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Nazarenes ~ Standing
Firm

On September 10th, 2010 we
composed a letter voicing our concerns to our Pastors, District Superintendents,
General Superintendents, and the General Church of the Nazarene.  We implore our
brothers and sisters in Christ to Stand Firm against the heresies being
introduced into our denomination. Do your own researchtake every
thought and belief you discover captive to Jesus Christ and His
Word
.  We are praying for you!  We humbly ask for your prayers as
we stand together, so that when the day of evil comes we may be able to stand
our ground.  Stand firm then, with the belt of Truth buckled around your
waist.
Important
Note:
We do not
question or judge whether individuals we have named have a personal relationship
with the Jesus of Scripture.  Our intent is to point out where the stated views,
speeches and teaching of these individuals fail, in our view, to align with the
Articles of Faith of the Church of the Nazarene.  We have resisted
characterizing any of these individuals but have let their own words speak
for them
.  We have linked to original source references in our summary to
assure readers that quotes have been given in context.

~ The Take-A-Stand
Letter ~

We are a group of
concerned believers, alumni of NNC/NNU, lay members of the Church of the
Nazarene, who hold fast to the
Articles of
Faith
of our denomination that
are firmly grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are gravely concerned
about what we see happening in our denomination. We affirm that the Church of
the Nazarene is a mission-minded church whose goal is to reach the lost around
the globe for Jesus Christ.  We also affirm that the Church of the Nazarene was
founded within Wesleyan, orthodox Christianity under the parameters of
foundational American principles of individual liberty and freedom. We believe
this spiritual and historical heritage is in danger.

We have identified four
main areas of concern:

Unorthodox teaching in our colleges, universities and
seminaries

We are troubled that part
of our tithe money and our monetary gifts as alumni are going to support
Nazarene higher education institutions where emergent
* church heresies
are being taught by staff. Controversial speakers have been invited to our
campuses and encouraged to present their unorthodox, emergent church and
progressive political beliefs to our students without being challenged by those
staff members who still hold to our core beliefs. Societies and institutions
that drift from their core beliefs always seem to drift to the left, and this is
a departure from our historical, conservative stance. As more and more students
pass through our higher education systems, learning to tolerate and embrace
heresies, they will fill our pews and pulpits worldwide, bringing along their
unorthodox beliefs and preaching. This will transform the Church of the Nazarene
into an entity we do not recognize, that has drifted afar from its stated
Articles of Faith and ceased to be an evangelical, redemptive Body of
Christ.

*The concern is
not necessarily emergent or anti-emergent (some indicate the emergent
movement is dead concluding then that there is no cause for concern), rather, it
is the philosophies, ideologies and theologies of those who are or were
influential in the emergent movement, “Big Tent” movement, social justice
movement, environmentalism movement, progressive movement,  purpose-driven
movement, liberal movement, and even new-age movement are still
influential in our denomination.  It  does not matter what title is given – a
new name will derive when the current title becomes
disdainful.

Left-wing
progressive influence on our church

The Church of the Nazarene
is becoming a tangible, unapologetic arm of the Federal Government of the United
States. The Emergent/Emerging Church movement is one vehicle that is insidiously
bringing about this transformation, as many of this mindset diverge from our
Articles of Faith and conform to the postmodern, progressive ways of this
world. Contrary to our denominational mission “to make disciples of the
nations,”
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries has accepted millions of dollars
from the U. S. Federal Government, and in doing so, it has partnered with the
government and contracted to use the money for “compassion but not for
conversion.” (
NCM Received $4.1
million Federal Tax Dollars
for Capacity
Building
;
NCN News Holiness
Today Article
) So, instead of going in
the name of the LORD, NCM goes in the name of the U. S. Federal Government.
(“
USAID Partnership
101
” and “Capacity
Building
Resources
“)

Radical message of
environmentalism and socialism

The 2005 publication,
Creation
Care
, was drafted by
individuals not affiliated with the Nazarene Church (look at the very back of
the document), yet presumes to speak to and for Nazarenes, with no apparent
official endorsement by the denominational headquarters. Creation Care
uses the phrase, “environmental stewardship,” which has found its way into
our 2009-13 Manual of the Church of the Nazarene (Article 903.10).
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries dedicated a magazine issue to
Holistic Creation
Care
.  We believe much of the
Creation Care mantra is based on outrageously false science (e.g. the debacle of
climate change/global warming—Baker, Marcia. “A Chronology of the Global Warming
Swindle; A Genocidal Hoax,” EIR 3/30/2007) and belief in a one-world
government (
http://www.standingfirmnazarenes.org/Chronology-of-Global-Warming-Swindle.pdf
)

We object to Creation
Care’s
demand that American Nazarenes “repent of our social and ecological
sins”
(p. 56) and redistribute our
wealth
(morally, our “sin” is
questionable; politically, redistribution would be instituted through cap and
trade). Creation Care states that the “central moral imperative of our
time is the care for Earth as God’s creation”
(p. 59). We reject this
“moral imperative” in favor of Jesus’ commission to “Go therefore and make
disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the
Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”
(Matthew 28:19-20)

We are particularly
troubled by the large number of Nazarene pastors and university presidents who
endorsedClimate Change: An
Evangelical Call to Action
,” which unabashedly
declares, “climate change is a moral problem” and states: “The most important
immediate step that can be taken at the federal level is to pass and implement
national legislation requiring sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon
dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market-based mechanisms such as a
cap-and-trade program” (
socialist, Marxistredistribution of
wealth
; divisive U.S. political
issue).

If we continue to promote
these
socialist, Marxistdirectives, American
Nazarenes will lose their personal freedoms and diminish the wealth that allows
them to individually respond to the urging of the Holy Spirit to give from their
hearts to others.

Deception in use of
language

Language has been
presented to our district assemblies and then introduced into our Manual
without the specific terms being defined. Terminology used is historically
familiar, but word meanings have been intentionally changed. This deceptive
practice of using words whose meanings have changed, without clarifying the new
emergent definitions, questions intent. For example, from Article 33.3 of the
2009-13 Manual (this language first appeared in the appendix in 1989):
“…We believe Christian holiness to be inseparable from ministry to the poor
in that it drives the Christian beyond their (sic) own individual perfection and
toward the creation of a more just and equitable society and world. Holiness,
far from distancing believers from the desperate economic needs of people in
this world, motivates us to place our means in the service of alleviating such
need and to adjust our wants in accordance with the needs of
others.”

