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What About this Rumor?

Imagine hearing that the leaders of a major church denomination have decided to ask all of its members to stop using the word “holy”.

With a little research we confirm that the report is true, that the denomination’s elders are discouraging the use of the word and are even recommending a rewording of the Apostle Peter’s words, “Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1Peter 1:15-16).

Then, after hearing all kinds of rumors about how the denomination is becoming heretical to the point of not wanting the moral pressure of being different than anyone else we hear that the request for a “word stoppage” is as true as the rumors are slanderous.

We discover that  church leaders are coining and recommending a new word in an attempt to more accurately reflect the  meaning of “holy?” A written explanation suggests:

1.  Concern that a general misunderstanding of “holy” has created conflict among followers of Christ, and isolated them from those they are called to help.

2.  This is happening despite the fact that the word holy doesn’t mean morally sinless even though the one true God is by nature morally and spiritually sinless.

3.  As the Bible uses the word of people like us it means to be “set apart” for special use.

4.  This is why the Bible uses the word of a nation that was described by its prophets as being worse in character than its pagan neighbors.

5.  This is why the Bible  says that real followers of Christ are already holy (1Peter 2:9) and why
the word is also used to describe a day, a place, the ground around a burning bush, clothing, furniture, and other various temple items.

Whether or not you think a denominational initiative to remove the word “holy” from active usage would be wise, can you see that such fictitious leaders could theoretically make a good case for their action by going on to quote something else that Peter went on to write:

Now that you have purified  yourselves by obeying  the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply,  from the heart.” (1Peter 2:22)


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66 Responses to “What About this Rumor?”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart, after reading your topic over a few times this morning a couple thoughts jumped out at me.

    First since it is a purely hypothetical question all of my comments are equally hypothetical.

    Then I thought that this is just what has been happening to scripture in the modernization of bringing it into a more updated enlightened and neo-accurate interpretation.

    Instead of a large denomination though it is done by organizations mostly unknown to the majority of believers and then due to the academic influence accepted by the lesser educated multi denominational churches that fall under their leading.

    My first answer to your questions is another question; what is the motive behind the “word stoppage” and is the action to do so from the intellectual mind or is it from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?

    Satan makes a very good case every time he causes people to accept a lie.

    Our defense is always the same, does it agree with other scripture and what does the Holy Spirit say to you.

    An addendum to my answer is this, false leaders and false teachers get their motivation from a false spirit and have and will lead any away that have not the knowledge of scripture and the Holy Spirit to guide them.


  2. Mart De Haan says:

    Good morning, Steve,
    For the purposes of this post and discussion, let’s let the motives of the fictitious leaders stand as expressed. Let’s also remember that the Bible was not written in English.

    Your measure of “how does the Bible use the word as it relates to the Lord’s people” i.e. so that we can recognize the Holy Spirit rather than our own “instincts” is, I think, the right approach.

  3. yooperjack says:

    Mart: You lost me, but may I say this: many changes happening in the Churches today like removeing the cross (not fictitious) is just *political correctness* gone wild to be people pleasers rather than a God pleaser.

  4. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    Why are we talking about a fictitious church or denomination, surely this must be happening somewhere on the planet or are you just being as PC as they are?
    To be Holy is to be set apart, as all the items used in the Tabenacle were “holy”
    God is Holy, not because He is set apart but because He is God and therefore has no sin in Him and can’t look at sin.

    Being as we are near the end of this age, shouldn’t we be discussing real problems and how they relate to our lives rather that inventing a topic just for the sake of it!


  5. yooperjack says:

    Amen Bob we realist think alike for sure. LOL

  6. bullwinkle says:

    More to the point would be the “christian” churches that will not mention the word sin as they do not want their followers to be burdened with such expectations. I am no legalist but feel that we do great damage to the message of the Gospel when we water it down so others will not be offended. Much like Jackie, I spent far too much of my youth in rebellion to God. Not until I realized what sin was, who Jesus was and what his sacrifice did for me did I finally understand that it truly is “Good News”.

  7. saled says:

    I think Mart’s fictitious leaders might be attempting to lessen the amount of judging that goes on in their congregation. #1 in their written explanation says that the misunderstanding of the word holy had led to conflict and separation from the ones they were called to help.

    How many times have we seen conflict in our churches when someone thinks another is not holy enough to serve in a certain position? Judging how set apart to God we are should be left to each one of us, not people with a long list of rules for everyone else to follow.

  8. foreverblessed says:

    Amen Saled, yes mArt do you mean: Holy as one of those misused words we taked about two topics ar so ago?
    In some church only some people get the status of being called holy, a committee scrutinizes a person’s life, and after long searching he is declared holy or not.
    In that sense it does make sense to not use the word, until the real meaning has meaning again, as Holy meaning belonging to God, and only God is blameless.
    And I agree with that not to judge to quick in saying it is all going in the wrong direction.

