Section: Current Moral and Social Issues
The Church of the Nazarene encourages its members who do not object personally to support donor/recipient anatomical organs through living wills and trusts.
Further, we appeal for a morally and ethically fair distribution of organs to those qualified to receive them. (2013)
The Church of the Nazarene reiterates its historic position of Christian compassion for people of all races. We believe that God is the Creator of all people, and that of one blood are all people created.
We believe that each individual, regardless of race, color, gender, or creed, should have equality before law, including the right to vote, equal access to educational opportunities, to all public facilities, and to the equal opportunity, according to one’s ability, to earn a living free from any job or economic discrimination.
We urge our churches everywhere to continue and strengthen programs of education to promote racial understanding and harmony. We also feel that the scriptural admonition of Hebrews 12:14 should guide the actions of our people. We urge that each member of the Church of the Nazarene humbly examine his or her personal attitudes and actions toward others, as a first step in achieving the Christian goal of full participation by all in the life of the church and the entire community.
We reemphasize our belief that holiness of heart and life is the basis for right living. We believe that Christian charity between racial groups or gender will come when the hearts of people have been changed by complete submission to Jesus Christ, and that the essence of true Christianity consists in loving God with one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and one’s neighbor as oneself. (2005)
The Church of the Nazarene abhors abuse of any person of any age or sex and calls for increased public awareness through its publications and by providing appropriate educational information.
The Church of the Nazarene reaffirms its historical policy that all those who act under the authority of the Church are prohibited from sexual misconduct and other forms of abuse of the unempowered. When placing people in positions of trust or authority, the Church of the Nazarene will presume that past conduct is usually a reliable indicator of likely future behavior. The Church will withhold positions of authority from people who have previously used a position of trust or authority to engage in sexual misconduct or abuse of the unempowered, unless appropriate steps are taken to prevent future wrongful behavior. Expressions of remorse by a guilty person shall not be considered sufficient to overcome the presumption that future wrongful conduct is likely, unless the expressions of remorse are accompanied by an observable change of conduct for a sufficient length of time, to indicate that a repeat of the wrongful misconduct is unlikely. (2009)
The Church of the Nazarene believes that Jesus commanded His disciples to have a special relationship to the poor of this world; that Christ’s Church ought, first, to keep itself simple and free from an emphasis on wealth and extravagance and, second, to give itself to the care, feeding, clothing, and shelter of the poor. Throughout the Bible and in the life and example of Jesus, God identifies with and assists the poor, the oppressed, and those in society who cannot speak for themselves. In the same way, we, too, are called to identify with and to enter into solidarity with the poor and not simply to offer charity from positions of comfort. We hold that compassionate ministry to the poor includes acts of charity as well as a struggle to provide opportunity, equality, and justice for the poor. We further believe that the Christian responsibility to the poor is an essential aspect of the life of every believer who seeks a faith that works through love.
Finally, we understand Christian holiness to be inseparable from ministry to the poor in that holiness compels the Christian beyond his or her own individual perfection and toward the creation of a more just and equitable society and world. Holiness, far from distancing believers from the desperate economic needs of people in our world, motivates us to place our means in the service of alleviating such need and to adjust our wants in accordance with the needs of others. (2013)
(Exodus 23:11; Deuteronomy 15:7; Psalms 41:1; 82:3; Proverbs 19:17; 21:13; 22:9; Jeremiah 22:16; Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:33; Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 2:10)
The Church of the Nazarene affirms and encourages the use of gender inclusive language in reference to persons. Publications, including the Manual and public language should reflect this commitment to gender equality as expressed in paragraph 501. Language changes shall not be applied to any scriptural quotations or references to God. (2009)
Concerned that our great Christian heritage be understood and safeguarded, we remind our people that both political and religious freedom rest upon biblical concepts of the dignity of humankind as God’s creation and the sanctity of one’s own individual conscience. We encourage our people to participate in appropriate activity in support of these biblical concepts and to be ever vigilant against threats to this precious freedom.
These freedoms are constantly in danger, therefore we urge election of persons to public office at all levels of government who believe in these principles and who are answerable only to God and the constituency that elected them when carrying out a public trust. Further, we resist any invasion of these principles by religious groups seeking special favors.
We believe that the role of the Church is to be prophetic and constantly to remind the people that “righteousness exalts a nation” (Proverbs 14:34). (2005)
The Church of the Nazarene believes that the ideal world condition is that of peace and that it is the full obligation of the Christian Church to use its influence to seek such means as will enable the nations of the earth to be at peace and to devote all of its agencies for the propagation of the message of peace. However, we realize that we are living in a world where evil forces and philosophies are actively in conflict with these Christian ideals and that there may arise such international emergencies as will require a nation to resort to war in defense of its ideals, its freedom, and its existence.
While thus committed to the cause of peace, the Church of the Nazarene recognizes that the supreme allegiance of the Christian is due to God, and therefore it does not endeavor to bind the conscience of its members relative to participation in military service in case of war, although it does believe that the individual Christian as a citizen is bound to give service to his or her own nation in all ways that are compatible with the Christian faith and the Christian way of life.
We also recognize that, as an outgrowth of the Christian teaching and of the Christian desire for peace on earth, there are among our membership individuals who have conscientious objection to certain forms of military service. Therefore the Church of the Nazarene claims for conscientious objectors within its membership the same exemptions and considerations regarding military service as are accorded members of recognized noncombatant religious organizations.
The Church of the Nazarene, through its general secretary, shall set up a register whereon those persons who supply evidence of being members of the Church of the Nazarene may record their convictions as conscientious objectors. (2005)
With deep appreciation of God’s creation we believe we are to strive to exhibit the stewardship qualities that help preserve His work. Recognizing we have been given a stake in sustaining the integrity of our surroundings, we accept the individual and collective responsibilities of doing so. (2009)
(Genesis 2:15, Psalms 8:3–9; 19:1–4; 148)