I'm in the middle of one of those "wilderness" periods. I've been there for a few weeks now. You probably know what I'm talking about- it seems as if God has gone silent on me. My prayers are hollow; my bible study is dry. I'm not connected to my Father.
I would imagine you have been through your own time in the wilderness. When it happens, our question is "God, why have you left me?"
He hasn't left me. I know it because He promised that he wouldn't. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5; John 14:18). I know it empirically. My life proves it to me. I can look back on the events of my life and know that no matter what was going on, whether I realized it or not, He was there with me. He protected me. He made it all work out.
Why am I in the wilderness? Perhaps it's because He is using this period to teach me. Or, perhaps there is unconfessed sin in my life. Either way, unless I understand it, it becomes difficult for me to move forward. I'm "stuck" more or less, spiritually.
What do you do when you are in the wilderness?
1. Remain in faith. Reflect back on all of the times in your life when He was there for you.
2. Give thanks. Count your blessings. For most of us, this isn't difficult. We've all got so much to be thankful for; so much more than we deserve. I shudder to think about what my life would be like (and my afterlife), if I got what I deserved to get.
3. Confess sin. This one is harder for most of us. We can't always be objective. Instead, we rationalize. "It's not that big of a deal." Or, "I'm justified in what I did." You know what I'm talking about. Until we hit that fork in the road, the one where we realize that our lives simply aren't working, it's hard to admit that we have failed.
Don't fall for this trap. God wants to be in perfect communion with you. Satan prefers there to be as much distance as possible between you and God. He (or his minions) will help you to rationalize your behavior, or alternatively, trick you into believing that what you've done is so horrendous that God will no longer have anything to do with you.
It's a lie.
Get on your knees and ask God to help you understand where you made the wrong turn. In my experience, it often comes to me before I even hit the floor. I may have wracked my brain for weeks, trying to figure out what I've done that was counter to His will. But when I simply surrender and ask Him to show me, He does it instantaneously.
Once you understand your sin, then simply confess it. Tell God you are sorry. And then rely on Him to help you eliminate it from your life. You can't do it on your own. You need a savior. Which, by the way, is exactly what you have in Jesus.
No matter what you've done, it's already taken care of. Jesus paid the tab.
But here's the thing. Never, ever take this fact lightly. Jesus gave His life to pay for that sin. If you keep doing it, it's like the petulant child who keeps going into Mommy's purse. The money may never run out, but the child will never learn what the child needs, in order to grow and thrive as a human. God's forgiveness is an incredible gift. Without it, every single one of us is doomed.
God loves you. He always has and always will. He wants only what is best for you. You can't earn His love- it's already there. Stay in your faith walk, read His Words (another incredible gift), and do what He wants you to do.
I think I just spotted light at the end of the tunnel (er, wilderness).
Do you remember when you first made the decision to trust in Jesus?
Mea culpa: in "The Reasonable Person- Due Process of Law, Logic, and Faith," I use the term "Christianspeak" to describe that unique language by Christians and for Christians. However, until you've been through it, the terminology isn't really relevant to you. It simply doesn't make a lot of sense.
"Trusting in Jesus" means that you trust in the gospel. More Christianspeak. The "gospel" (literally, the "good news") refers to the idea that in Jesus, God assumed human form. That alone is a pretty fantastic concept.
However, through Jesus, God did something even more incredible. Following the essential principle of Mosaic law, the blood sacrifice, God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for the sins of all of mankind- past, present and future.
I've heard it said that one drop of God's blood is worth an infinite number of human lives.
God became human and lived and worked among us. He healed us. He taught us how to live. And ultimately, he died, in order to bridge the chasm that mankind had created between itself and God, beginning with Adam. Jesus died for us.
God is perfect and we aren't. Despite the fact that God has given us everything we have, we want to go our own way. Like petulant children, we don't understand this basic concept. God is God; we are His creation. Something had to be done, in order to reconcile man and God forever. God did it Himself, through the sacrifice of his only son. That sacrifice assured eternal salvation for those of us who choose to accept it, through faith in Jesus' work on the cross.
When we "trust in Jesus," we accept the gospel and we decide to follow Jesus. Following Jesus means to live, as best as we can, like He did. It means to follow God.
