Yesterday, I shared a piece written by a young lady and her thoughts regarding one of our more well-known ministers who is promoting a youth day event, inviting a gospel group who’ve received fame from a more well-known sponsor, Kirk Franklin. The topic of so-called “gospel” music has been resonating within my being because I know something needs to be said regarding it. I also made a statement what we are being exposed to, “in the name of the Lord” will be seen as a destructive force at the end of the day.
I think few people love music as I do. It has been a part of my life from my early upbringing, my father having been a professional singer who still sings now in his 80’s. An uncle who’ve recorded many gospel albums to a grandmother who sung in the Senior Choir, at church, with my singing right along with her while in my mid-teens. This morning, I learned from a friend, my grandfather also sang although I never heard a note come from his mouth other than singing during church services. I went on to have my own musical experience, formed a group at church I still get teased about, “Roy Martin and the Martinettes!” Sung with my high school choir as well as participated and received the highest award given for bass/baritone for high schoolers in 1973, yet, today, I don’t sing at all. Not one single note, no matter where I am. Today, I enjoy listening to others.
I’m presently listening to one of my favorite artists, the late Barry White. He tops my lists as the most creative artists who’ve graced any stage. His romantic music has been played during many of my early attempts to win the affections of a woman, setting the stage for an otherwise illicit love affair, but, I admit when I put it on I do not expect to hear any religious undertones or overtones. I’m listening simply because I enjoy it and it provides memories otherwise not motivated. I like listening to secular music. I don’t have any expectations of it. However, the same cannot be said about what now passes as gospel music.
Let me be if not cultural, perhaps some might consider even “racial” for just a moment as I delve into the realm of “black” gospel music. That finger popping, foot stomping, get up off your seat and dance gospel music which has crept into some of the previously more conservative churches of the past. I cannot help but to share what my brother told me about one elder “dancing” during a church service and the excuse he offered was, “It is in our culture.” Well, when did the culture change? Was it not your culture thirty years ago and yet you were able to contain yourself while sitting! What has changed? And I think we really need to examine what has really changed.
Now, I cannot speak for those referred to as “holy rollers” because, well, they’ve been caught up in the fervor unabashedly since the beginning of the 1900’s. I’m talking about the Tye Tribbett, the aforementioned Kirk Franklin type of music which now finds itself being played, ahem, showcased in some of our churches today. I do have a favorite from Mr. Tribbett, who’s video I often watch because of the movement although there is a message included, entitled, “Hold On”. Ol’ Kirk can attract my attention, too, with his, “Why We Sing” and right away tells the audience some will not understand their purpose or praise, and again, because of the movement I’m right there, but the question needs to be asked, When did the Holy Spirit begin causing God’s people to move like they do in the club? Have we lost of spiritual minds and compromised all that we should be, again, in the “name of the Lord”?
Some say we should praise like the angels. I haven’t seen one of them—yet, do so. Others will use David’s dancing as their excuse, again, I hadn’t seen what he did, only the account was given to us, but it wasn’t done in the Sanctuary, church, of God. It was done “outside” while entering into the city gates, and I think many of us don’t really understand this. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention worship “inside” the church being filled with music. I see many places when it speaks of worship, by music, in the outer court, but never in the “inner” court. Could this be indicative of where many of us remain in our worship experience, the “outer” court because we’re never experienced an “inner” court worship with God? Apparently Habakkuk had because he gives us counsel:
“But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Hab 2:20 (KJV)
I cannot imagine even in my most complete opposite of conservative, liberal thinking mind could even envision people worshiping “before” God, in His “holy” temple, doing some of the things I’ve seen in videos, or in person. Now, I hasten to say, I have “Baptist” and “Pentecostal” experience as a minister in these faiths, but there was always something within me which let me know I was not in the right place nor having an “inner” court experience even though I was sitting in the “inner” court of the church.
You see, I don’t have much expectation from Barry White in any recordings I have saying, “Praise the Lord.” While, at the same time, those who saying such in this so-called gospel music, “Praise the Lord” only makes me wonder, which “lord” are they talking about!
November 12, 2015