Question of the Day: Is "Inspirational Song" Code Word For So Close to Secular You Can Barely Tell The Difference?

Over the past few months I have heard several Christian artist classify their music as being “Inspirational”. Some of them will then follow up this classification by saying they don’t want to be so Churchy that they can’t reach everyone. They want to draw people in by making them jam therefore taking some of the intimidation factor out of the Gospel. Some will even go as far as to say that for them traditional gospel doesn’t work.
However what I want to ask you is what are they really saying? For example both Mary Mary and Trin-I-Tee 5:7 have recently released albums that they are calling Inspirational. Now let it be known that I have not heard all of either of these albums and while “Walking” by Mary Mary is not my cup of tea, they still sing my favorite rendition of “Yesterday”. Yet I still have to ask the Kirk’s and Ty’s of the world is this your way of skating really close to the line of secular without actually crossing it? Is there a difference in the content of Gospel and Inspirational music that will make one classify it as one over the other? Think about it, some classified “I Can Fly” by R. Kelly as Inspirational, yet I wouldn’t consider it a gospel song. The same with Christina Aguilera “You Are Beautiful” or Pink’s song “Perfect”. All three of these songs inspire people and make them feel good about themselves, but they do not teach the word of God.
So what do you think? Is the term Inspirational being used as a get out of Sanctuary card that artist can use when they want to get their groove on? Is it a term that is being used in a more clever way, that will allow the songs to be played on all stations so that they can reach more listeners? Are they the same or two different genres of music.
Let me know what you think.
Be Blessed
Bonus Question: Would you have a problem with your favorite Gospel Artist singing a secular song?

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. gospel1fan

    Are we really getting caught up in titles!!! Inspiration Gospel its the same thing as long as the message of Jesus prevails you can call it whatever. Take a full listen to both of the albums the name Jesus is mentioned all over it! I honestly feel just because you don’t mention Jesus in a song doesn’t mean its a bad song….this is whats wrong with the church today we so focus on catering to our needs when what really matter is the people who we minister to. I don’t know how many times this has to be said for people to get the clue STOP BEING SO JUDGMENTAL!!! Jesus was among prostitutes, the sick, sinners, everyone you can think of to the point they wanted to persecute him for what he was doing. Church we have to learn we not going to save people staying within the four walls of the church…. Christianity is a movement lets stop standing still and make a change!

  2. Ann Brock

    You know what I have found my self loving Contemporary Christian artists and their music……Their music is more Christ focus and they seems to be more honest about who they are.
    Take young Josh Turner who’s a country singer that just happens to be a Christian who sings country music…..I read a interview in which he said that he had to clarify that he’s not a gospel singer, which is a label he started to be tagged with after he released his first single, “Long Black Train.” Josh goes on in the interview to say he had to break away from the stereotype of being a gospel singer. I always wanted to be a country singer. I was a country boy, lived the country lifestyle and still do. My faith is part of that. It shows who I am.” WOW!
    So, why won’t Mary Mary, Trin-I-Tee5:7 Kim Burrell, etc…Just say that they are R&B singers who just happen to be a Christian that sing R&B? I don’t understand why they want to be tag gospel artists when in reality they are not…. Why don’t they just say they have strong faith which guides every decision they make in their personal life and business?Why keep tagging your music Gospel or Inspirational call it what it is and move on.

  3. RiverAngel42

    Gospel1fan thank you for your comment.
    Ann as always a pleasure reading yours, thanks for stopping by again.
    Personally it is not my intention to judge. Lord knows if judging is what I was into I have my own list of what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be doing to mull over. However what I do think it is about is a word that I have heard many of the artist use and that is transparency. With that being said I agree in part with Ann, if that is what you are going to do then do it. If that is what you are going to sing then sing it. I personally wont judge. I personally am not offended if a “Gospel artist” wants to sing something other than “Gospel”. For example Fred Hammond is releasing a album with Love Songs, can’t wait to hear it, as Love is a part of being. He has a God given talent, God gave us love so why shouldn’t he put the two together.
    My question was posed more so to deepen my own understanding of the label. Also to eliminate some of the confusion, because to me inspirational might not have anything at all to do with Christ. However to someone who is new to Christianity they might not know that and be putting something into their spirit that should not be there. Example Born this way by Lady GaGa. Some might call this song Inspirational too, maks folks feel good, however it is not of God.
    Gospel1Fan you have a point as well with regards to labels. No I don’t feel we should go around labeling one another. However when you label yourself is it wrong for me to try and seek understanding of what the label means?
    Be Blessed and have a great day

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