Now, back to the question posited at the beginning of this blog post. Do you remember when you first made the decision to trust in Jesus? How old were you? What day was it? Was it winter or summer? Were you inside or outside? Were you in church? Or, were you at home, alone? Try to remember as much of the detail of that day as you can.
Think about what was going on in your mind. Perhaps you were at the end of your rope- feeling hopeless and with no way out. You made the decision because something inside you knew that Jesus was the only way out. Or, maybe you had studied the Bible for years and finally came to the conclusion that it was truth. You may have made the decision as a result of an evangelical message or invitation- a preacher or outreach minister described God's method of salvation to you and it simply resonated.
Whateve the circumstances, you made a decision. You decided that you needed salvation and you decided that Jesus was that salvation. You likely didn't have a lot of information upon which to base that decision. You stepped out in faith. It was a simple, child-like faith; a child who trusts daddy and does what daddy tells her to do, simply because he is "daddy."
Looking back now, that simple faith seems so incredible and yet powerful. You look at the result of that decision and the course your life has taken since. Chances are, you've had plenty of ups and downs. You may have begun your Christian journey in a very strong way, but now have drifted from that initial faith.
In Luke's gospel, a man tells Jesus that he will follow him, but he first needs to say good-bye to his family (Luke 9:61). Jesus replies that anyone who plows a field but keeps looking back is of no use to God.
Simply, God wants us to press on toward the goal.
Here's the moral to the story. Many of us take that first leap of faith. We trust in Jesus for our salvation. At that moment, we have complete faith in God.
But then, something happens. We let the living of our lives diminish our faith. We qualify our faith, based upon the events of our lives. We evaluate our future, based upon our past. We look back. This causes us to doubt. The bible is full of examples of what happens to people when they doubt. And it is full of examples of happens when we trust.
As a Christian, the evidence of my life is the most powerful evidence for why I believe what I believe. I trust in Jesus because he has proven to me, time and time again, that He can be trusted.
So the next time you are tempted to look back, look back instead to the moment you were saved. Think about the faith you had in Jesus at that moment.
There's reason you cannot have that same faith right now.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Chances are, you're familiar with this Exodus 20 scripture. It's one of the Ten Commandments. Most practicing Christians honor this commandment by engaging in in weekly church attendance.
In fact, the American religious establishment is largely governed by this commandment. We've built churches and organizations that are designed for the primary purpose of honoring the Christian sabbath, on Sunday. You may know that before Jesus, the Jewish sabbath was honored on Saturday. The Jewish sabbath was, and is, strictly honored by practicing Jews. For some reason, the early Christian church began to honor the sabbath on Sunday, rather than Saturday.
The Ten Commandments were, strictly speaking, Jewish in origin. However, Christians honor them as well. Although we believe that Jesus' crucifixion paid the price for all sins, we also believe that having faith in Jesus without obeying him doesn't make a lot of sense.
So, the question is, which is right- a Saturday or Sunday sabbath?
Answer: it doesn't matter.
God wants us to honor the sabbath, but more importantly He wants us to be Christ followers 24/7. Jesus' disciples were picking grain one sabbath and the religious establishment criticized them for it. Jesus taught that the sabbath was made for man, and not the other way around.
Have you ever noticed how people can get so caught up in the business of church that they forget to follow Christ the rest of the week. Worse, we can get so caught up in all of the church activities that we forget the point of church.
We get so caught up in the forest of religion that we can't see the trees.
Jesus taught us that there were two primary commandments. We are to love God, first and foremost. Then, we are to love each other.
My book, "The Reasonable Person- Due Process of Law, Logic, and Faith" is somewhat unconventional. It wasn't published within mainstream Christian publishing. I tried that route, unsuccessfully. According to a local Christian literary agent, it's really more about who you are, than what you have to say. The book wasn't reviewed by any Christian celebrities or even "name" Christian preachers. As a "wrong side of the tracks" Christian, I worried that my doctrine might be off in some way. So I asked several heads of the largest Nashville area churches to check it. Everyone was too busy.
If you take a stroll through the electronic aisles of internet retailers, you'll come to the "Christian" section. I can spot those books a mile off. They are the ones with Christian singers, celebrities, publishing czars and other dignitaries raving about the book. The Christian publishing machine is a pretty amazing thing. But the thing is that, with the recent Federal Trade Commission guidance on bloggers, all of the reviewers now disclose that they received a complimentary copy of the book in question, in exchange for an unbiased review. So, you get a pretty good sense of the books that originate from the machine.
