Culturally Common or Uncommonly Holy

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3 January, 2023




A lot of leveling has been going on among us lately, but, as Dr. Samuel Johnson noted in his day, the levelers always want to level down to themselves, never up. And since most of our self-anointed levelers begin pretty well down to scale, the total effect on society has not been to elevate, but to degrade.

Everyone acquainted with the English language knows that the word common may also mean vulgar and often does. The vulgar person is one of low tastes who is not only coarse and boorish but enjoys being so, and because his kind is often in the majority he is also said to be common. And it is this common fellow who has, unfortunately, become the model for the masses in human society.

The present clamor after a college education by such large numbers of our young people suggests that perhaps people are getting tired of being common and aspire to loftier and nobler lives. But this is an illusion.

Whatever advanced education may do for us theoretically, it is a fact that the stream of college graduates being poured each year into the social current is not having the slightest ennobling effect upon society. It is rather the other way around; society quickly brings the graduate around to its way of thinking and living.

Vulgarity is a disease of the human spirit and is not cured by education, or travel, or familiarity with grand opera or works of art.

Vulgarity may speak good English and live in a split-level house, but it is known for what it is by its attitudes, its morals, and its aspirations, or lack of them.


You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean.

— Leviticus 10:10


Distinguishing between the common and the holy, the unclean and the clean, is seen by society as of little value. Nor is the evangelical church significantly successful in that regard. Are we increasingly becoming religiously common rather than Christlike clean and holy in heart and life?


O Lord, am I culturally saturated with the unclean and common? Cleanse me and make me uncommonly holy.