My wife and I recently had the privilege of having a date afternoon. Someone from the church graciously volunteered to watch the kids for a few hours and so we were able to get out by ourselves. Not really having much to choose from, we decided to go and see a movie. And as we walked into the theater, we saw one of our board members and their families right in front of us. I bring all of that up for the sake of discussion of authenticity. The board member was not surprised to see one of the pastoral staff coming into the movies on a Saturday. We were not surprised to see them in the theater either. However, twenty five or more years ago, this might have been reason for dismissal for both in our young denomination. And sometimes, we still like to pretend that the things we do outside of church; going to the movies, attending major sporting events, etc., have no affect on our church life or are not really related.
Quick disclaimer: Andrew is stepping from the ground onto his soap box.
There is no difference between the life one leads outside the church and the persona that one projects inside the walls of the church. I can’t tell you how frustrated I am by the statement, “Well we don’t talk about that at church…” Really? Jesus said that the day will come when the true followers will worship Him in “Spirit and in truth.” In truth! With authentic lives that have nothing to hide. And who are we deceiving anyway? God knows our hearts. He knows our conduct outside of the church. Is He all of a sudden fooled when we step into a building of man-made materials on the first day of the week and we are pious and reverent in attitude in our Sunday tie?
I think the real issue is that we value the opinion of man over the opinion of God. The Church is crying out for authentic worship. The Church is crying out for authenticity. May Jesus find us to be the followers who worship in Spirit and in Truth.