Visions for the Church of the Nazarene Pt 2 w/ Brian Powell
June 1, 2023
Three denominations that I care deeply about are going through difficult moments in their history: The Salvation Army, the Church of the Nazarene, and the United Methodist Church. This summer I am bringing interviews with conservative and progressive voices from each denomination. I am doing this individually with the hope of producing clarity. I am not interested in a debate. Each side will be asked the same questions.
Salvation Army: Christina Tyson and Willis Howell
Church of the Nazarene: Thomas Oord and Brian Powell
United Methodist Church: Adam Hamilton and Rob Renfroe
This week we’re hearing from Brian Powell, Superintendent of the Kentucky District Church of the Nazarene.
Youtube - https://youtu.be/-z6buOg7odA
Check out Brian’s podcast here - https://atimetospeak.buzzsprout.com
and “Biblical Sexuality: Why the Church of the Nazarene is Right” - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C5P7DQTW/ref=cm_sw_r_apin_dp_YM0SFCH1DTNBBK0BRB6P_1?fbclid=IwAR3DToTuRpmy8EW8yXY5dKY-DfXDrwtrYG6Fb_fXsXU9_05JfNLyOhDTN8Y
Contender: Going Deeper in the Book of Jude - This all-inclusive small group study on the book of Jude is out now. Check it out on the course page: http://courses.andymilleriii.com
Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching - I’m excited to share some news with you. Recently, I updated this PDF document and added a 45-minute teaching video with slides, explaining this tool. It's like a mini-course. If you sign up for my list, I will send this free resource to you. Sign up here - www.AndyMillerIII.com or Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching.
Today’s episode is brought to you by these two sponsors:
Keith Waters and his team at WPO Development do an amazing job helping non-profits and churches through mission planning studies, strategic plans, feasibility studies, and capital campaigns. We are honored to have Keith and WPO on the More to the Story team. You can find out more about them at www.wpodevelopment.com or touch base directly with Keith at Keith.Waters@wpodevelopment.com.
Wesley Biblical Seminary - Interested in going deeper in your faith? Check out our certificate programs, B.A., M.A.s, M.Div., and D.Min degrees. You will study with world-class faculty and the most racially diverse student body in the country. www.wbs.edu
Thanks too to Phil Laeger for my podcast music. You can find out about Phil's music at https://www.laeger.net
Welcome to the more, to the story. Podcast I'm, so glad you have come along. Look, this is going to be a great show. Some of you have checked out the first part of this this series, and we are on to start that over, Brian. I didn't do very well.
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Andy Miller III: you know. I always I I I I'm somebody who likes to do that first take the first take is normally the test. so that we'll see
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Andy Miller III: 3, 2, one. Well, welcome to the more to story. Podcast. I'm so glad that you have come along. We are in the middle of a 6 part series, where we're looking at the future of 3 denominations in the Wesleyan tradition. At first we looked at the Salvation Army, then in the next set, will be with the United Methodist Church. But today we're continuing our conversation with people in the Church of the Nazarene
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2 different views, conservative and progressive, thinking about the future of that denomination. And there is significant activity happening in some of these denominations this summer. That's why I brought that up. There's a general assembly for the Church and Nazarene, and some of these questions and things we're going to talk about are important and helpful, and there have been some movements that have also enlivened these conversations. So I hope you'll hang around here and check this out in just a second.
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Andy Miller III: But first, I want you to note that the more this story podcast is brought to you by Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we serve a hosted denominations, including the Church of Nasrain, Savage army. And now the global Methodist Church, we're delighted that we have over 120 people who just in the last 7 weeks have signed up for a course of study with the global Methodist church, and we would love for any of you to consider. I agree here. Lastly, Biblical Seminary. We offer
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Andy Miller III: the bachelor's masters all sorts of masters, Ma's M. Divs. And a doctor of Ministry degree as well, so you can check us out at Wb. S. Edu. Secondly, I'm thankful to my friend Keith Waters and W. P. O. Development for their support of this Podcast, Keith and his team do feasibility studies, mission planning studies and capital campaigns all around the country. They've helped churches, organizations, schools.
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Andy Miller III: and more than 250 of them have successful capital campaigns. So if you're looking for those type of things, and you need to kind of develop a plan and figure out how you're going to get there. I highly recommend Keith and his team to you. You can find a link to him in my show notes
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Andy Miller III: finally, at Andy Miller, the third.com. That's Andy Miller. iii.com. There's 2 things there I want you to know about. First, if you sign up for my email list, I will send you a a tools called 5 steps to deeper teaching and preaching. There's a video. And then there's a Pdf document that could be really helpful for you if you're trying to go deeper in Scripture. But also to think about how you can communicate that message
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Andy Miller III: in a creative and fun way. So you can get that by sign up for my email list. And Andy Miller, third.com. And there are several other things there that you can find, like, including my course on the book of Jude. This is a great small group resource. 6 video sessions discussion guides. You can find that on the course tab. If you go to my website
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all right. I am really glad to welcome Brian Powell, who serves as the district superintendent for the Kentucky district of
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Brian L. Powell: the Church of the Nazareth. I'm we'll say now I's this church, Brian, for the church of the Nazarene. Brian. Welcome to the Podcast. Thank you, Andy. It's A, I'm grateful to be here.
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Andy Miller III: Well, one of the things that's happening with this series is, I'm featuring voices from 2 sides of the aisle, so to speak, to progressive and conservative voices on issues related to the denominations and their future. And this has not been a debate conversation. So when I've had people on who I certainly disagree with, and I had Tom or Don, and that would have come out a week before this comes out. And you guys didn't see each other's responses. You all have. You both had the exact same questions.
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Andy Miller III: My goal is not to debate either of you, but just to push for clarity. What is it that people believe where they think the Church should go, because I think there are significant differences that need to be weighed out by people who are making decisions. So I appreciate your willingness to come on and be a part of this series.
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Brian L. Powell: Yeah, it's like I said, it's an honor. I would say that. I guess I am filling the conservative slot.
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Brian L. Powell: although I I struggle with identifying with those terms progressive and so tied to a American culture and Western politics. And we, we're just Christians, right? Or we're not.
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Andy Miller III: thank you for staying that. And I've actually probably said that in all 3 of the other podcast, 2, it's, like those titles, are somewhat of a placeholder, and it's a way to get people interest. I I wish there was another way to describe it, you know, in my yeah, it's a hard way, and I don't want to be good with politics. It's hard to find a way to describe it with all that's going on today.
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Andy Miller III: I mean, some would say, orthodox biblically focus. But then the other side might they? They might both claim that. So so thanks for your willingness to take that title even though it might not always be a perfect fit. Yeah. And I'm just a little bit about you. And just so, just a little little short bit about what you're doing and what the role of the Ds. Is in the church, and as a ring
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Brian L. Powell: well, I oversee the District of Kentucky, which is a community, a network, if you will, of over a hundred churches. At this point we've planted 74 churches since 2,015
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Brian L. Powell: and all kinds of work, not just traditional works. doing a lot of compassionate ministry efforts. We have planted a a lot of international churches, including Hispanic African refugee churches. Haitian. We've got one Burmese church. So the law we're we're we're planting churches anywhere that they'll open the door and let us start holding services and calling people together under the name of Christ.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, beautiful. I love hearing that. And later this summer is the general Assembly of the Trish, and as ring. Could you tell me a little about what happens at that event?
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Brian L. Powell: Well, the General Assembly, For the church, the Nazarene? We are an interconnected denomination globally, and our General Assembly happens every 4 years this time. I think it's been 6 or 7 because of Covid.
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Brian L. Powell: But it's kind of like a big family reunion. I've been coming, if you will, where delegates from all over the world come together to worship and celebrate and rejoice, and also make decisions, as the Holy Spirit leads about the future and the direction of the Church, especially as it pertains to our manual or our Book of Discipline, our guidebook, if you will.
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Andy Miller III: And so, yeah, that's a, and every district has a their own district assemblies every year.
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Brian L. Powell: And then, of course, the General Assembly again is every 4 years
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Andy Miller III: Gotcha. That's helpful. Okay, well, we'll get right into the questions here, and then I'll just try and push for clarity here and there, and follow up every every so often. But these are the same questions that I asked Tom as well. So the first one. Is this the Nazarene statement on human sexuality? What if anything, do you think should be changed about that statement?
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Brian L. Powell: Wow.
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Brian L. Powell: that. That's a big question.
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Brian L. Powell: In some ways I think it's exactly as it needs to be. in other ways. I think there could be some nuance or some
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Brian L. Powell: either last explanation or more, it's interesting you should ask. I was recently asked to participate in a project, and I contributed a chapter to a newly released book called Biblical sexuality. Why, the Church of the Nazarene is right, and I believe you know some of the editors of that book, Dr.
