Wise Words on Wednesday ~ on words

Is the dictionary you have on your book shelf or web browser supporting your worldview and values?

I dare you to look up the word Education in your modern dictionary.

You will most likely get a defenition something like this:
Education-the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

But what if your dictionary said this:
Education-The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
Whoa! That is dramatically different. You mean education isn't sitting in a desk learning how to read and write to become adults? It is more than that? It includes manners, a controlled temper, and religion? And the responsibility rests on the parents? Incredible.

As with many aspects of life, we look at society around us and wonder what happened? Why is self-indulgent, lazy, rude, selfish, and gluttonous behavior the new normal? Where are responsibility and standards? What happened to hard work and reaping the reward for it instead of taking the shortcut and getting angry when someone handed over the silver platter with a smudge on it?

We could point fingers in a million different directions, but I'm only going to talk about one. Our presuppositions- what we believe things mean, or in short, our definitions.

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary says this about Sin:
Sin-The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule or rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or a violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not actions only, but whatever is contrary to God's commands or law. 1 John 3; Matt. 15; James 4. (and it actually continues on for a full 2nd column)
Sadly, today we do our best to fluff sin up, even in the church. Sin is now defined as the act of breaking a religious or moral law. That is it. Oh, darn. I sinned. Oops.

We are forever watering stuff down, making it easy to swallow. Today we are so worried about offending someone, and worse, offending our own self, that we create our own definitions so much so that standards change for the entire country, even the world.

What does our society think marriage means? The legal union of two people. Not really even between a man and woman any longer is it?

What if America still believed what marriage meant to Noah Webster in 1828?
Marriage- The act of uniting a man and a woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and a woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God Himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.

Till death? God Himself? To prevent promiscuity? Domestic felicity? For educating children? Well, if that were what we believe things might look a little different around here, wouldn't they?

Having a correct worldview is important, it affects our standards, creates presuppositions, and imparts a framework that will affect our attitudes and our lives.

I know the value of our bookshelf is increased by the 1828 Noah Webster American Dictionary of the English Language.

If you are so inclined to purchase the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary for your own bookshelf, you can support us by clicking the American Vision label on the right side or very bottom of my blog and making your purchase there. Thanks!

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