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Posts Tagged ‘emergent’

The following letter was sent to me by a friend  who shares my concerns.  I contacted the writer of this letter and received her permission to post it for all of you to read.

 

Good Morning Tim,

I just wanted you to know that I got such a blessing and answer to prayer last night.   It was at the Central Ohio District Assembly this week.

Dr. Diehl our G.S. spoke.  I was not able to attend except for last night when we had the Ordination service.   It was my first.   Our youth pastor was being ordained and felt I needed to be there.   The Lord impressed on me to go but I didn’t know why, other than to support our youth pastor and his wife.   Well, as Dr. Diehl began to speak he used the same passage that our pastor had used this past week.   My jaw dropped, the cat was out of the bag.   I have been having a hard time with having to keep what I know about what is happening in the church to myself.   I wanted to get my facts straight and give my pastor the time to research also.   Besides who would I tell?   Then it would get back to the person who is helping bring it into our church.   I was going to meet with my pastor and see if we could get a plan together to educate our church on this.

Dr. Diehl beat me to it.   He spoke on it last night using the passage in First Corinthians 16:13-14:  Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.   Do everything in love.

He spoke against the emergent church movement in the Nazarene Church;  he even used the words new age.   He spoke it with passion.   My pastor was up front and I was in the back.   This is at Grove City, a big church.   I think he could hear me.  I had tears in my eyes the whole time he spoke.   My pastor knows for sure now that the battle is real

We need to pray for General Assembly.   I am so grateful that Dr. Diehl is so against this.   I am going to try to share what is going on in our church with my Sunday School class tomorrow. Our teacher may not know about it.  

Thank you for all you do.   I will keep you posted on how it is going.   Now to deal with the Walk to Emmaus also.   The Catholic Church just keeps coming in.   I wish they were not the church that had started all of this, but I must keep fighting.   I will not compromise the Word of God at any cost!   As Dr. Diehl put it last night, I will die first.

Feel free to share this story.   We will have someone fighting for us at General Assembly.   I wish I could be there. 
VADA LYNNE ROSS
 HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

end of letter

 

I am glad that Dr. Diehl has the backbone to stand up and speak out about what is happening to the Nazarene denomination.  May the Lord enlarge his camp! 

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Here is a link from Slice of Laodicea.  The post reveals that Open Theism is taught at some Nazarene universities. 

What is Open Theism?  It’s yet another attack on the power and sovereignty of God who knows the beginning from the end.  Open theism teaches….maybe  God does NOT know the future.    

http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/false-teaching/open-theism-heretics-join-scientists-at-azusa-pacific-seminar

 

Here is the link that is referenced in Slice of Laodicea’s post about the presenters at the Open Theology Conference.   Be sure to look at all the Nazarene professors and pastors who are participants and endorsers of Open Theism by clicking on the Participants link.

http://www.enc.edu/opentheo/

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I believe that the hyperbole surrounding global warming is based on junk science and an environmental agenda.  Carbon is looked on as an environmental threat that is poised to destroy the planet if WE don’t reduce our carbon output.  

 

Carbon has been around since creation and is a vital part of the cycle of life.  Plants thrive on carbon and depend on it to live through a process called respiration.   ( Perhaps Rob Bell should do a Nooma called Respiration; I digress.)  People who operate greenhouses will sometimes introduce carbon dioxide into their greenhouses to help speed up the growing schedule in their plants if they lag behind and they want to meet a customer deadline.  It’s through the process of respiration that the plants take in the carbon and put out oxygen which is vital for our health.  The respiration process is another amazing God created (not an evolved process) and ordained way of revealing His majesty and sovereignty through creation.

 

The global warming and environmental agenda are also a part of the emergent church movement.   Their logo is a green leaf in the shape of a lower case ‘e’ which stands for emergent, earth friendly, unity, peace.  I see many references to environmental issues being pushed in our Nazarene colleges, as I have seen in their quarterly publications and from  other Nazarene publicatons.  Again, as stated in my previous post , I believe we need to be good stewards of our environment and not abuse God’s provisions.  What I am trying to point out is a pattern of  environmental liberal agendas that have attached themselves to the emergent church and infiltrated the Nazarene colleges.  Somehow the great commission came to include, or become more focused on saving the plant and being a community in the process.

 

This focus on a perceived environment threat seems to fit in well with a global agenda of unity of governmental control  and regulations over people.   Every big and small business person will be affected by the cost of implented controls.  Every consumer will be affected by higher costs.   As a past business owner, I would often take note of who the supporters were of liberal causes which  affected me, my family, business, and employees.

