We avoid them like the plague, don’t we?
Which makes me wonder if there are Restoration Movement Christians who have been baptized by immersion, but have never really asked Jesus into their hearts … because that was some other fellowship’s phrase.
And I wonder if there are Christians who have asked Jesus into their hearts, but have never been immersed into His life – as well as His death, burial and resurrection in baptism.
Those are phrases of Paul, too (Romans 6:1-6).
I wonder, also, if there are those who are saved, but have never heard a heavenly calling to a holy life; to God’s purpose (2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 4:1; Hebrews 3:1; 2 Peter 1:10) – because those phrases just aren’t in their vocabulary.
I have to wonder if there are followers of Christ who wouldn’t know what to do if a word from the Lord came to them (Jeremiah 37:17; 1 Samuel 15:10), or felt a burden God had laid on them (Ecclesiastes 3:10; Matthew 11:30), or were moved to participate in a sinner’s prayer (James 5:15-16) – for the reason that these phrases just aren’t written in their book.
Or they are written there, but they haven’t seen them for what they are.
I wonder if the proprietary phrases indicate our willingness to see and follow only part of God’s entire purpose for us; if they betray our unwillingness to see and be blessed by a whole gospel and a full fellowship. I wonder if these shibboleths serve to separate us, keep us apart, prevent the blessing of unity in the Spirit and the bond of peace between Christians who each adhere to his/her own distinct doctrines and subcultures and groups and sects and cliques and lingo and phrases.
Most of all, I wonder if I’m one of them.