October 21, 2011

Wor of Wards

Folks want to know why I am so particular with my words. When I write and when I speak. Yes, I speak nearly the same as I write. I like painting pictures through wordage. It keeps life interesting and I believe it is one of the gifts I was given by Christ to help build up and edify the body/church.

Words written/spoken are symbols/sounds that represent ideas. We as Christians are in a war with the world to define and shape the culture we live in. The Bible doesn't say that "have" to live in a worldly culture it just said that we were not to conform to it. As a matter of fact the Bible didn't say that we weren't allowed to try and shape the culture either. In an effort to try and spread the Kingdom we are encourage to do exactly that: Shape the culture.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

Trust me, the other side is doing this same exact thing and they're doing it well. Their ability to do it doesn't come from a Godly origin either. It is from a nefarious source and its intent is not for the long-term good or well-being of society (or you). It is for its eventual destruction.

We need to acknowledge in the church that not only do we want to reach the world with the message or Christ and the Bible, we want to change it with the this message too. How are we to change it and with what tool? Words or more specifically, The Word. Writing and verbalization of it either through speaking or more powerfully, in worship.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ~Hebrews 4:12

Our faith and our world is our Word (at least it should be). That to be a Christian is to create our own culture within a culture or to affect the culture with ours. We are never to become the culture, we are only to engage it but by engaging we are hoping in faith that the Lord will use the Word that we speak to change those who hear it to make the world more like Him.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.~Romans 12:2

To be Christian is to be included into a culture or as the Bible puts it citizenship. A culture or citizenship of heaven. One reason there are often distinctions drawn and dividers put up between denominations is that there is an internal struggle within the body to answer a certain question. It is the same struggle that takes place between the Church and the world. The question? Who gets to name the world? How you identify things is how they are seen. Is abortion choice...or is it murder? Is a government handout free or does it enslave? Evolution or Creationism? Alternative lifestyle or perversion? Freedom or choice or sinful?

A word in the worlds culture and The Word in Christian culture helps form beliefs, beliefs form practice, through these actions we demarcate ourselves as Christians from the world (James 2:14-18). I is also how the world sees us. We know that it is the work of the Lord in us.

"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." ~Romans 10:17

"...and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain." ~1 Corinthians 15:2

"...and we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers." ~1 Thessalonians 2:13

"I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." ~John 17:14

So why am I beating up the idea of words and culture? Words become ideas, ideas become actions. These actions if they are ungodly infiltrate culture and culture often begins to infiltrate our churches. They are flooding our courts and changing our laws one word at a time until the laws no longer resemble laws. They are ransacking our lives and are becoming staples in our vernacular & vocabulary. Please not the definitions abortion and murder.

Please note the distinction that murder is unlawful killing of a person. Why do you suppose the pro-abortion advocates are so torqued about getting unborn children considered "not human", "not people" or call them pregnancy tissue or some other ridiculous nonsense. Conversely, please note that nowhere in the definition of an abortion is there any mention of legality. Additionally, the word murder or taking of defenseless life is clinically referred to as "termination". Hmmmm...Arnie was the Terminator in his original 80's movie. What was his characters sole purpose as the Terminator? To kill. Terminate. End lives.

"\\\[Sarah Conner]\\\?"

We need to at least stop the infiltration of the churches...infiltration of the body. Do we stop it at the door of the church on Sunday so other congregants won't see or do we stop it at the point where it tries to enter our minds where only God can see it entering? These words and ideas are a disease that once they infect the mind, they spread. We must stop them from entering and if we can't we must try and take them captive.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

The world's words are building up fortresses in our minds like squatters illegally setting up houses on stolen land (no offense to the poor and disenfranchised). These word-ideas-actions must be evicted and sent away before they get too powerful and take over other areas of our mind like our opinions on other things. Before you know it you have an entire village of debased and corrupt squatters setting up shop in your cranium.

Words and terminologies are critical in or culture. Whether or not we get to practice our beliefs or are marginalized and persecuted in this world depends on usage of words. It depends on how well we can state our case. More specifically, how well we allow the Lord to articulate through us by keeping our relationship as close to Him as possible. The further we stand from the creator of truth, knowledge and words the more confused the meanings of words become. From the other side bad ideas are often passed on by purposeful omission of words, failure to tell the entire truth or confusing the truth so badly that no one knows for sure what truth is. That is a major difference between Christians and the world. Christians believe in absolute truth claims because we have The Truth. The world on the other hand doesn't believe in an absolute truth claims because they don't have The Truth. If they did agree to aboslute truth claims they could potentially be told they are wrong also and that's a no-no in their postmodern society.

The world in a temporary materialistic sense (not eternal or in reality) belongs to those who name it. So when people debate or discuss what terms to use for certain events that take place what we are really doing is trying to convince others to view the world through a particular lens. Are we going to view the world through God's lens or through Sin Goggles? How or if we able to convince others of God's point of view dictates whether or not an already fallen world culture gains the upper hand of the discussion or we do. If the world culture controls the terminologies it will inevitably continue to descend into reprobation. If the Christian's right to define the terms succeeds it can possibly bring a semblance of order back to a disobedient world if we continue draw on the Lord.

Words convinced Eve to bite the fruit that crashed man's system. The devil convinced Eve to question God's word. Eve's words convinced Adam to disobey also. The words, "Did God really say...?" threw the entire universe into disarray that has lasted until this day.

If the world culture continues to dominate the terms in-utero murder will still be a "choice", deviance and perverted lifestyles will still be "alternative" and Christians will remain "haters". Because the world's arguments are often not under girded by facts but rather emotions and opinions their arguments often fail right out of the box. The world will then resort to ad hominem attacks, appeals to fear, generalities, straw man arguments, oversimplifications, demonizing Christians as Neanderthals or uneducated idiots or just outright deception. We as Christians need to be ready to deal with this, diffuse it and provide a rational and sane rebuttal in the face of this adversity.

It is a war out there and it starts with words being launched over the wall and embedded into the fertile ground of the human mind like poisonous darts. We must be prepared to either block these words/darts or deflect them by correctly defining them and making them harmless.

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