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Monday, August 24, 2009

Squeaky Clean


At my workplace we once had a week long promotion around infection control, with the importance of hand washing being highlighted. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to wash one’s hands. And it is the number one method of preventing the spread of germs.

In the last decade or so, the war against germs has intensified, both in public buildings and private homes. Antiseptic hand cleansers are everywhere. Cleaning products and personal hygiene products no longer simply clean; they also promise to kill 99% of household germs, or whatever little critters might be hiding out on your hands or between your teeth. Seems we just can’t get clean enough!

Yet in spite of this “germ warfare”, the widespread use of antibiotics, and an ever increasing variety of vaccines, we are still faced with more and more virulent forms of viruses and infections throughout the world today. We sterilize, immunize, and sanitize, yet seem to be losing ground in our efforts to combat an ever growing list of dangerous pathogens.

Another trend is to fast, or cleanse the body of unhealthy “build up” by using a variety of diets and products. We have air purifiers for our homes, buy bottled water by the gallon, look for food grown without pesticide use and organically fed animal products. We live in a world with poisoned air, water and soil, and are continually searching out ways to avoid polluting our bodies with the never ending list of contaminants that we are surrounded with.

When I consider all these things, I can’t help but think of what the Bible says about our “inward” selves; our hearts. Jesus criticized the “religious” leaders of His day. They were all about doing the right things, following rituals of washing and fasting, and looking respectable outwardly. Yet He saw that their hearts were the main problem, and had this to say to them, “…you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self indulgence…first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also” (Matthew 23:25-26 NASB.)

Jesus knew the importance of having a “clean” heart. Our bodies are temporary tents to eternal souls. He knows that no earthly “product” or method will ever be able to give us clean hearts; He is the only One Who can.

“Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:7,10)

13 comments:

Leonard said...

missed ya friend.

William said...

You couldn't be more right, Maureen. They polish they outside, while the inside corrupts. It is also worth noting that Jesus was not afraid to lay his hands on people he knew were infected with germs. I dislike it that when I go in for some medical procedure the staff don gloves so that they don't have to touch me. Far cry from the standard Jesus set.

Anonymous said...

Squeaky clean: I like those words.

Terry Finley

http://psalm51ministry.blogspot.com/

Ike said...

We are to preach the motives of repentance, that men may not repent from mere fear of hell, but they must repent of sin itself. Every thief is sorry when he has to go to prison; every murderer is sorry when the noose is about his neck. The sinner must repent, not because of punishment of sin, but because his sin is sin against a pardoning God, sin against a bleeding Savior, sin against a holy law, sin against a tender Gospel. The true penitent repents of sin against God, and he would do so even if there were no punishment.
We are to tell of the source of repentance, namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins. Repentance is a plant that never grows on nature’s dunghill: the nature must be changed, and repentance must be implanted by the Holy Spirit or it will never flourish in our hearts. We preach repentance as a fruit of the Spirit, or else we greatly err.

- Charles Spurgeon

William said...

Cannot agree with Spurgeon this time. I could make innumerable Scripture references which prove Spurgeon wrong, including:

"Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."
(Ecclesiastes 12:13)

There is a strange disease that has infected the traditional church that only permits a vision of Christ as the gentle shepherd. Granted, grace is the current dispensation, before He comes again on a war-stallion, but grace does not negate judgment. If I extend grace to my disobedient child, it doesn't mean I have utterly dismissed punishment as an option should that child refuses to repent.

We have grace-on-the brain in this current church era. It even extends to the training of dogs. We are told that dogs will not respond to negative reinforcement; whole books are devoted to this myth. Has anybody ever seen how wild dogs or wolves deal with behavior in the pack that isn't wanted? It sure ain't with positive reinforcement - more likely a violent bite to the neck.

Of course, if one can get a sinner to see the genuine harm in his sin, all for the better, but if all you can get him to see is the flames of hell, and it converts him, nothing wrong with that. Why does anybody suppose that Christ kept warning about the "outer darkness", the place where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeht", that "it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea" than commit certain sins, etc. What was Christ making these warnings for? Does Christ make idle threats? Is Christ a pantywaist?

Maureen said...
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William said...
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Maureen said...
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William said...
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Maureen said...
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Ike said...

William,

To seek to grow in the fear of God...without also growing in our comprehension of His love can cause us to begin to view God as far-off and austere. Or to seek to grow in our awareness of the love of God without also growing in our reverence and awe of Him can cause us to view God as a permissive and indulgent heavenly Father who does not deal with our sin. This latter unbalanced view is prevalent in our society today. That is why many Christians are calling for a renewed emphasis on the biblical teaching of the fear of God.......but there must be balance!

P.S. Spurgeon is not my Savior but he is one of my spiritual hero's!!

P.S.S. Welcome back to the world of blogging Maureen....ain't it fun!!!

William said...

Well, now we are in agreement Ike. I have just made a post (entitled: Of Swimsuits, "The Shack", and Other Heresies) on my "Suppressed Truth In Church and Faith" blog that speaks to this lack of balance and some of the root causes.

William said...
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