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With the way the trend of gospel music is going in Nigeria and other parts of the world, a call has been made for a true revival to return Church and the people to God.

Making this call recently was a university teacher and music expert, Professor Femi Adedeji of the Music Department of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in an online interactive session with the members of Global Association of Christian Artistes (GACA).

Professor Adedeji observed that the way the Church of God was taking gospel music as an instrument of entertainment rather than a tool for gospel message calls for a concern.

Speaking on The Gospel Musician As a Minister, Professor Adedeji defined gospel music as a brand of Christian music that is primarily aimed at preaching the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ, adding that “the word gospel is theological and that is why we cannot mess up with it.”

The distinguished musicologist also differentiated between gospel music and Church music saying Gospel music and Church music are interrelated but not necessarily same. Both of them are types of Christian music but Church music is mostly liturgical.

“It is not all churches that accept gospel music. While in few Churches without hymn culture, they only use gospel music style as their music. However Gospel music is also used in the Church occasionally.”

Having laid this background, the university don also warned against the incursion of entertainment into gospel music.

He noted “There is something they now call gospeltainment. But I have a problem here, can gospel music entertain and still remains gospel music? My answer is capital no, and such music belongs to the trash.”

Professor Adedeji who pointed out that music generally is ambivalent noted that it could do good and evil at the same time.”In the house of God, music can build up the work of God and on the other way round, it can pull down or destroy the work in the Church.” He termed it anabolic and catabloic roles.

The music teacher also expressed his concern about the quality of gospel music in the country today, describing it as watery and shallow, as he blamed the church for encouraging such a trend. “Gospel music in Nigeria today is so watery and shallow because the Church has compromised badly.”

The man of God digressed a bit further to describe a gospel musician as “the one called to preach the gospel with music, a soul winner, an ambassador of Christ to whom the ministry of reconciliation has been committed. The gospel musician is therefore different from a secular musician,” he submitted.

He also blamed the situation where many gospel artistes did not regard their ministry as a calling but a mere show of gifts. “How many people in the ministry today have divine calling? Some are called by ego, for show off, unemployment, imitation and the like. Even though you do not receive the divine calling directly, you must be convicted of the need to preach the gospel through music.

He listed the qualities of a true gospel musician as being born again, with the blessing of the talent or gift, with divine authority, requisite training, and the need to be divinely commissioned.

And in effect, the message coming from a gospel musician would be filled with the spirit and power of the Holy Ghost. “The message of a gospel musician would include essentially, gospel invitation, praise and worship, admonition, prayers and prophecies with message of the rapture and call out from sinful life and in its effect gospel music should make Nigerians weep for their sins and not dancing in their sins.

“But contrary to this we now have gospel musicians that are gospel enemies. They play gospel music to please themselves and many are agents of the devil from the marine world and in most cases they are more talented than those who refused to learn. Quite unfortunate, the church who is host of gospel music started compromising badly with the advent of ‘penterascal churches’ that were firm and fervent from the free theology ones. We cannot pretend we don’t know, the problem is caused by secularisation (of gospel music).”

He challenged the music ministers to go all out to sanitise the society and the Church with their music. “Gospel is the most powerful weapon that God provides to change the world but it has become powerless in our hands. God is not happy about this.

“A gospel musician living secretly or publicly in sin is a disgrace to the kingdom and a mockery and errand boy or girl for demons. They know what we do in the secret and our music in that condition would only demonise and poision sinners instead of saving them.”

He therefore called for sober reflection and confession of sins, snd repent from them. That is when gospel music would be gospel music in our hands,” as he expressed the hope that with prayer “I am expecting a time when gospel music will save souls, heal the sick, deliver the oppressed and disciple the saints again.”

The webinar had in attendance prominent members of the association among which were BOT Chairman  Evang Oluwasina Igbalade, the President Pastor Mrs Anne Adebola and other officials and members from different parts of Nigeria.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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