The Path We Take – By Howard Miller

Chapter 1

Significant Quotations

Below are quotations from this little publication that hit upon matters pertinent to discussions and decisions being made yet today in Holiness Churches about where to draw the line in Church Manuals so as to require Biblical Standards of behavior for Church members without unnecessarily invading the realm of personal scruples. H. V. Miller saw perils in both directions:

“But the perils of our position are really twofold. On the one hand there is the always impending danger of worldliness, and on the other hand there is the lurking presence of Pharisaism. One frequently wonders if some of our people realize how small a margin exists between Pharisaism and worldliness. It is a paradox we will not elaborate: LEGALISM and SPIRITUALITY are POLES APART; YET in actual living, CLOSE TOGETHER. Herein lies a distinct peril to our ethical position, a FAILURE TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN that which is FUNDAMENTAL AND BASIC and THAT WHICH INVADES THE REALM OF PERSONALSCRUPLE.”

“After all, there is a realm of personal scruple which belongs to every individual. There is a domain of personal conscience in this over-all pattern of ethics which must be scrupulously honored if the consistency and strength of the whole are maintained. It is this particular phase of personal liberty, properly respected, which affords flexibility to the whole. It is really the cement which binds the whole together. TO GO TOO FAR IN EITHER DIRECTION is to make a misplaced emphasis which eventually WILL UNDERMINE THE FOUNDATIONS UPON WHICH WE HAVE BUILT OUR SUPERSTRUCTURE OF CONDUCT.” [The caps are mine.–DVM]

On the one hand, Trashing and Ignoring a Church Manual are not the solution, but on the other hand neither is Over-Legislating the conduct of members a wise course. Where is the middle of the road? Where should the line be drawn? If you also consider the discussion of this booklet pertinent in today’s Holiness Movement, and if you feel that it is important that the right decisions are made on such matters, I invite you to read the whole of this booklet. In it, I feel that on principle H. V. Miller struck a quite good balance on the subject without getting into the specifics. Alas! however, it is much easier to agree on the right principle than to agree on the specifics of where lines should be drawn. — DVM