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Brian L. Powell: But, it was just released this weekend. Actually so, so, so first and foremost, I think the simplest answer is, I believe, the Church of the Nazarene gets it right
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Brian L. Powell: with our manual statement on human sexuality. But I find the current statement. It's beautifully written. It's well followed out. It's consistent with God's created order. it's it. It upholds a high view of Scripture, and beyond that, I think it's very redemptive in in its wording it. It calls the Church to be welcoming, and
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Brian L. Powell: at the same time, it doesn't try to justify sin that is associated with broken sexual behavior. And and so, like, I said, I fully support the the current statement
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Brian L. Powell: with that said
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Brian L. Powell: a. As far as I know, the Kentucky district our Resolution Committee here is the only resolution committee I'm aware of that has submitted a resolution to the upcoming General Assembly
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Brian L. Powell: to amend parts of our statement on human sexuality.
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Brian L. Powell: I don't disagree with it. I fully support it, but I think there could be some more clarity if you will.
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Andy Miller III: Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now. Okay, well, let me ask you a little bit of the history of what this statement is. I've heard some talk about it. There was probably a committee that was put together not long ago that developed the current statement. Could you? Do you know anything about that?
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Brian L. Powell: You know? I I mean, there's all these. These resolutions go to committees at General Assembly. So before we go to the to the full Assembly hall, where all the delegates go and vote, they're all we're all broken into subcommittees, and so a resolution has to pass through a committee before it makes it to the the floor at General Assembly
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Brian L. Powell: to for for any sort of change in wording or whatever.
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Brian L. Powell: But I do know that sometimes they commission committees to work on certain important issues, and I think years ago, which that seems recent. But I mean it's been 6 years since our last assembly, or how long has it been? It was 17. So yeah, that 6, 7 years.
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Brian L. Powell: And so that committee would have been put together the 4 years before that I would think so. That's been quite some time to go at this point.
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Andy Miller III: So when I read this statement to me it sounds like something that might have been written 10 years ago. Now I I mean that with not with not too much of a criticism because it's beautiful like you said, but it's almost like.
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Andy Miller III: Since that time the implications of the sexual revolution within the life of the Church have gone a more extreme direction. So I'm not entirely surprised that there might be an amendment to this. So what is the amendment that your district is? is putting forward.
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Brian L. Powell: No, I can. I I want to.
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Brian L. Powell: it. It's not that our current statement again is is wrong. I want to really clarify that from my, theologically speaking. but only that there seems to be some unnecessary phrasing a a and what what we're proposing would actually make the statement more concise if you will. For example, the current statement uses the word sacramental.
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Brian L. Powell: In describing marriage
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Brian L. Powell: as as part of the Protestant movement.
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Brian L. Powell: Our articles of faith, as Nazarene's only refer to 2 sacraments, right, the Lord's Supper and baptism.
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Brian L. Powell: On the other hand, we teach that marriage is covenantal. and while I understand the significance of the word Sacramento.
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Brian L. Powell: I I believe that it could create some unnecessary confusion, especially since we're global church and the influence of Catholicism around the world.
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Brian L. Powell: it could create confusion as to whether we believe marriage is a sacrament or a sacrament, because officially we do not. And so one small change that that we've recommended is replacing the word Sacramento with covenantal, which lines more clearly with our position on marriage.
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Brian L. Powell: again, it's not wrong. It is Sacramento. It is a sacred thing.
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Brian L. Powell: And if if we were to go down the road where maybe the Church wanted to include it
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Brian L. Powell: in our articles of faith under the sacraments, then then maybe we could use that terminology. But from my perspective and for many others, that's one small thing that I think could make it more clear? Yeah, that's helpful.
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Brian L. Powell: Is there something else?
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Brian L. Powell: Considering the broader scope of the manual?
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Brian L. Powell: Some might. Some might contend that there's repetition in our current statement on human sexuality or or repetition in the manual in general.
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Brian L. Powell: and indeed, no doubt there are several places where there seems to be unnecessary emphasis on something that's already been made clear.
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Brian L. Powell: In another part of the manual, for example, I'll give you an example. You've read our statement on human sexuality, and there's a paragraph in there. That is the paragraph that that speaks of sexual activity between people of the same sex.
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Brian L. Powell: Here's what it says
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Brian L. Powell: quote, because we believe that it is God's intention for our sexuality to be lived out in the covenantal union between one man and one woman. We believe the practice of same sex. Sexual intimacy is contrary to God's wheel for humanity or for human sexuality.
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Brian L. Powell: personally. Now, now it goes on
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Brian L. Powell: quite a bit longer. Personally, I feel like that the statement could end there. There. It's it's against God's will for human sexuality, and maybe to align with some of our other statements. Maybe one small sentence.
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Brian L. Powell: It is therefore sin.
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Brian L. Powell: you know. But instead, our current that that one paragraph currently goes on beyond what I just read and says this
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Brian L. Powell: quote, while a person's homosexual bisexual attraction may have complex and differing origins, and the implication of this call to sexual purity is costly. We believe the grace of God is sufficient for such a calling.
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Brian L. Powell: and we recognize the shared responsibility of the body of Christ to be a welcoming, forgiving, and loving community, where hospitality, encouragement, transformation, and accountability are available to all.
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Andy Miller III: Hmm.
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Brian L. Powell: that seems like a lot.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, it's not that you don't support those things like you said, it's not wrong. And I it's interesting. just give you my outside non Nazarene sort of perspective on that is, I. I think in general, that we? We do want to ensure that we're leading with love. And that's certainly the critique is that we're not being inclusive to people. Those who hold hold to an orthodox position on human sexuality. Just the mere thought
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Andy Miller III: just to me your idea is not welcoming people, so we then bend over backwards to ensure that we saving. And it seems like this statement is doing that because it wouldn't stop any church from ensuring that people would know that they're welcome, that there we recognize that there are disordered attractions, or whatever there could be.
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Brian L. Powell: I I guess.
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Brian L. Powell: brother, I'm I'm a I'm an eternal optimist. I I strive diligently to walk alongside
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Brian L. Powell: pastors and leaders of from all backgrounds. with all kinds of emphasis in ministry.
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Brian L. Powell: But with what you just stated it, it almost feels like
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Brian L. Powell: it's reactive.
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Brian L. Powell: sure.
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Brian L. Powell: And and I just don't believe the church ever needs to be reactive.
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Brian L. Powell: Right? we already say in that statement and in other places the this sort of like we, the people of God, are marked by holy love. Right? We already speak to the transformation that is available through Jesus Christ. And so those last several sentences which are long ones
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Brian L. Powell: while they're in alignment. They just seem to be unnecessary, as as they give the section like an an added emphasis on something that's already clear.
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Brian L. Powell: A. Another thing that that I could point out is that there's one word in there in particular. and it's crazy that that we nuance words. But that's really what we do it, General, simply because the words have meaning.
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Brian L. Powell: But I think it's noteworthy to point out that no other sexual sin
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Brian L. Powell: in our statement deals with the origins of the
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Brian L. Powell: this one. The one on same-sex relationships. Does the roots, if you will, if only the paragraph dealing with homosexuality. Now, our article of faith on sin.
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Brian L. Powell: which is orthodox doctrine, right deals with those issues in detail. It speaks to original sin, or depravity, or sin, nature, and it also speaks to personal or actual sin, or violations of of the law of love.
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Brian L. Powell: And so
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Brian L. Powell: we just don't get into origins and roots. And if we're gonna do that with one sexual, why would we not do that with all? And I'm also an advocate that our manual should be thinner.
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Brian L. Powell: It seems like we keep adding to it, like, if you look at some of the early manuals. They were just really they were really thin.
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Brian L. Powell: I I I guess it. It. It's a bit bewildering for some
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Brian L. Powell: how much time we devote
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Brian L. Powell: to homosexuality or same-sex relationships versus how little time is
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Brian L. Powell: we seem to give to other forms of sexual sin. Now, now, now again, I want to reiterate. I don't know who might watch this. It doesn't matter. I mean, I'm an open book, but I I also want to be balanced in my I fully support the current statement.
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Brian L. Powell: I I I'm fine if no changes are made to it.
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Brian L. Powell: because it's well written, I mean in my mind it reads almost like a sermon manuscript. You can that article right? And I and I have used it in such manner. But
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Brian L. Powell: it just seems like to me that our current statement.
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Brian L. Powell: I'm gonna say this, it seems
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Brian L. Powell: like it's heavily influenced by Western culture.
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Andy Miller III: interesting and not all of the church in that, as rain is in a Western context. Am I correct?
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Brian L. Powell: The majority is not what. What do I mean by that? I'll tell you the church of the Nazring. We're global. You already know that we have. I think the last report was 2.6 million members worldwide. Okay.
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Brian L. Powell: so in addressing human sexuality. it seems to me that we should consider
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Brian L. Powell: that there are cultures around the world where other forms of sexual temptations are more a more significant problem.
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Brian L. Powell: yet, homosexuality in our
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Brian L. Powell: interconnected global book of guidebook. most of our attention. And it's reflected in that manual statement.
