Yet how often do we as followers of Christ use insider language? How strange would it be for a first-time visitor to church to hear someone pray for “traveling mercies” or in Sunday School to listen as another insists that she wasn’t “angry,” but “righteously indignant”? Visitors might as well turn to us and demand: “English, please!”
There’s another common expression that falls into the same lingo category. It’s the word “saved.” A “personal evangelist” may ask: “Are you saved?” When he receives a blank look, he tries again: “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?” He’s digging himself in deeper, piling jargon upon jargon, as the hapless victim looks for any excuse to escape.
But let’s suppose that an individual is truly curious. We’ll call her Ashley. She listens politely, and with time begins to piece together what the church teaches about “good news.” The irony is not that the church is saying too much. Rather, the church is saying too little.