Words Control Emotions, Thinking, People, Family and Church
Words May Be Used As Weapons In The Battle For Your Mind
Words, both spoken and written, are very important to us as a way of communicating meaning to others. Unfortunately, words dont always mean the same thing to the person who speaks or writes them as it does to the person who hears or reads them. Thats because words have the power to cause emotional responses, both good and bad. Those stirred up emotional responses color our understanding of what has been communicated to them. Since words arouse emotions which greatly influence our understanding, those who have studied the use of words in presenting their arguments can take advantage of the emotional appeal of particular words and phrases and structure their sentences, and easily manipulate those to whom they speak. The same is true, of course, for written material.
When we unknowingly make choices and decisions based on our internal emotional response to particular words and phrases instead of clear logical thinking we have been manipulated. When we learn to separate our emotional responses to words being used to persuade us from the actual facts being discussed then we can make effective and powerful decisions based upon the reality of what has been presented to us.
In other words, we can learn to cease to be manipulated and intimidated by our own emotional responses to arguments and discussions that use the emotional power of words.
Emotional Appeal Of Words
Please give to this charity so that millions of children worldwide wont starve to death. Unstated is the implication that you will be responsible for the death of millions of children if you dont give to that charity. Compassion is aroused and guilt consumes you as you reach for your checkbook.
But what about all the other charities that want your money for the same cause? Whats so special about this one that you willfully turn your back on all the others? So when the next appeal comes from another, different charity, you dont even think twice before reaching for your checkbook.
Then you have to cut back on your grocery spending so you can feed your own children ...
Im so glad for the opportunity for this job. I really need it because we just found out yesterday that my wife has cancer.
Flat Out Flattery
Flattery is used as a substitute for logic. The flattery flows, and the claim is made, and it must be true because pleasant emotions have been aroused by the previous flattery.
That new car of yours is truly a classic beauty! Ill look for you at my meeting tonight.
This is the most delicious meal Ive ever eaten! Those crazy Christians simply dont understand the value of abortion choice to women.
Newer Is Better?
The newness of a thing is used as a substitute for logic. New makes it better, even if its a lot worse.
The new morality with its sexual freedom is certainly better than that old Bible morality stuff.
This is the latest cutting edge computer with the new computer chip that just came out. Because its new, its a whole lot better than the old chip.
Authority Of Others Words
The newspaper said ... They said in the TV ad ... My doctor told me ... The surgeon mentioned that ... These words, and similar quotes of alleged authorities are used to support your viewpoint and invalidate the other persons statement.
Since you were born youve been taught not to contend with your elders and those in positions of authority. After all, they are experts, arent they? One definition of an expert is anybody from 50 miles out of town. Think about it ... what really makes another person an authority? Especially when so many authorities disagree with each other on any given subject.
Your authority is no more authoritative than my authority. Its just a silly semantical phrase that means absolutely nothing.
But we continue to fall for it over and over again ... quickly accepting another persons point of view because they quote a world-wide recognized authority.
Everybody Likes It!
Approval by popularity is used as a substitute for logic.
The right of the police to stop a person and search them and/or their homes without a search warrant has disturbed some people. But to fight the terrorists law enforcement needs that freedom to search on demand. Ive heard from thousands of people who agree with this policy so its obvious law enforcement has your approval.
The new vulgarity and obscenity on TV has been researched by opinion polls and results indicate that over 87% of those polled agree that its necessary to insure we all have freedom of speech to express ourselves. Your approval of this vulgarity and obscenity on the airwaves is a good thing because it gives writers and actors creative license to express a wider range of emotions in portraying real life situations.
Sure, we have some rules here that could be interpreted as sexist. But most all the members agree than its necessary to assure quality input from more responsible members and not get off base. Since the majority approves, the rules are OK.
Are You Sure We Only Have Two Choices In This Matter?
