September 19, 2014

Open Mic: What Message Do We Need to Hear More Today — Grace or Holiness?

There’s a great discussion starter over at the Village Green at Christianity Today:

Do American Christians Need the Message of Grace or a Call to Holiness?

Three representatives contribute their thoughts:

  • Will Willimon gives a typically Methodist view, advocating for the holiness message and defending it by saying: “While we always need grace—grace defined by us Methodists as the gratuitous power of God to enable us to live transformed lives for God—Americans today are in desperate need of the disciplines of holiness.”

 

  • Halee Gray Scott chimes in on behalf of grace: “The beginning and end of holiness is grace. It’s grace that cultivates our appetite for holiness and grace that moves us along, inch by inch, toward the kind of person God has called us to be.”

 

  • Finally, Margaret Feinberg suggest what we really need is “Groliness,” a proper emphasis on both: “So are American Christians in need of a message of grace or a call to more holiness? What we need is a message of ‘groliness’—a rich, textured blend of both. Grace and holiness are best friends meant to walk hand in hand in our lives. Holiness reminds us of our need for grace. We will always fall short of the call to holiness without God’s free gift. Grace calls us to greater holiness and turns our eyes from self-righteousness to Jesus’ self-sacrifice.”

 

Go to the article and read their perspectives.

Then it’s your turn.

Comments

  1. I like Margaret Feinberg’s answer… I think putting the question as “grace or holiness?” is a bit of a false dichotomy…

    • Right, sometimes we need to hear Grace, sometimes we need to hear Law. They are both good and they shouldn’t be pitted against each other. It’s a matter of keeping them separate and identifying when each is needed.

    • Agreed: False dichotomy. Cheap grace is the one which has grace without holiness. Costly grace is the one which recognizes you can’t have one without the other.

    • What fyan said, why try to separate the two ?? Big two thumbs up for GROLINESS.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Sounds like a setup for some classic Warner Bros shtick:
      “RABBIT SEASON!”
      “DUCK SEASON!”
      “RABBIT SEASON!”
      “DUCK SEASON!”
      “RABBIT SEASON!”
      “DUCK SEASON!”
      “RABBIT SEASON!”
      “DUCK SEASON!”

  2. (Oh my…I’m guessing this topic will bring out the commenters!)

    There’s no doubt it’s a mixture of both, and that led me to initially agree with Margaret Feinberg’s “groliness” answer. But when I consider that I will never never NEVER NEVER (in this lifetime) measure up to perfect holiness, I have to come back Halee Gray Scott’s “grace” answer. Without the grace, the holiness doesn’t matter. Or rather, it matters too much. Without grace, we’re back to square one and we Jesus followers become the Pharisees of our time (which some of us would argue has already happened).

    Again, I’m not saying holiness isn’t in the mix, it just has to be one part holiness to five parts grace. (My opinion, of course.)

  3. Randy Thompson says:

    Why make an “either-or” out of a “both-and”?

    With apologies to Margaret Feinberg: “Groliness” is the dumbest term I’ve heard in a long time. Groliness. Wasn’t that one of the Smurfs? If not, it would be a good name for a lawn gnome.

    • I think it’s made into an “either-or” because we Christians tend to fall into one of those two camps: the “holiness aka works” camp and the “grace uber alles” camp. And I’m guessing you’ll see that play out in the discussion here…LOL.

      • I’m a Catholic and it’s assumed we are in the works camp, BUT we see works as the movement of grace. The only way we can have faith or good works is through grace.

        • I just read the rest of the comments. I have no idea what grace means in the evangelical world!

          • Most evangelicals would define grace something along the lines of “God’s unmerited favor”. Grace is seen as in another category than good works, if not in opposition to it. Not boaz’s comment above.

          • Should be “note” not “not”.

          • Grace in the evangelical world equals bait-and-switch.

    • I agree with you, Randy. I thought Feinberg expressed the tension best, but groliness as a word somehow manages to be both ugly and silly. What’s wrong with “holy grace”?

      • Of course, some would say that I am both ugly and silly, so I probably shouldn’t complain about her term too much…

      • Holy grace is so much better than groliness. Groliness sounds like something you pull out of a clogged shower drain.

