Excerpt: UPCI Position Papers

 

 

Holiness as a spiritual experience and a way of life is not an option for a Christian but a biblical injunction. We are to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 7:1). We are urged, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” and “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2).

Jesus said that we are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-16); therefore, we are not to love the world, neither the things in the world, for the world appeals to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life (I John 2:15-16). A Christian is “to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27), for we are to so live that we may be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). As a people who have been delivered from darkness, we are to walk as children of light and “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

Since the “whole world lieth in wickedness” (I John 5:19) and we are no longer to live “according to the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2), and since worldliness is often communicated throughout society by the media, the United Pentecostal Church has expressed its concern that Christians may be influenced by the media to compromise biblical holiness. It has officially dealt with technology in three ways:
(1) allowed its use without voicing caution or disapproval (telephone, automobile, microwave, central heating, printing press, photography, computer, etc.); (2) accepted its use with warning and restrictions (radio, video); and (3) rejected its use as being unsuitable for Christians or for their homes (movie theater, television).

The United Pentecostal Church recognizes that technology is not evil in itself, but it feels that it must reject any use of technology that favorably displays a lifestyle of worldliness and ungodliness. Moreover, since technology continues to accelerate in our times, the United Pentecostal Church and Christians must evaluate each new use of technology, especially media technology, in the light of biblical holiness.

The United Pentecostal Church accepts only the Bible and the Holy Spirit as its guides to determine the correct standards of conduct in this world, and it recognizes the responsibility to apply biblical principles in a changing world. Neither the Bible nor the United Pentecostal Church teaches that salvation can be earned by good works, but both contend that holiness in behavior results from a transforming experience of the Holy Ghost, and is therefore incumbent upon each Christian.

The church has an obligation to establish standards of conduct when necessary, but it refuses to make rules for every aspect of daily living. Each Christian is responsible to God to maintain holiness in his life, for God alone is his judge, but the church is also responsible to teach biblical standards of holiness.

As new media appear in the marketplace, the Christian must not accept their usage without evaluation of their impact on his spiritual walk with God. We are to “walk circumspectly [looking around us], not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
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