Read This Week’s Passage: Matthew 23:13–30

The Search for Authenticity

They are different words, but the meaning is the same: poseurs, show-offs, frauds, knock-offs, shams, wannabes, and sell-outs. Being fake is a public transgression in many subcultures, especially in the teen and young adult years. In the developmental years of one’s social life, being a fake by compromising standards of individuality and authenticity are akin to sin.

It’s a fine line though, as many try to be “real” and authentic but still end up being within the boundaries of another community. There are those who are trying to “find themselves” by doing all sorts of socially unacceptable things. But what is unacceptable in one group is then established to be the norm in a subset of the community, and the pattern starts all over again.

Regardless of the sociological causes, it’s the desire to be authentic, genuine, and true that feeds this phenomenon. The question that often remains unanswered is: What is authentic and true? Secular society, through the history of philosophy, has sought to find where truth lies, from “essences” and “quintessences” out there to “true forms” down here. Others have compared and contrasted cultures, genders, historical eras, and even species to discover where the locus of truth lies. Where science cannot venture, artists have created imaginary worlds and posited theoretical possibilities and permutations of truth.

All the while, the human question and the human problem still exist and continue. This week we will look at where the place of change occurs and how this impacts our understanding of the will of God.