  9. refump says:

    LOL Some of us are not happy unless our favorite player hits a home run every time up to bat! It seems like the ” holier than thou attitude ” that Christians are often accused of is often warranted & has a detrimental affect on winning the lost. Paul says I become all things to all people that I might win some. He is not telling us to compromise God’s Word but to maybe take in to account how certain words we use & how they are interpreted be considered. I think he was saying “don’t be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good!

  10. poohpity says:

    Mart, This is an answer to my tear filled pleading to the Lord last evening, Thank you.

  11. Toml5169 says:

    As one who seldom posts anymore and visits only occasionally I find this post anything but theoretical in nature. Having for years been a part of a church that was extremely legalistic and did use holiness as discussed today to be very isolated not only from society but even more so from other Christians, I would be very skeptical of anyone making this broad a change to God’s Word. From the beginning of mans sin to later day tragedies such as with David Koresh the Word was always compromised and twisted in both shuttle and overt ways. I don’t disagree that in some places to use the term set apart would be appropriate but to quit using it entirely is to change a deep truth of the gospel; God is holy and we are not, Jesus is holy and we are not, the Spirit is holy and we are not. To be a part of that royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession we must first and always be found holy through Jesus and then walk in His steps. Rather than redefine the Word of God let us motivate through truth the set apart holy people of God, to reach out to the ones the Holy One of God called us to love.
    My one post on the topic
    Be Blessed

  12. poohpity says:

    Holiness as used when speaking of the Godhead meant unapproachable because of our human state but through Jesus we now can approach the unapproachable because we are covered by His atoning sacrifice.

    I could understand that the meaning when first translated meant set apart if it was used so that people understood that Jesus has now made possible to have a relationship with a Holy God. To put the expectation on humanity to be sinless after accepting Christ is not reality. To show the mercy and grace we have been shown to others, is a reality.

  13. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Mart is saying, do away with the word Holy, sureky
    “Holy Holy Holy is our Lord God Almighty”

    Aew we to do away with Him?


  14. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Surely & are …. sorry

  15. yooperjack says:

    Pooh summed it up very well. There is only one “Holy Man” and He is not the Pope, Rabi or some Hindi priest on top of a mountain in Indea. Or your wonderful Pastor.LOL His name is JESUS He is LORD of LORDS KING of KINGS Amighty GOD of all creation. He alone is Holy.

    Depends on the traslation there are lot of *Holy* words in the Bible. Take it out and I wouldn’t buy it. And I would petition to fire the Pastor then quit the Church. LOL

  16. poohpity says:

    I may be wrong but I do not think that Mart meant the capital letter in “HOLY” referring to our God but the lower case “holy” referring to how we are set apart as a holy people which many people have used with a self righteous attitude. Set apart as better than rather set apart to do the good works.

  17. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I am not happy with this subject!

    The Basis of all faith is holiness.

    We believe in a Holy God.

    We are Holy because He is Holy.

    His Name Is Jesus!


  18. yooperjack says:

    Pooh: As I said in my first post, Mart lost me???? I was commenting on other’s post.

  19. yooperjack says:

    Bob: If we are holy it would have to be our spirit that was made perfect in Jesus. I like to say I am the rightiousness of God through Christ Jesus. Holy is to strong of a word for me.

  20. Mart De Haan says:

    My point has to do with the meaning of holiness. If we think of holiness as moral perfection rather than “being set apart” by God for himself and his purposes, we have to deceive ourselves to think that God is asking us to live a sinless life.

    A holy people is not a perfect people, but rather a people set apart for God. Increasingly growing in grace and the Spirit to maturity and completeness is not to achieve moral perfection. In fact, the closer a person comes to God’s holiness (Isaiah 6 “Woe is me”), the more we become aware that we can live only by the grace and mercy bought for us by the Son.

  21. yooperjack says:

    Mart: You hit the nail on the head when you said: “grace and mercy bought for us by the Son.” We too where bought and paid for. My eyes are not my eyes, my mouth is not my mouth, my ears are not my ears and my body is not my body but is the temple of the living God.

    When we get this in our head that everything we do, see, hear, say and own is to the glory of God Isaiah 43:7 then we will live a much fuller life with joy in our hearts and a smile on our face.

    We can be free from worrying about this life because we are no longer owners of anything; what we have all belongs to our LORD. We are temple managers. Some temples are in need of much repair. LOL

    To the world this sounds nuts but I ask: “How is your life style working for you”?

  22. isaiah43123 says:

    “church leaders are coining and recommending a new word in an attempt to more accurately reflect the meaning of “holy?” How can mere man be more accurate than God? To change one word is to destroy the truth of God’s Word.

