My photo
Secret Place of the Most High, Kingdom
Learned Student, Honest.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

cherish the earthly relationships, on earth

I don't believe in living each day like it's your last . . .

I heard a Pastor say this week that marriage does not exist in Heaven. It is a question I had, which he confirmed, since my stepfather remarried my mother after my older siblings' mother passed, many years ago. My stepfather has also gone home to be with the Lord (Rest in Perfect Peace). Yet, I vividly remember the words my mother said to him with the casket open and how the Pastor responded to her. I could not help but wonder privately, who would he be married to in Heaven? And how does marriage in Heaven work for the polygamous homes, which were still popular in Nigeria as recent as two generations ago – my grandparent’s generation.

Thoughts of people that have recently passed and celebrating the anniversary of my esteemed relative’s home going (Dr. Femi Ogunnaike), as is the cultural tradition, caused other thoughts to resurface. When we attend funerals, usually as Christians, we comfort ourselves with the assurance that we will see them again. My initial reaction to the Pastor's affirmation, that the marriage relationship did not exist in Heaven, was something like "oh" *eyebrows raised* and "aww." The reassurance we hold onto likely encompasses the hope that we will see that person" again assumedly in the same earthly relationship. However, if the marriage relationship does not exist in heaven, neither will all other earthly relationships that we value. This makes me realize this one chance on earth is really the only time to cherish that form of the relationship.

Along those lines, I usually hear so many of my peers say “live each day like it's your last,” when they learn of someone’s passing. Many people probably said this same statement 9 years ago too, wherever we were, when we processed the World Trade Center’s terrorist attack.

Respectfully, I disagree wholeheartedly with the “live each day like your last” motto. I know I haven’t put much thought into my last day and how I want to spend it and I do not think I ever will. I would venture to say that many people who say that have not put much thought into it either. We generally work with the end in sight, but this is an expected end (for some - since not all will sleep) that we naturally and consciously suppress. Moreover, the average life expectancy in the United States is currently at about 78 years. Adhering to that motto essentially means we would spend, on average, a very substantial portion of our lifetime on earth, living in fear of life and death.

I do believe in living each day progressively and with purpose. The more correct statement or motto to me falls somewhere along the lines of “live each day cherishing all the time spent with people, family and friends with no doubt in your mind that if it were your last day once you've arrived at the gates of Heaven, God would say “my good and faithful servant you’ve done well.””

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Part 2: The Discussion re: Bizzle Track

The following post is collection of responses to the listening? blog posted last week regarding the track by Bizzle using the Ether instrumental referencing rap artists Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nas.

General Thoughts:

This is really good. I’ve watched a couple of videos about the whole free mason thing -Ademide W.

I like the track, its got a lot of things I can agree with. –Andrew P.

I thought the flow was nice. -Akua A.

Dang, that was hot, especially after the beat went off. A lot of the stuff he said I know about and have been studying it too. That free mason stuff is crazy and very deep. I would encourage you to read about it but read with caution. There's a lot of crazy stuff out there like the free masons, five percenters etc. –Jerry B.

This is one of those in person conversations but the one main thought that keeps resonating is knowledge is a very powerful thing. This guy might be trying to do the right thing by putting out this video and song. At the same time, a person can be opened up to a side that they never knew existed and now they begin to dig and start going to the "other" side. There is just sooo much that goes into all this. You have to be careful who you give knowledge to because with knowledge comes power and with power comes responsibility. Sometimes I feel like it is better not to know because the other side doesn't gain an advantage either....... (I have so many more thoughts)... –Segun O.

Listened to the track. I see where Bizzle's head is, and it’s a good place. No questions asked. -Eugene U.

As for Bizzle, I don't know what to say about him. It bothers me that he used the word, nigga. I mean, if you wouldn't use the word in church then why use it in a song and say its gospel or Christian rap? And when I think of Christian music, I think of music that glorifies God and praises and worships God. This song does not do this in my opinion. I don't think I would listen to it, but that's just me. –Kimberly G.

