Table of Contents
M Landen 3-11-03
Roy from New Zealand 12-5-03
I found your article on the internet and was intrigued. I am a Nazarene,
and have been all my life, however that did not make me a Christian. I
accepted Christ at 18 and have been living with Him ever since. I'm not
writing you to argue the point of entire sanctification with you, I would never
do that. I just find your view point interesting. Just a though,
maybe you should study the doctrine ( look it up in the Manual for the CON --
article of faith #10) and you will see that it is not even close to what you
have perceived it to be.
here} So, when in my online essay I quote from Beacon
Hill and Nazarene Publishing House, and when I quote William Greathouse
and Purkiser, these are now somehow NOT normative for Nazarene theology just
because you say so??? Huh???? That's like saying the Pope doesn't speak for
Catholics. I think maybe YOU should read your own church's literature on this,
THEN come back to me.
I understand that you may have a beef with the Nazarene church, that comes out
pretty strong in your writing, and I'm OK with that. I just think that if
you take a look at the doctrine for what it actually is, not what you think it
is you won't be so quick to think that every Nazarene on the planet sees
themselves as perfect.
Mark here} It doesn't matter worth a rats ass what YOU believe. YOU
are not your church. I quoted from Nazarene Publishing House etc, and I think
they speak for the church more than you do.
that sanctification reconciles you with God (that is a scriptural truth, not a
doctrine), and therefore make you pure ONLY THROUGH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. I
know thousands of Nazarenes, and I don't know a single one that sees
himself/herself as perfect. I am sorry you have been led to believe that.
I'd be shocked if you actually took the time to research this further, but you
never know. Until then, I hope you take this for what it is. I am
not trying to "win your soul", or say the Nazarene church is perfect, I just
think that holiness is misunderstood by a lot of people when it doesn't have to
M Landen 3-11-03
Hey, in response to
your article, "Entire Sanctification=Entire Nonsense", I just thought you
might be interested to see more of the Nazarene doctrine (also, straight from
the Nazarene website). To cut and paste as you did in your article
allows the same kind interpretation as cutting and pasting scripture.
Looking at it as a whole changes meaning.
Hey to you too- how are things down at Trevecca??? I had a friend who went
to college there.
In answer to your (implied) accusation above that I took things out of
context (your "cut and paste" comment), maybe you'd like to give evidence to
your accusation that I took my quotes from NAZARENE books written by
NAZARENE scholars out of context, rather than just spout off??? Once again,
for the BILLIONTH time, a Christian confuses himself with his god, thinking
that he can just SAY something (with nothing to back it up) and
presto-chango "ex nihlo" it becomes FACT. Can you therefore, since you are
NOT Biblegod, back up your charge with some EVIDENCE I took ANYthing out of
context in those books???
No, of course not- you can't do that, for you've never even READ the books,
have you? For if you HAD read the books, you would have known that the
quotes I used were in no wise out of context. Again, it's easier to make
IGNORANT knee-jerk responses than to sit down, crack open a book, and do
some actual REAL research.
As to what THOSE Nazarene scholars contradicting maybe what OTHER Nazarene
scholars have said, welcome to the wonderful world of "Christians Just Can't
Stop Arguing Amongst Themselves"- what else is new? The Apostles used to
argue amongst themselves all the time and the tradition just grew from
OFFICIAL Nazarene governing body officially denounces the books (published
by the OFFICIAL "Nazarene Publishing House") and scholars in question, I and
everyone else with a BRAIN will keep on quoting from these books and
scholars. Sorry! And your long-winded quote (see below) from the
Nazarat web page IN NO WISE changes what Nazarene scholars Dr. Greathouse
and Dr. Purkiser said in their books published by the Nazarene church.
V. Sin, Original and Personal
5. We believe that sin came into the world through the disobedience of our
first parents, and death by sin. We believe that sin is of two kinds: original
sin or depravity, and actual or personal sin.
5.1. We believe that original sin, or depravity, is that corruption of the
nature of all the offspring of Adam by reason of which everyone is very far
gone from original righteousness or the pure state of our first parents at the
time of their creation, is averse to God, is without spiritual life, and
inclined to evil, and that continually. We further believe that original sin
continues to exist with the new life of the regenerate, until [eradicated]
the heart is fully cleansed by the baptism with the Holy Spirit.2
Mark here} You know, with such pompous claims as
these, you'd think the Nazarenes would have done studies and polls to
document that Nazarenes are by far the most moral and well-adjusted folks on
the planet. After all, IF what they are claiming is TRUE,
THEN Nazarenes would far outshine the rest of mankind in
righteousness. I'm willing to go out on a limb here, and guess the reason
such studies have never made the light of day is that THEY WOULD SHOW JUST
THE OPPOSITE- they would show that Nazarenes are NO BETTER than other
peoples; in fact, it MAY even show they are WORSE.
For further information on how Christianity doesn't
always live up to its pompous claims, see my "Christianity Doesn't Work as
Advertised" essay at: Morality
5.2. We believe that original sin differs from actual sin in that it
constitutes an inherited propensity to actual sin for which no one is
accountable until its divinely provided remedy is neglected or rejected.
5.3. We believe that actual or personal sin is a voluntary violation of a
known law of God by a morally responsible person. It is therefore not to be
confused with involuntary and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults,
mistakes, failures, or other deviations from a standard of perfect conduct
that are the residual effects of the Fall. However, such innocent effects do
not include attitudes or responses contrary to the spirit of Christ, which may
properly be called sins of the spirit. We believe that personal sin is
primarily and essentially a violation of the law of love; and that in relation
to Christ sin may be defined as unbelief.
