How many have heard, "Cleanliness is next to godliness?"
If someone said that to me fifteen years ago I would have smiled in agreement. Now the thought of "cleanliness" being next to "godliness" makes me sick to my stomache.
Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet I wonder? What if I said that cleanliness is next to love? That wouldn't make much sense, would it? It really doesn't. It would almost sound like I am saying, hey, wait, before you can be loved or love another you have to be externally clean according to God's standard(the person's standard, typically speaking).
Only in America, I think, do people think this way in Christianity.
We as Americans have been afforded such freedom, but have made a great abuse to it by using our freedom to create laws in our Christianity that have absolutely nothing to do with Christ's gift. Some have become so idealistic in creating the bubbled world in which they live. Little do they know or maybe they know full well how much they are hurting the name of Christ, how much they are hurting people and themselves and their families.
Billions of people I dare say in this world have no such luxury. Maybe that is why coming to Christ for real is so much easier in a third world country. In such places contain very little idealistic nature before or after His free gift is seen, believed in and obtained for themselves.
Those with dirt floors, little clean water or food and almost no money and more than a fair share of desperation around every corner of their lives. No, "cleanliness" is, indeed, very far from "godliness". How can we add to His free gift in any case and especially in this case for example?
If we stopped and took our American Christianity and examined it in the light of the free world and all that is suffered and with the clear view of what most of the free world lives with, would we ever say that phrase again or so many others? Would anything be added to the free gift, the love shown to us by Jesus Christ, the Son of God on the cross in His humble death for our sins?
Such a mockery of His precious gift.
Forget cleanliness...how about a whole culture of Christians adding daily, not to their faith, not to their measure of love, mercy and grace for another, but to the long "godliness" list of standing a cut "above" the rest. Maybe this is a well beaten horse, but apparently the horse of idealism in Christianity is just not dead and the mockery continues.
I don't want to be a part in mocking the One who gave me new life.
Let their be patience, let their be love, let their be grace.