How Progressives (Liberals) Revise History And Blame Biblical Christians For Ruining The Church of the Nazarene

“True unity is not reckless diversity in doctrine; true unity is unity in the Spirit, and unity in what God’s word says.”

Recently, a post was written by a pastor in the United Methodist Church, Ric Shewell, in which he decried what he sees as a sad situation in the Church of the Nazarene. Rev. Shewell is also a former Nazarene pastor, who left the denomination and says that he was driven out, although I do not know why, since he seems to fit in nicely with the current philosophy. He is also a major supporter of Tom Oord. Both denominations share a similar heritage, including the connection with John Wesley and his holiness message, and hence an understandable concern for a sister denomination. In his article, pastor Shewell laments that due to the intolerance of conservatives within the Nazarene denomination, it has led to the dismissal or demotion of such Nazarene notables as Dr. Oord, a professor at Northwest Nazarene University who rejects the Genesis account of creation and embraces evolution, who does not believe Adam and Eve existed, who teaches the heresy that God cannot know the future, and that God is not perfect and actually learns from His mistakes.

He gives other examples such as in 2007, when a college professor was dismissed for his views in favor of evolution; the dismissal of the Nazarene Publishing House president; and the demotion of a college chaplain for his views on wars based on Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. His point in using these examples is that the Church of the Nazarene is losing out in the area of diversity in thought and leadership. His conclusion is essentially this: that traditionalists (conservatives, or Bible-believers) are the ones to blame for a so-called uniformity of thought which is squeezing out the progressives and leading to a serious division in the church, and that soon the United Methodist Church will suffer the same fate if something is not done about it.

Pastor Shewell is correct in several ways. Yes, the Church of the Nazarene is being fractured, and uniformity of thought is being promoted heavily. Yes, there are many in the church today that are being intolerant of certain views and as a result are alienating those folks who have those views. (Intolerance is good in some instances, as in when faithfulness to God’s word demands intolerance of false teaching). What is totally incorrect in his conclusions is that he has it reversed, as to who is responsible for this so-called division and drive for uniformity of thought. It is clear from all the evidence over the last decade, that this “uniformity of thought” is being driven by the progressives, and it is clear also that they will not tolerate any thought or belief that opposes their views. By the way, those who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture also believe in uniformity of thought, as long as it is driven and supported by God’s word. True unity is not reckless diversity in doctrine; true unity is unity in the Spirit, and unity in what God’s word says. We will always accept that kind of uniformity of thought.

You can read his entire post here, as well as this post by my friend Dave Mosher which he wrote three years ago about the United Methodist pastor who hosts the website which posted Rev. Shewell’s article. In the meantime, here is my response to the article, with a few added thoughts to extend the comments on his view.

This idea that progressives are being kicked out by conservatives in the Church of the Nazarene is, with all due respect, nonsense! It is the other way around- and can be evidenced by the many biblical Nazarenes who have been forced to leave a denomination that is becoming more and more apostate as time goes by. It will soon be even more “progressive”, and eventually will embrace “homosexual Christians” as being part of the body of Christ. Is there any evidence of progressive persecution of traditional Christians in the church? Yes there is.

-The rejection of the divinely inspired word of God as actually being God’s word in full, is evidence also. This is the central source of the entire problem in any denomination that has strayed from the truth.

-The denial of ordination of a pastor in New England because he testified to his belief in the inerrancy of scripture is evidence.
-The revoking of a pastor’s credentials and throwing his family out of their parsonage for preaching against the evils of the emergent church movement is evidence.
-The embrace of Roman Catholics as “brothers and sisters” in Christ, notwithstanding the RCC’s heretical teachings, is evidence.
-The welcoming of contemplative mysticism into the church is evidence of its new progressivism.
-The emphasis on the social gospel or the environmental gospel taking on almost equal importance with the true Gospel.
-The shunning of traditional Nazarenes in their churches if they do not accept these new progressive ideas is evidence.
-The rejection of biblical inerrancy as written by a Holiness Today editor is evidence.
The absolute silence by the General Superintendents as all this nonsense is occurring is evidence.

There is much, much more evidence, and you can read it on my blog if you wish.

This is no longer the denomination of my father, who was a true holiness preacher/pastor and would have had his heart broken if he had known of what is going on now. My late father-in-law also was a Nazarene holiness preacher and pastor, and he testified to me of all these bizarre, unholy practices that the Nazarenes are bringing in with a total lack of discernment amongst district leaders and pastors.

These folks, like Tom Oord, are outlyers in this story. Apparently even he and a few others were just too much for those leaders who are normally very compromising in allowing just about any heretical practice in the church. Why? Who knows? Perhaps they went to such an extreme that even Nazarenes who don’t like to “rock the boat” were getting upset about these heretical views.

Perhaps this progressivism is to get as many people into the “tent” as possible. That is what they say, isn’t it? We have a big tent, they say, in the Church of the Nazarene, and we welcome “diverse views”. But heaven forbid if you believe in the literal Genesis account of creation, or if you believe in the inerrancy of scripture, or if you believe in evangelizing Catholics instead of pandering to them. Heaven forbid if you believe that it is wrong to pander to the LGBT crowd and their progressive agenda of full acceptance in the church. No, in that case, you are forced out, or told to get with the program and shut up.

