Part 2 Authentic Faith: A Longing for Authenticity

Authentic Faith [the 5th step in spiritual maturity] is marked by a deep, genuine connectedness to God.

  • Celebrates the vastness of God
  • Willingness to explore new ideas and traditions
  • Limitless possibilities for life and worship in Him
  • Recognize that some worship and attitudes are better left in the past because they could be wrong — this makes room for new
  • Recognize some traditions could have become idols — corrupt and in need of correction
  • Willingness to accept mystery
  • Willingness to accept other people might be right too — inclusion
  • More grace, less shame

Fear causes anger — Fear that our reputation might be tarnished…

People don’t want anything to do with fake people — We like genuine people.

>>People who don’t follow the group cause fear in the group that others will question their reputation and / or authenticity.

Authenticity is derived from the Greek word authentikos=to have full control over or power over.

Authenticity is having control or power over oneself versus allowing social influences to have power over one’s identity or who one is.

People naturally allow peer pressure to shape us. Authentic people are true to themselves and their own desires.

Social media has changed society by allowing us to crop, enhance and filter our posts so we can only show the best parts of ourselves and compete with “friends.” This is called an EDITED LIFE.

Conferences to Encourage Church Leaders:

  • Capturing the Millennial Mind
  • Catalyst Conference – http://catalystconference.com

Young people don’t want to “reached” they want to see authentic, organic Christianity. (HOORAY!!!!)

  • No concern for how “right” Christians are
  • Heart for justice and compassion
  • Genuine longing for faith that walks out Jesus’ teachings
  • No political battles or intellectual fights

LIVE SIMPLY, ACT JUSTLY, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD

Many Gen-Xers want big stages, lights and smoke while Millennials are sick of the show. AMEN!
Excess must become simple.
Jesus desires a deeply heart-felt pursuit of God.
God is not concerned with performance and polished programming.

Chapter 9: Racism and The Real You

Stereotyping goes hand in hand with racism. Bias is born as a result of our environment.

Racialized Society is a society where socioeconomic inequality, residential segregation and low intermarriage rates are the norm, where humans definition of personal identity and choices of intimate relationships reveal racial distinctiveness and where people are seldom unaware of the race of a person with whom they interact.

  • Perceived race matters profoundly for life experience opportunities
  • Perceived race matters profoundly for interpersonal relationships
  • Society that allocates differential economic, political, social and psychological rewards to groups along perceived racial lines that are socially constructed

Prejudice: Preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Prejudices can be influenced by:

  • a family member
  • a coworker
  • a school friend
  • media
  • a talk show host
  • an authority figure
  • a church member
  • a neighbor
  • personal experiences or lack of experiences

Bigotry:intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself

Bigotry is a learned behavior shaped by a number of external influences—God did not make us with this mindset.

  • God loves immigrants
  • God in us enjoys people of other races
  • God in us appreciates artistry, food and cultures.

When we follow the crowd and embrace racism and bigotry we fail to love and to embrace.

JUSTICE PRECEDES RECONCILIATION

Seeking reconciliation for generations past, but not attempting to stop injustice that is still happening is not bringing positive change.

“Reconciliation requires far more than hugs, small talk, and coffee dates. Being nice is, well…nice, but it is not reconciliation. Reconciliation is what we do as we listen to hard truths from the marginalized among us…Drinking in the words. Sitting in the pain. Committing to understanding. Committing is doing better.” Austin Channing

How can we be real with God when we are not real with our neighbor?

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 2:26-28

Many of us have separated our relationship with God from our relationship with people.

  • We have made our spirituality so inner, so personal, too much about our mind and soul.
  • We have ignored Jesus’ call to love our neighbor.

Jesus, I recognize I have separated You from my community. I have kept You personal and become selfish with You. I have locked people out because I have been hurt and I don’t trust people in general. Please forgive me and please judge by Your cross my right to do these things and to allow myself to hold these things inside of myself. Please judge by Your cross the spiritual realm and feelings that I have allowed to empower separating myself from my community. Please help me forgive myself. Please heal, seal and deal in me so Your light can fill the dark places inside me. Please show me what You look like inside me and me inside You, loving my neighbors and building healthy relationships.
In Jesus’ name…AMEN!

