307.4. To ordain, or appoint [others] another superintendent (i.e., general superintendent, general superintendent emeriti or retired, or district superintendent) to ordain, in connection with the ordained [ministers] elders present, those who have been duly elected to be elders or deacons. (435.5-35.6)
FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
1. We, along with Wesley and the larger Methodist tradition, have understood that “Bishops and Presbyters are the same order, and consequently have the same right to ordain” (Wesley’s
Sept. 10, 1784 letter “To Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury,
and our Brethren in North-America”).
That is to say, the power to ordain is found within the order of
elders. There is not a separate “order
of bishop” or “superintendent.” Nevertheless,
we, along with others in
the larger Methodist tradition, have reserved the authority to ordain, within
our denominations, to those elders
who have been elected to the episcopal office/role
of superintendent. (Episkopos, which is usually
translated “bishop,” is understood to mean “overseer,” or “superintendent,”
which is the term that we and some other
Wesleyan denominations use for the episcopal role.)
2. For the Church of the Nazarene, the episcopal aspect of our government is expressed through thesuperintendency, both general and district (cf., the “Foreword,” and par. 28.1, 206.f, 306.f, 314.f, and 315.f).
3. It would be highly desirable that ordinations, if not being performed by the general superintendent in jurisdiction, be performed by another general superintendent (active, emeriti, or retired), in as much as they represent the whole church.
4. When the general superintendent in jurisdiction is not able to ordain, and when no other generalsuperintendent is able to ordain, it would be highly desirable that one vested with the authority to oversee the district (i.e., the district superintendent) be the person appointed to ordain.
5. In no case should anyone other than an ordained elder be appointed to ordain, for ordination must be passed along by one already ordained. The power to ordained is found within the order of elders.
6. As the paragraph currently reads, it would be possible (even if unlikely) that a general superintendent could appoint someone outside of holy orders to ordain. Such would be completely inconsistent with the historic Christian and Wesleyan and Nazarene understanding of ordination.