Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hip-Hop, Idolatry & The Church Pt. 9

The Era And Error Of The Cross-Overs

In modern society music has become such a powerful industry, that even those who know that they are being destroyed by it, yield themselves to it as if it has some sort of controlling power. We would have to admit that music does seem to help set the pace for trends and all kinds of communication and association in the modern world. Within the industry, the fame and popularity along with the mass dollars and accolades can be overwhelming for those who are unprepared yet alone for those who are prepared. Artists often set aside personal commitments, compromising values and complete value systems in pursuit of the fame that the industry has to offer.

From Secular Music To Gospel Music

There has always been those who have left the church to sing and pursue secular music. In fact the foundation of modern secular music is arguably the church itself. What many don't know is that at it's early inception, modern gospel music was the product of of the secular music's desire to "cross-over" into the gospel music arena. Thomas A Dorsey (1899-1993) who was a secular blues musician, stated the following regarding his expansion of musical style into the church:

"When I realized how hard some folks were fighting the gospel idea, I was determined to carry the banner."..."I borrowed five dollars and sent out 500 copies of my song, 'If You See My Savior,' to churches throughout the country.... It was three years before I got a single order. I felt like going back to the blues." ~ Score Magazine "The Father of Gospel Music" 1994  
He indicates the "gospel idea" to display the idea of gospel music being driven by what was then deemed as secular music, rhythms and beats.


From Gospel Music To Secular Music
Known as the original cross over singer, Sam Cooke (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964) received his training at the age of 10 while a part of the gospel Soul Stirrers, led by Rebert H. Harris. After leaving the group for fame, popularity and money Sam would go on to an astounding career but die under very suspicious circumstances at at the age of 33.

Others who would cross-over in pursuit of the same things are names such as Ashford and Simpson who's gospel name was The Followers, Chuck Jackson of the gospel group Raspberry Singers, Wilson Pickett  from the Violinares, Johnny Taylor of The Highway QCs and Bobby Womack of The Womack Singers who signed with SAR Records -[Sam Cook] and were renamed the Valentinos.

Many of us can remember that it was Aretha Franklin "Soul Sister #1" who forged her career out of the Baptist church of her father Rev. C.L. Franklin. We also know that it was Donnie Hathaway (1945-1979) whose song "This Christmas" written in 1970 that set the standard for Christmas songs all over America during the holiday season. Unfortunately, this former church musician reportedly committed suicide in 1979 over his love and passion for a married woman and co-singer, Roberta Flack. According to the most accurate story, Hathaway threw himself out of the window in front of Flack to demonstrate his love. Not only was this stupid, it was certainly demonically inspired.

The Modern & Recent Resurgence Of Cross-Over

In this segment we wanted to look back at not only the historic trend of how gospel music and musicians have mixed themselves with the world and ultimately the devil, but also look at the impact that a few personalities have had on the modern secular and gospel music industries and ask the question, should gospel even be an industry?

As noted, there have been individuals who have left the gospel to pursue careers within the hip-hop music industry and the impact has certainly been made. however it would seem that the greatest impact upon the culture has come at the hands and perverted gifts of those who once claimed to be children of God.

