05 March 2020

Purity


For most people, the concept of purity is not easy to define. 

For the secular world, it is generally a negative concept -- something that means A is better (more pure) than B.  It leads to competition, comparison, and oftentimes, persecution (read:  political correctness run amok).

Comic relief:  "politically correct" rendition
of an ages old children's song


Evangelical Christians have that whole "purity culture" thing going on:  True Love Waits, and Josh Harris, and all that.  The ultimate focus actually became the individual, and not God.  A sort of, "if I do this thing (remain abstinent) then MY life will be better / go a certain way / be safe" kind of thing.  God was not all that much a part of the equation. 

Christians -- Orthodox and Catholic -- understand that purity = God.  It is completely connected to God and His will and our attempts to live life as Christians.  If we cling to God, live for Christ, then we are on the road to purity.  True purity is Jesus.  True purity is His mother.  True purity is the love relationship of the Holy Trinity.  Any purity we have rests there.  And it only finds completeness for us as creatures in the Resurrected life everlasting.  However, it finds its root when we love God and follow Christ, who said:


We can never be pure in and of ourselves.  This is why the Evangelical concept has failed.  Wearing a "purity ring" and abstaining from sex really has very little to do with the state of our hearts, or with God's grace.  "Purity Balls" are perverse on many levels, and they are also geared towards "getting what we want" but in a different way.  Frankly, they are bizarre and creepy, and in my opinion, serve no purpose whatsoever.  They also call down upon Christians even more criticism from the secular world.  They are a stumbling block.



The secular concept of purity was doomed to failure from the outset.  Anything apart from the One True God and His holiness cannot possibly embody true purity in any form.  All the secular world has is "political correctness", division, judgment, and an "us and them" mentality.  There is no room for grace and mercy here.  There is, instead, chaos and conflict.  Secular purity is an oxymoron. 



I started thinking about purity as I pondered whether the Christian can know purity when he or she has led a chequered past, or even just led a human past.  My first thoughts were that we are too tainted, too broken, too apart from God. 

But then...wait.  That's the whole point, isn't it?  Christ offers us unending love, mercy, and grace...and forgiveness.  And when we love God in our hearts, regardless of our fallen state, we can touch the purity of Christ, and be transformed.  That's the Gospel.  That IS Good News!

There is only one way...


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