Switching Meanings

A big problem in the church and in culture is switching the definitions of words. In the religious world the Mormons have done this with words such as the Trinity. They say they believe in the Trinity, but it’s a different definition than that which is used by traditional Christian theology.

We see it today with the word racism. When I see traditional Christians address the subject they tend to talk about loving everyone. The definition of racism in the Merriam Webster online dictionary doesn’t say anything about lack of love or hatred.

Here it is:

“a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular raceLadino elites used racism to justify the displacement and enslavement of the indigenous population, and these beliefs, along with the resentment created by the continued exploitation of indigenous land and labor, culminated in the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996).”

Among the “Woke” only Whites can be racist. If non-whites express any hatred, it’s seen as understandable due to so called white discrimination. The accusation of racism is the scarlet letter of modern times, and when accused, people will usually say or do all sorts of things to prove that they are not racist. A word overused, however, typically loses its meaning. And this has now happened to the word racist as well as the frequent use of the term “white supremacy.”

The recent election in Virginia, my home state, included a statewide slate of a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. The election of these three has been called the result of white supremacy. What’s most interesting is that one of the candidates is Black and one is Hispanic. I suppose that means that white supremacists are now colorblind.

We live in a post-Christian, post-modern society that has rejected truth and absolutes. But that doesn’t mean people believe in nothing. Many have embraced the absurd. G. K. Chesterton, many decades ago, said that people rejecting truth didn’t believe in nothing, but they will believe in anything. That has happened. The definitions and means have changed. We must realize that as we live in and seek to change a culture in crisis.

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