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 of 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 “distinctive”. While we get our name from Jesus of Nazareth, you might be asking what else defines us as "Nazarene"? Here are few examples of what defines us as compared to other well known denominations:
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 preaching 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 - we do not “speak in tongues” in our services - but like the Charismatics we believe in the gifts of the Spirit that gives people the power to live a Christlike 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.
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.
We are a warm and friendly group of people who desire, with God’s help, to live holy lives that bring honor and glory to him. In three words our theology is, “JESUS IS LORD!” We look to the Bible as our primary source for direction in our worship and our lifestyles.
We are life-centered in our teaching and sensitive to the needs and concerns of others.
We give people opportunities to put their faith in to action through various avenues of service.
We are honored to take our place among the many who are called Christians.
We laugh and cry together, rejoice and grieve together, grow together, and walk in faith together.
We aim to be a family for all who love Jesus, the Nazarene.