George Orwell published a book in 1949 called “1984”. It is about a dystopian society of total government control and surveillance. They even control what people think. There are entire branches of government devoted to this. There are the though police who prosecute thought crimes. The place the main protagonist Winston Smith works at is tasked with rewriting history to suit its current narrative. There is a language called newspeak wherein words mean only what the current government policy says they mean, and this can change at a moment’s notice. This used to sound crazy years ago, but it turns out Orwell was more of a prophet than a writer of fiction. We now live in such a society. Have you ever viewed an item online and afterward began to receive unsolicited ads for that or similar items? The GPS on you phone works both ways. The news media is nothing but a propaganda machine with an agenda. Journalism does not exist in their circles. The redefining of terms has become so commonplace that some people do not even notice it. The rainbow is a symbol of the covenant God made with Noah and all mankind after the flood (Gen 9:13-17), but is that the first thing that comes to your mind when you see that symbol? The word gay used to mean happy, but it means something else now. We realize that language changes over time, but there is a purposeful effort to hijack words and their meanings as part of an agenda to change the culture. The meaning of male and female and the pronouns he and she is even being twisted to promote an agenda of sexual perversion.
None of this is a coincidence, but its roots are often overlooked. When we move from a solid Biblical foundation for our understanding, the only other source of ideas is the deceitful heart of man (Jer 17:9-10, Rom 8, 1Cor 1-2). Compounding this problem is the devil who adds further deception (Rev 12:9, Rev 13:4, Rev 20:8-10). Sin also has its own self-perpetuating factor of deception (Rom 7:11). The agenda behind the Orwellian redefining of terms is more than just political. It is spiritual. The effort to promote the progressive idea of a living U.S. Constitution is the superficial manifestation of the deeper move to get people to view the Bible as malleable to the current cultural trends or dismissable altogether. Now we see the effort to redefine scriptural terms to suit people’s agendas.
Some people say truth is not absolute but relative. This is a scriptural and logical fallacy. The next time someone tells you truth is not absolute, ask them if they are absolutely sure about that. People speak of “my truth” and “your truth”. This is nonsense and error. Jesus Christ IS the truth (Jn 14:6). He is not subject to the definitions of sinful fools, but sadly so many are falling for this deception. This is critical and foundational, because when the concept of absolute truth is rejected, man is open to any lie without any way of telling it. When absolute truth is rejected, people then redefine terms to mean whatever they want them to mean.
We need a revival of righteousness, but we cannot have it without a correct definition of what righteousness is. It is not complicated. It simply means doing the right thing in the eyes of God (1Jn 3:7). The Bible tells us what that is (Jn 17:17, 2Tim 3:13-17, 2Pet 1:20-21). Some people continue to use Biblical words but not Biblical definitions of those words. This is a dangerous deception. Satan manifests himself as though he is an angel of light and so his ministers pretend to be ministers of righteousness (2Cor 11:13-15). The devil has been twisting the word of God since the beginning (Gen 3:1-7, Mt 4:1-11, 2Pet 3:16). He doesn’t need you to completely abandon it. Just having a false interpretation of it will suffice him. The end result is the same.
People define peace falsely. Peace is not the absence of conflict in circumstances. It is an absence of conflict in our relationship with God (Jn 14:27, Jn 16:33). Man will never find peace without God and His definition of righteousness. They are inseparable (Ps 72:3, Ps 85:10, Is 32:17, Rom 14:17, Jam 3:18).
There are often cries for social justice. These cries take many forms. While some people are sincere about addressing real problems, others are using justice as a word to disguise their real agenda which is anything but justice. What some people call justice is really just revenge, and that is even often twisted as well. The word most often used for justice in the Bible means righteousness. It is translated righteousness 128 times, and justice only 15 times. Without the righteousness of God, there is no such thing as justice. People are often wasting their time using false means to deal with the symptoms of problems rather than following the word of God and getting to the underlying spiritual issues that create the symptoms. Others don’t want to actually solve problems. They just want to feel good about themselves superficially. God has real solutions to real problems, but so much time, energy, and resources are wasted either sincerely but in error or with a hidden agenda. Jesus Christ is the only Savior (Jn 14:6, Acts 4:12). What people need most is to be saved from sin so they can start practicing true righteousness instead. That will solve most of the so called “social justice” issues.
The world also has a false definition of love. Love is not an emotion. It is not having false compassion. It is an act of the will that often has to ignore feelings. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. There are three main Greek words for love. There is eros, which is romantic or sexual. There is phileos, which is brotherly affection. Then there is agape. It has been said that this word does not appear in Greek literature before the New Testament. That is because the world’s definition of love is not God’s. Agape is the self-sacrificing love that was displayed perfectly by Jesus Christ when He died for us (Jn 3:16, Jn 15:13). He had nothing to gain by dying on the cross, but we had everything to gain. He did it strictly out of love for us. Lust can be defined as the selfish desire to obtain something even regardless of how it affects others. Love is giving of one’s self at a cost in order to meet the needs of others. Jesus not only loved his friends. He even loved His enemies (Rom 5:6-10). When we choose a lifestyle of sin, we make ourselves the enemies of God (Jam 4:1-4). Yet Christ loved us even when we lived in direct opposition to His will. Sometimes love involves discipline and saying no.
The religious world has a false definition of faith. It is more than just a mental assent or verbal acknowledgement. It is confidence in the word of God. There are at least two aspects of this. The first is that we will be faithful to keep His commandments (Lk 6:46, Jn 14:15, 1Jn 5:3). The second is confidence that God will be faithful to His word. God is not obligated to anything but His word. When we place expectations on God that are not according to His word, He is under no obligation to hear us (1Jn 5:14-15). Also, when we place unscriptural expectations on ourselves or others, that is not faith either. That can be in the form to expecting too much, too little, or something different than we ought to.
We need scriptural words and definitions. It does matter. What we believe informs what we do, and it is quantified and expressed through words. We are living in day when even the elect are being deceived (Mt 24:24). While they may not be deceived in every area, a little leaven leavens the whole lump (1Cor 5:6-8, Gal 5:9). Evil communications corrupt good manners (1Cor 15:33). People who call themselves Christians are defining Biblical terms incorrectly, and the result is a false representation of Christ and His word, a false effort at doing what is good and right, and even deception. While some are sincere and others are not (Phil 1:15-18), sincerity is not the final measure. We need to get it right, and only true words with true definitions will guide us there.