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Using Ovens as Dishwashers
Posted by Barbara Smith (BWSmith)
This message was originally posted on
Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web

While I snuggled back into our cozy sofa that dreary Sunday afternoon, I clicked on the latest cooking show. The TV guide blurb promised a new, inspirational cooking guru would suggest how I might transform the way I used my kitchen. I was ready for some innovation. Zippy music heralded a bouncy new TV program. As the opening credits dissolved, the camera zoomed in on a lavishly appointed kitchen with state of the art equipment -- very different from my compact kitchen.

A masterful-looking chef greeted the television viewers, welcoming us to a revolutionary new way of using kitchen equipment. Previous cooking programs have perpetuated provincial culinary prejudices that locked us into a one-dimensional approach to efficient use of modern kitchen equipment. "Now is the time," he intoned urgently, "to break free from priggish insistence on following the manufacturer's handbook." According to this new personality, cooking afficionados must boldly explore other imaginative uses of for kitchen equipment.

This premise entertained my fancy completely. Was he in fact saying, "Just because the label on the equipment says, ‘dishwasher,' doesn't mean we should limit function?"

"Inconceivable! How did this fellow get air time?" I wondered.

He rambled on. "Intelligent, adventuresome cooks should try using dishwashers for baking. Restricting your use of ovens to baking is archaic: use them now to wash dishes or store ice cream!"

Moving around the kitchen set with the grace of a sidewinder, this mesmerizing chef continued his bizarre colloquy. Now demanding autonomy for chefs to use kitchen appliances as they saw fit, he rejected the equipments' designer's intentions as "obsolete." Following the manufacturers safety warnings for use of their appliances was positively antediluvian according to this character!

I stared at my T.V., astonished but still amused. I waited for some kind of punch line; none came. My amusement faded as he pooh-poohed culinary convention, and advised those who wished to be clever cooks, to try roasting meats and baking breads in the sleek, upright freezer. Moreover, he noted sophisticated cooks can, with impunity, store the cream and butter in the microwave -- if they believe this is truly a good decision, made in the privacy of their own kitchens. From now on we could wash the dirty dishes and pots in the ovens, and we could bake cakes in the dishwasher, according to an individual cook's conscience. Standard sanitary practices in the kitchen are expendable, of course, when appliances are used for more than one purpose.

Although bewildered at this poppycock, I continued staring at him, flaunt more inane demands. Cooks must align and collectively defy limitations on the use of all kitchen equipment. They must proselytize others to accept as normal these outrageous deviations from traditional use. "Now," he insisted, "right thinking, and intelligent viewers demand these new principles be readily accessible — available in libraries, on the Internet, and become required courses for all culinary institutes." From now on, the state should license only chefs who had been trained in this new and better approach to kitchen management.

Stunned, I watched as the host's previously affable face, unfurled into a belligerent, unruly countenance. "Too long," he snarled, "have enterprising cooks been forced to limit their approach to cooking. This must stop! Society must give those who are especially aware of the form and function of cooking equipment the freedom to explore and promote our cooking preferences. It is the mark of Lilliputian minds to insist that we must conform. . . ."

As his bawling words droned on, the television control slipped from my hands, hitting the floor with a thud. I awoke with a start to hear the evening news: a vigil advocating additional rights for a collection of sexually persecuted minorities had erupted into violence. I snapped off the TV, relieved that my nightmare was just that: a bad dream.

Nevertheless, the aftertaste of the news lingered and blended with my fantasy. The TV chef was a scary fiction, but our world seems to have no more of a sane response then I imagined while I napped: stunned silence, while waiting for a punch line.

The world continues to approve hazardous and imprudent sexual practices. Today, we see a disturbing echo of my crazy chef fiction. A growing minority insists — just as the crazy cook did — on using their bodies in ways that God never intended. Some would fill their bodies with toxic chemicals, commit immoral acts and invite others to join them. Some prey upon the innocent, idle and ignorant and even murder defenseless babies in the womb. They pose strident arguments that it is their prerogative to do so.

These people are not figments of one writer's imagination. Although each was created in the image of God, they have become and ungrateful people, who continue to spurn the Bible. Because no one sees fit to acknowledge God, He gives them over to their depraved minds, "to do those things which are not proper." (Rom. 1:28)

So men and women, and now children wander into behavior that traps them into a downward spiral. One by one, souls are led off to the slaughter that sin exacts. Can Christians turn a blind eye to the deviancy that is devouring one person after another — each of whom God created in His image?

Is it worth it to persuade just one man or woman to stop using their bodies in ways for which God never intended them? The church's response is either misquoted in the media and mocked, or diluted from the pulpit. Christ's flock, therefore, often balks before the idea of entering the arena, protesting against the tide of popular opinion. After all, who wants to get into that brouhaha? Who wants to get dismissed as a bigoted yahoo?

Now, think with me.

Would it be worth your while to persuade just one fictional TV cook to stop using kitchen equipment in ways for which the designers never intended it? Of course it would!

It's easy to imagine the kind of havoc this cook might unleash: piling grease-spattered utensils in a hot oven, might ignite a grease fire on those dirty plates; metal containers of cream and waxpaper cartons of butter would explode in the microwave and burn; oozing cake batter could plug the waste line in the dishwasher, causing hot water floods the kitchen floor. Innocent bystanders could be injured; even the deviant cook risks severe injury. We could not avert our eyes from the potential for disaster, smugly content that "the cook had it coming," when the kitchen blew up.

Yet, how often we avert our eyes from the precious individual lives which are blown up by willful disobedience, or by agonizing, accidental involvement. Drug addiction, abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, tainted blood, injure many others than just the rebels!

True many rebels prefer the risk of injury, or death; but what of those who haven't heard the truth that the rebels resist -- because Christians are unwilling to get involved for fear of being labeled "priggish" or homophobic?

Is it worth being labeled as a dogmatic — or ridiculed as nit-picking because we oppose even Christians who insist on misusing the gift of God's equipment -- their bodies?

Solomon thought it was worth the risk: "If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited. Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, O hold them back. If you say, ‘See, we did not know this,' does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?" (Prov. 24:10-12)

So I ask again, is it worth it to persuade just one man or one woman — or young person — to stop using their bodies in ways for which God never intended them? Is it worthwhile to speak to those who are stumbling?

Have we even asked God to give us a message of redeeming love and reconciliation?

"Now all {these} things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2 Cor 5:18-19)

© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
Permission is given to reprint any of Barbara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and Web site address.

Please send a copy of the publication to:
Third Floor Publishing
PO Box 827
Arnold, MD 21012

We hope our thoughts encourage you in the Lord Jesus Christ who has enabled us to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could have asked or imagined -- please let us know what YOU think. E-mail us at workbook@toad.net. (Please don't forget to include your e-mail address with in the body of the message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient e-mail addresses.)


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