The Bible is clear on the standard God has set for human sexuality. It does not take a theologian with a PhD to understand it. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 describe homosexuality as an abomination. Romans 1:26-28 says homosexuality is a vile affection practiced by reprobates. The Old and New Testaments clearly condemn this as sin.
It does not take much reading and “conversation” to come the conclusion that the following summarizes God’s biblical standard:
- Marriage is between a man and a woman only.
- Sex outside of marriage is a sin.
- Homosexuality is a sin. (often mentioned in scripture as an abomination).
- Same sex marriage is a sin.
The Church of the Nazarene ascribes to these standards, “officially.” And yet we know that often human beings will say one thing, and then do or say the exact opposite in secret. Even worse, there are Nazarene leaders, including those in the highest places, who are secretly supporting, or at best, turning a blind eye to sinful behavior. And there is at least one General Superintendent (as yet his/her name is unknown) who gave blatantly unscriptural advice to a pastor in 2019.
In January of 2019, Will Campbell officiated a same sex wedding for his brother. He was given advice by a General Superintendent, who give him tacit approval to participate in the wedding. The following is direct testimony by Rick Power at a Pastors’ meeting last year. Rick Power told the pastors the following regarding his son-in-law:
“Will participated [in the same sex wedding] by reading a poem and by praying. And he did that at the advice of one of our General Superintendents who said, “as ministers of the gospel, when we are invited to pray or to read scripture, to perform a ministerial function, we do it.”
A General Superintendent is tasked with the main responsibility of guiding and leading the denomination in upholding biblical standards as well as the rules and regulations according to the Church Manual. That is his/her primary duty, to be faithful to the word of God, and also to lead by example; by word, and by deed.
So now, please let this fact sink in. A General Superintendent told an ordained minister of the church that it is perfectly fine to “read scripture”, “read a poem”, and do pretty much anything else at a same sex marriage, and it will be okay... as long as you are not the officially listed minister on the marriage certificate.
A New Code of Conduct?
Well, that surely is a new way to lower the standards of Holy Scripture! The logical conclusion is this: “it is sinful for an individual to marry someone of the same sex, but it is perfectly fine for an ordained elder in the church to approve of the wedding, read scripture or a poem at the wedding, and then celebrate and dance at the reception with all the others who are celebrating what is an abomination before God.”
That’s the new standard that this General Superintendent has expressed, albeit in private to one ordained elder. Except the problem is that it is no longer private. Pastors in the Hawaii District were told about this, and so what’s to stop them from doing the same thing? More Nazarenes are aware since we posted this information, so what is to stop more Nazarene elders to do what Will Campbell did?
At the Pastor’s meeting, Rick Power continued to rationalize that what Will Campbell did was perfectly fine for any Nazarene elder to do:
“We show up. But of course we draw the line at actually performing the wedding. That's very clear in church polity. So if you're just watching the video, you might think, well, they're both there and they're both officiating the ceremony. But we do make that distinction between the minister of record who signs the marriage license and pronounces the couple man and wife, and others who might participate in other ways by praying or singing, whatever it might.”
Rick Power says that it’s “very clear in church polity” that there is a new standard. Very clear? How many Nazarene elders have received a new memo from the General Superintendents that this is the new standard? Is Rick Power totally making up his own perceived denomination-wide standard, or is there only a tacit, secret approval from the top leaders in the church?
Again, what is suggested is clear. “Do whatever you want, attend a same sex wedding, read scripture or a poem, celebrate an abomination all you want. As long as you don’t sign the official line on that marriage certificate, you are just fine.”
Welcome to the new, “unofficial” Code of Conduct in the Church of the Nazarene. With a wink and a nod perhaps.
Repent or Resign
We need to be equal opportunity Bible believers when it comes to sin. And when it comes to those who are high profile, the standards should not deviate one bit. Recently Alistair Begg, a highly respected pastor and solid preacher, made the egregious error of recommending to a grandmother that she attend a same sex marriage, and also bring a gift! Since this revelation, Alistair Begg has refused to recant from his horribly bad and unbiblical advice. As much as he has blessed so many with his preaching, this man is wrong and must be called out as well. He must be held accountable and repent from his very harmful advice. Coming from someone with such prominence, it can be even more damaging to the body of Christ.
When church leaders are not held accountable, it brings untold damage to the church. The same accountability must be applied in the Church of the Nazarene. The General Superintendent who gave Will Campbell this advice needs to repent of what he/she said. He or she needs to confess this error to the church publicly, because only then will there be a chance to be “rehabilitated”. But if he or she cannot give up this unbiblical idea and admit it is wrong, then the only option is to resign, along with any other General Superintendent who knew and went along with the idea, or ignored the opportunity to correct a fellow leader.
The General Superintendents who were on duty in January of 2019 were: David Busic, Filimão Chambo, Gustavo Crocker, Eugenio Duarte, David Graves, Carla Sunberg.
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness”. James 3:1
Stand For Truth Ministries
"The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever." Psalm 119:160
“Within the theological structure of the cults there is considerable truth, all of which, it might be added, is drawn from biblical sources, but so diluted with human error as to be more deadly than complete falsehood.” ― Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults