Why discriminate does the church disriminate against artists who makes music for the populace?
Growing up in 90s and 80s Nigeria, there’s a high probability of life being faith-based for you. Our parents were beholden to church and all the strict dogma and doctrines. You either loved church, or you were a bad person. Even today, you either love church, or be discriminated and judge by members of the faithful.
The influence of Christianity created a false set of morals that were taught in institutions and perpetrated by various arms of communication. If you sleep in church, you are disturbed by a demon. You speak against the pastor and the gates of hell draw closer to you and your destiny. Smokers are the embodiment of evil, stylish male hair was a taboo against God, and if you dare wear a snapback hat, you are an epitome of all that is unruly in life.
But all of these pales when music is mentioned. Pop music is looked at with disdain by the faithful. It was eliminated from everywhere near church, and given a discriminatory and dismissive tag. Pop music was called ‘Secular’ music and kicked far away.
And this has gone on for decades. The only time pop music came near the church, it was stripped of the lyrics, and reworked to praise God, or document the magnificence of his son. But the melody was retained, and appropriated wrongly.
Over time, we have seen elements of pop culture introduced into the church. Starting from the 90s craze with break dance, and flowing all the way into twerking. People can twerk in the name in the Lord now, and we can celebrate the goodness of heaven in creating a big booty woman in a heavenly image.
Technology and a progressive generation has blurred the distance between objective art, and art that is created for the church. And each day, that line continues to be blurred. M.I Abaga can go give a motivational speech in church. 2face Idibia can perform some of his classic conscious music in a number of churches.
But there are still pockets of pseudo-religiosity and hypocritical bias when it comes to the relationship between the church and pop music. And Korede Bello has recently felt it.
The man first drew the ire of the faithful when he scored a ubiquitous hit in ‘Godwin’. The single was inspired by God, created for God, and details all of the positivity that is alluded as a result of maintaining a healthy relationship with God. God wins every time, and Korede Bello captures it perfectly in ‘Godwin’.
That song is performed in churches by choirs and praise groups without qualms. But the moment Korede Bello showed up in church to hold a performance of the single in church, everyone cried foul. They want the art to be shared and enjoyed, but they don’t want the artist in church.
On Sunday April 5, 2015, Mavin records act, Korede Bello was a guest minister at Harvesters International Christian Centre (HICC) in Lagos where he performed smash hit single, ‘Godwin’.
His performance in church was infuriating to many, who has expressed views that Korede Bello is a secular act and shouldn’t be performing on a faith-based sacred altar.
Another one happened recently. The singer who is celebrating the release of his album, “Belloved”, took it to church in thanksgiving, and everyone was triggered again. Korede Bello is a member of The Latter Rain Assembly (LRA), headed by Pastor Tunde Bakare. And his decision to show appreciation to God for the fruits of his talent was attacked by Christians.
What does this teach the Christians with their mantra of tolerance? Would you excommunicate an artist who excels in pop music because he is making ‘secular’ songs? Would you ignore all of the good and positivity that pop music has created in this world, and focus on the minutiae that you are uncomfortable with?
Music in itself is a business, and it services a specific crowd. Would you attack a doctor for saving the life of an unbeliever? Or turn your face away from a caterer that feeds sinners? No.
Why discriminate against an artist who makes music for the populace?
We need to be better. Art in itself a gift from God, and excellence in it should be glorifying to the Most High. It is a reflection of God’s blessings when your art can be profitable and influence lives positively.
Pop music ought not to be discriminated by the church. Instead, it should be embraced, and its elements can be appreciated for being a light in such a dark world.