Excerpt #20

From a Wesleyan perspective, to be made holy, to be made capable of accepting forgiveness for our sins so that we might worthily worship God, is not just ‘personal holiness.’ As Augustine argued in The City of God, nothing is more important for a society than to worship God justly. Without such worship terrible sacrifices will be made to false gods. Contrary to the modern presumption that as enlightened people we are beyond sacrifice, few societies are more intent on sacrifice than those we call modern. Societies that think they have left sacrifice behind end up basing their existence on the sacrifice of the poor in the name of human progress. Christians believe that we are the alternative to such sacrificial systems because we have been given the gift of offering our ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’ to the One who alone is worthy to receive such praise. That is what makes us a holy people, a people set apart, so that the world might know there is an alternative to murder.

Stanley Hauerwas, Sanctify Them In The Truth: Holiness Exemplified, page 11.