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Archive for September, 2011

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] [
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