Dogmatism versus Conviction

The Nazarene Community of Christian Saints view all those who confess our Lord Jesus as members of one Christian family. Some of our brethren are Trinitarian, some are unitarian (or, henotheistic), some are not sure what to believe. It is not our intention to judge or condemn another view from that of the Nazarene Saints.

For nearly two thousand years godly and saintly men and women have debated the subject of Trinitarianism and Unitarianism without coming to any harmony. Throughout history Trinitarians and Unitarians have treated one another abominably and in the process denied their Lord. We Nazarene Saints do not wish to participate in such judgmental attacks against religions or persons. On the other hand we wish to present our best defense (apology) for our own belief. We agree completely with Irasmus of the Sixteenth Century: "If we want truth, every man ought to be free to say what he thinks without fear."

We Nazarene Saints believe those who are not sure what to believe ought to review both sides on the Internet or in hard copy publishing and then make their own decision of faith. Each of us stands individually before God, not as part of an organization or religion. In the end, what will matter? Note how historian Will Durant in his monumental work The Story of Civilization (Volume VI, page 486) recounts the view of one cleric during the Reformation: "For hundreds of years ... men had debated ... the Trinity, and other difficult matters; no agreement had been reached; probably none would ever be reached. But none is necessary. .... Such disputes do not make men better; all that we need is to carry the spirit of Christ into our daily lives, to feed the poor, help the sick, and love even our enemies. ... Can we imagine Christ ordering (a heretic) to be burned alive ... ?" [Reprinted from De Trinitatis Erroribus.]

Some modern Christians wish to embrace all beliefs into a common fold holding no particular creed themselves. Others, though respecting this view, feel that after 2,000 years of sectarian Christianity, it is now impossible to take this entire matrix and homogenize it into one church. What, in affect, happens is exactly what Paul foretold: "For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled." (2 Timothy 4:3) Both the congregation and the pastors combine into some kind of inoffensive, liberal, all-embracing cafeteria-style Christianity propounding strictly neutral and generic versions of the Bible and Jesus Christ.

Though we Nazarene Saints feel all brethren -- no matter their creed -- should be embraced, this does not mean we do not hold to firm, even rigid, belief systems on doctrine and conduct. We believe a Christian should strive for the highest state of virtue and righteousness possible as well as imitate our Lordís life-style as closely as reasonably possible. At the same time disciples of the Nazarene must make it their goal to comprehend his teachings and those of his inspired disciples as best each individual is gifted.

In the work Nazarene Principles 2000 it was stated in paragraph 392: "Nothing written in the Nazarene Principles 2000 is inspired or infallible save those words of the Nazarene himself, those of his personal disciples, as well as the rest of the Bible. The truth of what is contained within is for you to judge. If you judge it to be truth in part, then accept and follow that truth. If you can improve on this truth, then do so with Godís blessing. Let the qualities of faith and love reside in you richly so that all can see an image of the Nazarene in you: ĎBut all of us who are Christians have no veils on our faces, but reflect like mirrors the glory of the Lord. We are transformed in ever-increasing splendor into his own image, and the transformation comes from the spirit of the Lord.í (2 Corinthians 3:18)

With these godly thoughts in mind we Nazarene Saints present De Trinitatis Erroribus and related supplements as a means to assist sincere Christians to review the evidence, and following personal prayer and meditation, develop their own vision of God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. With Paul, we pray in your behalf: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of The God and the sharing of the holy spirit be with all of you." Amen.

Friends of the Nazarene Publishing

Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller

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