From Evangelism To Sexual Perversion

In what seems like ancient history for many individuals now in their early to mid 30's, the group called Jodeci offered an appeal that was almost hypnotic to their fans. Combining the rifts and crooning of the streets with a gospel and heart felt tone of soul, the multi-platinum selling Jodeci swept many young people off their feet and ushered in a new era of R & B street and hip-hop combination music. This era (late 80's and early 90's) was known as the "New Jack Swing" era of street music and gave rise to many crossover artists seeking to expand their audience.
The first part of the quartet consisted of Cedric Hailey (K-Ci), 9/2/1969; Joel Hailey (JoJo) 6/10/1971; both brothers born in Charlotte, North Carolina; parents were gospel singers; that formed a group called Little Cedric and The Hailey Singers. Part 2 consisted of Dalvin DeGrate 7/23/1971 and Donald (DeVante Swing) DeGrate, Jr. 9/24/1969 were born in Hampton, VA. Their parents were Donald DeGrate, Sr. and Mary DeGrate and formed the group The DeGrate Delegation who made regular tours throught the country and especially the South. The Degrate Delegation had one of the first gospel music tracks to ever hit Billboard's top 10 dance charts. The song was "I Wanna Be Ready". Jodeci was discovered by rapper Heavy D and signed by Uptown records President, Andre Harrell.
The group came together when  2 of the former church kids (Joel Hailey & Dalvin DeGrate) were unknowingly dating the same young lady at the same time and found out about it. They were able to place differences aside and formulate a group and yield their talents to the devil. Short of the long, they were a bunch of church kids gone wild, giving their talents efforts and energy to the pursuit of fame, wealth, fortune and ultimately the devil that comes along with it all.

In a notable decline the more the group sung, the more sexually oriented their material became. They produced a "bad boy" and sexually perverse image that would haunt their careers and still does today. Raunchy lyrics, and indecent proposals would envelope them. The staple of Jodeci the group faded without officially breaking up. In fact the highly anticipated comeback of the group was partially sidetracked when JoJo passed out on stage during a concert in Sydney, Australia. The reason given for this was epilepsy. You can hear the interview HERE. It is also said that hip-hop mogul P-Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Sean Puffy Combs aka Sean Jean was responsible for introducing this group of young men to the lifestyle that would eventually ruin them. They would later discover and introduce Mary J. Blige to a new set of life problems. She dated K-Ci and described the experience as "a living hell" complete with physical, mental and emotional abuse.  So here we have a set of young men who pursue all that the world has to offer and they end up worshipping at the altar of sexual perversion, and all sorts of physical abuse and doing this after leaving the church and prostituting their gift to the world.  

The Legend

John Legend aka John Stephens who claims that from the ages of 5 and 6 he expected to be discovered, was born into a musical family in 1979, the grandson of a minister who spent much of his childhood singing and playing in church:
"There was a piano in the house and I learned to play and read music early on. By the time I was eight or nine, I was playing in the local church for the choir. My grandma taught me a lot of the gospel songs and between lessons in classical music and singing and playing in church, I really developed my 'ear.' I always loved the feeling when people responded to my singing and playing so I was already making little gospel records in high school. I was ambitious and just loved being onstage."... "I used to watch Michael Jackson on television and I figured I could do what he was doing."
He attended college at Penn and served as musical director at Bethel A.M.E. church for nearly a decade during high school and college. His fame came when he got hooked up with Kanye West and soon afterward produced his own CD entitled "Get Lifted" which, although not a strict hip-hop CD, entered the charts at #5 on Billboard. Later Legend would combine his humanitarian efforts of serving the poor and disadvantaged with his stardom and continues to do so today. The 2010 BET Awards recognized John Legend with a Humanitarian Award for his work through his charity Show Me, to break the cycle of poverty through education. In his acceptance speech, John dedicated the award to: “kids out there that deserve a great education and a chance to shine.” The "Legend" should know that a man cannot take fire into his bosom and not be burned. the same type of fate awaits all of them that turn on God for what the world has to offer. We can only pray that he returns full circle and dedicates his talents and life back to God, because giving and altruism yet will not take one to heaven.  

The Confusion Of The Songz And The Songs


"I want to first thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ" ~ Trey Songz at the BET Awards 2010

Trey Songz (Tremaine Aldon Neverson) born 11/1984 is one of the young artists that delivers some of the most sexually explicit lyrics of them all. Perverted sexuality is certainly a tool that the devil is using to trap the young people through and within modern hip-hop music. Although Trey, who currently has a BET show centered around self worship subtitled "My Moment", has also produced his most recent single, "Neighbors Know My Name," which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, giving Songz his third consecutive top five hit..

