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I'm writing this forum to get peoples thoughts about holy kisses. Please help me to understand what Paul means when he says " Greet one another with an holy kiss"? There are four scripture in the bible concerning an holy kiss, Ro 16:16, 1Co 13:21, 2Co 13:12, and 1 Th 5:26. It seems that Paul was commanding the brethren of the churches to greet or salute one another with an holy kiss. Should we be practicing this for it seems to be a commandment from the Lord? Or was it their custom to greet the brethern with holy kisses? Just like my Brazilians brothers, for its their custom to greet people with a kiss back home but it wasn't commanded for them to do it, it was just there custom.I have never been to a church in the USA so far that greet people with a holy kiss. As we continue to bring back to God the Church that he design it to be as it was written in the new testament, should we bring back what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Churches " Greet one another with an Holy kiss"?

 

God Bless

 

-Adam

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I use the Holy Kisses scriptures quite often, so I will offer some input.

 

Often I ask the following question: "So, the scriptures instruct us 4 times that we should greet the brethren with a Holy Kiss.  Why, then, do we not practice this?".  My point in asking the question relates to our method of interpreting scripture. The responses are varied:

  • Ewww!  People would think I'm gay or something!
  • We consider such intimate contact unholy.
  • That's too strange.  Folks would think we're some kind of cult.
  • I was always brought up shaking hands to greet folks.
  • One Pastor leaned over and kissed me on the cheek!

 

But if the scriptures command us 4 times to do it, then it can't be unholy, and it really doesn't matter what other people think!  We need a better explanation than that.

 

I don't kiss folks and don't really want to be kissed by folks.  I would, however, honor their attempt at obedience to the scriptures if that were their motivation.  Here's my explanation. 

 

One thing to notice is that there is no reason given for the kiss itself.  Paul didn't say something like "Greet the brethren with a holy kiss because that's why God gave you lips."  He didn't say that God specifically likes kissing or that kissing was mandatory under the Law.  That is, he did not anchor this specific practice to any cross-cultural rationale.  Now in other things he did.  The covering of 1 Cor 11, for example, is soundly anchored to many cross-cultural reasons (the created headship hierarchy, the order of creation of the genders, the angels, the purpose of the genders, nature itself).  Other passages such as 1 Tim 2:11-15 about forbidding women teaching is anchored in history and other spiritual things.  1 Cor 14:35 about women speaking in the church is anchored in "also saith the law".  But the holy kiss is not anchored in such things.

 

So, we can know that, for example, the covering of 1 Cor 11, is not merely an piece of trivia from an ancient culture, but that it does indeed apply to us today.  We know this because the rationale for it is not based on culture.  So if the scriptural rationale for a practice transcends culture, then so should the practice itself. 

 

So does this mean that we can just toss out the Holy Kiss verses?  Or, should we toss out any practice without a culturally transcendent rationale?  Not necessarily.  Those passages are in there for a reason.  We should be amicable and friendly with folks, especially the brethren.  But in the absence of any rationale about the specific practice of kissing, I would say that we are not necessarily bound to this method of greeting.  We are fulfilling the spirit of the commandment with a handshake, a smile and an amicable demeanor.

 

However, if one finds himself in a culture that practices kissing as a greeting, I would think that he should grin and bear it and practice it also.  There is definitely nothing sinful about the type of holy kiss that Paul encouraged.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Thank you for your input bro Prevost. You have made good points. I have miss another verse about the topic 1 Peter 5:14 "Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity". So the point of holy kisses in the new testament was to show one another love. Can a handshake or smile be enough to show some one love? I don't practice holy kissing but I am considering it, not because I feel in my heart it's a commandment, but I feel kissing the chick brings out a greater love towards my brothers then just smiling and handshaking. I need to give this more prayer.

Be bless

 

Adam


Mike R. Prevost said:

I use the Holy Kisses scriptures quite often, so I will offer some input.

 

Often I ask the following question: "So, the scriptures instruct us 4 times that we should greet the brethren with a Holy Kiss.  Why, then, do we not practice this?".  My point in asking the question relates to our method of interpreting scripture. The responses are varied:

  • Ewww!  People would think I'm gay or something!
  • We consider such intimate contact unholy.
  • That's too strange.  Folks would think we're some kind of cult.
  • I was always brought up shaking hands to greet folks.
  • One Pastor leaned over and kissed me on the cheek!

 

But if the scriptures command us 4 times to do it, then it can't be unholy, and it really doesn't matter what other people think!  We need a better explanation than that.

