I have heard about a tribe of Indians in the Amazon whose language only contains numbers for counting up to 15. Anything beyond 15 is simply “many”. Of course this is not particularly helpful in a number of scenarios. “How many warriors did you say were attacking?” “Many.” “How many children have gone down to the river?” “Many.” Ouch!
Language is a powerful tool. We use the symbols of language to build our ideas, organize our thoughts and infuse precision into our communication. In fact, whereas societies create words to express ideas, those very words in turn shape the possibilities for how a society can think about ideas. The positive and negative connotations associated with words can become powerful bricks building a society’s perspective about life. Accordingly, connotations might either contribute toward a biblical understanding of our world or they might be an attempt to deconstruct a godly worldview in order to support a humanistic view of life. Consider the following example.
There are many phobias (fears) such as claustrophobia or arachnid phobia. Most people readily acknowledge that it is desirable to live free of phobias. Phobias carry a negative connotation.
When the homosexual community invented the word homophobia, they demonstrated they understood the power of language to shape a society. After all, who wants to suffer from a phobia? Accordingly, when they slap the label homophobic upon someone, immediately this implicitly involves the subtle claim that their “gay” viewpoint is superior and more healthy. Given time, that word if uncontested could contribute toward shaping a society’s perception of morality.
Since I believe that our ways of thinking should mirror the way God wants us to think about life, I would propose that the English language needs a new word: homoveritasphobia. This word simply means, fear of the truth about homosexual behavior.
Despite the sophisticated attempts of the homosexual community to scrub out of the scriptures any condemnation of homosexual activity, it remains plain for all to see. Equally clear, is that this or any other sinful lifestyle can be forgiven when people respond appropriately to Jesus.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, … nor homosexuals, neither thieves … shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB).
With this proposed word, the playing field has been tipped back in favor of God’s perspective. Either a person is homophobic or homoveritasphobic. Which would you rather be?