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.​

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/sacramental-nazarenes-blaspheming-the-lord-now

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.”

EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

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:

http://tonycampolo.org/for-the-record-tony-campolo-releases-a-new-statement/#.VXmX06bkU1T

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:

http://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/bryan-fischer/2015/06/10/tony-campolo-completes-his-surrender-to-big-gay

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/profiles-in-apostasy-tony-campolo/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/tony-campolos-thin-places-occultic-christianity/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/false-prophet-tony-campolo-promotes-doctrines-of-demons-to-enc-students/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/false-teacher-campolo-to-speak-at-southern-nazarene-university/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/olivet-nazarene-lets-false-teacher-campolo-speak-in-chapel/

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.
(Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/fundamentalism.html)

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).http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/contemplativespirituality.htm

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): http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue96.htm

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

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue99.htm

Breath Prayers: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/breathprayer.htm

Lectio Divina: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/lectiodivina.htm

The Silence: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/thesilence.htm

Contemplative prayer: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/cp.htm

Henri Nouwen: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/nouwen.htm

Nazarene Scholars Continue To Undermine Belief In God’s Word With Evolution’s Lie

“Theistic evolution is a concept being taught in many “evangelical” seminaries and colleges today. It is an idea that comes straight from the pit of hell. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Bible contains lies and myths, and that Adam and Eve were allegorical figures. If you teach and promote theistic evolution, you are calling God a liar. There is no middle ground here.”

This is my first article in almost two months, but I’m afraid things are just as bad as it was since my last post; the status quo in most of the evangelical denominations has not changed; and the Nazarene church is still in bad shape, notwithstanding any rosy reports from the General Superintendents or other leadership. Compromise seems to be the underlying principal for these religious leaders for quite some time now. Independent thought and true leadership is a thing of the past, as these General Superintendents continue to speak with one voice, or not speak at all, regardless of the truth.

In fact, the reluctance of the Generals to inform tithe-paying members about any details of the developing Nazarene Publishing House scandal, is a scandal and a moral and ethical failure in and of itself. I await further information before writing fully on this situation, but I can tell you that even those at NazNet (a Nazarene discussion site) who oppose us and disagree that there is a rebellion against God’s word within the church, are concerned and outraged at the continuing secrecy within the General Board regarding the financial debacle at the Publishing House. This link will take you to a discussion on NazNet that has broken all viewing records at that website, for any topic previously.

But let me alert you (again) to a further scandalous debacle that has been going on for a while now, and that is the promotion of theistic evolution in the church as an acceptable view of how we were created by God. The promotion of evolution by theology professors and other scholars, as well as by college and seminary presidents and district superintendents, goes to the heart of the problem in the Church of the Nazarene today. What is that problem? It is simply this: that men in the church are now standing on a foundation built on their wisdom and knowledge, rather than on the foundation of the teaching of God as written in His word. Selective belief in some scripture, while rejecting other parts, is the philosophy of these so-called “learned men and women”, even if they don’t state it overtly.

And now to show that it looks like the danger is worse than we thought. The group Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, lead by Tom Oord, professor of religion at Northwest Nazarene University, recently conducted an online survey. It involved the questioning of two demographics- a sampling of Nazarene laypeople, and a narrower sampling of Nazarene college scholars. Both results look pretty bad, and serves as a continued and even louder warning to parents who love their teenagers and want them to have a solid education that is grounded in truth. They will no longer be guaranteed to have that at any Nazarene university or college, including any of the seminaries.

Well known college presidents such as Dan Boone of Trevecca are fueling the advancement of the anti-biblical notion that man was created over millions of years of random evolutionary processes. Others pushing this godless idea which clearly contradicts the Biblical account include theological intellectuals like Al Truesdale, my former Greek New Testament professor; Scott Daniels, pastor of Pasadena First Church; retired professor Robert Branson; Kerry Fulcher and Mark Mann of Point Loma; Mark Winslow of Southern Nazarene; District Superintendent Stephen Borger; Carl Leth, Dean of Theology at Olivet Nazarene; Mark Maddix of Northwest Nazarene; Henry Spaulding, Mt. Vernon Nazarene President; theologian Rob Staples; and quite a few more “learned men and women”, who can be found at the Nazarenes Exploring Evolution site. These people are all responsible for helping indoctrinate countless students with theistic evolution, and their furtherance of this godless idea will lead to them being held accountable by God someday.  They need to repent, or they need to be removed from their positions of authority over our students.  Many of them have also been pushing the emergent church teachings. And do you wonder why so many young people are walking away from the church? Why wouldn’t they, when they are taught that they cannot trust God’s word?

