Rev. Mears on People Helping People Ministries has an article called "Church Speak" or What Language does your church speak!
I really think he did a good job of showing how some churches use certain terms to basically get you to BEND to their way, and encourage you to keep your mouth shut!
The question he asked was a very good one!
If you have noticed “church-speak” being used within your faith community to convey their message, what has the impact been on you and others around you?
I wanted to take a couple of his examples in his article that I personally could relate to. I draw from not only my personal experiences, but those I hear from on regular basis...or even just ONCE!
Angry: What a person is deemed to be when they tell the truth about something that has happened. Because you are "angry" and have a "bitter spirit" your legitimate concerns and issues can be written off and ignored. After all, "you are the one with the problem", not the actual offender, especially if the offender is a pastor or elder.
How often have victims of abuse been in this place? They encourage you to come with your burdens, but you had better DARN well say them in a fashion they feel is proper!
I have come along some pretty wicked articles aimed towards abused people, and in their attempt to reach out they may have said something out of frustation. The response is more of, "What you think you are an angel or something?" They also never address the concerns they came with. They are more concerned with HOW they have been approached.
A Family matter: When the church leadership doesn't want the embarrassment of public disclosure in the community at large regarding a scandal in the church, that scandal becomes a "family matter" and is not to be discussed with people outside of the church or group. That the community at large has a vital and legitimate interest in the matter is ignored, even when the matter involves wrong-doing such as criminal sexual conduct, child or wife abuse, a suspicious death and so on. In such cases the primary reason for something to be "a family matter" is so the leadership or church can "save face".
LOL or not deal with it! Denial, Diversion, etc! This one always blows me away! I just don't understand it. I mean the bible states we are to bring things into the light, and for all kinds of sinful reasons they feel it shouldn't see the 'light of day'
A Jezebel Spirit: (1) A term used specifically to describe a woman who is "unteachable". (2) Also used to describe a woman in the congregation or group who has the audacity to seek to publicly expose the unwanted and unasked for sexual harassment she received from the pastor or other prominent male church member. Such harassment usually fits the definition of a criminal sexual offense as defined by statute law, and exposure would result in negative publicity in the community at large.
Oh yeah! Major BLECK!
Teachable: You are "teachable" when you passively accept what you are taught without questioning the exegesis or logic.
We don't want to take sides: This phrase is used to avoid making any decision at all which would deal with the abuse which was taking place in the situation.
If you read the entire article I sure some of what this author writes will strike a cord with you.
For me it seems that others use these things to take the burdens off themselves, and place them on others. It like what Jesus describes when he speaks in Matthew:
Matthew 23:1-13 GW Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, (2) "The scribes and the Pharisees teach with Moses' authority. (3) So be careful to do everything they tell you. But don't follow their example, because they don't practice what they preach. (4) They make loads that are hard to carry and lay them on the shoulders of the people. However, they are not willing to lift a finger to move them. (5) "They do everything to attract people's attention. They make their headbands large and the tassels on their shawls long. (6) They love the place of honor at dinners and the front seats in synagogues. (7) They love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have people call them Rabbi. (8) But don't make others call you Rabbi, because you have only one teacher, and you are all followers. (9) And don't call anyone on earth your father, because you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. (10) Don't make others call you a leader, because you have only one leader, the Messiah. (11) The person who is greatest among you will be your servant. (12) Whoever honors himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be honored. (13) "How horrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You don't enter it yourselves, and you don't permit others to enter when they try.
Now only to churches come across as scribes and Pharisees, but they missed the point of servant leadership that Jesus speaks about. In today's world I have to wonder if that is why most don't seek to be become part of the body of Christ seen in churches. At times they can sure mention alot of awesome scripture, and when comes down to it........they can't call sin a sin, and goodness knows you had better not question them GENTLY or otherwise!
I see that is the biggest debit of the church at times, and they wonder why most don't follow them. I don't see the gentle rebuke most of the time do you? I see others coming down HARD on people, and try to tell you it is out of LOVE! I sure see alot of judgement, stereotypes, and lack of compassion in alot of areas. The church is so gifted in some areas, but others they fail miserably.
If effects people in all walks of life, but sadly it effects the church as whole to me. They aren't being the effective ministers to lead those to the truth, because maybe they are confused as to what it is themselves!
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