Tuesday, March 30, 2010
About: TRUE SPIRITUALITY
A recent Zogby/Forbes ASAP poll asked respondents, What would you like most to be know for? For being intelligent? Good looking? Having a great sense of humor? A full half of respondents checked off an unexpected answer: They said they would like a reputation for "being authentic." In a world of spin and hype, the postmodern generation is searching desperately for something real and authentic. They will not take Christians seriously unless our churches and parachurch organizations demonstrate an authentic way of life--unless they are communities that exhibit the character of God in their relationships and mode of living.
Advertising techniques that merely convey an image may bring in the money, but they are not the means to accomplishing a genuine spiritual work. The church's "manner of speaking the truth must not be aligned to the techniques of modern propaganda," writes Newbigin, "but must have the modesty, the sobriety, and the realism which are proper to a disciple of Jesus." The church is called to be a witness to the gospel through an authentic demonstration of love and unity.
In the days of the early church, the thing that most impressed their neighbors in the Roman Empire was the community of love they witnessed among believers. "Behold how they love one another," it was said. In every age. the most persuasive evidence for the gospel is not words or arguments but a living demonstration of God's character through Christians' love for one another, expressed in both their words and their actions. The gospel is not meant to be "a disembodied message," Newbigin writes. It is meant to be fleshed out in "a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it" --who exhibit in their relationships the beauty of God's character.
-Nancy Pearcey: Total Truth