I read "The Reasonable Person" now and am amazed. I believe that other than contributing finger movement across the computer keyboard, I had very little to do with it. I don't have a background or education in Divinity, Theology or any other formal religious education. All I have are careful reading skills, the skills of any lawyer. And I apply them, as well as logical principles in my bible study and in the way I think about God. I am absolutely sure that God had and has a purpose for the book. Perhaps there is one person out there who needs to read it. I don't know. All I know is that I was faithful to the challenge and completed the book.
Some of you know that I've been busy promoting the book. I've done radio interviews and other outreaches, in order to give the book some visibility. I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the smaller things- an email here and there from a reader, interest by a popular website, "The Berean Call." (http://www.thebereancall.org/content/are-you-wrong-side-spiritual-tracks
) I received a very kind note from the pastor at a large church in Hendersonville and the church's bookstore is now carrying the book. Even more touching is the fact that Parnassus Books, Nashville's only remaining independent bookstore, carries the book. (http://www.parnassusbooks.net/book/9781477640623
At the same time, there are plenty of mainstream Christian organizations that are simply too busy to consider the book. At first it bothered me. As a corporate attorney, father of two young girls, and author of three books, I'm a pretty busy guy myself. I spent almost seven years of 6:00 a.m. writing sessions on the book, on top of my day job and family responsibilities. And yet, if I run into someone who has a need, I generally try to find time to help them. I just think that it is what God wants me to do.
Instead of taking it personally, I've given it to God. It's His book. It was written for Him. If the religious establishment isn't interested in it, then so be it. The book wasn't intended for people who think they already know everything they need to know about God. It was written for people like me, or at least like I was for the better part of my life- searching for God. "The Reasonable Person" cuts through Christianspeak and debunks many of the myths the religious establishment has perpetuated about Christian faith. At it's core, this faith is that of a child; and the good news of Jesus is so simple, that a child can understand it.
I can always hope that the religious establishment will one day see the trees for the forest. After all, it's what Jesus taught us (and them) time and time again. But something tells me it probably won't happen. There's just something too comfortable about all of it- big church buildings, this and that ministries, the business of religion.
But I can always hope.
You may have heard the term "dying to self." It means that, as Christians, we put Jesus ahead of our own ego, wants, pride; everything that is "self." There are so many ways to describe this Christian phenomenon. People have used the phrase "What would Jesus do?" to describe it. When faced with any decision or situation in life, we do what He wants and not what we want.
How do we know what He wants? We read his Words. We study them. We memorize them. They become our arsenal. When faced with a choice- my way or His way- we can make the decision, based upon what we know about Him. And we listen to Him- that quiet, gentle urging of his Holy Spirit. It can be difficult to hear because our own self-talk, as well as the prodding of evil forces, interrupts Him. But if we stop and listen, he will speak to us.
Today, as tempting as it may be to do what you want, don't. Do what He wants.
The threshold question for anyone thinking about eternity is whether they believe in God. By “God”, I mean the omnipotent Creator of the universe. Lesser gods simply don’t make sense for me. I’ve seen no evidence of a polytheistic universe. Instead, everything points to a common guiding Hand. But if you don’t believe in God, then it doesn’t really matter what you think about Jesus or who you think He was.
On the other hand, if you do believe in God, then you are faced with the question of who He is. Is he the grandfatherly bearded man that many people think of, sitting on an ancient throne in Heaven. Is He an amorphous presence, wisping around the universe; sort of a cosmic spy, eavesdropping on things that humans do? Is He an angry, vengeful God, as many people who have read a bit of the Old Testament believe? After all, he turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt,
and caused the big fish to swallow Jonah.
Or, is He a personal God; a vibrant omnipotent, omnipresent God who desires to have a relationship with each of us?
I believe in the latter. I believe it because my life is living proof of it. The bottom line is that I know what I was like before I accepted Christ and I know what I am like now.
This radical change can only be explained by the intervention of the most loving God imaginable. My life is the evidence of Jesus. I know what I was like before I began to trust in Him, and I know what I’m like now. And the “now” me is definitely better. I am still a very imperfect creature, but I continue to grow, mature and develop in such a way that convinces me of God’s presence and love for me.
