Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hip-Hop, Idolatry, & The Church Pt. 5

Can Hip-Hop Be Redeemed?

The redemption of hip-hop has become an important question in the lives of many within the church. This is partially because hip-hop's messages and inculturations run so deeply that it is hardly distinguishable as a world view contrary to Christian spiritual growth and development.As pointed out in Hip-Hop, Idolatry & The Church Pt. 3 some individuals have claimed hip-hop to be an indigenous culture within America born from the depths of the souls and out of the genome of the black race. In fact one of the main proponents of this theory The Ambassador (aka William Duce Branch ThM) of the group The Cross Movement claims that culture (in this case hip hop) cannot be purged or separated from the people:


"People are at the root of culture, and neither people nor their culture can just be thrown away. Aspects of their culture can be discarded when those aspects offend God, but you cannot force total cultural assimilation on any group. You see it’s easy to throw away something you don’t care about, but it’s hard to let go of something you feel an attachment to."~ The Ambassador, The Christian Living In Hip-Hop Times Pt. 1 Oct. 2005

Along with this is the belief that a hip-hop message is essential to reaching the hip hop masses. As Kirk Franklin stated regarding his song entitled "I Like Me"
  • "When you're trying to reach kids you've got to speak their language. Kids like beats, so I had to drop some like they was hot."
Still others believe that if nothing else there are "redeemable elements" of hip-hop which can be used to glorify God and reach the masses caught in sin. Remember the elements according to those who promote and develop hip-hop are as follows:
  • Breakin, (Dancing)
    Emceein,
    Graffiti Art,
    Deejayin,
    Beatboxin,
    Street Fashion,
    Street Language,
    Street Knowledge and
    Street Entrepreneurialism

Most of the time Christians refer to what "good" that hip-hop seeks to provide or do as something that God can use. In other words, because hip-hop is (or can be) a peaceful way of expression, then maybe we can use the hip-hop method of expression to teach simply disregarding the worldly inculturation and it’s negative aspects.

An example of this is the efforts of Dr. Rani Whitfield who provides medical education with hip-hop flava. He founded the Hip-Hop Healthy Coalition as a way to "get involved in the culture and have some positive influence on it" and as a way to educate blacks and minorities who suffer from heart disease, hypertension, and strokes at a much greater per-capita rate than non minority individuals.

On a more confused note, there are others in the hip hop industry such as Pastor Troy, who have created a potpourri of mixed messages using biblical scriptures painted on street the street canvass in efforts to spread his version of "street knowledge".


As for the gospel music industry, another example is Pastor or Bishop Hezekiah Walker who is known as "The Hip-Hop Pastor": The article says the following about his nickname:

He got his nickname by hosting Sean Combs, Lil' Kim, Missy Elliot and other hip-hop artists at his church. The church is widely known for its Grammy Award-winning choir, which Walker leads.

Considerations

Contrary to what one may think, the purpose of this complete writing is not to minimize the efforts of those who seek to provide human services or better lives for individuals using non-traditional methods, but to shed light on the proper, biblical methodology of reaching and teaching the lost. I believe the efforts of individuals such as Dr. Whitfield and The Cross Movement and others in the "Christian" rap and arts industry are commendable, as they are seeking to promote the Christ message. The problem is that hip-hop has a clear definition of what it is and what it strives to be. Additionally, many of those who seek to promote the Christ message using hip-hop are forced to submit their practice, associations and lifestyles to hip-hop. In other words they are required to bow themselves down at the altar of another god in order to preach and promote the God of the bible. Is that what the church should be engaged in doing?

As good stewards, we must ask the questions, are these efforts to use the culture to reach the culture biblical, and does God want his church to use those elements or any variation of the elements in the promotion of his message of truth and light to the world? In other words, in the promotion of the Kingdom of Christ, does the end justify the means?

To the spiritually discerning, it is readily understood that hip-hop as is currently presented to the world, is a worldview that is antithetical to Christianity and godliness. The facts are that those that have defined hip-hop, including it’s founders have summarily consistently stated that hip-hop is a culture that includes social, spiritual and political agenda. This makes hip-hop a complete worldview.

Questions arise when we note individuals such as Dr. Whitfield. His message, although secular, does not promote a world-view of any sort. It simply sets forth messages of health and personal awareness. However does this methodology square biblically even in the promotion of secular messages? Does the methodology of Bishop Walker affirm the practice of inclusion and association within the church? Where is the church in general in this conundrum? More importantly where is the WORD in helping us to understand and distinguish the elements of sin from the elements of culture?

As you may already perceive this is a book, worthy of time and effort far greater than I will take to address here, however I will do my best to outline a few biblical concepts that should be able to assist you as you ponder these important questions. As a point of reference I also understand that some of you are looking for information for your personal and family situations and youth enamoured by the hip-hop industry. Still others of you have contacted me and asked how you can best bring this information to your pastor and church youth group without offending him and them. To assist you I will conclude this section by addressing a few common questions I hear as I preach, teach and write on this subject.


Biblical Insights:
An Encounter At Ephesus With The Culture

1 Cor. 15:32-34 ~ "32-If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 33-Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34-Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."

Apostle Paul in his teaching to the Corinthian church provides one of the most pivotal insights on the resurrection accorded within scripture. In this chapter Paul confirms his understanding that Jesus was raised from the dead bodily or physically and explains the mental and physical frustration of every Christian if the resurrection of Jesus did not occur. Paul affirms that Jesus is not a myth or merely a spiritual aberration. In verse 32 he explains his plight of having done everything possible to preach that message even to hostile crowds. He is referring to his experience recorded in Acts 19:24, during his third missionary journey, in which he was confronted with the culture of Ephesus. This culture was so steeped in the false religion of Diana or Artemis worship, and the buying and selling of statues and figurines that went along with that worship that the Townclerk in trying to save Paul’s life and abate a rising insurrection and possible retaliation of Rome if things got out of hand simply says,

v. 36 "Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet and to do nothing rashly."

The Townclerk in speaking to the people suggests that their practices "could not be spoken against". This is the suggestion that what they believe is in accord with their culture. In a little more technical language, he is suggesting that the worship of their false God is indigenous to them. The people agreed that Diana was to be worshipped above all gods and that she was favored by her father Jupiter who had sent a statue dedicated to her that mysteriously appeared overnight as an approval. The mere mention that anyone was talking against Diana was a monetary death sentence to the silversmiths and slap in the face to those who lived within the culture.


A Second Point:

Back to Paul in verse 32 of 1 Cor. 15. Paul also invokes a scripture from Isaiah 22:13. This is often called Isaiah’s oracle concerning the valley of vision, in which God promises judgement upon Israel and in the face of that judgement, instead of repentance, the people continue to live selfishly, fulfill their own desires and disregard the word of God.

IS THAT 21ST CENTURY AMERICA OR WHAT?

As you can see that’s plenty of preachin’ material, but let’s stay on point...

This verse (32) is abruptly brought to an end by a reminder of v. 33…-Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners"

Be not deceived- Planao me planao,(don’t be led astray or caused to wander in error) evil- kakos (bad nature or corrupted modes of thinking) communications- homilia (companionship or communion) corrupt- phtherio (corrupts or destroys) good- chrestos (a virtuous, good pleasant or useful) manners- ethos(character and morals)


Having evil associations bound together with money is the smoky, seemy, slithery, cocktail of destruction to Christian moral values and moral absolutism. The world and what it offers in one hand along with the cross of Christ in the other cannot be mixed to the creation of a new, subdued, quasi-sin/saint mixture of spiritually and socially acceptable service to both God and humanity. One worldview must die so that the other can take root and grow. Any growth of both together is the recreation of neither’s original value system. It is the equivalent of the creation of a dualistically natured monster who awaits for the opportune time to rear it’s head speaking dual languages and acting pluralistically but never fulfilling it’s duties and responsibilities and having no commitment or regard for those whom it tramples and uses to fulfill its desires.

1 John 2:15-17 ~ "5-Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16-For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17-And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

There are three primary roots of sin in the world. John summarizes this as, lust of the flesh and eyes and the pride of life.


Additional Scriptural Insight Pt. 1:
The Replacement Of Canaan

Before one makes a conclusion that hip-hop can be used by God or in service to God a biblical precedent must be set. In other words there should be a compelling reason to engage hip-hop and give it credibility as both an indigenous culture and as an instrument worthy of God’s usage. Numbers or mass appeal is not simply enough as there has been mass appeal and social acceptance of many things historically that have proven to be ungodly and harmful to humanity.

