Thursday, February 25, 2010

No More Christianese: Season

I ranted a bit ago about the need to stop using Christianese. Read up on that here. I want to devote some time to dealing with specific words or phrases that I notice that the church uses almost exclusively....and see if we can think of a better way. 

So today, I'm starting off with:


You may be thinking, "What? That's hardly a Christian term, that's not nearly as widely used as something like atonement, repentance, sanctification, etc etc."
And you may be right that it doesn't sound as 'churchy' as some other theological terms...but that is kinda a point I want to make:

Christianese is not limited to theological terms.

It's expanded far beyond theology and gone into buzzwords.

Season is a buzzword.

Maybe you happen to use it yourself? You might talk about how you're going through a rough time in your life, and as a reminder that it'll be over eventually (and as a bit of a snub to it as well) you label it a 'season.'

Also we can use it to reference anything that we might hope ends pretty dang soon. Often while we're experiencing it. "Man, my kids sure are freaking jerks...hopefully this season will end any day now."

Or ministers like the phrase "season of ministry." As in, "We're entering into a new season of ministry with such and such program," or "That worked in the old season of ministry, now we'll be entering a new season of ministry."

Why do we like that word so much?

Maybe it's because we really like oldies songs based on Bible verses. I can't help but think of the Byrd's "Turn, Turn, Turn" every time I hear the word season....which of course is just Ecclesiastes 3 set to a sweet soothing rhythm.

Eerily soothing isn't it?

Maybe, because we recognize it as an obscure Ecc 3 reference, we pepper our conversation with it as an awesome backhand reference to an obscure Bible verse? Seems like it would merit some serious Christian bonus points to me.

I think it's good to remind ourselves that things are temporary, that the crap we trudge through doesn't last forever. Though often we don't like to think that the next "season" after what we're going through could be worse....that's pessimistic ;)

What can we use instead?

I think this would depend on the is often the case with buzzwords. And to be honest...I don't have  great ideas for replacements.

Maybe instead of saying "I'm going through a difficult season right now," we could be more open with it. Not all details...but not try to deliberately mask exactly what's wrong either. "Season" in that context seems like a cop-out, you know? So let's not cop-out.

What other contexts do we use season in?

Any suggestions with what we could put in its place?