Every clique, group, or sect has it's own lexicon. It's not a bad thing. When you communicate intimately with a select group of people, particularly in, let's say, a work environment, verbal shortcuts and symbolism can be useful. In my line of work we have our own language that no one outside of our world could possibly understand. For instance, if most people were to hear a group of session musicians say something like, "The diamond on that 4 is a batman that closes on the bottom half and then ties", you'd think we were aliens. It doesn't sound musical at all. But...it serves a purpose, creates a mental picture of the music for the players involved, and in an industry where time is money and one eye is always on the clock, it helps us reach the goal faster. Altered, symbolic definitions intended to expand thought and provide a roadmap. That's a good thing.
In fundamentalist religious, social, and political movements, however, definitions are usually changed for motives as pure as the wind-driven sewage. It's done to close thought processes, manipulate outcomes, control behaviors, and forward self-serving agendas, creating conclusions and outcomes that wouldn't ever happen if left up to the free-will of the people involved.
In my first in-depth conversation with my ex, over the course of a couple of hours, I asked her a lot of "getting to know you" questions, questions which her direct answers to weren't as important to me in getting to know who she truly was as was the context in which she answered them. The context in which people answer questions reveals their passions, their fears, where their mind is in it's processing (which areas of the person's life filter their thoughts and beliefs). I saw a young woman with a beautiful, soft heart, who was a dreamer and an artistic soul. And...I saw a LOT of baggage.
I heard her refer to her then 25 year old sister as being "in rebellion" toward her father - merely for wanting to pursue her own vision for her life rather than her family's. She mentioned that a couple of her sisters were falling short in being "submissive to her father's authority". All of this caught me off guard. It was my first taste of anything Patriarchal, and I was more than a little unnerved that a system of "Christian" belief had produced such a beautiful, yet totally naive and green young woman, way behind the curve emotionally (in many ways like a child), knowing little about the world outside of a fundamentalist bubble, despite being well into her 20s. I knew that pursuing a relationship with her would be tricky for a myriad of reasons that I hadn't anticipated.
Over the next several weeks I received an education on the fundamentalist, patriocentric lexicon. I heard words such as rebellion, obey, submit, godly, godliness, honor, honorable, respect, and grace overused and generally misused, with disturbing and unique definitions. I felt like I was in an old Kung-Fu movie, where lips were moving in one direction, but the implications being formed from them didn't match up. I could see, very clearly, that these words had been altered and used to spiritually and emotionally abuse her entire family, with some of them striking total fear into their hearts, living in paranoia of ever being labeled "rebellious" or such. Thought stopping terms. If she had ever pushed the envelope of the family system of belief, or asked too probing a question about them, she'd get slapped with the notion of her rebellion against authority or told that she needed to be submissive and godly, et cetera, and back in line she'd go. It reached the point that she didn't have a real understanding of these words in their proper context with their genuine definitions.
This is the fundamentalist/patriocentric mini-dictionary I've been able to piece together...
obey: to do whatever your father or authorities tell you to do, no questions asked
rebel: to ask any form of question directed at your authority figures, or to in anyway displease them
submit: not asking questions - blind acceptance
godly: adhering to a list of self-punishing, arbitrary, and superficial rules designed to cosmetically defeat the sin-nature and produce a SuperChristian
godliness: a SuperChristian - the result of adhering to a list of self-punishing, arbitrary, and superficial rules designed to cosmetically defeat the sin-nature
honorable: blind agreement with any mandate issued by the father or authority figure
respect: blind agreement and accommodation offered liberally but never earned
grace: blind accommodation/in extreme cases, a license and excuse to sin, if that sin serves the group-family-belief purposes/sometimes the result of godliness/something you earn by being humble
forgiveness: blind accommodation/in extreme cases, a license and excuse to sin, if that sin serves the group-family-belief purposes
scriptural: whatever your father, or another authority figure, tells you the bible says, usually containing something about the "spirit of the scriptures"
protection: submission to your father or an authority figure
display of affection (kiss, embrace, hand holding): something that, if it happens once, you'll surely be fornicating within minutes, and you'll be going to Hell, so don't do it! Ever! What are you thinking?!
character: forcing yourself to meet a certain quota of bible reading, praying, witnessing, and Christianese speaking, even if it's merely ritualistic and not heartfelt
wisdom: words from the lips of someone fluent in Christianese and platitude/words from the lips of someone very skilled and practiced in "godliness"
humility: doing things that you don't like or are distasteful to you; admitting that you are wrong (sometimes whether you were or not); never contradicting or questioning an authority
unity: everyone agree 100% with the leader
divisiveness: any behavior which will eventually be used to make you feel guilty and manipulate you
a request: if it's something a young suitor makes, it's insignificant, possibly an attempt to brainwash a vulnerable young woman, and easily discarded/if made by a young woman, a tell-tale sign of her rebellious heart/if made by the parents, a rule from the mouth of God that, if broken, comes with a corresponding emotional punishment
unforgiving: having a moral compass that points to the magnetic truth/unaccommodating
pride: any manner of living or conduct that suggests confidence in a grasp on right and wrong apart from the family or group standard/having an opinion or passion
blessing: the approval of your parents or authority figures/if you feel blessed by God apart from parents or authority figures, a possible sign of pride or rebellion
love: a deceitful, devilish emotion when it makes you happy, particularly for women/demonstrated BY you through dutiful behavior, obedience, and "godliness"/demonstrated TO you as a reward only when you perform to a certain standard
fear: when used in reference to making mistakes, it's the working of the Holy Spirit in your life
peace: the end all and be all of any decision/only valid if your father or authority figure shares it/what the Holy Spirit gives you after He's completed His work of fear in your life/never, ever a deceptive ploy by the adversary, or the result of overwhelming pressure placed on someone by a father or authority figure suddenly being-replaced by love-bombing
There are MANY more, some of which I'll add as they come back to me. Some of you who read this may have contributions of your own.
Coping with these altered definitions was a challenge, as I'd have to come up with expressions and analogies to show her how her family's use of these words came across. For instance, they'd do terrible things to each other, cry "grace, grace", turn around and do the same thing again, then label anyone who called them on it "unforgiving". I told her, "You know, if a thief breaks into my home and steals all of my stuff, and later asks me to forgive him, I will. But...it doesn't mean he gets to keep my stuff."
Indoctrinated much. Taught little.