The Most Powerful Weapon in the World Ė The Written Word
By Dian Moore
The longest word in the English language has 45 letters and refers to a lung disease.
Another long word, 28-letters long, is antidisestablishmentarianism, and it stands for the belief that opposes removing the tie between church and state.
Call me an antidisestablishmentarian, if you will, because I believe we need laws like the Ten Commandments. In a society without Godly rules, morality falls away and lawlessness runs out of control.
Words are the fiber of customs, laws, entertainment and knowledge Ė literally everything one encounters in life started with a thought, and then worked its way into print form.
Consider what would happen if every writer took the time to return to the concept of making the world a better place, and do so by contributing words designed to build up, edify, write wrongs and regain morality.
Fellow writers, look at what we write. Are we out to make a buck and go with the flow? Do we give in to pop culture and fads? If so, I challenge myself, and you, to stop it.
Writers, letís commit to write good words to fill the emptiness of a starved, immoral society. We have the power to do it flowing from our hearts and minds through our fingertips. Feed the hungry with fulfilling words, and the hungry wonít fill up on junk food.
Our words are everywhere, on
Advertisements and announcements
Books and birthday cards
Contracts and commendations
Doctrine and declarations
Essays and e-mail
Fiction and facts
Games and gospel
How-toís and hyperlinks
Insults and instructions
Judgments and journalism
Kudos and keynotes
Lyrics and laws
Money and memoirs
Newspapers and notes
Oration and opinions
Poetry and pornography
Queries and quotes
Receipts and resumes
Screenplays and Speeches
TV shows, textbooks and T-Shirts
URLís and unions
Vetoes and vows
Wills and waivers
Xeroxes and X-ratings
Yearbooks and Yogi-isms*
Zeugmas and Zohar**
In the last 30 years, I find it impossible to walk in our world without having my eyes assaulted by offensive material.
So keep them closed, some say. But if my eyes are closed, I cannot see the peace of still water reflecting the sunset, a lone rose in full bloom after a snowfall, or the joy on a childís face as they discover dandelions for the first time.
And if I do experience a moment of beauty, I can almost count on encountering someone wearing a t-shirt proclaiming their prowess in the bedroom, their disdain for the opposite sex, their need for sex, an insult or vulgarity, or a tribute to drugs and alcohol.
It makes me want to cry. That person, and the writer who wrote the words, stole my peace and enjoyment. The minute they wrote the words, they contributed to Satanís plan.
I want to ask the t-shirt wearer to please, keep your offensive clothing out of my sight. I want to mail the book back to the author and demand my money back. I want my money refunded if the movie, written by a screenwriter, perhaps adapted from a novel, is offensive.
And if I do act on these wishes, Iíll be cursed.
Case in point: an actor I admire recently appeared in an appalling movie. It looked like fun entertainment. But once inside the theater, the profanity was horrendous; it shamed me because I stayed for the movie, and made me feel unclean. I let my God down, and by my submission gave a message to the screenwriters that itís okay to write such filth.
But itís not okay.
Of course, then comes the argument Ė Free speech! If you donít like it, turn the channel! Stay in the house! Turn your head! Itís a free country!
With freedom comes responsibility
What if the words we write today causes someone else to sin? Luke 17:1 (NIV) 1Jesus said to his disciples: ďThings that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. .
I believe all freedoms come with responsibility. Including the freedom of speech. If your child took advantage of a freedom, would you not discipline that child? What discipline will God hold for us if we abuse our right to free speech.
Itís a matter of trust.
Can we trust our fellow writers to use their God-given gift to provide material that will not cause us to sin by the very act of reading their words? We should be able to, donít you think?
I hate the let down that comes with opening a book full of promise and on the first page is my Saviorís name used as a curse. Why arenít the names of other gods used as profanity? Imagine an expletive of the common type today and substitute someone elseís god. Itís rude, at the very least, and itís cause for judgment at the worst.
I havenít used your godís name as a curse. Please donít use my mine.
Writers, are we responsible? Are our words ones that bring good and moral things to our fellow man? Or, are they words designed to titillate, insult and make acceptable those things that should not be tolerated, like fornication and greed and murder.
But Iím a good person, many of my fellow writers say. When we stand before our judge on Judgment Day, can we, as writers, still make that argument when tested against Godís Rules?
Jesus said: The first and greatest commandment is You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. The second commandment is Love your neighbor as yourself. The other Ten Commandments are based on those two simple ideals.
1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods besides Me.
a. What gods have you made with your words?
b. Are you more interested in practicing your Ďrightí to free speech than obeying Godís command? If so, then you have created a god before God.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them;
a. Have you written words promoting other gods, such as money, material items, or a way of life?
b. Have you written words of praise to an angel, prayed to an angel, prayed to Satan, or a god of the sea?
c. Have you written prayers or chants to a god or goddess of the earth?
