Understanding Christianese – Lesson 1

This humorous video is spot-on in identifying some of the Christianese used in certain contexts that reveal the hearts/intentions/mindsets of some believers, especially in mainstream/fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity. Usually the phrase “I’ll pray for you” in the context of answering prayer requests is normal and expected, but in other cases when no such prayer requests are made and yet a certain believer volunteers to pray for the other person, it might show the believer is not as interested in offering practical help or emotional support as in sounding or appearing spiritual. And yes, I have come across cases in which arguments or debates between believers about doctrines would invariably end with such a phrase to put down the one who appears to have committed “heresy” and is need of “prayer and intervention” for having offended their god.

As for praying for the Lord to bless the food during mealtimes, I think it has become a tradition in Christian circles, and perhaps in a way, superstition. As the video pointed out, the food is already blessed with nutrients and has made its way to the table through human involvement in farming, packing and distribution. So it may be more appropriate to simply give thanks for the people who made the food possible (or it can be seen that in God we live and move and have our being, including growing and preparing food) and acknowledge the food is already blessed with nutrients.

The prayer “if it is God’s will” is very common in Christian circles and it has showed up on my private prayers too, especially when I was involved in institutional church a few years ago until I came to realise gradually that I am a co-creator of my own reality and destiny. I think Jesus referred to the father’s will only in terms of the father (our highest self) wanting everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth of who they really are. It is not so much about seeking God’s will about the nitty gritty details of our lives because we are the architects of our own lives. I think even Paul was in the process of growing and discovering that his will and God’s will in his own life are one and the same. For example in Acts 18, he said “but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.” But that was before the full revelation was given during the parousia in AD70 that God is already one with us, so we today do not need to pray “if God will”. Rather, we are Gods and Goddesses in action, and when we make a decision, the whole universe conspires to make it happen by heeding and responding to the energetic vibrations we send out.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

And yes, the last example of the Christianese phrase “God hates sin but loves the sinner” is just a religious cop-out as an excuse to not welcome someone whom the religious leaders dislike for being different or for mirroring something they dislike about themselves. For example, a homophobic minister may openly condemn homosexuality but tell gays that God loves them but hates the so-called “sin” of homosexuality. I think more often than not, that minister is probably struggling to accept or deal with his own sexual orientation and feels condemned about it, and in order to deflect the attention from himself, he decides to focus on condemning the same struggles in other people. This unfortunately only serves to perpetuate self-righteousness and discrimination in Christian circles. It is no wonder more and more people are coming to realise that there is actually more sanity, love and acceptance outside of mainstream Christian circles.

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