Tuesday, June 23, 2009
We are visitors (part 8)
...People shouldn’t have to learn a new language to come into a relationship with God. There were two types of Greek language in use in Jesus’ day: that of business and politics –- basically “high-brow” Greek. Then there was the other, more “earthy” type used for everyday things such as shopping, conversation, etc. This is what Jesus and the Gospel writers used. (See THE MESSAGE introduction to The New Testament)
It was important to them to connect with their hearers. They understood that if we don’t connect with them, our message won’t either. We need to do those things that enable us to get the Word of God deep into the heart of those that attend our services.
Another thought, we need to use inclusive language, rather than language that separates… sinners, saved, heathen and pagan are all words that serve to reinforce the stereotype of Christianity as a religion of snobs. I don’t see the Jesus of the Bible using this type of language, except with the self-righteous Pharisees and Teachers of the Law. Actually, the “sinners” loved hanging out with Him, as He did with them.
We need to make our language as welcoming as possible without compromising the truth of the Word of God. We want to remove anything that will detract from the life-changing message of the Cross. We want to do everything we can to help people to discover the goodness of God… that’s what will lead them to repentance!