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
a. Have you used the words Jesus Christ as an expletive?
b. Have you invoked Godís name in a curse?
c. Have you used the Lordís name to give credibility to a law?
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
a. Have you written a policy that allows and requires workers to work on a Sabbath day?
b. Have you worked as a writer on your own Sabbath day?
5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
a. Have you written a story that defiles parenthood?
b. Have you written a lyric that encourages children to go against their parents?
c. Have you used your words to cause dishonor to fall upon your parents?
6. You shall not murder.
a. Have you written a story, a script, a poem or anything that glorifies murder?
b. Have you written a game that causes the players to kill or assassinate.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
a. Have you written a story that encourages adultery?
b. Have you written ad copy or an advertisement that promotes cheating on a spouse?
c. Have you written a screenplay that causes the actors to commit adultery, and justified the action?
8. You shall not steal.
a. Have you written a script that glamorizes stealing?
b. Have you written a story that portrays a thief as a hero?
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
a. Have you written a lie in your newspaper about a pubic figure or a neighbor?
b. Have you written a letter to the editor that falsely accuses your neighbor of a crime, to get even?
10. You shall not covet you neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
a. Have you written a book, song or screenplay that features a character that is envious of his neighborís wife, belongings or lifestyle?
b. Have you written a tirade about the Jones family who has more than you do?
Balanced against the commandments, which are simply rules for living in a society, can we say we are good people if we litter our works with profanity, vulgarity, hate, sex, adultery, off-color jokes, disrespect, violence for the sake of entertainment, just so we can make a buck?
Are we good people if we choose words that influence the world to accept ungodly actions?
Where did all the writers go who wanted to make a difference, fight injustice, reveal crime and sinful behavior so people would be appalled instead of entertained? Where are the godly lawmakers? The speechwriters? The ad-copy writers?
Promotion of self and self-fulfillment removes from me the freedom to walk in the world God made for our enjoyment. Itís tainted.
What message do we send to our children, and to the world, when weíve succumbed to Satanís influence and allowed ourselves, as writers, to promote lying, gambling, adultery, seduction, fornication, nudity, vulgarity, murder, assassination, horoscopes, psychics, zombies, vampires, werewolves, demons, hell, adultery, and more?
Every human being on the face of the earth who knows how to write holds in his or her hands the power to transform the world.
Again, I challenge writers of all ages, sexes, denominations and beliefs to use the power of words to win the war weíve created against our moral fiber; to hold our world to a higher standard, one that demands our people to hold each other to a higher level of accountability.
Imagine, if songwriters, scriptwriters, novel writers, law writers, news writers, fiction writers, textbook writers, and all other writers, applied the following to everything they wrote.
Affirmation instead of apathy
Brotherhood instead of bitterness
Compliments instead of curses
Demure instead of decadent
Equality instead of egotism
Friendship instead of fornication
Glory instead of gloom
Humility instead of haughtiness
Intelligence instead of ignorance
Justice instead of jeers
Kindness instead of killing
Love instead of lust
Meekness instead of malice
Nice instead of nasty
Obedience instead of obstinence
Politeness instead of profanity
Quiet instead of quarrels
Reconciliation instead of revenge
Self-respect instead of self-importance
Tact instead of tirades
Unity instead of unrest
Victory instead of violence
Welcome instead of war
Exhort instead of extinguish
Yield instead of yoke
Zig instead of zag
Our world has declined into a state of unaccountability. Every man or woman for himself or herself. Free expression, free living, and no rules or standards. Lawlessness abounds.
Who are the people behind the decline? I believe writers are. Why? If a writer refused to write bad material, the material wouldnít be in print. Readers wouldnít have unclean material before their eyes to fulfill the adage garbage-in, garbage-out.
Who are the people who can begin a moral revolution? Again, I believe writers hold this power. Why? Their words can lead the way to a revival of honor. With clean, honest, God-abiding works, the people would have before them material that upholds another adage: we reap what we sow, and if good things are sown, then good things will be harvested.
And if we donít believe in God, and the need to adhere to His Word, ponder this: what if youíre wrong?
Writers, on the day you stand before God to be judged, what will His words be to you? Well done?
Or, ďI told you not to do that?Ē
Will your reply be, ďI didnít know.Ē
If the answer should be, ďI didnít know,Ē as writers, we have no excuse. For without understanding words, a writer cannot be.
And God is the Author of all. He IS the Word.
*Yogiisms are quotes of Yogi Berra, a baseball player, famous for fracturing the English language in provocative, interesting ways. Similar phrases, spoken by other people, are also sometimes called "Yogiisms".
**Zeugma is the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words, normally so it applies to each in a different sense, or makes sense with only one of the words.
***The Zohar is widely considered the most important work of Jewish mysticism. It is a mystical commentary on the five books of Moses.
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