How to speak ‘Christianese’

Posted: June 3, 2009 in Humour
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I saw this on the internet and had to confess that I was guilty of  some of these. Have you? Take a read:

Like most groups, Christians have a specialized language and terminology for those who are truly “in the know”. Don’t be an outsider! Learn these special deeply meaningful Christianese terms and phrases so you, too, can be spiritual! Or at least sound that way.


Christianese: “If it be God’s will.”

Translation: “I really don’t think God is going to answer this one.


Christianese: “Let’s have a word of prayer.”

Translation: “I am going to pray for a long, long, long time.”


Christianese: “That’s not my spiritual gift.”

Translation: “Find someone else.”


Christianese: “Fellowship”

Translation: “Organized gluttony.”


Christianese: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Translation: “I’m totally clueless.”


Christianese: “Lord willing . . .”

Translation: “You may think I’ll be there, but I won’t.”


Christianese: “I don’t feel led.”

Translation: “Can’t make me.”


Christianese: “She has such a sweet spirit!”

Translation: “What an airhead!”


Christianese: “I have a ‘check’ in my spirit about him.”

Translation: “I can’t stand that jerk!”


Christianese: “Prayer concerns”

Translation: “Gossip”


Christianese: “In conclusion . . . ”

Translation: “I’ll be done in another hour or so.”


Christianese: “You just have to put it in God’s hands.”

Translation: “Don’t expect me to help you.”


Christianese: “God wants to prosper you!”

Translation: “Give me all your money.”

  1. Marie says:

    Did this come from the “Stuff Christians Like” blog? That guy’s hilarious and usually right on the money. I can give you a few more examples.

    “Fellowship” is one of those meaningless words that can be used as a noun, a verb, or a modifier. For example:

    (n): “We’re going to enjoy some fellowship”.
    (v): “Let’s all go fellowship together”.
    (modifier): “The women’s fellowship brunch will be held next Saturday”.

    Another ridiculously over-used Christianese term, esp. in the charismatic world, is “anointed”. “He’s so anointed”. “It was a very anointed message”. “Their music is really anointed.” “That beauty shop really has the anointing.” “Such an anointed praise team I’ve never seen”. You get the idea.

    References to one’s “quiet time” and “walk” are over-used, too. Just say what you mean. People pray for “traveling mercies” or being “laid on a bed of affliction” and the newer Christians don’t even know what they’re talking about.

    Melodramatic way to say you were praying: “I was crying out to God last night…” (You were? Did the police show up?)

    A book could be written on this subject, easily!

  2. russellandduenes says:

    I haven’t seen this until now. Thanks for posting… I unfortunately see myself in these “Christianese” Clichés.

  3. JF says:

    This is awesome 😀 And sad at the same time, how true it is…

    • olga says:

      Thats pretty interesting. But how we have this “language” memorized and apply it often. Do we really mean “the service was really annoointed”or “I was crying out to God”….

  4. naturalsystah says:

    Marie – the uses of the word “anointed” like you describe winds me up indeed!

    I think I’ve heard or used just about all the phrases in the post, lol!

  5. Andrew Michaels says:

    You ask someone to volunteer and they respond:

    “I’m going to seek the Lord about that”

    which means – no.

  6. Chris says:

    Used OF God….instead of used BY God

  7. heph says:

    i think on my own,sometimes the translation is being like wordly in a way.or humanist

  8. JohnOfAlabama says:

    “Let’s all stand on this verse”
    translation: “Wake up and sing already!”

    “Let’s fellowship.”
    translation: “Let’s make polite small talk for five minutes, pretend we’re interested in each other’s well being, and make the visitors feel uncomfortable.”

    “Let me close by saying…”
    translation: “I ain’t done yet.”

    When the preacher makes a point and then asks, “Amen?”
    translation: “I am right about this, ain’t I?”

  9. JohnOfAlabama says:

    How about this one:

    “I have a peace about it.”

    Translation: “I’m gonna do what I want, regardless.”

    “Let’s endeavor to keep the unity.”

    Translation: “Keep your mouth shut and vote the way we tell you.”

    And finally, “Choir auditions”
    translation: “Some o’ y’all can’t sing.”

  10. JohnOfAlabama says:

    “We have a nursery.”
    translation: “Small children not welcome in the main sanctuary during service.”

    “We believe the gifts ended with the death of the last Apostle.”
    translation: “We don’t feel It, and we don’t wanna hear you feelin’ It.”

  11. JohnOfAlabama says:

    Conversation in Christianese:
    “Welcome to …. You’re here for Sunday school? Wonderful? Are you married? No? Ok, and how old are you? 40? I see. Well, hmm… we have a college-and-career class…”

    Translation: “We don’t have a place for you. You’re odd. Furthermore, we think you’re immature. That’s why no one’s mentioned the age 30-50 adult men’s class.”

  12. JohnOfAlabama says:

    Conversation in Christianese:
    “Welcome to… and what’s your name? Ok, ok…and where do you work?”

    Translation: “I don’t really care what you’re name is. I just wanna know which one of us is going to be giving a handout to the other today.”

  13. JohnOfAlabama says:

    “Building fund drive”
    translation: “Devious scheme to get the last 42 cents in change out your pocket.”

    In response to “How are y’all doing?”
    A tight grin with the words, “Oh, we’re just blessed.”
    translation: “We’re miserable, not that it’s any of your business.”

    “Called into the ministry full time.”
    translation: “No intention of working for a living.”

  14. JohnOfAlabama says:

    “We’re going to have a building fund drive.”

    translation: “Building fund? No, no, not really. We’ll go into debt to finance that. We just really wanted your money. We needed some way of getting it, but have no intention of spending it on orphans.”

  15. Laura says:

    I have heard people say someone has a “sweet spirit” and mean it sincerely–I have never heard it used to imply someone was an airhead! That is pretty funny, though!

    However, don’t even get me started about the phrase “on fire for the Lord”. I think part of my aversion, though, stems from where I first heard it: it was when I had a crush on a guy…who got a crush on another woman, and I had to listen to him going on about how “on fire for the Lord” she was. In a way, though, it’s a good thing I didn’t wind up with the guy, because he turned out to be–now what was that saying again? Let me look…Oh, yeah that’s it; I had a check in my spirit about him. *lol*

  16. Jenn-Erin says:

    I work with a guy that says his wife has “such a sweet spirit”. I think she’s a freakin idiot and fairly immature in most day-to-day just doing life (oh crap there I did it, “just doing life” there’s another good one).

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