  23. bill34sl says:

    Mart’s story reminded me of the church I used to belong to. In that church, we were prohibited to use the words “father” and “reverend” in addressing a religious leader, because those titles belong only to God, citing Matthew 23:9. Several years after the “great split” in that church, the main trunk group decided to shake off it’s image as a cult. This they did by “giving in” to the demands of the apologetics to adhere to the mainstream Christianity’s traditions. So they abandoned hard core beliefs they cherished for years in favor of gaining acceptance to the world of “Christendom”. Whether that church is the one Mart was talking about or not, I do not know for sure. I can only say that there are benefits in joining a physical church, as well, there is a drawback.

  24. bill34sl says:

    Although the Apostle Paul admonished the early Christians to be subjective to their leaders, (understandably he’s talking about the church leaders), it was also commendable if they search the Scriptures themselves to prove what they’ve been told was true or not (Acts 17:11). In contrast, the biggest “Christian” group on earth today are not encouraged to read the Bible by their leaders. Problems occur when a member of a denomination disagrees with the beliefs laid out by the leadership because he or she found out that they’re not really consistent with what the Bible say. Will it be wise if this member just keep silent about it so as to maintain his or her membership, or voice out his or her disagreement and risk being disfellowshipped? Personally, I will not have peace of mind attending a church whose beliefs and traditions eventually became disagreeable with what I’ve been learning from the Bible. I rather move out than sow dissensions within.

  25. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    Thank you for your guidance above.

    All I can say is:

    God made us a holy people through Jesus Christ.
    He IS HOLY and I AM Holy because of HIm.
    To deny that is to deny all the pain and suffering of the cross.
    I know I am still living a sinful life, but like Gary says, I try to live a life that is led by the Holy Spirit.
    Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail, but the law is the law and holiness is defined by the law.

    So if God says I am Holy, because of the BLOOD of Jesus, then who AM I (I AM) to argue?


  26. poohpity says:

    In church today I heard a quote from Saint Augustine – “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”

  27. yooperjack says:

    Here is a thought: If our bodies are the temple of God and a temple is a holy place????

  28. poohpity says:

    I do not believe Mart was denying we are called to be a holy people but would it be wise to remove the word from active usage. I also heard him say that the reasoning behind their thoughts of removing the word had substance by what the scriptures were truly saying regarding being a holy people and what it does not say or mean.

  29. Mart De Haan says:

    Bob, I regret that I have confused the issue while trying to clarify it. Yes, God has made us holy in Christ. In him we are a holy people–as Israel was also chosen to be a holy (set apart) people. My concern is only to clarify that to be holy means to be set apart by and for God– rather than implying that we have been made or called to sinless perfection in this life.

    I believe others often misunderstand the meaning of the term and that we might be better off using a synonym phrase ie “set apart”… “special calling”… “distinct purpose” etc.

  30. Mart De Haan says:

    To further clarify the purpose of this post: If we misuse the word “holy” we can unintentionally suppose that the purpose of our “holy” calling in Christ is to pursue sinless perfection rather than to learn to love one another sincerely and deeply as Christ loved us. Such love (imperfect as it will be) is what Peter (1Peter 1:22) (2Peter 1:5-7), Paul (1Cor 13) (Gal 5:14), James (James 2:8-9), and the whole of the Bible ends up focusing on.

    Making us ultimately sinless is what God will do for us when we are given new bodies.

    On the other hand, if I am mistaken in my suspicion about our tendency to misuse the word “holy” then this exercise of clarifying the meaning of a “holy people” and a “holy calling” is a waste of time.

    We do know that in Jesus’ day, other teachers of his people were emphasizing a kind of external, ritual, cleansing, while he was calling for an inner washing that occurs as the Spirit enables us to be as concerned about others as we are about ourselves (Luke 11:38-41).

    My intent is to take one more day with this and then be on to something else :-)…

  31. BruceC says:

    How important context is. It is perfectly okay to use the word holy in church as long as when it it is discussed and explained in the context of the passage and in who or what it refers to. Surely as the word applies to humans it means something else when applied to the character of God. So when used in sermons that point should be brought out. And maybe the definition(set apart) should be used when in company of nonbelievers or babes in Christ so as not to confuse the issue and meaning.
    Belonged to a church once where the meaning was used more as a standard of critique and personal behavior.
    This left some feeling like they had to “work” to reach anothers’ “level”.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  32. SFDBWV says:

    In the beginning God created everything that we know of by speaking it all into existence; “and God said”.

    We are created in an image and likeness of our creator so we too have the ability of speech and to create with *words*.

    An ant or caterpillar can communicate to others of their own species by way of a chemical *taste*, only they can understand the scents that they are able to emit. So though an ant can communicate to another ant, an ant can not communicate to a caterpillar.

    From the very beginning a common language was spoken among man, however for God’s reasons and purpose He caused man to divide himself into groups of diverse languages. Confusion and distrust was born among mankind because we could no longer fully understand each other.

