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The Call to Holiness  

"The Sanctified church tradition is an African American Christian reform movement that seeks to bring its standards of worship, personal morality, and sociocultural concern into conformity with principles of holiness and spiritual empowerment. ...(p. 123)

In the minds of observers and participants alike, this attention to personal morality has sometimes obscured the focus on other dimensions of holiness ethics, as appropriated from biblical sources. The Holiness tradition includes a three-dimensional holiness ethic, mandating not only holy living for individuals but also holy worship in the churches and holy justice in the social order. ...(132)

The call to holiness is not simply an admonition to stay sober and celibate; it is a vocation to bring personal lifestyle, corporate worship and social engagement into harmony with the attributes and demands of a holy God. In the Sanctified church tradition, the possessing Spirit is the Holy Spirit, the pursuit of social justice is a holy mandate, and the purity of the saint is a testament of God's holiness. ...(133)

As a faith community whole dual heritage is rooted in the evangelical imperatives of holiness and unity associated with the nineteenth-century egalitarian Holiness movement and in the fires of Azusa Street that set the Pentecostal revival ablaze in the twentieth century as a global, multicultural phenomenon, the Sanctified church in America is challenged to sustain a socially conscious and profoundly spiritual Christian witness." (150)

Saints in Exile by Cheryl J. Sanders, Oxford U Pr, 1996, P. Sanders is Associate professor of Christians Ethics at Howard University School of Divinity. She is a member of Church of God, Anderson, Indiana.

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