“Conspicuous holiness ought to be the mark of the church of God. . . . Would God that whenever they speak of you or me they may have no evil thing to say of us unless they lie.”- Charles Spurgeon
In Chapter 8 (“The Passion for Holiness”), the final chapter of Holiness, Nancy DeMoss stresses Christians must call the world to accommodate to Christ, not accommodate to the world. That’s because, the author observes, “the world is not impressed with a religious version of itself.”
Consequently, Christians- both individually and corporately- need to take holiness seriously. Charles H. Spurgeon once said:
“In proportion as a church is holy, in that proportion will its testimony for Christ be powerful.”
In contrast, Nancy believes, today’s churches often overlook and put up with more “respectable” forms of sin. Those forms of sin include unpaid debts, pride, a critical spirit, and backbiting. Therefore, the author bemoans, the church- intended to showcase God’s glory and kindness- becomes a safe place to sin. Put another way, the church pampers, rather than confronts, sin.
In conclusion, the author cites the prophet Nehemiah. The prophet refused to allow the world’s allure to draw him in. Even when those around him became desensitized to sin, he stayed the course. Because God’s law was written on his heart, he cared when others ignored it.
Therefore, we must guard against exalting a spirit of tolerance over a love for God’s truth. However, Nancy notes, this doesn’t mean we try to turn off unbelievers or see irrelevance as a virtue. Nancy does say that “sinners ought to be uncomfortable in the presence of a holy God.”
Today’s question: How do you witness conspicuous holiness? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “A child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head”
Tomorrow’s blog: the Annotated Bibliography of Holiness