Sometimes, it seems like Christians have their own language. You’ll hear us say things like “Throughout this day may you know the breath of God breathing in you! Peace of Christ to you.” And, there are certain words we use that either no one else uses or they mean something else to us. Almost as long as I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate this phenomenon without being too snide or snarky because people I love and respect use these words and phrases, sometimes on a daily basis. This morning, I hit upon a way to just that. Below is a list of words that Christians use. I’ll show how we use them and then show you the Urban Dictionary definition
- blessed _ Among the definitions available in The Free Dictionary, blessed means “worthy of deep reverence or respect” and “characterized by happiness or good fortune” and that’s pretty close to what we mean when we use it. Think about how many times you’ve been told to “Have a blessed day”. In the Urban Dictionary, however, blessed can mean anything from an incredible loud voice (“As in Brian Blessed. A man who could out-boom God in the Booming Voice Olympics.”) to everything’s cool.
- covenant _ Covenant is how Christians say “contract” amongst themselves. Every young person that’s been on a trip with a church youth group has had to sign a “Covenant of Conduct”, basically agreeing not to drink, do drugs or knock boots on the trip. It’s basically used when someone wants to take an agreement above the secular realm, implying that God will smite you if you violate it, as opposed to the mere legal problems that arise from breaking a contract. Personally, I’d rather be smitten than deal with lawyers, but that’s another story. The Urban Dictionary, however, says that covenant refers to refers to the alien bad guys in Halo. Alien bad guys, huh? Yeah, like that’s so believable.
- discernment _ Merriam-Webster says discernment is “”To detect or perceive with the eye or the mind; to perceive the distinctions of [which can be considered “to define”]; to discriminate.” All to often, discernment to Christians means marginalizing things we don’t like or that make us uncomfortable. Lifeway Christian Stores just discontinued a program called “Read with Discernment”, which put warning labels similar to those on uncensored music cd’s on books that were “controversial”; books by authors like Don Miller (Blue Like Jazz), William Young (The Shack), Rob Bell (Velvet Elvis) and Brian McLaren (A New Kind of Christian). Basically, it was to sell popular books that some of the clientele would consider heretical. Real Christian attitude there. Discernment in the U.D. says “A gift from God. A gift that allows you to see into someones life with out having a reference about them” and then follows up with this example:
First person “Yeah, he’s a good man”
Second person “How do you know?”
First person “oh that’s God’s gift of discernment talking again!”
Sometimes, it’s scary how well these U.D. definitions nail us.
- flesh _ Anytime a Christian uses the word “flesh” it’s code for sex. Don’t pay any attention to the notion that it refers to being self-centered or any of that stuff (kinda what Paul and the others really meant), when we use that word, it’s because we’re too uptight to actually come out and talk about sex. U.D. definition? Meat. Actually “Nummy meat”, according to Tommy Wommy Womsters.
- Godly _ Yet another code word. When we say someone’s Godly, what we mean is that they’re really better than the rest of you heathens, but we’re too nice to say it out loud. Urban Dictionary is kind of on the same page with this one: “word used to describe something superior to all other challengers.”
- minister _ This one depends on your denomination. If you’re anything but a Southern Baptist, it means clergy. If you’re a Baptist, however, it can mean that you’re really anything from the preacher to the janitor. I’m not kidding, I’ve seen Baptist churches where every male employee was a “minister”. Urban Dictionary says “Priest with no sexual urges.” As in “A Priest will touch little children, a Minister won’t.”
- ministry _ In Christianworld, we don’t have businesses, we have ministries. Think about it, nothing church-related is ever something so mundane as a business. Yeah, they’re selling some cheap, inane crap. But, they’re not in it for the money, they’re in it to glorify God. According to the U.D., Ministry refers to an Industrial Metal band from the 80’s and 90’s. No real connection here, though Ministry did do a song called “Jesus Built My Hot Rod”.
- righteous _ Righteous used to mean that morally upright. These days, the definition is more like that of selfrighteous: “confident of one’s own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.” It tends to go hand-in-hand with “Godly”. In the U.D., however, righteous is “Awesome, amazing, cool, exciting, etc. Often associated with surfers” I like that version better.
- transgression _ Basically, a fancy way of saying “sin”, used when someone wants to sound smarter or more learned than they really are. The Urban Dictionary says it’s the breaking of rules or boundaries, either social or artistic. Again, I like their version better.
- trespass _ Another fancy way of saying “sin”, although about the only time you hear it is in the KJV version of the Lord’s Prayer. The U.D. definitions all revolve around rather graphic sex acts. Since this is a religious blog, I won’t repeat them, but if you want to see them for yourself, go here.
I know this a rather long post, but I it’s one I’ve wanted to do for a while. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting enough to read all the way through. Be on the lookout for one about phrases, cause there are some doozies floating around.