Some time back, I raised an issue with a few people on a forum which concerned me and that was in regards to gospel singers/groups/choirs promoting (and sometimes making money off) the gospel style, but at the same time not actually promoting the gospel message per se. There was a choir with the word ‘gospel’ included in the name and so therefore a few of us challenged this choir with the following questions. For now I will protect the name of the choir and just call it GC for gospel choir.
Question 1 from Person A:
Is the G in GC for The ‘Gospel’ or is it ‘G’ for ‘gospel choir style’? Do they want to ‘be’ good news – which is a legitimate, v low-key but non-confrontational style of ‘presence evangelism’, or PRE-evangelism, as i’d call it) or is their mission to ‘preach’ or to ‘evangelise’ in its proper sense, ie to confront sin and ignorance of the truth, with their ministry? If its the former, a bunch of v good vocalists singing together in a gospel ‘style’, about Christian themes can touch people, no matter how saved, religious, straight/bent their members are, (I guess if i was the boss in that case, hiring Christian vocalists would be more of a plus than an essential cos they’d be able to sing the songs with real meaning. There would be no scruple about moral standards if it was JUST a business that sought to bring a positive vibe to an event….
they want confrontational style of ‘presence evangelism’, or PRE-evangelism, as i’d call it) or is their mission to ‘preach’ or to ‘evangelise’ in its proper sense, ie to confront sin and ignorance of the truth, with their ministry? If its the former, a bunch of v good vocalists singing together in a gospel ‘style’, about Christian themes can touch people, no matter how saved, religious, straight/bent their members are, (i guess if i was the boss in that case, hiring Christian vocalists would be more of a plus than an essential cos they’d be able to sing the songs with real meaning. There would be no scruple about moral standards if it was JUST a business that sought to bring a positive vibe to an event….
Question 2 from Myself:
The gospel is simply unless a person repents and puts their trust in Christ ALONE,they will go to hell because we are all guilty before God but Christ showed his love to us by taking the punishment that should have been ours, and dying on the cross providing a way out for us so that we can receive the forgiveness of sins and escape his wrath.
Is the WHOLE gospel told on a regular basis in whatever form (not just a Jesus loves you gospel)? Is the the wrath of God mentioned? Is hell mentioned? I am not saying that you must do hell fire preaching but to truly appreciate salvation, you have to know what you are saved from and you have to explain the whole counsel of God and not just parts which the hearers do not want to hear
Please educate us on how GC expounds the gospel or even lets people know what the gospel is.
Question 3 from Person B:
The main points that I made were in relation to GC’s website and you haven’t addressed either. The lack of the actual message of the Gospel eg: Salvation and the fact that GC performed with Madonna.
When I look at the bio it doesn’t even mention what the actual Gospel means and why GC sing Gospel Music.
There are many services offered on the website from Learn To Sing Gospel, Learn To Play Gospel to having a Gospel Choir at your wedding, etc.. But no mention of what that Gospel actually is… Why?????? I ask now as I asked then is it Gospel The Message Or Gospel The Service that’s been promoted on their website?
Needless to say, we never got a direct answer to the question but were constantly told how many people come back to them letting them know how the choir has touched their lives and the letters that they get. Now could it be that they are promoting the gospel message? It could be. But they were very reluctant to answer such straight forward questions (in fact I got a lot of stick for it) and were very defensive and as Person B said, there is not one mention of what the gospel message is on their website. They have also backed homosexual Elton John.
There are many people who are ‘touched’ by good singing and love gospel music but that does not mean that they have a repentant heart nor does it mean that repentance and faith is even hinted at. I know many people who love gospel music but hate the gospel.
Below is an example of Oprah (there couldnt possibly be only one way to God) Winfrey loving the gospel style. What do you think would have happened if Bebe Winans started talked about repentance and faith after the song?
Yet she promotes New Age stuff like The Secret. Below is a clip of her interview with Larry King. Notice how she Christianizes it a bit with the song ‘I Surrender All’.
Another example is when the BBC Beverley Knight (pictured below) was chosen to host a six week celebration of contemporary Gospel music on BBC Radio 2 here in the UK last year.
The show was called Gospel Nights. She was asked in a separate interview if she was a very religious person and if so, how often does she show here beliefs? Her answer was and I quote.
“I was raised in a pretty strict Christian household and that instilled in me powerful spiritual beliefs, but not necessarily of any strong religious persuasion. My beliefs permeate everything that I do, especially when I’m writing songs.”
Now we know that God can and does touch and convict people in these situations but lets not be pragmatic about it. If a gospel singers/groups/choirs aim is just to promote the style whether it be at weddings, functions,backing P Diddy, R Kelly at music awards or just so that we can have a good old singalong then the mark has been missed by a mile. The gospel message should always be Christ Centered and does not seek to be friendly with the audience. If it offends, it offends because that is the nature of the cross