Posts Tagged ‘southern gospel’

Without hesitation, if you were to ask me, “HiScrivener, what music do you prefer when you need a quick pick-me-up,” I would answer before the first verb came out of your mouth.

Sure, I like some old school hip-hop as much as the next (or even Nu Soul), but that’s not it. I fancy some New Jack Swing to feel good, or even classic soul to get a little chill. I have even been known to throw on “The Eagles Greatest Hits” or anything by Stevie Ray Vaughan when mowing the grass.

However, none of those melodious genres can put a smile on my face and a tap in my step as quickly as Southern Gospel.

Whether it’s something you would hear from the Gaithers or anything when the great Donnie McClurkin is waxing nostalgic on a live CD, praise that name of Jesus and this brother is feeling good.

So, when I visited another brick in the Wall, Wickle, and saw the name “Ray Stevens,” I was so in. Glad I did because although this song is a classic and helped me get my groove on, and the visions in the video are all too familiar, this genius song forces the Church to consider who it is we worship rather than the tools he uses.

(And I meant that as vessels… not dimwits. But eh, a little Freudian slip never hurt anyone.)

Meet Gloria Jones, a devout Pentecostal (like UPC Crystal Gayle hair) and an apparent habitue of Gloria Steinem.

You know the type? Burning the bra. Men suck. Refusing to wear deodorant… er, lipstick. Well, it’s all obvious because this UPC She-Ra won won a religious discrimination suit against her employer, the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Why? She wanted to rock the denim, floor-length skirt and whistle while she worked.

A Pentecostal woman who refused to wear pants as part of her bus driver uniform has prompted the region’s transit system to implement new policies to accommodate employees’ religious practices. Jones met the qualifications for the position; however, she declined to wear the pants required for the uniform because of her Apostolic Pentecostal faith. She made a verbal request to be allowed to wear a skirt, and Metro terminated her application.

upcNow, the UPC takes legalism to a whole new level. But we’ll get to that in a minute. For her troubles, and this is a bad economy so come on, she got paid:

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement between Jones and the transit agency, which agreed to pay her more than $47,000, according to the Associated Press. The agency also agreed to pay $2,500 to two others who said Metro didn’t accommodate their beliefs.

47 LARGE?! For what? Because homegirl didn’t get the gig? Maybe this could have been a blessing in disguise. Perhaps modeling was around the corner? Who knows. Whatever the reason, they just didn’t understand you. So, let’s try, shall we?

They have a oneness theology, and if you were baptized in “the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” we’ll see you in hell. No really. Among the other legalistic extremes are:

  • If men are mustachioed, they’ll take a hacksaw to his lip
  • If women cut their hair… even the dreaded split ends, ladies… it’s curtains in the Church
  • Neither gender can wear sleeves above the elbows. So, UPC churches aren’t a big player near the equator.
  • TV is not allowed (Note the picture). Not because they are Amish, but rather the tube is a pipeline from hell into the home. Nice.

These are the hallowed “Holiness Standards”. Huzzah!

Ladies, claim all the scriptures and twist them until you make pretzels, but here’s a prophecy: If the barn needs painting, paint the sucker! But hey, you got $47,000. I’m thinking since you aren’t buying make up, designer clothes or you know, a car… maybe you can use all that money, and buy yourself a Bible not all marked up by your “saints”.

You just might learn something about being baptized in the Holy Spirit while still experiencing “liberty in the Spirit.” At least, I have.

Back to the football theme, this week in video evangelism is a classic – and one I never knew existed. Thankfully so, I should say because my heart can’t take much more.

I’m laughing so hard my chest is burning.

In the Super Bowler, “Big Game” spirit, please enjoy this song claimed as the only “Christian Football Waltz.” Ya’ think? Please enjoy “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)”

No, really. I know I’ll look at the game differently now that I am part of “his master game plan.” Excuse me. Have. Tears. Fighting. Must. Keep. Composure.

I don’t think there is any singular thing that obliterates perceptions of the Church and keeps those “interested but not ready to commit to God” than STEREOTYPES.

