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Love Jesus .... Hate Southern Gospel !!

Updated on June 1, 2012

My Inner Battle With Southern Gospel Music

Ask me if I believe Jesus Christ is alive, and I will answer unequivocally yes. Ask me if I have an inordinate amount of lust in my heart, and I'll nod in agreement. Ask my opinion of Southern Gospel music and I'll change the subject or make a joke.But honestly, as far as Southern Gospel goes, I can't stand it.So, can I love Jesus and hate Southern Gospel.?

I can't remember the first Southern Gospel song I ever heard, but I knew I wanted it to be the last Southern Gospel song I ever heard. I'm not talking Negro spirituals, which I find quite inspiring. You know the songs I mean; the one's being sung on the Saturday night religious broadcasts, by finely coiffed men and women in small groups, or extended families populated by dozens of competent soloists. whose demeanor comes across as somewhat, well, perfect. The harmonies are flawless, the musicianship spot on, the talent obvious, but I detest it.

Please do not misunderstand. I believe everything they do. I respect the people of Southern Gospel. I just never felt I could fit in with them. In the past, I've wondered if I was a bit jealous of the seemingly so-together family atmosphere that appears to permeates this erstwhile genre of Christian music. I wondered how any non-believer could not think the whole Southern Gospel entertainment industry wasn't so unnatural. sanitized, or corny.

This isn't the first time I've questioned my distaste for music I thought I was supposed to like. Believe it or not, I actually never liked the Beach Boys. Isn't everyone supposed to like the Beach Boys ? Their songs just seemed so simple. So predictable. So unoriginal. I just didn't see the point.

I do see the point of Southern Gospel music. It's to worship and glorify God, and to tell the world of his love. And to that end ....BRAVO Southern Gospel. artists. But when I hear "intellectual elites" and "secular progressives" trash Christianity, I can't help but feel these Southern Gospel performers are their "Exhibit A" for a "holier than thou" mentality they claim is the norm throughout Christendom.

And yet, Southern Gospel must have value because I know two older men facing huge challenges who take great comfort in it. But they've been Christians for a long time. It's actually the type of music they heard growing up in church. Likewise, these men could never be as moved as I when Stephen Curtis Chapman's "Lord of the Dance" is making the speakers pop.

I've had to remember that if GOD made us all the same it would reduce HIM to an imaginative pre-programmed automaton.Why would HE prefer Southern Gospel over more contemporary songs. or vice versa. It's all being sung to HIM isn't it. Was HE kidding when HE said HE was "no respecter of persons" Not Likely !!

I'll probably never understand why some love Southern Gospel. But, I'll never understand electricity either. I cannot comprehend surgery, astrophysics, or refrigeration. But I'd hate to think where America would be without them.


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    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      Thank You Sparklea .... Looks like I'm in "Great" Company... Truly Appreciate Your Opinion !!

    • Sparklea profile image


      6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Ugly Honest: First LOVE YOUR USERNAME!! And your profile. I totally agree with this hub, voted up, useful and interesting. I listen to the Family Life Network, and I do not care for the specific hours each week they devote to Gospel Songs. They don't affect me like the other kind of music they play all week, which I LOVE. That being said, I will sometimes tolerate the gospel songs because I DO like the interviews and positive testimonies the singers share with listeners. I do believe these gospel participants love what they are doing. I guess it just depends on each individual. I can't stand rap music, especially on a sub woofer trolling by my house. THANK you for a very informative hub! Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      Hey Frog ... Thanks for checking !!

    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      Civil War Bob Thanks tremendously for the vote-up Actually if I had to pick a Southern Gospel group to listen to .. it would be the Oak Ridge Boys ... ALSO. know what you mean about roofing... Was last up on a roof about 9 years ago ... Wouldn't do it now. Don't trust the legs anymore !! Thanks Again !!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Music is wonderful. So many strokes for different folks.

      The Frog

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 

      6 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Good hub, Ugly...voted up, useful, funny, and interesting. I decided to check out some SG music on You Tube...the old guy version of Oakridge Boys is fun, I think, but music is a lot like kissin''s a matter of taste! Enjoy the day!

    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      Indeed HE did .. Thank You !!

    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      Love the classical touch on those songs ... Love old hymns also. Truly appreciate the vote ... Thank You !!

    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      Ya got me ... As I'm thinking of those songs I see what you mean and I did not know about the year of studio time.

      Not being a musician, the simplicity I was whining about was the words. But you've schooled me on this one. Thanks for the vote !!

    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      Pamela99 .. Honored Thank You for stopping by !!!

    • Ugly Honest profile imageAUTHOR

      Ugly Honest 

      6 years ago from Within the New York/DC Megalopolis

      @sin_min ... Indeed HE did Thank You !!!

    • sin_min profile image


      6 years ago

      I understand I am not a big fan either. God made us different for a reason

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think we all have are likes and dislikes which have little to do with your relationship with Jesus. Faith is not based on music. I like the new praise music myself and am also not found of Southern Gospel. I respect you opinion.

    • copywriter31 profile image

      James Ranka 

      6 years ago from Port Neches

      I admire your open honesty, but as a musician/composer, I take issue with you on one point only. The genius behind The Beach Boys was Brian Wilson. He wrote some of the most complex music ever penned in the pop/rock genre. Songs like "Good Vibrations", "Heroes and Villains" and "Surf's Up" are anything but simplistic. In fact, "Good Vibrations" consumed a year's worth of studio time to attain its recording perfection.

      Otherwise, a very good hub!

      Voted interesting.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I think it's great to see how protestant church music has influenced the greats such as Bach and Beethoven, and also other things such as "Southern Gospel." Nevertheless, I understand your point and respected.

      Very enteresting hub - voted as such



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