6. We believe that Jesus Christ, by His sufferings, by the shedding of His
own blood, and by His [meritorious] death on the Cross, made a full atonement
for all human sin, and that this Atonement is the only ground of salvation,
and that it is sufficient for every individual of Adam's race. The Atonement
is graciously efficacious for the salvation of the irresponsible and for the
children in innocency but is efficacious for the salvation of those who reach
the age of responsibility only when they repent and believe.
Mark here} Regarding children reaching "the age of
responsibility", it would THEN be better (according to Christian logic) to
kill ALL children BEFORE they reach the age where MOST of them will REJECT
Jesus, would it not??? See my essay "Abortion: The Christian Thing to
Do" on my web page:
VII. [Free Agency] Prevenient Grace2
7. We believe that the human race's creation in Godlikeness included
ability to choose between right and wrong, and that thus human beings were
made morally responsible; that through the fall of Adam they became depraved
so that they cannot now turn and prepare themselves by their own natural
strength and works to faith and calling upon God. But we also believe that the
grace of God through Jesus Christ is freely bestowed upon all people, enabling
all who will to turn from sin to righteousness, believe on Jesus Christ for
pardon and cleansing from sin, and follow good works pleasing and acceptable
in His sight.
We believe that all persons, though in the possession of the experience of
regeneration and entire sanctification, may fall from grace and apostatize
and, unless they repent of their sins, be hopelessly and eternally lost.
8. We believe that repentance, which is a sincere and thorough change of
the mind in regard to sin, involving a sense of personal guilt and a voluntary
turning away from sin, is demanded of all who have by act or purpose become
sinners against God. The Spirit of God gives to all who will repent the
gracious help of penitence of heart and hope of mercy, that they may believe
unto pardon and spiritual life.
IX. Justification, Regeneration, and Adoption
9. We believe that justification is the gracious and judicial act of God by
which He grants full pardon of all guilt and complete release from the penalty
of sins committed, and acceptance as righteous, to all who believe on Jesus
Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior.
Mark here} Ahhhh, the old "Blank Check" morality
the Christians actually are brainless enough to BRAG about, rather than hide
in shame over. The belief that no matter HOW bad, just a simple "I'm sorry!"
wipes the slate clean as a baby's smile. Yes, old Adolf, a minute away from
death, had only to utter the magic words "I'm sorry" and presto! He's no
longer accountable for the actions of MURDERING millions and millions of
people- can't be prosecuted by Biblegod, can't even be hated by his FELLOW
Christians. Had some American Baptist or Nazarene soldiers reached
Adolf before he died, and had he made his "I'm sorry" to Biblegod, these
soldiers would have had to HUG ADOLF HITLER as a fellow forgiven Christian,
rather than blow his brains out. Yes, blank check morality- do whatever the
hell you want, then cash in your "Get out of Jail Free" card whenever you
want, over and over even. Jeesh! No WONDER Christians are less moral than us
Atheists- they have no REASON to be moral.
10. We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that gracious work of
God whereby the moral nature of the repentant believer is spiritually
quickened and given a distinctively spiritual life, capable of faith, love,
11. We believe that adoption is that gracious act of God by which the
justified and regenerated believer is constituted a son of God.
12. We believe that justification, regeneration, and adoption are
simultaneous in the experience of seekers after God and are obtained upon the
condition of faith, preceded by repentance; and that to this work and state of
grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.
13. We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to
regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or
depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy
obedience of love made perfect.
It is wrought by the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one
experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling
presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service.
Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought
instantaneously by faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work
and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.
This experience is also known by various terms representing its different
phases, such as "Christian perfection,"
"perfect love," "heart purity,"
"the baptism with the Holy Spirit," "the fullness of the blessing," and
14. We believe that there is a marked distinction between a pure heart and
a mature character. The former is obtained in an instant, the result of entire
sanctification; the latter is the result of growth in grace.
We believe that the grace of entire
sanctification includes the impulse to grow in
grace. However, this impulse must be consciously nurtured, and careful
attention given to the requisites and processes of spiritual development and
improvement in Christlikeness of character and personality. Without such
purposeful endeavor one's witness may be impaired and the grace itself
frustrated and ultimately lost.
Mark here} Once again, a clear example of UN-clear
Christian doubletalk. First they say the sanctified Christian has "Christian
perfection". The word "perfect" as used in the New Testament comes from the
Greek word "telios" which means, "having REACHED the goal, in need of nothing
else". Given this definition, there would NOT BE any room to "grow in grace"
for you'd already REACHED THE TOP- just as a helium balloon, once it reaches
the ceiling, can't get any higher. Christian logic? Bah, humbug!!!
Interestingly, I was surfing the net about this
subject, and immediately before reading your article I actually read B.B.
Warfield's article, which you alluded to with a quote at the end. I do not
agree with this doctrine as is sometimes taught, and to use Warfield as a
proponent of it is more than disingenuous, it is patently false.
Warfield was writing AGAINST the doctirne, specifically stating that the
"perfection" is to be obtained AT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, a hope for
the future, not a promise for today. To give part of the article in
the fashion you did, without understanding where he was going with his
argument is to lessen your credibility to anyone who has read this article
or anyone who knows what Warfield and his colleagues at Princeton stood for.
Again, I do not believe in "entire sanctification" in this life as a
promise of Christian perfection, and neither did Warfield. Pedantic
scholarship on your part, indeed! Just as "Bible thumpers" with no real
grounding in God's Word beat up others with their club, so you also seem to
be ready and willing to hit the uninformed and/or unsuspecting with your
misinformation missle of malice. Sir, forget what has you tangled up inside,
and ask yourself this question: Do you know of anyone in history that is
more worthy for you to follow than Jesus Christ? By all means do not follow
yourself; if you (and I) have all these problems, how may we expect
ourselves to deliver ourselves from this mess? You have to trust in
something or someone, and as for me I will trust Jesus. Will you be able to
stand before God and rely on your own righteousness?