In his article, Rev. Shewell says: “Maybe the UMC has gained an unpopular reputation for the fights we’re in, but we stay together, loving and serving for something greater than our differences.” Well, let’s see what that kind of thinking and “unity” has gotten the United Methodist Church over the years:

  • The UMC is not only a member of the radical World Council of Churches, but is its primary financial source.
  • UMC pastors constantly join hand in hand with Roman Catholics, Unitarians, other radical groups, and even interfaith groups (non-Christians). Clearly not a Wesleyan kind of worldview, and clearly opposite the view of the Methodist Articles of Faith developed by John Wesley.
  • A modernistic view of doctrine. Quote from the UMC Conference in 1976 frames the current UMC mindset: ““We do not believe … in rigid doctrinal concepts to hold us steady in a wavering world.”
  • At least 30 percent of UMC ministers do not believe Jesus Christ is God, and 82% say they do not believe the Bible is the perfect Word of God. As early as 1968 a widely publicized scientific survey by Jeffrey Hadden which was published by the Washington University showed that about 60% of the Methodist clergy did not believe in the virgin birth and at least 50% did not believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ.
  • The UMC, although officially against homosexuality as compatible with Christian teaching, is all over the map in this regard in practice. Homosexuals have been ordained in several states; and countless pastors and bishops have joined forces to proudly declare their support of same sex “marriage” and ordination of homosexuals.
  • The UMC has always been in support of abortion rights, calling for the legalization of abortion in 1972, and supporting the Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court.

If Rev. Shewell feels comfortable with these positions (and others I have not mentioned), then perhaps he will someday return to the Church of the Nazarene, as it also is heading the way of the UMC and other apostate denominations. Although John Wesley himself is not the ultimate measure of what is right and wrong for a church, my comparisons to him are to point to the utter hypocrisy of these people who believe they are “Wesleyan” in doctrine. Most evident of their hypocrisy is that they reject the very testimony of John Wesley who believed in the full inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. But as most liberals tend to do, they don’t let the facts get in the way of their distortion of history and biblical truth.

So this blaming of Bible believing, conservative traditionalists for the woes of the Nazarene denomination is all nonsense. The Church of the Nazarene, of which I am still a member for now, has gone from holiness to heresy. And the progressives have led the way and still do. That is what is going on, although the deniers will continue to deny it, and will soon condemn people like me for speaking the truth and pointing out their hypocrisy.


Biblical Inerrancy:

Dave Mosher’s Commentary on Jeremy Smith:

Ric Shewell’s article:

David Cloud’s article on Denominations:





God Cannot Know The Future: A Damnable Lie in The Nazarene Denomination

“God cannot know the future.”

This is Open Theism explained in it simplest terms.  In fact, a book on Open Theism just needs to have these five words in it, and no further explanation.  No need to spend additional wasted words in trying to explain this false idea.  Open Theism is a theological philosophy that at the end of the day contradicts what the Bible teaches. Scripture teaches that God is sovereign, that He knows what His plans are and He purposes to do all that He wishes.  Yet Open Theism continues to be an acceptable belief system that is allowed to be taught in all the Nazarene universities, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and the Bible college.  (It’s twin evil ideology is process theology, which teaches that God learns from his mistakes).

It would be very hard for a Nazarene pastor to openly tell this to his congregation, because Open Theism is a lie from the pit of hell.  If a pastor is possibly an open theist, ask him if he would be willing to speak plainly about this to his congregation, and to state that he believes these five simple words.  He probably would not be able to do it, at least without having some of his congregation walk out of the church in disgust.  My own former pastor believes in this lie, yet I do not believe that he would ever want to openly admit that to his congregation.  Who would dare preach a sermon called “God Cannot Know The Future?”

Thomas Oord has been for years the primary Nazarene spokesman for this damnable lie, yet the Church of the Nazarene is quite comfortable in letting him continue with his influence of many college students and others throughout the denomination.  It is no surprise, because many in leadership positions believe this lie too.  Oord is still is listed as Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University, although he is supposedly going to leave in a year or two.  He has written several books on the subject, and is considered one of the leading experts on Open Theism.

This is the same Tom Oord who disagreed with me that sin came into the world as a result of Adam’s sin.  This is the same Tom Oord who does not believe that Adam was a literally created human as described in Genesis.  He is the same Tom Oord who also believes that man came to existence through the process of evolution, another dammable lie which is sadly believed by many Nazarene theologians, college professors, and pastors today.

In his latest book, The Uncontrolling Love of God, Oord sums it up this way:

“Most people will say God is in control. I don’t think God is in control. I think God has uncontrolling love and that given the choice between saying God is in control or God is all-loving, which I think we end up having to do, I will go with all-loving. That’s going to make some people nervous, but the payoff, the benefits to that, in my mind, far exceed … the costs.”

In “his mind” Oord chooses to disregard such powerful testimony to God’s sovereign power and omniscience as the following:

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10 

“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11 

“The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.” Isaiah 14:24 

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:2

There is nothing that God does not know.  He would not be God if the opposite were true.  Nothing is out of God’s control, not a single thing.  If so, He would not be truly God, and we who are so insignificant would have little hope in Him.  Yet Tom Oord and others of his disbelieving kind choose to disregard the evidence in God’s word, and instead make the mistake of trying to explain everything that cannot be completely understood by his feeble mind.  They appeal to “academic freedom” as an excuse to teach anything they want, even if unscriptural.  It’s a mistake that many self-serving theologians make time and time again.

A Reasoned Response

The following partial quote is from the Facebook page of Fundamental Wesleyan Publishers.

“In my view, Open Theism has substituted the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God for a hybrid of Pelagianism and humanism; the end result makes man the prime actor and God merely the reactor; which in turn makes us God while making God secondary and subject to our will.

However, God can still be supreme love and supreme authority without any contradiction, because, as Scripture reveals, these are the two sides to His character. He is Holy love as defined by Scripture and not “love” as determined by human ideas about love.

Open Theism raises also the following questions: If God cannot know the future, was the atonement an afterthought? How does Open Theism understand Satan and the fallen angels in relation to God’s sovereignty? Is God also subject to the choices the devil makes as and when he makes them? If God is subject to our will, surely He must also be subject to the devil’s will. Does this situation not make God a victim of His own creation and of sin?