A horrible situation is described and then two, only two solutions presented. One is bizarre and totally unacceptable and the other one is the only one that will work. Of course, the workable one is the one the presenter wants you to choose. If we raise taxes, the people will go bankrupt. Or how about, If we dont raise taxes, the country will go bankrupt. Surely, there are other choices somewhere in between those two extremes.
This is based upon a factual political statement: We either love each other, or die. This artificial, or false dilemma is always presented as a case of either/or, instead of both/and. But it raises powerful emotions and is very manipulative.
Sweet Appeal Of Secrets
Another ploy is those secret things ... secret societies, spiritual secrets, secret rituals, secret foods, secret ingredients, secret pass words, etc. We all want to have exclusive information, dont we? Secrets give us power and prestige ... we think. None of us wants to miss out on the secret things of God that He apparently forgot to put in the Bible for us to know. There are many, many people today who feel they have been called by God to supply that missing secret Godly information to the rest of us. And, of course, once we learn the secret whatever it is, then we must be very careful not to reveal that secret except to those special people, whatever that is.
Hey, check it out first! Before you spend your money, or commit yourself to some person, place or organization, get the facts out in the open for you to see! You know what happens when you shine a light in a dark place, dont you? Then do it and all that emotional appeal of being part of a secret thing will evaporate into the nothingness that it is.
Instead of logic, ridicule is used.
That guy for President? What a joke!
He wants to increase taxes to pay off the national debt? Thats really stupid!
Take away my right to own a gun? Thats laughable, isnt it?
You want to grant an across the board salary increase for everybody? You must be out of your mind!
Thats What I Want To Hear!
Youve heard the presentation and what they have to say and its very appealing and just what you wanted to hear. Your mind is made up and you have fallen prey to the old Dont confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up routine. Whats the opposing point of view? What do all parties have to say about it?
Whatever the subject or issue, when we hear what we like, our emotions are involved and we cease to seek out the truth. Youve been manipulated again!
Ill Fix You Out Of Spite
Revenge, or spite, is the deciding factor, not logic.
Hed make a good union leader because his ideas on getting and keeping benefits are good ones. So Im going to vote for him.
Dont you remember how he talked against your being a leader two years ago?
Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Youre right ... Im not going to vote for him.
She may be the best one for the job, but I remember how she put me down in front of my family three summers ago. So I wont be voting for her.
It has the best features, performance and price. But look where its made ... I remember when we were on opposite sides. So Ill get this other one instead.
It Can Get Pretty Slick ...
If the President cant solve the deficit problem the stock market will crash. If you watch the news on TV you know the stock market continues to drop. So the President cant solve the deficit problem in time to prevent the stock market from crashing.
Some facts are stated or inferred. There is a deficit problem. The stock market has dropped steadily in the past. (Mostly it yo-yos up and down as of this writing). Does a deficit problem and a dropping or bouncing yo-yo stock market have anything to do with whether the President solves the deficit problem? And who determined the time table by comparing the Presidents actions with a possible stock market crash?
But ... it goes on all the time doesnt time? And your emotions drop and/or yo-yo up and down in timing with the stock market, doesnt it?
The Bogey Man Will Get You!
Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of loss. You run across it all the time. If you dont do this, or dont do that, then this bad thing will happen to you and your family. Fear is a very powerful emotion and once aroused will prevent you from thinking about the thing logically. Watch out for this one! There are realistic things to fear in this life and we have to learn to separate those fearful things that are presented to us to manipulate and intimidate us from those things that are legitimate to fear.
Another Battle With An Imaginary Person
A straw man argument is a biased and unfair characterization of another persons argument based upon the weakest and most negative emotional aspect of their presentation. The opponent then carries it to an extreme, usually with unfair comparisons to an actual undesirable person or cause. In other words, make the other guys argument look really, really stupid so you can easily destroy it.
It works. If youre not following the action, youll be convinced the opposition is way off and wrong in what they say.
People who favor gun control also want to disarm the police and National Guard.
We need the military draft. People dont want to go into the Army because its inconvenient. But there are more important things than convenience.
