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37, 437.8, Announcement, Current Events, General Assembly, General Superintendents, Headquarters, The Manual

The 28th General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene

UPDATE 7/19/2013: 

Message from our founder, Ty McCarthy, concerning the General Assembly passage of Christian Action Resolutions 701, 702, 703 & 705:

“With the 28th General Assembly now behind us, we will continue the daily work of building a safe Nazarene Church for all. I am not at all surprised these resolutions easily passed. Although I am a bit disappointed, it just makes our work that much more difficult.

We, the Nazarenes, have gone away from our roots. Our tradition used to be purposefully including those that society marginalized. A hundred years later, it is the Church that is doing the marginalizing of LGBT people, as society is moving toward inclusion and equality. Nazarene Ally will continue to promote necessary conversations that foster civil discussion. Sharing our experiences and stories is path we started on; this is the path we will continue down. It is always the slower path, but it is the only path that allows for reconciliation to take place. The hope is that people will see the gap the Church has created between its policy and practice. Sharing our stories will expose the illogical nature of these resolutions.

I remain hopeful that the Assembly’s referral of 703, to study human sexuality over the next quadrennial will bring us to a better place as a Church. A study of this magnitude cannot be one sided. To not use the knowledge and expertise of Nazarene Ally would be a huge missed opportunity for the Church. We extend an open and willing attitude towards participating in this study over the next four years. Even though, at the end of the day, we [LGBT Nazarenes] are still viewed under the current language of being a “perversion” that are, “subject to the wrath of God” (Manual P. 37), I am still optimistic for future of the Church of the Nazarene and the next General Assembly in 2017.

We can build a better Church by working together and by approaching complex issues of faith and human sexuality by still being salt and light. I am absolutely positive that this can be done. Our slogan is truer today, than it ever has been: We can do better.”

General Assembly News:

All votes on 701, 702, 703 & 705. All are up for voting on the floor. Only 703 is amended and referred to the Board of General Superintendents. The General Assembly votes to approve measures 701, 702, & 705 and referred 703 to the board of General Superintentents.

701 – Two kinds of sexual immorality (Human and homosexual)
702 – Entertainment – Nazarenes only can watch TV/Movies that support “traditional Biblical marriage”
703 – A stronger statement against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
705 – Marriage is only between one man and one woman.

United States Supreme Court News:

SCOTUS throws out Prop 8 on issue of standing, and DOMA is ruled unconstitutional! Marriage resumes in California, and 1,138 federal laws now apply equally to gay and straight couples.

General Assembly 2013

Use ScriptureUse TraditionUse ReasonUse Experience

About Ty McC

Urban designer & blogger. Faith and Religion correspondent for The Huffington Post and 'The Gayly' Founder of Nazarene Ally. Love God, love others.

Discussion

One thought on “The 28th General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene

  1. I am a lifetime, NON-MEMBER of the Nazarene Church (was raised, grew up, and, today as an adult, agree with their Articles of Faith and stance on nearly every issue), I understand the heaviness of sin, the freedom through Christ, and I am single (never dated, never married, no desire to do so either). In other words, I come to you with an unusual perspective. In love, I refer you to Paul, deemed one of the greatest persecutors of the Church, full-blooded Jew, natural-born Roman Citizen, trained in all aspects of the Law by highly respected teachers of his day, yet transformed from zealous persecutor to zealous believer and a person who every Christian I’ve ever run into holds in the highest regard as someone whose life is an example to follow after. Toward the end of his life, wrote Romans 1:24-32 in a section later entitled “God’s Wrath Against Mankind”, clearly calling out and labeling Lesbian (“women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones and were inflamed with lust for one another”), Gay (“In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another”), and other forms of unnatural sexuality as being “wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity” in God’s sight and seeing physical punishments being doled out as a result of those choices. The words in that section were carefully chosen by Paul to indicate that those choices, present in his day, were sin in God’s sight. How would what was deemed sin yesterday by God be any different today? It isn’t and won’t ever be because God is Unchanging, Timeless, Righteous, Holy.

    This doesn’t mean that LGBT folks can’t come to know Christ and, through a growing relationship with Him, leave their old sinful past behind them. Sin is unacceptable in God’s sight and will eventually result in eternal separation from God. The Church has a duty to do what is necessary in order to steer people away from the wide path of eternal destruction and separation from the one and only Righteous and Holy God toward a solid, growing relationship with Him. In my extensive experience, the Nazarene Church deals with issues of this nature such that they accept people from all walks of life, as Jesus did, leaving the local Nazarene Church family to work on an individual’s sin issues as they arise, just as Jesus did*, and not rejecting anyone who is willing to accept that such things need to be cut away as part of the former sinful self, just as Jesus did in his interactions with those around him. The Nazarene Church is good about only enacting measures that meet that criteria. Strict policies tend to not get anywhere these days at General Assembly. The tendency is to eliminate the weaker traditional stance (e.g. no dancing, no drinking, etc.) in favor of a much stronger stance that it is the local Nazarene Church family’s responsibility to call out their brothers and sisters, within the context of a loving relationship, on issues that are destroying their eternal future. The Nazarene Manual is therefore a set of rationales for how legitimate Nazarene Church members operate to achieve that goal. It is this newer stance that allows us to strengthen each other in the Faith without judgement toward each other. Judgement is therefore left to God. Frankly, I’d rather be judged by man than by God because the judgements and punishments are, by far, infinitely lighter. But judgement without relationship turns people away from the Church, which reduces and weakens us.

    It is the belief among my many Christian brothers and sisters in the Nazarene Church that Rome’s downfall came about partially because of the sexual depravity that Paul described in the first chapter of Romans. People were supposedly too enamored with the latest bizarre sex practices to notice the invading armies. Regardless of how the downfall of Rome happened, our own personal downfall happens first within our hearts and souls followed by our behavior and actions.

    * It is annoying and VERY irritating that Jesus left us and now, today, when we desperately need Him, doesn’t just simply appear, like he did to Paul on the Damascus road, and tell us what to do in this scenario in plain and simple language. We have to rely instead on historical writings that, at times, seemingly conflict with each other. If Jesus appeared and told us exactly what to do, there would be no room for debate.

    Posted by John Wagner | July 17, 2013, 10:18 AM

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