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Monday, October 26, 2009

What Is Holiness?

Follow me here: Christine linked to Summer's post about Dr. Beck's post and that, in turn, reminded me of Matthew 5:23-24 (though, please feel free to read the whole context).

I would love to wax eloquent on how this relates to the "holiness by negation" attitude that I see often in church culture. I'd like to tease out the implications and potential misunderstandings. I wish I could formulate a great response.

But I don't have time tonight.

So, instead, I welcome you to read the three posts linked above (NB: Summer's has mild profanity in the post and f-bombs from the comments) and then browse through the comments on Dr. Beck's post. It's very interesting, I think, to read what other Christians have to say.

And as you read, ask yourself: What is holiness? And how do we get closer to it?

Because, really, don't we want our children to be better human beings? More than facts and figures, we want our kids to be better people who use whatever knowledge they gain to do good. So, sure, maybe it's lame to say that we want our kids to be "decent human beings" ...and yet... well... what do you think?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father


6intow said...

Thanks for the thought provoking links and comments.

I often challenge myself to get beyond high academic expectations, and even beyond wanting to raise "good" kids. I want my kids to be passionately driven to live out their faith every day in every situation. And, yes, that means what it looks like in front of real people, not just in the pew on Sunday.

That, of course, starts with me. I have to live that way so they know what it looks like, and God needs to be ever present in our home.

This has been a hot topic for me mentally lately, and blogged about some as well. God must be real, and visible in my life. Amy Carmichael was such an example in this. The spiritual and material had no distinction in her mind. How well do I carry that mindset into my everyday? Definitely a daily challenge, and daily renewed.

Thanks again,

Luke Holzmann said...

Erin, I like that: We want more than merely "good" kids. Yes. I agree. And may the goodness of God, His redemptive power, and His love be more and more visible in our lives.


Birthblessed said...

My goal is not for my kids to be "decent human beings." My goal is to share the Gospel with my kids in such a way that they are whole-hearted worshipers of the Only One God.

And if they are, they will be "decent human beings" by default.

However, if they are "decent human beings" worshiping something else... well.... :(

Luke Holzmann said...

Amy, I agree... but, I think the article makes a valid point: Too often Christians don't realize the connection between loving God and loving others. Too often we use our "spiritual mindedness" as an excuse. And that is why we are cautioned against going and worshiping God when we know we have wronged someone.

But you're right: When we are whole-heartedly seeking God, we will love our neighbors as well.


Nuallan said...

I think that most of the time "holiness" is confused with "righteousness" but Biblically they are not the same word or the same concept. I think that "holiness" can best be understood as the polar inverse of idolatry, so that the very core our personal world is dedicated to and centered upon God.

More on this topic here:

Luke Holzmann said...

Very interesting thoughts, Nuallan. And you're probably right: "Righteousness" is the more accurate word. However, "righteousness" has a rather strong religious connotation. Not that "holiness" does not... but it seems more easily equatable to proper Christian living.

But, I could go with that definition: Holiness is the inverse idolatry. Thanks for sharing!



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