The premise of Christianity is that God is love. The premise of R&B music is (largely) relationships. Gospel music over the years has struggled to combine the two messages in a fruitful way. Anyone visiting a church is looking for the love of Christ and from the welcoming church. But what about Adam and Eve? Maybe Christians are holding a grudge against them for the Garden of Eden fiasco! What about Ruth, what about Esther, what about Abraham and Sarah,Samson and Delilah,Solomon and the Shunamite? We know these bible stories well, but in the context of gospel music that is all that they remain…stories! How is it that we know how to have a relationship with God but are seldomly successful in our relationships with the opposite sex?
As if they simply commonly accepted fables, many of the bible’s love stories are exempt from gospel music’s message. In a world where shorts are getting shorter,pants are getting tighter or hanging lower from boy’s/men’s waists, and moderation is a thing of the past, how does the gospel community convey love the proper way?
What is Love?
We all well know AGAPE Love-which is the Love of Christ for humanity(seeking the ultimate best)
PHILEO Love-is affection,feelings or sentiments one has for another,attraction.
Boy meets girl is a story of phileo love. It is the personal opinion of the PGME that because phileo love is seldom expressed in gospel music, many listeners and churchgoers experience relationships out of focus. Even the mention of relationships has remained taboo in churches worldwide; similarly, sex conversations have never existed inside some church walls though many believers agree that God created sex too! Well, if our children have to learn about sex in secular settings it is inevitable that they will also learn relationships through secular settings. Pre-teen, and even some elementary(4th/5th grade) children are learning about the reproductive system before they even understand what brings a man and woman together. How can this change?
All Things Come from God
The church has to finally accept responsibility for one of God’s most powerful creations…SEX. Teaching in church only extends to abstinance, with little regard to or mention of the human emotions that single people must combat in their mission to abstain. Another powerful creation is music. Music is powerful, it can calm and incite. In the arena of romantic music, it is used to incite feelings toward another person. However, from a Christian perspective it can be a calming agent bringing sober thinking to what has too long been a gray area among believers. Be advised, this is not an easy undertaking and there are a select few artists that can deliver a Godly, timely message to those in love, who have lost love and who are seeking love. Who are they, where are they, what do they have to say?
R&B artists are increasingly making mention of God more and more in their music and at their concerts. KEM made mention of his relationship with Christ at his concert appearance in Dallas last month. KEM’s music would never make it onto gospel music airwaves even though his message is clearer than ever describing love and even marriage from Godly perspectives. BeBe and CeCe Winans have brought us crossover messages of love through the years, but sometimes the ‘target’ remains ambiguous, if not interchangeable.
Ever heard of Phil and Brenda Nicholas?
It’s Time for Love God’s Way-What Local Artists are Doing About It
Gospel music may not be ready, but gospel music listeners certainly are! Stay tuned to the PGME, there will be an Angela Blair feature and we’ll explore Fred Hammond’s take on love in his upcoming album!
You can email Fred Willis at:firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter.com/iknowgospel