Definitions Matter

article by site founder, Connie Rice

This site is about discovering truth. Unfortunately, discovering truth is made more difficult when terms are redefined. Noah Webster, author of “An American Dictionary of the English Language”, recognized that a unified national language was essential for our new nation. The following quote is from the history given regarding Webster’s work:

“Webster learned to read and understand more than 20 languages and traveled to France and England to research early dictionaries and books on the origins of words and language. Several times Webster ran out of money, but he received financial support from statesman and jurist John Jay and other prominent Americans who wanted to see the book finished. Webster completed the dictionary in 1825, and it was the last time that one person alone developed a major dictionary. It included an impressive 70,000 words, definitions, and explanations of words’ origins. The first edition was printed in 1828 under the title An American Dictionary of the English Language and sold for $20 per set. This colossal work came to symbolize a unified national language, and for Webster, was essential for nation building.”

Webster’s Dictionary 1828

In recent years, influencers in American culture have been redefining words to suit their preferred narrative. The result is more confusion and increased division across the country, just the opposite of what is needed for a nation to be unified. Some of the examples given in this article are phrases and the definitions of words used in this article came from “The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language” (mine was published in 1973):

CULTURAL TERMS:

  • separation of church & state – often communicated as being in the Constitution (it is not); it was taken out of context from a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson in reply to a Baptist minister who was concerned that his minority denomination could be persecuted against. The “separation” referenced was to protect the practice of religion from government intrusion. After their experience in Europe, our founding fathers understandably did not want the government establishing a particular denomination as the official religion of the state.
  • tolerance“capacity to tolerate the beliefs, practices, or traits of others; forbearing”; by definition – a belief or practice different from one’s own, so the term is not the same as agreement or approval of someone else’s belief or practice. In other words, one can only be tolerant in the case of disagreement – showing respect and consideration in spite of it.
  • marriage “the state of being husband and wife; wedlock; the union of a man and woman as husband and wife”; by definition, does not include relationships of same sex; another term should be used rather than redefining the existing one. The institution of marriage was created by God Himself and He uses it as an analogy for the relationship and commitment between Jesus and the church. What God has defined, man does not have the right or the authority to redefine.
  • gender“any set of two or more categories, such as masculine, feminine, and neuter, into which words are divided according to sex, animation, psychological associations, or some other characteristic, and that determine agreement with or the selection of modifiers, referents, or grammatical forms”; human gender as male and female have been known throughout human history and is supported by biology; one’s gender is not just feelings, reproductive party parts, and hormones. It is not possible for a male to become a female or a female to become a male because human chromosomes are either XX (female) or XY (male), excepting chromosomal mutations, ie., Down’s Syndrome (who are still male or female). From a Cleveland Clinic article on fetal development: “At the moment of fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its sex. The gender of your baby depends on what sperm fertilizes the egg at the moment of conception. Generally, women have a genetic combination of XX and men have XY. Women provide each egg with an X. Each sperm can be either an X or a Y. If the fertilized egg and sperm is a combination of an X and Y, it’s a boy. If there are two Xs, it’s a girl.” In addition, data shows that there are inherent differences in the brain, differences in skeletons, and over 3000 skeletal musculature differences. The redefining of gender as a fluid spectrum goes against science, and much damage is being done to adults and especially children with confusion and even permanent body-alteration. Sadly, the stories of those who have suffered do not get much attention. Jesus even spoke to this in Matthew 19:4-6 when answering a question about divorce: “’Haven’t you read’, He replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female?, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate’.
  • abortion“induced termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is capable of surviving as an individual”; fetus is defined as “the unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate; in humans, the unborn young from the end of the 8th week until the moment of birth as distinguished from the earlier embryo”; it is important to note that nothing happens after fertilization to create a human being – it is already created and only needs nutrition, shelter, and time for further growth & development (the same as any infant, toddler, child, & adolescent). To promote abortion as a “woman’s right to choose” for what happens with her own body uses the incorrect premise that the child is part of her body when that is not the case. Babies in the womb are the most innocent and vulnerable of all humans and their lives should be protected by society, not snuffed out. Laws against abortion in America were brought about when the medical community realized more about human development in the womb. There was a common expression used when referencing the safest place a person could be – “the safety of the womb”, but you don’t hear that today. Our Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” What other rights can there be if the right to life is not protected? It is interesting that abortion advocates consider choice to be absolutely necessary, but many of the same people do not value choice when advocating for a vaccine mandate of an experimental, never-before-used gene therapy – even though those break both the Nuremburg Code of 1947 and HIPAA. The Bible is clear on this issue that all human life is created in God’s image and that children are precious in His sight. Other nations who had a practice of sacrificing their children have faced His judgment.
  • racism“the notion that one’s own ethnic stock is superior”; our nation has experienced racism, but there has been much progress made over the last 70 or so years and most people were following Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.“; Influencers in our culture are fanning the flames of racism again, but this time against those with white skin – it is wrong to tell some children that they are and always will be oppressors and it is also wrong to tell other children that they are victims and oppressed, and always will be. Anyone who has been around children knows that they make friends with other children of all colors and ethnicities. The truth is that we are all made in God’s image and every person’s life has value and that we should all treat each other with respect and dignity.
  • equality – our nation was built on the idea that all people were equal in the eyes of their Creator and therefore should be equal under the law and have equal opportunity to pursue liberty and happiness. The Declaration of Independence further states, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. Equality (everyone is equal under the law and has equal opportunity) has recently been replaced with the term equity (equal outcome). Equity has its origins in Marxist theory, and wherever policies based on that have been implemented, the result has been equal poverty, equal misery, loss of liberty, and sadly, also the loss of millions of lives. If interested in this topic, you can check out “EPOCH: The Rise and Fall of the West” by Kevin Swanson, “The Enemy Within: How a Totalitarian Movement is Destroying America” by former communist, David Horowitz or “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World” by news outlet, “The Epoch Times”
  • insurrection – “In insurrection there is an organized and armed uprising [bolded by site founder for emphasis] against authority or operations of government whereas riots and offenses connected with mob violence are simply unlawful acts in disturbance of the peace which do not threaten the stability of the government or the existence of political society.” Some use this term to describe the Jan 6, 2021, but not one person has been charged with that crime – none of the protesters who entered the Capital were armed and there has been no evidence of a planned, organized takeover of the government. It is irresponsible for leaders to intentionally use terms incorrectly (because every politician should know what this term actually means) and may result in citizens being treated unfairly under the law (jailed without charges, no speedy trial, unhealthy conditions, etc.).
  • white supremacy – another term that has recently become the verbal attack “du jour” against people who disagree. Throughout history, there have always been some who considered their own race superior to others. However, I feel blessed to have lived in a time and place where most people moved away from issues of race and valued others for their trustworthiness, honesty, hard work, dependability, and good character. To see this attempt to again divide people by race in American culture is a step backward and is counter to the a biblical worldview that views all people as made in God’s image and therefore, valuable and equal in God’s sight.

