the weblog of Alan Knox

A holy church

Posted by on Nov 30, 2010 in blog links, discipleship | 5 comments

A holy church

Arthur at “the voice of one crying out in suburbia” is putting a damper on some people’s holiness party with his post “A quick thought on holiness.” Arthur says that something is missing from many discussions of holiness: “how our holiness is lived out and impacts others.”

What?!? Has Arthur gone mad? Isn’t holiness all about our personal piety and our personal relationship with God?

Well, not according to Arthur:

Any exhibition of personal holiness that is not accompanied by substantive action and an urgent sense of compassion is not Biblical holiness. It is nothing more than self-righteousness.

We cannot speak of holiness in the church as something that is marked merely by personal acts of piety. An internalized holiness is not holiness in any true sense but we have created a norm that sees religious observation as the pinnacle of holiness. (emphasis in original)

All sarcasm aside… I completely agree with Arthur.

If your “personal devotion” and holiness do not lead you to demonstrate love toward others and serve others, then you are not listening to God nor are you following Jesus.

But, what about for a church? The same is true…

If your church meeting (worship service, mass, whatever you want to call it) do not lead you (y’all – i.e., individually and together) to demonstrate love toward others and serve others, then you are not listening to God nor are you following Jesus.


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  1. 11-30-2010

    We end every Catholic Mass with, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” I’ve always really appreciated that. We receive Him in the Eucharist and then we’re told to take that gift and go do something with it.

  2. 11-30-2010


    Most Protestant churches do something similar. I think, though, what we do (or don’t do) may be more important than what we say.


  3. 11-30-2010

    Thumbs down. Don’t like this post.

    (I don’t like it because it’s speaking truth to my heart.)

    I pray God will move me more in this direction.

  4. 12-1-2010


    You said it all, “I completely agree with Arthur”.

  5. 12-9-2010


    I wasn’t at all implying that saying the words is enough. And I’ve never been to a Protestant community that said anything remotely similar at the end of the service.