Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Redefining Mercy


Language is kind of a silly thing. It's not particularly stable. Cultures and contexts often take in words and gradually change their meaning. While what the word describes never actually changes, the word itself does. For example, take the word “cool.” The word “cool” used to only have one dominant meaning: something was cold. But now, the word cool is used far more often, if not exclusively, to mean “groovy,” or “neat.” Things are still groovy, but they are not called groovy. They are called “cool.” Things are still cool, but they are not called cool very often. They are called “cold.”

I believe this instability of our language has happened in some very destructive ways within Christianity, and no where more has the meaning of a word been stolen from us than in the word “mercy.”

Mercy, biblically speaking, is not “caring for poor and sick people”....

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