Inauthentic Authenticity

creature-of-the-word

I really hate the word “authentic.” Correction—I hate the buzzword that “authentic” has become. We’ve become so enamored with the idea of being “real” that we minimize and distort the seriousness of our sin. We don’t grow to hate sin more, as God does—we own our “brokenness” and tend to sit there, forgetting that God’s called us to actively put those things aside for our good and His glory.

Yesterday I reviewed Creature of the Word and really appreciated the way the authors addressed this propensity toward inauthentic authenticity. Here’s how they put it:

A gospel-centered community acknowledges the presence of sin and welcomes the confession of sin. But a truly gospel-centered community never reduces the severity of sin. To “abhor” describes the way a believer should react to sin. The word means to “shiver in horror,” the way your body reacts to an unexpectedly freezing cold shower. Believers are to shudder at things that go against God’s revealed purposes, things that harm both ourselves and others…

Sadly, a tendency exists among Christians to seek authentic environments for the sake of relishing in authenticity. These people get up after a small group meeting or some other accountability structure, slapping each other on the back for their ability to be open and honest about their sin. Yet they never take active steps together in order to combat that sin. True Jesus-centered authenticity lovingly nudges believers toward continual repentance—not just a bunch of “nobody’s perfect” confessions but actual, gospel-driven changes in lifestyle…

When God saves us, our attitude toward sin changes. Sin doesn’t become easier to commit; it becomes more despicable to us than ever.

Chandler, Patterson and Geiger, Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church (Kindle locations 975, 980, 989)