“Many Christians have what we might call a “cultural holiness”. They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.”
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Thanks for the quote. Could you give the bibliographic info? What book and page?
Chris, this is a quote from Chapter 2 of The Pursuit of Holiness. The pages are 26-27. In this chapter Jerry discusses holiness as an indispensable attribute of God.
Ooh…great quote! Especially since I know so well the culture in which Jerry writes and has lived for decades (the 2nd evangelical mecca a.k.a. Colorado Springs). For many years that culture has some of the largest ministry headquarters and use-to-be-famous pastors and past presidents of the NAE. Sadly, despite the large “Christian” presence in that culture, more than 80% of it is unevangelized/unchurched. I saw kids grow up in that culture (christian schools/churches) with parents living nominal spiritual lives and many who’ve either walked away the faith altogether or merely adapted to the “cultural holiness” surrounding them.
We are called to be no less than “imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and [to] live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:1)!
Oddly enough, you are the second person this week to describe the culture in Colorado in such a way. I had no idea of the spiritual challenges in that neck of the woods! When I hear things like that I can’t help but think that we don’t have to go too far to find missions!
Hum…it’s a conspiracy; or approximates truth.