has anyone seen/heard about this? Any comments??
Perhaps this was discussed on the previous board prior to the crash
Yes Nelson this has been a highly debated site. Rich Schmidt just recently made reference to it in his KJV only post on the theology forum.
It has been thoroughly discussed on the theology forum, before the crash.
He sees himself as a "watchmen" and "defender of the the true faith". He sees any objection to his position as "persecution" for his righteousness which he uses to validate himself as a "true believer". He does make some good points about legitimate concerns but unfortunately largely mischaracterizes the positions of others and charges anyone and everyone (including Nazarene leaders, Pastors and teachers) as a "heretic" through "guilt by association" if they associate in any way with things like the "emergent church" conversation or anything that seems to Catholic in practice. The most critical element of who is a "real Christian" seems for him and other "Concerned Nazarenes" to be the belief in the inerrancy of scripture.
I honestly don't know of any New England District Pastors who attended this April 10th meeting. I did here a passing remark about an invitation that might have been sent to all New England District Pastors but don't know of anyone who actual got an invite.
From the video on his blog, I would have had a very difficult time remaining silent or even remaining present.
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
As an old fashioned Nazarene who believes we should hold to the original message of the doctrine as researched and presented by my dad's old friend, H. Orton Wiley whose book was used by Dr. Eugene Stowe in my undergraduate course in Biblical Theology, I decry this wind of doctrine which was prophesied in the scriptures to be a sign of the last days. My sister has told me that her pastor is leaving the Nazarene denomination to proceed with graduate work at another seminary and afterward will seek a pastoral call with another or independent group as he is fed up with this whole emergent church trend as unBiblical and denying our holiness heritage. We certainly don't need any Marxist ideologs infiltrating, adulterating and undermining the true message of the Gospel of Saving Grace.
Last edited by Jim Franklin; April 28th, 2010 at 06:01 PM.
If change is inevitable, does the problem lie with change or the way we deal with that change? It saddens me that your sister's pastor would leave the denomination rather than try to be part of a solution to what he perceived as a problem. If the church has a message worth living and dying for then I think we should be willing to engage people that don't agree with us in honest conversation. It's probably the least we can do.
He says in the video, starting around 14:50 --
There's a part of me that wants to believe that this isn't really happening, that no one is being forced out of their church simply because they are asking questions... but Manny knows several, and I've read posts or comments from some. That truly saddens me. I hope that if someone were asking those questions in the church I pastor, I would answer them patiently, thoroughly, and gracefully. Sure, they might decide to leave the church if they don't like my answers to their questions... but that would be their choice. And I would be sad to see them go.They [emergent Nazarene pastors] are forcing long-time members to leave their church if they dare to question anything. I won't have time to go into it now, but I am a result of that questioning. And I know many across the country who have given similar stories to me of how they were forced to leave their church of years and years because they dared to question what was going on.
If Manny's situation is to be representative, though.... I don't think he was forced to leave his church. I think he has said that he and his family felt they had to leave because they disagreed so strongly with the emergent stuff that was being promoted in their church. That's different from being forced out of a church, if you ask me. But I could be wrong about Manny's story. I'm going from fuzzy memories of what I've read on his blog and the Concerned Nazarenes page on Facebook. Maybe Manny will stop by here and clear that part up.
Either way.... it's still sad.
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)
I think that what some of you are seeing in Manny is his response to leadership that has responded with ridicule rather than reason.
My perspective on the process is that in many cases, churches are dying. Their constituent population is mostly people over 60, heading toward 70, with a conservative, evangelistic outlook on church and what's it's for, and what moral causes should be at the heart of it.
New pastors come into these churches (or the existing pastors realize that their churches are dying) and they take steps to become more contemporary, perhaps even more postmodern. They introduce contemporary worship, more discussion, they bring in work by more modern (sometimes emergent) authors. They hold 40 days of purpose events, etc. They switch to a more contemporary bible, like the NLT or the ESV.
The old guard grow alarmed by what they've been taught to see for decades as a watering down of scripture, a moving away from reliable sources of teaching and worship to new, Emergent means. They look online for information about these writers, and the majority of what they find on the web is people who are like them, who think like them, talking about how these are false teachers looking to lead the youth of the nation astray. They become more alarmed, and speak urgently to their pastor about the need to maintain (what they're used to) proper biblical teaching, worship, and practice, and the pastor makes it clear that he's more interested in the church growing, than in maintaining some antiquated measure of spirituality.
And then they leave, angry. Some of them find more conservative churches to attend, where the "safe ways" are practiced (my parents are in that kind of quandry right now) while others decide that there's a war on, and they go looking for others to help fight the good fight with them.
They aren't doing this because they're particularly mean spirited, or against God. They are actively concerned, Godly people, whose entire culture is being overturned, and are fighting against it.
