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26 November 2007

Word Search

Taking Christy's and Preston's comments from "Rost in Transration" as a starting point, love is part of the universal language (I don't say that love is the universal language, because hate and apathy, I believe, are part of that same universal language, too). However, some of our spoken lingo within the church is not part of a universal language.

For the sake of learning and possibly having a little fun with ourselves, I will list some words and phrases that are uttered almost uniquely by those in the Church. This is not meant to be critical -- honestly! -- but to bring a smile and to get each of us thinking about how we speak.

From there I'd like for you to add words and/or phrases of your own via the comment utility. Not just "flowery" words, but simple words that are now archaic; ones that we could lose if we really wanted to. Note that speaking in "The King's English" (that'd be King James) is not a particularly "holy" thing to do, so I'm not maligning the Word of God.

Preston started this off in his comments the other day (beginning with "atonement" and "dispensation,"), but his were words that have meaning specifically for the Church, so I believe those are necessary words -- and it is necessary for us as individual church members to understand them!

Here we go... Feel free to take issue with me if you disagree.

Thee/Thy (this is a gimme)
Encourage
Timid
Stumbling block
Yoke
Divine (a word that no male should ever utter unless it is in direct reference to God)
Beseech
Draw (as in "draw me closer to You")
Repent
Stronghold
Joy
Reveal
Restore (not applicable if you're talking about a computer)

Note that I really do believe we need to break down words like "stronghold" (bada-boom!) -- deconstruct them and instead use a more expanded phrase like "something that has a hold on a person." I mentioned this in a post about prayer several weeks ago. I believe that the more we literally say what we mean (from prayers to our conversation with people), the more our words will mean to us, as well as those around us.

"Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody." - 1 Corinthians 14:7 (NLT)

7 comments:

Leroy said...

Meek
Brethren
Worthy
Abide
Blessed
Righteous and its variations (unless you're a cartoon sea turtle riding the East Australian Current)

And on, and on...

Cecily said...

propitiation (for our sins)
grace
apostate
saved
redeemed
saved by God's redeeming grace :)
fellowship
initimacy
lost (as in, the "lost" who are unsaved)
seasoned (as in, seasoned with grace, or salt)


I might disagree with you on the word encourage. I hear that often, in many secular contexts. I guess I hear the word intimacy, too -- but when used in church, has a whole different meaning that what the world thinks of.

Tony M said...

I'd agree with Cecily that "encourage" is a word that might be removed from the list. And "propitiation" is quite common as well (nah, just kidding there!). Actually, I hear "reveal" on a fairly regular basis, but primarily by Jeff Probst as the host of "Survivor."

One thing I wonder about, in regards to prayer (and you may have already mentioned this, but I don't recall for sure), why do we too-often repeat "Father" or "Lord" during our prayers? Jesus, when teaching the disciples to pray, didn't say:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Father, your kingdom come, Father, your will be done, Father, on earth as it is in heaven, Father. Give us today, Father, our daily bread, Father. Forgive us our debts, Father, as we also, Father, have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, Father, but deliver us from the evil one." (see the actual example in Matthew 6:9-13.

Yes, this is a dramatization, and yes, Jesus did say the prayer in John 17. But when I talk to my friends, I don't say, for instance:

"Hey, Dean. How are you today, Dean? I hope, Dean, that we do some music I like at church today, Dean. It was wonderful, Dean, at last week's service, Dean, when we did 'Days of Elijah,' Dean. I like that song, Dean."

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to be critical of prayers (you can read that as "those who pray" or "the utterances of those who pray"), despite my apparent spiritual gift of criticism :). I'm just wondering "why?" Why do we (myself included) pray like that? Is it some "fancy" prayer-language? It seems, to me, that it might be distracting from, as you said, being more meaningful, leading us to a more intimate (ooh, church word, sorry!) with God. I'd encourage [:)] you (and myself!) to avoid the needless repetition of "Father" or "Lord" and just pray. Then again, habits are hard to break... but we should be careful of allowing our prayers to become "habitual" (the practice of prayer should be habitual; the prayers themselves, I think, shouldn't be, but should be our "in the moment" expressions of praise, petitions, thanksgiving, etc. to God).

I'm not really sure if this is in the same vein as your original post, but that's where my thoughts headed.

Leroy said...

I agree with Cecily and Tony. Dean, I, too, encourage you, Dean, to remove 'encourage' from your list. I just opened my Bible to the 'appendix' and wrote a few down. I could have kept on going! :)

Woo-hoo! I just had some ice cream so I'm in a good mood! Well, I'm always in a good mood (annoying isn't it?!), so I suppose I'm in a better than normal good mood!! I really hope that I'm a worthy encouragement to my righteous brethern that see me in a good mood!

Cecily said...

Leroy cheated!!!

He used an appendix.

Leroy said...

The first three I thought of myself, the last three I just flipped through the concordance. It's not always about knowing the answers, but sometimes knowing WHERE TO FIND the answers. ;)

amateur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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