Is Satan Taylor Swift’s Chief Lyricist?

Written by Peter Heck

Truth isn’t trendy.

The proclamation of truth isn’t to concern itself with fads.

That’s why I don’t get into pastoral sermon series that focus on Hollywood movies and how they reflect gospel themes. It’s why I don’t understand the desire of believers to immediately promote high-profile converts into positions where they speak on behalf of the church.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than elated and hopeful when I see those so entrenched in our godless culture be delivered from it all. All I mean is that Scripture speaks for us as believers, not Kanye West, Kat von D, or recent “Only Fans” convert Nala Ray.

Our distraction by, and deference to, the fickle winds of pop culture does precious little to add to the weighty significance of our testimony as Christians. What we believe and proclaim has outlasted and will continue outlasting even the most famous and fortunate figures of our fleeting era here on earth.

Rather than permitting social trends to dictate the expression of our faith, the precise opposite should be true. It’s not that we avoid speaking about the spirit of the age. To the contrary, Christians should be outing it and condemning its inadequacies. What we must guard against is reinterpreting or explaining our beliefs through the lens of culture.

For instance, the entire Western world seems to be talking about Taylor Swift these days. What we shouldn’t do as believers (like the Gospel Coalition inexplicably did previously) is attempt to preach the gospel through Swift. What we should do is preach the gospel to Swift and to those who are enamored by and idolize her.

I’m the furthest thing from a Swiftie as you’re going to find. I can identify much of her music (it largely all sounds the same, so that helps), but don’t turn to me for any explanation as to why she’s suddenly so popular and influential.

Last Friday, Swift released her newest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” and people began noticing a theme throughout the album:

Let’s look at that last song, which appears to enunciate more succinctly and effectively the depressing state of what the world offers than anything I’ve seen in quite some time. Check out this profound excerpt of lyrical genius from her song titled, “But Daddy I Love Him:”

I forget how the West was won

I forget if this was ever fun

I just learned these people only raise you

To cage you

Sarahs and Hannahs in their Sunday best

Clutchin’ their pearls, sighing, “What a mess”

I just learned these people try and save you

‘Cause they hate you

God save the most judgmental creeps

Who say they want what’s best for me

Sanctimoniously performing soliloquies I’ll never see

Thinkin’ it can change the beat

Of my heart when he touches me

And counteract the chemistry

And undo the destiny

You ain’t gotta pray for me

Me and my wild boy and all of this wild joy

If all you want is gray for me

Then it’s just white noise, and it’s just my choice

So yeah, that’s pretty much the anthem of Satan.

Well, the anthem Satan would have us humans sing anyway. “I’m my own god, I make my own rules, I follow my heart, I get what I want.”

Cool, Taylor, cool.

I’m no scholar on modern lyric writing for pop stars, nor do I know (or much care) what percentage of Swift’s music she actually writes herself. But having told interviewers that she “grew up Christian” in the culturally conservative part of the country called the Bible belt, these lyrics are fairly straightforward.

They seem to flow from the pen of a young woman whose pride dictates her concept of right and wrong; one who views any type of moral censure or disagreement as a hateful attack rather than a loving rebuke. And while I admittedly don’t know the experiences that have shaped the attitude animating those lyrics, here’s what I do know.

I know that both Sarah and Hannah are models of biblical obedience. Despite her sin in failing to wait on God’s promise to give her a son, Sarah emerged a titan of Old Testament faith who became the miraculous mother of the lineage that brought us the Savior of mankind. Meanwhile, Hannah was a beacon of faithfulness herself. She was so diligent in her humility and devotion to God, that He also rewarded her prayers to have a son. She dedicated that son, Samuel, to the work of the Lord. God raised Samuel up to be a powerful prophet and judge over His people.

Swift may regard their namesakes as “pearl-clutchers,” just as she may assign impure, hateful motives to those who would question or condemn her worldliness. But young women in America and around the world would be well served to follow in the footsteps of Hannah rather than anyone whose moral compass is calibrated by a hormone-driven heartbeat that fluctuates in response to touches from her man of the moment. It is, after all, “how the West was won.”

What Christ offers is so much more than the “gray” characteristics Swift assigns to His pathway of righteousness. And what her worldliness delivers is so much less than what she advertises.

But what else should we expect?

Satan wouldn’t be Satan if he wasn’t eagerly using the brightest stars to put the shine of celebrity on his poison pills of death and despair.

This article was originally published by

Peter Heck is a writer, speaker, and teacher from Indiana. He is married to Jenny, and is the father of three kids. Peter holds to the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture in his teaching and writing, and has a passion for biblical literacy and for demonstrating the Bible’s applicability to all of life. 

Peter is the lead opinion writer for “Not the Bee.” His opinions have also been published in the Washington Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. A former radio host, Peter produces a daily podcast and has authored a number of books on Christians and the culture.