Mark here} Mr. Hatfield here is
absolutely correct about my having misquoted B.B. Warfield. Upon further
reading, it does indeed turn out that B.B. taught this perfection was
attainable only after death, and NOT in this life (as Nazarene's teach). I
found the following quote from B.B. that clearly teaches this:
"There is no promise of its
completion in this life; there is
no hint that it may be completed in this life. There is only
everywhere strong exhortations to ceaseless effort; and strong encouragements by
promises of its completion in the end against "that day." "That day" of
judgment, that is, when God shall take account of all men and of all that is in
I admit that I have made an error, and will change
the website by removing the quote from B.B. Warfield (which is why if you are
reading the website for the first time you won't find the quote there
I would like to point out that, unlike the VAST
majority of religious people, I am NOT married to one position "till death do
us part". I am more than willing to change my mind if and when presented with
adequate evidence, and what I have just done is further proof of this claim. I
am for the truth, and not just some religious franchise. If by being loyal to
the truth I piss off some Atheists (and I have done this before- just ask that
quasi-Atheist Michael Shermer), so be it. And if I piss off some Christians,
again, so be it.
My bottom line is what the Apostle Paul said:
Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? I hope not. And now that I
have proven MY honesty and loyalty to the truth, Mr. Hatfield, it is your turn
to do likewise. In answer to your question if I know ANYbody in history that
it is more worthy to follow than Jesus, the answer would be yes- lots of
people in fact. You see, your Jesus was a FALSE PROPHET as evidenced by the
FACT that he predicted that his Second Coming, judgment day, and the rapture,
would all take place within the lifetime of those men and women living in 33
AD. (for documentation of this, see my several articles on my web page
regarding Jesus' false prophecies). So to answer your question- do I know
anybody MORE worthy to follow than a FALSE LYING DECEIVED religious NUTCASE
from 1st Century Israel? Yes I do- and so do you. Stop wasting your time
following false prophets. It's not hard finding people more worthy than that
false prophet Jesus.
Roy from New
||12/5/03 4:18:39 AM !!!First Boot!!!
I quickly browsed through your article.
Will read it thoroughly later. Just wanted you to know that I have been a
Nazarene for over 30 years and also take issue with both some doctrinal
issues as well as with the fact that I have been kicked in the teeth and
disappointed more often than I can remember by my fellow Nazarenes. (Life
can be rough no matter where you are or who you associate with!) Why then do
I remain in the movement? Either I am a total moron, or in essence, the
holiness movement does have hold of something real. (I believe we do) We may
not all live up to it, but we do believe that the essence of true
Christianity is entire devotement to God. For that we need to strive.
You may believe that we have got it all wrong, (and we might) but those of
us who believe we are honest with ourselves would like to believe that we
will deal honestly with hypocricy in our own lives when it becomes apparrant
to us. We obviously don't always see ,(or like to be told) that we fall
short of our own ideals. Like most of humanity, we too may turn out to be
cowards when faced with the truth about ourselves!
Mark here} You sound like a breath of
fresh air. I wish more Christians wouldn't be so adverse to taking an honest
look at themselves and their religions.
By the way, I would definitly agree that
some of our manual statements require adjustment. But I suspect that like
any institution of some age and influence, these have become venerated over
time and no one would dare to try and slay the sacred cow. There are some
things in the manual that I simply ignore, because to try and uphold them
would be to embarrass myself. It is not always easy to seperate the wheat
from the chaff, and a clearer understanding of holiness requires a little
more research than Greathouse, the manual and Purkiser. How about reading
Wynkoop and a few others to get a broader picture? You just might come
across something worthwhile. While I suspect there is no philosophy on earth
that does not contain something to which someone will object, I do at the
same time mean to suggest that we accept anything uncritically. All I am
saying is that every human attempt to state the truth, is flawed. Some
more fatal than others.
Mark here} What you, and most other
Christians as well are doing, is what I call "Smorgasbord Christianity",
wherein one picks out what he likes, and leaves behind what he doesn't. Most
Christians are not little robots controlled by their church leaders- and
that's a good thing. For example, most American Catholics are not about to
have 10 or 20 kids just because the pope wants it that way, nor are they
going to abstain from sex done just for the pleasure of it. Common sense
overrules religion in most people, and this keeps fanaticism down.
I have been
thrashing holiness beliefs around for over 30 years now, and I am convinced
that life does not arrive in a neat little box. (Especially religious life)
Though it probably helps humanity to feel secure to have the answers to life
all neatly worked out, life is much more like a work of understanding in
progress than it is a neatly packaged answer. There are I think, one or two
fundamental "self-evidencing" truths about life. One is that most of us seem
to believe (without having any tangible evidence to back it up) that our
lives are of value. Where did we ever get that idea from? Of course we could
always resort to the alternative and "Conjugate the verb and learn to eat
successfully" In other words, "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die."
Why should we care for any other human being on this planet? Who determined
(and when) that a human life is worth anything? And if it isn't, then what
is the point? Now if someone can help me understand this little problem
about life, I would be eternally grateful, because I tried the alternative,
and it simply left me with far more perplexing questions than "who will
untie the Gordian Knot?"
Mark here} If to no one else in the
whole universe, my life should have value to me. I would imagine also that
this belief is missing in many people who end up killing themselves. Some
beliefs benefit our survival (such as mankind's universal optimism that
things will always get better) even though they are without foundation.
From the tone of your writing, I would
venture to say that your beef goes far deeper than having something against
the Nazarenes! You're convinced that Christ has no credibility at all. In
fact you appear to be absolutely certain that he was a false prophet. The
one thing you do not make clear though is to clearly state what you believe
the truth (if you indeed believe there is such a thing). In addition, your
catchphrase "Set free" implies that you were once "not free". What made you
"free?" And in what does your freedom now lie.? How and when was your mind
awakened to your "truth?"
