Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Sin of Holiness

According to Richard Foster in Streams of Living Water, the holiness stream is a focus on the virtuous life, as in right living and purity from sin. This perspective develops from the Wesleyan holiness movement that focuses on sanctification by avoiding sin and being morally pure.

Is this perspective in the Bible. Absolutely. God wants us to avoid sin. However, being morally pure does not guarantee that we are close with God. Just read the Gospels regarding the Pharisees and Paul's writings.

Being holy is not the same as being morally pure. Sacred is a better synonym with holy.

To be holy or sacred is to be made special for God. We can be set apart by being morally pure. However, God, through Christ, makes us holy. Regardless of our behavior.

As I also discussed in yesterday's post on confession, we often focus too much on sin and not enough on moving closer to God. There, of course, is a balance, as sin and God don't do well together. However, as Christ did many times on earth, he will also come to us in the midst of sin. And frankly, that's when we experience God the most. Christ physically came to those who were sinning. He didn't come to those who were pure.

Of course that doesn't mean we should sin in order to be with God. However, in many attempts to remain pure, we often blind ourselves to experiencing God, as was my experiencing with fasting. As we seek to do things for God, we often forget to be with GodWhile we do need to combat sin and move toward moral purity, this is something that is impossible in this world. And it's not the primary goal of the Gospel or what God wants, in my opinion. He wants a relationship with us. And battling sin can get in the way of that. If we are always beating ourselves up in order to repent, we are ignoring God's redemption and therefore ignoring God.

So I think in our aim to be holy we may actually lose our holiness by participating in life with God less.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Got a question, struggle, or doubt you'd like to see addressed here? Contact me, and I'll try to discuss it (and may even help you get an answer).