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Brian L. Powell: why is that? I don't think that is
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Andy Miller III: yeah. Oh, it's who's bringing it to the he's bringing it to the table, I can I can I? The only reason I can think of is that it's a prominent issue in the West. And if that's the case.
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Brian L. Powell: then our statement on human sexuality needs to be balanced. Considering that we are a global church.
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Brian L. Powell: maybe it should include things like polygamy and the like. but it doesn't give a a third of the attention, for our our current statement addresses.
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Brian L. Powell: of course, sexual intercourse outside of marriage
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Brian L. Powell: addresses, homosexualities. We're speaking of adultery, slash, divorce, polygamy, pornography, a sexual violence of any kind, rate, assault, abuse, incest sex trafficking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, bestiality, although that's spelled wrong in the manual sexual harassment and and the sexual abuse of minors or pedophilia.
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Brian L. Powell: But for most of those they just get mentioned
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Brian L. Powell: right? They don't go into specifics about Some of the the other challenges about basiality. They don't say they're internal problems, or whatever. And we don't say we're we. We want to extend. We want everybody, all, all folks. I don't even know what you call those folks. What do you call someone who sorry we don't, but you know, either we should be have the same sort of graceful language toward
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Brian L. Powell: all the sexual.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, make it all. 6 s. In my opinion.
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Brian L. Powell: of all those, all those sins mentioned, homosexuality gets more than double the attention
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Brian L. Powell: in our current statement. Everything else
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Brian L. Powell: except sex outside of marriage gets a small portion. Adultery divorce gets us, and polygamy gets little attention. The rest just get a mention.
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Brian L. Powell: In other words, we devote a whole lot of space. the homosexuality
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Brian L. Powell: and little space to all the others. And in my mind I can only reason the re that that that logic would tell me the reason that is is because
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Brian L. Powell: we have the propensity to cater to western culture.
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Andy Miller III: Right? Right?
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Brian L. Powell: We're a global church. Right?
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Brian L. Powell: Yeah, this is really interesting. So you know, people who go back and look at the the 2 interviews from both sides, we'll find the the answer to this question really interesting. I'm going to move us on, Brian, just because I want to sure to get to other questions. I know we both have a kind of
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Brian L. Powell: we reported 860,000 members. all the Africa region. Wow.
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Brian L. Powell: Compared to 590,000
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Brian L. Powell: in U.S.A. Canada region.
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Brian L. Powell: Africa, according to that report has grown by 56% in the last decade in the church of the Nazarene. whereas U.S.A., Canada has decreased
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Brian L. Powell: by around 11%.
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Brian L. Powell: So now now consider this and thinking about the global implications of our statement
00:23:18.130 --> 00:23:23.150
Brian L. Powell: when it comes to sexual Sam. Guess what's more prominent in Africa.
00:23:24.310 --> 00:23:30.189
Brian L. Powell: polygamy, all right. But our manual only dedicates one sentence
00:23:31.110 --> 00:23:32.910
Brian L. Powell: to that issue specifically.
00:23:33.730 --> 00:23:51.789
Brian L. Powell: And that again, it's it's perplexing because it it. It just leaves us to conclude that Western culture heavily influences our current statement. So again, I want to say, before we move on from this I align with our statement. It's perfectly fine. If it remains in current form. It's orthodox, but I feel that the cluttering it
00:23:51.980 --> 00:23:55.910
Brian L. Powell: in in light of the global context makes sense.
00:23:56.100 --> 00:24:08.479
Andy Miller III: This is good. It's so interesting. I wanted to just tell a quick story that's connected to this. I attend a church that is going just voted yesterday to be a part of the Global Methodist church, but in their process, where they were looking to affiliate
00:24:08.480 --> 00:24:36.240
Andy Miller III: with another denomination, there is a global Methodist church and another denomination. And when the other denominational representative came, and this described their book. They described how there's a lot in their book of discipline, or whatever it's called, that hasn't been updated since the nineteenth century, and it had all sorts of like very specific rules about how people should dress what they should do, and they walk into the church. And all this, and it's it was.
00:24:36.780 --> 00:24:46.349
Andy Miller III: It's not essential. But they're but they're in this book of discipline. And that very perceptive question came from somebody at our churches. They're listening to this said
00:24:46.410 --> 00:25:03.640
Andy Miller III: So if you're if you're not going to update your book of discipline, but how can they brought up the idea of enforcement. Well, how are you going to enforce? And honestly, probably our church went to go over my, this church be in part because that wasn't a very good answer. So I just want to encourage you, Brian. it
00:25:03.660 --> 00:25:24.349
Andy Miller III: I is. Whoever is a part of this resolution or amendment, it's good. It's good to focus more and to refine what you're saying. So I think this is a good move. Okay. Number 2. The Board of General Superintendents recently ruled. That doctrine for the purpose of the denomination includes the Articles of faith.
00:25:24.500 --> 00:25:34.580
Andy Miller III: the covenant of Christian conduct, and the covenant of Christian character. Do you agree with this, and if so, or let's just start there and then I have another quick follow up.
00:25:34.810 --> 00:25:45.630
Brian L. Powell: you know. Do you have the Bgs ruling? I'm sorry I I've seen it. I I've seen that. I I I'd like to just read it real quick.
00:25:45.750 --> 00:25:55.780
Brian L. Powell: Here's what it states. Quote the articles of faith, the covenant of Christian character, and the covenants of Christian conduct are essential statements of the doctrine
00:25:55.850 --> 00:26:02.900
Brian L. Powell: of the Church. The Nazarene statements of the doctrine of the Church, the Nazarene, as well as those portions of the manual
00:26:02.910 --> 00:26:05.139
Brian L. Powell: pertaining to what we believe
00:26:05.170 --> 00:26:11.959
Brian L. Powell: and how we live in light of those beliefs. So, in other words pertaining to orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
00:26:12.040 --> 00:26:13.970
Brian L. Powell: Yeah, faith and practice.
00:26:14.510 --> 00:26:17.059
Brian L. Powell: Now, undoubtedly
00:26:17.470 --> 00:26:23.089
Brian L. Powell: you know our our statements of doctrine meaning our teachings.
00:26:23.140 --> 00:26:26.650
Brian L. Powell: What we need as far as what we believe
00:26:26.850 --> 00:26:34.420
Brian L. Powell: and how we're called to live out what we believe they're found within the articles of faith in our manual, for sure.
00:26:34.560 --> 00:26:41.860
Brian L. Powell: And the covenants. They're they're found within the covenants as well. It's especially the practical aspects, as far as living that out.
00:26:42.450 --> 00:26:50.329
Brian L. Powell: So first and foremost, much much like the previous question. I want to say I support this ruling wholeheartedly.
00:26:50.940 --> 00:26:56.100
Brian L. Powell: However, I do understand why it has received some pushback.
00:26:56.480 --> 00:26:58.459
Andy Miller III: you know, in our tribe
00:26:59.390 --> 00:27:11.030
Brian L. Powell: I have a limited perspective. I wouldn't dare try to speak for the Bgs. By the way, we have a great board of general superintendents anointed leaders. I'm very good friends with many of them.
00:27:11.150 --> 00:27:23.469
Brian L. Powell: but from my limited perspective there's reasons why such a ruling was necessary. especially in light of the antagonistic nature of
00:27:24.140 --> 00:27:28.909
Brian L. Powell: progressive leakers who are always looking for a loophole.
00:27:28.980 --> 00:27:54.009
Brian L. Powell: Right? That there's this. It's just the has it always been that way, though, like I mean Paul, Paul in the in Galatians. Paul addressed the legalist, you know who right we're trying to add to add to. And and then you have Jude and P. You're addressing the Gnostics who are trying to take away from take away from. It's the same old story, man, you know. It's the same here. This is spiritual warfare.
00:27:54.070 --> 00:28:00.829
Brian L. Powell: it's it's just a different decade. But a again, I don't speak for the Board of General Superintendents.
00:28:00.980 --> 00:28:11.049
Brian L. Powell: but but I imagine they're asserting that our doctrine that's found within those statements are a central to alignment with the Church, the Nazarene.
00:28:11.410 --> 00:28:19.039
Brian L. Powell: and this emphasis is needed. but calls of these aggressive, progressive clergy and voices
00:28:19.150 --> 00:28:23.690
Brian L. Powell: who are at this point just openly define.
00:28:23.850 --> 00:28:39.740
Brian L. Powell: I mean, the global consciousness of our church has rejected any other way of interpreting Lgbtq issues with, we've made it clear we've actually spent a lot of time on it. More time that I personally think is is needed.
00:28:40.000 --> 00:28:46.469
Brian L. Powell: yeah. But you know historically. when, when, when, when the Church universal
00:28:46.770 --> 00:28:51.419
Brian L. Powell: speaks of doctrine, we're, we're referring to the basic tenants
00:28:51.600 --> 00:28:54.910
Brian L. Powell: that characterize the Christian faith. right?
