An Honest Review About the Gospel Industry In Kenya
The Difficult Truth
Now don't get me wrong.This is not meant to critic anyone in particular or not appreciate whatever efforts have been put out there to spread the gospel of Christ. I love gospel music because unlike secular music it is quiet and soothes the soul. I guess this is what we call spiritual nourishment. This however is a feeling that is very difficult to experience listening to some Kenyan gospel songs (not all). I understand that times have changed but it does not mean we change the way we worship our God because remember he never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever more.
The "industry" has become too commercialised and the true message has been lost somewhere in the process. It is now all about the money rather than the heavenly message. Yes i know we all need money and we have to work very hard for it. I'm not ignoring that fact however remember the bible says "seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you." It is very clear. God comes first. Not the money you will be paid, not the cars you own, not the houses you buy, not how many foreign countries you will visit, not how many influential people you will interact with, all this is (as Daddy Owen said) vanity.
Gospel songs whether praise or worship are meant to bring people closer to God. They give us that spiritual connection that in turn propells an indivual to either reflect on God or pray. True songs of praise and worship have stood the test of time.
Psalms of David
Take for instance the Psalms of David. King David praised and danced for God until his clothes became loose and fell to the ground. He worshipped God with passion and in spirit and this is why God identified him as a man after his own heart. He was one of the greatest kings, yet despite this fact he remained humble and faithful to God and his reward was that his bloodline was blessed as Jesus Christ would come from the house of David. We still sing his Psalms more than 3000 years after his reign.
How Great Thou Art
This is a song that was composed in 1885 by Carl Gustav Boberg and it is one of the most sung worship songs in the world. The song is God-centered and not man-centered. It helps us worship our God who transcends time, trends, and cultures making our spirit aware of the greatness of our creator.
Composed by John Newton in 1779, this is the number one worship song all over the world. The focus is on a person's search and finding God in the midst of darkness, sin and sorrows. " I was blind but now i see." John Newton's convertion to Christianity came after a miraculous experience that turned him from a slave trader to an Anglican priest.
10000 Reasons Matt Redman
A gospel song should not be about bragging and rubbing it in people's faces about success and wealth and fame you have acquired . It should rather be about thanking God for everything from the air you breath to what he provides you with. Matt Redman's song is in true obedience to Collosians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
Hakuna Mungu Kama Wewe
This Swahili song acknowledges that our God Yahweh is the one and true God. Set in the right tuning and beats, you are bound to dance yourself just like David.
Conclusion: Always Make God Your Source
Yes God is the source of everything and this includes wondeful songs of praise and worship. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance for he is the spirit of truth therefore will never let you down. Pray and meditate on his word. The sad thing is many Kenyan gospel songs have lost their Godly content. In some songs he is mentioned as just a 'by the way' and not as the source of everything. Musicians are now more focused on winning the Groove Awards rather than winning God's favour. They are more concerned with how much they get in form of royalties and Skiza tunes rather than how much more God can bless them. Cars, big houses, being a celebrity, and how many t.v and radio interviews you are attending should not be the primary focus.
John 4:23 "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him."
The questions i can put out to gospel musicians in Kenya are
1. Are the songs you compose a reflection of the character of God as our creator?
2. Can a non-believer listen to your songs and be inspired to be a believer?
3. Can your songs be sung in places of worship?
4. Can your songs stand the test of time and be sung 100 years from now just like Amazing Grace?
Next i will be reviewing the people given the resposibility of safeguarding our spiritual life, preachers, pastors and men of God who have used their positions to disorganise a believer's life and how one can differentiate a true and false prophet. Dont Miss!!