The Fallacy of “Orientation”

(John Henderson)

There is no need to belabor an introduction. It is clear what this is about. “Orientation” in this context is “the direction of someone’s interest or attitude, especially sexual,” regarding homosexuality. It is an active—non-dormant—attitude or inclination. It is a settled way of thinking or feeling about one’s interest in homosexuality; an interest in or liking homosexuality; a decisive preference for homosexuality based on understanding its nature.

Biologically, “a simple and singular determinant for sexual orientation has not been conclusively demonstrated and various studies point to different, even conflicting positions.” Said another way, one can readily prove ones gender biologically but cannot demonstrate homosexual orientation biologically. Self-selection bias and other pitfalls always afflict any study, no matter how “controlled” it might seem to be.
That puts the entire issue in the catch-all category of assumption and speculation based on predisposed interpretations of inconclusive data. Researchers like that because they often come to the end of their own abilities to understand, the data becomes unmanageable, and they want to go home to supper or get a paper published. Hiding behind a “margin of error” doesn’t solve the problem. That is also capriciously predetermined.

I know that on a personal level. I wanted to get done with that doctoral program and was weary of running into walls on the dissertation just trying to make it all come together. I finally sorted through that cardboard box of data I had accumulated, pulled out stuff that seemed to make sense, wrote a bunch of gibberish that fit my chosen narrative, and it sailed through approval. It is somewhere in Vanderbilt’s archives the last I checked and nobody cares one wit about it, including me. Confession is good for the soul, so I am told. Just the same, it still turned out pretty good and may be useful to someone down the way.

So, when I claim that a theologian is wrong that steps aside from the Scriptures and enters a philosophical arena in making conclusions about homosexual orientation as being amoral or non-sinful, I am on pretty solid ground there. Philosophy assumes everything and proves nothing.

Of course, some of them are already well-practiced in that approach. They are just as cock-eyed when they claim that some form of evolutionism can explain creation or that the Bible is only inspired where it refers to soteriology (salvation). This is just another leg on their stool of compromise and error.

Biology and philosophy aside, let us consider just the Scriptures on that matter. We shall still feed off of a simple definition of “orientation”: the direction of someone’s interest or attitude regarding homosexuality… a settled way of thinking or feeling about one’s interest in homosexuality; an interest in or liking homosexuality; a decisive preference for homosexuality based on understanding its nature. In short form: It is how one decides or chooses to think—a chosen and trained mindset or worldview.
The Bible nowhere makes allowances for mental or moral entrapment other than that we are born in sin and need salvation. The continuous thread of the Scriptures is to the end that we might be saved. In that way, the whole Bible is soteriological in nature. It defines and condemns sin, pronounces judgment, and offers redemption in Christ.

Orientation in the scriptural mode is always about that which comes out of the predisposition to sin, the carnal nature. Orientation is always connected to sin.

The Bible tells us plainly that temptation—the only amoral condition possible—actually emits or is fed by previous conduct and disposition:

James 1:14-15 – “…each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.”

I was not a thief growing up. The temptation to steal never haunts me. That is true of many things. The things that I became involved in prior to being born again are the very things the devil still hits me with from time to time after more than 65 years. Only redeeming grace comes to my rescue. That is what James means here.

There are many passages that deal with the thoughts of the heart—not merely the mind. Jesus tells us that one can commit adultery or murder another person without ever engaging in the behavior. They are attitudes of lust and hate. Even the Ten Commandments address that—you shall not desire, or long for, what belongs to your neighbor.

We would be very wise if we stay with the Scriptures and seek the lost accordingly. If we coddle them in their sins, we are not leading them to Christ. Instead, we are pushing open the door to Hell for them to rush in by means of treacherous and menacing deception.

The LGBT Face of the Church of the Nazarene: Celebrating Sin

The LGBTQFace of the Church of the Nazarene

What an absolute disgrace!  The 2017 General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene is allowing the celebration of sin!

