We Are NOT "Good ‘Ole Boys," "Dudes" or Street Urchins

Plain “good ole boy” and common slang are lost to me when it comes to the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. An occasional slip I find understandable, but in such a weighty and yet heavenly matter as the gospel being proclaimed and expounded, I find repetitions of street vernacular to take away from the presentation of God’s truth – it simply seems demeaning, to both that representation of the glory that is His alone, and a detraction of that which those attending to the preaching/teaching could be gaining.

Romans 12:2 speaks of our minds being renewed to show that metamorphosis into new creatures who are being conformed to the image of our Creator – I take it this also means that our vocabulary will benefit by showing that particular aspect we gain from a Bible vocabulary as well, since it is the Word our God uses to sanctify us; which His Spirit uses to transform those new personalities that are part and parcel of the new nature and the renewed and renewing mind.

I do not mean we will speak in this or that certain translation; I mean we will speak as those who hold the glory of God in the highest honor, and that by the washing of the water of His Word, just as our Lord transforms His church to present it spotless and blameless to Himself.

If this is so important that we are told not to speak in vulgar and obscene language, as in Ephesians and Colossians, and we are to be seeking our treasure in heaven, for our treasure is that which pertains to the glory of God in the face of our Lord Jesus Christ, why would we seek to be better understood by using the language we commonly used – even if it is not obscene, but merely vulgar – to communicate those words of the Lord; the very words which have no such characteristic among them, except to identify sin and the fallen nature, and that only sparingly?

We are not “Dudes;” our God is infinitely and thrice holy in unapproachable glory; yet we see Him in and our future home in a glass darkly, and only the mirrored reflection of our Lord (1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Corinthians 3:18) – although our face is unveiled, we cannot look directly into His glory, or even our future existence in that glory. We are saints, and though we yet must struggle with the flesh until glorification, we will find that communication is best served by modeling our speech in the proper usage of language that partakes of the common nomenclature as possible, when teaching one another of our Great God, and speaking of Him to those who do not know Him. When we do not seem peculiar to those we speak to because we speak as we did prior to our conversion, even if to a lesser degree, to that same degree we lessen the impact of our words – that which is of the world remains of the world; that which is of God may well be – will be – hated by the world, but that is the point of representing He whom the world, and the evil one who, by Divine Fiat, sought to kill Him, which the Father allowed, then defeated, is it not?

Even if we are of a past in certain sub-cultures, or from certain locations of the land where different pronunciations and even words are used to communicate in what is, by the area or culture, the common speech, this too has been redeemed.

We are not “Good Ole Boys” or Street Urchins, nor are we of the society of the world, for then we would be of the world. We must function and communicate in the world’s society, but what we communicate is the abode of our Lord, and He has given us the words by which our speech should be modeled after – we are priests of our God to properly serve Him by showing forth His unique glory to those who are our brethren, and those who are yet to be our brethren, as well as those who hate our God and Lord and so, us, as well.

Should that which is holy to the Lord, set apart by Him for His purpose, use the language of the profane to communicate His glory to the masses, or worse yet, our brethren?

“May it never be!” But it is, far too frequently, such is, indeed, the case.

I do not mean that we must all speak eloquently, or have greatly extended vocabularies (although I do not know how one can study the Scriptures without an improvement of vocabulary), for such as plain speech need not descend into the language which is most relevant to those we speak too.

Observe the speech of the Puritans, or specifically, that Prince of Preachers, Charles H. Spurgeon, as he speaks of such a common thing as sleep, from the text of Psalm 127:2:

