I love lingo; trade lingo, hobby lingo, sports lingo, and especially family lingo! When you’re into something, the lingo is half the fun! “Dentists, hikers, golfers and geeks, birds flock together ‘cuz everyone speaks…the Lingo!” Because I love lingo so much, it just about kills me that Christian lingo is so lame and smarmy and sanctimonious and outdated. Let’s get in the game and jazz up OUR lingo a bit because honestly, doesn’t a first-class faith deserve its own, cutting-edge lingo? If you’re a lingo- lover, too, please send your glossary contribution. If we like it, we’ll swipe it…and we’ll send you a mug! Send your insights to ……(tommy at laymanator.com)
Awww: The ultimate praise trigger. Whenever people say, “awww,” it’s because they’re looking at something that should trigger praise for God; a new baby, lovebirds holding hands, someone forgiving someone else, a mushy poem, Shamu, etc. Being sensitive to the awww trigger can immediately improve your prayer life and raise your PO level. (See P.O.’d)
Abracadabra: An absurd preaching gimmick that involves the speaker pausing in mid-Scripture and exclaiming, “Now watch this!” as if he’s a magician about to pull a rabbit out of page 477. What he usually means is, “pay attention,” but “Now watch this” sounds as if the words are going to slip away before your peanut brain can grasp them. The problem with abracadabra is that it’s just so cotton- pickin’ condescending.
Abundamentalism: The belief that Jesus did his job so well that no sacrificial supplement (i.e., “penance”) is required. Also the belief that penance is actually an insult to Jesus because it’s like saying, “Here, Jesus, let me make up for the lousy job you did.”
Abundamentalist: Almost the flip side of fundamentalist. One who takes God’s promises literally and His warnings and grievances contextually (i.e., God’s goodness and power are constant, but his wrath has been swept away!).
ASAS: Age of the Short Attention Span. Now is the ASAS!
BBALS: Bailey Building And Loan Syndrome. Immersion in duty-based existence to the extent that big plans, visions and dreams are virtually choked out. Hint: rent “It’s A Wondeful Life.”
Beatleverse: A Scripture everybody knows whether they want to or not. From the German beatlewurst; “beatle,” meaning most popular of all time, and “wurst,” meaning played over and over and over. Any baby boomer can sing any Beatles song ever recorded, even if said boomer doesn’t care for the Beatles. Beatleverse examples: 1) Thou shalt not…2) But the wages of sin…3) Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. Beatleverses are a leading cause of Old Covenant Hangover.
Black Dog: Depression. This was Winston Churchill’s “pet name” for the dreaded affliction. Like Churchill, many find depression more manageable when they think of it as a big, mangy, smelly, stray mutt that wanders in and out of their lives. The word “depression” appears zero times in the Bible, but the words “dark” and “darkness” appear hundreds of times, often to describe feelings that sound like depression. So maybe “black dog” is biblically accurate. Grab your concordance and budget 15 minutes to see if you agree.
Blissfunction: Happy dysfunction, especially within a family. For example, if your family gets together and everybody talks at the same time and nobody listens because they’re all so excited to see each other, and nobody’s offended or hurt by all this rudeness, that’s blissfunction. (Swiped from Philip Scribbins)
Boo-Boo Factor: What happens when a person or persons are not smarter than the average bear in a particular area. For example, the Boo-Boo factor is especially high when volunteers attempt to take on acomplicated task, such as paving a road, without trained leadership and laborers.
Blind Guide: Any person who is not sermonsible. A person who really ticks Jesus off, not because of sin but because they lord it over others and do nothing but screw them up. If “your Jesus” is some wimp in a cardigan sweater, read Matthew 23 and watch as he “opens a can” on blind guides! (See Sermonsible)
BUNKO: To turn an enjoyable activity into a competition so as to trim the herd for the enjoyment of the trimmer. Why Bunko? Because somewhere there’s probably a competitive Bunko league, which would be just about the most absurd competition imaginable. Blind guides often try to Bunko individual Bible study. The antidote for Bunko is to de-bunk it whether you’re an expert or not (See De-bunk)
CV: Conspicuous volunteerism. Volunteerism that’s more about recognition for the volunteer than benefit for the recipient. Also a relatively harmless form of creeepianity. (See Creepianity)
De-bunk: To jump into the Gospel simply because you want to, never mind that you’re not an expert. If you’d like to meet the Poster Boy for De-bunking, read John 9:13-34! (See Bunko)
DefCon: Contraction of the term, “Defensive Condition,” borrowed from the military. DefCon is your current assessment, on a scale from 1 to 10, of the enemy’s attack intensity. DefCon can help you keep up the right level of spiritual awareness.