One of the most serious flaws in Open Theism is that it dispenses altogether with prevenient grace by elevating human freedom to the point of making us dictate to God; it relegates Him to a secondary player in His created universe and makes us our own God. None of which is anywhere close to what the NT defines as our faith; neither could this strange idea ever fly under the banner of “Wesleyanism.”

Open Theism has pushed the envelope of human freedom to the extent that it’s not possible to recognize in it a trace of “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.” This is because Open Theism is not “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints” and should therefore be rejected outright as an unvarnished attempt to substitute human ideas for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. Roy D Oosthuizen, an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in South Africa.​)​


I do not know whether Rev. Oosthuizen agrees with everything I have written in exposing what is going on in the church.  But in this instance he has expressed a belief that Bible believing Nazarenes share, and that is that Open Theism is a theological viewpoint that has no place in the Church of the Nazarene or any other Christian denomination or independent church.

As I read from time to time the meaningless ramblings of the “learned ones” on NazNet, I see so many pastors who believe this lie, and so many pastors who do not believe that the Bible is God’s perfect word.  I see them as they verbally abuse those who would gently give their opinion that they do believe in all the Scriptures; that they do believe evolution is a false teaching and incompatible with Scripture; that they do believe Adam actually was real, as Scripture tells us plainly.

The beliefs of Tom Oord and his friends at Naznet are a microcosm of the disease that has spread through the Church of the Nazarene. These skeptics are no longer the exception. I see it all around.  I have heard it from the mouths of leaders from my New England District.  In the coming weeks and months, I will remind you of the compromising attitude among the leadership in the church that has led it to this point. I will continue to make the point that one the biggest factors in the failure of the Church of the Nazarene to maintain its holiness message, and its Bible-believing message, can be traced to the leadership failure at the top.  I will make the case that not a single one of the General Superintendents have stood up against the many false doctrines as well as the wolves that have infiltrated the church.  They have done nor said anything of substance.

Quoting a concerned friend and former Nazarene, Al, who wrote to me recently:

“Granted the “vocal headliners” of the emergent positions in the COTN seem to be in a quiet phase but they all are in the same positions of authority espousing their teachings and preachings.  I have no solutions, but I consider them to be comparable to terrorist sleeper cells – fermenting the students and laymen; today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.  I am appalled at the ignorance on these matters by the laity, the clergy, the church boards, the educational leaders and board members, the DSs and to even the GSs.  Where in the Bible does it teach discernment is to be shunned?   I am not talking a witch hunt, but this is the precise time for strong action to affirm to our theological leaders and those in charge from the top to the bottom that COTN’s Articles of Faith are to be embraced and those that are unable to enthusiastically agree need to be honest as a matter of personal integrity and quietly take appropriate action.  No more “soft” acceptance of and teaching of emergent theology or positions.”

Friends, Open Theism is just one of the many unbiblical teachings and practices plaguing the Church of the Nazarene today.  There is less holiness, and a lot more heresy now.  Unless something significant occurs to stem the tide, the day is coming when it will join the likes of the PCUSA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and many other apostate denominations.

It will then finally become as irrelevant as all the rest.


Pope Francis: The Evangelical’s Adulation of A False Religion’s Leader

Pope Francis has finally left, after a week long visit to the United States.  He is the so-called “vicar of Christ”, a title which gives him the same power and authority over the church that Christ has. This doctrine is clearly blasphemy.  But there is so much more about this man, and the false religion he represents. Those of us who know the real Gospel know better, but to those who are not walking in the light of God’s truth, his visit was a great blessing!  The praise of this man in all the media outlets, and from many evangelical leaders, was all consuming.  And also how sad to have noted some of my own Christian friends, who once knew better, expressing their admiration for a man and a religion that daily promotes a lie to many around the world.

We are told in Scripture that we are not to judge the world, but to judge those in the church.  And we are to judge righteously as well.  It is to those in the church who I wish to speak of, as we are commanded to do in Scripture.  The amazing display of adulation and respect shown this past week for the man most responsible for promoting the world’s most false, most wicked imitation of Christianity, is astonishing.  Yet, it ought to be no surprise to us, because it this spirit of ecumenicalism that has been unfolding for decades now in the evangelical church, amongst Protestants whose very founding was based on Martin Luther’s rejection of the false teachings of the church.

For years, the Church of the Nazarene and other evangelical denominations have been gradually embracing the Roman Catholic Church as an equal partner in faith.  The predominant refrain seems to be is that as long we all proclaim Christ as the Savior, all other differences can be overlooked.  (Should we accept Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses as authentic Christianity?)

But is this broad ecumenical view (as long as anyone proclaims Jesus as Savior) based on Scripture, or based on man’s desire for “unity?”  Does Roman Catholicism preach the same Gospel as we do in the Protestant tradition, or do they preach another gospel?  Why did the Reformation occur in the first place?  It was because Martin Luther saw that there were serious errors- heresies actually- that were being promulgated by the Roman church, and he tried as hard as he could to reform the church.  His nailing of the 95 Theses set the stage for a great change in the church, with a clean break being made from the Roman Catholic Church and the pope’s authority.  Have we forgotten history?  It seems many have now.

Here are the words of false evangelical pastor, Rick Warren:

“There’s still real differences—no doubt about that.  But the most important thing is, if you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”

And here is what TD Jakes, prosperity gospel preacher loved by many, said:

“A special thanks to President Obama for his VIP invitation to attend such a historical event.”

TD Jakes is on the record as believing that we have too much in common with Roman Catholicism to not work together.

And Joel Osteen, a motivational speaker who makes millions pretending to be a pastor, said the following:

“I like the pope. I like that he’s making the Catholic Church more open to bring people in and not exclude them.  He’s a man of the people. I like what he stands for: humility, reaching out to others and he’s not so formal that people can’t relate to him.”

