American Christians sometimes talk in banalities and often the names and phrases that they use do not always give people a correct thought-for-thought translation. Seekers coming into our American seeker-friendly Christian churches might like to know some insider information. The following is a short insider guide to help people understand some of the verbiage of modern Protestant Christendom.
Insider Guide to Modern Protestant Christian Banalities and Names
Word or expression – - – - -The Insider thought-for-thought translation
Amen? (by the preacher) — I want everyone that I am preaching at to say amen
Amen (by someone in the pews) — I want the preacher and everyone else in the church building to know that I agree
Amen (by the choir) — Words of a song
Amen by a Christian acquaintance — Right on!
Bible Study — Any Christian group with a religious purpose that is meeting anywhere
Bible Study — The book we probably will not be studying in this group
Fellowship time in church services — Shaking as many hands as you can in 3 minutes (spreading the germs around)
Communion — Taking the elements that are being passed around (usually crackers and thimble sized cups of grape juice)
The elements — What is in the tray that is being passed around, often called taking communion
Gawddd — The way that some preachers learn to pronounce God
God told me — I had this thought or feeling so God said it
I will pray about it — That should comfort you, I really have to be going now
Pray about it — I don’t have a clue how I should advise you
Pray for me — Apparently God is not answering my own prayers
What would Jesus do? — I give these clichés to answer everything because I never have read the Bible
Slaying in the Spirit — Pentecostals falling on the floor when their “anointed one” pushes them over or gives them the insider gesture to fall
Tongues — Pentecostal speech that usually is not able to be translated even by us insiders
I’m trusting God for it — That’s why I need you to pass the word around
Give your tithes and offerings — This church wants more than 10 percent of your income
Sunday School — A Sunday morning class where the major emphasis is reading bi-monthly journals written by those that have the denominational blessings to interpret selected passages within the Bible and come up with applications for today.
Bible Prophecy — The one-sixth of the Bible that remains unfulfilled and that will never be taught in those bi-monthly journals or anywhere else in most churches
Mission trips — Tax deductible exotic short trips that occasionally even have a worthwhile Christian mission
Church — The name of the local religious tax exempt corporation – It also can be a place where you go, or it can be something that you have – Often “the church” is the name for the building or the part of a building that contains the sanctuary
Sanctuary — The building where the altar is located
Altar — The front of the building where the pastor is located
Altar-call — A call by the preacher to come to the front of the church so he can be properly credited if his message got through.
With every eye closed and nobody looking around — Phrase preachers use to begin a learned control technique to get people to respond to their altar-calls.
Deacons — Often ordained for life local church members that oversee the pastors and congregation
Pastors — Often hired temporal staff members that serves the deacons and congregation
Trustee — A title often given to those church members that are willing to become unpaid maintenance workers
Church board — The board of directors for this tax-exempt corporation.
Business meeting — Usually a meeting where most members rarely show up to rubber stamp the decisions of church boards
Seeker friendly churches — A church that has a Sunday worship service that is designed to appeal to church shoppers and unbelievers
Emergent churches — postmodern churches where biblical truth seldom gets in their way
Contemplative prayer/spiritual formation — Hearing from God by practicing mysticism.
Taking the city for Christ — Statement often heard from Word-of-Faith and other delusional pastors
Taking the world for Christ — Statement heard from those that have some sort of Dominion Theology
Dominion Theology — Forcing all people in the world to trust in Jesus
Great commission — For many American churches it is how to have your best life now or establishing social justice by robbing from Peter to give away to Paul
Prayer service — Service to learn the latest gossip and to pray for people who you do not know and do not know how to pray for.
Healing service — Service where those with the gift of healing do not attend
Preaching to the choir — What pastors generally do after choir rehearsal on Sunday or Wednesday nights.
Revival — Bringing in a professional preacher to preach salvation messages to those that really ain’t coming.
Mens group — That might be considered an oxymoron by real men, thanks to the feminized of American Christianity. At least according to Dave Daubenmire men in American churches seem to be missing something. I agree, and the article is priceless, but I think it is better if you sent your cards and letters to him.
Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.