Bigoted attitudes are nearly impossible to keep when we become friends with people in groups we have become prejudiced against.

  • Friendship increases identification and empathy with people who are different from ourselves.
  • Friendship celebrated different cultures
  • When we walk with each other we stand with each other against injustice

SILENCE IS A FORM OF CONSENT…

His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes they are greedy dogs which never have enough. And they are shepherds who cannot understand; They all look to their own way. Every one for his own gain, from his own territory.
Isaiah 56:10-11

We should become a deliberate presence for oneness among humanity in our community, workplace and churches.

The days of us versus them must come to an end.

“The ground at the foot of the cross is level.” Billy Graham

justicecallingliveloveshowcompassionbechangedbypalmerchinchenWhat divides us from others?

  • money
  • gender
  • age
  • skin color/race
  • sexuality
  • expectations
  • politics
  • religion
  • social position
  • possessions
  • beliefs
  • opinions
  • education
  • affluence
  • physical health
  • addiction
  • mental health
  • relationships
  • nationality
  • personal experiences
  • peer pressure
  • sex
  • …anything we let get in the way

DISMANTLE BARRIORS ~ EMBRACE DIVERSITY ~ DO JUSTICE ~ LOVE MERCY ~ WORSHIP AS ONE ~ WALK AS ONE ~ GROW SPIRITUALLY

Acknowledge, Confess, Change

When dividing walls come down, authentic acceptance and love dominate.

3 Steps to Change

1) Acknowledge we have a problem

  • Society has created divisions and barriers

2) Confess Our Role

  • I have failed, at some time, to love or accept or include
  • I have expected men to reject me – so I rejected them
  • I have expected women to judge me so, I judged them
  • I have only had uncomfortable experiences with Latino and black men so I am uncomfortable around Latino and black men
  • I have felt the fear of people who are different from myself and so I allowed myself to be afraid.
  • I have allowed some of my ignorance to remain
  • I have let some biases taught to me stay
  • I have been mis-taught so I do not always accept teaching
  • I have been labeled a failure so I have return the failure labels

3) Commit To Change

  • Find commonality with people who are different from you.
  • Practice unity as well as we practice charity.

“You have heard that I was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, be good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48

Lord I can’t change on my own, but I trust as I become more aware of You in me and me in You, You will continue to love others through me and forgive myself and others as necessary so there is more room for love than prejudice or anger. Help me to hear You more clearly so I can do what You want me to do, as You want me to do it so that my life will bring You glory. Amen.

There are still parts of the United States where black people are not served in restaurants….

Eating a meal with people does more than serving a meal or writing a check.

Lord, race and culture are not the only dividing factors between people in Kelso-Longview, let alone beyond. Please heal the parts of me that are exclusive outside of Your boundaries. Please show me how to love people better and be less introverted. Thank You for Your grace, mercy and wisdom.
Amen

Feel free to leave your comments below!

My name is Summer. That is how you can call me. I hope that I am a blessing to you. I am not perfect. I will fall again. But I am forgiven.

Do you know Jesus? Do want the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you understanding and salvation? Ask Him. Want someone to pray with you? Contact me.

If you would like to know Jesus as your friend, but want to make this amazing commitment by yourself please pray something like this:

Thank you Jesus that You are the Son of God, the God that created heaven and earth. Thank you Jesus that You came to earth in the form of a man so that You would be able to empathize with my humanity. Thank You that You did this in order to fulfill the promises You made at the foundation of the world.

I realize that I am a sinner and do things that hurt myself and keep myself away from you. Thank You that You died for my sins so that You could defeat death and bring me into Your life. Please forgive me.

I ask You to be Lord of my life. I ask you to heal my hurts and show me what my new life, empowered by You looks like. Thank You for Your mercy.

Amen

The Lord is with you always.

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