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Finding Fran

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Christianese

fransalley

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Anyone besides me hate "Christianese"?

Some time back, I was in a Bible study group where one of the participants said something to the effect of, "Well, we just need to step out on faith, get out of the boat, and learn to walk on water!"

I didn't say anything, but I thought, "Do you even know what it is that you're saying?  Do you even know what all of that means?"

This is my problem with what we call "Christianese".  These are the words and phrases that we throw around that make us sound spiritual, but in reality, when pinned down for a definition, we couldn't give one.  

My number one "beserk button" is the phrase, "God is in control."  Before the 2008 Presidential election, I said that I was really scared, and immediately, two people chorused, "God is in control."  I thought, "Of COURSE you can say, 'God is in control.' Your candidate is going to win!"

"God is in control" is one of those phrases that people say when they want to sound spiritual.  I agree to an extent that "God is in control," I believe he will watch over us and work things out for good, that my needs will be met somehow and that we will be taken care of.  But sometimes, I think it's used as a throwaway cliche, or as a "thought-stopper".  It's what people say when they're not comfortable with our questions, our doubts, and our pain, but they know they need to say something that sounds encouraging.  So they'll say, God is in control, and they have fulfilled their Christian obligation and they don't have to acknowledge the pain that the other person is dealing with.

"Give it to God" is another one.  I mean, what exactly are you doing when you do that?  The picture I get is of someone opening their hands and holding them up to God, saying, "Okay, God, I give it to you."  Then they sit back and do absolutely nothing while God magically solves the problem.

And "The Lord will provide" also lands on the list.  I read a FB thread about working on Sunday, and at least one poster didn't believe that people should take a job that would require them to work on Sunday because it would interfere with "the assembling of the saints".  When asked, what is the person supposed to do if the only job they can find requires working on Sundays, the poster responded with, "The Lord will provide."  I nearly saw red.  I understand the need to be with fellow believers, but is the person saying, "The Lord will provide," willing to contribute to the financial support of that believer just so they can worship on Sundays? 

If anyone has any other "Christianese" examples, feel free to share!

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Lisafer

Posted

I've been criticized by my own fundie family for working outside the home after having a child because the bills needed to get paid. Apparently if I decided to have faith that God will provide and just sit home on my ass, it'll work out somehow. Ha ha. 

Fortunately I'm no longer a Christian and don't feel that guilt that I had growing up about not "trusting God enough" or "having faith." Ughhhh. It was awful. My depression? "Pray." My anxiety about not having enough money? "God will provide." Btw, my anxiety about money is due in large part to growing up in a large, poor, fundie family. I picked up on the money troubles from a very early age. 

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clueliss

Posted

It's God's Will.  Said to people in all sorts of circumstances.  Some of them horrifying.  

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smittykins

Posted

God never gives you more than you can handle.”

And as someone with a disability, one I particularly hate is “Disabled children have so much to teach us!”(as if they were object lessons and not actually people.)

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mango_fandango

Posted

“It’s God’s will” is AWFUL. It just makes God sound like an asshole. Usually I hear/see it connected with death which makes it even worse. 

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EmainMacha

Posted

'Offer it up' for anything from a scrapped knee to major depression. Like you @fransalley I never knew what I was meant to do with that. 'Here God, I give you the pain from my bruised knee. Why is it still hurting?' I still don't really get it. Apparently it's like saying that your suffering is only a fraction of what Jesus went through but I don't get how that's meant to help?

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smittykins

Posted

I’ve also heard Catholics say “Offer it up to the poor souls in Purgatory,” which is supposed to help them reach Heaven faster. 

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EmainMacha

Posted

2 hours ago, smittykins said:

I’ve also heard Catholics say “Offer it up to the poor souls in Purgatory,” which is supposed to help them reach Heaven faster. 

Maybe that was what I was meant to be doing?! 

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fransalley

Posted

On 1/27/2019 at 4:15 PM, smittykins said:

God never gives you more than you can handle.”

And as someone with a disability, one I particularly hate is “Disabled children have so much to teach us!”(as if they were object lessons and not actually people.)

I'm the mother of a child with a disability (my son has autism) and I agree to an extent, they have much to teach us and we have much to learn from them.  If nothing else, I've learned to hold my tongue and show interest at the 1,000th remark about the "whammys" from the old game show Press Your Luck.  :-)  

But my son is a person, also, and should be treated as such.  

On 1/27/2019 at 4:15 PM, smittykins said:

God never gives you more than you can handle.”

 

That, in my opinion, is a misquotation or a misapplication of I Corinthians 10:13, which talks about God being faithful, that he won't let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But the verses before that talk about Israel's lack of faith and their grumbling while they were in the desert and concludes with, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!  I understand the context to be more about "temptation to sin" rather than trials of life in general.  

And when I hear, "God won't give you more than you can bear," I think, "So I'm not allowed to cry or be unhappy or depressed over whatever this situation is?"

 

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