Sliding Away Into Ignorant Babble
If this happens, then this and this and this and this and this and this and this will happen. And then well have this awful state of things to contend with. This is known as the slippery slope.
You cant give anybody a break. When you do, they walk all over you.
You cant ban pornography. When you ban one form of literature, it wont stop. It will lead to them burning all the books!
Dont ever gamble! Its hard to stop. Youll begin to spend all your money on gambling, and then turn to crime to support your gambling habit. Youll get caught and spend the rest of your life in prison.
Laws prohibiting handgun possession are the first step toward robbing us of every one of our civil liberties!
That No Good So And So ...
When you cant attack the message because there is nothing to attack, then simply attack the messenger! Discredit them for something personal in their lives and you effectively squash their factual presentation because you have aroused the emotions of those who believe what you say against the person. When you can abuse and ridicule the person, and arouse emotional support because of something in their life, whether true or false, you effectively stop people from thinking clearly and logically.
The theory of evolution is badly flawed as Ive explained from the scientific evidence for the past two hours.
You have to say that because youre a Christian. Since your belief about creation comes from the Bible, your scientific evidence is based on what the Bible says and I cant believe what you say.
Well, Look Who You Associate With!
Lets call this one by what its classically know as: guilt by association. Yeah, thats what the Jehovah Witnesses teach, You sound just like that murderer I saw on the TV, or how about That reminds me so much of what my scoundrel ex-husband used to say. Get those emotions aroused and logic flies out the window, doesnt it?
You Do It, Too!
Well, why shouldnt I? You do it all the time! Ive heard you say the same thing. Why are you so hypocritical? Youll hear your kids use those a lot. And others who are emotionally bonded to each other. Get that anger aroused and promote a defensive attitude! Forget logical and rational thinking. Manipulate! Intimidate! Control!
They Do It, Too!
Everybody is doing it! This type of get on the bandwagon, thinking is responsible for many assumptions that something is right and therefore OK. Kids use it, politicians use it, religions use it, ethnic groups use it, cults use it and sellers of every commodity, service and promoters of false propaganda use it. After all, everybody accepts it as a given in todays society, therefore its logical for you to do it, too.
Somehow, we have learned absolutely nothing from history, especially that the majority is always wrong. So this need to belong is presented as some type of logic that the questionable thing is approved, appreciated, accepted and recognized by the majority of persons in society as being a good thing, regardless of how degrading, disgusting and depraved it is to any normal, intelligent, logical, thinking person.
It happens all the time in personal relationships also:
I really like country music.
That stuff is for red necks, hillbillies and uneducated people. Do you ever listen to the lyrics? Classical music is the only way to go for intelligent people.
Yeah, well, I really dont like it that much. Classical music is the only way to go.
A Sacred Cow Produces ... Well, Manure!
You mean to tell me that after all these centuries the Pope is not Gods authorized agent for humanity? What do you mean, purgatory is not in the Bible? Thats really dumb to say the King James Version of the Bible isnt Gods anointed version!
The heart pounds in anger, blood rushes through your body, the stomach knots up as it prepares itself for fight or flight ... this is the reaction from touching another persons Sacred Cow. A tremendous amount of white hot anger is the result, not light. Calm, cool and collected thoughts of Well, lets research the Bible, with study aids and Greek and Hebrew dictionaries and see what it really says, are as distant as the other planets in outer space.
No arguments or discussion allowed. Just Im right and youre wrong, prevails on both sides. So who really loses?
Authority In Tradition, Huh?
But, weve always done it that way. If it aint broke, dont fix it! Weve never done that! Why should we change that? On and on, attempting to freeze and project past decisions and precedents into the present and future. Never mind looking at the new circumstances, changed situations and environmental influences that now surround us ... thinking has been solidified by what happened way back then. Emotions boil over in defending your right not to change something. Again, who loses?
There is authority in tradition only if the majority accept it as being beneficial, utilitarian, valuable and desirable. Even then it may be very limited in its scope within any given society.
Two Wrongs Make A Right!