Mark here} What is THE
truth? There is no one single "truth". 2+2=4 is just one truth among
billions. Truth is not, and never has been, a "person". As for being
Set Free, I was Set Free from 20 years of being a Christian thru intense
Bible study, when I learned that Jesus had made false prophecies regarding
his second coming. As a basically nice guy, I could not bring myself to
continue to worship a false prophet- I drew the line there, and left.
Debate is a great thing. But so is reason,
and respect. I find it disconcerting that you often resort to ridicule and
argue with a demeaning "know-it-all" attitude. That is not the mark of
mature, thoughtful, confident scholarship. Rather it suggests (to me at
least) that you are motivated more by anger. I am not a psychologist, but
your anger shows very clearly through your writing.
Mark here} Righteous Anger has its
place. Was not Jesus angry when he drove the money changers from the temple?
Is not a mugging victim angry at his mugger? Is not a victim of a swindle
angry at who lied to him? If you discovered that you've just wasted the past
20 years of your life in some cult that worshipped a false prophet, would
you be angry, or happy??? I hope to high heaven that you'd be pissed- VERY
pissed, and that you'd do everything you could to try and help others not
make the same mistake.
Incidently, what exactly is your central
belief about life? Let's talk about that.
PS. Would you care to comment on C. S.
Lewis's statement that Jesus Christ was either a lunatic, a liar (that is
obviously your position) or Lord of the universe? (Or are there other
alternatives to intentional deception, self-deception and the truth?)
Mark here} I've seen whole essays on this
topic. The main problem with Lewis' statement is that it's too simplistic- it
assumes too many things. It assumes that Jesus really existed (some scholars
doubt he did- they think he was made up to start a religion). It assumes he
actually said everything the gospels claim he did (many scholars believe the
gospels to be faulty). It also assumes the gospels are telling the truth about
him walking on water etc.
My own thoughts tend to lean towards Jesus just being
another Middle-Eastern religious nut who eagerly wanted to die for his
religion- just like the dozens of suicide bombers who every week blow
themselves up over there in our own era. Jesus could have had a nice life, but
instead he had to fuck it all up and get executed. I don't believe in the
miracles, and I don't believe we have accurate records of what he said and
did, and I do believe that alot of people back then who put this religion
together were out and out liars and frauds- just like today's televangelists.
People don't change all that much.
||response to essay
||12/27/03 6:27:15 AM !!!First Boot!!!
Essay Title: Entire Sanctification = Entire Nonsense.
Comment on a statement you made.
Your statement = "you must realize that Entire Sanctification teaches Christian
Perfection, which means a sinless life; the total removal of not only sin, but
even the ability to sin. In other words, a good Nazarene could not
make a mistake, a sin, even if he tried! In fact, he couldn't even THINK a
I think that you need to understand that the doctrine of Entire Santification
DOES NOT say that those who are entirely sanctified no longer have the ability
to sin. I am not sure where you got that idea.
Mark here} Gee... where on earth would I
ever get such a crazy idea... I remember! Let's start with the term
itself: the phrase "ENTIRE Sanctification"
implies that no part is to be left out of being sanctified, and sanctified
means set apart for God's use, not sins' or Satan's, ergo 100% of the man who
has experienced "entire sanctification" is sin free, i.e. perfect. Another
clue is when Nazarene scholar Purkiser said that it does away with a life of
sin. Another clue might be the phrase "sinless perfection", which historically
has always been another way of saying "Entire Sanctification".
But what you have written is false. Those who are entirely sanctified DO have
the ability to sin!
Mark here} I agree with you- and I've
seen it plenty! But what you're acknowledging is just that the THEORY doesn't
jive with the REALITY. Welcome to Free Thinking.
In your essay you quoted W.T. Purkiser saying "...true justification in Christ
does away with a life of sin."
Notice that he never said "does away with the ability to sin" which is totally
Mark here} Excuse me, but the doctrine is
not called "Sanctification" but rather ENTIRE Sanctification. What part of
"entire" don't you understand? When Purkiser says a man's life of sin has been
done away with, that can mean nothing else than he no longer sins. When an
alcoholic says his life of drinking has been done away with, you would not
expect to see him with a beer in his hand, WOULD YOU??? And if you DID see him
with a beer, then obviously his life of drinking has NOT been done away with.
Are you Christians really so blind to the faults of
your own doctrines that you are incapable of basic rational thought??? This
shit is a no-brainer, how can you not see it???
Here is a website that you can visit that answers questions concerning entire
sanctification. Notice question #12
This is the official website of the Wesleyan Church - Obviously a credible
Looking forward to your reply,
||1/1/04 9:07:57 AM !!!First Boot!!!
I just wanted to let you know that I recently read your article about entire
sanctification and the Church of the Nazarene. I am a licensed minister of
the Church of the Nazarene and just wanted to let you in on what we hold
sanctification to really be.
First of all, know that I am in no position to tell anybody what to believe.
I believe the authority of scripture to be much more powerful than what humans
believe the Word to be. I am one
of those Nazarenes that goes by what Scripture says and not the Manual.
However, as a licensed minister, I do have the responsibility to teach/preach
what the Church believes.
Mark here} And if you come to believe
there's a contradiction between the two, what does a professional preacher do:
be quiet and keep one's job, or speak up for the truth! (and get fired). Life
would be easier if we were all born rich!
I also appreciate the way you actually do research on biblical/church doctrine.
There are not a lot of people who do that and just go by what the Manual says
without learning it themselves. For that, I applaud you.
Okay here we go. Coming from the Greek world "telios," this perfection
John Wesley and us Nazarenes refer to does not mean perfect in the sense of
being without blemish or being faultless. This "telios" perfection refers
to completing your purpose. An old, raggedy chair that is insanely ugly is
still a perfect chair in this sense because it provides one with a place to sit.
