We may not know it is happening but the meaning of words has been ripped loose from the moorings of a subjective reality and used to redefine reality so that we find ourselves like Alice in Wonderland talking to Humpty Dumpty. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
So words are used to make us disbelieve our “lying eyes”. I just watched several loops of film from the Southern border and watched a large group of men wandering around. Just as I asked myself where the women and children were the so called “newsperson” pronounced that most of the folks there were women and children. So we can’t use the word invasion to describe a situation that certainly looks like one, just like we have to call a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood and a propagandist for militant Islam a “journalist”.
This is the way the world works as it tries to shape a reality for us while telling us in the psychotherapeutic world that we have to shape or own reality and be truly who were are, whatever that means. In our inward speaking our words are usually self justifying.
Oswald Bayer speaks of Luther’s remarks in his lectures on Galatians on the nature of words and Word as promise. “And this is the reason why our theology is certain: it snatches us away from ourselves and places us outside ourselves, so that we depend not on our own strength, conscience, mind, person, or works but on what is outside ourselves, that is, on the promise and truth of God, which cannot deceive.”In contradistinction to every metaphysical construct of the doctrine of God, God’s truth and will therefore are not abstract properties but are a concrete promise, made orally and publicly, to a particular person in a particular situation. “God” is the one whose promise to us in the oral word is such that we can depend on him. God’s truth lies in his faithfulness to the word that he speaks”
Identity and Identity politics are atheistic constructs and they reinforce the old human nature that I will decide and verify God’s word, where for Christians God’s Word verifies us. The Gospel promise is for Luther and the Gospel writers a performative act that creates what it speaks. God’s Word, “I forgive you” creates reality.
Just like repeating over and over that a certain group of people are women and children when they are not cannot make it so, and calling a man a women over and over again cannot make it so, the human being apart from the Gospel cannot find peace, forgiveness or life by willing it so. God wants to connect to us by a promise and that promise does what it say; forgives, and gives life and salvation.