authenticity WITH accountability
One of my mottos, (I believe I invented it?), is authenticity with accountability . This is something that I try to practice in my life, and especially in how I pastor a church. I love authenticity in people, and I believe my most intense passion is to see people set free to be authentically who they are. I love watching people liberated, especially from the oppressive bonds of religion and the religious spirit. In fact, I think this is the most important part of my job description. Jesus came, he himself believed and proclaimed, first to the house of Israel. His mission, if he chose to accept it, was to set prisoners free, and I think this refers to those who were hopelessly oppressed under the heavy burden of religion. Accountability, though, is just as necessary. Releasing people into authenticity is difficult in itself. But challenging people to be accountable in their authenticity is even more difficult. That s been my experience and observation. This is how it looks: if your authenticity is harmful to others, then you need to do some serious introspection and perhaps some changing. Now, I m not talking about how my authenticity can hurt someone else s feelings. In that case, we d never reach independence or inter-dependence, which is the goal. We are invited to authenticity, but not at the expense of others. Freedom leads to responsibility. And that s the catch. William Stringfellow said that freedom isn t just for the sake of Christians or the church or God: Rather, it is given in order that the world and all therein may recover wholeness and completion of life (A Private and Public Faith, p. 76). This is personal and corporate wholeness and completion.