I was surprised to learn that Charleston is often referred to as “the Holy City.” So, I’ve been trying to find the reasons for that reverent nickname.
Here are a few of the possible justifications that I have found:
- Originally called Charles Towne when it was established as a colony in 1670, it was based on principles of religious tolerance.
- In its early days, church steeples were useful landmarks guiding ships into Charleston harbor.
- The sea level topography of the area makes church steeples very prominent.
- Charleston (Charles Towne) was one of a few original colonies to tolerate ALL Christian Protestant denominations.
- There are over 400 churches in Charleston.
- And this quote written by Charleston Harbor Tours in Ahoy Charleston: “Throughout the years, after building and re-building, after fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and wars, Charleston has remained an open-minded city, incorporating all thoughts, beliefs, and cultures with open arms.”
But, are THOSE the reasons why a city is holy? Furthermore, is that the kind of thing that makes US holy?
Let’s look at what God’s Word says.
Revelation 21:1-2, 10 “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. . . .And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”
Let me just say that Charleston is a beautiful, fascinating city, but there is no comparison to the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. We who are children of God have been promised that we will see THE Holy City on that Great Day. Hallelujah!
And, then, of course, the Bible tells us that WE are to be holy. A tall order indeed!
1 Peter 1:15-16 “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Leviticus 19:2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”
I’m glad that Charleston is known for its many churches, but I believe it is far more important for God’s people to be known for their inner holiness. I’d love to read your thoughts on this subject.