Country Music: Yea or Nay…or Both?

Country Music: Yea or Nay…or Both? May 25, 2011

Country music can get a bad rap in some southern gospel circles. When Sarah Palin described southern gospel as “sort of like country” at the NQC, people were just dying with embarrassment (even though I think that’s a perfectly natural thing to say given the interplay and musical similarities between the genres). Although some listeners and many artists have expressed appreciation for the genre, the wrinkled nose seems to be a rather common reaction.
I think perhaps that’s because country music is viewed by certain SG fans as an unsavory genre. And to be honest, it can be, which is why I don’t listen to my local country station. But it doesn’t have to be. Moreover, while a lot of country songs really are just lachrymose and/or bitter meditations on lost love, it would be unfair to paint the whole genre with that brush either.

A new country album just came out yesterday, and the title track/lead single is called “This is Country Music.” It attempts to capture in a single song everything that country music is about. The artist is one of my favorite country singers, Brad Paisley. Not all his songs are equally appropriate, and I feel like he’s lost the thread over the last couple albums he’s done, but I enjoy this song. I thought it might be fun to talk about it on a southern gospel blog.
This is the first stanza:
Well, you’re not suppose to say the word “cancer”
In a song.
And tellin’ folks that Jesus is the answer
Can rub ’em wrong.
It ain’t hip to sing about
Tractors, trucks, little towns
Or mama. Yeah, that might be true.
But this is country music,
And we do.
Already, some signature traits of country music have been identified. For one thing, it’s heavily rooted in the story-song. It tells stories about family and sometimes the heartbreak of losing a loved one. But right up front, something else is stated quite plainly—the recognition and affirmation of Christianity. Country music goes places other genres aren’t interested in, and that includes “tellin’ folks that Jesus is the answer.” Paisley himself claims to be a Christian, and you can find Christian themes in more than one of his songs, which goes for many other country singers as well.
So far, so good. But some may balk at the next stanza:
Do you like to drink a cold one on the weekends,
And get a little loud?
Do you wanna say, “I’m sorry” or “I love you”
But you don’t know how?
And do you wish somebody had the nerve
To tell that stupid boss o’yours
To shove it next time he yells at you?
Well, this is country music,
And we do.
All right. Now, I’m sure many people would be shocked and offended by this, but for some reason it just makes me suppress a grin. Let me hasten to assure my readers that I do not like to “drink a cold one” and party over the weekend. But I’m trying to look at the overall message that’s being conveyed here, and to me, it’s appealing. Who hasn’t tried to say “I’m sorry” or “I love you,” but found the words sticking in his throat? Who hasn’t worked a job where you really do wish the boss would get what was coming to him? (Note: If you sing in a southern gospel group, consider this non-applicable to that particular job, because I’m hoping/assuming that you get along with your boss!!) The point is that country music relates to people wherever they are at, and it offers companionship:
So turn it on,
And turn it up.
And sing along.
This is real.
This is your life
In a song.
Yeah, this is country music.
“This is your life in a song.” That’s fascinating to ponder, because it can mean so many things, both good and bad. When you look in a mirror, you might not like what you see…but it’s the honest truth. That’s the key word here: Honesty.
This is where a certain kind of southern gospel fan might say, “But if country music is talking about us all the time, then how can that have any connection to God?” Well, first of all, this song states early on that Jesus is the answer, so it would be incorrect to say that country is a godless genre. Nevertheless, there can be a tendency in country to focus on the problems without providing any kind of hope to answer them. And some country music seems to revel in a self-pleasing lifestyle where God is out of the picture. That’s the bad side of it. It’s real, and it’s out there, and I don’t just want to make fun of the people who point it  out.
But there’s a good side too, and I think you hear that in my favorite verse:
Are you haunted by the echo of your mother
On the phone,
Cryin’ as she tells you that your brother
Is not comin’ home?
Well, if there’s anyone that still has pride
In the memory of those that died
Defending the ol’ red, white and blue,
This is country music,
And we do.
Just to preempt potential rabbit trails, this is not the place to debate over whether Christians can be patriotic. I trust that most of us love our country (while readily admitting she has many flaws) and would agree that this verse is saying something valuable and important. We instinctively feel a rush of emotions when we think about the sacrifices that have been made to preserve this nation, and we feel an ache in our hearts when we hear stories of fallen soldiers. I believe that these instincts are God-given. We can see and feel God in something beautiful and true. The pride we feel in this nation and in the memory of our soldiers’ sacrifice is really gratitude for something beautiful that God has given to us.
This is where a kind of music that tells real-life stories can have value to it. It has value when it re-connects us with our humanity and helps us find God in the process, even when God’s name is not specifically mentioned. I see God in a cross and an empty tomb, but I also see God standing by the woman dying from cancer, the farmer toiling and sweating to harvest his crop, and the mother weeping for a son who will never come home.
So the next time you hear “gospel” and “country” in the same sentence, consider that the association might not be all bad after all.