00:28:55.210 --> 00:29:13.380
Brian L. Powell: I mean, we believe in God, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. I. We we believe in creation, we believe in the fall of man, seeing we believe Jesus came and lived and died. I mean we, the atonement in the cross, and we believe in forgiveness of sand and salvation and entire. I mean all that stated
00:29:14.170 --> 00:29:25.080
Brian L. Powell: our doctrines as Christians also are those things which make us different from other religious groups. Right? And our articles of faith in the Church, the Nazarene.
00:29:25.360 --> 00:29:35.709
Brian L. Powell: a line with the classic tenants of orthodox Christianity. Yeah. And I think they were just making that clear, because there's been so much talk.
00:29:35.880 --> 00:29:45.900
Brian L. Powell: so much debate in recent years about essentials and non essentials. Right? You know what? Especially when it comes to salvific issues. In other words.
00:29:46.030 --> 00:29:47.729
Brian L. Powell: what is essential
00:29:48.290 --> 00:29:55.370
Brian L. Powell: to being in a right relationship with Jesus. Right? What is essential to that? I think that's an important question. Actually.
00:29:56.810 --> 00:30:23.259
Andy Miller III: yeah, this is so good because one of the things that can happen is that there's a distinction between the what we believe and how it's lived out. And so, in my tradition, we have 11 articles of faith that are really short, and then we have a a therefore, in that statement, says, I will live this way and in that clarifies some of the implications of that. So you're saying that we live this way. I mean, we're talking about.
00:30:23.330 --> 00:30:29.489
Brian L. Powell: This is what we believe, and we agree to live in accordance with that. And this is what that looks like.
00:30:29.750 --> 00:30:30.520
Andy Miller III: Yeah.
00:30:30.830 --> 00:30:43.829
Andy Miller III: this is really good. It's it's helpful, like, we have got to think through these issues. And this is how challenges come in, and I think it's helpful for us to be able to expose where the where the upfronts
00:30:43.830 --> 00:31:09.000
Andy Miller III: to orthodoxy could come from. A lot of times. It comes through those extra statements. So I think, based upon what you said. It's interesting that the the Board of General Superintendents has made this ruling? Okay? The the third question is this, and this is a kind of like getting into your personal view. what will happen if your position on Scripture, human sexuality, etc. Those type of things
00:31:09.150 --> 00:31:12.009
Andy Miller III: does not win out in the denomination.
00:31:15.540 --> 00:31:21.630
Brian L. Powell: I'm I'm gonna kind of tie this to the last question a little bit, and then and then I'll dive into that. But
00:31:21.810 --> 00:31:36.360
Brian L. Powell: as as Christians from the very beginning. we believe in the authority of Scripture. the 66 books of the Canon correct, I mean what, in other words, we believe the Bible is divinely inspired.
00:31:36.600 --> 00:31:38.349
Brian L. Powell: From very onset
00:31:38.630 --> 00:31:47.359
Brian L. Powell: Scripture has been accepted as the ultimate source of knowledge and revelation about God. It reveals everything necessary
00:31:47.550 --> 00:31:59.250
Brian L. Powell: to be in a right relationship with Jesus. And and so. you know, we we're dealing today with strange teachings. Okay.
00:31:59.310 --> 00:32:00.999
Brian L. Powell: it's interesting to me that
00:32:01.400 --> 00:32:17.090
Brian L. Powell: the new we we should be following the example of the New Testament writers. Wouldn't you agree when you think it sounds like a good idea. Yeah. And and it's interesting to me that New Testament writers never had an issue with calling out publicly calling out, false teaching.
00:32:17.130 --> 00:32:22.530
Brian L. Powell: Yeah, never have an issue with it addressed it head on today. However, it seems like
00:32:22.670 --> 00:32:24.200
Brian L. Powell: that. Those that
00:32:24.320 --> 00:32:38.010
Brian L. Powell: point out false teaching are considered the bad guys, you know, they get criticized, villainized. while those teaching faults doctrine could just go on about their lives. It it's such a weird transition.
00:32:38.460 --> 00:32:42.719
Brian L. Powell: But the bottom line is Andy. We have clergy laity.
00:32:43.100 --> 00:32:53.410
Brian L. Powell: actually. more than a whole lot of our leaders want to admit, in my opinion. who are actively pushing to change right
00:32:53.640 --> 00:32:57.139
Brian L. Powell: essential doctrines related to human sexuality.
00:32:57.410 --> 00:32:59.629
Brian L. Powell: And and so we're at an impact here.
00:32:59.990 --> 00:33:10.989
Brian L. Powell: Yeah, because such a change would mean denying the authority of Scripture on same sex behavior. It would mean denying the authority of Scripture on
00:33:11.230 --> 00:33:23.480
Brian L. Powell: homosexual clergy who are in practicing relationships. It would mean denying the authority of Scripture on gender ideologies or or natural order created order. Currently, our position would prohibit those things.
00:33:23.580 --> 00:33:28.430
Brian L. Powell: but but for years these progressive leaders have tried to
00:33:28.500 --> 00:33:41.260
Brian L. Powell: reimagine if you will, or redefine what we should consider biblically and theologically essential. because they know that unless the global consciousness of the church is willing to affirm.
00:33:41.300 --> 00:33:44.539
Brian L. Powell: Even sexuality is not a central to salvation.
00:33:44.630 --> 00:33:54.230
Brian L. Powell: that they cannot engage those views without the possibility of church discipline. And I think that's actually sad, because I think it ought to be.
00:33:54.630 --> 00:33:55.880
Brian L. Powell: Certainly
00:33:56.020 --> 00:33:58.379
Brian L. Powell: church discipline, not the possible.
00:33:59.180 --> 00:34:04.460
Brian L. Powell: You know it. And and I back up. You said every every church is dealing with this.
00:34:04.920 --> 00:34:11.709
Brian L. Powell: you know. I I've had a lot of many, I should say many.
00:34:11.739 --> 00:34:24.180
Brian L. Powell: I've had a lot of colleagues in conversations over the years, you know that they they run up against the wall of discouragement in in seeing, you know, with social media. This stuff's just so out in the open, anyway.
00:34:24.190 --> 00:34:31.009
Brian L. Powell: And they're like, brother. I just don't know if I can stay if we're going down that road, and and I'm like, Where are you going to go?
00:34:31.670 --> 00:34:44.179
Brian L. Powell: Where are you going to go? Because what we're dealing with is spiritual warfare on a higher level than we've ever faced it. And and in in that sense. This is a cultural issue that's pressing in on the church.
00:34:44.580 --> 00:34:49.689
Brian L. Powell: It's a cultural issue, this pressing in. It's a battle of ideas which is spiritual.
00:34:49.810 --> 00:34:51.549
Brian L. Powell: What it's always been about
00:34:51.949 --> 00:34:54.900
Brian L. Powell: what it's always been about. I mean what? When
00:34:55.190 --> 00:35:03.859
Brian L. Powell: we think back to you, I I like to give this example, and talking about a battle of ideas, spiritual warfare. when we think back to Jesus is baptism.
00:35:05.380 --> 00:35:08.740
Brian L. Powell: Well, the we, we know that the Father
00:35:08.780 --> 00:35:22.419
Brian L. Powell: opened up the skies and said, this is my beloved son. Yeah. And I'm well pleased. The very next chapter he goes out into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan. And what is? How does Satan tempt him? I mean he doesn't attack him physically.
00:35:23.030 --> 00:35:27.339
Brian L. Powell: It's a battle of ideas, he whispers in his ear. And what does he whisper?
00:35:27.470 --> 00:35:34.269
Brian L. Powell: If you really are the Son.
00:35:34.580 --> 00:35:40.710
Brian L. Powell: And then how did Jesus respond? We use the Book of Deuteronomy and every response. It's interesting to me, too, that
00:35:42.750 --> 00:35:46.679
Brian L. Powell: Jesus used the Old Testament throughout his preaching ministry
00:35:47.410 --> 00:35:50.809
Brian L. Powell: he never once tried to correct anything. It said
00:35:51.050 --> 00:35:58.140
Andy Miller III: there would have been a problem with the Old Testament teachings. Don't you think Jesus would have fixed it?
00:35:58.870 --> 00:36:04.319
Brian L. Powell: Oh, he did anything. He just took it a little further. He was no doubt that he did, but but
00:36:04.430 --> 00:36:32.030
Andy Miller III: but anyway, there's nowhere to get away from this as a cultural issue, every denominations dealing with it. I even know independent churches that are dealing with it, because people in leadership in those churches are changing their mind on these matters. And so, anyway, Brian, let me actually do something specific. What? What? Let's say, the shoes on the other foot, so to speak. And let's say that maybe the last couple of general assemblies, and including this one they supported. Let's just say, a progressive view of human sexuality.
00:36:32.030 --> 00:36:34.489
Andy Miller III: What would what would that mean for you? What would you do.
