Recognizing the increasing trend toward immodesty of dress in public places, we remind our people of the Christian concept of modesty as an expression of holiness and urge that Christian modesty be exercised at all times in public. (2005)
The scripture calls all believers to balance, health, and wholeness through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Gluttony is the practice of consuming to the detriment of body, community, and spiritual life. While obesity may arise due to genetics, cultural constraints, or physical limitations, gluttony, on the other hand, reflects a way of life that consumes God’s good creation: food, resources and relationships that harm both persons and community. The practice of Christian stewardship calls us to seek to maintain the health and fitness of our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit and to live temperate lives with all the resources and relationships God provides. (2009)
(Proverbs 23:19-21; Matthew 11:19; 23:25; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 5:23; Philippians 3:19; Titus 1:8; 2:12; Hebrews 12:16; 2 Peter 1:6)
The Church of the Nazarene continues to strongly object to substance abuse as a social malignancy. We encourage church members to take an active and highly visible role and to participate in education and rehabilitation relative to substance abuse and the incompatibility of such use with a Christian experience and a holy life. (2013)
The Church of the Nazarene publicly supports the desocialization of alcohol consumption. We encourage civic, labor, business, professional, social, voluntary, and private agencies and organizations to assist in such desocialization to counteract the advertising and media promotion of the social acceptability of the “alcohol culture.” (2013)
The Church of the Nazarene urges its people to continue to speak out against the use of tobacco, both as a health hazard and a social evil. Our historic stand is based on God’s Word, where we are admonished to maintain our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19–20).
Our stand opposing the use of tobacco in all its forms is strongly supported by medical evidence, documented by numerous social, governmental, and health agencies around the world. They have demonstrated that it is a major health hazard, and have shown conclusively that its use may produce changes in normal bodily physiology, both serious and permanent.
We recognize that our young people are greatly influenced by the millions of dollars that are spent on tobacco advertising, and its twin evil, beverage alcohol. We endorse a ban on all advertising of tobacco and beverage alcohol in magazines, on billboards, and on radio, television, and other media. (2013)
(Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
Since 1981, our world has been confronted with a most devastating disease known as HIV/AIDS. In view of the deep need of HIV/AIDS sufferers, Christian compassion motivates us to become accurately informed about HIV/AIDS. Christ would have us to find a way to communicate His love and concern for these sufferers in any and every country of the world. (2013)
The Bible commands every Christian to, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4–7; 11:19) admonishes us to communicate God’s grace to our children. Psalm 78:4 declares, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Jesus affirms this in Luke 18:16, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
As a response to this biblical perspective, the Church of the Nazarene acknowledges that children are important to God and a priority in His kingdom. We believe God directed us to attend to all children—to love, nurture, protect, uphold, guide, and advocate for them. It is God’s plan that we introduce children to the life of salvation and growth in grace. Salvation, holiness, and discipleship are possible and imperative in the lives of children. We recognize that children are not a means to an end, but full participants in the Body of Christ. Children are disciples in training, not disciples in waiting.
Thus, holistic and transformational ministry to children and their families in every local church will be a priority as evidenced by:
- providing effective and empowering ministries to the whole child—physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually;
- articulating Christian positions on current social justice issues that affect children;
- connecting children to the heart of the mission and ministry of the faith community;
- discipling children and training them to disciple others;
- equipping parents to nurture the spiritual formation of their children.
Since the church’s educational institutions (Bible schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries) prepare students for leadership, they play a crucial role in carrying out the vision and mission of communicating the value of children. They join local churches and families in taking responsibility to prepare members of the clergy and laity to raise the next generation of children and youth to be biblically and theologically literate and to meet the known and unforeseen challenges for evangelizing, discipling, and transforming their societies.
The Church of the Nazarene envisions an intergenerational faith community where children and youth are loved and valued, where they are ministered to and incorporated into the Church family through a wide variety of means and methods, and where they have opportunities to minister to others in ways consistent with their ages, development, abilities, and spiritual gifts. (2009)