Christian holiness,
to us, means heart perfection through the in-filling of the Holy Spirit that
leads a believer to individual acts of charity from the heart, because of his or
her relationship to Christ. The emergent definition—Christian holiness
mandates ministry to the poor,
redistribution of one’s
wealth
to the poor to “alleviate
their need” (
social
justice
). Christian
holiness
, to us, means heart perfection by the work of the Holy Spirit that
leads a believer to witness about Jesus and His gift of salvation, leading
others to Him. The emergent goal of Christian holiness is to drive the
believer to a “just and equitable society and world” (an economic goal;
redistribution of
wealth
; Marxism). We also see a
problem with the emphasis on works displayed in the Creation Care
message.

The following summary
highlights only a few of the individuals and issues which trouble us but are not
limited to those listed here. Links to the sources of our quotes are included
presenting books, articles, belief statements, internet blogs and associations
that contradict our Nazarene Articles of Faith, orthodox Wesleyan
teaching of Scripture and freedom as expressed in the Declaration of
Independence and the United States Constitution. We encourage you to
independently research these issues. You may need to cut and paste links into
your browser. Because of the temporary nature of links to web postings, these
sources we cite, and many others, have been saved as pdf files and may be
examined or downloaded at this website:
http://www.standingfirmnazarenes.org.

Individuals,
Organizations, and Messages of Concern To Us
(representative of
dozens; randomly listed):

Jim Wallis ~
former pastor,
spiritual
advisor
to Barack Obama, one of
the founders of Sojourners Fellowship in D.C.; editor of
Sojourners
Magazine
, activist; author,
God’s Politics, Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It”;
Harvard professor; proclaims Jesus to be a
socialist; chapel
speaker at PLNU
February 23, 2005;
speaker at the “Writers’ Symposium,”
on campus of
PLNU 2008
.  Video is also available
of his interview at Point Loma – download video
here.

Quotes: Answer to
interview question, “Are you then calling for the redistribution of wealth in
society?”
Wallis answered: “Absolutely, without any hesitation; that’s
what the gospel is all about.
(Interfaith Voices, conference, Jan. 2006 )
When it comes to economics, I’m a liberal; I’m a radical. I want to see some
real fairness and justice here. We can’t use the word redistribution anymore,
even though that’s what’s been happening—redistributing wealth from the bottom
and the middle to the top. So, I talk about the ‘
Jubilee
Tradition
’ in our Scriptures,
where there’s a leveling of things.”
(Tavis Smiley show on PBS, Jan.
2010)

Matthew Sleeth
~ physician, head of Blessed Earth Foundation (motto–“serving God, saving
the planet”), author of The Gospel According to Earth and The Green
Bible
;
chapel
speaker
for third annual
“Stewardship of the Earth Conference” March 2008 (Earth Day) at Trevecca
Nazarene University –
podcast download
here
.

Quotes: “When you talk
to a church and you want to get a church to do something, you have to talk to
the heart, and you have to use the Bible. You have to speak the language of the
church… humans don’t change their behavior based on statistics. We change our
behavior based upon our hearts.”
(
http://www.grist.org/article/sleeth -
download a PDF file of the
same article here
);

“Evangelicals,
on the other hand, must recognize the fact that the most pressing problem facing
the world is overcrowding… When we accepted the life prolonging fruits of
science, we unbalanced the natural human population equation. Yet we want to
oppose the use of science to control the number of lives created on this planet…
The choice is simple: We either need birth control or to forgo the use of
medicine to prolong life. It is up to the individual, society, or religion to
choose one or the other.”
(population control; euthanasia; Truthout Article
‘The Future of Eco-Evangelism’ April 2005

Brian McLaren
~ founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in MD; universalist;
radical activist; described as founder of the emergent church; speaker at the
“Wesleyan Conference,” at NNU 2008; co-founder of “Big
Tent.”

Quotes: “The Jesus of
one reading of the Apocalypse brings us to a grim resignation: the world will
get worse and worse, and finally this jihadist Jesus will return to use force,
domination, violence, and even torture—the ultimate imperial tools—to vanquish
evil and bring peace.
” (McLaren, Everything Must Change,
2007)

Jim Ball ~
reverend; friend of
Jim Wallis, executive
vice-president of the Evangelical Environmental Network (source of facts for
Creation Care document);
chapel
speaker
for second annual
“Stewardship of the Earth Conference” at TNU 2007 (
download mp3
here
); led “What Would Jesus
Drive? Campaign”; led over 200 evangelical pastors, theologians and leaders to
sign an “Evangelical Call to Action on Climate Change” (
www.christiansandclimate.org)

Quotes: “ I am testifying
before this committee as a signatory of the Evangelical Climate Initiative, a
group of more than 100 senior evangelical leaders who believe that a vigorous
response to global warming is a spiritual and moral imperative -” (
Jim Ball’s
Testimony before the U.S. Senate
, June 2007)

“Pollution that causes the threat of global warming violates Jesus’
Great Commandments to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your
neighbor as yourself” (Jim Ball’s
Testimony before the U.S. Senate
, September 2008);

“I’m asking all of us to pray to the Lord to ask for forgiveness for
this stain on our Stewardship” (Gulf Spill Prayer Walk June 2010 – download video
here
)

Oliver Phillips
~ ordained minister; director of Mission Support USA/Canada (
http://www.missionstrategy.org an
official site of Ch. of
the Nazarene, Lenexa, KS); was saved from homelessness and discipled by Tom
Nees; editor of Cultural Expressions; author of Starting Strong
Churches in the Black Community
; The 12 Step Program: Steps to Starting a
Compassionate Ministry Center
; Who Moved My Church?; wrote the
forward to
The Urban
Imperative
; authored How to Reach
the Black Male
(includes
JeremiahWright among
positive, black leaders); writes blog, “
Think on These
Things
”; chapel speaker ONU
March 16-18, 2010 (
http://rss.olivet.edu/itunesu.php?chid=20); chapel
speaker
at NNU Oct.
2008

Quotes: “To integrate
education and compassionate mission would require the integration of the present
compassionate ministries and our educational institutions worldwide. It is now
clear that if the Church of the Nazarene pretends to be an international body,
such as I believe it is, it must include the issues the social issues of
poverty, hunger and justice and the world, as well as a [sic]become a critic
toward the economic models that oppress our world. Theological education should
be education for the compassionate of the church… ”
(this is
liberation
theology
; “Doing Theology
from the Context of Poverty: Towards a New Paradigm for the Church of the
Nazarene from Latin America
”)

