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The language war is corrupting the Church

word play scrabble meaningless word
Unsplash/Piotr ?askawski

Last week’s GDP report was supposed to confirm for Americans whether our country was formally in a recession. Yet, instead of taking responsibility for failed policies, the Biden administration chose to play word games once again.

The latest round of the Left’s verbal gymnastics is the denial of our country’s dire economic predicament. It adds insult to injury for thousands of American families suffering from the decreased value of their wages, soaring fuel costs, and sky-rocketing food prices.

The principal method of human communication is a commonly understood language. It is how any society expresses shared meaning so the citizens can relate to one another. The language war intentionally destroys that shared meaning in a conscious effort to reshape society.

Often it begins with misusing words or defining them based on the situation rather than an objective definition. When there is a subjective interpretation of a word like “woman,” it creates a whole new meaning. By separating gender from sex and allowing gender to be redefined based on circumstances, they sever ties of mutual understanding at the most basic level. We no longer have a healthy debate between opposing viewpoints on substantive issues because we are stuck fighting over the meaning of words. Pronouns like “he and she” have become controversial.

Another instance is the terminology for an illegal alien, an expression that conveys a person’s legal status upon entry. Replacing it with an “undocumented immigrant” completely ignores the fact that the person committed a crime to arrive in the U.S. Redefining words does not cause harm until it’s thrust upon a people and enforced through their laws. The Left does not have to rely on the judicial system when it can brainwash an entire population by changing how they think and describe even the simplest terms. Whether it’s the word woman or a more complicated word like recession, the ultimate goal is control. They want to tell us how to speak and have the overwhelming public support to punish those who refuse to play along.

However, civil discord is not the only consequence of this manipulation; there are also new victims and perpetrators. Anyone who refuses to accept these verbal adaptations eventually becomes labeled a racist, homophobe, or even a terrorist. For example, according to recent updates in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you are a racist if you treat all people the same because you refuse to acknowledge the many racial inequities in society. 

With all this weaponizing of words involving gender, sexuality, and race, it is not surprising that the Church is also struggling with its place in this language war. For instance, removing male pronouns from certain verses of the Bible allows the Church to avoid the controversy surrounding the discussion of traditional gender roles. 

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. All that you do must be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NASB2020).

The Greek word translated as “act like men” is andrizomai, which is used just this one time in the New Testament but was used 25 times in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament). It is an imperative, a word of command. Today’s society wants to portray this trait as unfavorable and claims that men who are strong and courageous exude a form of toxic masculinity that is a detriment to society. Homosexuality is normalized, and a man who indeed acts like a man is now abnormal — an oppressor. However, when the English translation of this verse is changed to “be courageous,” our Bible teachers and pastors bypass the whole discussion of gender and focus on the quality of courage. Ultimately this is a detriment to the body of Christ that should learn and discuss God’s plan and purpose for each of the genders.

Another illustration of how linguistic manipulation is seeping into the Church is the recent update to the translation of “arsenokoitai” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. Some bibles have changed the translation to read “men who engage in illicit sex” rather than “sodomites.” Gay rights activists claim these verses prohibited temple prostitution and forced sex, not committed homosexual partnerships. The general editor for the 2021 edition of the NRSV bible claims the term “sodomites” was seriously misleading. Sadly, many others have adopted such views, which is why we see such destructive trends worsening.

God created human beings, male or female (Genesis 1:27; 5:2; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). A godly marriage is only possible between a biological man and a biological woman. Sexual acts between men and men or women and women are condemned by the holy Word of God (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). These are core, absolute teachings of the Church for centuries, but the language war has opened them up for debate. Theologians, activists, and progressive pastors are changing the meaning of words in the Bible to fit the culture. Furthermore, the failure to articulate traditional Biblical gender roles may be one of the root causes of why some churches now accept same-sex marriages, as well as transgender or homosexual pastors. 

All faithful Christians must recognize the times we live in and fully ground ourselves in the authentic biblical truth of God. The Apostle Paul warned us that many would follow a false Gospel and believe in a “doctrine of demons.” Changing the message of the Bible to suit the culture will only lead to the inevitable, soul-destroying contamination. We know that whenever Jesus spoke of faithful believers being in the world, the world will be a place of hostility and persecution, not a zone of comfort. It sounds like we are right on track.

Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel.  She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.

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