There was an excellent article posted on therubicon last week. About Holiness and The Salvation Army. it is insightful and honest and proclaims no answers. It is by Grant Sandercock- Brown, he says "There is an uneasy feeling that at some point, somewhere, holiness was replaced by abstinence and burning love by best practice." and finishes with "Or perhaps the Spirit left our building a long, long time ago and we just haven’t noticed his absence."
Shivers. I feel that all too often.
In the comments someone pointed out that "The experience of holiness shared by our founding brothers and sisters was intrinsically tied to a C19th theology, culture and context. It was the fact that it matched the hour that made it so powerful. The challenge for us C21st Salvationists is to pursue a C21st holiness theology." and suggested we need new ideas of holiness. Amen to that one.
Today I think I found Scott Mcknight doing just that on Jesus Creed. Says this chap:
".....Holiness is not negative; it is positive. It is God doing what God does and it is humans living out the God-life in this world. It is loving God with a sacred, uncontaminated love, and therefore loving others as God loves them. That is holiness. Holiness is not the dark side of God, with love the good side. Holiness is love directed in the right direction and contained by the proper boundaries.
.... In other words, holiness is loving God and loving others and not loving the Self as the modernist enthroned Self that “others” everyone as it seeks to climb its way up Babel’s tower. It is the opposite of idolatry....
Holiness is sacred love for God and others.....
Peter exhorts his readers to look at their pasts to know what holiness is not: their former patriarchal vain traditioins (1:18). Peter exhorts them to join themselves to the way of Jesus if they are to know what holiness is (1:19-21). Jesus’ redemptive work leads us to focus on God and God’s redemptive work. A life dedicated to God’s redemptive work, which manifests itself in so many ways in our world today, is a life of holiness."
Eek. Totally mutilated his article- go read the whole thing you! its nice!
It resonated with me, as it developed my thoughts from two posts down about the Porn Parade, as well as that whole idea of Jesus growing our sense of holiness from isolation to engagement.