Monday, December 8, 2008

Some Words, Part 1


It's a very confusing concept to Christians. Not so much to the rest of the world.

First, it is a very uncommonly used word in the world outside of religion. It is not used lightly and almost never as a command. The word has weight. It has undertones related so deeply with religion, that its use is only when it is absolutely the right word for the task. Have you ever heard "repent" or "repentance" outside of a religious conversation?

I have, a small handful of times. Of course, I made it to age 27 before coming to Christ. And every time, it was used as a warning or indication of self-condemnation resulting in self-correction: condemning one's own actions before another does.

Second, in the world, I've always been aware that the word is applied to specific situations, actions, etc,. - never as a general term applied to someone's life or remaining existance. If you were to describe someone as "repentant," the question begs, "Of what?" If you were to say someone has a "repentant heart," it would be assumed it was for a specific wrong-doing, not the general character of the individual.

Finally, repentance is not an easy act. Repent is a verb! But it's a feeling, too. So it's a feeling you do - purposefully. It requires introspection, insight, concern - and motivation. There are two motivations to repent - fear and love. When the world uses the word repentence, they most often assume a motivation of love.

Most Christians I know use fear of God as motivation for repentance. They wouldn't agree with me, but I've listened carefully.

"To repent is a command!"

"You must repent from your sins for forgiveness!"

Who was repentance preached to? Christians?

Repentence was preached to the lost world. Don't you think the word used would be the word they understand?

Why do we change it?