In his article Poll Shows Nazarene Scholars Embracing Evolution, Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis summarizes the survey results:

Overwhelmingly, scholars at Nazarene institutions believe:

1) that the Bible does not require a belief in a young earth (nearly 95%)
2) that the Bible is compatible with evolutionary ideas (82%)
3) that science has established that the world is billions of years old (nearly 86%), 4) that human evolution is true (67%)
5) that the Nazarene church should consider theistic evolution as a valid alternative to biblical creation (87%).”

Those are very disturbing statistics, and the numbers for the first four questions, which were also posed to Nazarenes in general, were almost as ominous. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Bible contains lies and myths, and that Adam and Eve were allegorical figures. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that the Jesus was not truthful when he referred to Adam. To believe that human evolution is true is to say that sin and death did not come into the world through the disobedience of Adam, as written in Romans chapter 5.

So let’s be clear: if you teach and promote theistic evolution, you are calling God a liar. But it seems it will only get worse, and Bible-believing Christians will have to decide whether a secular college will be less dangerous to their children’s spiritual wellbeing than a “Christian” college or university. This whole bunch are some of the most dangerous people professing to be Christians today, and any parent sending their children to a Nazarene university or seminary today is literally gambling with their child’s spiritual health.

Dr. Ham, who has spoken out about and exposed these issues more than most Nazarenes have, went on to comment:

“This is clear evidence that a major denomination is teaching young people that they can’t trust the Bible when it comes to Genesis 1–11 and that fallible man can reinterpret God’s Word—thus man is the authority and not God.”

I agree. These men and women are a disgrace and not one of them should be in a position of authority that they are in, because they are misleading many.  The failure of the Nazarene General leadership in even attempting to right the ship makes them just as culpable, because they are allowing the erosion of Biblical standards by doing nothing- which seems to be all they are willing to do.

 

Addendum

What follows is the statistical report of both surveys, which are from the BioLogos website. (http://biologos.org/blog/nazarenes-on-evolution).   I found it very discouraging; you are free to make your own conclusions and decisions.

Poll of Nazarenes on Evolution

Question 1: Genesis and other biblical texts require Christians to believe the earth was created less than 15 thousand years ago.

Q1a

Question 2: The Bible can properly be interpreted as compatible with the theory of biological evolution.

Q2a

Question 3: Geology, astronomy, and physics have established that world is billions of years old.

Q3a

Question 4: Humans likely became a species as God worked with the biological evolutionary process.

Q4a

Among other things, this poll suggests that more Nazarenes today feel comfortable with evolution.

 

Nazarene Scholars on God Creating through Evolution

Question 1: Genesis and other biblical texts require Christians to believe the earth was created less than 15 thousand years ago.

q1

Question 2: The Bible can properly be interpreted as compatible with the theory of biological evolution.

q2

Question 3: Geology, astronomy, and physics have established that the world is billions of years old.

q3

Question 4: Humans likely became a species as God worked with the evolutionary process.

q4

Question 5: The Church of the Nazarene should allow the theory that God creates through evolution as one acceptable view of creation among others.

q5

How Do I Know Heaven Is For Real?

I have been thinking of the parade of “Christian” movies that have come out this year, and of more to follow. The movie Exodus is scheduled to be out this Fall, with Christian Bale playing Moses (Bale was the first choice of Darren Aronofsky to play Noah, but he had scheduling conflicts). Recently, we had “Son Of God”, a movie about Jesus that was produced by a professing “Christian”, Roma Downey- a woman who dabbles in the occult, speaks to her dead mother through a psychic, attended a New Age school founded by John Roger, listens to tapes by Eckhart Tolle and Tony Robbins- among other issues. Most recently was the movie Noah, which butchered the biblical account, and distorted the character of Noah, distorted the reason for the flood, and whose own director, an atheist, said that it is only a fable, and not a true account. For the most part, we can count on Hollywood to distort biblical truth, in exchange for what they really seek: money and fame.