      • Randy Thompson says:

        Or gracious holiness.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          And Bugs & Daffy (or the Big-Enders and Little-Enders) go for it:
          “HOLY GRACE!”
          “GRACIOUS HOLINESS!”
          “HOLY GRACE!”
          “GRACIOUS HOLINESS!”
          “HOLY GRACE!”
          “GRACIOUS HOLINESS!”
          “HOLY GRACE!”
          “GRACIOUS HOLINESS!”
          “DIE, HERETIC!”
          “DIE, HERETIC!”

    • Yes! You have officially rescued me from the quandary of the nameless lawn gnome. All that is missing from my life now is a lawn! :P

      • You could always put it on top of your bookcase. Above the theology books. And there he’ll be, glaring at you: Groliness.

    • Agreed, the word “groliness” is a linguistic nightmare, but I’ll hang on to the idea.

  4. If you strive for “holiness” for any other reason than having received grace, a) you won’t succeed and b) any success you think you have will be based on your own efforts.

    I want to want to be holy because I am blown away by the grace and mercy I received when I didn’t deserve it. I want to want to be holy as a love offering to the one who loved me first and best. Otherwise I am focused on myself and what I do, not on Christ. Oswald Chambers writes about this. I don’t have the passage in front of me, but the gist was that God isn’t impressed by our attempts to be holy, but he wants us to be available for his use, even if his call to us is to do things that might not look “holy” to others. I am probably conveying this idea poorly.

    Holiness is a byproduct of grace, sort of a culmination of the fruit of the Spirit.

    • Yes, this. So glad I read comments before commenting. I would have stumbled all over my words trying to express exactly this.

  5. Holiness and service/selfless actions are linked together in the early church fathers (and James). Perhaps right position with God would follow right actions with man. (Some lamentation would be needed, too.) Mercy and justice and humility are tied together in multiple Psalms and in the OT prophets and seem to be God’s indication of a well spiritually formed people in that time period.

    I’ve been musing on this for a bit – trying to understand the difference between the OT concept of justice and the modern church’s concept of charity and why does God care. Trying to move past my parachute in with an open wallet thoughts of my Evangelical upbringing to what does the Lord’s prayer mean to bring the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. So I’m processing the holiness v. grace question in a very lateral/incarnation manner in this comment and not in a transcendent manner.

  6. I think this is a very good discussion to have. Thanks Chaplain Mike for bringing it up.

    I have to agree with my fellow Methodist. I appreciated Willimon’s statement that “Grace is more than some benign, sweet syrup poured over us by a God who only says, ‘I love you just as you are; promise me you won’t change a thing’ ” Of course, nobody would really say that God doesn’t want us to change. However, in my view there is a lack of emphasis in many circles on the change that God’s grace does bring.

    I’m reminded of the passage in Titus 2:” For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

    The grace of God brings us salvation, but as part of that, it also “trains” us to renounce ungodliness and to live self-controlled and godly lives. Jesus redeemed us so that we might be a people who are “zealous for good works.” As N.T. Wright says God saves us FOR the world, not from it. Thus, it seems that grace empowered holiness is required for Christians, so that we can live out our calling.

    • Kent, you nailed it with Titus 2. Who would’ve thought that it is grace that teaches us how to be godly?
      The problem with grace occurs when we treat it as an abstract theological concept, apart from a desire to be in relationship with God. Then grace apart from relationship becomes the much-feared license to sin: how far can I run away from God before I get in trouble?
      If grace is viewed instead as a portal to intimate relationship with God, then there won’t need to be a dichotomy between emphasizing grace vs. holiness.

  7. It starts and ends with Grace. A realization and acceptance of God’s Grace in Jesus will bring about “holiness”…gradually. But when we sin, where do we go? Grace Grace Grace. Its about Jesus, not my “holiness”.

    Thanks for the post Chaplain Mike. Awesome discussion.

  8. Do American Christians need the message of grace or a call to holiness?

    YES!!!

    Holiness is necessary to stand in God’s presence. (We’re in trouble!)
    “If you love Me, you will keep my comandments.”

    Without grace, holiness is impossible. (Thank you, Lord!)
    “We love, because He first loved us.”

    • I like this, Chill. It makes me think of what Jesus calls the two greatest commands, to love God and love others.

      Love God – in a sense, this equates to holiness. “If you love Me, you will keep my commandment.”

      Love others – in a sense, this equates to grace. “We love (others), because He first loved us.”

    • Thanks, Chill. The verse from 1st John says it all.

