Peter writes, in response to yesterday’s post:
I repeat here my appreciation of your purity-vs-hospitality perspective, and your inclusiveness of those who have not “yet” agreed with you and maybe never will. You are right that this is difficult and painful. But I want to add one more word of support: in taking a stance like this, you are strongly and consistently favoring oneness, non-dualism, in a pragmatic application. Way to go! I highly commend this.
Thanks, Peter, for the insight. Yes, I see holiness as encompassing two drives: the drive toward purity and the drive toward hospitality. I think we are the most faithful to God’s call to holiness when we hold these two drives in creative tension. Furthermore, I think much of the polarization between so-called conservatives and so-called liberals in the body of Christ today stems from the fact that conservatives typically favor purity over hospitality, while liberals often favor hospitality over purity.
Reading Peter’s comment, I am reminded of Ken Wilber’s insistence that all evolutionary growth involves a drive to transcend what has gone before, but ultimately also to include the earlier stages of growth as the newer level emerges. It occurs to me that the drive to purity is a drive to transcend, while the drive to hospitality is a drive to include.
So, am I merely suggesting that the call to holiness is the call to evolution? I don’t want to be reductionistic here. But I do believe true holiness is our ultimate and beatific destiny. So in that sense, it resonates not only with Wilber’s ideas, but also with Teilhard de Chardin’s “Omega Point” and Plotinus’ idea of the ultimate return to the One.
Purity means trying to set ourselves apart for God. Hospitality means recognizing that God is everywhere and there’s nothing we can do to move any closer to (or further from) God to begin with. And holiness somehow involves riding both of these waves to their fullest potential.