    The word *barbarian* comes to us from the Greeks and so then the Romans. Barbarian being anyone uncivilized and so did not speak Greek or Latin as later defined by the Romans.

    Our Bible was written by men who spoke Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, there may have been some Aramaic language in there well. So our earliest writings are in these languages written thousands of years ago, with interpretation handed down through tradition and instruction.

    I, for one consider, we today to be that mixture of iron and clay shown in the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. God sent Paul to Rome because Rome was the world and its roadways took the message of Christ to the ends of the known world.

    In the beginning no one had a Bible to tell the Gospel the early disciples simply told the story to people whom God had already chosen from the foundation of the world to believe the Truth when it told to them.

    After the Great Roman Empire fell its children became the new rulers of the world. Instead of that body of Iron, a mixture of iron and clay. Instead of an accepted official language many languages.

    When I consider that for 2,000 years Christianity spread to all parts of the world using the written scripture at hand, and that we today want to change its meaning in order to align itself with our understanding rather than its intent.

    Clearly I can see the Miracle of scripture that the Word of God lives and resides in the hearts of mankind, that in spite of mans desire to corrupt it, the chosen people of God receive it without question. Like the ant and the caterpillar the Word of God needs no interpretation to be understood.

    It is sad that today we place ourselves under no leadership other than what we ourselves feel agrees with what we want to hear.

    If I don’t strive to be *Holy* what then do I strive toward? Sure I know I can never be Holy as Jesus said for me to be as is He. But if I don’t try to live that way how then do I live? By what standard do strive to achieve?

    There is a moral law written on the hearts of every man, instinctively we know right from wrong. I f we do not try to live a moral (holy) life, then I am living an immoral (unholy) life.

    I am sorry this is so long, it was written in little moments that I had time to do so and grew.

    Snow this morning, but the promise of more spring weather on the way.


  33. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Travelling the past day. The holiness of God is something 1) to glorify 2) to learn about and 3) to experience. It seems to me words are called for in 1 & 2 — but to be in God’s presence is a state of being. I am not certain I understand everything about this, but I read in Exodus this past week: “The Lord replied, ‘Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.’” (Exodus 19:24) Is this the unspeakable power of our God?

    Abraham Heschel speaks of encountering God spirit to Spirit only by saying it is “ineffable.” I believe he is saying there are no words left to speak or think – (Psalm 46:10) “cease striving and know that I am God” (NASB). This is murky to most people – yet we long to know God and to be in God’s presence.

    I think of Pontius Pilate – even in the presence of Jesus asking if he is the king of the Jews. Jesus’ reply is clear, but still not easy to grasp (John 18:36). He is the Holy One of Israel. I do not believe we have yet seen what this means in fullness.

    It seems to me as the body of Christ engages in sharing the Good News, there has to be a discipling effort — so that people who have met God in Christ for the first time have the opportunity to experience him — in worship and in praising him in a whole (holy?) way.


  34. refump says:

    Steve, Should we be striving to be holy, which tends to push us towards a works system or should we strive to develop a relationship with God- to love Him because he first loved us- to love others with the love He has given us that leads to “becoming holy” as a “result” of loving Him (greatest commandment) and loving others (second greatest commandment)? Whether we are in the process of becoming holy or are declared holy when we receive salvation has always been confusing to me and a good understanding of what “holy” means is needed so as not to misuse it. Sometimes it is better to use more definitive words to clarify what is meant by such a deeply spiritual word as holy.

  35. yooperjack says:

    Mart: Some Preachers even screw up the holiness of “Be ye separate from the world”. They teach to stay away from anything carnal, including people. They’re so afraid their flock is so insecure that they wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    I had a Baptist Pastor once that railed on us teenagers about dress codes, dancing, movies and the newest evil, Television. This was in the 50s; thirty or so years later I visited his home, by this time they had two more girls and a boy. I never met the boy a teenager and asked where he is, they said up stairs watching TV. I would have liked to have seen the look on my face at that moment in time. They seen the look and said: Oh! It’s just a small TV so our son could watch sports nothing else. That day I knocked them off that pedestal I had them on for so many years. I thought they were so “Holy” but what I didn’t realize they are human beings. They where very good roll models but not perfect. I spoke to them both 10 years later and confessed my feelings to them; they both understood my feelings.

    Pastor’s wife’s father is the one I said is the only person that I ever met in 71 years that was as close to being Christ like as one can be. I told her one time if he had any faults don’t tell me about them I don’t want you to break my bubble. LOL Your dad preached at the Bible camp he started GGBC. I may have been there?

  36. infiniti07 says:

    Why are we constantly splitting hairs with words and definitions of words that were written in times past?

