Catholic Bible 101

21st Century Catholic Apologetics for Mary's Spiritual Warriors

Are You A Good Old Boy?

Are you a "good ol' boy"?  Do you go to church on Sunday morning, and then get drunk Sunday afternoon while watching the NFL?  Or worse, do you not even go to Church on Sunday because your golf game and your Sunday Newspaper take priority?  Do you follow all of the latest news on TV, but don't have a clue what the Bible says, or what your Church teaches? 



Do you tell dirty jokes to the guys?  Do you sneak a peek at porn whenever no one else is around?  Do you flirt with the women at work but don't like talking to your very own wife?  Do you like to go to Hooters and stare at the cleavage?  Are you obsessed with spending quality time with your computer, your car, your sports, your buddies, etc., but hate to spend time with your very own family?  If you answered yes to any of these, then you may be suffering from "Good ol' Boy" (GOB) Syndrome.


Unfortunately for you, you can't have it both ways-- you have to choose, because most GOBs won't make it to heaven unless they repent and embrace Jesus Christ.  That is decidedly uncool for most GOBs.  The peer pressure of your drinking/joking/smoking/sports buddies would probably be too great for you to quit that lifestyle, and besides, they would laugh at you if you did that.  However, it is also VERY true that none of us will come to a natural end, but rather a supernatural one, when we die.  What that means is that we will all wind up in one of 3 places upon our death - Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell.  That means that if you are not paying attention to God now, and are putting football, porn, drinking, etc., before Him, then you will have a very tough time getting into Heaven.  Remember that you could die tomorrow on the way to work.  No one is guaranteed a tomorrow in this life.  Probably none of the 3000 or so who died on 9/11/2001 thought that they were going to die that day and meet their Maker while they were getting dressed that morning.


Besides all of that, participating in GOB activities usually means that your family life suffers greatly.  The wife that you promised to love, honor, and obey in front of God, your priest, and your family and relatives during your wedding probably would love to have you come back into her life as a loving husband and father to your kids.  Unfortunately, the tug and pull of your GOB lifestyle wins out more often than not.  Hopefully, you will heed this message to come back to Christ before a disaster happens in your family.  Sooner or later, there will be a car wreck, an injury, a death, cancer, etc., that God will use to call you back to his flock.  At that time, you will probably plead with God for help in eliminating this event from your life, or the life of a loved one.  Just like an NFL quarterback doesn't wait for Sunday to start getting in shape for the game, neither should you wait for a tragedy to happen to you or your family to begin to learn to pray.  It takes a lot less faith to pray to prevent a tragedy, rather than to undo one. 


A word here about how the devil operates.  No one signs a contract with the devil to be subject to him.  That is all Hollywood nonsense.  The real way that he gets you is through sin.  Every time you sin, and the more grievous the sin, the devil and his minions get a piece of you.  The bigger the sin, and the more frequent the sin, the more you will find that life is mysteriously not going well for you.  While this is not demonic possession as seen in "The Exorcist", there are lesser degrees of control that the devil can exert in your life.  Your marriage, your health, your outlook on life, your family, your job, etc., will all start to fall apart, and you won't have a clue why.  You will start hollering and screaming at your family for the silliest things as a result.  You will start blaming everyone else for your very own self-created problems.  So -- By not sinning (porn, drinking, anger, treating your family horribly), you reduce this possibility from occurring in your life, and the life of your family.


So now what?  First, you have to eliminate your GOB lifestyle and then go to confession and have God bless you through that sacrament.  Going to confession is like removing a nail in your foot that you stepped on.  Through this sacrament, God forgives you of your past sins that you confess to His priest, as long as you truly repent and promise to try not to do sin again.  This part of the cure can be thought of as "eliminating the negative" in your life.


So, then how do we accentuate the positive in our life?  After a good confession, the next step is to start going to Mass every Sunday and to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.  Holy Communion is the point where the Creator and the created are joined.  As Catholics, we believe that the consecrated Communion Host is the Body of Christ, and the consecrated wine is the Blood of Christ (this is what the Last Supper was all about).  The spiritual strength that you will gain from one fervent Holy Communion will help you to turn your life around dramatically when your buddies and your old ways tempt you once again.


After that, start reading a good Catholic Bible that has lots of explanatory footnotes, like the Navarre Bible, or better yet, you can join a Catholic Bible Study group. It’s good to remember that the Bible does not necessarily mean what you think it means, or what I think it means, based on my own personal interpretation.  No, it has one meaning, and the Catholic Church, which is the originator of the Bible, in union with God, the author, is the one true interpreter of what it really means.  Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in Truth.


The last thing is to learn how to pray.  Prayer is not "give me, give me, give me", as though God was some kind of celestial Santa Claus.  The 4 ways of prayer are Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (requests), which is abbreviated ACTS.  The person who learns to use the first 3 items (ACT) as the majority of his prayers usually gets the supplications (requests) answered.  The person who only uses requests while ignoring the first three rarely gets his prayers answered.  A useful approach to prayers is to be as humble as you can, as often as you can.  The devil's sin was pride, because he wanted to be God.  The opposite of pride is humility, so the person who really is humble usually is the most successful prayer warrior.  The more you humbly pray in adoration and contrition and thanksgiving, the easier it becomes.  Most people pray today like they have to make a long distance telephone call to God when they want something.  After you begin your new prayer life, you will realize that no long distance phone call is needed, because God is right beside you and can hear you just fine 24/7/365.


In summary, being a "good ol' boy" is a very natural human state of existence for most "guys".  Sadly, it will not get you into heaven, but usually blocks that from happening.  That is the long-term problem.  The short-term problem is that it will start to affect your earthly life here as well, in a decidedly negative fashion.  Accepting Jesus in your life, receiving the sacraments, going to Church every Sunday, reading the Bible and humble prayer with Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication is the cure.



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