  9. For John Wesley, sanctification is a work of grace. I think from even Paul’s perspective, the new creation is a work of grace.

    I think where holiness loses its context with grace is when human standards and timetables are imposed on holiness, i.e. instantaneous sanctification at point of conversion, meaning you never have problems, you never have doubts, never have bad days, never get sick, never be anything but wealthy and upperly-mobile. Holiness by grace implies a work of the Holy Spirit, which doesn’t necessarilhy fit human scales and timetables.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      i.e. instantaneous sanctification at point of conversion, meaning you never have problems, you never have doubts, never have bad days, never get sick, never be anything but wealthy and upperly-mobile.

      And if you miss on any of the above, (1) You weren’t REALLY Saved or (2) Secret Sin In Your Life (unlike MEEEE). IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!

  10. cermak_rd says:

    Before Jean Valjean could stop being bitter and angry he needed someone to show him grace.

  11. We need both, of course. The message of holiness is what I need to hear for myself, for knowing what I need to aspire to (with God’s help). Grace is the message I need to hear for dealing with my brothers and sisters, for I shouldn’t hold them to an unreasonable standard that makes them appear fallen in my eyes, especially when grace has already covered them.

    Peace

    David

  12. At the risk of sounding like a squish, I have to say that I think I agree with all three of them. And I think that they all would probably agree with each other. I’ll just quote a couple of my favorite bits:

    Grace is more than some benign, sweet syrup poured over us by a God who only says, “I love you just as you are; promise me you won’t change a thing.”

    We need grace to turn from sin and desire holiness. Right now, in many churches, we set the goal of attracting more people rather than creating deeper people. We substitute social justice advocacy for genuine inner transformation. We follow hard after therapists and self-help gurus rather than God and his holiness.

    Grace is all too often portrayed as a pushover. He seems to drop in on a whim, never asking or requiring anything of anyone. He’s the toll-free number to call in every situation. Did you break any of the Ten Commandments or have a bad day that you took out on the checkout clerk? Call 1-800-GRACE, and he’ll get you out scot-free…Meanwhile, holiness is viewed as dated and out of style by many Americans. Picture him in a polyester, buttoned-up-to-the-collar shirt and thick glasses perched on a hawkish nose. Holiness is often seen as an uptight prude, vacuuming every last drop of fun out of the room.

    Honestly, I don’t know that we can say what “Americans,” as a bloc, need. I find that what I need to be reminded of changes, sometimes in the same day.

    Last thought: I’m glad that they’re not speaking about holiness like it’s code for covert legalism.

  13. G. C. Berkouwer, “The essence of theology is grace; the essence of ethics is gratitude.” I think so much of it has to do with the ethics of loving our neighbor and it’s community implications rather than personal salvation and personal holiness.

  14. I believe people need to hear the message of grace. We live in a world of unforgiveness and judgment. The understanding of holiness will come once people find that they are valued. Why bother trying to understand holiness when you feel as though you don’t matter, or that you are always doing something wrong. The outright judgment from many in this country has attacked the very essence of our humanity. It has also caused a great exodus from churches and religion; even spirituality. Tell people that God is a God of Grace, Jesus offered his grace, He told people they were worthwhile. To those He offered grace, holiness came on its own.

  15. MelissatheRagamuffin says:

    Too many American Christians think Grace means they can live like hell, and it will still all be good.

  16. GIVEROFWORD says:

    A CALL TO LIVE HOLY IS MOST NEEDED IN TO DAYS SOCIETY.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      And what is “living holy”? Denim jumpers, no makeup, and never smiling? Spending 24/7/365 in church church church like Medieval contemplatives? Going to North Korea as a missionary and nothing else?

  17. David Cornwell says:

    Grace as it progresses and does it work brings forgiveness, hope, love, and helps deliver one from despair. As grace does it work in one’s life, as love for God and neighbor increases, then character will be transformed. This may be a slow work, and there isn’t some kind of formula that produces it, and it will never produce pride. It’s all based on grace and the law is simply a mirror for us to see how far short we fall without that grace.

    For some this is an argument that will never be settled because of doctrinal positioning.