DOT: Short for dose of Tyson. Yes, THAT Tyson! DOT is the boost of confidence derived from reminding yourself that God not only loves you, he actually likes you too! When Mike Tyson was Public Enemy Number One and Evander Holyfield was Everybody’s Darling, Tyson was asked if he was afraid to fight such a righteous man. With childlike faith Tyson replied, “God likes me, too,” and DOT was born, Very similar story in Luke 18:9-14.
Dry Christian: The spiritual equivalent of a dry drunk. As the dry drunk’s only real accomplishment is not drinking, the dry Christian’s only real satisfaction is cleaning up the outside of the cup, or not doing the so-called “Big Sins” anymore. Dry Christianity is a lifestyle of coping rather than victory and expectation. Yuck!
Duckeraderie: A 100% pure form of camaraderie. The simple pleasure of agenda-free companionship. To observe and appreciate duckeraderie at its best, watch male ducks AFTER mating season. They’re having a ball, and nobody’s got a clipboard or a watch. People can enjoy duckeraderie, too!
Essential Credential: “I Love Jesus.” That’s it. If you can say it and mean it, you’ve got the essential credential. If you don’t believe me, read John 21:15-17
Felonaut: An ex-con who is living large and legal and is not a dry drunk in spite of all the mistakes, all the wasted time and all the burned bridges. Felonauts are a very rare and fascinating breed (Take Don King and George Steinbrenner, f’rinstance). If you know one, put us in touch with him/her and we’ll do a feature!
Flesh: What some translations of the Bible call, unfortunately, the “sinful nature.” Your flesh is everything about you that is not immortal. If you are a Christian, you still have flesh, but you do not have a sinful nature, so why let the blind guides beat you up with it?
Friendly Fire: Unintentional damage inflicted by Christians on Christians. Example:
Christian A: Wow! Looks like you’ve lost some weight!
Christian B: Yes, I have. Thanks for noticing.
Christian A: Keep up the good work!
Funnybone: 1) Anything that’s humorous but also has some meat to it. 2) A comic story with a profound moral. Funnybones are the essential building block of Holywood Testifies. Note: The best funnybones are accidental, or at least appear to be. That’s why guys like Carrey, Sandler and Ferrell never appear to be preaching even when they are!
Grenade: Any communication that “goes off” after some delay. The most common grenades are jokesand parental advice: Pull pin, wait……boom!
Gumpshun: An aversion to hand-me-down “wisdom” and godless “insight.” Literally, to shun gurus in favor of God.
Fundamentalist: A mythical creature who takes every word of the Bible literally. If fundamentalists were real, there would be people running around with heads made out of pomegranates (see Song of Songs or Song of Solomon). Fundamentalists are often confused with self-proclaimed fundamentalists (See SPF)
GC2: Short for Great Commission, Part 2. The part of the great commission that most of us are ignoring. Maybe it’s because there’s less money in GC2. Maybe it’s because GC2 sometimes requires that we get our hands dirty. Or maybe it’s because we just prefer “drive-by evangelism.” At any rate, if you want to be sermonsible, you’ve got to tackle GC2!
Gospeleer: A Bible student whose particular field of interest is good news. Gospeleers rightly teach that if it’s not good news, it’s not the gospel; it may be Scripture, but it’s not the gospel. Joel Osteen and Andrew Wommack are examples of high-profile gospeleers, although they probably don’t know it because we just invented the word. And how do we know we invented the word? Because spellcheck has underlined it in red!
