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Old 06-24-2019, 12:22 PM
n david n david is offline
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Teaching Holiness in the Church

There are a couple threads discussing beard and dress standards specifically, but I wanted to discuss how local churches teach holiness and even delve into what else holiness pertains to besides dress. We tend to equate holiness with dress, when it's far more than that.

I read an article in the June 2019 UPCI Forward magazine entitled "Teaching Holiness in the Local Church." It was transcribed from a presentation given at a 2018 General Conference minister's session.

I won't publish the whole article, but I do want to include a few quotes for discussion.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:23 PM
n david n david is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

There was discussion in one of the threads of whether standards MUST have biblical chapter and verse or whether a church could create their own set of standards. The article had an interesting table regarding that. I wish I could image it, but unsure how to do so.

Here's the text of it:
Three Holiness Teachers, Three Kinds of Standards, Source, and Implementation.

Three Holiness Teachers:
1. The Bible
2. Spiritual Leadership
3. The Holy Spirit

Three Kinds of Standards:
1. Bible Standards
2. Church Standards
3. Personal Standards

Source:
1. Precepts
2. Principles
3. Promptings

Implementation:
1. Immediately
2. Gradually
3. Personally

Put all the numbers together (1s together, etc) to see the table.

So by this table, one of the teachers are spiritual leadership (Pastors) who develop Church standards which source may not be direct precepts of the Bible, but instead are principles from the Bible.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:24 PM
n david n david is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

"It's not just about practices; it's about principles. My elders taught me what without always teaching me why. They lived in a generation when they could do that. But that tendency created a vacuum that was taken advantage of by other leaders with agendas. I would say to my elders, on behalf of younger men: "Why doesn't indicate rebellion; why is just a question." And I would say to younger men, on behalf of my elders: "Just because the elders didn't explain the why doesn't mean they were wrong aboutwhat."
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:27 PM
n david n david is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

"Because sanctification is about growing in the Lord, it is important to remember that most issues of holiness are not salvation issues -- rather, they are maturity issues."

"There's only one problem with that: Although most issues of holiness are maturity issues, not salvation issues, if we consistently reject God's commands and resist His will for our sanctification, our willful disobedience becomes a salvation issue. Disobedience is always sin, and sin is always a salvation issue."
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:32 PM
n david n david is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

"Have you noticed there are more external standards for women in the Bible -- and more internal standards for men? Women are generally commanded to appear holy so that men are not tempted; men are generally commanded to act holy so that women are not tempted."

"Notice that women's holiness issues are standards of appearance:
  • Adornment ("adorn themselves")
  • Apparel ("in modest apparel")
  • Attitude ("with shamefacedness and sobriety")

Notice that men's holiness issues are standards of action:
  • Appetite ("lift up holy hands")
  • Anger ("without wrath")
  • Apathy ("without doubting")

I'm not for a minute suggesting that these are the only holiness issues faced by men or women, but the contrast is quite telling."

Last edited by n david; 06-24-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:36 PM
n david n david is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

"We don't get out of Genesis 3 before God has rejected man's idea of modest apparel (hagora, v.7) and shown them exactly what He expects for a modest garment (kuttonet, v.10). It's not an accident that Paul is teaching women to wear the same kind of garment (katastole) four thousand years later, or that we teach the same to our ladies six thousand years later! The modest apparel of an Apostolic woman tells everyone around her that she is living to glorify God, not just to gratify herself. We need more than rules of modesty -- in our day, we desperately need a spirit of modesty."
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:19 PM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

Amen!
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:21 PM
n david n david is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

"[But]a holy life is not just a dress code or a list of rules. A holy life is not legalism, Phariseeism, or bondage. In fact, a holy life is abundantly attractive to anyone who is sick and tired of sin and sincerely hungry for God. So please save your time and energy for the real battle -- stop worrying about winning debates with people who have walked away from truth and start working to disciple people who are walking toward truth!

