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Watch Your Mouth, Christian!

watch your mouth
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Klingon is an actual language. That’s right—the war-loving, spear-toting villains of the Star Trek world have an official language of their own. And people speak it. In fact, you can even get a collegiate scholarship if you are familiar with the alien language.

Similarly, there are those people out there who write letters in Elvish, a language originating in The Lord of the Rings.

More common is the dialect spoken between those people who know something about cars. Enter into their conversation and you might hear stuff about carburetors and engine blocks.

Or maybe the language of couponers who talk about BOGO and rebates, informing one another who is selling Pampers wipes at a discounted rate this week.

Stick me in any of these situations and I’d be totally lost. Completely uncomfortable. Absolutely without anything to say. But if you were integrated in the sub-culture of Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, mechanics, or thrifty shoppers, you would feel right at home.

Sub-cultures are like that. They have their own language, dress, and customs. And if you’re a part of that sub-culture you feel right at home. You, as a member, have integrated the speech, clothes, and food into your life and now you don’t even give it a second thought. You freely communicate in Klingon to those about you, not worrying too much about the unenlightened who haven’t bothered to pick up their own pronunciation guide. And sub-cultures are everywhere. Chances are you belong to at least one, even if you don’t realize it. You might be a member of the technology subculture. Or the home school subculture. Or the SEC football subculture.

Me? I’m a card-carrying member of the Christian subculture. It’s a subculture with our own rock stars, communicators, and authors. It’s filled with customs, dress, food, and especially language that are as unfamiliar as the cliffs of Mordor or the eating patterns of dwarfs to the common observer.

If a person walked into the church today, they might as well have stepped into a comic book convention, for they would likely find a group of people so entrenched into their own subculture that they don’t even think about what they’re saying, singing, or preaching any more. After all, everybody understands them; they’re seeking the same language.

Here’s the good thing about a subculture—it’s safe. It’s comfortable. It’s easy. It’s part of who you are. And inside the comfort of a subculture, you don’t really have to think a lot about what you’re saying or the meaning behind it. You just assume that everyone around you knows what it means to be “saved,” they know how to “repent,” and they know what it means to call God “holy.” So you just rattle on, firmly entrenched in the familiar.

But that’s also a reason why we, as Christians, should watch our mouths.