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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unbiblical Words in Today's Christian Vocabulary

Written by Mike Gendron - Article Link

Does it concern you that terms with no biblical foundation have crept into the contemporary Christian vocabulary? Most of the unbiblical terms being used today describe how a person becomes a Christian or how a professing Christians excuses their lifestyle of habitual sin. Some examples of the former include "accepting Jesus" and "inviting Jesus into your heart." Two examples of the latter include "backsliding" and "carnal Christians." These four terms give professing Christians a false sense of security that they are saved when they may never have been converted. We need to take great care that we are part of the solution and not part of the problem. We need to recognize that no one is converted by "accepting Jesus" or "inviting Jesus into their heart. The only saving response to the Gospel is repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). We must practice discernment because words have meaning. In these days of growing deception, we need to use biblical words to describe spiritual truth.
The term "backsliding" is used exclusively in the Old Testament and speaks of the nation of Israel's apostasy, spiritual adultery and lack of faith in God. The only place it is used in reference to an individual is Proverbs 1:32 where the Hebrew word for backsliding is translated is translated "turning away" and shows their destruction. The proverb reads, "The simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them." Since the term "backsliding" is not found in the New Testament, it should not be used to describe New Testament Chrisitans who have temporarily or permanently fallen into habitual sin. Those who say "I am sure I am saved but have been backsliding for a while" need to be lovingly rebuked and called to repentance.
The word "carnal" that is often used today to describe weak Christians who are living in sin is also not biblical. The word "carnal" is used by Paul to describe an unbeliever in Romans 8:5-11. In 1 Cor. 3:1-3, Carnal people in the church could not be addressed as spiritual people because they were still of the flesh. Previously Paul wrote, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Co4. 2:14). Carnal people without the spirit of God cannot understand things freely given by God (1 Cor. 2:12). In other words, professing Christians, who act like they are unconverted, need to be called to repentance and faith. This is affirmed by Paul in another epistle, "If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother" (2 Thes. 3:14-15). We need to warn professing Christians who continue in habitual sin that Jesus saves His people FROM their sin not IN their sin.
Unbiblical methods of evangelism have been used by the Lord's adversary to plant many tares in the church. The Gospel being proclaimed today has been compromised and diluted in such a way that it no longer has the power to convert sinners to Christ. We need to return to evangelizing God's way and proclaim the Gospel as it is revealed in Scripture with nothing added and nothing taken away. There is much at stake if we don't: the glory of our Great God and Savior, the sanctity of His Church and the purity of His Gospel.

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