Read some of the words of the general superintendent of the Wesleyan Church, Jo Anne Lyon, who received an invitation from President Obama to see the pope this week.

“The Wesleyan Church and the Roman Catholic Church differ in our doctrine but we worship the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

You can read the rest of her comments here:

I find it astounding that a leader of a Protestant denomination that emphasizes holiness would say such a thing.  This is a reflection of either complete and utter ignorance, or Dr. Lyon has sold out to the devil along with the others who have chosen to compromise biblical doctrine.  Does she not realize that we do not worship the same Jesus as the pope does, as she claims?  Does she not know that this “Jesus” of the Roman Catholic Church is a false jesus?  Does she also believe that we can go to heaven through our good works?  Or that the real body and blood of Jesus appears in every communion wafer and wine? Are these doctrines, and more, just minor differences?

Have these evangelicals ignored this command?

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

We have university presidents and ordained pastors talking about Roman Catholics as “our sisters and brothers in Christ.”  They promote retreats to Roman Catholic monasteries where they enthusiastically support contemplative mysticism.  There is even a Nazarene pastor prominently showing off a picture of himself taking confessional at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  We have theology professors like Mark Maddix of Northwest Nazarene University ignorantly promoting Roman Catholicism as being theologically sound.  Pastors have been routinely quoting Mother Teresa and Roman Catholic mystics now for years in their sermons.  And over at the NazNet website and Sacramental Nazarenes FaceBook page, as you read over and over the thoughts of pastors on these sites, you see a flippant and casual attitude towards all this.  You will not see a bit of condemnation of the heresies promoted by the false prophet known as pope Francis.

They are all buying into ecumenicalism.  The great compromise in the church will continue on and on, and will get worse.  The only faithful Christians remaining standing will be in small home churches, or independent churches who will stand firm and uphold the truth of God’s word, at any cost.

There are a few who are willing to speak out. Jordan Standridge, pastoral associate at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Virginia, wrote an article entitled “Why Evangelicals and Catholics Cannot Be Together.” He noted many problems coming from the 1995 “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” document.

 “Well-known evangelical pastors .. joined themselves with Catholic priests and philosophers in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries.  Now, he said, “The vast majority of Christians in America do not evangelize Catholics. Someone like me who has shed many tears over the deception of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as hateful.”

“I totally understand the desire to believe people are saved.  I also desperately want Roman Catholics to go to heaven, but we can’t let our desire for people to be saved or our desire to please men lead us to cheer them on as they run towards Hell. We must love them.”

For my friends who have been impressed with the pope, and believe his visit was a good thing, please consider my words.  Why do you believe that?  Can you give a solid biblical reason that Protestant Christians should unite with Rome?

Here is one good reason that we should not only have nothing to do with the pope and Rome’s teachings, but we should do our best to rescue as many as possible form the bondage of this false religion.  In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul gives us a very serious warning:

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-9)

The Roman Catholic Church preaches a false gospel.  That is reason enough to reject it, to refute it, and to lovingly witness to those are lost in bondage from this false religion.  My father was freed from that bondage as a young man in the Cape Verde Islands, and went on to become a holiness preacher and pastor.  My father in law also was freed from Romanism as a young man, and also became a holiness preacher.  It would break their hearts today to know that the pastors that are being sent out from the seminaries to shepherd new churches, are ignoring Paul’s admonition and holding hands with the purveyors of a false gospel.  Truly the last days are upon us.


Some of the Reasons I Have Lost Interest in Being Involved with the Church of the Nazarene

The following account is a very accurate picture of the state of mind within the Church of the Nazarene today. All Christians should take warning.

Some of the Reasons I Have Lost Interest in Being Involved with the Church of the Nazarene

My story goes back several years where I saw things that troubled me.  Among the first was the time I was challenged in a Sunday school lesson I taught at Nashville First.  The topic was biblical creation and the challengers were an Old Testament professor at Trevecca Nazarene College and a biology professor at Middle Tennessee State University, both members of the class.  They took the evolutionism side.  No one in the Nazarene system seemed to be all that concerned about it.

There were other instances, such as the snickering comments about those old fashioned Nazarenes of years gone by, and a growing interest in things I felt biblically uncomfortable about.

The time came when I encountered something called Emergent Nazarenes and the current pastor was telling me privately that after the upcoming general assembly I would not recognize the Church of the Nazarene.

I began to search for answers and came across much more than I ever expected.  I found out that the denomination and its leadership, publishing house, and academic institutions had all but plunged headlong into the emergent heresies.  It was everywhere and openly promoted.  That plummet continues to this day.

When that pastor resigned, I implored our church board to diligently avoid calling an emergent pastor and gave them abundant examples of what to avoid.  My concerns and warnings were disregarded and they brought in a classic emergent who has led that church downward into the emergent abyss since.  Where once the church flourished in attendance, spirit, and finances it now is losing and diminishing in every instance.

I had moved on to a smaller Nazarene church before the new pastor arrived and found there a remnant of true believers.  As I looked about, however, I found that they were a rare example of old-fashioned Nazarenes, including their pastor.  Even smaller churches were taking the emergent plunge and the [Nazarene] Publishing House was getting worse until it finally closed under the cloud of shame of misconduct and mismanagement.  Its efforts at recovery are not going well.

Within a matter of months, if that long, the new pastor from Chicago had started the church in a different direction that incorporated postmodern/new age worship styles, Catholic copies, studies in heresy publications such as Rob Bell’s books.  Within two or three years he was promoting social justice activities for community “outreach” and more recently promoted “interpretative dancing” with the children in the sanctuary.  This all replaced the mourner’s bench activities.

Even at the small church we attended, there was an emergent associate pastor who was spewing his bile of false doctrine among good people.  He was arrogant and defiant when my wife and I faced him with it and I had decided to go elsewhere.  I had made up my mind that, at the end of a particular Sunday morning service, I would pack up my musical equipment, and go elsewhere.

