Ten Antidotes to Christian Cliches

Ten Antidotes to Christian Cliches July 11, 2012

To learn about Christian Piatt’s new project, “A**hole Christian Survival Guide,” and to pre-order your copy, CLICK HERE. The humorous illustrated book will include these and other Christian cliches, games and a lot more. 

This is the final in a four-part series on the overused (and often insensitively employed) phrases that plague the Christian lexicon. Though I felt like I was offering some insight into what to do instead of offering these cliches, some asked for more specificity or clarity. So in that spirit, I thought I’d offer a final list of things to do rather than pop off with these phrases that may mean little or nothing to the recipient, or worse, may cause unintended – but lasting – harm.

Read article one in the series here: Ten Cliches Christians Should Never Use

Read article two in the series here: Ten More Cliches Christians Should Avoid

Read article three in the series here: Nine (Final) Christian Cliches to Avoid

Ten Antidotes to Christian Cliches:

  1. Listen more; talk less. Yes, there were times in the Gospels when Jesus sermonized, but most of the time, he said much less than people expected. He listened first, and when responding to problems or questions, he often left room in his answer for the listener to wrestle with what was said and to arrive at their own understanding. We Christians don’t like to give up such control, though. We want to know that the person gets what we want them to get. But if we’re ever to get past the widely held perception that we’re a bunch of tone-deaf talking heads, we have to be quiet and pay attention more.
  2. Stop trying to fix everything. Christians hate loose ends. We want to end every conversation with everyone smiling and assured that everything will be just fine. But that’s not always reality, and sometimes, what people need is to grieve, wrestle or reflect rather than feel better and move on. Being a Christian is not about having all the answers at the ready, despite what some evangelism training will tell you. People may even ask for answers, but what we’re all looking for, at a deeper level than our search for those answers, is peace. Sometimes that takes time.
  3. See yourself in the “Other.” Somewhere along the way, Christian outreach became more about personal conversion than about empathy and compassion. One of the biggest turn-offs I hear about Christians is that folks see us as trying to make everyone like us. But Jesus himself was moved, affected and – yes -changed by the people he encountered.  And lest we forget: the Greatest Commandment was not to convert people to Christianity. It was love others with all you have an all you are. Part of loving others is actually understanding what they want or need, not just giving them what you think they want or need.
  4. Pray. This one sounds self-evident, but I think it needs to be mentioned. Notice I didn’t say to tell people “I’m praying for you.” I hear from too many people that such a phrase is used passive-aggressively toward them to suggest they’re screwed up and need help. If you really believe prayer works, then just do it. And this doesn’t need to be some pietistic ritual, with knees bent, eyes closed, head bowed and hands clasped. If that helps you feel closer to God, fine, but it’s not a performance. There’s not a right or wrong way to “do” prayer. I think it’s more about noticing, about recognizing the Divine in all of creation and in one another, in noticing the brokenness in the world and responding to that need. This is what it means to make our whole lives a prayer. The Buddhists call it mindfulness. We Christians could use more of that.
  5. Quality over quantity. We have a bad habit of practicing what I call “Air Drop” Christianity. Whether it’s a quick in-and-out mission trip, a door-to-door evangelism or a quick handshake on Sunday morning and then we move on, we have a bad habit of sprinkling ourselves here and there as if our faith is a garnish, rather than at the heart of who we are. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’m sure: INVEST IN PEOPLE. It’s hard work, but it’s the stuff of life when we have the proper perspective.
  6. Share generously of yourself. This doesn’t mean simply sharing a pre-packaged testimonial story you’ve told over and over again, or dropping a few dollars in the offering plate or in a homeless person’s cup. It means taking emotional risk, making ourselves vulnerable to others in ways that we hope they will feel comfortable being open and vulnerable to us. The way we approach people often times in the context of Christian evangelism assumes an inherent imbalance of power, with us on the side of that power. We know the truth, and you dont; we are saved, and you’re not; we are here to rescue you from yourself. But discipleship should be a lifelong and mutual investment. and why should we expect anyone to invest in us or what we believe if we’re not willing first to take a chance with them?
  7. Be open to the possibility that you’re wrong. Anyone who tells me that their faith has not evolved over time into something different than how it started makes me really nervous. for some this may only involve a deepening (or hardening) of existing beliefs, but for others, it is a never-ending process of growth, pruning and adding on. Consider the disciples; were they ever wrong? Did they ever change their understanding of what they believed? Of course. So why do we think we should be any different? Also, being open to the possibility that the person you’re with could actually teach you something honors their wisdom and experience, wherever they are coming from. Christian or not, every person has a unique story, because no one in the history of the world has ever lived that life except for them. Allow yourself to be moved and even changed by those experiences.
  8. Apologize. I have found that sometimes all people really want is a simple apology for the hurt inflicted by other Christians. Sure, you may not have done anything personally to that individual, but if you’re a Christian, you represent the whole of Christianity to that person. It won’t kill you to say “I’m sorry you were pushed away, made to feel like less of a person, judged, condescended to, denied rights in the name of the faith I claim.” Name the wrongdoing, validate the hurt, and then sit back and see what happens. More often than not, in my experience, such apologies are met with tears of relief, embraces, generous forgiveness and, perhaps the best of all, fascinating stories.
  9. Own your love. We Christians love to say things like “God loves you” or “Jesus loves you,” but for someone who isn’t sure what they believe, or who has been deeply hurt by the faith, this may ring very hollow. Instead, why not say “I love you”? Yes, it’s risky, and if you don’t actually mean it, don’t say it. But if you follow the steps above, it’s not hard to find a spark of Christ-like love for the person you’re with. Can’t muster such a personal offering of love? At least try something like “You are loved,” rather than leaving it all to God or Jesus. If we are Jesus’ body in the world today, this includes the heart. If only we were as good as being Christ’s heart to the world as we are at being his mouth!
  10. Make sure your life reflects your faith. One of the words I hear most often in describing Christians is “hypocrite.” There’s a reason for this. One solution to this is to stop making verbal promises your life doesn’t live up to. Another is stepping up our game in daily life. St. Francis famously said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” The fact is, if we’re really living the live we find revealed in the Gospels, there will be little need for words to explain what it is that we believe.
"goodness, some pple shld just learn not to speak at all"