I have made plenty of mistakes in my life and continue to make them. My Christian walk has been full of misfires. My experience is probably the most common among Christ-followers: a struggle with sin, repentance, forgiveness in an ongoing way as part of my lifelong journey. However, the more I trust in Him, the less likely I am to make mistakes. And I make fewer mistakes now than before. The change in my life is the most convincing evidence of the truth of Christianity to me.
When we follow Jesus
, our lives are so radically changed that there is no human explanation for it. The only explanation is that something supernatural has happened to us. The proof in the proverbial pudding is in the eating. Christianity works. People’s lives are dramatically changed for the better. And I believe that Christianity stands alone in this way among a plethora of religions, psychotherapy, and self-help doctrines. Christianity is the world’s biggest belief system because it works.
Some people who are introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ decide not to become Christians. Others fall away from the faith quickly. They mistakenly believe that they don’t measure up. In other words, they don’t believe that they are good enough to become Christians. However, no one measures up.
Christians don’t measure up. We are all sinners and don’t deserve what God has done for us by way of the Cross. Only Jesus measured up. That’s why He was the perfect sacrifice.
He didn’t deserve it, and yet he submitted to it. Its exquisite unfairness makes it incredibly just.
Some people decide against Christianity because of what they believe to be the hypocrisy of Christians. They judge the validity of Christianity based upon the actions of Christians. If it doesn’t work for them
, they reason, then it certainly won’t work for me.
But Christian growth is a lifelong process. And you will encounter Christians who are in various stages of Christian growth. Some live close to sinless lives, thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Others continue to grow in their faith walk. But all are ultimately headed for the same destination.
Some people simply decide that for them, Christianity isn’t worth the investment. They believe that Jesus was who He said He was. They believe He is the way to Heaven. But they simply decide that Christianity isn’t worth it. It’s too much work. They are just too comfortable where they are. They don’t want to give up certain behaviors, or decide that praying, studying the Bible and going to church just isn’t worth the hassle. Even more tragic are the folks who believe that they can always change their minds later. Maybe they eventually get around to it. But some don’t.
Even non-Christians understand the concept of walking the talk
. It is a basic Christian idea that faith without action is meaningless.
Our beliefs are reflected in our lives. We study God’s Word, in order to get better acquainted with Him. We go to church because we want to worship Him. And although that first tee is beckoning on a beautiful Sunday morning, we do what we believe He wants us to do. Christians who pray regularly, study the Bible and go to church somehow end up with stronger faith and better blessings.
The more we come to learn who Jesus is, the more we want to learn about Him. And the more daily faith we have in Him, the better our lives become.
At its core, Christianity is the simple step in faith of a nine year-old boy who acknowledges that Jesus died for his sins. But we execute upon this faith with another kind of faith; an ongoing faith in our daily lives. We believe in the power of Jesus to transform our lives, every step of the way. In doing so, we relinquish it all to him; our fears, our ambitions, our sin, our lives. The sooner we allow it, the faster our lives are transformed.
And this is where the concept of faith becomes critically important. We take that first step of faith by a simple belief, but we take the next step of faith and the step after that by allowing Him to miraculously transform our lives. And the best part is that if we continuously engage in those steps of faith throughout our lives, He is incredibly and perfectly faithful to do everything that He promised to do for us. 
Consider the term born again
. In the 1970's,then-candidate Jimmy Carter unintentionally placed it into the American lexicon when he casually mentioned in an interview that he had been born again
. President Carter was honest and forthright about his beliefs. But the disclosure came at a time when Christianity, especially fundamentalist
was thought by many to be a religion of backwoods simpletons.
Even today, many people view born again
Christians as a “subset” of Christianity; the extreme right-leaning, Christian Conservative
segment of the Christian population. Or worse, they view this group as the less sophisticated portion of the Christian population; those poison-drinking, 
snake-handling, farm-dwelling kinds of people so portrayed by comedians and talk show hosts, and who built ideologies around obscure scripture. They are “those people” who actually believe that God created man and woman, the way it is depicted in the Bible (you can add a small smirk at this point). It is as if being born again
somehow makes one a different type of Christian than mainstream Christianity. Born again
Christians are different than “regular” Christians.