I believe LGBT and homosexuality will be the lasting legacy of the 2017 General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene, and will be the catalyst for splitting this denomination wide open.​  Along with the shameful resolutions introduced by the Holland district, as well as by the New England District, homosexuality is well on its way to being celebrated by many more Nazarenes. The train wreck that is apparently happening in the Holland district will soon become more evident here in the states.  Along with the recurring Roman Catholic themes seen in 2009 and 2013, the face of the Church of the Nazarene is becoming more like the United Methodist Church or the Episcopalians, perhaps with no chance of returning to what once was a Holiness denomination. It no longer is that.  It’s not enough to proclaim holiness.  You have to live it, you have to walk the walk. And the leaders of the denomination, from the Generals all the way down to the district leaders (with exceptions) have absolutely failed in their responsibility to protect the flock, and this is the result.  This is your church now.

Nazarenes, are you still proud to be a Nazarene​?

​ Is this what holiness unto the Lord means?​

An LGBT booth set up at General Assembly.
They were there in 2013.​
Why would they be allowed to be at a General Assembly of a Holiness denomination?


The “I’m Nazarene, too” FaceBook group​


​ This Nazarene group has over 2800 members, some of whom I am friends with.  Not sure if a few of them understand what this group really su​pports.  he logo is not exactly one I would use to represent a holiness people.

Here is their description:

This group was born out of discussions about the diversity of ideas and people who call themselves Nazarene. Sometimes, events (many of which make the news) may lead us to think that there is little room in the Church of the Nazarene for dissent, and sometimes this leads to talk of “leaving.” However, we are Nazarenes, too. We may be new to the church, we may be third- or fourth- generation preachers’ kids. We may have never missed a Sunday or Wednesday night. We may have left the Church for a while. We may still only occasionally attend. We serve as pastors, students, professionals, farmers, writers, teachers, and in many other ways. We may believe in evolution. We may affirm 6-day creation. We may believe that our gay friends are as fully Christian as we are. We may believe that homosexual acts are sinful. We may enjoy a glass of wine. Or we may not. Our theology may not match precisely that of the powers that be. Or maybe it does. We may be silent. We may be a loud and critical voice. We may turn the tables. We may stir the pot. We may calm the waters. We may rock the boat. But the one thing we have in common is that we are part of the Nazarene Church, and we are not leaving–at least not yet. We may be criticized, we may someday be ostracized, but we will remain the radical and prophetic proclaimers of the Kingdom in which the Church of the Nazarene dwells.

What is happening to the Church of the Nazarene?  And why do so few even seem to care?

Sodom And Gomorrah, And The Church of the Nazarene in Holland: Is There Any Difference?

Surely it is the case that any church denomination that goes astray, falls into apostasy and away from biblical truth, that as they believe that they are walking in the light and growing spiritually, they are actually walking into ever-growing darkness.  I have written almost 400 articles on my blog since 2009, warning the Church of the Nazarene and its leaders about its falling away from biblical truth, and the voices of many Nazarenes including myself have fallen on deaf ears it seems. The response from leaders was either to ignore us, or respond with answers that reflect an “everything is okay” attitude.  But it is not okay, and this post could be the most significant one yet that shows the end result of years of church error and compromise.

What would you say if an active Nazarene pastor said to you: “I myself have blessed some homosexual marriages?”

This statement is from an email exchange between a concerned Christian and a pastor in seeking clarification on the church’s position on homosexuality. The email reflects the same thinking that comes from leaders in the Holland churches as written in five official documents they have written publicly, so the problem is far beyond one person.  I commend this Christian for alerting me to this escalating problem in the church. He is not a Nazarene, but had been looking into the Church of the Nazarene’s doctrine. He found it to be biblically sound on paper, but found it very short of the mark in practice. Understandably, he has no interest in attending or joining a Nazarene church, yet his concern for the welfare of the believers is what motivated him to alert me.

