How the world sees us and our Christianese…

Do you ever wonder about the Christian language that has developed through the years? Do you ever think about how inappropriate it is to talk the way we do about certain things?

A number of years ago, I was in Denver at a homeless shelter playing some music and doing some teaching for the “church” service the men were supposed to attend before they could be fed. I recall singing a song that was brand new on the Modern Worship scene called “King of Love.” It was a really cool song, and it pulled some images out of Song of Songs that were fresh metaphors for the Christian experience.

The King of Love is my delight
His eyes are fire, his face is light
How can a sinner know such joy?
Because of Jesus.

I played my guitar and sang it with all my might, and then I got to the second verse:

My lover’s breath is sweetest wine.
I am his and he is mine.

And as I sang that, I realized that I was singing to a room full of men from the streets of Denver who just might possibly have mistaken that for some homosexual kind of comment if they had actually been paying attention.

While I was singing that song, my heart skipped a beat and I realized that some Christian language is just out of place.

Oh, and if you think that I’m just talking about Christianese like “justification,” “sanctification,” “propitiation,” and the like, you need to check out what this site has to say about “Love Offerings!”

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One thought on “How the world sees us and our Christianese…

  1. found your site from doing a word search of “Christianese” at

    On one hand it’s definitely humurous in a laugh-at-ourselves kind of way about the development of language and phrases in Christianese.

    On the other it’s sad. Unrelatable to believers and unbelievers, and hollow/void to those who hunger for Truth and desire to discuss the faith in non-religious terms.

    Before seeing your blog, last week I was thinking of conversations in the last months with other Followers. Words like “sanctification” and “propitiation” came to mind, as well as the phrase spoken to me in the recent past, “Christ is our sufficiency”.


    i don’t ask that because I don’t know what sufficiency is. I ask it as in “why are you getting wordy on me in talking Jesus?”

    I’m going to create a flag out of a handkerchief, write “Religious Alert” on it and keep it in my pocket. Anytime a Follower talking about Jesus says a 4- or 5- syllable word in talking about the faith, or says show canned-text Christianese empty cliche, out comes the flag and they get called on the carpet.

    Talking about Jesus should go no further than 3-syllable words, and even those should be used with caution. Forgiveness is okay, but righteousness (due to its misuse, abuse and cloudy definition) is on the border.

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