I sit here a grammatical, linguistic, literary, and oratorical snob. And God loves me for it.
From the front of a church bulletin (sadly, it was LCMS) I’ve recently read:
We have gathered together to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is our desire in worship to minister to the heart of God. As we do this, expect to meet with God and for him to minister to our hearts with power.
I mean this sincerely: is there anyone out there who can explain to me exactly how one ministers to the heart of God? I don’t find that language in Scripture anywhere. This smacks of one of my gripes with American Evangelical Christianity and the inroads it has made into the Lutheran Church. It’s the pick words that carry theological freight and string them together game. We can all play. Flip through the theological word book, slap your hand down on the page, and pick the word closest to your index finger. Do this two to four times, arrange the results in the most inspiring ways, and do what you can to put it into regular use in a congregation near you.
I’m sure you’ve seen these empty little phrases and kitschy little word plays. I’ve given you one here. Feel free to fill the comment thread with others you’ve seen. Maybe together we can compile a “Chicken Soup for the Evangelical Soul” book and make a pile of money.