Om bifler funsel qimlett oufer stonstil. Having trouble with that first sentence? Can’t quite grasp the meaning? It’s the first sentence of a new language I’m writing. It sounds almost as foreign as “church language” sounds to the un-churched.
We often speak as though everybody understands. When we tell un-churched people that they need to be “saved” or that they must be “washed in the blood,” we should not assume that they know what we mean. Every Christian should write out their story in plain language, and then read it back to see if it is clear of theological jargon. Can you tell of encountering God without lapsing into “clichés?”
At 13, I was accosted by a “street preacher” on a busy sidewalk. She rattled on about judgment and sin, hardly giving me an opportunity to speak. She closed her swirling sermon with the warning: “It’s a long chilly swim over Jordan.” I was raised in church, so I knew where she was coming from. An un-churched person would have labeled her a “nut-ball.”
“Church-ese” is a very confusing language for those outside the community of faith. Try English, and make it clear. Jesus is drawing men and women into relationship. Are we helping, or hindering?
Reposted with permission from onehope.net.