Who’s gonna fill their shoes? Who’s gonna stand that tall? Those words were made famous by George Jones, the legend of country music who died Friday morning. The song was written mourning the passing of many classic country singers. It was also written mourning the fact that the “new country” of the time was becoming more and more like pop music instead of country.
When the song was first released, there were people who were up and coming in country music who still held to their musical roots. There were people like Alan Jackson, George Strait, Randy Travis, and others who kept more traditional county music alive. If the question were asked today, however, the answer might well be “none.” Real “country” music has just about disappeared from the airwaves, and all that is left is pop/rock music with an occasional fiddle or steel guitar.
Those country singers who truly play country music have been ostracized and rejected. Even though the soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou” sold over a million copies, it was deemed “too country” for country radio. Two of the most popular country artists of the 90’s (Alan Jackson and George Strait) accused the record companies of killing country music in their song “Murder on Music Row.” Brad Paisley gathered together some legends of country music and recorded a song in protest called “Too Country.”
But George Strait and Alan Jackson are rarely heard on the radio anymore and Brad Paisley has defected to the synthesized pop side. And again, the question lingers, Who’s gonna fill their shoes?
What does this have to do with the Bible and Christianity?
As more and more preachers, elders, and other faithful Christians pass on, we need to seriously consider the question of Who’s gonna fill their shoes? Who is going to step up and continue to carry the banner of true Christianity? It seems that a lot of Christians think that somehow the church will just keep on going strong without them—so they do nothing.
Jesus pointed out to a group of disciples that there is much work to be done, telling them “The harvest is truly great, but the laborers are few. Because of this, pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2). Jesus was concerned about who was going to carry on when He was gone.
Today, there is a massive push to leave real Christianity behind and go with a man-made imitation. The ones who stand for the truth are labeled with such epitaphs as “legalists,” “boring,” “outdated,” and even “dead.”
There are Christians who speak out, but their voice is being marginalized. Even when “big name” preachers speak out for the truth, their words are given little attention. And more preachers and Christians continue to defect to the imitation Christianity that is supposedly more “popular” with people.
So, the question again rises and smacks each of the faithful in the face: with more preachers, elders, and Christians passing on, Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?
Are you willing to stand up and say, as the great prophet Isaiah did, “Here am I, send me!”? (Isaiah 6:8.)
Who’s gonna fill their shoes?
I am. And I pray that you will too. You are needed.