PRH610ChristianPreaching_Block_FA12_Busic.pdf?token=CPHdriHfHHzauk51K0xL4nnHtos%3D