At the end of this post is the entire email exchange as translated from Dutch (albeit imperfectly), and then the original email in the Dutch language. The implications of the email conversation go far beyond the theology of one or two individual pastors.  Instead, it reflects the theological shift of a significant group of churches that goes away from the official Nazarene stance on homosexuality. Names were changed to both protect the concerned Christian, and to keep this from being about one pastor, rather than about an entire church district.  However, I have sent a separate email to the General Superintendents (see below) with the name of this pastor and those connected with him, so they will know who to speak with about this violation of biblical and Nazarene Church standards.  One would think that the church leaders would address this issue with any Nazarene pastor or district that is going against church doctrine.

You might have thought that such a statement would come from within the presbyterian Church USA, or from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, or the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, Reformed Judaism, or the Quakers. (All these denominations sanction same sex unions or marriages).  Instead, this statement came directly from the pastor of a Church of the Nazarene in Holland.  This pastor is an influential leader in the Holland Nazarene district.  What is also disturbing is that this earthquake-like theological shift has been building since at least 2005, as documented in five writings by the leaders in Holland.

Here is my summary, based on the email and the five major writings I obtained:

  1. A significant number of Nazarene churches in Holland accept and welcome homosexual relations as a normal Christian lifestyle.
  2. Same sex relationships are being blessed, just short of actual marriage ceremonies.
  3. A significant number of leaders of the Holland Nazarene churches reject the official Church of the Nazarene position on homosexuality.
  4. The leadership of the Holland churches warns their constituency about the official position of the General Church of the Nazarene regarding homosexuality.
  5. The leadership of the Holland churches intends to bring a major motion for change in the official position of the Church of the Nazarene as pertains to homosexuality.
  6. Pastor X states in the email that the leadership in the USA already are aware of their pro-gay theology.
  7. Pastor X denies in the email that his theology is pro-gay, but that denial is refuted by his own statement that he has blessed same sex relationships, and that homosexuality is not a sin.

Excerpts of Pastor X’s Statements:

  1. “I myself have blessed some homosexual marriages.”
  2. “I see homosexuality as a natural tendency; I see it as one of the biochemical defects that have affected the human system. It is not a chosen sin, as Wesley says.”
  3. “we warn our people about the theology of our American brothers.”
  4. “Personally, I am ashamed of the church in America.”
  5. “The church in the US has deviated from her Wesleyan heritage.”
  6. “Our district will make a motion on these issues in the Netherlands during the international meeting”


Is This The Coming Storm?

A few years ago I said that it was simply a matter of when, not if, the Church of the Nazarene would compromise beyond what it already has, and accept practicing homosexuals into the “big tent” of the church. My friend Lige Jeter wrote a post on my blog called “A Storm Coming:The Church of the Nazarene’s Steps Towards Embracing Homosexuality”, where he addressed the homosexuality problem. This may very well be that storm.

In seeing what was coming, we needed no prophetic vision, just common sense from what we saw happening in the denomination.  (I recall the last General Assembly, when after some debate and opposition to strengthening the official statement, the Assembly voted to postpone any changes for another four years on the homosexuality question.  This opposition was led by some very influential Nazarenes, including Dr. Dan Boone.  A few years ago, Dr. Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene College, allowed a militant pro-LGBT group to come onto the campus and promote their agenda.

So now we find what seems to be an entire group of Nazarene churches in Holland, embracing one of the most popular of social movements in the “Christian” community: acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle as perfectly normal and not a sin, contrary to Scripture’s plain teaching.  But not only embracing it, but most likely will be demanding that acceptance is across the board within the denomination.  Signs of that are evident in their General Assembly resolution number CA-701a.
CA-701a Netherlands

The question must also be asked: what do the General Superintendents know, when did they know it, and what have they done about it?  Pastor X stated that “they know in the U.S. that we have different opinions on this subject.”  If ‘they’ is the General Superintendents, then we have some really serious things to discuss.  If ‘they’ have known about this theological shift for several years, what have they done about it?  If ‘they’ have chosen to let this go on as it has been going on in Holland, what is their rationale for it?  These and more pointed questions must be answered by the leaders of the Church of the Nazarene, which is why I have also sent this to them.

