Our Own Version of Newspeak

I read George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 way back sometime in my youth. Orwell, a socialist who saw the potential tyranny of socialism (read his Animal Farm for a withering treatment of Soviet-style communism under Stalin), displayed in 1984 just how bad it could get.

One of the words he introduced in the novel was Newspeak. It has now become part of our vocabulary. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term this way:

Propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meaning.

Vagueness and reversal of established terminology, giving new and often perverted meanings to words, has now become an art in our society. Here’s one cartoonist who has noticed how this has come into play lately:

We used to think that global warming meant the temperature is getting warmer. Silly us. Now we know that global warming creates record cold waves.

Tax cuts used to mean that people paid fewer taxes. Wrong again. Somehow, those evil tax cuts are going to make us pay more. Oh, and everyone is going to die very soon because of them.

On university campuses across the nation, free speech is under attack because it’s not really free speech anymore, but speech that oppresses certain classes of people. That cannot be allowed. The First Amendment must be abolished so we can be free indeed.

See how it works? No? Well, join the club.

Pernicious as these developments are in overturning basic logic and even threatening our right to speak our minds in public, there is a moral inversion that is not new. It goes way back, even to the beginning of the human race—and we see it rising in our day as well.

The prophet Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, explained it this way:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight

Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine
And valiant men in mixing strong drink,

Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

Abortion is the fulfillment of reproductive rights, not the murder of an innocent child.

Homosexuality/same-sex marriage is love in action, not a perversion of God’s gift of sex.

The end justifies the means: as long as you come out on top in the end, you are to be praised regardless of how you got there. Righteousness in the means one uses is outmoded and unrealistic. All that matters is winning.

Those are the examples that immediately come to mind, but there are more.

Have we reached our own version of 1984, albeit a few decades later? Are we allowing Newspeak to guide our thinking and short-circuit genuine logic?

Don’t follow the herd. Think as God intended you to think. Take a stand for truth even when that stand is a lonely one. God sees. He honors those who stand.

Speaking Boldly About Ultimate Truth

I read through the book of Isaiah recently. It’s poignant in so many ways. It has provided encouragement to speak boldly about ultimate truth. Most blogs that focus on politics and government don’t delve into ultimate truth, but merely comment on events from a distinct political perspective. My mission from God [that’s not boasting, by the way; all Christians have a mission, and all nonchristians have one waiting for them if they submit their lives to Him] is to place current events in the framework of Biblical principles and in the light of eternity.

In chapter 51, these words stood out to me:

Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants will die in like manner. But My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not wane.

We live our lives as if what we see around us will go on indefinitely. That’s not the case. While what transpires on this earth is important, it’s primarily the proving ground for eternity. Consequently, what should be my outlook? The chapter continues:

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My law; do not fear the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. For the moth will eat them like a garment, and the grub will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation to all generations.

There have been times that I have not spoken what the Lord has placed in my heart for fear of what others will say. I don’t like to be reproached any more than you do. When it comes to matters political, economic, or whatever, it’s often easier to pull back and avoid confrontation. Why should I be the sore thumb sticking up, declaring against all that modern man believes, that homosexuality is a sin? Why continue to point out deviations from sound Biblical economic theory and the rule of law under constitutionalism? So few care anymore. Why not be quiet and at peace?

Then more words from this chapter stand out and strengthen my resolve:

I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies and of the son of man who is made like grass, that you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth?

As a historian, I’ve studied many great individuals from the past. But who has accounted them “great”? Was Alexander the Great really great or a self-centered, bloodthirsty tyrant? By the way, he’s dead now, in case you hadn’t noticed. The same can be said of all the Roman emperors, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or any other despot you wish to name. Some American presidents who thought they were God’s personal messengers with a “brand new message” have learned otherwise since their deaths [Woodrow Wilson comes to mind].

All those who hold high positions today will one day have to stand before the One who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Many surprises await. Jesus made it clear:

Some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last. [Luke 13:30]

Thank you, Lord, for the reminder to be humble, to speak Your truths, and to remember what really matters.

The Obama Zone

Yesterday, ISIS captured more than 100 Christians in Syria. If they are treated as other captives, the women and young girls will be raped and brutalized, then executed. The men may be burned alive or crucified. Hatred drives these Islamists, and nothing will appease them. This is no different in spirit than the Nazis. Both movements were and are fueled by Hell.

Yet what do we hear from the administration about this latest report of Christians being massacred? Not a word yet. You see, we wouldn’t want to “inflame” the captors. It might lead them to continue their rampage of terror. At least, that’s the message Obama’s spokespersons are disseminating.

Our president, meanwhile, shows no signs of changing his mind about the foolish comments he made at the Prayer Breakfast:

Not Be Named

This past week, we did get a warning about a possible terrorist attack on the Mall of America in Minneapolis. Was it genuine, or just a ploy to force Republicans in the Senate to drop their opposition to Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that malls like that would make perfect “soft” targets for the terrorists.

Did you see the sign at the Mall of America, boasting that it was a gun-free zone? Well, that’s great. Now we don’t have to worry about terrorists taking guns in there. After all, it’s against the law, right? And they are so law-abiding. The absolute foolishness of our politically correct contingent is neverending.

Malls

May I take one more opportunity to make fun of the “jobs for jihadists” theme?

Drive-Through Lanes

As a nation, we have entered the “Obama Zone,” where everything we’ve ever believed is now turned upside down.

Obamaland

And here’s another thing that is now reversed:

Dissent

A poignant Scripture from the book of Isaiah is one I’ve used many times to decry what we see happening in our country. I’m going to use it again today simply because it so accurately describes what we are experiencing:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

Calling Evil Good

President Obama’s declaration last week that he approves of gay marriage was no surprise to me. In fact, anyone who really believed he wasn’t in favor of it had to be living in a fantasy world. His worldview, which is mainstream radicalism, naturally leads him to it. His professed faith, which departs severely from Biblical roots, is no barrier to it. Already we had seen his administration, through the Department of Justice, refuse to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law during the Clinton years. Attorney General Holder was quite vocal in his refusal. So why would the president’s pronouncement last week be a surprise?

