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Years ago I was preaching a series of strong holiness messages in a particular church. After one of the meetings the pastor said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. “The Lord has dealt with me about preaching more on love than holiness,” he said.That statement didn’t sit well with me. I knew it was not accurate. Yet back then I didn’t know why. I pondered that pastor’s statement with my own thoughts that raced through my head. Is love more important than holiness? Are they different, or are they virtually the same? They have to be different, or we’d have a lot of redundancy in the Bible, I thought. But how are they different? Although I knew the pastor’s statement came from a lack of understanding true holiness, at that time I couldn’t thoroughly explain the difference.This pastor’s statement put an emphasis on love, which is of primary importance, while de-emphasizing holiness, which is not only God’s greatest attribute, but foundational to understanding man’s relationship to God. I walked away from that conversation knowing that this pastor’s view of holiness was not becoming or beautiful. I thought of how his view was probably shared by a multitude of believers, who have formed erroneous ideas and notions of holiness, due probably to their own negative experiences—like the cat who is afraid of water because of one negative experience of getting scalded by boiling water. Or of those who may have come from a background of legalism where do’s and don’ts were associated with holiness. These are among the reasons holiness has gotten a bad rap and is looked upon with a sort of disdain, as being primitive, outdated and just not culturally relevant. We need to realize, however, that negative experiences or unsound teaching does not nullify the real meaning, necessity, and beauty of God’s holiness.