For Oneness Pentecostals, the Christian life is a holy calling, reflective of the nature & character of the One Who has called.  For us, the Church is neither fully immersed nor fully engaged in larger culture.  For us, the Church is separate, set apart, sanctified, counter-cultural, existing as an alternative society that is in the world, but not of the world.  For us, the command to “Be holy, for I am holy” is just as much a part of the call of God today as it has ever been.  It is then incumbent on us as both the inheritors of the Holiness Tradition, and those who view God as first and foremost holy, to ensure that we embrace the holiness ethic with all our hearts & lives.

For us, the Holiness Ethic is a worldview based on the idea that God is Ultimately Other.  He is Not-Us.  This is the root of God’s command, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  The Holiness Ethic finds its taproot in God’s Otherness, God’s separateness.  And as God is Other, as God is Separate, so we are called to be other, to be separate.

Those who embrace the Holiness Ethic seek to understand how God expressed His “otherness” to humankind, and then apply that understanding to the entire scope of human life-experience.  In this manner, God’s holiness becomes the measure of how we as Christians understand and engage grand ideas of politics, economics, & justice (criminal, civil, social, and economic).  God’s holiness also becomes the governing principle of how we engage relationships, creation, and our career.  The Holiness Ethic becomes the guide to how we approach all aspects of daily living, the filter through which our thinking passes, and the measure by which we estimate what is good and true.  The Holiness Ethic forms our entire approach to life.

Once we accept the notion that the root of the Christian idea of holiness is that God is Other, we move to the stage of trying to assess just how God is “other”.  Fundamentally, God’s “otherness” is expressed by the values that He has declared are His own.  Discovering what those values are is critical to the Holiness Ethic, because if God’s “otherness” is expressed by His values, then for all intents and purposes, personal holiness eventually becomes a matter of living out God’s values in the world. So, the Holiness Ethic is about living out what God has identified by His own commitment as the most important values for His People to live by.

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