Looking at the societal impact on Christianity one would think that holiness is a thing of the past. One can hardly tell the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. Holiness has nearly become a curse word even in Houses of Worship. Moreover, the idea of holiness has become just shy of being taboo even among those that say that love God. Things have become so bad that it has become extremely difficult to differentiate between the church and the club.
The fact of the matter is that God is not pleased with this lack of holiness. God has made it known early on that He requires a high standard of His people. Exodus 22:31 points to that high standard without equivocation. The words “And ye shall be holy men unto me” is not a mere suggestion of how God wants His people rather it is a mandate that the people of God be separate and apart from the world in every aspect of life. God requires holiness of His people because of His own holiness (Leviticus 11:44). His is not in the world nor can God be part of the world system. And, if Christians are to immolate the teachings of Christ neither can they be a party to the things of the world that pull from holiness.
Paul recognized the lack of holiness in the Corinthian church. The people were found not only sympathetic with nonbelievers but that they also became party to much of what God called them out from. Among the things they gave in to was the idea of hedonistic practices which were the antithesis of the teaching of Christ. Yet the same practices are common today. The idea is if it feels good, do it. Hence we have many “Christian” entities endorsing homosexuality because the practice of this sin does not hurt anyone. It is the sexual preference of those involved and there is no one can determine who someone else will love. Still, the Scripture requires that the followers of Christ “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (II Corinthians 6:17). This declaration by Paul is a call to holiness.
While the way some act in the walls of the church building is quite sickening it is only a type of the way they act outside the church. God never intended the church to be like the world. In fact, the word “church” stems from the Greek ecclesia which means “the called out ones.” This is to say the Church, which is the people, are called out from the world in order to promote the virtues of Christ. It means the influence of the world at best minimally impacts those that seek to please the Most High. The idea of coming out from among them that that live riotous lives means that there is no conforming to the world or the world’s ideas (Romans 12:2).
This is why the idea of “Christian” alternatives must be taken issue with. Nowhere in the scriptural text is there any suggestion that the people of God are to seek alternatives to the world. This idea of alternatives only creates double standards among what is supposed to be a holy people. The fact is that if a certain thing derived from the things of the world that very thing or idea has no place among God’s people. It does not matter if it is ungodly dress, music or even ways of speaking; ungodliness is ungodliness and has no place among the people of God. It is high time the people of God relented on acquiescing to the dictates of the world choosing rather stand on the truths of the Word of God.
The lack of holiness not only means displeasure for God but also is a certainty for eternal damnation. Hebrews 12:14 clearly shows that holiness is a prerequisite for seeing God and without holiness, no man shall see God. If anyone does not see God it means that he is totally separated from God. Holiness, then, is not a simple way of thinking rather it is a way of life. This is because “God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (I Thessalonians 4:7). Holiness means that there are distinct differences between the Christian and the non-Christian. The two have nothing in common.
The Church needs to return the old landmarks of holiness. Christians need to be holy in where they go, holy in what they see and holy in what they do. There should be neither smell nor likeness of the world on the Christian. Christians are called to be a holy nation and if holiness is not prevalent in Christendom that it could be safely argued that those claiming Christianity may well be not Christians by reason of their lack of holiness. Yes, it is high time the Christian returned to holiness.