Reaching The Online Generation

An Initiative of CityTeam Ministries

Do You Speak Christian? That May Be the Problem.

Posted on | December 5, 2008 |

Scott Purcell asked a great question about this post.  Here is the question:

I’m with you for the most part, but I wonder why two feeds? Why not live one life, including both the spiritual and the secular, openly and visible to disciples and the unreached alike?

The simple answer is this: Christians speak a different cultural language than non-Christians.  Unfortunately this language isn’t necessarily spiritual by nature.  One of the hardest tasks of an evangelist (the New Testament term for Church Planter, but that is another post.) is deculturalizing the Gospel so that the lost can hear the Good News without all the white noise of Christian culture.

My personal twitter feed, @pauldwatson, is an attempt to remove the Christian-ese from my speech and engage lost people without transmitting Christian culture.  I still talk about prayer, healing, and what God does.  But I don’t allow it to consume my posts or tweets, in the same way that every sentence out of my mouth isn’t about God.  Instead of talking about what I believe, I want to show how what I believe affects my life. (The reason for this post and this post.) Unfortunately, many Christians want to talk about what they believe rather than show what it looks like when you integrate belief with life.

There is a delicate balance.  God and I talk about that balance regularly. 

On a funny note:  Christians quickly follow my @onlinedisciples username.  They usually don’t follow my @pauldwatson account.

I guess, Scott, I don’t see it as two different lives.  I see it as speaking two different languages.

Great question.

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3 Responses to “Do You Speak Christian? That May Be the Problem.”

  1. Scott Purcell
    December 5th, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

    So what would be the problem with simply trying not to lapse into “Christianese” even when in dialog with Christians? Why wouldn’t the guidelines you follow with your @pauldwatson feed work as your only feed?

    I’m trying to find the same balance — living online among those who don’t follow Christ, doing so in a way that allows them to see that while discipleship influences every part of life it doesn’t render me (or potentially, them) into a one-dimensional character.

    I’m trying to interact with people on a variety of topics: Interest in the same geek topics, general living life together, interest in spiritual things, etc. But meanwhile never disguising that core of what I’m about or relegating it to some other part of my online presence.

    So I’m curious now — is there a way I could be doing it better? If you have time, I’d welcome you to review the history of my twitter feed and critique it.

    Looking forward to learning from you and with you,


  2. Paul
    December 5th, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

    There are some topics Jesus talked about with His disciples privately. There are some He talked about them with in front of a crowd. We can access all His teaching through Scripture.

    Kind of the same for this blog. Non-Christians wouldn’t understand the subject material behind this blog, which is really linked to the @onlinedisciples feed. Additionally, they questions I ask there are ones I want Believers to weigh-in on. This is very different from my other feed. Non-believers would read most of my @onlinedisciples conversations and go, “Huh?”

    In some cases and in some conversations, people have been so hurt by the church that the moment they find out that I’m a minister, they put me into a box with all their negative experiences. They shut down any conversation. My separate feed allows me to be a spiritual person and talk with people about spiritual matters without turning them off out-right.

  3. Joe Philipson
    December 5th, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

    Wait what? you mean when I call everyone “Brother” I don’t sound like I’m in a cult?

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