The confusion is that he unashamedly thanks the Lord for his success, but this is the message he promotes and it is nothing short of sexually perverted. In a song called "Girlfriend Can Come Too" Trey is trying to convince his girlfriend's best friend that if she has a menage-trios with them, not only will she feel better about her failing relationship but will feel better in general about everything. This is what he says:

aye baby
ya girlfriend can come too
cause i know just what she going thru
we already know what to do
ya girlfriend can come too
& you know you wanna see me
so you might as well bring her too
i know she feel bad, & you wanna make her feel good
if you really really wanna make her feel good..
you should let her play a part in the things we do
& baby when we step in the room..
yo girlfriend gon come too

sexy, beautiful, i just want you to know
how fine i think you are
even though its on unsuitable
cause thats yo girl, and we just friends
even tho its my bed she sleep in
we be gettin it in 2-3 weekends
if you dint you dint know she a freak then
but who cares cause she down & you there; dont frown
come in, let down ya hair
i dont wanna be greedy, you dont have to share but please can you both come here..

Last I remember, deliverance and freedom from these sort of inclinations was what the people of God thanked our Lord and savior Jesus Christ for. Instead we have Trey Songz thanking the Lord for his success in promoting perversion...Isn't that a trip? The critic would state that these know no better, because they aren't saved, but I beg to differ. Thanking the Lord was intentional and intentionally planned and made a statement that "what I do doesn't matter, God is the one blessing me to do it"...This again is an ungodly sentiment as God has not blessed nor endorsed sin and a message contrary to holiness. So technically, this is NOT a cross-over in the sense that we have examined them in this post, but it certainly is confusion that will lead thousands into error and apostasy.

Full Circle 

We come full circle back to the plight of Thomas Dorsey. As I stated, he wanted to bring secular music to the church with Jesus lyrics and a Jesus message. He was successful as we can readily see by examining what is on the gospel shelves for sale and what is aired on the radio.


However, now, there are those who use and implore secular methodologies within gospel music with an intent to appeal to the secular crowd and simultaneously edify the gospel listener. There are those that think it a prize to be known by the secular world or industry claiming to be able to "spread the gospel" in secular and worldly venues through their music. In other words the love and dedication to God and him alone (the 1st Commandment) takes back seat to their strategy and marketing efforts.

About the same time that "New Jack Swing" was sprouting it's wings in 1990, BeBe and CeCe Winans decided to remove the name of Jesus out of their songs in order to make them more appealing to a broader audience and to "open doors" to the secular world. Songs Albums and songs such as "Heaven" were certainly popular, but could be interpreted in any manner and context in which it was presented. "Lost Without You" became a "clean" love song to many allowing an individual to apply being "lost" to whomever they wished.

Gospel buyers bought into the project by the droves and suddenly, Gospel music didn't have to even mention the main character of the Gospel, Jesus Christ, to be considered Gospel. 

Currently this trend is followed by a bevy of Gospel entertainers (which is an oxymoron). Those such as Mary Mary now simply make the music that is appealing to the world by including the artists that make secular music and introducing them to the gospel community as if those church folk should be happy because some secular artist and filthy rapper such as David "Let Me See Your Panties On The Floor" Banner is on their project. This is a perversion to the extreme, but they see it as progress in ministry and ability to touch lives.

Others such as Yolanda Adams live in the association of being a "Gospel Diva" which is another oxymoron, and is proud to be associated and mentioned with may of secular music's popular singers. In fact in a tribute to Chaka Kahn, Yolanda was proudly "Every Woman" as she sung to who she called a historic and great music personality. Now I am sure that event paled in comparison to her singing Sam Cook's "A Change Will Come" for President Obama, at the White House, in February 2010. During this event, she really tried to bring some type of gospel "flava" to the presentation, but the pit of secularism was far too deep. She is currently planning a duets project including possible collaborations with Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole and Chaka Kahn. But does her apparent lack of anointing really matter? Does it matter when the gift of God has been prostituted and sold for the use and abuse of the world?