    The Message has a simple way of putting 1 Pe 1:15-16 into the perspective of how we view our lives today. I like that we are encouraged to be “shaped by God’s life” and not view holiness as something to worship, unconnected through our relationship with God. We don’t need any “thing” to validate being separated to and for God. By his grace, we are holy because of Christ and our standing with Him.

    “So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” (The Message)

  37. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    First snow of the winter on the high moorlands of southern Britain today.
    About time!

    None in west Cornwall still +7C(+50F)

    Infiniti07, I like what you said and I also enjoy the way The Message Bible interperates some passages.

    If being Holy is good enough for Jesus then it is good enough for me!

    I want to sit at His table with all the other sinners, not set my self apart.


  38. oneg2dblu says:

    Good morning All… If it is incumbent upon corrupted man to define words for himself, we all are already in trouble with this word holy. If it is capitalized as Holy, instead of holy, than it already has a double meaning. Where one is lending itself to certain function or purpose, which should be set-aside, any the other meaning, as to never being fully understood by this dim glass we look through, as His encompassing Grandeur, Glory, and Grace which is beyond our thinking.
    If we allow the world to define any word, it has a worldly meaning. On that premise, I like to think of holy, as godly. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is
    then being filled with a Godly Spirit. Then, being filled with the Holy Spirit makes Steve’s comment that we do not need to interpret it for ourselves, very valid, for that Spirit in us will reveal it with His uncorrupted Godly terms for us.
    But saying each man has in him the ability to already know a right from wrong, than the Proverb that God has placed in his word for us looks to be questionable” All a man’s ways seem right to him, but in the end lead to death.” We then, must make a conscious godly choice, through God’s Holy Spirit to know which death it is speaking of!
    Can the worldly nature in us, really define for us, Godly terms? If so, than the ungodly can also!
    It is a God-given command that the Church must have a certain foundation, and a certain structure. That is given only to those set aside to usher in the Gospel as we now understand it. We must judge within the rank and file, who will and who will not serve as a Pastor, Deacon, or Elder, because God has given us a set of guidelines to follow. If we don’t judge this as it is written, then as pooh shared in the quote from St. Augustine, saying who’s gospel do you really serve? I love that statement for truth must be judged by the very guidelines or law if you will that God has set-aside in writing for us to keep His Church Holy!
    We may have many challenges with words, just as God challenges us through His Spirit. Gary

  39. yooperjack says:

    Bob: When my dad was in your county during WW2 he came back and would say *bloody* alot. Do they still use that word today and where did it come from?

  40. poohpity says:

    Don’t you see Bob, that is it. You want to sit at the table with other sinners accepting the gift that God offers there are those who are not that humble to still admit that after receiving Christ they still need to be covered because they still sin. Just like the religious leaders of Jesus time they were to good to sit at the table with sinners because they thought themselves to holy to hang around those people when in fact they were those people.

  41. poohpity says:

    That is what Jesus meant in Luke 18:9-14 NLT.

  42. SFDBWV says:

    As I attempted to state earlier with different languages comes confusion and with confusion comes distrust or uncertainty.

    Looking at the Concordance I see the word qadowsh or qadosh being a Hebrew word for Holy used in this way for being morally or ceremonially *sacred* as God by eminence, as angels, saints and sanctuaries.
    I see also the Hebrew word qodesh meaning a sacred place or thing, dedicated or hallowed as in a saint or sanctuary.

    In the Greek I find the word hagios meaning sacred, pure, blameless, saint.

    Since we speak English on this blog it is the language of English that I must use to explain myself.

    Mart wants us to not use the word *holy* to describe something about ourselves. However Scripture uses the Hebrew and Greek words for holy to describe a saint; as well as a state of being blameless and a dedicated hallowed place.

    This word holy describes a person very well who has accepted Jesus into his heart and received the *Holy* Spirit into their being or essence. Thus becoming a sacred dwelling place of God.

    Who among us here on this blog does not consider themselves to be saints? Or has not the Holy Spirit in them?

    If you do consider yourself to be a saint, if you do believe that the Holy Spirit resides in you, then by all description from scripture you are *holy*.

    Now if you consider that the Holy Spirit dwells within you and you consider yourself to be a saint, why then would you not try to live a *holy* life?

    Will I stumble? Yes. Will I fail? Sometimes, but not always. Do I give up because another says I can’t strive to be who I am in Christ? Never.

    Semantics is a play on words, do not let semantics rob you of your confidence of who you are in Christ, you are *HOLY*.

    If you feel you can not live up to being *holy* what then do you do, just bury your treasure in a field where you think it safe then present it to Jesus when He calls your name. Or do you multiply your treasure by investing it in your life then when Jesus calls your name show Him how you multiplied because of Him?

    I see by the conversation that this was not an imaginary issue at all, but confusion over language and understanding.