But right now, the latest “Christian” movie to soon debut, Heaven Is Real, is coming out on April 16. It is based on the wildly popular book of the same title, which is an account of a four year old boy’s near-death experience, where later he amazes everyone with stories of his visit to heaven. It has been a book that has had great emotional effect on many people seeking comfort about death and the hereafter, and the movie is sure to elicit the same emotions. But is it biblical, and is it reliable? By the way, there was never any medical evidence that Colton Burpo was clinically dead during his surgery.

Is someone’s mystical experience necessary to validate the existence of heaven, or to teach how heaven is actually like? Keep this in mind especially in light of the trend in Christianity for people to want to “experience God.” This is very important, as Christians move from the objective knowledge of God’s reliable word, to placing more and more trust in subjective and unverifiable mystical experiences, including near death accounts of heaven.

(Disclaimer: I have read only parts of the book, but not the entire book from cover to cover. But I believe I have enough facts to comment on it).
On the Facebook page promoting the movie, there are thousands of comments, and the vast majority are in favor of it. Here are a few samples:

“I feel like this movie is going to be a huge change for many!!! And of course it comes to us through a child.

“Can’t wait!!! Ever since my daughter could talk she’s told us that she remembers being in heaven with Jesus and “choosing me” to be her mommy.”

“I just lost my son, and I believe this movie is going to help me to understand, some may question that I have, I know he is in heaven.”

“I read the book! I believe!!!”

If I told you the following, would you believe my testimony as a Christian was authentic and believable? If so, on what basis would you accept what I told you?

  1. Jesus rides a rainbow-colored horse (see Rev. 19:11)
  2. The Holy Spirit shoots down power from heaven (see Acts 1:8)
  3. Everyone in heaven has wings except Jesus
  4. The angel Gabriel sits on the left hand of God’s throne
  5. The Holy Spirit is blue and sits in a chair near the throne of God
  6. Mary stands in heaven beside Jesus

These statements are either contradicted by Scripture, or are outside of any Scriptural revelation. And then we have Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians:

12 It is doubtless[a] not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

If Paul is referring to himself, which I believe he is, note the humility this man had, so as not to draw attention to himself regarding this experience.

If I told you that I learned secrets about someone who died in the womb, and that I knew facts about a great-grandfather that had never been told to me, would you credit that knowledge as a revelation from God? Is it possible that the source of that information may have been a manipulation of some kind, or even worse?

Quoting David Cloud:

Some might ask, how Colton could learn secrets about his dead sister who died in the womb and facts about his great grandfather that he had not been told. The answer is demons. Paul warned that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15). The book Heaven Is for Real also promotes the visions of child progeny Akiane Kramarik, who began “seeing heaven” at age four (pp. 141-144). Colton claims that the “Jesus” that he saw in heaven is the same “Jesus” that Akiane drew from her visions at age nine. But Akiane’s religious faith is a New Age type faith in a vaguely defined “God.” It is religious mysticism rather than faith in an infallible Revelation from God and the blood atonement of Christ. Even if we knew what Jesus looked like, we are forbidden by God’s law to make His likeness (Exodus 20:4).” (David Cloud, Way of Life website)

I am not saying that God will never reveal to us in one shape or another something that can only be explained as supernatural. I believe that the best we can say is that “it is possible” that it was a direct experience with the supernatural that was initiated by God. On the other hand, we can also know for sure that an experience cannot be from God, but is satanic in origin, if that experience is in direct, clear contradiction with scripture. Yet, even if it lines up with scripture, that does not mean the event actually happened, does it?

