Scrabble! | Word Fights & Changing Definitions

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I wanted to do a quick comparison. I have noticed that much of the battle that is going on in our culture between worldviews is that of definitions. As such, we have seen in modern times a shift in the meaning of basic words. What is the impact of this shift in definitions? I think we are already seeing some of its fruit, but time will tell – and probably quickly in some cases.

Below is a list of words. The first definition is from Dictionary.com. This is a free online dictionary that is very useful and I have used often myself. Here is what they say on their site  regarding their services: “Dictionary.com is the world’s leading online source for English definitions, synonyms, word origins, audio pronunciations, example sentences, slang phrases, idioms, word games, legal and medical terms, Word of the Day and more. For over 20 years, Dictionary.com has been helping millions of people improve their use of the English language with its free digital services.” The one problem I would have with them is they are too up-to-date which in some cases, which can be misleading of the actual mean of some words.

The second entry is from the 1828 version of Noah Webster’s dictionary. He was a student of words and created his now famous dictionary. This is one of the early versions of his work and it is also a free online dictionary (http://webstersdictionary1828.com/). This is a time in our culture when the Bible was a commonly used source (not always used correctly, but still more common than today which we can see in Webster’s work).

Just for the length this could be, I have not included the full definition of most of these. Let’s see what we find:

  1. Tolerance
    1. Dictionary.com
      • a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
      • a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one’s own.
      • interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
      • the act or capacity of enduring; endurance: My tolerance of noise is limited.
    2. Webster’s
      • noun [Latin tolerantia, from tolero, to bear.] The power or capacity of enduring; or the act of enduring.
    3. Thoughts – this is one I am please with! I think the definition has stayed consistent even though many people in society radically misdefine this and act as though tolerance means acceptance. Not so!
  2. Gender
    1. Dictionary.com
      • either the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated by social and cultural roles and behavior: the feminine gender.
      • a similar category of human beings that is outside the male/female binary classification and is based on the individual’s personal awareness or identity.
      • Archaic . kind, sort, or class.
    2. Webster
      • Properly, kind; sort.
      • A sex, male or female. Hence,
      • verb transitive To beget; but engender is more generally used.
      • verb intransitive To copulate; to breed. Leviticus 19:19.
  3. Transgender
    1. Dictionary.com
      • noting or relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth:
      • noting or relating to a person who does not conform to societal gender norms or roles.
    2. Webster’s
      • No entry
  4. Equality
    1. Dictionary.com
      • the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability:
      • uniform character, as of motion or surface.
      • Mathematics . a statement that two quantities are equal; equation.
    2. Webster’s
      • An agreement of things in dimensions, quantity or quality; likeness; similarity in regard to two things compared. We speak of the equality of two or more tracts of land, of two bodies in length, breadth or thickness, of virtues or vices.
      • The same degree of dignity or claims; as the equality of men in the scale of being; the equality of nobles of the same rank; an equality of rights.
      • Evenness; uniformity; sameness in state or continued course; as an equality of temper or constitution.
      • Evenness; plainness; uniformity; as an equality of surface.
    3. Another one to rejoice!
  5. Love (noun only)
    1. Dictionary.com
      • a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
      • a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
      • sexual passion or desire.
      • a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
      • (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
      • a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
      • sexual intercourse; copulation.
    2. Webster’s
      • An affection of the mind excited by beauty and worth of any kind, or by the qualities of an object which communicate pleasure, sensual or intellectual. It is opposed to hatred. love between the sexes, is a compound affection, consisting of esteem, benevolence, and animal desire. love is excited by pleasing qualities of any kind, as by kindness, benevolence, charity, and by the qualities which render social intercourse agreeable. In the latter case, love is ardent friendship, or a strong attachment springing from good will and esteem, and the pleasure derived from the company, civilities and kindness of others. Between certain natural relatives, love seems to be in some cases instinctive. Such is the love of a mother for her child, which manifests itself toward an infant, before any particular qualities in the child are unfolded. This affection is apparently as strong in irrational animals as in human beings. We speak of the love of amusements, the love of books, the love of money, and the love of whatever contributes to our pleasure or supposed profit. The love of God is the first duty of man, and this springs from just views of his attributes or excellencies of character, which afford the highest delight to the sanctified heart. Esteem and reverence constitute ingredients in this affection, and a fear of offending him is its inseparable effect.
      • Courtship; chiefly in the phrase, to make love that is, to court; to woo; to solicit union in marriage.
      • Patriotism; the attachment one has to his native land; as the love of country.
      • Benevolence; good will.
        God is love 1 John 4:7.
      • The object beloved.
        The lover and the love of human kind.
      • A word of endearment.
        Trust me, love
      • Picturesque representation of love
        Such was his form as painters, when they show their utmost art, on naked loves bestow.
      • Lewdness.
        He is not lolling on a lewd love-bed.
  6. Baby (noun only again)
    1. Dictionary.com
      • an infant or very young child.
      • a newborn or very young animal.
      • the youngest member of a family, group, etc.
      • an immature or childish person.
      • a human fetus.
        • [My note: I find this one interesting in the discussion of abortion as many say a fetus isn’t a baby, but by definition, well, it is.]
    2. Webster’s
      • An infant or young child of either sex; a babe;
