Holiness = Love: Part 1, The Opposite of Love?

Our knee jerk assumption is that holiness is the opposite of love.

That's the working assumption I grew up with. Holiness was all about piety, discipline, and purity. Holiness separated you from people. It didn't draw you closer to them.

In fact, holiness tempted you to be judgmental. The quintessential example of this "holier-than-thou" attitude is in the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector:
Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus:

‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.”
Because of these associations, very few Christians want to own the word "holy." I recently asked my Bible class at church, "Raise your hand if you are trying to become more holy."

Zero hands went up.

Holiness, we think, will make us into worse people. Because we think holiness is the opposite of love.

But is it?

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