Who's Singing The Gospel?

GospelFlava.com's Special Correspondant, Andre Mullen (aka Brotha Dre) presents “On The Real —Who's Singing The Gospel”, an editorial that addresses the growing trend of mainstream artists singing Gospel music.

Be sure to read a very different editorial perspective of this same issue, presented by Gerard Bonner: Occupation Versus Obligation.

What’s up with so-called ‘secular artists’ singing gospel music?

Many of my brothers and sisters seem to have a difference of opinion on this issue. I mean, let’s face it, it does spark heated debate and controversy, as it rightfully should.

Andre MullenI know that we as Christians have this unique relationship with gospel music because it talks about and shares the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, which is very important to those of us who believe. It is the very foundation of our belief – it is our faith, and we do not take it lightly when we see folks trying to, literally, “prostitute” it for gain.

So why all of the sudden are there so many secular artists trying to jump in the gospel arena? Could it be that many of them are recognizing the importance of spreading this vital message? Could it be that minorities of them are feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do music that glorifies The Father? It could be a variety of things, we may not truly know their hearts, but one thing we do know is their lifestyles.

When you look at secular artists (you can name pleny I'm sure) making small forays into the gospel genre, you have to wonder what their motive is.

Yes, The Word does say that we shouldn’t judge because with the same judgment that we use will we also be judged (Matthew 7:1-5).

But let’s keep it real brethren: We all know that if you speak the Gospel to those that would have an ear to hear, you are responsible for the message you are conveying. When people hear you proclaiming the message of the Gospel, or even talking about the goodness of the Lord, they hold you to the message, whether you’re Christian or not. It makes perfect sense. Secular artists singing gospel music concerns me and I know I’m not alone.

We as Christians are sometimes stigmatized for being hypocritical, selfish, rude, arrogant, cheaters, thieves, and the like. I mean, the list goes on and on. The last thing we need on that list is compromising. Secular artists singing gospel music doesn’t show a commitment to the genre of gospel music. It simply shows what they see as their “giving back to God”.

God doesn’t need them to give Him anything back. In fact, last time I checked for all of us, we don’t deserve ANY of what He’s given. God isn’t looking for secular artists to remember Him when they get a little fame. God is so much bigger than that. Heaven forbid if we had to ‘give back to God’. Some of us wouldn’t be alive!

CD It's the counterpoint. Gerard Bonner presents an editorial from a very different perspective.

"The credibility of the Word is not damaged because of its messenger. The Word, no matter how you slice it, is the Word. Whether sung, preached, or taught, it still has the potential to break the yoke of the enemy....

See full editorial.

I truly understand wanting to praise God for what He’s given and provided, but last time I also checked (hey, what can I say, I do a lot of checking!), being a Christian is not an 8 hour a day, 40 hour a week job. It’s a 24/7, 365 days, 52 weeks a year job that renews itself annually. These secular artists think that they can do a gospel album or a gospel song. (Yeah that kills me too. The one song that gives back to God is normally the last track on the album that everyone skips because they found tracks 2 to 7 already hot!) And they’ve put in their “time”? I hope not. This walk is a little more involved than that.

I’m not judging these folks based on worldly standards, but by what The Word says, which is that we would judge them by their fruit (paraphrasing Matthew 7:20) and by those fruits we would know that they are children of God.

I know that I’ve spoken to my friends that are unsaved and most of them never knew that some of these artists were Christians, as they profess to be. So what does that tell you about how they portray Jesus and their walk with Him? It is evident that they have no anointing and no power to touch the consciences of people. I think that’s what people need more than ever rather than constantly hearing about dysfunctional relationships.

Secular artists need to stop sitting on the fence. The Word says that you cannot love two masters because you will be more loyal to one than the other.

My message to secular artists: if you’re going to do secular music, fine. Just don’t put yourself in judgment with the very fans that buy your records by doing gospel music. Truth be told: God will not be mocked. Why spread a message that you’re not willing to commit to wholeheartedly? The very God that you want to “give back to” will hold you accountable and responsible for that message. And what an irony: The very message that brings eternal life can bring you an eternal death.

Hey, just keeping it “On The Real.”

— editorial opinion by Andre Mullen —
May 13, 2002

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