Then, there's Kim Burrell the national assistant minister of music for the Church Of God In Christ Inc. of Memphis, TN.  What's fascinating is that for over a year Kim had been captive, like a slave, to a record company contract and could not sing anywhere other than where and when the record company told her. In fact, from what I understand many, if not all record contracts are like that. This one was particularly enforced in an effort to take her off the market for a season. She was vexed according to her own testimony. The problem is that right after her contractual release she got right back into another contract. She recently claimed on the Bobby Jones show that during the time that she was held captive that she was excited because entertainers like Stevie Wonder and Harry Connick Jr. had called her to do some recording and music work together. Recently, as I have pointed out, she has also said that she wants to sing with Prince, and even more recently than that stated that she was leaving gospel music to pursue a secular music career. WOW! Is is a prize for the Saints when worldly entertainers want to use our giftings for their purpose?

And there's always the infamous Kirk Franklin who's "Revolution" and "Stomp" followed up by a 70's and 80's secular music/gospel reminder CD, let us know that gospel music really had gone way too far.



Compromise, money, fame, and the confusion with secularism... 

In all what has this accomplished? Has the gospel really and truly been promoted and made effective? Or has the gospel been minimized and trivialized as a part of a greater scheme and plan to make money and appeal to the secular world and secular music industry?

Conclusion

 The uncontrollable fact is that the gospel is a part of the "industry" of music and has been made into an "industry" and maybe that's the problem. One cannot sell CD's out of the trunk of their car and think that they are not a part of an "industry". As soon as it's packaged and a price tag set to it, it is an industrial venture.

The truth is that the gospel was never meant to be industrialized as we see that it is today. Preachers package the message, wrap it up and send it when the order comes in and that may or may not be a good thing. I am too guilty of that sort of transaction. But at what point does "industry" drive, change, or weaken the message? 

The reason that this is important is because music is not a morally neutral venture or industry. It makes a statement and is a reflection of some sort of belief system or purpose whether one realizes it or not. Unlike many other professions it is impossible to serve two extremes and an equal impossibility to serve the middle.

A second reason that this becomes an issue of great importance, is in the matter of worship and serving God:

Exodus 20:3-5 ~ "3-Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: 5- Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;"


The way that these gospel musicians are handling their gifting is idolatry plain and simple. Many of the individuals I pointed out, especially those that flow from gospel to secular, seem to understand that they have to give themselves fully to their venture and that two diametrically opposed positions cannot exist simultaneously. Unfortunately, time after time, as we can easily witness, these musicians suffer as a result and become blinded by the world and pick up additional sins until they become almost unrecognizable.

Many of the more modern individuals seem to think that they can straddle a fence and give as much to the secular world as they like and yet be dedicated to the Lord's use. This is a preposterous attempt to make devalue God and make him in the image of men and God is not entertained.

If God is God, serve him and make a difference. One of these two hopes must die. Which one will it be?

Blessed!  

20 comments:

  1. JP said:

    Wow. Thanks for this article. Being under thirty, I see this as a really good breakdown of the steady collapse of gospel music. I remember the "Lost Without You" song, but I had no idea that song was a gospel song. I've never really listened to the lyrics. I thought it was a love song, which goes to prove your point that some of the lyrics of these songs could apply to anything when you don't say Jesus.

    On another note, when I see these award shows and they say, as Trey Songz, thank God, I always think..You should thank the Devil, he the one who gave this award to you.

    The sad part is this; that our kids are raised listening to this, thinking it is OK. In this age, success, fame, and money equals God's blessings. Paul said the day would come when they would count gain as godliness, and that couldn't be more true than now. And not only do rich famous gospel singers promote this, but rich pimping preachers do too. In reality whenever the sacred and profane are mixed, a caution light should automatically go up.

    OK, I've ranted on long enough. I am thankful for God's grace in allowing me to not get caught up in all the world's system. Thanks Pastor for shedding the light

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  2. Thanks JP,

    That was interesting and yes this does affect our children's attitudes towards God and all. There is no reverence, God is treated like someone off the street with whom they simply want to mention as if they have some type of "understanding" with him.

