Christianese 101

In the Cap'n's most recent post, she put in a little box with a bit of Christianese 101. Somehow that just charmed me! I love this format, with a brief but snarky definition that can be inserted anywhere that's appropriate. I thought a thread for these was in order, so if the Captain does that again, we can collect them all in one place for easy reference.

So here's the first one I saw. If anyone else has spotted any others in similar handy boxes, copy them here?

Captain Cassidy’s Christianese 101:

TRUE CHRISTIAN™: a gatekeeping, wagon-circling attempt deployed by tribalistic, un-self-aware Christians to make themselves look and feel like the prettiest princesses of Christendom. They use this term and others (real Christians, convictional Christians) to mean someone just like themselves, who:

  • believes roughly the same doctrines as the judging Christian does
  • hasn’t ever gotten caught doing anything the judging Christian thinks is completely and absolutely off-limits
  • dies with both of the previous conditions being true
Obviously, this definition knocks all ex-Christians out of the running for that coveted title. Alas, it also kinda knocks out all the judges, too, but let’s not tell them and wreck the fun.

Also, bear in mind that one judge’s TRUE CHRISTIAN™ is another’s Hell-bound heretic. (See also: Doctrinal yardstick measuring contests.)
Ubi Dubium

Ubi Dubium

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2022
Christianese 101: Mission Drift

In Christianese, mission drift describes a congregation's slow slide into basically a vaguely-Jesus-flavored country club.


For the most part, we find this interesting bit of Christianese in the more sales- and recruitment-oriented flavors of the religion. So yes, this phrase is mostly an evangelical thing.

In mission drift, a congregation gradually loses its focus on intense 24/7 Jesus-ing. Over time, that loss of Jesus-focus impacts their zeal for recruitment. For evangelicals, who literally define themselves by their drive to recruit new people for their churches, mission drift represents far more than an absolute tragedy. It means they've forgotten their first love (as the Christianese has it; it's from Revelation 2:4, which in turn evokes Jeremiah 2).

That first love is not Jesus himself. It's more like that rush of euphoric joy Christians feel upon becoming safe at last from Hell, and the white-hot drive to get as many other people to safety as they can before they die. So losing that first love means that these Christians no longer feel euphoric joy at going to Heaven, and very little drive to recruit others to their churches.

A congregation facing mission drift becomes more like a social club than anything else. It isn't growing much if at all, unless the club itself attracts people all on its own. And some do. A church that isn't focused on recruitment for Jesus reasons might still offer high-quality perks and activities to its members that they can't really find anywhere else. Or perhaps the people in the club itself are so supportive, compassionate, and enjoyable to be around that new people naturally want to join.
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Well-known member
Mar 2, 2022
Between Kwik Trip and Culver's
Christianese 101: TRUE CHRISTIANITY™

So when Christians start going off about fakey-fake Christians or calling themselves the real deal, then, know that they are setting their own beliefs as the standard by which all other beliefs should be judged. This is the definition that TRUE CHRISTIANS™ are going by when they judge fellow Christians:

  1. Beliefs that more or less align with the judge’s own
  2. Customs, culture-war positions, and devotions that the judge likes and feels are appropriate
  3. Scandals and behavior that aren’t completely out-of-bounds to the judge
The third also includes deconversion, heresy, and apostasy.
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