Monday, March 4, 2013

Authentic Christianity

Fake bishop tries to crash secret Vatican meeting


Authentic Christianity! Let’s face it, people know the real thing when they see it. Or at least after a brief encounter or two. The story out of the Vatican of a fake ‘Bishop’ crashing the Cardinals meeting in preparation for electing a new pope is too good an opportunity to pass up. The amazing part of the story if you read it and see the picture of this thirty something year old ‘bishop’ shaking the hand of one Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana you have to wonder how he fooled so many people. To me the picture in the article says it all.  Instead of a skull cap he is wearing a fedora and instead of cassock cincture around his waist he has a purple sash. Yeah I am an Anglican priest who knows what the proper garb is, but so do the Swiss guards and so does anyone else with just a wee bit of knowledge; you know like Roman catholic cardinals and bishops. Thinking about it though you really have to hand it to the guy. It takes a lot of confidence and charisma to get as far as he did.

            This gets me back to the thought of authentic Christianity. The truth is you can’t fake people out; at least not for very long. The guy in story never actually made it into the Cardinal meeting, but he got close. I am less than a month old as the new pastor and priest of St. Luke & St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in St. Cloud, FL and I can tell you that after one month people know whether I am faking it or not. They know I am a truly committed follower of Jesus. Whether I am their kind of guy or not remains to be seen. But that is not the point. The point is an authentic Christian faith organically and naturally flows out of a person. It is evident in their actions, their life, their witness and in their words. We do not have to try to dress ourselves up. We simply have to reveal ourselves to the world and say he we are. We are not perfect, but we know a guy who is and He isn’t looking for perfection but a process of becoming more like him.

            I know you still may be asking yourself is this Fr. Rob guy the real thing. Is Fr. Rob an authentic Christian. I can not tell you that. I can only do the best I can to live by faith in Jesus Christ and let you decide. Is he faking it or is he the real deal? Truth is, none of us Christians are the real deal. We are all hypocrites or falling short in some area or another. What makes us authentic is admitting it and saying it is not about me, it is about being more like Jesus. Like him in our worship, like him in our loving our neighbors, like him in serving the poor, the broken and the least of these. We are like him when we do all we can to serve as Jesus served and point the world not to our actions, but to Jesus.

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