I must say that upon examination, I don’t see that precedent anywhere in scripture. I do however see plenty of references of God rejecting certain cultures because they were sinful and did not glorify the true and living God.

From the beginning of the establishment of God’s plan among the nations HIS people have been warned not to embrace or allow the culture of the people to dictate the relationship of his sevants towards God. Once such example is found here:

Deut. 7:2-5~ "2-And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3-Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4-For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 5-But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire."

The whole object of Israel’s blessing was spiritual and moral purity. There was a reason that the Cannanites were to be displaced. That reason was because they worshipped other gods, and were totally and completely morally depraved. The following is noted concerning the Canaanites:

  • "The religion of these pagan people was basically a fertility cult. At temples scattered throughout their land, Canaanite worshipers actually participated in lewd, immoral acts with "sacred" prostitutes. Theirs was a depraved form of worship that appealed to the base instincts of sinful human nature. They also practiced human sacrifice, and their religion sanctioned unbelievable cruelty in warfare. In contrast, the Hebrews worshiped a holy God who insisted on purity and righteousness among His people." ~ Youngblood, Ronald F., General Editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, Consulting Editors, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995

The culture of the people was not redeemable. God did not wish to use any aspects of this culture in worship or service to him. Yes, there were souls at stake. Yes, there were lives in the balance. The lives in the balance were those who had covenantal relationship with God. In any case, the Canaanite world view was not to be molded into something acceptable to God. The children of Israel repeatedly suffered for and eventually lost their possession because of their disobedience. Yet the modern church with its modern leadership has a better way?


Additional Scriptural Insight Pt. 2:
Saul’s Disobedience Toward Amalek

1 Sam 15:3 ~ "3-Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

This was the command of the Lord to King Saul because of what the Amalekites had done to Israel by attacking their elderly and weak and being a "pirate" and antagonist in the wilderness, as recorded in Ex. 17:8-16, Num. 24:20 (as an oracle of Baalim), and Deut. 25:17-19. The culture and all of it’s remnants were to be destroyed no matter how godly any of it looked.

What Had Happen' Was…

1 Sam. 15:8-9 ~ "8-And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9-But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly."


Saul and his army began to make moral value judgements against the word of God. They looked and placed "value" upon what God had rejected for his own historical and purposeful reasons.

When questioned about his actions by Samuel, Saul responded with a nice religious answer and one that Christians trying to smuggle hip-hop into Christianity agree with:

1 Sam. 15:15 ~ "15And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed."

That which God had cursed, Saul thought to take the best of it and use it as a "sacrifice" unto the Lord??? Saul made the fatal mistake of assuming that there was something "good" that God could use and that the good was redeemable. His complete idea led him totally away form God and HIS plan for the people. This led to Saul’s ultimate nightmare…his total rejection:

1 Sam 15:22-23 ~ "22-And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23-For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

God didn’t want anything that Amalek had to offer. There was to be a complete purging of the sins of Amalek from the land and from among the people of God. Amalek was not to be redeemed in any way.

I think I'll stop there and save Section 3 and the answeres to popular questions for post 6. We're not finished yet by any means. God bless.

Blessed!

42 comments:

  1. Hi Pastor Burnett,

    I asked these questions over at GCM Watch too. I'd like your thoughts as well.

    It's true, many gospel artists operate of the flesh and some pretty bad fruit has been the result. The compromise goes beyond incorporating the world's tactics thru sub-genres like 'holy hip hop'. I believe all categories of gospel are constantly trying to out-do the world and have been influenced by the unsavory practices of the entertainment industry.

    My questions are these:

    Where do gospel singers go for proper training?

    Who gives them a biblical foundation of how to be a proessional gospel artist?

    Who are the respectable role models that are worthy of being mentors?

    Honestly…who is teaching a healthy, Godly approach to music ministry at the professional level?

    Blessings

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  2. JJ,

    Thanks for the comment and questions. You asked this:

    "It's true, many gospel artists operate of the flesh and some pretty bad fruit has been the result?"

    Yes. We see the results of it with some of these stage shows called "Celebrations of Gospel" and other type "awards" shows as well as Bobby's show itself. So you're on point that there seems to be a "character mismanagement" going on among those who sing, sell and promote gospel music.

    One thing that makes even GMWA adherants suspicious is the amount of homosexuals that have come up through and participated within those ranks. There are solid testimonies by individuals who "Know" with some specificity what is happening in that venue. That's what brings the "suspicion" to artists that have been popularized by that venue...do I need to be more specific?

    I have deferred these questions to individuals who are more "in the know" about what's currently happening:

    "Where do gospel singers go for proper training?

    "Who gives them a biblical foundation of how to be a proessional gospel artist?"

    "Who are the respectable role models that are worthy of being mentors?"

    "Honestly…who is teaching a healthy, Godly approach to music ministry at the professional level?"

    We do have some "professionals" who do read this and I would like them to address some of these issues for and along with us. Let's see. Thanks and God bless.

    Pastor B.

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  3. Thanks Pastor B.

    You said: "That's what brings the "suspicion" to artists that have been popularized by that venue...do I need to be more specific?"

    No sir, you do not. Message received.

    Looking forward to the responses here.

    JJ

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  4. Where do gospel singers go for proper training?

    (Here's the idea... training a child to become a musician or singer is a decision that God has reserved for the mother and father. So this means that training must first start with a purpose in mind. This purpose must be linked to how will the child use his/her talents for the kingdom of God. Personally, if the mother and father have no musical talents, I would be hesitant to lead the child in this path. However, if the decision is made then obviously the child must receive training. The danger in sending a child to sit alone with a music teacher for a 2 hour training session is high! You can't trust many musicians these days because most don't have a real revelation of how God instructs us to use music in the Church/kingdom of God. One good option is to assign the child to the Church choir. There are also opportunities for training within the public/private school systems and ultimately at the University level.

    So in short, this decision should come at an early age from the mother and father. The mother and father must have a Godly purpose in mind for the child and then the parents must be the guardian of how and where the child can best be trained. However, I don't think that there are schools of music where gospel music training in particular is offered. From my experience, most church going musicians hone their craft in the Church.)

    Who gives them a biblical foundation of how to be a proessional gospel artist?

    (No. There is a major flaw in this question. The Bible never gives instruction to industrialize music as this is a dangerous mix. In fact, God's approach is totally opposite of what you see in the world today as far as the gospel music industry is concerned. Primarily, music amongst the saints was intended for edification to the Church and praise to God. This is basically what you would have if you take away the generation of money-- based on record sales-- and the fame associated with selling as is prevalent in today's gospel music. Take away the money and the fame and not one negro will want to sang let alone produce music for distribution amongst the Church! This is a sad fact and I am working feverishly to change this culture through Charismatictunes.com....

    However, the question above assumes that it is normal Biblical instruction for one to become an industrialized gospel artist. First, one should explore the definition of gospel music and its origins. Then, one must consider what would I do as a gospel artist? Typically, most gospel musicians end up working for the devils kingdom instead of the Kingdom of God. Every gospel music recording artist that is signed to a gospel record label has indeed signed a deal with the devils kingdom whether they it know it or not. This is a sad fact. How do we know this??? The devil owns both the secular ad gospel music industries... For instance who owns EMI Christian Records???

    EMI Music does, they are the third largest music company in the world. What kind of music does EMI music produce primarily??? EMI Music produces and promotes secular music! See for yourself: (Note Kiki Sheard on the front page of EMI)

    http://www.emi.com/page/emi/Artists/0,,12641,00.html

    http://www.emicmg.com/

    Here is a case study... there is a well known musician with the Potter House in Dallas who plays in the club on Saturday night and then leads the Worship choir musicians in Sunday morning service. This same person has produced music and songs for gospel artists and also Erika Badu. My point here is that when one takes a vow to produce and perform music for the kingdom of God he/she can have no ties with the devils agenda nor his kingdom / industry.

    Bottom line.... there is no biblical reference that gives a musician the release to become a part of any recording industry or system that is devil owned. This is not God's plan for his music or musicians... It never was and it never will be... Gods plan for music and song is as directed in the following scriptures: Ephesians 5: 18-20 and Psalms 96:1... for starters. This should be taught in the CHURCH!!!!)

    Who are the respectable role models that are worthy of being mentors?

    G. Craige Lewis is the only person I know with the anointing for this in America...

    Honestly who is teaching a healthy, Godly approach to music ministry at the professional level?

    Not applicable. There should be no industrialization of God's music. However, God's music requires consecration/sanctification.

    Blessings,
    M

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  5. M,

    I agree with many of your statements but this horse has already left the barn and what are we to do with what is NOW the way it is NOW?