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  • I grew up on both southern gospel and country music. My all-time favorites artists, The Oak Ridge Boys, are both!! It was through them that I became familiar with both gospel and country music.
    Gospel music addresses the spiritual, doctrinal, and theological side of life – God, our relationship with Him, our salvation through Christ, and our ultimately spending eternity with Him in Heaven. Country music, on the other hand, deals with the HUMAN side of life – what we do while we’re down here.
    I think you hit the nail right on the head when you acknowledged “honesty.” Yes, we are Christians who worship God and praise Him, but we also have our faults. Country music gives us a place to address those (although some tend to glorify them a bit).
    I know there are some out there who will say, “Every single word that comes out of our mouth, and every single note we sing should be about GOD!!” It’s very hard to argue this point, and I can name at least one person who will immediately jump to this conclusion as their means of condemning country music, but really, let’s be honest (there’s that word again)….we are humans, and we have human interactions. What’s wrong with singing about those interactions?
    I remember back in 2003, Steven Curtis Chapman, arguably one of the biggest names in CCM, released a CD entitled “All About Love.” The CD was a collection of love songs to his wife. One song, in particular, “Echoes of Eden,” dealt specifically with (gasp!) intimacy within their marriage.
    Wait….WHAT?!?! He’s not singing about GOD?!?! He sings a song about SEX?! HOLD THE PHONE!!! He can’t be a Christian, then!! There’s no way I’m buying that CD.
    Ok, ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I worked in Christian retail (which is somewhat of an oxymoron anyway) at the time this CD was released, and I did get a few customers who wouldn’t touch the CD with a 10-meter cattleprod. But think about it….within the confines of a Christian marriage, intimacy is a gift from God. Why, then, would it be bad (or dirty) to sing about, in any genre?
    I see nothing wrong with singing about my life, warts and all. I am actually working on a concept album right now that is about just that – my family. Does it include our relationship with God? Yes. Does it include songs about my wife and sons? Sure does. Does it include songs about hardships and trials? Oh yeah. THAT’S LIFE!!

  • I figured you’d have something to say Kyle. 🙂
    I understand how you feel, and as you’ve noted I agree with you to a point. But at the same time, I did try to acknowledge that there’s a darker/uglier side to country music as well. It’s not all just tractors, little towns, an’ mama. Like you said, at times it glorifies human imperfections, sometimes in disturbing and unpleasant ways. That’s why I’m trying to strike a balance between just recommending all country whole-sale on the one hand and throwing out the baby with the bathwater on the other.
    But of course I agree with you that it’s silly to claim we can’t sing about human interactions or life on earth without directly bringing God into it somehow. (Because that would be “secular.”)
    As for that SCC album, I’ve encountered the attitude you’re describing there. Personally I couldn’t really get into it because the songs just didn’t grab me musically, and to some extent lyrically as well. There was a great remake of “I Will Be Here,” a similar sweet song called “We Will Dance,” a very good song called “Moment Made for Worshiping…” and that was kind of it, unless you want to count “When Love Takes You In” which actually came out originally on _Declaration_. But that’s all just a matter of taste. Obviously I don’t have a problem with him making an album for his wife! As for “Echoes of Eden,” I would have a problem with it if it started to get graphic, but of course he keeps it within the bounds of decency.
    I think intimacy can be abused very much in a secular context, so I wouldn’t say that “it can’t be wrong” to sing about in any genre. Even though God created sex as a gift, the world is fallen, and good things can be twisted. However, as long as it is done tastefully and respectfully, I see nothing wrong with it.

