There are some phrases that are worse than curse words. These phrases can be insulting, emotionally and spiritually coercive, or just make us come across as incredibly insensitive. .
Here are his five phrases:
- That's not Christian...
- I love the sinner but I hate the sin...
- You need to surround yourself with good Christian people...
- You just have to do God's will...
- It's all in God's plan...
You should go read his post. He provides a good breakdown of why these phrases shouldn't be used.
Commenters on these two links shared their own contributions. Some expand on the ones above, some had completely new examples.
- It's not Christian for clergywomen to wear eyeliner or lipstick.
- Said after a death: Well, God wanted him/her more than you/we did.
- God doesn't give you more than you can handle
- They've gone to a better place.
- The Bible says....
If I had to choose the worst, I would say, "That's not Christian..." and "The Bible says..." Coercive, much? It's not Christian to do yoga. It's not Christian for women to wear pants. The Bible says that women must be submissive to men. The Bible says that women shouldn't be "worldly." These are often used among fundamentalist and fundamentalist groups to control people, because the people saying these phrases presume to speak for God. The poor people are coerced into obeying, because how can they disobey God?
Groups like the FLDS (especially under Warren Jeffs), Bill Gothard's followers, the abusive twits who wrote and follow To Train Up a Child, Terry Colafrancesco's "Catholic" Medjugorje cult and his dangerous "How to Change Your Husband" book--they all use these phrases and variations thereof to coerce people into following their rules, pretending that they came directly from God, and confusing the hell out of the Bible so that the people no longer know which way is up or down. The confused followers then help extend the leader's control over others by also saying, "The Bible says women must wear the stupid prairie dresses in the Utah desert" or "It's not Christian parenting if you don't beat your children when they transgress." And if people don't obey, the leaders have made it such that disobedience is automatic excommunication/punishment/eternal damnation.
Okay okay, I digress, FLDS and Mormonism is not Christian in the proper sense, but rather an extension of Christianity (what with the Book of Mormon), but they call themselves Christians. So, I am referring to them as Christians for the purpose of this post
It's heartbreaking to see people twist Christianity around just to hurt and control others.
Let me add my two cents to the list of phrases I wish other Christians wouldn't say.
- You should forgive [someone who abused you]
- Honor your mother and father
Yes, forgiveness is good. It keeps you from getting eaten up by the anger. But the issue is that these people who want you to forgive really mean that they want you to go back to the abuser and pretend nothing ever happened and go ahead and keep getting abused. NO NO NO. That is not forgiveness. That's stupidity. You can forgive to the extent you can, but you have EVERY RIGHT to protect yourself from further abuse. Sadly, I have heard variations on this phrase when I decided I had enough of my dad's abuse.
Same goes for honoring your mother and father. It's usually said by the abusive parents to keep you under their control, to make you feel like that by disobeying them you go directly to hell. But, by causing the abuse, the parents have forfeited their right to being called parents. I heard this from my parents, and variations on this theme from my mom, to try to get me to apologize and go back to them. My answer? Hell, no!
I know there's lots more, but I will let you add your two cents. Please do share what you wish Christians wouldn't say, in the comments.
Filed under: Becoming Episcopalian