Once on the Simpsons, Maude Flanders told Homer, “Neddy doesn’t believe in life insurance, he considers it a form of gambling.”
Granted, despite sleeping with that lady on one episode, Ned Flanders was designed to be an amplified personification of Christianity. His moves were big and loud. If you went to his house you played Bible board games and ate “unflavored” ice treat instead of ice cream. His version of faith was bright and shiny and exaggerated. I thought it was fake until recently.
In response to a Pot Luck post I wrote lots of people started emailing me. They told me that in their church, they were not allowed to say the phrase, “Pot Luck.” It’s too worldly, too much like coincidence, too much like gambling. So instead they say, “Pot Blessings.” And some people say, “Pot Providence.”
I heart that. Hearing about that made me really eager to find other examples. I instantly wanted to add a glossary to the back of my book that was titled simply, “Christian Translator.” Baking some devil’s food cake but feel like that sounds too demonic? Call it “Angel pie.” Daughter lost a tooth and excited about the tooth fairy? Call it the “tooth angel.”
It’s a weird thing to be fixated on, but there it is. I’m in love with the idea of having the world’s most comprehensive list of Christian words. Let’s do it, you and I. Let’s change this crazy world.