I Was Just Thinking About - - -
Clarity in communication should be a foundational goal based upon that which is true, verifiable, logical and non-convoluted. One should always strive to say precisely what is meant and to mean unequivocally what has been said. It appears that clarity has been set aside for that which is convoluted and precise definition for that which results in confusion. Anything that is convoluted is defined as “twisted, coiled, complicated and intricately involved.” One recent illustration of this is the Affordable Care Act that contains more than 2,000 pages of descriptions, ramifications, fee structures, coverages, etc. One advocate for the passage of the Affordable Care Act, who hadn’t read it, addressed the House of Representatives said words to the effect: “you have to pass it so you can find out what’s in it.” That statement and concept is “convoluted confusion.”
Despite this type of “convoluted confusion” consider what it could’ve been if we were living 1500 years ago. At that time, our Alphabet contained more than the 26 characters we have today (See dictionary.com). One of the changes was the removal of the “&” (ampersand). They state: “…that small character was once the 27th part of the alphabet. Where did it come from though? The shape of the character (&) predates the word ampersand by more than 1,500 years. In the first century, Roman scribes wrote in cursive, so when they wrote the Latin word “et” which means “and” they linked the e and t. Over time the combined letters came to signify the word “and” in English as well. The word “ampersand” came many years later when “&” was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say “X, Y, Z, and.” Rather, the students said, “and per se and.” “Per se” means “by itself,” so the students were essentially saying, “X, Y, Z, and by itself and.” Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand (the ampersand is also used in an unusual configuration where it appears as “&c” and means etc. The ampersand does double work as the e and t).”
It is a given that Congressional Language in Bills proposed or passed contains that which is convoluted and confusing. It usually contains legal language that lacks the precision and clarity one would desire. Even within religious movements and denominations, there is convoluted confusion in what is referred to as the Book of Order. The “order” sought is noble but it too often leads to disorder and disagreement over the applications of the Book of Order. There is a denomination that asks previously ordained ministers, when they relocate from one geographical jurisdiction to another, “What is your view?” about a variety of subjects. Some men act as though they should not be subjected to stating their “belief” (since they had done that previously somewhere else) but to be asked only about their “view”! What if their present “view” no longer squares with the “belief” system of the organization? This is how “convoluted confusion” begins and evolves.
There is an ongoing debate about Creation and the length of creative days. The simple words of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created (made all things out of nothing)…” is debated and argued. The statement about Creation in the fourth commandment is conveniently bypassed. Despite the resounding clarity of I Corinthians 15:1-8 regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ and those who were witnesses to that act and event, arguments have persisted over the years of a possible “swoon theory” and questions about “who moved the stone”, etc. Additionally, despite the declaration of Romans 8:31-39 of the certainty and assurance of one’s redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ, there are those whose doubts about eternity become overwhelming. Ephesians 2:8-10 clearly states that salvation comes by God’s grace alone and not by any of man’s deeds or works. However, some groups teach the opposite that results in convoluted confusion. When Jesus stated in John 10:28-30, “I give to them eternal life and they shall never perish…” one should eagerly believe and receive that provision of God’s grace in His Son, Jesus Christ. Consider these things with me.