    To them God does not judge and if he does he's not judging them no matter what they do. They certainly don't reference or reverence the God of the bible and that's for sure...

    I'm talking about some of them on the gospel stage. I expect the world to be confused, but this mess coming from the sanctoms of teh church is ridiculous.

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  3. Wow from me too. I grew up in the 70s and came of age in the 80s, and in the early 90s came to the Lord in faith.

    The music of those eras has affected me both while in sin and now as a saint with differing results.

    I just cant help but to be truly, truly saddened and somewhat angry at the open door the gospel music industry has flung open for the enemy to freely advance into the church.

    I am even more saddened that there seem to be none of stature within the industry (if it must be that) that speak out against the travesty. Are none of the Levites holy anymore? Are there none who will call for true repentance and holiness, devotion to God and purity of Word?

    While I dont lay all blame the devil's feet, I read an interesting observation about him and his gift. Even though God threw him out of heaven, he allowed him to retain his giftings.

    Reading about these you have mentioned (and I KNOW there are many more) it seems the same formula has been applied. There seems to be no connection with God, but yet the giftings remain.

    My resolution: Lord, have mercy on us and come quickly lest we be swallowed up in this madness.

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  4. Hey Harvey!

    Good to see things are going well for you!

    PS I think the plural of sanctum is sanctums or sancta (depending on how close to the Latin you want to get).

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  5. What's up Evan? Good to hear from you, haven't crossed swords with you in quite some time.

    How's the medical field treatin' ya?

    Anyway, you have a good one and I'm sure I'll write something that will renew our old love/hate debate relationship-LOL!

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  6. I know one thing that I find interesting is that most of the most popular of the entertainers as it pertains to music etc come from the church or have a religious background.

    Now, what I see is a trade behind that. I see a trade or an exchange for worship. I see, just as Jesus experienced, the temptation to bow down and worship something else in exchange for success, accolade, following, money and a certain level of fame.

    So I see a spiritual principle at work and I also see a natural principle of pursuing what one wants to be successful, but to me, it's clear, many of these kids, now grown men and women, would not have had the natural success that they later experienced without God and their religious upbringing and training.

    Now, I remember hearing the DeGrates in Atl. when I was in college. That was before his sons would go on to form Jodeci. I remember the song at the time was, "I Don't Have To Worry, 'cause He Never Failed Me Yet" They were at Powerhouse COGIC (Elder Murphy Pace's church) That was about 1984 or so...WOW! I suddenly feel old---ER!

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  7. Looks like ATL will have a new radio station targeting the hip-hop gospel followers:

    July 27, 2010. Atlanta/Boston. AM 1360 LLC announced today that it has entered into an Agreement, with Langer Broadcasting, to exclusively acquire: 'WHRH-AM-The King' (1360 khz). Metro Atlanta has 5.5 Million residents; and 'WHRH-AM-The King' is situated approximately 14 miles from the center of Downtown Atlanta. WHRH-AM-The King's innovative format will daily feature a powerful mixx of diverse, inspirational, informative talk and spiritually-riveting music targeting the historically underserved youth, young adult and adult/family demographic for uplifting media. AM 1360 Radio personalities are slated to include, but not be limited to, a diverse array of talent such as: Monk and Kelly, eDDie Velez, Matthew Bronson, Alan Riggs, Joey The Banker, Christopher "Play" Martin, DJ Sematic, Kera Marker.

    "The Mission and Goal of WHRH-AM-The King is to: be a catalyst for a tsunami of inspiration 24/7 saturating the community and resonating within and throughout the streets of Metro Atlanta. It will be WHRH-AM-The King's focused objective to effectively secure the high-ground, neutralize complacency and alter the paradigm via leveraging the strength, wisdom and belief of key partners, standing with us, who have unyielding faith, understanding, determination, patience and belief in the power of targeted inspirational/informative media that consistently delivers value to the global community,” said Danny Wilson, General Manager, AM 1360 LLC.


    So this is one issue that isn't going anywhere for quite some time.