  18. There is no call to be holy lacking in today’s society that is not found in the cross of Christ. I am for grace, 100%, because I reject the notion that there is anything you or I can do to make ourselves more holy. Christ saves us, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us. Obedience is a matter of the law, and when this is focused on as the post-gospel imperative, it works against a right understanding of grace. In response to Willimon’s comment, I firmly believe that God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him. Any acts of service we offer up are our privilege, because He truly deserves our highest sacrifice. He is worthy of our devotion and obedience, so putting that in the crosshairs is more effective, imo, than putting devotion in the crosshairs. Disciplined, faithful living cannot be contrived if the heart is not in it. It’s the grace of God that inspires and enables walking in repentance, not our own efforts and methods. Let us consider how we might provoke one another to love and good deeds: by pointing to and anchoring our spirituality in Christ. But this whole “we need to get our act together for Jesus! (with his assistance, of course)” seems like traditional Methodist doctrine of sanctification, to the best I understand it. It’s where the name comes from. :D

    Remember the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. On the days we find ourselves with the big brother’s holier-than-thou attitude, we need to be reminded of the message of grace. And on the days we find ourselves like the little brother, tempted to abuse our freedom in Christ, we need to be reminded of the call to holiness.

    THAT is good stuff, imo. Feinberg almost sounds Lutheran, because that looks like the Law/Gospel distinction right there!

    • I agree. Perhaps the “message” of holiness could be preached well, as in “here’s how the holy spirit makes people holy.” But if you have to take care to put personal devotion in the crosshairs to get people to jump, you just don’t have a devoted people.

    • Agreed. Appreciate the message of the prodigal son anew.

  19. Why do so many Christians have problems with grace? Grace is what separates Christianity from Judiaism, Islam, Budhism, etc… Its what makes Christianity stand apart. People tend to rank themself by comparing themself to others. They do it in professions, income, family status, education, etc… Of all the places I would think the bar would be more equal it would be the Christian faith. And I would think the glue would be grace. Grace as doctrine is meaningless, but grace that helps people to move forward and live with theri mistakes and EACH other I think is what Christians should strive for.

    No one is going to be perfect. No one will reach it. As much as many don’t want to hear this Christians will screw up. They will make mistakes. That includes the following:

    1. Some will drink too much
    2. Others will get angry or jealous
    3. Some will look at porn
    4. Marriages will be rocky
    5. Kids will rebel, do drugs, get others pregnant.
    6. Christians will have abortions
    7. Some will have road rage
    8. Some will have spedning problems
    etc, etc, etc…

    But its grace that binds people together and helps them live with their mistakes. Why do Christians have so many problems with grace?

    • but grace that helps people to move forward and live with their mistakes and EACH other I think is what Christians should strive for.

      You should seriously consider becoming a preacher. :P Good stuff!

    • I like this, Eagle. Your list of “mistakes” could include the following displays of “lack of holiness”:

      -Failing to attend 100% of your church’s worship services.
      -Not doing enough at church, for the church, etc.
      -Not tithing enough, or not giving enough to the latest “building fund”, “mission trip,” etc.
      -Not reading your Bible for 10 minutes a day, or 20 minutes a day, or whatever time is required to achieve holiness.
      -Not praying 10 minutes a day, or 20 minutes a day, etc.

    • Good words, Eagle. Thanks.

  20. Margaret Feinberg is correct, and I agree with those above who say it’s a false dichotomy to have to choose.

    It’s grace that makes holiness possible, and holiness by itself is unattainable. Trying for holiness alone will lead to pride, works-righteousness and spiritual bullying.

    • It’s grace that makes holiness possible, and holiness by itself is unattainable. Trying for holiness alone will lead to pride, works-righteousness and spiritual bullying.

      This is what modern reformed theology does…leads to spiritual bullying.

  21. Willimon and Scott made some good points about how the two aren’t really separated (i.e. where grace has take hold, holiness will grow).

    However, if the question is what MESSAGE do we need to hear, I don’t think there’s any contest.

    The Gospel is not a message whose central announcement is “do something.” It’s the central announcement about Jesus Christ, the crucified-risen Lord. And the Gospel is always the message that we need to hear.

    The message does indeed “do something” in us, and you can even give imperatives (hey, Paul does plenty of telling people what to do). But the idea that people fundamentally need to hear a “message” of holiness seems to be evidence that people have no real idea what grace is.

    If the Gospel is de-historicized, de-incarnationalized, qualified, turned into a me-centric self-help message, is Jesus-lite or Jesus-absent, or is turned into a 4 spiritual laws to “get saved” thing, then yes, you will end up having to talk all about holiness as people careen around indulging their lusts. That’s because these messages, in the end, aren’t the Gospel of grace.

