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The Danger of Christianese

The Danger of Christianese

How our church language can do more to exclude people than draw them to Jesus.
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I spent my first few weeks as a college freshmen overwhelmed by the subculture of fraternity and sorority life. It seemed like the minute I stretched my sheets over my vinyl dorm-room mattress, sorority rush began. The whole system was literally Greek ...

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Catherine

May 08, 2014  4:48pm

I'd forgotten to rate this article in my comment above. Very helpful, bringing light to a timely subject. Thanks!

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Catherine

May 08, 2014  4:45pm

Christianese slang motivated at times by “hiding behind our words”, or desired appearance as “washed-in-the-blood, princess-for-Jesus verbiage”? I think Christianese is a bane, an indicator of an ingrown “Bless Me” Christian subculture in a prosperous, affluent American economy. A Rick Warren survey reveals 80% of our congregations prefer pastors’ focus to be on us, our care.This article encapsulates outward change needed, but what precedes this ought to be heart-change & self-examination. Just as using trade/shop talk around the unfamiliar is rude,masking the gospel we’ve received freely, with jargon unknown to listeners is even more wrong. If we are “other-focused”, honestly caring about whom God puts in our path today, then we ought to alter our lingo, expand phrases into commonly understood terms,examine our lives – our motives. I'm blind to myself, often. We speak from habit. Included here is a link.http://www.dictionaryofchristianese.com/list-of-words-by-alphabetical/ Might help.

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Old Lady in Africa

December 22, 2012  6:22am

Thanks for another reminder. All we (don't) need in today's secular society is a special language to make us seem more irrelevent. I cringe when I hear or read things like "I covet your prayers," one of the sillier of our hackneyed phrases. Even this author couldn't resist using the verb "strive" several times. When was the last you heard or read that word used by someone who wasn't speaking to Christians? Back in the day we used to say, "Get real!" Our words should make people know we care enough about them to want to honestly communicate the joy and love of Jesus in their language, not ours.

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Lisa

December 01, 2012  3:13pm

Great article! I remember wondering what in the world "praying in the spirit" meant.

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Val

November 22, 2012  10:12pm

Reading this article was all I needed this morning...I really dislike jargons but I do hear them so much from other Christians that sometimes I even blame myself for not liking them (maybe less spiritual?) - I feel different form others...

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