What we don't need to do is create an Apostolic sub-culture of criticism, where we waste every second sermon bashing someone else. What we do need to do is teach our people how to live holy lives!"
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:24 PM
n david n david is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by n david View Post
"It's not just about practices; it's about principles. My elders taught me what without always teaching me why. They lived in a generation when they could do that. But that tendency created a vacuum that was taken advantage of by other leaders with agendas. I would say to my elders, on behalf of younger men: "Why doesn't indicate rebellion; why is just a question." And I would say to younger men, on behalf of my elders: "Just because the elders didn't explain the why doesn't mean they were wrong aboutwhat."
I really like this quote.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:29 PM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Re: Teaching Holiness in the Church

A kuttonet is not simply "a modest garment" it is a chiton, basically a tunic.

The problem I have with the whole thing as presented is that, for some so far inexplicable reason "holiness" is always associated with standards, with a focus on attire, in our ranks. Say holiness and people are immediately focused on women's clothing, jewelry, hair, and various other rules we call standards. We just can't help it.

I believe we have a very deficient concept of holiness. That deficiency runs through every aspect of holiness that we address, every time. I believe we have a faulty foundation concerning our doctrine of sanctification, and it affects everything else that flows from it. I am of course speaking generally, about the movement in general.

As for teaching on holiness, it should begin with Scripture, and teaching the meaning of holiness, which is separation. God is holy, meaning He is separate. He is separated to a purpose, the Divine Purpose. We are to be separated to that same Purpose.

Holiness begins with God, and His calling of a people to be separated from the masses and set apart to Him and His Purpose.

Holiness is synergistic, meaning there are two basic aspects to holiness: God's sanctification of us to Himself, and our sanctifying ourselves to Him. It is God who sanctifies us, and yet He commands us to sanctify ourselves. And the two work together.

There is another duality to holiness as well. God declares us to be holy, and God also makes us holy. We are to be holy in a judicial sense, and also in a practical sense. It is both imputed, and imparted. And these two aspects work together as well.

Holiness covers all aspects of our existence. It is both inward (the heart and mind) and outward (our body and our actions). All the commands of God in His Word for how we are to be are practical instructions for manifesting holiness. They are the ways and means by which our separation to God are demonstrated and acted upon.

There is both an instantaneousness, and a progressiveness, to holiness. It is instantaneous in that God does not "gradually" set us apart as His people, nor do we "gradually" set ourselves apart to Him. In salvation, we are instantly sanctified when we are placed in Christ, and we are instantly sanctified when we devote ourselves wholly to Christ. But there is a progression in that as we learn the will of God we conform to it in our actions. Sanctification of the heart is instantaneous, but we grow and increase in knowledge. As we grow we more fully and more maturely obey God.

THIS IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE IDEA OF GRADUALLY SINNING LESS OVER TIME. When the heart is sanctified it is fully surrendered to God. The sanctified one will make decisions out of a pure heart. The only thing lacking may be specific knowledge of how best to carry out the will of God. This is where growth comes in, as one learns the will of God, one obeys immediately, because the heart is already submitted to God.

And thus we see that sanctification is entire. There is no partial sanctification. One cannot be part holy and part sinful. The heart, being purified, is single. The will is wholly surrendered to God. The person is wholly controlled by the Spirit. This is initial entire sanctification, and works itself out as the saint increases in knowledge and ability.

Many experience a back and forth walk with God. Entirely devoted to God for a season, then backslidden in heart for another season. If the Christian pursues holiness, then the grace and power of God will mature them, they will become settled, and will not experience seasons of backsliding in heart. This is what may be called entire sanctification in the sense that the child of God is matured and settled and not subject to moral vicissitude.

And what exactly is holiness? It is loving God with one's whole being and loving their neighbor as oneself. This is the fulfilling of the law of God. And thus holiness or sanctification is condition or state of complete obedience to the moral law of God. From this, it can be seen that partial obedience is in fact disobedience. And thus sanctification is necessarily entire and cannot be partial. It is also seen to be instantaneous, because love is a choice, a devotion of the heart or will or volition to an object or goal. There may be a time period leading up to the choice, but the choice itself is instantaneous.

Sanctification is by faith, not works. One is sanctified by faith in Christ, Who is in fact our sanctification. It is by the blood He shed for us, to cleanse us and make us His. From this, we see that sanctification is an instantaneous result of an act of faith. It is received, but because we are so fickle, it is often only received after a period of crisis and struggle, as God seeks to overcome our doubting, fears, and stubbornness.
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