  • Its kind of interesting…
    If some Joe Schmoe on the street asked me what kind of music I dislike the most, 9 times out of 10 I’ll probably say country. However, if I’m trying to explain what style Southern Gospel music is, the majority of the time I’ll say “it’s kind of like country music, but different.” I haven’t gotten to the point where one person hears both answers, otherwise I’d have some explaining to do.
    About the darker/uglier side to country music, I think all genres of music have one of those. It’s just a part of the whole music-making industry.

  • All non-Christian genres anyway. Even though some country singers and songs are Christian, it would probably be fair to say that country isn’t really a “Christian genre.”

  • I guess I gotta get off the boat … depending on whether I understand you or not. I couldn’t play that song in its entirety. If someone in the car next to me heard lyrics accepting alcohol, and an obscene phrase with the last few words left off, they would be quite justified in forming an opinion about my convictions. And I don’t want to listen to something privately that would be a hindrance to unsaved friends if they knew I listened to it.
    Sure, there’s a tug just reading the lyrics; that raw honesty in the first and third verses is incredibly appealing. But to me, it runs aground on the same rocks as the majority of country music – it takes pride in cussing out the boss just the same as talking about Jesus. Anyway, it’s hard to deny that the lyrics look that way.
    I have been known to say that true country gospel is an oxymoron. I know that’s a little strong. The musical style can certainly borrowed, but the only places I’ve seen it done effectively destroy the gospel message. Take Gerald Crabb’s “My First Christmas Alone.” It’s as sad as it can be, and utilizes those sobbing steel guitars to the fullest. But it achieves its effect by leaving out what essentially is the gospel message – Hope. “Your first Christmas in Heaven” sounds all nice and religious-y, but why should we torment ourselves as that song ends in a wailing, “I’m so alone!” Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless.” The gospel doesn’t take people as it finds them and leave them there. They have to get honest with God about that temptation to tell the boss to shove it, but they don’t need to turn it up loud and sing along.
    Country music, in its essence, celebrates man in his unregenerate state. There are probably some songs out there – the clips I heard from Guy Penrod’s CD are all that come to mind – which focus on appreciation of the beautiful in everyday life, or focus on the need for grace, or whatever. And the musical style is fantastic; I love occasional country-flavored music. But embracing it as-is just isn’t gonna happen with me. By that I mean, I’m not going through and just weeding out the songs that explicitly ……. I’m rereading what you say, and I just can’t accept the idea that bad songs are “out there.” We do have to be real and human, but I’ve never heard the country song that helps us find God in the process.
    Lest people say I have no idea what I’m talking about, I live in the hotbed of country – the home of rednecks – Kansas. I don’t listen to country voluntarily, but I hear a lot of it in Tractor Supply Stores, restaurants and stores that play country radio, and I used to be exposed to more of it from acquaintances.
    On a lighter side, my “favorite” country song would have to be “What Do You Get when You Play a Country Song Backwards?” I heard it once in a store, that’s all!