“If Easter is
no longer the celebration of an eschatological event it would inevitably make
sense of life here and now. In the strategy for mission we would be empowered to
face the powers of death. These powers can be seen in the realities of racism,
economic deprivation, drug addiction, inadequate education, and reduced public
support of women and children. Easter must, and should speak to these forces!
Consequently, strategy for mission would be practiced with the constant
awareness that we cannot believe in resurrection for some and not for others. It
must be integrated with an all-inclusive symbol of life for everyone, a kind of
life that defeats death and claims holistic victory for all God’s creation… For
if indeed the Gospel message is no respecter of persons, to deny ministry to
those in the city is to obfuscate what otherwise is a clear imperative to care
and nurture those for whom the Gospel is intended… How do we respond to the
imperative? I would like to suggest a new manifesto for responding to the Urban
Imperative: We need to view city residents as God sees them, the guaranteed
inheritors of the Kingdom of God.”
(Mission
Strategy Magazine
, Summer 2005
, Towards A Strategic
Resurrection Motif);

“What is most telling [about Social Values and
Attitudes in the Nazarene Church] is the lack of knowledge about
Jim
Wallis
and Ron Sider. Thes
(sic) two have been on the cutting edge for compassion and
social
justice
for many years. Ron
Sider has spoken at our Compassionate Ministry conferences. On the other hand,
80% of Nazarenes agree with the views of James Dobson.?????”
(
Think on These Things,
Oliver Phillips’ blog January 2009
);

In an unpublished document prepared by Tom Nees, he
states, ‘…as corporations make strategic appointments to achieve marketing
goals, so executive church leaders must be willing to change and create
organizational structures, appointing minorities to visible places of leadership
if the normal election processes don’t achieve the desired results.’”
(Q & A with
Oliver Phillips
, Holiness Today
March/April 2007)

Fletcher Tink
~
Adjunct Professor of
Urban/Compassionate Ministries, NTS
; co-founder and Exec.
Dir. of the
Bresee
Institute
for Metro-Ministries;
Academic Dean of
City Vision College
; conducts faith promise
missionary conferences, writes curriculum, develops academic programs, teaches
in the area of urban, compassionate ministries, leadership development,
cross-cultural communication;
required book for
NTS Ethics class
: Rediscovering Values:
On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street
by
Jim Wallis[the same book
where Jim Wallis discusses the ‘Jubilee Tradition’]
; invites guest speaker
to speak on
“Liberation Theology” in one of his NTS seminar classes
; co-editor
on the Creation Care Task Force for compiling
Creation Care:
Environmental Stewardship for the Church of the Nazarene
(indicated
as the
official Nazarene
statement
on the NCM
website).

Quotes: “We are
reassessing our own theological tradition. We now recognize that the Church of
the Nazarene should have remained outside of the liberal-fundamentalist debate,
more properly laying claim to our Wesleyan heritage which took seriously social
engagement”; “For Nazarene purposes we would also suggest the inclusion of
seminars in the area of ‘Wesleyan or
Jubilee
Economics
‘ and ‘Social
Justice
Advocacy’”; “there
needs to be a combined efforts [sic] of our institutions, academic and
ecclesial, to screen and credentialize personnel for service in both fields, and
to communicate clearly the opportunities generically and specifically that are
available. There also needs to be a “seamlessness” of academic programming that
will reduce the guessing game of what qualifies, in what sequence, best produces
Christian urban and compassionate ministry leader”; “We shy away from terms such
as social justice and advocacy, in part, because of our conservative bent. Yet
it seems that some dedication of our curriculum must be given to issues of
structural change and transformation.”
(“
Have Compassion on
our Campuses! Developing Curricula for Ministry in an Urban and Needy
World
,” May 2009)

“E.
Stanley Jones, one of my preacher heroes, wrote in the heat of the Second World
War:
‘In Nazism, the kingdom of
Race is supreme and absolute. But not alone in Nazism. Many of us have the
religion of being white. Where there is a clash between the Kingdom of God and
the Kingdom of Being White, we choose and act upon the fact of race. It is our
god. We cannot live abundantly unless we offer our race on the altar of God..
How can the white race be supreme? Only in one way: Let white people become the
servant of all… Some are willing to be the servant of some —their friends, their
families their class, their race—but they pull back from being the servant of
all’ (Abundant Living, p. 221, 2002, NPH)’
How can we serve all?
Unfortunately, our pulpit jargon, stories, and mannerisms sport our cultural
preferences on our sleeves as publicly as the Nazis wore their swastikas”;
“Explore literature from other cultures and splice their allusions into your
messages”; “Dare to tenderly expose those precious nontraditional life stories
of your newer parishioners to your congregation. Often awkward, these may
reflect the slights and hostilities where you and cultural patrons may be to
blame. Resist offense, seek forgiveness for collective sin. Most of all,
wade[sic] it out with empathetic tears until you hear the glorious cadence of
deliverance, redemption, and courage in the face of adversity. Weave their
micro-stories into the epic of the gospel”; “The Gospel
Addresses
Social
Justice
: Both the Hebrew and
Greek words for ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’ stem from one word only; God
rectifying what is wrong both internally in individual human nature and
externally in collective human systems. Justice is a national issue: ‘he will
proclaim justice to the nations’ (Mt 12:18-21). Justice is a social issue: ‘do
what is right and fair’ (Col 4:1). Justice is a religious issue: ‘you neglect…
justice’ (Mt 23:23).”
(“
Communicating
Christ Cross-Culturally: Clergy Development
,”
2002)

Tom Nees ~
C.E.O. Nazarene
Compassionate Ministries; aligns himself to
Jim
Wallis
; has written articles dating
back to the early 1980’s
for Sojourners, the
liberal “
progressive
Christian commentary on faith, politics and culture which seeks to build a
movement of spirituality and social change
”; signedEvangelical
Leaders Voice Support for Health Care Reform – Call on Senate to Make
Affordability a Moral Priority”
November 2009 (along with
Jim Wallis, Ron Sider,
Gabriel Salguero, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, etc.);
endorsed “From Poverty to
Opportunity,
A Covenant for a
New America
– Overcoming Poverty with
Religious Commitment and Political Leadership” (
Jim Wallis document – also
signed by Ron Benefiel);
endorsed the Sojourners
Toolkit for Christian
Education and Comprehensive Immigration Reform
along with
Jim Wallis, Ron Sider, Tony
Campolo and many, many other liberal and politically progressive-minded
evangelicals;
lectured on Social Justice at
Nazarene Theological Seminary in March of 2008
.

