What's with the backbone talk? Well, it usually revolves around preaching in which the speaker:
1. congratulates himself for having one, given the intensity of his preaching and his unconcern with the possibility of offense.
2. praises the congregation for having one, given that they're continuing to listen to him and not getting up and leaving.
3. exhorts the spineless to grow one.
4. enumerates the lamentable state of those spineless unwilling to grow one.
Who actually has one?
Now that we have an idea of the context of the backbone, it's important to delineate who actually possesses said backbone(s) within the context:
1. Whoever claims someone else is missing one.
2. "Real" Apostolics (i.e. Not the fake ones. Kinda like how there are parts of America that are "real" and the rest is fake? We're talkin about the real parts, baby).
3. Whoever "stands up." You think it's possible to have one if you're sitting down? Get outta here.
4. Whoever is unashamed to possess one (i.e. Don't care what the world may say cuz they love Jesus anyway).
Men and brethren, what shall you do?
Now, some of you reading this may realize you fall outside of the categories mentioned above and a cloak of conviction has fallen over you and your eyes have been opened to your desperate need of a backbone. What does it take to grow one? What is the sunshine and water, if you will, that will make a measly little tail bone blossom into a full-grown, steely spine protector?
1. Start making boundaries and drawing lines. It doesn't really matter if they're based on scripture or not. A little extra-Biblical oomph never hurt anyone. The more boundaries and lines you draw, the steelier the spine.
2. Start taking positions against things, even if you could just as easily be for something else. For example, saying "I'm against gay marriage" is more backbone fortifying than, "I'm for improving the sorry state of heterosexual marriage within the church given our divorce rates."
3. Learn what it means to get "righteously indignant." Your backbone won't grow if you sit around and shrug every time you open up the newspaper (since newspaper reading is more backbone building than the Internet) and read of the latest evidence that the world is getting worse.
4. Develop nostalgia for the past. Once you get set in your mind that the way things used to be is better than the way things are now, be careful, you may experience a violent backbone growth spurt.
So, cheer up, O, spineless. Follow these guidelines, and your backbone will blossom beautifully. Before you know it, you'll be demanding other people grow one too!