When I was in Bible College we had a professor that said, “Whenever the church has two opposing views on something, the truth is somewhere in between.”
There are denominations that view Christianity as a set of rules. The Bible has plenty to say about how we should live our lives. We can’t please God living like the devil. The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier and we can’t be sanctified going back to the pig sty every day. Put on the new man!
But there are other denominations that teach that Christianity is not rules, but relationship. You can’t legislate morality. Salvation is a free gift and can’t be earned. So just believe and your life will be OK with God.
Whenever the church has two opposing views, and both sides can support their view with scripture, the truth is somewhere in between. We must believe and trust God’s forgiveness, but there is some responsibility on our part to clean up our lives. God cleans up the inside, but we must clean up the outside.
Tags: clean, doctrine, obedience
A little boy went to the store and asked the clerk for a box of Duz detergent. “What do you need that for?” asked the clerk, and the boy answered, “To wash my dog.”
“That’s pretty strong stuff for washing a dog,”, warned the clerk, but the boy insisted that Duz was what he wanted. So the clerk sold it to him, reminding, “Now be careful when you wash your dog. That detergent is strong, and could kill him.”
A week later the boy came into the store again and the clerk asked, “How’s your dog?” The boy explained that the dog had died. The clerk said, “I’m sorry, but I tried to warn you that Duz was too strong.”
The little boy shook his head and said, “I don’t think it was the Duz that did it. I think it was the rinse cycle that got him.”
Sometimes we hear a warning without really hearing. God gives us enough warnings in the Bible that we really have no excuse.
Tags: clean, death, warning
This week I had to drive to Ft. Wayne to visit someone in a hospital. All the way down I-69 other cars were spraying slush up onto my windshield. When I sprayed the windshield washer fluid up onto my windshield, only fluid from the passenger side came out. The wipers cleaned the passenger’s side window just great, but only smeared my side even worse.
Apparently, some debris has clogged the driver’s side tube obstructing the flow of fluid. Now, I wonder how long that was the case. I haven’t used that fluid since mid-summer, I suppose. If we don’t need it, we don’t waste it, right? So when I really needed it, it wasn’t working.
Routine maintenance is needed in our automobiles, furnaces, and lawn mowers. Whatever has working parts needs routine maintenance.
How is the maintenance on your spiritual life? Is it working like you want or is something clogged? You only notice its clogged when you use it and need it. Worldly debris can get wedged in there somewhere and we need to clean it out.
What’s clogged in your life?
Tags: clean, maintenance, vision
Years ago I invited a fellow minister from southern Indiana to speak at our church. He preached with a passion and spit out memorized scripture like no one I’ve ever known. Our church loved him because he knew the word.
Some years passed and I heard that he had divorced his wife. The reason: she was not clean. She worked a full time job, was mother to four children, but hated to clean. Laundry piled up and dirty dishes sat in the sink. Clutter was all around the house. So, he divorced her and remarried a beautiful blond ten years his junior.
Sometime after that he called and asked if he could return to speak at New Hope. Although I still treat him as a friend, I will not subject our church to his leadership if he can’t live it. I’m not interested in hearing the Word of God from him if I can’t see the Word of God in his life. He apparently had the word in his head just fine, but he couldn’t get it in his heart! And that’s where the word of God becomes life to us: Character!
Do you agree or do you think I should be more merciful?
Tags: clean, hypocrisy
Thomas Hastings was the one who wrote the tune behind ‘Rock of Ages’. In its day, this tune touched the hearts of many learning to trust in Jesus. Here is verse three of this old hymn:
“Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress, Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly, Wash me, Savior or I die!”
There is nothing we have to offer that God desires (except our hearts), so we must cling to what He did on the cross for us. Stripped of all spiritual covering, we come to Jesus, the Rock of Ages, for that spiritual covering, received by grace. In my nature, I am foul, so I run to the cleansing fountain where my sins can be cleansed. Wash my sins clean or I’ll die in them! What a cry of desperation!
Tags: clean, cry, hymns
On mission trips to third world countries, I’ve noticed another cultural difference on the highways. In these other countries driving is a free-for-all. In the Dominican Republic, for example, Japanese mini-buses weave in and out of traffic, a spotter literally hanging out the passenger side door to advise the driver in heavy traffic.
With all this congested traffic, mo-peds, bicycles and pedestrians, not to mention straying dogs and chickens, speeds rarely get above 45 mph, but the danger is constant with such conditions. John and Marge Gudmundsen once rolled their vehicle on an open, paved highway, when they hit a pothole. I’ve witnessed dead goats on the highway in Jordan and potholes 20-30 feet across in Nigeria.
If there’s one thing that sets us apart in America, its law and order. We stop (or nearly so) at stop signs, yield at yield signs, and (usually) don’t cut each other off in traffic. All our roads are striped and well maintained. We are a neat culture.
The one area where we’re not neat is in our philosophy of values. In an attempt to please everybody, we’ve removed all absolutes that might offend. So, the result is that the next generation has no realistic value system to adopt. And the next generation will be radically worse than the first. Let’s be praying for America’s values.
Tags: clean, culture, road
I’m reading an older (copyright 1966) college textbook entitled History of American Democracy. It is an American History book with an emphasis upon the culture, religion, thought, and early governmental styles in the colonies, and then States. The section I just completed was on the difference between early colonial city culture and that of European city culture.
I noted that one early European writer observed that in America people were more relaxed in their dress, language, and business than their European counterparts. And the next chapter noted that those who had moved into the frontier (away from the coastal cities) were even more relaxed in that culture. I think perhaps that’s why we Americans are the way we are today: anything goes as it relates to language, morals, and work ethic. We have evolved.
The book also noted another major difference: cleanliness. In European cities, people dumped their waste and garbage out the windows into the streets, where disease spread rapidly. In American cities, regular removal of such waste became a norm. As I have traveled into third world countries, I see that same pattern. We are a people of cleanliness and order.
I think that’s a God thing. What do you think about it?
Tags: clean, culture, history