In my private thoughts I can sometimes be somewhat of a word snob. By this I mean when words are used improperly, I cringe and I bite my tongue before it can offer a retort.
For example when someone writes, “Your my best friend,” instead of “You’re my best friend.”
Or when someone writes, “He lead the group all the way to the end of the path,” instead of “He led the group … .”
There are times I read articles in newspapers and see a reporter has written, “The perpetrator busted the window,” instead of “The perpetrator broke the window.”
Every year new words get added to the dictionary. I get it. It’s called progress. I like to think of myself as a fairly progressive person — if the progress has a purpose.
But it seems as though language and education are being dumbed down in order to meet the lowest common denominator of a group of persons. To dumb down means to lower the level of difficulty and/or intellectual content of something, instead of raising up intellectual capacity. And there should be concern for this.
The book of Hebrews, Chapter 5:13-14, states, “Everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.”
It’s important to know the familiar stories taught in Sunday School, but those stories will only get you so far in your faith. In order to grow in faith and knowledge, you have to sink your teeth into the solid food of the Scriptures.
When you understand more about the culture in which the Scriptures were written, and not from the standpoint of American culture, you will have had a taste of solid food.
When you wrestle with the teachings of Jesus Christ and not shy away from what he says is the difference between right and wrong, then you will have had a taste of solid food.
When you wrestle with the theology of the apostle Paul, asking the hard questions and not running from hearing an answer you don’t want to hear but need to, then you will have had a taste of solid food.
The Scriptures are not to be dumbed down because they are challenging. They are to be wrestled with, understood, and lived — regardless of what society says — because they are the source of life.
After all, this earth will pass away, but the word of God remains forever!
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.