In the same our "purpose" as humans to become like Christ.
The Church of the Nazarene recognizes that there is no way humans can go a day
without sin. However, as we strive to be like Christ, which is our
purpose, we are achieving that perfection.
This is why Dr. Greathouse refers to entire sanctification as "imperfect
perfection." We are perfect because we are striving to be like Christ,
even though we will still sin along the journey.
Mark here} If it takes pulling out an
electron microscope to see why "imperfect perfection" isn't what it sounds
like- a load of crap- then it's time to change the verbiage. Yes, even Bill
Clinton MAY have been right- TECHNICALLY- with his "is-is" speech, but to
99.999% of everyone else on the planet, we knew he was just playing verbal
volleyball. The term "Imperfect perfection" is nonsense. It shouldn't be
defended. It should be dumped.
As seen in the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene, we see sanctification as
"being made free from original sin."
As human beings, we are naturally inclined to do evil because of the Fall.
Because of this, every single individual
has struggles, weaknesses, and temptations. They are born into us,
or more like we are born into them.
When we are sanctified, these struggles, tempatations, and weaknesses are no
longer struggles, temptations, and weaknesses. We no longer have to
face these evils because we have been made free from them.
However, even though we are made free from these, we are still going to screw up
because after all, we are humans.
Mark here} Huh??? Does living in a
Nazarene universe really re-rout the brain neurons to the point where you
don't see in the above paragraph what is jumping out at me???
- The Fall causes humans to sin.
- Sanctification cures The Fall.
- Therefore, humans who have been Sanctified
(cured of The Fall) sin.
This makes as much sense as:
- X Germs cause humans to get the X disease.
- Shots of Penicillin kill the X germs.
- Therefore, humans who have had Penicillin
shots... get the X disease.
I believe in a cause and effect universe. If the
CAUSE for something has been destroyed, then the EFFECT that resulted from
that cause has likewise been destroyed.
If what CAUSES sin (the Fall) has been removed, then
the EFFECT of the Fall (sin) has also been removed. So how in the world can
you LOGICALLY end up with your above illogic???
So in conclusion, entire sanctification is not the doctrine that
no longer sin, but are able to be made
Christ-like, which is our purpose in this life.
Mark here} So... you are made to be
"Christ-like"??? Just exactly was Christ like? Christ was without sin, never
sinned, and never made a mistake (according to your Bible). Now let me ask you
again: you are made to be "Christ-like"??? Would you like to
rephrase that? Or better yet- dump the doctrine, and use something that
doesn't need a 10,000 page explanation/justification of microtheology.
I hope this may help in your research as you continue to research Christianity.
Jason Summers 2-25-04
Subj: Entire Sanctification
Date: 2/25/2004 2:56:59 PM Eastern Standard Time
Hi, My name is Jason Summers. I'm currently a senior at Hobe Sound Christian
Academy. For Bible class we are required to wright a paper on entire
sanctification. The school I attend is of the Weslian Holiness denomination,
although I'm non-denominational, I find myself agreeing with not every aspect of
thier doctrine, but a lot of it.
The reason I'm wrighting you is because your information seems to be a
little off and I don't think you portray thier paticular doctrine
correctly. Entire Sanctification does
not mean in any way that the individual cannot sin. It is simply a
complete surrender to God and his
will. One who experiences this is more
likely not to sin than he who has a half hearted commitment to God.
The most important thing is the friut of thier doctrine.
I genuinely see Christ through my
"holiness" teachers. So they must be doing something right.
Hey man, God bless you, Jason Summers
Mark here} Hey Jason, thanks for
writing. And by the way, as long as you or your parents are paying good
money for you to go to a private school, you might want to check with your
teachers regarding spelling- or a refund at the least! I put some of your
misspelled words in bold.
You said that ENTIRE sanctification is "does not
mean...the individual cannot sin". But I ask you, why not call in PARTIAL
sanctification then? YOUR religion is the one that claims ENTIRE, and ENTIRE
in any dictionary means 100%, and a person who is 100% sanctified, i.e. holy
and set apart for Biblegod, would not sin. You yourself said it is a
"complete surrender to God and his will". Yet in reality you meant an
IN-complete surrender, for you yourself admit that such a person is not
perfect, just "more likely not to sin". Sounds more like Las Vegas odds that
a sure theological stand, Jason!
As for you seeing Christ thru your teachers... your
Christ must not be perfect then, for we both know your teachers are not.
Go back and think about it some more. Words have
definitions already set up- we are not allowed to just make up our own.
Subject: WITHOUT HOLINESS, NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD.----BIBLICAL.
Date: 10/14/2004 12:44:28 AM Pacific Standard Time
"EXCEPT YOU BE BORN AGAIN,YOU CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD. ANYONE CAN CUT
DOWN CHRISTIANS--WHO LOVE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.IF YOU CAN'T LIVE IT, DON'T
KNOCK IT.NO--ONE SAID THE NAZARENES ARE
PERFECT. WE ARE PERFECT IN HEART TOWARDS GOD.
Mark here} To the contrary, that is
EXACTLY what your own leaders and theologians have not only said, but even
put into writing. Maybe you need to study the cult before you comment on the
cult, for you appear to know very little about it.
I HAVE BEEN A NAZARENE ALL MY LIFE, BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME ANY BETTER THAN
YOU OR ANYONE ELSE .BEING A NAZARENE DOESN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH BEING A
CHRISTIAN. SATAN GOES TO CHURCH TOO.UNCHRISTIAN PEOPLE GO TO CHURCH. JESUS
SAID,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. AND WHAT IS GOD'S WILL.
