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There’s a wonderful translation guide at Unreasonable Faith that lets non-Christians understand what Christians are really saying.

It gives us both acceptable and unacceptable responses to the phrases:

Do you know where you’re going to go after you die?

Translation: “This is the question they told me to ask in my evangelism class.”

Acceptable Response: “To heaven to see my sweet, precious Savior!”

Unacceptable Response: “How can you know that before you’re actually dead?”

“Thank you Jesus!”

Translation: “It’s easier to thank Jesus than the people who deserve it.”

Acceptable Response: “Amen!”

Unacceptable Response: “I’m not Jesus.”

There are plenty more where those came from 🙂

Moral of the story for Christians: Your clichés don’t hold much sway with atheists. You can’t bring up the supernatural (prayer, Jesus, etc) to a non-religious person and expect your words to have any real impact. Nice sentiments, perhaps, but they make you sound like a pastor’s puppet and they make us want to interact with you less… especially if the phrases are piled one on top of another.

Are there any other soundbytes that need to be added to the list?

[tags]atheist, atheism, Christianity, Christianese[/tags]