(It’s guest post Friday! Here’s a great one from Ken Hagerman. You can follow Ken on Twitter @RamblingBarba and you can read his blog at Rambling With The Barba. If you want to write a guest post for SCL, here’s how!)
Caught Somewhere In The Middle
Have you noticed, over the last few years, the alarming rate at which the average churchgoer uses the word “Amen” in place of the word “Yes?”
Who instituted the “Amen for Yes” lexicon upgrade?
All that Amen-ing may get you in the affirmative with your congregation, but it doesn’t travel well outside of the Christian environment. Unless, of course, you live in the South (Bible Belt country) or Branson, Missouri, you may find yourself wishing you had a guide that alleviates this stressful decision-making conundrum. Wish no more.
To keep you from the embarrassing dilemma of the Amen Religious Affirmation Syndrome, I have written a few pointers. These are sure to help you navigate the often turbulent seas of positivity.
You are allowed to use the word Amen, in substitution for the word Yes, if:
1. You are on the church property, to include inside the building, in the gym or in the parking lot.
I know this seems like a no-brainer, but many have mistakenly reserved their deified version of “I’m down wit dat” for service times only. Nope. As long as you are on the church “campus,” our new favorite word, you can say “Amen.”
2. You are at a restaurant immediately following a service or meeting, and there are other church members in the establishment.
The rule is that the ambient churchiness has hitched a ride on your aura, uh, spirit. The wait staff are professionals. Don’t worry, some may even be Christian, so they will surely understand the lingo. There is one “amendum” to the restaurant rule—the buffet.
3. You are at any buffet-styled eatery.
Case studies have documented that the word “buffet” is more closely associated with Christians than any other group except for retirees. It’s safe to say in this environment that there are enough Jesus people bellied up to the hot bar to support the use of Amen.
4. You are at Chick-fil-A.
Amen all day, son! All day! Except Sunday, of course. They’re closed. Not sure if you knew that or not.
5. You are having a conversation with the pastor or an elder.
The locale of this conversation is not nearly as important as those involved. Sure, you may be discussing the merits of selective mating among your milk goat populace, but it’s the pastor. You have to ratchet up the Yes-to-Amen ratio. (How niche was that example? Be honest: Have you ever seen the phrase “milk goat populace?” If you are a milk goat farmer though, I bet you said “Yes!” or Amen as it were.)
You are NOT allowed to use Amen in substitution for the word Yes if:
1. You are eating at Hooters.
Regardless of how many church members are there, it just doesn’t float well. It tends to “harshen up the hot wing mellow.”
2. You are watching a publicly televised national championship game and your team just clinched the title with a clutch play.
This is a “YES!” moment. No arguments. Yes is the only acceptable answer.
3. You are attending seminary.
I know this is a tricky one. You would think with all the Bible, God and church-ness happening this would be prime Amen real estate, but it’s not. You will immediately be branded a fake. Authenticity is the name of the game here. Your only hope of recovering from a slip of the A-word here is if you happen to have a caveman beard like David Crowder. The beard gets a bye.
Hopefully this little primer helped educate you on the proper use of Amen in place of Yes and stabilized an otherwise tumultuous situation.
So, do you ever say Amen instead of Yes? Do you have any rules to add?
(To read more from Ken, check out his RamblingBarba blog.)