    Whether it was supposed to be or not, gospel music is an industry and there are yet some saved folk in it. Are we not to be salt and light? How can we withdraw and successfully do this?

    There have been seperatist Christians down through American history and where are they today? Outside of their cultures they have had no effect on America because they withdrew themselves. how many lives could they have saved?

    I understand and agree about the hip-hop culture because it's dead, but we shouldn't withdraw from the gospel music industry, I believe that would be the height of irresponsibility.

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  6. I almost forgot,

    I think the best thing we can do, like you said is teach this generation, but we shouldn't teach them to withdraw. Teach them and equip them to make the difference so the next generation of Gospel artist can be better servants.

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  7. Annon said: "I agree with many of your statements but this horse has already left the barn and what are we to do with what is NOW the way it is NOW?"

    M, this is where I'm coming from too.

    There are folks who are saved and very concerned about doing the right thing since they're already in the industry. I'm one of them.

    And it concerns me that the 'role models' for aspiring gospel singers typically have private lives that don't match their carefully crafted public personas. And yes, I realize the marketing is done from a carnal, worldly point of view to sell music and make $$. It unfortunately is the only widely accessible standard that thousands of up and comers are striving to emulate.

    So how does one learn how to use their public platform in a different, Godly way?

    I think this line of questioning IS applicable and worthy of attention.

    I don't believe any one individual has the power to bring down the gospel entertainment system as it stands.

    So the alternative is to altogether depart from it? That's how I'm interpreting your position as well.

    M, if you stay tucked away in the corner of the church behind the drum kit & organ to avoid the pitfalls of the industry...what good is that? You won't reach anyone that way and will be accused of burying your talent in the ground, perhaps before God himself.

    M said: "Take away the money and the fame and not one negro will want to sang let alone produce music for distribution amongst the Church! "

    Ha! That's funny and probably true for most BUT...
    My ideology has always involved the committment to 'walk away'. Which means if ever I'm in a situation where the Lord shows me that the opportunity on the table will require compromise, honey I'm walking away. I don't care about what contract I've signed or what threats may come.

    No one has control of my talent and if it comes right down to it, I'll sing on the street corner before submitting to manipulation by some unsavory entity (be it da church or the industry).

    So take heart M, not all us Negroes are like that.

    M said: "My point here is that when one takes a vow to produce and perform music for the kingdom of God he/she can have no ties with the devils agenda nor his kingdom / industry."

    I urge some caution in this area. If someone is a professional singer or musician, music may be their only stream of income. According to your statement, a saved music professor who teaches at the college and also volunteers w/ the church choir will not be able to direct the college choir in anything else but Christian music. Well, there goes his job. Will he feed his family by his volunteer work at the church?

    You may be crossing over into some legalism here. If I had a dollar for everytime someone wanted to legisislate the singers and musicians in the way you just did...I'd be riding high!

    So tell me this. The pastor uses his voice for spoken word to deliver the sermon. By your logic, he should vow to not use his voice for pursuits outside of Christian, Kingdom-approved activities.

    Well, I guess he cannot support his family and avoid being that cursed, spineless hireling by using that very same sermon voice to sell insurance, teach physics or present quarterly earnings reports and such. All may be classified as secular pursuits that aren't conducive to Kingdom Building if someone really wanted to work that angle.

    I'm not advocating for the dude at the Potter's House. Just illustrating how a practical, fair minded approach to this issue is neccessary.


    JJ

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  8. M, I checked out your website (www.charismatictunes.com)and read thru your opinions on Thomas Dorsey and how he laid an unfirm foundation for gospel music. ie/ "Thomas Dorsey developed a sacred music based on the secular blues...With his strategy Mr. Dorsey constrained the evolution of gospel music to the evolution of music created in the Secular Industry."

    If anyone doesn't get this, M is saying Tommy Dorsey did a bad thing.

    SO please tell me this: why are the tracks that you're promoting on your site sound like bad gangster rap or poor quality Kirk Franklin r&b knockoffs???

    If one can get past the Fruityloops generated music, do you actually want folks to believe this music is 'annointed'? I read the topics your tracks cover, so I assume the lyrical content is the redeeming factor here.

    In fact, your claim that "Until now there was no 'music' or 'platform' set apart specifically for Praise to God and Communication/Edification amongst the Church" translates that the music on your site is annointed for this purpose.

    Call me foolish, but isn't that exactly the argument Pastor Burnett and Craige Lewis scoff at and have written much rebuke of?

    I'm talking about the oxymoron that is "Holy Hip Hop".

    I'm talking about the music beds which are undistinguishable from what you hear on any 'urban' station.

    How are you doing anything different than Dorsey?

    He repackaged blues as gospel (which was bad) but when you repackage rap or poorly done r&b as gospel its not just a good thing, its ANNOINTED.

    Yeah. Right.

    I'm going to my annointed bed to get some annointed sleep but not before taking an annointed bath and stepping out onto my annointed bath rug.

    Good annointed night.

    JJ

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  9. M, that was an excellent expository response given to JJ. I found no fault whatsoever with it. I would also add that it is not a "separtist" view in the sense that it is outside the norm. It is in the sense that GOD CALLS US to be holy (separated and consecrated) for his use. There is no way in hell(literally) that a gospel industry worker like Kierra Sheard can be consecrated for God's use when she is wholly controlled by a godless entity such as EMI. The same goes for the rest of these gospel industry workers who claim to be ministering the gospel and "reaching the youth". What a farce!

    To Pastor B, wow this is like a dissertation. I cant wait until this reaches a wider audience. The church is starving for truth and there is a famine for the Word of God.

    And no hip hop cannot be redeemed. To me it is the music of an idol god called violence.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awwwwww We got it poppin' now!

    4-real. The comments got me sittin' on edge here becuuse we're talking about something that is long overdue to be "logically" and "cognitively" discussed.

    M has some good insights, but JJ your observations are equally as valid in my opinion.

    Now I want to backtrack on something to place my blogs in proper context. The music (sheet music, notes etc.), in my mind, is NOT as big of a problem as what it promotes and the godless worldview behind the music.

    So "contemporary" beats aren't so much the problem as the anti-God stance and worldviews being espoused. I love the diversity of Gospel music.

    I also have a difficult time reconciling the fact that just because a secular company "owns" and industry that Christians should withdraw...I think if we follow that type of teaching, we would have NO MONEY at any bank, own no cars, fly no airplanes, and quite frankly have no jobs period.

    I do agree that we should not bow to the culture of secularism, but I am inclined to approach the whole thing as JJ does with a greater sense of balance and REFORMATION. I believe that's the word.

    The gospel "industry", because it is an industry, needs to experience REFORM.

    GCMwatch, you're totally on point. how can our artists deliver themselves to this ungodliness so readily? I mean if the company says sing naked, will they do it??? I believe that's what needs reform...our attitudes and what we allow and there MUST be a more biblical approach to teaching these youths and others how to stand for godliness and practical righteousness...

    Keep 'em on da ropes JJ...you comin' out swangin'-LOL

    Blessed!

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  11. I agree Pastor B I am not railing necessarily against the "genre" of the music, with an exception to hip hip. And that's primarily because I just dont like that genre for the most part, for the same reasons I dont like death metal.

    But the collusion of some of these gospel music industry workers is brazen to the point that there seems to be no standard. The women are getting more SEXIER, SEDUCTIVE and SENSUAL while the men are PLAYAS, PUNKISH and/or THUGGISH.

    Im struggling to see how that represents Christ. They claim they want to identify with the people. So let me ask a logical question: if you are trying to reach drag queens/kings do you cross dress so that they believe you love them?

    This industry has an identity crisis and it is foisting that upon the church and young people who (just like the anorexic models) are trying to conform to a false image of Christ.

    Im gettn to the point I almost dont even want to hear the word "anointed".

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  12. Pastor Foster said:

    "Im gettn to the point I almost dont even want to hear the word "anointed".

    Me neither.

    I was being facetious when I spoke of me taking my annointed self off to my annointed bed, but seriously. I see some of the drivel that's being marketed as 'annointed' by unscrupulous 'Christians', then heck man...my bathrug is just as annointed. Why? Because I got a flashy smile and some gold rings too and I can jump around and make a big noise and I hereby proclaim it is.

    See how utterly stupid this can (and has) become?

    That's why I'm not really that interested in hearing dissertations about 'annointed' 'consecrated' et al. I want to hear some practical ideas being shared as to how gospel artists can biblically approach their craft.

    Pastor Foster said: "But the collusion of some of these gospel music industry workers is brazen to the point that there seems to be no standard. The women are getting more SEXIER, SEDUCTIVE and SENSUAL while the men are PLAYAS, PUNKISH and/or THUGGISH."

