The State of Faith
A Study on Holiness
A Closing Example
You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.
I will close with comments about a recent editorial in a local newspaper. The Sunday Journal (for Fairfax County VA), August 4, 2002 contains an editorial section entitled "In My Opinion" by Gregory D. Foster. The title of the editorial was "Seeing through God's hateful disciples." The opening two paragraph read:
The editor goes on to quote a variety of big-name Christian leaders. The quotes are all taken in various contexts to display the missionary, one-road to God views the Christian community should believe. Towards the end of the editorial, Foster writes:
- Say that religious faith lies at the heart of America's strength
- Cite moral decline as a serious national problem
- Think America has special protection from God
- Consider religion a prerequisite for both moral behavior and good citizenship
- Favor religious involvement in politics
- Base their moral decisions on the Bible
- Believe in moral absolutes
While I do not find everything in this list to be Biblical, note that the list borders on what is holy and unholy, as we have studied it. Moral decline is a serious problem and morals are an absolute based upon the truth of God. The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. All decisions should be based upon God's Word. Christian is the only religion that will bring salvation.
We, as Christians, may not always perform up to the standard of holiness, but we must strive to do so. It is only through being Christ's light in this world that we may draw others to Jesus. God's Word only acts on others as it is presented in the spirit of holiness. Faith without holiness is dead faith. There will be no light is an unholy action on our behalf. And, we are to be the light of the world (Matt 5:14).
Yes, we are persecuted. Foster closes his article with this sentence followed by a selective string of Biblical quotes that appear to prove his point:
Foster's quotes are out of context and not supportive of his position when they are considered in context. But, his views on the Christian community support a large lack of love and holiness, as he perceives it. Maybe if the church would start acting holy and following God's lead, we could draw more people to Jesus. We could be a better witness. We could be the light to the lost envisioned as our role in being witnesses and disciples of Jesus.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
May if we were holy the state of Faith would be much greater in today's world!