00:36:36.290 --> 00:36:39.259
Brian L. Powell: brother? I would follow the Lord again. I don't think there's
00:36:39.520 --> 00:36:40.240
00:36:40.360 --> 00:36:43.369
Brian L. Powell: I have right now. I've been entrusted
00:36:43.450 --> 00:36:47.100
Brian L. Powell: right by the church to oversee
00:36:47.350 --> 00:36:57.310
Brian L. Powell: a a, a certain region or district, if you will, and I would lead those people faithfully. If I went back to the pastor I would lead my church faithfully.
00:36:57.430 --> 00:36:59.239
Brian L. Powell: because at that point.
00:36:59.630 --> 00:37:05.169
Brian L. Powell: like the first of all, I don't ever see that. Not in my lifetime happening in the church.
00:37:05.590 --> 00:37:07.190
Brian L. Powell: I mean, we're global.
00:37:07.410 --> 00:37:20.719
Brian L. Powell: We've got as many delegates coming from Africa and other parts of the world as we do America and most of our tribe. They're never going to go along with such a change.
00:37:21.000 --> 00:37:27.469
Brian L. Powell: And and you know I'm unsure what it might look like. But one thing I know for certain, it would fracture our structure.
00:37:27.500 --> 00:37:34.849
Brian L. Powell: our organizational structure probably be on repair. We would become more federated in in that sense. But
00:37:35.600 --> 00:37:56.590
Brian L. Powell: you know, I mean we we're dealing with these voices. I I know Tom is going to be my counterpart in this series, but he recently edited and put out a book called Why the Church, the Nazarene should be fully Lgbtq. Plus affirming it's also a group called the 1,908 project that's openly campaigning for people to sign petitions in favor of becoming fully affirming.
00:37:56.700 --> 00:37:59.829
Brian L. Powell: And beyond that, there is ongoing dialogue
00:37:59.890 --> 00:38:08.240
Brian L. Powell: that's been happening on social media and social media groups for years that continually push this same narrative.
00:38:08.550 --> 00:38:12.650
Brian L. Powell: so again, back to the big Gs ruling.
00:38:13.140 --> 00:38:22.339
Brian L. Powell: I believe their ruling is a diligent effort to maintain some sense of unity and be proactive in the face of these ongoing attacks.
00:38:23.210 --> 00:38:26.580
Brian L. Powell: unfortunately, I feel like
00:38:27.450 --> 00:38:30.579
we? We sometimes miss that genuine unity
00:38:30.960 --> 00:38:35.649
Brian L. Powell: isn't possible when essential doctrinal issues like marriage.
00:38:35.760 --> 00:38:47.889
Brian L. Powell: sexuality, natural order, those things are up for debate. Again, we're what an impasse. I mean, if we've learned anything from church history, we'd be naive to think there's a way to bridge that gap.
00:38:48.550 --> 00:38:55.669
Brian L. Powell: And even recent church history. Sure, certainly, if we've learned anything from the Umc. And what's happening.
00:38:55.770 --> 00:38:59.529
Brian L. Powell: certainly we've learned that that we will never be able to bridge that gap.
00:39:00.150 --> 00:39:14.719
Andy Miller III: Yep, I mean, you might have to remind me of the the the question you can. That's good. I think you got to. I think that that that's the point, and I think there was a probably more than about 20 years ago the Methodist. A general conference met.
00:39:14.720 --> 00:39:30.919
Andy Miller III: and again, like they fortified their doctrinal statements. But 1, one leader recognize, and that leaves no longer with us. Just say, well, it perhaps it's time for aim at Google separation, and many people are always too soon. We can. We can do this, we can work it. And what happened
00:39:30.920 --> 00:39:55.679
Andy Miller III: is that there was never a discipline was what? There was never a accountability. So a whole region would move to a place where they had a practicing lesbian bishop that was installed, and a host of other things. So the the discipline there was. Essentially there wasn't unity because people were decide they were going to disobey as a result of their convictions. And so I think that that's a helpful piece to keep in mind. Let me actually this.
00:39:55.680 --> 00:40:01.169
Brian L. Powell: I think about the other side. You want to add something there.
00:40:01.200 --> 00:40:02.670
Brian L. Powell: What would happen if
00:40:02.870 --> 00:40:09.459
Brian L. Powell: you know I was care? Exactly. I I am curious about that. Go ahead. And yeah.
00:40:09.650 --> 00:40:13.310
Brian L. Powell: any time we move away from Scripture, what is that equal.
00:40:14.260 --> 00:40:16.739
Brian L. Powell: Absolutely. Yeah.
00:40:16.900 --> 00:40:36.080
Brian L. Powell: did. Did you? Did you read the story a couple of months ago about the Methodist college in the Uk. That released a professor by the name of Dr. Aaron Edwards. Yeah, he he that they said he brought the college to disrepute on social media threatened to report him as a terrorist even, and
00:40:36.170 --> 00:40:39.809
that that is the fruit of progressive Christianity.
00:40:40.260 --> 00:40:52.230
Brian L. Powell: That that's it. And you know, he said, homosexuality is invading the Church and Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this, because we're so busy apologizing for our barbaric homophobia.
00:40:52.970 --> 00:41:06.299
Brian L. Powell: This is a gospel issue. If C is no longer saying, we no longer need a Savior. he went on to say. The acceptance of homosexual sexuality as not being sinful is an invasion upon the Church doctrineally.
00:41:06.610 --> 00:41:12.840
Brian L. Powell: that is not controversial, it should not be controversial. The acceptance of it is controversial
00:41:12.940 --> 00:41:22.140
Brian L. Powell: in the global church, he said, agrees with that. Yeah. And so you know, I would contend that the Biblical position
00:41:22.440 --> 00:41:26.899
Brian L. Powell: on God's design for human sexuality has already one app.
00:41:27.150 --> 00:41:33.940
Brian L. Powell: Yeah, yeah, you know, I mean, it's it's so clear we don't have the right nor the freedom
00:41:33.960 --> 00:41:40.519
Brian L. Powell: to reimagine 2,000 years of Biblical orthodoxy on this issue, or any other issue.
00:41:40.920 --> 00:41:45.919
Brian L. Powell: and if the Church, the Nazarene, were to abandon its call to to Scripture
00:41:46.050 --> 00:41:53.679
Brian L. Powell: on this topic, then it would mean also that the Church has abandoned Christian orthodoxy right right.
00:41:53.720 --> 00:41:55.990
Brian L. Powell: and in that regard it wouldn't be me
00:41:56.030 --> 00:42:04.800
Brian L. Powell: or or anything else I know. Leaving the church, it would mean the church has left us. That's right, that's right. And and anyway, I.
00:42:06.020 --> 00:42:08.049
Brian L. Powell: It wouldn't be the same church.
00:42:08.160 --> 00:42:14.550
Brian L. Powell: It wouldn't be the same. Sure, it might have the same name, but it wouldn't be the same. Personally, I've been watching this.
00:42:14.570 --> 00:42:25.520
Brian L. Powell: I I'm I'm getting old now, but I'm I. When I first started this I was the youngest Ds among my colleagues for several years. Why, I'm kind of young to be in this position.
00:42:25.660 --> 00:42:34.739
Brian L. Powell: but personally I've watched this play out for the better part of a decade, and in trying to point it out. I've I've been told over and over.
00:42:35.350 --> 00:42:46.519
Brian L. Powell: You're overreacting. Yeah, it. It's not that bad. All they don't have any influence you're wasting your time. I've been involved in these discussions. I've been. I've been bewildered by them.
00:42:46.810 --> 00:42:58.790
Brian L. Powell: I've been involved with in person and online. And through my engagement I can point out specific shifts in the progressive narrative in our own tribe on Lgbtq issues. Can I give you some examples?
00:42:58.970 --> 00:42:59.740
Andy Miller III: Sure.
00:43:00.070 --> 00:43:04.890
Brian L. Powell: Several years ago I'm saying I don't know 2,01516
00:43:04.940 --> 00:43:13.119
Brian L. Powell: online. And otherwise you would hear leaders saying saying things like this. I don't personally agree with same sex marriage. But I'm okay with those who do.
00:43:13.900 --> 00:43:24.539
Brian L. Powell: Okay, but that they weren't. They weren't breaking any rules by saying that, according to our manual, then it shifted to. Well, I. I'm working through what I believe.
00:43:24.540 --> 00:43:47.159
Brian L. Powell: Yeah, right? And then it became, oh, I believe God's okay with same-sex marriage within the confines of a monogamous relations. Yeah, but I will perform a ceremony because of our denominations position on the issue. Well, today, they're saying, I believe we should change our position on marriage. I think the Church has got it wrong on this issue historically. And I think the Biblical writers has got it wrong.
00:43:48.380 --> 00:43:57.669
Brian L. Powell: Yeah, absolutely. So again, that's not the Christian faith because you have to. Just. You have to throw out the the New Testament riders.
