I am a Nazarene because of what the church teaches. It teaches a doctrine of compassion, love, and kindness.
In October 1895, Phineas F. Bresee and Joseph Widney organized a Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles. The church was formed around the doctrine of entire sanctification and the belief that sanctified Christians should follow Christ’s example and preach the gospel to the poor.
Bresee took issue with the church placing missions in poor areas, but not giving the poor their own church. He formed the church with the goal of ministering to the poor. It was said of him that he often took money with him when he went out on his pastoral rounds, but that he never returned with any, having given it away to anyone he met who was in need.
On Sundays (and the members would come to the church for the entire day, having services in the morning, eating dinner together, fellowshipping in the afternoon and then having an evening service), he would stand in the foyer greeting people before the service. If he saw people arrive who looked embarrassed about the way they were dressed, he would rush to greet them enthusiastically, put his arm around them, and escort them to the best seat in the sanctuary.
Even in 1895, the church allowed for the consecration of women and ordained both women and men as ministers. Before the Holiness Church of Christ in Tennessee merged with the Nazarene Church in 1908, they had ordained three women as ministers. Our founder was fond of saying, “Some of our best men are women.” Women played major roles in the holiness movement and when we start naming the names of our church parents, the lists are filled with women who were ministers, deaconesses, evangelists, and missionaries.
The founding members of our church strongly believed that you shouldn’t adorn either churches or your body—not because it was sinful, but because it was a poor use of resources. That money, they felt, should be going into ministries for the poor.
That church later merged with two other regional denominations, each having a Wesleyan context. The Association of Pentecostal Churches of America, the Church of the Nazarene, and the Holiness Church of Christ were brought together and merged officially on October 8, 1908 in Pilot Point, Texas. The merged organization was called The Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene.
In 1919, we changed our name to drop the “Pentecostal” because of the new associations that had become attached to the word Pentecostal. We are part of the Pentecostal movement; however, we do not encourage (nor forbid) speaking in tongues. It is a gift of the Spirit, but not one on which we place a lot of emphasis nor one we believe is essential.
We trace our roots through various movements which we recognize as paving the way for our existence. Our antecedents include the Holiness Church of Christ of 1894, the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America (1887), the holiness movement of the 19th Century, and the Wesleyan movement of the 18th Century, including the Anglican Church.
We claim heritage from the other Christian churches (including the Catholic Church) throughout the ages. The Church of the Nazarene calls itself a branch of the “one, holy, universal, and apostolic” church. We seek to be faithful to that universal history and—like nearly every other Christian religion—claim the history of the people of God as presented in the Old and New Testament as our history and heritage.
We believe that all people of God through the ages who have been redeemed through Jesus Christ are our brothers and sisters—no matter what church they do or do not attend. We acknowledge and accept as expressions of our faith the ecumenical creeds of the first five Christian centuries.
We believe that our branch of the church has a special calling and that is why we exist separately. Our calling is to proclaim the doctrine of sanctification
and to live a Christ-like life of service to others. We have 16 Biblical Articles of Faith.
As Nazarenes, we believe that God calls Christians to a life of holiness. God cleanses our heart from original sin (the act of justification, achieved only through God’s grace and accepted by us only through faith) and fills us with love for God and others.
When we have been filled with the Holy Spirit, we then devote our lives to serving God by serving others.
Compassionate ministries are extremely important to Nazarenes. It is commanded that we love others and we display that love through service. In that love and service, we believe, all else is fulfilled. Our concept of service and God is based on the belief that we are to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
This post was adapted from an epinions website entry. For the original post, go to: http://www.epinions.com/content_2721620100?sb=1BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
1. Sex was created for marriage.
We shouldn’t paint a picture of sex as naughty, dirty, nasty, and shameful to our kids. What we should
be teaching our kids (in age appropriate ways, of course) is that God
created sex, and that sex is amazing, beautiful, intimate, passionate, and of course fun…and best experienced in the context of marriage. (See Genesis 2:23–25.)
2. We have a deep, passionate love for Jesus.
“The Sex Talk” can quickly turn into a list of don’ts!
But what we need to be teaching our kids is the whys
. If we do our job properly, our kids should want
to abstain, based out of their deep, abiding, passionate love for Jesus. The Bible is full of don’t
verses (Acts 15:29, Romans 1:29, 1 Corinthians 6:13–18). While certainly it’s critical that we teach our kids the truth of God’s Word, we also need to convince them to obey His Word out of love, devotion, and passion for Him.
