Don’t Hate Me for My Holiness

The Holiness movement has come under fire at different times
in history for being misunderstood on many levels.  We have been seen as overly pious, as being a
people who don’t sin, who claim perfection, and who are holier than thou.  These are all extremes; they are all misinterpretations,
and exaggerations of who we are.   Like every other Christian out there, we are imperfect people who are in need of the saving and sustaining Grace of God.
Theologies are mixed across the board, even in a single denomination
where you would hope to find some sense of unification on a theological or
doctrinal position. This semester as I have learned much of the history and
polity of the denomination that I am now a part of, it has been clear that the
differences and tensions remain, and it has become clear that if anything, we
can agree to disagree, and learning to differentiate between the ‘essentials”
and “non-essentials” of the Christian faith.
I for one, never expected to be a part of denomination, but God had done
works in me that lead me on that path.  I
fell in love with a certain doctrine, and God used that to allow me to be
continually formed into the person He wants me to become for the plans and
purposes He has for my life.  I’m saying
all this b/c I was reminded today how far as a Christian faith we have come,
and how far we have to go.  Hopefully we
are becoming fuller of the Grace of God as we grow in our knowledge and
understanding. Hopefully that Grace is transforming us into Christlikeness, or
some would say holiness.  It’s not the
wording, but the life lived out of what you claim.  I don’t expect people to understand
everything I believe and the doctrines that I hold true, for many of them are “non-essential”
and/or denominational specific, but I do expect people to see me transformed, I
do expect them to see the light of Christ that hopefully is radiating out of
me. I do expect them to understand that I am not perfect, and have many shortcomings
that God is working out in my through my own growth.   I am far from arriving, and so is everybody
else.  Whether you call it holiness,
Christlikeness, Living Surrendered, or anything else, the truest resemblance of
it is answering the question “how is Christ made know through my life?”  How does my life radiate Christ?  Is it radiating Christ?  Do I long to be made into His image?  Do I surrender all, and say “Lord, I’ll go wherever
you send me?”  Am I willing to come to
the cross, or go down to the altar and say yes, I am in  great need of your help, I do fall short, and
I am not perfect?” , I am willing to be the vulnerable for Christ?  Is that too, not what He prayed in the
garden, “not my will, but yours be done?”
That to me is true Holiness of Heart; when our lives show our weakness,
and in that weakness He is made strong.
It is living in the overflow of realization of what He did for us, on
the cross, at the empty tomb, and in our own lives.  It is taking that and applying it to our
lives and the lives of others.  It is
moving out of Love, for the sake of Love, becoming less so that He can become more.   It loves others in the name of Jesus because
we realize that is all that we have to give.
It is out of a heart of such gratitude and love for Jesus that we can’t
help to not move his mission forward of sharing in The Good News.  We can’t help but be moved by those who are hurting
and hungry, by those who are desperate for something more.  This is the heart of Jesus, of true
Christlikeness; of Living Surrendered, and Yes, this is Holiness.  So don’t hate me because I fell in love with
the doctrine of Holiness, I understand we may never see eye to eye on our
theologies, but the true test of  a true
Christian is their changed, and sold out lives for the causes of Christ in our
broken world in desperate need for hope and healing.  This is the call of Christ, the call of
holiness, to self-sacrifice and servant hood that is birthed out of a
transformed life and a realization of what God has done for you.  Are you living it? Does it burn deep within
you to see not only yourself changed but to give the hope of Jesus to others in
your own lives?  I pray that we all will
keep our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to do in us only what He can do.  I pray that we will unite around the
essentials of our faith, allowing it to bring new growth to each of us and let
the non-essentials be.  There will always
be room for debates and differences, but my hope is that when people see us,
they truly will know that we are Christians by our love, a love that Has
radically changed us, taken us higher with Christ, and launches us forward with
a burning desire to share and see others experiences that same transformational
power in their own lives.  This is my prayer
and part of my own calling into
ministry, and I pray it would deeply burn in you as well. God bless.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Hate Me for My Holiness

  1. Nice post, Robin! I can relate to many of your feelings. It was in response to many of these issues that I co-wrote Relational Holiness.


  2. I pray that we all will
    keep our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to do in us only what He can do.

    I think that this really captures what has managed to keep the holiness movement more or less unified for so long: an unwillingness to castigate one another if it means taking our eyes off Him. In a time when the holiness movement is still grappling with an identity crisis, it seems to me that it becomes even more important to ensure that in essentials there is unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things, charity.

    Thanks for the post, Robin!

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