00:43:58.250 --> 00:44:23.150
Andy Miller III: No, I'm with you, I I it's interesting. I'm glad to hear you. I haven't. No, don't know if I've heard somebody expose kind of that trajectory and some might say it's a slippery slope. But, my friends, this is reality. And this is what's here. There's nothing to say. You won't be able to say very soon. that you're okay also with a throttle. You know that no longer a couple, or in or other sort of
00:44:23.630 --> 00:44:28.510
Andy Miller III: okay, I want to make sure we keep moving here. So one thing that I have is
00:44:28.680 --> 00:44:33.609
Andy Miller III: yeah, exactly. What is the plus? I I hear you. number 4.
00:44:33.910 --> 00:44:40.560
Andy Miller III: What do you think the primary issue is for those who, on the other side of the theological spectrum in the church of Nazarene.
00:44:44.880 --> 00:44:56.550
Brian L. Powell: I I want to be kind. but calls again. I don't. I don't view people as an enemy. and I really want you to hear my heart when I say this. This is not personal to me.
00:44:57.230 --> 00:45:01.649
Brian L. Powell: like I. I have a lot of friends. people I know and love.
00:45:01.930 --> 00:45:11.940
Brian L. Powell: who who have become progressive in their theology man. They could come over for a cook out tomorrow, you know I I have 0 enemies.
00:45:12.320 --> 00:45:20.930
Brian L. Powell: it's a battle of ideas. and and I think it's so important to keep that at the forefront of the conversation that because
00:45:21.290 --> 00:45:29.080
Brian L. Powell: it's so tempting, and I've seen so many fault victim to this mentality, they become bitter, and they become angry.
00:45:29.090 --> 00:45:41.180
Brian L. Powell: You know how, in in in light of the prodigal, some story, and those 3 characters, how do we keep the heart of the father in this conversation? You know we definitely don't want to become the elder son
00:45:41.230 --> 00:46:00.889
Brian L. Powell: who didn't have to leave home to get lost right? His own bitterness and resentment and anger, and it was very obvious that he'd been holding on to that for a long time, and in this battle of ideas it's easy for that to play out in somebody's life if they're not careful. So so in getting into this this question.
00:46:01.080 --> 00:46:06.650
Brian L. Powell: I I wanna make sure, even if I say some hard things.
00:46:06.850 --> 00:46:08.259
Brian L. Powell: that it's not personal.
00:46:08.420 --> 00:46:14.440
Brian L. Powell: I'm okay with people having a hard critique of of my views. I don't take it personal.
00:46:14.990 --> 00:46:16.680
Brian L. Powell: but the primary issue
00:46:18.450 --> 00:46:21.609
Brian L. Powell: is that they've abandoned orthodox Christianity
00:46:23.130 --> 00:46:32.109
Brian L. Powell: for a a apostasy is not part of the spectrum of Christian belief. It's a departure.
00:46:33.230 --> 00:46:42.899
Brian L. Powell: The Apostle John said that he was dealing with those folks who had gone on ahead, going on before the second time one night. Everyone who goes on ahead
00:46:43.410 --> 00:46:55.049
Brian L. Powell: does not abide in the teaching of Christ and does not have God. It's whoever abides in the teaching has both the father and the son. Now, I think we're dealing
00:46:55.190 --> 00:46:56.310
Brian L. Powell: today.
00:46:56.650 --> 00:46:59.540
Brian L. Powell: It's an age old problem.
00:46:59.780 --> 00:47:01.189
Brian L. Powell: It's nothing new.
00:47:01.660 --> 00:47:08.429
Brian L. Powell: and I think it would cause a lot less. It's new to us. It's new to people pastoring, administering in twenty-first century America
00:47:08.660 --> 00:47:18.579
Brian L. Powell: host, Christian culture. But I think we're dealing with the same issue. The new Testament writers dealt with and the the progressive mindset. if you do a parallel, study.
00:47:19.150 --> 00:47:21.629
Brian L. Powell: man, it's the same as the Gnostics
00:47:21.900 --> 00:47:36.000
Brian L. Powell: these are folks who in their own minds have outgrown biblical orthodoxy They've lost interest in Scripture A, and and they feel the need to reimagine it.
00:47:36.420 --> 00:47:48.219
Brian L. Powell: I mean that these these are the kind of personalities that fit well in a spiritual organization that is, spouses modern cultural inclinations. Novelty is what's most appealing to them.
00:47:48.610 --> 00:47:57.630
Brian L. Powell: not deeper revelation. spiritual discipline, novelty in June's day and hours. That's why I say it's no different.
00:47:57.960 --> 00:48:07.030
Brian L. Powell: These same folks would be considered trailblazers, right trendsetters, forward thinkers, advocates of noble causes. It's the same spirit.
00:48:07.840 --> 00:48:14.640
Brian L. Powell: Progressive Christianity is nothing more. Then ancient Gnosticism repackaged.
00:48:14.920 --> 00:48:21.290
Brian L. Powell: It's the same demon different day. Wow! And I don't say that to hurt anybody's feelings.
00:48:21.380 --> 00:48:23.349
Brian L. Powell: But if I'm going to be faithful
00:48:24.450 --> 00:48:30.249
Brian L. Powell: in with Biblical Hermeneutics and exe Jesus. that would be the application for our day.
00:48:30.790 --> 00:48:48.310
Andy Miller III: I'm with you now, this interesting I'm I. I agree on all those fronts, but I I don't think that they would say, like, what's motivating them? We really want to implement a neo Gnosticism right now. And what do you think they would say like their reason for this is what what doctrines would they hold to?
00:48:50.290 --> 00:49:04.610
Brian L. Powell: I I I don't. I don't know what doctrines that held to I mean I I I've they they've they speak so low of Scripture. I mean some of them, I think, hold with the Creeds, but the Creeds are all
00:49:04.730 --> 00:49:18.029
Brian L. Powell: all bound. The Scripture. They all they all derive from Scripture. I I think it's I think it's what it would be wise as Christians to remember. I can give an analogy here that
00:49:18.580 --> 00:49:20.149
Brian L. Powell: Christian growth
00:49:20.340 --> 00:49:25.050
Brian L. Powell: growing as a Christ follower definitely includes growing in knowledge. Would you agree?
00:49:25.130 --> 00:49:26.419
Andy Miller III: I agree? Yeah.
00:49:26.660 --> 00:49:30.029
Brian L. Powell: But but it should never lead to a lack of conviction.
00:49:31.260 --> 00:49:42.889
Brian L. Powell: In in fact, the longer one walked with Jesus. the more convinced they should be of things they were once, I'm sure, about. Yeah, does that make sense
00:49:43.210 --> 00:49:46.399
Brian L. Powell: and and so many today. And here's the Gnostic tie
00:49:46.880 --> 00:49:50.380
Brian L. Powell: they seek intellectual enlightenment
00:49:50.620 --> 00:49:54.929
Brian L. Powell: at the expense of confidence in divine truth.
00:49:56.210 --> 00:50:02.610
Brian L. Powell: They'll abandon divine truth as revealed through Scripture for enlightenment
00:50:02.620 --> 00:50:10.190
Brian L. Powell: a. And and so often these voices, you know, you'll hear them talk about. And and I understand this, and you will, too, Andy.
00:50:10.540 --> 00:50:21.910
Brian L. Powell: you know, as as as youthful Christians a lot of times. Everything's black and white. and so we know everything's not black and white, and as we grow. We, we're able to to navigate the gray areas.
00:50:22.170 --> 00:50:26.500
Brian L. Powell: and I admit that. But everything's not great.
00:50:26.780 --> 00:50:31.569
Andy Miller III: right? Right? There are some things that are still black and white, right
00:50:31.910 --> 00:50:42.170
Brian L. Powell: and and the basic orthodox foundational teachings of orthodox Christianity are black and white and human sexuality. God's design for us is one of those things?
00:50:43.140 --> 00:50:49.910
Brian L. Powell: A. If you ever noticed it, progressive enlightenment. When it comes to the church, it it seems to cause people to
00:50:50.690 --> 00:50:53.640
Brian L. Powell: condescendingly look, look down on
00:50:53.760 --> 00:51:01.629
Brian L. Powell: those that they think have yet to graduate from from youthful ideas to adult refinement. Right?
00:51:02.220 --> 00:51:06.060
Brian L. Powell: I contend that growing in knowledge in Christ means
00:51:06.610 --> 00:51:13.620
Brian L. Powell: contending for truth, and if it if it doesn't it, it certainly doesn't mean abandoning proof.
00:51:14.130 --> 00:51:25.430
Brian L. Powell: And if it does, then it's something else. It's not Christian growth. So this progressive quest for enlightenment. It it makes people think they're growing in knowledge when in fact.
00:51:25.610 --> 00:51:27.530
Brian L. Powell: it seems they're growing in doubt
00:51:27.650 --> 00:51:29.060
Andy Miller III: hmm
00:51:29.290 --> 00:51:31.479
Brian L. Powell: which is the opposite of knowledge. Right?
