Christianese

Let’s be honest for a moment here the Church has its own lingo and for newcomers it can be puzzling to say the least. Many of us who are new Christians fake it till we make it when it comes to the lingo. I can remember vividly in college I would pull out my phone during a song or a sermon to remind myself to look up things I didn’t get. I have spent a lot of time self-educating myself on Christianese lingo via Google. I want to save you that time. This Christianese lesson will have 10 words/phrases but if this is something people are interested in I can write more lessons. There will be some helpful ones and some funny ones I have found.

  1. Hallelujah: God be praised. Maybe you are quicker than me but my goodness I can’t tell you how many times I sang this without knowing what it meant.
  2. YHWH: God’s name given to Moses. I don’t use vowels out of respect for the Jewish and Early Christian tradition of never vocalizing God’s name because of how holy it is.
  3. Rose of Sharon: I am still as clear as mud on this term. It is used once in the whole Bible in Song of Solomon it is also an actual shrub with flowers. Here is a link with a good explanation far better than I can produce here http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=10&article=842.
  4. PTL: Despite taking the same amount of syllables and breath to say PTL means Praise the Lord. Text lingo meets Church lingo and combine into something very annoying.
  5. Hosanna: help/save me. No it is not a name it is a plea to God. Next time you sing it in a song, ask yourself would the lyric actually makes sense if Hosanna was translated. It’s a fun game to play trust me.
  6. Chreaster: People that only go to Church on Christmas and Easter. Ever notice the influx of “Christians” around the holidays yeah those are Chreasters.
  7. Alka-Seltzer Christian: Much like Alka-Seltzer these are new Christians that come to the faith with all sorts of bubbles and energy only to fade away and mysteriously disappear.
  8. Lay Hands on: It’s a prayer thing that goes back to the healing ministry of the prophets and Jesus they would lay their hands on someone and heal them. So when people pray over someone they often lay hands on subconsciously because of that traditions and it’s nice to feel connected I think.
  9. Be Intentional: This is used mostly with relationships usually romantic or with friendships that are estranged or are with a non-believer. It is pretty self-explanatory the idea is that the person who is “being intentional” isn’t doing something without cause or an agenda there is an outcome they want and they are attentive to how their actions effect that desired outcome.
  10. Ebenezer: The song Come Thou Fount has a confusing line “here I raise my Ebenezer hither by thy help I’ve come” no it is not talking about by Ebenezer Scrooge, Ebenezer means stone of help.
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