Indiana Pastor: ‘Saved’ Should Be Removed From Church Vocabulary?’

He also doesn’t care for the term, ‘born-again’. 

An Indiana megachurch pastor says he is annoyed at the word “saved,” especially when used among Christians to describe someone that has made a commitment to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives.

In one of his recent blog posts, Granger Community Church’s executive pastor, Tim Stevens, asked readers, “Does the Word ‘Saved’ Bother Anyone Else?” Stevens told The Christian Post that he also has a problem with the phrase “born again.” “I have similar hesitations with ‘born again’ probably because it’s also an insider term,” Stevens said….“I’ve recently noticed that I’m becoming more annoyed by the word ‘saved’ than ever before. (more at CPost)

I don’t know about you but born-again is the only terminology which comes close to what happened to me on November 2nd in 1980. That morning I was truly saved from a horrible life of sin and wonderfully BORN-AGAIN! 

Sadly this pastor cannot understand the significance (and power) of those terms because he apparently has never experienced them personally…    

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” – John 3:1-7)

 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” – 1st Timothy 1:15

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” – 1st Peter 1:23

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38 


14 comments on “Indiana Pastor: ‘Saved’ Should Be Removed From Church Vocabulary?’

  1. I agree. This Pastor has not experienced conversion, else the terms that define conversion would not be offensive to him.

  2. I think it comes from the fact that being a Christian is not a religious system of things to do, it is not an in-out group type of system. It is an ONTOLOGICAL reality (hence BEING BORN-AGAIN). The Pastor is whacking away at strawmen that other lost thinkers erect.

    As Jesus said, He is the Root and you are the branch. It is not a waver to sign or a club to join. You have to be, in reality, woven into the branch. I wouldn’t go so far to say the ‘pastor’ is lost but I’d definitely say he is having a delusion over his true identity.

  3. Seems to me that this Pastor is ‘walking in wisdom to them who are without’ Colossians 4:5 Reading the whole of the article, in its entirety, he is very agreeable and supportive of these words used between believers who know the meaning. Unsaved folk mostly have no idea what we are talking about, or what the terminology really means. The things of the Bible are foolish to them as they need to be spiritually discerned – 1 Corinthians 2:14
    Why make it harder for them, they have enough hurdles to get through before they get ‘saved’.

  4. A lot of people get bothered by the term “saved” because it implies that others are “lost”. Making other people feel “left out” is not religiously correct these days. As for “born again”, it seems to be out of fashion currently. For a while everybody was using the term “born again”, even many who obviously weren’t. Now, it too is considered to be an expression of inappropriate elitism. But, of course, both of these terms are rooted firmly in the vocabulary of the scriptures and of the historical church. One cannot experience new life in Christ without being “born again”, no matter how much the world might be offended by that term. And the world IS offended, because Christ Himself is an offense to everything the world represents. I was saved in the beginning of time, because that is when God chose me. I was saved when I came to Him, because that is when I acknowledged His dominion over me. I am being saved day by day, because He is bringing me ever closer to Him. I will be saved in the last day, because He has prepared a place for me. There is simply no way to experience salvation in Christ without being “saved” no matter how much that offends the world, and it does offend the world for the same reasons as being “born again” does. MANY churches have an agenda that would strip the church of EVERYTHING offensive and the end of this process is that Christ Himself has to go and His replacement, of course, will be a fake Jesus along with a fake gospel. There are, of course, a lot of churches that have already achieved that, and they simply do not offer salvation, but they do offer “peace” with the world.

  5. Ummmm … yeah. When you start saying that what Jesus says bothers you, maybe you should rethink your career choice as a pastor.

    It’s apparently a bad match.

  6. Jesus did not come to bring peace but rather a sword. When truth enters then division arises. Jesus is the Truth. This ‘pastor’ is an indication of the times. Judgement has begun,,,in the house of the Lord.

  7. This actually grieved me.

    Over the years there have been a number of terms/words which once set us apart from the kingdom of this world. Today they are no longer used (or only used/heard rarely) because they ‘may’ offend. The Blood and The Cross are two of those terms.

