22 Words

How to Speak Christianese

December 10, 2010 | By Abraham | 65 comments

This video just really spoke to my need for growth in several areas of linguistic struggle…

But, seriously, folks. Some of you are actually like this and you have no idea that the rest of us are laughing at you.

65 Comments

  1. Hunter Baker says:

    Based on the fact that she had a ziploc bag of Cheetos labeled with a magic marker (when everyone knows what Cheetos look like), I suspect the film’s producers are actually suggesting that these ways of expressing oneself are actually not all that difficult to understand.

  2. Sarah Lorence J. says:

    Christianese “favorite” that makes me cringe: “I COVET your prayers.” That doesn’t even make sense. Why not just say, “I need prayer for ____________”.

    1. Laura says:

      Oh, I hate that phrase about “coveting prayers” (no offense intended to anyone here who says it) Sometimes I think it’s better to say things in a simpler way, like “Please pray for me.”

      1. MommyL says:

        The above post was mine, and I just realized there are a few other Lauras here. Whoops. (Or to get us back on topic: I just feel convicted in my spirit about having taken the name of other Christian sisters in vain. *lol*)

      1. Laura says:

        The narthex is kind like…the front hall area. You can hang your coats there, find general information, there are usually greeters there to help you find where you’re supposed to be. Most of the time there are also doors that go into the sanctuary. ;)

  3. Denita says:

    It cracks me up when someone goes from speaking in modern-day English to praying in King James Old English. As if God only understands you when you use “Thee,” “Thou,” and end every other word in “-eth.”

    1. Zach Wartes says:

      I always called those King James prayers.

      And by the way what are ‘traveling mercies’? Did Paul and Barnabas pray for those some where and I missed it?

      Why do we only pray to bless the hands that prepared the meals? What about the rest of the person?

          1. Josh S says:

            I totally forgot about the hedge of protection! An old new world has been opened to me again… and it’s so scary I think I need a hedge.

          2. Nicole says:

            Seriously, what’s wrong with a big fat brick wall? Or what about guard dogs or snipers or at least something formidable?? A hedge can be taken out by a good pair of garden shears.

  4. Nick says:

    I think a lot of it has to do with insecurity. That deep fear of being a part of a group of people and not knowing what the heck you are talking about. So some people fake it in hopes that they can cover up the fact that they don’t know what they are doing. But usually, it just sounds like someone speaking Christianese in circles.

  5. Luke says:

    “Their language, it was new to me
    Then Christianese got through to me
    Now I can speak it fluently
    I want to be a clone.” – Steve Taylor

  6. Ivy says:

    Amen friend, I feel so convicted. God’s really laying it on my heart to tell you what a blessing you are. (Mmm-hmm-hmm.)

    Now if I can just stop saying “I struggle with dishonesty” instead of “I’m a liar”.

  7. Barnabas says:

    I am little disappointed that they left out 2 key elements of Christianese prayer language:

    1) using the word “just” in every sentence, as in “I just want to pray for Debbie. She’s just a wonderful saint who just loves you, Lord. . .”

    2) using the words “Lord”, “Jesus”, or “God” at least every other sentence in case God forgets that we are, in fact, sending this prayer his way.

    1. Laura says:

      grr the overuse of the word JUST is one of my pet peeves! But, you can’t criticize how other people pray lol

    1. Eve says:

      Ooooh yes.. if you’re going to say Praise the Lord, do you not have the extra half second to type it out completely? I think some things should not be abbreviated. Such as ptL ….or Lw (Lord willing). I’ll see you tomorrow, Lw!!

      I have “struggled with” feeling irritable towards excessive use of Christanese. At times it makes me question my salvation because I don’t talk that way. (i.e. is there something I’m missing?) I think we can speak in phrases found in scripture, like praying the psalms or praying God’s word back to Him, so there is SOME form of “Christian-ese”, but I do wonder why we feel the need to keep perpetuating the phrases. “Someone just needs to ~come alongside~ her”. I always picture a walking side-hug.

    1. Ivy says:

      That always makes me picture a big, fluffy dog leaping on someone and love-attacking them with lots of slobbery kisses.

    2. Benjamin says:

      Big time, Nate. You hit my #1.

      1) “lovin on” someone. Lovin-on, with capital city Beirut.
      2) “life on life” ministry

      I do like using ‘led by the Spirit’ for confrontation though:
      “I just really feel led by the Spirit to say that was a real jackass move you pulled, just now.”

      1. Tiffany says:

        AUGH NO!!! Love-on is the most aggravating of them all. I wasn’t aware that love needed to be applied to someone, like some creepy sunscreen or something.

  8. Randall says:

    So I grew up in several churches where many of these words were used, and I agree that at times it’s easy to adopt cliches meaninglessly. Of course, every group (work, government, sports, musicians) adopt their own jargon – that’s not too surprising. But the thing that strikes me is that people in the church who speak “Christianese” generally were very serious about their relationship with Christ, about knowing His word, and about applying it in all aspects of life. So it’s somewhat troubling that this production goes to such lengths to make fun of them.

    I realize that this video may be so “over the top” that it’s just for fun and not vindictive – if so, I stand corrected. However, I find it ironic to note that we have trouble with people who are sincerely pursuing their faith in all aspects of their lives such that it affects their vocabulary, yet we have no concerns with many others embracing the world culture who seem to have adopted its vocabulary (including profanity), tastes (including entertainment glorifying what the Bible labels sin), interests, and reasoning, yet seem relatively ignorant of bringing every aspect of life into submission to Christ. I just wonder which is more of a real issue?

  9. MommyL says:

    As I commented when I first saw this on YouTube: “Uh-huh” is considered Christianese? Why? Everyone says “uh-huh”…don’t they? (At this point, you’re all supposed to reply, “Uh-huh.”) ;D

Leave a Reply

As seen on Huffington Post, CNN, BuzzFeed, New York Times, Scientific American, Mentalfloss, USA Today, Funny or Die, Gawker, Gizmodo, Laughing Squid, Boing Boing, Hot Air, Jezebel, Neatorama

About 22 Words

22 Words collects a blend of everything from the serious and creative to the silly and absurd. As your source for the crazy, curious, and comical side of the web, 22 Words can be counted on to share funny and fascinating viral content as well as more obscure (but equally interesting) pictures, videos, and more.

© 2014 | 22 Words

Privacy Policy

Close This Window Close