Gospetality: The art of sharing and practicing all the cool stuff you’re discovering in your Spirit-guided Bible time without getting spooky or making the other person feel like an unspiritual lightweight. Gospeleers exude gospetality and make you feel like you can run through a brick wall. Individuals, small groups and even whole churches can extend gospetality.
Groupthink: A term coined by sociologists to describe the human tendency to check individuality at the altar of the acceptance. It should be noted that while many churches inadvertently promote groupthink, the God of those same churches most emphatically does not! How do we know this? We know this because Jesus said let YOUR light—YOUR God-given personality—shine! (See Matthew 5. Also, check out “Phoney Baloney” under Hollywood Testifies)
Junk Bond: An attraction to or association with a person who’s just plain no good for you, no how, noway. Chronic moochers, criticizers, manipulators and pessimists are among the candidates for our junkbonds. We’ve all got a few junk bonds in our portfolios, but the fewer the number of junk bonds, thesafer your investment of time.
KGC: Kinder, gentler Christian. A Christian who embraces the good stuff in New Age but also retains asold-out allegiance to Jesus Christ. If there were more KGC’s, there would be no market for New Age.
Leftover pees: P’s which appear at the beginning of a word for no apparent reason. When the English language was written in 1776, all the letters were given important jobs…. except for a small number of p’s. To fix the problem, the writers held a conference known as the Boston Pee Party. There it was decided that, rather than subjecting them to the humiliation of unemployment, all leftover p’s would be given seemingly important jobs. Thus were born such words as psoriasis, psychiatry and pseudo- whatever. (To see how leftover pees are impacting Christian lingo, see “pnoomatic”.)
Nerdana: The euphoric feeling one gets from acquiring a new techno-skill. Example: “When my grandma finally tried texting, it was nerdana .”
Nerfana: The euphoric feeling you get when you expect something to be hard and it turns out to be easy. Example: “I thought my boss was going to fire me, but I got a raise instead. It was pure nerfana.”
Nermanna: A great name for a bakery that sells heavenly bread. Nervana: The euphoric feeling you get from winning a long-running battle with fear. Example: “I stressed for years about speaking in public, but once I did, it was nervana.”
Net Faith: The amount of faith in excess of unbelief. Analogous to net worth, which is assets beyond debts. A mustard seed of net faith can do wonders, but a mustard seed of faith versus a ton of unbelief gets creamed every time. Think of a seesaw with faith on one seat and unbelief on the other. In your life, which seat is on the ground? If it’s unbelief, there is no net faith.
Obnoxelism (ob-nox-uhl-izm): Overly aggressive evangelism.
Peter Impulse: The urge to defend someone even when he or she doesn’t quite think like you or yourgroup, yet something deep inside tells you they’re right. The original Peter impulse occurs in 2 Peter3:16. When we realize that Peter had a lot to lose and not much to gain by sticking up for Paul, thePeter impulse becomes a very courageous and humble thing.
Pnoomatic (new-mat-ick): A person who makes practical (rather than hysterical) use of the gift of the Holy Spirit. From the Greek, “nooma,” meaning spirit. The”p” has been added to remind us that spirit- guided success requires the intelligent application of passion and inspiration. (See zoomatic)
Polaroia: The tendency to take a “snapshot” of a person in the early stages of a relationship and to rely upon that snapshot for the duration of the relationship. Polaroia causes growth-blindness. Parents are prone to polaroia, but they’re not the only ones. Polaroia is always frustrating and sometimes humiliating for its victims.
PUP: Acronym for “Place in the Universe Problem.” PUP explains many behaviors deriving from anuncertain hold on one’s sense of significance, including but by no means limited to strutting around withyour underwear showing, parking in handicapped spots even though you’re fit as a fiddle, and gettingabsurdly worked up at youth sporting events. Jesus is the anti-PUP!
Roupee (roo-pay): The imaginary, religious “wig” we put on for church and church-related functions.Short for “religious toupee.” Roupees may cover a spiritual bald spot, but it’s really hard to find one thatlooks natural. See vercade)
Sense of Sand: A type of wisdom which enables one to optimize decisions by sloughing out sand andrecognizing gold (See dissandment)
Sermonsibility: To take responsibility for the truth, accuracy and practicality of a one’s sermons. To clearly differentiate between opinion and Scripture. Sermonsibility occurs when a preacher or teacher is actively and constantly engaged in “field testing” the principles which he or she espouses and readily admits it when he or she is in doubt or just plain mistaken. Literally, the hybrid result of combining a sermon with responsibility.