3. Sex before marriage is robbery.
When we choose to follow Christ, the reality is that we are God’s sons and daughters. And when we have sex outside of marriage, we’re stealing the virginity and purity of others who belong to God.
Those things are His, a precious treasure that He has reserved only for the future spouse of that person. I know this is a bold statement, but we must
honor God’s kids! We must value them, treating them with gentleness, love, kindness, and care. We need to treat them as precious and holy! Because that’s what they are in His eyes.
This post was taken from the booklet Sex, Lust and XXX: Fighting for your kids' purity in a sex saturated world. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.
God delights in kindness, justice and righteousness. None of this is easy for us to believe.
Kindness is difficult for some of us to imagine because we do not have extensive personal experience with kindness. We can imagine God as a weak, codependent, ineffective being whose specialty is being relentlessly nice to people. But what of the God who exercises kindness? What would that look like?
Justice is difficult for some of us to imagine because we have not had extensive personal experience with justice. In dysfunctional families justice is either chaotic or completely absent. But what of the God who exercises justice? What would that look like?
Righteousness is difficult for some of us to imagine because we have not had extensive personal experience with righteousness. We do not have instincts for doing what is right, we do not delight in doing righteousness, we expect it to be boring, dreary and out-of-date. We may delight in caretaking and codependent niceness, but is that the same as delighting in righteousness? Probably not. So, what of the God who exercises righteousness. What would that look like?
God is capable of delight. God is not the Unmoved One. God is the Most Moved of us all. God's compassion and kindness are free and full. God's commitment to justice is beyond all our imaginations. God pursues righteousness.
Learning to share in God's struggle for kindness, justice and righteousness will require significant changes for us. It cannot be done in a one time event. It will be a life-time quest. We will forget and remember again. We will run away and come back again. But each day in the struggle we will grow in our capacity for delight. Until, in the end, when God's purposes are complete, we will be filled with delight at the triumph of God's kindness, justice and righteousness
God of kindness, I want to understand you better.
God of justice, I want to live in solidarity with you.
God of righteousness, help me to delight in what pleases you.
Increase my capacity for delight, Lord.
Let me discover you afresh today.
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian RecoveryBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
There is a difference between being masculine and being macho. Masculinity is our healthy expression of the uniqueness of being created a man in God's design.
The behaviors of a macho man are instead unhealthy expression of the stereotypes of masculinity lived out in their most extreme forms. The macho man perverts true masculinity.
He pretends to be strong by acting aggressively and creating about himself an image of power, both of which mask the deeper reality of the insecurity within. The truly masculine man knows who he is in God and enjoys a healthy integration of this emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual nature. This wholeness comes from knowing and responding to the truth that he is fully loved and accepted in Christ. The masculine man in Christ is truly set free to become all that he is meant to be.
The macho man lives out an image of manhood that emphasizes only one small part of what it means to be male. He pretends that it is possible to live life with a constant erection. But, our physical genital reality reminds us that we are only sometimes hard. Most of the time, we are are soft.
The majority of our lives is lived out as penis, not erected phallus, and this is normal and proper for men. Think of what it would be like in actuality if we had to live the whole of our lives with an erection. This is a grotesque image. Yet it is the kind of masculine image many macho men attempt to convey thru their personalities as they relate to those around them.
It is far healthier and more productive to recognize and celebrate the broader dimensions of our masculinity modeled for us most completely by the man Jesus, our loving LORD. As He demonstrated, a man's strength is not rooted in violent aggression or in an obsession with worldly power, but in the Godlike power of sacrificial love.A man is not weak, but strong, when he wisely chooses to live the predominant portion of this life with his sword in his sheath.
This is not a man feminized. This is a masculine man who has given up the false god of proud machismo and has delivered his complex and diverse masculine personality into the hands of God to be shaped by the demands of love.
This post is taken from Temptations Men Face
.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Yesterday, we discussed four things that represent a real man,
a Christian man. Today, we conclude our discussion:5. The Christian man is free to be tender.
He no longer has to analyze everything objectively and express himself without feeling. He is now strong enough to be gentle.
He will touch and hold and kiss his children & grandchildren as Jesus held the children of his day and loved them. He will affirm others with words of truth and love and be generous with hugs and other physical expressions of encouragement. He will let others affirm and love him. He can laugh and cry with others like Jesus did. 6. The Christian man is free to forgive.
