Are you Speaking Visitor’s Language?

I have recently become aware (and maybe overly sensitive) to Christianese.  That language we speak at church using terms and idioms that we as Christians understand, but leave non-believers wondering.  These terms have recently begun to stick out to me like neon signs.  Terms used both from the pulpit, but also from those sitting in the seats as well.

I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong, but rather that we need to be more aware of what a visitor or non-believer needs to hear.  Growing up in a traditional church, I understand most of these terms (well almost all of them).  However, I have recently been convicted to try to use terms that better explain in modern language those terms that we have used all of our lives.

For example, growing up in a Southern Baptist church, the term “washed in the blood” simply means that I have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus and the separation I once had from God has been washed by the shed blood of Jesus.  But what would a non-believer hear?  In our post-modern culture where truth is relative and everyone can believe what they want, the possible miconceptions of this meaning could almost be grotesque.

Let’s challenge each other to be more aware of non-believers and seek to use terms and language that all can understand.  We don’t need to use terms to be “high and mighty” but rather simple language that explains the love of Jesus and the sacrifice he made to save us all from sin.