Skip to main content

“Prepare the way of the Lord.” — Luke 3:4

Presbyterians Today Magazine
Join us on Facebook   Subscribe by RSS

Digital Edition: Current and past issues

For more information:

Presbyterians Today
(800) 728-7228, x5627
Send email

Or write to
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

What do Presbyterians believe about purity?

It’s not easy being pure

By Charles Wiley

Reprinted from the April 2007 issue of Presbyterians Today

‘He’s such a goody-two-shoes!” “She’s a goody-goody.”

These childhood taunts cut deep. With these short descriptions you are ostracized from the common majority and tagged as one who makes all the other kids look bad. Pure behavior makes you into someone who thinks she’s perfect. Even adults draw back from such descriptions.

The Bible calls us to live lives of holiness. But purity and holiness sound so restrictive, so boring. Who wants to be that good?

We see this played out in television shows and movies on a regular basis. We await the climactic scene when the holier-than-thou characters are discovered to have secret sins or are caught in some other hypocritical situation. Then they either get their humiliating comeuppance or in rare instances become more human, more sympathetic people.

The idea of purity has been polluted. It is no longer attractive. When we see people we would associate with purity, we often want them to lighten up or loosen up.

What then do we do with the Biblical call to purity?