Once upon a time in a far-away land far,far away, a young man

named Joshua announced the discovery of a marvelous new kind of soap.

People were skeptical at first, but they soon found that this new soap

made everyone very happy because it got them so clean. Because it was

so powerful, it got rid of dirt and stains that had been around for


Because Joshua's soap worked so well, men found that they had

more time to spend with their wives and children. Marriages got

better, people were happier, and everybody admired the young man who

had given them the soap. Joshua refused to charge for the soap and

gave it away to all who asked for it. This bothered some rich people,

but the poor loved it. Not surprisingly, the manufacturers of rival

kinds of soap soon became very angry because their business was being

hurt badly.

Before long, Joshua had followers who were traveling around the

country, giving away the new soap to all who asked for it. Of course,

this new soap was an instant success because the people of Joshua's

country had been trying for years to make themselves clean with their

own homemade soap. Thousands became great fans of the new soap, and

they formed small groups to spread its use. The other soap

manufacturers became desperate and tried to get Joshua to charge for

his soap, but he refused. He said, "I prefer to give it away, because

no money would be adequate payment for a soap as perfect and complete

as this one is."

When the soap manufacturers found that this strategy wouldn't

work, they started a smear campaign against Joshua and his followers.

They said that the soap made cleaning too easy - that you should have

to work harder to get things clean. They also said that Joshua and

his followers were immoral because they had been seen in the company

of the dirtiest people in the world. Joshua smiled when he heard

these charges, and said, "Although everybody needs soap, it is the

dirty people who need the soap the most!" These slanders didn't work

because the common people realized that Joshua truly loved them and

that is why his soap was free.

Since their other tactics failed, the rival soap manufacturers

plotted to kill the young man. They paid an informer to betray Joshua

and then arrested him. They paid witnesses to perjure themselves in

court, and finally they were able to have Joshua convicted of trumped

up "crimes" and executed. The soap manufacturers were certain that

this would take care of the problem, but to their dismay Joshua's

followers continued to distribute the soap. Persecution of the

followers didn't work either, for Joshua's followers kept spreading to

new areas and kept giving away the soap.

After many years, the rival manufacturers decided to try the

policy of "if you can't beat 'em then join 'em." So they analyzed

Joshua's soap and came up with a very clever substitute, which looked

the same, but, of course, it didn't work. They used the same name for

their soap that Joshua had used and organized a promotion campaign to

corner the market. Because of their organization and slick

advertising, they made great progress and even got many of Joshua's

followers to join them for a while.

Soon, however; these infiltrators started to charge for their

counterfeit soap, and, because their distributors had replaced many of

Joshua's followers, many people had to buy the soap now - and their

substitute didn't really work! However; some people read Joshua's

instructions and those of the early users of the soap and discovered

how they could get it for free! Because of Joshua's written

instructions, down through the centuries there were always groups who

distributed Joshua's real soap for free.

After several centuries the leading soap manufacturers decided

that they needed a publicity gag to stir up interest in their

counterfeit version of the soap, so the started Soap Crusades to go

back to Joshua's homeland and try to recover the original bucket in

which he had first made the soap. Mighty armies were raised because

Joshua's homeland was now in he hands of some people that didn't

believe in Joshua's soap. These Soap Crusades resulted in wars and

the deaths of thousands of people and much destruction and heartache.

Many true followers of Joshua protested against these campaigns, but

were killed for their efforts. Finally the Soap Crusades ceased, but

they did stir up a lot of interest and sold a lot of the counterfeit


Several centuries later, when soap sales were lagging again, the

manufacturers decided to use force to make people buy their soap.

They started an intricate system of spies to report on people who

didn't use the "right" soap. They also used a group of zealous

torturers who called themselves the 'Investigation' to torture people

suspected of not using the manufacturers soap. Many people were

killed by the Investigation for using Joshua's soap, and yet, Joshua's

soap continued to be passed out to all who asked, for free!

After a few more hundred years, a whole new kind of attack on

Joshua's soap began. This time the charge was made that Joshua's

written instructions were not really reliable. This attack came from

two directions. The first group of attackers said that the

instructions were missing some very important parts that the evil

rival manufacturers had taken out in centuries past. Various of the

attackers claimed that Joshua, himself, had come and appeared to them,

giving them special authority to "restore" the lost instructions. Of

course, the attackers all had different versions of the "restored"

instructions and none of them were even close to being in agreement

with each other. In many cases they weren't even in agreement with

Joshua's instructions. Even so; they were able to deceive some of the

users of Joshua's real soap.

The second group of these attackers used a more "intellectual"

attack. They called themselves the "Elevated Critics" who said that

the instructions didn't really mean what they said, and certainly they

weren't the final authority on how to get clean. They told the people

that Joshua was just another good man who had high ideals, but his

wasn't the only soap around. So they took the "mythology" out of

Joshua's instructions and left an empty shell, which couldn't clean

anyone, in its place.

Well, about 2000 years have gone by now, and Joshua's true soap

is still available free, and people are still getting clean and being

happy. And there are those who try to peddle a similar but

counterfeit kind of soap for profit or power. Now, there are some who

say you, really, can't get clean, but a little soap is a good thing

and everybody ought to have some, but don't go overboard! Others

worship books about the original soap, and still others have Joshua's

true soap, and have found that only through his power can they become


In our parable, Joshua's soap is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The

Gospel (which means "GOOD NEWS") could not be stamped out by the

"rival manufacturers" or anyone else, because it was a MESSAGE, not an

earthly system of priesthoods, rites and organizations. The message of

God's provision for the gift of eternal life for sinful men has

endured even to our day and people are still getting "clean" by

submission of their lives to Jesus Christ - ALONE. In spite of many

attempts to destroy the Gospel message by eradication of the

believers, or perversion of the message itself, the GOOD NEWS of what

Jesus Christ did for YOU on His cross remains as viable today as it

was on the Resurrection Morning.

Computers For Christ - Chicago

These documents are free from , providing free webcontent for websites around the world!. copy freely with this link intact.