I recently saw you on an absolutely horrible daytime show that used to at least masquerade as a health information program before it devolved into celebrity worship and fluff. You were there showing off your COWBOY tattoo and promoting your new album. Honestly, sir even though I once enjoyed your music I hadn't thought of you in years. Part of this is no doubt because when I accepted Christ in 1995, he delivered me from my old music, and so , no offense, you were just a musical echo from my past. But I remembered even back then, when people were giving a summation of your biography as half of the group Brooks and Dunn, they would mention something about you being a Baptist preacher. Like I said, I hadn't thought about this in years, and my memory is pretty shaky these days, so I decided to do a little research.
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture , your mother was a "devout Baptist" and you yourself "enrolled at Abilene Christian College in Texas with plans to become a Baptist
preacher". Wikipedia lists you as a psychology major there, and even says you were the youth minister at Avoca Baptist church in Avoca Texas, but you were asked to quit the school because you were "performing at local bars". The internet is pretty silent about whether or not the church allowed you to continue to serve. I mean one would hope that a youth minister that has been ejected from Bible college would be asked to resign, but it's a crazy world we live in.
Now you're not the first to travel this road from the church house to the road house. From Elvis to Alabama, to Nat King Cole to Whitney Houston; it's a pretty common phenomenon. And the 'almost a Baptist preacher' angle gives you a certain amount of credibility with dumb Southerners like myself who can soothe their conscience about listening to your bar music.
Fame and fortune would soon be yours and one day little heathens like myself would delight in your music. See, I consider that really ironic. You had the advantage of a Christian upbringing that I did not have, and yet you chose the sewer that I was already living in. You picked the darkness after being informed about the light. You knew about Jesus, and presumably you knew that people like me were going to spend an eternity in hell without Jesus, but other than giving him a passing reference in a song (in the same line as a reference to beer), you said nothing. In the 19 years after somebody did reach me with the gospel, as far as I can tell you have still said nothing. You have never publicly stood up for Jesus.
So here we are now, the two of us, almost 20 years later, you and I. I was once a slave to sin, and have been marvelously delivered by the blood of the Lamb. You have played the world's music this whole time and danced to the world's tune, and have been rewarded immensely. But there you are, presumably saved, presumably heir to the same victory that I enjoy; with a COWBOY tattoo and singing a song about wishing you could have a cigarette.
The role reversal seems so tragic to me. You have had the public eye and the public ear for decades now, and you've used it to pad your pocket. Do you really know Jesus? I hope you really are saved, but at the same time, at the Judgment Seat of Christ you've got a lot of explaining to do.
Michael S. Alford