- Progressives are painted with a broad brush [by those awful conservatives] as villains who are (unintentionally) [certainly intentionally] leading the church astray.
- People are afraid. [He means conservatives are cowardly: For bravery you have to look to the liberals] The world is changing, and changing faster than ever before. Many Christians have retreated to the church as the last bastion to resist change.
- if conservatives… push through some of their fundamentalist legislative moves, or if they are able to continue pushing out progressive thinkers and pastors, then the results will be dire [Why exactly will there be dire consequences? Notice he will contradict himself later when he says progressives just leave quietly… but here they are “pushed out”].
- We will be an increasingly aged denomination in terms of members, strategies, and thoughts. [Translation: Only old, stupid people are conservatives].
- Because discontented people on the right have a high confidence that their view is the only real truth, they tend to be averse to compromise or merger. [Here he could be suggesting one of two things. Either: A) Conservatives are incorrect about their view on truth, or B) There are multiple “truths” all equally valid. If the former, he is merely restating his point that Conservatives are wrong and he is right. If the latter, he is impossibly confused and shouldn’t reasonably expect anyone to care about anything he writes.]
- if the conservatives win, we’ll likely get an old and dying church operating with a fortress mentality, actively engaging a losing battle against heathens and liberals alike. [Translation: conservatives are failures, wrong, old, and dying]
- Conservatives are likely to feel a moral obligation to protect the essential doctrines and to separate the wheat from the weeds within the church. [While this is true, I am fairly certain that from within the context, it means, not that Conservatives are right, only that they will push out the progressives. Of course, in theory the progressives vote with their feet… but what’s a minor contradiction when you are painting such an honest picture of your opponents?]
- Of course this is the more difficult path. It requires humility, patience, listening, power-sharing, and courage – all in short supply in today’s hyper-politicized landscape. [Now we see how patient and humble our author is in the way he paints his pictures. Who has courage? Only those willing to push past the boundaries and accede to progressive thought. Who has humility? Those who tolerate the progressives. This is a grand gesture to try and push his thought further. This is deceitful and slimy, which is certainly a hallmark of these liberal writers. Their god is their belly and it shows in the loose way they handle truth.]
- , younger Nazarenes and older progressives find themselves more and more unwelcome in the church that raised them. Many have voted with their feet by migrating to less restrictive denominations or even to no church at all. [The violins are weeping… how could you darn conservatives? You pushed out these genteel humble souls and hurt their feelings! We are meant here to put sympathy in lieu of our reason. Here we also see here one example that these are voting with their feet, not being pushed out as earlier described.]
- The exodus of young, academic, and progressive Nazarenes will increase exponentially. [Because only old, non-academic Nazarenes are conservative. Could this be more insulting?]
- Then, the Church of the Nazarene will continue to bleed our youngest and brightest to other denominations who will be happy to take them. [Of course it can be more insulting. Notice who is the best and brightest? Not the conservatives. Here we see the hubris of the author in full bloom. I am smarter than everyone else, he screams. And here! Look at how humble I am!… No. You are not either of these.]
- Discontented progressives, on the other hand, tend to leave more quietly and merge with other groups that have space for their views. [I thought they got pushed, forced, coerced, and beaten out of their assemblies by the merciless hatchet-men conservatives?]
- many young and forward-thinking leaders want the Church of the Nazarene to catch up with the times. [Another abuse of terms with the goal of saying what conservatives are not by implication. In order to be clear, in order to be forward –thinking, you should be espousing a view that is new. Not a rehashed version of old heresies. If you do that, you are technically backward thinking. Hence progressivism, in its return to ancient idolatry, cannot look forward to God, only back at man.]
- ready for swift movement on issues such as alcohol, racial reconciliation, social justice, creation care, revising our doctrine of sanctification, and softening our stance on homosexuality and gay marriage [And there it is. They want to keep in step with the culture and the sin of the day.]
- the progressives finally achieve two of their longstanding dreams: (1) Equal representation from all Nazarenes around the globe, and (2) The right for each region to define certain ethical standards. [The progressives just want equality… can’t we all get behind equality? Bear in mind that this idea of equality is more akin to Marxist dogma than Christ’s]
- Progressives face a problematic situation of believing strongly in the value of diverse leadership for the Church of the Nazarene [Diverse or Adverse? There is a difference, and it seems the liberals prefer the latter. The Bible does not teach diversity in the sense that is meant here. Remember that “one mind” and “mind of Christ” nonsense?]
- This requires all of us – including this somewhat prophetic instigator – to tone down our rhetoric, to tune in for deep listening, and to value the perspective and presence of those with whom we have profound disagreements. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no. [Not sure what is prophetic about these words. Let’s truly be clear, he doesn’t mean that he has any plans of valuing the perspective of the horrible conservative people he wrote about earlier. This is really a plea for those people to give in, or else feel really bad about how unloving they must be]
- We have tolerance written into at least two of our articles of faith. [Tolerance of pedophilia? Let’s be clear, If homosexuality is cool and it IS mentioned in the Bible, then something not mentioned in the Bible like Pedophilia certainly ought to be applauded. It has it all, bravery, sexual dysfunction, sad memes, you name it! Liberals for Inter-generational Love!]
- We are an extremely diverse global denomination
- We are essentially moderates. From the beginning, we have been neither fundamentalists nor liberals, neither traditionalists nor radicals.
- Embracing diversity is part of our Nazarene DNA.
- We’ll learn to listen. We’ll learn to share power. We’ll learn to value the other.
- We’ll learn to be the Church. [At this point it is basically clear that this individual is not interested in anything but using sweet sounding words to convince easily duped people to follow him into error. This is not the brand of dialogue one would expect from a Christian. Indeed, it is clearly not from a Christian. This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing]
Just a final word on this article. This article is quite similar to some of the ones I have reviewed lately. I am definitely seeing some form of correlation between parties. I don’t know if there is a club these cats belong to, or they are reading from the same Matthew Vines nonsense. But the pattern is the same. It employs a deceitful pattern to try and argue for a view of sin that is incompatible with Grace or the Gospel. I do not believe that anyone so cleverly attempting to write like this is unaware of what they are doing, hence I have no problem saying that this person has never met God. He may have heard about him in a class at school, but he has never submitted himself to that absolute authority, instead holding back some autonomy for himself.
Also, I am not a Nazarene. I find their teachings on Election to be heretical along with all other Wesleyan tradition churches. I personally believe this view is at the heart of their problem although I doubt you could ever convince one of them of this. Someday I’ll tackle that issue but not today.