Call it what it is.

5 Sep

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”- Isaiah 5:20

 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” – Romans 1:18

 

I can’t help but be even more heartbroken than usual at the enthusiastic support for abortion that is making rounds through every media avenue. For those of you who are following the news, the upcoming American election is what’s highlighting the divide between those who are pro-life, and those who are pro-choice. That tweet I shared at the top from an American comedian, Sarah Silverman, reveals a lot about the way that people view this issue, and sheds even more light on the use of language to distort the truth. According to most liberals, if you’re not on the pro-choice side of the abortion debate and supportive of this arm of the women’s liberation movement, then you are in opposition to freedom, to true humanity, to justice. It’s not about the babies; it’s about the women who are having (or not having) them. And it’s not about murder, it’s about RIGHTS.

Doesn’t that term “reproductive rights” sound so persuasive? Pro-choice. The women’s liberation movement. I mean, all of these words sound so positive, so humane, so at the core of all that our society holds to as pillars of progress and forward movement. These are just examples of the kinds of things that we hear from people who take this position:

  • Women should be free to do whatever they want with their own bodies. Who are you to tell me what I can or can’t do with my body?
  • I have rights. I don’t know who gave them to me but I have them and I demand to see them respected and upheld by everyone.
  • Women need to be freed from oppression. For too long society has held them down, subjugating them to the role of wife and mother. Free them!

Here are a few things that Margret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, today’s premier purveyor of abortions in America, had to say about the issue.

“The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” – Women and the New Race 
(Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

 “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world – that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin – that people can – can commit.”

Wow. So it is an act of “mercy” to kill an infant? It is “the greatest sin” to bring diseased children into the world since they have no chance to be human beings? This coming from the mouth of the woman who is responsible for advocating birth control to prevent the world from having unwanted children, and to getting rid of those that were already in the womb but were undesirable. According to Sanger, and sadly to many others today, her definition of sin would be allowing a child to live.

Ok, what about that word sin? I guess that’s what this all comes down to. Not that word alone, but what it represents, as a statement of truth that describes one’s actions as right or wrong, good or evil, righteous or unrighteous, in opposition to God. The thing that people find most offensive about the Bible is not that it lacks clarity and is hard to understand, but that it is perspicuous, never mincing words, always speaking the truth. Every page is filled with those truths that describe clearly what sin is. It tells us who is guilty of sin (everyone). We learn many stories of the consequences of disobedience while looking at the lives of the men and women that fill its pages. Never is there an unclear word or passage where anyone would have trouble determining whether or not killing babies, or committing adultery, are wrong. No sinful action is painted in a positive light to make it seem more acceptable; no words are distorted and twisted to “call good evil and evil good”. It’s blindingly clear, and ultimately, this is what makes it so good. This is the light to our path, and sight to blind eyes. Without God’s kind revealing of what sin is, whom it is we have sinned against, and the remedy for our sin, we would have no hope. As it says in John 8:32, we are only set free once we know what is true. As long as we believe in lies, we are dead, in bondage to sin, under the power of the prince of the age.

This is where I believe Christians need to really become attuned, if they’re not already, to the power of language and the danger of succumbing to our culture’s rhetoric. If we remain ignorant and acquiesce to the climate of the day, then we risk loosing our witness to the watching (and reading or listening) world. We of all people must be clear about what is true and what’s not, and accordingly, we need our words to be shaped by that truth. It is no small thing to fall into the trap of using words such as “reproductive rights” or “women’s liberation” to discuss issues like abortion and feminism. There is a subtle and dangerous agenda that lies behind all of the positive-sounding verbiage that originates from the one who ultimately desires to deceive and destroy. By masking the truth about what people are doing, Satan effectively keeps people from seeing their sin and their need for the Savior. When we use words like “alcoholism” to describe someone who is addicted to alcohol, we can be participating in a very subtle form of transference. A word like “alcoholism” gives the impression that  “It’s not me; it’s a disease that is genetic. I’m predisposed to strong drink; therefore I’m not in control over what I do.” This is a grave danger! For all of us, we must be willing to face, and to help others face the fact that according to Scripture, addiction to alcohol is a result of the fact that we are sinners, not that we inherited a genetic problem or disease for which we then have no accountability. As another example, what about that word “affair”?  It sounds so mysterious, so attractive even. We would be more inclined to hide the truth in a word like “affair” that connotes something much less than what it is, rather than call it adultery or describe the act of illicit sex outside of marriage as a vile, destructive, life-ruining sin.

And back to the abortion issue. What’s at hand is not “women’s rights” or “freedom”, but rather the murder of human life, plain and simple. I’m not suggesting that Christians who understand the issue and realize that abortion is murder are afraid to call it that, but rather, when we refuse to engage people who do believe that the debate centres on rights and the freedom to chose, we are running away from a battle that we must engage in. I am a person who hates to run into a debate. Contrary to what some of you who know me might think, they make me nervous, nauseous even to the point that I’d rather spend the next hour breathing into a paper bag in the privacy of my bathroom than going head on with someone who I know from the outset is bound to disagree, maybe even hate me because of what I believe and what I will say.

In teacher’s college, I had this experience every day. I would get up and walk into a minefield. Thankfully I had a few likeminded friends who kept me from feeling like I was getting completely annihilated, but nonetheless it was exhausting. I knew that each day, some new social issue, moral topic, or political position would be on the table for discussion (or rather a loud shouting match with some of the shouters foaming at the mouth). And each day, I knew that I was going to in some way have to give an answer for the hope that I had. I didn’t end up having many direct discussions in my classroom about my faith, but it did matter what I said, and what I was willing to stand up for when it came to issues that I knew the Bible spoke clearly on. Silence in this case was not an option. Silence would have been a tacit acceptance of everything that was being portrayed as truth, and yet was wickedly false, especially because we were being asked to participate. It was not a lecture, it was interactive. I knew that even if I didn’t succeed in persuading one single person of the rightness of any of the positions I was taking, it didn’t matter. God uses our speaking the truth to bring conviction, and we may never see the result of that. Nonetheless, He requires of us that we not be afraid, but rather we be like Daniel, Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego, not bowing down to the idols of our age, but standing up before the one true God. That is our witness.

So language matters in that we firstly need to be clear about what the Bible says about sin. We need to have a clear understanding of how speaking the truth is part of our witness to those who don’t know Christ. We need to be convinced that there are lies that are being promoted as truth all around us. And we need to ask God for the courage to stand up, when necessary, and speak in love to those around us, not shirking back from difficult, uncomfortable conversations as they come along, but engaging people and being willing to call things what they are. By doing this, we will be salt and light, and by God’s grace, he will use the truth to bring many more people into the light. Only then will they be receivers of true freedom, not the counterfeit kind that is being peddled on every pedestal, political platform, and from within our own deceitful hearts.

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4 Responses to “Call it what it is.”

  1. Georgie September 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM #

    Great post Maja…I love hearing your thoughts on these issues.

    • majay13 September 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM #

      George- Thanks! I would love there to be more conversation about topics like these, for my own sake, as well as others..

  2. Reem September 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM #

    Maja- I love reading what you write you are truly a blessing, well said my freind. 🙂

    • majay13 September 5, 2012 at 2:55 PM #

      Reem- thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

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