      • A small image in form of an infant, for girls to play with; a doll.
  7. Fetus
    1. Dictionary.com
      • (used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in the womb or egg, especially in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.
    2. Webster’s
      • The young of viviparous animals in the womb, and of oviparous animals in the egg, after it is perfectly formed; before which time it is called embryo. A young animal then is called a fetus from the time its parts are distinctly formed, till its birth.
  8. Infant (noun only)
    1. Dictionary.com
      • a child during the earliest period of its life, especially before he or she can walk; baby.
      • Law . a person who is not of full age, especially one who has not reached the age of 18 years; a minor.
      • a beginner, as in experience or learning; novice: The new candidate is a political infant.
    2. Webster’s
      • A child in the first period of life, beginning at his birth; a young babe. In common usage, a child ceases to be called an infant within the first or second year, but at no definite period. In some cases, authors indulge a greater latitude, and extend the term to include children of several years of age.
      • In law, a person under the age of twenty one years, who is incapable of making valid contracts.
  9. Parent
    1. Dictionary.com
      • a father or a mother.
      • an ancestor, precursor, or progenitor.
      • a source, origin, or cause.
      • a protector or guardian.
      • Biology . any organism that produces or generates another.
      • Physics . the first nuclide in a radioactive series.
    2. Webster’s
      • [Latin parens, from pario, to produce or bring forth. The regular participle of pario is pariens, and parens is the regular participle of pareo, to appear.]
      • A father or mother; he or she that produces young. The duties of parents to their children are to maintain, protect and educate them.
      • When parents are wanting in authority, children are wanting in duty.
      • That which produces; cause; source.
        Idleness is the parent of vice.
        Regular industry is the parent of sobriety.
    3. Interesting how “educate them” has been removed from the modern definition…
  10. Discrimination
    1. Dictionary.com
      • an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.
      • treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
      • the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination.
      • Archaic . something that serves to differentiate.
    2. Webster’s
      • The act of distinguishing; the act of making or observing a difference; distinction; as the discrimination between right and wrong.
      • The state of being distinguished.
      • Mark of distinction.
  11. Discriminate
    1. Dictionary.com
      • verb (used without object), dis·crim·i·nat·ed, dis·crim·i·nat·ing.
        1. to make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit; show partiality: The new law discriminates against foreigners. He discriminates in favor of his relatives.
        2. to note or observe a difference; distinguish accurately: to discriminate between things.
      • verb (used with object), dis·crim·i·nat·ed, dis·crim·i·nat·ing.
        1. to make or constitute a distinction in or between; differentiate: a mark that discriminates the original from the copy.
        2. to note or distinguish as different: He can discriminate minute variations in tone.
      • adjective
        1. marked by discrimination; making or evidencing nice distinctions: discriminate people; discriminate judgments.
    2. Webster’s
      • verb transitive [Latin , difference, distinction; differently applied; Gr., Latin ]
        1. To distinguish; to observe the difference between; as, we may usually discriminate true from false modesty.
        2. To separate; to select from others; to make a distinction between; as, in the last judgment, the righteous will be discriminated from the wicked.
        3. To mark with notes of difference; to distinguish by some note or mark. We discriminate animals by names, as nature has discriminated them by different shapes and habits.
      • verb intransitive
        1. To make a difference or distinction; as, in the application of law, and the punishment of crimes, the judge should discriminate between degrees of guilt.
        2. To observe or note a difference; to distinguish; as, in judging of evidence, we should be careful to discriminate between probability and slight presumption.
      • adjective
        1. Distinguished; having the difference marked.
  12. Abortion
    1. Dictionary.com
      • Also called voluntary abortion. the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy.
      • any of various surgical methods for terminating a pregnancy, especially during the first six months.
      • Also called spontaneous abortion. miscarriage(def 1).
      • an immature and nonviable fetus.
      • abortus(def 2).
      • any malformed or monstrous person, thing, etc.
      • Biology . the arrested development of an embryo or an organ at a more or less early stage.
        1. the stopping of an illness, infection, etc., at a very early stage.
      • Informal .
        1. shambles; mess.
        2. anything that fails to develop, progress, or mature, as a design or project.
    2. Webster’s
      • [Latin abortio, a miscarriage; usually deduced from ab and orior.]
      • The act of miscarrying, or producing young before the natural time, or before the fetus is perfectly formed.
      • In a figurative sense, any fruit or produce that does not come to maturity, or any thing which fails in its progress, before it is matured or perfect, as a design or project.
      • The fetus brought forth before it is perfectly formed.
  13. Marriage
    1. Dictionary.com
      • (broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage: Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times.
      • Also called opposite-sex marriage . the form of this institution under which a man and a woman have established their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
      • this institution expanded to include two partners of the same gender, as in same-sex marriage ; gay marriage.
      • the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: They have a happy marriage.
      • the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
      • a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage.
      • any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
    2. Webster’s
      • [Latin mas, maris.] The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.
      • Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled. Hebrews 13:4
      • A feast made on the occasion of a marriage
        The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. Matthew 22:2.
      • In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace. Revelation 19:7.

