I live in the rural South where the concept of “good ole boys” is esteemed and considered downright spiritual. It is also an unspoken school of thought within denominations also. Pardon my bluntness, but the greatest brown-noser is the one who climbs the ladder and gets the accolades within many of our denominations, especially the more conservative ones. The more you’re against, the more spiritual you appear. Wear the suit, use the right words, carry yourself a certain way, and you are accepted. It seems the more genuine you are, the more you find yourself to not be accepted nor promoted within the denominational ranks.
I grew up in a denomination that is known to be more liberal. Because of these differences, I removed myself from that denomination to be a part of one that aligned more with the Bible. What I found was more man made religion and legalistic definitions of what makes a person spiritual. I ended up becoming what turned me off from evangelical Christianity as a teenager.
Through various circumstances and greater understanding of Scripture, I began to break free from the denominational trappings while still within a particular denomination. I was a misfit, but I did it. I did not worship the denominational idols nor seek the certificates and awards for giving the most to missions efforts, etc. I simply wanted to be a healthy, biblical child of God.
I know someone reading this today feels like he or she has to conform to what someone else told you rather than the Holy Spirit conforming you into the image of Christ. Break those legalistic denominational shackles and just get back to the Bible. Pray, get in the Bible, and allow God to change you. God never called you to be a good ole boy (or girl). He called you to be you under His life-changing power. So what if you have baggage. We all do. God will take the mess of your life and use it for His glory. The trash talkers will run their mouth about you but hold your head up high in full confidence that God cares more about you than you’ll ever imagine, and you never have to try to impress Him.