Keeping in mind that the Nazarene denomination, based on all the evidence, is on life support spiritually, I make this observation. It is that with all the false teaching and compromise of Scripture being welcomed into the church, we are in sore need of principled men and women who will not stand by silently while a holiness denomination is imploding. There have been not been many. I have been privileged to meet a good number of them, by way of FaceBook contacts, phone conversations, emails from various pastors and laypeople. That is the encouraging part, and many of them know that I appreciate what they do and say, under extreme pressure from the compromisers in leadership. Some have lost their positions as pastor for taking a biblical stance, ironically. My former pastor, now retired, took a principled stand, which I have great respect for.
Yet I have “seen” utter, complete capitulation from many pastors that I know, who for whatever reason, are afraid to stand for the truth of God’s word. Perhaps the following will encourage some of you, perhaps strike at others’ consciences, and maybe even get some of you mad. Standing for truth comes with somewhat of a price, as already demonstrated by the attacks on Dr. Jenkins over at the breeding ground for emergent heresy, NazNet. But we need more principled leaders such as Dr. Jenkins, who is soon to retire as District Superintendent. As always, the safe and easy place to be is to go with “the crowd”, and not “tell it like it is.” Which describes you? (Manny)
Main Body of Dr. Orville Jenkins report to the District Assembly, May 2013
My remaining time with you as your superintendent is limited as a year from now I must step aside due to the mandatory retirement age of 70 for both district and general superintendents…and rather than reflect on the year past or the one ahead, in this report I want to once again speak from my heart to yours as I’ve done the past three years.
I’m not sure any of us have witnessed a greater collapse of the moral conscience of a nation than what we have observed in the last few months with the overwhelming, almost tsunami-like celebration of homosexuality, including same-sex marriage, and the marginalization of all who disagree.
In fact, the modern world seems to be in a headlong rush to bury the remnants of the Christian conscience.
The post-Christian character of contemporary western culture is most clearly evident in the rejection of biblical ethical standards in favor of moral relativism.
We must honestly face the fact that this post-Christian morality is deeply rooted in a subtle but cunning form of atheism. Though most Americans habitually claim a belief in God, and even some form of Christian identity, the truth is Americans on the whole now order their lives as if God does not exist. Otherwise, we would be required to care what God thinks, obey what He commands, and submit to His authority—or fear to face the
consequences. But it appears that millions of our fellow citizens now believe in a god they do not fear.
Without fear, there is also little respect, or even acknowledgment of God in our modern society today. Biblical morality is dismissed as antiquated, repressive, and intolerant, accompanied by the absence of shame or embarrassment. And with the disappearance of God, we wind up making our own laws—becoming our own judges, our own umpires, and our own gods—all based on what is most convenient and to our own liking.
We’ve already seen that taking place in the political and corporate realm, in our schools and courts, led by godless, moral revolutionaries. And now this arrogance and indifference for what God thinks has moved to the highest office of our government.
Scripture admonishes us, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:2-4). That time as described in Scripture is now.
In much of the western world, especially Europe, the birthplace of the Reformation, the church has little impact. Here in America, the immoral, secular cultural tide has shifted, now engulfing and beginning to make what were once considered unthinkable inroads into the church.
If not careful, willing to stand firm on biblical truth and authority, before we know it even the Nazarenes can succumb to its influence.
Already there are those who want us to revise, modify, ease up, or water down our opposition as a church to homosexuality. Even some church loyalists who have suffered the heartache of a family member choosing this lifestyle have found it easier to a adopt a form of moral relativism that says few, if any, fixed moral principles still exist, and that morality is relative to time, location, and circumstances.
The push for same-sex marriages is nothing more than an attempt to dismantle the institution and sanctity of marriage itself, and to remove all structures and laws considered oppressive to homosexuals and their desire to be recognized as an “erotic minority” deserving of special rights or legal protection. Inevitably, it is an attack upon Christianity.
And there are those even from within the church who have bought into the liberal thinking and theology of today who want us to question or reject the authority of Scripture, including the doctrines of orthodox Christianity such as creation, original sin, total depravity, divine sovereignty, the atonement, and who find the doctrine of hell as both offensive and an embarrassment.
America is now living on the tattered remnants of a post-Christian culture. The tapestry of permanent biblical truths is not completely gone; here and there a fragment remains. But the moral fabric of our culture has been ripped apart by the clipping shears of moral revisionism.
The devastating loss of moral absolutes is nowhere better seen than in our country’s rejection of the sanctity of human life. No barometer could provide a clearer reading of our moral condition. In the past 40 years close to 50 million unborn babies have been casually sacrificed on the altar of human convenience, defined as “human choice” or the “rights of a woman,” and America is now reaping what decades of this moral decay have sown.
Children are now seen as burdens to be avoided, or prey for predators. Here in America, it is no longer safe fora child to walk alone to school these days, or to play in their own yard or neighborhood without the watchful, vigil eye of a parent or guardian.
This is not at all very encouraging or promising…except for a couple of things. One is our own personal testimony of what God for Christ’s sake has done in our lives to change our hearts and make us different. And secondly, the timeless, ageless truth of the authority of God’s Word that becomes the moral compass and spiritual underpinnings of our beliefs and convictions, and on which we can stand without reservation and apology.
(End report by Dr. Jenkins)