Monday, January 21, 2013

"God Thing?"

By The Pleasant Times' Etiquette Lady Miss Rose

As many long-time readers of this column would guess, I like to err on the side of "traditional." I think the "traditional" way of doing, dressing, saying or behaving is probably the safest way in many cases.  I feel very strongly that we should stay with tradition in our language. There are many areas of language I could write about today, but lately I am particularly rankled by some new (to me) religious terms that are being used, so that is what I will address today.

This article is not about criticizing people's feelings or their walk with God.
It is about criticizing some of the expressions used when referring to God, the Bible, Christ and His church.  I advocate that we be careful and reverent when referring to the Almighty, All Powerful, Holy God, no matter what the new trend is, or how it makes us feel. Let's all feel closer to God, yes, but let's speak of Him with respect!

Let me begin first of all by telling you that I love God. He has been with me all of my life. He is close to me and loves me. I feel that He is near to me and that I can always talk to Him no matter what. He sent His Son to die for my sins, and for your sins, too. He made a way for me to be with Him in heaven. He is my heavenly Father.

But I'm not going to call him by a nickname.

I want to be careful how I speak about Him. I want to show the Lord respect. I want to show Him that I am His humble and grateful servant, and that He is so much better than anyone else. When you feel that way about someone, you do NOT speak to them or about them casually.

Henry Le Jeune
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 The following is going to sound very picky, perhaps; but calling God "THE GOD" or "A GOD" without the "OF"  is a trend that I think is irreverent.

 The following combinations have been used to refer to the Almighty Lord and His wondrous works:
"The God vote" (referring to religious voters)
"The God people" (referring to believers)
"The God thing" (referring to spiritual life-- or some mysterious force?)
"The God _______" (what have you)
(Some of these phrases use "Jesus" instead of God)
This use not only grammatically changes God from His place in our language from a proper noun into an adjective, but it smacks of unbelief! I can see an atheist using similar terms, or a reporter using them when trying to take a jab at Christianity, but should Christians use them? They put God in a box. They turn Him into just an idea, which may or may not be real.  Remember the traditional "The God of Abraham" or "The God of the Universe?" Is there something wrong with those phrases that folks do not want to use them? They have a lot more depth of meaning to them than the other.

 Though some may innocently use "It's a God thing" to refer to blessings or the Providence of God, are they aware of what it sounds like?  Do we want to demote God and His gifts to a thing? Is this really the best way to talk about God?

"Saying Grace", November 24,1951
"Saying Grace",...
Norman Rockwell
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We should not lose sight of the old way of talking about and referring to God, Christ, the church and the Bible.

He sent redemption unto his people: He hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name. -Psalm 111:9

For a rich study, go to Scripture and see the many names of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the church, and the words used to talk about all of His wonderful works. Since they are from the Inspired Word of God, you cannot really go wrong using them!

Jean-François Millet (II) (Evening Prayer) Art Poster Print

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