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Evangelist Exposes ‘Darker Turn’ of Taylor Swift’s Music, Sounds Alarm for Parents: ‘Lyrics Matter’

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An evangelist who recently went viral for his critical response to pop star Taylor Swift’s latest album is explaining his commentary and why he’s encouraging Christian parents to be more discerning.

Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start”

“I’m not an anti-Taylor guy,” Shane Pruitt told CBN News. “I’m [a] pro-Gospel guy.”

He continued, “Anything that I know is largely affecting parents, or Christians, or people in the church that seems to … be anti-Gospel, I think we lovingly call it out.”

Pruitt did just that in an April 22 tweet, gently raising concerns over some of Swift’s lyrics on her “The Tortured Poets Department” album.

“LYRICS MATTER,” Pruitt tweeted. “Disclaimer, I’m definitely not the minister or parent that has the ‘no secular music’ stance. Also, I fully realize unbelievers are going to act like unbelievers. HOWEVER, there is a difference between being secular, and being ANTI-CHRISTIAN.”

He then highlighted lyrics about people “in their Sunday best” who “try to save you ’cause they hate you,” among other related sentiment. Pruitt also quotes Swift as belting out the following lines in another song: “What if I roll the stone away? They’re gonna crucify me anyway. What if the way you hold me is actually what’s holy?”

You can read the other examples here:



Pruitt concluded his tweet by asking Christians whether it’s appropriate to be “entertained by, sing with, and expose our kids to lyrics that aren’t just different than what you believe, but are actually mocking what you believe.”

The evangelist and preacher told CBN News he believes Swift’s music has changed over the years, with her songs becoming “more and more explicit” and taking a “darker turn” in the process. Pruitt said this is concerning, considering the music is consumed by many young and impressionable girls.

“I think we just need to be very aware and very careful of what we’re exposing our kids to and how we’re even engaging with things and being entertained by things that are really anti what we say we believe,” Pruitt said.

The faith leader also revealed he’s heard from many people who both support and disagree with his assessment. As for the latter, he said many of them start by identifying themselves as “Swifties” — a name given to ardent Swift fans — and that many of these folks later happen to note they are believers.

“[I think this is] very telling that we have our identities out of order,” he said. “You know that Jesus is the one who died for you. Jesus is the one who forgives. Jesus is the one who gives eternal life. Jesus is the one that gives us hope and encouragement.”

Pruitt continued, “So, if you identify as a Swiftie before you identify as a Christian, I think there’s something fundamentally wrong there.”

Of course, Pruitt said Swift isn’t the only vice exposing some Christians’ poor spiritual priorities. In fact, he said some people even struggle with sports teams and athletes, elevating these to a higher position than they should. Calling this out doesn’t always go well, he said.

“In recent years, I can say this — especially in the American Church — if I go, ‘Hey, here’s what the Bible says about sexuality, here’s what the Bible says about marriage, here’s what the Bible says about being pro-life, here’s what the Bible says about God determining sex and gender,’ you’ll get some hardy ‘Amens,'” Pruitt said. “People are emboldened by that.”

But if he brings up idolatry, it’s a very different story.

“If you start talking about, ‘Here’s what the Bible says about idol worship and how we worship idols, and celebrities, and pop singers, and sports … then people are like, ‘Hey, wait a minute!’ They go from being emboldened to offended really quickly.'”

In the end, Pruitt encouraged people to take the time to pray for Swift and other nonbelievers and to openly share their faith rather than be overtaken by frustration.

“Don’t have that mentality [of] ‘us versus them,'” Pruitt said. “Pray for them, share the Gospel, live differently, be salt [and] light.”

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.