Authors Of Life Together | Sojourners

Authors Of Life Together

If you want to feel the aroma of Christianity, you must copy the rose. The rose irresistibly draws people to itself, and the scent remains with them. Even so, the aroma of Christianity is subtler even than that of the rose and should, therefore, be imparted in an even quieter and more imperceptible manner, if possible. --Mahatma Gandhi

Christianity has been largely filtered to the world through the mind and experience of Western civilization. Naturally, it has taken on many of that civilization's colorings and questions. It shows a preference for the words of Scripture which are supposedly active, rational, aggressive, decisive, conclusive, divisive, measurable, and provable. It usually neglects or at least fails to comprehend many other biblical teachings. As a result, much of Western Christianity lacks a deep inner authority and is forever caught up in disguised struggles to find that authority. More often than not, it settles for an extrinsic authority instead of the deep inner authority which alone can be called biblical faith.

Inner authority seems to come from "experiencing our experiences," and experiencing them as deeply our own. Most people seem to be satisfied with gathering their authority in the form of ideas, opinions, and quotes from significant sources. They might control their information in rather creative ways, but it is obvious that the authority is outside themselves. They might even have an authoritative role or function, but they are not themselves sources of power, energy, or life.

We seem to be able to intuitively recognize the difference. We might need to be close to the authoritative role; but we will usually want to be close to the authoritative person. They "author" us. They create life in us. They seem to write life more than they are written upon. As with Jesus, power comes out from them.

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