  43. poohpity says:

    Mart, never asked us to not use the word “holy” he posed a question that relates to how it is used and whether it stops people from loving those who need the love of Christ.

  44. yooperjack says:

    Steve my spirit the real me was made *Holy* through Christ but my body and soul have much improvment to be made to them before I would call them *Holy*. LOL

  45. Mart De Haan says:

    Steve, again, I think that one answer (as to what to strive for) is what Peter said after calling on us to be holy as God is holy (1Peter 1:15-16). He showed that having been rescued by the Lamb who was without defect (1Peter 1:19), our “holy calling” (1Peter 1:15-16) is to purify ourselves by loving others from the heart (1Peter 1:22).

    That sounds to me to be a cleansing process that parallels what Jesus said (Luke 11:41).

  46. Mart De Haan says:

    yooperjack, since you have such a great spirit and sense of humor, am going to come back at you :-)…

    It sounds like– in making the distinction between spirit and body– you’re still using “holy” to mean “sinless perfection”

    Maybe I’m missing something. Wouldn’t be anything new…

    Or are we on the same page, and agreeing that you/we already are holy (even our body)– in that through Christ you/we (even our bodies) have been given a “set-apart” purpose and role?

    Yet even though you/we are holy (even our body) — you/we sense how far you/we are from perfection :-)

  47. yooperjack says:

    We are not to be carnel but pure, forget it in this life, it ain’t going to happen. And don’t try to make the world think you are *Holy* they will laugh at you, because they are not stupid just lost as we wants were.

  48. yooperjack says:

    Mart: this is the way I see it. Our *spirit* was made perfect and *Holy* at salvation. We are forgiven. This is why the Father can have fellowship with us through Jesus. This is why we can go too the throne, God is so pure there can be no one that is not pure in His presence. This is why Satan is so angry with God and hates us and wants to destroy us because he couldn’t destroy Jesus. And he can no longer stand in the presents of God; and we can in the spirit but not yet in the flesh. God is Spirit John 4:24 we must worship Him in spirit and truth. That time has come it is called Pentecost in the Bible.

    We still live in this body and have a soul, we are to be *holy* live in this world but not be of it, meaning not be like the world system.

    Some Christians live in their own little world like a cult. If God wanted us to be that separated He would have taken us to Heaven the moment we were saved. They worry more about their sin than the sinners. But we have work to do, get them sinners saved. We have to share the good news with a dieing world. Man, I feel like preaching. LOL

    We are to go into this dark world and be a witness for God while being different (holy) but not crazy, I mean self centered to the point we turn sinners away. We are ambassadors not judges or are we responsible for cleaning the fish we catch.

  49. oneg2dblu says:

    yooperjack… do we modern day Christians now having received this Holy Spirit also reject its promptings, so as to not look any different than the rest of the world that does not have this Spirit in them? Why must we appear to be like the religious leaders pooh spoke of in Christ’s time, who clearly did not have this Spirit? Are we to make an effort to not appear to be living holy? To remain worldly like dead water which keeps finding its own lowest level?
    Whom do we then serve, other than self? Gary

  50. yooperjack says:

    Gary: Read my last post I anwered your question there. When sinners ask if they can swear in your presence out of respect for you, you can believe your doing something right.

  51. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    Talking of swearing, “Bloody” is still used as a mild expletive and is used throughout the Commonwealth, Like Pakistan, India, Singapore but is most common in Australia.
    No one knows how it came about, but it goes back as far as Queen Elizabeth 1 and Shakespeare.
    Best to look it up as any explanation would be too long and vivid for this place.


  52. phpatato says:

    Holy – qadash, “to be set apart, consecrated. It has a meaning to be set apart (usually) for a religious purpose, to be separated from certain things to become dedicated to others.

    For a believer in Christ, we should strive be holy because God is Holy. (1 Peter 1:16) To be holy means to be set apart from this world and its sins and become distinct and different. If our choices are to live and love as the world does, we aren’t different; we aren’t holy. A believer must seek ways of living life (or his faith) that is pleasing to God. We must be sanctified and the standard for that sanctification is God Himself. Sanctification is a progressive progress and it is the work of the Holy Spirit which is done over the course of our entire lives.

    I think that the word holy is often misunderstood. And Bruce, I think you hit the nail on the head with your post. Context of the word holy is so important and it may be that we should start to clarify the meaning in our sentences to prevent giving the wrong meaning.

    I wonder if the word holy should be dropped when referring to matrimony. The world has certainly altered that state! In today’s world, it is no longer holy.

    Blessings to all. It’s a sunny day in Ottawa -5 celcius. 5 – 10 cm of snow forecasted for tomorrow. Over the past few years, to the weatherman, that is now a lot of snow. :-) I’m off to babysit my twin 7 month old grandsons. Oh Joy!


