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Posts Tagged ‘emergent nazarene’

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? 

 

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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.

 

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I found this posted by Mike Young and thought I would post it for my readers.

You may click on Mike Youngs blog HERE.

I am thankful that more and more people are waking up to the destructive doctrines of emergent teaching.  I am glad that others clearly see the impact it has had on a once healthy denomination.   I can’t help but think of talk show host Glenn Beck’s strategy to educate the people as to who we were as a nation and how destructive socialist policies have slowly filtered in over many decades. destroying our nation’s freedoms and sovereignty.  That’s exactly what needs to be done when it comes to those who support, defend, and promote emergent doctrine in the Nazarene denomination.  It/they need to be exposed.  People need to clearly see what is taking place and decide if that is what they want to support when they pay their tithe to the universities, or order materials from the Nazarene Publishing House.  

It’s interesting that what is currently taking place politically in the U.S., is paralleling, and fits nicely with emergent  philosophies, as well.  Those who embrace such teachings trumpet that they are all about change and hope……there are those familiar words, again.   The change and hope that they are espousing is an old heresy of liberalism and casting doubt on, and downgrading  God’s Word.  It’s also interesting that when I surf through some of the emergent sites, they frequently have links to socialist publications and causes.  Hmm….is it just a coincidence??

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Lighthouse Trails Research publishes a monthly newsletter to alert readers to what is happening in the religious landscape today.  LTR serves as a discernment ministry and is known for their extensive research which includes many footnotes and corresponding links.

The February 2010 newsletter includes two articles regarding concerns taking place within the Nazarene denomination.  One article reports on the choice of speakers Northwest Nazarene University allows onto the campus, the other article reports on a Spiritual Formation event taking place at Trevecca Nazarene University.    You may access the two articles HERE.

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*UPDATE*  April 25, 2010 – Apparently, OKC 1st  Church of the Nazarene has removed it’s link on their main church website that showed their affiliation with the Industrial Areas Foundation.  However, another point of reference with their involvement via their Minister of Social Justice, Lance Schmitz, can be found HERE at a Social Holiness website that claims it operates as a Ministry of Oklahoma First Church of the Nazarene.  (I suggest people make copies of these pages before they also disappear.)

In addition, here is another news article that associates Minister of Social Justice, Lance Schmitz, as a committee member of an interfaith community coalition called the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee, that is directly linked to the Industrial Areas Foundation.  The article can be accessed HERE.

The radical liberal agenda has enjoyed success in secular schools and organizations for several decades, and to a mild degree in some of the liberal denominations from the turn of the last century.

It makes sense that the next stronghold to assault would be to infiltrate the ranks of the conservative Christian schools and conservative denominations.  But through what method?

Enter the Emergent Church Movement and its’ emphasis on “social justice”. Here’s the strategy: 

  •  Re-package the primary mission of Jesus coming on the earth from being one of redemption of souls, to one of setting things right for the poor and marginalized in society.  Paint those (conservatives) who hold to a salvation message of personal repentance of sin, and faith and trust in Jesus as the only Way, Truth and Life , and re-cast them as Pharisee’s and mean-spirited fundamentalists who know nothing of compassion for the down and out. 
  • Promote the emergent church as the first to discover compassion for others and care about societal ills.   Do this under the catch phrase of “bringing in the kingdom” and/or being “missional” .
  •  Take a low view of scripture and introduce doubts as to its’ authority and reliability. 
  • Focus mainly on the “good works” of Jesus, while  avoiding  unpleasant topics such as sin, its consequences, personal responsibility, and above all else stay away from the subject of hell.     

 

The following link will take you to an article from The Tulsa Beacon entitled The Wolves Are At the Door The article was posted in April 2009. 

In the article you will read the connection between the Industrial Areas Foundation  , of which Oklahoma First Church of the Nazarene is a supporter, and Saul Alinsky  , who was a Communist sympathizer and socialist , and the term “social justice”.  Here is a quote from the article:

“Saul Alinsky used the poor to further a radical agenda, while ostensibly helping them. Although the IAF has disavowed some of Alinsky’s more extreme views, they still use his methods and seek to work within unsuspecting Catholic and Protestant congregations, and among other constituencies, to further a decidedly liberal agenda. From our research, you won’t ever see IAF working with its protégés to encourage conservative principles in public policy.”

Also of interest would be this interview given by the Minister of Social Justice of Oklahoma First Church of the Nazarene to Sojourner’s Magazine, which is a magazine with a radical liberal/progressive Leftist (chrisitan) agenda whose founder, Jim Wallis has ties to the Communist Party. 

It is also of interest, that it is common to find a link to Sojourner’s at emergent nazarene blogs, such as this one and this one

The people in the pews in the Nazarene Church need to wake up and start asking questions and demand answers from their leadership.  The only way to turn the Nazarene denomination around from this liberal agenda is for those in the pews to gather together and pray, repent from straying off course, fast, and create a grass roots movement of those that care about Biblical integrity and Biblical foundations that have been under assault from the Left.  The Nazarenes need to ask the question of the following from Psalm 11.

If the foundations are destroyed,  what can the righteous do?   Psalm 11:3    

 

 

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The October 20, 2009 broadcast of Crosstalk is a re-broadcast of host Vic Eliason’s interview of Pastor Bob DeWaay’s recent book called:  The Emergent Church:  Undefining Christianity

 

You may listen to that broadcast HERE or download it onto your Ipod.

 

You may also contact Crosstalk and order CD copies at a minimal charge of the program.  I suggest that you order copies to hand out to others to educate them about the liberal roots of the emergent church movement.

