Friday, August 19, 2005

Can secular artists be gospel artists too? The Kanye E-Debate

This came from an e-conversation I had with some of my closest girlfriends after the BET Awards show. What do you think? Is there a right or wrong answer to this question? We will certainly see more of this debate in the future as the day comes.

Initial Statement from Me:
Why was Konye West nominated for Best Gospel album???!!!!

Friend’s Response:
What is really the problem with Kanye and SOME other secular music artists worshipping God and having secular albums? I know what the standard arguments will be, but really how many people avoid sin totally? You understand that if you say all or nothing how many people turn away from God and Christianity because true legalism is intimidating as it seems virtually unattainable.

I guess I can relate because I LOVE God, I love praising him and could shout right now just thinking about all he is doing and has done for me. Even still I like to and listen to secular music, and I don't realistically think I'll be giving either up anytime soon so does that mean I am not allowed to go to church and raise my hands to God?

All in all I like Kanye's effort because he never has claimed to be perfect, but he is relating in song and in life the paradox that most everyone juggles God vs. World. For by Grace are you saved, it is a gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2: 8-9 (Thank God for the gift of grace because if I had to earn it I would be in BIG trouble)

Other friend’s response:
I understand what you're saying. Don't get me wrong, “Jesus Walks” is a powerful song and Kanye's other songs are on the tame side, but with all the really great gospel artists, I just don't see how he could be nominated for best gospel artist. If it was truly a Christian rap album, then cool.

I mean, I know none of us are perfect but I think there are some things that just aren't of God...and I think there's a difference between trying to follow God and falling short because of our human nature and intentionally indulging in worldliness to come up in life. For me, I really can't understand it when rappers with sexually explicit albums or cursing and everything else on it, get up there and credit God for what they're doing. God is so totally not about those things. And some people say, oh well I'm just being real so I can reach out to folk but I really don't think God needs the help of all that sex, violence and cursing to reach and change someone.

When it comes down to it, people have to make're either light or dark, you serve God or you serve Satan, etc. When it comes time for judgment, there's no in between but you'd never know that from what a lot of these celebrities show us.

My Final Response:
We have to think about those who don't know Christ at all. If they see us acting a fool like that, that is what they will believe our faith is all about. It will have no substance and we will continue to be a weak church full of wishy-washy saints who have no real power. None of us are close to being perfect, and we are not saying that you earn salvation. That is a gift like you said. If you sincerely believe in Jesus Christ and confess him, you are born again.

However, most Christians bypass the next step of our salvation - sanctification. The bible speaks just as much about sanctification as it does salvation. Today, people don't want to hear that. "We are justified by our works and not faith alone." Our works should be the evidence of our faith. When Paul (a murderer and persecutor of the church) got saved, he put up his old ways and used his zeal and passion to become one of the most significant persons of all time. He still struggled. Remember, "The things I don't want to do, I do and the things I want to do, I don't do them." But, he was committed to not letting his flesh deceive or hurt others. Rather we like it or not, Christians in public positions have a greater burden. You are influencing hundreds and thousands of souls, and if they are Christians, they will not take that calling lightly as any of us should.

We can discern Kanye's message because we know the truth. But think about an unbeliever, someone who had never heard God's word or understood anything about Jesus. If he/she went out and bought that album, chances are that person would be confused about our faith because of the mixed messages. Now, if I bought it, it wouldn't bother me because I can discern what he is trying to say.

I am not judging him, just calling out the truth based on God's word. I do the same thing to myself, so I won't be a hypocrite. There is a psalm or proverb that says, "Out of the mouth flows the issues of the heart." (What we talk about and do the most is who we truly are.) I am not perfect by any means, so please don't think I'm advocating judgment. What I do advocate is the truth even more as it applies to my own life. I'm just trying to point out that we should love one another enough to say what is right and wrong based on God's word.

So to all the artists out there...stop confusing the gospel!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems there are so many artists that started in the church and crossed over to secular music.

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Rom 11:29). God gives us all gifts/talents and it's up to us to use them as he gave and not pervert them. I must admit I continue to stay in awe of R. Kelly. I ask myself how can a man write a beautiful song such as, God's Grace (performed by Trinity 5:7) and I Believe I Can Fly yet still manage to write sexual songs (I know I "use" to jam back in the day) and most recently a song-opera (soap opera). I must admit he has been gifted with talents and he goes from one extreme to the other and I guess he is able to rest at night. I can't and don't judge him but as a Christian I can sure correct him. No one is perfect, only Jesus is but as Christians we are and should be striving to be "as Christ" and if we're not then we should "check" ourselves. You know we are truly living in the last times, last days. The rapture is near. Everyday we wake up and take our first breath GOD has given us a new day of grace/mercy. Don't think he has allowed you, me or anyone to be here based on our worthiness. Because we are not worthy in our own right, only by the BLOOD. But I digress.

Kanye and any other artist who flips from gospel to secular or secular to gospel must ask themselves which master will they serve? The choice is theirs. It's called free will. God has told us what to do. We can try and justify it in a lot of ways and that is how society/satan has made it out to be.

One thing I do know. God is patient and kind but we can't mistake him for someone who will allow us to do whatever we choose and prosper in it.

8:03 PM  
Blogger mrsgman said...

Maybe they should come out with a category "Best Gospel Artist that Is Stradling the Fence" Wouldn't they all fall into that category!?
What about his disrespect for women other people? That does not represent Christ. Look at Bobby Jones he's just as gay, but he's still operating in his gift. God does renig on his gifts, but we are going to be held accountable for what we do with our gifts. And in the end God's reward is the greatest reward of them all, not some man made award.

12:32 PM  
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