I like blackened fish.  I order it from time to time.  And about 90 percent of the time it comes to me orange.  Not black.  That frustrates me.  “Blackening” refers to a coating of herbs and spices that turn black in a very hot cast-iron skillet.  It’s a Cajun preparation, credited largely to famous chef Paul Prudhomme. 

Since it’s Cajun, some people think they can dust their fish with a Cajun spice mix and call it “blackened.”  But it’s not blackened.  It’s not even black.  It’s orange.  If that’s what I wanted, I would have asked for my fish to be oranged.

I happen to like Cajun spice, so I don’t protest.  But the English minor in me is offended when words are misused so consistently that we begin to accept and even anticipate the incorrect usage of them.  (Don’t get me started on “literally.”)

Christian.  Obedience.  Confession.  Heaven.  Hell.  These are real words, with real definitions assigned by God in His word.  The world around us uses them casually because they don’t know any better.  But we do.  We study the Bible.  We accept God’s truth.  We have no excuse.  And yet we use the world’s definitions as easily as God’s, often without even realizing we are doing it..

Considering what Jesus said in John 12:48 — “the word I spoke is what will judge him in the last day” — I would think we would want to get our definitions straight.  At least regarding the words Jesus spoke.  Hellfire will have much more of an effect than any oven of men will. 

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