  53. florida7sun says:

    The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines “holy” as:

    1. Properly, whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart, temper or dispositions; free from sin and sinful affections. Applied to the Supreme Being, holy signifies perfectly pure, immaculate and complete in moral character; and man is more or less holy, as his heart is more or less sanctified, or purified from evil dispositions. We call a man holy, when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the divine precepts. Hence, holy is used as nearly synonymous with good, pious, godly.

    Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 pet.1.

    2. Hallowed; consecrated or set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or worship of God; a sense frequent in Scripture; as the holy sabbath; holy oil; holy vessels; a holy nation; the holy temple; a holy priesthood.

    3. Proceeding from pious principles,or directed to pious purposes; as holy zeal.

    4. Perfectly just and good; as the holy law of God.

    5. Sacred; as a holy witness.

    The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. We have a sacred purpose… a path to follow… a race to run for His honor and glory. Given a new heart in which our Lord and Savior lives, we are set apart and made holy through Christ Jesus. His precious blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Through His grace and mercy our character is transformed more and more like His, as we study the Word and commune with Him in prayer. – 1 Peter 2:1-3

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Going completely back to the beginning of this topic; the “theoretical” leaders wanting to remove the word holy from active usage, trying to coin or recommend a new word to replace *holy*; Mart asks “can you see if such fictitious leaders could *theoretically* make a good case for their action by going on to quote 1 Peter: 22.

    My simple answer is *no* they have no case, Satan also quoted scripture in an attempt to mislead and confuse.

    We are *holy* and when we strive to live a moral life in alignment with scripture we will find that we are obeying the two commandments that matter, love the Lord our God with all our heart and our brother as ourselves. We don’t even have to think about it, it just is a part of who we are.

    Jesus being smarter than the religious leaders of 2000 years ago, as well as today, knew all to well that once we accept Him we don’t just set down and are raptured up, but must live out our days here in this world among unbelievers and the vilest of people, but that we are set apart as being different because of our *holiness*.

    This idea that we send out the wrong message because we use a word *holy*, the word that the very scripture we go to for everything uses to describe who we are, only offends the pride, envy and jealousy of those who are not attempting to live out a moral and *holy* life. And gives them the false concept that they need do nothing in order to show they are Christ’s but run their mouths.

    I am made holy only because of everything Christ is, I live for Christ and so honor His sacrifice by living as He would have me live, morally, honorably, and yes holy.


  55. poohpity says:

    No, to me it shows them what liars we are when we are unable to live a life that is “holy” without sin. It shows we are living in denial of who we really are. We are the ones being prideful to not be able to admit we are not perfect and sinless. To admit we fall short and have failures points people to the only One able to live this life without sin and it was Jesus Christ Himself. We are holy because we have been redeemed, we love because we have been loved, we forgive because we have been forgiven, we show mercy because we have been shown mercy.

  56. poohpity says:

    I took a brand new believer to church on Sunday and when they got out of the car their jacket got caught on the door which was followed by a few choice words which made me cringe inside. The Lord brought to mind, “Deb, I have just began this work in them, please let me do what I do best and you just keep bringing them to church. Show them as much mercy as I showed you in the beginning.” How would it have been if I would have shunned them for cussing? Was it not the Lord that began the work in me to change the way I talked and the way I acted, yes it was. If I would have displayed a holier than tho attitude would they want to come every week to join their first bible study? If I set the standards for their behavior that would push them away from getting to know our Lord and Savior. I am a work in progress as each of you guys are and the Lord has many areas that still need work in my life.

  57. phpatato says:

    Let me clarify….I do not think that we should drop using the word holy. The Bible uses that word and so should we. After all, it is called the Holy Bible. We are being transformed by the Holy Spirit to be like God. Our lives should reflect that work and we should look “set apart”.

    I believe the word holy is often misunderstood. Clarifying the word may prevent people from thinking – eg: we are “holier than thou”.

  58. foreverblessed says:

    We are called holy, because we are made holy in Christ.
    We should have no holier then thou attitude, and yet I have to admit I have a problem:
    There is a leader in the ministry, I respected him very much he had written a book on being a child of God, calling Him our Father, that has helped me a lot when I left my former church 15 years ago. I just found out that he had an affair with another woman, he divorced, and remarried with the one he had an affair with. He is still a leader. I do know nothing else about it, only this fact, and I admit to my regret that I have a problem with this whole matter. I guess I would have had a problem with David too, would I have lived in his time, being king, and he remained king, and kept Bathsheba. Although it is evident that David was very very sorry. Psalm 51 is very touching, no problem with David anymore. But many church leaders who have gone in the wrong take much time before abig sorry like this is being made public.
    I should forgive as I am being forgiven, I should show mercy as I have been shown mercy. I pray, God help me to be like this.
    Because we still make huge faults, I would suggest we keep this “I am holy” a bit for ourselves.

