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Holiness Churches.

1. History. To counteract the wave of immorality and spiritual indifference that swept over the US after the end of the Civil War, a number of Meths. and others began a holiness movement. They held that camp meetings, the class system, etc. were necessary. A number of evangelistic* assocs. were formed 1880–1900 to propagate the doctrine of entire sanctification and related views. Pentecostals (see also Church of God; Pentecostalism), often grouped with holiness chs., gained a foothold.

2. The following are among those that have been included among holiness bodies: Apostolic* Overcoming Holy Ch. of God; Christian Nation Ch. U. S. (A.) (organized 1895 Marion, Ohio, as “equality evangelists”; later formed Christian Nation Ch.; reinc. 1961); Christ's* Sanctified Holy Ch.; Church* of Christ (Holiness) U. S. (A.); Church* of God; Church of God in Christ; Ch. of the Living God (Motto: Christian Workers for Fellowship) (see Church of the Living God, 1); Church* of the Nazarene; Churches* of God, Holiness; Congregational* Holiness Ch.; Gen. Conf. of the Ev. Bap. Ch., Inc. (see Baptist Churches, 32); Holiness Ch. of God, Inc. (est. 1920 Madison, North Carolina; inc. 1928 Winston-Salem, North Carolina); House of God, Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc. (see Church of the Living God, 2); Internat. Ch. of the Foursquare Gospel (see Foursquare Gospel, The); International* Pent. Assemblies; Kodesh* Ch. of Immanuel; National* David Spiritual Temple of Christ Ch. Union (Inc.), U. S. (A.); Pentecostal* Assemblies of the World, Inc.; Pentecostal* Ch. of God; Pentecostal* Fire-Baptized Holiness Ch.; Pent. Holiness Ch., International (formed by bodies organized in S and Midwest US beginning 1898); Triumph the Ch. and Kingdom of God in Christ International (organized 1902 in Georgia); United* Holy Ch. of Am., Inc.; The Wesleyan* Ch..

The following evangelistic assocs. have all the marks of holiness chs.: Apostolic* Christian Ch. (Nazarean); Apostolic* Christian Ch. of Am.; The Christian and Miss. Alliance; The Christian Cong.; Ch. of Daniel's Band; The Fire Baptized Holiness Ch. (Wesleyan); The Metropolitan Ch. Assoc., Inc.; Pillar of Fire.

3. Doctrine. Holiness bodies subscribe to the fundamental doctrines of the Bible but differ greatly concerning points of interpretation. Some hold that all forms of luxury are forbidden, others that the charismatic gifts of the apostolic ch. must be present in the ch. today, others that it is contrary to Christ's injunction to salary the ministry. All are millennialists (see Millennialism). Claiming loyalty to Wesleyan-Arminian theol., holiness bodies believe in free will, human responsibility, and man's ability to reach entire satisfaction. They hold that Christ freed man not only from the curse and guilt of sin, but also from its power, for Christ is said to have prepared a “full salvation” for mankind. J. Wesley* believed that Christian perfection is obtained gradually; holiness bodies teach that the Holy Spirit bestows entire sanctification instantaneously. This is known as the “second* blessing,” the Holy Spirit's work subsequent to and different from the work of conversion; after waiting, the “Spirit-baptized” believer is freed completely from inclinations to sin that come from within. The theory of entire sanctification rests on such false premises as these: only conscious sins are truly sins; God requires only relative holiness, i. e., holiness according to individual ability; God would not command holiness if He did not also enable man to be holy. FEM

See also Perfectionism.

See Religious Bodies (US), Bibliography of.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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