“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thes. 2:11-12
We have long reported to you that one of the trends in the Church of the Nazarene is the effort to be “relevant.” Emergent church proponents love the concept that we have to become more relevant to the “unchurched” so that we can get them into church, and then we can preach the gospel to them- somewhere down the road. The problem is there is nothing scriptural about this idea, and in fact, many pastors today think that the church is really for the unsaved- when clearly according to the Bible the church is for the saved first and foremost! It is nonsense to think otherwise.
There is no interest in spiritual growth now in many of these churches. They are only interested in church growth, and they will attract the unbeliever into the church, with any kind of trick they can use. We hear more sermons than ever avoiding any mention of condemnation of the sinner, and the wrath of God. It’s all fluff now, “tickle my ears” kind of preaching. And we have all sort of gimmicks and programs and of course the Roman Catholic stuff that perhaps will draw in the Catholics. When we read the book of Acts, we see nothing approaching this foolishness that was done by the apostles. They simply preached the gospel, and many were saved. Their “gimmick” was to preach the truth- and nothing else.
So here comes a prime example of the selling out of biblical principles, in order to be like the world, in a church in Ohio. By the way, Ohio is a hotbed of emergent ideology and all sorts of apostate behavior that is destroying the church spiritually. They may be having a good time, but they are preaching another gospel. And so we find another example at the Marion First Church of the Nazarene. Would you have walked out, based on the witness’s description? Would you do this in your church?
The following account is from a trusted source who was there and described what was seen and heard:
I went to Ohio this year to visit some family, who attend Marion First Church of the Nazarene, (where I attended quite a few years ago). I have visited many times since, when I see my family. However, they just completed a building project with a new sanctuary escalator, foyer, etc. This was my first time in the new sanctuary. As I entered, the platform was setup as a rock concert. There were dark curtains behind, lights; there were the plastic enclosed areas for the drummers, etc. I saw no pulpit. There were no hymn books or Bibles on the seats as there used to be. The praise team was in tee shirts, blue jeans and shorts except one girl in a modest skirt.
Then the service opened with the leader asking all who had iPhones to download an App. Then the lights were turned off and in the middle of the dark, utter silence, the leader yelled “yeah” and the drums crashed and the music began. All those on stage turned their iPhones and tablets around toward the audience. All those in the pews who had IPhones watched as they all blinked to the beat of the drums. The purpose?????
I felt very concerned and became tearful. As the service proceeded, other things concerned me. Then the leader said, “If you are new here, we’re glad you are here. When we sing, we raise our hand or some will swing” (I think that was the word he used). He then said “We want you to act like you’re are at a ball game!!!”
Well, with that statement, I could take no more and quietly walked out. I broke out crying in the vestibule. My heart was so broken …there is no respect for God or His house. I felt almost like I was in an evil place??? I just kept saying, “this is not my Nazarene Church”. A lady saw me crying and asked if I were alright. I just said “I used to attend here and this is not my Nazarene Church. She said, “I know. I talked to the pastor about some things, but nothing has changed”.
I felt so bad to leave, especially with my son and other family there. I am so concerned my family will be lost due to this socialization/seeker sensitive approach of the church.
FYI….the phone App they used was from Wham City Lights.
So what do we have here?
A worship team that dresses up like the world
A platform and flashy lights fit more for the Rolling Stones than for the Lord
Dark curtains to set a mood for …. what?
No hymn books for singing to the Lord
No Bibles for the people to read the word of God
A pastor exhorting the crowd to “act like they are at a ballgame!”
A light show complete with crowd pleasing sensations.
Remember the Nazarene church that played secular jazz music on Sunday evening services? And the Beavercreek Nazarene church that had a sensual performance by a female dancer-on Easter service? Or how about the Easter play that featured a Harlem Shake dance at the end? There is no respect for God anymore in so many churches.
These are all symptoms of the SIN of COMPROMISE. This is idolatry. This is apostasy in the making, a sign of the “great falling away.”. And yes, this is EVIL. These people are more concerned with their worldly desires than in worshipping a holy God and living in obedience, separate from the world. But its bringing in the people, right? But even if this church doubles or triples in membership, so what? Tell me, is that a true indicator of spiritual health? Do you remember that the only two blameless churches that Jesus addressed in Revelation were small and “insignificant” churches that had barely any material comforts? They would be looked on as a failure today, and the Church of the Nazarene would probably close them up and open up a coffeehouse instead.
So here is what is most likely a true model of the future Church of the Nazarene. It is a church that compromises in order to get the bodies into it, and then certainly to get the growth in membership and money. Sadly, the growth that is needed- spiritual growth, along with actual sinners being born again- will be sorely lacking. And in Revelation, there is a church that aptly describes this and many other Nazarene churches. Read Revelation 3:1-6. The church at Sardis had the reputation of being alive, but the Lord told them they were dead.
These people fooled themselves into thinking they were alive, perhaps because the received praise from many. But repentance is what is needed at this church, as well as countless Nazarene churches that are guilty of the sin of compromise.
And the faithful believers- what are you still doing at that church? I wonder if this is what Nina Gunter meant at General Assembly, when she said the “church is not in crisis, the church is in Christ.”