By Rick Marschall
Special to ASSIST News Service
SWARTZ CREEK, MI (ANS) -- Words. Words can liberate our minds. They can be used to sway the masses and instruct our children. They can bring joy and comfort. Remembering that the Bible calls words potentially dangerous -- "No one can tame the tongue; it is restless and evil, full of deadly poison," says James 3:5 -- we know that words can misinform, confuse, and be harmful.
In that regard I noticed that two recent news stories -- the disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines plane, and another shooting at Fort Hood -- were accompanied by speculation about terrorist involvement. Indeed, most news anchors spouted, in advance of any journalistic reason to raise the topic, "It is too early to speculate on whether there is a terrorist connection."
Game, set, match. Thus the speculation begins. Moreover, by contemporary journalistic-speak, what more evidence of terrorism than a missing plane or a shooting rampage? What the media mean in 2014 is "Islamic Terrorism."
"Terrorism" has become another kidnapped word, ripped from dictionaries and traditional parlance. "Gay" and "Holocaust" are two other such words. When the storm troopers of Political Correctness are on the rampage, we become haters if we do not conform. And so "Terrorism" is now equated with "Islamic Terrorism."
I maintain there is a third spin to this neologism. Quick: a pop quiz. How many victims of terror were there on 9-11? An approximate number will do.
It is likely that you thought, Approximately 3000. More, some would reckon, adding to the Twin Towers, the horrors in Shanksville, the Pentagon, the planes, the Pentagon employees.
Those numbers are 'way off the mark. I would have us realize that the 3000 or so who died on 9-11 were not victims of terrorism. They were murder victims. The victims of terrorism are approximately 300-million who were left with pain, hurt, sorrow, fear, anxiety, inconvenience, and life-routines forever altered. Such a result is the goal of terrorists. The dead were murdered; the living are terrorized.
They commit murder to spread self-doubt, fear, and even hatred. To terrorize the survivors. Innocent people can never be reconciled to terror, and therefore terror triumphs in the prevalence of paranoia, the surrender of security, eventually the loss of liberty.
These are not matters of "sticks and stones": words have meaning, and can define how we navigate the troubled waters of life, as citizens and as Christians.
In the civic realm, we are seeing lawbreaking condoned, and criminals excused. Acts regarded as harmfully anti-social a generation ago -- actually, throughout human history in all cultures -- are being promoted today as beneficial and "progressive." To oppose dependency and sloth is (to the Compassion Police) committing "hate crimes," whatever that really is.
In the spiritual realm, we are witnessing the fulfillment of biblical prophecies. Men are calling evil good, and good evil; putting darkness for light, and light for darkness; putting bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20). We see traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (II Timothy 3:4). And the Bible prophesied: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears" (II Timothy 4:3).
So is it a surprise that many Christians are quiet when religious expression is attacked by our own government? Why are Christians afraid to proclaim Christ against the attacks of false faiths and aggressive atheists? Why are those who claim the title of Christian so numb to the horrific persecution of believers around the world? -- greater in numbers, in the past century, than in all previous centuries, added together, since Christ?
The answers include the facts that "truths" from the new pulpits have lulled us to sleep. That heresy and error have subverted the churches. That we have become more interested in pleasing other people, than pleasing -- obeying -- God.
WORDS have made truth relative, and irrelevant. Words are encouraging people to abandon the faith of their fathers. Words enable feeble minds to think that God's precepts depend on our opinions of them.
Words are sending America to hell.
And that, if nothing else, should terrorize us.