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
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
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 –
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: