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Do Words Mean Anything?

I was driving the other day and saw an advertisement for a local Italian restaurant. The sign on the van was marketing the restaurant’s salads, which were advertised as “homemade.” I simply chuckled to myself in amazement.

A restaurant cannot have anything that is “homemade” unless the workers make the food at home and then bring it to the restaurant (which is a violation of health codes). The restaurant meant that the salads were made fresh, but unfortunately chose to use the word “homemade” instead. “Homemade” and “fresh” are entirely different things. Homemade food can be fresh, but fresh food does not mean it is homemade.

The problem is that people are no longer using the appropriate word for what they mean. Instead, some make words mean what they want them to mean. This attitude has filtered into the study of the scriptures. If a person does not like what a verse says, just make the words mean something else. The condemnation against homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9 does not mean the practice of homosexuality, but being a promiscuous homosexual, we are told. Justification does not mean God’s way of making us right before Him, but is the declaration that we are in God’s family, we are told (though I do not see how we are declared to be in God’s family without being made right by God). Baptism does not mean baptism. It means praying a sinner’s prayer, we are told. 

Words mean something. We must quit redefining words to mean what we want them to mean. Accept God’s words; don’t change God’s words.