The Church of the Nazarene is a Great Commission church. We believe that God offers to everyone forgiveness, peace, joy, purpose, love, meaning in life, and the promise of heaven when life is over by entering and experiencing a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We are called to take this message to people everywhere. Every church has its distinctives – practices or beliefs that set it apart from other groups. Sometimes this is confusing to people. They say,
If the Bible is true and Jesus was who He claimed to be,
why are there so many different churches with so many different beliefs?
We are optimistic enough to believe that with all the differences in beliefs and practices, most Christian congregations still agree on 90-95% of Christian teaching, and that the other 5-10% we do not agree on falls in this category of “distinctives”.
While we get our name from Jesus of Nazareth, you might be asking what in the world is a modern-day Nazarene? Well…
- We are not Baptists, but like the Baptists, we believe in calling people to repentance and to witnessing to their new life in Christ through public baptism.
- We are not Presbyterians, but like the Presbyterians we believe in the power of the preaching of the Word of God to bring about change in people’s lives.
- We are not Lutherans, but like the Lutherans we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ on the authority of Scripture alone, in salvation by faith alone and in salvation as a gift of God’s grace alone.
- We are not Charismatics – no, we do not “speak in tongues” in our services – but like the Charismatics we believe in the gifts of the Spirit, who gives people the power to live a Christ-like life and to make a real difference in their world.
- We are not Episcopalians – although John Wesley was a lifelong Anglican – but like the Episcopalians we take worship seriously (we just choose to be a little less “formal” in our worship services).
- We are not Quakers or Moravians, but like these pietistic groups, we believe in living a careful life that testifies to the watching world that we belong to the Family of God.
- And we are not United Methodists, although we have our roots in the Methodist tradition that grew out of John Wesley’s revival movement in the 1700’s. We have good fellowship with our United Methodist “cousins”, but we are organizationally separate for historical reasons.