Using the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) as the exemplar, I explore the theological rationale that undergirds the COGIC priority of holiness as a prescription for human wholeness. By wholeness, I mean human flourishing of the total person. For the COGIC, “Salvation is a deliverance from dangers and enemies.” Through the democratization of what was historically reserved for spiritual heroes, namely the designation of “saint,” common people of little means were immediately uplifted. They grabbed ahold of this moniker, which redefined them and identified their new place of spiritual residence in Zion. By faith, they expected to experience a modicum of the blessing of Abraham, right now. Such personal and social uplift includes peace, provision, power, healing, deliverance, and victory over their natural and spiritual challenges and foes while in exile. As an exilic people, they created a way of being “in the world, but not of it.” This created a holy space where they were not despised outcasts, but “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Pet 2:9, KJV). By inhabiting this space, their lowly status was washed away in the blood.



If you are not able to view the PDF in your browser, try using Google Chrome.

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.