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Love Jesus .... Hate Southern Gospel !!
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.