 

I listended online to Trevecca University’s president speak at the M7 Conference in 2007 on Teaching Revelation to Today’s Postmodern Crowd.  In the beginning of his talk he tells the listeners that we “ought to read Revelation through environmental eyes.”  You can listen to it online here:  

  http://www.m7conference.org/ResurrectionStories/tabid/181/Default.aspx

 

Another pattern I find within the emergent church movement is a downplaying of the Book of Revelation as being just a story, as well as a downplaying and redefining of Scripture to re-interpret what is written.    

 

Many evangelicals and Nazarene leaders seem to have be on board with  the Global Warming agenda and  have signed a document stating that they are concerned. 

Take note of the Nazarene signers to:

THE  EVANGELICAL  CLIMATE  INITIATIVE

http://christiansandclimate.org/learn/call-to-action/signatories/

Also, take note of some of the more popular emergent signers such as Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Alan Hirsh, Jim Wallis, Tim Keel, etc.

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The following is a list of some of the speakers that have been welcomed onto the campus and/or chapel pulpit of MVNU.

These speakers promote differing elements of emergent, liberal, and contemplative,  eastern/new age, or Catholic philosophies and practices to students.  
Welcoming these speakers to MVNU’s campus in an undebated or biased format is the same as endorsing and giving validity to their views and to the speaker’s published books to the students.

You will need to research these people for yourself.  One research tool is Lighthouse Trails Research located on the sidebar. 

 

2003  Chapel Schedule

October 8 – 9th  –  Brennan Manning  

2004 Chapel Schedule

October 27  –  Tony Campolo

March 29 – 30th  –  Prayer Labyrinth set up on campus

2005 Chapel Schedule

October 3 – 13th  –  Prayer Walk set up on campus

April 4 – 12th  –  Prayer Labyrinth set up on campus

2006 Chapel Schedule

October 8 – 18th  –  Prayer Walk set up on campus

October 11th  –  Tony Campolo

2008  Chapel Schedule

February 13th  –  Shane Claiborne  http://www.mvnu.edu/news/PressReleases/0708/claiborne.asp

November 19 – 21st  –  Brennan Manning scheduled, but cancelled due to illness

2008 Lecture/Artist Series

September  –  Dr. Christian Scharen

October  –  Dr. Eddie Gibbs

May 4th  –  Walter Brueggemann  http://www.mvnu.edu/news/PressReleases/0708/brueggemann.asp

2008 Youth Pastors/Directors Workshop  

May 6th –  Jon Middendorf     http://www.mvnu.edu/news/PressReleases/0708/youthleap.asp

2009 LEAP Seminar

May 7th  –  J.P. Moreland                  http://www.mvnu.edu/churchrelations/LEAP/moreland.asp

 

Prayer Walks and Prayer Labyrinths are somewhat similar in that they have 11 stations in which the participant engages in some form of experiential activity to make them feel a spiritual experience.   These practices come from Roman Catholicism.  I personally viewed the Prayer Walk at MVNU in 2006.  These forms of prayer practices are not found in the Bible, but teach a piestic, works-based method of encountering God.

For a good understanding of what a Prayer Labyrinth and Prayer Walks are typically like, go to this link and view it.  Listen carefully to how Scripture is used out of context and distorted.     http://www.yfc.co.uk/labyrinth/online.html

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Here is a short 6 minute clip from a Paul Washer sermon about the death of Jesus and the cost.

May we all take a moment today to reflect on the reason God sent His only Son into the world so that He could provide the only way possible for mankind to be saved from His righteous wrath on sin.   What grace is this?  That God should pour out Himself to save man from future condemnation? 

Do we really understand the cost?  Do we really understand what we were saved from?  What about those who don’t know because we don’t want to offend them?  Pray for boldness.  Pray for trust in the Holy Spirit to work in men’s hearts through the hearing of His Word.

Romans 10:17   So then faith comes by hearing , and hearing by the word of God.

