Christian Country.

As I was talking on my front porch the other day about country music I had a revelation. This is just another metaphor, done sermon style, in which something that is not Christian is related to Christianity in order to cause some sort of religious revelation. I will not deny that. None the less, I found it to be somewhat interesting and applicable to our modern day Christian living, so I thought I would share.

Here it goes:

I am a fan of old country music. Waylon being my favorite and then Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and the like following in no particular order. What I appreciate about the old folks is that they lived the life that they sang about. They had the working class blues, because they were blue collar and had to really work in order to support their families. They were not spoon fed growing up, but had tough lives. Their handshake meant everything and they loved like crazy. They were loyal to their people, and all of this is felt in the music they created. They lived their songs. They did not put on an act in order to sale records. They did not pretend to be somebody they are not. They were real with everyone and were, well, just themselves.

Modern day country is filled with people who are just looking to make some money. They claim to be from the hard working south, but in reality they are just looking to milk the system that is America and get rich. Other people write their songs and then they sing them. They have nothing in common emotionally with the song, but you better believe they will work up a tear in front of a few thousand people if that means a couple more itune’s sales. Am I judging? Do I really know these people? No. However, I do know what I hear and what I see and can’t help but reach this conclusion. Can you argue about this with me? A lot of country music today is made in order to appeal to everyone but the singer, there is no real attachment to the song. They are not living the life they are singing about.

Here is how this relates to Christianity which is also known as the part where most of the congregation conveniently gets hungry and then let their minds wonder to what Mexican restaurant lunch will come from. Does anyone else zone out when the Bible is opened? I often do this. I don’t know what it is, but when the Bible is opened and the second part of the metaphor comes up, that is also the time where I notice the pretty girl a few rows up. Maybe I will dive into why we (or maybe it is just me) do this later. But now, for the much awaited metaphor.

Growing up in the “Bible Belt” or the Jesus lovin’ South if you will, there is no denying we know who Jesus is. Basically anyone who is anyone knows who Jesus is. Most of where we live claims to be Christian. A great claim no doubt. However, I feel as if a lot of modern day Christianity is similar to modern day Country Music. I have heard a lot about Jesus much in the same way country music singers today have heard a lot about living the “Country  Music” style of life. Whether or not I actual walk the walk and not just talk the talk is up for debate. Well, I guess it is not up for debate but really true. I know the right things to say to the right people to make them see me in the right way. It is easy for me, because I know just the right time to bring Jesus into a conversation, because I know how the Christian life is supposed to be lived, I know how to say the right things and do the right things but not fully submit myself to the Jesus lifestyle. Live the life that I am singing about.

If saying Jesus things were for sale on itunes I could sell a lot of said things. I grew up in a Christian family and in a Christian home. I know the lingo. I know that saying things like, “I have been through some crazy trials and tribulations over the past few weeks” sounds really holy and Biblical. What I want to do is live the lifestyle. Not just be able to play the chord that hits the hearts of others, but I want to play the chord that I feel in my own heart. Was that cheesy or awesome? I’m not sure. I’m also not sure exactly what “living the Christian life style” looks like. However, I do want to keep trying to clear up the muddy water (more metaphor. great). Here is to Jesus. Here is to the summer. Here is to you!

-Ross Hoss

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