Christanese: A communicable language within the Christian subculture with words and phrases created, redefined, and / or patened that applies only to the Christian sphere of influence.
Sure using these terms may have significance to use inside the church but that is where Christians should keep it. Let’s review some of the phrases that need to be filtered in the real world so we can assimilate into dominant culture without getting a wedgie or swirly.
1. Hedge of Protection:
(Means to keep safe).
This little gem comes out in just about every prayer every prayed since hedges were invented….or at least since Isaiah 5:5 or Job 1:10 was written. Either way, using this phrase in pray is not only confuse people but it’s just time to make up something new. The definition of “hedge” really has little to do with protection in the common tongue. The modern definition of hedge is ….”a row of bushes or trees.” Its root meaning is something acting as a barrier, but other than stock market fund owners, no one else is ever going to use this word unless they are talking about great Aunt Opal’s new rose bushes.
2. Invite Jesus into you heart:
(Means to become a Christian or Christ follower)
What happens with this one is someone who is witnessing (usually in their ‘witness-wear’) will come up to a non-Christian and inquire if they asked Jesus into their heart. While I admire the effort to get people into the Kingdom of God, this phrase is likely to confuse the audience as well as make them think that your inept with biology or just one of those strange home-schooled kids who never learned real English.
3. Sword: (Refers to a Bible).
(Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17)
I recall distinctly when I first started going to church the day that I realized what a “sword” was. I was 16 and the pastor called for everyone to grab their swords and I was immediately confused about why anyone is bringing weapons to church and where I can get my own Katana! Much to my disappointment he was referring to our Bibles. Cute, very cute pastor. You got me all worked up. I thought there was going to be a congregational LARP battle.
4. Bless your heart:
(Means you’re stupid/confused)
Here is the deal with this southern belle phrase; its the most passive aggressive phrase ever invented. When this is used we are invoking the blessings of God’s name on someone while subliminally indicating that they confused and need educated. Area of origin: Bible-belt, America.
5. Feeling led to….:
(Means I did/didn’t feel like it)
Plain and simple, this phrase is the cop out for not doing something. It’s the secondary form of “God told me.” In this maneuver one must speak of doing something serious in which may have repercussion. Thus, in order to defer consequences we have to blame God. “It wasn’t me, I just didn’t fee God leading me.” Can be translated into any of the following:
a. I was too tired
b. I didn’t want to
c. I’d rather go to the party this weekend
d. I don’t actually have any commitment
e. I was hoping someone else would cover me
6. Oozing/Seeping out:
(Used in reference to the Holy Spirit or another divine quality we are to embody)
This one is an interesting amoeba of a phrase. It can fit in like: “be so filled with the spirit that its seeping out of you.” or “its oozing.” This is the problem with this…all I can picture when I hear the word ooze or seep is some type of ninja turtle slime or possible every omelet I’ve ever tried to cook. The idea of metaphor is good, execution is poor.
7. Let go and let God:
(Stop trying because your failing)
This may be the most annoying on the list. Perhaps why it’s in the number 7 slot. This popular phrase (only among women for some reason) means that one should give up trying the let God take over. The idea is great, and biblical. However, it lacks anything coherent. First time hearers will usually give you these responses: Let who what? WTH are you talking about?
So let u learn from our history and not force culture on foreigners like the Spanish Inquisition and learn to speak common English outside the church. Not only will we have a much more enjoyable experience outside of the bubble but we will actually make sense to those we talk to.
Did I miss any of your favorites? You can vote on some below and even add your own for voting :)