I am grateful to Dr. Blayne Waltrip for the invitation to return to this campus and speak on this topic. Some of you may remember that nearly a year ago I was privileged to be here for a forum on the topic of Holiness that included messages and panel discussion from the leaders of several denominations in the Wesleyan/Pentecostal tradition. At that time I spoke on “The Beauty of Holiness,” and afterwards Dr. Waltrip mentioned about returning for a future event and continuing this conversation on holiness but with a focus on missions. (1)
It brings me great joy to return to the campus of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. I sincerely want to thank your administration and faculty for your clarion voice of scholarship and spiritual passion as you emphasize our theological heritage. As a movement, we have needed the kind of scholars and scholarship that you are providing. I commend you and thank you for giving us the theological, biblical, and historical tools we need to speak with confidence as holiness, Spirit-filled people in our generation. (2)
The suggested topic, “Holiness and Missions,” has provided me an opportunity to reflect on the seven years I served as Executive Director of World Missions Ministries for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. In my present office, I continue to reflect on the global church and how we most effectively serve Christ in our times.
I knew there was Scriptural testimony for combining the themes of “holiness” and “missions.” The call of the prophet Isaiah began with a revelation of God’s holiness as seraphim cried to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3; all references are NKJV). In response to the revelation of human iniquity in the presence of divine holiness, and the removal of that iniquity by holy fire from the altar, our Holy God asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” (Is. 6:8). In reply Isaiah declared, “Here am I! Send me” (Is. 6:8). It is God Himself who combines the revelation of holiness with His appeal for someone who will respond to His salvific mission.
In 1915 Susan Fitkin became the first President of Nazarene Missions International. One of her major themes was our topic. In 1940 a booklet of her thoughts on this subject was published titled Holiness and Mission. Fitkin wrote, “Holiness and world evangelism are linked together like Siamese twins in God’s Word.” (3)