Friday, May 22, 2009

Watch your language?!

I grew up outside of Baltimore, MD and I admit, Marylanders have some pretty funny accents at times (think "Hon", John Trivolta in "Hairspray"). Nevertheless, when I moved to central Pennsyltucky where I now reside, I noticed some pretty funny patterns of speech. One of which sticks out to me is the occurrence of improper word substitution. For example, during one conversation, someone was speaking of getting used to something and said things would probably be fine once you get accumulated. Accumulated? Oh! You mean acclimated!

I just use that as an example of using the wrong words to describe the wrong things - something I think is happening alarmingly too much in the lives of followers of Jesus Christ.

On pretty much a daily basis, I hear someone talking about "going to church", or "it's at church", or "that's at such and such church", "where do you go to church" etc. I also occasionally hear the church building called "God's house", or "the house of the Lord" - two sayings that are in direct conflict with the teaching of scripture.

Now, I realize that our culture has adopted the word "church" for describing these buildings and events, but should believers do so? Doesn't it re-enforce the wrong thinking that The Church is an event or a building? Calling the event church is like calling dinner with your spouse "marriage". "Honey, what's for marriage tonight?", or "What time should I be home for marriage?", "You're late for marriage!". You get the point I hope. Marriage is a relationship - and so is Church.

Some might say this is mincing words, but I say, let's try to speak using a scriptural vocabulary. I am completely guilty of this myself. Our family has been trying to change this for years now, and it's painful. We've got our kids using the right vocabulary (and more importantly, understanding the idea), and they've turned into little vocabulary Nazis! I see hope though of a new generation of Jesus followers with a fresh new understanding of being The Church, instead of going to church.

So what have you're experiences been like with this? How are you describing and speaking of your church meetings, locations, etc? Please post your ideas in the comments.

No comments: