We Must Change the Language to Renew the Culture
Many weapons are used in a cultural or civil war. But the vanguard always involves a “war of words.”
God used words to create the cosmos out of nothing (Genesis 1:3-31). His language possessed creative power. When humans (made in his image) use words, they create mental realities, passion, and momentum for societal change. They also give meaning and authority to the ideas behind them.
Right now we are losing the war of words in America’s cultural war.
We must change the language to renew the culture.
We Must Change the Language to Renew the Culture
Yesterday I celebrated thirteen years of publishing a weekly blog (578 total). I wrote the first on October 25, 2008 while flying back from Asia. It was called, “One Hundred Reasons Why I Will Not Vote for Barack Obama,”–a discussion of his numerous policies with which I disagreed.
I didn’t want America turning down a destructive road. One reason we stand closer to that destination today is apathy over the war of words.
If you read one book before the end of 2021, make it Francis Schaeffer’s A Christian Manifesto, a wake-up call to America written forty years before its time.
Schaeffer was concerned about the direction in the U.S. before his death in 1984. Abortion stands out as the pressing issue in the book, but the surrounding material is eerily relevant to the culture war we now fight. Schaeffer understood that we faced a comprehensive battle between truth and lies not centered in single issues.
The book’s opening paragraphs make that clear:
The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so in regard to society and in regard to government (now 120 in 2021), is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.
They have very gradually become disturbed over permissiveness, pornography, the public schools, the breakdown of the family, and finally abortion. But they have not seen this as a totality–each thing being a part, a symptom, of a much larger problem. They have failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in worldview–that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.
This shift has been away from a worldview that was at least vaguely Christian in people’s memory toward something completely different–toward a worldview based upon the idea that the final reality is impersonal matter or energy shaped into its present form by impersonal chance.
This has happened through the Church turning out the “lights” of Truth in the culture and demonic voices inspiring some evil people to change the language in our culture to alter the moral landscape.
I can’t begin to address all the words we must refute through honest rhetoric. But if we don’t change the language and convince an influential minority what is true–what is really going on–then the culture war will be lost.
Here are some words we should change.
You hear this term often by conservative pundits. They say “the Left” is driving the radical agenda in America. True. But “left and right” are meaningless terms for most people. They sound like an amoral direction or simply a turn signal. But “the Left” means tyrants, totalitarians, or fascists. Their only “direction” is power and tyranny.
It’s the infamous pseudonym for killing a human being with a God-given right to life. We must use the coming December 1st Supreme Court Mississippi abortion case to clarify what Pope Francis recently affirmed–that abortion is murder, the greatest holocaust in world history.
Re-distribution of wealth.
Barack Obama started this trend to transfer large sums of money from the hard-working (through taxation) and give it to the indigent who are “victims.” This is nothing less than promoting envy and stealing.
It’s a wonderful concept in the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven. Difference is beautiful. But in America today it means minority rights trump majorities and everybody should be celebrated except Christians (who believe in absolute Truth). This is nothing less than hateful bigotry,
I want what you have even if I’m not willing to work for it. This promotes envy and theft.
I’ve used this term frequently but need to change. Progress to a “progressive” means the destruction of our Bible-based civilization. As you can see in the blue states of America, progressive policies are actually regressive in terms of human rights and economic blessing.
Woke. Do I need some coffee? I get the idea of being “awake,” but this is not a revival word. To be woke means being anti-free speech and suppressive of others.
This term is too benign. People’s jobs and reputations are being destroyed by the Twitter mobs of whom 70% vote Democrat and 80% of all tweets come from only 10% of users. Call it what it is over social media: vicious tyranny of a small minority.
This includes many foolish terms completely opposed to science and the Bible. Each male has “xy” chromosomes and every female “xx” in all thirty-seven trillion cells in their body. That’s because God made them male and female (Mark 10:6).
Gender fascists in Congress want to destroy women’s sports and even motherhood. Kira Davis thinks we are out of our minds:
I am not a “birthing person.” I am a mother. I am not a “person who menstruates.” I am a woman. My body and my gender deserve your recognition. God knows I have fought a bloody and emotional battle to obtain that recognition. I have earned the respect of womanhood.
I have given birth to the very future of humanity. That is the privilege of motherhood and the function of womanhood. Because motherhood – the choosing of it or the absence of it – is an exclusively female function.
Live your life how you want, but you will not steal my God-given and gloriously created form. You will not reduce me to a function – a person who can give birth. My gender is not your social experiment.
We are dealing with totalitarians, fascists and tyrants in our nation who use words to promote evil. We must call them what they are to turn the tide in the culture war.
I entered a fast food restaurant last week in my blue state that demands I wear a mask “for the public good” in all indoor spaces. (Most Nazi-laws were handed down “for the public good.” Those words can contain a coverup of malicious intent.)
I wasn’t wearing a mask–deliberately.
An older worker asked me to put one on. I responded, “I cherish freedom more than foolish government mandates.” She sullenly walked away. Her young co-worker turned to me and said, “You’re like my dad.” I took it as a compliment and encouraged her to live for truth and Jesus.
She smiled. The tide is turning.
The now infamous Loudon County school board meeting and what it inspired to reject transgender bathrooms in the schools is a bellwether. The same is happening with Critical Race Theory around the nation. Parents are rising up. Truth in language and in action are vital for victory.
We not only must change the words and narrative and build a momentum of godliness in our nation, but fill the airwaves, social media, and every neighborhood with praise and prayers to God to dispel the darkness.
Call it millions of shouts of truth!
God can bring change to our world through a revival of words (and deeds).
Ron, always love your evaluations as a world-traveled brother who has been
on the front of evangelism. We still should expect the fourth wave to
take place, from China to Europe which will happen when the Chinese
church is released to do so; it is in their heart as is described in
the book The Next Christendom. It will be powerful and beyond that.
Great insights Ron!