In case you are wrapped in the Old Rugged Cross and unable to see how most of the Christians you know fit the stereotypes, then here’s a quick lesson before we get to what Baptists are doing to keep the myth going.

  • Anyone know a waiter? Ask them what is the most-hated shift: Sunday Brunch. Ask them why and get back to me.
  • Anyone know a bill collector? Ask them what is one of the top five excuses for not paying. Answer: Tithe. Huh?!
  • Anyone know someone who isn’t saved? Ask them what is one of the top five reasons they are not. Answer: Christians. No. Kidding.

In other words, stereotypes – albeit atrocious – become that way for a reason. Whether it’s because of the media, watching COPS, dilapidated communities, rumor or even movies, the vocal AND VISUAL majority of any group make them true.

And this story from the Southern Baptist Convention doesn’t help matters any. Evidently, the SBC has decided the term “Southern” is keeping them away from being invited to certain parties, according to a recent poll by Lifeway Research:

27 percent of Southern Baptist senior pastors strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement, “Having the name ‘Southern’ in the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’ is a hindrance to the work of SBC churches.” Not everyone felt that way: 41 percent strongly disagreed with the statement; 27 percent somewhat disagreed and 5 percent said they didn’t know (courtesy RNS).

How’s that, pastors? You can’t find enough real estate to build inside the friendly confines of a trailer park? Perhaps, your praise and worship team is no longer rocking those crusty hymns because they are considering adding “Dueling Banjos” to the Sunday playlist. Oh, oh, I know. They are taking the biblical term, “DELIVERANCE” to another level and are now squealing like pigs during service.

Whatever the reason, you turds should be ashamed of yourselves. Do you really think folk still think the “South will rise again”? The um, white pressed sheet wearing folk who burn crosses, is all but a glimmer of what they used to be and speaking of flecks on humanity, skinheads are growing out their hair and calling it a day.

In case you cacophonus gaggle of dimwits haven’t consulted a history book since you know, the invention of the printing press, the Civil War is over and black people can actually pee in the “Whites Only” bathroom.

Oh well, I believe I have a HiScrivener solution for you. No worries, you’ll all like it. Close your churches and begin having worship in bowling alleys. You know, with all the big white bellies and tall red necks the SBC is throwing down these days, your congregations will feel right at home.

Oh come on! That’s not mean nor insensitive, you delicate disciples. Blame Sherrie Keys, founder and president of the newest music label to take the Kingdom of God by storm – CHUBBY GIRLS RECORDS.

The primary focus of the label is gospel music. Gospel music is one of the few genres where physical appearance takes a backseat to good old-fashioned singing. According to Sherrie Keys, CEO and President: “The beauty of the cross is the focus of gospel music. People who hunger for God’s presence really don’t consider a singer’s image as part of gospel music’s appeal.”

She’s right you know. Ever seen a Gospel concert? Check out the width of talent of the anointed (and fabulous) Pace sisters. Or the hefty-vocalized Alvin Slaughter. And what about the rotundly-talented “Happy Goodmans” (who looks like that name stuck because of their joy the buffet line was about to open).

All are hall-of-famers in Gospel music. All can sing a hole in the Wall. And yes, all have the um, mass to back it up.

You name them in Gospel (Southern or any other geographically-winsome location), and odds are they were folk of some heft. So, Sherrie Keys decides to call a spade… a brimming, corpulent spade.

Keys believes gospel music marketing offers a compelling and unique opportunity to positively influence the way plus-size women view their bodies. A gospel music collaboration with a fashion-forward plus-size artist represents both a new retail offering for Christian music lovers and a breakthrough business model for the plus-size industry.


What’s next for Christian music? BBW rock stars? Curves invades a Christian rave? A holy hip-hop artist named Fat Albert takes the world by storm? Whatever the “weighty” issue, all I know is when these women come to your church to perform, that honorarium better include a gift card to Luby’s or Ms. Keys may have to run you over… without her car.