The Highjacking of Our Language

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Over the years, many great phrases and hand gestures have been adopted by anti-Christian people as terms of derision and hate. The most recent has been a gesture I’ve used all my life: the “OK hand gesture.”

It’s a simple gesture, you make an “O” with the forefinger and the thumb and the remaining three fingers stick out. It was a sign used to show acceptance and agreement of what was said or done. I’m in good company in using it. A simple internet search showed pictures of such celebrities as President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Jimmy Chou (an Asian singer) using this gesture in the past. 

But, according to a radio news story on NPR radio, the Anti-Defamation League has now listed this gesture as a “hate symbol.”* Apparently, this gesture has been hijacked to mean “white power” (a code phrase attacking minorities). What was once a good thing has come to mean something ugly.

This shouldn’t surprise us. Anti-Christian forces have tried for years to hijack Christian words and symbols and turn them into things of disgust and derision. The rainbow is God’s symbol of his promise to us (Genesis 9). Yet, it was hijacked by a group to show support of those who engage in sexual sin. The cross is God’s symbol of Christ’s sacrifice bringing our forgiveness (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). But evil men mutated it into a symbol of foolishness, or they turned it upside down as a symbol of devil worship. The list could go on.

However, there is hope because God offers forgiveness to those who commit sin by their gestures and their words if they will repent and come to the Lord. 

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Larry Fitzgerald
Woodlawn church of Christ
Abilene, TX

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