Ten Cliches Christians Should Never Use
"If you want to read more blog like this and other stuff regrading Christianity , ..."

25 Christian Blogs You Should Be ..."
"Thanks for this list if you want to read more blogs on Best christian movies ..."

25 Christian Blogs You Should Be ..."
"In reading this list, I'm almost certain Christian Pratt is a not Christian... well, in ..."

10 Cliches Christians Should Never Use

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Melody

    Thanks for this, Christian. Haters gonna hate, but anyone who’s read Job and Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan knows what it really means to be a good neighbor and friend. This is perfect.

  • This is very sound advice.  If we do the things you outline here, we probably won’t have any of those cliches come out of our mouths, or they will be modified in a way that is compassionate to the person we are talking to.

  • I like most of your advice about avoiding cliches and being real when talking to people.  We need to get past Hallmark Christianity and talk to people as normal people.  I never liked the approach of  evangelism.  Its often a waste of time and the only person it benefits is the doing the evangelizing. 

    However, I don’t agree with your universalist approach that there might be other ways to God than through Jesus Christ. You would have to close your eyes to too many verses and statements made by Jesus and his disciples (but of course you dismiss much of the Bible in your section of what is made “clear in scripture”.  Since ultimately each person becomes the arbiter of what the Bible says or doesn’t say.. . I guess you can say these are unclear as well and  dismiss them as well.   

    I do understand we need to handle-with-care people who may have lost loved ones who clearly never believed or went to church or were of a different religion.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t bring up the subject (Jesus to the woman at the well) at all.  I have seen Muslims brought to faith even though they KNOW they will be disowned (and were) by their families.  We need to be honest with people.  Jesus was VERY HONEST with his followers. He didn’t promise a wonderful life, instead he said they would be hated, families would be split, and some of them would be killed.   Even Jesus had followers LEAVE him when his teaching became to “hard” (eat my flesh and drink my blood)

    Overall … a good article though

    • untied_methodist


      I certainly can’t speak for Christian, but for myself I would say that I don’t believe the Bible is “clear” on many (if not most) subjects, and, other than perhaps the kingdom of God, doesn’t really cover any theological or doctrinal issue exhaustively.  This does not mean either that I “dismiss” any scripture or that I am an (or indeed “the”) “arbiter of what the Bible says or doesn’t say.”  I’m an interpreter, you’re an interpreter, Christian is an interpreter; we are all voices in a chorus striving to sing God’s praise in harmony with one another.

