There are many terms used in the Christian world
that sound good but often times don’t actually mean what they say. I would like
to explore some of these but since these columns are limited to around 500
words let me start with these two. The first one is a phrase every Christian
has used so it makes for a good start.
1)”I’ll pray for you”.
What a beautiful sentiment. I need prayer and so
do you. We are supposed to pray for each other as well. The problem is, (I know
this not from divine revelation but unfortunately personal experience) that we
as Christians often times get in the habit of using the term flippantly without
weighing the gravity of the sentiment. You say your going to pray for someone
you had better mean it. Instead it can be flouted around like a handshake with
a stranger or the equivalent of the secular/retailer phrase “Have a nice day”.
That phrase sounds friendly enough though does anyone ever honestly think they
The truth is for the most part the purveyor of
the phrase not only could care less about your “day”, they’ll even spend most
of their lunch break whining to fellow employees what a pain in the butt we
patrons actually are. This habit ironically facilitates a nice day for them.
I know personally that I have used the phrase
“I’ll pray for you” only to forget about it 2 minutes later and only recall I
said it a couple months later when I find out the person I was supposed to pray
for died from some exotic disease. Now I not only feel guilty for not praying,
I start thinking I killed the guy!
Another classic overused Christian phrase is,
2) “You shouldn’t be a stumbling block for
Sounds holy until we who have been around the
Christian sub-culture long enough realize that the stumbling block concept is
often code for “I’ll be watching you and if I ever see you behaving in a way I consider un-Christian I’ll judge you
in my heart. Since I am the arbiter of all things true and holy.”
If stumbling block means Christian behavior that
causes someone else to sin then most of these stumbler-phobes could use it on
themselves since they are so
concerned about the sins of fellow believers. Their obsession with demanding
the stumble-causing Christian to cease and desist usually leads them not to
spiritual encouragement of a wayward brother but instead the SIN of
self-righteous judgment that doesn’t desire reconciliation as much as
punishment and condemnation!
Their legalistic arrogance also ticks me off and
causes me to sin since I find myself despising
them and desiring ways to make their lives miserable which I have to assume is
not a God breathed revelation but instead my own sin nature seeking revenge and
punishment. Then again using their “stumbler-logic” I can at least claim it
isn’t my fault but instead theirs
since it’s their sin that’s causing me to stumble!
Hey wait a minute, I kind of like this concept.
I can do wrong, blame it on their lack of Christian behavior and so I get to
have my cake and eat it too! Maybe these Pharisees aren’t as dumb as I thought?