Category Archives: Young generation

Language misuse

As a millennial I often here many member of my generation using these two words very often as a means to shut down an argument ‘islamophobia’ and ‘homophobia’ (I won’t go into any of the others because they keep adding to them and we’d be here all day!). I want to have a look at their meanings.

Let’s look first at the dictionary definition of phobia- The word phobia comes from the Greek: φόβος (phóbos), meaning “aversion”, “fear”, or “morbid fear”. In popular culture, it is common for specific phobias to be given a name based on a Greek word for the object of the fear, plus the suffix -phobia. (taken from google.). If we delve a little deeper we can see that Phobos a Greek god.He was the Greek personification of fear, flight and panic.

So let’s look at these words ‘homo’ which comes from the Greek meaning ‘same’ which has developed to mean ‘same sex attraction’ and ‘Islam’ describes the religion and ideology of Islam. It is important to note that nowhere here are these two words referencing ‘Muslims’ or ‘gay people themselves’ but rather ‘a feeling of attraction between certain people’ and a ‘specific ideology’.

So after breaking this down in this way we can see that ‘homophobia’ is ‘a morbid fear and panic of two people having same sex attraction’ and ‘Islamophobia’ is a morbid fear and panic of ‘Islam’. These two terms are very widespread these days and are often used by people who have little or no knowledge of the meanings, of historical concept, or just don’t like to be challenged. As a linguist it is always my duty to question and break down different ideas that we have about language to show the truth. In my mind there is no word to describe someone who ‘doesn’t want same sex attraction to be promoted due to biblical principles’. Everyone whom I know who has this view has never had a morbid fear, panic or hatred of gay people. In fact these people have open arms towards everyone regardless. Likewise everyone I know who disagrees with Islam would never have a fear or a hatred of Muslims (I am not denying it, that there are people who hate Muslims and gay people although I have never met a single one of them myself. My job is only to question how our language is used.).

Therefore, maybe from a linguistic point of view we need a new word because perhaps to a certain extent English has lost a lot of descriptive language or a lot has fallen out of use. However, I think it’s really important that we don’t go around liberally throwing around words that we don’t really know the meanings of. It’s important to tackle hatred aimed at a particular individual but hatred is never going to be tackled by calling people names or hurling insults anyway. The hatred I see is the hatred coming from those people who seek to use these words liberally  as an insult to anyone that questions their way of thinking and who seek to close down anything that challenges their viewpoint.

It just makes Jesus words so relevant when he said ‘Take the plank out of your own eye before you take the needle out of someone else’s’ (Matthew 7:5). While many are concerned with doing just that there is a distinctive, rising, spiritual movement, popular among young people today that seeks to do the exact opposite.

Nevertheless the good news is that although they may continue to do this their power is weakening. They have had their time and now it’s time for the power of God to shake the planet like never before, to break down misconceptions, to shake off hatred, to rock the world until political correctness is but a thing of the past. His glory will come but we need to make sure we are right with God first so let’s first take the plant out of our eyes’ and then we may see from a different perspective.

International Women’s Day

What is all this hype about International Women’s Day about?

Today as I was scrolling through facebook I was bombarded with a large number of facebook posts ranting about how women are wonderful but they didn’t stop at that. They continued to state that we are much better than men and that it’s time to kick back. The problem with today’s feminism is that it is not just content with equity but it’s now about undermining men and their God given purpose. It is in many ways fuelled by hatred and bitterness. This is often manifested in many obscure, unhelpful and downright revolting ways which does not actually help those women who are actually oppressed.

I used to live in Mexico and on Women’s day it was really a time to send messages to friends and family telling them what a fantastic mother, grandma, friend and person they were. It was a time to send meaningful bible verses, gifts and applaud those people (of which there were many) who had been through traumatic experiences of rape, violence, rejection and had very low self-worth. However, it was just that, to applaud those women and let them know how great they were and come together to challenge the awful tragedies occurring around them in a loving and heartfelt way. However, this once beautiful and meaningful day has now been hijacked (here in the UK) by the “so-called’ SJW who feel that after applauding these women they should somehow also attempt at derailing and bringing down the entire male population. It is also an opportunity to tell women that they can do whatever they want including bringing down men and no one should question them or disagree with them and if you do you are a disgrace to their cause.  Don’t get me wrong this is by no means everyone nevertheless there is a large percentage of especially young and tending towards liberal university educated women who feel that this is obviously very important (but by no means all).

However, let’s look at the dictionary definition of ‘oppressor’. It comes from the noun stemming from the old French opression (12c.), from Latin oppressionem which means “a pressing down; violence, oppression,” noun of action from past participle stem of opprimere.  Synonyms: tyrant, bully, intimidator, dictator.

I find this exceedingly interesting because throughout my life yes although I have experienced maltreatment at the hands of individual men (you cannot and shouldn’t put everyone in the same box) I have also been targeted far more often and been intimidated by other women. I understand that there are many women out there who have had absolutely awful experiences at the hands of men and my aim is not in any way to question that or invalidate their experiences but rather to point out that women are not without blame too.