Some wanted to cling to Obama’s previous statements that he was not a proponent of gay marriage, but it should have been obvious to anyone with any critical sense at all that his stance was purely political. Now he has gambled that the nation has moved far enough left that it won’t be a detriment to his reelection. That remains to be seen. Last week, North Carolina became the 30th state to successfully define marriage as between one man and one woman, despite polls that indicate a majority of Americans now support homosexuals getting married. Are those polls accurate?

Those with purely political analyses are saying this move by Obama at this time is meant to take the voters’ minds off the economy:

I do believe that’s part of the strategy, but there’s something deeper at work here: he truly believes in the rightness of his decision:

Those polls I mentioned above could be accurate. We are a nation adrift morally, and it might be true, after a couple of decades of a constant barrage of subtle brainwashing, that most Americans now accept the idea that homosexuality is just a normal way of life for some people, that there is a genetic base for being a homosexual. Unfortunately for those who have jumped on this bandwagon, there is no scientific evidence for any kind of homosexual gene. They are believing a lie.

While I expect Biblically illiterate people to fall for the lie, it’s more disturbing when professed Christians buy into it. They do their best to explain away the explicit passages in Scripture that call homosexuality a sin, but they have to perform some amazing logical and exegetical feats to accomplish it. Frankly, their attempt to downplay the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality falls flat in the face of hard evidence such as that found in the book of Romans. In the first chapter, Paul speaks of those who deny the existence of God as fools, then focuses on how they exchange the truth of God for a lie. One of his examples is homosexuality:

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, … and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

The clear message of Scripture is that homosexuality is unnatural and is a choice; therefore, those who choose to engage in homosexual behavior will suffer consequences for doing so. The last part of the passage is quite fitting for our times when it points to those who not only practice it, but who also push to make the abomination tolerated, and even applauded.

Christians are supposed to be lights in this world. How can we be lights for God and His truth when we excuse sin? We are His priests, according to the New Testament. I was reading yesterday in the Old Testament book of Malachi and came across a stinging rebuke of the priests in his day. I think the rebuke applies to us as well if we deny God’s truth:

For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi.

Christians who refuse to call a sin what it really is are misleading others; they are causing others to stumble in their spiritual walk. That’s a serious accusation, but I feel it must be made. Too many who name the name of Christ are at peace with the world’s way of thinking, and they lead others into confusion and sin when they mishandle the Word of God.

Malachi went on to say,

You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, “How have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them.”

Sadly, that’s exactly what some self-styled Christian leaders are doing today. And then they make their own disciples who go out and do the same. The error spreads, along with the consequences.

We see the same warning given through the prophet Isaiah:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

So what about those of us who may very well be the minority now? What are we to do? Returning to Malachi, we find an answer:

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

We need to distinguish clearly today. We need to know who is a genuine servant of the Lord and who is not. Anyone promoting homosexual marriage has set himself up against the expressed will of God. As Franklin Graham so poignantly put it the other day, President Obama has “shaken his fist at God” in this matter of homosexual marriage. Graham called it “a sad day for America.”

What would be even sadder is if a Christian would vote for a president who has done such a thing. There are many reasons not to allow Obama a second term, but he has now committed an act that should make every Christian reconsider a vote on his behalf. If we vote for him, we are giving our support to this evil. We will have to answer to God directly for that vote.

Speaking Boldly about Ultimate Truth

I’ve been reading through the book of Isaiah recently. It’s poignant in so many ways. It has provided encouragement to speak boldly about ultimate truth. Most blogs that focus on politics and government don’t delve into ultimate truth, but merely comment on events from a distinct political perspective. My mission from God [that’s not boasting, by the way; all Christians have a mission, and all nonchristians have one waiting for them if they submit their lives to Him] is to place current events in the framework of Biblical principles and in the light of eternity.

In chapter 51, these words stood out to me:

Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants will die in like manner. But My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not wane.

We live our lives as if what we see around us will go on indefinitely. That’s not the case. While what transpires on this earth is important, it’s primarily the proving ground for eternity. Consequently, what should be my outlook? The chapter continues:

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My law; do not fear the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. For the moth will eat them like a garment, and the grub will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation to all generations.

There have been times that I have not spoken what the Lord has placed in my heart for fear of what others will say. I don’t like to be reproached any more than you do. When it comes to matters political, economic, or whatever, it’s often easier to pull back and avoid confrontation. Why should I be the sore thumb sticking up, declaring against all that modern man believes, that homosexuality is a sin? Why continue to point out deviations from sound Biblical economic theory and the rule of law under constitutionalism? So few care anymore. Why not be quiet and at peace?

Then more words from this chapter stand out and strengthen my resolve:

I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies and of the son of man who is made like grass, that you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth?

As a historian, I’ve studied many great individuals from the past. But who has accounted them “great”? Was Alexander the Great really great or a self-centered, bloodthirsty tyrant? By the way, he’s dead now, in case you hadn’t noticed. The same can be said of all the Roman emperors, every pope from the Middle Ages who thought he was Christ’s vicar on earth, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or any other despot you wish to name. Some American presidents who thought they were God’s personal messengers with a “brand new message” have learned otherwise since their deaths [Woodrow Wilson comes to mind].

All those who hold high positions today will one day have to stand before the One who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Many surprises await. Jesus made it clear:

Some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last. [Luke 13:30]

Thank you, Lord, for the reminder to be humble, to speak Your truths, and to remember what really matters.