IT'S HIS WILL, THAT ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE SAVED&THAT NO ONE SHALL PERISH IN AN
ETERNAL HELL. PEOPLE NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN. MAY GOD OPEN YOUR BLINDED MIND TO
SENSE THE REALITY OF AN ETERNAL GOD WHO LOVES YOU AND GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
FOR YOUR SINS ON CALVARY. ASK GOD TO OPEN YOUR MIND TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH OF
THE BIBLE.I WAS AN ALCHOHOLIC, INTO DRUGS,BAD LANGUAGE, FILLED WITH ALL
UNGODLINESS, ADULTERY, SMOKING,STEALING, ETC FOR MANY YEARS. THE LORD BROUGHT ME
TO AN AWAKENING, OF MY NEED OF SALVATION--THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.I ASKED JESUS TO
FORGIVE ME OF ALL MY SINS,AND TO COME INTO MY HEART AND SAVE AND MAKE ME WHOLE
AND PURE. JESUS SAID, IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE
US OUR SINS,AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. THAT IS A PROMISE FROM
GOD, AND GOD NEVER BREAKS HIS PROMISES LIKE MAN DOES. SO THIS THING ABOUT
NAZARENES----IF YOU WERE WASHED FROM YOUR SINS, AND SAVED, YOU WOULD BE A NEW
CREATION IN CHRIST JESUS. SO UNTILL YOU
TRY IT, DON'T GO CUTTING UP THE NAZARENES.
Mark here} Try it? Yeah, I tried your
cult- for several years before I got suckered into another cult, the Church
of Christ. I was saved in Nazarene churches AND camp meetings- several
times! Sunday School, church service, Sunday evening service, Wednesday
evening service. Yeah, I've tried your church. It's as phony as all the rest
of them. You people think you're better than everybody else, and look down
on not just the "unchurched" but on people of other churches as well. You
people are Spiritual Snobs.
DO YOU HAVE THE PEACE AND JOY THAT ONLY JESUS CAN GIVE? IF YOU CONTINUE TO
REJECT JESUS IN YOUR LIFE, YOU WILL BE THE ONE WHO WILL BE ON THE LOSING SIDE.I
KNOW I AM ON MY WAY TO HEAVEN,WHENEVER THAT TIME COMES. IN THE MEANTIME, I AM
REJOICING IN THE LORD. I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE DEPRESSED AND SUICIDAL, AND
UNHAPPY THE PLEASURES OF THE WORLD ARE ONLY TEMPORARY. WHEN YOUR TIME COMES TO
DIE, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO GET TO HEAVEN.CHOOSE THE
Marv Musgrave 9-2-05
Subject: Nazarenes and Entire Sanctification
Date: 9/2/2005 11:45:04 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
After reading some of Oswald Chamber's works, I was reminded of the Nazarene
doctrine of Entire Sanctification. I decided to read some more on the subject to
see what current thinking might be. I ran across an article by you, circa 2002?,
on the subject. Having grown up in the Church of the Nazarene, I am well
acquainted with the doctrine. I attended Olivet Nazarene college one semester
(Fall 1952) primarily with the goal of being able to attain that status in my
life. Previous to that I had made trips to the altar only a few times attempting
to become and stay a Christian. But that semester at Olivet, I concluded I
couldn't do it. I still thought others did achieve the lofty status of sinless
perfection, but I knew I could never measure up. I decided unless something
happened in the future to change me or my situation, I would just have to be
lost. Well, something did happen. A young man came into my life that showed me
Scriptural passages I didn't ever remember hearing or seeing before. The
emphasis on keeping rules and holy living was so strong in my church, I had
never understood God's redemptive plan. I learned that Jesus actually died to
save sinners and if I would place my trust in him, he had already paid the
penalty for my sin and I could trust my soul solely to his keeping.
I thoroughly understand the dilemma of
thinking Nazarenes like Dr. Greathouse. They don't want to deny the Church's
historical positions but they can't quite buy it either. So, they come up with
double talk: "imperfect perfection", Isn't that what we now would call an
My heart goes out to those Nazarenes who have never been able to find rest in
their Lord and practice what seems to me
is self-deception. "I must be perfect to be saved, Therefore, I claim it
by faith, even though down inside I know I still make 'mistakes' and 'short
comings'. But, I don't ever sin." I
cannot sin, therefore I don't.
On the subject of Entire Sanctification, I might accept the idea as a concept,
an ultimate mark to keep us aimed in the right direction. Maybe the "high
calling in Christ Jesus" that Paul talked about but said he had not yet
achieved. It seems axiomatic that anyone who believes they have achieved it
have, by definition, proven they haven't. It is kind of like humility. Once you
think you have it, you've lost it.
Mark Smith here}
Thanks for the email. The doctrine does put Nazarenes in a bind. What has
surprised me is the number of young Nazarenes nowadays who seem to be totally
unaware that their church even teaches this! I guess taking naps during sermons
might be the popular thing to do now.
Subject: response to article
Date: 11/11/2005 6:17:49 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
You certainly have a knack for research, or should I say "gift". I thought I
would write a short response to what I read on your website. I am a "Nazarene"
church member. I didn't grow up in a Christian home, but was always hungry for
"something". When I did become a Christian as a teenager, my life and
perspective changed. I felt I finally had a purpose and a meaning. The funny
thing is I actually have a biblical degree from Lancaster Bible College in PA
and was attending a Methodist church when I went through an unexpected and
horrific divorce. The church I was attending actually asked me to step down as
youth director and from the board despite who was at "fault" for the divorce. I
had 2 children 4years and 6 months when "He" left and the local Nazarene church
found out about my situation through a friend and started "reaching" out to me.
They heard my fridge broke and I lost all of my food and sent someone to fix
that and provided meals and helped me with childcare, yard work, etc. It was SO
hard for me to accept this help and from a denomination I heard had "cult-like"
doctrine. They didn't want anything in
return they just showed "Jesus" to me through their actions, acceptance and
love. I cautiously started visiting the church and the people were so friendly
and "real". I didn't feel brainwashed or trapped just loved. That was 10
years ago and I am still going there.