    Word! That is the plain truth. But let me take it one step further. When the music is sounding like hip hop/r&b, why are we then put off that the performers start to adopt the same style of dress and imaging? To me its a no brainer why its happened.

    Plus, I think quite a few 'gospel' performers are frustrated rappers & R&B folk who couldn't succeed in those fields. So they bounced to gospel where churchfolk will buy whatever they're selling.

    I'll be honest. I can sing the heck out of some R&B, especially old school Soul music. And I can do some damage to funk (just let me loose on some Tower of Power). In addition to gospel, that's what I was raised on.

    But I'm not known as a r&b artist. I'm gospel. And when I do gospel, the arrangements are not indistinguishable from rap or r&b.
    If I wanted to do those genres of music, I simply would.

    Why blur the lines?

    I also have to educate on the matter of M propogating info that isn't quite correct. Dorsey did not singlehandedly bring the blues and thereby corrupt gospel music. In fact, in rural areas of the South the 2 styles never diverged. The styles were almost one in the same in rural areas. The players and singers performed that same bluesy, rootsy style whether they were singing sacred songs or folk-type songs.

    I know this because this is my cultural tradition and it is the indigeneous music of the black settlements my people come from.

    I am in fact the last generation to have been raised with this kind of music in the area that I live.

    According to M, this music may also fall outside the realm of Kingdom-approved. Sorry M, but its a valuable part of black history that deserves to be preserved.

    So blaming Brother Dorsey in the way you have is really off-kelter and misinformed.

    Plus I think I clearly showed how you're talking out both sides yo mouth by doing exactly what u accuse him of.

    In speaking of being a signed gospel artist to a major secular label, Pastor Burnett said: "how can our artists deliver themselves to this ungodliness so readily? I mean if the company says sing naked, will they do it???"

    Ha ha! Probably so. And with so many fried chicken eatin' folk in gospel I'm not sure I ever want to see that.

    So here's a PRACTICAL question: Is it better for a gospel artist to remain independent?

    I for one do want to avoid being told to sang naked. Then I gotta knock someone out and have a lawsuit on me...what a headache.

    I was recently in a "Music & the Law" workshop and the entire panel of lawyers and artists said that until as an indie artist you're generating $250G/yr revenue, you don't want to even consider signing to a major label.

    Why?

    Because even as a secular artist, you will be manipulated, used & abused by the time the label is thru with you. This secular panel in fact called labels 'evil' and advised all artists to remain as autonomous as possible for as long as they could and then if they do go into a label, with sales already at the 250G mark, you're in a position of power to negotiate.

    This was practical, usable advice and I'd like to hear more.

    JJ

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  13. JJ,

    I fell out of my seat on that last post of yours...U R 2 much!-LOL!!!

    You are on point though. So far as being and remaining independent...I have always been a sort of "independent person" so that would be a good option for me, but it seems that some can't stand that sort of thing.

    I do know this...Kim Burrell was held in her contract to her music company for over a year, told that she couldn't sing and lost time and money at their whims...I couldn't do that when I feel that the Lord has given me a gift to share...That's like giving what God gave you to the enemy for him to control...

    That leads back to another point...how much is enough for the Gospel artist...I mean the record company (to my knowledge) offers deals that almost can't be refused. We're living in a capitalistic society that says "no caps" or limits...I believe part of our education must be to say NO to the culture and promises of grandeur...Jesus said no 3 times in the wilderness and a 4th time in the garden...can't that be the model we follow or pattern after???

    Thoughts.

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  14. JJ,

    one more point, you said this:

    "When the music is sounding like hip hop/r&b, why are we then put off that the performers start to adopt the same style of dress and imaging?"

    I think that there are certain arrangements that incite differnt attitudes, feeling sand even differnt spirits, so I agree that certain rhythms incite certain behaviors, but I also think that a lot of these guys and girls respond the way they do because something is "within them" that hooks them...remember what James said about temptation..."drawn away of HIS own lust THEN enticed" That's what we see here, hearts caught in the "lust of the flesh" and drawn away within the vehicle of certain music genres...

    Now many of the Old reformed hymns came from "brothel" style songs in England years ago. Some of the movements we associate with old Christian music was "club music" of the day. moder generations only have one point of refrence for some of that music, but I can imagine what some of the first generation people thought of those movements...

    I can jam on my bass all day and never be tempted to put on any hip-hop garments or get in the street and clown, BUT I am mindful that some will be tempted to do so, so i become "responsible" with my presentations etc...does that make sense?

    Blessed.

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  15. Pastor B said: "BUT I am mindful that some will be tempted to do so, so i become "responsible" with my presentations etc...does that make sense?"

    Yes sir it does.

    I would however like to throw down the gauntlet and challenge aspiring gospel artists & producers
    to actually learn how to write, arrange and incorporate live instrumentation into songs. I believe new creativity is needed and would be VERY well received. If we've already being hearing certain sounds & arrangements in R&B/rap for the past 5 years...guess what? It's old, man! Nobody's gon go crazy for some tired, recycled junk w/ some Jesus lyrics thrown in.

    Make real music and make it well. Aspire to a standard of excellence and reach beyond what you've been given. Seek out education in how to be a formidable vocalist, producer, player...whatever!

    Even from the strictly musical standpoint, recycled R&B don't excite me. Expecially if it wasn't even that good in the first place.

    It's true, many hymns did evolve from Ye Olde English Pub songs. It was the music of the common man and they expressed their love of God through what they knew.

    Keep in mind, in Olde Jolly England most were illiterate, life expectancy was 30 and no one took a bath.

    We can do better than that today. Let's not come out with a Christian version of "4 Wenches Went to Londontown".

    Let's actually study music, learn to play skillfully upon the myriad of instruments we have today. We don't have to blow in a jug and strum 'pon the lyre.

    We can actually make highly evolved, wonderful music that is original, creative and lyrically reaches the common man while staying true to scripture.

    Take ye that for thine contest! Arghh!

    JJ

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  16. JJ said,

    "Keep in mind, in Olde Jolly England most were illiterate, life expectancy was 30 and no one took a bath."

    You gotta quit!!! I've been havin' a hard time staying focused and comments like these don't make it any better....LOL-LOL-LOL!

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  17. A musician does not have a ministry making music, he has a talent that can be used to assist a ministry. It's a ministry of helps! It's not apart of the 5 fold hand of God! There is no scripture for that. There is not a select few with singing ability. We all have singing ability, some better than others. We all have playing ability if we are taught and decide to learn. Musicianship is not a gift, it's an ability that should be offered to God as a gift and we all can do that! So for this reason, you cannot compare it to a pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, prophet! Musician was not named in the 5 fold ministry. God showed us that music was not suppose to raise up a person before people, when he took Lucifers ability and gave it to all men. We call it "vocal chords". God took the ability that made Lucifer think he was a super Star and gave it to MAN so that there will be no super Stars in heaven! God is the only star and a system that is set up to lift up man and promote man is the same scenario that displeased God in Heaven. Lucifers merchandising and trafficking (promoting and selling of himself) is what got him kicked out of heaven and it's what the WORLD has turned the gospel music industry into!!! I'm sorry, but there is no turning this ship called the Gospel Music Industry. It is what it is because it was never suppose to be. And there is no redeeming it and making it right when it's not suppose to exist in the manner that it exists. We must stop using our deductive logic to make things that we want to be a part of, a "must fix" thing? This is the same logic Holy Hip Hoppers use. Just because it's out there does not mean it needs redeeming! Some stuff should not exist, no matter how big it is.


    There was a time when musicians would sign record deals and try their best to stay pure. They would write songs that would strengthen and help people. Even when these guys were struggling with issues, they would seek help and council. But now, their issues is what drives the success! You see, the secular industry would take people like Tupac and get him on drugs. Ray Charles and others would get hooked on drugs so that the industry could pay them with drugs and keep them loyal. The Gospel Music Industry does the same things with homosexuality and fornication. So, instead of seeking help and council, they are encouraged to sleep with eachother so there can be a loyalty and silent code involved. No one turns on another and they all get along. Even the so called "delivered" ones like Donnie and KIrk wear pink suits to GMWA and hang out with Bobby Jones and the like. Why? Because there is a code among them just like the secular industry. And because of these things, the corruption is killing the ray of light that once existed in the music. Sure, some of the music is entertaining, but Woe unto those that sign contracts and have to follow the rules of this system. These rules are the same rules that govern the godless secular industry.



