By Carole Turner
Hear No Evil‘s subtitle is “My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost”. A lot of it is set in the Christian music world of the 80’s and 90’s. Matthew Paul Turner, the author, was raised Fundamentalist Baptist; he didn’t go to a movie until he was 19 years old, and his mother thought Sandy Patty was the Devil. Very strict upbringing, to say the least.
I really like to laugh and listen to music. They are both crucial to my mental, spiritual and physical health. That’s why I especially loved this book; it made me laugh, and it was about how music affected the author.
I appreciated Turner’s previous book Churched, as it had a lot to say about his upbringing and early childhood. However, I particularly enjoyed this Hear No Evil due to its richness in music references.
I have been a long time fan of Turner’s blog; it’s irreverent, edgy and his collection of Jesus pictures are book-worthy! His Twitter commentary on everything from American Idol to the Olympics is also hysterical.
Having been raised Baptist and then becoming a Christian at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, and being an extreme music lover freak, I related to so much of what Turner writes about in Hear No Evil.
Swaggart’s church and ministry was as legalistic as there ever was. We couldn’t listen to any secular music, definitely not go to a R-rated movie, and a favorite phrase of the men at JSBC (Jimmy Swaggart Bible College) was, “Submit, woman.” I was even accused of being a Jezebel and lusting after a guy friend for kissing him on the cheek after he fixed my car. There was talk of “Carole’s lust problem,” and it all came to a head with a huge meeting of friends concerned with my “lusting” after this friend.
We eventually all recovered and lived to look back and laugh at our extreme fear, witch hunting and immaturity, but at the time it was very traumatizing to be told you had a “lust problem” just because you kissed a guy on the cheek.
I loved this book. I related to it. The legalism, the fundamentalism, the music. I laughed many times, said amen many times, and said ouch several times. I even cried twice. Now, that is the making of a great book, if you ask me. Some favorite quotes that I highlighted were:
”[P]eople talking about how to create something ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ rather then just being real and authentic. ”
”After a good chiding, which included quoting Jesus, Mother Theresa, and Mr. Rogers, she eventually diagnosed me with faith-based narcissism…”
“The manner in which you integrate your model of Christianity into conversations and other people’s realities reveal and unhealthy necessity for dominance and self-gratification. You become eccentric and often passively aggressive..”
“The odd thing about Christians pursuing fame is that they do it while pretending not to be interested in fame.”
Find out more about Hear No Evil on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog.
You can also get an autographed copy of Hear No Evil at ChristianBook.com.
Carole is a writer, artist, singer and Orphan Care Advocate. She is married to Dean and mother of three children – one miracle of birth, one adopted from here in the States, and one just adopted from Ethiopia. She blogs at The Wardrobe and the White Tree.