Bible Rednecks - John the Baptist

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gordon 2

Senior Member
The way you are making it plain Christianity to be hand in glove with Southern culture or Redneck culture or a rural minded working-class folk by pointing out the outdoor-rural roots of John the Baptist, Peter and others is very interesting. Your ministry to the redneck culture from its perspective is something we can all think about regards effective ministry. I have often felt that much of the parables in the New Testament are about farming or observations easy for rural and hands-on folk and often wondered how urban people understand the informations of culture they provide.

Since your ministry seems to be to this target culture what would be the reason(s) of a constant need to evangelize and re-evangelize within its borders-- as if individuals within are in constant need to repent and be baptized and so surrender to Jesus ? Does Redneck culture have a backsliding component due its Redneckness that a distinction between Bible Rednecks and other Rednecks can be made? Does Redneckness overly spawn goats maybe?

Thanks for the vid.


Also do u have any ideas on what would be the commonalities of the significant persons in the New Testament with the hands-off nature lives of urban citizens where the real nature of sheep vs goat can be non-existent?
 
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Thread starter #3
The way you are making it plain Christianity to be hand in glove with Southern culture or Redneck culture or a rural minded working-class folk by pointing out the outdoor-rural roots of John the Baptist, Peter and others is very interesting. Your ministry to the redneck culture from its perspective is something we can all think about regards effective ministry. I have often felt that much of the parables in the New Testament are about farming or observations easy for rural and hands-on folk and often wondered how urban people understand the informations of culture they provide.

Since your ministry seems to be to this target culture what would be the reason(s) of a constant need to evangelize and re-evangelize within its borders-- as if individuals within are in constant need to repent and be baptized and so surrender to Jesus ?
Good observations and questions. Thanks.

As a servant of Jesus Christ, I try and only run where I'm sent. And I am confident that for now I've been sent to "the rednecks of North Georgia" with some overflow to other areas of the south. When we moved back to the south, I described it to my wife as where "everyone is born again, but no one is saved." That's a bit of an exaggeration, but captures my conviction that the "Bible belt" has often done a better job immunizing the community against the gospel than succeeding at true discipleship. My ministry to rednecks who reckon themselves as men of faith is often the same as it has been to cultural Christians of other backgrounds, "Have you really repented and surrendered to Jesus?" Or as one person put it, "If you stood trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

Does Redneck culture have a backsliding component due its Redneckness that a distinction between Bible Rednecks and other Rednecks can be made? Does Redneckness overly spawn goats maybe?

Thanks for the vid.
Every culture has predispositions to backsliding, so I wouldn't pick one out as "better" or "worse." Bible rednecks can be good, bad, or mixed, as can modern southern rednecks. As Scripture says, "He who does what is right is righteous ... he who does what is sinful is of the devil."

Rednecks have the advantage that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. It is definitely a more fertile ground for discipleship than the math and science departments at most universities.

Also do u have any ideas on what would be the commonalities of the significant persons in the New Testament with the hands-off nature lives of urban citizens where the real nature of sheep vs goat can be non-existent?
There were a number of important people in the New Testament that I would not identify as rednecks - Paul, Matthew (tax collector), Luke (physician), Barnabas (from Cyprus), Timothy (urban guy of mixed greek and Jewish descent), Cornelius (Roman centurion), Sosthenes (Corinthian synagogue ruler and co-author of 1 Cor) and others.

Do the challenges and realities of rural life make one more receptive to the gospel? Maybe. But being Jewish should be an advantage also (the law is a schoolmaster to bring Jews to Christ), but often times it isn't.

My job is to "become all things to all men" to win as many as possible. Perhaps I'll spend the rest of my life being a redneck among the rednecks. Perhaps the Lord will send me back to academia. Perhaps something else.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thank you for your replies. Yours is similar to my situation when I think of young people these days.

And what I mean is people who have never know people who earned their livelihood and provided for their families with a pick and a shovel or with oxen or mules like my generation did. What was once necessary-- a food garden- to supplement income is now a quaint hobby. The social-economic environment young people live in today is so far from the references to farming and fishing in scripture as to make them 100% alien to my generation's spiritual references which had immediate meaning.

I will consider the non-rednecks in your list for them. So thanks. And if you have other ideas about young people, especially college and university trained, please add. Thanks again.
 