He will forgive others quickly and with a generous spirit as he has been forgiven by God. A redeemed sinner, and in process himself, he can sympathize and empathize with the struggles of others.7. The Christian man is free to stand for righteousness.
He will influence the world by courageous speaking the truth and acting on the truth he knows. Once he was too insecure to stand up for what he believed, but now he is secure in Christ's love.
He has the courage to expose the fruitless behaviors of darkness and to model the fruitful lifestyle of light, love and truth.8. The Christian man is free to be concerned for the world around him.
No longer driven by a need to build external evidences of his worth, he can give himself and his money away. He can work less to build his personal empire
, and more to alleviate suffering, hunger and the conditions that lead to distress, disease and death.
The Christian man is free to live in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The information from this post is taken from Temptations Men Face.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
What are the common behaviors of a man who claims Christ as his savior? What does the power of God's Word do to a man? What does a man look like who has been transformed by God's Holy Spirit?1. The Christian man is free to be a servant-leader.
He no longer depends upon his own strength, but on the guidance, wisdom and strength of the Lord. His identity is not dependent on successful achievement, so he is set free to fail without being devastated by failure.
This freedom to fail gives the Christian man courage and faith to step out and take measured risks in the Lord's work. He includes others in the decision-making process because he is no longer afraid to admit that he needs the help of others and of God in order to have success. He can affirm and build up those with whom he works because he feels affirmed and accepted in love by God in Christ.2. The Christian man is free to be lighthearted.
He no longer has to take himself so seriously. God is his refuge. He is set free from having to protect himself, to fear and shield himself from others. He is secure in himself and his faith. He will not list out his accomplishments like a peacock strutting around, fanning his tail. His personality will take on a peaceful playfulness that will draw others to him. He can laugh at himself.
He has no need to put others down. 3. The Christian man is free to interact with others.
He is relational. He is a thoughtful boss and a congenial host. He is free to share himself openly. He will talk with his wife. He will talk with his children. He will not talk at them but will talk with them, listening to those he loves. He will not have to have all the right answers. He will enjoy entering into the deeper-meaning dimensions of the lives of those around him. He is no longer interested in telling others how important he is.
He is now more interested in hearing about their joys, their needs, their hopes, their dreams. 4. The Christian man is able to be open with others about his needs and to ask for help.
He knows that it is his willingness to open his life to others that creates possibilities for himself and others to grow, receive healing and move on toward maturity in Christ. The man will give and receive friendship.(continued tomorrow)
The information from this post is taken from Temptations Men Face.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Though he looked the part, Daniel Walker
was not a typical Western visitor to brothels in Asia. Playing the part of a lonely tourist, Walker was actually an undercover agent investigating the sex trade industry in various locations around the globe. Knowing his life would be in danger if he were exposed, Walker was moved by more than a paycheck. In his book God in a Brothel,
it becomes clear that Walker's overriding motivation to rescue girls and women trapped in this brutal form of slavery was God's great love for each and every one of them.
Human trafficking is a present-day reality about which many of us would prefer not to think. No modern invention, it was the situation in which God's people suffered under the rule of the Egyptians, enslaved to construct Egypt's buildings as forced laborers. In the midst of their suffering -- just as in the midst of our own experiences of suffering -- it would have been tempting to give up hope in the God who had called them His own. And yet, instead of relinquishing trust, the Hebrew people continued to cry out to God for deliverance for four hundred years. The One who loved them heard their cries, saw their misery, and was concerned for their suffering.
In the midst of suffering, it's tempting to believe that God does not care or that God has abandoned us. The truth is that bodies which are used and abused, broken and beaten, matter deeply to God. God does not turn away from the suffering of a young woman being trafficked for profit.
God does not ignore the cries of the needy. Rather, the One who used Moses to deliver His people out of captivity is the One to whom you can turn in the midst of your suffering. God sees your suffering and hears your cries.
This post is taken from Today in the Word,
June 3, 2012.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"...I shall be anointed with fresh oil"
The word used for "anoint" in the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament comes from the Greek word chrio.
This word originally denoted the smearing or rubbing of oil or perfume upon an individual.
For example, if a patient came to see a physician because of sore muscles, the physician would pour oil upon his own hands; then he would begin to deeply rub that oil into
the sore muscles of that patient. That penetrating application of oil would be denoted by the Greek work chrio.
So technically speaking, the word "anoint" has to do with the rubbing or smearing of oil upon someone else.
