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FORGET THE "E-WORD" - LET'S SAVE THE "C-WORD"

 

 

 

By Paul Proctor

February 14, 2007

NewsWithViews.com

USA Today recently did a story on the deterioration of the word "evangelical" in an article entitled, "Can The 'E' Word Be Saved?" bringing to light the way many such terms are inappropriately used and abused these days for an assortment of unrighteous reasons, causing them to lose all real meaning and value in, not only secular society, but the Church as well.

"Now the word may be losing its moorings, sliding toward the same linguistic demise that "fundamentalist" met decades ago because it has been misunderstood, misappropriated and maligned. 'Save the E-Word,' was the headline on a fall editorial in Christianity Today, the 50-year-old magazine founded by Billy Graham. It quoted opinion polls in England and the USA showing 'the tide has gone out' on the term, increasingly seen as negative and extremist."

It really doesn't take a linguistics expert to see that the overt, covert and embedded enemies of Christ have had a field day redefining the faith by habitually debasing its terms for their own selfish interests. But, who could have predicted back in the 20th century that a celebrated Southern Baptist pastor would eventually go so far as to proclaim in public that Christian fundamentalism is motivated by fear and that it would be "one of the big enemies of the 21st century?"

A Christian fundamentalist used to be known as one who simply believed and practiced the fundamentals of his or her faith. Now, many of those professing to be Christians actually use the word to describe evil! How did this happen?

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20

But it's not just the definition of the "E-Word" (Evangelical) or the new dirty "F-Word" (Fundamentalist) that has changed. The "C-Word" has also lost its meaning and value. I mean, just stop for a moment and consider who and what are being called "Christian" these days:

Who:

1. Ted Haggard
2. Jessie Jackson
3. Al Sharpton
4. Bono
5. Alice Cooper
6. Barack Obama
7. Bill Clinton
8. Jimmy Carter
9. Jane Fonda
10. Britney Spears
11. Jessica Simpson
12. Benny Hinn
13. Brian McLaren
14. Erwin McManus
15. Joel Osteen

What:

1. Conservatism
2. Liberalism
3. Tolerance
4. Compromise
5. Pragmatism
6. Environmentalism
7. Flattering sinners and schmoozing dictators
8. Yoga
9. Transcendental meditation
10. Labyrinths
11. The Emerging Church
12. Metropolitan Community churches
13. Homosexual and Lesbian priests
14. Same sex marriage
15. Bookstores that promote pornography and all of the above

I happened upon a pre-recorded radio program sometime last year where Dr. Stanley Monteith was interviewing a precious metals specialist by the name of Kal Gronvall, who warned about some of the shady coin dealers that regularly take advantage of unsophisticated and inexperienced buyers. He advised listeners to be particularly wary of those who claimed to be Christians - that if they made a point of telling you this, they were probably up to no good and just wanted to gain your trust and patronage so they could take advantage of you.

At first I was a little offended, thinking the gentleman might be harboring a degree of animosity toward Christians in general. But, then it dawned on me that he wasn't really speaking disparagingly of Christianity or Jesus Christ - he was only warning the gullible and unsuspecting about the ever-present danger of wool-covered wolves lurking among the sheep.

Sad, isn't it?

A recently published article in Florida Today entitled: Church Aims To Pimp The Faith, about yet another new way of doing church, might provide, at least in part, some explanation for much of the confusion and controversy. Here's a little of what they had to say:

When artist Xzibit debuted as host of the hit MTV show "Pimp My Ride" in 2004, who would have thought his extravagant renovations of junk cars would spark an idea for a new way to conduct church?

Whether you love it or hate it, "Pimp My Ride" has set a new language standard -- to "pimp," no longer means to manage prostitutes for profit. Pastor Ken Hitte of Discover Life Church is taking the concept and running with it, calling his February sermon series "Pimp My Life."

"When we say 'pimp my life,' it doesn't matter to me if legalists don't like my term," Hitte said. "This is what we're doing. It doesn't mean every other church should do it."

Why not call it something else?

By modern definitions, "pimp" seemed like the perfect word to reach anyone unfamiliar with traditional church terminology, Hitte said. After all, the rest of the world seems to be throwing it around causally.

"To 'pimp' something means to make it look cool by adding lots of gaudy extra stuff to it, usually hip-hop style," said Eric Borgos, creator of www.slangsite.com, where there are four different public-submitted definitions of the word�"

Well, I hate to rain on the freak parade, but today's church has already been "pimped" beyond recognition - and "gaudy" describes it perfectly, considering all of the "extra stuff" that has already been added to draw crowds and give everybody more bang for the buck. In fact, I used the term "pimp" myself to describe the new gaudy church almost two years ago in a NewsWithViews.com article entitled: Pimping For Jesus.

So, what Pastor Hitte is proposing here is by no means original. It's the same old pragmatic prostitution that has captivated capitulating Christians for years. What we're talking about here is more cheap and sleazy marketing gimmickry - opportunists offering up a sort of regurgitated rebellion wrapped in religion to shock and awe otherwise apathetic passersby into participation - not exactly what Jesus Christ commissioned us to do.

And as the term "Christian" degrades into a contrived characterization of corruption and compromise, so does the credibility of those who continue to faithfully profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and proclaim His Gospel of repentance and faith to an ever more cynical, skeptical and hostile world.

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." - Luke 21:17

Anyone can see that today's gross exploitation of the "C-Word" is almost epidemic. Being a "Christian" can now mean almost anything and nothing. Because the "C-Word" has been deceptively deployed time and again to sell all kinds of unchristian items, efforts and individuals including books, CDs, bands, movies, shows, religions, churches, preachers, programs, politicians, platforms, parties and all sorts of fleshly philanthropy, both inside and outside the Church, its biblical meaning and significance has been relegated to the cultural commode of fleeting fashion, rendering it ever more repulsive to the nostrils of our narcissistic nation.

Even many "Christian rock bands" don't want to be called "Christian" anymore!

Can you blame them?

So, let's just forget about The "E-Word" for now, shall we? - And instead, try to save the "C-Word" before it goes the way of the "F-Word."

"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." - 1st John 2:3-5

Related Articles:

1, Save the E-Word
2, Evangelical: Can the 'E-word' be saved?
3, Accurate definition of 'evangelical' up for debate in theology, politics
4, Church aims to pimp the faith
5, California Pastor Stole the Whole Church
6, Rick Warren - Fundamentalist or Finagler?
7, Pimping For Jesus
8, When grandmas go to jail for witnessing

� 2007 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved

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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.

E-Mail: [email protected]

 


 

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It really doesn't take a linguistics expert to see that the overt, covert and embedded enemies of Christ have had a field day redefining the faith by habitually debasing its terms for their own selfish interests.