Language Barriors: A Study in Christianese

If you’ve ever spent time in a Christian church you probably noticed that a lot of the people you meet seem to be speaking a different language.  This has been one of my biggest pet peeves, even as a Christian. There’s nothing more awkward then not being able to communicate on the same level. Modern Christians are well aware of these phenomenon and are trying to change the subculture. But, Christianese does still exist in many churches. So, as a public service, here is a compilation of phrases and their translations that I’ve compiled from a couple websites*.

Christianese Translator:
C=Christianese
E=English

C: God gave me a word for you
E: I have advice to help you with your disaster of a life.

C: I’ll be praying for you.
E: There’s an outside chance I’ll remember this conversation later today.

C: If it be God’s will.
E: I really don’t think God is going to answer this one.

C: Fellowship
E: Organized gluttony

C: We need to pray for so and so
E: Guess what I just heard?!

C: Prayer concerns
E: Gossip

C: I’m waiting for God to open some doors.
E: I’m living in my parent’s basement.

C: God is good.
E: My life sucks.

C: I think you should pray about it.
E: You’ll see that I’m right.

C: Lord willing . . .
E: You may think I’ll be there, but I won’t.

C: Let us pray
E: I’m going to pretend to talk to God now, but I’m really preaching at you.

C: (From a pastor) God wants to challenge you in your giving today…
E: We’re behind on our bills and I don’t want to cut my salary.

C: (from a pastor) God wants to prosper you!
E: We need money.

C: I have a ‘check’ in my spirit about him.
E : I can’t stand that jerk!

C: The Lord works in mysterious ways.
E: I’m totally clueless.

C: Bless his/her heart.
E: What an idiot.

C: I’m fasting.
E: Your spiritual life is miniscule compared to mine. Try to keep up.

C: Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth.
E: I can’t believe you said the real curse word!

C: God wants me to take some time off from this relationship
E: I met someone else and I’m too coward to break up with you.

C: Have I offended you?
E: Why are you treating my like garbage?

C: We’ve decided to court, not date
E: My parents have a death grip on my life.

C: I don’t mean to judge but…
E: I’m going to judge.

C: Take this with a grain of salt
E: I’m about to really offend you.

I’m sure that’s just a fraction of phrases used on a daily basis in Christian circles. If you have any that you’ve heard go ahead and post in the comments!

*List compiled from Because People Matter and Preaching.com

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