MEDICAL TERMS:

  • natural immunity – scientific & medical has always recognized that people who have already had a viral illness and recovered do not need a vaccine; the natural immune system response has already identified the foreign body and fought it off, is generally equipped to fight off any subsequent variant(s), and is no longer contagious. It has also been scientifically known that as a virus mutates, it becomes weaker and less virulent over time. As people’s natural immune systems fight off the virus and the virus mutations make it weaker, eventually, there is herd immunity. There are now many studies around the world that all verify that natural immunity provides better protection than existing vaccines. “Western Journal” has an article on this topic, “Johns Hopkins Doc Says Natural Immunity 27 Times More Effective Than Vaccine”.
  • positive viral infection – diagnosis of a positive infection before this pandemic was by evaluation of symptoms AND a positive test; only with the present situation has it been suggested that a viral infection could be spread by those without symptoms. It is interesting that these suggestions have been dropped from more recent discourse, but not before panicking the populace around the world and causing untold human & economic damage and allowing governments to massively increase their control over people and businesses.
  • unvaccinated – most people understand that this would include those who had not been vaccinated with a particular vaccine and may not be aware that during our current situation, the category of unvaccinated includes those who have not have been “fully-vaccinated“, defined by the CDC as finding an “antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after they have completed all recommended doses [bolded by site founder for emphasis] of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19″. Since many adverse reactions, serious illness, and/or death have occurred shortly after the first shot or within two weeks of the last shot, this drastically underreports the level of adverse reactions from the vaccine itself and mistakenly makes it appear that the truly unvaccinated are the cause of increased illness & death.
  • vaccine “a suspension of attenuated or killed microorganisms, as of viruses or bacteria, incapable [bolded by site founder for emphasis] of inducing severe infection but capable, when inoculated, of counteracting the unmodified species”; in 2021 as more and more “breakthrough cases” with people contracting and even dying from the illness, that the CDC definition of the word was changed to: “A suspension of live (usually attenuated) or inactivated microorganisms (e.g. bacteria or viruses) or fractions thereof administered to induce immunity and prevent infectious diseases and their sequelae. Some vaccines contain highly defined antigens (e.g., the polysaccharide of Haemophilus influenzae type b or the surface antigen of hepatitis B); others have antigens that are complex or incompletely defined (e.g. Bordetella pertussis antigens or live attenuated viruses)”. As Steve Kirsch (tech millionaire who funded covid vaccine trials) explains in his article for Principia Scientific, he “was so shocked at what he saw… that he risks everything to join the growing army of whistleblowers exposing the deadly dangers of these experimental ‘vaccines’.”

We are living in confusing and perilous times. Knowing what is true and having discernment is so critical. God has turned things around during previous times in history when things looked bleak and evil was rampant, so He may very well choose to do so this time. However, we also know that the beginning of the Tribulation may be soon. Some Bible scholars think that the Lord will come for His people after the 7-year Tribulation, some think it will happen in the middle (3.5 years after it begins, before the Great Tribulation as the Antichrist rises to power), and some think it will happen before the Tribulation begins. The event of Jesus coming for His children is referred to as the Rapture. The latter two views have Jesus coming for all of His children and then will come again later as a warrior to fight evil forces. “Got Questions” explains the difference between the Rapture and Jesus’ 2nd Coming. God wants that none should perish, but has given mankind the freedom to choose their own destiny. Many are rebellious and stubborn and will refuse to turn away from their sin and toward Him, rejecting His free gift of eternal salvation that is possible through His Son Jesus Christ’s voluntary, sacrificial death and resurrection. Knowing the Bible provides us with needed discernment and shows us the signs for which we should be aware. My heart breaks for those who won’t choose to accept the free gift that Jesus offers, and I will continue to pray for them. Jesus asked Peter in Luke 9:20, but it applies to each of us: “’But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’”

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

2 Corinthians 7:10

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people!’ If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone’. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:8-12

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know my Father as well.”

John 14:6-7

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood – to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:21-26

There’s a passage in the Bible that caused me to seriously consider what it means to be ready for Jesus’ return:

“Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.  People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Jesus’ words in Luke 6:44-49

If you have been holding on to sin of any kind, turn from it and move toward your loving and merciful Creator. Allow Him to cleanse you from all unrighteousness and experience the life you were created to live – with access to His peace, His joy, His strength, His power (all supernatural), and His purpose for you played out. The Lord makes it possible for those who trust and obey Him to experience a taste of heaven here on earth while we await His return.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

Psalm 34:8

© Constance Rice 2021

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