Frozen Chosen

The Christianese term frozen chosen is one of those interesting expressions that has a few different meanings. Some slang terms are just so fun to say that they catch on in several quarters of the wide world that is the Christian church. Frozen chosen has a vivid mental image (frozen!), and it uses the Bible word “chosen” (think: God’s chosen people). There’s a lot to love in this slang term.  Primarily, the term refers to those Christians who are more reserved in their religious life. The stereotypical frozen chosen are the folks in the Presbyterian and the Episcopalian denominations, though really the members of any church (in any denomination) can be labeled as “frozen.” It just has to do with how stiff and reserved they are.  It can refer to a low amount of emotion or joy in life or simply more liturgical and formal styles of worship.  From an outside lens,  Christians who seem glum and torpid, despite the fact that they presumably have “the joy of the Lord in their heart” can be an oxymoron.  A slightly more disparaging use of the term is when charismatic Christians use it to poke gentle fun at Christians who aren’t as enthusiastic about the use of their spiritual gifts. It’s easy to find charismatics who will climb over pews to lay hands on you for prayers for healing, or who will get down on their knees, sometimes in tears, to pray for the power of God to manifest itself in people’s lives. When you compare that kind of vigorous praying and worship, then I suppose by comparison some of the other denominations would seem a bit frozen. Probably some charismatics wish that Christians who aren’t as keen on the spiritual gifts would thaw out a little and get “on fire” for the Lord!  As we adopt “Unfrozen” as our Advent theme this year, we will focus on the thawing of humanity’s heart at the arrival of the Christ child. 

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