  • Michael Anthony Curan

    i like both country and southern gospel. especially those artists like Signature Sound and Gaither Vocal Band that sounds like country. Blind Boys of Alabama released a country album lately.
    I’m a christian and a local indie singer-songwriter at the same time (you know those kind of music weird kids listen to like Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Midlake, and the likes) and i do drink a cold one on weekend (a below zero kind of cold). But i don’t go to wild parties though or participate in drinking sessions that lead to drunkenness.

  • I want to respond to your comment in full when I sit down and find time. At the moment I just wanted to confess that I initially wrote the post without really being aware of what that unfinished expression meant/indicated. I only put two and two together when I was pretty much all set to publish it, and at that point I just felt like going ahead. But I do see how what I said could be taken as more of an endorsement than it should be, and so I don’t blame you for reacting the way you did. I was taking the verse in general and trying to make a point about it, but in the process I should have been clearer that I’m against the use of profanity. Sorry about that.

  • I didn’t mean to attack you. And I didn’t think you were really trying to endorse that stuff. I believe in your motives, but I think I disagree with you on this post. 🙂

  • Okay. Couple things here. First of all, I wanted to be sure to address your concern about the swearing and hope I did that adequately.
    But at the same time I think you’re possibly misunderstanding what I was saying. You said “I’m rereading what you say, and I just can’t accept the idea that bad songs are ‘out there.’ ” I don’t know quite what you’re trying to say there, but I was trying to say that there’s a whole side to country music that I’m not recommending and not endorsing. Moreover, I emphasized that this wasn’t just a few isolated cases, so it’s not like if you take out the few bad apples it’s all good. It’s a very real problem with the genre. Is that something you would disagree with, or did you think I meant something else? You said “Embracing it as-is just isn’t gonna happen with me,” and that’s certainly not what I advocated either.
    You talked about country songs that leave people where they are without offering hope. To me, that is a valid concern, but a lesser one. I would make a distinction between country songs that are just sad and country songs that are actively gloating in and “celebrating” sin, to use your word. Granted, it can get to a point where you’re like, “All RIGHT already. Your man/girl left you. We got it!” (B. J. Thomas’s “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” comes to mind here.) And then there are songs where the despair is so bleak and depressing that you just can’t stomach it. Those are the, “Not only did my man/girl leave me, I’m going to go commit suicide because my man/girl left me” songs. I have a problem with that. But at that point, to be fair, we are moving into a problem that goes beyond just country. You can find songs like that in bluegrass, in pop, all kinds of places. So at a certain point it becomes more of a general problem with secular music than a specific problem with country music. And returning to what I was saying about songs that are sad, I think that there can be something beautiful (in a heart-breaking way) about listening to a song that describes something painful in a way that makes us really love and care about the people involved, even though there isn’t a resolution.
    Finally, I don’t know whether you just haven’t listened to the right country songs, but it’s certainly not true that there are no country songs that help us find God. “Go Rest High On That Mountain,” “Wake up Dancin’,” “When I Get Where I’m Going” (by Brad Paisley, incidentally), “If Heaven” and “Home Where I Belong” all provide a beautiful focus on fulfilling our deepest longings in God. There are also songs like “Bless the Broken Road” which describe the hand of God working in a person’s life, plus songs like “Ellsworth” which are certainly lifting up human dignity and Christian virtue even if the name of God is not mentioned. There’s another song called “The Car” which is a simple story about the love between a father and a son. Another one comes to mind called “One Friend” which is simply about a deep, abiding friendship. Also, isn’t “Somebody’s Praying” a country song? I could go on and on… So, all of that is to say, given that there aren’t just “some” but a lot of country songs out there that really are worthwhile, it’s simply an exaggeration to say that the “essence” of country music is the celebration of unregenerate man. Some is and some ain’t. Which was my point all along. 🙂

  • Oh, and I forgot to mention the song “New Again,” which is literally about the crucifixion of Jesus and Mary’s pain. Also by Brad Paisley (with Sara Evans).
    There’s also the song “Oh Love,” which isn’t technically a Christian song I suppose, but a pretty interesting reflection on love that tries to get past the common cliches. (And succeeds, in my opinion.)

