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Holiness…

March 10, 2007

…holiness is what I long for…. (ht:MAB) 🙂

 This is a subject that has been on my heart (and many others’)  recently.  I think God may be trying to tell us something. 🙂 Olivia Munn is co-writing a book with Capt. Steve Court called THE UPRISING: a holy revolution?…… a bunch of people are blogging about it …. the cell group I participate in it dicussed it this week (maybe this is because I led group this week :-)) …… our divisional Soldiers’ Retreat is all about Holiness this year (Day to Day Living Faith….Theology in the Trenches)…….

 What is holiness? We can discuss it in purely academic terms….Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “holiness” as “the quality or state of being holy”…Now, this gets on my nerves – circular definitions are a pet peeve (how can you use a word to define itself?)  … the dictionary uses another word, “sanctification” as a definition of holiness….but, again there is a circular definition……but, after tracking down the definition of sanctification, we’re told that it means, partly, to “set apart” or to “purify from sin.”…… How can we be “set apart” when we live in the world…this is going to look different and take different forms for different people but, Capt. Court sums it up best when he says, “In the Church we’re too often living in a Defilement Holiness mindset. Whatever extent of holiness we think we have, we try to protect by walling things off from the world, building barriers to interaction. Instead, we need to be living boldly with Contaminating Holiness, the kind that makes other people and other things and even other systems holy when we come into contact with them.”

Right now, I’m listening to the testimony of a friend who has been to hell and back, and she, to me, lived out holiness to the fullest in the situation she experienced.  She lived out that contaminating holiness that challenges the status quo and brings about holiness just by coming in contact-simple obedient faith in God lived out…a situation that, in spite of it’s heniousness, God was able to use for His glory…..

Ex. 30:29: “You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.”

This verse talks about the anointing oil for the Temple, and its use on the accessories and utensils and items used there….but it can extend to us as well. In 2 Corinthians 2:15 we read, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” The oil was a fragrant oil (myrrh, cinnamon, cane, cassia and olive oil) and we are called to be the fragrance of Christ to the world.  In our prayer room, there is an aroma that, whenever I smell it – whether at the corps or if I happen to catch a whiff of that scent elsewhere, I am reminded of that room.  The same way, as Christians pursuing holiness, we remind people of God’s grace and salvation.

This is all I have so far on this topic – the meeting is coming to a close, so I have to pay attention…..more to follow later……

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