Let’s take my experience at school where I did experience intimidation and mostly not from guys. I cannot name all the times I experienced intimidation from women. This does not count for all the times women told me I had to be something else other than what I am, that somehow being feminine was not OK in today’s world, that I couldn’t wear dresses because I was supporting the patriarchy, that I should never be OK with a man opening a door for me, that I should exploit myself sexually because everyone else is doing it and only then will I feel truly liberated and many other reasons.

The truth is all oppression is bad whether done by males and females and I 100% agree that we should take a stand against it but on this international women’s day where are the women who are taking a stand against child marriage, against FGM, against human trafficking? Instead they are shying away from these problems because they are difficult, they are dangerous and they are messy. And many women are turning a blind eye and saying “this is not my problem”, “we shouldn’t get involved in their cultural practices” and yes I have even heard “it would be racist to stand against this”.  You see it’s easier for them to point the finger at men sometimes than to tackle real problems.

The truth is we are not going to stop oppression by oppressing others, by trying to intimidate men and take away their value. We are not going to stop oppression by allowing unforgiveness and bitterness to rule in our hearts, we are not going to stop oppression if we don’t speak life.

At some point in my life I had to make a choice to forgive a number of people who had hurt me. It was hard. It was however liberating to my soul and spirit. I released those people into God’s hand and I have already seen Him do wonders there. I know nevertheless that if I had allowed that bitterness and hatred to continue that I would be a very different person to what I am today and that would be wholly and completely unattractive. It doesn’t invalidate what those people did to me but rather it frees me up to follow God’s purpose for my life.

So on this day I want to praise both the men and women in our lives, those women  and men of strong and powerful faith who were raised by fearless and courageous fathers and mothers. I pray that our sons as much as our daughters feel valued and understand who they were made to be.  I also pray that we would start to discover our God given purpose as women and only then can we support and encourage those men who are feeling invalidated in their own God given purpose as a man. This is true empowerment.

I declare that this generation of sons and daughters would work together like never before, that father you would ride us of all bitterness and hatred so that we can find our purpose in you. I declare for your healing over every women and man who has suffered and felt inferior, undervalued and oppressed and that you would raise up a fearless generation who do YOUR will on this earth!  Amen

Freedom or Feelings

What is hate speech?  

Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.

This on first glance may look like a very obvious and straight forward definition and a great idea. I mean who wouldn’t want to challenge hateful speech. However, when we look at it in greater detail it’s not as simple as we first thought. From 2008 the EU made a decision to combat racism and xenophobia. All western European countries now have hate-speech laws. The European concept of freedom of expression thus prohibits certain content viewpoints, whereas, with certain exceptions, other countries are generally concerned solely with direct provocation which usually has the consequences of explicit acts of lawlessness towards another person. Not so long ago in the past European states and the U.S. had a common view that human rights should be the priority rather than restraining freedom of expression.

However, many people do possess good intentions in their battle against ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘homophobia’ etc… the roots of ‘anti hate speech laws’ are anything but well meaning. The introductions of laws that prohibit free speech were welcomed with open arms and actively promoted by the Soviet Union and various other countries during the previous century. They used these laws to their full advantage to block any opposing viewpoints. Currently we can see this happening in places like North Korea (which is barely ever criticized by many university students along with Fidel Castro which I will explain about later).

Nevertheless it’s not a new concept, only confined to the walls of the 20th century. In fact if we look a little further back in history we can see that even in the expansive Roman Empire there were a great many emperors who sought to reduce free speech to nothing more than a memory in people’s minds. The quest for freedom and revelation is also closely followed by the quest for power and control over people’s minds as the ultimatum.

However, my goal is not to produce a 10,000 word essay on the history and the ins and outs of communism, facism, hate speech and free speech but rather to give you my insights as to what this means for Christians today. As you can see ‘hate speech’ is extremely loosely designed but this is not without a purpose. If the elite, lobby groups and central government can close down opposing views then it gives them the reign on entering even the most private parts of our daily lives. God on the other hand gives us the freedom to choose Him or not. He is the ultimate advocate for free speech. When we curse him or throw insults at our neighbours He doesn’t smite us down and give us a sentence. He gives us chance after chance. In fact He gives us our whole lives as an opportunity to choose him. He waits patiently seeing something beautiful in each of us regardless of our faults.

“But what about those people who offend, threaten or insult different minority groups?” you say. “Shouldn’t they be punished?”. The problem is stopping judging them doesn’t stop at just that and this view seeks to in fact judge the ‘other’. It is an order instead of an opinion because instead of living out your life and not judging people you are imposing this on others. This is a very hypercritical stance. While I certainly don’t think people should go around insulting one another and inciting hatred (I am talking about speech and not physical violence which should never be condoned) these people unfortunately should have the right as you do to express an opinion. However, in the majority of times ‘hate speech’ is used to defend a stance where one person is offended by something the other person has said. We as human beings do not have the right not be offended because we choose offense with our will and if we choose offense then perhaps half of the problem is with us and we have things we need to loosen from our souls.

