Parlez Vous Christianese?
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." I Corinthians 2:2
When Paul was around unbelievers, or was speaking to spiritual infants, (such as the church of Corinth), he kept his message real simple. He did not come with wise and persuasive words. He allowed the Holy Spirit to do most of the work. I greatly admire Paul’s ministry approach. He truly set out to become all things to all men. When standing before the government leaders, he appealed to their nobility and wisdom; at Mars Hill he spoke as a philosopher; in the synagogues, he spoke as a Jew; and while with the Gentiles, he lived like a Gentile. Paul knew how to talk to someone on his own level.
I love learning languages. Every time that I travel to a new country I enjoy picking up a few new words and phrases. It’s nice to be able to say “Hello” and “Thank You” in 20 different tongues. But there is one language that I wish I had never learned. It comes from a scattered group of tribes that often separate themselves from the rest of the world. They don’t come out of their comfort zones unless absolutely necessary. When they do leave their bubbles, the rest of the world rarely understands them, for they speak Christianese. You’ve probably heard this term before. I just did a Google search on “Christianese” and was amazed at what I found--countless dictionaries on the language! One described Christianese as, “A communicable language within the Christian subculture with words and phrases created, redefined, and / or patented that applies only to the Christian sphere of influence.”
I learned it once and still know how to speak it, but would rather not. Like Ned Flanders talking to Homer Simpson, have found this dialect detrimental when talking with an unbeliever or an infant in the faith. After all, you wouldn’t feed a newborn babe a thick slab of prime rib, would you? Of course not! Yet we think that this world is ready to digest all of our jargon. They aren’t, and they shouldn’t have to. They simply don’t comprehend our nonsensical sayings or even worse, they get a laugh over our speech. That’s why Paul kept his message simple; “Christ and Him crucified.”
Some people think that the holier they sound, the holier they are. Instead of getting to know someone and talking to him or her casually on their level, they speak right over their heads. “Have you been saved, born again, filled with the Spirit and baptized in the blood?” They shout. “I am feeling the anointing brother!” They scream! Let’s face it, there are certain catch phrases that we say that just don’t make sense to the lost. It took Jesus a long time to explain the concept of being “Born again” to Nicodemus. And to be baptized in the blood sounds downright disgusting to a non-believer. It’s no wonder why we are not winning over converts left and right.
So keep it real. Rethink your language. Be all things to all men. Learn to speak their dialect and for heaven’s sake, drop the Christianese! Stop talking over someone’s head; explain to them in simple terms what you mean. Be relevant.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:3-6).
Lord, please forgive me for trying to sound holy in my speech. Please help me to be able to share what is on my heart and in Your word so that others will understand me clearly. Help me to truly become all things to all men. Give me Your wisdom. Help me to make the most out of every opportunity. God, please let my conversations be always full of grace and seasoned with salt, so that I may know how to answer everyone. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, amen.
|Not Ashamed||Romans 1:16 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Favoritism||Romans 2:11 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Action Talks||Romans 2:13 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Tattooed Heart||Romans 2:15b (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Missing the Target||Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|A New Identity||I Corinthians 1:2||Mark Mohr|
|Unmerited Favor||I Corinthians 1:4||Mark Mohr|
|'Til The End||I Corinthians 1:8-9||Mark Mohr|
|Perfectly United||I Corinthians 1:10-13a||Mark Mohr|
|Gambling for Garments||I Corinthians 1:12-17LIV||Mark Mohr|
|The First Missionary||I Corinthians 1:27-29||Mark Mohr|
|THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD||I Corinthians 1:19-20||Mark Mohr|
|The Unusual Suspects||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|A Broken Vessel||Heb 11:34||Mark Mohr|
|Achilles Heel||James 3:2a||Mark Mohr|
|Refurbished Heart||I John 1:7-9||Mark Mohr|
|Unworthy Applicant||Psalm 51:1-2||Mark Mohr|
|Foolish Thinking||I Corinthians 1:18-23||Mark Mohr|
|Boastful Thinking||I Corinthians 1:29||Mark Mohr|
|The Runt of the Litter||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|Keep it Simple||I Corinthians 2:1-5||Mark Mohr|
|Parlez Vous Christianese?||I Corinthians 2:2||Mark Mohr|
|No Eye Has Seen||I Corinthians 2:9||Mark Mohr|
|A Word from the Lord||I Corinthians 2:16||Mark Mohr|
|Let Go, Let God||I Corinthians 3:6-7||Mark Mohr|
|To The Foundation||I Corinthians 3:10-11||Mark Mohr|
|All-Seeing Eyes||I Corinthians 4:5||Mark Mohr|