What I'm Afraid Of

Spiders.

It is true.I am slightly afraid of those creepy eight-legged arachnids. But, I’d like to use this short post to discuss another one of my fears (and no, I’m not talking about girls this time).

Undeveloped beliefs. That’s it.That is what I am so scared of.

In today’s Church, there exists a language that is really only accessible to those who have been a part of the community long enough to catch on. Think about it. Where else in your life have you ever (and I mean ever) used the word righteousness, sanctification, salvation, mercy, etc.? Chances are, never.

And quite frankly, rarely have I.

One of the most intriguing phrases to me is the notion that we could “ask God into our heart.” What exactly do we mean by that? I am not saying that the phrase is illegitimate. But I think it, and a lot of other Christianese ought to be further examined.

What I am most afraid of is that we rely on phrases like the aforementioned as a hinge between us and our faith. Yet, for many of us, if we were cornered with the question of “what does that mean?’ we would have nothing to say beyond “Well, you know– Jesus like, lives in us.”

Christianese may very well be inevitable, and that’s ok. But it would be a shame if we let our language dictate our beliefs, instead of the other way around. We may not all be Religious Studies majors, or training to be in the ministry, pastors, or multi-millionaires because of a rewritten, retitled Christian bestseller.

But, we ought to all be theologians.

Yep. I said it.

I don’t intend that we all grow our hair out, our bellies out, and write thousand-page dissertations. I DO INTEND that we think about what we believe. It is acceptable to me for someone to say they have “accepted Jesus into their heart” if they know what that means to them.

Own it. Make it yours. Don’t accept a language that assumes so much already.

What I am most afraid of, is Christians who don’t actually believe, they just know. They know the catch phrases, the one-liners, the bible verses for when you’re sick or tired or lonely or single or addicted or broken. They know the words to the songs, Billy Graham’s birthday, and every stop of Tomlin’s Burning Lights tour.

These things are not wrong. But they are not God. Theology is thoughts about God. Think about Him.

Be a theologian.

 

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3 thoughts on “What I'm Afraid Of

  1. As someone studying theology, I obviously approve of this. We must know what we mean by G-d and these other terms. We need to constantly ask ourselves, “what does it mean to say…?” What does it mean to say that I am saved? That I am sanctified? What does it mean to say that G-d is all powerful/all loving/all knowing? We need more than cliched answers, but prophetic ones that speak both to our own particular existential situation and the social/human situation at large.

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