I have really begun to notice how our, Evangelical Christians, language is exceedingly unbiblical when we talk about sins of individuals or a group. For example:
- They did not commit adultery. They had an affair.
- They are not drunkards. They are alcoholics.
- They are not slanderers. They are just chatty.
Why does this even matter? Well, there is a huge difference in worldview that lies behind these terms. These words consistently minimalize sin by placing its source somewhere other than a depraved heart in desperate need of the gospel. They make the sinner not a rebel who loves their sin instead of God but merely (and note the word merely) a victim of a nasty childhood experience or faulty genes.
Now, lets not be silly. I am not pulling for Christians to completely readjust their vocabulary to a set of approved words. No, my hope is that we will simply begin to infuse words that are more faithful to a Biblical worldview in our everyday conversation little by little. For example, just every once in a while call homosexuality sodomy or “sleeping with your girlfriend” fornication. I think you will immediately notice a huge difference in the reaction you get from people. Expect to see some fangs. People do not like to be called bad. They want to believe they are basically good. This is true of both non-Christians and Christians.
Biblical language confronts this humanistic delusion and forces one to cry out to the Lord. The goal of adjusting your language is not to just get all your theological ducks in a row in yet another area. Rather, it is to speak in such a way that more people would see their need for our wonderful Savior who died—that drunkards, sodomites, fornicators, liars, slanderers, and all sinners might be made right with their Creator.