Strange Words

      I find words too interesting. They contain lots of facts, which make up our world. If I had to choose only one book (besides the Bible) & go live like Robinson Crusoe on a deserted island, it would be a dictionary. But some words can be strange & confusing: 
-  burden - a refrain of a song                                             -  surfeit - a nest of skunks
-  panic - a kind of grass                                                     -  murder - a line of crows on a fence
-  defile - a narrow ravine                                                   -  unkindness - a group of ravens
-  patch - a fool or clown                                                     -  congregation - a group of alligators
Now internet word lists using “congregation” for alligators seems to be recent since the Oxford dictionary calls a bunch of alligators a BASK. Webster doesn’t specify either. I suspect using “congregation” for alligators is derogatory of the Church. But what else is new in our modern world? The church – especially the protestant & catholic groups have lost much luster in the last 50 years or so. The decision to remove prayer from schools & religious plaques from court rooms has had negative trends in our society & world. Separation of church & state doesn’t mean evict God or His value system, but that appears to be what we have done.
      Regeneration is also a strange word for most people. In biology, the lobster grows a new claw. For humans it means to be spiritually reborn, renewed or restored. This means we need this to be right or whole (exactly what scripture teaches.) However, today’s liberal climate is insulted by such a need being suggested by an Old Book that has been undermined, intellectually by even the church that claims to own it. (See Higher Criticism.) Now regeneration is another word for salvation, which is also a “strange word” today. Lots of folks today have the mindset that says “I’m OK, and you’re OK,” don’t need no salvation, shut up & sit down . . .
     Today the words Regeneration & Salvation are strange to people BECAUSE it’s politically correct to never find fault with anyone, on ANY subject. Dale Carnegie’s 50’s slant on friendship may match today’s liberalism – “If you want to keep friends & have people like you . . . never complain, never condemn, and never criticize.” (So it was in Christ’s day also - He was executed along with most or ALL of the Apostles later on for violating that principle. See John 8:44) Another main reason WHY those words R. & S. are strange is because people don’t understand God’s Ways. He has always done things to amaze & challenge the mind of man. Consider hard core Old Testament miracles, or the Incarnation & Resurrection of Christ.
     Another “strange word” is God’s definition of salvation: man is lost, Christ dies for our sin, we believe it & are saved, or reject it & remain lost. Man could not & would not invent that Biblical model. The mind of man would cook up something that strokes us (See “New Age” link 56), not a rebuke for sin. It’s just God’s Way to present such a “strange word” salvation model to humanity. We are being challenged by our creator to see who will “dance” with Him, and who will not. Consider God’s Ways in the following:
-  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”   Genesis 2:7   (Humble beginning there for our race – dust is pretty cheap.)
-   “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”   Isaiah 55:8
-  “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the wale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”  Matthew 12:40   Jesus said that.
-  “. . .for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”  Luke 16:15b
-  “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”  
2 Corinthians 5:17  
-  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”  1 Peter 1:23    I personally believe this passage is a subtle reference to Christ.
     Now the written “Word of God” gives us the knowledge of His Regeneration & Salvation (along with a HUGE quantity of other info.) Yes, R. & S. may be “strange words” to this world, but valid for thousands of years. Have YOU connected? If not, why not?? “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20.   Choose Jesus and His word. They are alive.  And serious seekers should participate in a Bible fellowship - God's people are not alligators, & hardly ever bite.

Many other Titles:  www.gospelnotes.net  - index is link 1                                            * * F. J. Stone * *