When my wonderful, godly mother passed away nine years ago, she experienced something the night before she passed away and went to be with the Lord. She was very weak physically, but was of a clear sound mind at the time. She was sitting in her bed and suddenly asked us, “who are all these men in white robes standing around my bed?” Did angels come to minister to her, and comfort her in her final hours? Perhaps. I do believe that was probably what happened. Will I tell you for sure that is what it was? Of course not. How would I know with full certainty, unless I saw the angels also?

I don’t tell folks much about this story, because my certainty and assurance of eternal life and heaven comes not from what may have been a supernatural occurrence for my mother, but my assurance comes from Jesus Christ and His word. No other experience can add to my confidence in my salvation, and in knowing that He has prepared a place for me.

Heaven is for real- because God’s word says it’s real. Scripture tells us that heaven is God’s throne (Isa. 66:1; Mat. 5:34-35). After Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to His disciples, ““He was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55-56). He spoke of how the Father has “many mansions” in heaven. He assured us that He would return and take us to be with Him in heaven. Because of His word, His assurance and promise to us, I know that heaven is real- and I need no other confirmation.

I am not telling you to not go see this movie. That is up to you. I myself do not feel the need to see this movie, particularly because of the things in this young boy’s story that contradict Holy Scripture.

It’s my prayer that you will rely solely on God and His word, the promises of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, which will never give you false information.

 

Related Articles:

http://www.thebereancall.org/content/heaven-real-real-exercise-discernment-0/

 

http://thebereanlibrary.com/archives/1802

 

 

Nazarenes Exploring Evolution: Spreading Evolution’s Lies, Rejecting God’s Word

“These men are dried-up springs, mere clouds driven by a storm. Gloomy darkness is reserved for them.”  2 Peter 2:17

Evolution is a farce.  It is unprovable.  It is at best a hypothesis, and not even rises to the level of a theory.  It is not based on the scientific method of provability.  And one of its most amazing assumptions, that some living things amazingly transitioned to a totally different living thing (such as fish to mammal), does not have one shred of evidence and has never been observed to have happened.

Yet, it seems Nazarenes Exploring Evolution are trying their best to turn the Nazarene denomination into one that first and foremost holds to the false and unfounded teachings of the religion of evolution, while grudgingly letting faithful Bible-believers hold on their “silly” notion that the Bible does mean what it says when God explains creation in the book of Genesis.

The latest indication of a corrupted mind comes from a recent article written by Mark Maddix, Professor of Practical Theology and Discipleship at Northwest Nazarene University.  In an article titled “Evolutionary Theory and Moral Development”, he gives further proof that the Nazarene universities are a breeding ground for false teaching, and are a “great” place to send your child if you wish to have his or her faith shattered by the time the graduate.  Northwest Nazarene is clearly near the top of the list of the worst, along with Point Loma and the Nazarene Theological Seminary, yet we cannot recommend a single Nazarene university today that is holding true to biblical principles, and that has not fallen for the emergent ideology and the “spiritual formation” programs which are corrupting our youth.

Dr. Maddix is also known for his promotion of contemplative spirituality (the true name of spiritual formation).  At General Assembly this year, he led a presentation which ended up promoting the usual forms of contemplative spirituality that has so infected practically all Christian universities today.  When I stood up to challenge him on his premise that Roman Catholics believe the same way we do, we could tell that he was not only steadfastly defending that position, but that he and his colleague were wrong on the side of history, claiming that the Bible came from the Roman Catholic Church.  These are the kinds of dangerous things being allowed by the General Superintendents and the board of directors at these schools.

In his article, Maddix says this:

 “Growing up in a Christian home, evolution was only referred with negative connotations. I was taught that evolution was an atheistic theory which undermined the authority of Scripture in general and specifically Genesis 1 and 2.”

So in his early years, he was taught the right thing.  Evolution is an atheistic theory, it has never been close to being proved and cannot be proved with any facts whatsoever.  So what made Dr. Maddix change his mind?  Was it compelling evidence from Holy Scripture?  Sadly, no.  His authority is not the Bible, as is evident now.

