Thursday, October 07, 2004
WORDS AND WORDS
I've been thinking about words, and how they change meaning over time, for better or worse. Yet, some words do retain their original meaning, and people who choose to use the words in that original context should make that clear and precise. One instance is the word "Christian" and the discussion that it has been generating.
Today, the word Christian means someone who is regenerate followers of Christ who have had their sins forgiven. The key term is regenerate, and not false, followers. The problem, of course, is that the Bible also has a definition of the word "Christian," and it cannot in any context mean the modern definition. The first instance was in Antioch, and it is highly unlikely that these nonbelievers could have knowledge of one's regenerative status. The second instance was Herrod telling Paul he almost became a Christian. The thirsd instance is Peter, who says that it should be counted as good if you're imprisoned for being a Christian (as opposed to a murderer). I guess the difficult part of this whole discussion is that some of us are going back to the original Biblical definition of words and concepts.
When that happens, you have to rethink and reform words and thoughts that you had originally associated with those things. For instance, I oppose gun control, but I can't say that the 2nd Ammendment is the reason why. It definitely applies against the federal government, but it does not apply to the States. Now a lot of States have right-to-bear arms clauses in their constitutions, but some don't. Hence, if they decide to regulate guns, there is no constitutional prohibition.
Well, let me adjust that a little bit. The Ammendment would seem to prohibit the States from an all out prohibition on the ownership of gun ownership. The reson why is that the militia is necessary for a free state. Hence, the right to bear arms will not be prohibited. Congress has control over the militia, as does the President. Hence, if all the States were to ban ownership of guns, there would be no Militia to call up, but the Constitution certainly does imply that a militia exists.
Same thing with the 1st. It prohibits the Federal Government from abridging speech, press, and everything else, but not the States. Yet, every state has clauses guaranteeing these rights. However, if this is the correct view, and I believe it is, then a huge bulk of constitutional jurisprudence would be overturned, and the shape of the federal courts would be dramatically altered. Of course, this would be a very good thing.
Change of worldviews, even in religous matters, will sometimes mean an overhall on how one views things. Some of this will be foreign to others, but if it is the correct view, if it is the view that (for example) the Bible or the Constitution had put forth in the past, it might not be that bad. On the other hand, we should always be wary that we may also be totally wrong in our evauation, too.