Author Christian Piatt believes that Christians would be more tolerable if they would strike certain clichés from their vocabulary. Included in his list of 10 phrases they should stop repeating:
- Everything happens for a reason.
- If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?
- He/she is in a better place.
- Can I share a little bit about my faith with you?
- You should come to church with me on Sunday.
- Have you asked Jesus into your heart?
- Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?
- This could be the end of days.
- Jesus died for your sins.
- Will all our visitors please stand?
via Christian Post
While I agree, some of these terms are deplorable to those who do not believe (the first and third happen to be pet peeves of mine), I don’t believe that striking these phrases from their vocabulary will make much of a difference. It’s not just the words they say that we find irritating. It’s been my personal experience that the actions (or inaction) of Christians speak louder than words. The worst offenses, in my opinion, are acts of self-righteousness, which lend to bigotry, favoritism, exclusivity and segregation from those who are different. Perhaps even more importantly, what bothers nonbelievers is the perpetuation of a lie and the continual perversion of historical fact as well as modern-day science and medicine. Another would be the constant insistence that ridiculous claims and unfounded theories be taught in public schools and revered by government – in spite of Separation of Church and State. So even though I agree that these cliche’s are dumb, some insensitive, I assert that they are not the root of the friction, but a byproduct. The real issue at hand are not the words of Christians, but Christianity itself.
But hey, Piatt, while you’re at it, would you mind adding “I’ll pray for you” to the list?