Dear Luke Bryan,
Let me start by saying that my favorite song of yours is “Country Man” that came out back when you still performed country music. I have not followed your music much since, though I enjoy seeing you hunting deer on Buck Commander. Recently, I heard your song “Most People Are Good” on the radio and I wanted to take a moment to respond. I very much appreciate your efforts to record a song with a positive message, especially one that includes some subtle references to the Christian faith. However, as I listened to the lyrics, I found them to be a little troubling and contrary to basic Christian teachings. Let me address a few of the lines from a biblical perspective…
“I believe most people are good…”
As the title suggests, this is the general theme of the song. I’m glad that you seek to find goodness in others, but the truth is, we’re all bad. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 ESV) In the preceding verses, Paul quotes a number of passages from the Psalms, one of which proclaims, “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalms 14:3 ESV) The truth is, we are all born with a sinful nature because we are separated from God’s goodness. We may have been created in God’s good image, but the presence of evil has distorted the goodness within us. The only way we can be made good again is through faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 ESV) None of us are good; only through Jesus Christ can we be made righteous.
“I believe those streets of gold are worth the work…”
Wow. Luke, I want to apologize that the Church in America has failed to teach you the most essential part of the Gospel. If you believe that heaven is something you can work for, then why did Jesus suffer and die? Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV) No amount of good deeds can cleanse the sin that has stained our souls. Our only hope of getting to heaven, of being made right with God, is by the free gift of grace offered through Jesus. If we put our faith in Him, then we will begin to live a life that reflects the grace we have received. Thus, the good works we do are in response to His grace, not in an effort to earn it. This is what makes Christianity unique. Out of His great love, God did for us what we are unable to do for ourselves.
There is more in your song that I would like to address, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I know you have nothing but the best intentions with this song. Please know I only seek to correct some misguided claims about the Christian faith. I pray God will continue to bless you and your family.
Rev. Timothy Wilmetti
Bluffton First United Methodist Church