Language. Choosing the right word, finding the word to try and say what you mean. Some around the church-y bloggy interwebs are talking about on whether to use the word emergent or emerging. Some are put off by the words all together, they have moved on and are in search of new language that has not yet sprung into imagination. Not that language isn’t important, it is, to be sure. Lately I have taken to the idea that language and art properly doing what it is supposed to do, can and should evoke movement in ones guts. When confronted with an idea, a song, a poem, an image, part of my understanding it or interacting with it should take into account what kind of visceral reaction I have to the item trying to communicate with me. Do I feel like getting sick a little, are those giddy butterflies in my stomach? What is that nervous feeling I am sensing?
Take for example this, I was reading up this morning (I’ll tell you why in a post soon) on the ‘other’ voices in the Anglican communion. And by ‘other’ I mean people who don’t hold the same understanding on a lot of things, like scripture and the church and their stance on homosexuality, as I do. (A practice I have long held, so that I can be in informed dialog and hopefully a conversation with my other.) One word that stood out that this blogger used was “believer.” As in:
Believers will be delighted to learn that a pro-God message will be spread around Calgary starting Monday – albeit on the sides of buses and trains – in response to the controversial atheist ads already making the rounds on the city’s public transit. “God cares for everyone … even for those who say He doesn’t exist!” reads the banner advertisements to be placed on eight buses and two light-rail trains over the next four weeks.
Really? Believers? And in the advertisement itself, an exclamation point at the end. Wow. When I hear this word, here are a few things that come to mind:
- We have it backwards church. (Totally ripped off from Pete Rollins, who also has an amazing post this morning) It is not some ridiculous formula: Believe, become (or behave), belong. Flip it around. Don’t we first try and wrap our itty bitty minds around the idea that ALL belong to G-d, all. Whether someone knows this or not? Then, perhaps a set of behaviors may change to reflect Whom it is we follow. Finally, by behaving and living/acting like/playing the role of, one can fully reflect based on the previous two what one believes.
- What is the opposite? Un-believers? How compelling is it, to be called an un-believer?
- You’re in the know, believer. And you, atheist, heathen reading this billboard, you are OUT (she exclaims in her best Heidi Klum voice).
- Most marketing ie: billboards is NOT to get you to buy a product or change your mind about something. It is to get those who already “buy” it to feel good about what they are partaking in or have purchased. How does this further hit the idea of the Christian message as just devoted to its followers feeling good about themselves? *spits, gross*
- Only “believers” read this blog.