 

Bob DeWaay’s book is an excellent resource for getting a firm grasp on emergent theology.  I suggest that you order several copies to hand out.

 

Concerned Nazarenes are trying to get the word out to others in the denomination about the destructive teachings of the Emergent Church Movement, and Spiritual Formation Movement.  Those who support these movements have attempted to deflect any criticism or concerns for these liberal teachings by telling congregants that Concerned Nazarenes are just being extreme and mean-spirited. 

 

Many of the emergent speakers that are talked about and revealed in the Crosstalk interview have been chapel speakers at several Nazarene schools, which gives their liberal teaching a level of endorsement to their captive student audience.

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This past Sunday, while many churches in the Southwest Ohio Nazarene District were cancelling services in order to go out and do community service projects, wearing “Don’t Go to Church –  Be the Church” tee shirts with press coverage in tow, so as to gain community approval, my church had service.

 

This particular Sunday was given over to the Deaf Ministry to honor 20 years of outreach to the deaf community.  The worship, preaching, testimonies, and altar call, were all led by a deaf minister who is a member of the church.  The Deaf Ministry is not separate from the hearing church, but is incorporated into the whole life of the church through dedicated workers who interpret every week and minister to those who are marginalized in society and forgotten by most churches.  

 

I was moved as I watched men and women of all ages from the deaf community, some with additional handicaps, stand on the platform and sign the music for the hearing audience.  This Sunday, we had an interpreter telling us what was being said, not the other way around.  The deaf minister testified that at his other church, where he was on staff, he shared with the hearing pastor his passion for getting the gospel to the deaf community so that they too could know of forgiveness of sins and of God’s saving power through Jesus.  The hearing pastor told him that it wasn’t important to get the gospel to the deaf community because they would all be allowed in heaven without ever hearing the gospel.  He was shocked by such a view and left that church.  The deaf minister had/has a clear understanding of  the power of the gospel to change the hearts of men and women.  Deaf people are sinners too, in need of the saving grace of the Lord.  A repentant heart means a changed life, even for the deaf.  

 

As I watched all this, I thought that this was a clear picture of the works that we were to be engaged in to further the Kingdom of God.   Works that clearly and unapologetically present the gospel….not a gospel of fluff and grace, and easy believism,…..but a gospel that presents the bad news first, our need for salvation and then the good news of God’s mercy and grace.  I watched as the interpreters were recognized for 20 years of service.  No TV cameras or press coverage was there.  These were good works.   This was furthering the Kingdom of God.

 

I listened to the announcement about the last details coming together for the Family Life Ministry which is to open soon for unwed mothers.  A home which the church wants to use to  serve those who are unwed and expecting, so as to save the life of the child from abortion and to just as importantly present the gospel to an unwed mother so that the Holy Spirit would change her life.  This is a good work.  This is what the Kingdom of God is about, sharing the gospel, the bad news and the good news, so to change hearts, so that Jesus is served and Jesus is Lord.  Many people have been working for months to get this ministry ready, and many people are ready to work once the ministry is open.  This is the work we are to be engaged in for the good of the community.

 

I thought of the five bus routes, and dedicated bus workers,  who each week get up early to get on  buses and go out to some of the poorer areas around our community to pick up mostly kids, and a few adults,  to bring them to church and Sunday School to teach them the Word of God and to present the gospel.  Periodically, one of the bus kids comes forward in church for baptism testifying to the saving grace of Jesus Christ in their life.  Permission is secured first from their home and many times, other family members end up coming to church and staying because a dedicated bus worker picked up their child week after week to bring them to church.  This is a good work.  The gospel changes hearts, changes families, and changes communities.  This is the Kingdom of God.   

 

I thought back to this past summer, to the Vacation Bible School program in which five different satellite locations were also used to take the Word and work of God into the poorer commuities.  The church holds the larger VBS on its grounds, but there are workers who take VBS to other locations at the same time, so that kids in the poorer neighborhoods, can be given a Bible and hear a clear presentation of the gospel every night along with VBS activities.  I recall seeing some of the adult men share the gospel one on one with some of the adults who came to ask questions.  There is no glitz or glamour in this. No press coverage.  There is an element of danger from the gangs.  This a good work; this is the Kingdom of God being built to change hearts, to call people to repentance.

 

There are many more daily ongoing works that I could list, the Food Pantry, those who go door to door on Visitation night to present the gospel to those whose names were given by others for follow-up work,  funeral meals for grieving families, works for widows, etc.  All this is done weekly at the church.  All these works are done in conjunction with a clear presentation of the gospel, not in lieu of hearing the gospel. 

 

We don’t have to cancel church services to try to get the attention of a community to do a “social gospel”.  We understand that the gospel has the power to change lives and we use every opportunity to spread its message whenever we can, not with bait and switch techniques, or to follow after John Ortberg of Willow Creek’s fame, Faith In Action Sunday Program, that wants churches to shut their doors and call the TV stations.

 

We are not to seek after the world’s approval.  But this is exactly what is taking place with The Don’t Go To Church, Be The Church campaign.  Those who follow such a market-driven format seek the world’s approval.   Jesus warned us that the world would hate us because of the gospel.  He said that we would endure persecution because of it and some would lose their life.  That’s why I gave a couple of examples in my  previous article of Nazarene pastors being executed for presenting the gospel. 

To lead congregations into believing the Kingdom of God is about cancelling services and doing social services for a community, is an insult to the blood of these Nazarene pastors and their families and to those who are faithful to verbalize the message of the gospel to those in their community without compromise.      

 

Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

       

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