Jesus, Country Music, & Beer
“If I could have a beer with Jesus…”
That was the line posted on face book by a Christian friend of mine today. It was followed up with an explanation that it was a line from a song.
Hmmm. Never heard that one.
I was intrigued, however. So, I went to one of my go-to people for current country music and asked hubby.
“‘If I could have a beer with Jesus’ ever heard of it?”
“Yes. It’s definitely different.”
I shared the thread I had come across with him, and he found the music video on his iPhone for me.
Country music often incorporates faith in their songs. This isn’t the first song to combine my friend Jesus and alcohol in the lyrics.
Red Dirt Road~Brooks & Dunn
People Are Crazy~Billy Currington
One Wing in the Fire~Trent Tomlinson
Awful Beautiful Life~Darrly Worley
Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox~Joe Diffie
I realize that the songs above don’t directly mention one of us sitting down sharing an alcoholic beverage with Jesus himself, but I’ve always felt that if you wouldn’t do it with Him, you shouldn’t do it at all.
The new artist, Thomas Rhett, doesn’t hide his beverage of choice from his Savior. He shares it with Him.
Now, don’t hear me wrong here. If you weren’t already aware, yes, I’m Southern Baptist by way of denomination. I’m not publicly making a stand that I’m ok with people offering to share a beer with Jesus.
I am stating that Thomas Rhett’s lyrics are about being honest and open with the One who already knows everything that we are doing all the time.
I am stating that the narrator of this song is imagining what it would be like to sit down and talk to the One who turned the water into wine.
I’m not sure that Jesus would be as offended by these lyrics as my conservative Christian self is crying out for me to be.
Let me offer you a non-alcoholic example.
Several years ago I shared a special song during the Christmas program at church.
The title of the song? “There’s A New Kid In Town”.
It’s a beautiful song. My opinion, anywho.
So, after the service as we’re going to the fellowship hall for refreshments and fellowship (Hey, I told you I was Baptist!), an individual cornered me. Yes, that’s what it felt like. Cornered.
“I’ve never heard anyone refer to the Christ-child as a kid. That song is disrespectful and has no place in the church! Just another baby?!?! How offensive!”
“I’m sorry you feel that way.” was the only response I could manage. I had no idea what to say.
The individual’s spouse dragged them away by the arm.
A song that touched my heart had offended someone else. A song that in my mind had nothing controversial had most definitely sparked controversy right in the church at the Christmas program.
See, the people in the song I sang were looking for the King. The people in the town around Jesus didn’t recognize the King. They only saw another baby.
The narrator in “Beer With Jesus” wanted to have a real conversation with the King. Sometimes we uber-conservative Christians want to have a scripted conversation with Jesus in the sanctuary of His church house.
I don’t know about you, but the Jesus I read about in the New Testament wasn’t about safe locations and scripted conversations. He was all about being in the trenches dealing with the heart of the matter…the meat…the things we tend to gloss over and hide.
I don’t think Jesus would avoid my brother Rhett at the bar. I think He would meet him right where He is and answer all of His questions.
So what about us? Do we persecute? Do we participate? Do we pretend not to notice?
I won’t lie.
I don’t believe this song has any place in the doors of a church despite the testimony I read here.
I won’t be adding this song to my own personal play list. I enjoy country music when my contemporary Christian station is doing their annual fundraiser, but other than that I mostly stick to my Christian station these days.
I absolutely won’t be persecuting the artist, record label, promoters, or stations playing this song. If someone hears this song about a man wanting to spend time talking to Jesus on their turf and that song sparks questions in the listeners heart…well, I’m going to pray that God will have someone standing or sitting right beside them ready to share the gospel. Where ever that person may be.
And if I haven’t given you enough to think about, when Jesus was a teenager, did He have huge, white, puss-filled zits?
Just trying to keep my relationship real and clear like plastic wrap, folks.
Please leave me a comment if you can think of any additional country songs that talk about both Jesus/religion/church and alcohol. I tried and tried to find one by a female artist. I’ll update the links as more get added.
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photo credit: Tc”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/tcmorgan/7614608982/”>Tc Morgan
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