00:51:31.660 --> 00:51:32.420
Andy Miller III: Yeah.
00:51:32.710 --> 00:51:41.380
Brian L. Powell: I mean, doubt would be the opposite of knowledge. So if our dow is increasing, when it as we walk, the longer we walk with God, then certainly we're listening to the wrong voices.
00:51:41.870 --> 00:51:46.410
Brian L. Powell: Yeah, you know. So we're learning from somewhere else. Christian growth
00:51:46.540 --> 00:51:50.519
Brian L. Powell: should never lead to decreased conviction
00:51:50.800 --> 00:51:55.990
Brian L. Powell: about Biblical truth about right and wrong, about good and evil to the contrary.
00:51:56.050 --> 00:52:00.539
Brian L. Powell: when we lose sense of our Biblical conviction on these basic things.
00:52:00.720 --> 00:52:04.049
Brian L. Powell: that's a sign that we're moving backward. Not forward.
00:52:04.200 --> 00:52:05.979
Andy Miller III: Interesting. That's helpful.
00:52:06.060 --> 00:52:26.029
Andy Miller III: Oh, yeah, I want to jump ahead because we might not have enough time. And I'm gonna go ahead and jump ahead to a higher education question. One of the things that's unique about the church, and as ring compared to some other Wesley and holiness to nominations is you all have established in the United States at least, that I know of really strong, successful universities. all of it. Shreveca
00:52:26.030 --> 00:52:49.839
Andy Miller III: Point, Loma, Northwest Nazarene, Eastern DC. Schools have been established, and it's interesting. Looking from the outside in, as I've I've noticed that there are often members of faculty, who take alternate positions to the Church and Nazarene, particularly in the departments of religion. And this has been something that now it seems like there are there are. There have occasionally been moves to
00:52:49.840 --> 00:53:00.549
Andy Miller III: work to enforce that things that aren't contrary to the belief of the church and the rain. But these are all institutions that carry the word Nazarene in their name.
00:53:00.660 --> 00:53:21.420
Andy Miller III: and I'm just curious how you respond to the fact that the in likely your church, some way is financially supporting these institutions. Likely they are incorporated in a way that the Church was involved with institute like bringing these these bodies, these institutions into existence. So what what's to be done like about the Institute? These institutions of higher education, Brian.
00:53:22.610 --> 00:53:31.200
Brian L. Powell: you know, every district superintendent serves as by default of the position serves as a trustee
00:53:31.280 --> 00:53:46.509
Brian L. Powell: at their respective university. Our our U.S.A. Canada region is broken up into fields, but fields of districts, you know, are are linked to the university, that it on their field. And so they serve that university.
00:53:46.730 --> 00:53:49.869
Brian L. Powell: And so some do a really good job.
00:53:50.120 --> 00:53:55.670
Brian L. Powell: of of bringing a a accountability to the table.
00:53:55.820 --> 00:54:11.140
Brian L. Powell: and others over the years have not done so good of a job. I would I would be reluctant to speak. I've only ever so. I've served on 2 fields in my life the all of it
00:54:11.280 --> 00:54:22.870
Brian L. Powell: which I would say for lack of better work, to use your words, is a is a more conservative of of our schools. And then for Veca, which which also I mean Treveka.
00:54:22.950 --> 00:54:25.769
Brian L. Powell: first of all, with liberal arts education.
00:54:26.640 --> 00:54:35.599
Brian L. Powell: Well, when you, when you examine that from the local church's perspective, I don't know if there's ever been a time in history where it wasn't perceived as liberal.
00:54:35.940 --> 00:54:52.369
Brian L. Powell: Hmm! I mean, you're sending students off to explore ideas, and it's outside the box of of the local church, and people tend to be scared of those things because they tend to live in a bubble, which I think is a terrible mistake for those folks in the local church.
00:54:52.400 --> 00:54:59.220
Brian L. Powell: but that doesn't mean that that they are. you know. It doesn't mean that they are an orthodox right? Right?
00:54:59.590 --> 00:55:10.030
Brian L. Powell: There's also the differentiate we have Nazarene Bible College, and as Ring Theological Seminary, which stand alone outside of our region, our universities on each field.
00:55:10.710 --> 00:55:17.300
Brian L. Powell: We need to also understand that Rebecca, for example, which is where I currently serve.
00:55:18.250 --> 00:55:24.819
Brian L. Powell: I mean, they've got over 4,000 students, and and how many faculty, Lord knows.
00:55:25.120 --> 00:55:37.229
Brian L. Powell: If I tell my pastors, who sometimes, you know. Ha! Have opinions on Rebecca. I say to them, if your church was 4,000 people
00:55:37.260 --> 00:55:51.329
Brian L. Powell: and you had hundreds of staff members, you would have problems, you would have more problems to navigate. People would be bringing different ideas all the time. There's no doubt that philosophy and in religion departments you're going to get
00:55:51.330 --> 00:56:12.349
Brian L. Powell: professors from time to time. That that's going to, you know, change their views and start teaching contrary. My question is, is, do we handle those situations. For example. I believe the number was 9. I think we had 9 professors step down last year, because we still ask them to sign
00:56:12.420 --> 00:56:25.370
Brian L. Powell: a a statement saying that they agreed to buy by our covenant of Christian conduct and character in our manual, and some support that those are the things that don't get Pr. The only thing that gets Pr is when something bad happens.
00:56:26.210 --> 00:56:41.120
Brian L. Powell: You know, it's like, Okay. some professor, or even a a clergy member somewhere teaches some crazy thing, and it's on line, and everybody's got access to it. And it's just like this, negative energy. And
00:56:41.150 --> 00:56:47.610
Brian L. Powell: what never happens is when those situations get handled. They don't put out a press release right?
00:56:47.890 --> 00:57:11.069
Brian L. Powell: So so a lot of people are left wondering if they're handled. I actually think I've got a friend, and I'm not going to say what the nomination he's with, but he's a superintendent in another denomination, and they actually do press releases when they part ways with professors and clergy that that abandoned orthodoxy, and they don't do it in a negative way. When they take their credentials, they just put out a press release, saying,
00:57:11.070 --> 00:57:20.220
Brian L. Powell: you know so and so we're going separate ways, and we want to wish them all the best in their future endeavors, so so that their people know
00:57:20.470 --> 00:57:25.710
Brian L. Powell: that it's been handled. It's it's a for an accountability purpose. But
00:57:27.740 --> 00:57:30.690
Brian L. Powell: I I think that the link to the church
00:57:30.730 --> 00:57:32.340
Brian L. Powell: has has
00:57:32.600 --> 00:57:37.970
Brian L. Powell: kept our institutions faithful. I do also think
00:57:40.280 --> 00:57:44.689
Brian L. Powell: that there are a lot of leaders who who typically
00:57:44.810 --> 00:57:59.829
Brian L. Powell: do not want to get involved in controversy. And I'm trying to be careful here because I love my colleagues. But they avoided at all cost. and dealing with thoughts. Doctrine is not something we can do and avoid controversy.
00:58:00.130 --> 00:58:04.400
Brian L. Powell: It is not possible.
00:58:04.730 --> 00:58:07.759
Brian L. Powell: And so you know I I've
00:58:08.150 --> 00:58:15.840
Brian L. Powell: how do? How much more time do we have?
00:58:17.370 --> 00:58:21.269
Brian L. Powell: What? There's no doubt, though, that we've dealt with issues.
00:58:21.920 --> 00:58:28.659
Brian L. Powell: and and the larger we get the more issues we'll deal with. But I've also seen a a valiant effort
00:58:28.940 --> 00:58:35.290
Brian L. Powell: in the regions I've served in to bring a source of accountability to the table. In dealing with those issues.
00:58:35.700 --> 00:59:00.929
Brian L. Powell: I'm debating on on. Let me ask you a question. Let me let me see if I can like, specify this a little bit more. So let's just say it's not about dealing with human sexuality, or even the Doctor of Revelation or Creation, which is sound, surrounds a lot of what we're talking about here. What if it was just the dual nature of Christ, rather, that Jesus was truly and properly God, and truly improperly made. What if a professor at one of those institutions teaching in a religion department
00:59:01.170 --> 00:59:06.410
Andy Miller III: teaching maybe future Nazarene minister, or or at your seminary, or at the Bible College.
00:59:06.490 --> 00:59:34.959
Andy Miller III: said, No, I'm I'm taking a new view on that. Jesus was just God, he was not fully man. should there be some action taken in that situation? Yeah, yes, for sure. And there would be I I would assume in our in our universities, you know our seminary in recent years has, and and that's one of my alma mater's. Everybody with my doctorate from there, and I love our seminary.
00:59:35.230 --> 00:59:43.380
Brian L. Powell: I. I do know that the hiring practices of our seminary in recent years
00:59:43.490 --> 00:59:45.489
Brian L. Powell: has not reflected.
00:59:45.770 --> 00:59:49.689
Brian L. Powell: Our statements on human sexuality.
