I knew a man in Iowa named Charles. He was a humble guy, and would totally yell at me for blogging about him, but he's old and probably won't ever know. So shhhh.
We played dominos together some Tuesday mornings. We mall walked many, many miles together during my two years in Iowa.
I love that man. Charles lived out a holiness that I hope someday I can be involved in somehow. He mowed the church lawn on a big green John Deere tractor. He visited the elderly from our church. He helped fix things for people. He handled home situations I can't go into, with an amazing sense of love and commitment. He followed all the commandments, and then some. He did not believe food belonged in the Lord's House.
That final sentence may surprise you. You may think to yourself, "Chadwick is talking about works-based-Holiness, I want nothing to do with this man." To that I would quote the Godfather of soul - "shut yo' mouth" :)
You see, Charles did not believe "potlucks", or even casual meals should take place in God's Holy house. So he did not eat them. But he didn't simply stay at home, or walk around the church picketing. Charles baked something, brought it to the church, and gave it to someone else to bring to the table for him. Sometimes, he would bring McDonalds to the church, call me to come outside, and send me back in with a burger.
We were reminded Wednesday of Wesley's emphasis on HOLINESS AS SELF-GIVING LOVE.
All other loves are mere "pseudo-loves", from which sin flows. Things that we are tempted to view as love, but are not involved in restoring the image we've been created in. It seems like such a simple thing, but somehow ends up translated into pages and pages of doctrinal debates.
Not that I'm against pages and pages that are truly seeking to expand on the character of God. I've read some. They've been great. But man.....let's see more people like Charles, and hear more calling by our preachers to be people of Self-Giving love.
I wanted to say more on this Love as expelling sin....but maybe at a later date...
A Song For the Lent Season
2 weeks ago