Faithful?

September 06, 2006

A lot of religious terms are used with faulty definitions. One of those is “faithful.” With the launch of a new website, Faithful Democrats , the media and others have been talking about religion and politics. One CNN reporter has been criticized for using term “faithful” poorly. While talking about the new website, Abbi Tatton stated:

Now, polling shows that faithful and Democrat did not go hand-in-hand in recent elections. In 2004, white evangelicals made up nearly a quarter of the electorate and voted overwhelmingly for President Bush.
Thus, in the statement Tatton suggests that the term “faithful” means “white evangelicals.” However, one can be a faithful religious individual and not be white or an evangelical Christian. Those of other religions and African-American Christians voted in large margins for John Kerry in 2004.

It is important to make sure we use our terms accurately so as not to accidentally define people out of the discussion, as Tatton did. We must be very careful not to use poorly defined words in such a way as to attack the faith of others.

3 comments

  1. >It is important to make sure we use our terms accurately so as not to accidentally define people out of the discussion, as Tatton did. We must be very careful not to use poorly defined words in such a way as to attack the faith of others.

    That's true if we're talking about purely external things. But if we're talking about making an impact spiritually for Christ, a difference will not be made by our eloquence of speech or outward appearance. Paul talked about that in the NT. Only the Holy Spirit can make a difference for the Kingdom as only He can change people's hearts and open blinded eyes to the spiritual realm. So, it's not a matter of the believer figuring out how to do something better - but rather a matter of obedience to God as He is leading.

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  2. Roger: You are correct in noting that it is ultimately God (and not us) who makes the difference in people’s lives. However, that does not mean we should just open our mouths and let whatever may come out. Or, that we should just say what comes to mind and let God clean up the mess. We still need to be thoughtful so that we can be better ambassadors for God. Obedience is more important, but the words we use are also important. Thanks for leaving the comment!

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  3. >However, that does not mean we should just open our mouths and let whatever may come out. Or, that we should just say what comes to mind and let God clean up the mess.

    I'm not familiar with anybody who believes that. However, how many people do we know believe that Christianity is about excellence and intellectualism instead of faith and obedience? There's a fine line between being concerned with externals and going down a road that leads to 'self' instead of relying on God to save us and work despite our weaknesses. I don't want us to put God in a box. We're all subject to temptation and deception so I wanted to make a point of it for clarification.

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