HOLINESS YES, LEGALISM NO

There are some Christian “holiness” people who after reading some of my writings will think that I do not believe in holiness. Well they are totally mistaken, I do believe in holiness, what I do not believe is in legalism.
 
Legalism is an attempt to legislate holiness. The Pharisees were experts at being legalistic. They wanted to keep the people from breaking God's commandments so they added to the word of God their own rules and regulations. It was a pious attempt to prevent people from falling into sin. The Sabbath was just one commandment, yet to keep people from breaking the Sabbath; they added to the Sabbath 39 of their own commandments.
 
It was not only to the Sabbath that they added, they added many other traditions to the commandments of God till men begun to hate and despise the law. Why because the added extra "pious" rules made it much harder to keep the original commandments of God. The keeping of the law became a burden, instead of a joy. The people begun to despise the law because of all the extra man made rules that the Pharisees added to it.
 
Who could be against such piety of wanting to keep the Sabbath holy, or of trying to be extra careful of breaking any of the other commandments, well Jesus was. Jesus did not bother in keeping the Pharisee's traditions and they hated Jesus for breaking their traditions. They had equated their traditions on an equal basis with the word of God.
 
The Pharisees cared more about their traditions being kept than about people. When Jesus on the Sabbath healed somebody, they hated him for breaking their tradition, instead of rejoicing for the miracle Jesus had done. Jesus did not break the commandments of God by healing on the Sabbath; he broke only the traditions of the Pharisees. A man was healed, but the Pharisees could care less for the man, all they cared was that Jesus broke their traditions.
 
The Pharisees have not left they are still with us, only their name has changed, they now call themselves "holiness" preachers with the insinuation that those who don't agree with them have to be "unholy" preachers. What arrogance! Like the ancient Pharisees the so called “Holiness” preachers also have created their own traditions and commandments to the word of God which they call “Holiness standard” and some are so bold that they even teach their traditions as if they were written in the word of God. And just like the Pharisees of old, if anyone breaks a “Holiness standard” of the “holiness” preachers they attack that person like if that person broke a commandment from God himself.
 
The Pharisees thought they were doing good by preventing the people from even getting close to breaking a law of God. They did not seem to realize that God never authorized them to add to his law any new commandments. Likewise the “holiness” preachers of today do not seem to realize that they have zero authority from God to add “Holiness Standards” to the church. God does not need their help in creating more rules and regulations no matter how good intentioned they are. There are enough rules and teachings in the Bible itself to keep us holy without needing to add more to the word of God.
 
There are some churches where they have legislated that a man can not wear a beard otherwise he is wrong. There is absolutely no scripture for such a doctrine, but pointing that out seems to them has no effect on those legalistic believers. They have many such rules that they have created out of their imagination without a scripture to back them up. Their non-biblical rules have been elevated to be on a par with the word of God, and no amount of biblical studying will change their minds.
 
They will condemn a man on the basis of the outward appearance. They will presume to know what is inside of a man by a non-biblical standard. Did not Jesus say not to judge by the outward appearance but by the fruits of the person? The legalistic churches are so blind; that the man with a beard could give all his money to the poor, give a lot of his time to the church, and help everyone in the church, yet he would never be accepted as a brother until he conforms to their silly rule and shaves. Oh what a shame! I guess they would have a problem with many of the Old Testament men of God and even with Jesus for the scripture clearly tell us that they had beards.
 
Those “holiness” preachers are actually going against the scriptures. For the Bible says that we are to sing and dance unto the Lord. Yet all dancing is prohibited by those “holiness” preachers. Well, yes dancing can be worldly, sinful and unholy, but so can singing, yet no one prohibits singing. Dancing was done in the Bible but of course it was not the worldly lustful dances of the world. They were dances of praise done to the glory of God.
 
Just because something is misused and used incorrectly does not mean it is unholy. Radio stations play unholy songs; does it mean that we prohibit all Christians from listening to the radio?  Not it simply means that we teach our Christian brethren to only listen to those stations that play Christian songs. There are some magazines that show or teach evil things, does that mean that we prohibit all magazines?
 
One of the biggest cause of this “Holiness” problem is the deification of human leaders. The pronouncements and writing of some preachers become almost like commandments from God. Just because a preacher said something from the pulpit it doesn't mean that it is the word of God. Even the best preachers have said some ignorant and dumb things from the pulpit. Not to mention their writings have caused much controversy.
 
There is a certain legalistic brother who wrote a Christian book on holiness, well some believers quote that book like if it was the Bible. Well excuse me, but his writings are just the thoughts of one man and as far as anyone is concerned they have no more validity than the writings of other preachers.
 
This is quite common in legalistic churches. The rules of the legalistic preachers are elevated to be equal to scripture even if there is no scripture backing them. Many of them will insist that all their man-made rules are scripturaly based, but a study of those scriptures will reveal that they have twisted and tortured the text to say whatever they wanted it to say. A correct interpretation or study of the text will clearly show that they have not really done their homework.
 
If someone disagrees with their interpretation then they will resort to the old tired trick of saying that those scriptures are only revealed to the spiritually minded (and of course that’s them). If a person does not agree with their interpretation then that person is seen as not spiritual and therefore not believable. That is circular reasoning.
 
To those legalistic preachers and believers all I can say is that I do believe in holiness, but it is kind of pointless to say this to them, because it falls on deaf ears, since to them anyone who doesn't believe in their man-made rules, then doesn't believe in holiness.  Unless people believe exactly like them, then according to them they do not believe in holiness for they have set themselves up as the definers of what is holiness instead of the word of God. To them I say, the Bible determines what is holiness not you.
 