However, the pastor announced his resignation and I felt I might remain through that interim period until another pastor was called, hoping he could lead the little church to better things.  The associate had to eventually be fired because he refused to resign as he was required to do when the senior pastor resigns.

I helped in the search and came up with the name of a man I was convinced would be very suitable.  The district superintendent would not allow him to be interviewed because he had been at odds with his current superintendent over the emergent issues and refused to send in his church’s budget payments because of the superintendent’s support for emergent errors.

The Tennessee superintendent had already stated to one of the members that if our church ever stopped supporting itself (paying its budgets) that he would put up a for-sale sign in a heartbeat.  The property is valued at two or more million dollars.

I kept up with the minister the superintendent would not allow us to interview.  He accepted a call to a church in a neighboring district and is doing well there.  He has a fine group of young people (what he had promised to do for us) and is active in district functions.  I suppose he is paying his budget there.  All he ever wanted was to be allowed to be a Nazarene pastor without having the emergent stuff shoved down his throat.

Nazarene ministers across the country and in other parts of the world are eagerly following after the emergent compromise in large numbers.  They discuss among themselves the merits of “creation evolutionism,” homosexual orientation, and question whether they ever got it right on the doctrine of entire sanctification.  Many are vitriolic towards other Nazarenes who openly express support for biblical inerrancy and complete inspiration of all parts of the Bible.  They demean those who dare to say that friendship with the world is enmity against God.  The laity is generally indifferent and compliant.

There is now a group across the denomination that calls itself Sacramental Nazarenes*.  They promote Catholic-inspired approaches to “worship” instead of the traditional Nazarene approaches.

The problem is compounded in that this spiritual sickness is an epidemic across the entire Wesleyan holiness movement.  Not one major Wesleyan holiness denomination is untouched by these heresies.  Not one major denominational school remains true to its holiness heritage.  Not one publishing house of those denominations is legitimately holiness anymore.

The so-called splinter groups may hold to the doctrine but they are rotted on the inside with legalism by going to the opposite extreme.

There is a remnant but they are difficult to find because they are so few and scattered.  Even those still within the backslidden denominations are subject to takeover by the heretics, so they must always be walking on eggs.

That leaves a lot of displaced Nazarenes—those who have had to leave for the sake of conscience or who have spoken up and been forced to leave their churches.  Some have gone to other denominations (themselves plagued with postmodern and emergent heresies) and, in some cases, a few come together in small groups.

That will work to a point but there will need to be leadership at some point.  Since Nazarene leadership has essentially jumped ship that means that holiness leadership has to come from among those groups.  It is the New Testament Church all over again.  Maybe that is a good thing.

​ *Members of Sacramental Nazarenes includes the president of the seminary, a former general Superintendent, and other leaders in the church.​

Open Letter To Dr. McGee, Other Nazarene College Presidents, and General Superintendents, Regarding Tony Campolo

Dear Dr. McGee,

A few years ago in 2010, my wife and I visited your campus where we met with you, the college chaplain (Corey McPherson) and college provost (Tim Wooster). I have always appreciated your kindness in inviting us to express our concerns to you, and we were treated with respect by you, Tim, and Corey. In spite of our total disagreement on the issues we raised, we recognize the fact that few Nazarenes leaders have even been willing to give us, and many other concerned Nazarenes, the opportunity to share our deep concerns.

Our main reason for coming to the campus was to warn you regarding the agenda and theology of Tony Campolo. Our warnings were not heeded, and it was made clear to us at that meeting that the leadership of Eastern Nazarene College are perfectly fine with Tony Campolo speaking to the students in chapel.

Later in October, Dr. Campolo confirmed our fears, and went on to promote his false ideas of contemplative spirituality, promoting mantra prayers and mysticism to the students, while plugging shamelessly his “social justice” agenda to the students. In one of his comments to the students, he stated that “I say the name of Jesus over and over again”, and suggested that we try it, that we should do it for 15 minutes, until this ritual “drives away the dark forces around us.” He promoted centering prayer, an unbiblical practice that has no basis in Scripture. Quote: “it takes only 15 minutes to be inwardly still.” He asked, “when was the last time you were still for 20 minutes- so that you can come alive in Christ?” He continued on by promoting an occultic version of Christian called Celtic Spirituality, referring to “thin places”.

I remember looking around and wondering why any of these pastors are not standing up against this guy’s false ideology being pushed onto these young impressionable students?   I still recall when the wife of a pastor approached me and my brother outside after the service, gushing about how wonderful his message was. How shocked she was when I told her that Tony Campolo is a false teacher, and should never be allowed to speak at a Christian college. It is so sad to see the lack of discernment today in supposedly mature Christian adults, as well as pastors, who are charged with a heavier responsibility to protect the flock.

(His capitulation to political correctness and ecumenicalism is very evident in his writings, including his statement in the past implying that perhaps we worship the same God as do the Muslims). He does not even know whether Jesus only abides in Christians! Quote: “I am saying that there is no salvation apart from Jesus; that’s my evangelical mindset. However, I am not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians (National Liberty Journal, 8/99)

Quote: “…what can I say to an Islamic brother who has fed the hungry, and clothed the naked? You say, “But he hasn’t a personal relationship with Christ.” I would argue with that. And I would say from a Christian perspective, in as much as you did it to the least of these you did it unto Christ. You did have a personal relationship with Christ, you just didn’t know it.”


Is This The Last Straw?

Now Dr. Campolo has finally gone to the next level, and has been totally deceived by Satan. He has capitulated to the gay and lesbian agenda. Here is his latest pronouncement on the issue:

“It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.”

