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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Christian codes

In becoming a Christian, one of the things that you pick up quick (or maybe not so quick) is the code that we use when we speak.

I can speak for paragraphs, using terms that only we understand as followers of Christ.

We speak of "Light for the Lost", "BGMC", "Speed the Light", on and on it goes.

Words roll off of our tongues like, "sanctification", "blessed", and "tongues", words that we would never think of using in an every day conversation.

We use words like "Worldly, eschatology, seeking, sacrificial, Pagan, exegetical, brothers & Sisters (in Christ), fellowship, discipleship, walking in the light, the enemy, premarital sex, spiritual warfare, battle cry, hosanna, and holy."

We like to say that someone is "saved", and the non-churched person asks, "saved from what?" (Even though the word is found in the Bible).

In March of 2009, the police department of Dallas, Texas, joined a growing number of agencies getting rid of complicated codes used in radio calls or signals. Instead, operators and officers now communicate through a plain-language system that relies on ordinary words and phrases.

For example, in the past an officer might have radioed in to say, "I'm approaching a Code 7 on Highland Ave." Now they just say, "I'm approaching a minor accident on Highland."

The switch is due in large part to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. During the chaos that resulted from the attacks, many federal agencies and officers had trouble communicating with each other because they used different codes for different situations—or worse, similar codes that had different meanings between agencies.

As a result of that confusion, federal officials mandated that plain-language be used when police and other federal agents respond to major disasters. Many local police and fire departments have followed suit in recent years.

Herb Ebsen, a senior corporal with the Dallas Police Department, thinks the change to a plain-language system is a great idea. "It's just common sense," he said. "If we start speaking in codes, you have a real chance for a problem or misinterpretation."

So true.

Let me decipher some "code words" for you in the church.

Someone is asked to do something in the church, and they say, "I'll pray about it."

What is really means - "There is no way this side of heaven that I am going to do that."

Someone shares that they feel "led" to go to another church.

What it really means - "I don't like the way things are going in the church and I am outta there!"

Someone ask that you pray for "Chicago Cathy who is (and you fill in the blank).

What it really means - "I want everyone to know that is going on in Cathy's life."

Here are some others:

1. I'm waiting for God to open some doors = I'm living in my parent's basement.

2. God gave me a word for you = I have advice to help you with your disaster of a life.

3. I'm going to have my quiet time = Leave me the heck alone!

4. God is good = My life stinks.

5. Bless his/her heart = What an idiot.

6. I have the gift of discernment = I can judge people without even talking to them.

7. I was having fellowship with them = We had Pepsi and pizza and watched the game instead of going to church.

8. I'm saved by grace, not works = I can do whatever the heck I want.

9. I kissed dating goodbye = I couldn't get a blind date, literally.

10. Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth = I can't believe you said the real curse word!

11. I don't mean to judge but... = I'm going to judge.

12. I'm dating Jesus right now = Are you kidding? I'm way out of your league.

13. God wants me to take some time off from this relationship = I met someone else and I'm too coward to break up with you.

14. I'll pray about marrying you = NO!

15. God told me that we are supposed to get married = Maybe you'll say yes if God is behind this.

16. I'm fasting = Your spiritual life is minuscule compared to mine. Try to keep up.

17. God has called me to minister to her = She's really hot.

18. I think you should pray about it = You'll see that I'm right.

19. We've decided to court, not date = My parents have a death grip on my life.

20. Courting = Homeschool dating.

21. Lord willing = My plans are His plans.

22. Take this with a grain of salt = I'm about to really offend you.

23. I'm feeling convicted about this = One day my actions might change too!

24. Have I offended you? = Why are you treating me like garbage?

25. Who wants to pray? = I don't want to pray right now.

Someone says, "I am really hurt by what they said."

What it really means - "I am really ticked off and would like to do something about it."

Well, you get the point. Maybe, just maybe, it is time we stop speaking in code and speak plainly and clearly.

Just a thought for a Wednesday.

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