SECULAR AND GOSPEL MUSIC.
(Bridging the Gap)
On today’s Dear Minstrel series I will be delving into one of the most controversial subject ever
My goal for writing on this subject is to try to bring as much clarity as God has helped me gain as a form of guidance to the young and coming artists.
I understand this here may take time for some of you to understand so I will advice you ask questions for clarity sake and that you read as many times as possible to comprehend.
First I will love to define GOSPEL AND SECULAR.
The bible with which we learn the Gospel from is practically littered with secular contents.
The bible basically addresses matters on Every aspect of life “war, business, peace, hope, love, Relationships, God, prayer, service, family, marriage, education” etc in other words the bible is a compendium of Religious and secular matters.
The bible reveals how we ought to relate with God as well as how we ought to relate with man. Secular here does not mean vulgar, lust, sensual or worldly it is simply a system of social interaction outside the environment of religion.
There are two perspective to this Gospel:
1. Sacred life: This is your life and relationship with God. The present day gospel music basically focuses on strengthening your relationship with God as well as drawing men into that relationship (Salvation). There are those specifically called and gifted to fulfill this purpose through music (strengthen mans relationship with God as well as invite men into that relationship via songs). This are the people we call Gospel music ministers.
Here God is the sole center of the music.
2. Social life: This basically is your life with your fellow men. When the scripture talks about “Loving your neighbor as you love yourself” it is basically trying to give you an approach to how you should relate with man.
Conventionally, many look at secular to be anything that does not involve God, but NO!
Secular basically means your life and interaction with your fellow men and we are expected to use the scriptures as our blue print for that
The man Solomon sang many secular songs
Please stay with me!
The book of songs of Solomon will pass for a secular or Romantic poem howbeit I will state that it is much more than the words it basically is a prototype of the relationship between the spirit and the bride as scriptures are more deeper than they appear in words.
Much more than that Solomon wrote many songs on different areas of life, the book of Proverbs too is a book on sacred matters and secular matter by now I hope you understand the perspective with which I talk of sacred and secular? It contains thoughts on leadership, relationship, social lifestyle, marriage, business etc.
I believe the Gospel comes in two forms:
Firstly, Getting a revelation of the finished works of Christ and building your relationship with him from it, secondly it is also relating with man using your relationship with God as a blueprint.
Our Gospel is incomplete if our relationship with God does not set the tone for how we relate with man. Our relationship with the secular world ought to bring to their awareness the Goodnews of Christ.
My point here is GOSPEL MUSIC has
1. A sacred Appeal
2. A social/secular Appeal.
If you are a bank worker, banking is a secular zone not a religious ground.
There are templates from the bible on how you should govern your life in that zone same applies to other zones.
Singing about love, marriage, relationships is not bad the bible provides guidance for us on how to tackle such social matters.
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself” could form the thematic structure with which I could write a secular/social song (song addressing your relationship with man). I could write advocating how much we ought to love and treat each other using that scripture as a reference an example of a song like this is “I go always pray for you” by Nosa.
Again when I talk of Secular or social song I mean songs done not as a religious tool of worship but songs done to educate and entertain man about other aspects of life that promotes good values.
Let me take this further by putting TIMI DAKOLO AND NATHANIEL BASSEY SIDE BY SIDE.
The both of them are good singers and song writers, they could basically write any kind of song on any matter of life.
But Nathaniel Bassey is basically called to the body of Christ to strengthen and edify her relationship with God thus all his songs basically serves this purpose.
Timi Dakolo is a christian, tongue speaking too.
I have seen him lead worship at HOTR many times and damn! he does it so well and anointedly.
I know many will think he is an unbeliever or a secular singer simply because he doesn’t focus on songs that strengthens the worship life of the body of Christ.
That’s basically because Timi Dakolo is not called to the body of Christ, he is from the body of Christ but called to the world as a musician to basically strengthen the love relationship of a man with his wife. His song “Iyawo mi” is actually very scriptural Lol! Paul tells us that a man should love his wife the way Christ has loved him when Timi said “I will love you forever” oh thats how God wants us to love our wives, he doesn’t want us to do it temporarily and divorce tomorrow. I also love how Timi does it, he always uses his wife as his muse thus promoting that family and couple culture. I can’t imagine trying to be Romantic with my wife and I am playing bowl of fire by Lawrence Oyor at the background I should be able to have a song that expresses my heart felt love for her at that moment especially If that song was done by someone who has the Holy spirit in him and the contents are not against my scriptural believe.
A secular singer is not necessarily a sinner he may be a christian called to reach the secular world with social music using the Gospel as a template.
That a person sang the name of God in a song does not even make the person a Gospel singer, Gospel music Is beyond the song it is the life of Christ we live reflecting in our tool of music.
My point here
Is that some of you are trying so hard to fit into the trend of things with worship songs (sacred songs geared towards strengthening the relationship of man and God) where as you have been called to the world to affect the secular environment with music using the scripture as a template.
I have always said it that I am called to the church as well as to the world, the current phase I am is basically that of the Body
I have written songs basically on many areas of life E.g The colour of love, Rainbow, one more try, Priceless, beautiful, etc all of this songs are backed by scriptural contents and even gotten in the place of prayer and word study. In fact I have written and composed all of my wedding song self hehe!
By this post I have not said anyone should go around singing of how a girls body attracts them thats not scriptural thats basically sensual, or how they want to kiss her lips or touch her body all of that is purely sensual or erotic and does not Reveal the kind of love advocated from scriptures or the sanity of conversation required of us as believers.
Our conversation in all things ought to be pure.
If you ask me “My foundation for music writing” its basically found in
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Whatever meets the above criteria, you should write on them. We must not limit our reach to the body of Christ, we must start thinking how to culture the world with our music as a kingdom people. We must start thinking how to dominate the world with scriptural contents in a wise way, when they hear us sing and trace our life they will find us deeply hidden in Christ unapologetically.
I believe strongly that a season is upon us and a movement like “Approaching secular (social) from the Gospel” will emerge which will birth christian musicians replicating scriptural contents on many social matters in music and the body of Christ will appreciate them as well.
If all of us starts singing fire, revival, Holy spirit alone we will end up edifying and strengthening the church but we may never reveal Christ in music to people in other areas of life, a revival that is confined within the church will soon fade off as a vapor, it jus transcend to impact in the secular world this is how we sustain the culture of Revival.
We must strategically think kingdom dominance and expansion.
Please if you do not understand all I wrote here kindly chat me up for clarity rather than dismiss me totally with wrong assumptions.
I am still Mr.wealth, I advocate righteousness and balance, my focus is kingdom dominance and appreciation of the diversity we have in the body of Christ according to the measure of Christ revealed to each of us.
Note: You may need to read this post again to properly digest.
Lastly, let all men stay in their calling and let our lives project Christ in all we do whether within the secular ground or religious ground.
This is a short excerpt from my on coming book “Dear minstrel” wait for it.
I am Your Brother
Repairer of the breaches and builder of the old waste places.
iSING, iWRITE, iTEACH.