Friday, November 18, 2011

A Naza What?

Having grown up as a part of the Christian, Protestant denomination called the Church of the Nazarene, I often forget when I talk to those unfamiliar with it how funny the name of our denomination sounds. For those not engrossed in the culture or for those not especially familiar with Scripture, it may be a strange, funny name. I often think it has potential to sound like a crazy cult to those who don't know the phrase "Jesus of Nazareth."

Inside the denomination, I am often faced with the reality of really poor discipleship and educational processes in adopting new members into the church. I am afraid to ask a lot of my peers "How is the Church of the Nazarene different from any other Christian church?" I'm quite positive that the majority of answers I would receive would be "I don't know." Or, even if one of my friends could answer "holiness," I would be incredibly surprised if he or she would be able to explain what "holiness" means in the context of our tradition.

You might need your knowledge tweaked if you would give any of these answers to the following questions:

Q. What do Nazarenes believe about the Bible?
A. It is the inerrant Word of God and should should be read literally.

Q. What does it mean to be holy?
A. To be holy means to be perfect, but nobody is perfect. We are really made holy in heaven.

Q. What do Nazarenes believe about evolution?
A. We believe that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Evolution isn't true.

Q. Why do bad things happen to good people?
A. God makes bad things happen to teach His children lessons.

Confused? Well, ask some questions and I will do my best to answer them. What do you want to know about the beliefs of the Church of the Nazarene?

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