Country Music


I grew up listening to Country Music.  Classic Country Music was a staple for many baby boomers.  Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Connie Smith, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Charlie Pride, Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash, and many other country artists shaped my boyhood.  As a matter of fact, my dad and his three brothers formed a Country band and we cousins were often found sitting against the walls at Jewel’s Dance Hall in Austinburg, Ohio on the weekends.  Believe me, the Country Music of the 1960’s is not the same as the Country Music of today, and I’ll stop there!

Should Christians listen to Country Music?  Should they listen to Jazz? The Blues?  Mozart? Rock and Roll?  I heard jazz-blues artist Louis Armstrong’s infamous song the other day, “What a Wonderful World.”  His mellow, scratchy voice intrigued me.  The lyrics were warm and “clean.”  I enjoyed it!  Later I heard Tom Jones sing, “The Green, Green Grass of Home.”  I literally cried as memories of my dad and uncles singing that song came crashing into my mind.

Let me put it this way:  Don’t be looking for a sermon from me on the evils of Country Music anytime soon.  I think we many times major in the minors!  Like you, I am indwelled by the Holy Spirit.  He leads and guides us into all truth.  He’s the One that gives us marching orders.  I personally enjoy many music genres.  Some of the love songs of the late 50’s and 60’s were simple and innocent.  You just can’t beat Bobby Vinton’s “Roses are Red,” or “Blue Velvet.”  I don’t always listen to Gospel Music.  In my opinion, some of today’s Gospel Music sounds like it was birthed at the Hard Rock Cafe, or at an acid rock concert!  Once in a while I turn on the “oldies.”  I personally don’t care for a lot of contemporary Country Music, but I can become sentimental (even fight back tears) listening to Loretta Lynn sing, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

What’s the bottom line?  Stay in the Word, and listen to the dictates of your heart.  If the Holy Spirit convicts you of listening to something, then DON’T LISTEN!  Really, I think some of us need to lighten up.  It goes without saying that some music, regardless of the genre, is inappropriate for believers to embrace.  The lyrics are either sexually suggestive – even explicit.  Those types of songs are “no-brainers.”

There are on/off buttons on TV’s, radios, CD’s and other devices for a reason!  Use them righteously.  TV remotes allow us to choose clean viewing options; although admittedly our options are becoming fewer and fewer!

Should you listen to Country Music? Ask the Boss! (I’m not talking about Bruce Springsteen). The indwelling Spirit will tell you when to “switch channels or stations!”  Truthfully, I think we many times complicate the non-essential matters.  Admittedly, I mostly listen to Gospel, but occasionally I enjoy some blues–jazz, easy listening, golden oldies, and classic country.  But I turn it off or switch channels when Conway Twitty starts singing, “Tight Fittin’ Jeans.”

Gifted artists from all genres and walks of life have celebrated their talents through good clean songs down through the years.  We all have our personal preferences.  The Holy Spirit inside you will tell you when it’s time to “turn the dial!”  In the meantime, I still laugh when I hear Ray Stevens sing about the “Mississippi Squirrel.”  

In conclusion let me say, the closer we get to the Lord, the more sensitive we’ll become to these types of issues, and the “whether or not’s” will become easier to discern.



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