Perhaps they will answer us fully at the coming General Assembly, and perhaps not. But this cannot be ignored, nor swept under the rug with excuses.  If they have been deliberately ignoring proper church discipline in dealing with an obvious violation of biblical standards, as well as the less-important Nazarene Manual, then their only recourse is to resign from any further responsibility as leaders of the Church of the Nazarene.  The current state of the church is this: it is weak and there is no real leadership. Let new leadership come in and start cleaning house, as a first step towards real revival in the church.  Otherwise, the Church of the Nazarene will irreversibly join the growing number of apostate churches that have thumbed their noses at God and said to Him, “not Your will, but mine.”

More to come regarding the five position papers written by the Holland Nazarene leadership. I encourage anyone who is concerned to write to the Generals.)

​Portuguese and S​panish versions of the article are attached.
Sodom and Gomorrah And Nazarenes- Spanish

Sodom and Gomorrah And Nazarenes- Portuguese

THE TRANSLATED EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN JOHN AND PASTOR X

March 7, 2017 18:56 (from John)

JOHN: Hello Ds. X.  Thank you for your response, I appreciate it enormously.  I downloaded the article about human sexuality from your website; there, your theology is stated in detail. It is clear that your theology agrees with a pro-gay theology.
My question to you is regarding someone whose sexual orientation is toward the same sex and may be baptized and member of the church:  is it true that you don’t consider their continuation of a homosexual relationship a sin? Ds. Y has already said a resounding “yes” that practicing homosexuals can be members.
PASTOR X:  Yes, that’s right. Our entire board has also emphasized this point recently. I, myself, have blessed some homosexual marriages.  However, I do not call it a marriage.

JOHN: Are there practicing homosexuals in your church that you know of?
PASTOR X:  Definitely, there are several. There is a homosexual couple that have been together for almost 50 years.

JOHN: Because those who are members of your church who are into a gay sexual relationship are not calling it a sin, it is clear to me that your church is preaching pro-gay theology. I read the articles on this issue and as evidence I downloaded them.
PASTOR X:  No, I do not hold to pro gay theology.

JOHN: Would you be able to tell me why the homosexual practices that go on in your church is not considered a sin? Just in a few words, please, I would like to hear it from you personally.
PASTOR X
: I see homosexuality as a natural tendency; I see it as one of the biochemical defects that have affected the human system. It is not a chosen sin, as Wesley says.

JOHN: In the meantime, I have contacted Nazarenes from America that warn us about your theology.
PASTOR X:
  Yes, we warn our people about the theology of our American brothers.

JOHN: Don’t you know that this is not in agreement with the official doctrine of the Nazarene church? To confirm this you only need to read the Manual.
PASTOR X:  They know in the US that we have different opinions on this subject. The Manual prohibits some things that we don’t have a problem with, such as drinking alcohol, going to the movies and dancing. Personally, I am ashamed of the church in America. For example, many Nazarenes have voted for Trump. The church in the US has deviated from her Wesleyan heritage, and (unfortunately) her unique message of Holiness.

Our district will make a motion on these issues in the Netherlands during the international meeting.

Blessings,
-End of email-

LETTER TO THE BOARD OF GENERAL SUPERINTENDENTS:

Dear General Superintendents,

I was forwarded an email several months ago that detailed a conversation between a man and a pastor of a Church of the Nazarene in Holland.  My post below reveals the conversation.  In my post to my blog and my email list, I have kept the pastor’s name out, mainly to keep him from being embarrassed publicly, and also because the issue involves more than just this pastor.

However, once you read the email, I believe you will be very concerned at what is going on with the Holland churches.  You certainly should be concerned with what this pastor, Ds. X of the church in _______ has admitted to the person he conversed with.  It would seem that proper church discipline ought to be conducted with him and any pastor in Holland who is disobeying church doctrine.

