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Loss of Language

The post below is a preview of the second book in the Path of Unlearning deconstruction series, titled, Awake and Rise.

Religion provides a system of language for considering life and communicating about deep issues. Language is so important, John wanted us to view Jesus as the manifested speech of God, calling him Logos:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Christians rely on phrases from scripture when trying to comfort a friend or when we need to bolster our own courage. Christian communities employ jargon in addition to Bible verses. Your own circle might uses phrases like “feeling convicted,” “submitting,” “knowing something in your heart,” “letting go and letting God,” or countless others.

During deconstruction, we begin recognizing problems with how we’ve used language, and in losing that lexicon, we no longer know how to explain things, even to ourselves.

As you explore the idea of how humanity and divinity interconnect from outside the constraints of your denominational formation, you’ll need new language. You may no longer want to pray “in Jesus’ name,” or call God “Father.” You might even become uncomfortable with less specific terms, like “faith.” Fumbling for language helps us figure out what we think. Instead of having a phrase immediately handy, we have to break down our thoughts and find the words which describe them. Some terms will feel right and true, others will feel clumsy. As you engage with others on the path, you’ll encounter new phrases which you’ll incorporate into your growing lexicon.

In any new environment it takes time to learn new vocabulary, so while it might feel scary, it’s going to be okay. Language is important, and it evolves. Just like you.

Change your opinions, keep your principles. Change your leaves, keep intact your roots.

Victor Hugo


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