The Way Nazarenes Live
Guidelines of Conduct:
The Bible sets the standard for Christian conduct with the command to 'live holy lives'. Thousands of people who have sought to reach that ideal across many years have had experiences that can be helpful to new Christians. The agreement of these people on the things which help and the things which hinder a holy life has been called the collective conscience of the church. They should be seriously considered by anyone who sincerely desires to live a holy life.
The General Rules:
The General Rules are divided into two parts: (1) Those things we should seek to do (positive), and (2) Those things we should seek to avoid (negative). Both aspects are equally important and should be maintained in balance.
Doing that which is commanded in God's Word, including:
1. Loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and one's neighbour as oneself.
2. Seeking the salvation of the lost.
3. Being courteous to all men.
4. Being helpful to Christian brothers and sisters.
5. Doing good to the bodies and souls of the needy: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned.
6. Contributing to the support of the ministry of the church and its work in tithes and offerings.
7. Faithfully attending the services of the church and participating in the sacraments. Reading and meditating on the Scripture, and having private and family devotions.
By avoiding evil of every kind, including:
1. Taking God's name in vain. (Using God's name in an unworthy way as a swear word).
2. Participating in unnecessary secular activities on the Lord's Day.
3. Sexual immorality or perversion.
4. Habits or practices known to be destructive of physical and mental well-being.
5. Quarreling, returning evil for evil, gossiping, slandering, and damaging the good reputation of others.
6. Dishonesty, taking advantage in buying and selling, bearing false witness, and similar things.
7. Indulging in pride in dress or behaviour.
8. Music, literature and entertainment that dishonours God.
The Special Rules:
The following practices should be avoided:
1. Entertainment that is subversive of Christian ethics. We believe that Nazarenes should exercise extreme caution to prevent the entry of evils into their homes through the mediums of communication. We also believe that we should use our influence against social evils such as violence, sensuality, pornography, profanity, and the occult as portrayed by the entertainment industry.
2. Lotteries and other forms of gambling.
3. Membership in secret oath-bound societies.
4. Forms of dancing that detract from spiritual growth and breakdown proper moral inhibitions and reserve.
5. The use or sale of intoxicating beverages, illicit drugs, and tobacco.
Marriage and Divorce:
Every possible effort should be made to avoid the breakdown of the marriage relationship, and to preserve its sanctity and permanence.
"Members of the Church of the Nazarene are to seek prayerfully a redemptive course of action when involved in marital unhappiness, in full harmony with their vows and the clear teachings of Scripture, their aim being to save the home and safeguard the good name of Christ and His church." (Manual, paragraph 35.3.)
Abortion in any form when used for personal convenience or population control should be avoided. If a medical condition exists where the mother or the child could not survive, a pregnancy may be terminated after sound medical and Christian counseling.
Nazarenes view all forms of sexual intimacy that occur outside the covenant of marriage as sinful and distortions of the holiness and beauty God intended for it. Homosexuality is condemned as a form of perversion.
God is the owner of everything, and human beings are accountable to Him for the use we make of what He puts in our hands. God's plan for financing the activities of His Church is through the biblical system called tithing. Nazarenes are urged to faithfully contribute 10% of their 'increase' to their local church.
We hope that after reading these standards of Christian conduct you will be attracted to becoming a part of a church that holds such high moral and ethical standards for its people.