Quotes: “What are we to
say and how are we to be involved in the great issues of our times: war, global
poverty, and the environment: And what does our understanding of the kingdom of
God say about the divisive and defining U. S. political issues of abortion and
gay rights? On these and other controversial issues, church leaders are seeking
a middle way as well as unapologetically advocating justice…”; “Perhaps our
biggest struggle is restoring social Christianity or social holiness to a proper
balance with individual faith.” (
NTS Social Justice
Lecture
, March
2008)

The planet needs you millennial leaders to find new ways to
preserve and protect what’s left of this incredibly beautiful and fragile
ecosphere. We can’t go on this way. If you believe, as I hope you do, that we
are stewards of the earth, all of us must lead and work to reverse our
excessive, if not sinful consumption and the destruction of non-renewable
resources”
(Commencement
speech at ENC May 2010
)

Jay McDaniel
~ professor of religion/department chair at Hendrix College in Arkansas;
director for Steel Center for the Study of Religion & Philosophy; co-signer
of
Creation
Care
document;
Whitehead/Budda
follower
, Panentheist; influenced by
Thomas Merton, Catholic monk; author of With Roots and Wings: Christianity in
an Age of Ecology and Dialogue
; Ghandi’s Hope: Learning from Other
Religions as a Path to Peace
;
guest speaker at
NNU

Quotes: “Maybe my
Buddhist friend can help me think about God in a fresh way”
; “Could it
not be that the God who is revealed in Jesus is revealed elsewhere, too?” “Some
Christians, and I am among them, use ‘Christ’ not simply as a name for Jesus but
also as a name for the Spirit of God at present throughout the world…I see
Christ outside of Christianity…I don’t think the living Spirit of Christ is
reducible to historical Christianity… I think the Spirit of Christ is found
throughout the world… [my Hindu sister] may be saved through ‘Christ’, even if
that means she does not believe in Jesus”(
panentheism; pluralism, collective & cultural salvation; (link) or you can
download the
entire video of his NNU appearance here, which includes his lauding
introduction by NNU staff
)

Ron Benefiel
~ Trained as a sociologist, ordained minister who has pastored churches in a
variety of urban settings; president of Nazarene Theological Seminary,
signer of the
Evangelical Climate Initiative, endorsed “From Poverty to Opportunity,
A Covenant for
a New America
– Overcoming Poverty
with Religious Commitment and Political Leadership”
(
Jim Wallis document also
signed by Ron Sider &
Tom Nees), Teaches Course
on Biblical Perspectives on
Social
Justice
with Ron Sider’s
Book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: A Biblical Study, as part of
the
required
reading
; affiliated with
and teaches Sunday School discipleship classes at
KC Trinity
Nazarene
Church; member of
thesimplechurch.com’ – online
forum
; emcee for “Nurturing the
Prophetic Imagination
Conference,” March 2010;
quotes liberal Desmond Tutu in
Fundamentalism
in the Church of the Nazarene
, 2004;
.

Quotes: “’To begin
building a foundation for our case [regarding fundamentalism in the Nazarene
Church]…rapid social change was responsible for social disintegration’…What
we especially want to point out is the natural human tendency to respond to such
destabilization by resisting the changes, reacting against those thought to be
responsible and seeking to protect oneself, one’s way of life, and especially,
one’s family, from the effects of those changes. We would like to suggest that
this is the ‘fundamental’ basis for fundamentalism. As such, fundamentalism is a
natural psycho-social response to rapid social change, social complexity and
diversity. It is based on the normal human response of self-protection against
the perception that the world is changing in such a way as to make it less
predictable, less controllable and far less secure. This spirit of resistance to
change (often expressed in idealizing the past) and anger toward those perceived
to be responsible for creating such instability is the essence of
fundamentalism. It is ironic that much of what many American fundamentalists
would highly value may be largely responsible for the social changes that serve
to threaten their control and security. Specifically, capitalism fuels rapid
social change and social complexity. Democracy and freedom of religion foster
pluralism. As rapid social change, complexity and pluralism pose threats, we
would expect fundamentalists to have a natural tendency or instinct toward
‘fight and/or flight’… “In this [Fundamentalism in the Nazarene Church
Research] project, we are interested in the degree to which pastors and members
in the Church of the Nazarene might be considered fundamentalist. And further,
we are interested in the degree to which there is movement toward greater or
lesser fundamentalism among pastors and members over time… In this study, the
measures of world view will include the degree to which respondents: 1) view the
culture as evil; 2) view the world as getting worse; and 3) understand evil in
the world to be satanic, personal or systemic. The measures of political
conservatism will include the degree to which respondents: 1) favor traditional
moral values over against social change; 2) believe the church should make a
difference in the social problems of the world; and 3) are favorable toward
assistance programs for the poor .”
(this is a new definition of
fundamentalism; “
Fundamentalism in
the Church of the Nazarene
: A Longitudinal Analysis
of Social And Political Values,” March 2004

Evangelical
Environmental Network (Creation Care)
~ passion and ministry focus on
saving this earth; goal–to unite everyone in the goal of saving the planet,
resulting in a one-world jurisdiction and government; source of “factual”
information on NCM
website
.

Cultural
Christianity
~ Believed by the masses to represent genuine Christianity;
A religion based on humanist logic, “feel good” experiences, and popular
interpretations of Scriptures; faith that our own good works and intentions are
good enough; Bible is a collection of guidelines, allegories, myths and stories
useful for good living– offensive verses must be ignored; people’s approval –
to please, not offend, the world and its communities; our human abilities plus
God’s help when ‘needed'; we are strong and capable if we have confidence in
Self; sin is a normal part of life – ignore it or you might offend someone – or
enjoy it, for God understands your needs and inclinations; bring people to the
church or group but don’t tolerate uncompromising Christians who might offend
people (Do to others as you would have others do to you); trust and
follow feelings and human logic; compromise essential to avoid offending the
world; adapt the church to the ‘community’ so that everyone will feel at
home.

Liberation
Theology
~ is a movement in Christian theology which interprets the
teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic,
political or social conditions. It has been described by proponents as “an
interpretation of Christian faith through the poor’s suffering, their struggle
and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity
through the eyes of the poor”; and by detractors as Christianity influenced by
Marxism and Communism.