President Carter, with a bachelor’s in physics from the United States Naval Academy, certainly caused people to think again about this Christian stereotype. He was educated and articulate and obviously sincere in his beliefs. And he certainly paved the way for a renaissance in professing presidential believers. And perhaps, post-Watergate,
America was looking for simplicity and honesty in its President.
But here’s a fact that may surprise you. Journalists did not coin the term born again
. Jesus did.
Jesus taught in parables and metaphors, using real world examples of things that anyone could understand. Nicodemus, one of the leaders of the Jewish religious establishment asked Jesus what was required in order to achieve true salvation with God.
The religious establishment at that time was very rule-oriented and adhered strictly to Mosaic law, as described in the Old Testament.
Nicodemus was well-educated in the law and I’m sure conversant on the nuances and intricacies of it. But I imagine that having this vast knowledge left him feeling unfulfilled. He wanted to know what could make him truly right with God. Jesus responded to Nicodemus, “'Very truly I tell you, unless one is born again, he cannot be in God’s Kingdom.”
Jesus used the term born again
as a metaphor for the Christian conversion experience. Nicodemus, as a leader of the Jewish religious establishment, must have believed that we earn our way into Heaven by practicing an intricate regimen of religious rituals. But he was apparently so caught up in his own religious “trees” that he couldn’t see the “forest”. He clearly misunderstood Jesus’ metaphor. He responded by saying that Jesus couldn’t possibly be talking about re-entering His mother’s womb.
He asked “But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s body again. So how can a person be born a second time?”
Jesus was saying that in order to make it to Heaven, we have to start from spiritual scratch. We must have so profound a spiritual experience that it can only be compared to a second birth. This experience is caused by the influence of the Holy Spirit, which comes from God and so changes us that there is no doubt that it came from God.
Jesus used the “new birth” metaphor to describe the transformation that occurs in one’s entire being, in order to enter heaven. To those who have been through it, or are going through it, a “rebirth” metaphor hits the nail on the head. Once a person commits to this change and allows God to handle it, their life is so transformed, so radically change from the way they were before, that it is like they started completely over again, from scratch. They truly become new people. The single most important thing any Christian can point to as evidence for the reality of the Christian experience is their personal transformation- what they were like before and what they are like after encountering the notion of Jesus.
As result, all Christians are born again
The exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus tells us that being born again is an essential part of being a Christian.
Jesus required it.
We simply can’t help it. God begins to change all of us once we accept Jesus into our lives in such a way that the only way to describe it is as being born again
. If you claim to be a Christian and your life has not changed since you accepted Christ, then it is unlikely that you have truly accepted Christ. So, when we accept the doctrine of salvation as described by Jesus, we become God’s instruments through the work of the Holy Spirit.
And God’s Holy Spirit so radically changes us that the only adequate way of describing this transformation is as being born again
“Fundamentalism” is a term used to describe Christians who believe in the literal accuracy of the Bible and of the events contained in the Bible, such as the virgin birth and the physical resurrection of Jesus. The Fundamentalist movement was a response to increasing liberalism and relativism which challenged the validity of some of these precepts. 
There are certain groups, typically in the deep South that believe, based upon the description in Mark 16:17-18 that “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”  Watergate
refers to the hotel in Washington, D.C. which housed the offices of the Democratic National Committee (the “DNC”). The-President Nixon became embroiled in a controversy arising from the alleged break-in of the DNC by a team of burglars allegedly funded by the Committee to Re-elect the President.
Mosaic law refers to the Old Testament laws as described in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. If you’ve never read them, take a quick look through them. You’ll be amazed at the intricate detail found in these laws, intended to deal with a wide variety of situations in life.
It would probably be useful for you to read through the entire exchange at John 3:1-21. Jesus describes to Nicodemus the essential tenets of the Christian faith, that is, what all Christians believe: (1) that Jesus came down from Heaven and was crucified; (2) that the purpose of this crucifixion was to save mankind; (3) that everyone who believes in Jesus will have eternal life; (4) that the crucifixion allowed God’s Holy Spirit to dwell in all of those who believe, and (5) that the Holy Spirit causes people to be so changed that the only adequate way of describing it is as being “born again”.