You can read his entire statement from his website here:

My question to you, to all the college presidents, to president Sunberg of Nazarene Theological Seminary, to the District leaders, and to the General Superintendents of the church, who are also charged with defending biblical doctrines of the church:

Are you going to continue allowing Tony Campolo to bring his unbiblical doctrines onto our college campuses, to freely espouse the heresies that he promotes? Has Tony Campolo now gone too far even for those of you who, up until now, have had no problem accepting him on campus?

And furthermore, will you go the extra mile and not just ban him from all college campuses, but you will do so publically at all Nazarene colleges and on the Nazarene website, and call for his repentance?

Or will you continue to stay silent as you have on so many critical issues in the past several years, and continue to allow the Church of the Nazarene to further degrade into its own version of the Laodicean church in Revelation.

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Rev. 3:14-16)

Sincerely asking on behalf of many Bible believing Christians and Nazarenes,

Manny Silva

Links for reference:

Karl Giberson Needs God In His life

Last week, I sent out a petition asking for support for the “laying off” of Tom Oord at Northwest Nazarene University. Dr. Oord, although a nice guy personally, should not ever have been allowed to continue teaching his heretical views for years at the school. He believes in evolution, open theism, and process theology. He believes the Bible has errors, as do many ordained elders in the Nazarene Church today.

What I find amazing is that over the years since Dr. Oord began teaching evolution and open theism, I have not seen one public statement by any General Superintendent rejecting these godless teachings, or strongly rebuking those who would allow such teaching to occur on Nazarene campuses. Why they have not spoken out clearly on this issue to all Nazarenes is a mystery, since their main duty is to defend and clarify church doctrine. This, which we would call a failure of leadership, is another topic that needs to be raised often.

Dr. Oord has been laid off for supposed financial reasons in the theology department, even though the school is doing quite well on the bottom line. I suspect that if he was actually laid off for his heretical views, and if it was made known to all, that it would open up a free-for-all discussion as to who else should be removed for promoting such heretical views. We could certainly start with a long list of well known college presidents, church pastors, and academics who contributed equally heretical views at the now defunct Nazarenes Exploring Evolution website.

But now, the extremely ARROGANT, evolution-promoting Karl Giberson has, as I expected, chimed in on this latest Nazarene debacle. As also expected, he spares nothing in calling Bible believing Nazarenes names, painting them as uneducated, unthinking and intolerant, and depicting Tom Oord as a martyr in the battle between liberals and fundamentalists. Karl Giberson’s influence is essentially a sad, pathetic footnote in Nazarene college history.

Karl Giberson no longer teaches at Eastern Nazarene College, which I attended years ago. The evil influence of his teaching of evolution and promotion of open theism has probably done immeasurable damage to many students who have gone through the school. The lack of strong leadership at the college was certainly a prime reason that he was allowed to teach there in the first place, and the lack of strong leadership to remove him AND state why, is also a glaring problem that still exists at the school. There is no principled leadership there now,as evidenced by other bad decisions, such as allowing an LGBT support group and a yoga class to be taught on campus.  Thus comes the advice to not only reject ENC as a school for your children, but also to resist funding it in any way until it changes its ways.

It is ironic that this sad man supports Tom Oord, who in spite of his heretical views, at least voices a call to “live a life of love.”   I recall that night at ENC as Dr. Oord completed his lecture, and Karl Giberson sat two seats to the right of me. My challenge to Dr. Oord was expressed, and he responded gently and politely disagreed. I can’t imagine Karl Giberson responding in any way to the same question, except by his usual arrogance and disdain towards those of us who are “uneducated.”

Karl Giberson just wrote an article called “The Fundamentalist Witch Hunt’s New Prey.” You see what I mean? Even before proceeding to read the article, we have a pretty good clue what this man is all about. In my opinion, he hates fundamentalists! (Fundamentalists*, by the way, are Christians who, among other things, believe the Genesis account of creation, and who share a certain number of fundamental points of belief that are pretty solid and orthodox).

I also believe Karl Giberson hates Bible believers.  I believe he hates us with a passion, as evidenced in this sad man’s very own words, time and time again throughout the years. This man needs Jesus.

Here are some of the examples from his latest post:

“A beloved professor forced from a Nazarene university this month is the latest casualty in a war that’s being waged against thinking evangelical Christians”.

This tells us that, for Karl Giberson, unless one believes the way he does, one is NOT a thinking Christian.

“The controversy at NNU is one battle in the long war that is being waged—and slowly won—against thinking evangelical Christians.”

Again, to an elitist like Karl Giberson, Bible believers are not thinkers because we reject evolution, and we reject the nonsensical idea that God cannot know the future, and that God learns from his mistakes.

“In 2007 biologist Richard Colling was forced out of another Nazarene university for his book arguing that evolution was true and should be understood as God’s way of creating. In 2010 I left Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) after years of being attacked by fundamentalists as a heretic for my views on science.”

There are still many who remain n the Nazarene colleges who are teaching this foolishness, that Genesis 1-11 is not true, and that we evolved through random processes. That is a lie, and anyone teaching a lie ought to be removed from their position in any so-called Bible based school.

“Progressive, educated scholars push their traditions to make peace with new ideas, to be open to reconsidering historical positions on human origins, the nature of God, the morality of homosexuality, the meaning of Bible stories, the status of other religions.”

Karl Giberson is a progressive who I am sure would be quite at home if the Church of the Nazarene openly embraced evolution and open theism, accepted homosexuality as normal and not a sin, and placed all other religions on a par with evangelical Christianity. (I don’t know about you, but I am thankful he is gone from ENC). Yet, the Church of the Nazarene seems to be sadly inching towards some of these “progressive” goals, especially in the are of homosexuality and ecumenical equality with Roman Catholicism.

“historian Randall Stephens and I lament that most evangelicals now get their science from young earth creationist Ken Ham, their history from the discredited revisionist David Barton, their social science from the homophobic James Dobson.”

