3rd Wednesday after Pentecost

Psalm 105:1–4, Deuteronomy 24:17–22, Acts 6:1–7

“Solitary religion is not to be found there [inward]. “Holy solitaries” is a phrase no more consistent with the than holy adulterers. The of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness, but social holiness. Faith working by is the length and breadth and depth and height of Christian perfection. This commandment have we from CHRIST, that he who s GOD, his brother also; and that we manifest our by doing good unto all men, especially to them that are of the household of .”

—John Wesley

“…no holiness, but social holiness…” has been misused over the years, being equated with social justice. John Wesley was specifically speaking about what would now call private versus public . For John Wesley—and the church as a whole—found that Christians were more likely to be better Christians when living within the context of a discipleship and accountability context. When our religion becomes private, we hide from ourselves and others that which needs to be brought into the light. The path of holiness can only be walked in the and the light with others. There are 2 “gotchas” with this. The first is the whole discipleship and accountability piece. When the world looks at us and judges us, it’s because we’re doing a pretty poor job. The other is found in our passages in Deuteronomy and Acts.

“…we manifest our by doing good unto all men, especially to them that are of the household of .” Read that a. The orphans and widows, those left alone, are our responsibility to and care for. Is there a “reasonable” limit? Maybe, though ’s poured out on the cross puts a lot of doubt on that. We could be Ebeneezer Scrooge and talk about our taxes, work programs, welfare, etc., but while that may be subsistence, it isn’t True Life. We think it is hard today, because “so many” people take advantage of the system. Yet, in John Wesley’s day, there were more disadvantaged, fewer programs, and a lot less money going to it.

As we look at our fellow human beings, we cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by those who use our ts for their . This is the sad reality of (all parties) and the media (bad news sells). In f, we are seeing fatigue of all sorts set in. This allows us to harden our ts. All is never lost, however. As the world becomes fatigued, this is our opportunity to once a be the light that we are called to be. We are not called to make a big splash, nor are we all called to the same thing. We are all called to each other.

1) Have you found yourself becoming callous or even adversarial to others in the current political and social climate?

2) Do you find that you identify more with a political party or social view more than ? Are you allowing or culture to define what it means for you to follow ?

3) Why do you think social holiness (e.g., Sunday service, Life Groups, Bands) is needed for us to one another?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.