Well, since you cant prove that its wrong, then it must be right. Say what? This ties in with several of the previous emotional numbing and dumbing tactics. The losses increase ...
The Part Explains The WholeNo, Wait, The Whole Explains The PartNo, Wait ...
If we get rid of controlling leaders in our church then thatll solve all of our problems. Or If we change the way we do church, then we wont have controlling leaders.
According to this way of thinking, if I put new spark plugs in my car, then Ill get a better ride and better tire wear. Or if I put new tires on my car then the ignition will work better. One line of thought focuses on how some small part affects the whole and the other focuses on how the whole affects some small part. Neither view reflects a broad overview of the whole and its parts or vice versa. Fuzzy thinking which is emotionally appealing, but ultimately manipulative and controlling.
Circumstances Are Invalid?
Look at that homeless bum. Hes got nobody to blame but himself. After all he had the same opportunities that Ive had. And you agreed with that statement!
But ... the person who made the statement was born into a rich white family, had the best of everything all his life, his parents paid for his college education and he now owns the family business. The homeless man is not white, and was born into a poor family who are immigrants from a third world country who were discriminated against in every way possible by people like the rich white dude. He is homeless because he has spent his money attempting to learn a trade in a vocational school so he can support himself and his poverty-stricken family. Yet you would judge, condemn and criticize him from the depth of your emotional pride by agreeing with the rich dude!
Whats the logic in that?
Unconnected Cause And Effect
Perhaps the best example of another false rationale was made by a public figure who was recently asked on television why he had taken sexual advantage of a young lady while executing the duties of his public office. His answer: Because I could.
Thats like a little kid making an unauthorized raid on the cookie jar and getting caught and then telling his mother the reason he took the cookies was Because they were there, mom. How about a criminal caught and apprehended and offering as an excuse, Well, I was abused by a policeman when I was younger.
All this sounds ridiculous, but we all, at one time or another, give excuses or reasons for having done something wrong that has nothing to do with the act. We hear that stuff and because of various emotional reactions, simply nod our head in agreement!
How about getting a chain letter that says something bad will happen if you dont make a zillion copies and send them to everybody in the world? Did you do it? Did something bad happen when you didnt? Did you attribute something good that happened or something bad that happened to sending or not sending out the required zillion copies? What makes you think the one had anything to do with the other? Isnt that the same as a lucky tie, or rabbits foot, or shoes? Isnt that superstition based on emotional conditioning? How about your 100-fold return for religiously giving when solicited? Uh, oh ... Im into Sacred Cow territory ... here comes the manure! Which leads us into ...
It May Be True For You, But Its Not True For Me
Yes, you agree, these people are simply being superstitious. However, you say, I am a person of great faith and know that I will receive my 100-fold blessing because the visiting evangelist said so [read: an authority from 50 miles out of town]. So while this statement is true of them, it is not true of me.
This is a case of substituting subjectivity for objective truth.
Well, my faith is subjective so I cant be lumped in with those who are superstitious.
Hey, you just did it again! If your faith isnt based on the objective truth of the Bible, then your faith is simple superstition, isnt it?
Like I said, here comes the manure ...
Lets shovel on outa here ...
The Butler Did It!
False cause is another classic term for assigning culpability for something to some event or events that are, in fact, not connected to the effect at all. A man was recently acquitted of fondling a young girl. It was demonstrated that the costume he was wearing at the time prohibited the free movement necessary to do so. Was the girl touched? Maybe. Was the person accused the cause of it? A jury decided he wasnt, even if it did happen. Maybe part of the costume accidentally touched her ... who knows?
Examples of this false cause tactic abound on the internet, especially in the urban legend area. Mindless e-mails circulate, falsely warning that anti-perspirants cause breast cancer, that bananas are infected with necrotizing fasciltis (flesh-eating bananas!), that shampoo causes cancer, that getting sun screen in your eyes causes blindness, and etc.
