Monday, January 31, 2011

The Celebration Of Secular Seduction

Last year, when I wrote the Idolatrous Celebration Of Steve, I said to myself that I wasn't going to try to keep up with the "evil" that BET calls the Celebration Of Gospel. I had pretty much made up my mind that it really wasn't worth taking the time to point out the flat out riotousness that this so called Gospel celebration of music has gone to in order to mass market and appeal to the people. However, after watching the show and looking at the subtitle "Keeping the Faith",  I said that I must at least speak on some aspects of this years stage performance and obvious battle to confuse the mind, especially since the aim was to "Keeping The Faith". The first observation was that it was very hard to see that anyone knew what the "faith" really is. Yes, all this was, was a stage performance. The whole thing was devoid of anything that defines "the faith" or anything that I am aware of that was spiritual or even gospel oriented in nature. In addition, it was also a seduction of the mind and spirit geared toward confusing and obfuscating the truth...even attempting to reverse what many hold to be truth...that there is and should be a difference between clean and unclean.

The Sale & The Roster

TV is about ratings for sure. If there is a small audience, advertising dollars will not flow. This is the first thing that we all must realize. The TRUE gospel doesn't sell, on a regular basis on TV. (at least many times although there are some exceptions) Nevertheless, this year's roster was filled with secular singers, as always, but in a little different position than normal. This year they were highlighted, featured and in an advanced position. From El Debarge and Howard Hewitt to Chaka Kahn (who didn't even try to sing a gospel song, choosing instead to sing her oldie "Through The Fire") to Kelley Price and ultimately to Whitney Houston, the primary focus was upon the secular singer. The grand event of the evening seemed to be when Whitney Houston took the stage along with new gospel gone secular star Kim Burrell. Remember, this was the same Kim Burrell who is yet the COGIC Assistant International Minister Of Music and the same one that wants to record with Prince...It seems that she was at home in her new element singing Whitney's song, "Look To You". Although it wasn't Prince, clearly the audience was excited about Whitney's return standing the whole time she sung and vigorously applauding at her performance. Well, Whitney is a consummate singer...of that there is no doubt, but should I remind you that this was a "gospel" event, not a secular event??? Supposedly...
To be fair the stage was filled with the usual and highly suspect gospel singers also. Suspect because so many appear of them appear to be gay. Even Kirk Franklin had on his standard nerd garb, along with Israel Houghton who seemed to also be caught up with a Jr. High/High school uniform fetish or infatuation that Tye Tribbit also espouses. I have no idea why grown men have such a desire to present themselves as teenagers and wear clothes that are too small for

them...Unfortunately some of the gospel singers are "suspect" because it seems that none of them are true to "the faith" in speaking out against homosexuality or the gay lifestyle even when confronted about such issues...In fact Dr. Bobby Jones was featured in a movie "Dirty Laundry", where he was depicted as a homosexual minister. To date, Dr. Jones has never recanted the role or the implications of the role even though he has been personally asked to do so, both by me and Elder D. L. Foster of GCMWatch. Yet, he is another that has no problems taking the stage, entertaining the masses and at least pretending that none of that matters in the grand scheme of things.

The Seduction Of The Mind

El Debarge & Howard Hewitt
Just Like Old Times
Then there was a twist that most folk felt right away even if they couldn't identify it right off.  The presentation was so secular and spiritless, that many questioned why the program is still on. We'll there's a very good reason for such. Outside of teh advertising dollars and marketing scheme, what this is about is seducing the mind of the believer in at least two ways...

1- Make the believer think that talent and anointing are indistinguishable.

2- Equate the lack of acceptance of the secular entertainer to a lack of love from the church.

Both of these premises are equally as dangerous and I'll gladly expose each one:
Beverly Crawford
What??? Anointed Bev???

Seduction 1

What we saw with this celebration were singers making presentations that were musically and sound stage correct. What we also saw was that performances were just that, performances with no spiritual edification. Well, some say what do you expect with made for TV shows? I'd agree IF it didn't have the word "gospel" tied to it and if the expectation wasn't subtitled, "Keeping The Faith". It was apparent that the one who the "gospel" is about wasn't worshipped or celebrated. So what faith was kept?  