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  8. so is this supposed to be a gospel station?

    With the middle of the road language (which ironically talks about being "powerful" and "neutralize complaceny") its hard to tell really what they intend to do.

    Its just another station I'll avoid like the plague.

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  9. Gcmwatch,

    You got that right...they are supposed to be appealing to the "youth". What they are doing is throwing gasoline on a raging fire and saying that they have things under control. They too are out of control.

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  10. Thanks for a timely post. I actually was wondering a few days ago and saying to God, "Maybe it's okay for gospel folks to redo secular songs and sing with the secular music...I mean William Booth and Martin Luther did it." But I think this post was an answer to my prayer/meanderings...I'm incredibly discouraged by how so many pastors, evangelists, missionaries, young people perceive the secular music world. I'm actually discontinuing my facebook page--because everyday i'm offended by postings on my facebook page in which people at my church talk about their favorite secular artist or how they loved that performance Chrisett Michele did at someone's church...yep, I know we all are grownfolks, but how could this be such a non-issue with everyone and I'm COGIC at that...so this post was definitely a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the polluted odors being emitted in the christian community (I just saw Deitrich Haddon sing a "Change is going to come"on the trumpet awards adn I've just seen Be Be Winans at the Oprah Legends "gospel day" get all these secular folks singing gospel songs) I just wanna vomit. No wonder the world sees the church as a joke...

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  11. @daughterofzion you said "No wonder the world sees the church as a joke..." You got that right!!

    The true remnant of God must simply make a "joyful noise unto the Lord" for ourselves!
    Today's "gospel music" is a FAR CRY from worshipping the Father in Spirit and in Truth...it's obviously done in "spirit and in error!"

    Sister Pat

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  12. I actually meant to say today's gospel music is done in "flesh and in error" rather than in "Spirit and in Truth"

    Sister Pat

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  13. daughterofzion,

    That's where WE have fallen from. We would rather partner with everything the world has to offer now, than dare to make a stand for truth, righteousness, and holiness.

    This should be heartfelt and sincere, now it's only centered around the $$$. I am an odd duck that has simply made the commitment to not bow and to simply stand.

    Another problem is that many leaders fear that what they do is actually powerful enough to save a lost soul. I mean, yes, we've got to show up, but this is God's business. Too many feel that the church is theirs to do what they want to do with it...I mean look at it, for thousands of years people seem to have been doing that and it appears that they are getting away to some extent...but I believe the scripture says, "be not deceived, God is not mocked..."

    They won't get away and we'll see that in the here and now also. Look at the Catholic church. They thought they could get away too...but what, 40 to 50 years later and then some....what about COGIC? We'll pay for it, it's already begun, in spite of all the fame, popularity, associations, etc...Watch and see.

    Stay strong, many of us Pastors and leaders yet remain dedicated to holiness and sincerely caring for God's people. When you find one, support him as much as you can. I know we seem to be a commodity.

    Blessed!

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  14. Excellent post Pastor, here’s another way the enemy is getting in the choir stand.
    In my city, there have been some young people from various churches trying out for, "American Idol". When they audition, of course they sing secular songs. Some of these young people are on praise and worship teams at their church-and so are their parents. The really sad part is the “alleged spirit filled” parents gladly takes them to the auditions!!!! What is wrong with these people???
    It grieves my spirit, because these people say that they are looking for platform to spread the gospel – but in reality they are spreading something alright, but it’s not the GOSPEL. These people will simply turn their children into cash cows if they can. Kevin Jonas, Sr., the father of the Jonas Brothers was a pastor and praise and worship leader, now helps to manage the group; thank God that he left the pulpit! Aretha Franklin’s father supported her decision to sing secular music and even introduced her to people in the music industry. So much for his stand for holy living. These are just two examples of “parental pride run amok”.
    Believe me, I understand that we don’t know where our children will end up. One day they will reach adulthood and make decisions for themselves. But while under our guidance, we don’t have to drive the car that takes them to hell. Parents if your children are gifted, please direct those gifts in the ways of the Lord. If you see them veering off the path, steer them back on. We have some control over the next generation of Christian artists and God holds us responsible. We are commanded to raise our children in the admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1).
    Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up (KJV).
    It’s our duty to make godly decision for our children and/or help our young adult children make godly decisions. Because I really don’t want to see another “Mary, Mary”.
    (Sorry if this changes the subject)

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  15. EnochWalked said...

