I've started to reread Koberle's book "The Quest for Holiness".
Actually, that's not the real title. The real title in German is "Justification and Sanctification". It was just assumed that a book with that title wouldn't really sell in the US back in the day (or even today).
They were probably right.
As Americans we love our holiness. It's part of our heritage. We talk about how we are the land of Religious Freedom, where folks could escape persecution. Well, let's think about that. Our religious heritage is made up of Puritans and Quakers and even Lutherans who were all sure of one thing -- "I'm right, and not only am I right, I am going to be up in everyone else's face about it so they KNOW that *I AM* right."
We love having people know that we are religiously correct - we love demonstrating that we are "holy" -- and quite often holier than the person over there... whether over there is across the pond or the church across town.
And this is sad. John the Baptist said to his disciples (who were worried about the rising popularity of Jesus), "I must decrease that He may increase." It was not about John - who even though he was THE holy man - eh, not about me. It is about Christ - He is the true Holy One, and He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Do we ever talk about how we want more Jesus?
Or is it we want to show ourselves to be more and more holy?
Ah well, thus is life in a fallen world.