Perhaps much to the chagrin and disappointment of our detractors, many of them who are those who occupy much of their time at Naznet, Concerned Nazarenes is alive and well, and will always be so, God willing. Since kicking me out of the group a few months ago, NazNetters apparently still cannot help themselves and talk about us once in a while, and not in a flattering way (see here). In this case, they seem to think that we have gone away and are completely irrevelant now. From the writings of one of them, which at times is total speculation or outright fabrication, it seems that:
- Concerned Nazarenes have been outsmarted by people of great skill and expertise.
- We are extremists in our views (such as we believe in the Bible)
- They are proud of the fact that leaders, including General Superintendents, do not respond to any concerned Nazarene, as if that is something for a leader to be proud of.
- They accuse us of attacking “upstanding leaders”, while they ironically have (rightly so) questioned the integrity of several leaders and demanded board resignations in the NPH scandal.
- They act sincere and caring towards us, even as they go on a diatribe and attack us, often saying that we are not real Nazarenes.
What he wrote is echoed by many of his friends. What they truly do not understand is the positive impact and influence we have had, and continue to have, on the Church of the Nazarene. In spite of the fact that I had not written a blog article in several months, visitors come to my site at a rate of 1,500-2,500 per week. We continually get requests for DVDs every week, and sometimes we fall behind in sending them out quickly. Our newest videos have been getting thousands of hits on YouTube, and are reaching people far more quickly than we used to with just sending out DVDs. I continue to get letters from Nazarenes who encourage us in what we are doing. Some of them are retired pastors who are heartbroken at what is happening to the church. They ask us, how can they help? They are helping greatly, with their prayers, and with passing out our DVDs and information to others. We thank them for their continued service in this way.
We have helped people deal with very difficult issues, including struggling with the problem of deciding whether to leave their church, or to stick with it for a while. We have helped people who did leave their church, and needed support and prayer. As a small group within the larger group called Nazarene denomination, it has been an inspiring thing to see so many Nazarenes supporting, encouraging, and praying for each other, while dealing with watching the slow death of a denomination many grew up in all their lives. To the detractors at NazNet, we are irrelevant, mean, and hateful people who are hurting the body of Christ. But how can someone hurt the body of Christ, when they are speaking truth?
Our FaceBook group continues to grow, yet it is not about increasing membership, it is about support and encouragement and learning. Much of our membership is comprised of faithful Nazarenes who decided they would rather go it alone, rather than stay in a compromising church. Our group is just like those 7,000 few who would not bow the knee to Baal. It never was about numbers, and many of these people at NazNet seem to think that numbers is what decides who is right or wrong. A true “concerned Nazarene”, or any concerned Christian, is one who is willing to be the last faithful one standing, and refuses to exchange loyalty to God with loyalty to a pastor, a church, or even family. This is what has been happening to so many Nazarenes for a long time now. If we can reach one out of 100 with the truth, and they see what is going on and decide not to compromise, we are thankful to God.
We will probably never know for sure how much influence we have had, but I believe it is a lot more than we may think. I believe some things have changed in the denomination because we have raised our concerns. Yet, there is much that is being ignored, and the denomination is still damaging itself tremendously, and it will get worse, because the leadership has failed at all the highest levels. Their negligence and dereliction of duty is astounding, the most recent example being the Nazarene Publishing House mess.
I believe our influence may have given pause to many of the colleges, because we have seen less of an overt scheduling and promoting of the kinds of activities we had been reporting on in the last few years. Yet, many of us do not recommend any student going to any of these schools. There is too much bad mixed in with whatever good they have, and most of it is due to a disregard for what Scripture teaches. They are continuing on the emergent and contemplative spirituality ways, including the seminary that is turning out future pastors.
Perhaps, or perhaps not, we had some influence in the apparent demise of a site that proudly promoted evolution through the writing of prominent theologians, pastors, and other church leaders. The website Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, supported by so many Nazarene leaders, is no longer online, at least at this writing. Please pray that this website and its ungodly teachings never sees the light of day again, as it has contributed much to the decline of biblical authority in the church today and poisoned the minds of many undiscerning Christians. We can not truly know if our influence caused it to shutdown, but we will continue to fight the teaching of this ungodly ideology to Christians, especially in our universities and colleges.
One thing is for sure. We are not shutting down. Oh, it was proposed by Dennis Bratcher, former professor at Point Loma Nazarene University. Mr. Bratcher suggested that “The web site and remaining articles that still attack church leaders needs to be taken down, not just rendered inactive.” Mr. Bratcher, that is NOT going to happen, and you can’t do anything about it. The truth cannot be shut down.
Mr. Bratcher then gives an example of an “attack”, which is a truthful article that speaks about one of the major early supporters of emergent heresy, pastor Jon Middendorf. Mr. Bratcher also says that “There needs to be a public apology to the people who have been attacked, many falsely or without much understanding.” Yet he has never once given one example of a “false attack”, much like all the others who cannot stand hearing the truth. And finally, he claims that “the actions of CN (along with the whole support cadre) were not just misguided but were nothing short of sinful.” Mr. Bratcher has just insulted many longtime, faithful Nazarenes, including retired church pastors, who would disagree with some of his unbiblical ideology. He then ends up signing off, as he always does, with “grace and peace”, after exhibiting anything but grace and peace.
Concerned Nazarenes is comprised of Nazarenes, former Nazarenes, and non-Nazarenes of likeminded concerns. We are not a debate group, which drives the opposition crazy. We have settled many things, including the fact that the Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible word. They hate to hear us say these things. Many of them do NOT believe that the Bible is God’s word, and that is the foundation of their whole misguided way of thinking. That is what we are refuting their misguided thinking, and warning others about it. It could very well be that your own pastor does not believe in the word of God. Such is the way the Church of the Nazarene is going. It may survive financially or in membership numbers, but spiritually it is dying.
And we will continue to warn all who are willing to listen and check the Scriptures, to see whether we are telling the truth or not. Please join us if you also believe in biblical truth.
Concerned Nazarenes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/concernednazarenes/
Concerned Christians: https://www.facebook.com/groups/136328596390149/