I had some really encouraging fellowship last night...
January 17, 2013 9:08 AM Subscribe
Despite having no ties to the community beyond a few old facebook friends and the blogs they link to, I'm fascinated by the language quirks of modern conservative Christianity. Less so the specifically theological terms (washed in the blood, new life, etc.), but more how particular words and turns of phrase mark the speaker as belonging to the community even when they are not talking about premillenialism.
posted by heyforfour to Writing & Language (49 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
For context, I'm seeing these mostly in facebook and blog posts by women in their thirties or younger. Often these are reasonably common words, but used in a grammatical context that sounds just a little bit different from what I'd say. The big ones that stick out to me:
encouraging - muuch more frequent that in is in my own speech, and seems to tilt more to preverbal adjective. I (think I) hear "That was a really encouraging book/sermon/website/role-model" much more from conservative Christians. And encouraging has an extra bit of meaning in this usage which I can't quite pin down ('spiritually uplifting' is close.)
convicted - Everyone can be convinced, or have a conviction about something, but "being convicted about" e.g. homeschooling, modesty standards, a political position (rather than "...for manslaughter") seems to be unique
"fellowshipping with" or "having fellowship with" someone.
"have a heart for"- to mean "have an affinity for"
"desire" as a command - I know this is partly due to differences in topic/attitude (since religious discussion sometimes goes for the mental states that adherents should aim for), but even if I was going remind someone that they should want mentors "desire strong mentors" is not what I would say.
I know some of this is probably confirmation bias or unique to particular people, but I do get the sense that these people are speaking a slightly different dialect from me, in addition to talking about different topics.
These don't tend (except 'fellowship') to be on lists of Christian jargon which like I said focus on theology. (“born again, assurance, redeemed, redemption, saved, mission, outreach, repentance”) Can you give me more examples or links to discussion of words or turns of phrase people use in this community use when they are *not* talking about theology or evangelism per se? I'm particularly interested in common words appearing in slightly different grammatical contexts and/or taking on additional shades of meaning.