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Thread starter #5
I will consider the non-rednecks in your list for them. So thanks. And if you have other ideas about young people, especially college and university trained, please add. Thanks again.
When man first sinned, God said to him

“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

I see this as a redemptive discipline intended to turn man's heart toward God in need and prayer rather than as a punishment. Thus, insofar as education is an attempt to avoid "the sweat of one's brow" in earning a living, those with college and university educations are prone to trust in other things (their own minds, science, the US, society at large) rather than in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

In the same way that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," education can also be an impediment to salvation. The poor man more readily acknowledges that he needs God's help. But like the rich man, the educated man is slower to see his need and depravity.


For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Note that only a few people accepted the message when Paul preached to the philosophy crowd in Athens. But the people a few miles up the road in Corinth were much more closely in touch with their sinfulness and depravity, and a pretty sizable church resulted.
 

Israel

Senior Member
Yet even philosophers can be shown to be "good enough liars" to qualify for the sinner's seat in hope of mercy.
Being "late to the party" includes at least...making it to the party.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Yet even philosophers can be shown to be "good enough liars" to qualify for the sinner's seat in hope of mercy.
Being "late to the party" includes at least...making it to the party.

:):):)

Hum. Why do you say this that philosophers can be shown to be "good enough liars"?

I'd like to study the list. Do you mean they lie in the same proportions as non-philosophers do...that they are not exceptions to the possibility of lies in their personal lives or that their philosophical works were/are lies? If the latter, I'd like a heads up.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
admonish : to warn.

Colossians 1:28-29 NASB
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Is my understanding correct?

a) Redneck cultures are more easy to assimilate the Good News because genrally the cross and the resurrection is not foolishness for them.

b) People who are from academic cultures are more prone to see the cross and the resurrection as foolishness.

Ministry to the academic culture folks must therefore be a warning ministry, because a self identifying ministry does not work in this case.

???

Colossians 1:28-29 NASB
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.


admonish: to warn

Is there evidence that warning in the academic cultures works in their case?

Is there a way to proclaim Him that would work on the gifts of philosophers?
 
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Thread starter #9
admonish : to warn.

Colossians 1:28-29 NASB
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Is my understanding correct?

a) Redneck cultures are more easy to assimilate the Good News because genrally the cross and the resurrection is not foolishness for them.
My conviction is that gospel calls for individual responses rather than cultural responses. My observation is that individual rednecks are more likely to respond, because they are more likely to see their need. I see several contributing factors - 1) less likely to be wealthy 2) less likely to be well educated 3) more likely to have conviction of sin due to church influences through life.

Christ crucified is often still a stumbling block to Jews (wanting to fulfill the law) and those who think like them (legalistic righteousness). Christ crucified is often still foolishness to gentiles (most Americans are educated enough to express disbelief and unbelief to miracles.)

b) People who are from academic cultures are more prone to see the cross and the resurrection as foolishness.
This is a big part of it. But due to education and wealth, they are also less likely to see their need for God. They are harder to bring to a place of conviction of sin.

Ministry to the academic culture folks must therefore be a warning ministry, because a self identifying ministry does not work in this case.
???
Paul wrote, "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some."

I am not willing to exclude academic folks from "all people." All means all. And at times, I've been one of those academic folks with an effective self-identifying ministry in academic circles. But most people who respond to the gospel in these circles don't have huge barriers to seeing their need. Some are in academic trouble due to self-control problems. Some are under conviction for sin - immorality, drink, drugs, cheating, stealing, etc. They may parrot some of the common "scientific" objections, but they don't really believe them. For some, it can be a powerful thing for me to say, "I have a PhD in Physics from a top school and I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, because the Bible says so and he answers my prayers." And "I believe in the Biblical testimony of miracles, because I've seen them." And "Jesus saved me from my sin and he can save you too."

But for every person in the academic circles who responds favorably, there are a bunch who just think I'm crazy. "Cognitive dissonance" is a phrase they throw out a lot. They see me as a much bigger threat to their worldview than Christians they can simply write off as "stupid."

Is there evidence that warning in the academic cultures works in their case?

Is there a way to proclaim Him that would work on the gifts of philosophers?
Warning is an essential part of the gospel for any audience. But when the minister declares the warning, the hearer needs to be receptive to the Holy Spirit when he adds conviction of "sin, righteousness, and the judgement to come." A removal of the veil and opening of the eyes and ears is still a work of God. I think a significant mistake of 20th and 21st century evangelism has been an overemphasis of speaking to the mind rather than the heart. I've seen a more direct proclamation of the word of God be most effective in both redneck and academic circles. I'd put being Biblical as much more important than appearing "reasonable."
 
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