Christianese Sucks*

I’m bilingual.

Bet you didn’t know that.

My first language? English, duh.

My second language? Christianese.

You’ve heard of Christianese, right?

Well, just in case you haven’t, it’s the language that “good Christians” use. Or really, it’s how people speak who want to sounds like “good Christians.”

***

Let’s just get something straight before moving on….I am a Christian.

Or as we say in Christianese: I am a Christ-follower, a believer, I’m born again, I’m saved

Those sounds so much better, right? nah.

Bottom line: I love Jesus (there’s a bit more to it, google it if you have any questions)

***

Here are a few examples of my second language, followed by the English translation:

Christianese: I don’t feel called to that.

English: I don’t want to do that.

Christianese: I just have a check in my spirit.

English: That’s not a good idea …or… I don’t agree with you

Christianese: I feel like the Lord is really doing some work in my life.

English: Things are such a disaster.

Christianese: The Lord is bringing me to my knees lately.

English: Life stinks right now and I don’t know what to do about it.

 

Get the idea? Good. Now, here’s the deal.

I can speak like that. And sometimes I do. But most of the time I don’t.

I think Christianese sucks.*

Why?

I think Christianese masks authenticity.**

We hide behind these words to avoid how we really feel. We use it to appear as if we have everything under control, that it all makes sense, and we don’t doubt God (as we are trying desperately to keep it all together).

But as we are sugar-coating our problems and opinions, we are isolating others in the process. Keeping them from being able to speak openly and honestly. Because who wants to share their junk to someone who sounds so holy?

{That is unless, of course, this is occurring between two fluent speaking super-Christians… then this doesn’t apply.}

So here’s my question: If, as Christians, we all believe the same things, if we believe the bible to be true, then why can’t we just say to one another “life stinks at this moment…I’m a mess”? Does that make sense?

Hmmm…let me try it this way…

You don’t have to tell me God is working in your life right now…because guess what? I know he is. He’s working in all our lives. every. single day. You can just tell me how crappy things are and we will both know that God is doing something good. Cause that’s how he works. We’ve read about it, heard about it, and I’m pretty sure we all believe it to be true.

Praise the Lord ;)

After writing all this, it got me thinking that maybe some of the people that use Christianese so frequently are actually trying to make sense of their situation and/or trying to convince themselves of something….maybe that God has not left them or maybe they are weak in their faith? I don’t know.

But I kinda feel sad for those people, if that’s the case. My heart goes out to them. I wish they could trust someone enough to not feel judged and be able to share honestly how they really feel. Even if it doesn’t sound like something a Christian would say.

‘Cause nobody’s perfect.

Except Jesus.

Amen?

Amen!

 

*I think Christianese sucks most of the time. Not all the time.

**I know very few people who are genuine and fluent in this language. As long as someone is being truly authentic, I have no problem with the usage of Christianese.

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17 Responses to Christianese Sucks*

  1. Charlie says:

    Way to speak it, Sister!!! I almost never speak Christianese as I don’t think I know how to speak “pretty”. I know God knows this about me and when I pray i imagine He is thinking… “Oh! It’s her again… “

    • Amber says:

      And when he hears you, Charlie…. he’s totally pumped! Whether you think it’s eloquent or not…. it doesn’t matter :)

  2. rolain says:

    Hi Amber.
    God bless you my sister. I was so blessed when I read this and I believe God has blessed you with all things pertaining to life and godliness. God spoke to me and He told me to write to you to say thank you. I am so blessed because of your post……….

    Ok let me stop. I am at the point of laughing. That was just me pulling your leg!!! Great post Amber. We need to be honest and transparent. I for one am guilty of speaking Christianese but I decided a long time ago to stop it. It is sad when people speak christanese and you clearly know that serious things have happened in their lives. Great post.
    Rolain.

  3. Caitlin says:

    Christianese can present so many problems! I agree — I think some people tend to hide behind the lingo. (I know I did in the past!) I also think it can be extremely confusing for those on the outside. I feel for people who are unsaved or new to the faith — I know that I’ve really had to make a conscious effort to rewire my language in this area :)
    Caitlin recently posted..FMF: BeyondMy Profile

  4. natalie says:

    I didn’t know there was a name for talking like that… Christianese… good to know! And I agree with you, I know people of faith that talk like that, and somehow it seems perfectly normal. Yet I know someone who says “we’re all about God and Family”, and then do things that are completely so NOT about God and Family. Yes, and I’m being judgemental. I try not to, but sometimes I just can’t help it!! I guess that’s why those people are on the moon!!

    • Amber says:

      Natalie, I don’t think it has an official name, but I know it’s what a few of my friends and I call it. I know it’s so hard not to be judgmental when you see such contradictions and hypocrisy! Yet, all of us do it in some way or another. Christians or not. I know I’ve been on both sides of that judgment. It goes to show how important it is to “walk the talk.”

      But also, we probably should remember to give each other a little grace…. and then there is always that other tricky one ….forgiveness ;)

  5. susan harms says:

    Amber, you make me laugh! I needed to laugh, so thank you!

    • Amber says:

      Just visited your blog and you made me laugh and blush and the same time!!! That was great! Thanks for visiting!

  6. Donna P says:

    LOVE this!!! I’m reading the Pressure’s Off by Larry Crab, it’s very fitting with what you have written! So I’m glad you posted this, a good reminder :)

  7. Sandy says:

    I think your thoughts are so refreshing!!

  8. melissa says:

    so true..this post hit a home run in my opinion and in my life
    ;) keep writing. xoxxoxo

  9. Jennifer Schrag Zaccagni says:

    I completely agree. I keep writing long comments then erasing because I can’t quite find the words. I really appreciate this post and find it very true to my experiences too.

    • Amber says:

      Thanks Jennifer. This was inspired by a friend who shared how she felt really bummed out after having a conversation with her friend who spoke with a bunch of Christianese. It just got me thinking about why we do it…

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