Monday, November 22, 2010

Decoding Law Usage in Modern Language

3. "Principle" can mean an "idea" or "concept", but in the modern church it is a Law term.

Principle: 1. a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; 2. a rule or standard especially of good behavior; 3. a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; 4. a rule of personal conduct.

Coming from a Latin root that means "foundation" or "beginning", a principle is a rule or standard. It is a system of conduct. It is a work. It is law.

4. "Step" as in "Here are four easy steps to a happy marriage" is mega-Law [for full effect say "mega-Law" out loud like you are booming into a mega phone at a monster truck ralley].

Step: A measure: any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal; "the situation called for strong measures so the police took steps to reduce crime".

If it is something that you must do, it is a work and therefore it falls under the purview of the Law.

5. "Purpose" as in "Purpose Driven Church" or "Purpose Driven Life" or "Discover Your Purpose" etc, etc, etc, etc

Purpose: 1. A result, end, aim, or goal of an action intentionally undertaken, or of an object being brought into use or existence, whether or not the purpose was a primary or secondary effect. 2. A function: what something is used for.

Every tool has a purpose. That purpose is to perform a specific kind of work. Those are Law categories.

6. "Love" as in "We don't get all tied up in doctrine. It's just important to love God and love other people."

Love... Perhaps you should get tied up in doctrine because you have no idea what you are talking about. You think you are protecting against legalism, but the Law is summarized in our love for God and our neighbors. This one doesn't need a dictionary definition. Instead, what is appropriate is a Bible verse:

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And [Jesus] said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

-Matthew 22:36-40

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