Here are examples of the use of prayer labyrinths and other pagan practices in the Church of the Nazarene. There is no doubt in my mind now (unless they specifically denounce these things) that the General Superintendents of our denomination approve of these pagan practices. God help us all.
Kansas City Trinity Church of the Nazarene ( was the church of Dean Blevins, former president of Nazarene Theological Seminary)
KC Trinity also promoted the use of yoga
Nazarene sponsored Women Clergy Conference used a prayer labyrinth
Quote: “The addition of a prayer labyrinth contributed to the opportunity for each woman present to experience personal renewal.”
Belle Vue Church of the Nazarene, Carlisle, England
A prayer Labyrinth on Good Friday! Unbelievable.
Marley Park Church of the Nazarene, Glen Burnie, Maryland
Watsonville Church of the Nazarene, Watsonville, CA
Trevecca Nazarene University uses prayer labyrinth during Spiritual Deepening Week
This was happily reported at NCN News, the official news site of the Nazarene denomination.
Yucca Valley Church of the Nazarene, Yucca Valley, CA
Napoleon Church of the Nazarene, Napoleon, OH
Lake Houston Church Uses Prayer Stations, and even calls it the usual name, Stations of the Cross, a Roman Catholic ritual that has no basis in scripture. They also employed the use of ashes to the forehead during Ash Wednesday.
It was posted on C/N that MVNU observed Ash Wed. w/ashes. Sorry I cannot remember right off who made the comment. You probably have this already.
So very sad & disheartening 😦
Very disheartening that our old church (Marley Park) was featured in the write up. We are fourth generation nazarenes that will probably never go back to a Nazarene Church. It turns out that the church left us…
What are we as Nazarenes becoming; Catholics, Hindus, or New Agers, or a combination of all three?
An increased focus on occult practices and false religions is foretold in prophetic passages of the Bible (See 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess.2:9-12; Rev. 9:20-21). Today, not only are we seeing many of these developments in non-Christian sectors of society, but disturbingly, professing Christian congregations are accommodating their beliefs and practices to non-Christian worldviews. Some churches even blindly endorse a wide range of occultism.
A brief look at what is happening in many contemporary churches across America will provide evidence for this unsettling trend. Several key points are worth noting:
1. Many congregations have repeatedly absorbed, promoted and even celebrated popular authors who positively portray occult themes and practices in their books and movies:
2. Also, in their aggressive efforts to promote an unbiblical ecumenism or even universalism, many professing Christian chuches have downplayed the serious differences between core Christian doctrines and occultic teachings.
For example, the contemporaey emphasis on “spiritual” practices as opposed to “doctrine” (sound teaching) has marked a recent “it’s-all-good” ecumenical trend in many churches today. See the following examples:
3. Churches that profess to be Christian, yet accepting of Wiccan rituals or meditative techniques from Eastern religious traditions, ignore the clear testimony from the Bible about the dangerous potential of these unstable alliances and the need for standing apart from idolatrous worship. Both the Old and New Testaments unambiguously condemn occult associations and practices (See Dt. 18:9-14; 2 Ki. 21:3&6; 23:24; 2 Chr. 33:5-6; Dan. 2:27-28; Acts 19:18-20; Gal. 5:19-21; 2 Thess. 2:9-11; 1 Tim. 4:1-2; Rev. 22:15). Learning about Wiccan worldviews or the use of mantras in Hindu devotion may be useful for evangelistic, missionary or apologetic purposes, but to embrace these things as valid Christian doctrines/ practices is erroneous and disobedient to God’s word.
4. Finally, even though many Christian denominations do not necessarily subscribe to the Reformation cry of sola scriptura (by scripture alone), nevertheless, their own historic writings and recent doctrinal commitments acknowledge the incompatibility between Christian practice and occult experimentation. For example, here are some clear written excerpts about the dangers of occult involvement from recent handbooks of Christian denominations:
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)– “Sinful practices which are made prominent and condemned in these scriptures include homosexuality, adultery, worldly attitudes (such as hatred, envy, jealousy), corrupt communication (such as gossip, angry outbursts, filthy words), stealing, murder, drunkenness and witchcraft. Witchcraft has to do with the practices of the occult, which are forbidden by God and lead to the worship of Satan” (2013).
Free Methodist Church — “Occult practices, such as spiritism, witchcraft and astrology must be avoided” (2007, 58).
