As a blogger, I find myself reading and writing about many noble spiritual minded books about the bible and faith. These books that I have reviewed are frequently are indepth studies into the bible and also how other writers interpret the bible as well. My fear, however is not only being perceived as a hypocrite, but actually being a hypocrite- by what authority do I have to be writing on matters of faith, theology and the bible? As Paul said to the early believers, many gentiles and non belivers blaspheme the gospel because of the percieved hypocrisy of many of the preachers and Christians. There is a conflict with how I live my life, and my actions, with what I know is the right thing to do. I do not presume to be an authority or a teacher on these subjects.
One thing to keep in mind is the biblical definitions of holiness and faith perhaps contrast widely with the beliefs of society. The word- holiness- itself, brings to mind many stereotypical ideas into the common mind, such as the hypocritical holiness of the pharisees in Jesus' day or the modern day, self- righteous hyporcite that is all too common in today's society. Or perhaps, an image of a stern, nun in a black habit, or a peacful, draped monk, engaged in meditation may come to mind. The bible, dispells the popular misconceptions of what society percieves holiness to mean, and brings to life the God's meaning of holiness. Holiness is not an unattainable attribute, but rather something that each of us, as believers, are called to pursue. And we can not merit salvation by our good works. If we could merit salvation oursleves then Christ's death on the cross is meaningless. If we claim to be perfect and without sin, then we accuse God of being a liar. In a parable that Jesus told, the sinful tax collector, humbled and remorseful was justified before the Lord, rather than the self righteous religious leader- who otherwise was seen by the community to be a pillar of faith and a respectable man of the community. But this is not a license to continue to sin. As believers we are new creatures and are called to put to death our old ways and old selves. Hopefully I can remain detached from the world around me and God will keep me from temptations to sin- that are all to frequent in this depraved and degraded society.