This seems to be a question creeping up more and more as an increasing number of churches are established all over the place. You might have heard of Holiness churches through a community event, at school, or you might have been involved with the denomination for a long time. If, like me, you’ve just moved and are looking for the right Holiness Church near you, then you’re in the right place. By the end of this article you will hopefully have a better understanding of the history of the Holiness movement and how it turns up in contemporary churches today. And of course, you will be on your way to answering that initial question, “How do I find a Holiness church near me?”
How do I find a Holiness Church Near Me?
The Holiness Movement and How it Influenced the Church Near Me
Originating within American Protestant churches in the 19th Century, the Holiness movement started to influence church life. The movement centered on a doctrine of post conversion sanctification that viewed perfection as the goal of the Christian. Although it rose to popularity in the 19th Century, the Holiness movement finds its roots in the Methodist teachings of John Wesley. Wesleyan theology suggests that the God who justifies an individual by forgiveness of sins also sanctifies the individual through transformation into sainthood. Wesley proposed that through sanctification, a Christian could be liberated from the grip of sin and exist in complete holiness.
A Methodist’s Mantra
The American Methodists’ mantra was to “spread Christian holiness” across the nation. In reality, the practices and disciplines outlined in perfectionism weren’t strictly followed by early 19th Century Methodists. This led to over twenty clergymen leaving the Methodist body to establish the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America. A large number of Protestant Christians began converting to the Holiness movement from the farming country of the South and Midwest. These groups were characterized by their focus on dress codes and strict constitutions dictating congregational behavior. Other Holiness communities began to spawn during this time with some notable names like Church of God, Church of the Nazarene, and the Christian and Missionary Alliance. These groups were created largely to campaign the corruption of denominational bureaucracy.
Preaching to the Poor: A Church Concerned with the Social Issues Near Me
Mainstream Protestantism had begun to preoccupy themselves with the concerns of the middle class, leaving new Holiness communities such as the Church of the Nazarene to respond to the needs of the lower class, poorer population. The purpose of such groups was to deliver a second-chance sanctification doctrine which called for a life disconnected from the values of the flesh (the world). At this time, the more mainstream denominations had largely separated from this line of thinking, theologically speaking. Despite being local groups, some exhibited a surprising increase in numbers, such as the more traditional Free Methodist Church of North America, and the fresher organizations which included the Salvation Army.
The Many Influences of the Holiness Movement
As the 18th Century rolled forward, an increasing interest in pietism and revivalism caused modern Holiness churches to align more closely with a fundamentalism theology as opposed to the theology of their Methodist ancestors. Scattered throughout their doctrines and practices are glimpses of conservative evangelical ideologies. Three predominant doctrines included Universal Atonement, Plenary Inspiration, and the imminent return of the personal Christ. These doctrines were in line with some of the other key parallel movements at the time including Adventism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Millenarianism. Alongside these foundational beliefs existed doctrines outlining more Pentecostal influences such as divine healing and the speaking in tongues. Yet, the Holiness movement remains totally separate from the Pentecostal revival, even to the point of some of their members opposing the practices of Pentecostalism with great hostility.
So How do I actually find a Holiness Church Near Me?
Now we come to the answer to the question that got you here, “How do I find a Holiness church near me?” A helpful tool for me when I was searching for a nearby Holiness church was found on this page here. You’ll be able to put in your area code and it will produce a comprehensive list of all the Holiness churches in your area. If by the end you’re still unhappy and saying, “This Holiness church isn’t really for me,” then think about researching other churches near you so you can find the right church to fit your needs.