[your input is valuable: peripheral issues]

[your input is valuable: peripheral issues]

Got another question for you.

I came to Church today to discover a rather hot discussion over what the Manual (Church of the Nazarene one) is all about and why we should take it into account. Observing the discussion (and sometimes inserting my 2 cents of experience – the discussion was among people same age as I so I actually could relate quite easily), it got me thinking…

Is it important to know what your Church is all about or you can settle with the fact that you are a follower of Christ and we are all Christians regardless of the denomination?

Bill (aka Cycleguy) made the issue a bit clearer… “There are peripheral issues that fall into the opinion category that I must learn to live with if I am going to “accept” others as Christ-followers.” Hence, rephrased:

Should we know what are the peripheral issues that our Church supports and why / how they came to be, or we should not worry about those and just go along with the flow?

Your opinion matters and all opinions are welcome. Discussion is welcome as well πŸ™‚ I shall write my own thoughts on Wednesday (hopefully).

  • Zee, I'm not real sure what you are asking. Do you mind to clarify and I will do my best to answer.
    My recent post Living With Yourself After Watching A Bad Movie

    • sorry, i guess it came out jumbled… just too many thoughts to process…

      okay… basically what we were talking about was whether we should know what the Church we go to believes (besides the fact that it's a Christian Church)… what are the main ideas, how they came to be, maybe some rules or observations. why for example one Church is Pentecostal and another one Anglican, or insert-denomination-here.

      or… we could just settle for the fact that we go to a Church that is a Christian one and not care for what denomination the Church belongs to and why.

      hm… i am not sure if i made it clearer…. =/
      My recent post [leaders' bootcamp: epic fail… or not? part 2]

    • Bill explained it better than i did – "There are peripheral issues that fall into the opinion category that I must learn to live with if I am going to "accept" others as Christ-followers."

      my question was basically "should we know about those peripheral issues and how / why they arose?" (for example, speaking in tongues)

  • I am going with Michael but will take a stab at it since i am here. πŸ™‚ For years I followed the train of thought that the group I was with was really the only Christians (christian church/church of Christ). I no longer believe that although I do find myself somewhat mired in that group (which is totally another subject). I do believe it is important what you believe and what your church believes. I am of the opinion that there are certain non-negotiables that cannot be compromised (God, Christ, HS, sin, Bible, etc). There are peripheral issues that fall into the opinion category that I must learn to live with if I am going to "accept" others as Christ-followers. For example, I live in a very small town. My main accountability partner for Covenant Eyes is a Naz pastor. I know you are Naz Zee but i do not agree with some of what you teach/believe. (Sanctification as a second work of grace for example). However, Dave and I can fellowship, i can call him my brother, because we agree on the essentials. I cannot agree with a Unitarian, for example, and cannot call them my brother/sister. That is a short answer. Not sure if that is what you want.
    My recent post Worry-Free Week

    • Ike

      What unifies the church is the gospel. What defines the gospel is the Bible. What interprets the Bible correctly is a hermeneutic centered on Jesus Christ crucified, the all-sufficient Savior of sinners, who gives himself away on terms of radical grace to all alike. What proves that that gospel hermeneutic has captured our hearts is that we are not looking down on other believers but lifting them up, not seeing ourselves as better but grateful for their contribution to the cause, not standing aloof but embracing them freely, not wishing they would become like us but serving them in love (Galatians 5:13).

      • good thoughts, Ike. thanks for feedback! πŸ™‚

  • Oh yeah. Please don't shoot me and shut me out because I disagree. πŸ˜€
    My recent post Worry-Free Week

  • One thing to remember about the manual, is that is about 98% polity – meaning it deals with the structure and governance of the Church of the Nazarene, from the local level to the global level. The remaining 2% is divided between doctrine and ethic, the smallest portion devoted to doctrine. I don't think it is important at all to know the 98% part, unless you are a leader.

    But, I do think you need to understand the official position of the Church of the Nazarene, especially the tiny doctrine part, if you claim to be a part of it. Personally, I wish there were NO denominations, but the various ways we disagree with one another about doctrine warrants the existence of denominations, if for no other reason, so that we may find a safe place to worship in relative unity and peace.

    This unity has, as its highest enemy, discord that comes from assumptions about what the body beleives about things. As long as everyone knows the official positions, we can agree to unite despite minor differences with that position.

    I wish everything was so absolutely clear that we knew exactly how to believe about everything – but, unfortunately, the Bible leaves room for competing views about SOME things. I also wish that the few essential things about which we must all agree (see Nicene creed & Apostle's creed) were enough to enable us to worship in unity. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can't.

    • I don't think it is important at all to know the 98% part, unless you are a leader – yep, i agree… but then there are still issues that you need to know… (or maybe i am just a geek – that's also a possibility πŸ˜€ )…

      As long as everyone knows the official positions, we can agree to unite despite minor differences with that position – completely agree. for me it feels weird to agree to something that i have no idea about… like judging a book by its cover. maybe the cover is great and the content is worthless. or maybe the cover is okay and the content is amazing. 'tis good if the content and the cover are both great.

      thanks for feedback, Herb!

