When Holiness Becomes Unholy

What is the all too common sin that many Christians are committing, that was the downfall of notorious serial killer, Ted Bundy? The answer may surprise you.

I saw their pain-filled tears. I heard the stories that literally made me nauseated. The repulsive stories of darkness and sin made me feel dirty. And I wept with them. The suffocating blackness of secret sins are nothing short of devastating to a person’s life.

Although I’m a Christian and attempting to walk in holiness, I often fall short. Many times I ask forgiveness from my family for a wrong response or action. For being unholy. Yet, in spite of my un-holiness, these stories literally made me feel sick. I was repulsed by sexual sins and the devastation it causes.

In our counseling with many hurting people, I am often in the place where my heart cries, “Oh God! How must You the great, Holy God feel? How do You, being all righteous, view our unholiness?” Doesn’t a small amount of unholiness cause the loss of all righteousness just like a glass of pure water sprinkled with bit of poison? In the same way, does righteousness have degrees, or does God see us as being either holy or unholy?

Yes, we fall. But I don’t believe we fall in and out of being saved. However, if you see a line that is nearly straight, it is still crooked. A mathematical answer that is almost right is still completely wrong. When we commit sin, like the sin of viewing pornography, we are committing evil. And God hates evil. There will always be consequences for it. You can be assured that the enemy has direct access to areas in your life and in the lives of your loved ones when you allow this in your life.

We go to many churches in our ministry. What is wrong when our churches are filled with unholy sins? We’re the Church. The BODY of CHRIST. But are we, really? 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” And also in Isaiah 59:2,“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”

Rather sobering, isn’t it? Although I don’t care to get into deep theology regarding salvation and eternal security, it’s evident in the Bible that God hates sin. He always has and always will.

I believe that many in the church are being deceived and falling away because they believe that God’s grace trumps His holiness. While we need to guard against this viewpoint, it is true that we are living under grace. Praise God! People have been deeply hurt and wounded by the church because of a works-based religion. Holiness becomes unholy when we turn it into an outward facade rather than a lifestyle. Our works don’t save us. Yet, works and holiness still matters. Our works need to flow from our hearts in worship to our God. As a sun ray isn’t possible without light, so is goodness without God. True goodness can only come from Him. Just as darkness is the absence of light, so is evil the absence of good.

Holiness becomes unholy when outward acts trump aligning our hearts in obedience to God’s word. My friend, true holiness isn’t confining or restrictive. True holiness produces joy and freedom. Holiness is the result of a right attitude towards the God of the universe. If I feel restricted in obeying God’s word, my heart isn’t aligned with God.

My heart would break if my girls would obey me simply because they’re afraid of the consequences they’ll experience from me if they don’t. (However, I recognize these consequences are still needed and can stop their wrong choices when they’re set on disobedience.)

I delight in obeying God. I don’t serve and obey Him out of duty or fear, but because I love to please Him.  I know His heart and His commandments are not a burden. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3)

My husband and I say we love our children unconditionally. We love them even when they choose to disobey us. However, when we can see they want to obey us, it pleases us even more and strengthens our bond with them. If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about, and I believe this is similar in our relationship with God.

Even though mankind was created in God’s beautiful image, after sin entered into our world, it “repented God” that He’d made us. Because, although God is filled with grace, He still hates unholiness. Gen. 6: 6-8 “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth…for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” We cannot separate God’s love from His wrath against sin.

My friend, God loves you. Deeply. He longs for you. And He desires to have an intimate relationship with you. But in spite of the depths of His love for you, your sin will still separate you from the presence of a loving and holy God.

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.” (Rom. 6:16)

Holiness becomes unholy when there is a pattern of sin in our lives. When we live in defeat, it means we are trying to live a holy life in our own strength. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, we will continue to fail. When we’re sick, we don’t try to get better before we see a doctor. We seek out the doctor because we realize we’re sick and can’t get better on our own. It is the same with our heavenly Father. We need to come to Him in brokenness and repentance and allow Him to change us from the inside out.

My friend, if you’re living in sexual sin, yet raising your hands in worship on Sunday morning, your ways are repulsive to God. But God isn’t against you. He is for you. Please reach out to someone who can help you walk in freedom…in holiness. Don’t believe the lie that there is no hope. These sins will destroy you and your family. So get help! Do what it takes. Walk in holiness. Sin will always take you farther than you want to go.

What did Ted Bundy explain was the beginning of his downfall? Please watch this interview between Dr. Dobson and Ted Bunty the day before his execution. Statistics indicate pornography at the root of most sexual abuse, rape, and violent sex crimes/murder. Even if you personally do not walk down the path of violence, pornography still has consequences, and it will destroy.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jam. 1:15)

~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)

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