Well, it’s been claimed that the African church is like a tree that has wide trunks but shallow roots and that it fits the description of the house built on sand as described in one of Jesus’ parables found in Matthew 7:26-27. In this article, however, I will dwell more on the decay in the gospel music industry because perhaps, it’s a true reflection of the state of the Kenyan church. The decadence of the industry is largely captured in the conduct of a large percentage of local gospel artists.
Arguably the biggest industry in the country, gospel musicians ‘overtook’ their secular counterparts by winning the hearts of Kenyans, the media and corporate groups. Their concerts have been filled to the brim and their music is on heavy rotation on both TV and radio stations.
With an impressive resume like that, you would think that the body of Christ in Kenya is as healthy as a horse. While some gospel artists are totally sold out to Christ, the majority have perfected the art of buffoonery. This article stems from a place of love and deep concern for the industry. Most gospel artists are squandering the great platform entrusted to us by God because of the following reasons:
1. We don’t consistently read the word of God and pray
Few gospel artists diligently spare time every day to study the Bible and to pray. We have become masters at serving a God we neither know nor want to obey. We manifest the fruits of the flesh e.g. envy, jealousy, slander, fits of rage et al, but we never want to crucify the flesh. We started with the spirit but now we are serving with our flesh. We have choked the Holy Spirit, numbed his voice and forgotten to refuel for the long journey ahead of us. We have rejected sound doctrine and instead opted to gather preachers who teach us what our itching ears wants us to hear.
That’s why we struggle with all manner of sins. We flirt all night, drink ourselves silly, and fornicate endlessly. We have children out of wedlock and it looks okay now. We then splash their photos online for public endorsement. I don’t know if it helps to cleanse our conscience or quench the Holy Spirit’s conviction or both. We cohabit and do all manner of sin, therefore, our bodies, the temples of God, have become uninhabitable for Him. When confronted, we exalt confessions over repentance or justify our actions with words like, ‘don’t judge me’. Therefore we only talk with tears about our shortcomings but never have a lasting change in our ways forgetting that the grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness. Instead of being prodigal sons, we have become prodigal pigs; temporarily in the house of God but longing for the filthy garbage of the world. Scripture no longer governs our lives. We cherry pick which sections to obey and disregard others. Sin allures us like light to a moth only to burn our wings then our lives comes to a sudden screeching halt.
We are more secular than Godly in our thoughts. When money begins to come, we have an itching urge to be showy forgetting that we are called to be stewards. We keep ourselves busy organizing major concerts and trying to outdo each other on who commands the largest crowds. ‘Beef’, a word that was only found in secular circles, nowadays has residence in the gospel industry. Social media has become a platform which exposes the contents of our hearts. Humility is indeed an almost extinct word in the industry. Therefore, we have marred Christ’s glory using the very same blessing he has bestowed upon us. The world now stands at a distance, laughing at mad men who are talking about a heaven they might never see. Like the Pharisees, we refuse to get into God’s Kingdom and stand in the way of those who want to enter it. The world now says that, ‘if whatever you have is Christianity, then I don’t want to be a part of it.’
3. Lack of Accountability
We have forsaken fellowship. We are busy serving until we forget to be ministered to. Therefore, many of us are like whitewashed tombs, shining on the outside but rotting corpses on the inside. That’s why whenever we are tempted, we fall with a thud. The Bible says that a cord of two is not easily broken but in isolation, we do not have enough spiritual muscle to withstand the bouts of the enemy. Many of us are cultural Christians, who are more accustomed to the gracious and merciful side of God but choose to ignore his just side. We are fatigued, blind men groping in darkness, thirsty and desperately hoping to get a brook to quench our thirst, but we never run to the water and bread of life.
We have become law unto ourselves where we do not have accountability partners. We reject rebuke and rebel against authority. We have forsaken the counsel of wise elders.
The Great Hope
It’s clear that the Gospel Industry is on its deathbed but that’s the perfect place for God to intervene and STOP THE FUNERAL. Let’s burn the midnight oil keenly studying God’s law. We must not be involved in civilian affairs any longer. We must abhor Sodom and all its allures. The shackles of Egypt must be cut off. The altars of Baal must be destroyed. Sin must taste like bile to us from now henceforth. The great hope is this, however long we may have continued in rebellion and however black and long the catalog of our sins is, if we now turn to God in sincere repentance and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall not be cast out. We can never fall too far off from grace. The time to repent, in dust and ashes, is now so that the seasons of refreshing may come our way.
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