    Music for our churches and the people of God should be governed by the church. It should not be functioning on it's on and it should not be independent of the 5 fold governing leadership of the church. That's the bottom line. There is no infiltrating the music industry and changing it from the inside out either. The Tye Tribbett approach will not work. Tye suggests that he was "called" by God to enter the industry to change it. He says he was called to participate with Bobby Jones, and the rest of the industry fags to help them and change them. He says that he is anointed to change them and God wants to use them but they need changing first. That's the same logic that has filled our churches with homosexual musicians and choir leaders. Bring them in and let them function while God does a work in them and changes them. The inherent problem with this ideology is that, when they are propped up in position, there is no change warranted. When they are utilized and raised up before others, the others see them as a mark of success and desire what they are. Then the mark becomes scarred. And that scarring causes many to lead while they bleed as TD Jakes so gayly put it. This is what we have now. A bunch of folks that need help, helping folks. And entering an industry where your booty gets you promoted is not of God.


    It's hard to even find an example of success in the Gospel Music Industry. Those that sell the most are the most vile. Those that don't sell, sell out to be vile to sell! Those that haven't "made it" exhaust their lives trying to. And those that have experienced it are usually bitter, in legal battles, or caught up in mess. They always have a testimony of how Godless it is, yet they still desire it? Where are the examples of God using the industry to really make a difference in the person that signed the deal? Has there been an individual or group that has glorified God in this industry and not fallen to sin, some kind of legal problem, or black balled? The industry is set up to make you defy God and go your own way. There is no purity in the system. Don't be deceived! God's music belongs in the church and should be governed by the church. You can fix the mentality of the church folks and you can invoke the presence of God for ideas, songs, music, but you cannot change the Gospel Music Industry because it was not the will of God from the beginning. it was a bad idea from the start.


    I have an idea. Do your music independent of the industry. The very existence of the Gospel Music Industry makes the average musician set his sights on it rather than the true direction of God or just being satisfied with playing for church or on a local level. This is what the devil wanted all along. What he couldn't do in Heaven, he is doing on earth and many are being deceived by it. Now, his demonic industry legitimizes the musician instead of ones ability to serenade God.

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  18. Great comments and I agree for the most part but I would challenge that because "Music" is not listed as a pastoral ministry gift for the "prefecting" or "teaching" of the saints that it's invalid as a "ministry". The OT was full of families who were dedicated to temple music "ministry" or service. Korah was one family etc. I believe that as individuals WE are ministering servants,flames of fire (Heb. 1:7, Ps. 104:4) so in essence the service we render to God is ministry (aka hebrew "serath") in scriptural sense of the word. Yes it's a different aspect other than didactic ministry but certainly no less important, essential or vital to he health of the church in general.

    So far as "industry", I believe that like "eden" we can't return to the pure state (not to say that there was one) but for us to simply acquiest and make melody in our hearts and to one another is unredemptive. Now, for me, this is totally UNLIKE hip-hop and holy-hiphoppers. They are trying to sanitize an ungodly and anti-Christ world view. We are trying to REFORM what belongs to God and his church. There are VASTLY different things and approaches and is not a fair comparison so far as the logic is concerned...this is similar to an apple and orange.

    So in essence, IF we paint the industry as godless, then we've vicariously damaged those who are dedicated to Christ within the industry and that DO set forth a difference in lifestyle and presentation. This isn't compromise by any means but merely an approach that we as a church should be willing to set forth, retrain and refocus on.

    Blessed!

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  19. JJ.... I appreciate your response....

    You mentioned (3) words in your email that reflect your level of understanding when it comes to music, song, and its purpose in the Kingdom of God. Your statements actually affirm my response to the earlier blog. In your statement below you mentioned the words "gospel entertainment system". A 'gospel entertainment system' is far from what the Bible instructs in Ephesians Chapter 5, Psalms 96:1, and beyond. The 'gospel music system' you are referring to is a manifestation and continuation of what the founder of gospel music, Mr. Thomas Dorsey meant to create. A merger of the Church and the World’s music. So like Mr. Dorsey was formerly... today many artists in the Gospel industry are confused about what God requires of their musical abilities. Therefore, many Church musicians waiver back and forth from the secular and gospel music industries/venues in search of money, fame, and recognition. So the question here is whose system will the Church continue to follow when in comes to music/song creation and distribution??? Will we follow what the Bible instructs or will we follow what the amazing Mr. Thomas Dorsey created???

    The 'gospel entertainment system' as you call it has some really neat features... but ultimately it promotes the exploitation of one's Purpose, Ability, and Time. Simply put the music industry is part of lucifers/satans kingdom on earth. Just as lucifer attempted to promote and lift himself above God in Heaven... he has now established a world system that exploits and promotes the images and abilities of men in exchange for money!. Couple this system with music and you have the MUSIC INDUSTRY!

    LET ME BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR... GOSPEL MUSIC IS SECULAR MUSIC. TO COME TO THIS CONCLUSION ONE MUST BE WISE ENOUGH TO LOOK AT THE ORIGIN AND FORMATION OF THE MUSIC GENRE. THEREAFTER, ONE MUST BE WISE ENOUGH TO CHECK THE ASSOCIATIONS AND OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE THAT THE MUSIC IS ACCOUNTABLE TO. CURRENTLY, WE KNOW THAT ALL INDUSTRIALIZED CHRISTIAN MUSIC INCLUDING GOSPEL IS ACCOUNTABLE TO SECULAR MUSIC. IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU SIGN A DEAL WITH A MAJOR CHRISTIAN RECORD LABEL YOU WILL BE ACCOUNTABLE TO A MAJOR SECULAR RECORD LABEL IN SOMEWAY. Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

    NOW ANSWER THIS FOR ME JJ...

    WOULD GOD INSTRUCT YOU TO SIGN A DEAL THAT PUTS YOU IN A DIRECT CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH satan's kingdom JUST SO THAT YOU CAN MINISTER MORE EFFECTIVELY TO THE CHURCH??? This is the Fundamental question you have to ask yourself before signing any deal with any record label in the industry.

    SPEND TIME IN PRAYER AND MEDITATION... THINKING ABOUT THESE THINGS THOROUGHLY BEFORE YOU ACT.

    Furthermore, If you remain in contract with a Christian or Gospel record label that is in contract with the secular industry then ultimately your relationship with God may be compromised. It’s as simple as that my friend!

    Here my recommendations for you:

    Start your research efforts by reading Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. Once you have read this, pray that God will give you revelation on how this relates to music as we know it today. Pray for God's view on the issue.

    As for your contractual obligations to the industry as an artist / musician... I am not sure that you will ever be able to overcome the desire to be on the 'stage'. However, my recommendation to you would be to get out while or if you can... Once you are relieved from the industry, work a job or perform another work with your hands for money until God shows you how he will use you further in the Kingdom. But by all means use wisdom and discretion as you proceed.

    You can always sing and play praises to God at your house! God will be glorified just the same....

    God Bless-

    W

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  20. It's still talent in it's raw form. Preaching is preaching in it's raw form. Music is talent that can be used for good or evil, but it assists ministry vs. establishes it. There is a BIG difference. Though some may minister through it in some ways, it is, in it's purest form, talent.


    I compared Hip Hop to the industry of music and the industry of music does not allow for pure ministry. Though one may be in it and wants to change it, it cannot be changed. So, all I'm saying is that, one should have the desire to sing, play, or create music, without necessarily the desire to promote it. When the desire to make it is pure, then the satisfaction of doing it is there without the trappings of the industry. The industry will get it out there, but that is not necessarily a blessing or the will of God. In exchange for that, there MUST be compromise and that's a trap. My goodness, we would avoid all other traps of the enemy that forces compromise except music. With music, we make a way for it and make excuses for the compromising because we want it and folks want to be out there doing it. But it still is not a stand alone ministry tool that was used by the apostles outside of the church of God to evangelize and reach the lost. It's talent. Entertains and blesses, but is yet in it's rawest form, talent and not a gifting.

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  21. Why can't folks sing and play and be satisfied with what they are offering God? Signing a record deal says that you desire a larger audience, more applause, and accolades. Sure, it may look like you are reaching more people, but is that necessary? Did the disciples reach people with music? Was music a tool of evangelism? It's a trap! No way around it. It will lead to issues, whether personal, spiritual, or legal. The enemy will not allow a pure person to survive the industry without drama and heartache. I cannot tell you how many demons of music have spoken out to me and claimed the lives of those that signed deals. I'm sure there are some that are walking right before God and signing deals. But in the end, they will either fall into the trap of sin, or have little success in the industry. The devil owns it doc, and God doesn't want it. Trust me

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  22. So in essence we are discussing 2 differnt ways to address the problem that we all recognize that is a problem.