  • I don't know much about the Nazarenes. I can relate only by saying there are certain denom's I disagree with — like Methodists or even some non-denom churches. It's not that they are bad. I just couldn't go there and not be annoyed with some of the teachings. Or the churches that teach that homosexuality is ok. I'd have a huge problem with that. In my church, I don't totally agree with everything. My pastor preaches that people are predestined to either be Christians or not, that they are "elected" and some aren't. I can't wrap my head around that and I feel like if I did believe that, it would cause me to think that God is totally unjust. My Pastor explains it well and sometimes I do think "wow, he has a good point" but I have trouble understanding it so I can't say I agree with him. I still respect my Pastor and I think he's great. I try to understand his point and most of the things he says, I do agree with. Otherwise I don't think I could sit in church each week and swallow his sermons.
    My recent post We Wrestle

    • heh, well, we're sort of "Methodist" (well, we're Wesleyan and he was the one who started the Methodist movement)…

      predestination? wow… i thought only Calvinists believed that… but then, i don't know. sometimes it does make sense, but most of the time, i keep bumping into the freedom of choice – predestination wipes that clean and basically says there's no way you can really choose. if you're doomed, you're doomed. the only good thing is that you don't really know who is "destined" and who is not, so it is not an excuse to just sit back and relax… but that's a whole another topic.

      thanks for stopping by, Michelle! πŸ™‚ always great to hear from you!

  • Zee: my son-in-law studied to be licensed in the Naz church and one of the sticking points that they were so big on was Calvinism. My friend is not Calvinist. John Piper (MB's pastor) is so that speaks for his thoughts. I have to admit difficulty with speaking in tongues. I chose not to use that earlier for "fear" of opening up a can of worms on someone else's blog. I believe the Bible is clear about guidelines for it but can live with it as a peripheral issue. Just don't make it a test of faith to/for me. I have more trouble with the Oneness bunch that denies the Trinity than I do with the tongues. I see tongues as a side issue but denying the Trinity/Godhead as 3 in 1 is a major issue for me. I hope I am not side-tracking with this but contributing. And CommentLuv is good when it is working. It still lists an older post for me. I seem to bring that out in CL. πŸ™‚
    My recent post Worry-Free Week

    • Naz Church is big on Calvinism? obviously not over here…

      speaking in tongues… heh… i will talk about my ideas in my post today / tomorrow… this was one of the issues why i decided to do this research / write this post…

      thanks for comments!

    • The Nazarene Church is definitely not Calvinist in belief. We are of the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition.

  • Yeah, I'm with Zee Bill on the Calvinistic viewpoint….

    I think Herb makes some excelletnt points especially since I come from the same denomination. I think that it is important to understand the what the church you are at teaches as well as believes, if for no other reason, for one to be more effective in reaching others.

    As to other denominations and non-denominations: we are all the bride of Christ. We all have different things that we believe and cling to. I think that may get too hung up on issues that are not dogmatic.

    • …if for no other reason, for one to be more effective in reaching others – true. i guess if we don't know what our Church but claim we belong to that denomination, we're walking a line of coming up with our own theology… which, unfortunately, doesn't always bring good results.

    • Reckon I didn't explain myself very well. When my son-in-law was studying they were strongly anti-Calvinist. My Naz pastor friend is strongly anti-calvinist. Sorry for any misunderstanding. I am also not a Calvinist. πŸ™‚
      My recent post Worry-Free Week

      • so that was a good thing that it was a sticking point for the Naz Church back when your son-in-law studied to be licensed in the Naz church or a bad one? (sorry, i am a bit confused….)… or was it just a comment? πŸ™‚

  • Some of the latest church studies show that people are not worried about doctrine as much as connection these days. Years ago – denominations were like brand loyalty but now – people are not worried as much with the peripheral issues.

    For me: I find some things very important and other things less. I tend to think that people should know what their church believe in all areas.

    A good and lively discussion. πŸ™‚

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  • What is a bit "humorous" to me is that very few church people really agree with the folks that they attend church with, but they probably don't realize that. The only time it comes to light is when there is a disagreement , so few of us know how to actively love those with whom we disagree.

    A large portion of "us" don't even really know "what we believe" about a lot of peripherals, let alone whether or not our church agrees with us.

    And WAY too many churches here in my area don't really have a solid "belief structure" regarding many of the peripherals any way – it's left up to the personal convictions of the current pastor rather than being codified by the church itself.

    • heh, you're right.

      i guess my natural curiosity and the involvement in Church (my mom's a pastor, i am on Church board and a few other positions) make me interested in "what's behind the scenes"… and sometimes i don't understand how can you go to a Church and not know where it stands… *shrug* IMHO.

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