WFT- attitudinize

17 May 2008

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for Tuesday, May 13th was "attitudinize", a verb meaning to assume a certain posture. Here is what M-W had to say about it:

The English word "attitude" was first used in the 17th century to describe the posture of a sculptured or painted figure. The word was borrowed from French and formed from the Italian word "attitudine", meaning "aptitude" or "natural tendency". By the early 18th century, "attitude" was also being used for the posture a person assumed for a specific purpose. And by mid-century, "attitudinarians," people who study and practice attitudes, were being talked about. The verb "attitudinize" followed in 1784.

"People who study and practice attitudes"?

Interesting.

In his excellent video seminar "What's So New About the New Covenant", Tim Hegg, noted scholar and author points out "words have power". The focus of his comment was on the use of the terms "New Covenant" or "New Testament" and the assumptions and baggage that come along with those terms. I highly recommend the DVD from FFOZ. [Update 1/17/2015: FFOZ no longer has this DVD.  Tim Hegg provides the same information in his new DVD series, "The New Covenant: G-d's Promise Fulfilled".]

I would like to draw upon the concept that "words have power" and make a few observations about this recent Merriam-Webster word of the day.

 

Attitudinize

Merriam-Webster defines "attitude" in the sense of "the [physical] posture a person assumed for a specific purpose". I also considered the alternate sense of the word meaning "a state of mind; disposition". How often do we see believers in Messiah come to learn about the Torah and "study and practice attitudes" relating to modern day Judaism and "assume a posture" based upon it?

One risk that we run into by pursuing the trappings of contemporary Judaism is that we begin to consult the traditions of men instead of seeking the will of our Father.

This brings to mind two verses:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. - Rom 12:2

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; - Rom 8:29

Whom are we seeking to be like? Yeshua or the rabbis?

This is an easy trap for us to fall into. After all the Jews have been studying Torah for thousands of years. Surely they have it figured out... right? This could potentially be viewed as putting ourselves "under the law" in the sense that we are seeking the "old covenant". No, I am not speaking of the Torah (Heaven forbid!) but I am speaking of the Torah written upon stone (2 Cor 3:3, Eze 11:19) rather than the Torah written upon our hearts (Jeremiah 31).

To what can this be compared? A son with his father. While sitting at the breakfast table preparing for the day a son wonders aloud "what is it that my father would have me do today?" Rather than asking his father (who is sitting across from him at the table!) the son leaves the table and goes to consult a book someone wrote many years ago about the things his father liked people to do.

It is not wrong for him to consult a book but it makes little sense to do so when his father is so near to him. He should just ask his father! Therefore, we, too, should consult our Father.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. - James 4:8

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