Do people talk like this?

Over the past few months I have been noticing a trend when it comes to “Christian” writing. Its seems that whenever somebody is writing or speaking with other Christians their vernacular evolves. I don’t know how to describe the tone of this text. It almost feels flowery, yet I know they are being genuine. Are they trying to impress the people they are talking to? Does the way they write/talk show how deep they are in their faith?

Here are a few examples…

I found somebody wrote this in response to a “note” on Facebook:

Glory to the King of Kings, so blessed to see the Lord moving in your life brother!! The Lord put the book of James on my heart for you….be encouraged by His word!

Forever changed by His love,
*name

One of my dear friends sent me an email updating our friends and myself about her life since graduation.

Let me say also that my heart is overjoyed to see my increasing love for the Lord grow more and more each day. My church here is a wonderful place of fellowship and I am being built up greatly in the faith with sound teaching, encouragement, accountability, and gospel-focused messages. I am so incredibly thankful for God’s goodness in providing this church body and a family that seeks to bring the glory and honor to God that He alone so rightly deserves.

In addition to these things, I am completely in awe of how the Lord has expressed His kindness and faithfulness in ways I could not have imagined myself. Shortly after I arrived, the Lord brought an amazing Godly man into my life who is nothing but a gift from the Lord. From our first encounter, we both recognized that there was something very unique and special about our relationship – an attraction to the hearts evidently seeking the Lord and desire to encourage one another in the faith. We have received wonderful, Biblical counseling from the elders and associate pastors here and it has been nothing but encouraging and beneficial. We have been super intentional about discussing things that are of great value and importance in any relationship, but purposely encouraging one another toward holiness through study of the Word, prayer, and fellowship among believers. The more time we spend together, the more confirming it seems that we may very well be headed toward a marriage covenant in God’s perfect timing…

My friend is absolutely amazing. I think it is awesome that she has found a church and met somebody, but the eloquence and complexity are very above par. I felt like I was reading a fine classic piece of literature.

I’m not picking on my friend or the the other guy, but I just have to wonder if your average joe talks and writes like this.

To me if I was “an outsider” reading this I would be very puzzled. Is the first guy that guy’s brother? Isn’t it weird that God put a book filled with James on a guys heart? Be encouraged by who’s word? What does sound teaching mean? Does that mean you can hear the teaching? What is an Elder, and why are they determining who you can marry?

I know the answer to all these questions and think that both of these quotes are awesome. I’m pumped that those two guys are encouraging each other to read scripture. I am definitely pumped that my friend has met an awesome guy. However, the only reason why I know this is because I was brought up in church all my life. I know the “stuff christians like” because I experienced it.

I am not advocating for the dumbing down of the Gospel, but I feel sometimes we just need to express ourselves in ways the normal family man with 2.5 kids can understand.

While I was in New York City I saw a common theme amongst many of the college students. These are people who are smart enough to get into some pretty good schools, yet many had gone to mass and church services all there lives and couldn’t explain to me what simple things like “Grace” and “Easter” are,

I have commonly referred to this type of thing as “Christianesse” but I think it is more than just using churchy words. I feel you can loose people by writing while expecting your audience to have a full understanding of the context.

It is not we aren’t talking about the right message. We are just presenting the message in a way that is hard to understand. The message we talk about is amazing and unchanging – no matter what way we present it. So lets present it in a way that everybody can understand.

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2 comments

  1. Jason Ebeling · July 31, 2008

    Little frustrated Brad? I totally understand what you’re saying. The only push-back I might have is….if the people they are writing to (their intended audience) can understand it, why do should they make it more understandable to people who might not ever read it anyway? Know what I’m sayin’? But, if this is what all Christians talked like, in church or on the street, it’s no wonder people are confused, uninterested and feel like “we’re” judgmental and looking down on them. Heck, even Paul (a pretty good example I’d say) told the Corinthians in 1 Cor 2 – that he DIDN’T speak with “eloquence or superior wisdom”.So, Amen Brother, Hallelujah may His peace be upon you as you traverse the path of righteousness. (tongue in cheek)

  2. Jim Bird · August 9, 2008

    I think if I were to read correspondence between you and someone that knows video like you do, I would be pretty confused. I think it all comes down to who your audience is. I’ll admit I slip into that kind of “Christianese” too easily sometimes, but there are some words- “brother” being one- that I use intentionally. It’s a reminder of the bond (is that another one?) that we have in Christ. So, while I might say “Hey brother!” to you, I would probably not refer to you, when I’m speaking to someone else, as “my brother Brad”.

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