  • I guess part of this goes along with Daniel’s recent post about fiction and its place within Christiantiy. Many country songs are story songs (Tom T. Hall made an entire career out of writing story songs). They are not the singer singing about what they’ve done, but telling a story of something that happened to someone else. These types of songs can be done very well, or they can push the envelope a little too far.
    “The Thunder Rolls” is a story song by Garth Brooks about a husband who cheats on his wife, only for him to come home and his wife to find out about it. The original radio release left it at two verses, but the full version includes an additional verse that reveals that she ultimately wound up murdering her husband over it.
    Bad story song.
    “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor” originated as a country song before becoming a gospel hit. A local man who was known for his womanizing, drinking, gambling, and police record repents, is baptised, and now has a loving relationship with his wife and son. You can’t get much more gospel than that.
    Good story song.
    Then there are the in-between songs. “She Thinks His Name Was John” by Reba McEntire was highly controversial when it was released because it dealt (albeit indirectly) with a woman who contracted AIDS after a one-night stand. The message of the song is clearly a warning against both unprotected sex and promiscuity, which is a good thing, but it simply glosses over “all of the men in her life,” inferring that she has had many sexual partners throughout her lifetime.
    Positive message? To an extent. Good story song? Well, it’s well-crafted, but there are too many holes to say that it’s a GOOD story song.
    I personally have no problems with country music as a whole. I even listen to some rock music (GASP!!). That’s not to say that others won’t feel the same way. Some may feel that it hinders their faith. I simply look at it from an artistic point of view.
    Romans 14 has some good observations on this: One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

  • Gaithermusicaddict

    Country music: yea or nay or both?
    To this I will say both. As it has been said, country ain’t all rotten. There are some good country songs that do more than just please the ear but go on further to enlighten and to remind the listener of spiritual themes. One such song, written by a full fledged non-Christian and sung by a well known and loved group in SG, is ” The Baptism of Jesse Taylor.” It was as I have stated, written by a non believer yet it sung by the GVB and my soul and several other souls are blessed when it is sung.
    And though most country songs are not to be feasted on by christians, I think country is more safer than other genres in the realm of secular music. Classical music is the safest, followed by country. Past surveys by scientists have rock music to be detrimental, affecting negatively the brain. Classical music on the other hand is the best for a healthy brain.
    Back to the topic, country is in my opinion very innocent if the lyrical content is junk free, otherwise, one bad word in a song and the whole song unpalatable for me. However, remove that one word and the song suddenly is ” cancer free!!” 😀

  • I think the big picture consideration should be having discernment and avoiding stuff that’s just going to put junk in your mind. I realize that people can take the idea of “being pure” to a drastic extent—sort of like washing your hands five hundred times before you eat instead of just once, thoroughly. At the same time, the Bible does tell us to keep our hearts and minds pure, and I take that as a cautionary word. I’m not as strict as some, but I try to keep standards.
    Ah, yes, I’d forgotten about “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor.” Good one!
    As for secular rock music, that world is pretty much completely closed to me, and I’m okay with that. The music isn’t generally to my liking anyway, and lyrics can get pretty bad pretty quickly. The extent of my exposure there is basically a little bit of old Billy Joel and Bruce Hornsby. But obviously I’m not principally opposed to the use of a beat or rock music as an art form, so there’s some Christian rock I enjoy. But the lighter the better…my ears can only take so much. 😀

  • Oh, and I hope I don’t get in trouble for this, but even though the message of “The Thunder Rolls” is obviously not… shall we say, edifying… there’s something rather darkly beautiful about it. The lyrics are dark, yes, but well-written and not gory/graphic, and the music… just wow.
    If you just want to hear the music without the depressing lyrics, this is a great instrumental version:

  • Here’s a really good one I recently found by Carrie Underwood called “Temporary Home.”

