The fakification of everything...
(Tim, from my son, Taylor) Prior to moving on field after accepting my second call, I listened to a pile of sermons by my predecessor. (I recommend this discipline highly if you're about to move to another church, or even if you're already there and want a shortcut to understanding the congregation's strengths and weaknesses.) After hours and hours of sermons, I was intimate with this man--and not just his hermeneutics and exegesis, but his personality even down to his vocabulary. Summing up what I'd learned, I told my wife, Mary Lee, "His favorite word is 'authenticity.'"
Where did that word come from, anyway?
A facile, glib, age whose heroes and heroines are actors...
An age that responds to 9/11 by saying, "It was just like a movie!" An age with a hole in its heart where genuine and true and integrity should be. An age where the difference between the pulpit of a church and the stage of a theater is, as Kierkegaard puts it, that the theater is honest and tells you it's fiction and he's an actor, whereas that's the one thing you'll never ever ever get the church to admit.
That word came from an age that seeks authenticity with many tears, but is denied it.
Brothers and sisters, you may take this post as the dyspeptic ramblings of a loveless cur, but please understand me. I'm not loveless and today's a good day. I'm surrounded by God's blessings. I tell people regularly "the lines for me have fallen in pleasant places."
Thus my duty to improve the time, to be a good steward of the freedom to teach and preach and shepherd that God, through my loving flock, has granted me.
If you're still with me, then back to authenticity. The thoughts above were prompted by this article forwarded by my son, Taylor, on the fake worship of America's god during the Super Bowl.
And by the way, I sang with Bruce while these people did their fake adoration. I'm ashamed.