Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marks of Authentic Christianity

The Christian life finds its beginning in the truth of Pentecost. For Pentecost was God's affirmation that Christ had indeed suffered and died for mankind, that He was raised from the dead on the third day and He ascended into heaven. The church finds her life blood in the truth of Pentecost. So, Pentecost, the life changing experience of being renewed by the Holy Spirit, is what I consider to be the first mark of authentic Christian faith and experience.

To follow that, the early church, as recorded in Acts finds itself devoted to what I consider to be more, marks of authentic Christianity. These being: Devotion to the teaching and words of Jesus, spiritual fellowship through worship and prayer and the celebration of the Lord's Table.

The Apostles were perfectly suited to talk about the works and words of Jesus. First hand experience is very powerful. The people always seemed to be caught up in the miracles of Jesus. The Apostles would be able to explain the nugget of truth that must be mined by thought and prayer. The healing of the blind, lame and leper always carried at least two truths. The first truth being the physical act itself, the healing of the body to a full purpose. The second truth being the deeper spiritual truth of blindness, uncleanness and even death.

There is a mystery and wonder involved in Christian worship and fellowship. It is hard to describe the setting, atmosphere, call it whatever you want, when Christians gather to pray for each other, when they comfort a broken heart, or counsel a wayward soul. That mystery goes far deeper than what the world might consider fellowship. O Sure, we drink our share of coffee and eat our share of cookies, donuts, and pot luck food. But, that is even an event of the Spirit. We gather with people who have witnessed the hand of God.

For the past nine months I have been leading, coaching, cheering on, a congregation that was tied to tradition and liturgy. Prayer was read and repeated and lacked a real conversational element. I am not in the position to say that liturgy and read prayers have no place in worship. But, I am in the position to understand that people need to feel that prayer is a wonderful opportunity to talk with their Father, who just happens to be living in the heavenly realms.

My early background was not one that practiced communion. I have over the past decade experienced the beauty and worship of communion. I believe that communion, as a whole, finds its beauty in the entire setting as set forth by the Apostle John. We pass over all too quickly the entire dinner and focus on the cup and bread. To follow Christ is more than the cup and the bread, it is the self abandonment of service.

Tedd Galloway is the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. Soon to be re-published by Morgan James Publishing company. You can follow Tedd on this blog and on Twitter and Facebook. His email address is teddgalloway@live.com

1 comment:

  1. There is much truth in your blog. I find it both a blessing and a real eye opener. I think communion has a place in every church if we intend to follow Christ's example.