    • Mundiejc

      John –

      I believe Jesus himself says something to the effect of we’ll be surprised who is in and who is out. The oft quoted “many will say lord, lord…. I don’t know you” is kinda pointed at the religious, pious folks, is it not?

      I think we can agree that no one gets to the father except through christ, but that may not necessarily equate to “no one gets to the father unless their doctrine is perfect”. If so, I’d imagine we’re all pretty screwed.

    • What if, in the spirit of Romans 2, 1 John (the whole book), Psalm 19 (famously quoted in Romans 10, yet ignored when using it in the salvation discussion), etc…What if people can be saved “through Jesus” without actually realizing it was Him until they die?

      I believe the Holy Spirit (the part of God that communicates internally with our mind, soul and spirit) can work through as many different methods as he chooses. I don’t believe he is limited to another person sharing the Gospel – I think the Spirit can do that on his own. 

      But I do believe that Jesus is the hope of humanity, and I tend to believe it was done substitutionally. Though it’s a hill I don’t want to die on.

  • Chasjeanw

    Good points, Christian.  Reading your list, as a former counselor, it strikes me that many of your suggestions are the same skills we teach counselors.   They are also the skills of friendship, or any close relationship.  Thinking about it, all of the above skills are just practical manifestations of Love.

  • Colin McLaren

    Christian, thank you for your thoughtful and wise writings that you have shared in these four posts.  From a man living in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Jana

    What you’re writing here is spot-on. Thank you.

  • Theophile

    Hi Christian,
    #8 & #10 Effective & difficult, thanks for those!

  • Bravo! ::claps::

    Speaking as someone on the outside – an atheist, for all practical purposes – I would really love to see more of this Christianity.

    • Ohaganclan

       Speaking as someone on the inside – a practicing Christian- I would really love to see more of this Christianity!

  • lynnbaber

    “Somewhere along the way, Christian outreach became more about personal conversion than about empathy and compassion.” I suggest that Mr. Piatt is 180 degrees off the mark. 

    The Gospel has always been about personal conversion and becoming a New Creation in Christ. Only recently has the emphasis changed to tolerating the sin in order to love the sinner.  
    God has not changed. Nor has the requirement of personal relationship with Jesus Christ for salvation no matter how “evolved” mankind becomes. Who’s opinion matters most to you; God’s or man’s? You are free to choose. 

    • Here we go again. You can’t claim to know what God’s opinion is. That is Christian’s point.

      • lynnbaber

        Mary, I suggest that the God of the Bible speaks to us through His Word. God is very specific in many instances about His opinion. The debate begins when man’s opinion differs from God’s. 

        The character of relationship with Jesus Christ is unique to each of His children, however, the basis of salvation is singular. There is only one subject of the Bible – Jesus Christ. Faith is demonstrated in works, fellowship, charity, and sacrifice. But none are the purpose of relationship with Christ.Blessings.

        • lynnbaber, I suggest that God speaks to us through our hearts. When our hearts tell us to be loving, kind and tolerant of others, that is God speaking.  By contrast, a book that claims to tell the truth of God, and yet violates the law of Love, is in fact written by man, not God.

          • lynnbaber

            Mary, whether God speaks to us through heart or spirit may be a simple issue of semantics. My goal is not to change anyone’s mind – that’s not my job. I am, however,  obligated to point out the obvious: if the Bible is not the Word of God then God is whatever anyone decides He is. Most folks feel that way and you are in good company. Unfortunately, a god created in the mind (or heart) of man has no power to save.
            The only reason I commented is because this humanistic adoption of the label “Christian” can be confusing to those who seek to truly become New Creations in Christ. “Christian” has become a symbolic term today, as this discussion proves. I’m simply making the distinction clear for those who seek the Jesus of the Bible. The god and jesus professed in this series is clearly not Jehovah, the God of Abraham and Jacob. Mr. Piatt is perfectly honest about his non-biblical theology but many readers don’t take the time to check.Blessings.

