This dictionary is a resource cataloging the meanings and usage of frequently used expressions in the "evangelical" dialect of the Christianese language. It contains expressions that are familiar to most native Christianese speakers, as well as expressions that are used primarily within small regional tribes.
The entries come from many sources, collected by underpaid graduate students and other individuals. Please remember that the Christianese language is one of the least studied or understood in the world, and this dictionary will require revision and addition as linguists and anthropologists conduct further research on Christianese-speaking tribes, particularly those that speak other dialects such as the Catholic dialect or the Pentecostal dialect.
-- The initiation ceremony by which one enters a tribe. Initiation is generally understood to be a one-time event (see: Saved
). Despite this fact, some tribe members participate in altar calls three or even four times, presumably for aesthetic purposes. See also: Sinner's PrayerBrother
-- A male tribesperson. See also: SisterBaptism
-- 1. A necessary ceremony of rebirth and purification by water for new tribespeople, ordained by Jesus. 2. An optional ceremony of rebirth and purification by water for new tribespeople, which you only have to do if you want to. 3. Another excuse for us to hate the Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Reformed Churches, since they don't baptize right.Church
-- 1. A tribe of Christianese-speakers: We are the church
. 2. The building in which Christianese-speakers meet: We were in the church
. 3. The restaurant at which Christianese-speakers get their chicken on Sunday afternoons: We met at Church's.CCM
-- 1. Christian lyrics with contemporary (rock, alternative, ska, punk) music. 2. Contemporary music written by Christians. 3. Contemporary music that is somehow intrinsically Christian even if the songwriters aren't Christian and the lyrics have nothing to do with Christianity. 4. Music written by the devil in an attempt to infiltrate the Christian tribes and possess young tribespeople. 5. An easy way to harvest money from middle-to-upper-class Christian teenagers by taking old love songs and replacing the word "baby" with "Jesus" and selling them at an inflated price. 6. Any contemporary music that a Christian listens to.Disciple
-- 1. One of twelve ancient people who followed Jesus around and did what He told them to. 2. A modern-day person who is trying to be like Jesus, and actually does what Jesus told us to. Generally looked down upon by most tribes, and considered "holier-than-thou" and trying to participate in "works-based-salvation."Discipling
-- A form of spiritual growth within the tribe by means of a one-on-one mentor/protege relationship.End Times
-- 1. When the world will end, following a premillennial dispensationalist rapture, after which events will unfold exactly as portrayed in the Left Behind
series. Exactly. Right down to the color tie that Rayford Steele will be wearing.Family Values
-- Things that won't upset Grandma.Fellowship
-- 1. The state of being in the tribe and associating with fellow tribespeople. 2. The state of being in the tribe and associating exclusively with fellow tribespeople (lest one be defiled by speaking with heathen).Gideons
-- A society of religious ninjas, who sneak into hotel rooms and deposit Bibles in nightstand drawers. Their skill at infiltration is evidenced by the fact that nobody has ever seen a Gideon.Greek
-- The original language of the New Testament. Sometimes used for theological intimidation, when a person throws out Greek words they looked up for the purpose of giving the impression that they are a Biblical language scholar, and thus deterring opposition.Heathen
-- 1. Practitioner of a rustic or folk religion. 2. (derogatory) Anyone whose beliefs differ from mine in the slightest.Holier-Than-Thou
-- 1. One who arrogantly believes that he is holier than the people around him. 2. Anyone who makes me feel bad because of the good things they're doing.Hymnal
-- 1. A songbook containing the only songs that God wants us to sing. 2. A songbook containing archaic songs that have long since been replaced by choruses. 3. A convenient blunt object for use in the beating to death of failed initiates and Unitarians.King James Version
or Authorized Version
-- 1. An English translation of the Christian Bible published in 1611, translated from the Masoretic Text (for the Old Testament) and the Textus Receptus (for the New Testament). 2. The
Christian Bible, the sole source of tribal doctrine, still in the original archaic English that God inspired Moses and David and Paul and John to write in. First published in A.D. 34, shortly after Jesus's ascension, complete with bonded leather cover and red-ribbon bookmark.Ministry
-- 1. Vocations or activities which serve God or serve the tribe. 2. A means of justifying one's life decisions in the face of criticism from one's significant other. Stella, I can't quit my job at CVS! I witnessed to a coworker once a couple of years ago! Working at CVS is my ministry!On fire for God
-- 1. The state of being excited about God. 2. An obscure tribal practice seeking the purification of one's soul through the use of lit petroleum products. See: Holy SmokePastor
-- 1. Leader of a tribe. Often used in place of a personal name.Pharisee
-- 1. A sect of Judaism in the first century, whose focus was on the keeping of the Torah. 2. (derogatory) Any tribesperson who tries to advise, instruct, or command you whom you disagree with. Can be used to refer to one's mentor, one's pastor, or one's girlfriend's father.Pray, prayer
-- 1. To address a deity, in this case, God or Jesus. 2. A rhetorical device by which one addresses the people around him, under the pretense that one is in fact addressing a deity. Often used to accuse people or to make them feel guilty.Prayer chain
-- A device for spreading rumors about someone you dislike.Save, get saved, salvation
-- 1. The act of initiation into the tribe. The event at which one is "saved" is generally understood to be a one-time event. See also: Sinner's Prayer and Altar Call.
2. The state of being destined for heaven. 3. The act of backing up one's computer.Sinner's Prayer
-- A magical incantation which grants one entry into the tribe. The initiate repeats after a tribal leader or shaman. Exact repetition is crucial, as presumably if the words are out of the correct order they will not be efficacious: if the initiate stumbles over a word or says something out of order, the entire tribe will turn on him and beat him to death with hymnals.Sister
-- A female tribesperson. See also: BrotherThus Saith The Lord
-- A phrase which, when attached to a statement by a tribal leader, prevents argument or questioning.Works-based salvation
-- 1. The belief that one can get to heaven by doing good things. Considered erroneous by all tribes. 2. (derogatory) The attempt to actually do what Jesus told us to do. Considered extraneous by most tribes. See also: Disciple
This dictionary is by no means exhaustive, and further entries will be added as discovered.
Please take this dictionary in the spirit in which it was written. That is: tongue-in-cheek, satirical, subversive, and sorrowful.