Circumstantial holiness, or maybe we can call it convenient righteousness, or easy virtues. It’s all just a form of hypocrisy.
It is only natural, only “human'”, only logical to take the path of least resistance. Protected by culturally acceptable practices in our Christianity. Yes, “Christianity” as a general term has moved from describing a relationship to a religion and now just a culture. Protected by the fear of being caught out for doing wrong. Protected by family values, healthy bodies, wealthy pockets. Doing the right thing is sometimes the easy thing.
Here is the problem that we “good” Christians face: it’s all to easy. Too easy to do good, too easy to cover up the bad, protected by our safe bubbles of separation from society. Take a person out of that bubble, put him in poverty, take her family away, show them reality, the reality of a godless world, of poverty, war and corruption. Soon the path of least resistance becomes: cheating your neighbour and hating your brother - because loving is not easy anymore. Taken out of our protected society, we may find that doing the right thing or the wrong thing is not a moral choice anymore – it is the difference between living or dying.
Here is the problem that we “good” Christians face: we don’t know what it is to die. When it is no longer a question of right or wrong or of moral obligation but a question of: If I do what is right, I may loose everything, including my life, if I do what is wrong, I will save my skin. Then what will we choose?
Maybe you, maybe I, maybe we never killed anyone, but maybe we thought about it. Maybe someone else, murdered a man for his money. Would we be any different to him? See, circumstantial holiness is not holiness at all, its a facade, a flimsy cover for rotting innards.
I know that I am not innocent of these things, but I also know that by truly making Christ the centre of my life, by putting him first, by following him, by allowing him to rend my heart, he is creating something beautiful within me. Through repentance of my sins, constant reliance upon him and refusal to let anything else lord over my life I am being made new. When the time comes, when reality is realised, when there can be no more facade of righteousness, when all is exposed, what will I look like? A light in the dark or cancer in the body of Christ?
With a life transformed by the Holy Sprit, with a heart of gold from the Father and the mind of Christ - holiness, righteousness, become the path that we simply cannot resist, no matter the consequence.
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him – Job 13:15