Monday, July 20, 2020

Impatient for Holiness

Edit: added important caveat to the end.

Recent blog posts (Simantism, Legitimacy, Metaphysical Organism), and perhaps ones to come talk about a God in whom one might believe without believing in the Bible. At the same time, this God is compatible with at least one reading of the Bible, the New Wine System. So for any people who might be convinced by the above, we have questions about that God. One question has to do with holiness.

In the above view, God needs us to become holy. This is the point of all existence on earth, with all its temptations and suffering. We all want the world to become more holy at times. We feel an impulse to criticize and set straight. When evil happens to us, we want justice to be served. We might seek just revenge. We might feel like we are David in a world of wicked Goliaths. We are offended at the self-righteousness of the righteous. We become impatient to bring about the holiness of other people.

This is the source of a lot of pain. Can we afford to live lives of pain? So we tend to want to say "just forget about holiness" -- except in those moments where we are impatient for it. "Just forgive." But in the moments where we crave holiness, we do so in part because of the truth. Holiness is truth. So to "just forgive" is a lie, something which we know in those moments of needing holiness. Certainly it's possible for there to be infinite forgiveness if God pays for it, but we still have to repent, and if we never repent, then we can never be fully in tune with God. And God can't stand a dissonance forever, any more than we could.

The worldview of legitimism, simantism, and the New Wine System is such that everyone really does have to repent of all their sins. We really have to change. The truth is never fuzzed over. Complacency is deadly. Yet, because God's value is for our preservation, for us to be brought to holiness, not to be destroyed, we are granted a long but not infinite period of time in which to change. It is enough time, if we really want to change. And if we are afraid that we don't really want to change, we can ask God to help us want to change, and by wanting to change that much, we open the door to him helping us to really and fully repent.

Because this process lasts a long time and involves the help of God, we should look on unholy people from the point of view of patience. (Even in a sense, we should be patient with our own unholiness, although without being complacent.) We might have to be prudent to avoid the effects of unholy people, but we can wait, and let them take their time -- dissonant though that may be.

I would say that this is not an absolute. There is a place for the spirit of "it needs to change". Change happens against a backdrop of people having time and being loved by God. You can exhort or rebuke when there's time in which the message can fully work.

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