True, that we may be expecting too much. With BET I can see how that may be possible. Maybe we are. Bottom line is that someone wants to use someone for the purposes of padding the bottom line. I don't expect "church" per se, neither do I expect a theological or liturgical presentation. Certainly not from BET, but I do expect a true presentation and an experience true to being considered a "church" or "gospel oriented" presentation, especially in light of this presentation encouraging those to "Keep The Faith". However, when we have "anointed" gospel individuals that also compromise standards, I suppose that we are in trouble if we expect them to speak to the system. Therefore, individuals like me and others are relegated to the task of speaking to power, hoping to encourage greater accountability and higher standards.

The Anointing & Talent

We recognize that God, through his Spirit, destroys the yoke.(Isa. 10:27) That yoke destroying anointing has a vastly different emphasis than simple and mere talent. What talent can't do, the anointing can and that much more. Are there talented people on the COG stage? Absolutely! Are those secular singers anointed. Absolutely NOT!

I would venture to say that what I know in the most simple forms about the bible and the revelation of God through his word that there is no individual that serves the world who is anointed by God while they are in love with it. It is an utter impossibility to be anointed in one kingdom, the Kingdom of Light, and  to serve in another, the kingdom of darkness. The two simply don't meet and God does not empower darkness:

Luke 16:13 ~ "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."



Long ago, this wouldn't even be a consideration or a thought. The fact is that the anointing of God is vastly different and far from anything secular, and most things gospel that hit that stage. First, where there is no committed relationship with Christ there is no display of his power. Secondly, because of the former, from the hearts and minds of teh individuals, there can be no dedication to Christ or to HIS church. How and why would God anoint something contrary to HIS cause and purpose? In fact why would he anoint someone to carry out a mission contrary to HIS will and Kingdom directive? This doesn't happen and this celebration is and was about seducing the mind into believing that anointing is synonymous with talent and that further distinction isn't necessary. This has been a theme of BET for years and they are advancing the cause.

Seduction 2

The real trick that the devil is setting up is similar to the false argument of the homosexual proponent..."You don't display the love of Christ if you don't accept them"

Aside from the fact that that is one of the biggest LIES ever perpetuated, whether to promote homosexuality or any other sin, it's also the heart of secular and worldly morality to think that standing against what is wrong or what is immoral is somehow condemned by God as being "unloving" behavior. This is the type of message promoted by PIMPS as we have discovered and exposed on this site both HERE and HERE. It is simply a seduction of mind and spirit, designed to inspire guilt from them that stand for truth and recognize the difference between right and wrong and simply do not and will not bow to this  new age, post-modernistic mess.

Now, please be clear, secular folk can sing gospel too. Singing a song is not in question, neither is that the argument. However, the COG pretends to be the celebration of the gospel through music and a reflection upon what some claim is gospel music history. Now, what is amazing is that the gospel, written word, is not required for any of this. There is not a bible verse even read or presented, neither has there been in any presentation that I've seen. Yet according to the promoters of the program, "Keeping The Faith" and being a spiritual blessing is and was the aim of the show. How can that be done? How can "the faith" that millions have given their life for and to, and to which we are commanded to earnestly contend for (Jude) be kept by individuals who have never given any of their adult life's time, talent and energy to? How can those who are leaving gospel music to sing and pursue secular music (right out of the holiness church), "keep the faith"??? What is "the faith" according to them??? All this is simply a streamlined Bobby Jones gospel show presentation. One that offers no authentic move of God and certainly no focus on the gospel, but yet hails itself out as being "gospel" at least in the minds of the promoters.

The church is commanded to NOT accept a LIE and further commanded to make the path and the way of the Lord straight and clear. The only individuals associated with the church who do not make a clear stand for righteousness and true holiness, are those who have been seduced by the world and participate in what the world has to offer even if that only delivers associations and fleshly pride that comes along with it.  

Conclusion

When there is a presentation from people promoting "Keep The faith" when they themselves have not kept anything that resembles the faith of Christ, there is a problem. Unfortunately, as I head one PIMP say, too many of us, when asked will gladly go ourselves. We will go because we want to be a part of the "in" crowd.

While that may be sad, it is all too true for many. Many have seemingly "sold out" in a manner that will allow them to straddle the fence, claiming to love God while throwing kisses and participating at the table of unrighteousness. Lord help the church and more specifically the people in the church so that YOU can get the glory out of our lives. In Jesus name!

Blessed!

