I am often asked to believe the south is full of Bible believing Christians, yet I’ve often found that’s really not the case. Oh sure there’s many Christians in the south but I’d wager only about 10% are authentic. How do I know this?
I’ve driven through it so many times. Just going down 95 south it’s plain to see. One billboard you see advertised some bible verse, the very next billboard is an adult book store or strip club at the next exit. What is almost humorous is these billboards will go back and forth for about 500 miles, with an occasional McDonald’s billboard in between now and then.
The phenomenon in the bible belt is more “Cultural Christianity” then anything. These are people whom are raised with a strong Christian environment with nothing else, and they are told from birth they have to be Christian. They are Christian because their culture tells them they must be so… yet they often lack authenticity. you can see it when you actually speak with them as a Bible believing Christian. For them church is just a place they go to on Sundays because it’s almost a crime not to.
This isn’t what Christ teaches at all, Infact he tells us you are either for or against him. You can’t have it both ways. He blatently says pick a side, don’t waste his and your own time!
How do I really know they arnt bible believing Christians?
The billboard example is just a perfect illustration, it is not my entire contention. Yet these adult book stores and strip clubs do not get funding for advertisement from no where do they…
No its obvious and it’s very telling when you actually talk to people in the south. I grew up in the south and I know plenty of southerners, even though today I’m a filthy yankee.
The first noticeable signal is, They will use intimidation very liberally, and they are not too low to use the bible to do it. Well this is obvious anyway, yet the contention is:
“The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom”.
It’s not about the fear of the lord, it’s about the fear of the person your speaking to. “Fear of the lord” is about respect in the way a person respects authority. Does someone with absolute authority and power need to throw their weight around?
If they do, they arnt really in control of anything. Some may have noticed god himself doesn’t normally rain down fire and brimstone. More often then not, gods judgement on people is handing them over to their own desires and let them screw up their own lives…. fire and brimstone comes when there’s simply no hope at all for certain people, it’s kinda like a last resort for him. God’s law isn’t really a “law”, it’s a guard rail so people don’t bring about their own destruction…. and indeed entire societies that embraced anything contrary to the 10 commandments usually bring about their own destruction historically.
The second thing that’s very noticeable with many southerners is, they don’t really know the bibles timeline of events. Many of them actually think Adam and eve were Jewish, even though “Israel” didn’t show up until about 3000 years after the fact according strictly to the Bible itself…. (Btw if you didn’t know then, no Adam and Eve were not Jewish, neither was Noah, Abraham, Issac, Joseph, and Jacob according to the bible)
Now it’s not really all together that important, it just shows plainly how very little people actually read the bible. It isn’t an esoteric secret, it’s spelled out so perfectly clear a child could understand it. Truthfully the biggest mystery of the bible is you have to actually read the thing, it otherwise explains and speaks for itself. 😉
The third telling sign is band aids on the bible. Southerners more then any part of the US are noticeably great at this. They like to “adjust” or “tidy” the bible to conform to their own moral views. Never mind people drinking alcohol, forget the bloody scenes, excuse the fact Samuel 18 sounds ALOT more like a gay love story between David and Johnathan then ‘just best friends’. (Yes I know I’ll get heart ache over the last one) The fact is, in the bible belt especially, people don’t want to hear it…. even though a good deal of it is actually critical in understanding gods perfect word and message. No it isn’t all fire and brimstone, nor is it some fictitious rosey lense of an all loving God… it’s a record of what actually happened and what god had to say to people about such and such. hence why it’s refered to as a “testimony” – the same as in a witness testimony in a court trial…. you know this funny thing called “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”…. the prophets who wrote the bible over the course of 4000 years didn’t waste their time just to lie… I ask you, why start now?
The fourth telling sign of the bible belt is it isn’t uncommon to find people who would say; “I can sin 6 days a week and pray for forgiveness on Sunday”. Yeah No, it doesn’t work this way at all.
The fifth telling sign is racism. No I’m not talking about the Confederate Flag I’m talking about real racism, yet a certain hypocrisy with racism I think few would understand but is particularly relevant on this point. Let’s take the Confederate flag for example. The flag itself represents seperation from America, yet they love America, yet they will wave the flag in black people’s faces while calling them “niggers”, yet they will fight tooth and nail to say “it’s not about racism or slavery” the minute someone says get rid of it… do you see the conundrum here?
