Cowboys And Jesus
Cowboys (and cowgirls for that matter) are known for working hard, rodeoing wild, driving pick up trucks and for listening to rocking country music. Well, at least in the USA. Slogans like "cowboy up" or "cowboy cool" certainly have a reason and show that cowboys in the USA are considered to be cool. But who or what is a cowboy? In Europe cowboys are oftentimes connected with the "wild west". But why? Today`s cowboys have gone with the times, just like other professions that are still around from wild west times - like bankers, policemen or soldiers.
There are roughly 30.000.000 beef cows in the typical american cowboy states alone! So there are quite a few ranches and cowboys in modern day America. Cowboys wear modern clothing (like jeans and straw hats) and use modern technology like pick up trucks, ATVs or even helicopters to take care of the cattle on the ranches across the United States.
And cowboys even have their own sport - the rodeo. And even the rodeo is hardly comparable with the wild west, instead it`s a wild cowboy party with music and light show. But rodeo is also a serious and tough sport: A rodeo is devided into two kinds of events - roughstock and timed events. In the roughstock events (bull riding, bareback bronc riding and saddle bronc riding) the rider has to stay on a wild horse or bull for 8 seconds. If the cowboy falls off before the 8 second mark, he does not receive any points for his efforts. After 8 seconds the rider receives a score from the judges according to his riding style and the wildness of the animal. The rider with the highest score wins. It is a common misconception that a rider has to stay on as long as he can. That is not true - after 8 seconds the competition is over and the rider has to dismount. In the timed events (calf roping, steer wrestling and for the cowgirls barrel racing) it is all about the fastest time! There are no style points - the fastest time simply wins! Usually a rodeo rider choses and concentrates on one event but some cowboys are active riding in two or even more events. There are quite a few rodeo leagues in the USA, the most popular are the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Assn) and the PBR (Professional Bul Riders). Those organisations hold events all over and at the end of the year after the finals crowns their champions.
For more about todays cowboy lifestyle, ranches, rodeos and a lot more please visit our partnersite (after reading the disclaimer on our site):
www.americancowboy.net (German only)
Now you might ask: How do cowboys and Christiany fit together? Well, the American cowboy lifestyle is strongly rooted in Christianity. There are many cowboy churches in the USA - especially in cowboy type states like Wyoming, Texas or Oklahoma. Cowboy churches are organisations that are especially made for the people within the cowboy culture: They praise God country style and quite a few cowboy churches own their own rodeo arena where they practice riding and even hold their own rodeo competitions. And typically rodeos in the USA offer cowboy church services on sunday mornings! Also: Rodeos are usually started by a prayer in Jesus name! So it should not be a surprise that many of todays American rodeo stars confess Christ as Savior! But let`s take a look at what makes one a Christian:
What does God himself has to say?
Cowboys like to think of themselves as cool and tough. Sometimes that makes it hard to accept help from somebody else as this could be seen as weakness. However even the coolest and toughest cowboy needs the help of Jesus Christ! Without Jesus everybody is lost. Let`s look at what God himself tells us about the subject in his word - the bible:
You see, we are all sinners as Romans 3:23 tells us: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Sin is to "miss the mark or to err", it is going against the standard set by God. It was never God`s will for us to fall into sin - it was our own fault (we all know the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden). Anyways, because of sin we are unclean in the eyes of God. And God cannot let anyone unclean into his Holy Kingdom ("heaven") - no matter how cool or tough that person might be!
Instead the penalty for our sins is death: " For the wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23 . So how can we escape that penalty and receive eternal life instead? The answer to the question is: Jesus Christ! "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6).
God the father sent Jesus, his son, to earth to die in our place. Because Jesus never sinned he is the only one who did not deserve to die! But for all of us he died as a sacrifice for our sins! He is the only one who can save you because he is the only one who never sinned! He paid the penalty for us: Romans 5:8 states:"But God commandeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". So Jesus died in our place and took our guilt upon himself! So what must we do to apply Christ`s sacrifice to us? How do we get eternal life? John 3:16 says:"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". Nobody can cleanse himself or herself from sin! No church membership or good deeds can bring salvation! But trusting in Jesus Christ will give you eternal life!!! Trust in him that he died for your sins and thru that gives you eternal life: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36)
Do you trust in Jesus Christ that he took your guilt upon himself and died in your place? Do you trust in Jesus that he gave you eternal life? Then you are a Christian defined by the bible! As we can see from the bible verses above we do not become Christians by going to church, by baptism or by good works! The bible clearly states that we are saved by God`s grace and not our deeds (Ephesians 2:8-9)! Surely, God want`s us to have fellowship with other Christians and he wants us to do good - but we do those things BECAUSE we are saved, not in order to get saved! We are only saved by trusting in Jesus!