    The Corinthian church needed to hear how bad they were. And the reason they were so bad was because they were denying the bodily Resurrection of the King. The correction comes in 1 Cor 15. This is a good illustration of how the gospel interacts with holiness.

    The message is the Gospel, always.

  22. Let me throw one more thing out there. Let’s say I have a debtor who owes me significant money and can’t pay, and I have all the legal and moral right to exact payment. Let’s say I’m a prominent person in the community. Instead of demanding payment, I display an extravagant generosity and forgive his debt. Wiped away clean. And in doing so, I cheerfully explain that I want him to flourish and grow, and not be prisoner to debt (Let’s assume I’m not just enabling his alcoholism or something).

    In all this, I have clearly acted in a holy way, if I’m to believe the economy of the Gospels. I have given grace. The question is, what would onlookers exclaim from the depth of their hearts when they saw such generosity? Would they exclaim “look how holy he is!” or “Look how much grace he has given?”

  23. On the question I vote grace.

    Side note:

    My critique of the holiness pursuit as a goal (rather than a goal of growing in grace) is that the “holy” people often set easy bars as goals, avoid this, avoid that, focus on this feeling, or that, etc. Once they are hurt by a fellow Christian, try getting them to reconcile, forgive, face to face. Give grace to those who have hurt them, to someone who has nothing to offer other than their sinful personality or habits and we see how holy they are. How holy is a person if they give grace only to those on “the team”.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Not helped by the fact that “Holiness Churches” are known for very restrictive dress and behavior codes in an obsessive attempt to avoid anything that could possibly lead to the appearance of sin. Once Slacktivist speculated that such “Excessive Scrupulosity” (the RCC term) probably resulted from a concept of Holiness defined in NEGATIVE terms, i.e. Holiness as “Thou Shalt Nots”.

  24. Josh in FW says:

    [I'm not all that great at expressing myself in this medium, but I'm going to give it a shot]
    I think that cheap grace is a huge problem in America and American Christians need to first be reminded of God’s holiness and His requirement that we be Holy too. Then, we Americans need to be reminded just how far we are from being any where close to Holy. Once the pride and arrogance has been crushed, it can be explained that relying on God’s grace is the only hope we have for becoming Holy.

    Here in North Texas I’m surrounded by folks who call themselves Christian and use grace as a free pass to indulge in sin and it really ticks me off. I know legalism is a sin, but it sure seems that way too many Christians are going around denying that our behavior should change as we follow Christ.

    • MattPurdum says:

      Let us know next time you walk on water, Josh, we’d like to see it.

      • sarahmorgan says:

        Sigh….I live in an area where cheap grace is preached….many self-proclaimed Christians see no problem with acting miserably towards their neighbors — after all, they believe God will forgive them anyway (and the people they hurt are *supposed* to forgive them, too). And, of course, if you speak up against this, you’re the bad guy, the “graceless” one, with a sin-hardened heart of stone, maybe even in league with the devil. If I had to choose to be on the side of the wounders or the wounded, I’d side with the wounded each time, even if it means I’m no longer regarded as a “Christian” by those who call themselves such.

        • Josh in FW says:

          yes Sarah, that’s the type of thing I’m talking about. Thanks for letting me know that my poorly worded point got across.

        • If I had to choose to be on the side of the wounders or the wounded, I’d side with the wounded each time, even if it means I’m no longer regarded as a “Christian” by those who call themselves such.

          That’s so well put.

      • Matt, I have to say that was a pretty strong (aka harsh) reaction to someone who seemed to be giving an honest opinion. Josh was just pointing out the issue of cheap grace. Ironically, your response seemed curiously lacking in grace.

      • Josh in FW says:

        Well, the last time I walked on water it necessitated a wakeboard and ski boat, but I don’t really think that counts.

        On a more serious note, I’m sorry that the point I was trying to make came across as a self righteous comment. That was not my intent. For some reason the ideas in my head just don’t come out right when I try to articulate them on this blog.

        • Stuart Boyd says:

          I think that those who HAVEN’T had lots and lots and lots and lots of interaction with people who’ve been taught and absorbed “cheap grace” have a hard time understanding why those who HAVE had lots and lots of interaction think that a focus on holiness is needed. Grace and Cheap Grace are not the same thing, but often a focus that starts off on Grace devolves into Cheap Grace.

