‘Say Now, Shibboleth’; or modern day ‘Christian-speak’ February 2012
Ever notice we say words or phrases that we just accept and not bother to think deeper about? ‘You doing Ok?’ ‘Yeah, I’m good’, ‘I hear ya man’, ‘Whadayuhgonnadoboutit?’ , ‘Who Dat?’. The inspiration for this month’s article came from a ‘Christian-speak’ phrase I heard and reheard so much so, that I had to ‘Selah’-Stop and question it. (Sheeesh, beware when you decide to ask a Brother about what they said! ‘My brother’ was going to call the police because I initiated a dialogue on his phraseology). The phrase went something like this, ‘I’m expecting a might move of God …. I cannot wait to see what God is about to do now in this hour’.
I pondered the expression: ‘I’m expecting; we’re expecting God to show up and do something etc’, you know we’re expecting God. Have to say that one worked on me for a little while. It’s kind of like, when radio stations do manipulative ‘beg-a-thons’, that implore you to ‘pray what the Lord would have you to give’. Say what?! Try that in a court room, talk about leading the witness! Objection! Sustained! Or how about this one, ‘We’re just believing God to come through and exceed our goals’. Say What?! So because you just believe, then God has to do something?!
So I questioned, ‘I’m/we’re expecting God to do something’ and was met with some heat. I quoted: 2Ch 16:9: ‘For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shall have wars.’ I asked my ‘friend’, don’t you think Our Father is waiting for us = His children to act? That’s when I was met with my rebuke he threatened me about calling the police and having me arrested! (So, much for Philadelphia, my Brotherly Love; in His Kingdom)
Thus the inspiration of this month’s article was birthed. Why do we speak in such Spiritual Phraseology that sounds so ‘holy’ and ‘set a part’ yet is so shallow that when asked to show some substance, (read Scripture or Fruit to these words), one is threatened with imprisonment.
However!!!! When I began to look up words that sound nice and ‘religious’ even ‘spiritual’ I remembered the word ‘Bromide’. So I looked that one up. Here’s what I found on, Wicked-pedia: ‘Bromide compounds, especially potassium bromide, were frequently used as sedatives in the 19th and early 20th century. Their use in over-the-counter sedatives and headache remedies (such as Bromo-Seltzer) in the United States extended to 1975, when these bromides were withdrawn as ingredients, due to chronic toxicity. This use gave the word "bromide" its colloquial connotation of a boring cliché, a bit of conventional wisdom overused as a calming phrase, or verbal sedative.’
A verbal sedative? That sounded about right, you know, the phrases we use in ‘Christian Speak’. If we say it and make is sound Scriptural we imply others to please, just don’t dig any deeper! Ya Dig? (Tongue in cheek) After all aren’t we supposed to examine our foundations? (2 Cor. 13:5?)
Man, talk about Scripture being fulfilled, didn’t Peter and John get in big time trouble when the healing-deliverance-manifestation of health and wholeness went forth from them when they had no money to give to the BEGGAR? (Acts 3 1-8) and got ‘SLAPPED’ with a lawsuit in Acts 4? You know what a ‘SLAPP’ lawsuit is, don’t you? Look it up on Wicked-pedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation
Which says a SLAPP stands for: ‘A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.’ Interesting to say the least… Didn’t someone we know get ‘slapped’ around?
Point of the article is this: we say stuff and give consent to stuff said without going deeper, just staying satisfied with what was said. Speak bromides = Verbal sedatives. (I’m ok, you’re ok, let’s leave it at that ok?) All the while when Our Abba Father=The Creator has SOOOOO much more if we want to go deeper! The Rich stuff is under the surface, it ain’t the Rich stuff on the surface! Remember where the pearl of great price was?
Those that know me, when asked ‘How am I doing?’ I usually reply ‘How am I doing what?’ or when they call they say, ‘What are you up to, and I reply 5’8” why?’… Bromide stuff. (I know they are sincere to the best of their beliefs and love me, except for the ones that want to call the police on me).
So I did some research on ‘Bromide Phrases’ and found a synonym for the word bromide: Shibboleth. Ever hear of it? For those of you who ‘read their bible from cover to cover every year’ (Big Deal!). You’ve read this word, but water=skied right over it! (As I have done, so don’t feel condemned). This might share some insight as to why we are accosted when we speak when we have Understanding of THE Way, the TRUTH and THE Life!!!!
Before I go to His word, I’ll go to Widked-pedia and its definition: shibboleth noun 1. a peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons. 2. a slogan; catchword. 3. a common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.
So Bromide is the same as a shibboleth is the same as ‘christian speak’? Let’s see.
‘The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, "Let me cross over," the men of Gilead asked him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he replied, "No," then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth; and he said Sibboleth; for he could not frame to pronounce it right: then they laid hold on him, and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. And there fell at that time of Ephraim forty and two thousand. Judges 12 5-6
Shibboleth. which signifies a stream, or flood Ps 69:2,15 Isa 27:12 Shibboleth. also means an ear of corn Job 24:24 and shibboleth signifies a burden. Ex 6:6
Why Slay Clichés? They're uncreative. They're unnecessary. They're meaningless They're distracting. They're a lazy way to communicate. They're wordy. They're ugly. We don't like them.
Words mean things! Know the Words you speak! It’s vital! His Words are LIFE!!!! Don’t count on bromide you have been told! They might get you killed! (2Tim 2:15)
Hopefully, (James 4:15) we’ll talk more about ‘The Cliché Slayer’ e mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org