Originally posted on Uncommon Brew 1.0 on December 7, 2009
I’ve never thought that the “ends justifies the means.” My mind got going after reading this “get in line christians” post by Hamo [my favorite Aussie blogger.]
When it comes to holiness many of us in the church have been ok with holiness from fear, or obligation. Essentially rules motivated holiness. Often times that’s the first question I get theologically if I’ve recently befriended another pastor. They want to know if I really believe in grace or a muddied version which includes following a list.
I think that segments of the church have become ok with “holiness” by rules. Because, “hey, at least they’re in church.” Or “At least they’re living right.” Well, are they? Are we just creating more Pharisees?
So back to the ends not justifying the means. In the case of holiness the end does not justify the means because the means is the whole point. Holiness through life changing encounters with God is the way that I would argue is the only real way to become truly holy. Isn’t it God who changes hearts? Yes we can change our minds and emotions by changing behaviors. That’s a bon a fide therapeutic method that I buy into. But holiness is really a heart issue, that evidenced by action. The egg has to come first with holiness.
Now I’m not saying that we don’t surround ourselves with people to support us and challenge us. Rather than ask us if we’ve sinned lately, maybe the time would be better spent asking us how vibrant our prayer has been lately.
I’ll leave you with the words of Jesus. [Matthew 23:25-28]
25“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
let us pray….