I have a vivid memory of singing praise songs in youth group in middle school. As with any nondenominational, evangelical church in South Texas in the 90s, the youth group was all about being “cool” and “rad” and “teen-friendly.”
How did they accomplish this, you ask? How did my youth group get asses in the seats? Well, it wasn’t with purity pledges or discipleship classes, though those happened with regular frequency. It was with ultra-clever Jesus lyrics substituted into our favorite pop songs so that we could praise with abandon and without guilt. Totes genius.
I am still a Christian, so I’m not making fun of Christians. I’m just making fun of organized religion that can’t seem to think outside of the box. I also don’t appreciate getting brainwashed into thinking that regular music is of the devil, but thank God we had these Jesus pop songs to see us through.
If you think my experience is unique, it isn’t. My husband went to a different Baptist Church in South Texas in the 90s and provided me with all of his Jesus pop songs to compare with my own. For your enjoyment and to guarantee your kids won’t go to hell, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list. Make sure to hack into your kid’s iPod and swap out Miley Cyrus with the Blurred Lines Christian Remix to save their soul.
NOTE: Some of these songs may be dated, but I was a teenager in the 90s, people! What more do you want from me?
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet Home Alabama
Sweet home up in heaven, where the sky is so blue. Sweet home up in heaven, Lord, I’m coming home to you.
2. The Beatles: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Jesus in the sky with angels, Jesus in the sky with angels, Ahhhhh.
3. The Proclaimers: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
But I would walk five hundred milesâ€¦ Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles, FOR THE LORD.
4. Gavin DeGraw: I Don’t Want To Be
I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately. All I have to do is think of the Lord, and I have peace of mind.
5. Ozzy Osbourne: Mama, I’m Coming Home
As a teen, my husband was the pastor’s kid who sang this sweet classic rock jam for the Mother’s Day church service (with a few lyric changes).
6. Celine Dion: Because You Loved Me
My husband decided to kiss even more ass at church by singing this pop ballad to lead a worship service. #forthelord
And for the modern youth groupsâ€¦
7. Cee Lo Green: Forget You Christian Remix
You see me driving round town screaming God is love, and I can’t forget you.
8. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Thrift Shop Christian Remix
I’m going to go to church, only got 20 minutes till the service.
9. Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines Christian Remix
He came to liberate you, from all those sins that chain you, oh yes, He is your maker.
10. Nicki Minaj: Super Praise
Can’t you hear that boom, baboom, boom, boom, baboom, boom (Can’t you hear that super praise).