Posted: April 25, 2014 in On Being Apostolic
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Clarity: it’s a good thing.

It means things are…um…clear. The idea of clarity implies understanding. If the idea is clear, others will understand. And with understanding comes the ability to take effective action, if action is called for. With all the “Apostolic Identity” talk of late, a little clarity would be a good thing.

Sadly, clarity seems to be in short supply. What I get from those talking about “Apostolic Identity” is a confused mish-mosh of vague hints mixed with nostalgia for a form of mid-70’s Oneness Pentecostalism, stewed emotionally at high heat. The result is an altogether unappetizing ragout that shouldn’t be on the menu. So, for the sake of clarity, why don’t we try to try to figure out what these highly charged references to “Apostolic Identity” actually mean?

Personally, I’d like to assume when “Apostolic Identity” is referred to that it’s actually used in the context of identifying with the Apostles. I’d be completely on board with that idea…excited about it, even! After all, that would mean closely examining the Scriptures to learn not only what the Apostles believed and taught, but how and when they applied those teachings. It would mean prioritizing and emphasizing what they did. It would mean that we would start hearing more in our movement about following Jesus’ example in all aspects of life, because the Apostles clearly believed that their lives should identify with…get this…Jesus.

But that’s likely not the case, is it? When the idea of “Apostolic Identity” is being bandied about, it probably has little, if anything, to do with the Apostles. I suspect it has far more to do with identifying with a past version of ourselves…some past version of ourselves. I’m not even sure which past version of ourselves is supposed to represent the idyllic perfection we’re exhorted to emulate. It’s all very confusing.

So much for clarity.

I have no more wish to identify with a previous incarnation of our movement than I wish to return to the ‘70’s, wear bell-bottom jeans, and drive a Gremlin.  I remember those years in our movement. I lived through them. They weren’t nearly as neat, pretty, and holy as some are letting on. Sure, our women still had beehive hairdo’s and still wore neat, double-knit ‘60’s era dresses that came just below the knee. But we were just as cruel and unloving to each other then as now, just as judgmental, and we struggled with gossip and backbiting, and even (gasp) racism. Please don’t try to imply that those years represent us at our best.

Surely that’s not what is being held up as “Apostolic Identity”. But it’s hard to say…precisely because no one seems to really be saying.

  1. If its not one thing its another. Fad after fascination after obsession. The simplified version of Apostolic Identity? – Become like Christ.

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