Changing terms

Pregnant woman with ultrasound scan

If you are an older reader you know that the term gay wasn’t always about sexual preferences. At one point in time it meant happy, or brightly colored.
The word now days is so easily conflated with sexual preference it is unwise to use it when referring to someone’s clothes.

The word tolerant used to mean that you disagree with or dislike something a person does, but you will treat them with respect anyway. Now according to the younger generation it means agree with politically correct dogma 100%, or be branded as a hate monger.

The word pro-life has been poisoned in much the same way. Many people when they hear the term pro-life, they don’t hear that babies deserve the right to life, they hear that you hate woman, that woman should die in back alley abortions, that you are a dictator…. The term isn’t half as useful as it used to be. While replacing a word with an entire phrase isn’t practical all of the time, I believe that as often as possible it should be replaced with “Preserve as many innocent human lives as possible”.

One confusion people have with the term pro-life is that many of us also believe in the right to keep and bare arms, and believe that we are being inconsistent. But it is perfectly consistent with the term protect as many innocent human lives as possible. You see when someone breaks into your house, it is often a choice of kill or be killed. You see the intruder if they get away with stealing everything you have and maybe even killing you, they are unlikely to stop there. The will often continue committing the horrible crime until someone either kills him, or locks him up for a long time. If you are forced to defend yourself and your family, you are likely protecting their lives, and the lives of further victims so you are being perfectly consistent.

You don’t want woman having back street abortions any more than the people who made heroine illegal want others to take back-alley drugs. While yes there are still illegal drugs on our street, there are many more lives that have been saved because they could not get the drug legally.

Changing the terms used can clear up any societal misconceptions, or at least invite conversations that culturally poisoned words would not.

If you have any suggestions for changing a politically hot term, or any questions about my reasons for believing that abortion is wrong, please comment below.

To support smartchristian.net please consider purchasing
The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture
by Scott Klusendorf

or read
Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line
by Abby Johnson

Hypocrites don’t change the truth.

If the Christian faith is true, it would still be true even if no one believed it, or if all who did were hypocrites; and if it is false, would still be false even if everyone believed it and there was no apparent hypocrisy in their behavior. (FT, 196)

McDowell, Josh. Evidence That Demands a Verdict (p. xlii). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Listen

 

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When we answer before listening, we prove to others that we are both stupid and rude.
Dallas and Nancy Demmitt Can You Hear Me Now? (2003)

According to God, we are supposed to love everyone, even our enemies. Yet half the time we won’t even listen to our friendly acquaintances, much less our enemies.  When we tune people out, we are being very unloving. Yes, it can be hard to listen to your enemies, but how can we ever attempt to make peace if we don’t?

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
― Winston S. Churchill

No one knows everything, and everyone knows something.
I have to admit that I have from time to time tuned certain people out, assuming that they were either uninformed or misinformed. Which can be the case, but it is wrong to tune them out. There is one politician for example that has become famous precisely because she is under-informed and often seems to make up answers on the fly when she has no idea what she is talking about. Yet the other day she made a comment that was wildly intelligent, while I still believe she meant for her comment to be taken differently, she proved that she can be right. I even saw a video yesterday posted by a five-time felon who gave many people a lesson on tolerance. You never know where the truth will come from, but you have to keep your eyes and ears open to find it.

Proverbs 18:17
The first to state his case seems right
until another comes and cross-examines him.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Yes, we are to listen to others, but we should be discerning while we listen. No one is perfect but God. When anyone else tells you something it is proper to ask questions. Look into it for yourselves.

One of the best debate tactics is to find common ground with the person you are debating, and built on that common ground. Something like: Can we both agree that already born children are valuable? Can be a good foundation to build a discussion on abortion. If you are unwilling to listen to people who oppose your ideas, you will not be able to find common ground.

Sometimes we use phrases like “fake news” to shut people down. Do you really know that it is fake news, or do you like the opposing view so much that you just hope it is fake news? If you don’t know for sure, find out.  While some stories are fake, it isn’t the fact that we don’t like the story that makes it fake, it’s twisting the truth, one-sided bias, and it’s total failure to match reality.

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Legion of Troubles

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Poor Legion, he was the man possessed with so many demons in Mark 5:1-19  that his name was changed to reflect the number of demons that were tormenting him. He lived among the tombs, crying, and he regularly cut himself. He was strong enough to break any chains that the people used to try to control him. It is probably a safe bet to assume he did many other things, embarrassing and shameful things. Jesus delivered him from those demons, and he wanted to be with his deliverer. Yet, Jesus told him no. He had to go back to the people who probably hated and feared him for all of his behavior when he was still possessed. To anyone who became a Christian as an adult after doing many shameful things, this would be a tough thing to hear, and it is tough to live through. Knowing that you have changed but others around you refusing to give you a chance to be the person that you know you could be. We must look at this from a different perspective to understand why Jesus made him go back to his own town.
Jesus had been told he wasn’t wanted in town, by people who were both frightened by the power of someone who had control of demons, and they were mad at losing livestock. Yes, Jesus could have forced his way into town, but force isn’t exactly a good way of winning hearts and minds.  Yes, I am sure the former demoniac had trouble once he came back into town.  It would be incredibly difficult to trust him again, but even the most cynical of them will see him from afar and will have known that something phenomenal happened that day.  To those who have had the incredible difficulty of trying to convince people that you are better than you once were, I know that it is lonely, but keep up the good fight. Realize it or not, you are effecting change in the hearts of men. There are people around you wondering how you made the change that you made. God sees your struggles, and you will be rewarded one day.