Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Holiness Fallacy

-Here is a re-post of an article that I wrote fifteen years ago. I think it makes an important point.

I am going to bring to light an idea that has been germinating in my mind for some time now. I will call it "The Holiness fallacy". While I know that if this is read it will stir up some hostility, it is my belief that it is much needed. So it is with this in mind that I will boldly jump forward. This idea comes from reading in the scripture. The entire text can be found in   Matthew 7:15-23 but in the beginning I will just focus on verses 21-23.

21 "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven."  22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name?"  23    "And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!"

 You might ask; Why do you think this points to the holiness church? Well, I have several good reasons. Reasons, that I can defend with an accurate reading of Scripture. After all, we are cautioned to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman without need of shame, being able to rightly divide the word of Truth.

Let's take these verses line by line. "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven."  This clearly states as a warning that there will be some who say "Lord, Lord" who will not enter the kingdom of heaven. The next phrase becomes the qualifying statement; "but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."  The qualifying statement then is he who does the WILL of My Father in heaven. The people alive in Jesus' day who this would pertain to were the self-righteous Pharisees who rejected Jesus. They were not doing the will of the Father! John 6:40 says this: "And this is the will of Him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

It could not be made plainer the will of God is a belief in Jesus, period. It is not a belief in Jesus plus a certain way of walking and talking! It is not belief in Jesus plus talking in tongues, although there are those who twist the scripture to prove this point; to their own peril I warn. The holiness brethren, I call them brethren, because I  truly believe that many are brethren (although deceived brethren.) They are caught in the faulty belief that God  accepts them on the basis of their behavior, and even if it is in response to redemption, and not to keep it,  they are simply incorrect.  It is WRONG to conclude that the holy life is a life kept holy by walking in the law after salvation. The WILL OF GOD is strictly and simply faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus.

The scripture predicts here in Matthew that many will say " Lord didn't  we prophesy in Your name, didn't we cast  out demons in Your name? Didn't we perform many wonders in your name?"

Think about this. The only people on this earth who are doing these things are those in the Holiness Church. Further, the only ones who have done these things since the original Apostles, in the last two thousand years is the Holiness Church! This scripture can be directed at NO ONE ELSE!
"And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!"

In order to clarify this verse we must once again go into the book of John. John 15:10-14 and then again verse 17. 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love just as I have kept My Fathers commandments and abide in His love.  11     "These things have I spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13.   "Greater love has on one than this than to lay down one's life for his friends. 14 "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.......... 17   "These things I command you , that you love one another." 

This is a place where Jesus refers to the law. He clearly states in verse 10 that we should keep His commandments just as He had kept the Fathers commandments (the decalog). What is Jesus' commandments then? Simply to love one another. But is that so simple? It's not that simple because He adds the phrase love one another as I have loved you. How did He love us? The answer is simple; completely. Can we love others that way? The answer would again be no. But, we need to look further into what scripture has to say about it.
Deuteronomy 6:5
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."
It is impossible for man to keep this commandment on his own! I may fear God, but I can't truly love Him out of fear. And from man's vantage point, there is no other possible way to view Him. I, as a man am at His mercy. Only when I see the true extent of that mercy, can I love Him.! Now I'm going to cut right to the point. If we are in constant fear of displeasing Him then we don't love Him. We are afraid of Him, but when we say we love Him we're lying! The Apostle John chose to say it this way in 1 John 4:10-11  "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins . Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 

We can't love. Not God, not our neighbors, nor ourselves, unless we truly know the extent of God's grace and my friend I can testify that it is limitless!
So let me bring this back to the Holiness Church. They shout and say they love God, but their beliefs and practices show that they are afraid of God!  Now the truth of the scripture is this; the only ones who should be afraid of God are those not trusting in Jesus and His cleansing blood. See, if I'm trusting in how I dance: if I'm trusting in how I speak in tongues, or what Church I go to, or how many times I go to Church; if I'm continuously caught in secret self-condemnation, or wondering if someone else is really up to par spiritually, or thinking that if I could only be as Spiritual as so and so, that this would make me holy enough and acceptable to Him, I am fooling myself! I should be longing to be as spiritual as Jesus. I should be enjoying the peace that comes from knowing that Jesus died for my mess.

THINK ABOUT IT PLEASE! Do you think that Jesus suffered on the cross just so that you and I could get saved, only to be put in a situation, where we could not live HOLY enough to keep our salvation. ARE WE SO EGOCENTRIC AS TO BELIEVE THAT OUR SALVATION DEPENDS ON US? PLEASE! Let's use our minds!
What I'm trying to say is this, for us to keep the commandments of Jesus we have to love one another the way He loved us. The only way we can ever possibly do this is to realize how limitless God's love and mercy is toward us. The Apostle John made it perfectly clear in 1 John 3:20-23:
20 For if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment; that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
These verses explain the "Law of Christ." Under the New Covenant (Matthew 26:28), humanity has been given the the "Law of Christ."  This new covenant is a covenant of agape?. It is referred to as "the perfect law of liberty" by James (James 1:25). This is the law of LOVE!

Face the fact. The only condemnation that Jesus ever spoke anywhere in scripture was directed at self-righteous Pharisees. Even, in the second and third chapters of Revelation His strongest criticism was to those who were of the synagogue of Satan again the self-righteous.

While the Holiness Church spends its time condemning fornicators and drunks, the neighborhoods round about them, continue to sink into the black hole of despair. Where is the love? The fact is no one can love from a place of fear and condemnation. Sadly, the scripture has been twisted and perverted by the leaven of the Pharisees. My hope is that God's people will truly get SAVED and fall on the stone to be broken, and then remain broken of self-righteous and condemning attitudes and trust in the BLOOD OF JESUS!


  1. The Holiness Church is not the only ones who spend time condemning fornicators and drunks and now gays/lesbians. There are a slew of others that do the same thing. We all need to get it in our minds that ALL sin is displeasing to God; it hurts and disappoints Him. But because He LOVES us He did something to help us out. He sent His One and Only Son to save us from those sins that we are going to commit until the day we die, whether it is a little white lie, stealing a pencil or two from the office, fornicating, committing adultery, being a gay or a lesbian. No one on this earth is perfect, never have been and never will be. When we all realize how much God truly LOVES us and FORGIVES us we could love not only one another, but ourselves as well!


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