Church of the Nazarene — Christians should avoid “…such social evils as violence, sensuality, pornography, profanity, and the occult, as portrayed by and through the commercial entertainment industry in its many forms…” (2013, 48).
Wesleyan Church — Basic Principles: “To seek only the leading of the Holy Spirit and to abstain from all forms of spiritism, such as the occult, witchcraft, astrology and other similar practices.
Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:20-14; Acts 19:18-19; Gal. 5:19-20. ” (2012, 24).
Missionary Church — “The Scriptures are also clear in their warnings and admonitions to God’s people concerning relations with Satan, demons, and occult practices…” (2013, 60).
Christ’s Great Commission commands all followers of Jesus to spread the good news to all the world (Mt. 28:18-20), and this necessitates associating with people who do not understand or share our Christian faith, whether Hindu, Wiccan or Atheist. However, the same Christians are commanded to stand apart from false teachings and occult endorsement (Lev. 11:44; Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:5-11; 1 Pet. 1:14-17; 2 John 10-11; Jude 3-4; Rev. 18:4-5).When churches put a stamp of approval on the occult, they violate both commands of the Lord.
References and Helpful Resources
Abanes, Richard. Harry Potter: The Menace Behind the Magick (Michigan: Horizon Books, 2001).
Barnhouse, Donald Grey. The Invisible War. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1965.
Boa, Kenneth. “Warfare Spirituality: Warfare with the Flesh and the World” in Conformed to His Image:Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation” (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2001).
Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Satan. Chicago: Moody, 1942.
Church of God, Beliefs: “Moral Purity” (2013) at http://www.churchofgod.org/practical-commitments/moral-purity
Constitution of the Missionary Church. Fort Wayne, Indiana: Denominational Office, 2013.
Discipline of the Wesleyan Church 2012. Wesleyan Publishing House: Indianapolis, Indiana, 2012.
Edwards, Catherine. “Wicca Infiltrates the Churches” http://www.confessingumc.org/news-events/wicca-infiltrates-the-churches/ (Reprinted with permission of Insight. News World Communications, Inc. 1999)
Wesley, John. Sermon LXXVII, “Of Evil Angels” in Sermons, vol 2: The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A. M., (New York:The Methodist Book Concern, 1788), pgs. 145-146.
Free Methodist Church of North America, 2007 Book of Discipline. The Free Methodist Publishing House: Indianapolis, Indiana, 2008.
Manual/ 2013-2017: Church of the Nazarene. Nazarene Publishing House: Kansas City, Missouri, 2013.
Unger, Merrill F. Demons in the World Today (Carol Stream, Illinois:Tyndale House, 1972).
The Old Testament prophets were clear about idolatry that was, at the end of the day, nothing more than the ignorant worship of wood, metal or stone (See Isa. 40:18-22; 44:9-10; Jer. 10:1-6; 10-11, etc.).
Often, idolators today are just worshiping their own creations, themselves or both — not real gods or demons.
Yes, in his City of God, Augustine would advance the equation: gods of Rome = evil spirits/ demons, and this led to the downfall of Rome. Earlier than Augustine, Justin Martyr made a connection between false religious practices and the activities of demomic spirits.
In addition to the writings of these early Christian theologians, as believers today, we should not ignore or dimiss the many passages of scripture that clearly acknowledge REAL demonic forces were active in Christ’s time. Furthermore, the increase of demonic deceptions are prophesied for the Tribulation period before our Savior’s Second Coming:
1. Real demons were addressed by name by Jesus at Gadara and were cast out (Mt. 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-36).
2. A clear distinction was made in the Gospels between physical diseases as opposed to ailments caused by demonic forces (Mt. 10:1; Mk. 6:7; Luke 9:1). This clear distinction works against liberal modernists who seek to dismiss possession in the NT as ancient ignorance or mere “superstition” about epilepsy or mental illnesses.
3. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, believers at Thessalonica are warned about a coming of “that man of sin” (= Antichrist) “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2:9 KJV). Here, deceptive false signs could be involved, but there is also the clear acknowledgment of Satanic power behind his future deceptions.
4. The coming false prophet foretold in Revelation will also do “great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men” (Rev. 13:13-14 KJV). Reading on in this same chapter, we discover that he will deceive people through “miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast…he had power to give life unto the image of the beast” (Rev. 13:15 KJV).
In addition to powerless idolatry, real Satanic power undergirds present and future evil in the kosmos today. It exceeds anything humans can devise on their own, even though humans play their significant part through sin and disobedience to God’s will and word.