Im late because my alarm clock didnt go off. Not all false cause incidents are deliberate lies as some are simply faulty logical thinking, illogically connecting some cause with some effect. Either way, they are damaging when a person accepts it as fact.
Super-Exaggerated Cause And Effect
We go to extremes in our fuzzy headed thinking. A little boy draws a picture of a gun in class and is expelled because the claim is made that he threatened his classmates with it. Similarly, pointing your fingers at others and saying Bang puts you in the category of a terrorist. Say something that can be construed as being a remark against sexual deviates or members of ethnic groups and youll get arrested. All zero tolerance policies take a simple basic thought and enforce it to an extreme. You quit attending church and you are labeled as a backslider, an apostate, a sinner and worse. Have a single cocktail at a public place and you are reported as being a drunkard. The list goes on and on. Facts are reconstructed in such a manner as to assign some type of culpability and then the severe limits of that made up culpability are exhausted in attempts to discredit another. There is more than one powerful emotion involved in this ridiculous scenario.
I Cant Wait To Make Up My Mind!
We have a bad experience with a particular brand or make of car, or a waiter or waitress in a restaurant, or a dentist, or some particular brand of food and we then paint all such categories as bad. We have had one experience out of the possibilities of a multitude of such experiences, by ourselves and by others, and come to a hasty conclusion that they must all be bad. And so, because our emotions have been aroused, we deny ourselves, and sometimes others, the opportunity to explore and experience for themselves the validity of what you have said.
Its True Because ... Well, Just Because Its True.
Circular reasoning are instances of attempting to prove something stated as a premise, i.e., it assumes what it tries to prove.
He is the best candidate for president, because he is better than any of the others.
Hes the best actor for the role because they wouldnt consider somebody whos not the best!
I know what he says is true because hes already said that he doesnt lie.
Homework is boring because its such a drag.
If it was against the law, there would be a law against it.
Figures lie and liars figure, pretty well sums up the fallacy of believing statistics that have been interpreted to prove a particular viewpoint. Variations on this theme are as numerous as the figures used to fool you.
In that same arena are polls and statistics from polls. Biased questions designed to support a particular viewpoint by deception and manipulation of the statistics result in manipulation and emotional arousal by those perpetuating this fraudulent device.
A member-wide poll of the National Rifle Association indicates that 98% responded by saying they were against gun control. Researchers have concluded that the majority of all Americans are against gun control.
A poll of sun bathers in Florida and California indicates that 68% of them have suffered severe sunburn. We can conclude that well over half of all Americans will suffer severe sunburn at some time in their lives.
Red Herring Stink
Another favorite technique used by the manipulators and controllers is to simply divert your attention from one issue to another issue of equal or greater emotional content. This is a favorite of governments to create a desired effect among the citizenry. It goes far beyond what could be considered as propaganda, incorporating sophisticated methods of outright lies. Because we are emotional beings, dissemination of such false information eclipses our rational thinking, leaving us prey to those who continue to generate lies.
Young men and women today need to have a college education. If theyre not healthy enough to study at college, then they need a good physical fitness program. If youre not healthy enough to enjoy life, then life is meaningless. We need to help these young people lead a healthy lifestyle and put more meaning into their lives. I have a plan that will put health and meaning back into young peoples lives.
Popular Sayings That Lose Their Meanings
Common sayings and buzzwords are another source of faulty thinking. Pro-choice is much used. However, it really boils down to a woman making a choice of whether or not to have sex (if she has control of the situation) with the attendant consequences of possible pregnancy. Its not a choice of whether to have an abortion after she (and her partner) have failed to take pregnancy preventative steps. Pro-life is rather meaningless as it fails to encompass the totality of all spectrums of human life, not just the birth of an individual.
Other Sly Stuff
Other devious methods of controlling our emotions and consequently us, are the doublespeak terms, i.e., strategic withdrawal, (retreat), body bags (instant and portable coffins), revenue enhancement, (more taxes) and etc. And the infamous politically correct rules, which is simply a type of involuntary societal censorship imposed on each and every individual. These are particularly well-honed by governments and continue to take away personal freedom and force its citizens to conform to an illogical, immoral and unethical set of artificial values.