It’s not just in the Confederate flag, actually that’s just one very simple example of a strange way people in the bible belt tend to think. A more abstract way of this is when I was speaking to a goat farmer in Alabama… try to follow me.
First he tells me he hates muslims and their destroying the country. Yet he started goat farming because so many muslims buy goat meat. He hasn’t made much money off his goats because the market isn’t strong yet… it will though as more muslims come!! Yet he continues to twll me that certainly if the Muslims ever come to Alabama he will shoot them. He concludes this tangent with he loves America!!
My own take on this is, first he sets out to try to capitalize on the demise and down fall of America, even though he wants to kill his target consumer… but not really because he loves America, but yeah the Muslims will take over anyway… even though no one is actually buying goat meat…. yet all the while he’s talking about the Muslims taking over he’s actually “giddy” like he wants it to happen.
Does anyone else get what I get out of that or is it just me? Maybe you just have to be there to see it. Trust me I’ve seen countless other examples.
Truthfully I’ve seen this kinda thinking in many things in the south. It’s: “yes but no, but yeah but no, but yeah – really kinda sorta but not really, But yeah actually logic”. My own logic is you either love America or you don’t, it’s hard to see it in some convoluted way. Personally I love America – there is no convolution to me. I certainly am not eager to capitalize on its demise, that’s apparently just me.
However with racism itself yes it is very prevalent in the south. They will deny it up and down, except for the fact they make it obvious only all the time until it involves getting rid of the Confederate flag – suddenly it doesn’t exist at all and there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation which includes succession from America… which they absolutely love but no not really, but yeah actually… I believe the bible calls this a “Reprobate Mind”. Personally I could care less about the flag, I just think it’s interesting watching them trying to justify it’s existence 100+ years after the fact, with no intention of getting “The south to rise again”.
but it’s not just black people, it’s just about everyone. They don’t even like other white people so perhaps in that it’s not racist. The black experience in the south can be summed not rightly so much in slavery. More often racist people are very direct in calling them “niggers” where as say the north racist people are often 2 faced and confront blacks with a smile, only to stab them in the back later somehow. The other end of that is non racist people do no such things. Black people particularly in the south always know where they stand with white people because people will plainly say what they think to their face. On either case anyone always knows where they stand with southern people, whom by nature, are often very direct. In my humble opinion I would rather be a black person in the south knowing where I stood with people then the north which is honestly just as much racist – but to get back to my original point it’s no big secret the bible belt plainly has plenty of racist….
….More to the point I would remind anyone the very first convert of the apostles was an eunuch from Ethiopia. Anyone can come to Christ and blended races in a Christian society isn’t a new subject matter. Constantinople of the Byzantine empire is a perfect example if one studies the history of the church 😉 it was the original multi ethnic melting pot and central trade center of the world over 1500 years ago…. and they were very much a Christian empire.
The final and perhaps most telling sign of the cultural Christian in the Bible Belt is a disrespect for wisdom. They place very little value on learning anything, and I guarantee they stopped reading this article a very long time ago by this point. Yet they are often convinced they know everything and they will tell you just how wrong you are. The Bible refers to this as a fool above all things!
I am certain I will get hate mail for some things I’ve said, yet about half of that hate mail won’t be based on the bible at all. Or it will be entirely based on the bible but it will be twisted to conform to their own views. Either way I don’t really care, I’m not here to please I’m here to tell the truth.
The fact is don’t buy for a second “The Bible Belt” means what is implied, because it’s not. Your looking at people who aren’t Christian because they really want to be, their Christian because their told they have to be. Not all of the south, just most. Force doesn’t work, it never works even with religion and in fact it is the way of most of the south. my contention such a thing opens the door for Satan within the church far more then anything else. If you are not truly a Christian take Christ’s advice and stop playing games and pick a side… If your not, in your heart, on Christ’s side your not a Christian plain and simple…. of a truth it usually shows itself very plainly, and you look like a fool when you pretend to be something your not.