Friday, April 14, 2006

Duck Season

I still can't sleep so I've decided to continue my diatribe against Christianese. At least maybe Andrea will get off my back now about not updating my blog. This should at least get her through Friday morning before she emails me again about having seen the entire internet and needing more entertainment from me.

Another Christianese word I've come to loathe is the word "anointing". In Pentecostal circles, this word is used to describe some special spiritual property of a person such that when they are "anointed" they are endowed with God's power beyond normal means. This term is flexible enough to cover many ideas, anything from natural ability to superhuman prowess, but is most often used to describe approval by church leadership. It's that last one that makes me ill. Too often, I have seen the term bandied about to denote someone who has found favor with the pastor or some other church leader. Rather than saying "good job", a lot of hoopla is made about how someone is "anointed" in their "ministry". Even worse, the word is used to promote people who are not the best person for the job, as this is the trump card of spiritual qualifications for ministry. More than likely, they are the only person the pastor could find that was willing to work for a pittance, little gratitude, and with a "I won't rock the boat" attitude. Too often logic and good sense go out the window when this word appears. That's not to say I don't believe in the sovereignty of God or the Holy Spirit in choosing people to do His work. I just think too often it is used as an excuse for a lack of judgment.

One of the problems with this method of church leadership, is that it creates an environment of "haves" and "have nots". If you don't have the anointing, then you don't receive the same affirmation by leadership that the "anointed" receive. The seemingly arbitrary use of the word has led a friend of mine to call it the "duck duck goose" method of church leadership. Everyone sits in a circle trying to be as pious as possible in the hopes that some church leader will tap you on the shoulder and say "Goose!" - er, I mean "anointed!" Some people never get to be geese in these environments, and ultimately it stunts their spiritual growth and hurts the church. It would be better to enable every person to function in the gifts and abilities as God has given them, and thus benefit the whole body of Christ.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 1 Cor. 12:11,12

1 comment:

KK said...

Wow, I couldn't agree more!
Well articulated, Dan!