As a Christian : As an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene : As an American who knows that her great-grandmother arrived on a boat from Denmark and her great-grandfather arrived from Ukraine : And as Jesus-follower : I appreciate the Nazarene manual’s clear guidance on living in relationship to and with the poor. And let us be clear on this point – poverty is more than the lack of finances. Poverty is also deemed voicelessness and/or powerlessness to protect/provide.
The Manual of the Church of the Nazarene
903.4. Responsibility to the Poor
The Church of the Nazarene believes that Jesus commanded His disciples to have a special relationship to the poor of this world; that Christ’s Church ought, first, to keep itself simple and free from an emphasis on wealth and extravagance and, second, to give itself to the care, feeding, clothing, and shelter of the poor. Throughout the Bible and in the life and example of Jesus, God identifies with and assists the poor, the oppressed, and those in society who cannot speak for themselves. In the same way, we, too, are called to identify with and to enter into solidarity with the poor and not simply to offer charity from positions of comfort. We hold that compassionate ministry to the poor includes acts of charity as well as a struggle to provide opportunity, equality, and justice for the poor. We further believe that the Christian responsibility to the poor is an essential aspect of the life of every believer who seeks a faith that works through love. Finally, we understand Christian holiness to be inseparable from ministry to the poor in that holiness compels the Christian beyond his or her own individual perfection and toward the creation of a more just an equitable society and world. Holiness, far from distancing believers from the desperate economic needs of people in our world, motivates us to place our means in the service of alleviating such need and to adjust our wants in accordance with the needs of others.