When I was growing up in the Nazarene church, Sunday school teachers and youth leaders cautioned us about being "unequally yoked with unbelievers," that is, being friends with "sinners."
All other Christian denominations were wrong to some extent, therefore "sinners.", but some were so close to the truth that you could befriend members without worry, visit their churches, and even, if necessary, attend their colleges. Some you could be friends with, if you were careful, and some were possessed by the devil, so evil that you couldn't even speak to them.
I no longer hold those prejudices, of course, but still, when I'm around my Nazarene relatives, I sometimes hear disparaging statements like "he's a Presbyterian -- you know what that means!" and "He bought a house right next to a Catholic church!"
So I thought it would be interesting to look at those "sinners" to see what all the fuss was about.
From least to most dangerous:
Nazarene Verdict: Ok to be friends and visit their churches.
Not many things to complain about except that they allowed movies and dancing, which Nazarenes strictly prohibited.
You also had to be careful because some colleges that said "Wesleyan" really weren't, so you might get hoodwinked into going to a secular college, where your faith would be challenged.
The basketball player in the top photo is from Kentucky Wesleyan, a bona fide Wesleyan college.
Nazarenes hated the idea of speaking in tongues. Some preachers claimed that Pentecostals were being filled with the spirit of Satan rather than the spirit of God. So you could be friends with Pentecostals, but don't set foot in their churches.
A powerful weightlifter from Azusa Pacific University, the most prestigious Pentecostal university in the U.S.
Also they baptized people. Nazarenes thought that baptism was a primitive superstition.
Williams Baptist College is not to be confused with the secular Williams College.
Nazarene verdict: Ok to be friends, but don't visit their churches.
This swimmer is from Southern Methodist University, which is not exactly Methodist anymore.
I couldn't find a Presbyterian college, but when I searched on "Presbyterian shirtless," this came up.
Church of Christ. There were like 6,000 denominations called "Church of Christ," some evangelical, but the biggest was the United Church of Christ, aka Congregationalist. They were so liberal that even their preachers drank. And went swimming.
Next: the...shudder...Catholics and cults.
See also: Sinner Beefcake Part 2