Criticism is holy. Critical thinking is absolutely necessary to holiness. Holy criticism avoids unholy commonness. Being critical and offering criticism marks the thinking and manner of God, and all His representatives must be equally interested in making clear distinctions the produce separations.
Criticism, defined Biblically as “judgment,” means, “separation,” or “distinction,” in its functional application, so criticism draws lines of separation to and distinction among to clarify relationship with. The Bible term is “krinó,” and means, “separate, distinguish, make distinction as part of process of reaching a conclusion or decision, thus, to judge.”
Criticism comes naturally to sacredness and sanctification. To be “separated to” requires the application of critical thinking to behavior. While behavioral considerations alone do not create holiness, holy people live holy lives and apply their holiness to lifestyle and behavior. Holy people, by definition, do not engage in common, or unholy behaviors else they are not holy at all!
It is impossible to be holy without defining “holiness.”
God is holy, and He clarifies the definition of “holy.” Consecration moves common things toward holiness, sanctifying ourselves from commonness as God is separated to Who He is from any mention in the line up of gods, so-called. “Holy” answers to the phrase, “There is no one like our God.”
The opposite of “holy” isn’t “sinful.” Holy relieves life of commonness.
Holiness is more about being “separated to” that being “separated from.” In this the difference resides the vast gulf between religious ugly and kingdom purity. In this distinction we find the fork in the road that leads to horrible misrepresentations of our holy God or healthy oneness among the saints (the holy ones).
The Bible presupposes criticism. It assumes that we can separate to holiness and distinguish a saint from a sinner. The word, “saint,” simply translates the words, “a holy person.” The Bible assumes that kingdom people are holy people, the Ecclesia is composed of saints, and the people of God know who is a holy one or not.
(While that statement seems so obvious to God and the Bible, it has become a matter of “controversy” to modern church-anity for all the reasons modern christianism has lost its Biblical authority.)
Ask a simply question of yourself: “How do I obey the Bible’s expectations about how I relate to other believers if I cannot tell the difference between a believer and a non-believer?” And, “How do I properly distinguish authentic from fraudulent if I cannot properly judge?” Criticism produces good judgment.
Note the translation of Romans 1 concerning those that have no critical thinking about behavior: “God gave them up to a reprobate mind.” “Reprobate mind” translates, “a mind without judgment.” Without any sense of “separated to” that clarifies purpose, people cannot “separate from” the behaviors that destroy purpose. The catalogue of sins included in Paul’s discussion all point to the destruction of family, culture, and personal purpose.
Let us consider the difference between being separated to one lifelong partner or being separated from all other partners. One should the result of the other: that is, “separated from” is not the proper definition of marriage. In this tiny distinction rests the mammoth difference between success and failure in marriage, between God’s way and marriage models that produce less than spiritual oneness and kingdom dominion.
Marriage can be holy only when it applies critical thinking, creating separation and clarifying distinction. What was common becomes uncommon, “separated to” oneness becomes more than “separated from” individualism. That is, a holy marriage relationship redefines all other relationships by removing “commonness” from a person’s life.
Marriage “criticizes” and “judges” all other relationships producing a clear distinction in relationship unlike any other relationship available to man and woman. The critical thinking of holy marriage immediately produces a lifestyle and behavior.
That is, marriage is only holy when the people in the covenant are holy in their intentions and behaviors. The covenant does not sanctify them; their holy intentions and behaviors sanctify the covenant’s holy potential. People can be “married” and make their marriage unholy by avoiding the critical thinking necessary to holiness.
Holiness and Oneness
In this sense alone can we understand the word, “koina,” from which we derive concepts of community. That is, “shareholding” is a common uncommonness in which Ecclesia operates towards oneness.
“Holy” equally defines person and purpose. When the purpose of a person becomes the priority of their preparation, that person approaches greater purity. This is why the phrases “pursue peace with all people and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” flow together. The reality that you will not have peace with all people answers to the emphatic sense of the word, “pursue.” The same reality applies to “holiness without which.” The pursuit of both infers haste, urgency, and prioritization. Of course, one of the ways you pursue peace with all people is through holy criticism the properly defines your relationships.
You cannot enjoy peace with someone at cross-purposes with you. No Biblical or rational mandate demands that you sacrifice sanity and sanctity to do so.
Applying “holiness” to your life without critical thinking and judgment is impossible, and the Bible presumes that believers will use critical judgment to make decisions that separate them to holy relationships and living in ways that produce separation from. Without separation to, we never properly apply separation from.
Be certain of this, the Bible assumes that holiness will begin with separated to as a means of producing a separation from. In this way, criticism defines holiness so that God’s people can be holy as He is holy.
Sexual sin remains one of the most obvious and painful examples of “reprobate mind” conditions that capture believers as well as non-believers. Sexual sin especially defines “holy” and “unholy” because all intimacy should occur within holy matrimony in order for it to be “holy.” The “mind void of judgment” condition comes when something so obviously “unholy” becomes a “norm” for human behavior culturally or personally.
Ralph stands on the platform to lead worship, yet his personal struggle with sexual behaviors that substitute for sex including pornography and unclean imaginations keeps the door open for dominating shame. Gary preaches a strong word with powerful demonstrations of kingdom Gospel ministry while his wife lives thousands of miles away broken by their lack of oneness in marriage, opening Gary to dysfunctional relationships with other women in his ministry who meet adulterous emotional, mental, and spiritual needs for him that finally lead to odd physical improprieties. Mary prays for hours with other intercessors and watchmen of the kingdom, fasting often, hearing God’s voice with clarity, yet she continues to define her relationship with her husband by a “I’m more spiritual than he is” motif that separates them from the possibility of deep unity, let alone oneness, and continues to feel that intimacy invades her life like a lesser consideration, perhaps even evil in nature.
These people suffer from a lack of criticism and judgment. The Bible provides them an eternal revelation from which to form such critical thinking, make decisions, and solve problems, but they substitute for Its principles and protocols in ways that leave them “void of God’s judgment” and end up “void of any judgment.”
They represent the pandemic plague of unholy people standing in holy places that limit and diminish the kingdom of God on earth. They cannot seek first the kingdom without also seeking first His righteousness. “Righteousness” is right behavior. God is holy, and His behavior is righteous. God asks us to be holy as He is so we can represent Him in kingdom behavior. Kingdom has a culture, and the culture of the kingdom assumes the kingdom citizens are holy people.
For people like these I presented with a blend of real life examples, changing their names to avoid identifying them individually, kingdom leadership is needed. That kingdom leadership must be ready to judge, criticize, and distinguish so that decisions are made and problems are solved. Mercy does not mean ignore; mercy is simply opportunity as time to repent and change. Grace does not mean ignore (and certainly cannot be forced into a context of “already forgiven” as if grace is the new indulgence mechanism for sin); grace is the enabling capacity to live what Law without grace could not produce.
Leaders in the kingdom are assumed to be critical in order to make judgment decisions and enforce opinions consistent with those of heaven. Leaders have a responsibility to live holy and expect holiness from the saints (the holy ones) because kingdom leaders establish kingdom culture.
So, leaders “separate to” in ways that redefine relationships, often this means some form of “separate from” will result in the distinguishing between “holy” and “common.”