  59. davids says:

    LOL My, we are a sensitive group sometimes, aren’t we? I think this was supposed to be about the use of words, rather than the meaning of the word Holy.

    It seems that Mart’s scenario got hung up partly because this seemed to be something imposed by leaders, but what if a congregation decided to do this?

    Words, like shoes, tend to get worn out and lose their power and meaning. Over the last decades, denominations and groups have adapted their terminology to refresh people’s way of looking at the faith.

    Some have reclaimed Saints from the narrow usage to the broader usage. Some use Yeshua and Mossiach. Some have used “the Way” instead of “Christianity”.

    Are these heretical? Is there anything wrong with people noting that the word Unclean does not really reflect in English the same meaning as in Hebrew, so maybe another word would better express it? After all, the words Unclean and Holy are not really opposites in the English language.

    I think that this conversation might have been improved if people had not run quickly back to their favorite hobby horses, and truly considered Mart’s topic from different sides.

  60. yooperjack says:

    Pooh: bless you for not saying anything to your friend. It’s not our job to clean the fish.

    I was talking to some friends one day and said something not Christian like, can’t even remember what it was. One reminded me right away, Jack your not suppose to say things like that. I said “you’re right thankyou.” Then I said out loud “Lord forgive me.” I told him this is why I need Jesus more than you because without Him I would be lost. He smiled and shook his head yes because he heard about the person I buried many years ago. They know we’re not perfect so why pretend to be something we’re not. But they also know we got something that they don’t have. Many just aren’t ready to give up their life style yet but they will if we can show them enough of Jesus.

  61. yooperjack says:

    Davids: You got to admit this topic got a little more interesting than when it started out. LOL

  62. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, I am also very much encouraged by what the Holy Spirit told you about people cursing. I would like to share what happened in my life, I was on a vacation with my bigger family, camping out, and a nephew was swearing, and cursing, terrible, it gave a black feeling about the whole holiday. Then I was reading my bible in my tent, and this passage struck me at heart, it was as if God was directly telling me:
    “And I urge you…. be patient with everyone” this exact phrase, not the words in between, 1 Thess 5:14
    that was a clear message, instead of getting irritated by his words, I would start to pray for him when he used unholy words. And as I write this I am reminded to keep on praying for him.
    We could be so busy being holy in Christ ourselves that we forget to be patient with the unholy people around us.

    And Bob, the snow has finally reached us too. The world is white, and cold. minus 1 celsius, (I just can’t get the fahrenheit temperature, it is so illogical) When it is freesing point, when the water will turn into ice, it is zero in celsius.

  63. fadingman says:

    Teachers, churches, denominations, and even Bible translations have replaced various words with others that have similar but less exact meanings. ‘Sin’ may get replaced with ‘shortcoming’, ‘blessed’ with ‘happy’, and ‘holy’ with ‘unique’ or ‘set apart’. The replacement can carry much of the significance of the word, but it misses other important aspects. This sometimes ends up affecting basic doctrine later on.

    I like to look for common non-churchy definitions of biblical words so I can explain them to new believers. I think ‘uncompromising’ sometimes better expresses the general meaning of the word ‘holy’ than ‘set apart’. For example, just as God is holy in that He will not compromise His character in any way, we are also to be holy in this way (1 Peter 1:15).

    However, the word carries both meanings (one positional and the other practical). Replacing ‘holy’ with one word or the other would cause the hearer to miss out on the full meaning and application of the text where it is used.

    It is better to bring the church’s understanding up to what the Bible says, than to reduce the meaning of the Bible down to what the church currently understands.

  64. poohpity says:


  65. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    I agree Celsius is more logical, but in Britain we tend to use Celsius for low temps and Fahrenheit for summer balmy temperatures.

    80F sounds so much warmer than 26.66C

    Take Care.


  66. Elisabeth says:

    Hello everyone, I am a first timer. I have been following the blog for a few months now, but never felt that I had anything worth saying until I came across this topic.

    I appreciate what the denomination in question is trying to do. They don’t people’s hang-ups on words or debates about its meaning get in the way of what those words are actually meant to do, which is to help us grow in our love for God and for each other (both within and outside the church). That said, the words are not so much the issue as people’s hearts and attitudes. If only changing words could fix that! As it turns out, only God’s grace and the Holy Spirit and our willingness to submit to the renewal process makes that possible.

    I personally don’t feel that the logos (the literal words) themselves are the problem. The best way to tackle this is for believers to deal with the root problem. Over the centuries, there are many instances of the Word of God being used out of context and used to justify things that we know that our Holy, perfect God would never want for those called by His name to be involved in.

    Like many attempts to get people to do the right thing, the result is usually people being politically correct but not morally correct because their behaviour is all for show. I am not sure if this makes any sense, but I thought I should just add my two-cents worth to the discussion.

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