Bizzle perfect track to go in on someone lol loved it! –Adebunmi A.

Man this video and flow is insane! All those hidden messages that people wouldn’t even know... this dude is sic (in a good way) and deep. -Daniel O.

Inspiring...I'm all for anything that reveals what is true. -Tolu A.

This video/song came at the right time since I’m currently looking into all kinds of secular music even the so-called “fun music” (– Yinka S.) and “positive music.” I recently had the conviction to eliminate secular tunes altogether from my music selection despite the artists’ musical ingenious or the attractiveness of the beats etc. Prior to this, I had the mistaken overconfidence that I could selectively choose which songs I would allow to influence me. However, my views are changing after researching further and it’s an interesting process . . . more on that in a subsequent post. Basically, the song highlighted the main reason that triggered my decision to eliminate secular music. –Christina A.

Question 1: How do you feel about changing the words to a secular song and attempting to make it a gospel song? 

The Debate: 
Reclaiming for the Kingdom vs. Mixing Kingdom Business with the World

I don't agree with that, because it wouldn't make sense to do so. It’s a waste of energy and time. –Andrew P.

I don't think the categories of gospel vs. secular matter as opposed to the substance of the material. He could have rapped over any track, but the real question is what is he saying, what is his motivation, and is it glorifying God. I’m all for a God over money movement -Akua A.

I don't see anything wrong with changing the lyrics of the secular song to make it gospel. The only thing that’s really the same is the beat. For this case, I would think he chose the Ether beat because of the beef it symbolizes (JayZ vs Nas). And since he was beefing with those who were against God, it makes sense for him to choose this beat. As an artist, sometimes you chose a hot secular beat to rap over because the beat alone can get people’s attention, then once you get their attention you spit your fire and you got ‘em. –Jerry B.

I personally do not have a problem with secular music influencing gospel. I think it a way to get people to listen as long as there is a clear distinction. -Segun O.

I don't feel like believers need to be changing the lyrics of a secular song to send a message. What believers need to do is just ask for anointing to be creative and leave secular methods of propagating a message alone. –Eugene U.

I am not comfortable with changing the words of a secular song in order to try and make it a gospel song simply because the spirit that was used to create the beats and rhythms for the secular music is still going to be attached to that music even if you change the words. If the people who made the secular music were influenced by demonic forces in creating that music, then those forces are still attached to those beats. Plus God is a creative God. He created the world from nothing by the power of His words. If He is creative and we are made in His image, then we too can be creative and create new music for the Lord. Also, Scripture says "Sing unto the Lord a new song." –Kimberly G.

I actually like the idea of changing secular songs .I feel like we are taking back the songs that were supposed to be meant for glorifying the Lord anyway. On top of that, it helps bridge the gap with non believers and shows them that you can make nice tracks and praise Him at the same time. –Adebunmi A.

There is the debate between taking things back for the Kingdom and not mixing with the world. For the simple fact that there is a debate amongst Christians, it leads me to believe that people who are not Christians may not be able to readily distinguish and differentiate between the Kingdom song and the world song. The worldly or secular song came out first and so that is the version that naturally preempts the subsequent remixed versions. While listening to the remixed version, you will have no choice but to be reminded of the original version and its meaning and influences. –Christina A.

We have the Creator of ALL THINGS living inside of us as Christians. Why jack someone else's music when ours can come from the Originator. With that said...if you feel led to do it...let everything you do glorify God. He sees the heart and that's what really matters. As a musician, I wouldn’t do it though. -Tolu A.

Question 2: How do you feel about a gospel song/dance over a secular instrumental?

This I think is fine because I've done it before, from an artist point of view it keeps you sharp. It allows for you to try something new. I like rapping over secular beats because the beats themselves are great. –Andrew P.

Same way I feel about question 1. Be creative, stay in the light. –Eugene U.

If a gospel dance/song is over a secular instrumental, I am not down with that either for pretty much the same reasons as the first answer. –Kimberly G.

