Faux fur, Imitation Leather, I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter,
Fake Smiles, Imitation Designer Bags,
Imitation Diamonds, and now --
That's The Devil's Business Creating Fakes!
One of Satan's best tools is changing the meanings of words ... of language. This strategy also works wonderfully. In fact I think it works even better than creating fakes because no one looks for changed definitions so they slip right by into the general culture - even into our Christian worldview.
A classic changed word is intercourse. Yes, to most of us it refers to a specific sexual action. But in the past - in its origins in English - it meant commercials dealings. In middle English it referred to your interactions with other people, your manner of living. It come from the Old French conversation and the Latin converstionem. Both referred to acts of living.
AND how about the word conversation as used in 1 Peter 1:15 of the King James Version of the Bible:
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation...
The on-line Free Dictionary says conversation means:
The spoken exchange of thoughts, opinions, and feelings; talk.
So, yes, be holy in all manner of your spoken exchange of thoughts, opinion, and feelings.
Now that is quite a challenge - often failed in the political exchange of Christians ... especially conservatives.
But that is not what the verse means. In the good King James' day it meant --- well we've already seen what it meant. It meant your intercourse with a men (humans). Or, in case I lost you in the parsing, the obsolete (according to one dictionary) meaning of conversation was:
Conversation = Behavior or manner of living.
In scripture the word conversation is never used in reference to verbal communition between people. It alway refers to our manner of living. The meaning of the word in the original languages was "manner of living." King James had it right. Satan changed the language!
And so it is with "tolerance"
In this century the Devil has worked very hard to change the meaning of the word tolerance and even harder to change its application.
"Challenging our century's faux-tolerance." David Koyzis, reviewing The Intolerance of Tolerance by D. A. Carson, starts out by distinguishing the traditional definition of tolerance ("...to willingly endure ideas and practices with which one strongly disagreed...") with what he and the book author assert is the new variation: ("...to imply a general nonjudgmental attitude towards the conflicting truth claims of different worldviews.") "To express disagreement at all [given this new definition] is to risk the accusation of intolerance."
-"Trying to gain rhetorical advantage in a dispute by giving the other side a negative label (such as "intolerant") is nothing new. The technique joins many others in current service in both church politics and secular politics, such as fake outrage, fake antiquity, and fake naivete, unfair comparisons (my best ideals with your worst practices), arguing from consequences, selective quotations without context, and the ever-popular false dichotomy. And possibly the all-time champion: logical linkages that subvert God's loving intent (Mark 7:10-12; context)."
-Rousseau's influence on contemporary western notions of tolerance is far from incidental. In fact, there is some justification in observing that Rousseau may be replacing Locke as the principal influence in contemporary North American liberal jurisprudence and educational policy. (Challenging our century"s faus-tolerance)
This shift in the meaning and application of "tolerance" is a win-win for Satan but not for Christians. Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle states:
"Sadly, the debate about Christianity has shifted from 'is it true' to 'was anyone offended.' The Bible assures us that the gospel message will be offensive, although the gospel messenger should be loving."
With the faux definition of tolerance we as Christians will always be labeled intolerant as long as we give the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Let us not fail therefore to be known as the people who love unconditionally, even as God, in Christ, loved us.