Bible-based values: Judgemental intolerance, arrived at by cherry-picking the bits of the Bible that confirm one’s existing prejudices.
Biblical Exegesis: the neat trick of reinterpreting bits of the Bible – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, naturally – so they say whatever you want them to say. Perhaps the closest believers come to changing water into wine.
Blessing: a) Feeling good, euphoria. Attributed to God. b) Aspects of a comfortable life. Attributed to God
Born Again: Converting to Christianity, switching off your critical faculties, and imagining you’re having a meaningful relationship with a person who’s been dead for two-thousand years.
A Day: a period of time similar in length to a thousand years (see 2 Peter 3.8)
Family: Opposition to sex outside traditional marriage. Christian organisations with ‘Family’ in their titles, for example the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and Focus on the Family are dedicated to opposing something they call ‘the homosexual agenda’.
The Flesh: the dictates of the body and the unregenerate or ‘carnal’ mind. It also stands for the life lived by an unsaved person whose existence is determined by ‘baser needs’. Christians, on the other hand, never succumb to the flesh and as a result are known never to eat, experience lust or have sex of any sort. The idea is Paul’s – see Romans 5.24 – and doesn’t sit easily with Jesus’ own enjoyment of eating, drinking and making merry (Matthew 11.19). As disparaged as the flesh is, Christians are promised a new physical body come the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.53-54).
The Gay Agenda, a.k.a. the homosexual agenda: An invention of right-wing Christians designed to frighten more impressionable brothers and sisters into thinking gay people want to take over the world and make everyone else homosexual too. Overlooking the fact it’s Christians who like to convert and recruit others, this hateful nonsense galvanises opposition to rights for gay people, whose ‘agenda’ is usually the same as everyone else’s; to be treated fairly and get peaceably through the day.
Holy Ghost: The artist formerly known as the Holy Ghost is now, after a recent make-over and re-branding, the Holy Spirit. The shedding of its former association with non-existent entities like apparitions and phantoms – which, of course, it most emphatically is not – produces a concept that’s much more hip for today’s with-it believer.
More to come…