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99 and 44/100ths Percent

25 Oct
by yin yang Source:http://everystockphoto.s3.amazonaws.com/clean_simplicity_refreshing_19096_o.jpg

by yang yang Source

“Purity”…

We like “purity”… in our water, in our food, in our medicines, toothpaste, or other hygiene products.

But as to ourselves… our character, our morality, our spirituality, our ethics and behaviors…. well…

“Purity” is just not a cool word anymore. It’s like one of those “itchy” words, “uncomfortable” words, that make us squirm in our seats or look down at our toes when it comes up in conversation.

One of those “skewering” words too often abused by some to look down on others, as some self-proclaimed guru of “righteousness” lambastes the culture and all who engage it as “ungodly”, “unrighteous”, and “heathen”.

This is a shame… this “disconnect” between a simple word that we’re all perfectly comfortable with when relating to our water or our food… and the very same word when relating to ourselves, our minds, spirits, souls. It’s a shame, only because this still is, and always has been, an “important” word.

Purity is important, not because God will “love us more” if we’re “pure”, and “love us less” if we’re not. Purity is important because it “maximizes” us and all that is good in and for us, and “protects” us from what is harmful and toxic.

Gonna look at “purity” for a couple posts… because right now we’re looking at “means and methods” for experiencing more closely the intimate connection we have with God. Purity is an important element of clarity and transparency between our own hearts and the heart of God. But the word, the concept, has been so misused and abused that the enemy has made such strides in muddling and befuddling it… we often throw out the baby with the bath water, turning from its abuse…. and miss the critical elements of light embedded within.

For the moment, I just want to point out three simple things about “Purity” by and large, on which we most likely can all agree. This is not particularly “religious” or “spiritual” in application. This is just an observation about Purity, and its mechanics.

There are 3 ways I know of, to compromise “Purity”:

  1. Adulteration – A material may be made less dense and reduced in concentration and potency by the addition of another inert material to it. The addition may of itself do nothing harmful whatever, it simply reduces the effect of the pure substance. (e.g. Adding water to cough syrup adulterates and reduces the health effects of the medicine.)
  2. Corruption – A material may be changed in its essential nature and reduced in its effect or even rendered harmful, by the development of a second material within its mass, that had been a part of itself in potential form, but not activated until the corruption began which depended on the development of the right conditions. (e.g. Food spoils without proper preservation, temperature, or storage because of otherwise harmless organisms already present in that food, such as milk curdling or meat decomposing.)
  3. Toxification – A material may be changed in its essential nature and reduced in its effect or even rendered harmful, by the introduction of some harmful material from the outside environment, foreign to itself. (e.g. Water supply or foodstuffs can be tainted by environmental microbes or chemicals, rendering them toxic.)

These, as far as I know, are the only mechanisms for undermining and compromising purity. They are fundamental and important, and bear as much on the purity of intangible essentials, as they do on food or water. Jesus addressed them, we usually innately know them, but they are not often discussed because the entire topic has become uncomfortable.

In the next few posts, we’ll see if we can get past any discomfort, lay these out on the table, and poke around in this a bit.

Joy, grace, peace, and love to all!

The Little Monk

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4 Comments

Posted by on October 25, 2015 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Spiritual Warfare

 

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4 responses to “99 and 44/100ths Percent

  1. Susan Irene Fox

    October 25, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    Really lookin’ forward to this. “One of those “skewering” words too often abused by some to look down on others…” and it is SO uncomfortable when looking at ourselves. And, indeed, it is ourselves we must look at, or at least start there, and go deep before we attempt to look in another’s direction.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Little Monk

      October 25, 2015 at 1:21 PM

      Thank you, Susan. I have really struggled with this post… writing and rewriting, tearing up, starting over… for perhaps a month or so now. The “overall topic” is “Intimacy” (with God, with self, with others). And this element, this “purity” thing, is central to that… central to transparency… central to shame, honesty, sense-of-ok-ness.

      But the neurotic nature of the puritannical… the implications of “checklist morality”… these just gummed me up every time I took pen (or keyboard) in hand. I finally think I’ve got a simple line on this, so will try to lay it out in those three mechanisms.

      Wish me luck! Lol.. 🙂 — LM

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      • Susan Irene Fox

        October 25, 2015 at 1:41 PM

        I know you will do just fine. And I know what you mean about the “gumming up” because there is so much that can insert itself into purity and intimacy with God. All the “shoulds and should-nots” and the man-made fingerprints of laws that sound puritanical but have nothing to do with purity. Attitudes that actually serve to separate us from God with an invisible shield of sanctimonious self-righteousness but have nothing to do with purity and are the opposite of intimacy and transparency. These same things which perpetuate shame and guilt.

        All this to say, sounds like you have a handle on it; praying the next three posts flow easily from the Spirit. And I think you rock!

        Liked by 1 person

         

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