Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christian Rhetoric

I use to work as a counselor in a drug and alcohol clinic. The clinic had a contract with the Department of Corrections. So, they would get men or women straight out of the penitentiary. Some of these folks had been in prison for a very long time and had their own language. If they were talking to each other, I would have no idea what they were saying. It was a foreign language to me. Even when they talked to me, and toned it down a bit, it still remained foreign.

Thus it is with Christians. They have their own language. Foreign to most, isolating for the Christian and it can cause rejection by the new follower.

When I first became a Christian and started a church, I had no idea what many of the words were that were being said. I was resolute though to my Lord and determined to figure the whole thing out. So, I pretended to know what was being said. I would just figure it all out later.

But, what about the new Christian that is on shaky ground. We, as Christians, need to be careful of what is coming out of our mouths. Things like, "grace", "the God in me", "walk by faith", "repentance", "the evil one","walk", "kingdom of darkness" etc. To us it would seem simple, but, let's take the word "repent". To us it means, to turn your back on and never go back. But, to a nonChristian it may just mean to state "I won't do that anymore". The difference between these two definitions can bring trouble to our new friend.

We, truly, need to be simplifying our vernacular. Christian rhetoric can be misleading, misunderstood, and even harmful. We of course, do not want to hurt anyone, but, in our own way this could be happening. There lies the problem. "Our" own way. Language separates groups. It distinguishes one group from another. To get into that group, to understand that group, you must learn their language. But, as Christians, we need to have a language that is fully understood by all, otherwise, we can not fully fulfil God's plans.

I don't want to leave anyone behind that God is calling. I don't want this to happen, just because I isolated myself with my language and made it hard for people to understand what I am saying. I feel that I would be responsible for that lost soul and the payment for that is to great. I believe that we need to tone it down and talk to the mainstream of people about our God. Talk to them in ways that makes sense to them, not with a high and lofty rhetoric.


Anonymous said...

This is great.

I don't think that I've ever experienced a fellow Believer with this concern.

It's TRUE, though.

Not just the Christian vernacular, but the therapeutic vernacular. My friends understand the vernacular.

Family members just roll their eyes out of complete disgust for my obvious idiocy. Nice.

"I don't know ANYONE who thinks like you do, Ginae!"

Sorry, I'm muddying up what you started.

Just, wanted you to see that I understand and relate to it and I've already begun to internalize it :)

Given55 said...

Daily Spirit,

You are wonderfully "peculiar". Love your comments. Thanks

Given55 said...
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