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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," July Edition 2008

What Is Conservative?

Do we mean doctrinally conservative, culturally conservative, economically conservative, or do we mean “religious right” politically conservative? Believe it or not, these are not all one and the same thing!

“Conservative” is a fairly new, and now much over-worked term. What is the frame-work from which to understand it?

Many of the thought categories surrounding this concept are purely man-made structures. The New Testament knows of no division between “conservative” and “non-conservative” Christians. It knows of no Christians who are not called to live holy lives. That holiness is not described as “conservative-ism”; it is defined as obedience to the objective written Word of God, rationally interpreted.

And what about culture?

Godliness IS a culture! The true gospel of Jesus Christ produces a culture of godliness, or holiness in society. The rub of contention among we carnal moderns, then, is not only with the fruit of godly culture, it is also with the root of what constitutes the foundation of the true Christian gospel of Jesus Christ itself.

Many of we professed modern evangelicals have accepted the theory of dispensational premillennialism as the gospel truth. Daniel Steele called it “a substitute for holiness, or antinomianism revived.” Was Steele right?

Yes, Daniel Steele was right. Dispensationalism is what he said it was--a false gospel, a root that produces the fruit of backsliding worldliness in one-time Christian churches.

The modern Conservative Holiness movement was born in this context: it is a reaction to the “fruit” of antinomian apostasy in much of the American evangelical tradition over its embrace of Scofield/Darbyism.

We have reacted, rightly, to the fruit. Now, we need to go one step further and shed the “root” as well.

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What Is Conservative Holiness?
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