Mark Smith here}
You know, you've committed the sin of what all Christians accuse me of, but
in a twisted way. But I'll phrase it this way: IF it is wrong for
someone to LEAVE a church based upon emotional reasons, THEN it should be
just as wrong to join a church for emotional reasons. What if Rev. Jim
Jones' group had been nice to you? What if some Satanist group had fixed
your fridge AND painted your house- would you be worshipping Satan now???
The pastor knows I don't agree wholeheartedly with all of the doctrine but
accepts me, past and all. They have even allowed me to teach, perform solos,
lead musicals anything I feel God has gifted me to do.
Not once has it been said that we are "sinless".
Mark Smith here}
That's part of the problem. Many church members have never even heard of the
doctrine, as it's sort of being swept under the rug these days. But it's
still there in the church manual and in its history. Yes, the church is
EVOLVING away from it, but in no wise has it come out and renounced it.
We all sin and fall short everyday, that's human. The difference is, we are
aware of it, convicted and have an obligation to confess and ask forgiveness.
Willful disobedience is another story. I am only writing all of this to relay my
message. Not every Christian that is a member of any Christian church believes
every piece of doctrine at the church they attend. But, I found Christ through
His body of believers at this particular church in a BIG way. Our pastor has
lymphoma cancer and was given 48 hours to live in March of this year. Thousands
of people prayed for him across the country and circled his house asking for God
to spare his life. Miraculously He did! This little answer has stirred our
church to reach out to the community and do whatever is needed for the sake of
Mark Smith here}
But you know what? If he had keeled over dead instead, your church would
STILL be out doing its thing for Jesus. Christians have a way of taking
whatever evidence they get and bending it to fit their goals.
Not to bring people to our church, that is never our goal, but to show love.
We've been studying Rick Warren's purpose driven church and life books. There is
no greater joy than to serve another person without expecting anything in
return. Just like in the upper room when Jesus "washed their feet" even when
they didn't feel worthy, because EVERYONE is. Don't think I am in a little
bubble, because I am not. My family still doesn't attend church and I am well
aware of everything around me, but I am saddened by so many walking aimlessly
around without a purpose and so much anger. Thanks for giving me a chance to
Brenda Jackson 11-28-05
Subject: Hi Mark
Date: 11/28/2005 4:55:19 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
I did a search today on entire sanctification and came across your stuff.
I agree with a lot of what you say. Entire means entire, and it has to mean that
a Christian is not sinning. It is the only way that scripture makes any sense
and well done for seeing the hypocrisy in the church. Christ died so that we can
live without sin...totally. E-mail me if you want to discuss more
Brenda Jackson (Quaker)
Jackson 11-28-05 (Round Two)
Perfection is what true Christianity is all about. But the church does not
see it. That's because they are not willing to give up ALL of their sins. And
what is the point if God cannot help us with our biggest problem ie sin which is
caused through living in a sin filled world, although we are born innocent (I do
not accept that we have to suffer for Adam) and having had emotional damage done
to us from our parents onwards. We are damaged so we cannot love properly. God
can fix this problem easily as He just has to heal the damage to the soul. All
of the promises are for this life not the next (I'm not sure I believe in a
physical resurrection. Jesus did not have a solid body). Once one is willing to
give up all rights to ourselves and submit fully to God and accept anything that
he does with us in the future then He can deliver from sin totally. It usually
happens somewhere along the line when we find out just how corrupted we are and
how even our most selfless act is full of self actually and how much pride we
So the church twists and turns and tries to make perfection into something that
looks like it, but is not. Read 1John. Whosoever sins is of the devil. Period.
But the church has to make this into something else like habitual sin. Wrong.
The scripture means what it says simply and strightforwardly.
If we are in Christ we do not sin
and I have not found any one person today who claims this. But there were some
in the past like Wesley and George Fox wgho started the Quakers with this
So Mark you are absolutely right. The question is now, what about me? Am I
Once you are in the state of entire
sanctification you do not sin. Not at all. Never. If you do you fall from
that state and you are not saved, not justified and not sanctified and therefore
outside of Christ. And you can fall from that state. Read Hebrews.
I walked in that state for 18 months and
did not sin at all not even in my mind. But I have fallen and I am trying to get
back again but it is hard and I don't know how to do it.
Mark Smith here}
Let me see if I grasp the logic here...
A) Sin results in falling.
B) Sanctified Christians are incapable of sin.
C) Therefore, sanctified Christians are incapable of falling.
a) Sin results in falling.
b) You got sanctified, which made you incapable of sinning.
c) Therefore, you became incapable of sinning and thus incapable
1) But you DID fall.
2) Falling is the result of sinning
3) Therefore, you sinned.
1.) You were sanctified yet you sinned
2.) Sanctified Christians are incapable of sin.
3.) Therefore... I'm confused.
I'm having a problem with this: You said that
being sanctified made it impossible for you to sin, yet you yourself sinned;
something which you said was impossible.
Am I going crazy, or have the inmates taken over
I wish I was there now so i could tell you that I am without sin. I know
that I am not in that state because when you are in that state it is as easy as
anything not to sin. Beause God does something to our nature, it is crucified
and is out of action. When I was like that I just praised God all day long and
was in constant prayer to Him . I had a feeling of being alive that i had never
known before. It was truly amazing. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was. It
was eternal life.
Unless we are in this state we are walking in darkness as I am now. You have
just seen Christians walking in darkness and that is why you don't get your
questions answered and poor fools do not know they are in darkness and they do
not listen to me or did not rather when I was preaching the gospel.