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I recommend this 71 page book written by W.E. McCumber, a Nazarene pastor.  It is called:  “This Jesus” –  God’s One and Only Son, Our One and Only Savior

thisjesus11

An excerpt from his website states:

“This Jesus”
God’s One and Only Son
Our One and Only Savior    

Let me tell you why I wrote this little book.
First of all, I love Jesus and I welcome any means of telling others about Him.  Second, I am troubled by “emergent theory” that is moving toward an “emergent church.”
Leaders of this “conversation” or “movement” call themselves “post-modern” and I guess if you need a tag that one is about as good as another. My concern about them springs from their distortions of Scripture and their diminishing of Jesus …
More disturbing to me is the fact that the Jesus they talk about is not the Jesus of Scripture …
Only the Jesus disclosed to us in the New Testament is relevant to our times and adequate for our salvation. To diminish Him is to destroy ourselves.
(taken from “Introduction” of “This Jesus”)

 

For ordering infomation, go to his website:    http://wemccumber.com/

 

Pastor McCumber’s book does not cover all the concerning elements of the emergent church movement and the spiritual formation movement; it merely focuses on one aspect, and that being the ECM and SFM’s redefining of who Jesus really is.   The author writes about how Scripture truly reveals who Jesus really is……and not another Christ who has been reformed and redefined into a social justice seeking community organizer, or our best buddy ready to meet us at the local pub, or journey with us through the campus labyrinth.

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The following is a letter sent to me that reads like many other letters that I’m seeing these days from those in the church who see something amiss and try to alert those in authority only to be dismissed as divisive.

 

 

If you haven’t read Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 34 in awhile, now would be a good time to read it again.  This is what is taking place today in the church.  The sheep are being scattered.  People are leaving their churches, who have embraced the latest fads that appeal to the world, to find spiritual nourishment at other churches who still hold to a high standard of Biblical teaching and a believer’s church philosophy.

  

 

I am sharing this story with my fellow Nazarenes not to be divisive or cause disunity (is that a word?). . . but to open peoples’ eyes to what they may be occurring in their own church.  I am changing my name, my husband’s name and the church’s name because it is not my desire to cause any problems for anyone involved.

 

I and my husband were raised in the Nazarene church, went to a Nazarene college and my father-in-law was a Nazarene pastor.  We have always been fairly open-minded. . . We like hymns, but sing choruses just as well. . . don’t mind drums and guitar. . . have attended churches that double as gymnasiums. . . no problem.

 

When we started attending “X Church of the Nazarene” (XCN) we were immediately drawn in.  We became very involved, built very, very strong friendships and really felt like we were “growing spiritually”.  This seemed to me like just about the most amazing, alive, growing church I had ever been a part of.  The pastor was wonderful.  We had him VERY high on a pedestal and felt very cheated when we missed his sermons.

 

We attended that church for maybe a year and a half all together, I guess.  We told everyone we knew how wonderful this church was, how wonderful the people were and how full of love the pastor was . . . and meant every word completely.  We secretly gave . . . gave to the pastor when he had financial need, gave to friends who were in need, gave whenever there was a need, tithed over and above.  The pastor called us “one of the pillars of the church”.  He said something to the effect that we were the unofficial leaders of the young adults.

 

Things changed, however, with three situations:

 

One was when we started being introduced to the teachings of a pastor named Rob Bell.  His series “Nooma” (which is a phonetical spelling of “pneuma”, meaning breath. . . you’ll understand as you read further) started being used in morning worship.  On the surface, these teachings sounded biblically sound and were deep and thought-provoking.  One couple that we were very good friends with at XCN encouraged us to read his book, “Velvet Elvis”.  She (the wife, who was also on the church board) said that the pastor asked the church board to read this book.  They had apparently read it and been crazy about it.  (More about this later.) 

 

The second was when my husband was at the mens’ Bible study at XCN (he had just started going to this) and they were asked to close their eyes and start meditating.  Now we do believe that the Bible says to meditate on God’s Word, but we never understood it to mean clearing your mind and closing your eyes in a group, etc.  This concerned my husband, along with a particular “Nooma” that stated that Peter sank in the water because he didn’t have faith in himself not Jesus.  I really scoffed at my husband’s concerns. . . after all this is a NAZARENE CHURCH we are talking about, not Jehovah’s Witness or a cult!!  When you are born and raised in a denomination, you are much less likely to question its teachings.

 

The third was when another couple, our close friends, who were new Christians told us that our pastor told them during membership class that the Nazarene denomination did not have a problem with drinking alcohol. 

 

Anyway, I decided to read the book “Velvet Elvis” for myself.  What I read was very shocking (and I sincerely hope and pray that you don’t subject yourself to reading this . . . it is a dangerous lie that will eat away your faith.  It took my several months to recover my ability to read my Bible without seeing it through the “eyes” of Velvet Elvis)  It reminded me of Satan in the garden when he said to Eve “Did God really tell you not to eat from the tree of life?” and went on to reshape her mind.