    1- reform the "industry" realizing that it is an "industry" and although controlled by secular individuals yet serves a purpose which can can use to the edification of HIS people everywhere. this requires a total revamping and teaching at a grass roots level of the biblical use of music and presentation.

    2- Let the current "industry" continue to die as it is in the hands of the ungodly anyway. redevelop "independent" voices and talents that realize the place of service is UNDER the authority of the church and not independent of the church leadership and biblical intents. Teach, train and develop at a grass roots new talent that is sensitive to the leading of the Spirit Of The Lord and uncompromising in monetary issues.

    Well, does one preclude or exclude the other?

    This is an excellent convo and one that the church must take advantage of because we're at a cross-roads.

    very good.

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  23. W said: "You mentioned (3) words in your email that reflect your level of understanding when it comes to music, song, and its purpose in the Kingdom of God. Your statements actually affirm my response to the earlier blog. In your statement below you mentioned the words "gospel entertainment system".

    Correct. I do realize it is the Gospel Entertainment System. I have a high level of understanding of the real deal here, W. This is not God's system, hence my choice of words. And I believe all the pitfalls of folks signing to labels that have been mentioned here are not fallacy but completely real.

    Come on, if a secular panel of music lawyers can get the willies when speaking of the evil that is major labels...and this applies to ALL artists whether you're performing Appalaichan Disco or Black Gospel, then u know it's got to be totally dark, man!

    But my views of Tommy Dorsey & the inception of gospel along with my caution regarding legalism stand.

    W asked: "WOULD GOD INSTRUCT YOU TO SIGN A DEAL THAT PUTS YOU IN A DIRECT CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH satan's kingdom JUST SO THAT YOU CAN MINISTER MORE EFFECTIVELY TO THE CHURCH??? "

    Uhhh, no W. He wouldn't. That's why I have not signed with a label and have no intention of doing so.

    Interestingly, I seldom perform in churches. This is not an intentional decision, its simply where God has placed us. I'm actually surprised we're not asked to appear in churches more, but hey...it's probably better to get the word thru song out in the highways and bi-ways instead of always singing to the "Already Persuaded" crew. In secular settings we have NEVER been asked to water down our presentation, and it's pretty hard hitting.

    W said: "Furthermore, If you remain in contract with a Christian or Gospel record label that is in contract with the secular industry then ultimately your relationship with God may be compromised. It’s as simple as that my friend!"

    Agreed. BTW, I have written nothing on this blog that indicates I'm slobbering after a record deal so knock it off.

    I'm not arrogant enough to think that countless others have been brought low by their dealings with the music industry, but I'M DIFFERENT and it would not happen to ME.

    I'd just be the next meal.

    As far as wanting to get your music out there as a promotion of self, the word says that promotion comes from the Lord.* And that has been good enough for me. We have put in a minimal effort to get our group "out dere". The opportunities that have come our way, we can surely take little credit for.

    *This in fact is one piece of advice I would have for those wanting sing publically.

    As for allowing the church to control gospel music instead of the music industry...great idea in theory but keep in mind the church is filled with snakes and vipers who would turn an artist out just like a label would. This idea scares me too, quite frankly.

    I for one don't want to be under the iron fist and leering eye of Bishop Hamhock.

    A few folks have mentioned being satisfied to sing at home and glorify God this way.

    It would've been sad if Helen Baylor had done this and not recorded the album which contained her testimony. I personally know folks who changed their life around after hearing that testimony. Very powerful.

    At the end of this, the salient point that all artists must answer is "why" they are performing music.

    If the "why" is some carnal, jive reason...then I guess you're a sheep to the slaughter.

    Not everyone's "why" is inspired by Lucifer, however.

    I'd like to see some acknowlegement of that.

    JJ

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  24. Pastor B,

    I believe approach #2 is the most sound, with the exception of music being under the control and authority of the church.

    As mentioned, this scares me as I have been targeted by several Big Daddy Church Pimps. I'd never want Eddie Long or Creffie Dollar or even some storefront Grand Poobah sinking their fangs into me.

    Another question: WHO would be the authority in the church that would mentor, hold accountable and advocate for Christian artists? Anybody could do it? Er'rybody should do it? This could be a disaster in the wrong hands!

    All gospel singers and players retreating to the confines of their living rooms is a strange thought too. Sunday mornings would be kinda weird, huh? Sorta like "The Day After".

    JJ

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  25. hmmm...interesting convo...and a very needed one....hmm...

    Hey Pastor Burnet. How are you? Hope all is well with your fam.

    -Khalid.

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  26. Praise the LORD!

    Pastor Burnett,
    Awesome Dialogue and to GOD be all the glory.

    Dear JJ and others reading this,

    If the LORD's psalmists and HIS musicans are not subject to the Church(local level to mega level), then who will they submit to? Who will cover them? I know a lot of people do not like that term, covering...but it is 100% scriptural and biblical. You got to have covering whether preaching the Word or singing the Word. Amen.

    The alternative that is out there now, especially in the past 10 years, which I know you and others agree, is a mess. Preaching to the choir. LOL!

    Question to everyone out there, who produces and distributes the Windsongs--is it Windsong the Church, Who produces and distributes the Gaithers(?)-Is it Bill Gaither? Look at all those Gaither CDs through the years. Who produces and distributes all those worship songs on the other side of the tracks? Steven Curtis Chapman, the WOW Worship CDs, LOL. Who produces Nicole Mullen("I know my Redeemer Lives")? I do not discern the "enemy" and his cohorts controlling these people that I have just mentioned. I may be wrong, somebody correct me.

    Now, the names I have mentioned before and after of any particular musician, ministry or church, or the pastor/bishop,.....I am just asking who produces and distributes their material. For example, the Brooklyn Mass Choir, Tabernacle...I believe its the Church that the name comes from? Yes/No. Bishop Paul S. Morton...I do not believe his music is compromised(Yes/No). T.D. Jakes(Hear me saints), and his Mass Choir have put out CDs. Even Creflo Dollar has put out CDs(LOL).
    Now most of these people mentioned have the means($$$) to produce and distribute what they want and most are doing it to generate an income stream unfortunately(this is my hunch, not a thus saith the LORD).

    Pastor B, isn't GMWA a COGIC subsidy or project? I do not know. I know a lot of people were abused and a lot of mess came from GMWA. How was it produced and distributed? What happened in this case?

    Finally, I believe in the economy of GOD and that the LORD takes care of his own. GOD's music reflects and focuses on HIM, not the singer/choir/pastor, etc...that's as G. Craige Lewis said in the DVD Luciferian complex is what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven. Applause and praise and honor ALL BELONGS to the JESUS!

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  27. "then we've vicariously damaged those who are dedicated to Christ within the industry and that DO set forth a difference in lifestyle and presentation"

    Pastor B, here's my problem with these people.
    They are invisible, silent and complicit.
    It really makes me agree with anonymous that their silence or fear of holding others in "the industry" accountable based on biblical standards is part of the systemic blackness of the industry.

    I think if they are truly dedicated to Christ and are within the industry, they should speak out and declare God's standards. I mean are they dedicated to Christ or the recording contracts and compensation?

    The darkness in the gospel music industry is now open and fully palatable. Being on the indside they should know this is deadly for the body to allow people with errant spirits to release poison music into the Body. It has that power. David played with the true anointing and Sauls demons departed. When a person is under the influence of demonic spirits and they sing, play, etc. no one can convince me that they are not releasing like spirits which will arguably affect someone. Can somebody say young people?

    To me this is a crisis the leaven sort. Its already well beyond "a little leaven". I have heard stories of these gospel artists bringing their homosexual lovers to the performances and even more. Im sure (with the J Moss thing) that it happens on both sides. A sexually immoral person isnt qualified to minister to God's people. Perhaps that is why they do not want to be "tied down" to a local church or pastor because it would mean accountability.

    PS: AWESOME discussion here!

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  28. Sidebar: Please all you "anonymouses" use a different name so we know who's who. Its not that hard.

    Ok, sorry to fuss.

    But I agree with anonymous that gospel music was never intended nor sanctioned by God or scripture to be a stand alone ministry. It is subject and should be wholly controlled by the five fold (or four fold). Im not saying there are no unscrupulous people who would still do wrong in the 5F.

    However, There is no instance in NT chronology of the church where we see any examples of this. None.

    Which really leads me to say the entire "gospel music industry" is unbiblical. I think that is why it is so rife with uncontrollable error.