          • Jonás

            “Unfortunately, a god created in the mind (or heart) of man has no power to save”

            ¿Says who? ¿You? -_-

  • Well done again sir.

  • Very good Christian.  This is a necessary conclusion to your Christian Cliche series, which I have enjoyed. Thank you.

  • Pastor Glenn Hoskins

    I have found this series to be very thoughtful, eye-opening, and consistent with the teachings and actions of Jesus.  And as people on the “outside” and “inside” have stated, I agree, I really love to see more of Christianity like this and much less Christoreligious cliches and platitudes.  As a caution to pastors, such as myself, and churches…this series should highlight the absolute fact that the Way of Christ is much more difficult and perilous than most people think. It makes baptizing someone something of an event for the beginning of a most difficult journey, rather than eternal life insurance.

  • Pastor Glenn Hoskins

    I have even f0und most comments to be illuminating as to the pain Christians have caused over the years.  Thank you all!

  • CJ

    1.) Sure it’s good to listen.  We listen to God and then share what we hear. SPEAK the truth in love.  Be quick to listen and slow to SPEAK.  Notice it doesn’t say stay mute.  We need to always be ready with an answer when given the opportunity to speak.

    2.) It’s not that Christians hate loose ends as you say.  We hate the hopeless answers given by a hopeless culture.  Someone has to remind people that God is still on the throne and there is hope.  Look at the top 10 songs in the land and you’ll see the worldly wisdom being spewed in all its glory.  We have to stand up and oppose those messages

    3.) How about John 3:3? Is that not a plea by Jesus for conversion?  The New Testament is full of verses regarding conversion as a priority.  You can empathize with an atheist all you want, but unless they’re converted, you’re speaking two different languages. 

    4.) I agree we need to actually pray and not just talk about prayer.  But there are many well-meaning believers who just want to encourage someone they know might be struggling by also assuring them they’re praying for them.  You can’t make a blanket statement by thinking the worst of those statements.  And what’s with alluding to Buddha, a flat out lie and deception used by Satan?

    5.) Agreed.  There’s nothing more powerful than investing in people.  But don’t let that stop you from going door to door or stopping people on the streets to ask some life and death questions about their eternity.  If all believers were taking those opportunities, there wouldn’t be a need for those of us handing out tracts and sharing the gospel publicly.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16)

    6.) We are spiritual firefighters going into a burning building with the mindset of rescuing.  A firefighter has special clothing geared to protect him/her in a way everyday clothing can’t.  Is this a position of power over the other person?  The only thing that matters is the rescue.  From there, lifelong discipleship can take place.  Save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (Jude 23)

    7.) Agreed, no other comment

    8.) Ok Donald Miller.  In all actuality, every group that ever existed would have a good reason to apologize.  Saying you’re sorry is powerful indeed, but apologizing on behalf of all of Christendom rings a little hollow if you ask me.  Spend your time speaking and preaching the truth and watch people melt under conviction or walk away steeped in their pride.  Quit trying to “win friends and influence people” when what they really need is to repent

    9.) Or how about saying “I love you…because God first loved me.”  Let’s not forget where love originates.  It definitely didn’t begin with you and I.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11). 