00:59:50.080 --> 00:59:59.660
Brian L. Powell: as there have been some professors hired there, a faculty and staff who have you know, who openly teach. Contrary.
00:59:59.740 --> 01:00:02.109
Andy Miller III: I also know that some of those
01:00:02.350 --> 01:00:09.179
Brian L. Powell: that that's been addressed and many of those have been released, although I know one that is of one that's still on
01:00:09.420 --> 01:00:17.669
Brian L. Powell: faculty, and maybe it's just a part time position, nonetheless. they do advocate openly for same-sex relationships.
01:00:18.680 --> 01:00:22.860
Brian L. Powell: I we we had a personal issue with our district several years ago.
01:00:23.040 --> 01:00:30.000
Brian L. Powell: And I don't want to go into all the details of that. We don't have time. I'm not sure that I should, anyway.
01:00:30.330 --> 01:00:36.380
Brian L. Powell: but but it was very perplexing, because I had some conversations with the trustees there and
01:00:36.460 --> 01:00:40.590
Brian L. Powell: other leaders there. And in in asking.
01:00:40.790 --> 01:00:47.550
Brian L. Powell: you know, just simply asking about that, I I I often received. Well, Brian, don't you think we ought to have diversity
01:00:48.030 --> 01:00:53.139
Brian L. Powell: when it comes to higher learning. even if we don't agree on everything?
01:00:54.150 --> 01:01:05.220
Brian L. Powell: And my response was. Well, sure. I believe that we all have diversity. Oh, not a central. but I certainly don't think we should have diversity on essentials.
01:01:06.120 --> 01:01:09.400
Brian L. Powell: especially the things that are manual
01:01:09.820 --> 01:01:17.649
Brian L. Powell: calls the central right? You have a document that makes it some push back. I I think I meant I I push back on them. So.
01:01:18.040 --> 01:01:23.989
Brian L. Powell: for example, I said. would you hire a free Will Baptist scholar
01:01:24.600 --> 01:01:28.330
Brian L. Powell: who doesn't believe women should be in May lead pastors
01:01:28.380 --> 01:01:37.630
Brian L. Powell: for the sake of diversity, even if they were a great scholar, and promised to never teach that there. But they held that view, and they blogged about it and preached about it and talked about it.
01:01:37.720 --> 01:01:39.109
Brian L. Powell: Would you hire them?
01:01:40.230 --> 01:01:45.730
Brian L. Powell: Would you hire a scholar from, you know? I asked, would you hire a scholar from.
01:01:46.070 --> 01:01:52.869
Brian L. Powell: say the the assemblies of God. Yeah, sure, where are you who believes, though, that speaking in tongues.
01:01:53.400 --> 01:01:55.989
Brian L. Powell: the baptism of the Spirit?
01:01:56.680 --> 01:02:02.760
Brian L. Powell: Would you hire them? Because, from my estimation. Neither of those views are essential to South Asia.
01:02:03.990 --> 01:02:14.710
Brian L. Powell: You know whether somebody believes women should be in ministry or not is not essential to them, making it to heaven, and being in a relationship with Jesus. Whether one believes in speaking in tongues or not is not essential.
01:02:15.400 --> 01:02:20.319
Brian L. Powell: but sexual practice outside of God's revelation
01:02:20.850 --> 01:02:25.599
Brian L. Powell: would prohibit from being in a right relationship with Jesus.
01:02:25.820 --> 01:02:38.150
Brian L. Powell: And and it's just all the answers I got to to just those those that push back was well, they admitted. No, they probably wouldn't hire those people right? What's odd to me that you would hire someone
01:02:38.430 --> 01:02:50.169
Brian L. Powell: who openly defies our position.
01:02:50.770 --> 01:03:15.209
Andy Miller III: That's it. Okay, let me just get a quick answer on this last one. I'm going to go to question Number 6 just for your your sake, should the Church and as ring keep a unified manual? Or should there be greater flexibility for regions to address particular questions of faith and practice? This kind of the contextualization argument. This is happening in every denomination. Again, that's global is facing the same thing. Say, well, it's okay for that section. But we are a different. We're
01:03:15.240 --> 01:03:18.849
Brian L. Powell: We're more advanced or so sometimes. That's the link. Yes.
01:03:18.920 --> 01:03:26.620
Brian L. Powell: yes, yes, we should keep a unified manual without a unified manual. I mean, we might be an association.
01:03:26.650 --> 01:03:31.059
Brian L. Powell: It might be a Federation, but we wouldn't be a global movement.
01:03:31.690 --> 01:03:34.860
Brian L. Powell: you know, a and and there there would be nothing
01:03:35.070 --> 01:03:41.399
Brian L. Powell: to bring it. I I think people so overlook the importance of accountability. Accountability is not a bad word.
01:03:41.450 --> 01:03:49.229
Brian L. Powell: It's not a bad thing. It's a good thing. And and really this idea of of not abiding by the manual is.
01:03:49.240 --> 01:03:52.070
Brian L. Powell: or somebody having different views of the manual is
01:03:52.150 --> 01:04:01.220
Brian L. Powell: really, that's the whole point of the issues that we're facing today. Too many people are looking for loopholes and trying to reinterpret essentials.
01:04:01.430 --> 01:04:03.029
Brian L. Powell: The the manual
01:04:03.100 --> 01:04:13.069
Brian L. Powell: is a source of accountability for the global church. It is the global. It represents the global consciousness of the family. Right?
01:04:13.270 --> 01:04:16.339
Brian L. Powell: And so without a unified manual. Yeah.
01:04:17.000 --> 01:04:26.889
Brian L. Powell: I mean, all it would take would be one progressive voice at somewhere, you know, in one classroom or one pulpit, in any given context, on any given continent.
01:04:27.170 --> 01:04:33.740
Brian L. Powell: to start teaching new doctrine. And then what would happen? It would just be a a cascade effect.
01:04:33.760 --> 01:04:37.389
Brian L. Powell: Well, we think it's okay to have multiple wives.
01:04:37.470 --> 01:04:58.129
Brian L. Powell: Okay, well, your Manual can say. And and well, we don't consider homosexuality. So we're going to take that out of ours, and and we don't think women should be pastors, and we think you're all speaking to, you know. I mean, you could go on now absolutely. It would never end. It would never! And it would call so much chaos and confusion. I'm of the mindset, even if it means we were to get smaller first.
01:04:58.900 --> 01:05:22.649
Andy Miller III: I don't think now it would really matter. I'm sure people miss the Scripture matters, and God brings the harvest right? Absolutely. Well, it's interesting just to encourage you like when the church has been clear on this, and sadly, what's tap? What's had to happen with the meth? You know, I Methodist Church or the global Methodist church is I I just see it being a very vibrant time as the Church is focusing in on orthodox beliefs
01:05:22.650 --> 01:05:39.369
Andy Miller III: and being able to like what what they're talking about. When I when I get around and I've interviewed some of these people bishops in the global methods church. They're saying, Man, we're so excited. We're going to plan a church churches in Seattle, you know, and like they, they're they're speaking to like we have an opportunity to do these type of activities. So.
01:05:39.370 --> 01:05:59.649
Andy Miller III: Brian, I'm so thankful for your time. I just want to encourage folks, if you the type of theology that Brian's supporting, that you may, you may not want me tagging this advertising on here. But this is why we have several Nazarene coming to Wesley Biblical Seminary, and like we're in this and we, we're a Nondenominational school. But if you're looking for a, a, a seminary that supports this type of faith.
01:05:59.650 --> 01:06:15.570
Brian L. Powell: this sort of tradition, this theology. Hey? Check out. Wbs. Ed. How about that advertisement, Brian? I love it, I would say to that. I appreciate Wesley Biblical seminar. You guys are doing a great job. I've got a lot of colleagues that have been there and are currently there.
01:06:15.680 --> 01:06:28.970
Brian L. Powell: and I'm so thankful for your steadfastness. I would also like to make a plug if you don't mind. Oh, go do it? I'm not a podcast. I just sixth episode. It's called a time to speak with Brian Powell
01:06:29.070 --> 01:06:46.729
Brian L. Powell: most, all podcasting hosts. you, you can find it. apple spotify about anywhere. Time to speak with Brian Powell. It's not video. It's just audio. But I address mainly. It's a platform to address a lot of these issues that we've spoken of today.
01:06:46.840 --> 01:07:03.680
Andy Miller III: So if you want to go deeper, check that out, and I'll I'll if you can send me a link, Brian. I'll make sure to include it in the show notes. Also, we'll have a link to it for the new book that just come out that Matt and Elijah freedom. And I've just edited that Brian's
01:07:03.680 --> 01:07:20.120
Andy Miller III: that's right. And my Janet Dean, who's been on my show, Jared Henry, some of the people that. And there's even an article with Robert Gagnan. So it's it's really a great, great book, so great resources. Thanks, Brian, for coming. I really appreciate your time.