I grew up in a small town (population of about 1500, on a good day). When I was born, I am pretty sure there was one stoplight, but it was gone by the time I was driving (thanks to the state of North Dakota, I got my permit and my license and was on the road at age 14), but we did have a small Bible college. Trinity Bible College, affiliated with the Assemblies of God church, filled with the town with many Assemblies of God families that would come and go. While I myself am first generation Nazarene, our Nazarene and AG youth groups would frequently have events together and be friends with one another. Our youth group would constantly have interns from the college, meaning that I was probably the first Nazarene intern when I went home for the summer. That question was inevitably raised: “What is the difference between Nazarenes and AGs?” That answer that I would always give would be, “We don’t believe in speaking in tongues.” I would take the one main doctrine that they hold and we don’t and that’s all I would say on the topic. However, I would never say anything about what we do believe. Truth be told, in high school, the Church of the Nazarene being a church that emphasized holiness didn’t mean much to me. I guess things change when you start attending a Nazarene University and major in Ministry. The chance to stick one toe in the pool at a time is eliminated even more when you take a Doctrine of Holiness class.
But that’s the perspective I am writing from. I am starting on a journey to take an honest look at holiness—what it means, what it doesn’t mean, and what it looks like lived out. Nazarenes put a big emphasis on personal holiness and sanctification, and I am learning what that means.
I hope you’ll join me along this journey.