Sunday, July 03, 2005

Big "H" holiness, little "h" holiness

I was recently in a conversation at a conference where an associate professor was sharing on the existence of "absolute truth" which he spoke of as big "T" truth, which he felt only God held. Then he spoke of little "t" truths that we as mortals can obtain. Saying that even a bunch of little "t" truths didn't give big "T" truth. I really identified with this as did many others in the room. There were those who didn't see things that way saying that if that were the case our faith wouldn't be valid. Using this same base I want to share a recent experience and ensuing conversation that I had as a result of a message that I shared with the teenagers in my faith community. I believe that in the church in America one of the greatest downfalls is that we have segregated our lifestyles. We have one that is for our church community and then one for everywhere else (there could be more), and many would in my opinion like to live one life being who they are in any environment. Any way I was sharing with my kids about being a credible person, having a credible name, and giving Jesus credibility. In one part I shared with the kids, that if they are cussing in other environments dropping the "F" bomb then by all means talk that way around me. I even went so far as to say that if they talked like that else where why not in "church"? The main point was that if we could and can establish an environment that truly is come as you are then we will be more credible to all around us, and give more credibility to Jesus. Imagine someone who hears a "Christian" cuss at school, then comes to church and hears them cuss in there or while talking to a pastor, that would put some serious water on the whole hypocrisy thing wouldn't it. Could that be more inspiring for someone to follow Jesus? I had a parent not there to hear in context the conversation, very unhappy about this and let me know so. I copied my pastor on the email to let him know. We then got into a discussion about be careful how far to go. Another person joined in and started talking about "holiness", and that Christ followers should be different which by the way I totally agree. But I questioned the ability to define "holiness". Could the same principle apply as in the matter of truth Big "T" little "t", Big "H" little "h". Can you define holiness for everyone? It would seem to me that the minute that you do this it would lead to judgment. If holiness is about becoming like Christ, then if one person swears and prefers others above himself, and another doesn't swear but is out for number one all the time which one is "holy" or pursuing holiness. Aren't they both. Can we quantify and qualify holiness? I was just wanting to encourage people to be who they are, and let God be God. If behavior and action are changed based on environment have they really been changed. What if the language that someone used they didn't change when they came into a "church" environment and kept talking the same and then one day while hanging out with some friends the Holy Spirit spoke to them and they decided to stop using a certain word or words, wouldn't that be better? When the church says come us you are do they mean it? I am in search of big "H" holiness in my life, but I am certain that I will have to allow God to continue to make little "h" changes in my life till the day when I am perfected in eternity.


Blogger nicholasfiedler said...

Holiness. holiness. It is amazing how holiness has evolved over the years. It seems that the way we view holiness and seperation, like the seperation God called the Jews to is very moral, but the Jews didn't see their Laws as solely moral cleanliness and uncleanliness was not defined by a progressive view of morality, infact morality hadn't really developed as thought yet. It wasn't that they were more like God by following the code, it was just that they created an identity and followed that. There community was built on laws. They had instituted a system because that was what was developing in the world around them. Hammurabi and the Egyptians, they all had these codes and such. And the followers of Moses knew that they had to have a system too. So even in trying to seperate themselves they were copying what they saw around them. In our culture I think what seperates people today is authenticity. I think Jesus addresses this and tells us love in a pure form is how you will be known. Love for us is the holiness that seperates us, and authenticity is a vehicle for love and truth. (both small l and t). So we are called to live differently, but not by a system of codes or degrees, but in our interaction, that it is full of love and authenticity. This authenticity I believe is what you addressed. Which, in a way, is very beautiful.

1:14 PM  

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