By Jason Hoyt
“Let love be genuine.” Romans 12:9
The following is from Matt Chandler and Josh Patterson’s (BYX Alumni) new book “Creature of the Word” in chapter 3.
“True, gospel-saturated community is authentic. The original word translated genuine means love that is free of “pretending, simulating, or acting.” In other words, the community is not surface-only or fake. It’s not filled with easy answers that justify the spiritual prowess of those involved. In essence, a sign hangs above the doorway that reads: No Masks Allowed.
We as believers are placed in community with others for one reason: because God has called them out of their former ways. Everyone is deeply sinful. Everyone is called by the same God. And Everyone has been mercifully placed in community together. So why pretend we are more than we are if everything is built on Jesus’ righteousness and not our own? The gospel frees us to be authentic, to admit that our struggles and strengths have not been fully sanctified, and to allow others to apply the grace of God to areas of our lives that desperately need it.
When community is honest and authentic, people begin to experience freedom from wearing a mask because Jesus sets people free from the need to by hypocrites. He liberates religious overachievers controlled and dominated by a religious system they can never beat. He emancipates those shackled to their secrets by bringing light to the darkness. He tears off the masks of the seemingly perfect and allows them to walk in the open. That’s the nature of authenticity in Jesus-centered community-people constantly emerging from the shadows and finding the sufficiency of grace.”
One of our opportunities for community is within the confounds of our fraternity of BYX. As leaders in BYX, evaluate your culture within your chapter for authenticity. Are brothers wearing masks in cell groups. Are they finding freedom to talk about and overcome their struggles? Are we leading them to the cross of Christ for victory?