Karl Giberson despises Ken Ham, who I consider an honorary Nazarene for all the reporting he has done about Giberson and other false teachers in the Nazarene denomination. And as you can see, anyone who is for the biblical view of homosexuality is to folks like Giberson, a “homophobic”, not exactly a compliment these days.

“Evolution, alas, is true and most educated people understand that.”

Alas, the arrogance of this man is astounding. I am serious when I suggest that the dictionary should be revised, and that Karl Giberson’s name be part of the definition of arrogance. Yet with all his intellectual pedigree, he fails to see the evidence that a child can understand, that evolution is a lie, and is one of the most insanely stupid ideas ever concocted by man! This is what “higher education” can do to someone who sets aside God’s wisdom, for man’s wisdom. Instead of becoming wiser, men like these become fools in search of their own contrived understanding of God. To compound the problem, they not only damage themselves, but worse, they damage countless students, and are aided and abetted by college presidents who seem to be interested in the bottom line: money. What else can explain allowing such people to teach?

Giberson goes on to opine how, while he was at ENC, “irate fundamentalist pastors” would withdraw financial support from the college because of him. To them, I say thanks for that. That is exactly the message that must be sent to any “Christian” school that allows unbiblical teachings. Yet, if we were really serious about cleaning up the mess in the Church of the Nazarene and its educational institutions, we would know that Tom Oord is just a very tiny reflection of the problem we have now. Thus, I cannot get too excited about the departure of Tom Oord, as if a sweeping change is coming soon, and the house will be cleaned up from top to bottom.

So although the arrogant Karl Giberson will continue to rant and rave and throw his hate bombs at Bible believers in his unique and pathetic style, I can reassure him that for now, there is no revival going on in the Church of the Nazarene, and the false teachers will probably remain for a long time. If I was a gambler, I would even put odds of better than 50-50 that Tom Oord will be back at his position and all will be well again. As much as he may think, that the Nazarene church is being taken over by the “fundamentalists”, it is the other way around. It is going the way of liberalism, and that is what is destroying the church from within.

In the meantime, pray that Karl Giberson will never ever return to teach at any Nazarene college, pray for his soul, and for his repentance. He is truly in need of God’s merciful touch.

* Fundamentalism: Fundamentalism is built on five tenets of the Christian faith, although there is much more to the movement than adherence to these tenets:

1) The Bible is literally true. Associated with this tenet is the belief that the Bible is inerrant, that is, without error and free from all contradictions.

2) The virgin birth and deity of Christ. Fundamentalists believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and conceived by the Holy Spirit and that He was and is the Son of God, fully human and fully divine.

3) The substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross. Fundamentalism teaches that salvation is obtained only through God’s grace and human faith in Christ’s crucifixion for the sins of mankind.

4) The bodily resurrection of Jesus. On the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the grave and now sits at the right hand of God the Father.

5) The authenticity of Jesus’ miracles as recorded in Scripture and the literal, pre-millennial second coming of Christ to earth.

Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy Organization Promotes Mysticism And Occultic Practices

In chapter 24 of Isaiah, it speaks of how judgment for sin will fall upon the land, but a remnant will be rejoicing at the advancement of God’s kingdom. Those who scoff at God and reject His word will be judged by God, but the remnant will go on to help advance God’s kingdom. And so it is today as was before. God does not change His ways, and He will also judge those today who refuse to obey His word and instead embrace the ways of the world and bring in concepts of false worship. Their only proper decision is to turn away from trusting others and seek to trust only in God. That is the only way to escape the coming wrath of God.

If you needed further proof that the Nazarenes and other Wesleyan denominations are more and more accepting and actively promoting contemplative mysticism and the ways of the pagan world, we have another example. They don’t even hide it anymore. I believe there is an urgent need for repentance at the national leadership level in many holiness denominations today, if they are ever going to return to their real holiness roots, not just in word, but in their actions. This is just one of the many reasons many Nazarenes have left, and are still leaving, the denomination today.

What is contemplative mysticism (aka contemplative spirituality, or the more harmless sounding spiritual formation)? An accurate definition of this is stated at Lighthouse Trails Research, a leading ministry and resource in exposing the dangers of these various unbiblical practices.

Contemplative spirituality is:

“A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but is often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

What are the types of practices that are part of contemplative spiritualism? Here are some of the more popular ones, all of which have no basis in Scripture, despite the claims of those who promote them:

Breath Prayers, which have been promoted by false teacher Rick Warren in his book, Purpose Driven Life. In the book, he quotes 1 Thes. 5:17 (“Pray without ceasing”) and then uses this to suggest that to help us to pray without ceasing, we should use “breath prayers” by choosing a short phrase and repeating it over and over. This is unbiblical and goes against Christ’s command to not pray repetitively as the heathen do.

Lectio divina, which is described by Thomas Keating (a leading promoter) as NOT part of traditional Bible reading to gain understanding, but as a “gateway” to contemplative prayer and centering prayer. Again, it essentially uses the same technique of choosing a passage or phrase and repeating it over and over, until you work it down to one small phrase or word. The purpose of that is to finally get rid of all distractions and thoughts, so that you can hear God’s voice and feel his presence. You will see many references throughout the church now, including many books, that emphasis “practicing the presence of God.” This is again nothing more than Eastern meditation, and an invitation for the presence of demonic influence, rather than God. Yet, it is being promoted in the Nazarene and other Wesleyan denominations, and being accepted by many gullible and undiscerning Christians today.

Practicing The Silence: Trevecca Nazarene University has been promoting this practice for years, with yearly trips to a monastery in Kentucky that was the spiritual home of Thomas Merton. Why would Merton be popular amongst any Christian church or denomination, since he identified himself with Buddhism, and practiced all sorts of mysticism that was nothing less than transcendental meditation?

