Certain terms have confusing associations


By Pastor Ron Branch - Contributing columnist



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For example, consider the term “crash.” Probably the first thing that comes to our mind has to do with automobile accidents.

What about “a rafter.” Houses have rafters.

“A murder?” The Sixth Commandment tells us that we should not commit it.

Consider the difference between a “skein” and a “gaggle.”

A “trace of hair” makes me laugh. It reminds me of the follicle situations for a lot of men and myself.

Actually, these terms have both specific and peculiar associations that go beyond with what we are typically familiar. The term “crash” is the group name for Rhinoceri. A word of instruction comes to mind at this point. If one day as you travel with someone along Ohio Route or WV Route 2, and you see a bunch of rhinos standing in the middle of the road, and you yell out, “Don’t crash into that crash,” your warning would be more accurately stated and — perhaps — more accurately understood.

How many times do we refer to a “flock of turkeys?” That is incorrect. The correct reference is not “flock,” but “rafter.” We should report that we saw a “rafter of turkeys.” Ain’t that somethin’. I bet WV Game Warden Jeffery Sweeney knows that. (Jeff was named Officer of the Year in 2020 by the Point Pleasant Rotary Club).

The term for a bunch of crows kills me. When you see a big group of them, it is a “murder of crows.” Furthermore, all those noisome and mess-making geese we have around here—-they are not necessarily formations or flocks. When a group of geese is in flight, it is a “skein.” When a group of geese is on water, it is a “gaggle.”

It seems that the associations with these terms communicate some sort of specific truth about these groupings. So, it leads us to consider the specific truth of a certain Biblical term. It has to do with the term “Christian.” There is more behind the term than is first realized.

As it concerns a grouping of church people, “Christians” is seen first in relations to the church people of Antioch. “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. “Christians” are cited in reference to connection with Jesus Christ.

But, what were the reasons the term “Christians” came into existence? What is actually involved with the spiritual term for this particular grouping of people? It has proven during the course of years to be more controversial than the general public likes to acknowledge, because “Christians” are point specifically those who have become acceptable to God according to a plan that does not involve the philosophies of man. Generally, man wants to become acceptable to God on self-made, self-vindicating, and self-effort bases, which do not work.

However, a person who wants to become a Christian is acceptable to God solely on the basis of what Jesus Christ did for each person when He died on the Cross and raised from the dead. Christians are those who have responded to God’s salvation standard through faith, confession, and repentance. The Bible terms “saved,” “born again,” and “redeemed” are descriptive of a person’s experience of God’s acceptance. God’s action through Jesus Christ effectively takes man’s input out of the salvation equation.

But, there is more that is intimately associated with the grouping term of “Christians.” Christians are also described as “followers” of Christ, meaning that Christians are purpose driven in going the same way as Christ. Christians are described as “servants,” who have yielded their personal will to Christ. Christians are referred to as “saints” as they practice God’s expectations for living according to His principles.

This is what — more accurately — “Christians” have to do with Christ.

I am thinking that perhaps those who call themselves “Christians” should familiarize themselves better with Biblical truth concerning it so that those outside of the church will not continue confused concerning the living connection.

Incidentally, a “trace of hare” merely refers to a grouping of rabbits. You knew that already, I am sure.

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By Pastor Ron Branch

Contributing columnist

Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.

Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.