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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

Advent - 36 days to Christmas      Friday, November 19 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Re: definitions

Years ago, in my late 20's and in the early years of my ministry, I proposed to an adult class in Santa Barbara that believers should define the terms of their belief system according to their understanding of the issues, regardless of how the terms are more commonly used. A member of my class, a graduate student at the local university, strongly challenged that proposal, saying it would be inviting chaos to have different definitions for common terms: a "Christian" definition and a "secular" or "worldly" definition.

But well over 30 years later, now that I can claim the wisdom attained only through aging, I'm even more convinced of the soundness of my proposition. In fact, more than being thinking we "should" develop our own definitions, I'm now convinced that there's no alternative than for the "children of light" to define themselves by the light God gives them rather than the veiled vision of the children of darkness. It's necessary for theoretical thinkers to think through what words mean, and were intended by their Creator to mean, and not let stand unchallenged the redefinitions by usurpers of the Creator's dominion.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. Walk in Light for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light...(Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Ephesians, 5:6-9).

Yesterday an exchange on our email list illustrated the principle I've discerned over these years and that has been driven home again in recent weeks. A list member sent a letter from a leader of a national ministry, who said: "I have learned that those who cry 'tolerance' the loudest are the most intolerant people you will meet. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman accuses us values voters of promoting 'intolerance' because we won't accept his libertinism. If that is true, then he is equally as intolerant because he won't accept our faith-based traditionalism."

Again in the same letter: "Those who cry 'censorship' the loudest are the biggest censors.... It's okay to teach the theory of evolution in our schools, but [they] censor the theory of intelligent design; [they] tell us that evolution is fact, and intelligent design is fancy." And again: "Those who say it is dangerous to mix faith and politics never hesitate to mix their faith (secularism) with politics."

So here we see a collection of such terms that are defined in opposed ways based on the philosophical viewpoint of those using them: tolerance and intolerance, censorship, and faith. And I would add that inherent in the previous paragraph are radically opposed definitions of totalitarianism and fascism. The children of darkness see the Patriot Act and the way it is being used as posing the threat of totalitarianism and an example of fascism; those who understand the issues from the higher ground exposed to the light see the way "science" is forcefed to this generation of public school children as totalitarian and fascistic, mirroring the fascism of Hitler and Stalin in trying to force children to abandon the teachings of their homes and parents and set the younger generation against its elders.

At least that's what I'm seeing from this vantage point.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Signs of our times

On a plastic surgeon's office door: "Hello. Can we pick your nose?"

Sent by Trudy Myers  

Advent thought for today

Our envy of others devours us most of all.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

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