Neologisms for Neoevangelicals
SOLA CAMOUFLAGA [(soh'-luh) (kam-uh-flahzh'-uh)]
[(1685–95; < Italian, Latin sōlus alone) (Camouflage: from French, from camoufler, from Italian camuffare to disguise, deceive, of uncertain origin)]
1. The multifarious recitation of the phrase Sola Scriptura (Latin: “only scripture”) by religious leaders, priests, pastors, ministers, speakers, teachers or professors as a shibboleth for gaining access into and acceptance by the evangelical subculture. This recitation of “Sola Scripture” by the religious elites serves to disarm mainstream evangelicals into believing that all their teachings reside in harmony with and in fidelity to the Protestant Bible when in fact, upon closer scrutiny, they do not (See Galatians 2:4.).
2. Uttering the Reformation saying (e.g., Sola Scriptura) to camouflage heretical teachings (i.e., human opinions) which in fact, deny, degrade and/or distort biblical truth. Uttering this “catch phrase” by an elite cadre of leaders-teachers becomes a crafty stratagem by which unsuspecting and otherwise naïve listeners and readers will accept anything they say to be biblical when in fact it might not be.
3. Employing the mantra Sola Scripture in order to get away with hiding, concealing, masking and obfuscating what would otherwise be plain biblical truth.
4. Like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, religious teachers employ the shibboleth Sola Scriptura as a password to gain acceptance by and become “a mover and shaker” in what has become the cultural Christianity known as contemporary evangelicalism. Other calling cards include one’s scholarly credentials, congregation size, elitist teaching and/or spiritual reputation, esteemed friends and strategic network alliances. Bible teachers employ Sola Scripture to embellish their “authority” so as to make themselves appear in the best possible light so as to limit questions and mute debate with those who might dare to doubt or challenge their self-confessed adherence to the Bible. The Sola Scripture cover can give the illusion that everything the “Bible teacher” teaches is biblical.
5. Under the banner of Sola Scriptura, teachers rely upon flattery (See Jude 16b.), fancy rhetoric (See 2 Peter 2:18.), a non-judgmental message of “prosperity and peace” (See Jeremiah 14:13-14.), techniques such as bluff and bluster, prophetic pronouncements, confident assertions (See 1 Timothy 1:6-7.), naming-riches-and-claiming-riches (Contra 1 Timothy 6:6-10), heavenly decrees (i.e., “I declare!”), reviling the devil (See Jude 8-9.), threats and name-calling, bombastic pontifications—and even self-affected and feigned meekness—in order to dissuade their disciples, followers, customers, etc., from looking deeper into the subject matter which inquiry might lead to the discovery of “the ruse.” Such aforementioned tactics, and more, are designed to discredit and marginalize any discerners who might question whether these false teachers are in submission and adhering to biblical truth.
6. By uttering the buzzword Sola Scriptura and using props that present them to be spiritual and prophet-like (See Zechariah 13:4.)—such as parading about in ostentatious clothing that includes clerical collars and the “bling” of religious jewelry—these teachers conceal or disguise the presence of unbiblical beliefs and behaviors that detract from genuine Christian living.
7. Attempting to escape the notice of critics, cynics, skeptics, Bereans (See Acts 17:11.), truth-seekers, and other close observers by employing cryptic language, fluxing formats, humanitarian causes, coded commentary, contradictory statements, esoteric sources, extra-canonical texts, shrouded evidence, hyped-up ministry crises, prophecy mongering, and so on, to confuse and confute their devoted followers.
With special thanks to Pastor Anton Bosch for giving us permission (Pastor Larry Bruyn and Sarah Leslie) to turn the thoughts gleaned from his previous article "Sola Camouflage" into a satire for this ongoing "NEOLOGISMS for Evangelicals" series.
Mike Baldwin cartoon used with permission, www.CartoonStock.com
2. A peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons; a slogan; catchword. From the Hebrew shibbōleth literally, freshet, a word used by the Gileadites as a test to detect the fleeing Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the sound sh (Judges 12:4–6). http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shibboleth?s=t
Previously Herescope has published a series of satires about the postmodern reinventions of Sola Scriptura titled NEOLOGISMS for Evangelicals:
- SOLA EXPERIENTIA
- PLURA SCRIPTURA
- CODA SCRIPTURA
- RHEMA SCRIPTURA
- IMPRESSIA SCRIPTURA
- SOLA MYSTICA
- MANTRA SCRIPTURA
- MYSTICA SCRIPTURA
- METAPHORA SCRIPTURA
- INCLUSIVA SCRIPTURA
- NEBULA SCRIPTURA