For songs it’s ok because you can communicate the change through the words. For dance it would have to be circumstantial. For instance, doing a praise dance to "All I do is Win" by DJ Khaled would be hard to get your point across but if you did a praise dance to Corinne Bailey Rae – “Like A Star” it would be acceptable. –Adebunmi A.

Our youth group dance ministry used to mix secular instrumentals with gospel songs. Thinking further, as far as the dance ministration over a secular instrumental goes, just because the words are absent does not mean the person you are attempting to minister to does not know the words and meaning of the original song. However, I see how an argument can be made for the gospel singer or rapper ministering (supra Andrew P. and Jehovah-vs-jay-hova blogpost by DTPro of Verbill Punishment). –Christina A.

There's more to music than the beats. I know of many musicians both popular and not who get their inspiration for music from many places other than the Holy Spirit. Some are even demonically influenced because of what they choose to practice. Some are on drugs when they make their music. In the book of Daniel (3:5), King Nebu (for short :P) declares, “that at the time you hear…all kinds of music you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the fiery furnace.”

He understood something that most don't. The power of music. Why didn't he just say, "when I give the word" OR "when I send my messenger to your town"? He understood the universality of music and how it can evoke this case demonic emotions influenced by music to worship idols. (I've done a study on this and will post it on my blog soon -Tolu A.

Questions 3: How do you feel about an apparently gospel-influenced song by a mainstream secular artist?

Just because you are a secular artist does not mean they may not have a walk with God. It may be a very weak and childish walk but that relationship may manifest in the music from time to time. My take is that just because you make one Christian or gospel influenced song does not mean you’re excused from all the other nonsense you put out. Everyone is accountable for what they do, secular and non-secular alike. So in the end, if the song is a genuine song (which you can tell off bat), then cool, but I'm still holding you to the other stuff you do. -Andrew P.

What business hath light with darkness? A gospel-influenced song by a mainstream secular artist is but for business purposes. I'm all for entrepreneurial advancements but this very mix (gospel song-secular artist) right here, is a no no. -Eugene U.

I have no problem with that. Maybe that was a seed manifesting itself in that artist. Look at so many inspirational and gospel songs done by secular artist. If you remove the person and just listen to the song, don't you still end up praising Him? -Adebunmi A.

I do not listen to gospel influenced music by secular artists or gospel music where the gospel artists collaborate with secular artists. That is mainly because, as Christian's we are called to be in the world and not of the world. We are also called to live holy, or set apart for God. If a secular artist makes a gospel song, it is a confusing display for non-believers and believers alike and mixes the church with world when the church is called to be separate and holy. Plus, I'm not convinced that these secular artists are truly Christians. For example, Michelle from Destiny's Child made a gospel album, but then she was on the BET Awards after that giving a lap dance to Magic Johnson. That is not of Christ. And as for gospel artists, I do not listen to gospel artists who collaborate with secular artists or use secular producers and the like. I just think God deserves better than some stuff that has be mixed and tainted with people living lives that are anti-Christ, or against Jesus, and the spirits that are attached to that. And I don't need that in my spirit. –Kimberly G.

This doesn’t sit well with me since I’ve heard that one song, added to the end of the album, that’s usually not comparable in length and substance to the other songs. Meanwhile, the other songs on the album or from the artist completely contradict the content of this last apparently gospel-influenced track. Absent a judgmental spirit, this still has the tendency to produce confusion within any objective listener regardless of their religious conviction or lack thereof. However, if the target audience is the unsaved person, then it seems logical to use a person that an unsaved person would be listening to. –Christina A.

Quite frankly, God can use anyone to influence anyone. Many instances in the Bible where non believers have provoked, challenged or were used by God to change or influence believers. However, our source for any inspiration should be the Holy Spirit. It's just that sometimes the Holy Spirit uses people...both saved and unsaved. -Tolu A.

Thanks to Ademide, Jerry, Andrew, Akua, Segun, Eugene, Kim, Adebunmi, Daniel, and Tolu for their input.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...