The world has put a derogatory spin on many good words. Because of this, the church has stopped using many of them. Just thinking off the top of my head, here are some words that have fallen on hard times.
- Sin & Hell
- Likely more that I will think of as soon as I publish this
Instead, we prefer new idioms, hoping that by avoiding the ‘religious’ words, we can lead people to Christ by not turning them away by using these negative words.
Except, they aren’t negative words at all. The only reason they have a negative connotation in the world is that the world loves darkness rather than light. They hate the truth, and want nothing to do with it. As a result, these words are avoided even in christian culture.
Now, switching to new words and phrases to get around this will only work for a short period of time. Soon these new words and phrases will get the same treatment. So ultimately, we aren’t solving anything.
For many of these words, it’s not that the world has given them a new definition, but they use them derisively because of their association with christianity. There are words that the world has redefined that we should be wary of, but we’ll look at that in a later post.
I don’t think we should avoid using these words. If any of them are the right word to use in a situation, let’s use them. If these words cause unbelievers to feel uncomfortable, then that may actually be a good thing. Sinners shouldn’t feel comfortable coming into contact with God’s righteousness. There should be a sense of unease and an inner conviction that they are not living up to God’s standard of righteousness.
People need to be shown that they are sinners if they are to see their need of a savior. If we try to make unbelievers feel at ease with christianity, then we may be doing more harm than good.