A little over a year ago, I started listening to country music pretty regularly again. I was a fan of it in high school, but had quit for a long time. I really started liking it again. One of the reasons (not the only one) I got back into it was that I was listening for songs our band in our church could do that had clear nuggets of truth in them that could relate to things we were teaching. I was finding that songs with solid and important messages of truth were pretty hard to find in many genres of music, but country music had some good things to offer.
As I have been listening to country music for awhile now, I am hearing something over and over that is alarming to me. There is a version of Christianity that is being presented that just does not line up with what the Bible teaches Christianity is. I have dubbed this version of the faith as “country music christianity.” There is this weird version of the faith that comes out with a person saying “I love Jesus” or “I am thankful for God” or “God take the wheel” and so one, yet ignores some very clear teachings of this Jesus and the Bible. Here are some of the aspects of country music christianity that concern me:
- it celebrates abuse of alcohol. I hear this idea all the time of it is alright to go get wasted after softball on Saturday, but we will be at church on Sunday. Of course we can sin and be at church and of course God is ok with drinking alcohol, but drunkenness is wrong and so is celebrating a lifestyle of debauchery. It divorces holiness from any connection of one’s walk with God.
- it continues to objectify women. God is awesome and so is her badonkadonk (and I can keep saying this because I am a man). God hates sexual sin. It is one thing to appreciate beauty and be honest about it. It is another to be a sleaze ball and act like God is cool with that.
- it confuses patriotism and faith. I love Jesus and let’s go bomb those guys. There is a lot here. We could talk about the idea of a just war and so on. But this idea that to be an American means to love Jesus and just be alright with bombing other countries is ridiculousness.
- it suggests if you follow God everything will work out. I love God and so as long as I take my kids fishing and go to church, the world will just go my way.
- it suggests an incorrect view of masculinity. A real man is built on if can you throw a punch and shoot Jack Daniels. Real men are defined by taking responsibility and loving God.
At the end of the day, I am still on a fan. But I am saddened and annoyed by this version of christianity that is so often propagated in country music.