Well, I think this may give us a good idea of what has changed and the trajectory our society is heading. Words are important! Let us guard them carefully and preserve their true and deeper meanings.

Published in: on 7 PMpSat, 02 Feb 2019 16:18:32 -040018Saturday 2016 at 4:18 pm  Comments (1)  

The Grace of the Law: A Simple Prayer

Many Christians today are opposed to the Law of God (Torah) maintaining a significant position in their lives. Throughout the many posts on this blog you will see that I try to challenge this position. I believe that a clear reading of the Scriptures leads us to the truth that the Law, even for today’s Christian believers, is a good and wonderful gift of grace in the living a righteous life. Now, we cannot obtain righteousness or salvation from the Law, this is clear from the text and thus, the reason we need a Savior! Christ imputes his righteousness to us! However, after we become believers, how do we live our lives to the Glory of the Father? By means of the Law!

I was reading a Psalm from the Psalter of the Church of England (from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer) this evening and was reminded of this truth. There is a line in the collect (prayer) at the end of Psalm 1 that speaks clearly to this reality.

Psalm 1

Refrain: The Lord knows the way of the righteous.

Blessed are they who have not walked
in the counsel of the wicked, 
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the assembly of the scornful.
Their delight is in the law of the Lord 
and they meditate on his law day and night.
Like a tree planted by streams of water
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither, 
whatever they do, it shall prosper. R
As for the wicked, it is not so with them; 
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked shall not be able to stand in the judgement, 
nor the sinner in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, 
but the way of the wicked shall perish.

Refrain: The Lord knows the way of the righteous.

Christ our wisdom,
give us delight in your law,
that we may bear fruits of patience and peace
in the kingdom of the righteous;
for your mercy’s sake.

For more from the Psalter: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/psalter/psalms1to25.aspx#1

It’s the second and third line that strike me! “Give us delight in your law, that we may bear fruits of patience and peace…” This ancient prayer speaks this truth clearly. If Christ gives us delight in his Law, it will bear the fruit of patience and peace. If we read through Galatians, it’s clear that these two fruits are two of the fruits that the Holy Spirit bears in the lives of the believers. This makes sense as, according to Ezekiel and Jeremiah, it is the Holy Spirit that is writing the Law of God upon our hearts of flesh. Besides this, what did Jesus tell us? If you love me, you will keep my Commandments. Lest we fall into the temptation of thinking that Christ had a different Law then the Father, let us remember that they are one and Christ only did what the Father told him, so they have to be the same. Lastly, as the prayer concludes, Christ may we follow your Law to produce your fruit for your mercy’s sake!

This can be fleshed out much more, and that will come in time. However, let us just see from this simple prayer the truth that we do depend upon the Law of God, not for salvation or to be made righteous, but for a righteous life bearing the fruit of the Spirit that reflects Christ.