    Saved and/or Born-again (both biblical) appear to be the next term(s) we are being conditioned to become ashamed of using. 😦

    We should want to shout it to the lost world folks…

    Im BORN AGAIN, my sins have been washed away by the POWER OF THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB OF GOD, which HE shed upon the CROSS at Calvary!


  8. I think that the concern that outsiders “won’t understand” is justified. BUT, the solution is explanation, not self imposed censorship.

    Where does it stop? First, we stop using these “offending” terms in evangelism. Then, we stop using them in the preaching service (because there might be outsiders present). Then we stop using them even privately with other believers because an outsider might overhear. And at some point, we become militant in despising other believers for daring to use these terms. In the end, the Gospel itself is removed from us. If we are not bold enough ourselves to confront unbelievers with the offense of the Gospel, we should be praising God for those who are AND praying for them and those they are reaching out to, that many will come to Christ as a result of that boldness.

    The last thing we should be doing is attempting to shame faithful believers for proclaiming the truth to the lost.

  9. Thank You Jaunita!! Yes! I am BORN AGAIN!! How can we ashamed of such a great gift? Whenever I think about it, I am humbled before the throne of God for His incredible love and sacrifice for me.


    • Hi sister, its so good to hear from you! 🙂 (my computer crashed over a year ago and i had to replace it–all my email addresses were lost).

      Kim im with you, there is no way we should be ashamed or hesitate to tell all who will hear, im born again!

      In the months leading up to that wonderful morning i had watched testimony after testimony from people on a certain early morning tv program, about how they were born again. I looked at and listened to those folks and saw something different about them; something i had never had.

      I had no clue what born again was…but i know looking back, the Holy Spirit used the testimonies of those people to draw me to Christ.

      This pastor s wrong. We should never compromise nor stop telling the lost how Jesus gave us a new life; that we were born again. Its part of our testimony,

      And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

      And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12: 10-11

  10. Reminds me of the pastor in the last church I left behind. He advocated doing something ‘nice’ for somebody – buying them lunch, etc.- “but whatever you do, DON’T say ‘Jesus loves you’ or anything like that. It just turns people off.”

    That was the last straw. Now I understand a quick ‘Jesus loves you’ isn’t the most effective means of leading people to Christ, or even my style, but the alternative is to reach out to people and just let them think it’s because we are such nice, good folk? Just walk away without mention of our motivation for any good work? Don’t mention Jesus or anything that could actually lead them to think about the gospel?

    Sorry, that stinks of ‘ashamed of the gospel.’

    What is wrong with people not knowing what something means? Couldn’t they begin to ask questions BECAUSE they hear something they haven’t heard before – like ‘born again’ or saved’?

    I see no logic in this thinking. Something completely unique to the kingdom of God is very likely to have unique terminology. Why would we want to undue that opportunity for discussion?

  11. The word save is thrown around like a very trivial common cliche by very shallow Christians. I understand what this pastor is talking about but it would not be Christian politically correct to oppose such use of the word – even if used so lightly. for further research on this issue see Paul Washer’s decional regeneration, then you will understand.

    • “The word save is thrown around like a very trivial common cliche by very shallow Christians.”

      AND those who are NOT Christians at all. So that means that we ALL have to stop using it? This reminds me of the hippy days when guys got strange looks in church if they didn’t have their hair trimmed down to the scalp. And then came the gay culture and everything went in the opposite direction. Any guy with a close haircut in chair was somehow suspect. The Word of God is AGELESS and is not to be modified by contemporary trends. People misuse scripture as well. Is that a justification for stopping any citation of the scriptures in discussions or preaching? Are we to be a light to the world … or is the world to be a light to us? If we allow the world to be a light to us, then our light will be darkness.

      “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

      As Ruth in her post above points out, God will give each of us a word of witness to those around us who are waiting to hear the Gospel, and that word will be uniquely us. If the term “saved” is not comfortable to you in a specific situation, I certainly would not judge you for that. But if the Spirit of God speaks the word “saved” through someone else, no amount of trivial use on the part of others is going to detract from its power.

  12. Jesus answered Verily verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God .

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