When you read the word "anoint" in the Bible, think not only of the oil, but of the hands of the Anointer. Oil was very expensive in Bible times; therefore, rather than tip the bottle of oil downward and freely pour it upon the recipient, a person would first pour the oil onto his hands and then apply it to the other person.
Let's consider this concept in the context of God anointing our lives. God Himself -- the Great Anointer -- filled His hands with the essence of His Spirit and then laid His mighty hands upon our lives, pressing the Spirit's power and anointing ever deeper into us. So when we speak of a person who is anointed, we are actually acknowledging the the hand of God is on that person.
If you would like a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon your life, you come before the Great Anointer! He alone can give you what you need. Open your heart to God, and allow Him to lay His hands upon your life in a new way.
This post is taken from SPARKLING GEMS FROM THE GREEK
(p. 363).BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When I first started this blog, I had an entry that precedes this present entry. That one is to be read in conjunction with this one. Click here to read that entry.
After I posted the other entry, a Lt Colonel friend of mine responded about my impressions about the Colonel picking up a piece of trash. My friend said, "in God's eyes, a Colonel has no more value than any one else. A private is just as valuable as the Colonel. Remember that military folks have ingrained in them that they should pick up garbage!"
His statement made me think of how God desires immediate obedience. When I told that to my friend, he replied, "Wouldn't it be great (santification does it
) to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we would do the "right thing" not because it is a challenge, but simply because it is ingrained within us? " When he said that, someone popped into my mind.
I am thinking of someone who comes from America's greatest generation.
Actually, he's a tad bit young to fit into that generation; however, he embodies many of those qualities. Better yet, he embodies the quality of "immediate obedience." Since this is Memorial Day, we are to remember those who have fought for our country to retain our freedoms.
If you look at that picture above, you will see my father-in-law. When I think of a soldier, I think of this picture. Then I think of the gentleman that he is and of the example he has provided for me over the last 28 years of knowing him. I am a much better man because of his willingness to be "immediately obedient" to God's working thru him.
So today, this Memorial Day, take the time to honor someone who has taken the time to show you what being a real man is like, being a gentleman's gentleman. Let him know now before you don't have a chance to tell him. Tell him that he is your inspiration.
Thanks, Dad! (yes, he let's me call him that)BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I was fortunate over the last three years to serve with our military in Germany. My time there taught me two important lessons about being a gentleman. One from a German and one from a U.S. Army Colonel.
I was on a German train traveling to a conference. It was a bullet train and I reserved my seat (you have to pay extra to get a reservation). When I got to my seat, a German man, a bit older than me, was sitting in my seat. It didn't matter that there were other seats available, he was in MY seat and I had PAID for that seat. I showed him my ticket and he got up and moved to an empty seat. What I didn't know was that he was sitting with his friends. He moved across the aisle and continued his conversation. I wasn't very friendly, I was upset that this guy could just sit in my seat. But I put in my earphones, listened to my iPod and tried to not act angry. As I sat there, listening to my CHRISTIAN music, God talked to me and said I was wrong. I was full of myself and was not acting like Christ. Finally, after several stops, I got up and went over to the man and apologized to him (in very broken German) and asked him to trade seats with me. In perfect English, he said, "no, it was my fault. It was my pleasure to let you sit there." Now, I felt even more foolish. This man said it was his "pleasure."
On another occasion, I was at a US Military hotel in Seoul, Korea and I was standing at the deli, ordering a sandwich. I noticed someone had taken the previous number and had thrown it on the ground. I thought about picking it up, then I thought, "I didn't put it down there, I'm not picking it up." I ordered my sandwich and sat down. Shortly after that, a Colonel came thru the line. He saw the number that was on the ground and he bent over, picked it up and threw it away and then got back in line. God spoke to me, He said, "so you thought you were too good to pick that up, huh? Look at that Colonel. Even though he is in charge and could have ordered a number of men to pick up that number, he did it himself." Then I was reminded of the story of the Centurion in Matthew 8.
This Centurion was commended for his humility and faith.
So these two simple stories, I hope, help to spur you into thinking what it means to be a gentleman. A gentleman thinks of others. He doesn't get to thinking he is better than anyone else. A gentleman doesn't think that he is above doing tasks that don't seem worthy.
Yesterday at Target, when a woman ran over my toe with her shopping cart, I didn't erupt. I told her not to worry about it. When a man asked to sit next to me while I was waiting at the pharmacy for my prescription, I simply stated, "yes, it would be my pleasure." Are you willing to allow God to make you into a gentleman's gentleman?
For part two, click hereBE HOLY.BE A MAN.