Published in: on 7 PMpMon, 09 Oct 2017 22:19:05 -040019Monday 2016 at 10:19 pm  Comments (1)  

Some Things to Consider | Prelude

Theology and doctrine are important! As followers of Christ, we, overall, have to be more mindful and convicted just how important they are. Ultimately, how we think about God and his guidelines dictate the living-out of our daily lives. This is true whether we focus intently on theology or not. However, since it is having such an important influence in our lives regardless, let us take more initiative in pursuing a good knowledge of it so we can: 1) Know what we believe and why; 2) Defend these beliefs well; and 3) Ensure we are doing what we can to align our lives up to his standards of living as much as possible (with no condemnation for falling short).

We have to do better! Much of the world has such a negative view of Christianity. Partly, this is due to the new religious leaders appointed to speak guidance into peoples’ lives (specifically scientists and doctors – much more can be said here, but now is not the time) and also because, the world hates our Master, so we should expect no less. However, much of the negative view of Christianity is coming from us and our own lack of walking with a good understanding of what we believe and not walking before our Father humbly and faithfully. Far be it from us to be responsible for keeping people away from Christ.

Let’s look at it this way:

“One aspect of the contemporary church that would probably confound [Jonathan] Edwards is the sharp distinction we make between theology and practical Christian living. Just as he argued for a holistic view of the self in Religious Affections and repudiated the distinction between the head and the heart, so he would argue for the necessary connection of theology to the Christian life. As this sermon [“The Most High, a Prayer-Hearing God”] illustrates so well, Edwards believed that the Christian life should be informed and shaped by a rigorous theology and also that theology should be enlivened by practice. They are mutually necessary, not mutually exclusive.” – Nichols, Steven J. Jonathan Edwards: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing Company, 2001 (pg. 206)

We must regain this! We must have a vibrant theology that lives through our lives, or rather, that our lives live through! This is, in fact, repeated over and over again in the Word of God.

Thus, the beginning of this new series, “Some things to Consider”. What I hope to address throughout the duration of this series is to deal specifically with where I see us lacking in American Christian theology and how each topic can help us walk our faith out. Specifically, I want to address in this series how more of the Old Testament [Hebrew Scriptures] still applies to the lives of believers today; how much of the Law still applies to those under the New Covenant and how forgetting this has truly hurt us and our witness to the world. This will be the lens through which I will be looking at some of the doctrine we take for granted. (And, I am in no way calling for a plea to legalism as some readers may fear; more on this below.)

It is my conviction that we have misunderstood several aspects of the New Testament [Greek Scriptures] and the New Covenant (partly). Along the way, I hope to show how these areas do not line up with the overall narrative of the Bible, Church history, or even, when applicable, our own national history.

Format: I hope to add one additional installment to this series every month. I don’t know how long this series will last, but we’ll go as long as we can. Let me also express a few more things: 1) If you consider yourself a layman and not theologically astute, please, stick around! This is written for the layman as I myself am no theologian. In addition, this is important for all believers. [Ephesians 4.11-14; “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (emphasis mine)] 2) You may not agree with all, or any, of my conclusions. That’s great! As we look at the decay of our society, I believe it is apparent and highly important that we have healthy discussions on these topics (as I believe in some of the areas that will be touched on in this series are the catalyst to our current decaying). My goal is not to get people to agree with me, but rather to get his people to think about some of these topics that may never have been thought about before. If you have comments to make, please feel free to do so, but keep it respectful! Let us reason together!

I hope that you join me on this journey. Let’s seek out the truth together!

May the Lord bless you and keep you in his perfect peace and grace!

 

~

Legalism | I’m going to oversimplify, but still get the point across. What legalism does, at the end of the day and through whatever language one may use to describe it, is say that works (usually of the Law) must be done in order for salvation. In no way is this what I will propose in any of my posts. Rather, my focus is doing works of the Law post salvation and grace. Walking in the ways of God is a response to his goodness in salvation and not a prerequisite for it. This is the pattern of Scripture. Indeed, it was against this legalism that both Jesus and Paul fought against. No, we walk in the ways of God because of his goodness, not to merit his goodness.

Published in: on 7 PMpMon, 15 Feb 2016 13:08:03 -040008Monday 2016 at 1:08 pm  Comments (1)  
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