Jubilee
Economics
~ seeks personal and collective conversion from the tempting
economics of empire to the larger life-giving economic story taught by Earth.
This is, as cosmologist Thomas Berry called it, “the great work of our time.”
Jubilee refers to economic practices in the Hebrew and Christian
Scriptures, sacred texts whose best economic wisdom both invites us to and makes
imperative sustainable practices in the institutions, businesses, congregations,
and governments of our time. These sacred texts and religious traditions are
not, however, the source of jubilee economics, but an impressive and creative
expression of how spiritual perspectives and practice are also economic and vice
versa. The oldest and deepest origins of a jubilee economy are in the cosmos
herself, not from what human civilization has constructed. From the cosmos,
indigenous peoples worldwide learned sustainable economics, and so lived within
Earth’s interrelationships of abundant life. The mystery and sacredness of those
interrelationships made indigenous economics spiritually rooted; redistribution
of wealth by whatever means possible; goal is to economically equalize all
peoples of the world (socialism; Marxism)

Collective
Salvation
~ Analogous to the ecumenical movement in that many mainline
Protestant churches are willing to embrace Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Eastern
mystic religions, and the cults, in order to achieve social and moral goals.
Their thinking is that if enough godly people band together, they can win the
war against godless paganism and evil in societies that have abandoned all sense
of morality. The belief is that with all individuals cooperating and sacrificing
for the common good, all societal ills will be eradicated. “I can’t be saved on
my own. I have to do my part by cooperating with the group, even sacrificing, to
ensure everyone else’s salvation. It is then that we’re all saved together.”
(
This video
provides a description ‘in his own words’
.)

Multiculturism/Pluralism
~ many ways to God; all religions/beliefs are equally good; Jesus may be
added to aberrant beliefs

Contextual
Christianity
~
The act of a Christian choosing which parts of the Bible
to believe and honor while disregarding other passages.

Panentheism
~ is a belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part
of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well. Panentheism is distinguished
from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe.
Briefly put, in pantheism, “God is the whole”; in panentheism, “The whole is in
God.” This means that the Universe in the first formulation is practically the
Whole itself, but in the second the universe and God are not ontologically
equivalent. In panentheism, God is not necessarily viewed as the creator or
demiurge, but the eternal animating force behind the universe, some versions
positing the universe as nothing more than the manifest part of God. In some
forms of panentheism, the cosmos exists within God, who in turn “pervades” or is
“in” the cosmos. While pantheism asserts that God and the universe are
coextensive, panentheism claims that God is greater than the universe and some
forms hold that the universe is contained within God.  Hinduism is highly
characterized by Panentheism and Pantheism.

Redistribution of Wealth ~ is a political policy
with the basic premise of belief being that money should be more equally
distributed so it favors all members of society, and that the rich should be
obligated to assist the poor. Thus, money should be redistributed from the rich
to the poor, creating a more financially egalitarian society. Often, proponents
of redistribution argue that the rich are exploiting the poor or otherwise
gaining unfair benefits, and therefore redistributive practices are necessary in
order to redress the balance.

Marxist/Marxism ~ the political, economic,
and social principles and policies advocated by Karl Marx, especially; a theory
and practice of socialism including the labor theory of value, dialectical
materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the
establishment of a classless society.

Social
Justice
~ generally refers to the idea of creating an egalitarian
society or institution that is based on the principles of equality
[not to be confused with equal opportunity] and
solidarity, that understands and values human rights and that recognizes the
dignity of every human being [may include but is more often not
limited to the self-evident, God-given rights that we as Christians are called
to value for all of humanity]
. The term and modern concept of “social
justice” was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840 based on the teachings
of St. Thomas Aquinas and given further exposure in 1848 by Antionio
Rosmini-Serbati.  The idea was elaborated by the moral theologian John A. Ryan,
who initiated the concept of a living wage.  Father Coughlin also used the term
in his publications in the 1930s and the 1940s. It is a part of Catholic social
teaching, Social Gospel from Episcopalians and is one of the Four Pillars of the
Green Party upheld by green parties worldwide.  Social justice as a secular
concept, distinct from religious teachings, emerged mainly in the late twentieth
century, influenced primarily by philosopher John Rawls.  Some tenets of social
justice have been adopted by those on the left of the political
spectrum.

Socialist/Socialism
~ Economically, socialism denotes an economic system of either state ownership
and/or worker ownership and administration of the means of production, and
management over the allocation of producer goods and the means of production.
Public or worker ownership can refer to nationalism, municipalisation, the
establishment of cooperative enterprises or in some cases direct-worker
ownership. The fundamental feature of a socialist economy is that publicly
owned, state or worker-run institutions produce goods and services in at least
the
commanding
heights
of the
economy

Unlike some
emergent Christians, we do not believe that Jesus Christ died on the
cross so that we humans could work to recycle, restore and rehabilitate this
fallen world. Actually, we believe the meek are eventually going to inherit this
earth, and question whether the meek are among the left-leaning
environmentalists of this age.  We eagerly anticipate Jesus Christ’s return,
when He will establish His own Kingdom and we will reign with Him in true
justice.  We vow to be faithful to tell pre-Christians of Jesus and His gift of
salvation until He comes. Until that event, we choose the path that is narrow,
that leads to eternal life.  Our heartfelt prayer is that this choice will not
require us to abandon our beloved Church of the Nazarene because she departs
from her orthodox Wesleyan core beliefs.

While we appreciate the
statement made by our Board of General Superintendents in August of this year,
we believe action is needed. Our Articles of Faith are clearly defined, but some
words in the Articles have acquired new, emergent meanings. Perhaps clearly
defining
in our Manual the words
used to express our core beliefs, as well as what it means to be the Church
would be places to begin the work needed (e.g. holiness, gospel, justice,
mission, righteousness
, world/earth, kingdom of God, stewardship,
fundamentalism, etc.). We covenant to continue to be in prayer for
discernment among our college/seminary students, for unity in our churches and
bold leadership by our college trustees and denominational elders.

We respectfully ask that
you use whatever credibility and authority you have with other leaders of our
denomination to effect the changes necessary to eradicate heresy of all kinds
from the Church of the Nazarene and its colleges, universities and
seminaries.

