Who are Concerned Nazarenes? In August, 2008, Tim Wirth, a former drummer in several rock bands, helped coordinate an event featuring author Ray Yungen (“A Time of Departing”, and “For Many Shall Come In My Name”), at the Piqua Church of the Nazarene in Ohio.Since joining the church, he’d become deeply concerned about emerging church philosophythat had crept into the Nazarene denomination – and wanted to alert others to the emergent movement. Tim met Don and Sue Butler, long-time Nazarenes, who shared the same concerns – and Concerned Nazarenes was launched.
After several meetings and conversations with the Butlers, it was evident that the Holy Spirit had impressed upon their hearts to alert Nazarenes around the world to the emergent agenda. Shortly after this, Nazarene evangelist Beverly Turner joined Concerned Nazarenes and gave the movement a voice. Beverly shared the verse that would become the Concerned Nazarenes’ anthem: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
Concerned Nazarenes has grown to include Nazarene pastors, evangelists and laypeople across the United States – each grieved by the spiritual demise of our much-loved denomination under the influence of the emergent movement. Concerned Nazarenes is a grassroots movement that serves to give voice to all those in the church that share our dismay at the direction in which the emergent movement is striving to guide Nazarene beliefs and practices. In 2009, more than 500 Nazarenes across the United States delivered a petition to our General Superintendents, seeking clarification of their stance on the Emergent Church movement. Sadly, the apparent lack of action has enabled the false teachers and leaders to push the denomination further more down the road of apostasy for which there may be no turning back. We may be looking at a rescue mission to help many leave their apostate churches and districts, and there will also be many churches that are faithful to God’s word that will be pressured to compromise.