In any living language, new words are constantly added and existing words frequently change meaning. This, we have come to expect as it is a process as old as civilization itself. However, at the risk of sounding like an alarmist, the rate at which word meanings change seems to have accelerated greatly, especially in light of modern technological advances. Initially dumb-founded, we are now speaking quite comfortably about the “cloud” and our “tablet” in ways quite unlike the conversations we had even a few years ago. We friend. We follow. We like. It’s just the way things are in today’s world. Our language is constantly changing; but, not always in a positive direction.

Christians have long-lamented the high-jacking of good, positive words by those with twisted values. Whereas “gay” used to describe a person “showing…exuberance or mirthful excitement”, the primary meaning today is “homosexual”. Again, at one time, “tolerance” may have been a preferable update for “forbearance” in Ephesians 4:2 where, in the NASB, Paul tells us to show “tolerance for one another in love….” But sadly, in a world where moral lines are rapidly disappearing, “tolerance” is becoming a word that carries too much cultural baggage.

“Rainbow” is another beautiful word, originally appointed by our Creator as a sign of His promise never to destroy the world again by means of a universal flood (Gen. 9:12-17). Many comparisons might be made using “rainbow” as a metaphor. For example, the unity of Christians is well-represented by the figure of a rainbow. Though containing all the colors in the spectrum, it remains one bow in the sky. The same might be said in regard to ethnicity. Regardless of color, we all comprise one flesh, humanity.

But, some have designated this as a month for taking pride in differences in sexual orientation and gender preferences. When you see all the brightly colored rainbows prominently displayed in the market place and media outlets, remember that differences contrary to the expressed will of God as revealed in the Scriptures should not be celebrated but exposed. We must “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). There have always been those “who call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20). But, changing the meaning of a word does not change God’s opinion of the matter under consideration. Though abused in its meaning, the rainbow remains a sign of God’s unbroken covenant with humanity.

— Glen Elliott —