Sincerely Yours & His,
[Names provided in full to
our Pastor, District Superintendent and the Board of General
Superintendents]

Ephesians 6:13-18 ~
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you
may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the
breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the
readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up
the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the
evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers
and  requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all
the saints
.
(NIV)

[Standing Firm]
[Take A Stand] [
Who We Are] [NCM] [Creation Care] [Sermons]

IMMERSE is the latest publication to be introduced to the Nazarene youth masses by Chris Folmsbee of Barefoot Ministries.  If you examine the fabric of this publication, you quickly see that it clearly promotes  a leftist social gospel/contemplative/emergent agenda to those involved with youth.

Mike King of Youthfront was recently appointed as the executive editor of this publication.   Here are a few paragraphs from the most recent publication of IMMERSE that Mike wrote in his editorial introduction.

For many youth workers, the end of summer provides a tiny respite to catch one’s breath for a few days between all the summer activities and the beginning of a new school year with all the new church programs and events launched in September.  This summer we had nearly 5,000 young people attend Youthfront camps and our mission site in Croc, Mexico.  I also had the opportunity to engage in youth ministry in New Zealand, France and the UK.

In New Zealand I spoke to more than 1,000 youth workers on the North and South Islands.  I was blown away by the quality and passion of New Zealand youth workers.  They seem to be engaged with the same challenges and issues that youth workers from North America are dealing with.  Kiwis rule.

I made it back to Taize for the third time.  If you want to expand your thinking about spiritual transformation, put Taize on your must visit list. 

The Greenbelt Festival in England was also a highlight of the summer.  More than 20,000 (mostly young) people gathered for great fun but were also significantly challenged by deep issues.  There really is nothing like Greenbelt in the USA.  Maybe someday… 

Over the summer, the Barefoot team has been working diligently to bring fresh and innovative resources to youth workers.  We are excited about revealing great tools for youth workers in the days and months ahead.  We have also been developing great content for Immerse that we are excited for you to read and consider.

We have lots of great articles in this edition of Immerse.  Kurt Rietema’s perspective on the issue of immigration is very timely, given the focus on this issue during the current election season.  This is an important issue for youth workers to consider.  I’ve known Kurt for several years now and have seen him develop into a thoughtful and capable leader.  His article on immigration comes directly from a place of personal experience and deep passion for others.  Kurt is the director of Youthfront’s missional initiatives in Croc, Mexico, and in the Argentine neighborhoods of Kansas City.  Kurt is one of the key people in youth ministry today pushing all of us toward a more relevant and robust conversation on missional living.  I am confident that his article will help you engage complex topics, such as immigration, at a different level.

Also in this issue, Andrew Zirschky deals thoughtfully with the role communication technology–especially social media–plays in the lives of adolescents who desire to maintain connections in a disconnected society.  He examines the nature of their unique communications for the primary purpose of maintaining social and psychological contact.

In the article “Agape meets Eros,”  Jim Hampton boldy engages the idea of the interplay between sexuality and spirituality, challenging youth workers to reincorporate our sexuality with our spiritual identities.  While we must employ discernment in how to apply these ideas into our church communities, we can no longer ignore this issue.

Our hope is that Immerse will guide you into deep theological reflection on lots of important areas impacting the spiritual formation of young people and the life of the church.

May the Lord Jesus Christ immerse you in faith, hope and love.    (signed)  Mike King

 

Here are some things to consider after reading Mike King’s editorial from Immerse:

The contemplative practices are promoted via the Taize reference in his editorial, which he says we must put on our to do list!  There is an unfortunate trend within the Nazarene church to draw the youth back to Roman Catholic practices and mysticism.  Further down, Mike then writes glowingly of The Greenbelt Festival that he attended in England.  Upon further examination of THAT event, you will quickly see the extremely liberal agenda, and bizarre contemplative worship practices that were offered to the attendees.  Make sure you take some time clicking around on that site.  Bizarre, indeed.

Topics  included:  Negative views on capitalism, Equating eating meat with murdering the planet, end of life issues, down with Israel & pro-Palastinian issues.  Their About page states that the Festival is a family-friendly celebration, inclusive and accepting of all, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, background or belief.   

Mike King hopes that someday……The Greenbelt Festival will make its way to the USA??    

With the Nazarene Publishing House funding,  publishing, and promoting these types of liberal and (emergent) resources, IS IT ANY WONDER THE CHURCH IS IN THE STATE IT IS IN??  

Also note, Jim Hampton was one of the writers and signers of the emergent piece:  IS THERE ANY ROOM AT THE TABLE? 

 

Thank God that there are more Nazarenes who are willing to join the battle against false and errant teaching that has entered the denomination unchallenged.  I am thank for the new blog:  Nazarenes – Standing Firm 
Thank God that these remnant people are willing to count the cost to hold leaders accountable for allowing the slaughter of the sheep left to their care, young and old.

Is there anyone left who hasn’t bent their knee to the systems of the world and synthesized the philosophies of the world into  the new spirituality of the blind shepherds? Yes, there is a remnant.

Be sure to read their letter which was recently sent out to denominational leaders entitled: Take A Stand

An excerpt from  A. W. Tozer:  (bold emphases mine)

Unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a  new cross into popular evangelical circles.  It is like the old cross, but different:  the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique — a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching.  This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world.  For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey.  It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai.  The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment.  It lets Adam live without interference.  His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure…..

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach.  The evangelist…preaches not contrasts but similarities.  He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level……

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him.  It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect….It is false because it is blind.  It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.

The old cross is a symbol of death….The race of Adam is under death sentence.  There is no communtation and no escape.  God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men.  God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.

That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers.  The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it.  In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane: we leave it at the cross.  The grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die.

God offers life, but not an improved old life.  The life He offers is life out of death… Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die…. the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.

(Source:  http://www.crossroad.to/Excerpts/books/faith/Tozer/tozer-cross.htm)

-

-

If Tozer were alive today, he could be writing this piece on the methods of the emergent church.  May the Nazarene church turn its back on “this new cross evangelism”  and get back to teaching the true gospel of the repentance of sins for the salvation of souls.

 

The following is a piece from Eric Barger’s website.  You may access the article HERE.