  • NWBaritone

    I appreciate this post, mostly because I am not now or have ever been a fan of country music. It does however seem to be a common thread with southern gospel fans and I always wondered why. Thanks for the conversation and insight. It seems to me to be kind of a regional thing. Country music is popular in the same parts of the country that southern gospel is a favorite and vice versa. I live in an area that isn’t commonly associated with either type of music so its nice to hear other points of view.

  • Good post. I’d also have much more to say. But I virtually agree with everything you and Kyle presented in your case, so an in-depth post is not necessary. And SG’s relationship with Country cannot be dismissed.
    Brad Paisley is also one of my favorite artists.

  • Thank you! Though I’m not sure Kyle and I would agree with each other on everything. If some folks are too straight-laced for me, Kyle might veer a little far in the other direction…but I’m not sure of that.
    Yeah, I really like a lot of Brad’s earlier stuff in particular. I just wish he hadn’t started slipping in “those” songs, if you know what I mean. It just bugs me. And then there was that silly ode to Obama he did that just made me want to do a face-palm. “Welcome To the Future,” forsooth. Lord knows if this is the future, it sure ain’t welcome.

  • I didn’t mean to ignore your response, just haven’t summoned the energy to give it the answer it deserved. I have to admit that I blur the line in supposing some songs to be intended as “country gospel” when they really were country songs. Probably I’ve done that more than I realized.
    I’m not intending to criticize your listening tastes. Evidently you’re able to find material that’s worth your time, so go for it. (I’m saying that honestly, not flippantly.)
    I still believe that the attitudes I mentioned are a root problem, not an incidental one, in country music. I may be wrong, and I obviously am not well enough versed in the genre to prove it to other people. So I should probably keep my mouth shut! But that’s my perception. I’ve found most country gospel that I’ve tried, to be quite shallow. I decided that it was not worth my efforts … Why glean through a harvested field of country when I have a loaded banquet table of SG sitting in front of me, is my philosophy. But I hear what you’re saying, and there is this remote possibility that you could actually be right and I could have made an eensy-weensy mistake. 😆 So I will try to refrain from further dogmatism. I stated my opinion strongly because I knew you could stand it, my friend! 🙂

  • 😆
    Your thoughts are welcome any time, whether or not we agree. I value your friendship and your readership.

  • Thanks.

  • BTW, what’s your take on the comma here: “I’ve found most country gospel that I’ve tried, to be quite shallow.”
    I don’t think it’s technically called for by any rule, but without it, at first glance the sentence would sound like “I’ve tried to be quite shallow.” I tried it without the “that.” I could have tried for a complete rewording, maybe “I’ve found that most of the country gospel I’ve tried is quite shallow,” but it didn’t seem to flow through with – well anyway, I just plain didn’t like it as well. So I went with the old suggestion to put a comma where you would pause for breath if you were talking.
    I found this article quite interesting recently: (Teaching commas won’t help), as well as the article on teaching grammar that it links to in the first paragraph.)

  • The comma is unnecessary. To see what I mean, try a different sentence with the same structure: “I’ve found most of the jellybeans I’ve eaten, to be quite disgusting.” There’s just no reason for it to be there.
    I haven’t read the article you linked to yet, but I’m already skeptical as to its helpfulness.

  • I know the comma’s not needed according to grammatical rules. My quandary was whether it was justified in that particular sentence to prevent doing a double take. “Tried to be” would look like it went together at first.
    I don’t agree with the article’s conclusions (any more than your country music 😛 ) but it did have some thought-provoking comments (like your country music).
    But we can agree to disagree. See ya next week!

  • I think it would be better to find a different way to express the thought than to do something incorrect. It’s never necessary to do something that isn’t correct.
    Okay. I’m still not exactly sure what specifically you’re disagreeing with me about on country music, but that’s all right. 🙂

  • I believe in being sold out the whole route ! I only listen to music that gives glory to God and lifts me up spiritually.

