The meaning of Amen

By Tim Throckmorton - Contributing Columnist

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse or that we have no more lines of sensibility to cross… leave it to Congress to boldly go where no mind has gone before! Democrat Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from Missouri, who is an ordained United Methodist minister was invited to open the first session of the 117th Congress on Sunday. His prayer was filled with what I would term Christian themes, terminology and scripture references, but the way he closed his prayer is what will be remembered with great confusion and dismay. He said, “We ask it in the name of the monotheistic god, brahma, and god known by many different faiths, Amen and a-woman! That ladies and gentlemen is where the wheels come off!

Now I’m not an expert in Hebrew by any stretch of the means. I have however Pastored for over 22 years preaching and teaching the Bible and there are a few things I am very confident of. “So be it is what the Hebrew word for “Amen” means! It’s an affirmation or agreement of belief & trust that we end prayer with. Even Miriam Webster defines this word likewise… used to express solemn ratification (as of an expression of faith) or hearty approval. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary brings a deeper spiritual note to the definition… As a verb, it signifies to confirm, establish, verify; to trust, or give confidence; as a noun, truth, firmness, trust, confidence; as an adjective, firm, stable.

Allow me to wax Pastoral for a moment. It was in the introduction of letter to the Church in Laodicea in the book of the Revelation that Jesus is described himself as the Amen! As William Barclay points out, “He is the Amen. This is a strange title and may go back to either of two origins. In Isaiah God is called the God of truth; but in the Hebrew, he is called the God of Amen. Amen is the word which is often put at the end of a solemn statement in order to guarantee its truth. If God is the God of Amen, he is utterly to be relied upon. This would mean that Jesus Christ is the One whose promises are true beyond all doubt. In John’s gospel Jesus’ statements often begin: “Truly, truly, I say to you” The Greek for truly is Amen… The meaning would be the same, Jesus is one whose promises can be relied upon. He is the witness on whom we can rely and who is true.” Perhaps another reason for Congress to redefine the word Amen?

So, if that weren’t troubling enough for Americans as we begin the year 2021, One of the first acts of our new House of Representatives was to cancel Mom!

Abigail Shrier in the New York Post writes, “On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority proposed to eliminate “father, mother, son, daughter, brother,

sister” and all other language deemed insufficiently gender inclusive from House rules. They would be replaced with terms like “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling” and so on. “Mother” — among the most important concepts in human life — would be erased from the lexicon of the US House of Representatives. It’s important to recognize how radical this is. And no, it isn’t akin to updating federal law to replace “policeman” with “police officer,” a rational corrective sought by feminists for generations. But “mother” is a fundamental biological, emotional, familial reality. It captures the irreplaceable bond between a baby and the woman who bore her in her womb. That others can be excellent guardians — a fact no one disputes — can’t justify extirpating Mom from our vocabulary… House Democrats don’t pretend to seek this change merely for the sake of “streamlining” congressional language. The explicit point is to advance “inclusion and diversity” and to “honor all gender identities.” There you have it! In mere minutes the new Congress has redefined the affirmation of truth and removed gender description of among other names… MOM. We are headed in the wrong direction!

We have as a nation experienced what I have heard described as an Orwellian sleight of hand… the redefining of facts! For example, those who stand for loving biblical principles for life are now labeled as hateful. Scriptural positions on moral issues are seen as bigoted, homophobic and evil. This reminds me of Isaiah’s words some 700 years before Jesus was even born when he said, “Doom to you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness in place of light and light in place of darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Ah, those prophets sure knew how to warm up a crowd, didn’t they?

Writing to a group of believers that were facing tremendous adversity and challenge, the Apostle Paul encouraged and challenged theirs hearts with these words, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” We may not know what God will do, but we have an amazing record of what he has done. And everyone said… Amen!

By Tim Throckmorton

Contributing Columnist

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper

Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper

Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council