The holiness crowd might not listen, but to reasonable Christian brethren I want to let them know that I do believe in holiness, but I do not believe in man-made traditions. Holiness yes, legalism no, no way no how, not never. If those people still want to lie and accuse me and other preachers who disagree with them of not believing in holiness that is their prerogative, but they are lying. We do believe in holiness, but holiness according to the scriptures not according to the imaginative ideas of some preachers.
 
The Pharisees accused Jesus because he broke their traditions I can expect no better because I break the "holiness" legalistic traditions. They accused Jesus of being a friend of sinners and publicans; they called him a wine bidder and many other things. And yes he was those things, but what was wrong with that? What is wrong with being a friend of sinners and publicans?
 
The "holiness" preachers of today have the same spirit that the Pharisees had. The Pharisees looked so holy on the outside; they followed every rule in the book and then some. They put to shame the common churchgoer. They were so pure and right on the outside, but their inside was rotten to the core.
 
Some people may say that I should not antagonize the "holiness" preachers, since I am also a preacher; I should try to keep the peace; after all we are in the same side. But Jesus did not do that, he did not try to pacify the Pharisees, nor did he wait until the next day after the Sabbath to heal people.  Did Jesus wait till after the Sabbath to do his miracles? No he did not; for any attempt to pacify or appease the pharisaic "holiness" preachers only encourages them to keep on making new rules.
 
Jesus should have been reasonable and bend a little to accommodate the Pharisees, after all they were working for the same God. However Jesus refused to give one inch and declared war on the “holiness” preachers of his time (The Pharisees). He knew that they were wrong and he was not willing to compromise, and he surely was not about to commend them for adding extra rules to the commandments of God. He antagonized them for they put grievous unnecessary burdens upon the sheep.
 
The Apostle Paul warned us against these Pharisees. In Colossians 2:20 -22  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
 
When the Pharisees that were inside the church wanted to make the gentile Christians become circumcised and keep the law, Paul went to the church in Jerusalem and he put his foot down. James agreed with him and sent a letter telling the gentiles that no such things were to be kept. The Pharisees lost this fight, because Paul stood up to them. (Acts 15:1-30)
 
It is time for the church to again put its foot down and expose these "holiness" preachers for what they really are, they are the modern day Pharisees that create man-made traditions that are not in the Bible, and burden men souls with such silly things.
 
Listen you "holiness" preachers; the word of God does not need extra rules and regulations. God's commandments can clearly stand up by themselves; they do not need to be propped up with the sticks of man rules like if they were somehow weak. You can not set up your own fancy rules on a whim; you are going beyond what the word of God commands. You cannot add to the commandments of God.
 
Listen you so called "holiness" preachers, I will follow Jesus and Paul example, so I will not mollify you, compromise with you, try to appease you or even pretend to get along with you. All I can say is the following to you.
 
Woe unto you, "holiness" preachers and teachers, hypocrites! 
for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, 
and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: 
these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, "holiness" teachers and preachers, hypocrites! 
for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, 
but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind "holiness" preacher, cleanse first that which is within 
the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, "holiness" teachers and preachers, hypocrites! 
for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear 
beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, 
and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, 
but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
 
I know that I am setting myself up for an eventual confrontation with these "holiness" preachers, and like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, they will not care that I have preached the word of God, all that they will care is that I broke their man-made traditions. They hated Jesus for breaking their man-made traditions and crucified him, and although they can not crucify me, they will probably do it in a symbolic way.
 
The people who gave Jesus the most confrontation and attacked him the most were not the sinners of the world. Actually the sinners flocked to be around and hear Jesus. No, those who were the worst enemies of Jesus were the religious leaders of the people. The people whom I have usually the most trouble are not the sinners, but the religious leaders who are offended that I do not follow or respect their “holiness” rules. To all their man-made traditions and rules I say phooey. 
 
I am quite sure that some holiness preachers will tell their people to ignore me or to consider me as a heretic or a false teacher who is against holiness. For those who are willing to listen, I am not against biblical holiness at all, but I am definitely against the traditions of man which falsely masquerade as holiness. As to whether I am a true preacher of the Gospel I will leave that judgment to God and refuse to accept their judgment and condemnation.
 
What is biblical holiness? It is that which is written in the scriptures. You shall not steal, is very simple to understand. You simply do not steal anything at all. If you have any doubt at all just go to the Bible and see what the Bible says that apply to your situation. You can never go wrong in holiness if you follow the Bible.
 
Stealing comes from greed, from the desire to have more. If you cleanse your soul from greed and are content with what you have then you have no desire to steal. Look at some of those business people who had mansions and a great position with a great salary; however all that was not enough for them. Their greed caused to steal and ended up in jail. They did not steal because they had a need; they simply stole out of greed. Now look at those saints of God who are poor and live in what are basically shacks, yet despite their poverty and need, they do not steal at all. They might not have much but they have learned to be content with what they have.
 
Instead of trying to make rules for keeping saints out of sexual sins, we should teach them to get rid of lust. If a person works on getting rid of lust, then that person will automatically avoid those things which cause lust. For lust starts in the mind and the soul. Jesus clearly said that it is what is inside of a person that defiles a person. It is holiness in the inside what makes the outside holy not the other way around.
 
You see holiness is internal and manifests itself externally. You clean your soul and then your actions will follow from that cleanness that is inside of you. You clean your mind and your mind will reject the filth of the world. The Pharisees and the “holiness” preachers have the same mentality; they want to cleanse the outside without understanding that being clean in the inside is more important.
 
There is more power and sense in teaching a sermon on modesty than in teaching people what clothing to wear. But this is a hard thing for a “holiness” preacher to do since most of them have no idea on how to teach about modesty without setting up rules on what clothes people should wear. If a Christian man or woman learns about modesty, they will eventually learn and understand what dressing with modesty is about, without needing to be given a long list of what clothing is acceptable.

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