LTRP Note: For over a decade, Lighthouse Trails has been issuing warnings regarding the Church of the Nazarene’s embracing of contemplative and emergent teachings (i.e., Spiritual Formation). We have focused largely on the numerous Nazarene universities that have been training future Nazarene pastors with these unbiblical teachings. In 2004, our editors spoke with Dr. Jim Diehl (then a General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene) who called us because he read A Time of Departing (the book that exposes contemplative spirituality) and found it right on. We told him at that time what was happening in the Nazarene schools. Sadly, the many warnings by LT and others for so many years have gone unheeded. The following letter by a Nazarene couple is further proof of that.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I have been a fan of your ANA (Anti New Age) materials for a while. You have been the center of a lot of books, booklets, and research as our family has been reconsidering our membership in the Church of the Nazarene. We recently left the denomination and ordered some booklets to give out to the board to help us explain why. The new pastor did not even allow us one last meeting with them!
One board member did contact us and came to our house for a talk. She took two of the booklets and said she would read them, but we have not heard from her about them since. I think that’s been three or four weeks now.
Mostly, she just did not believe that the Nazarenes are involved in any of this. I tried to explain it to her by examples from the sermons, but she just said we misunderstood what was being taught. We told her of some of the things we had been reading on the Concerned Nazarene Facebook page, and she still would not believe.
Then last week, John, my husband, found a link to Lighthouse Trails on one of Manny Silva’s posts. We had not realized that you had a whole slew of information on just us! Suddenly, we felt like we were not so alone anymore. He was excited when he showed it to me.
Manny, as a “Concerned Nazarene,” is often seen as just one of a fringe group of whiners. This includes us, of course. But you are on the outside looking in, and could be seen as a more objective third party. That is what I am hoping for, anyway.
Well, I had hopes of gathering videos together to refer folks to. That may be more efficient than explaining our concerns in a sudden, more informal setting. I had hoped to have it all done by the time we left, but one particular sermon was the last straw! We weren’t finished with our meetings with the pastor, but we left anyway. We were done—for a while.
But John does not want to burn all of the bridges. Even if we can still make a difference in one congregation, he wants us to still try. We drafted a letter to the board, saying we were stepping back for a while.
In the meantime, really for the last couple of years or more, we had been looking for a new church to attend. We are at______________________for now. We want to be very cautious.
What I would like to do next, if you could allow it, is to use some of your articles to make a special playlist. I want to do a separate video for each article on the Nazarenes and put all of the links in the descriptions. I would especially place links to your pages on colleges that do and do not teach spiritual formation.
A second permission I would like to get, although I do not know if it is yours to give, is to make videos just reading some of your booklets. Particularly, to start with the two I wanted to hand out: The Big Picture, and Five Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer.
Thank-you for all of your hard work in the ANA field and the great help your booklets have been in helping us understand what it is we are up against. For years, we thought it was a local problem and just left congregations with young new pastors that made broad sweeping and unbiblical changes. Lighthouse Trails and Concerned Nazarenes have helped us understand the whole scope.
John and Sarah
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