A new language

It’s been a while since my last post now. This is due to some travel and a full schedule. But I do find peace in writing. In the “formulation and expression of things unseen”. So now when I have a moment I will use it for another post here on the blog. 

Today I feel like writing about language and how we use or misuse it. This is fitting since I just traveled between continents. From North America to Europe. From Canada to Sweden. How we use language becomes very apparent when you travel. You face another way to express thoughts, another language to once again embrace and use. We often think that it is only countries that speak different languages but this is not the case. We speak different languages all over. In hospitals, in church, at different functions and vocations we speak different languages. Sometimes its very subtle.

The church speaks a very particular language. Often it is a moral one. The Church use terminology as right and wrong. Just and unjust. Good and evil. I would like to stop here for a bit and reflect on those particular expressions. Language can only find meaning in a particular context so why not use the context of the “language of soteriology” or the language of salvation. I believe this language is very important because it is this particular area of Christianity that presents the free gift of grace and healing to a broken world.

Are you saved? Do you know Jesus? Have you sinned lately? Are you following the law? Are all questions that transmits a part of the mystery of salvation but far from the full story. The “language of good and evil” (which we see represented in many contemporary movies and books) is just scratching on the surface when it comes to presenting salvation in its fullness.

A better way to present the drama of life that has been occurring since the fall is to present it not as much as “good” versus “evil” but to present it with the terms “whole” and “broken”. Christianity is not so much about “fighting against evil or brokeness” as it is about  “embracing the good or becoming whole”. Because when we become more and more whole we automatically “fight” against the broken things in our selves.

What do you think sounds more accurate. “I am evil” or “I am broken”? “I am good” or “I am whole”? Using the words “broken” and “whole” instead of the more common “good” and “evil” opens up a new “continent” in the realm of theology. It opens up a less judgemental and scholastic approach concerning soteriology. If we use these words it becomes easier to look at ourselves before we look (and often) judge others. A holistic approach concerning salvation becomes a necessity with these words because everyone knows that in some ways, we are broken. And in some ways we are whole. It is also a less “offensive” way of talking about salvation with others without losing the integrity of the message.

If we explain the word “sin” with its deeper meaning which is to miss the intended goal for our humanity, our purpose for being and if we share our own struggle, spending time together, wholeness and peace is just around the corner. But if we just say “you are sinning” without explaining what that means we only pour more water on the wheels of brokeness.

Truth is that no one is perfectly whole (Holy) (except One) or “perfectly broken”, everyone is on a path “leaning more” towards one side or the other. We would do well in taking the time to use language that presents reality as accurate as possible. It will take more time than saying “You are evil” but then on the other hand time is one of the things we have been given.  

We all have a battle to face in our reality but this battle is described more accurately in the “whole – broken” language then the “good – evil” language. Why not take that flight to the other continent and see if there is a new horizon to see? 

In Christ

Fr. Jakob