What is a Nazarene
Every church has its distinctive practices or beliefs that sets it apart from other groups. Sometimes this is confusing to people. We believe that with all 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 the category of "distinctive." Our distinctive is our view of the biblical doctrine of "sanctification." We believe God can shape our hearts and character, enabling us to live a holy life. Our holy lives are expressed in love for God and others.
While we get our name from Jesus of Nazareth (Jesus the Nazarene) you might be asking what in the world is a modern-day Nazarene? Well...
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 the preaching of 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 love alone.
We are not Charismatics --- No, we do not "speak in tongues" in our services -- but like the Charismatics we believe in the gifts of the Spirit, who gives people the power to live a Christ-like life and make a real difference in their world.
We are not Episcopalians -- although John Wesley (we are in the Wesleyan tradition) 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.
And we are not United Methodist, although we have our roots in the Methodiest tradition that grew out of John Wesley's revival in the 1700's. We have good fellowship with our United Methodist "cousins," but we are organizationally separated 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 into action through various avenues of service.
We laugh, cry, rejoice, support, grieve, and grow together. We are here to help each other take next steps towards God and together become fully devoted followers of Jesus the Nazarene!
We want you to know there is room for you in Woodlawn Community Church of the Nazarene!
(Adapted from website of Harrison, PA 1st Church of the Nazarene)