In this post we move on to the second element of the Pentecostal Bubble…

Element Two- Language

The second element of our bubble consists of our eventual adoption and use of a particular form of language that no one else except the initiated will understand.  Consider this; when most of us begin our discipleship, we step into a world we know nothing about, hearing things we don’t grasp, using language we don’t understand.  At first it’s jarring…disorienting.  But as time passes and we’re immersed in that language, we grow to understand and use it ourselves.  Finally, we forget how jarring and strange it seemed to us, and we speak in that “code” all the time.

Eventually, Pentecostal-speak will begin to overflow into our conversation with those of “the world” because it’s now our language of life.  This is especially likely to occur among those who are in ministry and are supported by that ministry.  Church & ministry life become for us a cultural enclave that we never really leave, and we can grow to find difficult to have a meaningful conversation with someone who isn’t part of that enclave.

While every social and professional group will have a language of specialization, the extreme we take this to actually serves to interrupt communication with those who need to hear our message most.  For example; in conversation with “the world” we’ll find ourselves using theological terms instead of plain English.  So, we’ll say “repentance” instead of “change your mind”.  We’ll say “remission” instead of “forgiveness”.  And we’ll say “Holy Ghost” instead of “God’s Spirit”.  These are simple, and perhaps rather silly, examples…but whatever the example, the longer we’re “saved” the less able we seem to be to express God’s truth in any other language than Pentecostalese.

And the message becomes garbled because we’re speaking the language of the bubble.

Tomorrow; Element Three of the Pentecostal Bubble.

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