I was reading the label on a bottle of drinking water (boy, do I like excitement), and it said, “purified drinking water with minerals added for flavor.” I wondered what purified drinking water without minerals might taste like. And, thus began a journey of discovery.
Some say the purest drinking water is purified by reverse osmosis. I learned about osmosis in middle school but have a more difficult time understanding reverse osmosis. At any rate, RO water, as it is also called, may not be the purest water. Perhaps distilled water is purer. So, I tasted both RO and distilled water vs. purified water with minerals added.
Okay, there is a difference in the taste of the minerals. Apparently, I like water with a little bit of flavor, as I now assume many others do (Smart Water is a subject for future pondering). Since I like to look at everything from a spiritual angle, I thought about how religious people often behave.
Christians believe that we have been purified by the sacrifice and redemption of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, some believe they are purer than others. When anyone begins to believe they are better, cleaner, or purer than others, they are in conflict with the will of God and Christ.
One of the pitfalls of Christianity is the mistaken belief that we are better than non-Christians. Some religious denominations, and non-denominational churches, believe they have figured-out God and the Bible and they have a unique or special knowledge no one else has.
These groups often look-down on any other group or individual as being less-than, therefore making it easier to dismiss, disparage, and ignore others. There are a handful of groups that believe they are the only group favored or accepted by Almighty God. I grew-up in one of those organizations.
As a child I believed we were purer than any other group identifying themselves with Christianity. The separation was so clear that I did not trust anyone outside that organization. Perhaps you have met someone with that uniquely superior attitude. There is nothing loving or God-like in such prideful behavior.
Proverbs 16:18 warns: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” The Apostle Paul wrote: “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)
Being saved, baptized, or ordained does not raise us to a higher position. To the contrary, Christians, especially those who are saved, baptized, or ordained, are called to be servants of God and of others.
If we are not careful, we could build a faith that presupposes we are better than or elevated above others. That sounds tasteless to me. Christians should be as “real” as everyone else. We still make mistakes. We still say or do the wrong things. We often disappoint God. Why hide it? Be honest and real. It tastes better.
Blessings and Peace to You All,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at email@example.com. St. Andrew's worship service is at 10 a.m., every Sunday, and broadcast on KWXC 88.9 FM at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.