Organ Donation. 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)


Discrimination. 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.

Therefore, we renounce any form of racial and ethnic indifference, exclusion, subjugation, or oppression as a grave sin against God and our fellow human beings. We lament the legacy of every form of racism throughout the world, and we seek to confront that legacy through repentance, reconciliation, and biblical justice. We seek to repent of every behavior in which we have been overtly or covertly complicit with the sin of racism, both past and present; and in confession and lament we seek forgiveness and reconciliation.

Further, we acknowledge that there is no reconciliation apart from human struggle to stand against and to overcome all personal, institutional and structural prejudice responsible for racial and ethnic humiliation and oppression. We call upon Nazarenes everywhere to identify and seek to remove acts and structures of prejudice, to facilitate occasions for seeking forgiveness and reconciliation, and to take action toward empowering those who have been marginalized. (2017)


Abuse of the Unempowered. 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)


Responsibility to the Poor. 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)


Gender Inclusive Language. 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)


The Church and Human Freedom. 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. And we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have been denied such freedom, either by political or societal restrictions.

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). (2017)


Affirmation and Declaration of Human Freedom. Whereas, as Nazarenes, we embrace the divine call to a life of holiness, wholeness, and restorative living where all things and all peoples are reconciled to God. In response, the Holy Spirit brings freedom to the marginalized, oppressed, broken, and hurting, and justice to right injustices and cease selfish influence caused by sin, until all things are restored in God’s reign.

Consistent with our Wesleyan-holiness heritage and character, we confront the contemporary scourge of modern slavery, illegal or forced labor, and the trafficking of human beings and bodies.

And, in keeping with these affirmations,

We resolve that members and congregations of the International Church of the Nazarene will:

  1. As a holiness people, in our pursuit of justice, recognize that we are called to repent of any injustices in our past, amend our present, and create a just future;
  2. Call to account those who oppress others;
  3. Engage in compassionate care for those caught up in illegal or forced labor, organ harvesting, and sex slavery (along with any other emerging oppression as yet unknown to us);
  4. Listen actively for and amplify the cries of the oppressed;
  5. Denounce injustices and work humbly against the causes of injustice;
  6. Act in solidarity with our sister and brother against whatever binds in order to move together toward freedom; and
  7. Come alongside those who are vulnerable through godly practices that bring redemption, restoration, healing, and freedom (1 John 3:8).

Built upon our Wesleyan-holiness Christian heritage and call to holiness, we make the following affirmations:

  1. We affirm that the pursuit of justice, reconciliation, and freedom is at the heart of God’s holiness being reflected in people. We commit ourselves and our ecclesial resources to working for the abolition of all forms of slavery, trafficking, and oppression, and to participate in intentional networks, conversations, and actions that provide hopeful alternatives.
  2. We affirm that churches should faithfully respond to the impulse of God’s holy love by working for God’s reign to be ever more visible. We are called to be faithful witnesses in thought, word, and deed, to the holy God who hears the cries of those who are oppressed, imprisoned, trafficked, and abused by economic, political, selfish, and evil systems and persons. God calls us to respond in humility with compassion and justice.
  3. We affirm that acting justly involves the compassionate care for those in our immediate surroundings and also being able to name injustice, and denounce the powers that cause it. Acting justly and loving mercy have often brought the people of God in conflict with the ruling powers and principalities of the day. God’s justice calls us beyond equal treatment, tolerance of one another’s differences, or simply reversing the role of oppressed and oppressor. By Jesus’ example, we are called to a justice whereby we are willing to give ourselves up for the sake of another.
  4. We affirm that Christian justice requires a deep commitment to both personal and corporate confession, repentance, and forgiveness as necessary steps.
  5. We affirm that we must advocate for just and hopeful practices in all areas of life. Reflecting the compassionate hope of Christ and love for all people, we identify with the conditions that bring dehumanizing circumstances. We will speak for those who are not heard, and come alongside the vulnerable by offering practices that bring redemption, restoration, healing, and freedom.
  6. We affirm that we are called to become a people who embody a hopeful alternative to oppression and injustice. We are called to reflect the holy God in holy lives, bringing justice in motive and practice to people, circumstances, systems, and nations. While we may not end all suffering, as the body of Christ we are compelled to bring the holiness of God in healing fashion to the redemptive enterprise of restoring all things.
  7. We affirm that as a collaborative network we must think deeply, work holistically, and engage locally and globally. Complex issues drive modern slavery; therefore, multiple solutions must be undertaken.

These will proceed from the fabric of who we are in Christian community naturally flowing into what we do.

We therefore pledge:

  1. To work separately and together, as individuals and institutions, consistent with our Wesleyan-holiness identity to serve with compassion and to prophetically challenge oppressive systems;
  2. To support, encourage, resource, plan, and engage together in effective, wise, sustainable action;
  3. To labor as a worshipping community, with Christ at the center, infused with the power of the Spirit as a movement of hope;
  4. To think deeply, pray with expectation, and act with courage.

For this we live and labor until God’s reign comes “on earth as it is in heaven.” (2017)


Value of Children and Youth. The Bible commands every Christian to, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4–7; 11:19) admonishes us to communicate God’s grace to our children. Psalm 78:4 declares, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Jesus affirms this in Luke 18:16, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

As a response to this biblical perspective, the Church of the Nazarene acknowledges that children are important to God and a priority in His kingdom. We believe God directed us to attend to all children—to love, nurture, protect, uphold, guide, and advocate for them. It is God’s plan that we introduce children to the life of salvation and growth in grace. Salvation, holiness, and discipleship are possible and imperative in the lives of children. We recognize that children are not a means to an end, but full participants in the Body of Christ. Children are disciples in training, not disciples in waiting.

Thus, holistic and transformational ministry to children and their families in every local church will be a priority as evidenced by:

  • providing effective and empowering ministries to the whole child—physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually;
  • articulating Christian positions on current social justice issues that affect children;
  • connecting children to the heart of the mission and ministry of the faith community;
  • discipling children and training them to disciple others;
  • equipping parents to nurture the spiritual formation of their children.

Since the church’s educational institutions (Bible schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries) prepare students for leadership, they play a crucial role in carrying out the vision and mission of communicating the value of children. They join local churches and families in taking responsibility to prepare members of the clergy and laity to raise the next generation of children and youth to be biblically and theologically literate and to meet the known and unforeseen challenges for evangelizing, discipling, and transforming their societies. The Church of the Nazarene envisions an intergenerational faith community where children and youth are loved and valued, where they are ministered to and incorporated into the Church family through a wide variety of means and methods, and where they have opportunities to minister to others in ways consistent with their ages, development, abilities, and spiritual gifts. (2009)


War and Military Service. 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. (2017)


Creation. The Church of the Nazarene believes in the biblical account of creation (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”—Genesis 1:1). We are open to scientific explanations on the nature of creation while opposing any interpretation of the origin of the universe and of humankind that rejects God as the Creator (Hebrews 11:3). (1, 5.1, 7) (2017)