Shelling: A barrage of various Scriptures delivered in quick succession. The usual intent of shelling is todrive home a point. The usual effect of shelling is that the shellee thinks, “Oh, my! I could never knowthe Bible that well. Good thing I have this guru to teach me.” Shelling is a risk factor for falling underthe spell of religious royalty. Note: If you find yourself intimidated by shelling, keep in mind that it’srarely spontaneous.
Spiritual Equity: All the insight, wisdom and understanding possessed by an individual. Frustration andinsecurity can often be traced back to unrecognized or under-celebrated spiritual equity. Even childrenhave spiritual equity!
Soy Sauce: One of the most satisfying of the minced oaths. A minced oath is OCH terminology for what you and I might call substitutional cussing, such as “son of a gun” or “holy schnikees.” The beauty of minced oaths such as soy sauce is that they can’t be traced back to any particular “bad” word. Minced oaths are of no value in gaining brownie points with God, but they will keep you from getting kicked out of the ballgame or the protest rally.
Stressss: The sound of stress leaking out of the soul as it is replaced by peace. The “tool” used for this pleasant procedure is Matthew 11:25-30.
17/71 Rule: A numeric description of the two basic philosophies toward criticism, with the first digitrepresenting the frequency of positive statements and the second digit reflecting the frequency ofnegative statements. Obviously, life gets better if you can keep from being a 17 and surround yourselfwith 71’s! (See PGC)
Tattootale: A snitch who spills the beans BEFORE a loved one does something unusually stupid. Example: “Mom! Bucky met this guy who does tattoos in his garage, and he’s on his way over to get a peace symbol on his forehead!”
Twain: Cruel talk or hurtful criticism disguised as humor. From Mark Twain, who was funny and cleverand interesting but also just plain mean sometimes. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks,and twaining cannot change that fact.
Viggy: Vision-impaired guide. Viggies aren’t as brazen as blind guides, but they sometimes fail toexercise sermonsibility and are prone to blasting us with iosotrips. (See sermonsible, isotrip)
WYSOS: Acronym for the question, “Where’s your sense of sand?” If more of us would cultivate oursense of sand, fewer of us would be following viggies and suffering from OCH, CCT and ODD. (See senseof sand, viggy, OCH, CCT and ODD. Whew!)
Vig: Punishment which continues after a grievance has supposedly been satisfied. From the mafia termfor exorbitant interest. Vig typically takes the form of giving someone the cold shoulder even afteralleged forgiveness. For heaven’s sake, if we’re going to forgive someone, let’s not continue to collectthe vig!
Yestimate: A sober assessment of the cost to be paid, or the role to be played, in bringing about a “Yes” from God. Yestimates help us to appreciate how God’s generosity—favor–works within his proven system of sowing and reaping. For example, if I pray to be rescued from addiction, my yestimate might include giving up destructive relationships (aka junk bonds). An effective prayer along these lines is, “Dear Lord, I want so-and-so. Give me a yestimate.”
Yestination: Taking hold of a “yes” from God. Also known as “manifestation” in religious lingo. The thinking among liberated lay people is that God says yes much more often than we suspect, and many times all we have to do is believe it and fight for it.
Yogi Factor: To be smarter than the average bear. For example, my go-to gang has a very high YogiFactor
Zitricity (zit-triss-iddy): The human tendency to care more about a pimple on one’s own proboscis than about a catastrophe halfway around the world. Legendary motivator Dale Carnegie (“How To Win Friends and Influence People”) identified this tendency as far back as the 1930’s, but of course he called it something else!
Zoomatic (zoom-uh-tic, as in lunatic): A person who makes hysterical (rather than practical) use of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Zoomatics are characterized by haste, excessive emotion, and a desire to manipulate God and people. ( See pnoomatic)