He goes on to say that when he went to a Christian university, that is where he changed his mind.  He was persuaded, not by God’s word, but by the words of a professor.  He believed the professor who said that “the author of Genesis, probably not Moses, (that created another anxiety) had no understanding of modern science and was writing to show God’s relationship with God’s creation.”   So then Maddix explains that “His explanation changed the course of my understanding of the creation-evolution debate and helped me understand Genesis 1 and 2 as theological not scientific.”

He then goes on to tell how he subsequently became confused by a young earth creationist’s explanation of our origins.  He then stayed confused until a biology professor “affirmed his belief in evolution by stating that Darwin’s theory was the best way to explain how God created the universe.”  He accepted the professor’s explanation that “”Believing in evolution does not reject Scripture, since Scripture was not written for such purposes.”  Dr. Maddix goes on the state that “My Christian liberal arts education provided me with a clearer understanding of a Wesleyan view of Scripture, particularly as it related to the creation accounts and a view of creation that could include evolution.”

Hath God Said?

Thus he bought into the lie, and thus that is where he is now.

You must read on through his entire article in order to appreciate the kind of thinking that is causing great harm to Christian students in our universities.   A other quote by Dr. Maddix:

“In my search for understanding how persons grow and develop morality, I first asked whether humans are born with the capacity to know what is right or wrong (nature), or is morality shaped primary by our environments (nurture).”

He is searching for answers, but he seems to not search in the right place.  His search for understanding can only fully be fully arrived at in the pages of the “great book” as John Wesley called it.  As he and others distort the history of John Wesley for their purposes, they forget that John Wesley believed entirely in the complete inspiration of Scripture, and that it has no error whatsoever.  And therein lies the problem.  They do NOT believe that the Bible is God’s word.  They pick and choose and decide for themselves what the Bible says, not what it really says.

Dr. Maddix concludes:

“Evolutionary ethics does not contradict a Biblical view of human persons Instead it provides a scientific explanation for how God created humans with the capacity to be moral, and through our environments, we grow and develop morally.

How truly sad.  How pathetically sad.  Yet he will answer to God for the damage he is causing.  But Dr Maddix is not alone; he is but one example of the many members of Nazarenes Exploring Evolution who are causing great harm today.  One is a former professor of mine in Greek New Testament.  Another is Tom Oord, also from NNU, who also promotes such false teachings as process theology and open theism.  Another is Dr. Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University, one of the most dangerous and influential men in the denomination today.  It is a long list of “learned men and women” who cannot seem to accept the plain taught facts of Scripture.

As I wrote in a previous article:

Believing in evolution means you must accept that, among other things:

-Adam and Eve were not real historical figures as described in Genesis;

-Jesus was not truthful when he talked about Adam and Eve in a historical context;

-You reject God’s account in Genesis that He created everything in six days;

-You reject the ​truthfulness of the​ genealogical account of the Lord in the book of Luke, which includes Adam;

-The account of the first 11 chapters of Genesis is only allegory;

-You accept that death came into the world many years before any Adam and Eve, contradicting Romans 5:12 and its explanation of how sin and death came into the world;

-You pick and choose what you want to believe, instead of accepting God’s historical account at face value;

-You choose to use your own intellect and human reasoning and philosophy to validate the Bible, instead of letting the Bible validate itself;

-You reject the inerrancy and reliability of Scripture as the sole and final written authority for our faith and practice, and instead accept that the Bible has errors and is written deceptively.

Quoting a friend who recently commented on Maddix’s article: “What was it someone said to Paul, “Great learning has driven you mad.”  This fellow, like many in our universities, has had Christianity educated out of them.  So sad.”

Well, we know that Paul certainly was not mad, as he was clearly preaching and teaching the truth.  He himself claimed that the words that came from him were “not man’s word, but God’s words.”  Dr. Maddix and his friends do not believe the Bible is God’s inerrant word, and until they accept God’s word for what it teaches, they will be lost like a ship in the storm.

Related Articles:

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/prominent-nazarenes-reject-gods-word-and-promote-ungodly-evolution/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/what-they-believe/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/square-peg-nonsense-in-false-theology/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/responding-to-nazarenes-exploring-evolution/

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/you-say-toe-may-toe-i-say-toe-mah-toe/