CLAY WALKER’s hit single “Jesus Was a Country Boy” resonated with people fed up with slick preachers driving luxury cars and church sanctuaries as big as football fields. That’s not what Jesus was all about. Like the country boy next door, Jesus modeled a grassroots faith. He was born in a barn and fished for his dinner. He hung out with lowlifes and sinners. He came not for the rich and powerful, but for the good old boys and country gals.
Drawing from his own humble beginnings, Clay explores the ways Jesus spoke to good old-fashioned country folk: Jesus knew where he came from and he knew where he was going. He knew how to treat people, but he wasn’t afraid of a fight. He knew how to have a good time, and he loved to surprise people. And, like any good country boy, he knew about heartbreak. Ultimately, Jesus came to love and show that knowing His father is as free and easy as a summer breeze on a front-porch swing. If you want to find God, then it’s time to lose religion and meet a country boy from Bethlehem.
“The pastor was perfect, polished, and painful. His three-piece suit fit him like a glove, and I recognize now that it had probably been hand-tailored by some Italian designer. He spoke in a strong, congenial voice that reminded me of a politician making a stump speech. I’m sure he was a good man and probably knew more about theology than I ever will, but he didn’t seem acquainted with the God I knew. The God who peeks out from the horizon through the golden eyes of the sun. The God who smiles when I go fishing with my daddy and catch a bigger catfish than he does. The God who asks us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, even if that neighbor is dressed in jeans instead of a suit…. Real faith—the kind that’s connected to the love of God as our heavenly Father—starts with what’s inside. And inside, I’m as country as it gets.”
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