This is the first instalment of our Sunday Sunday Medicine series. Enjoy!
There was a time when if you said you were a Christian there was no doubt about what you believed in. You believed you were a worthless sinner until the lord cleaned you up and washed you with his blood of mortal sacrifice. You believed you are henceforth no longer responsible for the atrocities you committed previously. You believed that all your non-Christian neighbours are going to end up in hell if they died outside the fold, only you and your self-righteous family are headed for heaven and glory when you all died. You believed that everything the songs you sing in church and play on mass media said was divine and absolute truth. You revered gospel artistes above secular artistes. You know that Frank Edwards is good and Dbanj not so much, from the songs they sing and the music videos they put out. Not forgetting who they pair with to sing. The Lord is not going to celebrate you more if you prefer collabo with other sinners (showing off naked women in music videos) than if you did one with Don Moen, a globally established gospel singer.
You knew all these things as a matter of fact. Nobody could say anything against your stand. In fact anybody that tried it would be immediately marked out as an instrument of the devil, out to fight against the gospel of Christ.
In Christianity music and worship go a long way back, back to the Lord Himself. In the gospels there were two places where it was recorded Jesus used songs in adoration, though it apparently was at the same event. In Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 parallel texts pictured Jesus using hymns with his disciples. If you moved past the ministry of Jesus Christ even the ancient Jewish patriarchs used songs for the same purposes we do today.
Music helped people present their raw emotions before their maker, and whether you sing out loud or sing in your heart the effect is the same: you feel closer to divine providence and enjoy an internal bliss the non-believer may never know. That bliss, actually, is what mainly separates you from the non believer. I refer to it as self-righteousness.
Music is one of the chief media of protesting on behalf of self-righteousness, in other words. With only the kind of songs they listen to one can easily separate the sheep from the wolf.
Music moves emotions, empowers the will and draws out inner strength. The self-righteousness based on this powerful matrix of feelings is absolute. There is no believer worthy to be called a believer that doesn’t believe that Don Moen is more righteous than Barry White, or that Panam Percy Paul is holier than Shina Peters – or that Yinka Ayefele is better than St Janet. If you call yourself a believer and you don’t have this sentiment you should look for another word to describe what you are because it is most certainly not ‘believer’. True believers know where they stand on these matters. They have no place for backsliders, or those ready to soften the standard of the gospel to look reasonable to the world. The world can go to hell (literally), as far as the believer is concerned. When it comes to music you cannot compare holy music used in worship with secular clubbing trash.
All from which we deduce that true believers are convinced only gospel artistes can make it to heaven.
The only problem with this happy state of affairs is the hypocrisy and the double standard of moral dealing.
First off, Jesus Christ didn’t say anywhere that anybody was better than anybody, based on the kinds of music they play and enjoy or otherwise. The Lord might have sang songs at solemn moments but I doubt he sang hymns at the parties of all the sinners he attended. I have argued this with a believer before and didn’t win because you cannot win any argument against believers these days.
The same girls that sing Frank Edwards on Sundays (and speak in tongues too) sang Dbanj Saturday night at their boyfriends’ houses (same mouth sucked on other things too). No church pastor has the unction yet to determine what happened the night before with all the congregation so there is no way this sad state of affairs is going to be resolved anytime soon. Some of the pastors leading praise and worship in service themselves of course had those same mouths doing some extracurricular activities during the week nobody will hear in church, least of all their wives.
These things happen of course. They make self-righteousness look stupid.
I am sincerely amused at the idea that gospel artistes are in any way better or morally superior to secular artistes, or that only gospel artistes can go to heaven. They put out the same kinds of music as secular artistes, only with different words to a particular audience for a particular purpose. This difference only makes sense to those who subscribe to it and even the Lord and personal saviour didn’t make these people judges over anybody’s soul. He said, and this is on record, that the first may end up the last and the last may end up the first.
We can only make moral arguments for preferring one kind of music over another, especially when it has to do with shaping the outlook of the young and next generation. But to seriously think to the point of conviction that gospel artistes are headed for heaven and others are not is playing too much with discordant religious creeds.
What would Jesus do?
He would probably listen to St Janet at her party and listen to Yinka Ayefele at his party. The funny thing is if someone like Daddy GO Pastor Kumuyi spies him at the St Janet party the man of God will probably write off the son of God as some misled goof. That was what the Pharisees and others did. They were in charge of what true believers believed then, like Daddy GO Kumuyi and his likes are in charge of what their sheeple believe today. The Pharisees could not understand the freedom that attends the spiritualization of religious creeds, much like their counterparts do not understand it today. Self-righteousness cannot understand true righteousness, to put it simply. Never. It has never happened, don’t think it’s happening anytime soon too.
I am not saying that music cannot be used to promote moral depravity as it can be used to promote what we recognise as moral virtue. I am only saying gospel artistes are in no way going to end up in heaven just because we think they are good. They have to do good, like every other human, to begin to hope.
Not only gospel artistes make positive music.
Majek Fashek is by no means a gospel artiste and yet I get far more positive vibes from most of his music than I do from the self-righteous TD Jakes. For some people it is, of course, otherwise; it is the other way round. And they will make heaven but I won’t because of that? Haha.