Truth in labeling
June 27 2003 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Truth in labeling | Friday, June 27, 2003

Friday, June 27, 2003

Truth in labeling

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

Arriving a day early for the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix not only saved money on the airline ticket, but provided the opportunity for a side trip to the Grand Canyon.

The south rim is about 225 miles north of Phoenix, about like driving from Raleigh to Asheville. If I'd sprung for a larger car with cruise control and fewer vibrations, it wouldn't have been bad at all.

The air conditioner worked, at least. It was 108 degrees in Phoenix.

The canyon itself cannot be described with mere words. It's so big that you can barely see the other side, and trying to grasp even a small part of it in a photograph is frustrating.

But, the rim trail offered a great place to hike. It was hot and dry, so I carried several bottles of water to last through the five miles I was planning to walk.

And it was the water, not the Grand Canyon, that kick-started my cogitations.

As I dropped to a rock and drained the first bottle, I noticed that the brand name was "Crystal Glacier," but the fine print showed that it was bottled in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the primary water source is Lake Mead. You can be sure that water hadn't seen a glacier in eons.

The label went on to say "This pristine purified drinking water is processed by: Carbon Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Microfiltration, UV treatment and Ozonation."

Now, the word "pristine" refers to something that is in its original state, untouched and uncorrupted by civilization.

If the water was truly "pristine," it wouldn't have required so many civilized processes to un-pollute it.

Carbon filtration is what most home water purifiers do, and it mainly targets chemical pollutants. Reverse osmosis forces water through a semi-permeable membrane that traps metallic molecules, including the sodium and chlorine that make up salt. Microfiltration is designed to filter out bacteria and such. Bombarding the water with ultraviolet light and bubbling it with toxic ozone are supposed to kill any organisms that escape the microfiltration.

That water may have been clean, but I wouldn't call it "pristine," unless you intend it to mean "as clean as it ever was."

Which reminds me of what happens when a polluted sinner turns to Jesus. We can't fully understand how it is that Christ's death on the cross effected our forgiveness any more than most of us could explain reverse osmosis, but the Bible says that when we trust in Christ, our sins are completely forgiven, completely gone. Our souls become, one could say, "pristine."

And that good news is cool water for a thirsty land.

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6/27/2003 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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