The Oxford Dictionary has chosen “post-truth” as its word of the year for 2016. “Post-truth” is defined as a culture where “objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. This illustrates to us that people and especially young people today are much more likely to base their opinion on how they are feeling in that moment than on the relevance of the statement or its truth. However, we can see that this has drastic consequences for free speech and it’s becoming more and more common here in the UK to shut down opposing viewpoints. As Christians our speech should always be full of light and love but it should be based on God’s truths. Unfortunately the truth can and will offend people. It is true that a statement you hear in the morning may not offend you but at the end of a long, stressful and demanding day that same statement might make you extremely irate.  We need to be careful that we always listen to people’s opinions and respect the individual’s right to free speech but we ourselves should never be afraid to speak the truth in love.

Finally, the reality is one person’s words may be another person’s door to freedom or they may be an offensive stream of drivel. We cannot go around loosely defining words due to our current feelings. Feelings are deceptive. I know many people who have been in toxic and abusive relationships who were trapped there because of their ‘feelings’. Feelings can also be wonderful too and a great way to connect with God. However, we should always make sure our faith is defined by the Truth.

We are living in a world where the darkness will manifest in greater ways but there is much hope. In the bible it promises “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:5 (NIV). This means that whatever happens the light will always be greater and thus we should always speak out of hope and not fear. As the body of Christ it’s time to take up our mantle and follow him speaking in love and truth to a confused and suffering world.

 

Ankhi Das (2016) found at www.indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/best-antidote-to-fake-news-and-hate-speech-is-more-speech-4452346/

Jacob Mchangama (2011) found at www.hoover.org/research/sordid-origin-hate-speech-laws

No More Grey

I recently saw an article titled “Breaking News the church of satan has finally been opened in America” dated beginning of 2016. The article says that they hope “that it will motivate other satanists to come out from the shadows…”. I thought it was curious to say the least so I read a little further into it. They have, and with much careful consideration I will add, painted a very rosy picture and to anyone lacking discernment they may very well be persuaded to join.

In the article it states that, “We worship the Complete Self and we exalt in forbidden knowledge and the paths to power,”. This is a stark contrast to what the Jesus said we should do “deny yourselves and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NIV). I found that it was thought provoking to have been opened in 2016 right at the time when we are experiencing a spiritual shift in the atmosphere it makes sense that the devil would cough up something counterfeit. It also made me wonder today as I was looking around and seeing how much subtle darkness there is around us.

It was world book day today and a very large percentage of children decided to dress up as Harry Potter characters. You might say this is harmless fun just like Halloween but I beg to differ. I do think that witchcraft and in general anything supernatural is becoming more mainstream after being hidden away for years and perhaps this is no coincidence. (I am not talking just about religion here). As a mother my initial reaction would be to hide my son away, to try and protect him from the darkness and to shut my doors and close my windows. I don’t believe that this will do anything but allow the darkness to breed. You see darkness can only spread if it’s allowed to and if it has no light to stop it then it will continue knocking down everything in its path and cloaking it with a suffocating blanket of false comfort and belonging. If we are hidden inside our houses eventually the darkness will find a way in and even if it doesn’t you have not spread the light any further than your door frame and that is a very small flame indeed.

Nevertheless, while it is indeed important to protect our children the bible actually tells us that God is our ultimate protector and the bible instructs us “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Psalm 22:6 NIV). This actually doesn’t mean shutting them away but rather pointing out the dangers, explaining the truth to them and showing them their purpose in all of this. Yes we need to be careful and there are sometimes people who you know are not best to have around your children. However, my son does know about angels, he knows that God is bigger than the power of any witch but he also knows God loves them and wants a relationship with them. I’ve heard him telling his friends casually about heaven and sometimes he prays with all his heart about things that completely amaze me. He is only 5 and I hope and pray his faith continues to grow.

This brings me back to the article I saw. I believe it’s significant because in the future if we do not declare and pray we will see a great many people and among them children joining this ‘church of satan’. Just like Harry Potter has become very hip and cool among kids it may even become popular to make real spells in the future. Evil will not be made to look bad. The devil is not that stupid.

However, I have seen it prophesied that another generation will rise up from the dusty dry ground and speak life like never before, they will  do miracles unheard of and they will walk in great power and authority bringing light and truth wherever you go. They will literally blind the darkness.

Our children are part of this next generation. In their generation unlike ours there will be no middle ground, no grey areas. There will either be black or white. Make sure your son or daughter knows the truth. They are never too young for the truth. It’s time for us to wake up as a generation of purpose driven parents to guide the next generation so they in turn can guide those that follow.

Now it’s not the end of the world it’s only the start of something bigger, there will be spiritual forces battling one another and we may even see them with our natural eyes but God is ultimately going to have the last word. A new era has been birthed on God’s timeline so arise ye who were created for this time of “The Kingdom Age”.

 

Source: Issac Jipsy (2016) found at www.linkedin.com/pulse/breaking-news-church-satan-has-finally-been-opened-america-jipsy

Photo: fashion central.com