Thursday, May 07, 2020

Corinth? US? What's the difference?

Converts tend to bring their prejudices straight into the church, leaving them behind only slowly after a long period of teaching and adjustment. If they do not abandon these cultural values—perhaps because the wrong leaders are modeling the wrong things for them—they will horribly misunderstand who should be leading them. In local cultural terms, Christian leaders look like nothing, and if they are authentic Christian leaders that is just what they should look like. They abandon pagan markers of leadership, which are invariably tied to some ascent to fame, status, and fortune. Fake Christian leaders, however, will probably look and sound great and will appeal to any converts who have not had their values reshaped. In so doing they will nevertheless betray the true nature of Christian leadership. This was the main battle that Paul was fighting at Corinth.

It is possible to evaluate Christian leaders in the suffering and the costliness they endure. A Christian leader must evidence faithfulness. She must walk obediently in the footsteps of the one who endured homelessness, rejection, and a shameful death. Christian leaders evidence grace under pressure. These are the markers of authenticity, and the church went on to map them in stories of martyrs.—Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, 117

<idle musing>
Wow! He pegged all the celebrity preachers/prosperity preachers there, didn't he? Everything they model is the exact opposite of Christlikeness. But they sure do appeal to the US cultural norms! They check all the boxes for worldly status and prestige. A bit short on humility, though, wouldn't you say?
</idle musing>

No comments: