Thinking Out Loud

February 7, 2011

I Love You With All My Intestines

Okay, I’m a little behind on post-weekend blogging, and I can only blame so much of that on the Superbowl, since I missed most of the first quarter anyway. So here’s one from the February, 2009 archives that I’ve had to do some major remixing on, since it hinged on a link to something else which no longer exists…

accept-jesus

  • easychristianityI LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY LIVER
  • I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY GUT
  • I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY SPLEEN

From what I’m told, any one of these expressions is an acceptable translation — in some languages — of the English, “I love you with all my heart.” For most of us, while the brain is the center of all cognitive activity involving the senses, memories, logic, reason, etc.; we use the heart to represent the will, our emotions, our affections.

So it’s not a stretch to imagine some preacher in some time past, trying to get across what the “Lordship of Christ” means, or attempting to communicate the idea of submitting everything to His will, being the first to voice the phrase, “accepting Jesus into your heart.” Perhaps he was speaking to children at the time. It’s not in the Bible, but it does get the point across.praying-boy-and-dog

Or it did. Now it’s become trite. So, just as we need to constantly update Bible translations, now is the time to update some of the ancillary or peripheral language we use when conversing with our friends. (Also, is a ‘personal’ Savior anything like a personal computer?)

The problem is that it is very hard for some people — especially new Christians — to know where the Bible ends and additional, peripheral language begins.  Of course some terms — like Trinity — don’t occur in scripture at all, but no one would want to jettison them entirely as unnecessary.

But the other problem comes when our children get older, and we find ourselves in the position of having to ‘undo’ certain terms that we’ve used ourselves.   Where might our children be in their understanding had we never introduced the “accept Jesus” phrase, only to have to make mid-course corrections in their understanding of what it means to make Jesus Christ lord of their lives?

The Bible says that we should “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength,” (Deut 6:5) but hopefully we realize that loving God with all our hearts is a simple turn of phrase for something that is much deeper, and much more real.

Bonus link: Danny Spence suggest six other phrases that are equally extra-Biblical (i.e. outside the Bible) in this short post.


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1 Comment »

  1. As a worker and a trainer in children’s ministry for many years, this is one subject often repeated and not really accepted by most Christian leaders. (well, they seem to accept the concept but old habits die hard or something: they still use inappropriate terms)

    “Accept Jesus into your heart” is near the top of the list, but is definitely surpassed by “GIVE your heart to Jesus!”

    Firstly, children are literal thinkers so we present them with an impossibility and more importantly, we cannot GIVE anything to gain salvation.

    I don’t think the term “Personal Saviour” is as bad. After all, many people accept that Jesus is the Saviour of the WORLD, but do not accept Him as such on a personal, individual basis – they have no relationship with Him. In their case “personal Saviour” has meaning.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — February 7, 2011 @ 4:19 pm


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