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Monday, May 7, 2012

A WORLD GONE GRAY

By Dalton Key
     Adultery and fornication are now extra-marital affairs and sexual experimentation. Promiscuity is nothing more than “hooking up” and hopefully having “safe sex”. Homosexuals are gay. Their relationships are no longer described as perverse or deviant but are rather touted as free expressions of an alternate lifestyle.
     No one steals anymore. But there are those misguided souls involved in petty larceny, suffering from kleptomania, or perhaps overcome by embezzlement, creative bookkeeping, or perhaps the misappropriation of funds.
     People don’t lie. They shade the truth. Politicians don’t lie. They spin the facts. Governments don’t lie. They fuel massive disinformation campaigns. Drunkards have become alcoholics. Drug addicts have become substance-dependent.
     The story is told that Confucius, when asked what his first deed would be if he were to be made Emperor of China, replied, “I would re-establish the precise meaning of words.”
     Much could be said for this idea. Stripped of accuracy, language becomes impotent.
     When the world goes gray, and vagueness engulfs the land, confusion takes hold. No one is quite sure what is right and what is wrong; or, indeed, if anything is wrong, except the bigotry of suggesting that some things may be wrong.
     Truth is easily hedged and responsibility avoided when words lose their meaning and become so elasticized so as to mean almost anything – and nothing.
     The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were experts at creating legal loopholes and semantical quagmires in order to free themselves of responsibilities which they expected of others.
     They concocted a unique and creative vocabulary to side-step truth and cloud their own imperfections.
     They could: ”lie” without “lying,” by the way they worded their oaths. To these ancient adherents of political correctness, Jesus warned, “Whatever you have to say let your ‘yes’ be a plain ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ a plain ‘no’ – anything more than this has a taint of evil.” (Matthew 5:37, Phillips.)
     Remember this: truth is truth regardless what men may say or how they may say it. Some things – no matter what they are called or how benignly they are described – are wrong, have always been wrong, and will always be wrong.

- Dalton Key; via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website at:
http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org 

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