I would venture, btw. in the manner of David P.'s article on the subject, that the actual issue of these churches is not how contemporary they are, but rather how they incarnate Christ in the world. It's not how contemporary your worship or your message series is, it's whether they can see Christ in you.
There has been a long line of similar responses for our entire history. Many on either side of some imaginary line have chosen to leave. Some of those have eventually returned, others have made such a scene that return just couldn't happen. One of my greatest concerns is that it can be damagingly distracting from mission.
A few years back I was asked to work with a young worship leader at another church (not Nazarene), this church was somewhat traditional, yet open minded and forward looking. Their music program had slowly deteriorated over the years to a young woman singing while her husband played guitar. Their abilities weren't the problem, nor was their desire and commitment, but their lack of confidence was contagious and the result was very sad to watch. Enter this talented young man with confidence to spare. Between his family and congregants he pieced together a decent team talent wise. Drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and piano, his vocal talents were pretty good and his sister was a talented vocalist as well.
But tolerance was not his strong suit. He insisted that the congregation would be singing that which God had given him, actually heard him say it out loud once. He was frustrated that very few in the congregation would sing along, yet rather than reach out to their level to minister, he doubled down on his efforts toward excellence. Practice twice a week, lectures toward the sound and visual people. The end result was a congregation that came each Sunday to a concert rather than a time of worship, the end result was his leaving the church defeated and with a downcast spirit. It was sad to watch. I just recall this to show that it isn't always the cranky old folk that resist change. We need to be uniters!
I haven't had to do this yet... but we're a new church, so if people show up and don't like our approach or our take on things, they don't stick around to duke it out. They just don't come back. But if I did have to do this, I imagine it would take several months, and at least a dozen conversations, before it would reach that point... unless the person was extremely disruptive.
And, again, I have no idea how the conversations between Manny and his pastor played out. His pastor's breaking point may have been very different from my own. It is clear that it was a rough experience for Manny. I imagine it was a rough experience for his pastor, too.
When one has taken it upon oneself to define the "rules" of orthodoxy, it's easy to find heretics.
The situation isn't so difficult. If you want to be a Nazarene, abide by what the Church teaches, as the BoGS has recently once again explained. It's not so hard to unite there, if you want. And if you don't agree, hey, God's kingdom is a lot bigger than the CotN. Seek a place where you can be a blessing, I'm sure the Lord will guide you. It's what I would do.
The classic historical example is the UK Prime Minister Lord Neville Chamberlain's 1938 Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler, which allowed Germany to annex part of Czechoslovakia (the Sudentenland). Lord Chamberlain proclaimed "peace with honor" and "peace in our time." Just a few months later in March of 1939, Hitler invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia, and in September of 1939 invaded Poland sparking World War II.
There is an interesting parallel in the current USA TV series 24. In the story line, the USA president is committed to a peace treaty that would bring peace and stability to the Middle East (the IRK, or Islamic Republic of Kamistan is a symbolic Middle Eastern Muslim nation). After a series of setbacks, she declares that the treaty must be signed "no matter the cost." That begins her rapid descent into lying, cover-ups, political intrigue, torture, and murder.
Of course, this is not so externally dramatic. The point is that peace, or unity, cannot be the only goal "no matter the cost." There are many places in Scripture, including Jesus' teaching, which point out that commitment to God will bring conflict (for example, Matt 10:34). That is no excuse to go looking for a fight, or to assume a righteous crusade to force others to believe as I do. But it does suggest a simple reality. Some things are polar opposites that will not and cannot be combined.
I think that is why Jesus did NOT say, "Make sure that you have no enemies." Rather he said
Luke 6:27 "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 6:29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 6:30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.Grace and Peace,
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
To tell the truth I have had exchanges with Manny last year that would seem to make some progress toward civility. Both of us agreeing that maybe we hold our position too tightly, then enter Tim into the mix and Manny reverts right back to his original hardline place.
Now that you mention it, I can see deep hurt. See it in the tactics of lashing out. But It probably runs deeper than just how he was treated in church.
If he was as vocal and used the tactics he uses as a CN, then maybe he was being disruptive and wouldn't accept counsel from leadership. What do you do in such situations, when someone is undermining your authority as Pastor, stirring up strife amongst the congregation? Hebrews 13:17 tells us to trust our leaders and not rebel against them, to not make their already stressful job more stressful. Now I have NO idea that this was what happened with Manny. I am extrapolating from public exchanges with him on FB and from reading his blog.
Bottom line I wish Manny well and he is in my prayers. But, I can no longer enter into dialog with him.
(Come to find out the reason this couple left was our lack of Sunday school after church-something I am always for)
We probably shouldn't go too far down this rabbit trail as it's way way way off of the topic of the thread and could really blow up.
Grace and Peace,
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