There are many other devices used to influence the way you think, some of which are a lot uglier than just words. Here, Ive touched on some of the phrasings used to provoke your emotions to a response desired by the person using the word phrases. Theyre called logical fallacies. I am simply attempting to establish that, yes, words alone, when skillfully used, will change your thinking. And will keep it changed.
Truth And Lies
I said in the book Growth In Goodness that facts exist independently of opinion, conjecture and theory. They represent the state of things in physical and spiritual reality. To experience truth we must agree with the facts of physical and spiritual reality without distortion or misrepresentation.
To speak the truth is to speak reality. There are very few of us who are aware of the totality of all of reality (myself included). Instead we speak opinions which are a mixture of some truth and some understanding we have from subjective experiences from ourselves and also from others.
But when we know the truth of something, even if we are limited in that understanding, and speak out what we know is not the truth, then we are lying about it. Unfortunately, we know from history that any lie repeated long enough will come to be believed. That presents a tremendous problem for any human because then we are unreasonably expecting a lie to become the truth of reality.
Millions upon millions today are in the position of unreasonably expecting a lie to become the truth of reality. This is particularly true of many in the institutional churches who because of biblical illiteracy have no concept of the difference between physical and spiritual reality. They have been taught that its their responsibility to take Gods place as ruler of the universe and all that physically and spiritually exists. The idea of being little gods with the power of the true and living God Himself has significantly altered their ability to discern the spiritual truth of the exclusive attributes of God and His Christ. As the body of Christ, we will become the bride of Christ only when we have done the very best we can as disciples of Jesus. Focusing on anything else other than Jesus leaves us spiritually destitute and devoid of those attributes that our God and Creator expects of us in order for us to be the bride of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Why are these many millions placing their hope of glory in other than Jesus Christ? That is probably the greatest logical fallacy ever practiced by mankind.
Another logical fallacy is the contemporary interpretation of the legal precedent in our society that says that a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Now, failure to prove a person guilty of a crime has come to mean that they are innocent of the crime. This amounts to a lie attempting to become the reality of truth.
This attempt to make a lie become the reality of truth has infused and pervades the moral fabric of our society today. This perversion of the truth incorporates every one of the above mentioned psychological devices to keep you vulnerable and susceptible to the manipulative and intimidating tactics, tricks and techniques used to control everything you think, say and do.
I said earlier When choices and decisions are unknowingly made based on our internal emotional response to particular words instead of clear logical thinking we have been manipulated.
Every time we use the word church we are communicating the wrong meaning, actually a lie, to those we communicate with.
The word church paints a picture in our mind of a public gathering of people in a building specifically designated for that purpose, that performs special rites, ceremonies, practices and procedures. The building is also associated with a particular name which indicates previously publicized core values, principal of which is a corresponding authoritarian hierarchy, strong in control but weak in accountability. Those affiliated with a particular church accept and practice particular religious beliefs that are taught by those at the top of the authoritarian hierarchy.
Identifying marks of any particular church are:
(1) the name published by the organization to identify themselves,
(2) the building, or other place of meeting,
(3) the people who meet there,
(4) the rites, ceremonies, practices and procedures the people participate in, usually assigned the term church service,
(5) the stated or unstated core spiritual and lifestyle values
(6) the controlling, but virtually unaccountable, authoritarian hierarchy the people there voluntarily submit themselves to, and
(7) the religious beliefs taught by the ruling hierarchy and accepted by the people who gather there.
When you ask a person, Where do you go to church? their reply indicates to you where they meet, the type or class of people who meet there, what their church service consists of, what their spiritual and lifestyle beliefs are, what type of authoritarian hierarchy they submit themselves to, and the specific religious beliefs they accept from those at the top of the hierarchy.
It paints a picture in your mind, doesnt it?
