Authenticity, Transparency and other annoying Christian buzz words

Google Search: “church authenticity” Results: 2,910,000
Yahoo Search: “church authenticity” Results: 37,000,000

Google Search: “church transparency” Results: 1,600,000
Yahoo Search: “church transparency” Results: 13,000,000

Google Search: “authentic worship” Results: 287,000
Yahoo Search: “authentic worship”: Results: 9,210,000

What can we learn? For starters, Yahoo seems to be a superior search engine to Google.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the church should be about all of the above. But when we say, “Our church is all about being transparent and culturally relevant with authentic corporate worship that draws people closer to God,” to me, it sounds like we think we already are. Or at least we think that’s what we should be. Must we overuse those terms to a point where they begin to sound laughable?

I suppose it is helpful to know our target audience. If we hope to increase the membership of our individual church bodies by targeting Christians who haven’t been to church for awhile, or those who are currently part of another congregation but are shopping around for a better offer, then I suppose that’s a pretty good slogan. But if I had never stepped inside a church building before in my life, I would read that description and think, “What in the hell are they talking about?”

I love the fellowship of believers. My brothers and sisters in Christ support and encourage me. They also give me some much needed accountability. Having said that, I think it is very easy for us to become so comfortable with only being around other Christians that we forget the task at hand, or worse – we become judgemental and Pharisaical.

I’m not a big fan of Penn and Teller. I really don’t care for magic shows of any kind. Not so much because of the negative spiritual undertones sometimes associated with it. The main problem I have with magicians is that they practice deception as a trade. I really hate dishonesty. I certainly don’t want to pay someone to lie to me. I already do that — I am a taxpayer. (Sorry – tangent.) Many of you have already seen the following video. Whether you’ve seen it or not, I’d love to get your thoughts on it and the post in general:

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8 Responses to “Authenticity, Transparency and other annoying Christian buzz words”

  1. daphne March 7, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    >well, first of all, while I am not a fan of the phrases you mentioned, right now I have a bigger beef with the word ‘chillax’. Talk about tangent!!

    And as far as that guy? I saw the video once, did not rewatch tonight, but lots of time I really do not care if other people are going to hell because I am too busy trying to keep myself, my husband and my kids out.

    If someone asks me about my beliefs I will back them but honestly, my main argument for you becoming a Christ follower is because it is just stupid not too. I have done life both ways and while life with Christ can still suck, without Him it sucked nasty balls. Also on the off chance you are wrong, do you really want to risk hell? Stupid. What have you got to lose anyway. I do not have the paitence to blow Christian sunshine up anyone’s butt so that is what I got. You are stupid to not believe. Maybe I should not comment while this agravated because someone who should never lie to me lies to me all the time even when there is no effing need to but does because they are a big fat liar. *cough* Prayers welcome. ; )

  2. BeckeyZ March 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

    >I have never seen the video before…let me just say that it is refreshing to see someone who can disagree with Christianity without resorting to name calling like Bill Maher does.

    Penn makes a lot of sense about the proselytizing.

    I suppose it’s horrible of me to wonder what Mr Maher will think of hell when he gets there.

  3. katdish March 7, 2009 at 10:01 pm #


    I love your honesty. Just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we have to be happy and cheerful all the time. I am praying for you, peace be still, girl.


    I wondered the same thing.

  4. Nick the Geek March 7, 2009 at 11:48 pm #

    >I love this video and have shown it to the church. I wish people would just get it. We are called to so much more than what we give and if we ever really thought about what we believe I think we would be completely broken at our actions.

    “You show me your faith without action and I’ll show you my faith by my actions.” James 2:18 NGTV (Nick the Geek Version).

  5. texasshawn March 8, 2009 at 2:53 am #

    >I’ve never seen that either. Talk about conviction. I’ve got to go spend some time in my “closet”.

  6. Christy March 9, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    >The video struck a chord with me the first time I saw it. It makes sense doesn’t it? If we really believed in hell, then we need to desperately be in the ready to tell others about it so they have a better educated choice.

  7. daphne March 9, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    >Thank Ya Jesus! ; )

  8. JML March 11, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    >I’ll begin by confessing my childishness: my boss put this video on his blog, and it is pretty good, but his face before you hit play is scary looking. Anyways, I’ve come to accept that particular phrases or even intentions become cliche because they’re worth repeating, at least most of the time. I think that relevant is in the past, now we’re over the top, I think that transparent is good, but it isn’t an excuse to talk crap to or about people, the love has to be there still. I don’t like using those words for the same reason you do, but they came from a backlash against what church culture used to be, and really, were Christians trying to tell each other and the world, “we’re alright”. I dunno. . . that’s how I see it. Your blog has been outta this world lately!! Way to be!!!

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