John 3, 16, Romans 8.
I was channel-surfing one night not too long ago, trying to find a decent show among the hundreds of channels of jewelry infomercials, exercise programs and sitcoms apparently designed to appeal to a demographic that I’m not sure actually exists. Cable television (or satellite, if you prefer) has provided us with hundreds of choices in the new millennium, but somehow there are still only about two or three decent choices at any given time.
I stumbled across a Christian "variety" program. In your television travels, you've probably run across shows of this type. The show's master of ceremonies is usually a televangelist, as it was in this case. I switched channels to his show at precisely the moment that the televangelist was beseeching his viewing audience to accept Christ. He was a nattily dressed in a perfectly tailored white suit, with what was arguably the most perfect haircut I had ever seen. At the bottom of the screen a call-in number was displayed imploring viewers to call and talk with one of the show’s “prayer counselors”. He alternated between looking soulfully heavenward and at the camera. He implored his audience to trust Jesus, accept Christ and to be washed in the blood of Jesus.
I’m not going to take any cheap shots. I won’t offer any comment on the merits of televangelism or the sincerity of the televangelist’s beliefs. There are all kinds of paths to God and I see no reason why television couldn’t be one of them. Televangelists have had more than their share of scandals. But until proven otherwise, I consider all of these folks as my brothers (or sisters) in Christianity.
As I watched him, it occurred to me that his audience probably had no clue of what he was talking about. This is because he was speaking in a code of sorts; a secret language that only people with the key could understand. I call it Christianspeak. Accepting Christ is a term that would likely make no sense to anyone but Christians. Washed in the blood of Christ sounds downright macabre. And how can anyone trust in Jesus when they’ve never met him (and especially when he died a couple of thousand years before they were even born)? I’m sure the televangelist knew what the terms meant. But I’m equally sure that his non-Christian audience wouldn’t have a clue of what most of it meant. And the exuberant televangelist probably had no clue that these folks didn’t have a clue.
He wasn't doing this on purpose. Every group has its own unique language. In most cases, the language acts as shorthand. It makes communications more efficient. Simple terms can be used to express complex ideas.
Buzzwords can improve communications efficiency but if we’re not careful, they can have the reverse effect. They can actually impede communications. Linguistic shorthand is often just confusing to outsiders. And over time, jargon becomes so tenuously related to the original concept that its meaning is lost.
Christianspeak is the shorthand terminology that Christians use to describe complex ideas. It’s used by preachers, lay people and everyone in between and may make sense to some, but may make no sense to others. Certainly, some people use buzzwords to obfuscate and confuse, but I don’t believe that most Christians engage in Christianspeak for that purpose. Instead, I think that they simply use it without realizing that non-Christians might not be following their meaning.
Well-meaning Christians use terms and concepts that simply don’t make sense to people who have never been through the Christian experience. Words and phrases like saved, Christ follower, faith, grace and many others are simple terms that describe vast and life-changing concepts. Christianspeak makes sense to those who have experienced the ideas it describes. However, it can also act as a barrier to those who haven’t. Any discussion on eternity is going to be pretty deep. Using a bunch of jargon to describe it doesn’t help to clarify. The basic ideas in Christianity- that God became a human, brought the dead back to life and walked on water, was crucified and then himself came back to life- are pretty fantastic. It’s hard to get our intellectual arms around these ideas. Christianspeak, without explanation, can simply add to the confusion.
The irony of Christianspeak is that most of us are exposed to it long before we can understand it. Christians use it because they think it will help non-Christians understand Christ. But in reality, it is a sort of an ex post, or “after the fact” language. Until you’ve been in a new car, it’s hard to appreciate the term “new car smell”. And until you’ve encountered Christ, it’s hard to understand much of Christian terminology. The only way to understand who Christ is, is to experience Him for yourself. You encounter Christ through the daily exercise of faith, diligent Bible study, and prayer. But unless you have been through the process, Christianspeak might as well be an ancient, dead language.
So the next time you find yourself using Christianspeak, ask yourself three questions: (1) "Do I understand, really understand, what it means?" (2) "Can I point to scripture to explain what it means?"; and (3) "Will the person I'm talking to understand what it means?" If you can honestly answer "yes" to all three questions, then Christianspeak away! Otherwise, consider holding off until you can.