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Words That Have Died

Every generation or so we lose words that are relegated to the archives of the dictionary, but no longer serve a purpose in everyday conversation.

Let’s take a look at a few of them:

Perversion: the alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended: all great evil is the perversion of a good.

Few people talk about anything being perverted anymore and it’s because nothing is considered perverted today. The word is considered a judgment word, and of course it is not politically correct to judge, so the word gets shelved.

Abomination: a thing that causes disgust or hatred.

God uses this term quite often in the Old Testament. Often it is used in reference to sexual sin, but today there is no sexual sin. As a society we are slowly accepting everything that the Bible condemns as sexual sin, that way nothing is an abomination, it is just an alternative lifestyle.

Immorality:   means to fail to adhere to moral standards.

Amoral is more of a neutral and impartial word meaning without or not concerned with moral standards. Immoral is a term associated with judgment.

Immoral implies there is a standard that makes something that way, and only God is capable of setting the standards of moral behavior, which is the reason this word is rejected and not used today. In today’s thinking no one has the right to set standards for others, therefore, nothing is immoral.

Holiness: the state of being holy: a life of holiness and total devotion to God.

When I first became a Christian this word was used repeatedly as a reminder that one of our goals as a follower of Christ is to live in a state of holiness. Now it is harder today to define what standards of holiness could be used to determine if someone is living a life of holiness. Most churches won’t even touch the topic because it is a word that no longer has relevance for the 21st century.

Sanctification: set apart as or declare holy; consecrate.

This is another word that seems to have lost its place within most churches today. Declaring yourself fully devoted to Christ means you withdraw from activities that would pace yourself in step with society and the culture at large.

Some Christians who claim to be followers of Christ are simply living in both worlds without any conviction of something being wrong.

Judgment: the ability to make decisions or come to sensible conclusions. A misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment based upon behavior or rejection of moral law.

Judgment implies that there is a set of rules, laws, or precepts used as a standard to judge. If God’s Word was the standard to measure behavior of a society, it would mean that people would need to live up to the standards set forth.

Accountability: the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility: their lack of accountability has corroded public respect.

This term has lost its application because it implies that there are people who we seek to help us stay focused on what we believe and how we live.  No one wants to submit to a standard of conduct that is defined by people who have standards governed by any moral base.

Restitution: the restoration of something lost or stolen to its proper owner.

This term has all but been removed from our vocabulary in the church and in our courts system.  To hold someone accountable for behavior that has taken something from someone else has all but been replaced with an attitude:  If I get caught I will do my time and that’s it.  In the church, restitution just means you have been forgiven, but there is no cost to the perpetrator to replace what was stolen.

Repentance: feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin

Our culture does not like to feel guilty - in fact we like to think that people who feel guilty are emotionally flawed. Yet, repentance is not only remorse, it is turning away forever from behavior that is sinful or harmful to others. It is also a deeply religious word that often is not talked about in Christian circles today. Repentance implies something is wrong and therefore I need to change.  Most of the time we preach a gospel that has little or no repentance - we just need to accept God’s grace.  

I am sure you can think of more words like this that have met with certain death within our culture and within the Church. Words do have meaning, and when the concepts behind these deceased words are lost we lose their significance.

In God’s culture these words will again be resurrected and be brought back to life. He will use these words as He reviews how we lived our lives.  People often forget that there is coming a day when every word that is spoken will be judged.

Jesus told us in Matthew 12:35-37 that judgment day would be a day of reckoning.

35The good man brings good things out of his good store of treasure, and the evil man brings evil things out of his evil store of treasure. 36 But I tell you that men will give an account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

You may want to familiarize yourself with these dying words before they are buried and forgotten. These words and others like them are words that God uses to remind us of His standards.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K



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