Earl Robertson 1-11-06
In a message dated 1/11/2006 12:55:26 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
It seems as if you have selected the Church of the Nazarene for some
interesting comments. What contact have you had with the Church of the
Mark Smith here}
I spent every summer as a kid going to the Church of the Nazarene, including
summer bible camps and prayer meetings, as my father has been a Nazarene
since the early 60's.
Earl Robertson 1-13-06
Subject: Re: Question
Date: 1/13/2006 10:12:37 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
I appreciate your quick reply. A couple more questions, please for now. What
part of the country did you grow up in and why just the summers going to the
Church of the Nazarene? Also, the verse you quoted is interesting, I would like
to respond to it. You have not become an enemy because of your perspective.
Mark Smith here}
Bach when I was a kid, I used to attend a Church of the Nazarene in the
Eastern Michigan District of the denomination, which included the summer
Bible camp in Howell, Michigan. I attended the camp back when it was
just a large circus tent with a sawdust floor, and also after they built a
permanent tabernacle. I've seen old farts doing cartwheels down the aisle,
women spazzing out in public, and grown men blubbering in public worse than
little babies. I swam in the lake back when they had separate times for boys
WHY in Michigan and WHY just the summers? Because
that's where I would spend the summers as a kid.
I stumbled upon your web page while researching something about the
Nazarene denomination. Your web page, I'm sorry to say, was simply
ridiculous! I've been a Nazarene for 43 years (all my life!), went to a
Nazarene college, married a Nazarene whose grandfather was a Nazarene
minister, and have NEVER, EVER, NEVER, EVER been told that 'Entire
Sanctification' meant I would be perfect or incapable of sinning! Good
grief! If that were true, the denomination would have collapsed ages ago.
You have CLEARLY misunderstood what you've heard and/or read regarding
the Nazarene belief of entire sanctification!!
Mark Smith here}
Gee, how did you manage to miss THIS doctrine when it is so clearly a basic part
of your religion? Were you paying attention in Sunday School, or where you doing
something more useful like reading comic books??? I quoted from Dr. Greathouse
who was the General Superintendent of your entire church. You pretending
ignorance of what he says is like a Catholic claiming to not have heard the pope
discussing religion. How could you be such a "great" Nazarene and be so
This is the best way I've heard salvation and 'entire sanctification'
You are SAVED when you recognize you have sinned and ask Jesus Christ,
who took all our sins on himself the day he died on the cross, to forgive
you. At that point, you have
EVERYTHING that Jesus/God has to give: Love,
grace, mercy, forgiveness, a hope & a future with Him, etc. etc.
Essentially, you have ALL of HIM!
Mark Smith here}
You yourself show signs of Nazarene doublethink. You state above that at
salvation one has EVERYTHING that your gods have to offer. Yet your very next
paragraph (see below) contradicts what you just wrote, as there is even MORE to
be had!!! So which is it: upon being saved one has or does NOT have
EVERYTHING??? Why, you are of the faith of "imperfect perfection" so why should
I expect a rational answer from you???
ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION comes when you
allow God's Holy Spirit to live
inside you after you've been 'saved' or forgiven. He
cleaned out all the
yucky junk in your heart when you asked Him to forgive you, and now your
heart is ready for Him and you're VERY WILLING to live the way God wants
you to. No more sinning ON PURPOSE. The
way Jesus lived when he lived on
earth. Being obedient to the Father. Studying His Word. Praying. Helping
the sick & the needy. Spreading the Good News. Simply put: God now has
ALL of YOU!
Mark Smith here}
Again, the mental gymnastics! What you wrote above (in blue) about being as
perfect as Jesus was, is 100% against what you wrote below (in blue) where you
admit you'll screw up. Of COURSE YOU
see nothing wrong with the concept of "imperfect perfection". Your brain is
already clearly beyond being rational, you, you, you... NAZARENE!!!!
BUT....He didn't wave a magic wand and
make you into a perfect person
that won't ever make a mistake, because you will. BUT... you no longer
WANT to do anything that would cause Him to grieve, which is what sin
does. God's Spirit lives in you, so when you do something that is wrong,
you'll know it in a heartbeat!! So you confess it, it's forgiven, life is
good again, and you go on with your life, trying your best not to screw
up again! The difference between the YOU now and the YOU then is that you
RECOGNIZE sin for what it is; you don't WANT to sin; and you work really
hard NOT to sin. NO PEFECTION INVOVLED!!!!! Just an obedient
So there is the Nazarene doctrine in a nutshell. Feel free to e-mail me
if you have any questions.
Mack D. Hewitt
Just a few lines in
response to your diatribe against the doctrine of entire sanctification in
general and Nazarenes in particular:
You repeatedly state that
entire sanctification means having even the ability to sin taken away.
Actually, that is not now, nor has it ever been the position of the Church
of the Nazarene. Rather, entire sanctification is that state
subsequent to regeneration in which the sanctified person is empowered to
live closely enough to God that he would not willfully do anything to
displease Him. The question is not “Do I never sin?” The
question is “Is God able to keep me from sin?”
Sanctification is like a
marriage covenant. When I married my wife, my ability to be unfaithful
to her was not taken away. However, I made a sacred commitment to her
to be faithful. That commitment to her keeps me wanting to please only
her. Likewise when I received the baptism with the Holy Spirit –
entire sanctification – I made a commitment to my Lord very much like my
wedding vows. That commitment keeps me consciously trying to please
Him, and only Him. Does that mean that I have never sinned or could
never sin? Again, I am not the pattern, God is. Is God able to
keep me from sinning? Absolutely.
Mack D. Hewitt
I have looked at your website: it is ill
informed and totally unfounded and full of inaccuracy.
May I suggest your website might be "Entire
Mark Smith here}
Well, thank you for your well thought-out (for a Fundy) response. Next, you'll
refute the entire theory of evolution with a 6 word quip. Good research.
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