This has been flitting through my head the past couple weeks, but I have not been able to write my thoughts on the matter all that well. Nevertheless, I think it’s time to try. As most of you know, I adhere to the holiness doctrine. I believe it is not only possible for a Christian to no longer sin, this sinless behavior is expected.
I will focus on one example.
I attended a Bible study for a short while during the summer session at Clemson. I was delighted one evening to hear the speaker say that Christians did not have to sin. She (we won’t discuss appropriateness of this) said that, when those who called themselves Christians did not have lives that were changed– that is, they kept on doing the sinful things they used to do– there was something terribly wrong. At one point she said she was holy.
But then, only a week later, the same person said that repentance was a daily thing. Every day she had to repent of sinful thoughts and actions.
Problem: If one repents, he does not return to the former way of living. Repentance involves changing one’s mind. It is more than feeling sorry for what one has done.
Another problem: How can one be holy and yet sin? The two don’t go together. Is it possible to be holy? Of course. In fact, it’s expected. John said that he who has been born of God does not sin. (1 John 5:18) Paul said that believers are not slaves to sin. Jesus said that those who love Him will keep His commandments. (John 14:15)
Does anyone else see the problem? These people were being told one thing one day and the opposite the next. How would anyone know what to believe in this situation? And does the same thing happen in other groups, other churches?
Consistency would be nice.