Article

Guest Writer Big Dan shares thoughts on what he
believes is gradually becoming a challenge in the
body of christ and causing a set back on the gospel
music.
Below are his thoughts on “The Theology of Gospel
Music”
It hurts when you enter a church for the first time
and for 30mins of praise worship, you are yet to
flow. Not because you are in no mood to worship or
because you are not in the spirit but because you
are familiar with absolutely none of the songs
raised. Its not as if the gospel community has run
out of solid, deep and soul lifting praise worship
songs, its just that these churches and people have
so many biblical, theological, pneumatological and
christological reasons why these songs (popular
and common songs) are unfit for a christian and
their songs are highly appropriate.
I have also noticed that most times, these songs
are composed by in-house amateur writers. They
are lengthy, verbose, unreal and unnatural but
members sing them anyway.
It has evolved to the point where a denomination or
even a church network refuses to invite gospel
artistes that are not members of their denomination
or church network. They would rather continually
invite artistes from their church even when these
artistes have nothing new and fresh to offer them. It
should also be noted that these artistes are called
for ministrations to other churches outside their
denomination (an action that they refuse to
reciprocate). But that is an issue for another time.
To deal with this issue: Firstly, some concepts need
to be well understood;
Music: This is the combination of sounds, whether
vocals or instrumentals, that give pleasure to the
ears. Gospel music is music done within the
confines of christian beliefs. Therefore praise and
worship songs are considered gospel music. A
gospel artiste is one who creates gospel music as
an expression of his heart.
Due to our general expectation for songs to educate
us and give direction, we tend to put pressure on
songs and song writers to tell us what to do and
how to do it. And when these songs don’t align with
our christian theology or philosophy, we lash back
with criticisms and condemnation. In turn, we are
then compelled to write our own “model” songs (a
task that requires grace and anointing).
But what we need to understand is that music is an
expression. A musician expresses himself or
herself via music. Most songs you hear are done
based on the songwriter’s mind, mood and
message. But instead of listening with empathy, we
try to force instruction from these songs. I’ll give
examples:
Femi okunuga’s “emi orun” . This song when
critically analyzed using pneumatology, is flawed.
But if you listen with empathy, you’ll notice his
mood. To him the manifestation of the holy spirit is
as a descending atmosphere that changes the
ambiance. Some christians and churches won’t
permit this song because in theory, a christian
carries with him the spirit of God and therefore
does not require the holy spirit to descend from
above.
I give you another song which I personally have
heard being criticized for reasons I refused to wait
and consider:
“I have confidence in you…” I know the song writer
is a lady from the east of the niger. In fact this song
is originally an igbo song but the english version
has gone world wide. I have met pple who said they
don’t allow this song and songs like it to be sang in
their churches due to technical flaws in the lyrics
based on their theology of man’s faith in God and
God’s confidence in man….bla bla bla.
This is the truth. Whoever wrote this song, was
probably in a battle for her faith. This song is a
declaration of faith. It reflects the declaration of the
three hebrew young men who were asked to bow
before the kings idol. We may have no exact idea of
what the songwriter was going through but at some
point in our christian race, we tend to make this
same statement.
There are many other examples of musical
expressions….
Kenny Kore’s classic, “your peace”
David’s “teach me to be strong”
….And we find faults with them because instead of
being blessed, we always try to pull out instruction
and direction from them.
Please let us stop starving christians in the church.
Open up your hearts and give the spirit of God
limitless space to bless your soul with music, even
the music you’ve heard over and over again over
the years and have concluded to be inadequate. He
has a way of pulling right out of wrong.
Big Dan is a prolific writer, singer and performer
resident in the West Side of Nigeria- Lagos. He is
the convener of #thePROJECTSALT.
His new single Unworthy God is set to be released
on the 14th of December 2014.

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