The Life of JaWS

A blog by Jason Sansbury

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Authenticity and Truth

Sign O’ the Times

No this isn’t a post about Prince’s amazing album. But did you see that he is a Vegas act now? Soon or later I going to go to Vegas. Anyone want to bankroll a reality show about some youth pastors who spend two weeks in Vegas. (Funny Vegas story at the bottom.)

In the midst of all the Ted Haggard stuff going on, there is an interesting dynamic at play. Mainly, that authenticity trumps truth. You see the thinking goes that the accuser is being “real” and “honest” so therefore what he has done gets a pass but he evidently sincerely and genuinely meant to be a gay prostitute who sold meth. And as long as you are “real” about it, then it is cool.

The flip side is that Ted Haggard is a bad man because he wasn’t being “real.” See, his sin wasn’t that he was visiting with a gay prostitute, it was that he wasn’t being honest about it. Saying one thing and doing another makes us bad people, not our behavior.

Let me blunt: sin is sin. That is the reality of it. Is it a terrible thing that Haggard has done? Yes. But mainly because it appears that at least to some degree he has betrayed his family, his church, his faith and himself. It isn’t that he wasn’t honest about it. It was that he did it. Things would not be better if he had stood in his pulpit and proclaim “I just want to be honest and real with you all…” and then told the whole sordid story. Authenticity is important but it doesn’t trump truth.

And now on a lighter note, my funny Vegas story. So my friend John was a youth minister at a Baptist church in a town near mine and one year the youth choir tour took them through Vegas. Just long enough to grab something to eat. So part of what John wanted to show was the evil of gambling and how easy it is to waste away money. So he buys a $5 slot chip and has all the kids stand at the edge of the casino line so they aren’t in the casino but they can see him. And he puts in the token, pulls the lever and…jackpot. He wins like $15,000. Kids are high fiving, the adults are cracking up and the music minister is not amused and John just won half his salary for a year. He managed to stay on staff and he donated all the money to a Rescue Mission in Vegas (that day) but I wish someone had been filming to get a glimpse of the look on his face…


At 7:27 AM , Blogger Mamakomeere said...

Oooo, look out "Amish in the City", I think you may be on to something. I invision it as a mix between "The Amazing Race" and "Crockodile Hunter". Hosted by Geraldo Rivera with commentary from Joyce Meyer, a group of YM's invade Caesar's.


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