    10.) Not the St. Francis quote.  This quote has done more to encourage believers to rationalize NOT sharing the gospel than most things throughout the last 500 years.  How, then, can they call
    on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the
    one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone
    preaching to them? (Romans 10:14)  If all it takes is being nice people who do nice things for others,what differentiates a follower of Jesus from a Buddhist or Muslim?  Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness?  When we SPEAK the truth, people get uncomfortable.  When we proclaim Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, it offends people.  Nice people don’t end up being martyrs.  Those who stand up for truth and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ are the ones who end up martyrs.In conclusion: Mr. Piatt, as I look over the content of your site, including your writings and video content, I see someone with a chip on his shoulder.  There’s a thread of pride and arrogance woven in and out of your thoughts that really doesn’t serve to glorify Jesus, it merely creates more doubt in an already skeptical world.  Somehow, you’re taken up residence with the likes of Brian McLaren, Rob Bell and the latest breeze that’s here today and gone tomorrow.  These people have nothing solid to stand on because they have an ever evolving theology that, in the end, serves only themselves.  I’ve got news for you…that luke-warm, people-pleasing garble might get a bunch of folks to like you on your facebook page but nothing of eternal significance will take place.  Jesus and the apostles paid with their blood for living a no-compromise life.  They weren’t worried about living as one big happy family, they were concerned about the souls of men and women.  Quit fostering a skeptical atmosphere where people end up more confused after leaving this site than before they stumbled upon it.  There comes a point, where we need to quit spending all out time brainstorming more questions and get down to living out what we already know to be true.Or perhaps like Mr. Bell, you no longer believe in a literal place called Hell.  In that case, go ahead and spend all your time in philosophy class, tackling the hard questions of the world.  Go ahead and spend 20 years “earning the right to be heard” by your neighbor while they’re heart and soul grow more caloused and hardened as each day passes.  Because it doesn’t really matter whether your neighbor dies without Jesus does it?  They’ll be fine

    • Ryan

      I’m an atheist, and I appreciate most of these, but I have a problem with #8. Apologizing for the harm others have committed really isn’t anyone’s place. If may be motivated by a real sense of sympathy, but more often it sounds like a run to the moral/theological high ground. You can admit that other people have treated someone badly, whether or not you agree with their theology, but don’t play the martyr for the sins of others.

    • I can see that you are very sincere in your beliefs but what I think Christian is saying is that spirituality is not the same as dogma. While you say that you are concerned that people will die without God, what you are saying really is that you are afraid that they will die without your religion. Religion is not the same as spirituality. There are unspiritual Christians and then there are spiritual people in many different religions.

      I agree that we should be living what we know is true. But dogma is not truth. Having a relationship with God is truth.

      I find for myself that I am much closer to God without the church and the trappings of having to believe in a prescribed way. I believe in what religions around the globe teach: Love. The Bible says that he who loves knows God. Can anything be simpler than that?

      By asking hard questions like Christian does, it helps me see how I can improve myself and my relationship with God. If I stop asking questions, then my spiritual growth stops.

      So no, I don’t see what Christian teaches as being confusing at all. For me it is clarifying.

      I am not telling you what to believe. This is just food for thought.

    • Wonderful response CJ. But never forget the the PREACHING of the GOSPEL(good news) is FOOLISHNESS to them that PERISH. (all caps for emphasis only)

    • Jonás

      “Someone has to remind people that God is still on the throne and there is hope”

      I personally believe that the Divine does not act anything like we Humans do, (i.e like sitting on a throne like a king awating endless adoration).

      That is a delusion imposed by us to ourselves, and for me it is mental slavery. And i’m sure the Divine finds that analogy to human behavior very amusing.

      “And what’s with alluding to Buddha, a flat out lie and deception used by Satan?”

      ¿And what’s with atacking Buddha? ¿a flat out outrage act of intolarence to other historical figures different from the ones you believe?


  • Julia M

    wow – came across your blog after your article in the huffington post about the cliches. sooo glad to hear there are other people who feel the same way.  my husband and i actually left the “church made with the bricks” last year – simply can’t do these cliches and stuff anymore – done with it. we reach more people by being real and by chucking the cliches … love the ten antidotes!!  

  • Carolyn

    A friend passed this on. Wow!  And thank you.

  • lran

    While I don’t agree with much of the why behind your cliches, agree that we as Christians have a public relations problem, and I absolutely agree with antidotes here.

  • Awesome list. It hits home with me. To fully be of service to our neighbor we have to listen. If my contact with Christ is not nurtured the prayer, meditation and living in his light I am doomed. Never will I hear the other person’s words because I will be thinking of mine to say next. At http://www.successthroughgrace a proccess to clear out and have God restore us is laid out. God sets easy terms for those who seek Him. For that I am fortunate.

    Iron sharpens iron; accountability to others is a must.

  • Wonderful!  Great job on this post. I try to challenge Christian culture myself on my blog. 

