Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast, reflects on the continuing word crisis that threatens to undo western civilization. The word “insurrection” is plastered in the headlines today. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Jeffrey Scott Shapiro laments the application of the word “insurrection” to the events of January 6, 2021. But Shapiro notes, “The events of Jan. 6…fail to meet the dictionary definition of insurrection, which Merriam-Webster defines as ‘an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government’….the word implies an ‘armed uprising.’” Shapiro contends that “a real insurrection would have required the armed forces to quell an armed resistance,” as in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. Shapiro concludes, “Those who violated the law inside the U.S. Capitol should be prosecuted and, if convicted, sentenced accordingly. But dramatizing a riot as an organized, racist, armed insurrection is false reporting and dangerous political gaslighting. The misuse of words, especially involving criminal accusations, can easily result in overreaching enforcement of the law and a chilling effect on free speech, all of which have already happened—and in this case, endanger the very system the rioters’ accusers purport to protect.” Consider also, the word “marriage.” As Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet note, marriage has always been defined as “a relationship between men and women” because of “the dual, gender-distinct nature of humanity.” As such, the relationship “between marriage and procreation is more than just incidental.” All of this has been up for grabs as a result of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who not only redefined the word “marriage” but pontificated that the historical definition fosters ill will and animosity. What must surely have been self-evident to this supremely erudite arbiter of justice is that virtually every redefinition of marriage, including his own, excludes someone (siblings, the polygamous, those underage, etc.). But is this due to hate or to common sense? If marriage means everything, in the end it may well mean nothing at all.

See Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, “Stop Calling Jan. 6 an ‘Insurrection,’” Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/stop-calling-jan-6-an-insurrection-capitol-riot-civil-disorder-insurgency-protest-first-amendment-11641417543.

Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet, Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014). See Justice Anthony Kennedy, United States v. Windsor (2013).

D. K. Matthews, “Seduced: The Crisis of Word and the Fragmentation of Civilization,” Christian Research Journal, vol. 43, no. 01 (2020), https://www.equip.org/article/seduced-the-crisis-of-word-and-the-fragmentation-of-civilization/.




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