 

In my opinion, the whole premise of Velvet Elvis is that truth is not something you can be certain of. . . including the truth of the Bible, the truth of the story of Jesus (he may have just been a regular guy that got elevated to a tall tale.)  If you have seen the movie, The Da Vinci Code (which, by the way, was recommended by the pastor of XCN and, consequently, I watched.), you will understand what I am talking about.

 

ANYWAY, because our close friend who was on the board told us that

 

1)     The pastor called Rob Bell “HIS pastor”. . . in other words, the person he looks to for spiritual guidance. 

2)     They said that he listens to the sermons of this pastor online every week and that he wanted to be on Rob Bell’s staff.  And I myself had heard him singing the praises of Rob Bell. 

3)     I was told (can’t remember who by) that Velvet Elvis was recommended reading for the District.  I never confirmed this either way.

 

I decided that it was necessary for me to research this Rob Bell, because this was the direction where I saw my church heading. 

 

What I found were sermons that twisted the Word of God into CONTRADICTIONS of the Word of God by going back to the original Hebrew or Greek and then using an alternate meaning of that word.  In this way, he (for example) stated that Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself (A)testifies with our spirit that we are (B)children of God” was interpreted to mean that the Holy Spirit is attained by our spirit, which he took back to the original Hebrew (or Greek?) to mean “breath”.  He went on to say that if we need more of the Hol

Holy Spirit, we needed to do more deep breathing.  He actually taught breathing techniques during this sermon and he and the congregation participated in this for several minutes!  This sermon has been taken off of Rob Bell’s church site, but I do have a link that may still work.  He has also invited Directors of “spiritual centers” to come in and teach techniques to the congregation.

 

Anyone who is grounded in the Word of God and prayerfully prepares themselves can go to the Mars Hill website (this is the name of his church) and listen to several of his sermons.  It takes a discerning ear and the knowledge of the context of the scriptures he quotes to catch the subtle twists of scripture.  He is extremely skilled at making his point sound biblical when, in fact, it is contrary to scripture if read with full knowledge of the scripture.  (Most in his congregation are new/atypical “Christians” who have very little knowledge of the Bible.) 

 

All of the above was what led us to leave the church.  We first met with the pastor and discussed our concern about “Velvet Elvis”.  We were first told that this was recommended to the board in the same way you might recommend a book about Muslims, etc.  That it was to gain a defense against the ideas in the book. 

 

I asked the pastor to read my critique of the book and give me his thoughts on the same ideas.  He agreed and we set a date to meet again. 

 

In the meantime, I did the above research on Rob Bell and became increasingly concerned.  We emailed back and forth and talked on the phone.  What concerned me the most was that I found an outline of a series of sermons of Rob Bell’s and it was nearly IDENTICAL to an outline our pastor emailed to me during this time regarding the direction XCN was heading.  I took this as God’s confirmation to me that this was a serious problem and that it was not just my imagination.  Also in my research, I began to see a pattern of sermon imitation.  I noticed phrases, ideas and quotes of Rob Bell that were identical to what I had heard preached from the pulpit. 

 

Our pastor was concerned about his credentials (though I never thought of taking this above him).  He was also worried that we would take many of the young people with us if we left.  What we were hoping for is that he would just see something he had missed about Velvet Elvis and renounce it.  We did NOT want to leave our church.  We just wanted to open our pastor’s eyes about the dangerous path we were on. 

 

Unfortunately, when we met the second time (this time with a former D.S. at the pastor’s request so there would be a mediator (and in our case, a witness. . . someone of high respect in the church to help our pastor see the error). . . our pastor took a different stand.  He defended Rob Bell completely and let us know in no uncertain terms that we were wrong.  The former D.S. at first defended our pastor. . . but after we played the “Spirit” sermon I mentioned above, he became very concerned as well. 

 

If our pastor had shown us that night that he saw that Rob Bell was not someone he should look to for leadership and direction, we might still be at that church.   

 

We sorrowfully left that church.  I compared it to a horrible divorce.  We loved those people very deeply and miss them still. 

 

I want to be clear about one thing. . . there is nothing wrong with change.  There is nothing (in my opinion) wrong with music with a beat.  I believe that people who go into a church LOOKING for evil will find it in some form or other.  We are all human and we ALL have failures.  I am not writing this so people will go out and try to sniff out evil in their church. 

 

I am writing so that people won’t just take everything that is presented to them as truth. . . that you will be fully grounded, yourself, in the Bible. . . that you will have your eyes open to what direction your church is heading (and hopefully head it off at the pass if it goes this direction) and most of all, that you won’t be deceived by the lies that are so rampant in the Emergent Church movement and similar movements and books.    

End of letter

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