The Bane of "Religious Talk"

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12 January, 2022




For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. . . . First Thessalonians 1:4-5

Now, while we cannot project ourselves backward through time and walk again in Galilee with Christ and His disciples, we can by faith actually experience "the substance of things hoped for"; we can have every sufficient "evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1, KJV); we can taste "the powers of the coming age" (6:5); we can "know" and "comprehend"; we can have the inner witness, the spiritual illumination that brings out the typography of the kingdom of God as clearly as any earthly landscape is revealed by the rising sun. Then every word will be like a sharp, clear shadow thrown by the objects on the terrain, not to stand in place of reality, but to outline it and set it in relief.

A word is valid only when it refers to some reality in the mind of the user. It must submit to definition as used by the speaker. Its dictionary meaning cannot save it from semantic fraud. It must have a real meaning in its limited context at a given time. By this test an alarmingly great amount of our religious talk is phonetic breath, no more.


There is "religious talk" and there are words of truth validated by power, the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. Such words penetrate the heart, assuring us that God speaks through His servant who himself has been radically changed.


Deliver me, Lord, from spouting religious talk. May I speak of whom and what I know from the vantage of personal encounter.