  • quartet-man

    I have some questions, Scott, Is playing basketball not totally sold out? How about board games? Watching TV? (Wholesome things). Taking a drive in the car that isn’t going to church? Reading books that aren’t religious books? Poetry that doesn’t mention God? A man being romantic with his wife? Playing with your kids? If God is a part of our lives, He is with us. He affects what we do. We will fail, but if we strive to live for Him, I think we will see Him even in the things that don’t directly mention Him. If we are out in nature, we will see His hand. If we hear a song of someone’s life changing, we will see God’s hand at work. If we listen to a song that doesn’t mention Him, we will see how He works in there. He gave us certain things to enjoy and I am not convinced that He didn’t have some fun in His life while on the earth. Although God was a part of every aspect of His life, I don’t know that His life was one big church service that was always preaching or listen to God’s word, and yet He was the Word. Even Solomon spent a lot of time writing about love.

  • Jesus came to make a change. He gave it all for me, so I must give all to Him. In the born again experience, all things are new. I don’t go to the places that I used to go. I don’t listen to same music. Even though there are a few nice songs that may not talk about drinking or all the other things that most country songs represent, I choose not to listen to them. The country star that sings about sin in one song and Jesus in another is not. A real Christian. You can listen to country if you want to, but I am fine with Southern Gospel. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Thanks.

  • quartet-man

    My point isn’t to say we shouldn’t give it all to God or for His glory, but to say that even the mundane things that don’t mention Him can be. We are to work as if working for God. This is true whether we work at a church or factory or whatever. One could argue that if you don’t work for a church, Christian bookstore, publishing company that only makes Bibles or Christian materials, etc. you are not measuring up. That is my point. Truth is truth. Even the day when the devil confesses Jesus is Lord will not diminish the truth of that statement or the evil or lies that he has the rest of the time. Of course we wouldn’t dismiss that statement because of who said it. So, if even country artists who put out material that is not good sing songs that are, should we dismiss the songs or truth therein because of the messenger? For that matter, we all fall short. Should people ignore the truth we preach because we are less than perfect?

  • We are in this world, but not of it. That doesn’t mean that you have to totally separate yourself from society , but it means that we walk to the beat of a differentt Drmmer. We must be a witness in everything that we do. I have a secular job. God has put me here so that I can be a witness. Just because Willie Nelson sings a few gospel songs does not make him right with God. Just becauseKenny Rogers did a gospel album does not make him a Christian. ( see his interview with Fox and Friends on YouTube ) The motive of the messenger makes a difference.. Do they want my money or do they want me to be ministered to ? We should obey the gospel to the best of our ability. Sure , we are not perfect, but we can do our very best for Jesus ! Thanks.

  • This comment reminded me of a song I remember from my childhood:
    Sorry, I know this is a serious conversation, but I couldn’t resist… 😛

  • Hey, yankeegospelgirl. Thanks for the blog. I started viewing it when you did a review on The Boggs cd. They are friends of ours. Thanks.

  • Thank you for reading! It’s been my pleasure to get to know the Boggs family if only from a distance. They’re wonderful people.

  • Who are you to say who is or isn’t a true Christian?

  • Well now let’s not be hasty here. Hoom-hom. (Sorry, all you non-Lord of the Rings fans won’t get that. BAHAHAHA.) Anyway…
    Josh, I understand your reaction, but Scott is trying to make a good point. The Bible says that we will know people by their fruits. Can we ever be 100% certain what’s going on between a man and God? Of course not. That doesn’t mean we can’t make any kind of conjectures. This may be a shot in the dark, but I’m kinda thinking Lauren Talley is closer to God than Lady Gaga. Now obviously that’s a hugely exaggerated example. But it’s still true on a smaller scale.
    I don’t think we are supposed to take sinful things lightly. Now we can have varying opinions on exactly what that looks like, but I think it’s a mistake to try to say we can never exercise judgment of any kind.