I have also obtained five major documents that various leaders in Holland have been writing since 2005, and it is clear after reading these documents that the Holland churches are pushing for acceptance of practicing homosexuals as full members of the church.  That has now been reinforced by the resolution they have submitted to the General Assembly.  That document, n spite of not going as far as I believed they would go, is essentially just the first step in achieving their goal.

I have been warning you, as have many other Nazarenes, of the apostasy that has gripped the denomination for the last eight years.  Countless Nazarenes have given up, and left their denomination.  Many have been forced out, for questioning the many false teachings that have infected the church.  And now, this revelation, although shocking, was expected.

I don’t know what it will take to wake up the church.  I don’t know what it will take to wake you up.  But I suggest you get on your knees and pray to Almighty God that he can give you the courage to seek His guidance.  Perhaps there is still time to right the ship, but it sure is getting further and further adrift into the most dangerous of waters.

What will you do?

Manny Silva
THE ORIGINAL DUTCH EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN JOHN AND Pastor X
(Black text = John;  Red text = Pastor X)

Op 7 mrt. 2017 om 18:56 heeft John <john@ > het volgende geschreven:

Hoi Ds. X,

Dank u voor uw bericht, waardeer ik enorm.

Ik heb de artikelen gedownload over menselijke sexualiteit van jullie website, hierin staat in detail jullie theologie.  In grote lijnen komt jullie theologie wel overeen met pro-gay theology.

Mijn vraag aan u: iemand die een sexuale geaardheid heeft tot dezelfde geslacht mag bij jullie gedoopt en lid worden, het klopt toch dat jullie zijn continuatie in een homosexuele relatie geen zonde noemt toch? Ds Y heeft al volmondig ‘ ja’ gezegd dat praktiserende homo’s lid Mogen worden.

>>> Ja, dat klopt. Onze hele bestuursraad heeft dit standpunt recent nog bekrachtigd. Ik heb zelf ook homohuwelijken ingezegend, hoewel ik het geen huwelijk noem.
Er zijn namelijk homo’s die praktiserend zijn in jullie kerk, dat zal u zelf het beste weten..

>>>Zeker, verschillende. Een homostel is al meer dan 50 jr bij elkaar.
De daad van homosex van hen die lid zijn en het geen zonde noemen, is naar mijn insziens pro-gay theology in de puurste zin, ik heb de artikelen gelezen over jullie standpunten. Als bewijs heb ik ze gedownload.

>>> Nee, toch niet. Ik herken mij niet in de pro gay positie….
Zou u mij persoonlijk hierop kunnen antwoorden waarom jullie dit geen zonde noemen van hen die met deze homosexuele praktijken doorgaan in jullie kerk? Gewoon in het kort alsjeblieft, ik zou het graag van u zelf willen horen.

>>> Ik zie homofilie, als aangeboren neiging, als een van de vele biochemische defecten die het menselijk systeem hebben aangetast. Geen gekozen zo nde dus, zoals Wesley zegt.

In de tussentijd heb ik al contact met Nazarenes uit Amerika die voor jullie theologie waarschuwen.

>>>Ja, wij waarschuwen mensen hier voor de theologie van onze amerikaanse broeders…
U weet toch ook wel dat het niet volgens de officiele doctrine behoort van Nazarene Church? Daarvoor hoeft u alleen maar de Manuel te lezen…

>>> Ze weten in de VS dat wij een andere mening hierover hebben. De manual veroordeelt wel meer dingen waar wij hier geen problemen mee hebben, zoals drinken van alcohol, bioscoopbezoek en dansen. Zelf schaam ik mij diep voor onze amerikaanse kerk. Vele nazareners hebben op Trump gestemd, bijv. De kerk in de VS is afgeweken van haar wesleyaanse erfenis, helaas, en haar unieke  heiligingsboodschap vergeten. Ons nederlansde district dient een motie overvdeze dingen in op de internationale vergadering.
Groet,

Zegen

 

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

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