  • Nia

    Hi Christian, thank you so much for this post, as well as the other two about Christian cliches. I came across your blog because I was actually Googling this topic. I wondered if you could offer any advice to non-Christians like me who have been deeply hurt by the approach that some Christians use when trying to tell them about why they should become a Christian.
    I guess I would be classified as a non-Christian. I was born into a Christian household, but I am not “born again”. I do go to church occasionally, and I live my life in adherence to most of the basic Christian values, I read, understand and believe parts of the Bible, I pray sometimes, and most of my friends & family are Christians. I do believe in God, but I do at times struggle with it, especially when I think about all the horrible, evil and unfair things happening in this world.

    Anyway, I was recently very hurt by a Christian individual who, in their attempt to convert me (unsolicited), said things to me that I found very hurtful, insensitive, inappropriate and condescending. Some of these things you outlined in your posts.

    I know this individual is well-meaning, did not mean any harm, and they are not a bad person. We actually have (or had) an amicable relationship before then. But since this incident – in fact it happened on three separate occasions – I have been very hurt and angry with this person, and not sure of the best way to deal with it. I have not discussed it with them, but just chosen to distance myself from them. They do not realize they have hurt me and do not understand why I do not really want anything to do with them anymore.

    This person did not take the time to approach me as or treat me like an individual, or gain any understanding of where I am in my current life path, or if I AM actually in the process of searching for a more meaningful relationship with God, or what challenges I might be having right now in my life. I am currently going through challenges which have affected my self-esteem and confidence quite badly. This person does not know any of this, and just chose to pass judgement on me, and basically tell me that because I am not “born again, I am not living my life the right way”. I don’t smoke, drink, gossip, do drugs, break the law, steal, I don’t have pre-marital sex, or go to nightclubs. I am not perfect by any means, but I do try to live a simple, decent life, be respectful of others, and not do things that can be classified as illegal or immoral.
    I am so glad I found this blog, and I just wondered if you could offer any advice. Thanks.

    • Nathaniel Nelson

      Wow, I’m so sorry you experienced this… your story is exactly why Christian is writing this blog. Ugh. The only thing I have is I think it might be a healthy and healing thing to confront this Christian friend of yours and tell him the hurt he caused. If he responds well, that’s the least he can do, and if he doesn’t, it’s on him. But I think it will help you to let this go and get it out, just so you can move on and not carry any resentment or bitterness. Gr, people like him have given Christianity a bad name… I hope you meet better Christian friends!

  • I echo the comment below Bravo!::claps::

    I came to read your article “5 New Christian Cliches to Avoid” via Huff Post religion and liked it enough to follow all the links to your other articles including this one. LOVED all your 5 articles in this series and found so much truth in them. All I can say– is can you be my new BFF? I can’t say (thankfully) that I use a lot of those cliches you discussed but your parsing the underlying message in them was real food for thought (sorry, cliche :P). Here you provide solid advice on how to act and speak in love. When I am teaching the kids in my religious education classes at church I always tell them that if they want to think of another word for Jesus it is love.

    I had about given up on Huff Post religion as all it seems to do it draw an avalanche of anti-Christian posts to each and every article. I see that the trend continues with yours. All of the negative life-sucking posts I have read are now ( somewhat) balanced for me by your clear voice. Seems for me a better alternative is to subscribe here to Patheos where there are more positive voices and respect. Just looking over the comments on your articles via Patheos, it seems as if posters are are thoughtful and reflective vs. just taking an opportunity for sad negative people to diss Christianity as on HP.

  • SDM

    “Be open to the possibility that you’re wrong.”

    A highly unlikely possibility. To even entertain such an idea implies a lack of faith, and that’s a huge no-no particularly among the Evangelical population. This is not going to happen in this lifetime or the next several generations.

  • Tim

    While I applaud this series and appreciate the content and intent, I cannot believe that Mr Piatt missed the most offensive of all Christian cliches, which in my opinion is, “It was God’s plan.” My son’s 42 year old wife just died unexpectedly leaving behind 7 children. Was that God’s plan? What a guy. Get me another religion. My son just found out that his youngest daughter, age 1 has perhaps a terminal case of scoliosis. Is that God’s plan? How is this saying supposed to comfort someone in