Word Games

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Chaps, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Chaps

    Chaps
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    First of all, I have been a member of this forum for a while and although I don't post much, I do enjoy reading all of yours. I guess I have just had it with the word games going on within the SBC. Being an SBC minister for almost 20 years, I have seen a lot of things, both good and bad. What bothers me is this ridiculous trend we see where good biblical words are being substituted for what I believe is a watered down version of the particular word, i.e. Christ-follower instead of Christian, Worship Center instead of Sanctuary, etc. The latest came this past weekend at our associational Sunday School training. It was called "Transform". It seems to me that the SBC via LifeWay is substituting Transform or Transformational instead of using Evangelism. Yes, evangelism does transform, but do we have to do away with the word entirely?
    I have noticed that this trend is very popular with younger ministers. We recently had a new young pastor called to a church in our association and in the associational newsletter he said "When we teach people how to stop just being Christians and become followers of Christ..." What???? Listen, I am sure he meant that people need to stop just wearing a label and stop playing church and start putting their faith into action or at least that is what I hope he meant, but stating it the way he did is another example of what concerns me. I know I may sound like I am nit picking, but this really bothers me. I know I cannot be the only one who feels this way.
     
    #1 Chaps, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  2. Berean

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    We need to emphasize conversions and deemphsize decisions.
     
  3. Salty

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    and more specifically "just filling out a card"
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Being old and decrepit, and averse to change, I don't like those cum-bah-yah expressions, either.

    However, there are a couple of things we ought to change. I now prefer "believer" to Christian. Mainly because Christian has become too vague. If you ask someone, "Are you a Christian?", the answer won't tell you whether he's saved, if he's a Mormon, Catholic or Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptist. But, if he answers "I'm a believer," you have a clearer idea.

    Another expression I'd like to see eliminated is "Come to the altar." All it means is, walk down here to the front. I once asked a pastor where the altar in a Baptist church. "Uh, well, it's symbolism."

    "Okay, then, why does it have to be down there where you are? Why can't the altar be where I am?"

    "Uh........."
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    Words change, terminology changes just like culture changes.

    We shouldn't get too attached to words and forget the actions behind them. For what it's worth there are a lot of really good things going on in the SBC. Lots of young pastors are re-engaging because of the broadening of our terminology. Certain concepts don't translate well to many of us in using older terminology. It doesn't devalue the actions but simply allows for a fresh perspective.

    BTW, I serve in a missional church with a worship center that hopes to lead followers of Christ to people who are far from Christ. We are gladly part of the SBC. :)

    This is a good topic, I hope for a continued conversation.
     
  6. David Lamb

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    But are such things really "watering down"?

    Christian/Christ-follower "Christian" was a nickname given to followers of Christ. Many times, Jesus told people, "Follow Me," and in John 8.12, He said:
    "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

    So what is wrong with calling someone who follows Christ a "Christ-Follower", especially these days, when the word "Christian" is used in so many different and unbiblical ways by the media and the general public?

    Worship Centre/Sanctuary Yes, unlike "worship Centre", the word "sanctuary" appears in our English translations of the bible. But as far as I am aware, "sanctuary" in the NT is never used to mean "the building in which a church meets for worship".

    Transform or Transformational/Evangelism I do agree with you on this one. As far as I know, it hasn't reached the UK yet!

     
    #6 David Lamb, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2011
  7. JesusFan

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    Think the ole "just ask Jesus into your heart" "God has a wonderful plan for your life" " If you were ONLY person to get saved, jesus would die for you"

    Could all be changed to be more "biblical!"
     
  8. drfuss

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    About a year ago or so, our SBC church stopped having "church services"; we now only have "gatherings". I think the idea is that many non-church people do not want to go to a "church service", but they would go to a gathering because it sounds less informal. Last summer, the choir stopped wearing robes (too formal). About two or three years ago, our music went from good worshipful traditional mucsic to the loud, harsh, drumbeat, contemporary music.

    Our Pastor, who holds high offices in the SBC, is the one who instituted these changes.
     
  9. Berean

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    Think the ole "just ask Jesus into your heart" "God has a wonderful plan for your life" " If you were ONLY person to get saved, jesus would die for you"
    =================================================================
    You don't ask Jesus into your heart, truly repent and you cant keep him out. This is the supernatural.
     
  10. stilllearning

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    Hello Chaps

    Nice post.

    --------------------------------------------------
    Hi Tom Butler

    You said........
    I agree.
    I always ask people if they are “born again”.

    If someone can’t say that they are “born again”, they probably aren’t “born again”:
    And then you know how to minister to them!
    --------------------------------------------------
    You also said........
    I also agree; Although that expression has not been spoken in my Church, for at least the last 20 years or so.
     
  11. webdog

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    this being your second post in 3 years, this may be the biggest understatement of the year :D

    in all honesty the titles changing matters not. There are bigger thing to worry about in the church than what something is called. Catholics, who believe in a false works based salvation call themselves christians.
     
    #11 webdog, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2011
  12. Chaps

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    From what I have experienced in the past, when church leadership starts these word games, there is usually something far greater going on in the background. I have personally been involved in a church where the the senior leadership started with these word games only to find out later, words weren't the only thing they intended on changing. They began a behind the scenes effort to transition a traditional SBC church to a contemporary church which was more "relevant". I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that word...relevant.
    Problem was, the majority of the people of this traditional church was opposed to the change, but that didn't stop the leadership from trying and effectively caused division in the church. I don't care if someone calls themselves Christ-Followerer instead of Christian and they worship in a worship center in an "authentic and relevant" fashion. I just don't want someone thinking that just because a church doesn't act in that way isn't relevant and authentic. There used to be a time when people went to church to hear the Word of God preached. Period. Now, it seems a lot just come to be entertained. We are not going to reach this world for Christ by re-inventing the wheel or whether or not we call the Minister of Music a Worship Leader (which of course, he is not. The pastor is the worship leader as he is the one expounding the Word of God).
    I know I am probably a dinosaur, but that is fine with me. I guess sometime in the future, we will stop going to "church" and start attending "Local Worship".
     
  13. David Lamb

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    I agree. The phrase "go to church" grates on my ears too. I suppose it comes from the extra-biblical notion of calling the building where Christians meet a "church". But when Paul wrote his letters to the church of God at Corinth, the church in Philemon's house, etc., he was writing to people, not bricks and stone!
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    Or, you could ask, "Where are you spiritually?" The answer will likely tell you if they are a believer. A born-again believer will give you a pretty straight answer. One who is not will dance all around the subject.
     
  15. Jim1999

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    Terminology used by the world doesn't trouble me so long as they know they can come to me if they have "religious" problems. When they stop seeing me as a "religious" leader, then am I in trouble.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. stilllearning

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    The “old rule”, about questioning someone’s relationship with the Lord, was to ask them “Who Jesus is?”

    But with the lack of real Biblical teaching Christians are receiving in most Churches today: Even a born again Christian, might not be able to give a clear cut answer to that question.
     

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