    In that case, Im not advocating for any industry built on something that God never told us to make an industry.

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  29. Pastor Burnett, you need to have some type of symposium...I dare not use the word conference. LOL. I would seriously consider attending a forum like this with the conditions of bringing about deliverance and breakthroughs. Amen. Back to the subject.

    Pastor Foster, I agree with the heart of what you are saying today and earlier and what Anonymous(Lol) said yesterday. Where I would add is that Music Ministry when done in decency and in order can be used to preach, minister, prophesy and set captives free under the 5-fold. I agree 100% that any calling himself or herself or themselves ministers in music, they MUST be accountable to the Body of CHRIST. To keep power egos out of the way, it should be done through a plurality of governing elders(Oh-Oh, politics aside).

    We all agree that "Black" gospel music is contaminated/lethal and poisonous spiritually as a whole, BUT not all, do we agree. GOD always has a "remnant"! Amen. Hallelujah!

    Another question: Even if a sanctified music minister or choir produces a CD, or a group of "anointed", "sanctified", "HOLY GHOST" breathed songs.... TO GET THAT CD or MUSIC into a record store, i.e. "Family Christian Bookstores" or Mom and Pop Christian Bookstores, and ALL these megaChurches bookstores(LOL)
    or now, the "MP3" or "IPOD" level or what "I-tunes"--Y'all help me because I am a neanderthal when it comes to high-tech. GOD gave man the ability to create all this wonderful technology, computers, internet, etc., etc. The LORD does use these avenues to REACH SOULS. Amen.

    To get to the point, HOW DO we in the Body of CHRIST get HIS music, Not our music, but HIS music to those avenues WITHOUT going to the World or through the world, i.e. record labels, record companies, recording contracts, lawyers, excessive fees, COMPROMISE?
    Cause if you look at some of the greatest worldly acts(before CHRIST, Amen, LOL), when Toni Braxton, TLC, (You could tell I was into Divas! I married a MaryMary wife! LOL), they went bankrupt because THEY DID NOT MAKE ANY MONEY from their 1st, 2nd and sometimes 3rd Albums/CDs! Now, those of us who are on the LORD's side, WE ARE SUPPOSE TO BE IN THIS GOSPEL for HIS SAKE, HIS GLORY, and HIS HONOR. Now, whether that makes Pastor Burnett or Pastor Foster or myself, a millionaire in this life or the life to come...WE ARE SUPPOSE TO BE IN THIS THANG for the souls, not for the money! Now, the other side is when Saints don't want to compensate the ministers, any true servant, music or non-music. I know of too many Pentecostal ministries that lose musicians to the Baptist, AME types because they DON't even give their musicians a love offering!

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  30. Br. EnochWalked,

    I know the concept of 'covering' all too well. Where I live, it has always translated into very weird, abusive practices. The stories that come from battered sheep stepping over the dead bodies (spiritually dead bodies) of other sheep in a frantic bid to escape these 'covering' ministries are legion where I am located.

    And I've experienced this myself.

    So right now, my husband is my covering and this is biblical too.

    But it is not for lack of trying to be involved with the local church body. We've put more effort into it than anyone else I know!

    *Sidebar: in my city/country there is a growing number of Christians that have have been spewed out of the church & are meeting in home. Yes, that's right-the underground church is a growing, actual reality here. This is not confined to China, it is happening on our shores too.

    Everyone, please don't forget or ignore the hour we're in. The great apostasy a scriptural fact. We are seeing the falling away RIGHT NOW-AT THIS VERY MINUTE. And it will only heighten as the hour approaches.

    Why would any truly saved singer/player want to be under the 'covering' of an apostate ministry? Talk about spirits-I sure don't need the demons they have on them all over me. I got problems of my own, man! ;)

    So I've just been in a holding pattern. The Lord has not told my husband or I to join up with any local church body and until the order changes, I'm not running ahead of this.

    Br Enoch, you also mentioned that perhaps gospel artists could be under the umbrella of a coucil of elders.

    Again, WHO these elders are is what is so critical! I can't stress this enough.

    It's a good idea, but if not executed properly the performers & goings on underneath this covering would in time smell identical to the stench rising up now.

    This is no small undertaking to suddenly lay hands on.

    And the satanic backlash would be off the hook too, so count the cost.

    As for how Gaither does it, now here's an interesting concept to find out more about. A cousin of mine sings Southern Gospel and has told me some about this, but I'm fuzzy on the details.

    Anybody else aware of how Bill Gaither structures his organisation?

    Br EnochWalked said:"We all agree that "Black" gospel music is contaminated/lethal and poisonous spiritually as a whole, BUT not all, do we agree. GOD always has a "remnant"! Amen. Hallelujah!"

    Yes sir, he always has a remnant. It is a tough road to trod, let me tell you. I am actually born of a remnant and it is an interesting life to live. I have seen however, that even some far-flung, twice-removed remnant can be used as a ram in the bush.

    Time to start praying the rams begin to ready for the battle!

    JJ

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  31. Khalid,

    Thanks for reading this man. I was going to send you an email so that you can address and add to this discussion from your perspective. I also appreciate your prayers, and the family is doing fine.

    For those who don't know we suffered a tragedy of a murder of my Godson 2 weeks ago. Thanks for the prayers of all.

    I want to first say that I HIGHLY appreciate of all the commentary and godly points of view posted here. This has blessed my soul and I believe is blessing those that read and challenging everyone to think, rethink and pray about their positions on this subject. That's a positive and I believe points are being received well.

    I also want to state that I don't believe, for reasons that I've stated that we should throw the "baby out with the bathwater" and reject the "industry" simply because the devil's influence. IF we are consistent with that modus operandi, we will withdraw and become anonother Essene community, and like JJ has questioned, will that be good for those who need to hear and know us?

    I also think that some things weren't addressed biblically BECAUSE they were not issues in the First Century church. We would not expect to see Paul or the Apostles develop a routine for the proliferation of music ministry within First Century palestine because the church was still an underground church and there was NOT a display such as we see, no mega-churches, and in fact, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John was written to a HOUSE church...The saints weren't involved in "Big Church" and didn't have the problems that a 2,000 year old church body has developed. the admonitions we do see are geared toward the development and order of a relatively "small" church.

    Some of what we are dealing with is due to the MATURING of the church. Yet other of what we are dealing with is due to the apostasy and corruption within the church. These things are unique to a post first century church.

    Now, one of the only extrabiblical references that we have about an outsider making note of the late 1st Century and early 2nd century church is from Pliny The Younger, who was a Roman Prefect who challenged Christians to LEAVE the church. He served under Emporer Trajan in about AD 112. In his interviews in which he promised to spare the life of Christian defecters, he recorder the testimony of those who informed him about what Christians did when they gathered and how they lived. In part of his testimony he recorded the following:

    They (Christians)were in the habit of meeting on a certain day fixed before it was light,then they sang in alternative verses a hymn to christ as to God,...

    As noted, this was not a big community and was not making waves at this time due to persecution. Remember there was no tape or CD ministry then, so even the WORD was spread simply mouth to mouth and in epistles copied and spread in letter form. "Elders" were in charge of communicating the message and preserving the story of Christ. In fact Papias mentioned that he favored "face to face" exposition RATHER than letter or something in print so he could get everything that came with the communication of truth including feeling, emotion and inflection of the one telling the story...

    NOW we are living in a different time. Print is valued MORE than spoken word. Church is Big Business rather than simple and powerful gatherings and our appetites have progressed.

    Do we feel that we need to reestablish a patriarchal society in order to be effective or bring back music ministry???

    Like JJ I am leary of placing the direction of all ministry in some church council's hand. Should I say POPE???...Should I say Anglican??? BUT, if we want to be strictly letter of the WORD, the early church had all things in common (Acts 4:32)and laid their goods at the apostles feet(Acts 4:35)...In 27 years of ministry NOONE has laid anything at my feet as recorded within scripture...

    However, like Br. Enochwalked, I am just as leary of musicians and otherwise (even Preachers)not being accountable for their actions as we see today.

    For all these reasons and more, I believe that the industry can and should be reformed from within the industry and that we should teach, train and expect the NEXT generation of gospel singers to be ACCOUNTABLE to the church. That begins with accountability and faithful regard to the scripture, NOT a withdrawal from being engaged within the culture. Some lines should not be crossed clearly but if TRUTH isn't in place to fill the void...what good are the Saints??? Matthew 5.

    THAT begins NOT in some backdoor church council, but in the community of believers wherever those believers may be.

    This is a grand undertaking BUT this is what the ministry should seek to accomplish. The "star" mentality or the "pyramid" mentality must cease.

