Good Ole Boy Religion

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.

19 thoughts on “Good Ole Boy Religion

  1. This was a beautiful post I could have written straight from my heart. You are a dear man Matthew, and if we never have coffee face to face here I know we will there. Grace and peace dear man.

  2. Great post. I have also found out God is a Republican or a Democrat, American, and a few other things that concern me.
    We recently left the denominational thing. There has been a great deal of freedom and joy in that.

  3. There are many labels but the spirit of religion is alive and prospering. It causes many forms of religion but no relationship with Jesus. In fact, if he came in person, many congregations would kick him out and refuse to have him. I am so glad that God is merciful to sinners. His lovingkindness is better than life!

  4. Three Scriptures come to mind:

    Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

    Luke 6:26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

    And lastly, regarding our worldly practice of paying ministers of the word a salary, behold Matt. 6:24 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

  5. Sounds to me, the light bulb is most definitely on! We are Kingdom Workers NOT Church Workers! Glad to see that you did not wait until you reached my age, to understand it’s the Kingdom centric message, nt the Church centric good news!

  6. I was honestly just thinking about the last church we attended a few years ago and how we had “conformed” to their teachings. I wouldn’t go to church if my hair and nails weren’t perfectly in place because all of the women were stylish. We fell for the “reach for the sky” doctrine. And the truth is, we were never accepted at that church because we aren’t wealthy. It’s so sad. Today, we attend another church that preaches the Bible and serves the community in a powerful way. The pressure of looking our best is gone. Sure we look nice. But seriously that’s the last thing on our minds now. We now care more about being a true worshipper and sharing Jesus with others. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Really great post. I was raised in a very strict church environment (Assembly of God) and in my late teens tried a variety of different evangelical denominations. I ended up quitting Church all together for 15+ years ago. I finally returned 4 years ago to the Methodist Church. It’s the only denomination that I’ve ever felt God and I really feel connected there.

  8. I love this and you and I am from the “same neck of the woods” and I have often wondered if certain areas are just so “backward” or if this is a common problem but you are so right, i know for me the joy of my salvation soon turned to tears once the rose colored glasses were off and I realized that not all “christians” are nice and part of being “a good soldier of Christ is enduring the hardness” and often that hardness comes from those who serve in the same army that we serve. Great post and I pray God blesses you in helping others see the truth of our beautiful Savior!

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