Friday, April 22, 2011

Ten Questions For The Nazarene Church

Ten Questions for the Nazarene Church
By Kevin Probst

Dear Church of the Nazarene,

I love the Nazarene Church. My family and I attend a Nazarene Church in Columbus, Georgia. Nazarene churches in this area are very orthodox. But certain beliefs and certain people who promote non-biblical ideas have been permitted to infiltrate some areas of the Nazarene Church.
Some questions presented to fellow Nazarenes:

1. Are Nazarenes aware of and concerned about the loss of 10,000 Nazarenes over the last four years because of the emergent influence and mysticism in the church? (April 14, OneNewsNow)

2. Why did Northwestern Nazarene University participate in Brian McLaren’s “Allelon Ministry in a Postmodern Context Conference” several years ago?

3. Why did NNU participate in participated in the "Renovare Spiritual Formation Conference" with Richard Foster several years ago?

4. Many Nazarenes are proud of perhaps the most famous Nazarene in America, James Dobson. Why did Focus on the Family feature Gary Thomas who is a proponent of contemplative prayer? Thomas encourages his readers to “choose a word ... as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing" Jesus didn’t teach this eastern mysticism approach to prayer. Jesus said, when you pray say, “Our Father in heaven…”

5. Why is MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, KS, Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, OH, and Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN promoting Contemplative Spirituality?

6. Why did the Nazarene Church promote and provide their pastors with a contemplative approach to spiritual practices by providing a seminar in a Catholic contemplative location called the San Pedro Center. Dr. Alden Sproull, the founder of Kairos: Center for Spiritual Formation, led the contemplative services schedule prior to the General Assembly in Orlando, Florida in 2009. Dr. Sproull’s website lists martial arts, yoga, and labyrinth walking among other contemplative practices.

7. What was Jay McDaniel promoting at NNU? A student asked McDaniel what Jesus meant when he said “I am the way, the truth and the light.” McDaniel answered that If Jesus was referring to himself he would have displayed an arrogance and egocentricity that would have been out of character. Jesus was simply pointing them in the right direction. See video of Jay McDaniel here: David Alexander, the president of the university later defended his decision to allow Jay McDaniel to come. McDaniel stated “it is the duty and responsibility of the university to make ourselves and our students aware of the world’s religions, sects and quests for God.” Perhaps this is true, but inviting a steady stream of heretical speakers (Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, etc) seems to be a little over the top.

8. Was Joe Staniforth removed from his position as missionary in the Nazarene Church because he took a stand against the infiltration of the emergent movement in the church or is there more to his story that we don’t know?

9. Why is there a group so concerned about the failure of the church to address the emergent movement that they have formed their own movement?

10. Again, let me reiterate, I love the Nazarene Church. There may be legitimate answers to the previous questions. If you have answers, please assist me in my search for truth.

Prayerfully Submitted,
Kevin P. Probst

Kevin Probst - Is a teacher of Apologetics and History at Calvary Christian School and Associate Pastor of Crosspointe Nazarene Church church in Columbus, Georgia.

1 comment:

  1. Kevin,

    An excellent article in April. A challenge to Nazarenes. Wesley would agree. In a letter to Dr. Rutherforth in 1768 Wesley said of mystical men that they, "suppose the dreams of their imagination to be revelation from God (Works 6:351)." Wesley also wrote in his Journal of a conversation with Mr. Simpson. While Wesley believed him to be sincere, he said Simpson "is led into a thousand mistakes by one wrong principle, the making inward impressions his rule of action..." Wesley recognized emotional episodes were the result of hysteria rather than the Holy Spirit. Wesley also warned of "expecting knowledge... without searching the Scriptures (Works 11:429)" which are in his words "the only certain test (Works 9:12)." He also criticized the Quakers for attending to an "inner voice" which he claimed undermined the authority of the Scriptures (Works 1:334).