By John Chancellor "Mentor coach"
(VINE VOICE) (TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)
This review is from: A Renaissance Redneck in a Mega-Church Pulpit (Paperback)
There is a concept that our lives are divided into three major segments. The first is our Discovery Years - these years are spent developing our personality, learning values, shaping our character and behavior. The second segment is our Fulfillment Years. We spend those years building a resume, acquiring wealth, staring a family, laying down roots, striving to achieve our goals. The third segment is our legacy years.
In A Renaissance Redneck in a Mega-Church Pulpit, author Randy Elrod shares the first two segments of his life. The book is funny, painful, insightful, emotional and thought provoking. Mr. Elrod traces his life from early childhood to huge success as minister of music in several mega-churches to a very painful conclusion of the second segment.
As I was reading this book, two thoughts kept coming to mind. The first was the song from the musical South Pacific – You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught. “You've got to be taught To hate and fear, You've got to be taught From year to year, It's got to be drummed In your dear little ear. You've got to be carefully taught.”
Mr. Elrod, the son of a Pentecostal preacher, was raised in the mountains of Tennessee. During his early childhood he was carefully taught – all the rules and beliefs of a very rigid fundamentalist church.
Because of his natural singing talent, he managed to escape the confining beliefs of the Pentecostal church. He also escaped Tennessee, being hired as the music minister for a mega-church in Florida where he was able to obtain a college degree and receive formal voice training.
His story is one of unbelievable rise from humble, rural beginnings to being a super star in numerous mega-churches. He got to travel, meet well connected people, in short enjoy the finer things of life. But what looked like an ideal life was actually draining the life out of him.
Mr. Elrod shines a rather soft light on the dark side of religion.
“Those tentacles of religious rules have a way of reaching throughout time. Even today.”
“I’ve said before that religious ideas are curious things. They flow in ruts worn deep by time and habit. It’s here you see the hand of that awful power, the fundamentalist church.”
“The teachings of my church seemed fine as long as we sequestered ourselves in our ‘sanctuary’, but they did not seem to stand up as well in the light of the real world.”
I feel certain the primary purpose of this book was therapeutic. But it is also a fascinating read for the seekers of truth. If you are not willing to open your religious beliefs to some serious questions, this book is probably not for you.
The book is very well written, a breeze to read, the story pulls you along. You will experience a wide range of emotions as the story line rises and falls with the ups and downs in the life of the author. While some people will find he was too hard on organized religion, it is my belief that he handled the subject with kid’s gloves.
I mentioned there were two recurring thoughts as I read this book. The other was a quote from Shakespeare, “His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!”
I was provided a review copy of this book.
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- Creative Community, IncA dreamer, artist, writer, mentor, teacher, musician, present
- Palm Beach Atlantic University1990
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