          • Josh in FW says:

            I had a Pastor back in my High School days named Scotty Smith that would often say, “Cheer up, you’re worse than you think you are.” That stuck in my 17 year old brain and a decade later I learned that he was quoting another pastor and that the second half of the quote was “and God’s grace is bigger than you can imagine.” I have some issues with Calvinism, but I will always remember Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN fondly. They are PCA, but the theology lead the pastors at the church to an authentic humility that made a huge impact on a High School kid who was trying to figure life out. It seems that the ‘Reformed’ I come across here in the Metroplex are so caught up in the arrogance of being ‘right’ that they’ve missed the incredibly humbling message of grace.

  25. We are DECLARED Holy…for Jesus’ sake (not even for our own sakes).

    That is grace.

  26. I am convinced that the problem in the Christian church today is we are unwilling to admit we are sinners that need grace. Therefore we water down God’s standard so we can convince ourselves we can keep it and this leads to lack of holiness. It is only grace that allows us to honestly look at ourselves and be able to change.

  27. My best efforts at holiness fall miserably short. More than ever I see God’s grace as a life preserver for this drowning man. Thank you Jesus for your righteousness, I have none on my own.

  28. “Actually one should call the work of Christ an acting work (operans) and our work an accomplished work (operatum), and thus an accomplished work pleasing to God by the grace of the acting work.” – Martin Luther, Thesis 27 from the Heidelberg Disputation.

    That’s a more complicated way of saying it, but it gets to the heart of the matter. Holiness must come from grace, because our holiness is still filthy rages without the holiness of Christ – the finished, complete, and pleasing acting work of Christ. There is no accomplished work without first the acting work of Christ. Otherwise, we could save ourselves if we try hard enough (semi-pelagianism).

  29. If the Christian Church is filled with Sinners, Why need salvation from Jesus at all? We have it all. Why not behave that way? Stop talking and just start being.

  30. It is a false dilemma. Christians need both the law (holiness) and the Gospel (grace) preached to them and applied as needed by the Holy Spirit.

  31. Also, it would be instructive to look at Willimon’s definition of grace as “the gratuitous power of God to enable us to live transformed lives for God” This is greatly different from the Reformation understanding of grace as unmerited favor, and almost exactly in line with the Roman Catholic understanding of grace. Is God’s grace some kind of power for Godly living?

  32. RelationalReality says:

    I think the dichotomy between grace and holiness is dangerous when we start thinking about it (or translating it subconsciously into) into GRACE VS. LAW. There is simply no choice between grace vs. law. Christian are NEVER under the law and are never to make “following the law” a message to be preached or lived into. Paul tells us this EXPLICITLY!

    The problem is the Western mindset that equates holiness with following certain rules or laws or measuring up to certain abstract ethical standards. God, as the Trinity, is relational, which means that all his attributes are relational, including holiness. God’s holiness is his absolute ability to act in perfect love and grace toward the other. He is “set apart” or holy in this way. Our holiness, lies in being transformed by his grace, to live into this perfect love for God and the others. Following abstract rules has nothing to do with this.

    Not sure if this makes sense, but thought I would try!

    • Agreed!

      I posted this thought elsewhere in this thread, but since it related, I thought I’d add it here, too. I think many pastors/preachers in Amercia preach that the following “lapses” in a person’s Christian walk means they’re not being holy enough:

      -Failing to attend 100% of your church’s worship services.
      -Not doing enough at church, for the church, etc.
      -Not tithing enough, or not giving enough to the latest “building fund”, “mission trip,” etc.
      -Not reading your Bible for 10 minutes a day, or 20 minutes a day, or whatever time is required to achieve holiness.
      -Not praying 10 minutes a day, or 20 minutes a day, etc.
      -Etc.

      While those things might be healthy for your relationship with God, your salvation and holiness aren’t dependent on it.

  33. Gene Veith wrote a post in response to the CT article that I found brilliant.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/01/the-grace-vs-holiness-debate/

    • Man, he shoots, he scores! And in under 1000 words.

      I can tell you what i’ll be thinking about this morning.

  34. I truly tend to agree with all the stuff that is put into writing throughout “Open Mic: What Message Do We Need to Hear More Today – Grace or Holiness?
    | internetmonk.com”. Many thanks for all of the tips.
    Thanks for your time,Omar