Is it ‘1984’ in America?!
In 1984, if someone sang, “I’m bad, I’m bad, You know it,” we would assume that person was, well, bad:
Bad (bad) adjective. 1. of poor quality, inferior or defective; 2. ill; 3. evil, wicked.
Thanks to Michael Jackson and pop culture, bad is good. George Orwell, in his famous book, 1984, predicted this very mutation of meaning when it was first published in June of 1949: nearly 70 years ago!
Orwell writes, “The very word ‘war’, therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous, war has ceased to exist. . . . War is Peace.”
“Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
Orwell was disturbingly correct: The Vietnam “war,” was never a war, but a “police action.” The weapons that defended the United States against Russia’s nuclear threat during the Cold War were not thermo-nuclear weapons capable of completely destroying life on this planet, but were “Peacekeepers.” In later wars, civilians killed in our wars on terrorism were “collateral damage.” In fact, the United States never dropped a single bomb on Iraq, but instead “delivered ordnance.”
Disclaimer 1: This “bad” column is not about politics. It’s about something more sinister than even “Big Brother.” Nearly 2,700 years before Orwell’s “thought police” and “newspeak,” the prophet Isaiah wrote:
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil (Isaiah 5:20 ESV).
Point 1: We now live in a culture where meaning and morality are turned upside down
Christians, who are to be known for their love (John 13:35), are now reviled as “hateful, judgmental homophobes.”
Profane and obscene language has become “freedom of speech.”
Actions that God called “an abomination” are now “gay” and largely accepted as an “alternate lifestyle.” For example, President Obama once again proclaimed this month as “LGBT Pride Month.” In my lifetime, I’ve seen lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered move from the closet to the national stage.
The shooting at Fort Hood, was not an act of terrorism by an Islamic radical, but “workplace violence.”
The killing of unborn life is now “pro-choice.” And that unborn life is now “tissue” and simply a part of a “woman’s body.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember, from fifth grade science class, that this “tissue” has its own unique DNA, may have a different blood type and has a fifty-fifty chance of being male. It’s not a woman’s body for which she can determine its fate.
And all this is encouraged, not by Orwell’s “thought police,” but by the agents of “political correctness” in the educational system, the media and government.
Disclaimer 2: I am not suggesting that we return to racist, sexist and crude names for those who disagree us. We are told to love everyone, even our enemies.
Point 2: Whoever defines the words, defines the culture
Orwell wrote, “And in the general hardening of outlook that set in . . . practices which had been long abandoned [such as] imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages and the deportation of whole populations—not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.”
Disclaimer 3: Again, this is really not a political rant, but when I read the above, the Guantanamo “detention camp” and “water-boarding” inevitably come to mind.
Hopefully, the recent 5,000 percent increase in sales of 1984 will make Americans aware that whoever controls the language, controls the thoughts of the populace. And, more specifically, make Christians aware of the subtle way changes in the meaning of our words can sedate us toward the sinfulness of sin. Perhaps it’s time of fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ to shed our image of being “enlightened and progressive” and return to God’s definition as a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).
Contrary to Isaiah’s observation in chapter five, the prophet writes:
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8 ESV)
Point 3: God’s definitions of good and bad do not change with culture
Godly people can have their political differences on what constitutes “just war,” “enhanced interrogation,” etc. etc. It’s complicated! I understand that, and respect those who disagree with me.
But I trust Bible-believers will be united in what God calls “good and evil”—and pray for His Truth to prevail over the political correctness.
Originally published June 2013 by The Presidential Prayer Team.
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