The sleep of the body is the gift of God. So said Homer of old, when he described it as descending from the clouds and resting on the tents of the warriors around old Troy. And so sang Virgil, when he spoke of Palinurus falling asleep upon the prow of his ship. Sleep is the gift of God. We think that we lay our heads upon our pillows, and compose our bodies in a peaceful posture, and that, therefore we naturally and necessarily sleep. But it is not so. Sleep is the gift of God; and not a man would close his eyes, did not God put his fingers on his eyelids; did not the Almighty send a soft and balmy influence over his frame which lulled his thoughts into quiescence, making him enter into that blissful state of rest which we call sleep. True, there be some drugs and narcotics whereby men can poison themselves well nigh to death, and then call it sleep; but the sleep of the healthy body is the gift of God. He bestows it; he rocks the cradle for us every night; he draws the curtain of darkness; he bids the sun shut up his burning eyes; and then he comes and says, “Sleep, sleep, my child; I give thee sleep.” Have you not known what it is at times to lie upon your bed and strive to slumber? and as it is said of Darius, so might it be said of you: “The king sent for his musicians, but his sleep went from him.” You have attempted it, but you could not do it; it is beyond your power to procure a healthy repose. You imagine if you fix your mind upon a certain subject until it shall engross your attention, you will then sleep; but you find yourself unable to do so. Ten thousand things drive through your brain as if the whole earth were agitated before you. You see all things you ever beheld dancing in a wild phantasmagoria before your eyes. You close your eyes, but still you see; and there be things in your ear, and head, and brain, which will not let you sleep. It is God alone, who alike seals up the sea boy’s eyes upon the giddy mast, and gives the monarch rest: for with all appliances and means to boot, he could not rest without the aid of God. It is God who steeps the mind in lethe, and bids us slumber, that our bodies may be refreshed, so that for tomorrow’s toil we may rise recruited and strengthened. O my friends, how thankful should we be for sleep. Sleep is the best physician that I know of. Sleep hath healed more pains of wearied bones than the most eminent physicians upon earth. It is the best medicine; the choicest thing of all the names which are written in all the lists of pharmacy. There is nothing like to sleep! What a mercy it is that it belongs alike to all! God does not make sleep the boon of the rich man, he does not give it merely to the noble, or the rich, so that they can keep it as a peculiar luxury for themselves; but he bestows it upon all. Yea, if there be a difference, the sleep of the labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much. He who toils, sleeps all the sounder for his toil. While luxurious effeminacy cannot rest, tossing itself from side to side upon a bed of eider down, the hard-working labourer, with his strong and powerful limbs, worn out and tired, throws himself upon his hard couch and sleeps: and waking, thanks God that he has been refreshed. Ye know not, my friends, how much ye owe to God, that he gives you rest at night. If ye had sleepless nights, ye would then value the blessing. If for weeks ye lay tossing on your weary bed, ye then would thank God for this favour. But as it is the gift of God, it is a gift most precious, one that cannot be valued until it is taken away; yea, even then we cannot appreciate it as we ought.

 He had pithy quips, and could use plain language in the highest of manner – and so do a great many preachers and teachers of the Word follow this example today, not because of Spurgeon, but because the Lord had transformed their speech as He did the rest of them.

It may take time, but I have known men who could not read, with reading disabilities, who learned both to read and to speak much better by simply studying and reading the Bible, for that sacred Word is not only “the power of God unto salvation,” it is the power of God to show that transformation which is given us at salvation, and continues through conversion and sanctification.

If we are to redeem the time because the days are short, should we not remember that this also applies to every aspect of our being a “new creation,” because “old things have passed away,” and “behold, all things are new?”

Perhaps this will be taken as a rant; I hope not, but perhaps it will – perhaps it even is, in some sense, for I do find myself not only offended at my own sin (how much that is hated!), but at the manner of speech which seeks to make people understand the holiness and glory of our God by using the vocabulary which went with the old man, if not as often as before, yet in speech patterns, recognition of such is more common than not.

I will end this with the fact that those I most admire, as they follow after Christ, among those who teach and preach the Word of Truth, have a very set-apart manner of speaking. They may not all have the same vocabulary, but they all are possessed of a manner of speaking about God and the  brethren in a way that, most often, reminds me of those words used in the Scriptures of our God. The illustrations may be of common things, and even the speech of the most well articulated of these men can – and does – reach to common illustrations of mundane things, but the communication of these things are – most often – done in a way that is understandable, yet, if one can be said to speak in such a way, “redeemed.”

Post over, or rant over, as the case may be. The peace, grace and blessings of God be with you and yours through the only glorious and blessed Potentate (Sovereign – I learned both words through different versions of the Bible, with different text flows – neat, huh?), the Lord of lords and King of kings, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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