    The spirit to be entertained is why Hip-Hop, Gospel Music exists period. I was talking to one of my former high school classmates who is now a pastor for 5 years. His father has been a pastor for over 30 years. This brother knows Church and grew up Churched. He said to me, "Brother, All the people want is to be entertained."

    This lust to be entertained is feeding this monster in the Churches as a whole. People still want the world when they desire entertainment. Somebody may say, Well Christians need to know how to have fun too! But where does it end? What will it take to get this spirit of entertainment out of the Churches?

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  16. Someone asked why I didn't include various individuals in this post. The problem is that the list is too long and far too many people are involved in this type of mess...I could write a 10 part post on just this topic alone.

    Look,

    Donald Lawrence, He was the vocal coach for the former En Vogue, and the music director for Stephanie Mills. Of course we know that neither of them were gospel artists.

    Then there's Destiny's Child. With Michelle and Beyonce both proclaiming to be "Christians", Michelle is currently doing gospel now, but she was from the church herself...

    Then there's J. Moss. Now the word is that his company PJAM produces both gospel and secular music and has done it for many years for artists like N'Sync, Destiny's Child, Kelly Price, Dru Hill, Backstreet Boyz and others. He said in a 2007 interview:

    Six years ago when we first started as producers, it was like half from the Lord and half just gifts and talents (laughing). But now God is saying, 'J Moss, I have you in a place where I need you to let everything else go, and focus on me.' So now everything is coming directly from him."

    Now he claims not to produce the secular any longer personally, but he has also admitted that his "rock star" status contributed to his adultery.

    Then there's Mr. Campbell, husband to one of the Marys also known as "Baby Dub" He's a cross producer too. That's why the Marys can easily collaborate with all the secular artists...

    Then How about Ben Tankard? remember him? Gospel jazz? Initially he would borrow everything that he though he could "Christianize" and make it gospel jazz. even said there was no difference between a secular A and a gospel A, but now, since he's examined the issue he's repented and knows the difference. So I guess this at least is one good thing.

    But then there's stuff like the complete tribute that the gospel folk gave to Maze...Maze??? Yes Maze. All the Clark family just sung to him and tribute him real good.

    Now Kierra is having a Bold, Right Life,but is Frankie Beverly even saved? Has he ever contributed to the gospel in any way.

    Then they're still singing some of R.Kelley's material, "I believe I can fly" just because he showed up on a Kirk Franklin stage trying to look like he was partially saved after peeing on those girls and raping and molesting some others...

    Yea there's a lot I could have placed on front page...

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  17. Your insight is refreshing. It is nice to see minister dissect the gospel industry using the Sword of Truth.

    Best Regards.

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  18. Donnie Hathaway suffered from depression and schizophrenia. He was a talented person with a mental illness. He never had an affair with Roberta Flack.

    As Ms. Flack herself stated -
    "Flack wanted to put to rest a couple of misconceptions that have floated around since Hathaway's suicide in 1979. "Someone said Donny killed himself because he couldn't have me," she revealed. "I was like 'Oh my God, are there people who really think that?' Donny and I didn't have anything other than a musical relationship. He was married at the time and so was I. In fact my first husband introduced me to him."

    He was a gifted, deeply spiritual and troubled. A person who would have thrived with spiritual support instead of the ill-informed judgement demonstrated in this article.

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  19. I can't cast stones but I can say only god knows what is in everyone's heart.

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    1. And out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.(Lk. 6:45) So we too can know, IF we listen...they tell us themselves where their hearts really are, but do we believe what they say is the question...

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