Additional Resources

GCMWatch Exclusive: COG Confab "filled with the Holy Spirit"

A pictoral review can be found at GospelConnoisseur.com  

8 comments:

  1. As far as Kim Burrell being the asst. minister of music for COGIC, i'll say this: For years COGIC struggled for relevancy. In the early days, the most educated black preachers belonged to the Baptist or AME churches and many of them looked down on COGIC. So COGIC struggled to get respect from their peer denominations like saying "Look...we can be as good as you"!

    So for COGIC to have Kim Burrell as the assistant minister of music just gives them one more thing to be able to brag about. "See, we have a world renonwed gospel singer as our minister of music. She's even on BET!" Alot of it is about image.

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  2. FM,

    Most COGIC preachers came out of the Baptist and Methodist churches and many of them already had their degrees and education. Methodists went ultra education after the turn of the century and struggled with their presentation of "sinless perfectionism". The baptists hated to be told that they needed more (the Holy Ghost) and that they couldn't live in sin and still be saved. They rejected those preachers as heretical.

    So far as singers are concerned, I don't know but maybe you haven't heard that many, if not most, of the most prolific singers come out of or through COGIC. Kim is just a recent addition to the listing, but years before that the Clark Sisters and many others were on national stages at very early ages. In fact Rance Allen was a phenom preaching and singing almost before age 10 all around the country.

    I will agree that a lot of it is about image however and there must be some reason that the church would endorse someone who loves secual music and industry as she does. I can see your point.

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  3. I watched the first two Celebrations of Gospel and it was sort of a different ballgame then. I agree with the tone of the post, I pray and hope that the gospel music industry can get it together soon. I used to watch Bobby Jones years ago and one night the Spirit did move on the show and people got delivered. But now he is just too secular. I am now listening to more old-school gospel music.

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  4. I did not watch this. However, I did go the the website and see a few of the performances. It was sad. Was the name of Jesus mentioned? Was a scripture quoted? I looked at one of the behind the scenes with Steve Harvey, and he said something about a couple traveling together (not married). He eluded to the fact that they were probably staying in the same room. The crowd laughed. He then talks about what music you play when you are 'laying around with your girl'. He then starts singing, I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind, and the crowd goes crazy. A caption under one of the clips reads as follows: Steve learns just how "saved" he is now as he keeps from cursing out an audience member. This is who was chosen as a host of a gospel show. Was there a Christian not available? Oh yeah, a Christian was not available because a Christian would not have been involved in all that foolishness.

    This is so sad. That show was all about self. It was not about the Jesus I love. It was about the "I" that "I" love. What happened to women dressing modest. I saw so much cleavage, legs, etc. that it was unreal. Mind you, I am a female (30s). It just needs to be called another celebration show for whatever reason and leave the word gospel out of it. What a travesty. How can you reach the dying world when you look, act, think, want to be just like them?

    Living4Him

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  5. Rosetta Tharpe was COGIC member and the daughter of a COGIC evanglist; married to a COGIC preacher. She was very famous in her day long before the Clark Sisters, et al. She blended the sacred and secular to much criticism. This is not new. What is new is how widespread and acceptable it is today.

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  6. Watched some of this online, it was a borefest and fleshfest.

    Steve Harvey is playing a good part in bridging the secular and the sacred with his view that the Church needs to let secular singer come in and sang. Yes, we need the likes of Patti Labelle with here contrary beliefs on homosexuality and her breast bulging out when she does secular events.

    Another person who is doing their best to bridge the gap is Mo'Nique - she has these gospel artist on there quite frequently it seems and she also is contrary as far as homosexulity. She said that black church and black gospel are VERY gay. Then she also has the heretic Carlton Pearson, along with Tye Tribett.

    I was switching channels last night and ran across the tribute to Aretha Franklin and here we have Yolanda Adams in the mix, paying tribute to a lady who backslid!! Go figure...

    I have never seen a secular show embrace gospel Artist like this. Is it me or where there more secular artists then so called gospel artists.

    The show was sick and pervese and was a celebration of self.

    Pastor, I agree with you, what in the world makes these men wear these clothes that are so tight!

    This is a shame in the name of Jesus!

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  7. I mean to say this was a SHAM...

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  8. Whitney Houston has left this earth at 48 years old. She will stand for her own choices in this life, but did these gospel artists want to be seen with her more than ministering to her? WOW! I am deeply saddened at this hour, Jan. 11th, 2012 at 7:33PM CST.

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