OK, Don’t Listen to Country Music for Theology, Please

While flipping through radio stations the other evening, I heard a new song. It was country, with a reggae theme. I’m not a big fan of the style, but I thought I’d listen, as I noticed the first line mentioned a preacher. It turns out that the song is Kenny Chesney’s newest hit, and quite possibly the most unfortunate attempt at Christian-ish themes and lyrics I’ve ever heard.

If you’re still reading after that first paragraph, you’ve probably either heard the song or you really have nothing else to read right now. And, if you choose to continue, please take my following comments with a grain of salt. I do not really have any idea if Chesney or others actually believe what is sung in his song (I certainly hope they don’t). However, just in case anybody does believe such lyrics, here are some thoughts.

The lyrics, with my comments in brackets:

Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven
Kenny Chesney

Preacher told me last Sunday mornin’
Son, you better start livin’ right
You need to quit the women and whiskey
And carrying on all night

[Not bad advice from the preacher, but I’ve got a couple of problems. If the preacher really only told Chesney to cut out his lifestyle without first calling him to find God as his treasure or to seek Gods’ grace in Christ, the preacher should stop his preaching right now. Yes, we pastors ought to call people on their sin. But we should use the sin of people to help them to see their need for Christ’s saving grace. And, if we see sin in the lives of church members who claim Christ, then we should take the action of restorative church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18 and Galatians 6.]

Don’t you wanna hear him call your name
When you’re standin’ at the pearly gates
I told the preacher, “Yes I do”
But I hope they don’t call today
I ain’t ready

[Pearly gates? Pastor, if that is your understanding of the focus of heaven, you’ve missed it completely.]

Everybody wants to go to heaven
Have a mansion high above the clouds
Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now

[The only way that one would not want to go to heaven right now is if his view is so terribly unbiblical that he does not grasp that heaven is far better than any secular artist could ever imagine. Oh, and mansions have very little to do with this issue. Jesus is preparing a place for his own (John 14:1-3), but the point is to be in the presence of God, not to have a nicer living room than others do.]

Said preacher maybe you didn’t see me
Throw an extra twenty in the plate
There’s one for everything I did last night
And one to get me through today
Here’s a ten to help you remember
Next time you got the good Lord’s ear
Say I’m comin’ but there ain’t no hurry
I’m havin’ fun down here
Don’t you know that

[Um, it’s pretty insulting to all things related to Christianity if a man thinks $40 can atone for sinning in the eyes of an infinitely holy God. Atoning for our sin cost the Son of God his life. It is blasphemy to think that any person can pay for his or her own sin with cash. And, seriously, $40? You’re an award-winning country superstar, and you can only manage $40! Egad. Oh, and we pray for ourselves before God, there is no extra weight in the prayers of a pastor over sincere prayers of any believer.]

Everybody wants to go to heaven
Get their wings and fly around
Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now

[Wings? No]

Someday I want to see those streets of gold in my halo
But I wouldn’t mind waiting at least a hundred years or so

[Gold, yes. Halo, no. Again, waiting as if there is more fun to be had here than there? That is the sign of a man who does not know God or understand heaven.]

Everybody wanna go to heaven
It beats the other place there ain’t no doubt
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now

Everybody wanna go to heaven
Hallelujah, let me hear you shout
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now
I think I speak for the crowd

[Let me just say this, you do not speak for the part of the crowd who truly has glimpsed the majesty and glory of God in their lives.]

2 thoughts on “OK, Don’t Listen to Country Music for Theology, Please”

  1. It is a little funny, but it also shows how a lot of people view eternity. Glad to see this was done with “a grain of salt”. How busy one would be if one refuted all of the erroneous theology in popular secualr culture!


  2. Someone on Youtube said they were going to sing this song at church. Lord, help our churches please!! This song is pretty much saying what most people say when confronted with the gospel and their need to repent. They don’t want to give up their sinful lifestyle. They’re “having too much fun.” They want to wait til they’re on their death bed to “get right with God” and then go to heaven. They love their sin and/or this world more than they love God. THey are not sorry for their sins. Everybody wanna go to heaven but nobody wanna go now is a very true statement about non-Christians. They want to escape the pains of hell and have the comforts of heaven, but they could care less about God.


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