Following is the second in a series of roundup articles on developments at denominational meetings.
The quadrennial meeting of the Church of the Nazarene was the occasion for the largest gathering of Nazarenes in history. According to the church’s general secretary, B. Edgar Johnson, 60,000 attended at least part of the ten-day meeting in Indianapolis, with almost 50,000 present at a Sunday morning worship service in the Hoosier Dome.
Johnson, who has led the church for 25 years, said the 1989 meeting produced the “deepest expression of moral and social concern” the church has ever officially made. A resolution on responsibility to the poor affirms that throughout the Bible, “God identifies with and assists the poor, the oppressed and those in society who cannot speak for themselves.” It states also that Christian holiness is “inseparable from ministry to the poor.”
Delegates passed resolutions encouraging members to support organ donation, endorsing a ban on all advertising of tobacco and alcohol, and supporting the “desocialization” of alcohol consumption.
Church representatives also approved a position paper on abortion, opposing “induced abortion for personal convenience or population control, “and calling for “adequate medical and spiritual counseling” to accompany any decision to “terminate life … because the life of the mother is endangered.” According to the paper, responsible opposition to abortion “requires our commitment to the initiation and support of programs designed to provide a context of love, care, and counsel.”
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