I spoke to my good friend and wordsmith, Nigel Partis, a couple of weekends ago. We don’t often get the opportunity to talk at length these days for one reason or another but, whenever we do, it is always thought provoking if not inspirational.
Nigel (aka, Nick) is a former soldier and bodyguard cum criminal turned hippie who got powerfully saved in the late 1970s. Among his more positive talents and spiritual gifts he is also a capable builder and author, the former complementing the latter in his use of vocabulary, grammar and improvisation in constructive language which is able to recount his ideas, observations and experiences in a uniquely powerful and straightforward way.
Words are his bricks and grammar, the mortar which he lays on the sure foundation of his testimony of Jesus Christ, in both spoken and written form. As a good builder, he periodically reviews his stock and usage of such raw material.
For example, some time ago, he told me that he had stopped using the words “gay” and “homosexual”, preferring instead the more correct Biblical word, “sodomite”. I could quite see the point to his abandonment of the corruption of a good English word, meaning colourful, happy, exuberant, etc., as well as the more clinical latinesque label of “orientation” which is more descriptive of a level ground option than of the perversion that it actually is. Moreover, his preferred choice of word makes no bones about its history and destructive nature. (On that subject I would add, remembering Leonard Ravenhill’s book “Sodom Had No Bible”, that someone appears to have rewritten it one, of sorts, these days!)
Getting to the point of this post, during my most recent conversation with Nigel he told me that he had recently coined the words “Christophobia”, “Christophobic” and “Christophobe” in view of the increasingly intolerant attitudes and actions being leveled and perpetrated against Christians throughout the world these days. It’s a clever way to hoist nu-speak with its own petard and a great deal more truthfully, all things considered. After all, the correct meaning of phobia is of a completely irrational fear is it not? What’s to fear about being reconciled to your creator or those who advocate it?
I tried it out the other day on a guy who challenged me to prove God to him. I’d describe him more as a skeptic than an out and out antitheist. It was a bit of a clumsy challenge which had short circuited the thread of our conversation, mainly because he knows where I’m coming from, so I replied, “Are you a Christophobe? I’ve got my proof. You get your own. He can be found by those who seek Him wholeheartedly if you’re really interested.” To his credit, the guy put a “like” to it which was encouraging, bless him!
I also saw an example of Nigel’s soldiering skill in his improvisation of these words. It reminded me of seizing an enemy’s own weapons and using them against him better than he could use them himself.
It has been said that all’s fair in love and war. This may be especially true when the one involves the other.