That had me thinking that in today's Christian circles the churches and leaders are practically falling over themselves to market the Body of Christ as "authentic" and "relevant". The reason we market ourselves this way is because when we lack the power of the Holy Spirit in our gatherings, changing lives and breaking the chains that bind people, we have to rely on "other" methods to convince people to come to our meetings and support our church. Slick ads showing attractive energetic people telling you how cool and relevant their church is...as opposed to their previous Christian experience which is assumed to be, horror of horrors, inauthentic."
But I just read a great article about the Jesus Culture movement going on in Redding California at Bethel Church. It details the revival they have been seeing and the expectation that the Holy Spirit is among us in power to bring healing and transformation.
Says Jesus Culture leader Banning Liebscer:
“Our message is whole-hearted consecration unto the Lord. It’s not that we’re just Christians, but we’ve really given ourselves to see revival in the earth. We believe that God is looking for entire cities to be saved, and He’s looking for nations to turn to Him"
"We preach a gospel of power, if you come to our events, we’re going to pray for the sick. It’s a little bit different because it’s not necessarily coming from the person on the platform. If I’m preaching, we’ll pray for the sick, but we’re having the people pray for one another."
I guess when you are talking about whole hearted consecration to the Lord, appeals to authenticity are rendered kinda moot!
As someone who became a Christian during the Jesus Movement, here's hoping the Jesus Culture makes an even greater impact on it's generation for the Kingdom of God and the church.