Never get your theology from a Country song
Country music is one of those venues of music that people either love or hate. This particular writer is a fan of Country songs. They are about real life and a lot of singers, both Christian and non-Christian, are involved in this genre of music. That is why you will find, within the realm of Country, songs about drinking and cheating, as well as songs about Jesus, heaven and Christian faith.
However, one would never want to get their theology from a Country song and this columnist sometimes cringes whenever he hears certain messages in the songs.
For example, Darius Rucker has a song called "This." Some of the words:
How I cried when my mama passed away
But now I've got an angel looking out for me today
Similar is Colin Raye's "Holes In the Floor of Heaven." In this song when a child's grandmother dies the child's mother says:
"Grandma's watching you today."
"'Cos there's holes in the floor of Heaven,
..."And she's watching over you and me."
Uh, uh! Nowhere in Scripture will you ever find a hint that people become angels when they die. Nor does Scripture suggest that those who die before us are able to look down from heaven and look out for us. (The Hebrews verse about a great cloud of witnesses, which is usually used, doesn't support this interpretation, but means instead that we should be inspired by the example the Old Testament saints gave us, the faith they had in the coming Messiah.)
Justin Moore has a recent song called "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away." It's a feel-good type of song, but a lot of liberties are taken about what to expect in heaven. They talk about going to heaven and finding his bird dog Bo, talking to Hank Williams and Janis Joplin and doing a little cloud-sitting.
Biblically speaking, of course, there is no proof that our pets will be in heaven (nor that they won't be, for that matter, and this writer hopes they are!), and the assumption is being made that virtually everyone will make it to heaven. Again, it's certainly possible that Hank Williams and Janis Joplin are there, but it would be a mistake to make that assumption.
A few years back Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton recorded "When I Get Where I'm Going." Some of the words:
When I get where I'm going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.
....Or I might find out what it's like
To ride a drop of rain
One more time, there are no hints in Scripture that we will have wings like angels, or that we'd be able to ride a drop of rain. At the same time, the same song also includes this inspiring verse:
But when I get where I'm going,
and I see my Maker's face.
I'll stand forever in the light,
of His amazing grace.
Then there's Joe Nichols' song "I'll Wait For You"
I'll wait for you at Heaven's gate
Oh, I don't care how long it takes
And I'll tell Saint Pete I can't come in
Without my love and my best friend
I'm sure most of us feel that way about our spouses, but in reality the Christian will go straight to heaven and we won't find Saint Peter sitting outside the gates of heaven to let us in!
So enjoy those Country songs. Everyone can relate to them at different times in their lives. They can help a person get through rough times. But whatever you do, don't get your Christian theology from them!