Preaching: Loaded Language and Name Calling

Loaded language and name calling have become a fine art in American religious rhetoric where they should have no place at all. “Redneck,” “fundamentalist,” “secular humanist,” and “liberal” are almost as common as favorite biblical terms. Religious periodicals advertise conferences on “real” evangelism and for “real” women, implying of course that some are unreal. Name calling is intensified when a strong contrast is made. An example of such contrast occurred in the context of a debate within a Southern Baptist association meeting. Referring to the preceding speaker, a pastor declared that he was not surprised at the speaker’s position because the speaker was “a neo-orthodox Barthian but I am an evangelical Christian.” Of course few people in the assembly knew what neo-orthodoxy or Barthism were but all knew what “an evangelical Christian” was.
~ Raymond Bailey, Handbook of Contemporary Preaching, ed. Michael Duduit (Nashville, Tenn.: B&H Academic, 1993), (Kindle Locations 11262-11269).

tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,morality,Sermons,theology

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Zack Stepp September 18, 2013 at 11:00 am

To his list of useless words, I would add “authentic.” I cringe every time I hear it in a church setting.

2 Mark Lamprecht September 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Zack Stepp Thanks, Zack. I really feel that your comment was authentic.

3 Zack Stepp September 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Mark Lamprecht Touché, sir.

4 3_foldcord September 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

It is the classic Us verses Them mentality. These religious people love to major in minors, which seemingly lets them off the hook when it comes to the real issues/problems of Christendom and the world.  This is nothing but a marketing plan for their own egos. Sad really.


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