Question:

I am a minister in the Church of the Nazarene and take offense to your article about the church. Interestingly I was raised in the Church of Christ until I left home in my late teens. Your rhetoric regarding the church is wrong-headed and malicious. It does not help the cause of Christ to bash another denomination who has done much for the kingdom in terms of missionary efforts and the promotion of holy living. I have found that Church of Christ people can be very exclusive, legalistic and dogmatically stubborn to the point of doing damage to sincere followers even within their own denomination - and yet I am ever grateful for the fact that I found Christ within the doors of a Church of Christ building and was nurtured by its people. You are a brother in Christ. I urge you to stop hateful speech toward any branch of the Church - you are besmirching Christ's bride in doing so.


Answer:

Quite a strong reaction to an article written by a former member of a denomination who found flaws in its teachings. I've always found it amusing how people condemn others for their judgment by using the very thing they supposedly dislike, and often in worse terms than what they are condemning.

The fact remains that brother Bronger documented both his experience and what he found wrong in the Church of the Nazarene. In this he followed God's command, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). You wish this information to be suppressed because it makes your chosen group look bad. Yet, no scriptural argument is made. The only thing wanted is for people to look at your "good works." It reminds me so much of what Jesus warned, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23).

No, Christ is not the head of a divided (denominational) church. There is only one church and one doctrine of faith (Ephesians 4:4-6). As Paul rhetorically asked, "Is Christ divided?" (I Corinthians 1:13). You've have answered, "yes." I will continue to the message of salvation: Christ is not divided. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

No, I won't be removing the article. But I am getting quite a collection of responses from your group documenting the same attitude towards those who disagree with you.