Friday, August 27, 2010

Face Punch Word of the Week #1

In an effort to keep myself blogging consistently, here is a new feature:

Each week, I will post a somewhat popular word in modern/pop theology that annoys me, a word that, if used by you around me, might get you punched in the face.  So here we go...

Face Punch Word of the Week #1:

GIFTED (verb)

As in: "The Lord has gifted Bill with a talent for evangelism."

I am opposed to the use of this word for two reasons:

1. Grammatically.  'Gifted' is not a real word.  It has been invented by pietists who want to sound like they have a deeper understanding of and appreciate for God's work than the rest of us. Turning nouns (a la gift) into verbs (a la to gift) for this purpose is number two on the pietist's list of favorite things to do, right after being better than you and right before publicly repenting of your sins.

2. Theologically.  God is a God of order.  And just as this applies to divine worship, it also applies to grammar.  See point 1.

So, don't use this word and I will not punch you.  Probably.

My name is Pastor Hans Fiene.  Thanks for reading.


Displaced Iowan said...

My reason for hating it is far lamer. (Is that a word?) It gets overused by antinomians pretending to be Lutherans, usually in ridiculous phrases like, “Cancer is a gift,” or “The Law is a gift,” or “Pastor Fiene’s punch to your throat is a gift.” LAME.
- Adriane

Keith said...

Alright Hans, so... if Bill does seem to have special ability and/or desire toward evangelistic activity (like we might say St. Paul the evangelist had)would you still acknowledge that at least as a gift from God? In other words, is it just the use of the word "gifted" in the ways you described that will get my faced punched or is it a disagreement with the point that a person can receive special abilities from God as a gift? Just asking ... so that I don't get punched :-).

Maanum's Meandering Musings said...

Just so you know, if I happen to say a word at a PALS meeting that you don't like and get punched in the face I'll kick you back in the crotch. Just saying.

Pastor Fiene said...

Yes, it is more or less the use of the term that I do not like. Obviously I believe that God gives gifts to people, and particular gifts to particular people at that. For example, he has given to many men a gift called "the ability to teach." This gift, or talent or skill, is what enables them to be pastors.

However, I am also leery of how this morphing of nouns into verbs tends to shift the focus from God's service of us to our service of God.

Keith said...

Gotcha, I'll be extra careful so that I am not "morphed" if God "gifts" me with the ability to teach :-).

Sum Gai said...

I've been "gifted" all my life, or at least, I've been told. Never thought of it as not being an actual verb before. Does that mean I'm not gifted anymore? ;)