Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Food for thought: The Hedge Words We Use

What is a hedge word?  It's a word or phrase that makes statements less forceful or assertive.  Examples: I think, maybe, I could be wrong, etc.

With that in mind, read the following quote by Stanley Hauerwas, and comment below to let me know what you think about this issue.

Question from reporter: 
How should Christians make their mark on society?

Answer by Stanley Hauerwas: 
By telling the truth. I think that one of the problems has been that Christians have often accepted the speech habits that characterize general assumptions about America that have not done us any good in terms of how we should be witnessing to what we think is true. (For example, to say) I think Jesus is Lord, but that is just my personal opinion.

Above quote taken from Trinity Pastor.  Note: I do not endorse any material on Trinity Pastor.  I just pulled the quote to get opinions and give some food for thought.

I have to admit.  There have been times in the past where I have been guilty of this myself.  I think the fear is that if we offend somebody, they will never want to hear about Christ again, or perhaps never hear from us again, even if they're our friends or family.  Coming from a family mostly of atheists, I have come across these fears in myself, that if I make somebody too upset, or too angry, I will be rejected, and what's worse, that I may be the cause of rejection of Christ.

What are your opinions about using hedge words when witnessing to someone about Christ?  If we use them, are we showing uncertainty and dishonoring God?  If we come straight forward and say, Jesus is the Lord and Saviour of the world, with boldness, as the Bible says to, are we going to scare people away?  Are our own fears the device being used against ourselves and the Lord?

Comment below.



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