*side notes- I am in no ways attempting to make a full study of these words or ideas in any of these posts. I am merely telling you how I have seen them misused among Christians and how I believe that it would be appropriate to be more mindful and responsible.
** "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof
in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:36
** Also, "The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth
out foolishness." Proverbs 15:2. I HAVE BEEN A FOOL WITH FOOLISHNESS POURING OUT OF MY MOUTH MORE TIMES THAN I CAN COUNT!! None of these posts are meant to be an "I am better than you if you are doing these things." They are, however, particular ways in which my own foolishness does not seem to be landing at the moment and that I do have thoughts on. Take them or leave them.
** All of this is in no way meant to be a condemnation (<-that may be a word I have to define at some point) or personal attack.
** Discussion Welcome
righteous and holy are very large words - they are words that apply most perfectly and truly to God himself.
There are many dictionaries out there, but the clearest definitions I could find were these:
Righteous == Just; accordant to the divine law. Applied to persons, it denotes one who is
holy in heart, and observant of the divine commands in practice; as a righteous
man. Applied to things, it denotes consonant to the divine will or to justice;
as a righteous act. It is used chiefly in theology, and applied to God, to his
testimonies and to his saints.
Holy == Properly, whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart,
temper or dispositions; free from sin and sinful affections. Applied to the
Supreme Being, holy signifies perfectly pure, immaculate and complete in moral
character; and man is more or less holy, as his heart is more or less
sanctified, or purified from evil dispositions. We call a man holy,when his
heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated
by the divine precepts. Hence, holy is used as nearly synonymous with good,
Holy also has another definition == 2. Hallowed; consecrated or set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or
worship of God; a sense frequent in Scripture; as the holy sabbath; holy oil;
holy vessels; a holy nation; the holy temple; a holy priesthood.
And yet, so often I hear people who have achieved authority, prominence, or notice within the Christian community referred to with these words. It makes me wonder. Do people really think that the teachers, bloggers, authors, speakers, and pastors so admired really are "just, observant of divine commands, entire and perfect, pious - or even set apart for sacred use"? Do they even really think that about the teachings of those people?
And if that opinion, the opinion that what the admired/respected says or does is in fact righteous or holy, would not that also mean that there are a tremendous amount of other complimentary words that one could use that would not tread upon the grounds of possible falsehood? After all, "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art
holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are
made manifest." - Revelation 15:4 (the Greek word translated "holy" here would seem to refer to the first definition) Additionally, hearts are slippery things. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can
know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according
to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." Jeremiah 17:9-10. You will probably find me using these verses frequently as it is they are what spring up in my mind when someone seems to be rather generous in their assessment of any human heart. Knowing that God tells me that hearts are deceitful makes me think that they are very few of them that are likely to be actively and consistently showing righteousness or holiness. And that even if they did, I am unlikely to be the one who can "know it."