    Now, any more fireworks here, I'll duck my head so don't mind me...Please continue.-LOL

    Blessed!

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  32. Notice that the ones wanting the redemption of Hip Hop are the ones that do not truly know the Lord and the power of His Might. Why do I say this?

    Well, because when you really come to know the Lord, you do not try and make the things that you used to do that were not pleasing in the Lord's sight okay; you turn away from it and the spirit of the Lord that lives in you detest it. When I was in the world cursing, Hip Hop didn't bother me, hate didn't bother me, fighting and seeking revenge to the extent of death didn't bother me but, now that I am truly saved all of those things grieve me now.

    Why? Because the love of the Lord lives and resides in me and I abide in Him. The Bible says to Love the Lord is to Hate evil, and if you truly know that you love the Lord you will hate the things that the Lord hates. The bible says to shun the very appearance of evil. My question to those that have no problem with this redemption of Hip Hop talk. Are you grieved or bothered by the real thing: JayZ and others like him? If you are not then it is safe to say that you have had a pseudo experience with God.

    Psa. 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

    Psa. 26:5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

    Prov. 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

    The Church has lost its focus, we are no longer focused on the Lord, but instead we are focused on Mammon. We say that we want to see people saved but we really want people to be added to the local church for growth. We have forgotten that by the foolishness of preaching souls are saved, and the Lord said that if I be lifted up I will draw all men to me... Our method of drawing and reaching people often times end when they get to the church and confess and have a pseudo experience with God. Thus the birth of pseudo christians that fight to get the approval to do the things that they used to do before Christ came into there lives...

    2Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    1Cor. 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    2Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

    Timothy Meekins

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  33. Tim,

    To be fair this convo has gone into talking about the redemption of gospel music and NOT the redemption of hip-hop...that is the topic of the post but that hasn't really been addressed as of yet. I gree with your sentiments of course.

    I guess the question here is can "gospel music" be redeemed? I guess we need to do a post on that???-LOL!

    Blessed1

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  34. It would be nice to see some Christian musicians and performers come together and start their own distribution and recording companies. But then, they will have to compete with the secular industry since they are the most visible. So, you have to merge secular artists with gospel ones. You have to put some hip hop on it! You have to do what the contract says or get sued! To really get your sales up, they have to promote and market YOU, your image, your likeness, and your personality so folks can become your fan. And to do that, they will have to copy the plan of the secular industry because God has no plan for making fans. Then, when the company gets big enough, they will take the bigger offer and sell it to a bigger company. And then it will be the same way as before and we will have what we have. This is a viscous loop and will never change because it's predicated on selling of one's self. That doesn't work in the Kingdom. Christ must be the ONLY star!

    I'll never forget Vickie Mack's statements on Oprah. She said all she wanted to do was "create some clean music that her daughter could listen to instead of the sinful, sexy music she liked." So she created the largest self owned Black Gospel record company in history. She had Christian distribution initially from Sparrow and all was well. But when she sought to get her stuff mainstream and reach a broader audience, she joined forces with the biggest devil in the industry, Jimmy Ivene, the one personally responsible for the unclean music her daughter liked. She got a country boy, Kirk, and made him a gospel sex symbol (whatever that is) and she got him on MTV. She got his group fired because they were fat and MTV wouldn't play Melodies From Heaven, and replaced them with some skinny, sexy young folks. She got them on all the major venues. She got trinity 5 7 to look like whores for Christ and be sexy, but sing about Jesus. She built a multimillion dollar company off the very thing that she set out to stop. After all that, Oprah asked her, "so, does your daughter still listen to unclean music". She put her head down and replied "YES". And then she sold her company to the world like everyone else before her.

    Wake up folks. It doesn't work and will never work. It didn't work in heaven and it won't work on earth. Nothing but misery, heartache, and a life of chasing applause and approval.

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  35. Pastor Burnett, I think the reason the conversation has been focused more on "redeeming" gospel music is because most of the folks here dont listen to hip-hop, some ignore it altogether and some are outright hostile to it. Thus many in the church dont see it as something needing to be redeemed. What Im saying is how can you redeem something which is in essence a foreign element to the fabric of the church?

    Of course you did an excellent job laying out the multiple problems with this genre of music, but there is a fundamental difference with h/h that distinguishes it from gospel. H/h was imported into the church whereas gospel is indigenous to the church. As you said, h/h was incubated in American culture. To me that creates an entirely different resolve approach.

    I dont believe it is about the format of the music, but about the poeple behind the music that need redemption. That can be accomplished without creating any new boards, panels, associations, etc. People need to submit themselves to God and his word. Of course when that is not the case, the music will only reflect the artist and not the Creator.

    Hip hop cannot follow that pattern because it was as you noted created as a protest art form. And its was manifested primarly in violent behavior. You noted that those who seek to promote Christ's message are handicapped because if they dont resemble the h/h culture's "look" and "feel" they arent receieved because they wont have that crucial element of "street cred". Compromise? I think so. Again, I dont think that looking like the people group you are attempting to reach is a solid argument. It may apply to some groups but to others, it cant. IMO, the systemic problems with hip hop, its origins dont fall into the category of redemption. Perhaps management would be a better application.

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  36. GcmWatch,

    You're on point my brutha...I think in light of what we can see that is seemingly an utter failure of the "gospel" music industry we have to even further reject the "hip-hop" gospel industry.

    As I've stated before, and as you reverberate, we're dealing with worldviews and systems that are in my opinion diametrically opposed and one cannot convert something that is not willing to turn to Christ and be converted.

    We're good though. I think this thread has gone quite well. There's been a lot of good and insuightful info placed on the table...and that JJ person started it all-LOL!

    Blessed.

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  37. Pastor Burnett,

    I am so glad to be a part of this discussion. reading these comments I'm lead to feel that in all of these issue's concerning hip hop and the church in a few ways I think the knife cust both ways. My Spirit tells me on the one hand ones choice to get into the music industry or engage in "holy hip
    hop" becomes a matter of conviction. As Elder Tim stated why does the church have to employ tactics the world uses to keep "young people" interested
    in being saved (more or less)? Salvation makes us new creatures which means old habits and appetites are dead. The conviction of the Holy Ghost is a
    tool to act as a "red flag" for believers who are in error or about to step into error.
    I think the only reason why anyone may find interest in something they used to like pre salvation is the residue of that lifestyle or that appetite still exists. There has to be a complete and total purging from who we used to be
    and whose we are called to be.

    Now on the flip what outlets does the church provide its young people to use their God given gifts outside of: the praise team, the youth choir, the dance
    ministry? Its still a fight against what the media propagates on tv in music even thru the church? we are ice skatin up hill???

    Kevin

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  38. This comment is for JJ...

    What is exactly your area of work in the body of Christ? Please explain?

    Have you read your scriptures regarding Lucifer in Heaven? What has God said to you about this???

    Please advise....

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  39. I hardly think that all the gospel singers are Lost.Because if everything u say is true,no Christian should sell discs.So all the Christians who do so are not closer enough with the Lord to hear His voice telling them to stop or simply not to ever do it.

    Levites were living on the donations and dimes of the sheep.Their part was to do the service for God.I think of some kind of Gospel Music system where everything we'ld have to do would be to sing what God wants us to sing and trust the Lord who'ld give us just what we need by allowing us to sell as many CD4S as He wants.We would not be running after the Public with our faces on big screens for it to buy our CDs.We would not draw their attention on us but on the Word,on God.I wish we don't show our breasts and body parts like those singers of the world.I don't understand how our worship leaders can dare appearing in such undecent apparels.I wish we have our own labels directed not by money but by God.This is where prayer intervens.The key element in making an album should be prayer and nothing else.It's what I think.


    I say it again, when we do that, the World will take us seriously.

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  40. Karis,

    You said:"I hardly think that all the gospel singers are Lost.Because if everything u say is true,no Christian should sell discs."

    There is no biblical support for any God given gift or worship ever being controlled, distributed, or measured out by secular industry or secular individuals.

    In the Kingdom of Christ, no individual who's focus was not on Christ was in charge of distributing the worship of God. Why are we compelled to do so today?

    The LOVE of money, not just the need for money...the LOVE of it. That is the root of all this evil. (1 Tim. 6:10)

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  41. Saints should have their own distribution enteties and not be bound with these secular centered outfits who do nothing but strip the power away from the presentation adn message.

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  42. I do agree with you.That's my vision.But let us not forgive that there are things God allowed David to do that seemed to be in opposition with the law.Maybe there are some christians God allowed to do that.But my opinion is that many run after money and have a worldly motive for doing so.

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