April 7, 2010

The Seductive Poison of Apostasy

A look at 180, a new book from the the Nazarene Publishing House

The latest and perhaps one of the most visible signs of distress for Nazarenes is the release of a troubling new book through an arm of the Nazarene Publishing House.  180:  The Stories of People Who Changed Their Lives By Changing Their Minds is a product of a Nazarene-funded entity called “The House Studio,” which is listed under the covering of the Nazarene Publishing House in the 2010 General Board Reports of the Church of the Nazarene for the year 2009.  (See: http://www.ncnnews.com/nphweb/html/ncn/article.jsp?id=10009016 

180  is a compilation of several authors, including Emergent leader and author, Leonard Sweet, Frederica Mathewes-Green (who, along with Sweet and Emergent godfather, Brian McLaren, contributed to the book The Church in the Emerging Culture:  Five Perspectives), G.P. (Graham) Taylor (author of Shadowmancer), and Baptist-bred biographer-turned-fiction-writer, Ace Collins.  A few of the other contributing authors include Emergent youth speaker, Mark Oestreicher, Karen Spears Zacharias, Patricia Raybon (who has endorsed contemplative spirituality and favors Catholic mystics), Cameron Conant and Bob Buford, the founder of Leadership Network, (the suspected genesis point which spawned today’s Emergent movement and its original leaders).  Buford also served as the initial chairman of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, now known as “Leader to Leader Institute.”

The promotion for the 180 book states:

How does a fundamentalist become less conservative?  What makes a person intent on marrying choose to remain celibate and enter the priesthood?  How can a scientist give up believing in certainty?  What makes an organ-playing pastor’s wife hit the road with a band and her bass guitar?

 

These are all intriguing questions, sure to bring people into a fuller, more holy walk with Jesus, right?

Conant’s chapter explains how he began his adult life as a conservative but when his wife left him he saw the “error” of his Republican ways.  Mathewes-Green tells the story of how she migrated from the pro-choice position to become pro-life, which, of course, is actually a good thing.  Taylor’s part in the book was about how a dope smoking kid got straight – but like the majority of what 180 offers, there is no hint that God, His Son, His Spirit, or His Word had anything to do with the transformation.

Another contributor to 180 is self-described “professional adventurer” Melissa Jenks.

As a promotional sample of the book, Jenks’ chapter was apparently sent to every Nazarene pastor in March, 2010, as a part of the quarterly “Nazarene Communicator.”  It was because of this mailing that a distressed Nazarene pastor called, making me aware of the book.

Jenks begins, “I used to believe that the Bible was true.  Completely true-every single word.  (In the words of theologians, inerrant.)

“I now believe that the Bible is true.  Completely true-every single word.

“So what’s changed?  I no longer believe that in order to be absolutely true, the Bible has to be literally true.  It doesn’t have to mean that the earth and life in it were created in seven days.  It doesn’t have to mean that Methuseleh lived 969 years.  it doesn’t have to mean that Joshua stopped the sun in the sky or that the streets of heaven are paved with actual gold.”

 

Along with promoting feminism and the view that American Christians are a rather hopeless and self-centered lot, Jenks follows with the concept that one can be an evolutionist (like her) and a Christian, too; that beliefs are inconsequential to one’s being identified as a “Christian”; and the conclusion that there are many people who reject the historic teaching of the Church but should be unquestionably accepted as real Christians.

Whether its called liberalism or Emergent, heretical or just plain goofy, these ideas are surely not within the bounds of authentic Christianity.  In fact, as I stated in my March 19th e-update (“Where is the Leadership?”), notions like these more closely relate to the very lie that got us humans into this mess in the first place i.e.,  “Hath God Said?”  (Genesis 3:1).

Then comes the book’s most regretable chapter, authored by Nazarene university professor, Karl Giberson.   It’s called “Giving Up on Certainty,” which is exactly what the author tells 180 readers he has done concerning the Scriptures.  Giverson is one of the world’s most noted proponents of the theory of “Open theism,”* an evolutionist, and a professor at his alma mater, Eastern Nazarene College.  (*Note that Open Theism hypothosizes that God does not know what the future holds.) 

Giberson’s chapter in 180 recounts a sad story similar to that of liberal theologian, Marcus J. Borg.  He retells how his experience of Bible college led him away from his previously held postion of certainty for the Word of God.  Portraying textbook-like-postmodernity, Giberson’s contribution to 180 amounts to little more than a clear cut, egregious denial of the Bible.  He claims to have made this change based on a series of events and teachings he received in college, including an old and baseless charge that assorted prophecies found in Scripture were actually fraudulent.  I don’t care how intellectual he may be or how many degrees he has, or how many doting peers he may have showering him with awards and prestige.  The question needs to be asked:  What is this guy doing teaching in an allegedly evangelical school?  How many more students will enter once-trusted Bible colleges only to have their minds twisted and their belief in God’s Word shredded because someone who does not believe the Bible has been allowed to stand unquestioned before them as an authority?

In thinking of the Gibersons and Borgs and other assorted heretics that infest seminary classrooms all around us, I can’t help but remember the compelling phrase Jesus used as He addressed the educated but empty hypocrites of His day.  Just before calling them snakes, he said the converts of these false teachers become twice the child of Hell than their mentors (Matthew 23:15)!  I think I know something of how Jesus was feeling about this topic but before I allow myself to go there and tell you what I really think, let me introduce a mother named Ann.  She has experienced one of the worst nightmares imaginable for any Christian parent.  Year after year, Ann trained her son up in the ways of God.  When the time came she sent him off to Bible college only to find that some so-called “intellectuals,” within the confines of what she thought was a solid theological institution, injected him with the seductive poison of apostasy, obliterating both her own life’s work and her son’s relationship with God.

Ann wrote me at http://www.ericbarger.com/ She stated:

Thanks you for your stand for truth and the defense of the Word of God which is now under attack through the emergent movement.  This is being taught as the new post-modern “truth” at many so called “Christian” universities.  I have a son who has been captured by this vain philosophy being taught at a Nazarene university.  I am praying for his return to the truth of god’s Word as he was trained up for 12 years at home and in school to affirm God’s Word as absoute truth.  The university taught from a New Testament book written by Bart Erhman, a self-proclaimed agnostic and academic expert in textual criticism.  That class has derailed my son’s faith.

I wrote back:

Thanks for writing Ann.  I grieve when I hear reports like this.  It is heart-wrenching.  Hang in there and please let me know how it’s going.  Remember, you are not alone.  There is a godly remnant inside the Nazarene Church who are fighting for your son and for other sons and daughters.  Let me know if there is anything we can provide for you or do.

By the way, which Nazarene University did your son attend?  God bless you!    Eric

Ann responded:

Thank you for your response.  My son graduated 2008 from Point Loma Nazarene University and I have also have a daughter enrolled at PLNU finishing her junior year.  The university has invited emergent authors/speakers in chapel and contemplative retreats are contrary to those documents.  The University president has not responded.

