Thursday, August 24, 2006

Random thoughts on "authenticity..."

Something occurred to me the other day as I was thinking through some of the things I've been reading about Emerging/Emergent from Emerging/Emergent types... one of the biggest things for the ECM seems to be an effort to be "authentic." You won't read very far without encountering some reference to "authenticity" and "being authentic" and such.

Question: Isn't a focus on or attempt to be authentic a sure way to... not be authentic?

Think about it: being "authentic" is simply being what I am. When I start to focus on being something, I'm no longer being what I am, instead I'm trying to become what I want to be... which would make me no longer "authentic." Right?

There's nothing wrong with focusing on what you want to be and seeking to improve; II Peter 1 tells us to "add to our faith..." a whole list of things that are very teleological in nature (focusing on what is to be, on becoming something, focusing on the end of a thing). But that makes me no longer "authentic," but rather very purposefully (...the Emerging/Emergent dilbertism for that seems to be "intentional") introspective and change-driven.

The more I'm reading from ECM guys, the more I really feel for them; it has to be utterly exhausting to try to focus on what you "are" and then expend a lot of energy to become what you... well, aren't, but want to be.

Instead of just being, and letting the Spirit remake you through the mirror and by the hammer and anvil of the Word.

I also note in ready from ECM pastors that it sure does seem to take a whole lot of energy and effort to "do church" the Emerging/Emergent way.

But, as Paul said, "...whether in pretense or in truth."

I like the model that was passed down to me from my pastor. Very... well, "dysfunctional," in the sense of holding the reins of ministry very loosely and just focusing on those primary two things of "prayer and the ministry of the Word," allowing the Spirit to develop all the other good, necessary, and essential things from that.

Sounds simplistic, I know. But boy, I sure like it...

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