Holiness is Underrated


Holiness is almost never presented to young people as an option. Danielle Strickland explains why this is a modern-day tragedy.

Steve Court suggests that holiness is the solution to every problem. (they should write a book about it!) But, holiness has fallen out of fashion in the last few years and I wonder why?

Some suggest it’s the word itself (conjurs up notions of old men yelling about hell and assigning women to domestic servitude) others seem to think it’s that we live in Sodom (depth of sexual depravity) – SO, holiness just doesn’t seem like a real option. I remember watching my husband give an unashamed, biblical pitch for holiness at a Territorial (national for the army beginner) Youth thingy (not the official name), and I stood amazed as dozens of young people came forward and wept for the blessing.

Afterward I was having a discussion (aka: hearing a lecture) with an adult about the ‘dangers of preaching holiness’… and they went over a few. The story went: there are many ways to experience God and maybe we should recognize that and let’s not set up young people to fail (blah, blah, blah). But the really sad part is that although there are many ways to experience God – holiness is almost never presented to young people as an option. That kills me. I realized that for many of those youth that day it was the first time someone said to them that holiness was even possible. That is a modern day tragedy. Above all things I want to believe that the God who saves is also the God who keeps.

I don’t know why I was amazed at the desire of young people to be holy: Understandably, holiness can often turn quickly into a deep-seated religion and hard set of rules, but holiness that is about reckless abandon, holy zeal and unrestrained mission – that’s attractive. I call it expansive holiness… inside-out, infectious holiness, or Fullness works for me...

This whole thing reminds me of the time I coached a high school basketball team. We went on road trips to get some competitive games and when on the road trip (often Saturdays) I’d do some preach prep. by asking the girls what they thought of the scripture I was reading. One Easter weekend I read the story of Christ’s death. The responses of the girls convicted me. They asked why Jesus had to die? Did he rise from the dead? Why would God let that happen? etc…

In other words, it quickly dawned on me that they had never heard the gospel. And this is the rub: I assumed I was dealing with a youth culture that had rejected Christ, when clearly I was dealing with people who had never heard of him. I think the same exact thing may be true about holiness. Let’s start an Uprising…

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