There is more, but now comes today’s example, from the Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy conference, scheduled for April 16-19 in Charlotte, North Carolina. All the above practices I have described are scheduled to be taught at this conference, not as evil things, but as practices that supposedly are good for Christians. There is no doubt that this organization clearly has the official blessing of the Nazarene leadership, as shown in their statement: “each board member represents one of seven supporting denominations that selects its board members.” There are several Nazarenes on this board, including the president of Nazarene Theological Seminary, Dr. Carla Sunberg. Nazarenes also on the board are Karen Jones-Porter, and Vicky Copp. There are representatives from the Free Methodist Church, the Church of God-Anderson, Brethren in Christ, Evangelical Friends Association, the Wesleyan Church, and the Salvation Army.

(A clarification of my position on women pastors: I do not believe there is any scriptural foundation that allows women pastors to be ordained in the church and place them in a position of teaching over men. I believe women can and should have places of responsibility in the church, but God has clearly written in Scripture that the pastor be a man. This discussion is for another time and place, and I am sure some friends will be upset at me for taking this position. But I must clarify this here and base my belief on the word of God and what it teaches regarding the qualifications of a pastor).

The Soul Care Session At The Conference

In a session titled “Soul Care”, taught by Lynn Holt and Doris Barr, there is much that is troubling.

These two ladies start by mentioning John Wesley in their introduction to this session, and then state that they plan to delve into “Silence and Solitude: “Be Still and KNOW that I am God.”. Here we see, yet again, a perversion and distortion of the passage in Psalm 46 that has absolutely nothing at all to do with being “silent”, as the mystics will have you believe. This passage was used by Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University, in justifying “silence” as perfectly biblical. It leads us to question how such learned people, however nice they are personally, come to adopt such an error-filled concept that is not rooted in Scripture?

They continue by quoting the late Henri Nouwen, a Catholic monk and mystic. They quote the following:

“Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life. ….We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside some time to be with God and listen to Him.” – Henri Nouwen

It is true that we ought to be as close as we can to God and to listen to Him. But… we are to be close to Him and listen to Him through His established word, the Holy Scriptures, and through direct prayer with Him that does not leave us in an altered state of mind. We are not to attempt to do that through some mystical practice like mindless mantra-like repetition of words, or by sitting and focusing on silence until our minds are empty, ready to be filled with all sorts of demonic influenced thoughts.

Henri Nouwen should not ever be an example for any Christian. This man was a lost soul who believed that any person can find their own way to God.

“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” Henri Nouwen

He also endorsed a book by Hindu spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran which teaches mantra meditation. He promoted universalist Thomas Merton, and the Desert Fathers. He promoted Catholic priest Teilhard De Chardin, who believed Jesus would not return in person but rather as a cosmic Christ. He has also said the following: “The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.”

This is heresy and fundamentally rejects the Scriptures, which do not teach any such nonsense, and which do not support any of his universalist leanings at all. Yet, here we are again, exposing the lack of understanding in our own leadership and amongst those who will quote John Wesley as if he would ever have supported pagan mystical practices.

Healing of Memories

They will also be teaching “healing of memories through episodic encounters with Jesus.” Really? This is probably the same thing based on the healing of memories which was started by Agnes Sanford, an occultist, who was influenced by Carl Jung. This is stuff that is based on Freudian psychology theories that is rooted in the occult. These methods, like all other psychology based systems turn us away from God and directs us towards doing things by our own self-will and “inner power.” Its basic teaching is that healing, or salvation, comes through getting rid of negative memories which have been buried deep in our subconscious for years and which has been influencing us, often unknowingly, over the years. They then go on to teach people to “visualize” Jesus entering into a painful setting from the past, and thus helping us deal with that memory and get rid if it. This is not biblical advice, this is occultic and takes away from the simple remedy for us, and that is turning to prayer and God’s word for true spiritual healing.

Finally, the session will also feature lectio divina, the Prayer of Examen, and breath prayers. All these things are part of the contemplative spirituality package, and has no basis in Scripture. They will conclude with teaching people about “spiritual directors”, which is the evangelical form of Roman Catholic priests for confession. All of these are tools of contemplative spirituality and should never be a part of any Christian’s life. But here we are on a continuing path of self-destruction in the church, and the people in the pews are either mostly oblivious to this, or they are blindly accepting what the blind are teaching them without question.

Based on what Scripture teaches, these are nothing but doctrines of demons, but with the blessing of the leadership at the highest levels, the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesleyan denomination are on course to be just another denomination that has compromised biblical principles, in exchange for teaching how to have an alleged “personal experience” with God.

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet knew what he was getting into when he accepted God’s assignment to warn the people. He knew his years of preaching and warning would go unheeded by most, yet he faithfully accepted God’s call. How often did he wish that the people would listen, and how often did he feel sad knowing most would not? Yet God told him that perhaps a tenth would eventually remain faithful, the remnant which in other passages “did not bow the knee to Baal.”

So are we to be faithful. The Church of the Nazarene may never recover from the downward slide it is already on, but we leave this up to God to deal with those who reject His word. Our duty is to remain faithful, “preach the word in season or out of season”, and warn the believers continually. We cannot worry about the results nor whether we are liked by anyone. God will take care of all that in His time.

It truly is sad to see such a decline in biblical discernment in the church. May God touch the hearts of Carla Sunberg and these other women, and bring them to repentance. They have been deceived, as have many others in the church today.

For an expanded explanation of these topics, see the following links:

Healing of Memories or Cleansing of the Conscience? (Bob Dewaay):

Unbiblical Teachings On prayer and Experiencing God: How Mysticism Misleads Christians, by Bob Dewaay:

Breath Prayers:

Lectio Divina:

The Silence:

Contemplative prayer:

Henri Nouwen: