Evangelical, Bible-belt Christians often use insider lingo that is largely incomprehensible to outsiders. Consider the following phrases:
- “Guard your heart.”
- “I don’t feel let to …”
- “Let go and let God.”
- “Jesus, take the wheel.”
- “Invite Jesus into your heart.”
- “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
In addition to these silly, unbiblical phrases, Christians often talk about strange things like “quiet times,” “hedges of protection,” and “unspoken prayer requests.” To insiders, these phrases and catchphrases make sense, but to outsiders, this insider lingo is often confusing and bewildering.
Another often used Christian-catchphrase is the “plan of salvation.” While theologians of the reformed variety might use this phrase to talk about the eternal decrees of a gracious and sovereign God determined to save a people for his glory, the typical, evangelical, Bible-belt Christian uses this phrase to talk about a collection of verses and truths that, when accepted, lead a person to put their faith in Jesus for salvation. One might think about the “Roman Road” or the “Four Spiritual Laws” … there’s two more examples of insider lingo!
While many church-going folks would have some familiarity with the phrase “plan of salvation,” few of us have ever stopped to think about a “plan of damnation.” Admittedly, this isn’t a widely used Christian-catchphrase, but it is a biblical concept that shows up as early as Genesis 3 when the serpent tempted Adam and Even to rebel against their Creator. Consider how Satan tempted our first parents, and consider how this same “plan of damnation” plays out in our lives today:
- First, Satan attacked the clarity of God’s Word with the question, “Did God really say?” This question has been ringing in the ears of human beings ever since, causing us to question and doubt the clearly spoken Word of God.
- Second, Satan attacked the truthfulness of God’s Word with the declaration, “You will not surely die.” This bold defiance has lived on in the countless manifestations of rebellion and idolatry that have marked human history.
- Third, Satan attacked the motive of God’s Word with the claim, “You will be like God.” Satan suggested that God wanted to keep something good from his people, and we have been questioning the goodness of God ever since.
At the risk of relying on silly clichés and insider lingo … Christians must understand and trust in God’s “plan of salvation” and Christians must understand and be prepared to stand against Satan’s “plan of damnation.” That means we must believe in the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the provision of Christ, and the necessity of repentance and faith – that’s the plan of salvation. Additionally, we must be prepared to stand firm against any attack against the clarity, truthfulness, and motive of God’s Word.
Thank you – I appreciate this reminder of those items we ‘assume’ will be understood and the invitation for us ourselves to revisit the meaning in what we say and share. Your post also reminded me of this article related to understanding more of Lucifer’s ‘plan of damnation’ that we sometimes don’t realize we are supporting with our assumptions – https://byustudies.byu.edu/article/shards-of-combat/