Sometimes the name of the church may be unrecognized by those who ask the question. Then comes the second question, What type of church is that? or variations such as Are you Pentecostal or charismatic? Isnt that a Catholic church? What do you teach there? ... and etc. The idea is to be able to pin down to a specific answer that allows the questioner to assign their personal, mostly unstated, judgment, criticism or condemnation of the other persons church. From that brief and pointed exchange of information a decision can be quickly made as to whether or not a person will accept the other person as a fellow believer. In other words it makes or breaks what is laughingly called fellowship, but is really only superficial socializing.
Within the institutional church today all of these manipulative and intimidating devices discussed above are used to continue to reinforce the very concept of church itself.
How To Get Rid Of A Religious Spirit
The point I want to make here is that because of our emotional vulnerability and illogical response to the words of others, that we continue to subject ourselves to the controlling devices of clever others.
We must eliminate the word church from our vocabulary. We must stop using it and when we do we will stop perpetuating the humanly devised institutional church organization which is responsible for so much pain in the lives of all who are, or have been, a part of it. And we will cease communicating a lie to others about what the true ekklesia of God really and truly is.
Its only by eliminating the word church that we will cease to create that picture in our mind of preconceived ideas of:
(1) an organization people identify themselves with based on its name,
(2) a building, or other place of meeting,
(3) the people who meet there,
(4) the rites, ceremonies, practices and procedures the people participate in, usually assigned the term church service,
(5) the stated or unstated core spiritual and lifestyle values
(6) the controlling, but virtually unaccountable, authoritarian hierarchy those individuals voluntarily submit themselves to, and
(7) the religious beliefs taught by the ruling hierarchy and accepted by the people who gather there.
I suggest we begin to use the word ekklesia, because thats the Greek word for a called out assembly of the disciples of Jesus Christ.
A biblical ekklesia consists of Christian families who are disciples of Jesus Christ, i.e., they are learners, followers, supporters and imitators of Him in thought, word and deed. These Christian families meet together as led by the Holy Spirit of God and they meet together as a family. They meet together to minister [read: render public service, freely given] to one another. They fellowship in the true biblical sense of the word by sharing with one another, socializing with one another and by supporting those among them who are in need. There are elders among them who function as shepherds/bishops/pastors/overseers (they are all one and the same) because the people of that ekklesia have been shown by the Holy Spirit that they have the maturity and experience to be such and to teach them. The fatherless, widows, strangers among them and the true spiritual Levites are supported by the ekklesia. They are united around the truth of Gods word, love each other with a love that reproduces in the likeness and image of Jesus Christ, and fellowship by sharing, socializing and supporting. As the Holy Spirit leads, they will raise up from among themselves those whom God would send (apostles), those who speak the mind and council of God (prophets), those who proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ (evangelists), all of whom are teachers of Gods word. (The elders are also teachers). This ekklesia is one of many such ekklesias and in their corporate totality they will achieve Gods eternal purpose of bringing all things together in one, in Jesus Christ, by displaying the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:9,10; 3:9-11).
Compare that biblical picture of an ekklesia of Jesus Christ with the circus, entertainment, single star mentality that you find in your institutional church. Ekklesia is Christian families meeting as a Christian family. It is not the circus atmosphere of the institutional church.
Get rid of the word church. Its a caricature and a parody and a gross counterfeit of what a true ekklesia is. Please try for a week. One week. Every time you go to use the word church dont use it and instead say, think or write ekklesia. I guarantee you that in less than a week you will see where the word church simply does not fit when compared to a called out assembly of the disciples of Jesus Christ.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to communicate the truth of His gospel. Included in that truth is a word picture of the biblical meaning of what the ekklesia of Christ really is. We can do that most effectively by avoiding those words that convey a meaning about the assembly of the called out ones who are disciples of Jesus Christ that Christ never intended.
You will see the difference in your own emotional response which affects your thinking when you stop using the word church and substitute ekklesia and/or the assembly of the called out ones who are disciples of Jesus Christ.
As Nike says, Just Do It! You will be pleasantly surprised when you do. Selah ...