The season of Lent has passed. For many of us, we continued to worship at the churches we’ve attended for a while but for others, it meant discerning a church home. It’s important for all Christians to find a church home, in spite of one’s theology. Churches are integral to our faith–they are places where we can grow, share, and introduce others. If Jesus the Light within the darkness, churches are the places we can go to see. What happens when there’s a veil of pretty lies?
This is not always so obvious. It can occur in the form of subtle doublespeak– at first glance the word usage appears innocent enough, but look deeper and the intent is subversive. Once you attend a church’s service and listen to the homily, it becomes clearer in the language used to convey the message. Even glancing at a church’s website or bulletin can offer enough clues.
Often when churches decide they need to liberalize, it starts with the changing of their language. It might be the change of their name, how they reword their bulletin, or even in the message given every Sunday. We might start hearing our priests (or have already heard) talk about how we should afford non-Christians leeway in the name of inclusion, so to not be “judgmental.” Words like “community” replace church and it begs the question–why was the change necessary, if a church is already a community?
Unfortunately we live in an age were the true meaning of words are used to remove the accountability of sin for the sake of “compassion.” It is true Jesus was compassionate but He was just. He was often angry and offended others, without caring for their feelings. True compassion is not driven solely by emotions but through the desire for justice. Yet, many churches believe they can ignore one and elevate the other for the sake of feelings. All in the name of being “progressive” of course, while many Christian churches move backwards into the cesspool of depravity.
I stress the negative manipulation of language as we live in a time where people mistakenly believe they can twist what has been known to be true into something else. We live in a time where we all have to watch our words carefully, even on our own papers. What are we conveying isn’t the question– what to be more mindful of is to think about “How can I really make myself clear?” Even the already careful and deliberate have to double-check. Our era is also a time of redefinitions, and watching out for this nasty habit is everyone’s job.
Be mindful of language shifts, as they foreshadow worse things to come. Lies are often interwoven into a pretty fabric of wool.