Would You Have A Beer With Jesus?
Guest post by Paul Turner
Editor’s note: Paul is a youth pastor in Alabama and a long-time interlinc friend and contributor. He wrote this post for his blog today and I asked him if I could share it here as well.
I heard the song “If I Could Have A Beer With Jesus” with my son the other day and we laughed. He laughed at me because he knew what I would say about it. I laughed because I thought country music has finally run out of song titles or real material.
As I listened to the song I thought I should add a few thoughts, considering, I heard the song again a few days after hearing it on the radio, on a pod cast, and Jesus and the song was being mocked.
Let me very clear, I am not judging Thomas Rhett or his beliefs in any way. I am simply asking questions about the song itself and its theological implications, if there are any.
This song is also not about beer. It’s about how we look at Jesus in America and how we continue to reduce Jesus to our level and to our perspective and how little we want to conform our lives to His ways and stretch our faith to where He is.
I will say, I do not have warm, fuzzy feelings for the song, and I know that even writing about it brings it more attention. I guess it bothers me more, because I live in the south and songs like this, and others, continue to perpetuate a good ol’ boy spirituality that says ” As long as I make it to church every Sunday, I can do what I want, when I want, and my life is just in line with the Scriptures as yours”.
So, let’s break down the song. Here’s what I like about it:
- A common man is seeking Jesus and answers.
- He honestly wants to spend time with Jesus: “Sit somewhere we couldn’t see a clock”
What I do not like about the song
- Jesus is reduced to our drinking buddy instead of the Savior and Lord of the universe. Jesus came in the flesh once. Unfortunately, we are only willing to listen to him if we bring him down to our level. He did that once. When he does it again, it will be to declare his Lordship over everything.
- It seems that the man in the song does not know about prayer or the Bible. The man in the song seems to want easy answers. He says, “I want to sit with Jesus and have him tell me everything.”
The Bible covers most of what the man want to know and in my opinion, the song really dumbs the guy down. “Is heaven really just beyond the stars?”
In the end, people will say: “It’s just a song. You are reading too much into it.” Maybe. But when we have that next conversation with a student (or adult) who wants easy answers, who does not want to search the scriptures, or pray, we shouldn’t wonder why this is. Culture has always perpetuated this, having a beer with Jesus is just the newest incarnation. Anyone remember What If God Was One Of Us?