The idea of a “little leaven leavens the whole lump” contains a highly important implication for Christians in every sphere of their existence. (Galatians 5:9) Paul’s idea was one where he reached for Old Testament law to make a consequential point: don’t allow evil an inch, otherwise, your entire existence may be in danger and eventually corrupted.
The same principle should apply when one considers one’s use of words (lexicon).
I’m sure that thoughtful readers have found themselves, on more than one occasion, wondering why they are using certain terminology over others they used frequently in the past. The most common example in the modern era that we can point to is the eventual phasing out of the term “homosexual”.
During the 1980s and 1990s – at the height of the social controversy over HIV/AIDS – advocates for the normalization of homosexuality undertook a cultural campaign meant to reverse the justified fear which gripped the nation during the time. Part of their mission was to influence popular language so as to subvert the public’s sentiments over the matter of homosexuality and its ramifications for public health.
Soon enough, “homosexual” became “gay”, as in a happy person. (Clever, eh?) After that, a rejection of same-sexuality based on moral objections became “intolerance” based on personal hatred of homosexuals. After that, if one insisted on holding on to traditional ethics, such a thing was classified as fear of homosexuals or “homophobe”.
Let us employ another example from another social sphere. Please note that, as a society, we no longer use the terms “sadness”, “melancholy”, “sorrow”, “despondency” or “grief” to describe a state of mourning. Now these terms have been replaced by a singular word which the fathers of psychotherapy, such as Freud and Jung, prescribed wholesale – “depression”.
What is the commonality between all of the words that have been replaced by secular modernity? All of them are terms that the Bible uses to accurately describe sin and/or a state of being. Does the reader think this to be pure coincidence?
It’s becomes patently evident that the intention was to overturn our Biblical understanding of the world with one that is secularly humanist at its core via the modification of language.
To prove the point at a personal level, tell me, dear reader, on how many occasions have you used “modern” terms to describe what the Bible uses completely different language to describe? Have you asked yourself, “Why?”
There’s a particular reason God inspired the specific words he did in order to compose the Scriptures. Since language – more specifically the written page – can communicate an idea with exacting precision, it is imperative to continue using said terms for the benefit of truth. If language is constantly changing its meaning, as relativists tell us it should, then our ability to understand, live by and communicate truth suffers.
Therefore, one sees how those that hate God attempt to repress the knowledge He disseminates about our humanity and sinfulness: replace Biblical language that permeated and influenced the West for millennia.
Before concluding, it is imperative to recognize that replacement of particular terms isn’t the only tactic that has been used by Christianity’s enemies. Consider that if they cannot succeed in convincing people that certain words need to be substituted and censored outright, they’ll use the next best tactic – diluting a word’s definition by making it ambiguous.
One only need examine the contemporary use and understanding of the word “Christian”. Originally, it meant a person who strictly adheres to the tenets of the Gospel message and the doctrine of Jesus Christ. (Acts 11:26, 26:28) Today it means anything that simply says it’s “Christian”, sound doctrine notwithstanding. Under modern use Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists and even Mormons are all “Christians”. Even those that have never set foot within a church and have never believed in the Gospel message consider themselves “Christians”.
Another example that can be provided is that of the word “conservative”. Originally – and coined by the British statesman Edmund Burke – it meant an individual who seeks to conserve and live by the ideals of Western culture and political society, influenced by Judeo-Christian teaching (rights come from God, liberty attached to personal responsibility, upholding divine institutions like marriage, the rule of law, etc.). Today, it’s definition has been reduced to mean a person that desires government to be thrifty with taxpayer money but is permissive in his social views.
(I’ve always found it contradictory when a person states that they are a “fiscal conservative and a social liberal”. How can one be responsible in matters of money if they are irresponsible with respect to moral issues? Doesn’t true morality teach one how to use money? I suppose this is evidence of the modern lunacy which passes off as “wisdom”.)
Providing all of the evidence we have within this space, I think it is prudent that as Biblical Christians we insist on using correct terminology, respecting their original definitions and rejecting the modern profanation of traditional language. Let it not be that in adopting the “new language” we become a part of the movement that intends to eradicate God and what he has revealed from public consciousness – including our own minds.