Ann

The introduction to the 180 book states, “Even though we’re not out to change your mind on anything, we hope to stretch it a little.”  Stretch it a little?  But how?  By relying on human stories to emotionally appeal to us that drugs and abortion are evil – but never relating what the Word of God states on the topics?  Then worse, by casting doubt on the Word of God with the kind of conflicting, faith-breaking doubletalk found in 180?   Call me old-fashioned, but I thought the mission of the Church was to produce materials and teaching that uphold the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Can you imagine Peter, Paul or any of the other Apostles writing a chapter in 180?   I think not.  God is indeed in the mind-changing business – make that the renewing of the mind through His mighty Word (Romans 12:1-2, Psalm 119:11)!  If we need anything today it is voices that refute false beliefs instead of endorsing them.  Rather than question marks, we must add exclamation points to the emphatic teachings of the Bible!

Call me narrow-minded but I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with the progressive, supposedly intellectual tripe some so-called Christian educators are foisting on young minds while consistantly downplaying and discouraging systemtatic theology, expository preaching and sound doctrine.  It has become a vogue part of allegedly “higher” Christian education today to constantly question and doubt biblical truths rather than uphold them – all in the name of “critical thinking.”  This isn’t some sort of postmodern apololgetics.  Instead, it is nothing short of subversion and is the very veil with which those who are guided by the spirit of rebellion cloak themselves.

Rebellion is indeed the spirit of the age we live in and it is at work inside the Church.  The apostle John exclaimed, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world”  (1 John 4:1).  I am more convinced with each passing day that what we are battling is nothing short of the attempted complete destruction of the historic Church by some within the borders of our theological institutions and denominations.  Just look to those formerly sound theological giants of the recent past, Harvard, Princeton and Yale.  Have we forgotten that they were once home to the greatest defenders of biblical truth in the world?  It is surely no stretch that one would have to spend considerable time and effort to find many authentic Bible believers within their walls today.  We must wake up before their fate becomes ours.

Considering the fact that evolution and open theism are being accepted and heralded in Nazarene universities, and books like 180 are being printed and promoted by the official publishing arm of the Church of the Nazarene, makes one wonder what is next.  However, as most of you know, Emergent heresy is certainly not confined to any one denomination.  Concerned Christians should be watching, examing, challenging, and demanding accountability from those in leadership.  Lest there be more heartbreak such as Ann’s and for the sake of the next generation, we can do no less.  Ladies and gentlemen, TRUTH comes with a price and this is what contending for it looks like. 

End of Eric Barger’s article

UPDATE:  I found a link from a Nazarene pastor that had some similar views regarding the 180 book.  Click  HERE.

The book was more shocking than I expected. After careful review of the book I would say a more accurate title might be, “The cultural effects of 30 years on a Holiness Church: Stories of people who changed their values from conservative to liberal”.

 

 

Who has believed our report?  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?  For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground.  He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him, He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation?  For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.  And they made His grave with the wicked–but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence; nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.  When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.  He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.  By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.    Isaiah 53   NKJV

 

This year, may many eyes be opened to see that mankind’s biggest need is that of the Savior, Jesus Christ, who bore our sins on our behalf, so that through sorrowful repentance and turning away from sin,  and childlike trust in Him, we have salvation. 

Salvation is not through doing good works, or through championing social justice, or through acts of self-piety as is the tradition of those in the Catholic church, but, salvation is through Jesus’ work alone.  Not all mankind is saved, for narrow is the path, and many are those who disdain and reject such teachings from scripture.   Yet, when we point out that there are those who have risen among the Nazarene ranks from within, and there are those who are welcomed into Nazarene university settings introducing and teaching foreign doctrines, that go against what is clearly taught from God’s Word, we must also say…… “Who has believed our report?”

May many eyes be opened in the Nazarene denomination to what is truly behind teachings such as, and from people such as:  Open Theism, Phyllis Tickle, Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Nooma’s, social justice, Sojourners, Jim Wallis,  Fr. Richard Rohr, Tony Campolo, Karl Giberson, evolution, universalism, Catholicism, spiritual formation practices, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Shane Claiborne, Tom Oord, Rick Warren, Interfaith Spirituality Network, and on and on……..truly the church has gone astray, and many have rejected the authority of God’s Word, turned it into a narrative, and have gone their own way based on their feelings and their own intellect.

To answer the siren call for an ever hungry, insatiable appetite of feelings-based spirituality, Lake Houston Church of the Nazarene,  and Flushing Community Church of the Nazarene  (amid other Nazarene churches) have turned to the Catholic tradition of the Stations of the Cross. 

Who needs to spend time and study in God’s Word when the new spiritual crack of ‘me-focused’ spiritual experiences can give one an euphoric feeling of being close to God instead?  Who better to turn to for these mystical experiences than the traditions of the Catholics?  Makes one wonder what could be next?  Nazarene nuns?  Trevecca has had the Abbey of Gethsemani monastery booked for retreats for the purpose of student spiritual formation for the past 40 years.  With the acceptance and endorsement of other Catholic traditions into the Nazarene denomination, it could happen.

For more in-depth reading on the dangers of Spiritual Disciplines and offering them as routine practices inside of the church, read and print off the following articles:

The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines 

Ancient-Future Spirituality

Welcome to FCCN!

We’re glad you’ve come to visit our website, and we hope that you’ll find what you need here. We encourage you to join us at weekly worship, currently offered at 10:30 each Sunday. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or just drop in at church next Sunday.

Stations of the Cross

 Monday thru Thursday of this week; 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Our gym will be set up with 14 different “stations” for you to come and seek the Lord through scripture, prayer and contemplation. The stations  are based on several moments in the final week that Jesus lived (known as “Holy Week”). Come and go at a time that is convenient for your but allow enough time to experience each station and the work of God in your heart
 

THIS WEEK | MARCH 30, 2010
Love God | Serve All
www.lhcn.org

 

easter

Stations of the Cross

 
 
 
 
 

Tue-Fri  |  Mar 30-Apr2 |  12-9pm Worship Center
 
 
Through prayer and reflection, follow Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary. Learn to trust Him more by accompanying Him on the Way of the Cross through this interactive journey. This is a drop-in event.
 
 
 

 
Through prayer and reflection, follow Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary. Learn to trust Him more by accompanying Him on the Way of the Cross through this interactive journey. This is a drop-in event.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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