In the Letter to James, chapter 5 verse 12 it is written, “Above all my beloved, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let you ‘Yes” be yes and you “No” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation” James 5:12 NRSV.
This post came out of discussion during our weekly Bible Study at Barnes and Noble. We were talking about the vows that the church makes when we baptize a baby. When we pledge to support the church and this congregation with “Our Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness,” which led to a discussion of what this means. Which, for me at least, led to the idea of living up to these vows as “authentic faith.” So far in this blog I have tagged several posts as having to do with Authentic Faith, so today I’m going to begin to talk about what that means.
Authentic Faith is often a buzzword used in churches today, a great deal of the time in congregations of particularly conservative persuasion. Now for me, being relatively conservative in Theology, I understand this preoccupation of being authentic. For myself Authentic Faith has a very scriptural basis, and one that I think should apply to the totality of my life. So being authentic is relatively simple live the values that you say are important, authentic for me means something similarly to trustworthy or integrity.
That is what we are talking about most basically, is integrity. When we study scripture regularly we can see the themes of what Jesus is talking about during his ministry. When we talk about Authentic faith we must define authentic, and we must also determine how we are to live out that faith. Words are incredibly important, but as the old adage goes “actions speak louder than words.” We can talk the talk every day, but what real difference does it make if we do not actually let our words change our actions? If we have an authentic faith what concrete actions does that call you to? Think about that for the next few days…