The Scandinavians used labyrinths back in the day to trap (Internet) trolls. I thought that was kind of silly, but lo and behold, they really work! They seem to have you all bound up anyway.
Does this really further the cause of Christ? All this ranting and raving? There’s an amazing song called “Nothing At All” by Third Day. Have a listen, and think about it.
God Bless you.
All this “ranting and raving” that you talk about is called defending the truth of Scripture. You need to understand what Scripture teaches us, that we are to fight for the truth of God’s word.
We are told to contend for the faith:
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 3,4
If you don’t believe in God’s word, the truth is not in you. It is a lie when folks say that we cannot call out those who are promoting false teaching. I pray that you will come to know the Lord in truth, and not in believing these lies.
By the way, Third Day is one of the many “Christian” groups that have joined with up with the false Roman Catholic religion. They have no discernment, so why should I listen to any of their music? They are compromisers. You never see a clear Gospel presentation by them anywhere, even though they use occasional Christian terms and phrases in their songs. If they ever started preaching the real Gospel truth, I am sure many fans, like you, may not like to hear it. You see, God’s word is “sharper than a two-edged sword” and its truth works to convict sinners. When the Gospel is diluted, then it is no longer the Gospel- just a cheap imitation with no power to convict the sinner of their sad hopeless state.
Third Day is popular because they imitate the world. They make lots of money, and they draw lots of crowds. But remember the words of Jesus:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied (or sang) in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (i.e., giving away food, helping the poor) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
Here is a brief resource. The following list of scripture verses taken together in their larger Biblical contexts, offer clear warnings against any occult involvement and participation in false cults and religions.
Those today who have a cavalier or light-hearted attitude about current involvement in everything from Wicca, astrology, seances, and Spiritualism to the New Age movement should take these passages from God’s word seriously. They stand eternally as His TRUE testimony to the dangers inherent in these contemporary practices with demonic roots:
Leviticus 19:26&31; 20:6
2 Kings 21:3&6; 23:24
2 Chronicles 33:5-6
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11
1 Timothy 4:1-2
As you read these verses, try to put aside your negative assumptions about so-called “literalists,” “evangelicals” or “fundamentalists” in Christian churches.
Set aside your prejudices against Christians for several minites and let God speak to you through His inerrant, infallible and holy Word.
If you do this, I believe you will not be disappointed, and get ready, God may persuade you to leave behind many occult practices, relationships, movies and literature to follow His Word the only Way to eternal salvation, Jesus Christ (John 14:6 & Acts 4:12).Blessings to all who read these verses with an open mind and heart.
I am in the midst of a spiritual struggle pertaining to my Nazarene church right now. Over the last year or so, a number of new “ministers” have been brought into the fold. They have brought with them the practice of ‘prayer stations’ and went as far as to have people write their sins on paper and burn them at a particular station. To me, that smacked of absolution ergo Catholicism. It all makes me very uncomfortable. Now several new “ministries” have popped up including one specifically for women, and this seems to be where the concentration of these new age ideas are originating. I recently questioned something that was done in the name of ‘women’s ministries’ and was given no explanation except “they feel” and “they think” etc. I’ve asked twice who “they” are with no response. I am dismayed to the point I may not go back to my church, an seek another that preaches, teaches, and lives the Gospel of Christ without all of the mysticism.
Fascination with the occult in many (so-called) Evangelical churches has not diminished since Manny first brought this disturbing trend to the attention of Nazarene churches. In spite of the clear reservations expressed by many Indian converts to Christianity, many Americans continue to delve into yoga, as if it is just harmless stretching or exercise, without bothering to inform themselves about its roots in South Asian religions and mystical techniques. Popular movies featuring witches, sorcerers, spirit mediums and necromancers become the source of sermon themes and sequential teachings without the slightest suggestion that they may turn people away from a focus on Jesus who demonstrated God’s power and authority over demonic forces in His day and ours. Believers need to arm themselves with a thorough knowledge of the Bible on these subjects. Also, they should continue to support ministries likes this one. Finally, many Christians should put aside that latest fantasy novel long enough to acquaint themselves with knowledgeable Christian writers who devoted their time and efforts to an in-depth study of spiritual warfare, Christian authors such as Merrill Unger, Kenneth Boa, Edmund Gruss, Josh McDowell, Warren Wiersbe and Donald Grey Barnhouse.