“How Shall We Then Speak?”

—by Greg Norfleet, Pastor

Got a moment for something different? This space is dedicated to giving a thoughtful, biblical perspective on an important issue facing members and friends of Christ Community Church—so hang with me, we’ll get there. But Cindy and I got such a kick out of the following that I wanted to pass it on.

“The European Union (EU) has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English.”

“In the first year, ‘s’ will replace the soft ‘c.’ Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard ‘c’ will be dropped in favour of ‘k.’ This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

“There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome ‘ph’ will be replaced with ‘f.’ This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

“In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent ‘e’ in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

“By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing ‘th’ with ‘z’ and ‘w’ with ‘v.’

“During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary ‘o’ kan be dropd from vords kontaining ‘ou’ and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl rite n styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

“Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas. (If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.)”

Creative, don’t you think?  Once my laughter died down a bit, a more serious thought came to mind:  Scripture foresees a united community of its own, and the means to get us there—a day when “speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

The Bible’s vision for Christ Community Church raises important questions for us to consider:  What is the “official language” that marks our daily conversations?  Do we “concede” that the truth revealed in Jesus has some “room for improvement”?  Do we “negotiate” changes such that, little by little, we wind up speaking a different language, a variation of “the lie”?  Has the talking world around us pressed our speech into its mold?  If by the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus spoke only what is true and loving, and if Jesus has given that same Spirit to indwell and control us, how shall we then speak to one another this week?