 

I don't kiss folks and don't really want to be kissed by folks.  I would, however, honor their attempt at obedience to the scriptures if that were their motivation.  Here's my explanation. 

 

One thing to notice is that there is no reason given for the kiss itself.  Paul didn't say something like "Greet the brethren with a holy kiss because that's why God gave you lips."  He didn't say that God specifically likes kissing or that kissing was mandatory under the Law.  That is, he did not anchor this specific practice to any cross-cultural rationale.  Now in other things he did.  The covering of 1 Cor 11, for example, is soundly anchored to many cross-cultural reasons (the created headship hierarchy, the order of creation of the genders, the angels, the purpose of the genders, nature itself).  Other passages such as 1 Tim 2:11-15 about forbidding women teaching is anchored in history and other spiritual things.  1 Cor 14:35 about women speaking in the church is anchored in "also saith the law".  But the holy kiss is not anchored in such things.

 

So, we can know that, for example, the covering of 1 Cor 11, is not merely an piece of trivia from an ancient culture, but that it does indeed apply to us today.  We know this because the rationale for it is not based on culture.  So if the scriptural rationale for a practice transcends culture, then so should the practice itself. 

 

So does this mean that we can just toss out the Holy Kiss verses?  Or, should we toss out any practice without a culturally transcendent rationale?  Not necessarily.  Those passages are in there for a reason.  We should be amicable and friendly with folks, especially the brethren.  But in the absence of any rationale about the specific practice of kissing, I would say that we are not necessarily bound to this method of greeting.  We are fulfilling the spirit of the commandment with a handshake, a smile and an amicable demeanor.

 

However, if one finds himself in a culture that practices kissing as a greeting, I would think that he should grin and bear it and practice it also.  There is definitely nothing sinful about the type of holy kiss that Paul encouraged.

 

Hope that helps!

 



Adam Hoppenbrouwer said:

I don't practice holy kissing but I am considering it, not because I feel in my heart it's a commandment, but I feel kissing the chick brings out a greater love towards my brothers then just smiling and handshaking. I need to give this more prayer.


To kiss the cheek may be appropriate in other cultures and would probable be the correct thing to do there.  But here in America, I think that most people would NOT want you to kiss them on the cheek or anywhere else.  They would feel awkward and embarrassed, not loved or welcomed.  Given this fact, I don't think that in our culture, giving someone a holy kiss would be an expression of either love or kindness. 

 

Now, if you decide that this IS a commandment and that you MUST kiss the brethren whether they like it or not, then realize that by imposing your kisses on them, you would be in violation of the principles taught in Rom 14, 1 Cor 8, and the last half of 1 Cor 10.  You might also find yourself in a lot of trouble!

 

"That's all I have to say about that."   ;)

 

 

 

 

   My Brother,

 

    Your posts are excellent concerning the "holy kiss".  In the sixties there were people that practiced this in some American churches.  At the time, it was accepted, but some had reservations concerning it. 

I think the key word in the holy kiss verses is the word "holy." Apparently kissing on the check was a pervasive form of greeting in those days, just as it still is in some places today (e.g. Brasil, Italy, etc). A friend of mine was ministering in Russia and he said that preachers would come up to him and plant one right on the lips (yes, the lips!). Sorry, but that's not for me, though I suppose in those circumstances I would endure it. Nevertheless, it seems to me that Paul's emphasis was on the word "holy." Could it be that he was stressing the importance of keeping the kisses of greeting in the realm of moderation and propriety? In our culture, we might instruct a church that when a man shakes hands with a lady, keep it moderate and proper. Don't hold on excessively. Don't rub her arm. I have been in some apostolic churches where men and women hug one another (not talking about married couples). To me this comes close to an unholy greeting. Many men who have fallen into extra-marital affairs have said that it all started with a hug. So at our assembly, we have always discouraged the use of the inter-gender hug as a greeting. Could Paul's admonitions have been made in a similar vain? Could he have been admonishing them to be careful to keep their kisses of greeting moderate so as not to risk inciting any sort of sexual urges?  


Bro. MIke, In my humble opinion, your whole post has been well thought out, well stated, Biblically stable, quite logical and user friendly. :-)

 

Bro. Dave, As a very young man in the Lord, I too, ran into some of these "lip kissers" in the Dayton, Ohio area.  Though they "seemed" sicere ... something about it ... just wasn't for me.  :-)

 

 

 

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