My support of the LGBTQ+ community is no secret. I’ve written about my trial and shared other articles about the culture of fear emerging in the Church of the Nazarene. The situation is not improving. Last month, the ecclesiastical machinery defrocked pastor Dee Kelley over the LGBTQ+ debate. Even as I write, they are moving toward filing charges against other pastors for similar reasons.
HAVE YOU NOTICED THE BLATANT HYPOCRISY IN WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Consider that the Articles of Faith (AOF) mention nothing about the LGBTQ+ community. But there is a clear Nazarene AOF about Scripture. Our view of Scripture isn’t casually mentioned or alluded to. It is specific and the entire AOF spells out how a Nazarene should view the Bible. See for yourself:
“We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.” (Manual 2017-2021, Church of the Nazarene)
Think of the phrase, …”inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation,” We believe the Bible is spot on when it comes to getting us to heaven. Our AOF regarding Scripture doesn’t teach that the Bible is a history book or science book. To say, “The Bible is either all true or it isn’t” is a statement contrary to the AOF.
In spite of this, many ordained Nazarene pastors teach and proclaim the doctrine of inerrancy. This is not news. These pastor who teach contrary to the AOF about Scripture go uncheck.
- They don’t worry about getting a certified letter from their District Superintendent informing them charges were filed against them.
- They don’t stay awake at night worried about getting fired.
- They don’t parse their words on Facebook for fear of screenshots being sent to their District Superintendent.
ZERO ordained elders who teach inerrancy have been charged with “teaching doctrine contrary to the Church of the Nazarene.” And yet, this is exactly what they are doing. Why are they given a pass?
For example, last week the subject of inerrancy was debated on a Facebook group devoted to Nazarene theology. An ordained elder on the Iowa District, who pastors a hispanic work, defended his belief in inerrancy. He added that he has taught this doctrine for twenty years. He went on to assert that his district superintendent and most pastors on the district share his view about Scripture. And yet, no one has brought charges against him. Odd, since he is in a teaching role and teaching contrary to an AOF.
Are you seeing the hypocrisy in our denomination and the leaders?
Our failure as a denomination isn’t that we still have LGBTQ+ affirming pastors. No. Our failure as a denomination is that we have failed to defend our position about AOF #4.
This failure is as devastating as the results of the Titanic hitting the iceberg. Unless the Board of General Superintendents correct this failure, our denomination may sink into the icy waters of oblivion.
If you think this is making an iceberg out of an icecube it can only mean you don’t get it. But I wish you would. I wish you could grasp that it isn’t the debate about affirming pastors we need to focus on. If we are going to bring charges against pastors and drag their butts through a church trial let it be for teaching doctrine contrary to AOF #4. This is where the battle for the heart and soul of our denomination should focus.
Why aren’t gatekeepers focused on the real problem in our church? I don’t understand. But I recognize hypocrisy when I see it.
Meanwhile, the band on the deck plays Holiness Unto the Lord while some gatekeeprs search for affirming pastors to put on trial.
I hope we’ve not taken on too much water and that the Church of the Nazarene can be saved.