Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 13, 1960

Beyond The Horizons

By Wm. E. Wallace, Box 407, Poteau, Oklahoma

Holiness Bodies Seek Understanding

In June the Church of The Nazarene conducted its quadrennial General Assembly in which the major business of the denomination was conducted. A number of guest preachers from other holiness groups were present. There appears to be a closer relationship developing among the various holiness groups. This comes with the growth of the holiness groups in the realms of denominational administrative organization and denominational educational institutions.

The holiness groups are not so loosely enmeshed in emotionalism and lack of purpose as they were in their inceptions. There was a time when these groups were restricted from denominational purpose and coordination due to the type of emotional experiences upon which their doctrines of conversion were based. But the holiness groups are becoming sophisticated and organized into solid denominational structures. The Church of The Nazarene has the most highly developed organizational structure among holiness groups and it satisfactorily compares with the organizational structures of major denominations.

The Church of The Nazarene stands out as the major holiness group and I venture the prediction that this de- nomination will bring the holiness groups into a working co-operating fellowship which will eventually bring about a merger. One guest speaker at the June Nazarene convention said; "The disagreements among holiness bodies have to do with incidentals." Another stated; "It's not a matter of organic unity so much as it is a need for closer cooperation." With the spirit of co-operation between groups prevailing, and church mergers in the air, we can well expect major union movements among the holiness groups to develop in the years ahead.

In order that our readers might be better informed of the nature of the Church of The Nazarene we print "A Summary of The Church" as published in the "Herald of Holiness," the official organ of The Church of The Nazarene:

The Church of the Nazarene has become one of the larger holiness denominations of the twentieth century. Wesleyan in tradition, it is a distinctively American Protestant body. It holds to all the historic doctrines of the New Testament and emphasizes the doctrine of entire sanctification as a second definite work of grace.

The Nazarene church is unusual in modern religious history. It is not a split-off from another church so much as the merging of several independent holiness groups. More than ten groups have joined with it since the denomination started formally in 1908.

Strongly evangelistic, Nazarenes believe in a vital, heart - felt Christianity, a salvation personally experienced. Preaching of the Word is central in worship and the Holy Spirit is honored.

The church has been noted for its able leadership comprehensive spiritual program with emphasis on young people's work and foreign missions.

From a small, humble beginning, with 10,414 members in 228 churches, the Nazarene denomination on Jan. 1, 1960, had grown to a domestic membership of 311,300 in 4,696 churches, with another 45,000 members abroad where 489 full-time missionaries are at work in 42 world areas.

The church maintains six liberal arts colleges in the U. S., Bible colleges in Canada and Britain, and a seminary. Its weekly radio broadcast, "Showers if Blessing," is on 400 stations. Its world offices and publishing house are in Kansas City, Mo.

Methodist Bishops And Bible Bishops

The Christian Advocate is an "official organ of The Methodist Church issued every other Thursday by the Methodist Publishing House, 740 N. Rush St., Chicago 11, Ill." "Because of freedom of expression given authors, opinions they express do not necessarily reflect official concurrence of The Methodist Church." In the July 7 issue of this paper there is a list of basic qualifications for a bishop of The Methodist Church. This list is compiled by the editors of the paper and although it is understood that the article does not necessarily reflect the official concurrence of The Methodist Church, these qualifications come from the editorial force of an official paper and they carry authoritative weight. I am struck with this thought: Why is it necessary for men to compile a list of qualifications for a bishop, when the New Testament has two lists offered by an apostle of Jesus Christ who wrote and taught by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? In 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 Paul lists the qualifications for a bishop of the church you read about in the New Testament. Read through the qualifications listed in the Christian Advocate and then read those listed by Paul in the Bible.

The Christian Advocate qualifications are as follows: A bishop in The Methodist Church should

— Reflect in his own personal life the qualifications derived from spiritual discipline.

— Possess knowledge of and appreciation for the history of The Methodist Church.

— Not be a seeker for power or prestige, but carry the responsibilities entailed with humility and modesty.

— Have demonstrated sound leadership in previous assignments and appointments.

— Have had adequate experience in administration to discharge the details of office.

— Be a pastor to pastors.

— Be sensitive to theological trends.

— Possess the ability to inspire industry and cooperation.

— Be in sympathy with the connectional requirements and programs associated with The Methodist Church.

— Be at home in the councils of the church where national and world issues are involved.

— Have a sympathetic interest in the problems inherent in the rural, small-town, and city appointments.

— Be able to evaluate personnel and churches in order to serve the best interests of the ministers and churches.

There is some virtue in those qualifications — what we might term denominational virtue. The list illustrates the need of the denominations to build an organization or hierarchy on something else than the New Testament. The denominations, being themselves built on something else than the New Testament, must turn and look outside the pages of the New Testament for authority and govening principles. The New Testament church, the church you read about in the New Testament, has bishops, and their qualifications are listed quite clearly in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus I. Those who claim the Bible as their creed book; churches which claim the Bible as their guide, ought to use the Bible's list of qualifications for a bishop. If you wanted to build the kind of church you read about in the Bible with properly qualified bishops, which list would you take? Would you take the list presented by the editorial counsel of the Christian Advocate or would you take the list presented by Paul the apostle?

"Religions Are Facing New Era Over World"

Dave Meade, a national press writer, reports on the relationship among the major religions. He refers to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Mr. Meade reports on the observations of Douglas V. Steere of Harverford College. Four relationships offered by Steere are:

1. Mutual annihilation, based on the notion that competing world religions are "demonic forces."

2. The idea that you can take the best features of each religion and try to put them together.

3. The "conventional, academic position of co-existence — tolerance that all have some truth."

4. "Mutual irradiation" in which the various religious "dare to expose themselves to each other's rays."

Steere recommends the fourth relationship. The trouble with this approach is in the divided condition of all the major religions. It would be impossible to turn the ray on what the world calls Christianity and get a true picture of that one faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). It would be quite difficult to find the original founding principles of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism by x-raying the modern divisions which possess those movements. The divisions and schisms of the "major religions" may x-ray "other faiths," and submit or expose themselves to each other's rays, but alas, there is no salvation lest they turn to Christ. "Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)